It’s a relatively quiet time in the NFL Draft cycle. We’re a week out from the information overload known as the NFL Scouting Combine, but just over a week away from the start of free agency. We've already seen several big-name players cut, which is changing the outlook of the draft. That's only going to intensify leading up to the start of free agency on March 10.
Update: Check out our 2015 NFL Draft preview.
This week's mock draft has the same pick at No. 1. As the draft is approaching, it's becoming harder and harder to move off Jameis Winston as the top pick. Also, in an effort to spice things up in our weekly mock draft – while avoiding complete redundancy – this week's mock draft is two rounds.
Buffalo Bills fans, you are welcome. Or, depending how you feel about the pick at No. 50, I'm sorry. Want to have some fun? Add a third round in the comments.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Since the conclusion of the Combine, there has been little indication about which direction the Buccaneers lean. The franchise is likely concluding its exhaustive background work on Winston and Marcus Mariota. If Winston’s immaturity isn’t an issue for general manager Jason Licht or head coach Lovie Smith, he should be the pick. There are less questions about Winston on the field than there are about Mariota.
2. Tennessee Titans: Leonard Williams, DT/DE, USC
Which is the preferable option for the Titans: Zach Mettenberger and Williams or Marcus Mariota? That’s what general manager Ruston Webster should be weighing as the draft approaches. The great unknown about Tennessee is exactly how it projects Mettenberger’s potential. If they feel good about it, going with Williams should be an easy pick. While the J.J. Watt comparisons Williams garners are ridiculous, he’s the draft’s best player and should only get better.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler, DE, Florida
If Jacksonville has issue with the size of Nebraska’s Randy Gregory, they could target a player like Fowler. He’s not quite as explosive as Gregory, but he offers more as a moveable pass rusher. He can play inside or outside and occasionally line up as a linebacker.
4. Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
You can argue why a wide receiver shouldn’t be taken in the first 10 picks of the draft. You can also argue another receiver instead of Cooper. You can argue both of those things if you like being wrong in life. Cooper is the draft’s best wide receiver and the exact player the Raiders need to acquire this offseason. He’s a sure-handed pass catcher who can create after the catch.
5. Washington: Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska
Despite worries about his weight and subsequent strength, it’s hard to see Gregory falling too far in the draft. His skill as a speed rusher and potential upside could be too much for a team like Washington to overlook.
SB Nation presents: Why Marcus Mariota fell out of the top five
6. New York Jets: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
If the Jets want to get Mariota, they’ll have to hope a team doesn’t trade ahead of them to get him. In this mock, there isn’t that risk, so the Jets get the dynamic Oregon quarterback. In New York, Mariota should easily overtake Geno Smith as the team’s starting quarterback.
7. Chicago Bears: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
This pick will be a big debate on draft weekend. Do the Bears go for a top pass rusher or a big space filler like Shelton? I keep going back and forth. Seemingly, the Bears can’t go wrong with this pick. Shelton is probably the safest choice of the options available.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson
At the Combine, Beasley assured himself a spot in the top 10. Anyone hoping he would slide some will be out of luck. Even though a player like Dante Fowler might be a better fit for the Falcons, Beasley can be brought in and turned into a pass rushing force as a rookie.
9. New York Giants: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
Whether in the draft or free agency, it seems certain that the Giants will add talent along the offensive line. As much as any pick in the first round, this one will be shaped by what happens in free agency. If the Giants strike out on a veteran lineman, Scherff would be a good target in the draft. He can play tackle or guard and could start at either spot for the Giants.
10. St. Louis Rams: La'el Collins, OT, LSU
It still seems like the Rams’ best option with the No. 10 pick is to find some team desperate to move up in the draft to take a wide receiver. Some have been projecting the Rams to actually take a wideout, but it’s hard to see them pumping yet another high-round pick into the position. A player like Collins would fill a big need and give them talent up front.
11. Minnesota Vikings: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
Following a sensational combine performance, White is going higher than the 11th pick in most mocks. If he and DeVante Parker are there for the Vikings, they’ll have a long debate on which is the better choice. While Parker has the rapport advantage with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, White may have more potential.
12. Cleveland Browns: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
General manager Ray Farmer doesn’t seem to care for wide receivers high in the draft, but how do we really know he’s not laying a smoke screen? He’s only been in charge of one draft, so it’s ridiculous to jump to conclusions about his drafting tendencies. In Cleveland the need at the position is too great and Parker is too great of a talent to pass up.
13. New Orleans Saints: Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri
With Ray being unable to work out at the combine, some are down on the Missouri pass rusher. That could lead him to drop some in the draft, but this is about the right range for him to get picked.
14. Miami Dolphins: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
The signings of Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler look like busts. Kendricks could be brought in to start inside and give the Dolphins a nice young pair alongside Jelani Jenkins. If only Miami could figure out how to use Dion Jordan the right way.
15. San Francisco 49ers: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
Okay, so maybe Dorial Green-Beckham isn’t a good character fit for the 49ers. If the 49ers go with a wide receiver in the first round, and the first top three are gone and DGB isn’t being considered, Strong is the next best option. He’s coming off an impressive combine, and could be ascending up the draft.
16. Houston Texans: Shaq Thompson, ILB, Washington
Forget the position with a player like Thompson. That’s not just some silly hyperbolic "he’s just a football player" statement either. On some downs, Thompson can be used as a traditional linebacker. On pass plays, he can be used as a safety. Arizona found success using Deone Bucannon in that fashion, and the Texans could copy that with Thompson.
17. San Diego Chargers: T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
The D.J. Fluker to guard move hasn’t happened quite yet, but that shouldn’t stop the Chargers from taking the best offensive lineman on the board. Clemmings can play either right tackle or guard, giving San Diego the option of putting the best players in their best positions.
18. Kansas City Chiefs: Landon Collins, S, Alabama
If the top four wide receivers are off the board, and the Chiefs aren’t comfortable with Green-Beckham, they could look at a different position in the first round. Collins would give the Chiefs a talented player in the secondary and some insurance if there are complications with Eric Berry's lymphoma treatment.
19. Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo Bills): Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
Even if the Browns don’t take a defensive lineman with their first pick in the draft, they should have plenty of options with the No. 19 choice. The thing to follow here is the buzz around Brown. It’s building as the draft approaches because he’s an athletic big man with light feet. Those type of defensive tackles don’t often last long in the draft. If he’s there at 19, the Browns should pounce.
20. Philadelphia Eagles: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Some are considering Waynes a possible top-10 pick now after he ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the combine. While that number is impressive, it shouldn’t quite vault him that high in the draft. The middle of the first round is his proper range, and that should suit Philadelphia nicely. Waynes can come in, start as a rookie and help improve the team’s back half.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
The Bengals need to find a way to generate more of a pass rush next season, and the way this draft has played out, Armstead is the best option to do so. He may be coming out of a 3-4 defense at Oregon, but he’s just athletic enough to fit into a 4-3. Armstead would offer the Bengals a player who can play inside and out, giving them an intimidating presence up front.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
Whether he projects as a nose tackle or an end for Pittsburgh, Goldman would be a big talent upgrade up front. He’s a powerful athlete at 336 pounds and could capably be a disruptive force in the AFC North. Considering Steve McLendon’s ongoing health issues at nose tackle, Goldman can fill in there. If McLendon’s healthy, Goldman has footwork and length to play end.
23. Detroit Lions: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Whatever team drafts Peters will have to do its homework. What’s working in Peters’ favor is that Washington invited him back onto campus for the team’s April 2 pro day. The growing feeling is Ndamukong Suh will be back in Detroit. If that’s the case, the Lions could turn to the offense or a cornerback in the first round. Peters’ talent may be too great to ignore at this point in the first round.
24. Arizona Cardinals: A.J. Cann, G, South Carolina
The Cardinals have been open about wanting to add competition at the interior blocking positions. It’s clear that 2013 first-round pick Jonathan Cooper just can’t get on the field, so his draft position shouldn’t stop the Cardinals from making another run at the position in the first round. Cann is the draft’s best pure guard prospect and brings the sort of physicality that would boost the team’s line.
25. Carolina Panthers: D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
If there’s one thing that came out of the Combine, it’s that a lot of people in the NFL love Humphries and view him as a first-round talent. That’s good news for a team like the Panthers. Last season they wanted to draft an offensive tackle and missed out. In this year’s draft, they can’t. A player like Humphries could be the left tackle of the future in Carolina.
SB Nation presents: The five best offensive tackles in the 2015 NFL Draft
26. Baltimore Ravens: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
Although the Ravens have some talent in the secondary, neither Jimmy Smith nor Lardarius Webb can stay healthy. If the Ravens don’t go with a running back or a Pernell McPhee replacement with this choice, a talent like Collins will be hard to pass up.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
In this fake scenario, the Cowboys let starting running back DeMarco Murray go in free agency. The consensus seems to be that Gordon will be the first running back taken in the draft. As a runner, Gordon has few flaws. While there are questions about his play in the passing game, that’s more a consequence of the Wisconsin offense than an indictment on Gordon’s ability.
28. Denver Broncos: Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
Forget Williams’ iffy combine performance. He didn’t run as fast as some expect, but it doesn’t matter. There are certain players who time fast, but don’t play up to that speed. Williams, who ran a 4.78 in the 40, seems to play faster than he times. He’s a weapon at tight end, and would be a nice replacement for Julius Thomas.
29. Indianapolis Colts: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
The Colts need to add talent on the offensive line. A player of Peat’s quality should be able to come in as a rookie and challenge Gosder Cherilus for the starting right tackle job. Frankly, he could probably start for the Colts at left tackle, too.
30. Green Bay Packers: Paul Dawson, LB, TCU
Anyone who doesn’t consider Dawson a first-round pick because of the Combine is lazy. Just go watch the games and you’ll see a linebacker who effortlessly moves around the field and makes a big impact. For the Packers, Dawson would help fix the troublesome inside linebacker spots while adding aggressiveness to the defense.
31. Seattle Seahawks: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri
Don’t be surprised if Green-Beckham ends up sliding in the draft, but that shouldn't stop with Seattle. He’s too good of a player to fall out of the first round, even though he’s surrounded by question marks on and off the field.
32. New England Patriots: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
It’s true, Gurley’s torn ACL might force him to miss the start of the season. There’s also an incredibly strong argument to be made against taking a running back in the first round. But if the Patriots aren’t comfortable with the interior blockers on board, a player like Gurley could be perceived as the best player available. When healthy, Gurley should quickly prove why he’s worth this high of a pick.
33. Tennessee Titans: P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State
After addressing the defensive line in the first round, the Titans could look for a cornerback in the second round to develop along with Blidi Wreh-Wilson.
34. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bud Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky
There are some worries about Dupree’s production, so his draft placement can vary widely. If he drops to the second round, the Buccaneers should pounce and add a player who can generate a pass rush.
35. Oakland Raiders: Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
Phillips is a little bit of an enigma who at times flashes dominance, but there are some questions lingering about his back. The Raiders need a big body up front to help against the run, though, and Phillips fits the role.
NFL Draft Prospects
NFL Draft Prospects
36. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
Getting a starting-caliber offensive tackle in the second round would be an ideal scenario for the Jaguars. Flowers could start on the right side for Jacksonville and possibly even push Luke Joeckel for the left side spot.
37. New York Jets: Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia
A lot of people have Harold in the first round, but his issues getting off blocks are troubling. He could thrive, though, if he’s coached up in the right system and adds power.
38. Washington: Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (OH)
Washington has a good young corner in Bashaud Breeland, but needs someone opposite him going forward. Rollins and his physical playing style could give Washington a nice pair for the future.
39. Chicago Bears: Hau'oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington
If the Bears take a nose tackle like Shelton in the first round, that would leave them open to taking a pass rushing edge player in the second round. It’s just coincidence the best one on the board happens to be his college teammate. Some of the players coming out of a 4-3 like UCLA’s Owamagbe Odighizuwa are hard to project outside. Kikaha is a more natural fit.
40. New York Giants: Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State
It won’t be a surprise if Smith gets taken in the first round, so the Giants have a little bit of a steal with this pick. Smith’s ability to play end and move inside on nickel plays is a perfect fit for New York’s defense.
41. St. Louis Rams: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
Like wide receiver, the Rams have used a lot of picks on cornerbacks. Even with several young pieces, the Rams are a middling team in pass defense. A player like Johnson could get a shot at one of the starting spots to help improve the unit.
42. Atlanta Falcons: Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke
The Falcons are in the midst of changing their offensive line to a zone blocking scheme, and released guard Justin Blalock. Tomlinson may carry a lot of weight at 339 pounds, but he can move fairly well.
43. Cleveland Browns: Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA
The Browns might lose Jabaal Sheard in free agency, and a player like Odighizuwa could be brought in as his replacement.
44. New Orleans Saints: Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State
If the Saints don’t take a cornerback in the first round, they should be able to find a starting-caliber one in the second round. The speedy Darby is capable of covering a lot of ground and matches up well with smaller, quick receivers.
45. Minnesota Vikings: Alex Carter, CB, Stanford
As a bigger cornerback with good quickness, Carter is something of a Xavier Rhodes clone. He can handle bigger receivers, which is a requirement in the NFC North going against players like Jordy Nelson, Calvin Johnson and the massive Bears duo of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
46. San Francisco 49ers: Mario Edwards, DE, Florida State
Edwards is the type of defensive lineman who would fit perfectly in a 3-4 system. He’s a powerful end who can play the run and has good length.
47. Miami Dolphins: Carl Davis, DT, Iowa
The Dolphins could really go heavy on the defensive front in this year’s draft, and Davis would be a nice best player available choice at this point. He’s capable of playing the nose and many believe he’s just scratching the surface of his potential.
48. San Diego Chargers: Ellis McCarthy, DT, UCLA
The Chargers are another team who could use an upgrade at nose tackle and the monstrous McCarthy is the last one worth a top 100 pick.
49. Kansas City Chiefs: Nelson Agholor, WR, Southern California
Agholor might not have the big play ability of some of the first-round receivers, but he’s as dependable as any of them. He has good hands and enough wiggle to make people miss in the open field.
50. Buffalo Bills: Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State
Under new head coach Rex Ryan, look for the Bills to want to run the ball more. The catch with that is the team doesn't seem to have a featured runner and C.J. Spiller is a free agent. A player like Ajayi is a three-down back, able to use his speed and power, but also be an asset in the passing offense.
51. Houston Texans: Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State
Here’s the part of the mock draft where you're told that Andre Johnson will be 34 years old at the start of next season and the Texans could look for his replacement. Smith is an incredible vertical threat and often demands safety help over the top.
52. Philadelphia Eagles: Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
Surprise! It seems apparent that the Eagles will use a draft pick at some point this year on a quarterback. After Mariota and Winston are gone, why not go with the one with the most potential? That’s Hundley, whom Chip Kelly made a strong push to recruit while at Oregon.
53. Cincinnati Bengals: Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami
The Bengals need a good speed receiver to open up the field. Dorsett is the perfect fit for that role.
54. Detroit Lions: Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State
Even with Ndamukong Suh likely coming back to Detroit, they may need a Nick Fairley replacement. Bennett isn’t quite as much of a powerhouse as Fairley, but he’s more technically sound.
55. Arizona Cardinals: Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami
If the Cardinals don’t target a linebacker in the first round, they could get lucky and find someone like Perryman in the second. While he’s not on Kendricks’ level as a coverage linebacker, he’s good in every other area.
56. Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
The Steelers have needed talent at cornerback for a few seasons. Jones, hot off a stellar combine showing, has the tools to develop into a very good player in Pittsburgh.
57. Carolina Panthers: Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon
That’s right, two offensive tackles for the Panthers. That’s what I think of the health of that position in Carolina. Fisher and Humphries could battle for the starting left tackle job, with the loser either moving to the right or playing inside.
58. Baltimore Ravens: Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan
He might not be a wide receiver. He might not be a tight end. Forget it. It doesn’t matter. Just get Funchess in space and get him the ball. He can be a scary threat in Baltimore’s offense.
59. Denver Broncos: Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M
Denver needs to find a right tackle, and one that is athletic enough for a zone blocking system. It just so happens Ogbuehi is the perfect fit for the scheme and could slip this far in the draft after tearing his ACL in January.
60. Dallas Cowboys: Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas
Flowers is a versatile power rusher who the Cowboys could use on either side of the line and even squeeze inside in certain situations.
61. Indianapolis Colts: Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State
It’s hard to get too excited about D'Qwell Jackson and Jerrell Freeman playing the inside linebacker spots for Indianapolis. McKinney is a physical upgrade and capable of covering more ground than the two starting veterans.
SB Nation presents: How the rest of the NFC North can catch up to Green Bay
62. Green Bay Packers: Grady Jarrett, DT, Clemson
The Packers need to add talent to the front of their defense, and there is a dramatic drop off in this mock after him.
63. Seattle Seahawks: Clive Walford, TE, Miami
At this point, Walford would be too good of a value to pass up. He’s a sure-handed tight end with surprising athleticism and good blocking skills.
64. New England Patriots: Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State
Erving is sort of a man without a position. He was moved to center out of necessity toward the end of Florida State’s season and did fine, but he was struggling somewhat at left tackle last season. The Patriots could try him a variety of spots and see where he sticks.