2015 NFL mock draft: Post-combine edition

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The NFL Draft is still over two months away, but the combine has made things clearer for which direction teams will be going.

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2015 NFL mock draft: Post-combine edition
32.) New England Patriots

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR -- Missouri

If Green-Beckham was drafted to, say, the New York Jets, fans would be tugging at their collars. But the lanky receiver is exactly what the Patriots could use: A rangy option at receiver who can go over the top of defenders and extend the field, opening up room for underneath passes. He is the most physically talented receiver in this year’s draft, but he does have character concerns. In Foxborough, Green-Beckham will likely have his attitude problems curbed.

The Pats could also go with Arizona State’s Jaelen Strong at wide receiver if they decided they weren't willing to take the risk on Green-Beckham.

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
31.) Seattle Seahawks

Devin Funchess, WR/TE -- Michigan

With the exception of the immortal Chris Matthews, the Seahawks lack size at receiver and tight end. Funchess would provide the Hawks with a replacement for Luke Wilsson that would cause matchup problems for opposing teams. Of course Funchess does have problems with dropping passes, and he didn’t dispel that during the combine. He also needs to improve as a blocker.

The Seahawks could also look to the offensive line, potentially going with Pittsburgh’s T.J. Clemmings.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
30.) Green Bay Packers

Eric Kendricks, LB -- UCLA

Eric Kendricks is the younger brother of Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks, and he projects similarly to his brother. The Packers struggled containing dual threat quarterbacks and many wide receivers. Kendricks is fantastic at covering runs laterally, and does well in coverage on running backs and tight ends.

If the Packers wanted to stick with inside linebacker, Denzel Perryman is an option. Otherwise the Packers may go with a defensive lineman, like Eddie Goldman or Malcom Brown.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
29.) Indianapolis Colts

Cedric Ogbuehi, OT -- Texas A&M

The Colts would likely want to go with a running back here if there was one available. Ahmad Bradshaw is serviceable, but the Colts may need an upgrade. Ameer Abdullah would not be too far of a reach here.

Instead, the Colts are going with the Texas A&M product. Ogbuehi would be the third straight Aggie tackle to go in the first round, following Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews. Ogbuehi suffered an ACL injury after he had already declared for the draft, but he was coming off of an exceptional season at Texas A&M, where he showed athleticism and quickness for a tackle. The Colts may also go with Pittsburgh tackle T.J. Clemmings here.

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
28.) Denver Broncos

Eddie Goldman, DT -- Florida State

The Broncos get a new defensive tackle to help anchor the run defense. Goldman is a fantastic bull rusher and a stout run defender who won’t get pushed around down low. He also displays surprising quickness for his size. However, he does need to figure out the finer points of playing defensive tackle in the NFL.

With Julius Thomas possibly out the door in Denver, the Broncos could also go with either Michigan’s Devin Funchess or Minnesota’s Maxx Williams.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
27.) Dallas Cowboys

Bud Dupree, LB -- Kentucky

Bud Dupree is the name of a Dallas Cowboy. While the defense played admirably for the NFC East champions, the Cowboys desperately needed help, particularly in terms of tackling. Dupree displays fantastic athleticism that shows when he closes and annihilates a ball carrier. One issue with Dupree is that he doesn’t seem to schematically fit with the Cowboys 4-3 defense, and will sometimes take bad angles, but he is raw and could develop the skills to succeed in on the Cowboys.

Dallas could also go with defensive tackle here, and Texas’ Malcom Brown and Florida State’s Eddie Goldman are potential candidates to be picked here.

(Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
26.) Baltimore Ravens

Todd Gurley III, RB -- Georgia

The Ravens find their replacement for Ray Rice in the early season Heisman candidate. In only limited touches per game, Gurley wrecked opposing defenses, utilizing his tackle-breaking ability and vertical quickness to get to the second (and third and fourth…) level. He even contributed on special teams as a returner. His major concern is durability, as he suffered an ACL tear that took him out for the season.

The Ravens may also go with Melvin Gordon if he is still available. But if one of the top two backs is still on the board it will be tough for the Ravens to pass.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
25.) Carolina Panthers

Ereck Flowers, OT -- Miami

The Panthers gain a powerful run blocker at offensive tackle. The massive Flowers can bully people along the line of scrimmage, and shows a mean streak when he’s creating holes for his teammates. He would fit right in at right tackle for the Panthers. His aggression can get the best of him, and he does get flagged for penalties often.

The Panthers could also end up going with a cornerback here, either if Jalen Collins is still available, or if Florida State’s P.J. Williams or Wake Forest’s Kevin Johnson.

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
24.) Arizona Cardinals

Benardrick McKinney, LB -- Mississippi State

One of the most fun names of the first round gets picked up by the Arizona Cardinals. With Daryl Washington likely no longer having a future in Arizona, the Cardinals turn to McKinney. The Mississippi State Bulldog has good size and superb quickness, a quickness that complements his intelligent play in the center of the defense. He would be joining a veteran squad not lacking in leadership.

Another linebacker that could be taken by the Cardinals is Miami’s Denzel Perryman, who is a bit more of an old-school thumper.

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
23.) Detroit Lions

Melvin Gordon, RB -- Wisconsin

The Lions snag the first running back of the round. The two-back committee of Reggie Bush and Joique Bell was only marginally successful last year, so Wisconsin’s next great running back becomes a Detroit Lion. During the combine Gordon looked sharp, maintaining balance during cuts and showing excellent speed.

One concern for Gordon is that he had the benefit of operating behind a stellar offensive line in Madison. Other Badger backs, like the Broncos’ Montee Ball, have struggled finding consistent running room after having gaping holes to run through in college. If the Lions choose not to go with a running back, they may go with a defensive tackle in anticipation of a potential Ndamukong Suh departure.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
22.) Pittsburgh Steelers

Jalen Collins, CB -- LSU

The Steelers are the third straight team in need of defensive help, and they go with the LSU product. Collins has excellent size, speed and length that is necessary to play in the NFL, and he is strong enough to contribute in run support. And he gets to be the third Collins taken in the last six picks. An issue is his experience; he has only 10 career starts and may need more time to adjust to the speed of the NFL.

If Landon Collins is available here, the Steelers could end up looking his way instead of his SEC and surname counterpart.

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
21.) Cincinnati Bengals

Shaq Thompson, LB -- Washington

The Bengals would have really loved to have snagged Collins. Instead, Thompson is the third member of Washington’s defense selected in the first round. Thompson brings fantastic athleticism (he also played running back for the Huskies) along with a flair for forcing turnovers. His ability to read defenses means that he is rarely out of position. One issue is his size, which is built more in the model of a defensive back’s frame.

The Bengals may also choose to go with a cornerback, and again Jalen Collins is a possibility here if he is still available.

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
20.) Philadelphia Eagles

Landon Collins, S -- Alabama

Landon Collins could go as high as seventh in Chicago or as low as 22nd with Pittsburgh. Instead, he goes to Philadelphia, and the Eagles are ecstatic that he’s still available. Philadelphia needs help all over the secondary and Collins can provide the Eagles with a physical defender at centerfield.

The Eagles could also go with cornerback if someone is still available, possibly LSU’s Jalen Collins. There are a number of options for the Eagles, but it looks wisest to go with the defensive backfield.

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
19.) Cleveland Browns

Arik Armstead, DT/DE -- Oregon

Having already filled a need at wide receiver, the Browns turn to Oregon’s Arik Armstead to fill a need along the defensive line. Armstead would fit perfectly as a 3-4 defensive end, as he is an exceptional power rusher, while his size can allow him to more easily play gaps. He may lack burst, but his size and strength will make him a valuable asset to Cleveland.

Benardrick McKinney is also still available here, and would fill a need at inside linebacker. Having an earlier pick affords the Browns with flexibility.

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
18.) Kansas City Chiefs

DeVante Parker, WR -- Louisville

Last year the Kansas City Chiefs wide receivers collectively caught the same amount of touchdowns as I caught: zero.

The Kansas City Chiefs absolutely need help at wide receiver, and that will come in the form of DeVante Parker. Parker has excellent hands and body control, and can handle tighter man coverage to create big plays. His combine was less than stellar, as he was jogging through receiver drills and failed to display top-flight speed. The Chiefs won’t pass on Parker if he’s available, but if he’s already been snagged the Chiefs could go with offensive tackle, with either La’el Collins, D.J. Humphries or Texas A&M’s Cedric Ogbuehi.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

17.) San Diego Chargers

La'el Collins, OT -- LSU

If either Trae Waynes or Marcus Peters are available here, look for the Chargers to pick one of them up here with the 17th pick. But with both of them off the board, the Chargers go with offensive tackle.

Collins is an agile and experienced pass blocker that can compliment the powerful run blocking of D.J. Fluker on the other side. His athleticism will allow him to block the quicker edge rushers that he’ll see in the AFC West. Collins consistency can place him as the long-term solution as the team’s starting left tackle.

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

16.) Houston Texans

Brett Hundley, QB -- UCLA

The Texans have one primary spot that they need to fill this year in the draft, but unfortunately are out of position to snag one of the top two quarterbacks. Hundley is likely the next best option at quarterback, with his mobility and arms strength. He has the potential to become a very accurate passer, but still needs to improve his decision making and going through his progressions.

The Texans could also go with offensive tackle, as both D.J. Humphries and LSU’s La’el Collins are possible choices for Houston. But without a franchise quarterback the Texans can’t possibly move beyond mediocrity.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
15.) San Francisco 49ers

D.J. Humphries, OT -- Florida

Humphries may go much higher than this once the draft rolls around. As a left tackle, he has some of the best feet in the draft, and he impressed at the combine with his mobility and strength. The 49ers struggled to block for Colin Kaepernick last season, and although this was partially due to Kaepernick himself, the Niners could use an elite left tackle as a pass blocker.

San Francisco has depth needs along the defensive line, so they may turn to LSU defensive tackle Arik Armstead with this pick as well.

(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
14.) Miami Dolphins

Trae Waynes, CB -- Michigan State

Waynes is an excellent technical cornerback, operating particularly well in longer yardage situations. The Spartan has fantastic size, quick recovery speed and a crafty physicality that can shut down opposing receivers. This physicality can get him into trouble, though, and he may need to taper his aggression in the NFL. Pairing him with Brent Grimes could create a smothering pass defense to go along with the team’s fervent pass rush.

If they choose not to go in the direction of defensive back, Miami also needs receiver help and could turn to Kevin White or DeVante Parker if they are available.

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

13.) New Orleans Saints

Vic Beasley, LB -- Clemson

Beasley would fit in as an edge linebacker in defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s 3-4 scheme. He is an incredibly fast edge rusher that can throw opposing offenses into disarray with the very threat of his pressure from all over the field. He also has the speed to play in space on defense. One of his weaknesses, though, is his inability to handle run blocks.

The Saints may also go with a cornerback. The team was among the worst in the league last year at consistently containing longer passes downfield, so if Marcus Peters or Trae Waynes are available here the Saints may go in that direction.

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

12.) Cleveland Browns

Kevin White, WR -- West Virginia

With Josh Gordon no longer a receiving option, the Browns turn to another athletic wonder at wideout. Kevin White was a star at the combine, posting a ridiculous 4.35 40-time, performing well during the receiving drills and generally looking fluid. This is especially exciting for teams looking at receivers as White’s perceived strength was his vertical ability to win jump balls. His performance has shot him up draft boards.

The Browns have a number of holes to fill, like along the defensive line and at linebacker. There are some solid prospects here for the Browns to choose from, like linebacker Benardrick McKinney from Mississippi State that they could go with.

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

11.) Minnesota Vikings

Andrus Peat, OT -- Stanford

Andrus Peat goes to the Minnesota Vikings. Matt Kalil has regressed significantly since his rookie season, and so the Vikings turn to another Pac-12 product. Peat has excellent speed and footwork for an offensive tackle, making him able to block faster edge rushers without giving up much in terms of power.

The Vikings could also go with a wide receiver at this position. Both West Virginia’s Kevin White and Louisville’s DeVante Parker would be valid choices here, especially considering the size/speed ratio of each prospect.

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

10.) St. Louis Rams

Marcus Peters, CB -- Washington

The Rams will need someone to operate opposite Janoris Jenkins at cornerback. Peters has the size and physicality to handle anybody on the edge of the field, and has the athleticism to win 50-50 battles for jump balls. His disruptive play will help the Rams match the physical play of the rest of the NFC West. Peters does have character concerns, but Jeff Fisher is an ideal coach for handling players with attitude issues.

The Rams appear to be sticking with Sam Bradford at quarterback, and there doesn’t appear to be any attractive options to go with at quarterback unless Mariota slips down here to the 10th position. The Rams went with offensive tackle last year with Greg Robinson, but they could go there again with a tackle like Stanford’s Peat.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

9.) New York Giants

Brandon Scherff, OT -- Iowa

Scherff had a very poor combine, only performing 23 reps on the bench press and tweaking his hamstring, possibly showing some very poor conditioning. He also doesn’t immediately project as a left tackle, which is what the Giants are looking to fill along the offensive line.

Nevertheless, Scherff is still projected as the best lineman in the draft, particularly as a run blocker. Despite his combine showing, Scherff has shown strength to drive defenders off the line of scrimmage. He does struggle somewhat with faster edge rushers, so he may not end up as a left tackle, where the Giants will need him to play, but he looks to be the team’s best option.

(AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)

8.) Atlanta Falcons

Shane Ray, DE/LB -- Missouri

Last year, the Falcons had the worst pass defense in the NFL in terms of yards allowed. A large part of that is an inability to gain a consistent pass rush. If any of the top three edge pass rushers (Ray, Randy Gregory and Dante Fowler) are available the Falcons would likely pick one of them.

Landon Collins is also a possible choice here for the Falcons. Collins would help stop passes at the center of the field just beyond the linebacker, which is where the Falcons allowed a good chunk of their yards this season.

(AP Photo/Wade Payne)

7.) Chicago Bears

Danny Shelton, DT -- Washington

Under new head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, the Chicago Bears are transitioning to a 3-4 defense. There is no one on the Bears roster that can be classified as a nose tackle; the closest is Stephen Paea, and he’s more easily classified as a strong-side end in the 3-4. Shelton both fills a positional need and provides the Bears with a thick run stopper.

Chicago’s biggest needs are at defensive back and linebacker, so players like Alabama safety Landon Collins, Clemson linebacker Vic Beasley and Missouri defensive end/linebacker Shane Ray could here their names called here.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

6.) New York Jets

Marcus Mariota, QB -- Oregon

The Jets are in desperate need of a quarterback who is a good decision maker, throws accurate passes without committing turnovers and can be a locker-room leader.

The reigning Heisman trophy winner gives the Jets all of these qualities, plus elite athleticism that would keep defenses off balance. One of the problems with the Jets offense is that it allowed their opponents to gain a level of comfort, and Mariota’s appeal is how uncomfortable and off-balance he makes defenses.

One concern with Mariota is that he is a system quarterback. To say his success is solely due to the fast-paced spread offense at Oregon would be entirely incorrect. But it may take time for Mariota to become comfortable with a pro-style system, which places him behind Jameis Winston at the top for quarterback prospects.

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

5.) Washington Redskins

Dante Fowler Jr., LB -- Florida

Fowler played the same position in Will Muschamp’s defense as Washington’s Brian Orakpo. Adding Fowler opposite Orakpo in their 3-4 defense could provide Washington with the ability to contain the pocket and provide edge pressure without loosing anything in run defense.

Missouri’s Shane Ray could also go here playing the same position, but there are some size concerns that aren’t present with Fowler. The Redskins also have a need along the offensive line, so Scherff again could be a possibility here. But Fowler is the stronger prospect, and does help the team fulfill a need.

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

4.) Oakland Raiders

Amari Cooper, WR -- Alabama

In the past the Oakland Raiders would have been enamored with the size/speed combination of West Virginia’s Kevin White. White’s superb combine may result in the Raiders picking him.

But Amari Cooper is the most polished receiver in the draft this year. He provides sharp route-running, great hands, professional-level size and speed and the ability to run after the catch. Cooper should be able to find immediate success in the NFL as a team’s first receiver, and should give Derek Carr a reliable target for the rest of his career.

(AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

3.) Jacksonville Jaguars

Randy Gregory, DE -- Nebraska

This pick is simply the result of choosing the best player available. Gregory would provide the Jaguars with elite athleticism and a high-quality edge pass rush. He has a varied repertoire of edge pass rushing moves, and while he does need to add strength he was still an effective bull rusher at Nebraska.

The Jaguars will stick with Blake Bortles for the second straight season, and adding an offensive tackle would allow Bortles to effectively go through his progressions, so Iowa’s Brandon Scherff is an outside possibility here. The Jaguars also need a running back, but will likely wait until Round 2 at the earliest, maybe going with Gregory’s Nebraska teammate Ameer Abdullah.

(Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

2. Tennessee Titans

Leonard Williams, DT -- USC

The Titans pass rush was among the worst in the league last season, and Williams is perhaps the best overall player in this year’s draft. Defensive end Jurrell Casey was a bright spot for the Titans last year, and pairing him with Williams would give the Titans a high-end pass rush that would challenge teams and allow them to climb within the AFC South.

The team's biggest need is cornerback, but there isn’t anyone who is a strong enough prospect to warrant the second pick over Williams. The closest players would be Washington’s Marcus Peters and Michigan State’s Trae Waynes. The Titans could also commit to moving on from Jake Locker by going for quarterback here with Marcus Mariota.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston, QB -- Florida State

At the combine, Jameis Winston looked fluid throwing the ball, showing the ability to zip throws and complete touch passes. While he failed to show much athleticism, at least compared to his fellow quarterback prospect Marcus Mariota, he looked a bit more comfortable executing the quarterback drills at the combine. With the departure of Josh McCown, the Buccaneers have a major need at quarterback. Winston fulfills a need without forcing the Buccaneers to reach.

Don’t underestimate the Buccaneers’ desire to go defense with the first pick. The Bucs already have defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, but the Tampa 2 defense coach Lovie Smith runs builds itself on two defensive tackles that can collapse the pocket from the inside out. Leonard Williams is an ideal fit for the Bucs’ scheme.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)


Hours of watching cone drills and awkward interview have led to a better understanding of the prospects for the upcoming draft. That means it is NFL Mock Draft season.

The draft itself is an exciting event for all 32 NFL teams (okay, maybe not the Jets), as each franchise has the hope for a title.

The NFL calendar never truly has an offseason, so let's mock up the first round of the draft.

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