2015 NFL Draft: April First-Round Mock Draft

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This year’s NFL draft will be held in Chicago, Illinois. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL draft kicks off in four weeks. With much of free agency in the rearview and many Pro Days having been completed, the draft outlook is starting to come into focus. Several picks seem to be predetermined while several other selections remain in flux including the Bengals’ pick.

The first round of this year’s NFL draft could be filled with trades, which only adds to the intrigue. The Eagles have been long rumored as a team who could potentially trade up in an effort to select Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. It could mean a trade with the Jaguars, Redskins, or Jets.

Regardless of what happens, the NFL draft should continue to hold its typical intrigue, as fans gear up to see how their respective teams choose to improve their rosters. Bengals fans should be particularly intrigued considering the team will likely choose the “best player available” in the first round yet again. But this doesn’t mean logic won’t play into the decision at all. The Bengals do have several needs that could be ameliorated in the first round. Before I give away the selection, let’s take a few minutes to see how the first round could play out.

Mar 31, 2015; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Jameis Winston throws a pass as NfL scouts watch during FSU Football Pro Day at the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Sticking with the same logic here as in previous drafts, the pick just seems obvious at this point. <strong><a href=. Quarterback. Florida State. Jameis Winston. 1. player. 48

35. Sticking to my guns here as I believe the Titans will pass on Marcus Mariota who is clearly a highly talented quarterback, yet will need time to develop. <p>With this in mind, why would the Titans take a quarterback who’ll need a year to develop when that’s what they have with <strong><a href=. Defensive Tackle. Southern California. Leonard Williams. 2. player

Florida. Dante Fowler Jr.. 3. player. 52. The Jaguars likely entertain trade options until the clock strikes 0:00 on draft day. Yet, if forced to select a player the fact is <strong><a href=. Linebacker

player. 28. Oakland’s defense is improving, but the offense needs help. Selecting just about anywhere could help, but finding a talent like <a href=. Wide Receiver. Alabama. Amari Cooper. 4

Although I want to bring some diversity to this selection, it simply seems like the way to go. Giving the offense a new face of the future seems right, though I would caution against expecting it in the coming season. <a href=. Quarterback. Oregon. Marcus Mariota. 6. player. 30

57. After signing <strong><a href=. Defensive End. Missouri. Shane Ray. 7. player

44. <strong><a href=. Defensive End. Kentucky. Alvin Dupree. 8. player

Next: Selections 9-16