We're just one and a half week away from the NFL Draft, and so here's the third edition of my mock draft. A number of the picks stayed the same, but there were a number of them that changed as well - including the Indianapolis Colts' pick. So without further ado, here it is:
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Unless the Buccaneers learned something about Jameis Winson off-the-field that we don't know, the Florida State quarterback will be the first player taken. Without a doubt.
2. Tennessee Titans: Leonard Williams, DT, USC
This pick also stays the same, as the Titans take the draft's best defensive player (and perhaps best player period) in USC's Leonard Williams. If the Titans keep this pick, Williams should be the clear-cut choice, but I'm not convinced they'll actually keep the second overall pick as other teams try to trade up for Marcus Mariota. This mock doesn't factor in trades, however, so Williams is the pick here.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida
Once again, this pick stays the same. The Jaguars could use the pass rush help and Dante Fowler is one of the best players in this year's draft.
4. Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
There's no need to over think this pick, and the signing of Michael Crabtree shouldn't keep the Raiders from adding Amari Cooper in the first round. I still think Cooper is the draft's best receiver and that he's the best option for Oakland here.
5. Washington Redskins: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
One of the top pass rushers in the draft goes to a team that needs to add a player at the position. Vic Beasley is the pick here for the second straight week, and it makes a lot of sense.
6. New York Jets: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Again, this mock draft doesn't include trades, and so Marcus Mariota is grabbed by the New York Jets at number six overall. He has the potential to be the long-term quarterback that they've been trying to find for years.
7. Chicago Bears: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
While the first six picks in this week's mock draft stayed the same, there's a shakeup with the Bears at number seven. I still think that Danny Shelton could be a target for them here as they transition to a 3-4 defense, but they also need a wide receiver to pair with Alshon Jeffery and quarterback Jay Cutler. Kevin White is a very good wideout who should make an immediate impact in the Bears' passing game.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
I think it's clear that the Falcons need pass rush help and that will likely be a top target with new head coach Dan Quinn, and here they grab edge rusher Shane Ray. He would have a significant impact in the Falcons' defense and provide them pass rush that they've been lacking.
9. New York Giants: Brandon Scherff, OG, Iowa
The first offensive lineman off the board is Brandon Scherff, and the Giants could really use help up front to keep Eli Manning standing. Scherff seems like an ideal fit for the Giants here at number nine.
10. St. Louis Rams: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
The top two wide receivers are already off the board by this time, but the Rams make it three receivers in the top ten by drafting Louisville's DeVante Parker. The Rams look to surround new quarterback Nick Foles with as many weapons as possible, and Parker is a good one.
11. Minnesota Vikings: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
One of the top positions of need for the Vikings is cornerback, and this pick is made a bit easier for Minnesota thanks to three wide receivers already being taken. Instead of going that route, the Vikings add the draft's best cornerback in Trae Waynes to improve their secondary in Mike Zimmer's second year as head coach.
12. Cleveland Browns: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
With two first round picks in this year's draft and a lot of needs, the Browns are in position to significantly improve their team, and they should simply focus on taking some of the best players available. I think that Danny Shelton is one of the top guys left on the board here and he would really help a Browns' defense that struggled at times last year, particularly against the run.
13. New Orleans Saints: Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska
The Saints have made a number of moves this offseason, and they need to capitalize on their draft picks (including two first rounders) to improve their defense. Pass rush is a huge area of need for the Saints, and so they may be the beneficiary of Randy Gregory's off-field issues. They end his slide here and get a very good pass rusher in the process.
14. Miami Dolphins: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
I don't have a great feel for this pick with several top wideouts already off the board, but the Dolphins pick up a much needed starting running back by adding Todd Gurley. It's admittedly a little higher than most have him going, but he's an incredibly talented back who would really help Miami. They grab a running back at number 14.
15. San Francisco 49ers: Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon
One of the largest jumps in this week's mock draft, I think that this is pretty high for Armstead to go and I think it's a bit of a reach. But he has incredible athletic potential that surely appeals to a number of teams, and the 49ers should be looking to add a defensive lineman. Drafting Armstead would give them a player who could develop into a very good player if he continues to work.
16. Houston Texans: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
The more I watch Marcus Peters, the more I like him. If it weren't for off-the-field questions, I think he'd be the first cornerback taken in the draft, as he's a very talented guy and a very good football player. That would make a nice add for most teams, but the Texans grab him here - surely in part hoping that he can help slow down T.Y. Hilton twice a year.
17. San Diego Chargers: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
With Todd Gurley already off the board, that opens the Chargers up to a few options at this pick, but I think they stick with the running back position by adding the other first round-worthy back in Melvin Gordon. He would be a nice complement to their offense, and while not as good of a prospect as Gurley, he's still a good back who would certainly help San Diego.
18. Kansas City Chiefs: Cameron Erving, C, Florida State
This pick stays the same - the Chiefs need a center and Cameron Erving is unquestionably the best center in the draft. He would be an immediate upgrade for Kansas City.
19. Cleveland Browns (from Buffallo Bills): La'El Collins, OL, LSU
Like I mentioned with the Browns' first pick, it's all about value for Cleveland in this draft. They should often look to the best player available, and with La'El Collins sliding to the 19th pick, he's the best value grab at this point. Not only is he a good player, however, the Browns could also use the help up front and he would be a key addition.
20. Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
The Eagles' secondary last year was awful. Jalen Collins would immediately help that by providing a noticeable boost at cornerback. This pick stays the same as last week, mainly because of how clear the need is for the Eagles in their secondary.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
The Bengals look more long-term (in addition to in the short term) by adding Andrus Peat, one of the draft's best linemen. They could surely find a place for the NFL-ready Peat in 2015, but looking toward the future he also would figure to be a key piece of the Bengals' offensive line for many years.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
The Steelers almost take Landon Collins here to fill the void left by Troy Polamalu, but instead they help fill the void left by Ike Taylor by adding a cornerback - another position they really need. Kevin Johnson is the fourth corner off the board at this point, but he's still a good player, a good pick, and would really help the Steelers.
23. Detroit Lions: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
This one stays the same as last week, as the Lions add a nice player in Ereck Flowers to help shore up the offensive line and provide some stability there for Matthew Stafford.
24. Arizona Cardinals: Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
The Cardinals take one of the draft's best pass rushers in Bud Dupree, adding to an already solid defense that, if healthy, should be a pretty good one in 2015. They would like to add a cornerback at some point in the draft, according to head coach Bruce Arians, but Dupree is the better value here and a great pick for Arizona.
25. Carolina Panthers: D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
Once again, the Panthers grab D.J. Humphries. I think it's clear that they need offensive line help, and Humphries provides just that.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
Depending on which mock draft you look at, you'll see a number of different wide receivers mocked to the Ravens here, but one thing seems pretty clear: they do need a receiver. And I think that Jaelen Strong is the best wideout available here for the Ravens and a good weapon to add to the passing game for quarterback Joe Flacco.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas
Ideally, I think the Cowboys would love to grab either Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon here, but in this mock draft they're both long gone by pick number 27. So instead of reaching to grab a different running back in the first round, the Cowboys hold off on that for another round and instead add Malcolm Brown to improve their defensive line.
28. Denver Broncos: T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
The Broncos need to protect Peyton Manning in 2015 (in what is perhaps the quarterback's final season), and T.J. Clemmings would provide a boost to that protection. Also looking long-term, Clemmings should be a guy who could start and play well for Denver for many years to come.
29. Indianapolis Colts: Landon Collins, S, Alabama
For months, I've been saying that Landon Collins won't fall to the Colts' pick. "There's a chance, sure," I'd say, "but it's unlikely to happen." As I went through this mock draft, however, it's clear that there are a number of teams that could use a safety, but none who need one above all else. Teams like the Eagles and Steelers both need help all throughout the secondary, and they opted to add cornerback help instead of taking Collins - who some teams have questions about.
For the Colts, they are also in a similar boat as the Eagles and Steelers in that they have multiple needs, but their top one is safety. Mike Adams and Dwight Lowery should provide a solid and stable starting duo for Indianapolis in 2015, but they could use a rookie to take some playing time, as well as be groomed to be a long-term answer. Landon Collins isn't a perfect or complete player by any means, but he's certainly the best safety available in this draft class, is a great value pick at number 29, and addresses a big need for the Colts.
30. Green Bay Packers: Erik Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
The Packers' pick stays the same, mainly because their need at inside linebacker still remains and because Erik Kendricks, the draft's top inside linebacker, is still on the board. This is a terrific value pick at this point in my opinion and a fantastic move by Green Bay - plus one that really helps them and addresses a need, too. It's a win/win for the Packers.
31. New Orleans Saints (from Seattle Seahawks): Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
To pair with pass rusher Randy Gregory, who the Saints took earlier in the first round, they add a dominant force in the middle of the defensive line by selecting Eddie Goldman. He should be a guy who can really help against the run and help improve the Saints' defense overall - a defense that hasn't been very good recently.
32. New England Patriots: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
Byron Jones sneaks into the end of the first round as the fifth cornerback taken, and he goes to the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots. New England lost Darrelle Revis in free agency, and while that obviously leaves a big void that a rookie won't be able to step into and fill right away, Byron Jones would be a nice piece of the puzzle as the Patriots just continue to plug away after losing a key player in Revis.