clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2015 NFL mock draft: Every team has options

New, comments

At this point, nothing about the draft is set. That means teams have plenty of options. This week's mock draft takes a look at the different directions the first round could turn.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being less than 100 days away, there is nothing set in the 2015 NFL Draft. With teams in the process of debating players and putting together their draft boards, everything is wide open and nothing is set. Every team has options. This week's mock draft goes through some of those options.

Update: Check out our NFL Draft 2015 preview.

What is the point of showing different options? It varies. In some instances, it can show a disparity in a team's needs. For some teams, their needs are apparent. Other teams have a large number of needs. For the Tennessee Titans, as an example, it shows the roster's talent deficiency. On the flip side, for a team like the Green Bay Packers, it can display how a good first-round pick can put them over the top.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

The biggest question in the 2015 NFL Draft remains totally unanswered. Do the Buccaneers prefer Mariota or Jameis Winston of Florida State? It's hard to see the team weighing any other options with the No. 1 pick.

Other options: Jameis Winston (QB)

2. Tennessee Titans: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

A good argument can be made that the Titans have the worst roster in the NFL. Of course, there are some good pieces. Taylor Lewan and Chance Warmack show promise on the offensive line. Defensive lineman Jurrell Casey is one of the league's more underrated players. Ultimately, the Titans need impact players. Whether it's a quarterback or a player like Leonard Williams of Southern California, they need a player who can scare the opposing team. In this mock, it's Winston.

Other options: Marcus Mariota (QB), Leonard Williams (DE/DT)

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska

There are two sides to the Jaguars picking No. 3. The first is they can't really go wrong with a defensive lineman. There's talent and a need. The other side, though, is that arguably the team's biggest need is right tackle and there isn't one quite worth this choice.

Other options: Leonard Williams (DE/DT), La'el Collins (OT)

SB Nation presents: Analyzing Dan Kadar's latest mock draft

4. Oakland Raiders: Leonard Williams, DE/DT, Southern California

The Raiders are in a good spot at No. 4. They can take whatever defensive lineman falls to them, or they can target the draft's best wide receiver. The pick remains Williams, who can shore up a defensive line that lacks playmakers. But considering the Raiders have some high-value options here, you wonder if they'll try and move down on the draft weekend.

Other options: Amari Cooper (WR), DeVante Parker (WR)

5. Washington: La'el Collins, OT, LSU

It is apparent that Washington's greatest need in the draft is cornerback. It needs someone good opposite Bashaud Breeland, but that player won't be taken at pick No. 5. What Washington can find is a good right tackle to pair opposite Trent Williams. If the team doesn't want someone like Collins this high, Washington could target a different tackle or a pass rusher since Brian Orakpo is expected to leave in free agency.

Other options: Brandon Scherff (OT), Vic Beasley (OLB)

6. New York Jets: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

The Jets have to be hoping that one of the top two quarterbacks falls to them in the draft. That will probably happen if Mariota or Winston don't get taken in the first two picks and trades don't take place. If things play out in this fashion, targeting a pass rusher like Beasley is the smart play.

Other options: Marcus Mariota (QB), Jameis Winston (QB)

7. Chicago Bears: Bud Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky

The Bears need to improve their line play, both on offense and defense. That much is apparent. But if you think about Vic Fangio's defenses, they've had a good pass rusher. In San Francisco, it was Aldon Smith. In Baltimore, it was Terrell Suggs. Unless you consider Willie Young that player, the Bears don't have the equivalent on the roster. This draft gives them a few players who could fit. Dupree is a player who should rise after the combine. If not him, a right tackle will be a viable choice as well.

Other options: Dante Fowler (DE), Brandon Scherff (OT)

8. Atlanta Falcons: Dante Fowler, DE/OLB, Florida

By drafting Fowler, the Falcons would have a versatile, movable player up front on defense who gives great effort and will get into the backfield. Under Dan Quinn, the Falcons will need to figure out how to get pressure from the front four. They can do that with Fowler, a player who can work inside and outside, and even move to linebacker. If Fowler is gone, there are players who could slot in as traditional pass rushers.

Other options: Shane Ray (DE/OLB), Vic Beasley (OLB)

9. New York Giants: Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri

Robert Ayers is a solid player and Damontre Moore has shown promise for the Giants. But if Jason Pierre-Paul isn't brought back, a pass rusher could be brought in. Ray is the best one available in this scenario. If a pass rusher isn't the choice, a right tackle or wide receiver could be the direction.

Other options: Brandon Scherff (OT), Amari Cooper (WR)

10. St. Louis Rams: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

The No. 10 spot remains a tough spot for the Rams. There isn't a viable quarterback or center option, so that should lead St. Louis to the right side of its offensive line. Scherff could replace free agent Joseph Barksdale, and represent an upgrade. He could also be moved inside. The same can be said for Pittsburgh's T.J. Clemmings.

Other options: T.J. Clemmings (OT), Trade down with a team needing a wide receiver

11. Minnesota Vikings: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

The way this mock draft played out, the Raiders and Giants passed on wide receivers. If that happens, we could see some of the acclaimed receivers in this draft slide a little bit. That would stop with Minnesota, which needs a No. 1 receiver. Cooper would be a good choice. He can work the underneath game better than the other top wideout prospects. That would allow them to continue using Cordarrelle Patterson on vertical routes, which is where he's at his best. If linebacker Chad Greenway is released to save money, that could be another direction for Minnesota.

Other options: DeVante Parker (WR), Shaq Thompson (LB)

12. Cleveland Browns: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

The Browns' biggest needs heading into this year's draft are wide receiver, defensive line and right tackle. Fortunately for the Browns -- that's right, something good could actually happen for the Browns -- this draft sets up nicely for those needs. In this scenario, it would be hard to pass up on Parker, a physically gifted wide receiver who can make the difficult catches over the middle and get up the field.

Other options: Kevin White (WR), Danny Shelton (DT)

13. New Orleans Saints: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

Patrick Robinson is a free agent and Keenan Lewis didn't play as well as expected this season. That could open things up for the Saints to go after the draft's top cornerback. Who they determine to be that player is likely being decided right now as they assemble their big board.

Other options: Marcus Peters (CB), Paul Dawson (LB)

14. Miami Dolphins: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

Jared Odrick, the team's best defensive tackle, could exit in free agency. Fellow tackle Randy Starks could be a cap casualty. If either or both are gone, the Dolphins could score with a player like Shelton up front. A linebacker could be in play as well considering the poor play of Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler.

Other options: Shaq Thompson (LB), Eddie Goldman (DT)

15. San Francisco 49ers: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

Again, this is a mock draft where wide receivers slid. Instead of reaching for the fourth or fifth best wideout, the 49ers could luck into a player like White. Some think he's the top wide receiver in this draft, so getting him here would be something of a coup.

Other options: Eddie Goldman (DT), Arik Armstead (DE)

16. Houston Texans: Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington

Even with a superstar in J.J. Watt and a No. 1 overall pick in Jadeveon Clowney, it sure seems like the Texans need more talent on defense. Thompson is the sort of linebacker who could be shifted inside in a 3-4 and used as an asset in pass coverage. A cornerback is another option if Kareem Jackson leaves in free agency.

Other options: P.J. Williams (CB), Benardrick McKinney (ILB)

17. San Diego Chargers: T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh

For a team that is clearly built around its offense, the Chargers have to make sure quarterback Philip Rivers is put in a position to succeed. That chance can be increased if talent is added to the offensive line. Clemmings would slot into the starting right tackle spot straight away. A cornerback could be another option for San Diego with three free agents at the position. Adding another young corner to go with Jason Verrett would bolster the pass defense.

Other options: Ereck Flowers (OT), P.J. Williams (CB)

18. Kansas City Chiefs: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami

Almost all of the mock drafts I've done have had the Chiefs picking a wide receiver. If the Chiefs happen to go another direction, it could be offensive tackle. While moving on from Eric Fisher may be jumping the gun, they should at least try and find some competition for the former No. 1 pick. At the worst, a player like Flowers could move to right tackle. At the best he either pushes Fisher to improve his play or takes over for him.

Other options: Jaelen Strong (WR), Andrus Peat (OT)

19. Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo): Malcom Brown, DT, Texas

The Browns' run defense a season ago was downright awful. Was that a symptom of the scheme Mike Pettine's defense used or the players? If it's the latter, the Browns could score with any number of defensive tackles with this pick. This time around it's Brown, an active and powerful tackle, but Eddie Goldman of Florida State fits as well.

Other options: Andrus Peat (OT), Eddie Goldman (DT)

20. Philadelphia Eagles: P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State

It's almost impossible to think about the Eagles and what they need and not conclude it's a defensive back. In this scenario, Williams is the best on the board.

Other options: Jalen Collins (CB), Landon Collins (S)

SB Nation presents: Our post Super Bowl Mock Draft

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State

The Bengals need help up front. Whether that's a pure pass rusher or a big body in the middle, Cincinnati would benefit. Goldman is the sort of defensive tackle who can handle multiple blocks and get into the backfield when he's playing one gap.

Other options: Eli Harold (DE/OLB), Carl Davis (DT)

22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Landon Collins, S, Alabama

At this stage in the draft, a player like Collins would be too good for the Steelers to pass on. He can come in and immediately give them a safety who can come up and be a force versus the run. A cornerback will obviously be a consideration, as could a pass rusher if they give up on Jarvis Jones.

Other options: Jalen Collins (CB), Eli Harold (DE/OLB)

23. Detroit Lions: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

Whatever the Lions do will be dependent on how the team reacts to the free agency of defensive tackles Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh. If we assume they enter the draft without tackle being the top need, that would push cornerback to forefront. Rashean Mathis has an expiring contract and at 34 may not be a viable option.

Other options: Jalen Collins (CB), Jordan Phillips (DT)

24. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA

Although a player like Kendricks wouldn't improve the team's pass rush, he would give them an impactful player in every other area. He's arguably the draft's best coverage linebacker, plays with good instincts and displays good range. He could replace Larry Foote and be brought in to start next to Kevin Minter.

Other options: Benardrick McKinney (ILB), Eli Harold (DE/OLB)

25. Carolina Panthers: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

The same drill remains for the Panthers -- take the best offensive tackle available. In this mock, it's Peat, the physical Stanford left tackle who excels at drive blocking. If not an offensive tackle, how about another wide receiver to go along with Kelvin Benjamin?

Other options: Cedric Ogbuehi (OT), Dorial Green-Beckham (WR)

26. Baltimore Ravens: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

Statistically, wide receiver Torrey Smith took a step backward this season. If there's a good wideout available when the Ravens pick, they should strike. Strong is at his best when he's working vertically, which caters to Joe Flacco's deep ball ability.

Other options: Melvin Gordon (RB), Devin Smith (WR)

27. Dallas Cowboys: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

The Cowboys could have to make a tough decision choosing between running back DeMarco Murray and wide receiver Dez Bryant. The belief seems to be that Murray will be let go. Considering the legal issues surrounding backup Joseph Randle, the Cowboys could rely on the impressive talent of the running back class in this draft.

Other options: Preston Smith (DE), Michael Bennett (DT)

28. Denver Broncos: Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota

Like the Cowboys, the Broncos could be faced with choosing between two offensive skill players. For the Broncos it's wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas. If they can't afford the latter, Williams could be brought in and become the team's starter. Playing on a run-heavy college team in Minnesota, Williams didn't get a lot of targets. But he made the most of them, averaging almost 16 yards per catch this season.

Other options: Carl Davis (DT), Jordan Phillips (DT)

29. Indianapolis Colts: Paul Dawson, LB, TCU

Dawson may not be a traditional middle linebacker or a pass rushing outside linebacker. What he is, however, is a nice combination of the two. On the field, it's hard to find many flaws in Dawson's game. A player like Dawson could be moved around and take care of two problematic areas for the Colts. If not a linebacker, the Colts obviously need more talent up front on offense.

Other options: A.J. Cann (G), Cedric Ogbuehi (OT)

30. Green Bay Packers: Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State

The Packers have struggled to find consistency at middle linebacker, rolling through various players last season before moving Clay Matthews inside. McKinney is somewhat of a raw athlete at this point, but all of the tools are there for him to become a playmaker.

Other options: Ellis McCarthy (DT), Arik Armstead (DE)

31. Seattle Seahawks: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri

Before we all fall in love with Super Bowl revelation Chris Matthews, don't forget that he never caught an NFL pass before the big game. While Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse have been prone to big plays, a receiver like Green-Beckham would give them a potential superstar at the position.

Other options: Carl Davis (DT), Devin Smith (WR)

32. New England Patriots: A.J. Cann, G, South Carolina

The Patriots may have just won the Super Bowl, but they need better players on the offensive line. Left guard Dan Connolly is a free agent, and New England could find an upgrade in the draft. Cann is the draft's best pure guard prospect and could give New England a nice young nucleus alongside center Bryan Stork.

Other options: Devin Funchess (WR), Ellis McCarthy (DT)