Thursday, April 28, 2016

NFL First Round Mock Draft

I planned to do a longer mock but life got in the way and I only was able to the first round so here you go









1. QB - Jared Goff - California

The Rams biggest need is at quarterback, where Nick Foles and Case Keenum have proven to be inadequate to say the least. And seeing how they traded a ton of picks to Tennessee for the #1 selection, its because they feel they can get a franchise quarterback here. While far from a sure thing, Goff showed off adequate arm strength and poise in the pocket. He also proved to be an accurate passer as well. His biggest knocks are his footwork and the fact he did throw 13 INT's this season while at the University of California. Plus, he did not play well against top competition. Goff might not be ready to contribute in his rookie season but if he is being picked here and for what the Rams gave up to get for him, its not so he can sit behind the mediocrity the Rams currently have at quarterback. If they do not select Goff, Wentz is the likely choice here. 

2.  QB - Carson Wentz - North Dakota State

Like the Rams, the Eagles also gave up a ton of picks to move up in the draft. Originally slated to pick at #13, the Eagles traded up to get the 8th pick from Miami then used that as part of a package to get this selection from the Browns. Wentz has all of the talent and intangibles needed for the quarterback position, and while playing for an FCS school, he did run a pro-style offense. He also had an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl. The biggest knocks on Wentz are that he tends to throw into traffic a lot and he underwent wrist surgery in the middle of the year that caused him to miss the rest of the regular season. Plus, he did play against lesser competition.  While Sam Bradford is currently in Philadelphia and Wentz could sit behind him for a year, Bradford has been demanding a trade and with more than a few teams starving for a quarterback, a trade seems likely. In the event Wentz is taking #1 overall, Goff seems likely. 

3.   DE - DeForest Buckner - Oregon

I think this pick, if they do not trade down, comes down to three players for the Chargers: OT Laremy Tunsil, CB/S Jalen Ramsey, or Buckner. I think they go with Buckner here. They have a lot of money invested in their offensive line, despite how it performed, and even though they have a glaring need at free safety, there are questions as to whether or not Ramsey is physical enough to play the position. And the 3rd overall pick for that position is really high. Buckner can pair up with DE Corey Liuget in the Chargers 3-4 scheme. He is also great at stopping at run, something the Chargers were incapable of last season. He is physical and can also rush the passer at his size (6'7, 290 lbs). The Chargers might even be able to trade down and still nab Buckner. 

4.  CB/S - Jalen Ramsey - Florida State

A lot of people have DE Joey Bosa slotted here but there are reports that the Cowboys have Ramsey as the top person on their board. However, with Jerry Jones in charge and also reportedly wanting to take RB Ezekiel Elliott, you never know what will happen. Ramsey might be the best player in the entire draft and has the potential to be an elite cornerback, something the others on the roster are incapable of doing. Either way, the Cowboys have to address their defense early and Ramsey might be the safest bet.  

5.   LB - Myles Jack - UCLA

The Jaguars lack playmakers on defense. Getting last year's 3rd overall pick Dante Fowler should help their pass rush and they need another pass rusher to go along him. However, Jack can be the centerpiece of Gus Bradley's defense and give them athletic linebacker. He is a hard-hitter who can play in coverage like a defensive back.  Jack even played running back at UCLA and has value there too, believe it or not. Jack does have an injury concern as he is coming off of season ending knee surgery and if that scares the Jaguars away, they can consider DE Joey Bosa or even DB Jalen Ramsey or OT Laremy Tunsil if they are available. 

6.  DE - Joey Bosa - Ohio State

The Ravens need help at pass rusher and at offensive tackle. The Ravens have also been rumored at targeting pass rushers with this selection and Bosa is the primary focus. A tough and physical player that can fit in at defensive end along Baltimore's 3-4 defense that has drawn him comparisons to Jared Allen. However, part of me thinks this might be a smokescreen and the Ravens want to trade down as Bosa seemingly fits a lot better as a 4-3 defensive end. His biggest knock is some off-field concerns and there is rumor he refused a drug test at Ohio State, which led to his suspension, because he stated he'd test positive due to the fact he was taken Adderall. Bosa was rumored to have ADD and with a prescription that would have been allowed but the fact Bosa admitted to liking going to "raves" led to speculation among some that he would have likely tested positive for other drugs as well.

 7.  OT - Laremy Tunsil - Ole Miss 

With the elite quarterbacks off of the board and a draft lacking in top-flight wide receiver prospects, I see the 49ers going with Tunsil here to fill a glaring need at tackle. The 49ers can certainly trade down here I would assume they would with this pick but if they keep it, its for Tunsil. He is highly athletic and coach Chip Kelly loves that in his lineman. If they trade down, I could see the 49ers taking a chance at someone like WR Laquon Treadwell or even they keep going down to get a defensive lineman. 

8.    OT - Ronnie Stanley - Notre Dame

Cleveland can go a lot of ways here, like RB Ezekiel Elliot or even another OT like Jack Conklin. A trade down is also a possibility for teams enamored with someone like Elliott if he is still in play here. However, with a team lacking talent in a major way, they should start building from the trenches out. Stanley can step in right in and start for the Browns and I think he has a little bit more potential than Conklin, who could actually be a better fit in Hue Jackson's offense. Stanley is stout and explosive and should eventually move over to protect the blindside in the near future. 

9.   DE - Shaq Lawson - Clemson

The Buccaneers added Robert Ayers to their woeful front seven and adding Lawson, who led the nation with 25.5 tackles for a loss. The Buccaneers pass rush is anemic and they have not even had a pass rusher with double-digit sacks in a season since Simeon Rice in 2005. Lawson did have a shoulder injury but his medical re-check showed no ill-effects. The Buccaneers also need help at cornberback and Vernon Hargreaves is a possibility there. The Buccaneers can also trade down and possibly get him several picks later. OT Jack Conklin is another target for the Bucs with this pick as they look to re-tool their offensive line. 

10.    OT - Jack Conklin - Michigan State

The Giants spent a lot of money this off-season to improve their defense and while they still need help at linebacker, they have a glaring hole at right tackle. Will Beatty is gone and last year's 1st round pick Ereck Flowers will be moved over to the left side. Conklin seems like a natural fit at right tackle and is aggressive and tough. If they Giants choose defense here, LB Darron Lee would be a good choice. They could also look at RB Ezekiel Elliott here as well, who is a stud running back. 

11.  RB - Ezekiel Elliot - Ohio State

The biggest need for the Bears is at pass rusher. OLB Leonard Floyd could be the pick here but there are questions about his strength due to his lanky frame. Although RB Jeremy Langford did well as a rookie last year, he does not run with much power and really struggled at blocking, something Elliott can do quite well. There are also reports that the Bears are enamored with Elliott and with the top three OT's off the board, I'd think they would select Elliott with here. A trade down is also an option as they can select a defensive tackle later in the round. 

12.  CB - Vernon Hargreaves III - Florida

Do you want to know how bad the Saints defense was last year? Well, they were the worst defense ever measured by DVOA, dating back to 1989. They also set a record for the most the most TD passes allowed. They should just take the best defensive player available at this point and Hargreaves is an excellent choice here. He showed to be equally effective in zone and press coverage while playing at Florida. We still do not know what base the Saints defense will operate from (3-4 or 4-3) but Hargreaves is versatile enough in the secondary to play anywhere and should immediately step in to start. 

13.  OLB - Darron Lee - Ohio St. 

The Dolphins are said to be really high on fellow Buckeye CB Eli Apple. However, #13 is high for him and they can always trade down to pick him up. If they stay here with this pick, Lee makes the most sense. He can finally give the team a linebacker who can match up in coverage. I would not be shocked to see the Dolphins trade to up nab someone like RB Ezekiel Elliott either as they are in need of help at running back.

14.  DT - Sheldon Rankins - Louisville

The Raiders can use help in stopping the run and obtaining a defensive tackle who can take on multiple blockers. Rankins can fill both of those roles and is a great choice for the Raiders, who are starting to rebuild their defense. They can also use help in the secondary here or other defensive lineman ike Jarran Reed and A'Shawn Robinson from Alabama. 

15.  OT - Taylor Decker - Ohio State

The Titans biggest need heading into the draft is at the tackle position. The offensive line allowed 54 sacks last year and has to do a much better job at providing protection for Marcus Mariota. While Decker's strength is run-blocking, he is still a tremendous value at this pick. The Titans can also consider help at pass rusher, with some like Leonard Floyd as a possibility. 

16.  DT - Jarran Reid - Alabama

The Lions struggled to replace all their losses across the defensive line last season. The Lions have reportedly shown a lot of interest in DT Vernon Butler and Reid, who I think is the better prospect. Reid is excellent at stopping the run and can fit any scheme. The Lions also need help at OT and CB and could certainly trade up to nab someone as at this point, there is not much value at those positions here, unless they really love CB Eli Apple. 

17. DE - Kevin Dodd - Clemson

The Falcons pass rush has been weak for years and needs to be addressed. Dodd, who amassed 12 sacks last season, as well as three in the National Championship Game against Alabama, would be a great fit for this team. The Falcons would probably prefer that OLB Darron Lee become available. The Falcons need help at safety too but might trade down to land someone like Keanu Neal.  

18.  OLB - Leonard Floyd - Georgia

The Colts have to protect Luck next year and can address than in the second day at this point. Floyd's stock is rumored to be soaring so there is a chance he could be gone but he makes a lot of sense here. The knock on him is his lanky frame and durability and even though the Colts prefer their OLB's bigger, Floyd could fit that need by hitting the weight room. C Ryan Kelly is the best interior offensive lineman in the draft but it might be a bit early for him here.  

19.   OLB - Noah Spence - Eastern Kentucky

 Spence would have likely been a top 10 pick had he not been kicked out of Ohio State for repeated failed drug tests. He is widely regarded as the top edge rusher in the draft. While he had a great on the field during Senior Bowl week, there are mixed reports on how he did with the team interview portion. With Rex Ryan taking chances on players with "character issues" in the past and a team needing to bolster their pass rush, this pick makes sense. The Bills can also look at the interior of the defensive line and take someone like A'Shawn Robinson out f Alabama or even look at WR Laquon Treadwell. 

20.   DT - A'Shawn Robinson - Alabama

I think the Jets are going to try and trade this pick, either to move up or collect an extra pick or two on the way down. With all the top edge rushers and tackles off of the board, Robinson can give them a five-technique defensive end that can replace Muhammad Wilkerson, who is rumored to be leaving soon. The Jets can also consider cornerbacks like Eli Apple or William Jackson. 

21. SS - Karl Joseph - West Virginia

The Redskins need help just about everywhere on defense. Joseph is a bit undersized but very physical and does fit a need. The Redskins can look at a nose tackle like Andrew Billings here too but they are rumored to be very interested in Joseph.  

22. WR - Josh Doctson - TCU

The Texans need someone opposite Deandre Hopkins. Doctson has the speed and ability to go deep, making him a great compliment. Other receivers like Laquon Treadwell and Corey Coleman can be in consideration here as well. Also, center Ryan Kelly can be an option. 

 
23. WR - Laquon Treadwell - Ole Miss

The Vikings could be getting great value here with Treadwell, who up until recently was widely regarded as the top receiver in the draft. There is talk that is poor 40 yard dash time (4.64) has scared off teams as they view him only has a possession receiver. However, Treadwell does have great ball skills and displayed solid route-running. The Vikings can also look at improving their secondary here as well. There is also talk that the Vikings might select DE Robert Nkemdiche with this pick too. 

24. WR - Corey Coleman - Baylor

The Bengals lost a majority of their receiving corps during the off-season and only signed Brandon LaFell, who was waived by the Patriots after a terrible season. The Bengals have met a lot with Coleman during the draft process and his skills as a deep threat can compliment star AJ Green quite nicely. The Bengals can also trade down to a team looking to get back into the end of the 1st round or look for help at cornerback or on the defensive line.  

25.   CB - William Jackson, III - Houston

The Steelers secondary is a mess. Jackson has superb ball-skills and the ability to become a big-play threat on defense. Plus, he has the height (6'1) that the Steelers desperately need at the position. The Steelers could also choose fellow cornerback Eli Apple with this pick or S Keanu Neal, who head coach Mike Tomlin is reportedly a fan off and that also fits a need.  

 
26. C - Ryan Kelly - Alabama

Its rare for a center to go in the first round but Kelly is by far and away the top prospect in the draft among interior offensive lineman. The Seahawks had nothing at that position last year and protecting franchise quarterback Russell Wilson is a must. The Seahawks also have needs a cornerback and defensive tackle that they can address later in the draft.  

27. ILB - Reggie Ragland - Alabama

The Packers played Clay Matthews at ILB last season but he is a better fit as a pass rusher. Ragland has the skills needed to play the position in a 3-4 defense. He should step in right away and contribute but his ceiling is not as high as other prospects that are available. The Packers can also look for a nose tackle to fill the void of the retired B.J. Raji or even take a defensive end.  

28. CB - Eli Apple - Ohio State

Marcus Peters shined as a rookie last year for the Chiefs at cornerback but the other starter, Sean Smith, bolted to the Raiders in free agency leaving the team with little help. Apple is tall and has long arms needed for the bump-and-run coverage the Chiefs like to play. With only two selections in the top 125 picks, the Chiefs will not be able to fill every need but Apple seems like a safe bet here.  

29. DT - Andrew Billings - Baylor 

Billings can give the Cardinals someone in the middle of their defensive line who can occupy space and allow newly acquired defensive end Chandler Jones to rush the passer. It might not be the most pressing need on the team but it will certainly help the rest of their defense. They can target an athletic secondary safety or cornerback on the second day of the draft.  

30.   DE - Emmanuel Ogbah - Oklahoma State

The Panthers need a strong edge rusher and Ogbah can bring that ability to the team. He has been lauded for a great work ethic and is great against the run as well. The team also has a big need a cornerback with Josh Norman signing with the Redskins after his franchise tag was removed and someone like Artie Burns could be considered here. Also, an offensive tackle like Jason Spriggs or Germain Ifedi can be possibilites with this pick too. 

31. DE - Robert Nkemdiche - Ole Miss

Although quarterback is the teams biggest need, Lynch seems like more of a day two prospect at this point and Connor Cook is reportedly bombing during the interview process and might be scaring teams away. The same might be true as well for Nkemdiche but the team did bring him in for a private workout and he certainly does fit a need. OT Jason Spriggs is another candidate here as he's a perfect fit for Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme and the team does need youth at the position. 



No comments:

Post a Comment