2015 NFL Mock Draft: October Edition
I developed my first mock draft of the season using Fanspeak’s On The Clock Premium simulator. It is worth the $2.50 investment to use for the year as you can take control of any team, trade down, and see how the draft could play out. I went through and tried it for each team and had a blast while seeing some tiered values already emerging. For my mock, I used the current NFL Standings. This mock is done to project scenarios and what NFL teams MAY do. Potential free agency was not taken into account. It definitely turned out interesting!
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Williams DL/USC
Williams is a physical monster and though a step down from Jadeveon Clowney, he is close. Jacksonville is rolling with Blake Bortles, so this is a prime pick to trade down from if they in fact get the #1 overall pick. Increased pass rush would go a long way in retooling the Jaguars defense.
2. Oakland Raiders – Cedric Ogbuehi OT/Texs A&M
The new regime will have to make a choice about Derek Carr and the QB future. Take Marcus Mariota or go with Carr? The Raiders stupidly let Jared Veldheer go and will need to keep whatever QB they plug in upright. Ogbuehi has the most upside, even if he lacks polish.
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3. Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota QB/Oregon
Zach Mettenberger is a decent player, but if Ken Whisenhunt wants to turn this team around, he needs to hand pick a potential elite QB. Mariota would fit the system well and should gel with the young weapons the Titans have on the offense. The Titans aren’t as far off as many think, but the QB play has been downright awful.
4. New York Jets – Jameis Winston QB/Florida State
Even with some of the off field issues, Jameis Winston should go high. If the Jets have major front office and coaching turnover, Geno Smith’s days could be numbered. Winston has a long release, but the upside in undeniable as the Jets try to finally get out of mediocrity.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Brandon Scherff OT/Iowa
Tampa Bay is pretty abysmal, and it starts in the trenches. Scherff is an OT/OG hybrid and he could start on the right side for an eventual more to LT. The flexibility he brings would definitely help Tampa if they continue to try with Mike Glennon.
6. St. Louis Rams – Landon Collins S/Alabama
With no QB worth taking, and the recent picks on WRs/emergence of Brian Quick, the Rams could go right back to defense some more. Landon Collins isn’t a national name yet, but he is a phenomenal player and may be one of the best safety prospects in years. He can play strong or free safety and has incredible closing speed and ball skills, allowing the Rams defense to utilize turnovers to their advantage.
7. Washington Redskins – La’el Collins OT/LSU
The Redskins have plenty of problems but no huge glaring holes. Trent Williams continues to have health problems, and Tyler Polumbus isn’t much better. La’el Collins should be a workout warrior to send him high in the draft. 7 is a little high for his value, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Todd Gurley RB/Georgia
The fate of Adrian Peterson remains to be seen, but it is obvious the Vikings offensive plan was centered around having a top RB. Matt Asiata has been okay, but having an elite player at the position could reinvigorate this offense and help in Teddy Bridgewater’s development. Todd Gurley is that guy and a great fit for Norv Turner’s offense with his running style and catching ability.
9. Atlanta Falcons – Dante Fowler DE/Florida
The Falcons have not been able to find that front 7 pressure for years so a player like Dante Fowler who has the size and physical attributes to turn into a terror off the edge is required. He isn’t the best at shedding blocks, but he makes up for it with speed and strength. Fowler could stand up at LB or put his hand in the dirt, making him perfect for a hybrid system.
10. Chicago Bears – Randy Gregory DE/Nebraska
Gregory has been extraordinarily productive and should be one of the first pass rushers off the board. The Bears signed Lamarr Houston, Jared Allen, and Willie Young who all have been solid but there can never be enough pass rushers for a struggling defense. With the value at LB weak in this draft for the Bears system, more of a DE rotation could help the Bears defense get back to a dominant form.
11. Kansas City Chiefs – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB/Oregon
Ekpre-Olomu has had a rough season thus far and he is far from guaranteed in the top CB spot for the 2015 NFL Draft. He will likely come in under 5’9 and he gave up some key plays in the Washington State and Arizona games. That being said, success of smaller more technical corners like Jason Verrett should help Ekpre-Olomu go a tad higher. The Chiefs secondary has ben rough and upgrading at the #2 and #3 CB spot should help upgrade the defense.
12. New Orleans Saints – Shilique Calhoun LB/Michigan State
Calhoun has come up big in big games for Michigan State, and the New Orleans Saints are still lacking consistent pass rush from their outside linebackers. Calhoun could be a player to make the conversion to a 3-4 OLB and has been dropped into coverage some at MSU already. His versatility and tenacious hand usage could finally give the Saints the blindside pass rusher they have lacked.
13. Cleveland Browns – Amari Cooper WR/Alabama
We all know the Browns need WRs, even if Josh Gordon comes back clean off of the field. Amari Cooper might be a tad overrated at this point, but he falls to the Browns first pick, it could be an absolute steal for them. Cooper has solid size and great route running ability. He has improved every year in college and has been downright dominant this season. The potential to give Johnny Manziel enough weapons for the future to have success is crucial.
14. Miami Dolphins – Benardrick McKinney LB/Miss. State
Even with the emergence of Jelani Jenkins, the Dolphins need more help at LB. Beanardrick McKinney is an underrated LB who can play inside or outside at the professional level. He is a good cleanup tackler with some good pass rushing skills too. Look for him to be the first true LB off the board in April.
15. Houston Texans – PJ Williams CB/Florida State
With no real QB value here and the Texans potentially invested in one of their young QBs, the Texans could look at their CB depth as a major need. Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph have been solid, but there is little behind them and little being developed as a future starter. PJ Williams is often overlooked on the Seminole defense, but he provides an immediate nickel option with good size and potential for the future.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers – Trae Waynes CB/Michigan State
Waynes will be a divisive prospect, similar to last year’s Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard. Waynes is a little less stout, but taller than Dennard and has been great covering team’s #1 WRs this season. With Ike Taylor’s injury, the Steelers are left very thin at CB and it continues to be a glaring hole.
17. New York Giants – Jalen Collins CB/LSU
The Giants have Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a big deal and Prince Amukamara has turned it around, but the depth at CB is horrid. Taking the upside player like Jalen Collins gives them depth and some development time with him. At 6’2 198 pounds, Collins could even play some safety. He has been beat plenty this year but could be an offseason combine gem.
18. Cleveland Browns (f/ BUF) – Ty Montgomery WR/Stanford
Why not double up at WR? Ty Montgomery is a sneaky pick to be the 2nd WR off the board. He is fast, electric, and productive even without Stanford using him in the correct way. He has had some costly drops recently, but the physical tools and big games are there. He would be a big bodied slot option and pave the way for the Browns to have one of the best young WR groups in the NFL.
19. Detroit Lions – Ellis McCarthy DT/UCLA
With Ndamukong Suh likely to move on, the Lions could move around their DTs to optimize success. Perhaps Caruan Reid is the heir apparent, but if not, a huge DT like Ellis McCarthy with some athletic ability fits the bill. Not only does he eat up space, but he is great at collapsing the pocket and would keep the Lions front 7 dominant.
20. San Francisco 49ers – Vic Beasley LB/Clemson
Beasley is a tough fit for the NFL with his lack of size and ability vs. the run, but he is a great pass rusher. SF usually opts for bigger OLBs but could try to add a smaller pass rusher to the mix to create mismatches. Beasley has been insanely productive and could go in the top ten of the draft if all works out right and a team falls in love with that athletic ability.
21. Baltimore Ravens – Sammie Coates WR/Auburn
Torrey Smith has lacked productivity and even with Steve Smith’s emergence, WR is still a glaring hole for the Ravens. Sammie Coates has his good days and his bad days, but those good days are great as a potential #1 NFL WR. He has big mitts and is still developing, but the Ravens would be a good place for him to learn from some veterans.
22. Carolina Panthers – Andrus Peat OT/Stanford
Peat isn’t all he is cracked up to be, as he can have some bad stretches against pass rushers, but his huge size and athletic ability should endear him to someone in the first round. The Panthers are still patching together an offensive line so developing someone like Peat is needed.
23. Green Bay Packers – Spencer Drango OL/Baylor
Drango is even more of an upside offensive lineman who has a ton of experience. He moves well in a phone booth with pretty long arms to boot. The Packers continue to be plagued by injuries an inconsistency on the offensive line and Drango would provide a versatile OT/OG option for them in the future.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Mario Edwards DE/Florida State
Edwards isn’t quite living up to the hype and his best position may be as a 5-technique in a 3-4 defense. The Colts don’t have huge holes, but with Arthur Jones hitting 29 and Corey Redding at age 34, getting a future DE with pass rush ability would be tremendous for them. Edwards has all the physical upside in the world, he just needs to bring the consistency.
25. New England Patriots – AJ Cann OG/South Carolina
The Patriots trade away Logan Mankins and they could replace him with a player similar to a young Logan Mankins in AJ Cann. Cann has good girth and plays a high Football IQ game. One of the more dominating guards in the country, Cann has a good chance to hear his name called on Day 1.
26. Arizona Cardinals – Shane Ray LB/Missouri
Missouri seems to keep finding ways to churn out pass rushers year after year and Shane Ray is next in line. He has the hip flexibility to stand up n a 3-4 defense and the Cardinals desperately need some help getting after the passer. Ray is 2nd in the country in sacks with 7 with an excellent first step and great dip and duck ability. He would be an ideal fit as a late first rounder for the Cardinals.
27. San Diego Chargers – Jaelen Strong WR/Arizona State
The Chargers have been relying on Eddie Royal as their WR2 and Keenan Allen is getting blanketed game after game. Adding some receiving talent could continue this offensive cog running and make them downright dominant. Jaelen Strong has good hands with some deep speed to boot. He would fit the offense well and his high point ability is great. Workout numbers may not flash, but the Chargers front office has been focused on drafting football players over workout warrior and Strong fits the bill.
28. Philadelphia Eagles – Cameron Erving OL/Florida State
Cameron Erving has had plenty of struggles early this season, but he has shown dominance before and has versatility to play OT or OG. The Eagles have had a rash of injuries on the offensive line and even with a healthy Jason Peters and Lane Johnson, they could use some interior line help with someone to groom to take over for Jason Peters in the future. Erving has the power to play guard and the athletic ability to play tackle, he just needs to put it all together.
29. Cincinnati Bengals – Kurtis Drummond S/Michigan State
Drummond could be next in line of senior safeties to sneak into the first round. The Bengals have committed to improving the secondary and as Reggie Nelson slows down, the Bengals will want to have a replacement ready. Drummond is great in the center field and has big time playmaking ability. He also has the size to match up on TEs, something the Bengals definitely are in need of.
30. Dallas Cowboys – Michael Bennett DT/Ohio State
Dallas’ defense has exceeded expectations and though the secondary could still use a big upgrade, the value just isn’t great in the late first round. If Ken Bishop doesn’t develop, the Cowboys could still use a penetrating 3-technique. Michael Bennett is on the smaller side, but he is an excellent penetrator with great intangibles to boot. He could provide pass rush up the middle and fit one of the most important positions of this defense.
31. Seattle Seahawks – Devin Funchess WR/TE/Michigan
Michigan’s woes could hurt Devin Funchess’ stock, but he is dominant at finding open holes in the zone. Seattle has a solid blocking TE in Luke Wilson while Zach Miller is encountering more injuries. Funchess could provide a flex TE option to pair with the rest of the Seahawks WRs and continue giving Russell Wilson more to work with.
32. Denver Broncos – Shawn Oakman DE/Baylor
Oakman is a mammoth standing at 6’9 280 pounds while playing a pass rushing DE spot. He will be versatile for a 3-4 or 4-3 defense and with some creative usage could be a dominating pass rusher. The Broncos have used more of a base end at LE, and Oakman could develop into one of those.
50. Buffalo Bills – Connor Cook QB/Michigan State
If the Bills are out on EJ Manuel, they might as well try to replace him earlier rather than later. Cook has NFL size and NFL zip with great intangibles off of the field. With Michigan State QB success as of late in the NFL, Cook’s pedigree could work to his advantage. He is very different than Manuel and Orton and would take some development when under pressure, but with the Bills O-line improving, Cook with time to throw could be deadly at the pro level.