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2016 NFL Draft: Final Mock Draft 27/04

My final mock draft before the real one goes down. There’s a few questionable choices and curveballs thrown in, but you never know, a few


My final mock draft before the real one goes down. There’s a few questionable choices and curveballs thrown in, but you never know, a few of them could happen. Here goes: 1. Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff, QB, California This, and as a result the next pick, are purely based on what is expected. Right from the start, I have been much higher on Wentz and have a few more doubts and questions about Goff. But I’ll trust all the reports that say it goes this way. 2. Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State Even if you don’t like the move up for a QB, Wentz is still a great talent with exceptional upside. His intangibles are off the charts to go with his physical talents. He handles everything with calmness and coolness that is reminiscent of Eli Manning, and that will serve him well in a market that is not the easiest at times to play for, and many of whom have voiced displeasure over the move. 3. San Diego Chargers – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss This is just a perfect marriage of need plus talent. For me, Tunsil is the best player in this draft. The former Rebels tackle has outstanding footwork and athleticism for his size, with the balance and control that saw him only give up two sacks in his 28 games in college. The Chargers have made some moves to help their line this off-season but adding Tunsil will make an instant impact. 4. Dallas Cowboys – Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State Elliott should certainly get strong consideration, but Ramsey is also a true playmaker. The options of how to deploy him are endless for a defensive co-ordinator. 5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Joey Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State Another great balance of need and value. With Bosa and hopefully a fit Fowler on the edges with Malik Jackson in the middle, there’s a strong front for the Jags that will benefit every level of the defense as a result. Bosa doesn’t have elite explosion but he has outstanding hands, great technique and a superb all-round game, including being one of the best prospects I’ve seen in years versus the run. 6. Baltimore Ravens – DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon Cornerback with Hargreaves and O-line with Stanley are arguably bigger needs, but Buckner is the best player available, and fits a requirement as well to provide much needed youth on the defensive front. It’s a perfect fit, if they can stay strong and stick to their board (provided they agree with me that Buckner is ahead of the two mentioned above!). 7. San Francisco 49ers – Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame This is too high for Lynch; I don’t know what they do at QB going forward. But right here, they can fill another massive need. This unit struggled big time last year. There’s no guarantee Anthony Davis is back, and Joe Staley is getting on. Stanley can start on the right and eventually take over on the left. This is a wise investment. 8. Cleveland Browns – Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State You don’t have to tell me that this far from the biggest position of need on a roster full of holes. But the Browns have a chance to add a game-changing, difference-making, instant impact playmaker, and potential central piece to their offense who is easily one of the top 5 talents in this class. You gotta take that opportunity. I’d say take Buckner if he’s there, but as he is not, go best player available – that’s Elliott. Controversial… 9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida After two years of almost entirely offensive player drafts, this one is supposed to be all about the D this year. Early reports suggested that the Bucs are “lukewarm” on Hargreaves, but that hopefully has changed over the process. Grimes is a short-term solution, Banks has underperformed, and Verner was a waste of money. 10. New York Giants – Myles Jack, LB, UCLA Jack falls a bit due to medicals. How real it is, I don’t know, not a doctor, and heck I don’t even have the results to pretend I am. But, the Giants are reportedly one of the teams who are comfortable with his outlook, and this is a huge need that equals a huge steal. Jack is elite in coverage and space with versatility to impact the game on all levels. This defense got stronger over free agency, and that trend continues here. 11. Chicago Bears – Sheldon Rankins, DL, Louisville The Bears are running a 3-4 base defense now, but don’t have all the right pieces right now on the roster. Rankins is an explosive, powerful lineman who can fill a need at the 5-technique end position. His rise up the boards has much more to it than just his dominance at the senior bowl, but it certainly helped. He’s been playing great for a number of years now in the ACC. 12. New Orleans Saints – Shaq Lawson, EDGE, Clemson Improving the defense is a must. The back end struggled, but that can be helped out by getting more pressure up front, and they need more than just Jordan to do that. Lawson should see single looks and thrive as a rookie. 13. Miami Dolphins – Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State Not sure the trade down worked too well, the Dolphins miss out on some top talents at their biggest positions of need. O-line needs help, primarily in the interior, but they can work that out later. If Conklin has to start at guard, they still get better, and he will eventually end up outside down the line. 14. Oakland Raiders – Leonard Floyd, EDGE, Georgia I’m not a fan of Floyd, he’s a lanky raw athlete who doesn’t know what he’s doing. I’ve got a second round grade. But he’ll go high regardless, based on the upside. And to be fair, he fits the Raiders rather well. Pairing Floyd with Irvin might seem slight overkill, but it frees up Mack and adds so many options. This is a scary prospect (provided Floyd works out). 15. Tennessee Titans – Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State Another player who I certainly don’t rate this high. But regardless, Decker will go high, and at least in this scenario he can slot in at right tackle. He’s flawed in pass protection, doesn’t play with good leverage, and generally just fails to stand out in any area. But Mariota needs protection and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Decker was the highest O-lineman left on the Titans’ board. 16. Detroit Lions – Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama A previous area of strength has become an area of weakness. Reed is a plug and play starter from day 1 in the interior, with heavy hands and a force at the point of attack. Great fit. 17. Atlanta Falcons – Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State The Falcons hit a big area of need. Lee is small but can make plays on every level of the defense and excels in space, fitting the mould of the modern NFL linebacker. The guys on the roster currently are thumpers against the run, Lee is the kind of linebacker this unit really needs. 18. Indianapolis Colts – Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama Grigson doesn’t like to reach, so even though they need O-line help to protect Luck, that may have to wait until day 2 of the draft. This still hits a significant area of need, as Ragland becomes a strong presence over the middle immediately to take Freeman’s place. 19. Buffalo Bills – Vernon Butler, DL, Louisiana Tech Massive, broad and athletic, with the ability to stuff the run but also excel in pursuit and get behind the line of scrimmage to make tackles for loss. Butler is Rex’s kind of player and compares a lot to his former 1st round pick Muhammed Wilkerson. 20. New York Jets – Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana This could be considered a slight reach, but Spriggs has the potential to outplay a number of tackles in this class and is the best athlete of the lot. This is a perfect scenario too where he can take some time before hopefully taking over the left side from Clady before too long. 21. Washington Redskins – Andrew Billings, DL, Baylor The Redskins get a bargain. Billings is a big improvement over Knighton at the nose, and deserves to go a lot earlier than this. He’s pigeon-holed as a run stuffer but is more disruptive in the backfield than he’s given credit for. 22. Houston Texans – Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor The Texans have their choice of receivers, and the temptation to add the dynamic home-run hitter Coleman is tough to resist. With Hopkins drawing double-teams, Coleman will find space, and that is where he is at his best. 23. Minnesota Vikings – Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia Rick Spielman made it clear that the Vikings are not necessarily taking a wide receiver in round one, despite every mock draft out there it seems giving him one. The Vikings are very much in the safety market to find someone to play alongside Harrison Smith, and Joseph is absolutely one of the best pure football players in this entire draft, standing out supporting the run, and at reading the QB and playing in coverage. 24. Cincinnati Bengals – Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss The Bengals take advantage of the falling Treadwell and score a bargain. It’s been common to mock a smaller, quicker receiver to Cinci, but don’t over-think things Bengals, take Treadwell. That’ll be scary paired with A.J. 25. Pittsburgh Steelers – Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State The Steelers must upgrade the secondary this off-season. They’ll get a couple corners back from injury, including last year’s 2nd round pick, but need more at both corner and safety. Apple is a work in progress but has length and speed with big time upside. 26. Seattle Seahawks – Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State Tackle or guard, it doesn’t matter, the Hawks need help on the offensive line. Whitehair can play any of the five spots but at his best inside at guard, and is as polished as a lineman can be entering the league from college. This is such a solid and logical pick that it probably doesn’t happen. 27. Green Bay Packers – Noah Spence, EDGE, Eastern Kentucky Call this a hunch, but I see this happening. Billings would be a contender, as would any of the top linebackers, but they are all gone. An edge rusher is high on the wish list, and Spence is as good as any in this class in terms of getting to the QB. The Packers have been doing their due diligence on Spence, and if they’re happy, then this value is great. 28. Kansas City Chiefs – Josh Doctson, WR, TCU A partner for Maclin, and great value at this point in the draft. Doctson is the best receiver in this class in terms of ball tracking and ultra-reliable hands. Smith gets another talented weapon. 29. Arizona Cardinals – Chris Jones, DL, Mississippi State The motor runs hot and cold, but I think Arians can get the best out of Jones. And if he does, then this defense gets a heck of a lot better with the additions of Jones and Jones. Sorry, C.Jones and C.Jones. Chandler and Chris, whatever. The latest Jones has the upside to match anyone in this strong defensive line class, flashing elite disruption at times. 30. Carolina Panthers – Xavien Howard, CB/S, Baylor The secondary was a big need even before Norman left, now it’s probably as close to a must-address for a team as any in the early parts of this draft. They need help at both corner and safety, so why not go with a prospect who has the potential to be a star at either. Howards film is spotty, but he flashes rare traits, and has all the physical measurables that you want. He’s young and will only get better. 31. Denver Broncos – Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis He probably goes earlier than this. But there’s no additional trades in this mock, so while a team trading up back into round one or even the Broncos themselves moving up is more likely, in this scenario the third QB is sitting there to take.

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2016 NFL Draft: Final Mock Draft 27/04

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