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2015 NFL Mock Draft presented by NFL Nation and ESPN writers

mock draftNFL Nation and ESPN writers came up with this Mock Draft, so we wanted to bring it to our readers. 

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

The Bucs were dreadful on offense last season. Winston has experience in a pro-style system. He should give the offense a boost right away. — Pat Yasinskas

2. Tennessee Titans
Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

I’m still not convinced Mariota is the Titans’ guy, though I’ve come to think it’s increasingly likely. I think there is a better-than-50 percent chance the pick is traded and used on Mariota by someone else. — Paul Kuharsky

3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Leonard Williams, DE, USC

He’s so talented that the Jaguars can’t pass him up, even though he’s not the edge rusher they really need. However, he is a better pass-rusher than he’s been given credit for being. The Jaguars will use him similarly to the way the Houston Texans use J.J. Watt: Line him up at different spots along the line of scrimmage and let him create havoc. — Michael DiRocco

4. Oakland Raiders
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Williams would have been seriously considered had the Jaguars not taken him, but the Raiders rejoice with Cooper. Derek Carr badly needs a No. 1 receiver to grow with, and Cooper, who had an SEC single-season record 124 receptions last season, fits the bill. The Raiders haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since 2005. The polished Cooper has a chance to break that drought as a rookie. — Bill Williamson

5. Washington Redskins
Dante Fowler Jr., LB, Florida

He has the sort of speed Washington wants on the edge — and something the Redskins don’t have on the right side with Trent Murphy. Fowler can be an every-down linebacker, and his versatility also will be welcomed and allow for creativity in their packages. But the Redskins need to get more game-changing plays from him than Florida did. — John Keim

6. New York Jets
Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

Wide receiver isn’t a pressing need for the Jets, but White is the best value on the board, especially with Mariota gone. They’d prefer a pass-rusher, but they don’t want to reach for the second-tier edge rushers. They added Brandon Marshall to their receiving corps, but they still need a vertical threat — and White is that guy. — Rich Cimini

7. Chicago Bears
Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa

The temptation is for the Bears to roll the dice on the available pass-rushers, but Scherff is the safe pick. A powerful and nasty run-blocker, Scherff fits perfectly with head coach John Fox’s run-the-football mentality. A future NFL right tackle or guard, Scherff paired next to Pro Bowler Kyle Long gives the Bears a fearsome right side on their offensive line. — Jeff Dickerson

8. Atlanta Falcons
Vic Beasley, LB, Clemson

The Falcons sorely need to improve their pass rush after finishing the 2014 season second to last in the league in sacks per pass play and dead last in third-down defense. Beasley was productive in college and has a chance to make an immediate impact as a pure pass-rusher. His combine numbers were off the charts and he showed the ability to drop into coverage during his pro day. Beasley brings the type of speed and athleticism the Falcons haven’t had from a pass-rusher in years. — Vaughn McClure

9. New York Giants
Ereck Flowers, OL, Miami

After the first six picks, the Giants thought they’d have to make a tough call between Flowers and Scherff. But once the Bears took Scherff, this became an easy call. Flowers is a 6-foot-6, 330-pound freak who can start right away at guard or right tackle and can develop into the Giants’ left tackle of the future. He serves the dual purpose of immediately upgrading the run blocking — an offseason priority that went ignored in free agency — and giving the Giants a potential franchise cornerstone talent at a premium position. — Dan Graziano

10. St. Louis Rams
Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

The Rams would look at pass-rushers or receiver in this scenario, but they have glaring holes at center, guard and tackle and are believers in Peat’s combination of polish and upside. Coming from Stanford’s power run-oriented offense, Peat is a natural fit for what the Rams want to be offensively. — Nick Wagoner

11. Minnesota Vikings
Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

The Vikings have taken steps to improve their secondary in recent years, signingCaptain Munnerlyn last year and Terence Newman this spring. Still, the prospect of another young, tall, physical corner to pair with Xavier Rhodes is too good to pass up, especially with the passing games the Vikings face in the NFC North. — Ben Goessling

12. Cleveland Browns
Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

DeVante Parker is tempting here, but this is a deep receiver group and Shelton fills an immediate need: improving the league’s worst run defense. Shelton is theHaloti Ngata they never had. The situation sets up ideally for the Browns, who wind up with the best available player at a position of need. — Pat McManamon

13. New Orleans Saints
Bud Dupree, LB, Kentucky

His stock rose with his outstanding combine workout (top three among all LBs and DLs in 40, vertical and broad jump). But he’s more than just a workout warrior. He had 21 sacks over the past three years in college. And the reason I think the Saints will like him even more than pass-rushers such as Shane Rayand Randy Gregory is that he’s 25-35 pounds bigger than those guys and just as fast, making him a stouter run defender. And he has proven experience dropping back in coverage at Kentucky, which is key for a 3-4 OLB. — Mike Triplett

14. Miami Dolphins
DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

The Dolphins were hoping one of the top three receivers would fall to No. 14 and were fortunate to snag Louisville’s Parker in that spot. Parker has all the physical tools to develop into a topflight receiver and is a big target for quarterback Ryan Tannehill. — James Walker

15. San Francisco 49ers
Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon

He may be seen as a project in some corners, but that is a luxury the 49ers can afford numbers-wise on the defensive line, even if Justin Smith does decide to return for a 15th NFL season. More of a run-stuffer than an edge rusher, the ultra-athletic Armstead addresses both need and best player available for the 49ers as an end in their 3-4 defensive scheme. — Paul Gutierrez

16. Houston Texans
Landon Collins, S, Alabama

Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has had success in the past with drafting safeties in the first round, and Collins is the best safety in this draft. Though the Texans drafted another SEC safety two years ago in D.J. Swearingerfrom South Carolina, this is an area they’ve talked about needing to improve. —Tania Ganguli

17. San Diego Chargers
Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

The Chargers averaged 3.2 yards per attempt on first-down runs — when defenses know offenses want to run the football — second worst in the NFL. Gordon serves as a replacement for Ryan Mathews as San Diego’s workhorse running back, giving Philip Rivers another weapon and providing some balance to the Chargers’ offense. — Eric D. Williams

18. Kansas City Chiefs
Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

The Chiefs are thin at cornerback. Sean Smith is their only established player at the position, and he’s in the final year of his contract. Johnson can play a lesser role as a rookie and be the Chiefs’ No. 1 corner in 2016. — Adam Teicher

19. Cleveland Browns
Cameron Erving, C, Florida State

My heart wanted to pick Todd Gurley, but my mind says the Browns will strengthen their best position with a future Pro Bowl center who can play all five positions on the line and gives the team flexibility if Alex Mack opts out of his contract next year. The Browns are high on Erving, who has more upside than most linemen in this draft because of his versatility. He’s an All-American left tackle who projects even better as a center. The draft is deep enough at receiver that the Browns can land an impact player with the 43rd overall pick. — Jeremy Fowler

20. Philadelphia Eagles
Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF

I don’t think the Eagles will take Perriman because I really don’t expect him to be on the board when they pick at No. 20. But when the 6-foot-2, 212-pound Perriman — who has run sub-4.3 times in the 40-yard dash — slipped past Houston and Cleveland, there was no hesitation here. I was leaning toward UConn cornerback/freakish athlete Byron Jones, but a receiver with Perriman’s size and speed would be irresistible to Chip Kelly. Put it this way: Perriman represents an upgrade from the departed Jeremy Maclin. — Phil Sheridan

21. Cincinnati Bengals
Nelson Agholor, WR, USC

When this pick arrived, there were three options to consider: Agholor, OT Jake Fisher and OLB Randy Gregory. The Bengals like all three and have needs at each position. Gregory would have been a good addition as a “Sam” linebacker rusher. But his questionable decision-making creates pause, even for a team that often gives players second chances. In Agholor, Cincinnati gets a fast, reliable, competitive receiver who has return ability. With the Bengals’ top three receivers up for free agency next year, and concerns about Brandon Tate and free-agency acquisition Denarius Moore, drafting Agholor makes sense. — Coley Harvey

22. Pittsburgh Steelers
Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut

The Steelers haven’t drafted a defensive back in the first round since — you guessed it — recently retired Troy Polamalu in 2003. The cracks are starting to show in the secondary, and the 6-foot-1, 199-pound Jones is brimming with upside after a sub-4.4 40 at his pro day and a 44.5-inch vertical jump at the combine. Jones will need to refine his man coverage in the NFL, but who better to teach defensive technique than the Steelers? It’s time to invest in a young cornerback high in the draft. — Jeremy Fowler

23. Detroit Lions
Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

The Lions have bigger needs along both the offensive and defensive line, but general manager Martin Mayhew’s strategy has always been to take the best player available (other than quarterback). In Gurley, Mayhew gets a player he called an “outstanding prospect” and someone who could immediately solidify the team’s running game. Mayhew spent “a lot” of time on him and the Lions brought him in for a pre-draft visit. If Gurley is around at No. 23, it would be surprising and possibly leave the Lions very, very happy. — Michael Rothstein

24. Arizona Cardinals
Randy Gregory, LB, Nebraska

His stock clearly dropped, but he’ll be considered a steal for a team that not only needs an improved pass rush but has a history of taking players with off-field issues. The Cardinals had 12 fewer sacks in 2014 than they did in 2013. And two years after they drafted Tyrann Mathieu, who also dealt with issues stemming from marijuana use, Gregory’s troubles can be overlooked for his talent. — Josh Weinfuss

25. Carolina Panthers
Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State

Offensive tackle is a need and Florida’s D.J. Humphries was available, but he’s not ready to start right away at left tackle and Carolina believes it filled that need with Michael Oher. Smith gives the Panthers that elite speed wide receiver/touchdown maker to be the No. 2 receiver opposite Kelvin Benjamin, last year’s first-round pick. — David Newton

26. Baltimore Ravens
Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

This is a difficult decision because Missouri’s Shane Ray is surprisingly available and the Ravens love the pass-rusher’s motor. The need for a cornerback is more pressing, and the Ravens will be ecstatic that a top-15 talent such as Peters falls to them. The Ravens’ championship hopes were derailed last season because of a lack of depth at cornerback, and now Baltimore can pair Peters with Jimmy Smith for the next five years to form one of the best young cornerback tandems in the NFL. — Jamison Hensley

27. Dallas Cowboys
Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA

The Cowboys welcome back Sean Lee from a torn ACL and re-signed Rolando McClain at linebacker, but Kendricks represents the best player available. He can play weakside or middle linebacker and gives the Cowboys some cover in case of injuries during the year to Lee, who has yet to play a full season, or McClain. The Cowboys can get running back and cornerback help a little later. —Todd Archer

28. Denver Broncos
Shane Ray, LB, Missouri

There has been some concern of late with a toe injury Ray suffered in the bowl game to close out the 2014 season, but in this scenario, Ray is easily the best player available when the Broncos pick. The Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year will find a fit in the Broncos’ new 3-4 look. He had 17.5 sacks and 31.5 tackles for loss the past two seasons. The Broncos have Pro Bowl edge rushers in Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, but the team would quickly find a role for Ray’s snap-to-whistle intensity. — Jeff Legwold

29. Indianapolis Colts
La’el Collins, OT, LSU

The Colts have concerns about starting right tackle Gosder Cherilus’ health after he battled injuries all last season. Collins played tackle during his final two seasons at LSU. The Colts used 11 different starting lineups on the offensive line last season. They’re looking for stability up front to protect franchise quarterback Andrew Luck. — Mike Wells

30. Green Bay Packers
Jalen Collins, CB, LSU

The Packers’ biggest need remains inside linebacker, especially if they want to move Clay Matthews back to the outside full-time, but there wasn’t value there. In Collins, they get a corner who at 6-1, 203 pounds becomes the biggest pure cover man on their roster. With the loss of Tramon Williams and Davon Housein free agency, he can become a three-down player, which makes him more valuable at this spot than, say, a run-stopping defensive tackle such as Eddie Goldman, the other major consideration at this spot. — Rob Demovsky

31. New Orleans Saints
Malcom Brown, DT, Texas

The 6-2, 319-pounder would be great value at No. 31. Scouts Inc. rates him 17th overall. He has great versatility as a standout run defender and he’s a decent pass-rusher. He could play end or tackle in both 3-4 and 4-3 fronts, which would suit the Saints, who mix and match between the two schemes under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. — Mike Triplett

32. New England Patriots
Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State

We had a handful of names to consider and two of them — Malcom Brown and Jalen Collins — went right before the pick. OT Jake Fisher was another consideration as a possible left tackle of the future (Nate Solder is in the last year of his contract) and someone who might be able to play guard immediately. But in the end, a powerful, big-bodied defensive tackle to help fill the void created by the departure of Vince Wilfork makes sense. — Mike Reiss

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NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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