Ah Mock Drafts. Everyone loves to read them, everyone loves to slate them. There is no winning for those that write them, especially when teams keep trading up like maniacs (Thanks Philly!). With the first round just 1 week away, we will delve a little deeper and look at the first 3 rounds of the draft. So here is my mock draft. I humbly offer it up and ask that you don’t tear it to shreds. 1. Los Angeles Rams (from/ Tennessee) Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State Wentz might not be the best player in this draft but you don’t make this trade for a cornerback or left tackle. He’s far from a perfect prospect but Wentz can throw the deep ball, can put a nice touch on intermediate and short stuff and he can move as well. However the inconsistency with his footwork can hamper his accuracy and the level of competition he faced at North Dakota puts question marks on his ability to handle elite competition. 2. Philadelphia Eagles (f/Cleveland) Jared Goff, QB, California The paid a lot to get up to number 2 so that can only be for the other of the quarterbacks, Jared Goff. There isn’t a lot of separation between Goff and Wentz in the eyes of many and Philadelphia are in a position to let Goff sit behind Sam Bradford and let him grow a little before thrusting him into the fire. Or the Eagles can start him straight away and see what all their picks have bought them. Either way, the move away from the Chip Kelly era continues. 3. San Diego Chargers Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss Laremy Tunsil is comfortably the best O-Line prospect in this draft. Physically he has everything you want in a left tackle and boy do the Chargers need someone who can protect Phil Rivers and help in the run game. The only way this offense is going to get back toward their glory days is to improve up front. 4. Dallas Cowboys Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State The Cowboys aren’t desperate for a defensive end but they do need talent on the front 7. Bosa is a demon against the run and can play pretty much anywhere along the line. He’s not got the elite speed people love in edge rushers but can still get to the QB regularly. 5. Jacksonville Jaguars Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State Ramsey is a superb athlete with great skills, but he may end up being a better safety than corner – not that he is any slouch on the outside. Ramsey’s transitions are a tick slower than you’d like and he can be overeager to jump routes, resulting in him losing his assignment. With that said Ramsey is a terrific prospect. His versatility to play everywhere across the defensive backfield gives him an air of Tyrann Mathieu but with size, which is a defensive coordinator’s dream. 6. Baltimore Ravens Myles Jack, LB, UCLA I wouldn’t be overly surprised to see the Ravens trade out of here on draft day. Ozzie Newsome is a smart man and gathering more picks is often the best way to proceed. But with Miles Jack and DeForest Buckner available it’s also a terrific chance to get an amazing talent who fits the Ravens mold perfectly. With Daryl Smith leaving there is an opening next CJ Mosley and Jack would fill it perfectly. He is a supreme athlete with exceptional coverage skills. He is a scary addition to a traditionally exceptional defense. 7. San Francisco 49ers DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon With the Eagles trading up for a quarterback the 49ers option for replacing Kaepernick here. But it also pushes one of the elite prospects down into their laps. The last of those is Buckner so it’s a no brainer pick for Trent Baalke. Since Justin Smith retired the 49ers have needed a beast in the trenches and Buckner can be that guy. 8. Cleveland Browns (f/ Miami via Philadelphia) Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida The Browns managed to move down and gather up a collection of future picks to help fill the holes in their roster after being gutted in free agency, the most pressing of which is cornerback. After Justin Gilbert busted and Buster Skrine moved on there was a gaping hole in the Browns coverage last year. Joe Haden can’t do it all alone, but bringing in fellow Florida Gator Vernon Hargreaves will go a long way to helping. 9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson Lawson has been a terror at Clemson, living in the back field and killing quarterbacks, he had an amazing 45.5 tackles for loss in his 3 years there. That is exactly what the Buccaneers have been lacking for a long time now off the edge. Lawson has the potential to a real terror in the pros and while Tampa Bay have missed recently they should go back to the well once more. 10. New York Giants Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State Elliott is an amazingly talented running back who can do it all. He crushed everything in his path on the way to Ohio State’s national championship during the 2014 season. He was only 50 yards shy of that production last year and leaves college with an amazing 6.7 yards per carry. The rule for most now is “Don’t draft a running back high” but sometimes there are exceptions, Todd Gurley was one last year and I think Elliott will be this year. While the Giants might having more pressing needs elsewhere the success of Todd Gurley coupled with Elliott’s own outstanding prowess may convince the Giants that he is the answer to their ground game problems. 11. Chicago Bears Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame Chicago may have signed Bobby Massie during free agency but they still have a huge question mark at left tackle. Stanley is not the prospect that Tunsil is, but he is potentially the last left tackle prospect on the board so the Bears need to pull the trigger if he’s still there. This move lets them put Kyle Long back to guard so they get better at two positions with one pick, not a bad outcome. 12. New Orleans Saints Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss The Saints defense has been terrible for a while now, but their offense is also starting to crumble. Drew Brees excels at spreading the ball around to different targets, so another receiver is just what they need to pair with Brandin Cooks. Treadwell’s lack of measurable speed has some worrying about his NFL potential but he was still recovering from a leg injury when clocked but plays faster thanks to his long strides. He has a big catching radius and is a physical guy on the outside that can compete for the high balls. The Saints have a lot of needs but keeping the offense ticking is a priority. 13. Miami Dolphins (f/ Philadelphia) Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State Miami bought in Kiko Alonso via trade but they still have a huge hole at linebacker, one that Lee should be able to fill brilliantly. While he doesn’t have the ideal experience at the position, having started playing linebacker in 2014, but he is sensationally athletic and a very intelligent player. His coverage skills are impeccable and while he lacks ideal size against the run that is no reason to discount his ability in that facet. 14. Oakland Raiders Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville For once the Raiders aren’t desperate for a quarterback. They can sit and let the draft come to them rather than panicking that a player might disappear in front of them. Rankins is a spectacular interior defender. Strong in initial contact and with surprising lateral agility Rankins can terrorise blockers when left one on one. His interior presence will help everyone around him on the Raiders defense. 15. Tennessee Titans (f/ Los Angeles) Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State The Titans pulled in a lot of picks from the Rams, which is good because the have a lot of holes in their roster. The main one is right tackle, where they couldn’t block a drain last year. Conklin is a strong and nasty run blocker but lacks the high end mobility to play left tackle immediately, which is perfect for the Titans who can slide Conklin in immediately and have quality bookends to look after Marcus Mariota. 16. Detroit Lions Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State The Lions too have a lot of needs on their roster, the main one being corner where they have struggled for years, being one of the worst teams against #1 receivers last year. Apple has a great blend of length and athleticism but can get a little handsy when he senses receivers separating, nor is he a fantastic tackler. But for the Lions they need someone who can stay with their man and that is Apple to a tee. 17. Atlanta Falcons Leonard Floyd, OLB/DE, Georgia Leonard Floyd is an interesting prospect. He is a lightning fast rusher but lacks the size to simply sit and play at defensive end. He does have experience as an off the line safety, and can use his insane athleticism in coverage but it’s not his forte. The best NFL comparison for him is a less polished Anthony Barr. If utilised in the right way Floyd could be devastating, a rangy linebacker on first and second down and then a flashy pass rusher on third. That is exactly the kind of player the Falcons defense needs. 18. Indianapolis Colts Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama The Colts have been dying for a better offensive line for a long time now, so rather than draft another wide receiver and hope that allows Luck to get the ball away quicker the Colts should really just work on protecting him and building a running game. Kelly is a strong first level blocker but can struggle with over-extension and poor balance at the second level but those are fixable traits. He is a very smart player, capable of communicating assignments and identifying responsibilities quickly. That intelligence on the field helps his first step and quickness as well. 19. Buffalo Bills Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State Another offensive lineman and another Buckeye. The Bills managed to bring back Cordy Glenn for 2016 but only on a franchise tag, Decker’s selection would not only give them an immediate and large upgrade at right tackle but also a safety net should they be unable to keep Glenn long term. Decker has potential to play left tackle but is a very safe right tackle prospect. He does everything well and is one of the calmest players you’ll ever see. He will take time if he is develop into a left tackle, but that’s ok for Buffalo in the here and now. 20. New York Jets Macenksie Alexander, CB, Clemson The Jets might be tempted by a quarterback here, but I’m not sold on any of the guys still on the board fitting well here. So if we’re not going to a passer it has to be a pass stopper. Darrelle Revis is still on one side of the field, and while he’s slipped a little he is a very good player. The issue is on the other side where Dee Milliner has failed to develop into the calibre of player the Jets had hoped. Alexander may not have a single interception in his collegiate career but that’s because quarterbacks simply didn’t test him, his coverage was so consistent and reliable. That’s the kind of player you want on your football team. 21. Washington Redskins Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama Washington have made an effort to improve their offensive line, but after losing Terrance Knighton in free agency they could use a big boy in the middle of the defense to control things. Reed is devastatingly strong at the point of attack and has good mobility to get across the line. He’s not going to be on the field in passing situations but that’s fine, it will let him go to town early on against the run. 22. Houston Texans Josh Doctson, WR, TCU So the Texans have their quarterback now in Brock Osweiler, so it’s important to give him some help. While DeAndre Hopkins is an excellent player they need someone else to take away coverage from him. Doctson is no lightning fast receiver but he’s fast enough and has an immense catching radius with ridiculous hands. He just doesn’t drop anything and that’s really the most important thing for a receiver in the NFL. 23. Minnesota Vikings Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame Minnesota are in a terrific position at the moment. They have their quarterback, they have good depth at key positions and don’t need much. What they do need is a bit of speed on the outside to help open up space elsewhere; and speed is something Will Fuller has in spades. 24. Cincinnati Bengals Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama Ragland has slipped a bit in this mock compared to others. That’s not because I don’t think he’s good at what he does, it’s just the holes in his game that worry me a little more than others. He’s a superb run defender but his coverage skills are not elite and more and more that is the important aspect for linebacker prospects. That said Ragland is a very good prospect and would be a terrific addition to a Bengals team that could use more help at linebacker. 25. Pittsburgh Steelers William Jackson III, CB, Houston Pittsburgh’s pass defense has been lacking for a long time, especially their coverage. While there are needs elsewhere around the roster the most pressing is at cornerback, thankfully there is a bounty of quality corner prospects in this draft, the best remaining being William Jackson. A lightning-fast player with good instincts in man coverage, just what is needed against modern NFL offenses. 26. Seattle Seahawks Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State With the elite offensive tackle prospects flying off the board early on the Seahawks are left with a hole they will have to fill elsewhere. Ogbah will go some way to pacifying the Seahawks front office though by providing a strong pass rushing option for them. Seattle’s defense has been at its best when their rotation of edge rushers has been deep, this will go some way to restoring that and aid them in crushing opposing passing offenses once again. 27. Green Bay Packers A’Shawn Robinson, DE/DT, Alabama Robinson is a big boy who will clog up a lot of space for the Packers. Their deficiencies at inside linebacker need hiding, and often the best way to do that is to give them more protection up front, Robinson can do that. 28. Kansas City Chiefs Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor Coleman is an exciting playmaking prospect, which is exactly what the Chiefs need on offense. You get the ball in this kids hands and he is a danger to any defense. He isn’t totally reliable with his hands and the Baylor offense doesn’t exactly produce NFL-ready receivers from a route running perspective but Coleman’s elite physical attributes should excite every team. 29. Arizona Cardinals Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA A lot of people have Arizona taking their “quarterback of the future” with this pick, but I don’t buy it. Their trade for Chandler Jones means they aren’t picking again until #92, that’s a long time to go without picking any young player who can contribute immediately. 30. Carolina Panthers Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson Dodd is something of a one hit wonder, having just one season as a starter at Clemson – but what a season it was. 12.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss is fantastic production. He’s far from the polished product but there is enough potential there to excite the Panthers, who could use more depth in their edge rotation. 31. Denver Broncos Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State The defending champions have had something of a gutting in free agency. With Peyton Manning retiring and Brock Osweiler going to the Texans while playoffs stand-out Malik Jackson joined Jacksonville the Broncos could use a re-stocking of the war chest. They may be tempted to draft a quarterback after failing to pry Colin Kaepernick away from the 49ers but I think they should go with keeping their defense strong, replacing Jackson with another bruiser up front is a great way to go.
1. Cleveland Browns Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss 2. Tennessee Titans Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor 3. Dallas Cowboys Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis 4. San Diego Chargers Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech 5. Baltimore Ravens Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama 6. San Francisco 49ers Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky 7. Jacksonville Jaguars Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana 8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech 9. New York Giants Germain Ifedi, OT/G, Texas A&M 10. Chicago Bears Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor 11. Miami Dolphins Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State 12. Tennessee Titans (f/ Philadelphia via Los Angeles) Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State 13. Oakland Raiders Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh 14. Tennessee Titans (f/ Los Angeles) Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas 15. Detroit Lions Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn 16. New Orleans Saints Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State 17. Indianapolis Colts Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida 18. Buffalo Bills Jihad Ward, DE/DT, Illinois 19. Atlanta Falcons Darian Thompson, S, Boise State 20. New York Jets Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State 21. Houston Texans Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia 22. Washington Redskins Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma 23. Minnesota Vikings Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame 24. Cincinnati Bengals Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State 25. Seattle Seahawks Le’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech 26. Green Bay Packers Beniquez Brown, ILB, Mississippi State 27. Pittsburgh Steelers Keanu Neal, S, Florida 28. Kansas City Chiefs Sean Davis, CB, Maryland 29. New England Patriots Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma 30. New England Patriots (f/ Arizona) Su’a Cravens, OLB, USC 31. Carolina Panthers Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State 32. Denver Broncos Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
1. Tennessee Titans Deion Jones, OLB, LSU 2. Cleveland Browns Charone Peake, WR, Clemson 3. San Diego Chargers Christian Westerman, OG, Arizona State 4. Dallas Cowboys Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State 5. San Francisco 49ers Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State 6. Jacksonville Jaguars Nick Martin, C/G, Notre Dame 7. Baltimore Ravens Devontae Booker, RB, Utah 8. New York Giants Joshua Perry, OLB, Ohio State 9. Chicago Bears Kamalei Correa, DE/OLB, Boise State 10. Miami Dolphins Artie Burns, CB, Miami (Fla) 11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford 12. Oakland Raiders Max Tuerk, C, USC 13. Tennessee Titans (f. Los Angeles) Jordan Jenkins, OLB, Georgia 14. Cleveland Browns (f/Detroit via Philadelphia) TJ Green, S, Clemson 15. New Orleans Saints Austin Johnson, DT, Penn State 16. Philadelphia Eagles CJ Prosise, RB, Notre Dame 17. Buffalo Bills Nick Kwiatoski, LB, West Virginia 18. Atlanta Falcons Joe Dahl, OG, Washington State 19. Indianapolis Colts Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame 20. New York Jets Yannick Ngakoue, OLB/DE, Maryland 21. Washington Redskins Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech 22. Houston Texans Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah 23. Minnesota Vikings Willie Beavers, OT, Western Michigan 24. Cincinnati Bengals Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State 25. Green Bay Packers Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State 26. Pittsburgh Steelers Hassan Ridgeway, DT, Texas 27. Seattle Seahawks Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama 28. New England Patriots Jerald Hawkins, OT, LSU 29. Arizona Cardinals Kyler Fackrell, OLB, Utah State 30. Carolina Panthers Vadal Alexander, OG, LSU 31. Denver Broncos Blake Martinez, ILB, Stanford
- NFL 2016 Draft: The ‘Big Board’ – Top 100 prospects
- 2016 NFL Draft: Mock Draft 14th April
- NFL Breaking News: Eagles trade up to #2 in draft
- BREAKING NEWS: Titans trade #1 overall pick to Rams