2015 NFL mock draft: Pass-rusher frenzy early

The NFL free agency period is underway, and the moves are coming fast and furious. It is a tremendous time to be a football fan, watching teams spend and acquire players at the speed of light. Soon, the major names will all be locked up and the attention will turn to the next big moment on the sports calendar.

On April 30, fans will get revved up once more when the 2015 NFL Draft begins. With a litany of talent available, where will each team go? Let’s look at an up-to-date mock draft from picks 1-16, including a trade.

Picks 17-32 can be seen here.

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

The NFL is about quarterbacks, and Winston has the chance to be a dynamic player.

2. Tennessee Titans – Leonard Williams, DT, USC

Williams is the best bet for a stud on defense in this draft, and gives Tennessee a formidable duo with Jurrell Casey.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida

Fowler is a pass-rusher who will provide Gus Bradley with a freak athlete off the edge and in coverage.

4. Oakland Raiders – Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

The Raiders need a weapon for Derek Carr, and White has elite speed. Oakland has always loved burners.

5. Washington Redskins – Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Washington must add to a bad defense, and Gregory is a great compliment to Ryan Kerrigan.

6. Philadelphia Eagles (via trade with New York Jets) – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

Chip Kelly is clearly all in, and will find a way to get Mariota. My guess? He overwhelms the Jets with a deal.

7. Chicago Bears – Danny Shelton, NT, Washington

Shelton is a huge anchor on the line and will immediately make Chicago’s inside linebackers better.

8. Atlanta Falcons – Bud Dupree, DE, Kentucky

Dupree is a terrific 4-3 end who can get after the quarterback. No team needs more help in that department than the Falcons.

9. New York Giants – Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

The Giants must protect Eli Manning better, and Scherff can immediately come in and play either tackle or guard.

10. St. Louis Rams – Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Cooper is the most well-rounded receiver in the draft, and gives Nick Foles a great weapon to work with.

11. Minnesota Vikings – DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

Teddy Bridgewater needs a dangerous target, and Parker fits the bill. Greg Jennings is also a fantastic mentor.

12. Cleveland Browns – Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

Cleveland wants a receiver, but the best player available here is Beasley. Under Mike Pettine, Beasley is a good fit.

13. New Orleans Saints – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

Waynes is the best corner available, and the Saints need to replace Patrick Robinson on their porous defense.

14. Miami Dolphins – Ereck Flowers, OG, Miami (Fl)

The Dolphins must fix the offense, and Flowers can provide help along the line. Miami needs another player there.

15. San Francisco 49ers – Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

San Francisco is rebuilding, and Ray would be a perfect fit opposite Aldon Smith. Ray can get after the quarterback.

16. Houston Texans – Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

After cutting Andre Johnson, the Texans need to invest in a receiver. Strong is a big-bodied athlete who can make plays.

Matt Verderame

About Matt Verderame

Matt Verderame, 26, is a New Yorker who went to school at the frozen tundra of SUNY Oswego. After graduating, Verderame has worked for Gannett and SB Nation among other ventures.

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