Mock Drafts

Latest 2015 NFL Mock Draft: Post NFL Free Agency

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The stampede of high-profile NFL free agents hitting the market has come-and-gone. Of course Ndamukong Suh signed with the Miami Dolphins and to the displeasure of the Dallas Cowboys faithful, they witnessed their star running back and NFL’s leading rusher DeMarco Murray sign with their division rival Philadelphia Eagles.

Suh and Murray are just two of the many players around the league that changed teams. Swapping jerseys means each team in the NFL has to redo their draft board after the frenzy of free agency. With the marquee big names in free agency getting nestled into their new teams, it’s the perfect time to release the ‘Post Free Agency NFL Mock Draft’ and find out how the landscape of the NFL has changed.

 

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State: Lovie Smith brought journeyman quarterback Josh McCown on board last season to lead the Buccaneers. He did in fact lead Tampa Bay to the No. 1 pick in the draft. Winston’s draft stock fluctuated heavily during the course of the past several months and eventually he caught and passed Marcus Mariota as the top quarterback prospect available in the NFL Draft. Smith knows that his time in Tampa Bay revolves around the instant impact Winston must deliver in his rookie season.

 

  1. Tennessee Titans – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: Rumors are just that ‘rumors’, but one trendy topic is Philip Rivers saying he will play out his current contract that expires after this season before working on another deal, begs the question – Could he be rejoined with former offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt? Prior to landing his gig as the Titans’ head coach, Whisenhunt helped resurrect Rivers’ career in San Diego. The possibility of Rivers being sent to Tennessee in a deal involving the second overall pick still seems outlandish.  If nothing unfolds and the Titans keep this pick, they will draft Cooper. He gives the team their first legit offensive threat since Chris Johnson rushed for over 2,000 yards (2,006) in 2009.

 

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Williams, DT/DE, USC: Cooper going to the Titans at No. 2 overall is a bit of a surprise for the Jaguars, but a welcomed one. The monkey wrench that is thrown into the draft with Cooper being taken second overall really shakes things for the teams who follow the Titans. The defensive line for Jaguars was not exactly the most feared front in football. The Jags finished 26th overall defensively and even the lowly ranking didn’t illustrate their inability to stop the run. Only six teams allowed more than 2,000 yards allowed last season. Jacksonville was one of the teams to achieve the unwanted honor ranking 27th in run defense. Williams can provide a disruptive force off the edge and unify a defensive front lacking an identity.

 

  1. Oakland Raiders – Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa: The task is simple, but finding the pieces to make it happen are not so easy. The Raiders’ quarterback of the future is Derek Carr and keeping him upright and intact is vital, and drafting Scherff helps protects Carr and opens up running lanes for Latavius Murray. Murray should inherit the starting job after sitting behind aged veterans Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew last season.

 

  1. Washington Redskins – Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson: Washington worked hard in free agency to acquire both Terrance Knighton and Stephen Paea to bulk up their defensive front. The second line of defense (LB) lost three-time Pro-Bowler Brian Orakpo to the Tennessee Titans. Beasley fits the position opposite of Ryan Kerrigan (13.5 sacks in 2014) to apply pressure from both sides. Beasley’s performance at the NFL Scouting Combine was second to none and makes him a prime candidate for owner Daniel Snyder. The Redskins drafted Trent Murphy in the second-round last year, but Beasley possesses too much talent, and in the end he is drafted by Washington.

 

  1. New York Jets – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: General Manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles have no allegiance to quarterback Geno Smith. Smith enters his third season (which could be his last as the Jets future quarterback) and leaves a lot to be desired with his decision making. Mariota is the most interesting prospect of the draft considering he can possibly arrive in so many different destinations across the board. New York traded for Brandon Marshall and one year ago, drafted tight end Jace Amaro and signed via free agency receiver Eric Decker. The pieces are starting to emerge in the Jets passing game, but the only thing missing is a franchise quarterback, hence the selection of Mariota.

 

  1. Chicago Bears – Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska: The “Monsters of the Midway” are in dire need of youth. Five players considered key contributors to last years team are over 30 years old, which includes Jared Allen (32), Jay Ratliff (33), Lance Briggs (33), D.J. Williams (32) and Charles Tillman (33). Briggs and Tillman currently are free agents and it remains unknown if either is brought back in the future. Bears’ head coach John Fox enters his first year in Chicago and his defensive-minded background suggest the team looks early and often to replenish the defensive side of the football. Fox worked with Julius Peppers, Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware during his tenures in both Carolina and Denver. He’ll look to mentor Gregory into the next top edge rusher in the NFL. Concerns over Gregory’s draft value will be scrutinized after information was released he failed his drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine. He now becomes a very high risk or high reward prospect.

 

  1. Atlanta Falcons – Shane Ray, DE, Missouri: The Falcons signed eight new faces since free agency began (March 10th) with three on offense and five on defense. It is no secret that the recent hiring of head coach Dan Quinn (former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator) has placed an emphasis of getting the defense on par with their offense. To take that step the selection of Ray is necessary. Adding Brooks Reed (OLB) is a solid addition via free agency and another elite pass rusher like Ray could help turn the Falcons fortunes around in the very winnable NFC South.

 

  1. New York Giants – Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida: In 2012, the Giants’ ranked second in the NFL in total defense. They plummeted to 25th in 2013, and finished 29th overall last season. The defense that helped New York win two Super Bowls over the last decade has eroded. New York GM Jerry Reese has a solid track record of finding players to fit their system. Fowler possesses exceptional agility and closing speed. Fowler played both end and linebacker throughout his career with the Gators where he excelled at getting to the quarterback. New York needs another impact player on defense to get back to playoff level football.

 

  1. St. Louis Rams – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia: St. Louis acquired Nick Foles in a trade for Sam Bradford, but the need remains to find an elite receiver to use in the offense. The Rams have tried to address the position in the draft, but with little success. The group of Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens and Brian Quick has not been able to establish themselves as true No. 1 targets in the offense. The team resigned Kenny Britt, but it is an unsafe bet to wager he’ll ever live up to the 30th overall selection by the Tennessee Titans in 2009. White has all the potential to be the guy to help get the Rams’ offense back on track.

 

  1. Minnesota Vikings – La’el Collins, OT, LSU: The Vikings’ signed four new free agents and re-signed two of their own after NFL Free Agency began. Three of those six signings are veteran players over 30 years old. The team lost Vladimir Ducasse in free agency to their division rival Chicago Bears. Collins is not a cure to all that is wrong with the Vikings, but he is a piece to build around especially with all the young and talented new faces in Minnesota. Collins is a mauler on the field and possesses the versatility to spend time at guard or tackle for the Vikings.

 

  1. Cleveland Browns – Danny Shelton, DT, Washington: I was told by a reliable source that Shane Ray would be taken by the Tennessee Titans at No. 12 overall. It didn’t exactly cross my mind at the time since the Titans hold the second overall pick in the draft. There obviously could be some action between the Browns and Titans for Marcus Mariota. If that deal never comes to fruition then Shelton is the man for the Browns with their first of two picks in round one. It’s doubtful that Ray would be available at the 12th pick, but I’m just doing my due diligence to add it in.

 

  1. New Orleans Saints – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State: The Saints shocked the NFL community trading away All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham to the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. With that said I will not have them selecting Minnesota Gophers tight end Maxx Williams with either of their two No. 1 picks in the draft. The belief behind the Graham trade revolved around money and getting the defense jump started. Waynes may be a stretch to even be around this late considering his immense talent at the cornerback position. If he is still around then Saints’ owner Tom Benson will likely be seen doing another one of his famous dances after getting a player like Waynes added to the roster.

 

  1. Miami Dolphins – Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin:  The defensive tackle position was one of the biggest needs on the roster and it is now taken care of with the addition of Ndamukong Suh. Lamar Miller has shown flashes, but it is unlikely he’ll ever be anything better than what he currently is and that’s just being another option in the backfield. Miami traded away Mike Wallace and lost Brian Hartline in free agency to the Cleveland Browns. They acquired receiver Kenny Stills from New Orleans in a trade so the idea of drafting a receiver is still a very real possibility. They also signed free agent tight end Jordan Cameron. Former LSU receiver Jarvis Landry was terrific in his rookie season and is a piece to build. In a bit of a shocker, the Dolphins do a major overhaul of their backfield and draft Gordon.

 

  1. San Francisco 49ers – Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State: The first shocking news the 49ers’ received was the announcement that Pro-Bowler Patrick Willis was going to retire. His retirement wound was still fresh when second-year linebacker and the teams leading tackler last season Chris Borland announced he was doing the same and retiring out of fear of concussions. Then Chase Thomas, another 49ers’ linebacker, tore his ACL while training leaving him void of seeing action anytime soon. The odd set of circumstances leaves San Francisco with plenty of work to do at the position. McKinney pound for pound is one of the most athletic and gifted prospects in the draft.

 

  1. Houston Texans – Landon Collins, S, Alabama: The Texans have J.J. Watt and just added former New England Patriots Vince Wilfork, who Bill Belichick said was one of the finest players’ he has ever coached. The first year for Jadeveon Clowney was a huge swing and miss for the team, but year two quickly approaches with plenty of optimism. Those three players alone should destroy opposing offenses and covering the back end with a player like Collins really covers all the bases for Houston. Collins has range and he can hit and be an impact in the box.

 

  1. San Diego Chargers – Alvin ‘Bud’ Dupree, DE, Kentucky: Jarrett Johnson just announced his retirement after 12 years in the NFL. Melvin Ingram has not been able to stay healthy, but has shown flashes of talent when of the field. Dupree (6-foot-4 and 269 pounds) is similar in size to both Johnson and Ingram, and his ability to play both in a 4-3 defense and as a stand-up linebacker provides the Chargers with an extremely versatile play-maker on defense.

 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs – Eddie Coleman, DT, Coleman:  Coleman (6-foot-3, 323 pounds) is about 20-pounds heavier than the average defensive lineman currently for Kansas City.  The team lost both defensive linemen Kevin Vickerson (New York Jets) and Vance Walker (Denver Broncos) to free agency. Mike DeVito (starter) is coming off an Achilles injury and turns 31 years old in June. Coleman fits an immediate need and could end up being the team’s best defensive linemen in a short amount of time.

 

  1. Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo Bills) – Devante Parker, WR, Louisville: The recent acquisition of Dwayne Bowe (former Kansas Chiefs WR) doesn’t solve the inefficiencies of the passing game. If Cleveland elects to pass on the receiver position (again), the stubbornly loyal fan base may finally revolt. Last year the team knew ahead of time that Josh Gordon was facing another suspension (days before the NFL Draft) and yet they passed on the countless number of talented rookies at the position. Gordon is again on the outside looking in at this NFL career and the Browns must address the need.

 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma: Watching head coach Chip Kelly do more to his roster than a fantasy football owner at a work cubical, the conclusion is simple. He doesn’t want the guys former Eagles’ coach Andy Reid wanted. Kelly wants his own guys that he believes will maximize the performance of his offensive scheme. Prior to former Oregon Ducks receiver Josh Huff being drafted by Philly last season, the last Ducks wideout drafted was in 2007. They allowed the teams leading receiver last season (Jeremy Maclin) to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs and last year cut DeSean Jackson in April. Second-year receiver Jordan Matthews was terrific in his rookie season, but additional help is needed. Green-Beckham is arguably the most talented receiver in the draft class, but off field issues have derailed his value.

 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (OH): Terence Newman played opposite Leon Hall as the primary cornerbacks in the Bengals’ secondary. Newman is 36 years old and left in free agency. Hall on returns as the teams starting cornerback but he’ll be 31 years old before the 2015 season ends. A young and talented replacement is needed. Rollins is the real deal for a player who spent most of his college life playing point guard for the school’s basketball team. Rollins is a competitor and experience is his only thing he lacks. He also fits the size demographic for current starting cornerbacks on the Bengals roster. Last season starters Leon Hall and Terrence Newman measured in at roughly 5-foot-10 and 193 pounds. Rollins is 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds. He is a true competitor who will give the secondary a boost in Cincinnati.

 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers – Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest: It seems as if Johnson is the only logical choice for Pittsburgh with this selection. Ike Taylor will not be re-signed; Cortez Allen was benched last season; Johnson demonstrated his athleticism at the combine running an impressive 4.52 40-yard dash (6-foot and 188 pounds). He is a lean built cornerback with natural cover skills. GM Kevin Colbert’s two most preferred conference’s to use the teams first and second round picks on are the Big Ten and ACC.

 

  1. Detroit Lions – Malcom Brown, DT, Texas: The Lions lost both Ndamukong Suh (Miami Dolphins) and Nick Fairley (St. Louis Rams) in free agency. The Lions defense allowed the fourth fewest amount of total offensive yards and rushing yards last season. The team traded for Haloti Ngata from Baltimore to erase the sting of losing Suh and Fairley, but more needs to be done to get over that loss on the defensive front. Brown has the size (and then some at 319 pounds) to be considered for the interior of Detroit’s defensive line. In a 4-3 scheme he can be a huge difference maker especially collapsing the pocket on the quarterback.

 

  1. Arizona Cardinals – Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA: The temptation to put Georgia running back Todd Gurley at this pick was hard to fight, but the team has lost so much defensively and the draft class is so deep with talented running backs that they can find one later in the draft. The Cardinals did use free agency to address the defensive side of the football signing four new faces (Corey Peters Cory Redding, Sean Weatherspoon and LaMarr Woodley DE/OLB) to the unit. Arizona can not stop there and the draft is just another avenue to add additional (and needed) help. Kendricks fills the void of Darryl Washington who awaits reinstatement by the league after being suspended for another violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.

 

  1. Carolina Panthers – Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington: Incumbent outside linebacker Thomas Davis is entering his 11th season and Chase Blackburn is unsigned. Thompson has shown flashes of being a special player. He is a bit undersized, but overall his production and ability is too much to ignore. It’s tough to eliminate the Panthers from drafting a running back regardless of who is currently on their roster. Gurley visited the Panthers recently and the release of DeAngelo Williams will stir rumors Carolina is in the market for the dynamic services of Gurley.

 

  1. Baltimore Ravens – Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia: The Ravens quickly cut ties with running back Bernard Pierce by releasing him after he was arrested on a DUI charge. Baltimore re-signed their leading rusher from last season Justin Forsett, but he’ll be turning 30 years old later this year. Resigning Forsett and bringing in Gurley with no immediate pressure to play seems like a smart move. It allows Gurley to fully recover from his knee injury before being set loose on NFL defenses. Ozzie Newsome is one of the best GM’s in the game and he will not pass on an elite talent like Gurley.

 

  1. Dallas Cowboys – Marcus Peters, CB, Washington: One thing is for certain at this point and time- If Melvin Gordon or Todd Gurley remains on the board when his pick arrives, you can pencil them into the 53-man roster in Dallas. The recent signing former Carolina Panthers Greg Hardy vastly improves their pass rush. With the return of Sean Lee, their anchor at linebacker and the progress of DeMarcus Lawrence who both were hurt last year, gives the Cowboys plenty to be optimistic about moving forward. The secondary is the next phase of the defense to get a little touch-up work done with the selection of Peters. His talent out weighs his off-the-field concerns. He is too good to pass up this late in the first round.

 

  1. Denver Broncos – Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford: The team lost Orlando Franklin to the San Diego Chargers via free agency. Franklin was a versatile player inner-changeable at either guard or tackle. The addition of Peat helps eliminate the issues that plagued the team last season. The Broncos had to adjust on the fly shuffling players’ along the offensive line and will miss Franklin. Peat can provide a legitimate presence on the right side along with the teams other book end Ryan Clady and help keep the Broncos’ high octane offense going. Keeping Peyton Manning clean in the pocket will be at a premium as his legendary career nears its end.

 

  1. Indianapolis Colts –Cody Prewitt, S ,Mississippi State: The Colts signed re-signed safety Mike Adams and seven other unrestricted free agents. Amongst those signees, five will be over the age of 33 when the season kickoffs which include Adams, Trent Cole, Frank Gore, Todd Herremans and Andre Johnson. More youth is needed long-term for the Colts to be successful, especially on defense. The safety positions are currently occupied by Adams, entering his 12th season and practice squad player Delano Howell. Pruitt brings a hard-hitting high energy tempo to a defense that few in his draft class can match. Pruitt has the tools to open as the teams starting safety from the get go.

 

  1. Green Bay Packers – Carl Davis, DT, Iowa: General Manager Ted Thompson drafted Bryan Bulaga out of Iowa (2010) in the first round. Thompson adds Davis the Hawkeyes’ anchor of the defensive line. The Packers’ defensive line lacked the consistency to stop the run for much of the season and Davis provides stout competition against both the run and pass. Davis had a superb collegiate career and went above and beyond the call of duty at the Senior Bowl out playing those around him. B.J. Raji has been the anchor of the Green Bay defense up front, but is currently unsigned. It is likely he’ll return and be accompanied by Davis (or another rookie defensive tackle) when the season kicks off in September.

 

  1. New Orleans Saints (via Seattle Seahawks) – Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA: This pick will become infamous amongst fans in New Orleans due to its direct connection that involved the trade for former Saints’ tight end Jimmy Graham. On the eve of free agency, the first big news was the announcement that Graham was heading to Seattle. Both Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette provide some impact plays, but more needs to be done up-front in order to improve the overall scheme of things in New Orleans. They need an La’Roi Glover and Will Smith type presence wreaking havoc to get back to playoff level football defensively. Odighizuwa adds more depth and will help free up both Jordan and Galette to be more effective.

 

  1. New England Patriots – Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma: Bill Belichick enters his 21st year as a head coach in the NFL. One thing he has never done is draft a player from Oklahoma. That is about to change with the addition of Phillips. The Patriots elected not to retain their star defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who was snatched up by the Houston Texans. The Patriots signed Alan Branch and have Sealver Siliga who has shown some flashes, but may never be nothing more than a situation player to give the starters a fresh breath of air. Phillips is a massive man and could provide Belichick his next clog in the defensive interior.

About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates College2Pro.com. He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.