NFL Mock Draft 2015: 1st-Round Projections for Coveted Prospects' Landing Spots

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2015

Georgia running back Todd Gurley (3) breaks into the open against Auburn in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

The 2015 NFL draft could very well end up being one of the most memorable from an entertainment perspective. A lot of things remain up in the air, including potential trades, which could lead to a lot of action throughout the first round.

Even if no major deals end up getting done, the uncertainty surrounding how things will play out is still high. It starts with the Tennessee Titans at No. 2 and continues throughout the opening round. There are more questions than answers, even at this stage.

Perhaps that's because this class features more depth than top-end talent. So there aren't quite as many obvious picks as is the case for most years. Let's check out a mock draft of Round 1 with one possible scenario for how the selections will play out.

First-Round Mock Draft

2015 NFL Draft: Round 1 Mock
1Tampa Bay BuccaneersJameis Winston, QB, Florida State
2Tennessee TitansMarcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
3Jacksonville JaguarsDante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida
4Oakland RaidersAmari Cooper, WR, Alabama
5Washington RedskinsLeonard Williams, DL, USC
6New York JetsBrandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
7Chicago BearsKevin White, WR, West Virginia
8Atlanta FalconsVic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
9New York GiantsAndrus Peat, OT, Stanford
10St. Louis RamsAlvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky
11Minnesota VikingsTrae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
12Cleveland BrownsDanny Shelton, DT, Washington
13New Orleans SaintsArik Armstead, DE, Oregon
14Miami DolphinsDeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
15San Francisco 49ersMalcom Brown, DT, Texas
16Houston TexansLa'el Collins, OT, LSU
17San Diego ChargersTodd Gurley, RB, Georgia
18Kansas City ChiefsDorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri
19Cleveland Browns (from BUF)Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
20Philadelphia EaglesMarcus Peters, CB, Washington
21Cincinnati BengalsLandon Collins, SS, Alabama
22Pittsburgh SteelersKevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
23Detroit LionsRandy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
24Arizona CardinalsMelvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
25Carolina PanthersT.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
26Baltimore RavensBreshad Perriman, WR, UCF
27Dallas CowboysOwamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA
28Denver BroncosEreck Flowers, OT, Miami (Fla.)
29Indianapolis ColtsShane Ray, DE, Missouri
30Green Bay PackersEric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
31New Orleans Saints (from SEA)Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
32New England PatriotsShaq Thompson, LB, Washington
Mock Draft

Most of the attention is spent on the prospects coming off of the board early in the first round, with the likes of Leonard Williams, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Still, as previously mentioned, this is a class with a good amount of depth.

That means teams picking at the back end of the round, and even into Round 2, should be able to get solid value. They likely will not be top-end talents but players capable of stepping in quickly and filling a void for a team that hopes to contend.

With that in mind, let's examine three noteworthy picks from the second half of the mock.

Notable Bottom-Half Selections

17. San Diego Chargers: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

Todd Gurley's stock was already on the rise even before his clean medical checks. Now, the question is how high the running back may climb. It's an interesting debate considering we're in an era when teams have become hesitant to invest heavily at the position.

Still, the top-end talents can still make a major impact, and the Georgia product has a chance to reach that upper echelon. Todd McShay of ESPN had a mock draft with him going sixth overall to the New York Jets. Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports confirmed the buzz around him:

Charles Robinson @CharlesRobinson

There's a reason why Todd Gurley is high on @McShay13 mock draft. And it's because that's where #NFL guys are moving Gurley now. Up. Up. Up.

While that's certainly possible, it still seems a bit high. Even with the medical clearance, he's coming off of a major knee injury before stepping onto an NFL field. It does bring some extra risk into the equation, especially if he lands inside the top 10.

If those predictions don't come to fruition, the Chargers still seem like a good fit at No. 17. The team has a clear long-term need at the running back position but has enough depth, led by Branden Oliver, to bring Gurley along slowly, if necessary.

18. Kansas City Chiefs: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri

No prospect has a more uncertain draft stock than Green-Beckham. He's a raw talent with a history of off-field problems. On the flip side, he's an outstanding athlete capable of becoming a No. 1 target with some coaching, development and experience.

To his credit, he's handled the draft process professionally. Actions are always going to speak louder than words, but he's tried to shift the focus to a better future. Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun passed along some comments about that outlook from the talented wideout.

"All the decisions I made, I wish I could take it back. It happened, I was young, I made mistakes, I understand that," Green-Beckham said. "I just want to focus on one thing, and look forward to just this draft and focus on being the best I can be."

Quite simply, how teams viewed his effort to begin the process of establishing a new identity is unclear. That's why his stock is a mystery. All it takes is one team to fall in love with his skill set to see him come off of the board early.

The Chiefs are a team in serious need of more talent on the outside. They failed to record a single receiving touchdown from a wide receiver last season. Jeremy Maclin will help, but Green-Beckham is still intriguing given what he could become in a few years.

31. New Orleans Saints (from SEA): Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota

The New Orleans Saints received this selection from the Seattle Seahawks in the blockbuster Jimmy Graham trade. What the team hasn't done is filled the void left by the Pro Bowl tight end. Perhaps Williams can change that and really bring the deal full circle.

He's the type of target who's going to do a lot of good work on third down and in the red zone. He's capable of winning one-on-one battles with ease. He also made a habit of making some highlight-reel grabs at Minnesota, as noted by Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus:

Sam Monson @PFF_Sam

Lot of people claim Maxx Williams doesn't really do anything exceptionally. Seen him make a bunch of exceptional catches.

Josh Hill and Ben Watson are the main two options on the New Orleans roster at tight end. Hill has flashed some potential in limited action, and Watson is a reliable veteran. It's far from a sure thing that they could combine to replace Graham.

Adding Williams should give the Saints more confidence in the position. It's important given how much quarterback Drew Brees leaned on his former tight end in those aforementioned key situations. He's the best one available in this class.