2015 NFL Mock Draft - Week 12 Update
The draft order for my 2015 NFL mock draft is based on the inverse order of my 2014 NFL power rankings.
The final 12 picks of the mock draft, however, contain six playoff teams from each conference including a division winner from each division as well as two wild card teams.
With that said, here is my early projection for the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft:
When you lose 16 consecutive games (until last night's win over Kansas City), it's fair to say that there are plenty of holes to fill and the Raiders could go in a number of directions with the first overall pick including trading back with a quarterback-needy team. Drawing plenty of favorable pro comparisons, Williams reminds NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah of ex-Raider (and ex-Patriot) Richard Seymour as he described Williams as "[t]all, long, athletic, explosive hands and versatile." Others have compared Williams to J.J. Watt and Gerald McCoy. Either way, he has the potential to become a dominant defensive lineman at the next level.
After ranking last in the league in sacks in both 2012 and 2013, the Jags have been much better at getting after the quarterback this year with 28 sacks, seventh most through Week 11. An explosive and fluid athlete, Gregory had 16.5 sacks in his 22 games over the past two seasons.
Completing 55.9 percent of his pass attempts with a 19:31 TD-to-INT ratio in his first two seasons, the odds of Geno Smith being under center for the Jets' 2015 season opener are slim to none. With exceptional dual-threat abilities, Mariota has posted a career TD-to-INT ratio of 92:12 with 1,991 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns. If there's a knock, an unnamed scout wonders (to SI) if Mariota is "too nice."
The most polarizing draft-eligible prospect, Winston has been associated with far too many head-scratching and troubling issues off the field. On the field, however, Winston has all of the physical tools to be a successful franchise quarterback and he has engineered several game-winning drives for the Seminoles, who are defending national champions with a combined 24-0 record over the past two seasons.
An explosive athlete, Ray has 13.0 sacks through the first 10 games of the season. While 15 different Titans have recorded a sack this season, none have more than 4.0 this season and Ray can be a difference-making rusher off the edge. Ray made Bruce Feldman's annual preseason freak list as he was timed at 4.44 in the forty with a vertical jump exceeding 40 inches.
Only three teams have allowed more passing touchdowns than Washington (20) and no team has fewer interceptions (three). With the versatility to play in coverage and especially support the run, Collins is likely to be the first defensive back selected next April.
Using last year's first-round pick on Kelvin Benjamin, the Panthers gave Cam Newton a bonafide weapon on the outside, but surprisingly they didn't select an offensive tackle at any point in the draft after losing Jordan Gross to retirement. Starting left tackle Byron Bell has graded out as the 74th of 76 offensive tackles this season, according to PFF.
Through Week 11, only the Raiders (10) had recorded fewer sacks than the Falcons (13). Last year, only the Jaguars (31) and Bears (31) had fewer sacks than the Falcons (32). Despite his size (6-9, 280), Oakman possesses rare athleticism and an explosive first step and is a step in the right direction towards improving the team's anemic pass rush.
Once a high school quarterback, Scherff may be best at guard, but he's arguably the best the run-blocking tackle in this year's draft class. Gil Brandt tweeted prior to the season that Scherff had No. 1 overall potential and the guy has freakish strength.
A versatile athlete, Thompson has played running back and defensive back in addition to linebacker. Thompson is a bit undersized (225 pounds) for a linebacker, but he is an outstanding athlete that also possesses good coverage skills.
It's been a disappointing season for second-year receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who has just 28 receptions on 59 targets for 332 yards and a touchdown through 10 games. An outstanding route runner, Cooper may not be the biggest (6-1, 202) or fastest receiver, but he's been the most productive with a national-leading 1,303 yards.
With excellent height (6-1) for a corner, Waynes has a good chance to be the first corner off the board, especially after Marcus Peters was kicked off the Washington Huskies football team. The Rams have allowed a league-worst 68.6 completion percentage this season.
With long arms and excellent athleticism, Peat has started at left tackle in each of the past two seasons at Stanford. Right tackle Mitchell Schwartz will be a free agent after the 2015 season, but they could also play Peat at right tackle and move Schwartz inside next season.
Through Week 11, only the Falcons have allowed more passing yards per game than the Texans (278.1 YPG). In addition, Kareem Jackson is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2014 season.
Only five teams have recorded fewer sacks this season than the Chargers (17.0) and as long as Peyton Manning is in the division, you can never have too many explosive pass-rushers like Beasley.
Having already declared his intention to enter the 2015 NFL Draft, Fowler has a high motor, good athleticism and is one of the most versatile defensive players in next year's draft.
-> For more mocks, check out our 2015 NFL Mock Draft Database
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