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2015 NFL Mock Draft (Picks 1-16)
The 2014 NFL season has come to an end and now its time for teams to fill voids. Today I give my mock draft for the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What they need- QB, DE, OL
Who they draft- Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
The Bucs have a poor offensive line, Josh McCown and Mike Glennon aren't the long term answers, and Gerald McCoy is the teams only consistent pass rusher. They could also go with Oregon's Marcus Mariota but Winston has proved his toughness on more than one occasion and he is likely to have success despite Tampa's poor o-line. He played in a pro style offense in college and should have no trouble connecting with receivers like Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson.
2. Tennessee Titans
What they need- QB, DE, CB
Who they draft- Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
The Titan's secondary was a mess this past season, they have no big name pass rushers, and Jake Locker and Zach Mettenberger have proven to be too injury prone. The Titans already have a pretty good o-line and running back in Bishop Sankey, so Marcus Mariota would be an ideal fit for Ken Whisenhunt's offense.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
What they need- OL, RB, CB
Who they draft- Brandon Scherff, T, Iowa
The Jags offensive line never gave Blake Bortles time to throw and didn't open holes for the running backs, Toby Gerhart and Dennard Robinson showed flashes but weren't consistent, and the pass defense couldn't make plays. Adding Scherff to the o-line will give Bortles a tackle he can rely on and can create large lanes for the running backs to run through.
4. Oakland Raiders
What they need- WR, DE, CB
Who they draft- Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Other than James Jones, the Raiders didn't have a consistent receiver for Derek Carr to throw to, Justin Tuck is on the wrong side of 30 and Lamar Woodley can't stay healthy, and they don't have a playmaker in the secondary. Cooper gives the team a proven playmaker who can take double teams and open up space for other receivers. The Heisman trophy finalist showed he can match up with the best the SEC has to offer.
5. Washington Redskins
What they need- OLB, DB, OL
Who they draft- Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska
Brian Orkapo can't stay off the injury list, The young cornerbacks didn't step up and the safeties of Ryan Clark and Brandon Meriwether were always getting beat, and other than Trent Williams, the offensive line couldn't run or pass block. Adding Gregory to the linebacker corps will give the team another pass rusher to play opposite Ryan Kerrigan.
6. New York Jets
What they need- QB, OL, CB
Who they draft- Cedric Ogbuehi, T, Texas A&M
Neither Geno Smith or Michael Vick proved they weren't the long term answer at quarterback, Nick Mangold was the team's only reliable offensive lineman, and Dee Milliner couldn't make up for the loss of Antonio Cromartie. With D'Brickashaw Ferguson regressing every season, the addition of Ogbuehi will give the Jets a young tackle for Chan Gaily's new flexible offense.
7. Chicago Bears
What they need- DL, LB, DB
Who they draft- Leonard Williams, DT, USC
The Bears defense didn't exactly live up to their reputation as the "Monsters of the Midway." The swap of Julius Peppers for Jared Allen was a serious downgrade, Lance Briggs is fast approaching retirement, and a part from Kyle Fuller, the secondary was very pedestrian. By adding Williams to the defensive line will give the Bears a young lineman who can rush the passer or stop the run.
8. Atlanta Falcons
What they need- DE, THE, DB
Who they draft- Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
The Falcons defense couldn't get pressure on the quarterback all season, the tight end position has been chaos since the departure of Tony González, and the secondary gave up the most passing yards in the league. Adding Ray gives the team a good pass rusher to play opposite Kory Beirmann and replace Osi Umenyiora. The added pass rush will also put less pressure on the struggling defensive backs.
9. New York Giants
What they need- DE, OL, MLB
Who they pick- Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson
The Giants defense was equally terrible against the run and the pass. The defensive line couldn't get any sort of pass rush, the offensive line was once again dreadful, and the defense has no leader in the middle. Should the team choose to re-sign Jason Pierre-Paul, adding Beasley would give the defensive line a pair of pass rushers on both sides which will put less strain on the rest of the defense.
10. St. Louis Rams
What they need- QB, CB, RB
Who they draft- Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Sam Bradford can't stay healthy, the cornerback position was clearly the weak spot of the defense, and even though Tre Mason came on strong late in the year, he still has to prove he can carry the load for a whole season. Adding a corner to play opposite Janoris Jenkins like Waynes will give the defense a secondary offenses will be afraid to throw at.
11. Minnesota Vikings
What they need- RB, OL, CB
Who they draft- Andrus Peat, T, Stanford
The running back position was a carousel after the Adrian Peterson ordeal, left tackle Matt Kalil led the league in quarterback pressures, and the team needs another strong cornerback to play in the nickel. Peat makes sense at this pick because he can eventually replace Kalil at left tackle and is capable of being a dominant run blocker.
12. Cleveland Browns
What they need- WR, OL, DT
Who they draft- La'el Collins, T, LSU
The Brown's most productive wide out was 5'7" Andrew Hawkins. The left side of the offensive line was solid, but once Alex Mack went down for the season the holes on the right side of the line began to show. The defensive line couldn't help out in the run game and the run defense was the worst in the league. Adding Collins to the o-line gives the team a run blocking right tackle to play opposite Joe Thomas.
13. New Orleans Saints
What they need- QB, DE, CB
Who they draft- Alvin Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky
Drew Brees just turned 36 and the team is going to have to begin grooming his successor. The pass rush on the team was dismal at best. The play of the corners was very pedestrian all season. Adding a pass rusher like Dupree to join Cameron Jordan on the defensive line will give the team an added pass rush and will allow the secondary to not have to cover as long.
14. Miami Dolphins
What they need- OL, LB, CB
Who they draft- Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington
Ju'wann James was a surprise at tackle but the team needs more help on the offensive line. Dion Jordan has been a disappointment up to this point and the Dolphins need more linebackers to play with Cameron Wake. After Cortland Finnegan went down, Brent Grimes was the teams only consistent cornerback. Bringing Thompson in will give the linebackers another pass rusher that can play with Wake and is also capable of dropping back in coverage.
15. San Francisco 49ers
What they need- QB, OL, DT
Who they draft- Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
Colin Kaepernick struggled in 2014, failing to throw a fourth quarter touchdown. The offensive line dealt with injuries and poor play the entire season. The aging defensive line began to break down as the season went on. Adding Shelton to the defensive line gives the 49ers a player that can play anywhere on the 3-4 defensive line and can serve as pass rusher, run stopper, and can take double team blocks.
16. Houston Texans
What they need- QB, WR, OT
Who they draft- T.J. Clemmings, T, Pittsburgh
Whether or not Ryan Mallet is the team's long term answer is still unknown. Andre Johnson won't be around forever and the receivers under him aren't up to his caliber. The offensive line couldn't pass block and as a result Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Mallet went down with season ending injuries. Adding a tackle like Clemmings will give the o-line a good pass protector that can keep a quarterback healthy for an entire season.