Saturday, April 23, 2016

Mock NFL Draft 2016

1.  LA Rams -  You don't give away a ton to move up to the top of the draft to NOT take a franchise quarterback.  And there is some debate as to if there even is ONE franchise quarterback in this draft.  It doesn't matter, though, as NFL teams have done far better in the past five years at adapting to a quarterback's skill set.  When I grew up in the alt '70's and '80's, if you had a rookie quarterback, you were destined for a couple 3-13 seasons until he adapted to the pro playbook.  But not so anymore.  Andy Dalton, a heady player but not overly gifted, made it to the playoffs and the Pro Bowl his rookie year.  So anything is possible.

The pick:  Jared Goff/QB.

2.  Philadelphia Eagles - Likewise, you don't give up a ton of picks as Philly did to move up and NOT draft the quarterback the Rams don't take.  Philly has been searching for a QB since Donovan McNabb's play tailed off.

The pick: Carson Wentz/QB

3.  SD Chargers  - The Chargers don't need a new QB as they inked Rivers to a huge contract last season.  They have invested heavily in the skill positions on offense.  I think they draft a tackle to help protect Rivers and open holes for last year's top choice, Melvin Gordon.  And they get the player many think is the top player in the entire draft.

The pick: Laremy Tunsil/OT

4.  Dallas Cowboys - The Cowboys are in a spot to trade down and acquire more picks as the players they covet (Bosa and Elliott) will be available later.  But I'm not projecting trades in this mock draft, so the Cowboys stay put and go for the pass rusher to so they don't have to deal with the insanity of Greg Hardy anymore.

The pick:  Joey Bosa/DE

5.  Jax Jaguars - The Jags have a promising offense (with a future start at QB and solid wide receivers), so taking Elliott out of Ohio State is tempting.  But the best player on the board is the CB/S out of FSU.  And if you saw any Jags' games last year, you know how wretched their defense was.  So they go for the homegrown talented defender over the best RB in the draft.

The pick:  Jalen Ramsey/CB/S

6.  Balt. Ravens - I could see the Ravens going in a number of directions.  They're best when they have a bruiser at RB.  But I don't see them going there.  They could opt for a WR, but I don't think they would draft one this high.  I also could see the going OT as there is a lot of value at that position here.  But when the Ravens have been great and won Super Bowls, it was all thanks to the defense.  So do they go CB or DE?  AJ Green has been a thorn in their side ever since he came into the league. And their secondary isn't anything special.  But they can mitigate their average secondary by taking the second best pass rusher in the draft.

The pick: DeForest Buckner/DE

7.  SF 49ers - The Niners should trade down and grab a future QB.  But there isn't a QB worth selecting this high in the draft (let teams learn from how insane teams went in the 2011 draft taking quarterbacks high - remember Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, and Christian Ponder?  Enough said).  They could take Paxton Lynch out of Memphis or Conner Cook out of Michigan State but not this high.

The pick:  Myles Jack/LB

8.  Clev Browns - the worst team at drafting in my life time.  Look at the picks they've squandered - Manziel, Phil Taylor, Trent Richardson, Branden Weeden, Barkevios Mingo, and Justin Gilbert to just name a few disasters since 2011.  In that time alone, the Bengals and Vikings have rebuilt their entire rosters!  The Browns haven't gotten it right once!

The pick: does it matter?  They'll find a way to screw it up even with Hue Jackson as their head coach.

The pick:  Ronnie Stanley OT - the only time the Browns got it right was when they drafted their future hall of fame left tackle, Joe Thomas (whom they actually tried to trade away this season).

9.  TB Bucs - well, we know they don't need a quarterback since they found Jamies Winston last year at the top of the draft.  They have solid receivers and a great runner too.  Time to fix the defense with a solid, homegrown corner.

The pick:  Vernon Hargreaves/CB

10.  NY Giants - a team that loves to waste money in free agency.  I mean, come on, you give Janoris Jenkins all that money?  How mad are they that Josh Norman got his franchise take rescinded?  Norman would have actually been worth that money.  The Giants love their Golden Domers, so if Stanley falls, they'll nab him, but I have him off the board, so they go in a different direction.

The pick: Ezekiel Elliot/RB

11.  Chicago Bears - the Bears need pass rush help, so they start the run on great defensive lineman (of which, this draft is absolutely loaded).  I think they're praying Ezekiel Elliott falls to them, and he'd be great to fill their void at running back.  Maybe they trade down and go for the Heisman winner Derrick Henry.

The pick: Jarran Reed/DT

12.  NO Saints - When haven't the Saints been trying to fix their defense?  Hiring Ryan as their defensive coordinator was a disaster.

The pick: Shaq Lawson/DE

13.  Miami Dolphins - Another team that has wasted money in free agency and not drafted nearly well enough.  They have an outstanding offensive tackle that is growing long in the tooth.  Time to replace him?

The pick:  Jake Conklin/OT

14.  Oak Raiders - a team who hit on their quarterback a few years ago and has some good young defensive stars on the cusp.  The Raiders love speed, and they tab the fastest corner in the draft.  If they don't go corner, look for them to go with Will Fuller out of Notre Dame, who might just be the second coming of Darrius Hayward-Bey.  That's not a good thing.

The pick: William Jackson III/CB

15.  Tenn Titans - The Titans hit the QB home run last year with their overall pick and now go for some offensive line help.

The pick: Taylor Decker/OT

16.  Detroit Lions - when aren't the Lions trying to fix their defense?  They could go for a wide receiver too, but with all of these defensive lineman stacked in the draft, they will likely push some valuable wide receivers (Will Fuller, Michael Thomas, and Sterling Shepard) into the second round.

The pick: Darron Lee/OLB

17.  Atlanta Falcons - when aren't the Falcons trying to fix their defense?

The pick: Kevin Dodd/DE

18.  Indy Colts - this is yet another team that is always trying to fix its defense.  Unless they go for an offensive lineman to try and protect Luck better . . .

The pick: Reggie Ragland/LB

19.  Buff Bills - Rex Ryan has to get the Bills into the playoffs or he's done.  So Rex does what he does best, he goes defense here and gets great value in a DL that would have gone in the top ten in many other years.

The pick: A'Shawn Robinson/DT

20.  NY Jets - This team is majorly in need of a quarterback, and picking one at 20 isn't too bad of value.

The pick: Paxton Lynch/QB

21.  Washington Redskins - The 'Skins go defense.

The Pick: Leonard Floyd/OLB

22.  Houston Texans - Initially, I had them looking at drafting a QB, but you don't give Osweiler all that money to draft his replacement, so I see them adding him a weapon.  Many draft pundits have them tabbing a wide receiver here, but I think they'll find better value there in the second or third round.  Here they take the draft's best tight end.

The pick: Hunter Henry/TE

23.  MN Vikings - The Vikings have the draft fall perfectly for them and their needs.  Unless they shock the draft world, which is entirely possible, they get the best player on the board and the best WR for their team.  This would also make Diggs even more lethal.

The pick: Laquon Treadwell/WR

24.  Cincy Bengals -  The Bengals' top need is a WR, but they stick to their board pretty strictly with the best player available.  While there are some attractive options at WR (Josh Doctson, Corey Coleman, Will Fuller to name a few), the top rated player on their board has to be one of these great defensive tackles.  This guy is quick and huge too.  He'd be a nice supplement to Domata Peko this year and then a starter alongside Geno Atkins next year.  The nice thing is whoever they draft, the Bengals don't need them to play.  Remember, last year's first round pick, Cedric Ogbuehi, didn't play at all and they still went 12-4.

The pick: Andrew Billings/DT

25.  Pitt Steelers - The Steelers are an explosive offensive team, but their secondary is horrendous.  They go back to the same school who gave them a decade of hall of fame play at the safety position.  Like Troy Polamalu (and Carnell Lake before that), Cravens is the kind of player that can both cover and still be physical enough to play safety.

The pick: Su'a Cravens/SS

26.  Seattle Seahawks - the Seahawks have no glaring needs, so they can simply draft the best player available - or move down for more picks.  If there is a need, though, it has to be in the interior of their offensive line which has a former DT converted to OL.

The pick:  Ryan Kelly/C

27.  GB Packers - The Packers grab some of this once in a generation defensive linemen.  BJ Raji isn't what he once was.  Plus, the Packers always seem to uncover wide receiver talent in the second or third rounds.  Here they nab an edge rusher, which helps when you face the Vikes and Detroit and Chicago twice a year.  And Clay Matthews is getting long in the tooth . . . and moving inside doesn't help.  The Pack are always best when they can rush the passer.

The pick: Noah Spence/DT

28.  KC Chiefs - Since the Chiefs' offense showed a ton of life last year, they add to their secondary.  Marcus Peters was a great addition in the first round last year.  They go back to the same well this year.

The pick: Eli Apple/CB

29.  AZ Cards - The Cards were hoping for a QB, but there aren't any worth the pick here.  Other than addressing the quarterback position for an aging Carson Palmer, the Cards don't have many weaknesses, but adding a playmaker to the secondary can't hurt, especially with the Honey Badger coming off two serious knee injuries now.

The pick: Karl Joseph/S

30.  Carolina Panthers - the obvious pick is to go McKenzie Alexander at corner since they lost Josh Norman, but the Panthers go a different direction.  Instead of replacing Norman, they go for the second coming of Steve Smith with Corey Coleman.

The pick: Corey Coleman/WR

31.  Denver Broncos - The Broncos have one glaring need: a quarterback since Manning retired and Osweiler left for Houston.  But there are none really worth grabbing here.  The next best option, Christian Hackenburg of Penn State is probably the next option.  But 90% of the time, Penn State players are horrible in the NFL, so I can't see the Broncos panicking and reaching for a player with as much chance for being a bust as that.  So I see the Broncos going after the next quarterback - another Big Ten quarterback.

The pick: Connor Cook/QB

No comments: