The 2015 NFL Draft is less than a month away, which means it is time for the 2015 Niners Nation community mock draft. We have an assortment of users helping out with this, and the plan is to go three rounds. In order to fit them in, we're going to combine a few picks together in a given post. The 49ers picks will each get their own post, and I might do the same thing with the other NFC West teams. We'll play it by ear so we can make sure and get in all 99 picks before the draft.
Today, we start with the first three picks of the draft. We have a surprise right off the bat, with the Bucs going for the other quarterback. That will make for an interesting ripple effect as we move down the draft board.
With the first pick of the NN community mock draft, Darth Divac and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select...Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
This is a fairly easy pick for me. The Bucs have a gaping hole at QB and Mariota is the best signal-caller in the draft.
Alternates: QB Jameis Winston, DT Leonard Williams
With the second pick of the NN community mock draft, Joe the Wizard and the Tennessee Titans select...Leonard Williams, DT, USC
I could have picked Brandon Scherff since Tennessee had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL last season but this is a very deep draft for offensive lineman and picking one that early would have been a reach. Picking Marcus Mariota without improving the offensive line first would have been completely irresponsible. It is almost impossible for a young quarterback out of college to turn around an offense that has little to no talent. They should probably stick with Zach Mettenberger until he has a chance to show what he can do with a decent offensive line.
Therefore I chose Leonard Williams from the USC Trojans. This is clearly a no brainer because he is arguably the best player in the draft. Leonard William's size (6"-5" 302lbs.) coupled with those long arms and his exceptionally quick hand speed makes him stand out from any of the other DEs. He is one of those rare players that will make all of the players around him better. He would be great working beside Jurrell Casey (another ex-USC defensive tackle) in Dick Lebeau's 3-4 defense.
Tennessee has brought in some players through free agency to improve their porous defensive backfield (Perrish Cox and Da'Norris Searcy) but it won't do any good if they can't get some pressure on the quarterback. They have already signed OLB Bryan Orakpo so adding Wiiliams would be the frosting on the cake.
With the third pick of the NN community mock draft, Kilimanjarbro and the Jacksonville Jaguars select...Dante Fowler Jr, OLB/DE, Florida
With Leonard Williams gone, the Jaguars take the next best defensive lineman for their 4-3 in the edge rushing Dante Fowler. With an aging Chris Clemons, underperforming Andre Branch, and newcomer Dan Skuta, the Jags don't have much to hang their hat on in terms of pass rush ability from the edge. By adding Fowler, not only would they add an immediate threat, but the depth is present to make DE an immediate strength of their team.
Alternatively, WR Amari Cooper was an option, but with the production of Lee, Hurns, and Robinson with a rookie Bortles, it seemed like the luxury of having a potential #1 receiver (amongst a slew of #2s) will always be outweighed by the necessity of a good defensive lineman. Who loves the sack? Jags do.