You’ve done it, NFL mock draft. You’ve finally broken me into making big changes.
It took weeks — months, even — to get me to break regarding my NFL mock draft. Sorry, Cleveland Browns fans who are hoping that the team somehow ends April 30 with one of the top to-be rookie quarterbacks in this draft class. It is not happening, or at least it isn’t with under one week to go before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell makes his way to the podium to get booed by fans who want to know what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to do with the first overall pick.
Spoiler alert. The Bucs do what everybody says the team should do, and thank goodness for it.
2015 NFL mock draft 7.0
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: QB Jameis Winston, Florida State
The crab legs debacle has been put in the books forever. Keep your NFL mock draft as is, everybody.
2. Tennessee Titans: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
It is one thing to remain true to your NFL mock draft. It is another to ignore the writing on the wall. Unless the Titans get a great offer, they find themselves unable to resist Mariota.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: LB Dante Fowler, Florida
Word out there is that the Jaguars have Fowler as the top player on the team’s big board regardless of what happens with the first two picks in the draft. I’ll stick with this prediction for now.
4. Oakland Raiders: DT Leonard Williams, Southern California
Would the Raiders love to get an offensive player here? Sure. Would Oakland pass on Williams if he falls to fourth? I can’t see it.
5. Washington Redskins: LB Vic Beasley, Clemson
The changing vibe in this NFL mock draft is that no offensive lineman is right now a top-five pick. Thus, Beasley heads to Washington.
6. New York Jets: DE Alvin Dupree, Kentucky
This could change to Shane Ray by the time my final NFL mock draft comes out.
7. Chicago Bears: WR Amari Cooper, Alabama
The word is out that the wide receivers in this draft class are not equal to the play-makers from a year ago. Cooper falling to seventh is a huge get for the Bears.
8. Atlanta Falcons: DE Shane Ray, Missouri
Atlanta needs the help on the defensive front. Could they take a chance on Randy Gregory?
9. New York Giants: OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa
I have been inconsistent with the Giants in my NFL mock draft because of the team’s knack for taking the best player available. The Giants get their man if Scherff falls here.
10. St. Louis Rams: WR Kevin White, West Virginia
White is too good to pass up with the tenth overall pick; or at least the Rams hope that will be the case.
11. Minnesota Vikings: WR DeVante Parker, Louisville
Reports out there have suggested that the Vikings are high on cornerback Trae Waynes. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who played with Parker at Louisville, may have something to say about that.
12. Cleveland Browns: DT Danny Shelton
All of the smokescreens the Browns are putting out there have me believing Shelton is the top man on their draft board with pick No. 12. Shelton would be a good get for the lackluster Cleveland run defense.
13. New Orleans Saints: OT Andrus Peat, Stanford
Drew Brees isn’t going anywhere, and he isn’t doing much of anything if the New Orleans o-line can’t keep the future Hall-of-Fame QB on his feet.
14. Miami Dolphins: RB Todd Gurley, Georgia
I don’t love the idea of predicting that a running back who is coming off of a knee injury will go this early in a NFL mock draft. I also cannot pretend that what I am hearing and reading is inaccurate.
15. San Francisco 49ers: CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State
Spin the wheel as is pertains to who the Niners will take. The team needs all kinds of help.
16. Houston Texans: DE Randy Gregory, Nebraska
Houston can afford to take the chance on the talented player who had better learn what he can and can’t smoke.
17. San Diego Chargers: RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
You will rarely find a NFL mock draft that has Gurley falling to the Chargers these days. Still, San Diego needs to bolster this position.
18. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State
Strong’s draft stock has been an up-and-down ride over the past month. The Browns don’t get him this time around.
19. Cleveland Browns: OT La’el Collins, LSU
The Browns get stronger on both fronts in my updated NFL mock draft. Plan that parade, everybody.
For more: Last week’s NFL mock draft
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.