2015 NFL Mock Draft - Kevin Hanson- Updated: Thursday, April 30th
Here are picks 17-32 in my 2015 NFL mock draft:
17. San Diego Chargers (Draft History): Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Drawing some comparisons to Jamaal Charles, the 2014 Doak Walker recipient led college football with 2,587 rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns this season while averaging 7.8 yards per carry over his collegiate career. MG3 would fill the void of Ryan Mathews, who signed with the Eagles in free agency.
18. Kansas City Chiefs (Draft History): Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
The Chiefs picked up the fifth-year option on nose tackle Dontari Poe, but their starting defensive ends -- Jaye Howard and Mike Devito -- are all scheduled to become free agents after the 2015 season. Brown has excellent quickness for a man his size (6-2, 319) and has the versatility to play multiple spots along the defensive line.
19. Cleveland Browns -- via Buffalo (Draft History): Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (FL)
A massive offensive tackle prospect (6-foot-6, 329 pounds with 34 1/2-inch arms), Flowers led all combine participants with 37 bench press reps at 225. While Flowers has started the past two seasons at left tackle for the 'Canes, he also has some starting experience at right tackle as well. Flowers would give the Browns an upgrade over current right tackle Mitchell Schwartz.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (Draft History): Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
Trying to predict what Chip Kelly will do is a foolish endeavor and he's certainly shown he is not afraid of taking risks and making bold moves. If Kelly doesn't pull off a draft-day trade to move up for Marcus Mariota, I expect him to go defensive back or wide receiver here.
With the free-agent loss of Jeremy Maclin, Agholor has the ability to play inside or outside, has good speed (4.4 range) and is an excellent route-runner. He had 104 receptions for 1,313 yards and 12 touchdowns last season for the Trojans.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (Draft History): La'el Collins, G/T, LSU
Cincinnati's starting left tackle (Andrew Whitworth), right tackle (Andre Smith) and right guard (Kevin Zeitler) are all scheduled to become unrestricted free agents after the 2015 season. Playing left tackle at LSU and while he could play tackle at the next level, Collins may be better at guard where he also gained some experience early in his collegiate career.
[Per reports, Collins is not a suspect, but authorities want to meet with him as part of their investigation into the shooting death of Collins' ex-girlfriend.]
22. Pittsburgh Steelers (Draft History): Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Struggling to slow down the pass, Pittsburgh allowed 253.1 passing yards per game (sixth-worst in the NFL) and 30 passing touchdowns (tied for fourth most) this season. Ike Taylor has retired although he was a free agent (and awful) anyways, and William Gay is due to become a free agent after the 2015 season.
Dismissed from the Huskies' football program, Peters has some character concerns that could lead to a tumble further than this on draft day. Based on his on-field talent, however, Peters could turn out to be the best cornerback from this year's draft class. That said, Peters has seemed to say and do all of the right things off the field and mended fences enough with Washington's coaching staff that he worked out with the Huskies at the school's Pro Day.
23. Detroit Lions (Draft History): D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
Ultimately, I expect the Lions to go with the best-available (offensive or defensive) line prospect in Round 1 and to address both needs in the early rounds of the draft. The team picked up Riley Reiff's fifth-year option last week and general manager Martin Mayhew said he'd be "very comfortable" if Reiff stayed at left tackle. That said, Humphries has the potential to become the best left tackle prospect in this year's draft class and that would allow the Lions to move Reiff either to the right side or inside.
24. Arizona Cardinals (Draft History): Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska
Gregory has the athleticism and length to potentially develop into an elite pass-rusher at the next level. Gregory's failed drug test at the combine (and two confirmed failed tests in 2014 at Nebraska), however, means that he is likely to slide a bit (or a lot) on draft day. Not only does it show incredibly poor judgment on Gregory's part, but he already enters the league in phase 1 of the substance-abuse policy. The Cardinals have shown a willingness to take a chance on guys with character red flags, e.g., Tyrann Mathieu, and this is a gamble that could end up paying off handsomely for the Cardinals, who ranked 24th in the league in sacks last season.
25. Carolina Panthers (Draft History): Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M
Left tackle Byron Bell graded out as the league's worst pass-blocking offensive tackle last season by PFF, but he won't be back with the Panthers anyways. Although the Panthers filled a big void by selecting wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin in the first round of last year's draft, it was a bit of a surprise that they did not address the retirement of Jordan Gross as well. I'd expect that to change this year.
There are some question marks with Ogbuehi, who struggled initially with the transition to left tackle and tore his ACL in the team's bowl game. That said, he had started to play better down the stretch and has starting experience at left tackle, right tackle and guard. When healthy, Ogbuehi, who expects to be ready for training camp, possesses excellent foot quickness and he has vines for arms (nearly 36 inches).
After speaking with multiple teams I have no doubt that Ced Ogbuehi's ACL tear will NOT keep him out of the first round. He's going in 1st.— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) April 7, 2015
26. Baltimore Ravens (Draft History): Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF
Steve Smith will turn 36 years old this offseason and Torrey Smith signed a free-agent deal with the 49ers. Generating plenty of buzz over the past month or so, Perriman is the son of former NFL receiver Brett Perriman, who once had a 1,400-yard season with the Detroit Lions, and could easily be off the board in the top-20 picks. Bigger than his father at 6-foot-3 and 214 pounds, Breshad ran a pair of blazing 40-yard dashes (sub-4.3) at UCF's Pro Day. Coming off a career-best 50/1,044/9 season, Perriman has averaged more than 20.0 Y/R over each of the past two seasons, but he has had some issues with drops.
27. Dallas Cowboys (Draft History): Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
The offense in general, and ball-control running game in particular, has helped mask some of the deficiencies of the Cowboys defense. Although the Cowboys ranked middle of the road in terms of points and yards allowed, only five teams allowed more yards per play than the Cowboys (5.8). Starting cornerback Brandon Carr is vastly overpaid and former first-round pick Morris Claiborne has been a disappointment, when healthy.
Perhaps no prospect helped his draft stock more at the combine than Jones, who showcased his explosiveness with a 44.5-inch vertical jump and combine-record 12-foot-3 broad jump. Not only does Jones have excellent size for a cornerback, but he has starting experience at safety as well.
28. Denver Broncos (Draft History): Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State
Transitioning from left tackle to center during the season last year, Erving has the versatility to play multiple (all) spots along the offensive line. Not only did Denver's offensive line struggle last season, but they lost Orlando Franklin to the Chargers in free agency as well. It's possible that the Broncos will invest multiple early-round picks on the offensive line.
29. Indianapolis Colts (Draft History): Landon Collins, S, Alabama
The Colts released strong safety LaRon Landry in February, but he received a 10-game suspension in March anyways. While they re-signed free safety Mike Adams, who graded out as the seventh-best safety (of 87) by PFF, he turned 34 years old last month. They also signed Dwight Lowery in free agency. That said, Collins is the top safety in this year's draft class.
30. Green Bay Packers (Draft History): Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
The Packers have released inside linebackers A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones and used Clay Matthews inside more often than they would like last season, which makes Kendricks a good fit here. Brother of Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks, he was the recipient of the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker and leaves UCLA as the school's all-time leader in tackles.
31. New Orleans Saints -- via Seattle (Draft History): Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri
Perhaps the Saints won't double-dip on pass-rushers here, but there is certainly plenty of value from an on-field standpoint if Ray is still on the board at No. 31. Not only are there concerns about Ray's foot/toe, and some teams believe he needs surgery, but Ray was cited for marijuana possession only days before the draft, which counts against him in the league's substance-abuse program and highlights questionable judgment on his part. Last year's SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Ray had 14.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss last season.
32. New England Patriots (Draft History): Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
I debated LSU cornerback Jalen Collins here, my pick in the last version of this mock, and Goldman. Either way, the Patriots have big holes to fill with the departures of Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Vince Wilfork. While Collins has the height, weight and speed that makes him an ideal cornerback, he started just 10 games at LSU and has had multiple failed drug tests there. Although he doesn't provide much of a pass rush, Goldman (6-4, 336) is a run-stuffer in the middle of the line that can give the Patriots a long-term solution at nose tackle.
-> Continue to Round 2
-> Continue to Round 3
-> Continue to Round 4
-> Continue to Round 5
-> Continue to Round 6
-> Continue to Round 7
-> Go back to picks 1-16 of this 2015 NFL Mock Draft
-> For more mocks, check out our 2015 NFL Mock Draft Database or our 2016 NFL Mock Draft for an early look ahead.
-> Also, check out our 2015 NBA Mock Draft and/or NBA Mock Draft Database
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