2015 NFL Mock Draft 5.0 – 1st Round
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7.) Chicago Bears -WR Danny Shelton, Washington
With Amari Cooper off the board this pick came down to Shelton or WR Kevin White and I think it could go either way. Both players fill needs, but WR may be the deepest position in the draft and the Bears could get a starting caliber receiver as late as the 3rd round. Their is only one Danny Shelton in this year’s draft and only a handful of players in the entire NFL who can match his combination of bulk and athleticism. New Bears DC Vic Fangio rarely used 2-gap run stuffers at NT with the Niners, but he never had that type of player on his roster. Their are only about 10 good 2-gap NTs in the league and Shelton has the potential to be one of them. The addition of Shelton to the Bears D-line would allow them to move Jeremiah Ratliff to RE, potentially filling two needs in the starting lineup with one draft pick.
8.) Atlanta Falcons – DE Vic Beasley, Clemson
The Falcons had one of the worst pass rushes in the league last season (31st in sacks with 22). Beasley is coming off an amazing combine performance and has the production and college tape to back it up. I could see them going with Dupree here instead but I’m pretty sure the pick will be an edge rusher.
9.) New York Giants – OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa
The Giants O-line was a mess last year and they didn’t do enough in free agency to fix it. Scherff would be an upgrade at RT if the Giants want to move Justin Pugh inside or he could be a Pro Bowl caliber guard right away if they move him inside. I had Bud Dupree with this pick in my previous 4 mocks and still think his physical similarity to JPP and Kiwanuka will tempt GM Jerry Reese, but ultimately they will take one of the safest picks in the draft in Scherff.
10.) St. Louis Rams – WR Kevin White, West Virginia
The Rams are quietly building a juggernaut but still need a #1 WR and upgrades on the O-line. I could see them moving up for either Scherff or White, but in this mock they don’t need to and get a gift with White falling to #10. There is enough O-line depth in this year’s draft for the Rams to address it on days 2 &3, but there are only 3-4 potential #1 WRs available and the Rams get one in White.
11.) Minnesota Vikings – WR Devante Parker, Louisville
The Vikings reunite QB Teddy Bridgewater with his former go-to WR at Louisville. The Vikings don’t have a true #1 WR, but have a couple interesting ancillary receivers. Parker and Bridgewater already have a nice chemistry, but regardless Parker has all the tools to become a legit #1 in the league. He’s got excellent ball skills, can make tough catchs in traffic, tracks the deep ball very well, and is dangerous after the catch. The combination of Parker, Wallace, Patterson, and Johnson could become one of the more dangerous WR groups in the league.
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12.) Cleveland Browns – DT Malcolm Brown, Texas
The Browns gave up more rushing yards than any other team in the NFL last year. Brown is the 2nd best DT in the draft after Shelton, has the athleticism to play the 5-tech DE position as well, and may not be there when the Browns pick again at #19. WR Breshad Perriman was an option here as well, but the Browns can find a quality WR with one (or more) of their next few picks. Brown will improve their rush D from day 1.
13.) New Orleans Saints – OLB Randy Gregory, Nebraska
The most polished pass rusher in the draft with an explosive first step, good lean around the edge, elite closing speed, and a handful of polished pass rush moves. His failed drug test at the combine dropped him out of the top 10, but he is too talented to fall any farther than this. The Saints struggled to generate a consistent pass rush last year and Gregory will help with that. He needs to get stronger, maintain his weight, and improve against the run but Gregory has double-digit sack potential as a rookie.
14.) Miami Dolphins – RB Todd Gurley, Georgia
There is talk that Gurley could go as high as #6 to the Jets and I wouldn’t knock the Jets if they did it. Gurley has the potential to be a game-changing RB who has the unique ability to gain yardage when there isn’t a hole to run through and unless the Dolphins significantly improve their O-line that will often be the case. Gurley has the best combination of size (6’1 | 222), vision, and speed (4.52) to come out of college since Adrian Peterson & Marshawn Lynch in 2007. Speaking of their O-line, La’el Collins was an option here, but Gurley could have a bigger impact on the Phins offense. With an improving Ryan Tannehill at QB, promising WR Jarvis Landry, and now Gurley… the Phins have the pieces to be interesting on offense as long as they use a couple of early picks on upgrading their O-line.
15.) San Francisco 49ers – CB Trae Waynes, Michigan St
The Niners lost both of their starting CBs in free agency and replaced them with back-up quality players. Waynes is the best CB in the draft and the Niners are lucky that he fell to 15.