2016 MOCK DRAFT
1) LA Rams (From Titans) – Jared Goff, QB (Cal)
This pick is pretty much written in stone. Goff is the best QB in this class, and my #1 overall player. The Rams gave up a lot for him, but he’s worth it, in my opinion.
2) Philadelphia Eagles (From Browns) – Carson Wentz (NDSU)
Again, this pick needs little thought. You only give up the sort of picks that the Eagles did for a QB, and Wentz is seen as the second best in this class.
3) San Diego Chargers – Ronnie Stanley, OT (Notre Dame)
I am a little puzzled by this pick, as Stanley has a second round grade on my board, but reports are that the Chargers like him, and that’s all that matters.
4) Dallas Cowboys – Jalen Ramsey, DB (Florida State)
The best positional player in this draft class falls right into the lap of the awaiting Cowboys. Play him at safety, play him, at corner, play him at linebacker, play him at nose tackle if you really want to. Extremely versatile.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars – Joey Bosa, Edge (Ohio State)
I had Leonard Floyd here initially, but I just cannot bring myself to mock him this high. Bosa would be a better fit to play on the other side from Dante Fowler.
6) Baltimore Ravens – Laremy Tunsil, OT (Ole Miss)
This would prove to be astonishing value for the Ravens, who take the guy who would have probably gone #1 overall. There could be a trade here too, but Baltimore should be happy to take Tunsil.
7) San Francisco 49ers – DeForest Buckner, DL (Oregon)
Buckner gets paired up with his old Duck teammate (Arik Armstead) and coach (Chip Kelly). Great value here, and he can start immediately.
8) Cleveland Browns (From Eagles) – Sheldon Rankins, DL (Louisville)
Rumours are that Rankins is going in the top-10, and he would be a nice fit in Cleveland as that 3-4 3-Tech they use. Pass rusher who can also get into the backfield on running downs.
9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Leonard Floyd, Edge (Georgia)
One of the surprises of the pre-draft process has been seeing the rise of Leonard Floyd. He will apparently go in the top-10, so I’ve slotted him to a team that needs some pass rush help. Long, greasy jointed edge rusher who can cover too.
10) New York Giants – Jack Conklin, OT (Michigan State)
NYG get the bookend to last year’s first round pick, Ereck Flowers. Conklin is a mean, tough, glass-eating, man-mauling blocker who should probably start at RT.
11) Chicago Bears – Zeke Elliott, RB (Ohio State)
If Elliott gets past the Cowboys at #4, he could have a bit of a slide down the board. The Dolphins may look to jump this pick, but Jeremy Langford and Zeke Elliott would be a nice tandem of rushers to help Chicago overcome the Matt Forte loss.
12) New Orleans Saints – Paxton Lynch, QB (Memphis)
Bit of a surprise pick here, but I do believe that the Saints are interested in Lynch, and Drew Brees may only have a year left with New Orleans. They’d go from the one of the shortest QBs in the league to one of the tallest.
13) Miami Dolphins (from Eagles) – Myles Jack, LB (UCLA)
Jack’s knee concerns are legitimate, but it only takes one team to feel good about him. The Dolphins took Jay Ajayi last year despite concerns about his knee longevity, and they do the same here.
14) Oakland Raiders – William Jackson, CB (Houston)
With the way the NFL is going with CBs – preferring size and length over quickness – the Raiders take Jackson over Vernon Hargreaves to be the first true CB off the board.
15) Tennessee Titans (From Rams) – Laquon Treadwell, WR (Ole Miss)
I could certainly envisage a scenario where the Titans trade back up the first round to get either Tunsil or Conklin, but in this scenario, they wait it out and take the most dominant WR in this class.
16) Detroit Lions – Ryan Kelly, C (Alabama)
This could be the leading candidate for ‘1st Round pick that gets booed the loudest’, but Kelly is rock solid and an immediate upgrade for the Lions.
17) Atlanta Falcons – Shaq Lawson, Edge (Clemson)
Lawson is better than this, but he falls due to the likes of Floyd and the three QBs all being taken. Lawson would form quite a duo with last year’s first round pick, Vic Beasley.
18) Indianapolis Colts – Noah Spence, Edge (Eastern Kentucky)
Robert Mathis and Trent Cole are both entering the twilight of their illustrative careers. A general rule in the NFL is to add pass rushers before you need pass rushers, and Spence would be a great pick for that reason.
19) Buffalo Bills – Chris Jones, DL (Mississippi State)
Buffalo have a lot of talent on their defense, but adding some depth on the defensive line would be a great move by them. Jones is apparently going to get taken higher than people think.
20) New York Jets – Vernon Hargreaves, CB (Florida)
The Jets lost Antonio Cromartie this offseason, so adding the guy who many consider to be the best corner in the class would be a smart move.
21) Washington Redskins – Andrew Billings, DL (Baylor)
Billings is strong as an ox, and is a good fit to stack the point in the Skins defense. With Jason Hatcher departing, Billings could help to replace him.
22) Houston Texans – Will Fuller, WR (Notre Dame)
This would be far too high for my liking, but there has been some talk about Fuller being the first receiver drafted in this class. Treadwell went ahead of him in this exercise, but even this seems extravagant.
23) Minnesota Vikings – Josh Doctson, WR (TCU)
This would be a really fun match-up. Teddy Bridgewater really struggled in the redzone last year, so adding a big target like Doctson can only help.
24) Cincinnati Bengals – Corey Coleman, WR (Baylor)
The Bengals hit the tail-end of the receiver run, but they luck out in getting the most explosive of all them.
25) Pittsburgh Steelers – Karl Joseph, S (West Virginia)
There should always be some edge to a Steelers defense, so Joseph seems like a great fit for them.
26) Seattle Seahawks – Taylor Decker, OT (Ohio State)
I realise that Decker doesn’t hit that weird criteria of the Seahawks’ that their OL should have at least a 9’0″ broad jump, but that hasn’t worked out well for them so far. Decker would start immediately.
27) Green Bay Packers – Reggie Ragland, LB (Alabama)
The Packers steal Ragland at the end of the first round. Some may point to his lack of length or coverage experience, but he’s an enforcer against the run.
28) Kansas City Chiefs – Vernon Butler, DL (LA Tech)
One of my favourites in this draft class. Butler has enormous size and freakish athleticism. The Chiefs could use some more defensive line help going forward.
29) Arizona Cardinals – TJ Green, DB (Clemson)
Athletic, rangy DBs don’t tend to stay on the board for long. The Cardinals could use him as a corner opposite Patrick Peterson, or a safey working in tandem with Tyrann Mathieu.
New England Patriots – No Pick (Deflategate)
30) Carolina Panthers – Derrick Henry, RB (Alabama)
One of my favourite fits of any player in this class. The Panthers love big players who can get out into space and punish.
31) Denver Broncos – Darron Lee, LB (Ohio State)
Losing Danny Trevathan was a huge blow for Denver. They could reach on a QB here, but taking another athletic LB may be the better option.