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2016 NFL Draft: Mock Draft 30th March

The combine has been and gone and pro days are underway as hundreds of prospects continue their grind to become NFL players.The first bi


The combine has been and gone and pro days are underway as hundreds of prospects continue their grind to become NFL players. The first big wave of free agency has also been and gone, meaning current NFL rosters are vastly different to what they were just a month ago. So, as you’d expect, the outlook for the 2016 NFL Draft is different too.

  1. Tennessee Titans – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss – In free agency the Titans got themselves a running back in Demarco Murray and got Mariota a little help in Rishard Matthews, so their need for an o-lineman has only increased. Furthermore, all the combine did for Tunsil is secure his spot as the top tackle in the draft and give the Titans even more of a reason to see him as Mariota’s best friend going forward.
  2. Cleveland Browns – Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State – You’d think that QB would be the obvious choice for the Browns here. To me? Not so much. The Browns lost Tashaun Gipson in free agency along with a number of other players. They need help across the whole team, and with a new front office that seems to be in for a complete rebuild, I don’t think they’ll make the same mistakes as they always have since rejoining the NFL, most significantly, reaching for a QB. Ramsey is a better player than any of the QB’s in this draft and will have a more immediate and long term impact for the Browns.
  3. San Diego Chargers – DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon – Buckner is a physical specimen. He has rare size, power and speed and he also has the ability to become a 5-tech in the NFL. In base looks for the Chargers he could very easily play as a 3-4 end and then slide out as an edge rusher if need be. Buckner would be huge – literally and figuratively – for a Chargers defense that needs some presence up front.
  4. Dallas Cowboys – Myles Jack, LB, UCLA – The Cowboys biggest need is still probably pass rusher, but at this point there isn’t a pure pass rusher that deserves the 4th overall pick. Jack, however, will probably be the highest rated player on the board. Coming off a significant knee injury Jack was unable to take part in the combine, but at his pro day on Tuesday 15th March he put on a show for all 32 teams in attendance – whilst he was supposedly only 80%. Jack would make the Cowboys linebacking corps of Sean Lee, Rolando McClain and himself pretty formidable.
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State – The Jags have finally had what seems to be a very successful free agncey period. The already strong offense added Chris Ivory and the defence added Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson and Prince Amukamara. Add Dante Fowler to the mix – last year’s 3rd overall pick – and the Jags defense is maybe one piece away from being complete. That piece would be Bosa. Bosa would be a do-it-all, every-down player for the Jags and be an a great partner with Fowler coming off the edge.
  6. Baltimore Ravens – Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame – The Ravens are looking to prove that last year’s disappointing season was a one off. They have added Eric Weddle and Benjamin Watson in free agency and they will be getting Joe Flacco, Steve Smith Sr, Terrell Suggs, Breshad Perriman and Justin Forsett back from injury. Adding Stanley gives the Ravens a premiere left tackle who’ll be an immediate upgrade to their offensive line that is now their biggest need.
  7. San Francisco 49ers – Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State – The 49ers would love to find themselves in a spot that both Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are available, and I think given the choice, Chip Kelly will go for Carson Wentz. I think he is a better fit. Wentz offers a much larger threat on the ground than Goff does and he will likely be able to run a lot of things that Kelly wants. Furthermore, Kelly system will likely be able to be easily simplified, giving Wentz the chance to start straight away without being overwhelmed.
  8. Philadelphia Eagles (via trade with Miami) – Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida – Having traded away the bust that was Byron Maxwell, the Eagles cornerback depth chart is looking a little thin and vulnerable. Hargreaves is the best pure corner in this draft class and is sure to be an upgrade for the Eagles. Not only does he fill a need, but he is also one of the best players available to the Eagles at this point.
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson – With the addition of Robert Ayers, DE is no longer as desperate a need for the Bucs, but with how the draft has played out this far the Bucs are left in a tricky position. To fill a major need at this point would mean reaching for a prospect so they are likely to go for a mixture of best player available and need. Lawson is that. Line Lawson up with McCoy and Ayers and opposing teams will find themselves with matchup nightmares along their o-line’s. Lawson is capable of being a 3-down lineman and will be able to make an impact immediately.
  10. New York Giants – Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State – The Giants may have changed their philosophy in free agency but I doubt they’ll do the same in the draft. They will go for the best player available and Elliot is that. Elliot was the engine behind the Ohio State machine for the last 2 years. He is a complete running back. He has great size, vision, speed and power and his effectiveness as a receiver and as a blocker is often unnoticed. Urban Meyer even went as far as saying that Elliot is the best player he has ever coached without the ball.
  11. Chicago Bears – Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama – The Bears spent wisely in free agency adding ILB Danny Trevathan, OT Bobby Massie, LB Jerrell Freeman and DL Akiem Hicks. Cornerback or safety is the Bears biggest need now but adding a player like Jarran Reed at this point certainly does no harm. At ‘Bama Reed played both defensive end and nose tackle in their 3-4 scheme and was a huge part of their championship run. Against the run, no-one can move him out of the way. Against the pass, he can take up multiple blockers, push the pocket and has a fairly effective swim move. Furthermore, he is very quick off the snap and is a high motor player. The addition of Reed would give the Bears a pretty impressive front-7.
  12. New Orleans Saints – Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson – The Saints have multiple needs and didn’t really do much in free agency to fill those needs, so they’re gonna have to draft pretty well to get back in the playoff picture. By starting the draft with Dodd, the Saints are filling a need with an ascending talent. Dodd was a beast in the College Football Playoffs and was oft-forgotten about thanks to his teammate Shaq Lawson. Dodd will now be in the shadow of Cam Jordan but he will be able to improve the Saints pass rush pretty dramatically.
  13. Miami Dolphins (via trade with Philadelphia) – Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson – The Dolphins may have acquired Maxwell from the Eagles to replace Brent Grimes, but Maxwell didn’t show anything in Philly to suggest he can be the shutdown corner he was expected to be. Even with Maxwell, the Fins defensive backfield is their biggest need. Alexander doesn’t have the stats that people like to see, but that’s because he wasn’t thrown to. He completely shut down every receiver he faced. In 638 snaps this season he gave up just 11 completions. None for touchdowns. He is a shutdown corner who is a willing tackler, the Dolphins should be eager to add a player like Alexander.
  14. Oakland Raiders – Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama – The Raiders seem to have had an excellent free agency, adding very good players on the offense and defense. Their secondary still needs work, but at this point, Ragland would be hard for the Raiders to pass up on. Ragland was the shot-caller for the Clemson Tide’s stellar defense last season and has an old-school, hard-nosed style of play. He may not be the most athletic or best coverage linebacker but in 1st and 2nd down he is downright impressive. He has great instincts, is a great, strong tackler and can rush the passer. He’d be a great piece in the middle of a rising defense.
  15. Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff, QB, Cal – The Rams would surely be over the moon if they found themselves in a spot to draft Goff without having to trade up. Goff is the most polished and pro-ready QB in this draft and certainly seems to be an immediate upgrade to Foles or Keenum. Plus, he wouldn’t have to be any more than a game manager for at least this year thanks to last year’s 1st round pick, Todd Gurley. As long as he could hand the ball off and not turn the ball over – all signs suggest he will be able to – the Rams will be set up very nicely to make LA an NFL city rather than an NCAA city.
  16. Detroit Lions – Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State – The Lions entered free agency with several big needs and they didn’t really do much to fill them, but they do have a chance to fill one of them here and as far as I’m concerned offensive tackle is the way for them to go. Conklin was a three year starter for the Spartans and was a huge reason for their sustained success in his time there. He is technically sound and has good measurables. By adding him the Lions can re-jig their o-line and give Stafford more of a chance to sling it.
  17. Atlanta Falcons – Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State – Lee really helped himself at the combine by showing off his freak athleticism. The mixture of that and his impressive game film will leave the Falcons licking their lips if he is on the board at 17. The Falcons need to shore up their linebacking corps and Lee would most certainly do that. He’ll be an every-down player for the Falcons and improve their defense in both passing and rushing situations.
  18. Indianapolis Colts – Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State – How last season played out will have made some of their decisions come draft day fairly simple; they have to keep Andrew Luck healthy. The best way to do that? Keep him on his feet in the pocket. Taylor Decker, like many Ohio State prospects, has pretty solid fundamentals and will likely be able to step in immediately thanks to what was asked of him in the Buckeyes’ pro-style system.
  19. Buffalo Bills – A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama – The Bills lost Mario Williams to the Dolphins and Kyle Williams isn’t getting any younger and is coming of a significant knee injury. So, Robinson not only adds depth to a need but he is likely the best player left on the board. Adding that talent to the middle of the Bills defense makes an already intimidating unit even more frightening.
  20. New York Jets – Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia – The Jets have lacked a true edge rusher to complement their incredible interior defensive line for a while now, but they haven’t been able to find one. Floyd would be that player. Floyd isn’t exactly a significant presence against the run but he wouldn’t need to be in this defense. He is very athletic and is very explosive off the edge so will be able to make an impact immediately in passing situations as he develops into a better-rounded player.
  21. Washington Redskins – Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama – Kelly is one of the top 5 offensive lineman in my opinion and center is a bid need for the Redskins. Like most Alabama players he has a very pro-friendly skill set. He is fundamentally sound and knows how to read a defense and control and organise the offensive line. Giving Cousins a more time in the pocket and a second pair of eyes to read a defense will be huge for the Redskins.
  22. Houston Texans – Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor – The Texans have got their QB and their running back and they have one of the best receivers in the game in DeAndre Hopkins, but aside from him they don’t really have a legitimate number 2 target. By adding another pass catcher to complement Hopkins could make the Texans offense pretty scary. Coleman is a touchdown machine. At Baylor he caught 174 catches, 33 of them for a touchdown. That’s a touchdown every 5-6 catches. With Hopkins occupying double teams, Coleman could have a huge year for the Texans.
  23. Minnesota Vikings – Laquan Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss – The Vikings got a steal in Stefon Diggs last year at receiver, but outside of him, they don’t have much to boast about in the way of receivers. Cordarrelle Patterson hasn’t developed into anything more than a kick returner so the Vikings need to look for a running partner for Diggs. If Treadwell is available the Vikings would be stupid to pass on him. He is a big bodied receiver who will win 50/50 catches and is a nightmare after the catch. He would be able to be a true number 1 receiver in partnership with Diggs.
  24. Cincinnati Bengals – Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame – The Bengals receiving corps took a big hit with the loss of Sanu and Jones in free agency. Luckily they’re still left with one of the best receivers in the league and a top 5 tight end. Nevertheless, add a playmaker like Fuller to the mix and the Bengals offense likely won’t miss a beat. Yes, he has some issues with drops. Yes, he has a limited route tree. But damn, can he burn a defense. He can be a huge play threat for the Bengals as he develops into a number 2 receiver to pair with Green on the outside.
  25. Pittsburgh Steelers – Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State – The Steelers were just a few injuries and maybe one player away from being the best team in the AFC. That player was a defensive back. Add Apple to the Steelers defense and Pittsburgh could once again find themselves atop the AFC. Apple can play both zone or man and will likely be able to start right away for the Steelers thanks to his experience at Ohio State and can be the piece to propel the Steelers to their 4th Super Bowl since 2006.
  26. Seattle Seahawks – Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville – The Seahawks still boast one of the strongest rosters in the NFL and still have most of the key players that took them to two straight Super Bowls. However, with Brandon Mebane gone the Seahawks do have a sizeable hole on their defensive line, Rankins could fill it. Rankins was the talk of the Senior Bowl as he put on a show for all the teams in attendance during practices. He’s explosive off the ball and can be a force against the run thanks to his leverage and lower body strength. Against the pass he is a handful too. He’d be great next to Bennett and Avril on the Seahawks d-line.
  27. Green Bay Packers – Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor – With the departure of BJ Raji the Packers could do with some fresh meat in the heart of their defensive line. Billings was just that for Baylor in the two years that he started. He has a very effective punch in the run game to immediately put him on top of offensive lineman, allowing him to shed the block and make a play on the ball carrier. Furthermore, he is more than capable of taking on double teams. As a pass rusher, he’ll only really use a power move which could limit his impact in passing situations, but the Packers do have several players who can be relied on to pressure the QB.
  28. Kansas City Chiefs – Kamalei Correa, LB, Boise State – The Chiefs defense could be without one of its star players for at least the beginning of the season as Justin Houston’s ACL is reportedly not functioning. That is a huge blow for this team. Furthermore, Tamba Hali isn’t getting any younger and is also coming off an injury filled season. That makes OLB a big need for this team. In his time at Boise State, Correa was an impact player at both DE and OLB. He is raw but he is a very twitchy athlete who plays with excellent effort. He should be able to make an impact in Houston’s absence and also be a good replacement for Hali going forward.
  29. Arizona Cardinals – William Jackson III, CB, Houston – The Cardinals took care of one of their biggest needs/their biggest need when they traded for Chandler Jones, giving them a lot more options with this pick. Now, looking at the best available players, Jackson III would be a great pick for the Cardinals. Peterson is the best corner in the NFL but they could do with a true number 2 corner. Yes, Mathieu can play corner but he is best used as a free safety and slot/nickel corner. Drafting Jackson III would allow Mathieu to move into his best spot and also give the Cardinals another great, young corner.
  30. Carolina Panthers – Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky – Aside from their offensive tackles, pass rusher was the Panthers biggest weakness last year and with the departure of Jared Allen it is an even bigger need. Having been on the receiving end of an incredible pass rush from the Broncos the Panthers should certainly look to emulate that and get after the passer more in 2016. Spence is possibly the best pure pass rusher in this draft. The troubled ex-Ohio State Buckeye was big for the Buckeyes before his banishment from the Big 10, so he is no stranger to high end opponents. He would be an instant upgrade to the Panthers pass rush.
  31. Denver Broncos – Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis – Having lost both Manning and Osweiler this offseason, and only bringing in Mark Sanchez, the Broncos desperately need a QB for now and the future. Though I think Sanchez may actually be a decent option for the Broncos, Lynch is a better one. Like Osweiler, Lynch is very big, has a live arm but is an even better athlete, so having him in the building would likely make both Elway and Kubiak very excited. Furthermore, with the offensive weapons the Broncos possess and their incredible defense, Lynch would have to do very little in his first year if he was the starter, which is a blessing. The Broncos won a Super Bowl with bad QB play last year, and Lynch would be an immediate upgrade.

 

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Remy Cabache

Lifetime sports fan. I have written with RealSport since the NFL section started and I have also written for my own blog, EbonyBird.com and I have had several articles published in local newspapers covering my local (American) football team.

2016 NFL Draft: Mock Draft 30th March

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