After over 100 days, and 136 different mock drafts, the Mock Draft Muncher is ready to reveal its secrets. The Mock Draft Muncher tracks the changes in more than three-dozen mock drafts over time, allowing us to see what the consensus of the drafts looks like, as well as how players and selections have changed over time.
Of course, the big secret may be that none of the mock draft writers had a clue what was going to happen, but we’ll find that out on Thursday night. As you’ll see, April’s mock drafters would tell you that February’s mock drafters were way off, because things have been changing rapidly as we head to the draft on Thursday.
Assuming that our mock drafters do have a clue, and that there’s something about the wisdom of crowds, we’re ready to present the final 2015 Consensus Mock Draft.
PICK 1: Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Remember when mock drafters couldn’t make up their minds about whether it would be Winston or Mariota going to the Bucs? Just two months ago, the two were neck-and-neck as far as the draft experts were concerned. Now, just a handful of mock drafts have Mariota going to Tampa Bay.
What happened in the last two months? Well, the Buccaneers haven’t come out and announced their intentions, but mock drafters are sure as they’ve ever been that Winston is their man. So, if the Bucs are trying to throw up smoke, they’re failing.
PICK 2: Tennessee Titans (or someone) selects Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Something extraordinary has happened in just the last two weeks.
The second pick in the draft has shifted from being a near-lock for Leonard Williams of USC to being a near-lock for Marcus Mariota. Clearly, mock drafters are listening to all the rumors that have Tennessee, San Diego, New York Jets, Cleveland, or Philadelphia deciding that Mariota is their guy and doing whatever it takes to get him.
Less than a third of the the mock drafts now have Tennessee staying at the selection and picking Leonard Williams. Nearly double that amount believe that it will be Mariota at the second slot, but, many say, they simply don’t know which team picks him.
PICK 3<: Jacksonville Jaguars select Dante Fowler, DE, Florida
While Leonard Williams has been pushed out of the second spot of the draft by Mariota, less than a dozen mock drafts have him dropping merely a spot to Pick 3. Instead, Williams tumbles further down the board and DanteFowler stays the pick here. Despite many saying that Williams is the best player in the draft, mock drafters are telling us that he falls to the fourth spot, if not further. Forty days ago, Williams and Fowler were tied at this spot. Ever since then, it’s been all Fowler.
PICK 4: Oakland Raiders select Leonard Williams, DT, USC
Realizing that putting Mariota in the second spot knocked Williams free, mock drafters over the last couple of weeks seem to have concluded that he doesn’t tumble past the Raiders at four. More than half the mock drafters have the Raiders still taking a wide receiver, but Williams has shot to the top of the selection list in just a little over a week.
PICK 5<: Washington Redskins select Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
Oh, Randy Gregory, where have you gone? Just a short twenty days ago, you were the top selection for the Redskins in this spot. A little report about a drug test and suddenly you’ve vanished from your high perch in the draft, replaced by pass rushing threat Vic Beasley from Clemson. Now only a single mock draft believes you’ll be the pick, and that mock draft was posted over a month ago.
PICK 6: New York Jets select Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Vic Beasley is actually a more popular pick than Cooper here, but he was selected above, so the Jets have to be happy with the first wide receiver selected in the draft. The ripple effect from all the Mariota-at-two rumors is felt most severely here, as Mariota was the de facto selection at #6 just two weeks ago.
PICK 7<: Chicago Bears select Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
So what happens when a player like Vic Beasley suddenly shoots into the top five, while Marcus Mariota jumps to the second pick? It means that some other quality player slides, and that’s what’s happened to the talented wide receivers in this year’s draft. Previously thought to be battling it out to be the pick at #4, Amari Cooper and Kevin White have dropped out of the top five but are scooped up shortly thereafter.
PICK 8: Atlanta Falcons select Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
Randy Gregory and Alvin Dupree are also popular picks here for the Falcons to build their defense around, but Shane Ray has been steadily growing in popularity at this slot for the Falcons for months.
PICK 9: New York Giants select Brandon Scherff, OG, Iowa
The first offensive lineman is off the board here. This pick has been stable for Scherff since the first month of the draft. There’s been a slight uptick for Andrus Peat in recent days, but Scherff is still the pick in most mock drafts.
PICK 10: St. Louis Rams select DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Mock drafts are a real mess when it comes to the Rams. Both Brandon Scherff and Amari Cooper are more popular selections at this point than Parker (who is tied with Andrus Peat and Ereck Flowers). We select Parker here because he’s got the best Average Draft Position of the three.
PICK 11: Minnesota Vikings select Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
The last 20 days have seen tremendous shift in who the mock drafts are think the Vikings are going to select. For the first three months, DeVante Parker was the for-sure selection by the Vikings, but that has shifted completely in favor of Trae Waynes at this point in the draft. Twenty-two mock drafts have Waynes selected, compared to just nine for Parker.
PICK 12: Cleveland Browns select Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
A lot of mock drafters have the Browns trading out of this spot, and even more have them selecting the popular DeVante Parker, but Danny Shelton emerges as the Browns pick if they stay in theis spot. Shelton has slid a bit, since earlier in the draft he was the de facto selection for the Chicago Bears. Now he tries to help the Browns fix one of the league’s worst rush defenses.
PICK 13: New Orleans Saints select Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
The slide continues for Randy Gregory, who has moved from the top five of the draft to the thirteenth spot with the Saints. That was an expensive drug test.
PICK 14: Miami Dolphins select Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
The ascendence of Todd Gurley, per the the Mock Draft Muncher, does not put him in the top ten, but gets him to the Miami Dolphins. Parker is (once again) the top selection here, but Gurley is a close second and has been shooting up the charts. His Average Draft Position has shot from around 24 three weeks ago to 17 now, and our consensus mock draft has him landing even higher.
PICK 15: San Francisco 49ers select Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
A lot of mocks will break if the 49ers go in another direction. Armstead is the selection of nearly 40% of the mocks at this position.
PICK 16: Houston Texans select Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF
With the top three receivers off the board, the Texans snag the best available pass catcher. It’s tough to be too confident in this selection, however, since the 40-some mocks in the Muncher select 21 different players at this position. The Texans have enough different needs that mock drafters are all over the map.
PICK 17: San Diego Chargers select Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
If there’s one thing that mock drafts seem to agree on, it’s that the Chargers are going to pick a running back. Todd Gurley is actually the top choice here, by one selection, but Gordon has about a quarter of the votes to be the pick with Gordon off the board.
PICK 18: Kansas City Chiefs select Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
It’s actually a tie between Peat and ASU WR Jaelen Strong here, but Peat has a much lower average draft position (17.76 vs nearly 28) and is selected in our consensus mock as a result.
PICK 19: Cleveland Browns select Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
Nearly every mock draft has the Browns selecting either wide receiver, offensive line, and defensive line with their two selections (although some having them trading for Marcus Mariota). The actual winner in the consensus is Malcom Brown of Texas, but with the Browns being awarded Danny Shelton at #12, another defensive lineman doesn’t make sense here, so we go to Flowers, one selection behind. La’El Collins is another popular selection here and it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Browns go in his direction or Cameron Erving. Jaelen Strong, who just missed being picked above is another possibility. This pick has been rumored to have been offered for Sam Bradford, but our consensus mock has the Browns staying put and making the pick.
PICK 20: Philadelphia Eagles select Landon Collins, S, Alabama
We’ll see if this pick is spent in a bid to move up for Mariota, but for now we’re assuming the Eagles keep the pick. Collins is the selection by a wide margin here, although some mock drafts have the Eagles trading up for Mariota via a Rube Goldbergian set of machinations involving the Browns, Tennessee Titans, and Chip Kelly’s left arm.
PICK 21: Cincinnati Bengals select La’El Collins, OG, LSU
DE Alvin Dupree is sliding in our consensus mock, and it would be tempting for a team to trade up to pick him at this point. Not a single mock draft has him selected for the Bengals, so we can’t override the the mock’s selection of Collins at this point. Would Marvin Lewis be tempted to pull Dupree across the Ohio River from Kentucky to the Bengals. I would think so, but the mock drafts don’t agree, so…
PICK 22: Pittsburgh Steelers select Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
The Pittsburgh Steelers are desperate for help in the defensive backfield, and pass up the sliding Dupree for the second cornerback taken.
PICK 23: Detroit Lions select Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
In our scenario, the Browns picking Shelton at 12 mean they bypass Brown at 19, and he falls to the Lions. Which is a good thing, since he’s the top choice of the mock drafts here.
PICK 24: Arizona Cardinals select Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky
The Cardinals get a great bargain here in Dupree, since their top two selections (Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon) aren’t available per the consensus mock draft. Dupree’s average draft position is around 15, with some mocks even putting him in the top ten.
PICK 25: select D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
There’s little doubt what direction the Panthers will go, in the mind of our mock drafters, with the top four selections (Humphries, T.J. Clemmings, Ereck Flowers, and Andrus Peat) all being offensive tackles. Humphries is the best one left in the consensus mock.
: Baltimore Ravens select Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
Breshad Perriman and Melvin Gordon actually are selected in more mocks for the Ravens than Strong, but are already off the board in our consensus mock. The Ravens, in our mock, settle for the fifth-best receiver in a loaded class.
PICK 27: Dallas Cowboys select Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
A lot of mock drafts have the Cowboys going running back here, but the Consensus Mock has Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon off the board by Pick 17(!), so the Cowboys have to settle for their second pick, LSU CB Jalen Collins. Cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Byron Jones are also in the mix.
PICK 28: Denver Broncos select T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
Are the Broncos looking for help on the offensive line? The mock drafts think so, with nearly 2/3rds predicting an offensive lineman going off the board here. Cam Erving is the second-choice of the mocks.
PICK 29: Indianapolis Colts select Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State
The versatile Erving doesn’t have to wait long to be selected, however, going off to Indianapolis to protect Andrew Luck. Erving has been a steady first-round grade all-along according to the Mock Draft Muncher, and has been creeping up mock drafts in the last several months.
PICK 30: Green Bay Packers select, LB
With top pick Jalen Collins off the board already, the Packers look to improve their interior linebacker play with Kendricks. Stephone Anthony, and Benardrick McKinney are also in play here.
PICK 31: New Orleans Saints select Byron Jones, CB
While wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Phillip Dorsett are in the mix, the mock drafts have the Saints going defense again with the first-round pick they gained from Seattle in the Jimmy Graham deal.
PICK 32: select Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Usually the mock drafts have no idea what Belichick is going to do, but here about a third of them having him going cornerback with his first round pick. Washington’s Marcus Peters is the best of what’s left, and goes to the Patriots here. Once upon a time, DT Jordan Phillips was the pick here, but has been sliding in the last week or two.