2015 NFL Draft: Mid-April First Round Mock

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

1. player. 48. As with all my previous mocks, Jameis Winston leads the class. I’m not buying any talk that suggests the Buccaneers select Mariota, as it seems Winston is the more NFL-ready prospect (at least on the field, but maybe not off it <a href=. Quarterback. Florida State. Jameis Winston

35. As <a href=. Defensive Tackle. Southern California. Leonard Williams. 2. player

52. Trading down makes the most sense for the Jaguars. It would allow them to select a player who better fits their system while also gaining extra selections, which is great for a team that is building a roster. A trade back would allow justify the selection of a player like Alvin Dupree or Arik Armstead who are more natural 4-3 defensive ends. Dante Fowler Jr. could play this same position, but is more natural as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Either way, the Jaguars should end up benefitting from the #3 selection.. Linebacker. Florida. Dante Fowler Jr.. 3. player

28. Many pundits believe Kevin White is the selection here over Amari Cooper, but I’m sticking with my original prediction. Cooper just seems more refined and versatile to me, which helps build a receiving core. A caveat to this selection is the possibility of a trade. The Raiders like Leonard Williams and could try to trade up for him. Also, due to the depth of this receiving class, the Raiders could trade down and still get Cooper, White, or one of the other receivers who don a first round billing.. Wide Receiver. Alabama. Amari Cooper. 4. player

Oregon. Marcus Mariota. 6. player. 30. The Jets are an interesting pick to me. I’m sticking with Marcus Mariota here, but, as a Bengals fan, am envisioning a Bengals draft circa 2011. The Jets could utilize this pick on another position (and potentially better prospect) while then selecting Bryce Petty at the top of the second round. Both Petty and Mariota would need a year to develop, so the Jets wouldn’t be putting themselves out by selecting Petty over Mariota. For now I’m sticking with Mariota, but that could be subject to change over the next couple of weeks.. Quarterback

57. Changing to a 3-4 defense means the Bears need to start adding players who fit the system. None may be better than Vic Beasley. New defensive coordinator Vic Fangio gets his next devastating outside linebacker at pick seven. Beasley will help pressure <strong><a href=. Linebacker. Clemson. Vic Beasley. 7. player

Alvin Dupree. 8. player. 44. Alvin Dupree is the type of 4-3 defensive end who could improve a lacking pass rush. He’s an athletic freak who possesses the kind of versatility that could allow him to play 4-3 strong side linebacker as well. Dan Quinn knows what he’s doing with a defense and should have plenty of fun utilizing Dupree in multiple ways. These two are a great match for one another.. Defensive End. Kentucky

Next: Selections 9-16

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