2015 Pre-Free Agency Mock Draft: Winston or Mariota #1?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1 Jameis Winston - QB Florida State
With an great need under center, the Buccaneers will need to pick the most pro-ready quarterback. Jameis Winston, despite his character issues, fits those standards better than any other prospect in this draft.
2 Leonard Williams - DE USC
Many people believe that Leonard Williams is the best player in this year's draft, so the Titans would love to take him at #2. Expected to start opposite of Jurrell Casey, Williams would be able to come in and make an immediate impact.
3 Randy Gregory - OLB Nebraska
The Jaguars were able to get pressure up the middle with Sen'Derrick Marks and on the outside with Chris Clemons, but with Clemons getting old and no one opposite of him capable of rushing the passer, Randy Gregory would fit perfectly. He is raw and a bit light, but he is very fluid and has elite length. Gregory is a high-risk high-reward type of player.
4 Amari Cooper - WR Alabama
With nobody recording more than 700 yards or six touchdowns, wide receiver definitely a big need for Oakland. Amari Cooper, who has been touted as superstar with lead-receiver traits, would be able to fill that hole. Cooper would give Derek Carr a reliable target as well as a playmaker deep down the field.
5 Landon Collins - SS Alabama
The Redskins were torched through the air all season long, allowing a league-high 108.3 passer rating. This draft class lacks a top-tier corner but has a great safety prospect. As a strong safety, Landon Collins is known for his prowess in run support, but he has solid instincts in coverage and has the toughness and quickness to stick with both tight ends and slot receivers.
New York Jets
6 Marcus Mariota - QB Oregon
Geno Smith's chances are likely up with a new sheriff in town, and with a capable playmaker in Marcus Mariota, they cannot pass up on the opportunity. The Jets need much more help to fix up their offense, but Mariota can give them a base to build around. Mariota looks like the typical running quarterback that projects as a boom-or-bust prospect, but his accuracy is adequate and he has a nice release.
7 Shane Ray - DE Missouri
Without a reliable pass rusher outside of Willie Young, the Bears' defense often had trouble maintaining coverages. Shane Ray has a unique combination of power, athleticism, and smarts, but he lacks the length of most premier edge rushers. If he can work around his length issues, then he can develop into one of the more feared defensive players.
8 Dante Fowler - OLB Florida
The Falcons finished the year with just 22 total sacks and no players recording more than five. Dante Fowler would be able to give them some speed on the edge, which would then take some pressure off of the Falcons' secondary.
New York Giants
9 Bernardrick McKinney - ILB Mississippi St.
Ranked near the bottom of the league in run defense allowing 135.1 yards per game and 4.9 per carry, the Giants could certainly use some help in the middle of their defense. Bernardrick McKinney has his fair share of struggles in coverage, but against the run he is among the best in the draft.
St. Louis Rams
10 Marcus Peters - CB Washington
The Rams need some help on offense, but this a deep receiver class. Marcus Peters would give their defense that needed lift that could put them with the likes of Seattle. He is an aggressive and talented yet troubled corner, but the Rams proved that they are willing to take the risk by selecting their current starting corner Janoris Jenkins in the second round of the 2012 draft.
11 Brandon Scherff - OT Iowa
Brandon Scherff would provide the Vikings immediate value as he would be able to step into the right tackle or a guard position right away. Scherff is adequate in pass protection and is a complete monster in the run game.
12 DeVante Parker - WR Louisville
Andrew Hawkins did a nice job in his first year on the Browns, as did undrafted rookie Taylor Gabriel, but neither player is capable of making a consistent impact from the outside. At 6-foot-3, DeVante Parker would be able to give them that. With his soft hands, he would immediately become the Browns' most reliable receiver.
New Orleans Saints
13 Vic Beasley - OLB Clemson
Junior Galette and Cameron Jordan continue to get it done in New Orleans, but there is no one outside of them capable of rushing the passer. Vic Beasley may be a bit thin, but his speed is elite. Beasley would be able to step in opposite of Galette and produce from the start.
14 T.J. Clemmings - OT Pittsburgh
The Dolphins fortified their line by taking Ja'Wuan James in the first round of last year's draft, and taking a tackle as potent as T.J. Clemmings should work in their favor. Clemmings is extremely athletic and raw, but the Dolphins have done a good job developing their tackles, so he should fit right in. Whether or not he can step in right away is questionable, but he has a lot of potential to work out in the near future.
San Francisco 49ers
15 Kevin White - WR West Virginia
Cornerback is an option, but the 49ers' primary need is wide receiver. They have long missed some speed and size on the outside, and Kevin White would be able to give them both. His straight-line speed has been questioned, but it should be adequate, while his size and reliability are more than sufficient. White would be able to step in right away and improve an offense that has struggled in years past.
16 La'el Collins - OT LSU
The Texans have some talent along their line, but they are still missing a few spots. La'el Collins will have to play right tackle or move inside to guard, but either way he would give the Texans an immediate upgrade.
San Diego Chargers
17 A.J. Cann - OG South Carolina
The Chargers have a lot of talent on their offense that they may actually go defense here, but A.J. Cann just fits so well. He would be able to slide right in and might be what this offense needs to take the next step.
Kansas City Chiefs
18 Cedric Ogbuehi - OT Texas A&M
Cedric Ogbuehi might have the most potential of any offensive linemen in this draft, but his lack of technique will cause him to fall. The Chiefs have had a lot of struggles with their line, so this would make a lot of sense for them. He would not be able to step in right away, but he would provide them with a possible answer to a position that has given them trouble for years.
19 Danny Shelton - DT Washington
Danny Shelton should actually go earlier, but there is so much talent in this draft that this is possible. If he does slide this far, the Browns would be more than happy to take him. Ranking dead last in run defense allowing 141.6 yards per game, some interior talent is a definite need.
20 Trae Waynes - CB Michigan State
With some of the least reliable outside corners, Trae Waynes would make a lot of sense for the Eagles. He is big and physical and should be able to take on some of the tougher receivers, which would allow Brandon Boykin to stay inside on the quick-twitch receivers.
21 Shaq Thompson - OLB Washington
They have a bit of a quarterback issue, but there is not much they can do at this position in the draft. Their second biggest problem is likely their run defense, having allowed 116.3 yards per game. Shaq Thompson is a bit of a linebacker-safety hybrid, weighing in under 230 pounds, but the Bengals should be able to properly utilize him.
22 Kevin Johnson - CB Wake Forest
The Steelers' corners really struggled this year, often giving up plays that would allow teams to keep up with their offense. Kevin Johnson is has the physical attributes plus solid intangibles, so he would be an immediate upgrade. If he can do a better job at locating the ball, then he might be able to develop into a #1 corner.
23 Malcolm Brown - DT Texas
With both Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley unsigned through 2015, they will need to add someone to fill in the middle of their defense. Malcolm Brown has the athleticism to be a good tackle in the NFL and would thrive with the talent already set up around him.
24 Bud Dupree - OLB Kentucky
The Cardinals' offense is behind their defense in terms of talent, but if they can get an athletic edge rusher, their defense would be able to carry them further. Their offense struggled mostly due to the injuries at quarterback, so for them to go defense would be reasonable.
25 Andrus Peat - OT Stanford
The Panthers' offensive line has a lot of no-names, so they have to draft someone early to fill one of those spots. Andrus Peat has solid technique and adequate athleticism. He will not be able to play on the left side, but he can do a decent job on the right.
26 Gerod Holliman - FS Louisville
Gerod Holliman does not have much value defending the run, but the Ravens already have a stout run defense so they do not need that from him, they need someone they can trust in coverage deep down the field. Holliman showed outstanding instincts in coverage, so he should fit right in.
27 P.J. Williams - CB Florida State
Orlando Scandrick stepped up in 2014, but with both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne struggling, they still need a corner. P.J. Williams needs to play more disciplined, but he has a good combination of speed and size and has done well at playing the ball.
28 Devin Funchess - WR Michigan
The Broncos have to deal with contract situations in both Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas, so Devin Funchess would be a perfect fit here. Funchess would provide the Broncos with a reliable red-zone target and someone who can play outside and may be able to move inside at tight end.
29 Denzel Perryman - ILB Miami (Fla.)
The Colts had a lot of trouble stopping the run this year, most notably against the Patriots. Denzel Perryman is not big nor fast, but he has immediate value as a run-stopping specialist. He could also improve in coverage and provide some boom in the middle of their defense.
Green Bay Packers
30 Eddie Goldman - DT Florida State
Eddie Goldman has little to no value as a pass rusher, but he is among the best in the draft at stopping the run. He would be an immediate upgrade for the Packers, who ranked 23rd in run defense.
31 Dorial Green-Beckham - WR Oklahoma
The Seahawks are not a passing team, but their receivers struggled to get open when they needed to. Dorial Green-Beckham would give them a new element with his combination of size and athleticism. He is well-known for his off-the-field issues, but the Seahawks are a disciplined team and should be able to keep him in order.
New England Patriots
32 Todd Gurley - RB Georgia
The Patriots have speed in Shane Vereen and power in LeGarrette Blount, but Todd Gurley would be able to give him both. The Patriots were not able to keep a consistent running game due to the lack of multiple dimensions within their backs.