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2015 NFL mock draft: The big week is here

The start of the draft is just a few days away. As he's been for the past few months, Florida State's Jameis Winston is the choice at No. 1.

SB Nation 2015 NFL Draft Guide

We made it. Welcome to the week of the 2015 NFL Draft. For months Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has been entrenched as the No. 1 pick in the draft. Immediately after that pick is where the fun really starts.

This mock draft is nearly split down the middle with 17 picks on defense and 15 picks on offense. There are some runs, too. First it's pass rushers, then wide receivers and offensive tackles.

Don't worry, though, this isn't the last 2015 mock draft we'll have. Look for another one from me late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. And look for a second-round mock after the first round concludes Thursday. Have your own? Drop it in the comments.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

There are two questions remaining about the Buccaneers picking Winston. 1) Has he started home shopping in Hillsborough County? 2) Wouldn't it be funny if Tampa Bay actually takes Marcus Mariota? Like, if  they just did it to watch the world burn, it would be hilarious.

2. Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

This is where the action in the draft starts. There is a bunch of trade speculation out there from the Philadelphia Eagles offering up anything they can, the Cleveland Browns possibly poking around with two first-round picks and who knows what else lurking in the shadows. It looks like Mariota will be the pick at No. 2. But could it actually be made by Tennessee? This pick is more intriguing than all three of those terrible Taken movies combined.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida

Who makes a bigger difference in Jacksonville's defense, a Leo like Fowler or USC's Leonard Williams? Although I grade Williams as the draft's top player, Fowler has the ability to change the game more.

4. Oakland Raiders: Leonard Williams, DT, USC

Why look, it's Raiders owner Mark Davis himself sprinting to the podium at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. That's right, he has run 2,000 in the 10 minutes Oakland is allotted to make their pick to get the draft's top player. As we've always suspected, Mark Davis is a superhero.

5. Washington: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

In spite of Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, I view Beasley as a first-round pick. He has the burst of Von Miller and the type of lateral athleticism to move out to linebacker full time. He's not just Bruce Irvin 2.0, either.

6. New York Jets: Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky

When the Jets' top pass rusher Calvin Pace was drafted, gas was well below $2 a gallon, 50 Cent's "In Da Club" was the nation's top song and George W. Bush was in his first term as president. Alvin "Bud" Dupree was 10. In a year of pass rushers, the Jets need to get one.

7. Chicago Bears: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Draft fact: The Bears haven't taken a wide receiver in the first round of the draft since 2001. Cooper may not fill the holes on Chicago's defense but he sure can help the offense keep up. It would be hard to pass up the draft's top wide out at No. 7.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Here's the fun thing about the draft. Gregory could be the pick for the Falcons at No. 8. The lanky pass rusher has that much skill. But he also could be out there for Atlanta in the second round because of his issues with drugs. I tend to believe the former is more likely, but don't be shocked by the latter.

9. New York Giants: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

A lot of mock drafters are going to feel like real idiots if Scherff isn't the pick for New York. Please, be kind, Jerry Reese.

10. St. Louis Rams: La’el Collins, OT, LSU

Trade this pick! Trade this pick! Trade this pick! Whether it's moving up for Mariota or down to accumulate more selections, 10 is just the worst for St. Louis. Collins is good. He'd start immediately for the Rams at guard, or even right tackle. But how much better is he really than, say, T.J. Clemmings or Andrus Peat?

11. Minnesota Vikings: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

Cornerback Trae Waynes has been a popular choice for the Vikings, but White is typically off the board in those scenarios. He is one of the draft's most impactful players, and would be a real treat for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

12. Cleveland Browns: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

The last time the Browns had the 12th pick in the first round was 2006. What did they do? They thought it'd be a good idea to move back one pick and let Baltimore take Haloti Ngata. Don't do that again, Browns. Shelton may not be Ngata, but it's close. The Browns can right past wrongs with Shelton, or just keep being the Browns.

13. New Orleans Saints: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

All of the top pass rushers are gone, but fear not. If Parker is available, he would be a fantastic addition to go with second-year player Brandin Cooks. That pair could keep New Orleans' offense humming, even after Drew Brees retires.

14. Miami Dolphins: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

Let's take the player and position away for a second. If I told you that you'd get the sixth-best player in the draft at pick No. 14, you'd take it, right? Sure you would, unless you're crazy. At its core, that's what this choice represents. Is it early for a running back? Maybe. Is it early for the sixth-best player in the draft? Nope. No one will care if Gurley reaches his status as the next Marshawn Lynch.

15. San Francisco 49ers: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon

This is an interesting debate to have, but probably one that will get eye rolls from 49ers fans: Is San Francisco reloading or rebuilding? Do they know? Should they know? If the pick is a player like Armstead — a raw, high upside choice — the answer may be rebuilding.

16. Houston Texans: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

At some point in the last two weeks, USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor has become a first-round pick and for some the choice for Houston. Lets say they go with a receiver. Agholor may have moderately better hands than Strong, but what are the other advantages? Strong will go up after passes more aggressively and is considerably  bigger and stronger.

17. San Diego Chargers: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

How about this? Whether it's the Chargers or the Titans at No. 17, the pick here should be Gordon. That's called hedging your bets, kids.

18. Kansas City Chiefs: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma

Don't be shocked if Green-Beckham goes even higher than this in the draft. Also don't be shocked if he plummets far into the second round. He's as polarizing of a player as there is in this year's draft. If he hits, a team has a superstar. If he doesn't hit, he'll be a quick bust. It seems there will be little middle ground in DGB.

19. Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo): Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF

On the last episode of the Mocking the Draft podcast (rate and subscribe on iTunes, friend), co-host Matthew Fairburn rolled with Miami's Phillip Dorsett for the Browns at No. 19. Who is he, Pete Prisco in disguise? Perriman is a big play wide out who came alive during the final stretch of last season despite inconsistent hands. Hopefully he's not another version of Greg Little. I mean Carlton Mitchell. I mean Braylon Edwards. Oh no.

20. Philadelphia Eagles: Landon Collins, S, Alabama

If the Eagles do in fact use the No. 20 pick in the draft, what shade of red will Chip Kelly be on draft weekend? Maybe a slightly angry rose or a fully enraged crimson? Staying at 20 means Kelly won't land his star pupil Marcus Mariota. It would mean none of the 584 pre-draft rumors were all false. Even though the steam coming out of Kelly's ears could power a boat across the Atlantic Ocean, Collins would be a smart fallback choice. He could start right away as Nate Allen's replacement at safety.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

In the final days leading up to the draft, Peat is a hot name. Reports are out that the New York Jets could covet him and that he'll get selected higher than players like Scherff or Collins. In Peat, the Bengals would be getting a tackle who could eventually replace Andrew Whitworth on the left and immediately take over the right side from Andre Smith.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

Waynes dropped some in this mock draft, but this range is more appropriate for him than all the way up at No. 11. The Steelers have to hit on at least one cornerback in this year's draft, and it will be hard to miss with a corner with Waynes' skill.

23. Detroit Lions: Malcom Brown, DT, Texas

While Ngata is the short-term fix for replacing Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, Brown could be the long play. He's more like Fairley than Suh in playing style and excels and getting through gaps and using his athleticism.

24. Arizona Cardinals: Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

Ray's draft range is all over the place. Some think he's top 10 material, some have him dropping between the teens and this area and others completely have him out of the first round. At the NFL Scouting Combine, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said he wants more speed at linebacker. Do you really think a man who rocks a Kangol hat has time to feed the media falsities? Ray is, if nothing else, a speed player.

25. Carolina Panthers: D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida

Selecting the Charlotte native in Humphries is good for multiple reasons. First, and arguably most important, is that Humphries could be Carolina's left tackle for years and give them a piece to build the line around. Second, and also important, is that the team can play that Skylar Grey "Coming Home" song during Humphries' introductory press conference. That wouldn't be weird at all.

26. Baltimore Ravens: Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami

Surprised to see Dorsett in the first round? Don't be. He's put together a fantastic offseason where he stole the Senior Bowl in January and lived up to his track-speed hype at the combine. Also consider Miami's quarterbacks during Dorsett's tenure in Coral Gables. Is it possible we don't even recognize how good Dorsett can be? Yes. Is it possible Dorsett is this year's version of Brandin Cooks? Also yes.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

Morris Claiborne has mostly been a disaster of a first-round pick for the Cowboys, and veteran Brandon Carr has struggled as well. Johnson is a tall and long corner who finished his career at Wake Forest starting 41 games and breaking up 35 passes.

28. Denver Broncos: T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh

What good would Peyton Manning be if his offensive line can't keep him upright? Denver's situation at right tackle is dubious at best. Clemmings is a good athlete for an offensive tackle and plays with a nasty temperament. If his technique can catch up to his physical skills, he could become the best offensive lineman out of this draft.

29. Indianapolis Colts: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami

Speaking of dubious right tackle situations, say hello to the Colts. With Landon Collins being long off the board, a player like Flowers would be a coup.

30. Green Bay Packers: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut

After losing Tramon Williams and Davon House, the Packers could target a ready-to-play cornerback like Jones. He has the size Green Bay prefers at the position and is an athletic marvel.

31. New Orleans Saints (via Seattle): Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia

If the Saints don't get a pass rusher at No. 13, they should be able to get one at No. 31. Harold needs to get stronger, but he's an athletic pass rusher with long arms. In space, he's dangerous.

32. New England Patriots: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State

Don't be surprised if the Patriots move off this choice on Thursday night. There should be a bunch of defensive tackles and cornerbacks still available at No. 32, so New England could move back a little and still get a starting-caliber player. With no trades, Goldman is the choice because he represents the best player available and is a need for the Patriots after Vince Wilfork's departure.