It is still months and months away but the 2015 NFL mock draft always begins early anyways. What are the projections for the top ten picks?
#1 – Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota – QB – Oregon
Ken Whisenhunt is a veteran coach who has set a strong foundation in place but the Tennessee Titans needs more work, especially at quarterback with so much inconsistency. The 2015 season will be a struggle, but the team could turn things around fast by swiping dynamic Oregon dual threat Marcus Mariota who has the top caliber arm and mobility to strike fear in defenses.
#2 – Dallas Cowboys – Brett Hundley – QB – UCLA
Jerry Jones boldly sent his season ticket holders NFC championship tickets. Sadly his view of the Dallas Cowboys is blatant optimism. The defense is overrun with injuries and lack of depth. Their quarterback is 34-years old and coming off back surgery. It just doesn’t have the look or feel of a very good team. It may prove time for Jones to break a different kind of streak, which is not taking a quarterback in the first round. Brett Hundley out of UCLA would make a fine choice with his accuracy, knowledge of pro style offenses and physical dimensions.
#3 – Cleveland Browns – Amari Cooper – WR – Alabama
Never mind the team has a new coaching staff (again) and may end up starting a rookie quarterback at some point. They also could be without their best receiver for a good chunk if not all of the season. Those are too many hurdles to clear. Before they can become competitive they need more firepower. Snagging the explosive Amari Cooper from Alabama would solve that problem.
#4 – Houston Texans – P.J. Williams – CB – Florida State
Already proven as a good defense, the Houston Texans could get even better with the addition of Jadeveon Clowney. At the same time, the team is facing long-term problems at cornerback with Johnathan Joseph getting older. By going into this 2015 NFL mock draft and swiping the big, instinctive and athletic P.J. Williams, they set their D up for years to come.
#5 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Vic Beasley – OLB – Clemson
Filling the LEO linebacker role has remained atop the to-do list for the Jacksonville Jaguars going on three years now. Obviously other issues come first but this time may prove the most advantageous for head coach Gus Bradley, especially if he can get Vic Beasley. The Clemson standout jumps out on tape. He’s fast with a great first step and knows how to beat blockers to the quarterback. His versatility will only help him in the pros.
#6 – New York Giants – Landon Collins – S – Alabama
It’s really hard to figure out the New York Giants. In some ways it looks like they could be good this season, and in others they look like a team that could draft 6th overall. If that happens then one of their problems will be safety. Antrel Rolle is into his mid-30s and Will Hill is suspended. They need young blood and Landon Collins is their guy. He’s got the size, he tackles, he reads the quarterback and he can drop back and fly to the football.
#7 – Minnesota Vikings – Ramik Wilson – ILB – Georgia
Starting a rookie quarterback with a rookie head coach is usually a recipe for struggling in the first year. The Minnesota Vikings need seasoning before they’re ready to win. Until then they should keep adding talent to the roster. One area still in need of help is the linebackers, particularly the middle. Jasper Brinkley is not any kind of solution. So don’t be surprised if Mike Zimmer go finds his own guy. Ramik Wilson out of Georgia is his kind of player. He’s tough and physical, covers a lot of ground and can drop in coverage.
#8 – Carolina Panthers – Cedric Ogbuehi – OT – Texas A&M
Perhaps the most intriguing position group of the 2015 NFL mock draft is the tackles. It has a chance to be really good. Here the Carolina Panthers take advantage by landing the next great Texas A&M hogmolly in Cedric Ogbuehi. More athletic than Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews, he has the look of a pro left tackle, something the Panthers lost in Jordan Gross this off-season. Ogbuehi would make the perfect replacement.
#9 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Andrus Peat – OT – Stanford
Josh McCown should have a good year for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but this team has changed a lot. Lovie Smith will get them playing great football but probably not as fast as some think, especially in such a tough division. A good next step will be beefing up their offensive line. Andrus Peat has an otherworldly ceiling given his size, power and athleticism. The only thing holding him back is the mental game.
#10 – Cleveland Browns (f/BUF) – Brandon Scherff – OT – Iowa
Already a proven run blocker with a nasty streak NFL coaches love, Brandon Scherff returned to Iowa to polish his pass protection. So by the time he enters the draft, he may be the most pro ready tackle in the 2015 class. The Cleveland Browns, who also own the Buffalo Bills pick, could pounce on him and upgrade their right tackle spot. They would also have a potential replacement for star veteran Joe Thomas.