NFL Draft 2015: Risers and Fallers in Experts' Latest Mock Predictions

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJanuary 20, 2015

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Defensive lineman Arik Armstead
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The outlook of the NFL draft is always changing. 

Whether it's the Senior Bowl, the East-West Shrine Game, the scouting combine, pro days or just a random lunch meeting where an NFL general manager decides to change his mind, prospects are constantly moving up and down draft boards. 

The same goes for pundits, who are consistently doing more research and altering their evaluations of players. Even with no more college football games to be played, players' draft stocks are going to continue to rise and fall drastically over the next few months. 

That said, let's take a look at the most recent expert mock drafts, as well as some of those players who are already seeing the biggest changes in perceived value.


Latest 2015 NFL Expert Mock Drafts
PickDane Brugler, CBS Sports (Jan. 12)Dan Kadar, SB Nation (Jan. 19)Dan Hope, Bleacher Report (Jan. 18)Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN (Jan. 15)
1. Tampa Bay BuccaneersQB Jameis Winston, FSUQB Jameis Winston, FSUQB Marcus Mariota, OregonQB Jameis Winston, FSU
2. Tennessee TitansDE Randy Gregory, NebraskaQB Marcus Mariota, OregonDL Leonard Williams, USCQB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
3. Jacksonville JaguarsDL Leonard Williams, USCDL Leonard Williams, USCDE Dante Fowler, FloridaDL Leonard Williams, USC
4. Oakland RaidersWR Amari Cooper, AlabamaWR Amari Cooper, AlabamaWR Amari Cooper, AlabamaWR Amari Cooper, Alabama
5. Washington RedskinsDE Dante Fowler, FloridaOT Brandon Scherff, IowaOT Brandon Scherff, IowaDE Randy Gregory, Nebraska
6. New York JetsQB Marcus Mariota, OregonDE Randy Gregory, NebraskaDE Vic Beasley, ClemsonDE Shane Ray, Missouri
7. Chicago BearsDE Shane Ray, MissouriDE Dante Fowler, FloridaDE Randy Gregory, NebraskaSS Landon Collins, Alabama
8. Atlanta FalconsDE Vic Beasley, ClemsonDE Shane Ray, MissouriDE Shane Ray, MissouriDE Dante Fowler, Florida
9. New York GiantsOT Andrus Peat, StanfordOT La'el Collins, LSULB Shaq Thompson, WashingtonOT Brandon Scherff, Iowa
10. St. Louis RamsOT T.J. Clemmings, PittOT Ereck Flowers, MiamiQB Jameis Winston, Florida St.OT T.J. Clemmings, Pitt
11. Minnesota VikingsWR DeVante Parker, LouisvilleWR DeVante Parker, LouisvilleOT La'el Collins, LSUWR DeVante Parker, Louisville
12. Cleveland BrownsWR Kevin White, West VirginiaDE Vic Beasley, ClemsonWR DeVante Parker, LouisvilleDT Danny Shelton, Washington
13. New Orleans SaintsOT Brandon Scherff, IowaCB Trae Waynes, Michigan St.OLB Bud Dupree, KentuckyDE Vic Beasley, Clemson
14. Miami DolphinsOT La'el Collins, LSUDT Eddie Goldman, FSUSS Landon Collins, AlabamaLB Shaq Thompson, Washington
15. San Francisco 49ersDT Danny Shelton, WashingtonWR Kevin White, West VirginiaDT Malcom Brown, TexasWR Kevin White, West Virginia
16. Houston TexansCB Trae Waynes, Michigan St.LB Eric Kendricks, UCLATE Maxx Williams, MinnesotaCB Trae Waynes, Michigan St.
17. San Diego ChargersSS Landon Collins, AlabamaDT Danny Shelton, WashingtonOT Ereck Flowers, MiamiDL Arik Armstead, Oregon
18. Kansas City ChiefsLB Shaq Thompson, WashingtonWR Jaelen Strong, Arizona St.WR Kevin White, West VirginiaWR Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma
19. Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo)DT Malcom Brown, TexasOT T.J. Clemmings, PittDT Jordan Phillips, OklahomaOT Ereck Flowers, Miami
20. Philadelphia EaglesCB Marcus Peters, WashingtonCB Marcus Peters, WashingtonQB Brett Hundley, UCLACB Marcus Peters, Washington
21. Cincinnati BengalsDT Jordan Phillips, OklahomaOLB Bud Dupree, KentuckyDT Danny Shelton, WashingtonOLB Bud Dupree, Kentucky
22. Pittsburgh SteelersOLB Bud Dupree, KentuckySS Landon Collins, AlabamaCB Trae Waynes, Michigan St.CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest
23. Detroit LionsDT Eddie Goldman, FSUDT Malcom Brown, TexasDT Michael Bennett, Ohio StateDT Malcom Brown, Texas
24. Arizona CardinalsRB Melvin Gordon, WisconsinILB Benardrick McKinney, Miss. StateOLB Hau'oli Kikaha, WashingtonRB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
25. Carolina PanthersOT Ereck Flowers, MiamiOT Andrus Peat, StanfordOT Ty Sambrailo, Colorado St.OT Andrus Peat, Stanford
26. Baltimore RavensDL Arik Armstead, OregonWR Dorial Green-Beckham, OklahomaWR Jaelen Strong, Arizona St.WR Devin Funchess, Michigan
27. Dallas CowboysCB Quinten Rollins, Miami (OH)DT Jordan Phillips, OklahomaRB Melvin Gordon, WisconsinDT Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma
28. Denver BroncosTE Maxx Williams, MinnesotaLB Shaq Thompson, WashingtonOT T.J. Clemmings, PittILB Benardrick McKinney, Miss. State
29. Indianapolis ColtsWR Jaelen Strong, Arizona St.DL Arik Armstead, OregonFS Gerod Holliman, LouisvilleWR Jaelen Strong, Arizona St.
30. Green Bay PackersILB Benardrick McKinney, Miss. StateOT Ty Sambrailo, Colorado St.LB Denzel Perryman, MiamiDT Eddie Goldman, FSU
31. New England PatriotsWR Devin Funchess, MichiganRB Melvin Gordon, WisconsinOG A.J. Cann, South CarolinaWR Sammie Coates, Auburn
32. Seattle SeahawksWR Dorial Green-Beckham, OklahomaCB P.J. Williams, Florida St.RB Todd Gurley, GeorgiaWR Devin Smith, Ohio St.

Sources: CBS Sports' Dane BruglerSB Nation's Dan KadarBleacher Report's Dan HopeESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.

Note: Brugler has the Seahawks taking Dorial Green-Beckham at No. 31, and the Patriots taking Devin Funchess at No. 32.


Riser: Dante Fowler, DE, Florida

Even after recording three sacks against East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl, Dante Fowler's collegiate numbers are slightly underwhelming for a potential first-round pick: 37 games, 14.5 sacks. 

But while those numbers certainly don't jump off the page, don't let that fool you into thinking it was an unproductive career. Disruption is production, and Fowler was a nuisance who created constant pressure in the backfield. 

The 6'3", 260-pound beast has a tantalizing blend of speed and strength off the edge, but he has also showed incredible versatility, making plays anywhere from the outside to over the nose. He once looked like an early-teens selection, but now he's suddenly in contention to be the first edge-rusher taken off the board. 


Faller: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Say you wanted to make a 3D print of the perfect left tackle, because, you know, that's totally a normal thing to do.

Odds are, the model would look a lot like Andrus Peat, who stands at a massive 6'7" and 316 pounds. Combine that with solid athleticism, quick feet, long arms and tremendous strength, and he has everything needed to dominate in both the pass and run game. 

Cardinal head coach David Shaw offered up extraordinary praise, via's Bryan Fischer:

I don't know if there's been anybody else in our conference, in the last eight years, that is as good as Andrus Peat has been and can be. In my entire career, nine years in the NFL, the only offensive lineman that was a step above of where Andrus can be is Jonathan Ogdenone of the best tackles to ever play. Besides that special, special player, he's the most talented I've ever been around.

While the ideal frame and high talent level are unmistakable, though, he has shown some inconsistency, playing too upright and getting beat on occasion. It seems that lack of steady, dependable play has worried some pundits, as Kadar and Kiper each have him slipping to No. 25, while Hope has him falling out of the first round completely. 

With Ronnie Stanley pulling out of the draft and Cedric Ogbuehi tearing his ACL, it's hard to imagine Peat, one of the only prospects with upside as a franchise left tackle, slipping very far. But clearly, not everyone is convinced. 


Riser: Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon

Potential can be a tricky thing. While Peat seems to be drawing doubts for not yet reaching his upside, Arik Armstead is skyrocketing draft boards because of the kind of player many believe he can still become. 

There are few others in the draft quite like Armstead, who is basically a small tree at 6'8" and 275 pounds but also has the athleticism and mobility that helped him play basketball for a short time while at Oregon.

His package of size, length and power are tantalizing, but impressive physical traits don't always equal success in the NFL.

More importantly, he has shown a desire to improve, as Oregon defensive line coach Ron Aiken discussed, via's Rob Moseley:

"Arik matured greatly on and off the field during the past two seasons. He was a huge contributor to our success. He made himself into a student of the game, watching film and finding tips that assisted us in ballgames. He’s always searching for an edge."

Armstead has climbed into the first round in three of the above mock drafts, while's Daniel Jeremiah (not listed) slots him all the way up at No. 13.

Don't expect the hype to stop here. There's a good chance that after the combine, when the 275-pound giant potentially runs a sub-5.00 40-yard dash and shows off a basketball vertical, his stock will only continue to ascend. 


Faller: P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State

Mike Groll/Associated Press

P.J. Williams, who won Defensive MVP at the 2014 national championship, was pretty commonly mocked among the first 32 picks throughout the regular season, but he's really starting to slip. Only Kadar has him going on the first day, and that's at No. 32 to the Seattle Seahawks. 

There's no real obvious reason for the sudden decline. Williams was a bit inconsistent this season, but he usually played well for the Seminoles. He is a big, physical corner with the speed to make plays down the field and the versatility to play on the outside or in the slot. 

Jeremiah put it simply:

This is a fairly deep cornerback class, with Trae Waynes and Marcus Peters sitting atop most draft boards. However, with the league becoming increasingly focused on the passing game, and several teams in the late teens and early 20s needing secondary help, it's difficult to bet on Williams falling out of the first round. 


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