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Mel Kiper Mock 1.0


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8
Dante Fowler Jr.
Atlanta Falcons (6-10)
COLLEGE: Florida
Class: Jr
HT: 6-2
WT: 271
POS: DE

Analysis: A known commodity since he arrived on campus, Fowler actually frustrated me some coming into the year because the talent looked better than the production. But he really put it together this season and made more plays, finishing with 15 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He offers the strength to set the edge as a 4-3 defensive end and becomes quick for the position in that role. While he lacks what I consider elite explosiveness, he has great strength and can both set the edge and occasionally drive a blocker backward. The Falcons need this kind of a player, as the pass rush was a weakness all year.

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http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/draft/mock/?season=2015&version=1&source=Mel-Kiper-Mock-Draft

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Could you post the entire draft?

Sorry. Didn't realize it was an Insider article.

There was a time when I used to call this draft season. Now, I increasingly hear it called "mock draft season." And while I'm bound to contribute, now that everybody seems to have a mock draft it's only made teams play it closer and closer to the vest when it comes to which players they claim to like. As it should be.

So with the first mock draft of the year, let me offer up a couple reminders:

• Most teams are still really early in their evaluation process. Draft boards aren't remotely set. So in the absence of any teams really having a sense who their "best player available" might be I'm projecting a bit more on need at this point.

• I simply can't project any trades this early in the process. Teams needs to have a better sense of player value up and down the board before they can get too far into those discussions.

• The draft order for the final four teams is based on regular season record. It's not a playoff prediction.

With that said, have fun diving into the first look of "mock draft season" and feel free to offer your feedback.

1
Jameis Winston
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-14)
COLLEGE: Florida State
Class: Soph
HT: 6-4
WT: 235
POS: QB
Analysis: The bottom line is Winston is the most advanced on-field quarterback in the draft, and while the Buccaneers have a nice set of weapons for an emerging quarterback to utilize there's little evidence they have a future franchise quarterback on the current roster. Questions about Winston's maturity and off-field decision-making are more than fair and could have him written off some draft boards if he can't convince teams he can be a franchise leader. But on the field you get a big, durable, mobile, strong-armed talent with a high football IQ and an ability to read, anticipate and process at a very high level what defenses are trying to do. I would not draft with him with the goal of starting him in Week 1 -- his 2014 season proved there's work to be done -- but if Winston realizes his potential, he's a possible superstar.
2
Marcus Mariota
Tennessee Titans (2-14)
COLLEGE: Oregon
Class: Jr
HT: 6-4
WT: 211
POS: QB
Analysis: The Titans have said all the right things about Zach Mettenberger, but based on what we saw from him in 2014, there are considerable questions about his NFL ceiling. Offensive fit and the ability to adapt are big questions around Mariota, but he's an elite talent and has the chance to be special if a team is patient with him. Mariota has a great work ethic, exceptional athletic tools, enough arm to drive the ball down the field and on intermediate throws and he did improve in his ability to get through progressions, anticipate and deliver with good placement this season. The question is whether he can look as special outside the confines of the Oregon offense. If Tennessee doesn't like either of the top two quarterbacks, this is a pretty obvious trade-up position.
3
Leonard Williams
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13)
COLLEGE: USC
Class: Jr
HT: 6-5
WT: 290
POS: DE
Analysis: If you drop need and go on "best player available" -- something I believe really does happen more and more, given the unpredictable nature of the quarterback position in particular -- Williams is a contender to go No. 1 overall. A versatile and relentless defensive lineman, he's a good fit in Jacksonville's scheme and is so tantalizing because you're adding a disruptor, a player who has great awareness against the run but can batter both guards and tackles as a pass-rusher, too. This is a player you can say would help every team in the draft. The Jags need O-line help, but the value here just isn't good enough.
4
Amari Cooper
Oakland Raiders (3-13)
COLLEGE: Alabama
Class: Jr
HT: 6-1
WT: 205
POS: WR
Analysis: I can see the Raiders also targeting one of the next two picks here, as they could really use another pass-rusher to take some of the pressure off Khalil Mack, who was exceptional as a rookie but is actually a better run defender than pass-rusher at this point. That said, the Raiders have also likely found their franchise quarterback in Derek Carr, and they really need to add a high-level wide receiver in that offense. James Jones was adequate, but the yards per catch was a problem, and Andre Holmes is a weapon, though a complementary one. Cooper can be a Reggie Wayne-like starter for years in the right offense.
5
Randy Gregory
Washington Redskins (4-12)
COLLEGE: Nebraska
Class: Jr
HT: 6-6
WT: 245
POS: DE
Analysis: Gregory is the type of pass-rushing talent that can transcend systems. Long, athletic and highly explosive coming off the edge, he's a little undersized as a classic 4-3 defensive end and could play in space a little better as a 3-4 outside linebacker. But he can flat out cause disruption -- not just as a pass-rusher, mind you, because heâ??ll also play with good leverage against the run and make plays in the backfield. Washington should be purely in the "take a great football player" category, and Gregory fits the bill and can make them better as a rookie.
6
Shane Ray
New York Jets (4-12)
COLLEGE: Missouri
Class: Jr
HT: 6-2
WT: 240
POS: DE
Analysis: The Jets could go in another direction in terms of defensive system now that former coach Rex Ryan isn't running point on that side of the ball, but they need to add a pure pass-rusher to go with the significant talent they have elsewhere along the defensive line regardless of system. Ray was arguably the most productive pass-rusher in college football this season and is no one-trick pony -- he really shows off an arsenal, a blend of technique, explosiveness and just relentlessness. The Jets have other needs, but if a quarterback isn't available here, I like Ray as a fit. Repeat after me: You can never have too many pass-rushers.
7
Landon Collins
Chicago Bears (5-11)
COLLEGE: Alabama
Class: Jr
HT: 6-0
WT: 212
POS: S
Analysis: Safety play has been, without exaggerating, a borderline disaster for the Bears, extending beyond this season. Collins does a lot of his best work near the line of scrimmage, but he can certainly be effective playing off the line as a guy who anticipates well, makes good reads and takes proper angles. He comes in with a lot of experience, and for a defense that was such a mess, I like taking a player who offers a lot of versatility and won't need to come off the field much. I know cornerback is a need even after they used a first-round pick there last year, but I'm not sold on the value this high, and, given Chicago's litany of needs on D, they should go for the best player who can help them soon. Collins fits.
8
Dante Fowler Jr.
Atlanta Falcons (6-10)
COLLEGE: Florida
Class: Jr
HT: 6-2
WT: 271
POS: DE
Analysis: A known commodity since he arrived on campus, Fowler actually frustrated me some coming into the year because the talent looked better than the production. But he really put it together this season and made more plays, finishing with 15 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He offers the strength to set the edge as a 4-3 defensive end and becomes quick for the position in that role. While he lacks what I consider elite explosiveness, he has great strength and can both set the edge and occasionally drive a blocker backward. The Falcons need this kind of a player, as the pass rush was a weakness all year.
9
Brandon Scherff
New York Giants (6-10)
COLLEGE: Iowa
Class: Sr
HT: 6-4
WT: 320
POS: OT
Analysis: While he's a left tackle at Iowa, I think Scherff could start his NFL career at right tackle and, if he were to deal with growing pains there, could end up at guard. If you then question a draft slot this high, getting a guy who can be solid at right tackle right away and potentially dominant at guard isn't too shabby. The guy is simply devastating as a run-blocker, and the Giants could draft him knowing he'll play right away and provide dividends. (Think of what Dallas got in drafting Zack Martin last season and moving him inside.) With apologies to those of you who want to see 250 targets to Odell Beckham, Jr., Scherff could help balance this offense.

Video highlights

T J Clemmings
St. Louis Rams (6-10)
COLLEGE: Pittsburgh
Class: Sr
HT: 6-4
WT: 313
POS: OT
Analysis: The Rams made more strides on defense this year after adding Aaron Donald as a clear "best player available" pick in the 2014 NFL draft, and the defense benefited greatly. But while their No. 2 overall pick, Greg Robinson, goes into 2015 as the starter at left tackle after looking better there for the most part over the last five weeks this season, the O-line still graded out poorly for me overall, and the Rams need to bring in more talent. Clemmings is a player who has come a long way since converting from defense, but he has arguably as high a ceiling as any tackle in this class and won't need to start his career at left tackle. Quarterback questions persist, but there's no fix to be found here after the top two guys are off the board. More help up front is needed.
11
Devante Parker
Minnesota Vikings (7-9)
COLLEGE: Louisville
Class: Sr
HT: 6-2
WT: 207
POS: WR
Analysis: Teddy Bridgewater showed he can be the long-term answer at quarterback if his development continues, and while there are also questions along the offensive line, Parker is a tantalizing talent at this point, as I think some teams will have him graded as the best receiver in this draft class once they've wrapped up evaluations. This is A.J. Green lite, and heâ??s not that lite. Parker doesn't just have the leaping ability and length to go up and get it and beat even longer defensive backs at the catch point, he can create space with his short-area explosiveness underneath. Teddy needs another weapon. Here he is.
12
Danny Shelton
Cleveland Browns (7-9)
COLLEGE: Washington
Class: Sr
HT: 6-1
WT: 332
POS: DT
Analysis: In Mike Pettine's system, you really can use powerful bodies up front who can hold blocks but also create some movement and occasionally penetrate, and the massive Shelton is a nice fit for a team that struggled to consistently stop the run. The Browns really missed an injured Phil Taylor, and Shelton comes in ready to play and give them more depth at a position in which every team could use it. This guy didn't just cause way more backfield havoc than his size would indicate is possible, but he has incredible awareness in the run game and actually led the Huskies in tackles for most of the season, which is pretty incredible for a guy at that position.
13
Vic Beasley
New Orleans Saints (7-9)
COLLEGE: Clemson
Class: Sr
HT: 6-2
WT: 220
POS: DE
Analysis: A year after they made great strides on defense, the Saints took a major step backward in 2014, and a big part of that was a lack of productivity in the pass rush. They simply weren't as disruptive. Beasley is going to come in ready to play. I saw him as a potential top-15 pick in last year's draft, and he came back to school and was just as productive, which is saying a lot given the attention paid to him in game planning. A year after notching 23 TFL, he came back and added 21.5. Heâ??s a very good pass-rusher, pursues with his hair on fire and plays with exceptional energy.
14
Shaq Thompson
Miami Dolphins (8-8)
COLLEGE: Washington
Class: Jr
HT: 6-2
WT: 224
POS: OLB
Analysis: The great thing about Thompson is he's not just a freak in the athletic sense. He's also a freak in his football instincts. This is a kid who has played safety, linebacker and in 2014 was every bit a future NFL running back when the Huskies asked him to help out there for a few games. Ideally, he ends up at weakside linebacker, perhaps in the Lavonte David mold, using sideline-to-sideline speed to disrupt attack angles and chase down ball carriers and underneath pass-catchers. He can also use his big-time explosiveness as a gap blitzer and coming off the edge. There's developmental work to be done here, but maybe not much because the football instincts are so good.
15
Kevin White
San Francisco 49ers (8-8)
COLLEGE: West Virginia
Class: Sr
HT: 6-2
WT: 211
POS: WR
Analysis: The question marks at wide receiver persist for the 49ers, and Michael Crabtree could be signed somewhere else by the time the draft arrives. If the 49ers want to further aid Colin Kaepernick's development, they need to find another target, ideally a matchup threat and a guy who can win at the catch point and outmuscle defenders for contested catches. White had a monster year at West Virginia and has made himself more explosive in space as he's added strength. He can make plays down the field and give the 49ers the athlete they desperately need if Crabtree isn't around, and Anquan Boldin is arguably the best wide receiver they have.
16
Trae Waynes
Houston Texans (9-7)
COLLEGE: Michigan State
Class: Jr
HT: 6-1
WT: 182
POS: CB
Analysis: The Texans did a relatively good job defending the pass this year, but that started up front. They benefit so much from what J.J. Watt does to opposing QBs that it conceals the fact they could use help at cornerback. Waynes will grade out as the best cover corner in the draft for many teams, and he also offers something pretty much everybody covets at the position, which is length. Waynes is also a good zone defender, and while he's lean, he is above average in run support. He has good ball skills and really does a good job of tracking the ball. He's a player who can help turn what should be a really good defensive line's pressure into more turnovers.
17
Arik Armstead
San Diego Chargers (9-7)
COLLEGE: Oregon
Class: Jr
HT: 6-7
WT: 285
POS: DE
Analysis: While he's listed at defensive end, the long and strong Armstead is probably better described as "freakish defensive lineman." He has impressive quickness for a player who stands about 6-foot-8 and carries a lean 290 pounds, and the power is obvious, too, because when he plays with leverage and gets under the pads of blockers, he can simply take them backward. Armstead was at one time a potential star on the basketball court as well and still has plenty of raw elements to his game, but guys who are this big and this athletic can become really special with coaching.
18
Dorial Green-Beckham
Kansas City Chiefs (9-7)
COLLEGE: Oklahoma
Class: Jr
HT: 6-4
WT: 225
POS: WR
Analysis: We all know about the Chiefs' singular lack of ability to generate touchdowns from their wide receivers, and that makes Green-Beckham a potential risk worth taking. The physical book on Green-Beckham is a good read: He's got great length and can take the top off the secondary as a straight-line runner but also creates an impressive amount of space with quickness on short routes. He's a red zone fear-factor player because he can just go up higher than anybody on the field to get the ball. The off-field book, however, is a major question. He was booted from one program because of off-field transgressions, and he'll have no fun with the interview process as teams get answers about his past and maturity. But talent like this is hard to pass on.

Ereck Flowers
Cleveland Browns (7-9)
COLLEGE: Miami (FL)
Class: Jr
HT: 6-6
WT: 325
POS: OT
Analysis: I can obviously see the Browns looking at a pass-catcher here given the issues they faced in 2014, when Josh Gordon was off the field (and when he was on it, for that matter), but I also think they know that if they can build a dominant offensive line and make Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell arguably the league's best two-headed running back attack, they'll be able to help stabilize the passing game and allow any QB to succeed. Flowers offers insurance for Joe Thomas and Mitchell Schwartz, and also at guard in a year after the injury to Alex Mack (and subsequent shuffling up front) was quietly devastating if you look at Cleveland's ability to run the ball. Anybody who assumes an O-line or D-line is in great shape without considering depth should watch what happen to the Browns when Mack went down.
20
Marcus Peters
Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
COLLEGE: Washington
Class: Jr
HT: 5-11
WT: 193
POS: CB
Analysis: I wouldn't say the Eagles were a total mess at cornerback last season, but Brandon Boykin was arguably the best performer for them, though that was in a little more than 500 snaps. They really need to add talent at the position, and, in that regard, Peters is arguably the best cornerback in the entire draft. He's strong, can press, has outstanding awareness and has big-time ball skills. His footwork can be sloppy, but that's a symptom of a guy with the talent to make up for it. Peters has question marks when it comes to coachability, as he was dismissed from the team at Washington. The draft process will tell us whether that's construed as "competitive" or "hard to deal with," but thereâ??s no question the kid can play.
21
Bud Dupree
Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1)
COLLEGE: Kentucky
Class: Sr
HT: 6-3
WT: 268
POS: OLB
Analysis: The Bengals had only the appearance of a rotation at defensive end in 2014 because while Carlos Dunlap is an effective player, the same can't be said for Wallace Gilberry (up and down) and Robert Geathers (safely below average), and they could really use more explosiveness in the pass rush. The team finished with just 20.0 sacks, way below where Marvin Lewis needs them to be. Dupree has quietly been one of the better pass-rushers in the SEC for three years and should show off big-time physical skills at the combine in February. If they want a better rotation and more pass rush, they can do a lot worse. He'd be a good fit in this system.
22
Kevin Johnson
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
COLLEGE: Wake Forest
Class: Sr
HT: 6-0
WT: 175
POS: CB
Analysis: The Steelers are long in the tooth at cornerback and need a player who can help early at that position (not an easy ask) but will get that kind of player if Johnson is still on the board here. Johnson has outstanding instincts and always seems to have a good idea of where the ball is going. He's got slightly above-average length and, while a lean guy, shows fearlessness as a tackler -- he's not shy about playing the run. The Steelers could also look for an edge player here coming off a season during which they had to call on James Harrison, but this is a sensible need pick.
23
Malcom Brown
Detroit Lions (11-5)
COLLEGE: Texas
Class: Sr
HT: 6-3
WT: 317
POS: DT
Analysis: Yes, there is some speculation that Detroit could franchise Ndamukong Suh or find a way to bring him back in free agency, but given other salary commitments, we know that's going to be tough. Fortunately for them, the defense around Suh improved in 2014 under the direction of Teryl Austin, and there exists the opportunity to find help at defensive tackle in the draft. Brown is one option. While he won't provide the same pass rush Suh does (few can), Brown is an absolute beast against the run and will hold the point of attack. Like Suh, he's also proven to be durable.
24
Melvin Gordon
Arizona Cardinals (11-5)
COLLEGE: Wisconsin
Class: Jr
HT: 6-0
WT: 207
POS: RB
Analysis: There have been exactly zero running backs selected in the first round over the past two drafts, but Gordon is certainly worthy of breaking that streak. The Cardinals front office has done a great job piecing together this roster, as evidenced by the fact that they were as competitive as they were given the health problems at quarterback, and while Gordon might sound like a luxury pick, he's really not if you consider how much explosiveness was lost when Andre Ellington got hurt. If you rely on a player such as Ellington, it's good to have another player like him. Gordon is that -- only better. Ultra-explosive when he finds space, he runs with patience and vision and can outrun the field when he gets a crease, a big reason why he averaged 7.5 yards per carry even when everybody knew he was getting the ball. He's just what this offense needs, assuming they get back a healthy Carson Palmer.
25
Andrus Peat
Carolina Panthers (7-8-1)
COLLEGE: Stanford
Class: Jr
HT: 6-6
WT: 315
POS: OT
Analysis: It's not really overstating it to say the Panthers' pass protection was absolute garbage in 2014. And if you assume they will make a commitment to Cam Newton this offseason, they'll need to find a way not to take his durability for granted in constructing the offensive line, because even Newton can't hold up forever with this kind of blocking. Peat is a still-improving blocker in every facet, but he has as much upside as any tackle in the draft, has great bloodlines and if you really go through his games this season, you'll see he did a great job of keeping his quarterback clean. I don't see him as a rookie starter at left tackle, but I see him as an eventual one.
26
Devin Funchess
Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
COLLEGE: Michigan
Class: Jr
HT: 6-4
WT: 235
POS: WR
Analysis: It's not really fair to call Funchess a tight end based on where he typically lines up, but at more than 6-foot-4 and at about 235 pounds with the ability to simply overpower most cornerbacks, he's not exactly a flanker, either. What I'd call him is a perpetual matchup problem, a guy you can move around, with the quickness to run crisp routes and easily create space if linebackers try to cover him and enough size to make cornerbacks have to go through him for the ball. Joe Flacco can use a weapon like Funchess, as could Gary Kubiak, assuming he passes on any other overtures.
27
Jordan Phillips
Dallas Cowboys (12-4)
COLLEGE: Oklahoma
Class: Soph
HT: 6-5
WT: 334
POS: DT
Analysis: The Dallas defensive line held up reasonably well this season with merely OK talent, but a lot of that had to do with how much the efficient offense was able to keep it off the field and fresh. The unit isn't going to simply get better unless it adds more talent. Phillips is still pretty raw, but he's got tremendous upside. At 6-foot-6, when you see him run you can barely fathom that he's carrying more than 330 pounds. Put a kid like this under the tutelage of Rod Marinelli and you could end up with something truly special. Dallas needs to prioritize defense in this draft after getting the offense where it needs to be, and Phillips is a reasonable upside play.
28
Benardrick McKinney
Denver Broncos (12-4)
COLLEGE: Mississippi State
Class: Jr
HT: 6-4
WT: 243
POS: ILB
Analysis: I thought Denver was pretty thin at linebacker coming into the 2014 season, and while Jack Del Rio did a pretty good job with the unit, a versatile, experienced linebacker such as McKinney could be an immediate help to a team I'd still categorize in as operating in "win-now" mode. The tall, rangy defender is a really good take-on player and provides a good pop when a blocker tries to engage him. He's also really good in tracking ball carriers and chasing down speedy players (run and pass) because he covers a lot of ground quickly. McKinney can come in and play, which is what Denver needs in the middle.
29
Jaelen Strong
Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
COLLEGE: Arizona State
Class: Jr
HT: 6-3
WT: 212
POS: WR
Analysis: The Colts have some good young targets in the passing game with T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief as well as the emerging Coby Fleener, but those players have also had consistency issues, and in the case of the receivers, neither can dominate with size alone. Reggie Wayne's future is uncertain, and Hakeem Nicks was more flash than regular substance this season. If Indy really wants to maximize Andrew Luck, I think they should consider a guy such as Strong if he's on the board at this point. This is a big-time matchup threat, arguably the best player in college football in 2014 if you grade on the combination of size and dominant ability at the catch point. The defensive line and offensive line could each use help, but both have made strides and Strong is a steal this far down the board. Video highlights
30
Eddie Goldman
Green Bay Packers (12-4)
COLLEGE: Florida State
Class: Jr
HT: 6-3
WT: 315
POS: DT
Analysis: While I think Goldman's potential still outpaces the tape, he has plenty of it and could be a versatile help for the defensive line on a team that has struggled defending the run in particular. Where Goldman can be special is as a gap eater who also flashes pretty impressive quickness. In other words, he's the guy who doesn't always stand out on tape because he's not getting into the backfield, though players around him probably are. If Goldman was a little more disruptive and able to penetrate a bit more, it would be hard to see him fall past No. 20. If he reaches his potential, he could be a steal here, not to mention a great fit.
31
Sammie Coates
New England Patriots (12-4)
COLLEGE: Auburn
Class: Jr
HT: 6-2
WT: 200
POS: WR
Analysis: Arguably the best athlete in all of college football, Coates isn't huge at 6-foot-1 and a little more 200 pounds, but he's a guy who can run in the 4.3 range in the 40, is exceptionally strong for his size (it shows on contested catches) and is a player who can create big plays out of very little. He averaged more than 21 yards per catch in 2014 and is the kind of player whom safeties have to be wary of. In other words, when he's not making space for himself with the ball in his hands, he can create it for others. The Patriots have the ultimate matchup threat at tight end. And while it's not their style to look here, they could use one at wide receiver.
32
Devin Smith
Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
COLLEGE: Ohio State
Class: Sr
HT: 6-0
WT: 199
POS: WR
Analysis: I was between two players here -- Smith and cornerback Jalen Collins of LSU. The injury to Seahawks receiver Paul Richardson has me leaning toward Smith, a good size/speed combination at wide receiver and one of the better deep threats in college football, a guy fully capable of making contested catches down the field (as anybody who saw him against either Alabama or Oregon can attest to). It's likely that Richardsonâ??s recovery from ACL surgery could him out well into the 2015 season, and Seattle is going to need to add pass-catching talent either through free agency (they do have to pay the quarterback, remember) or the draft that can play, and Smith is a guy who would fit.
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Fowler has size that Beasley doesn't, but neither are very tall at 6'2". If thier arm lengths are short or average, NFL OT's will be able to get thier hands into them much easier, which would be a big problem. If Sherff is there and is as good as I am hearing...drafting him would dramatically help our run game, which in turn helps our D. Our O line might just become the strength of our team (if our center position gets resolved thru either our incumbents or FA).

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