With four teams still alive in the playoffs, the actual draft order for the first 28 selections of this year's draft is set.
The final four picks, however, will be based on how the remaining teams fare in this weekend's Conference Championship Games and then Super Bowl XLIX. In other words, the Super Bowl winner will have the 32nd pick, the Super Bowl runner-up will have the 31st pick, et cetera.
[Note: Future updates will be posted on our main 2015 NFL Mock Draft page.]
With that said, here is my projection for the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft:
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Draft History): Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Although the NFL Draft is more than three months away, it appears that the Bucs will select a quarterback with the first overall pick. Over the next three months, however, there will plenty of debate on whether it should be Mariota or Florida State's Jameis Winston as that pick.
If the decision were purely based on the field, the selection would almost certainly be Winston. And while the pick still may be Winston, there are plenty of questions about his maturity off the field. With Mariota, there are absolutely no questions about his character.
There will naturally be some questions about Mariota's ability to transition from Oregon's spread offense to a pro-style system, however. That said, Mariota possesses good size, a strong arm to stretch the field and difference-making mobility for the position in addition to impeccable intangibles.
Over the course of his collegiate career, Mariota threw for 10,796 yards, rushed for 2,237 yards and accounted for 136 touchdowns -- 105 passing, 29 rushing and two receiving -- with only 14 interceptions.
2. Tennessee Titans (Draft History): Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Media reports suggest that the Titans could go in a different direction assuming that they believe ex-LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger could be their long-term solution -- or at least get a chance to try to prove that he's their long-term solution at the position.
Winston has all of the tools to be a franchise-changing quarterback -- size, strong arm, accuracy, football intelligence, on-the-field leadership, etc. Although he lost his final collegiate game, Winston helped lead the Seminoles to wins in 26 of 27 games.
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3. Jacksonville Jaguars (Draft History): Leonard Williams, DL, USC
Drawing a ton of favorable comparisons to players like J.J. Watt, Gerald McCoy and Richard Seymour, Williams is a disruptive force along the line of the scrimmage. While defensive line may be one of the relative strengths of the Jaguars, Williams is arguably the top prospect in this year's draft class.
4. Oakland Raiders (Draft History): Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
The Raiders have found their quarterback of the future with last year's second-round pick Derek Carr, but one of their focuses in free agency and/or the draft should be to improve the weapons around him. As Alabama's first Biletnikoff winner in school history, Cooper finished with 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns, all of which ranked first or second in the nation this season.
5. Washington Redskins (Draft History): Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
Outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan are set for unrestricted free agency in 2015 and 2016, respectively. If they are unable to re-sign one or both, adding a difference maker like Gregory would make a ton of sense here. Either way, you'll never hear a general manager complain of having too many talented pass-rushers.
6. New York Jets (Draft History): Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri
Ideally for the Jets, one (or both) of the top-two quarterback prospects will slip to them here. If not, they get an explosive edge rusher in Ray, who ranked third in the country with 14.5 sacks this season. Current starting outside linebackers -- Quinton Coples and Calvin Pace -- are both due to become free agents after the 2015 season and Pace turns 35 in October.
7. Chicago Bears (Draft History): Landon Collins, S, Alabama
One of the biggest disappointments in the NFL this season, the Bears have plenty of holes to address and could go in a number of different directions. Not only are upgrades needed in their secondary, but starting safeties Chris Conte and Ryan Mundy are scheduled for free agency in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
8. Atlanta Falcons (Draft History): Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
One of the best pass rushers in this year's draft class, Beasley has a total of 25.0 sacks and 44.5 tackles for loss in 26 games over the past two seasons combined. Only the Bengals (20) have generated fewer sacks this season than the Falcons (22), who had the third-fewest last season as well.
9. New York Giants (Draft History): Alvin "Bud" Dupree, DE, Kentucky
The Giants had just 34 sacks in 2013, but they finished fourth in the league with 47 sacks this season. The majority of the 13-sack difference can be attributed to the bounce-back season of Jason Pierre-Paul, who had 12.5 sacks in 2014 after getting only 2.0 in the previous season. That said, Pierre-Paul is due to hit free agency in March.
If the Giants are unable to re-sign JPP, adding a pass-rusher would make sense to fill at least part of the void. Either way, a strong pass rush has long been one of the staples of successful Giants teams. A former tight end, Dupree is a freak athlete with a 40.5-inch vertical and 11-foot broad jump at 6-foot-4 and 264 pounds. Over the past three seasons, Dupree has 21.0 sacks and 34.5 tackles for loss.
10. St. Louis Rams (Draft History): Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
Even after selecting Greg Robinson with the second overall pick last year, offensive line is still one of the units in needs of upgrades and reinforcements. The Rams ranked in the bottom 10 of both run blocking (-55.1) and pass blocking (-27.5) grades from PFF last season.
11. Minnesota Vikings (Draft History): Devante Parker, WR, Louisville
A broken foot sidelined Parker for the first seven games of the season, but the 6-foot-3 wideout finished with a 43/855/5 line in just six games. NFL.com's Jeremiah compared Parker to Keenan Allen saying Parker is "smooth, physical & has outstanding instincts/ball skills."
12. Cleveland Browns (Draft History): Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
The highs and lows with Josh Gordon have been extremely high (no pun intended) and extremely low. Suspended by the league for the first 10 games of last season, Gordon was also suspended by the club for their regular-season finale. And based on reports from beat writers, the sense is that Gordon won't be back in 2015.
With two first-round picks in this year's draft, it would only make sense for one of them to be used on a receiver given the uncertainty surrounding Gordon whether he's back with the club or not. White has the speed, size and ball skills to be a difference maker and NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah recently tweeted that White was his top-ranked receiver while also comparing him to Julio Jones.
13. New Orleans Saints (Draft History): Dante Fowler, DE/OLB, Florida
Bad against both the run (29th in the NFL) and pass (25th), the Saints allowed the second-most yards (384.0 per game) in the NFL and fifth-most points (26.5 per game). They also struggled to get to the quarterback as they finished in the bottom eight in sacks (34). A versatile player with a non-stop motor, Fowler led Florida in tackles for loss (15.0), sacks (8.5) and QB hurries (17).
14. Miami Dolphins (Draft History): Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington
Not only has he played defensive back and linebacker in his collegiate career, Thompson also rushed for 100-plus yards in back-to-back games against Colorado and UCLA this season. Not surprisingly, Thompson won the Paul Hornung Award as college football's most versatile player. While he may get the 'tweener label, Thompson is an outstanding athlete that is solid against the run as well as in pass coverage and rushing the passer.
15. San Francisco 49ers (Draft History): Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
With Michael Crabtree about to enter free agency and 34-year-old Anquan Boldin set to enter the final season of his contract, the 49ers could use this pick on a receiver. Off-the-field issues led to his dismissal from Mizzou (and subsequent transfer to Oklahoma), but Green-Beckham has as much physical talent as any receiver in this year's draft class.
16. Houston Texans (Draft History): Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
In terms of defensive units, the secondary was the team's weak link last year. In addition, starting cornerbacks Kareem Jackson and Johnathan Joseph are set to become unrestricted free agents in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Given the character concerns of Marcus Peters, who was kicked off Washington's football team, Waynes could end up being the first cornerback off the board in this year's draft.
-> Continue to picks 17-32
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