It has admittedly been too long since my latest NFL mock draft, and that largely has to do with apathy. Things have gotten so dull regarding the current state of the Cleveland Browns that current National Football League rumors that mention the club seemingly have to do with hearing news “from somebody who knows a woman who once had dinner with the cousin of an agent.”
Or something close to that.
Why all the confusion? Why all the rumors that, if national pundits are to be believed, are baseless? Why all the secrecy? The answer to those questions is about as simple as those of you who have followed the current Browns regime can guess: Nobody within the Cleveland front office who has any real knowledge of the situation is talking, and that leaves reporters and bloggers desperate for page views clinging to any hot takes even if those reports are not to be believed.
2015 NFL Mock Draft 5.0
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: QB Jameis Winston, Florida State
Some out there per their new NFL mock drafts want to believe that Winston would not go first if the actual draft was held today. What say you to those individuals, Dr. Cox?
2. Tennessee Titans: DT Leonard Williams, Southern California
Somebody at the Titans wants the public to believe the club is high on Marcus Mariota. The ploy doesn’t work in this NFL mock draft.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: LB Dante Fowler, Florida
I like the idea of the Jaguars trading down to a team that wants Mariota. Jacksonville needs the extra bodies. I just can’t get there quite yet.
4. Oakland Raiders: WR Amari Cooper Alabama
Kevin White could have the skills to pay the bills, but I still don’t understand why you would have him ahead of Cooper in a latest NFL mock draft.
5. Washington Redskins: OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa
Washington needs help on both sides of the football, but the club has to see what it has in quarterback Robert Griffin III. That means keeping him on his feet in 2015.
6. New York Jets: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
The Jets have no choice but to grab Mariota if he is available here. None, whatsoever.
7. Chicago Bears: WR Kevin White, West Virginia
The days of the Bears being linked with a defensive lineman in my NFL mock draft are gone. Chicago’s offense needs weapons.
8. Atlanta Falcons: OLB Vic Beasley, Clemson
I had been worried about a team reaching to get Beasley in the upcoming NFL Draft. He is good value for the Falcons here.
9. New York Giants: DE Shane Ray, Missouri
Sorry, Eli Manning, but the Giants cannot help but take a top pass-rusher. Good luck trying to not get killed during games.
10. St. Louis Rams: OT Andrus Peat, Stanford
The loss of Jake Long leaves the Rams once again looking to bolster the offensive line.
11. Minnesota Vikings: WR DeVante Parker, Louisville
I cannot fathom that the Vikings would let Parker get away here.
12. Cleveland Browns: DT Danny Shelton, Washington
There is one scenario that has the Browns not drafting Shelton: If he is not available here. Shelton checks all of the boxes in that he is a top-rated defensive player who will be coveted by Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine, and he is the run-stopper that the Browns desperately need. Shelton does have top-ten talent, and he could be quite the get for the Browns here.
13. New Orleans Saints: DE Alvin Dupree, Kentucky
The Saints are a mess and need help all over the roster. You could reasonably have Dupree in the top-ten of your NFL mock draft right now.
14. Miami Dolphins: WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State
The Dolphins need a replacement for Mike Wallace, and the draft stock of Dorial Green-Beckham remains a mystery.
15. San Francisco 49ers: DE Randy Gregory, Nebraska
San Francisco can take the risk on the boom-or-bust player of this draft. The Niners aren’t winning much in 2015, anyway.
16. Houston Texans: DT Malcom Brown, Texas
That Houston defensive line could be downright terrifying in 2015.
17. San Diego Chargers: RB Todd Gurley, Georgia
Some team out there is going to pull the trigger on this move. Why not San Diego?
18. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State
I’m struggling to buy into the cornerbacks in this class in my NFL mock draft. With that said, Waynes could be a fantastic value pick for the Chiefs here.
19. Cleveland Browns: OT Ereck Flowers, Miami
For the second time in the first round, the Browns get a steal on the team’s overall big board. I once had Flowers in the top-ten of my NFL mock draft, but he slips largely due to teams having other needs. Fans won’t be rushing downtown to get jerseys after the first round in 2015, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Zac has been covering the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and National Football League for a variety of websites since 2006. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America.