Mock Draft 1.0

It’s that crazy time of the year,mock draft season! This mock draft is with no trades and created as of 3/26/16.

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Titans- Laremy Tunsil, OT Ole Miss:

                If the Titans are serious about protecting Marcus Mariota so that he has a chance to develop into a franchise QB, they must invest in the line in front of him. This move would also likely move Tennessee’s 2015 3rd round pick, Jeremiah Poutasi, inside to guard and Taylor Lewan to right tackle…where they are both better suited. Tunsil compares favorably to Dallas’ Tyron Smith and would make offensive line a strength for Tennessee.

Browns- Jalen Ramsey, CB/S Florida State:

                With Robert Griffin III aboard on a two year contract, Cleveland will have to REALLY fall in love with Jared Goff or Carson Wentz  to take one of them with the second pick in the draft. Look for the Browns to try to trade down or take one of the top players available for a roster needing a boost in talent after their offseason free agent exodus. Ramsey would give the Browns a near fail-proof prospect, whose versatility at safety would benefit them in a division facing Big Ben, Flickin’ Flacco, and Andy Dalton (I refuse to call him a cool nickname) twice a year.

Chargers- Joey Bosa, DE Ohio State:

                The Chargers could add help on a putrid offensive line to help appease a seemingly frustrated Philip Rivers, but I think they take the best player available in an effort to fix a roster with few to no big names. San Diego is the only team in their division without a marquee defender (Von Miller, Justin Houston, Khalil Mack) and the addition of Bosa would be a nice step towards competing in the AFC West.

Cowboys- Carson Wentz, QB North Dakota State:

                Dallas was ‘this close’ to drafting Johnny Manziel two years ago, showing they are at least open to safeguarding the most important position in sports. Tony Romo is only getting older and broke his clavicle twice in less than nine months, the Cowboys would be wise to draft the heir apparent. Jason Garrett and his staff know Wentz better than any other of the other 32 teams; they coached him directly at the Senior Bowl and got an up-close peek.

Jaguars- Myles Jack, LB UCLA:

                Myles Jack is a very athletic linebacker who would come to a defense that would all of the sudden have ALL of the pieces at every level of the defense in place for Gus Bradley to get creative and potentially end up on top of the AFC South. Bradley has changed the culture in Jacksonville and 2016 is when their record reflects it.

Ravens- Ronnie Stanley, OT Notre Dame:

                Baltimore had a rocky season for the first time under Coach John Harbaugh, one that could/should easily be chalked up to equal parts bad luck and flurries of injuries. GM Ozzie Newsome seems to steal numerous players in every draft when they are positioned in the bottom half of the first round, so I look for them to have a bounce-back draft. Ronnie Stanley would solidify the tackle spot and provide Joe Flacco with more of a clean pocket to operate in.

49ers- Jared Goff, QB California:

                Collin Kaepernick on the roster or not, given Chip Kelly’s past comments in Philadelphia about drafting QBs, I expect San Francisco to jump on Jared Goff or Carson Wentz if available with the 7th pick. Kelly understands that the opportunity to be in a position to get a franchise-caliber passer can be far and few between, and cementing the position would be his best bet. Goff offers two things Chip Kelly desires in his QBs: A quick, compact release and accuracy as a passer.

Eagles- DeForest Buckner, DE Oregon:

                Chip Kelly is gone, but the Eagles dip back into the Oregon well and select Buckner. Buckner would give Philly a great chess piece on the line of scrimmage, one that would see a lot of one-on-ones as a rookie with Fletcher Cox on the same line. Don’t count out Ezekiel Elliott or a tackle here as well.

Buccaneers- Vernon Hargreaves III, CB Florida:

                This would be a simple selection for Tampa Bay. Their defense needs talent, specifically in the back end, and Hargreaves would be a tremendous value at this point in the draft. If Tampa Bay can add to their defense and protect Jameis Winston they might be the team to beat in the NFC South earlier than anyone anticipated. VHIII is a fluid athlete who would be the Buccaneers’ best defensive back his rookie season.

Giants- Darron Lee, LB Ohio State:

                In an era that is VERY pass heavy the mold for linebackers in the NFL has changed. Darron Lee checks every box that would indicate that he is a modern day linebacker built for today’s game. He has the range to cover and quick change of direction that allows for a lot of creativity on defense. His versatility will make him tough to pass up for New York.  Ezekiel Elliott or a WR would also be in consideration.

Bears- Ezekiel Elliott, RB Ohio State:

                John Fox missed on bringing aboard C.J. Anderson but hits big in landing Zeke. Elliott can immediately handle the lion’s share of carries due to his versatility as a pass catcher and blocker. With Elliott and a healthy Kevin White the Bears could be a tough out in 2016.

Saints- Andrew Billings, DT Baylor:

                New Orleans could also take a defensive back or edge rusher here, but I see them fortifying the defensive line with Billings- a plug and play nose tackle. Billings is one of the most disruptive pass rushers in this class when it comes to down-to-down efficiency.  With proper coaching, and work on his leverage in the run game, Billings could give the Saints a formidable front seven.

Dolphins- Shaq Lawson, DE Clemson:

                While Shaq Lawson doesn’t possess the first step quickness of a dominant pass rusher, but has all the moves in his toolbox to be an efficient pass rusher. He would provide insurance to Cameron Wake, who is 34 and being paid a lot of money. Lawson would immediately replace what Olivier Vernon was for Miami and exceed that in his second year.

Raiders- Mackensie Alexander, CB Clemson:

                Alexander isn’t the most physically imposing prospect at cornerback, but his play is far from lacking toughness. Alexander excels at man coverage and has very fluid hips. He will be able to mirror receivers and would be very successful starting off as the number two opposite newly signed Oakland Raider, Sean Smith.

Rams- Jack Conklin, OT Michigan State:

                Conklin can dominate in tight spaces and would provide Los Angeles with another tackle to do exactly what they want to do: run the football and play good defense. Conklin was a three year starter at Michigan State and would pave the way for Todd Gurley to have a monster sophomore season.

Lions- Sheldon Rankins, DT Louisville:

                Getting Rankins in the 1st round would give Detroit a great pass rusher on the inside. Sheldon Rankins is only 6’1, but this plays to his advantage in the leverage game. His non-stop motor is reminiscent of Aaron Donald. He can get stonewalled at times by bigger offensive lineman in the run game when he doesn’t win off the snap.

Falcons- Laquon Treadwell, WR Ole Miss:

                Atlanta desperately needs a reliable number two across from Julio Jones and Laquon Treadwell would fit the bill. He can win the 50/50 contested ball with great understanding of how to position his body. He might struggle separating at the next level, but that was never the biggest part of his game anyways. Treadwell is also the best run blocker in his class.

Colts- Taylor Decker, OT Ole Miss:

                At 6’7 Taylor Decker has the length you look for in a tackle and is a no brainer pick if there for the Colts. Indianapolis more than any other team needs to provide some semblance for protection for their QB, especially if they are going to be hanging him a megadeal soon. Decker has a great punch to keep defenders off his chest as well.

Bills- Kevin Dodd, DE Clemson:

                Rex Ryan loves Clemson players and Kevin Dodd fits a need for Buffalo. Dodd’s limited experience as a starter (only one year) wouldn’t scare off Rex Ryan, who thinks he can coach up just about anybody. Dodd can win inside and outside on passing downs, and is very good against the run.

Jets- Leonard Floyd, OLB Georgia:

                Leonard Floyd would give Todd Bowles and Jet’s fans immediately what Quinton Coples never did, a twitched up athlete who can quickly get to the QB off of the edge. While his production wasn’t quite ideal last year, he played a lot of inside backer as well, he showed off his versatility. At 6’5 and 245 lbs his 4.6 second 40 yard dash is all the more impressive. The defensive line in New York would keep Floyd clean, letting him pin his ears back and hunt.

Redskins- Josh Doctson, WR TCU:

                Doctson recorded the best yards per route run in his class and would give Washington and Kirk Cousins a true outside receiver to depend on.  Doctson ran a 4.5 second 40 yard dash at the combine, answering questions about his speed and while he doesn’t have elite speed, he does know how to go up and snatch the ball. Washington would also likely consider an interior lineman here.

Texans- Jarran Reed, DT Alabama:

                Jarran Reed would give Bill O’Brien an NFL ready defensive tackle that could start day one in Houston. Reed has the frame you look for in an NFL defender and the motor as well. He consistently destroys rush lanes with good leverage, and did so last year against a lot of double teams in the SEC. Reed isn’t a polished pass rusher, which is putting it nicely. He is a traditional two gapper and would fit well in a Romeo Crennel defense.

Vikings- Jaylon Smith, LB Notre Dame:

                Were it not for his gruesome late season injury, Smith would be the most surefire top-5 pick in the entire class. Mike Zimmer would love to get his hands on a player as talented as Smith, and Minnesota would give the opportunity to redshirt his rookie year medically if need be and truly get his body right. Jaylon Smith could be the best value of the entire draft here, even if he only returned at 80% of his former play.

Bengals- Corey Coleman, WR Baylor:

                Coleman is a smooth athlete who cuts and changes direction without losing much speed. He ran a 4.37 second 40 yard dash at his pro day. Coleman is experienced too, accounting for 39% of Baylor’s targets. Coleman would be a great replacement for Marvin Jones in Cincinnati, with the ability to play inside and outside. Needs to work on catching the ball away from his body.

Steelers- Eli Apple, CB Ohio State:

                Eli Apple would fill an enormous need for Pittsburgh, who couldn’t stop the pass last season at all. Apple has the size NFL teams are trending towards at 6’1 and is fast enough to stick with nearly any receiver. He is nowhere near polished, but has all of the skills to become a key piece with the right coaching. He only allowed 44% of passes to be completed when targeted. Apple might need time to adjust to the NFL level.

Seahawks- Jason Spriggs, OT Indiana State:

                Jason Spriggs exhibits the level of athleticism that Seattle looks for in their offensive line and would fit their biggest need. Spriggs ran a sub 5 second 40 yard dash at 6’7 and 305 pounds. Spriggs is a high motor player with an aggressive mindset that can sometimes get him into trouble. In Seattle he would be coached by Tom Cable, one of the best offensive line coaches around, giving him his best shot at success.

Packers- Reggie Ragland, LB Alabama:

                Worst case scenario Reggie Ragland is a very good linebacker on the first two downs, a throwback to the earlier days of the NFL. He impressed with his speed at his pro day, answering some of the questions that will be asked. Taking Ragland would let Green Bay keep Clay Matthews on the edge 100% of the time, which is something that should happen in 2016.

Chiefs- William Jackson III, CB Houston:

                William Jackson III has the height, length, speed that are all at a premium in the NFL today and would replace the departed Sean Smith in Kansas City. Jackson III opened eyes at the combine with a 4.37 40 yard dash, backing up his very solid tape.  He would probably start out behind Phillip Gaines and earn his way towards playing on the outside. Kansas City could also consider taking a WR or QB.

Cardinals- Ryan Kelly, OC Alabama:

                After their playoff defeat to the Panthers, keeping a clean pocket and rush lanes will be a huge priority for Arizona. Ryan Kelly was a three year starter at Alabama against elite talent. Mel Kiper compared Kelly to a “Nick Mangold caliber of talent”. Kelly is enough of an athlete to smoothly get to the second level in the run game, consistently sealing his blocks.

Panthers- Will Fuller, WR Notre Dame:

                Imagine the room Cam Newton would have to operate if he had a burner like Will Fuller. Fullers 4.30 second 40 yard dash represents a 5th gear few possess. Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, and Will Fuller would give Cam Newton a supremely talented receiving corps that could challenge any. Fuller certainly took the top off of defenses in college football, catching 29 touchdowns in two years while recording 17.1 yards per catch.

Broncos- A’shawn Robinson, DT Alabama:

                What better replacement for the departed Malik Jackson than the versatile A’shawn Robinson? Robinson played both inside and outside last season and his versatility holds enormous value in Denver. Denver could also take Paxton Lynch or another QB here, but it would be a reach at this point. Robinson will let Wade Phillips continue to keep Von Miller with a free path to the QB.

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