The 2015 NFL Draft is just more than a day away. You can actually count the time to the first pick in hours now, and that's a glorius notion. After months of speculation, posturing and mock-draft mania, we'll have all the answers to the questions we've been asking by Saturday night. Until the weekend gets here, however, there is still intrigue. Here are some of the biggest questions around the NFL as the draft approaches. FOX Sports South will even attempt to answer them. But we're calling them guesses; we're just not ready to commit yet.
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY SportsJerry Lai
Will Tampa Bay throw us a curveball?
QUESTION: It's expected that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will grab quarterback Jameis Winston with the first overall pick in the draft. But the move isn't a given. Marcus Mariota could get the nod with the Bucs' first pick. If that happens, there could be a mad scramble to move up to No. 2 to Tennessee's spot to grab Winston. There are already a number of teams rumored to be interested in moving up to No. 2 for Mariota. Would those same teams still try to trade up? Would more jump into the fray? Would 15 minutes be enough to sort the mess out? … BEST GUESS: Nope. It's pretty safe to assume Winston will be in pewter in 2015.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsBrian Spurlock
Which team will actually make a pick at No. 2?
QUESTION: Tennessee could very well make its pick at No. 2. Either top quarterback could fit with the Titans, as could defensive linemen Leonard Williams or Dante Fowler Jr. But it might make more sense for the Titans to accept one of the many offers that may come in to move up. Philadelphia, the New York Jets, St. Louis and Cleveland are just a few of the teams that could be interested in Tennessee's first-round pick. There could even be more. After Tampa Bay takes whichever quarterback it wants, what's going to happen at No. 2? ... BEST GUESS: The J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets.
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY SportsScott Olmos
Which player will be this year's first-round plummeting star?
QUESTION: No one will ever forget the green-room nightmare that Aaron Rodgers went through. Waiting to get picked on national television while watching player after player stroll up to the podium before you has to be a miserable experience. It all worked out in the end for Rodgers, but he isn't the only player to have ever gone through this. Warren Sapp, Brady Quinn and Geno Smith also sat around much longer than expected. Will there be a 2015 version of Rodgers? ... BEST GUESS: Cedric Ogbuehi just agreed to show up in Chicago. That means he's likely received some news to make him believe he'll be happy on Thursday. But he's not a guaranteed first-rounder.
Getty ImagesChris Trotman
Will a running back break into the first round? Will two?
QUESTION: The last time a running back was taken in the first round was 2012 when Trent Richardson, Doug Martin and David Wilson all went on Day 1. The NFL has become a pass-happy league, and valuations on ball carriers have plummeted. Take for example the fact that over the last three years, on average, only one running back was selected in the first round. The three years prior to that (2009-11) it was 2.3 running backs in the first round per draft. The three years earlier (2006-08) 3.6 runnings backs per year were drafted on Day 1. It's not a 100 percent certainty that the 2015 draft will give us our first first-round rusher in three years, but it's extremely likely. ... BEST GUESS: Yes, and yes. Todd Gurley could be a top 10 pick, and Melvin Gordon should also go on Thursday night.
Will the Philadelphia Eagles make a crazy move?
QUESTION: The offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles has been rich with eyebrow-raising decisions from the franchise. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin walked, Trent Cole and Todd Herremans were cap casualties, DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews were both brought in to run the football while LeSean McCoy was shown the door. And that's not all ... two more words: Tim Tebow. Whether it's completely shaking things up to find the perfect fit for his system, or moving heaven and earth to acquire yet another former Oregon Duck, Chip Kelly isn't afraid to make a bold move that may seem crazy. Only time will tell if it stays in the crazy category. ... BEST GUESS: Is there anyone on the planet that doesn't in some way believe Marcus Mariota will find his way onto the Eagles' roster on Thursday night?
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY SportsKevin Jairaj
How far will Shane Ray fall?
QUESTION: Back when the Super Bowl ended and draft season kicked off, former Missouri pass rusher Shane Ray was a potential top 10 pick. Since, with no SEC quarterbacks to sack, Ray has made negative news for himself. In the SEC title game he was ejected for targeting, leaving his team without his services early. A week ago, after news surfaced that potential foot surgery could sideline Ray for five months, his draft stock plummeted. Then Monday, just three days prior to the draft, Ray was pulled over and found in possession of marijuana. To say Ray hasn't been making great decisions of late is an enormous understatement. ... BEST GUESS: Some believe Ray will fall out of the first round and all the way into the third or fourth. That's crazy talk. While he won't be a top 10 pick, Ray will hear his name called on Thursday night.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY SportsDale Zanine
Are the Cowboys in the draft market for a running back?
QUESTION: With DeMarco Murray now in Philadelphia with Chip Kelly, the Cowboys' depth chart at running back is led off with Darren McFadden, who's rushed for a combined 1,620 yards over his last three seasons (225 yards fewer than Murray compiled last season alone). An upgrade is needed in Big D. The Cowboys have long coveted Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, and the feeling seems to be mutual. But the logistics to put a star on Peterson's helmet may be too cumbersome to manuever. The 2015 rookie running back class doesn't have a sure-fire Peterson-type rusher in it, but it's very strong and deep. ... BEST GUESS: Everything is bigger in Texas, so expect the Cowboys to make a splash at running back early on. Melvin Gordon would fit nicely.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsMatthew Emmons
The Redskins picked up RG3's option. Will this keep them from exploring an early quarterback?
QUESTION: Even though Robert Griffin III's touchdown rate has plummeted since his rookie season and his interception rate has been on the climb -- all the time while injuries has been of major concern -- the Redskins chose to exercise their fifth-year option on the quarterback on Monday. Does this mean that Washington is out of the running for a quarterback in this year's draft? Absolutely not. It may reduce the chance that the Redskins trade up for one of the big two passers, but if one is on the board at No. 5, and Washington believes in him, they'll pull the trigger. A draft-day trade involving RG3 wouldn't be the craziest thing ever either. ... BEST GUESS: If the Redskins draft a quarterback, it will be in the later rounds. If Marcus Mariota is available at No. 5, they'll trade out of the spot and build up some draft picks.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY SportsGeoff Burke
Could the Falcons possibly take an offensive player in the first round at No. 8?
QUESTION: With a new head coach that's defensive minded, and so many holes to fill on defense, do the Falcons have to go with a defensive player in the first round at No. 8? Since the 2014 season ended, the easy money has been on Atlanta taking a pass rusher. But what if all the elite guys are gone by No. 8? Say Leonard Williams, Dante Fowler Jr., Vic Beasley, Randy Gregory and Bud Dupree all get drafted before Atlanta. What's Thomas Dimitroff's move? Trading out of the 8-slot could work, but so could getting offensive. In that scenario, both Todd Gurley and Melvin Gorder would be available, as likely would Amari Cooper or Kevin White. ... BEST GUESS: If there's an early run on pass rushers and Cooper is available, he'd look great next to Julio Jones. Gurley would work too. So would offensive lineman Brandon Scherff.
Will any team make a huge trade to move up for Marcus Mariota?
QUESTION: We're not buying the notion that Marcus Mariota will be taken first overall. We're also less-than-enamoured with the idea that Tennessee will draft the former Oregon star. Why? He's too valuable as trade bait. The Titans could stockpile picks by trading out of the 2-slot and letting someone else move up to draft Mariota. That's exactly what will happen. And the absolutely fabulous thing for the Titans here is that so many teams are interested in the young passer. ... BEST GUESS: The Eagles might not move up to No. 2 to get Mariota, but don't be shocked if at the end of the night on Thursday Mariota's flight plan for Friday has him headed to the City of Bortherly Love. Chip Kelly may have to make multiple small jumps up to get Mariota, but that seems like the most sane idea right now, and that's a bit crazy.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY SportsTommy Gilligan
Will the Ravens look for help at running back in the first round?
QUESTION: Baltimore had a 1,266-yard rusher last season in 29-year-old Justin Forsett. The optimal number in that last sentence isn't the huge yardage figure, it's the old age of the Ravens' leading running back. Historically running backs don't perform well as they age, and 29 (30 by midseason) is getting up there in years. Will Baltimore use this year's great running back class to replenish? The answer is absolutely yes, but probably not in the first round. Todd Gurley will likely be gone by the 26th pick, and there may be better ways for Baltimore to use its first-rounder than Melvin Gordon. ... BEST GUESS: The Ravens will take a top-tier running back on Day 2 of the draft. Wouldn't former Boise State rusher Jay Ajayi look nice with the Ravens?
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY SportsWinslow Townson
Will the Titans draft at No. 2, trade for Philip Rivers, or trade for multiple picks?
QUESTION: While there is still intrigue at No. 1, the biggest question mark of the draft is at No. 2. What will the Titans do with their pick? Zach Mettenberger might not be the answer in Tennessee long term, but he did enough last season to earn another shot in 2015 to start. If Mettenberger is starting, there's no reason why Tennessee should draft Marcus Mariota. There's also little reason a trade for a veteran quarterback like Philip Rivers. There's talent in Tennessee, but the Titans are still multiple players away from being able to talk playoff run. The best use of the No. 2 pick is to trade it away to whichever team offers the most picks. ... BEST GUESS: It might not be the wisest way for Cleveland to operate on Thursday, but don't be surprised if the Browns move a bunch of picks to Tennessee to get into the No. 2 slot.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY SportsJim Brown
Who will be the first player taking way too early?
QUESTION: The Philadelphia Eagles named defensive end Marcus Smith their first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft. What kind of output did they get? Smith played in eight games and did not record a tackle. Smith has been criticized for a lack of size and strength, and most Eagles fans would love to go back in time for the team to use its first-round pick on someone else. This isn't an entirely fresh idea. There have been many picks in the first round that didn't pan out because the guys were taken too early. Sammie Smith in 1989 to the Dolphins comes to mind in this conversation, as does Tim Tebow to the Broncos. ... BEST GUESS: Let's not call any one player out as a reach just yet; time will tell. Instead, shall we warn the Jets not to reach for a cornerback at No. 6?
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY SportsEric Hartline
Which top prospect will fall out of the first round and become a draft steal?
QUESTION: Falling stars are all the rage as the 2015 NFL draft approaches. Former Missouri star Shane Ray is in the midst of a meteoric crash down draft boards, and former Arizona State wide receiver Jalen Strong was once a first-round lock but now might have to wait until Friday to hear his name called. Add Marcus Peters, Benardrick McKinney and Carl Davis as big names that could land in the second round. There's even been talk that a former Clemson pass rusher with 25 sacks over his last two seasons could fall out of the first round. ... BEST GUESS: If Vic Beasley falls out of the first round for some strange reason, whichever team pulls the trigger on him in the second will be extremely happy it did.
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY SportsJoshua S. Kelly
Will the Broncos, Saints or Patriots, reach for a quarterback of the future?
QUESTION: Between Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, the trio has a combined 178,982 career passing yards. That's just a tad more than 101 miles if you were driving a car. While this group sits in second, fourth and fifth, respectively, on the all-time career passing yards list, the average age of these three is 37. Their day in the sun is almost over. Will Denver, New Orleans or New England grab a quarterback this year in the draft to replace any of them? It's likely, let's put it that way. In order of liklihood here's how important it is for each team to find a replacement under center (most to least likely): Saints, Broncos, Patriots (Jimmy Garoppolo is the heir apparent). ... BEST GUESS: One of these three could add a passer on Day 3 of the draft. Sean Mannion to the Saints seems logical.