With the Madness of College Basketball and NFL Free Agency swirling around, I thought it was time for another mock draft. If you want to see someone else’s different, probably better, opinion, check out David Howman’s mock draft here.
1: Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil, Offensive Tackle, Ole Miss
The argument for the Titans to take Jalen Ramsey first overall is mounting, but right now Laremy Tunsil is the better option. The Titans need somebody to protect Marcus Mariota’s blind side. Tunsil is hands down the best offensive lineman in this class. He’s big, he’s athletic, and he has no injury concerns.
Other Potential Picks: Jalen Ramsey
2: Cleveland Browns: Carson Wentz, Quarterback, North Dakota State
The Browns may have signed Robert Griffin III, but I doubt he’s the long term option. Wentz has big hands, so he can grip a football in the cold, dreary weather of the AFC North. Wentz also has a laser of a right arm, the ball really seems to leap out of his hand. He played in a pro-style offense at North Dakota State, and he has decent mobility. Most reports I’ve seen have had Wentz as the superior choice to Goff.
Other Potential Picks: Jared Goff, DeForest Buckner
3: San Diego Chargers: Jalen Ramsey, Defensive Back, Florida State
Jalen Ramsey may be the most talented prospect in this draft. He has elite athleticism, as shown by his ridiculous combine numbers, and elite ball skills. Ramsey looks like he could be a stud in press coverage, or as a free safety. San Diego was in the bottom eight in passes defended and interceptions last year, and the loss of Eric Weddle makes the secondary an even greater need.
Other Potential Picks: DeForest Buckner, Ronnie Stanley
4: Dallas Cowboys: Joey Bosa, Defensive End, Ohio State
Dallas has a big need at 4-3 defensive end. Dallas was tied for 25th in sacks last season, and in this league getting after the quarterback is a premium. Joey Bosa gives you immediate production at defensive end, and has the potential to anchor a defensive line for a decade or more.
Other Potential Picks: Myles Jack
5: Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack, Linebacker, UCLA
The Jaguars have a young offense with loads of potential, but they need playmakers on defense. Myles Jack is far and away the best linebacker in this draft. He has the athleticism to cover sideline to sideline and is fantastic in coverage. He shows the ability to get off blocks in the running game and seems to be recovering well from his knee injury. Jack could pair well with Telvin Smith as outside linebackers in Jacksonville’s 4-3 scheme.
Other Potential Picks: Vernon Hargreaves III
6: Baltimore Ravens: Ronnie Stanley, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame
Eugene Monroe isn’t a bad offensive tackle, but he’s been constantly injured since he signed with the Ravens. Ronnie Stanley is the number two lineman in this year’s class. He has long arms and is rarely beaten off the edge. The Ravens could also use somebody to beef up their front seven, but this class has a lot of depth in that category and the Ravens a consistent presence on the left side of their line.
Other Potential Picks: DeForest Buckner
7: San Francisco 49ers: Jared Goff, Quarterback, Cal
This pick is heavily dependent on the Colin Kaepernick situation. As of this moment, Kaepernick is still a part of the 49ers, but everybody expects that to change. He is fed up with this organization, and has been demanding a trade. If that happens, look for the 49ers to take the best quarterback available with this pick. Goff is a Bay area native who grew up a 49er fan. It would be a nice story to see him drafted by his childhood team.
Other Potential Picks: Paxton Lynch
8: Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami): Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back, Ohio State
With the DeMarco Murray trade, the Eagles projected starter at running back is Ryan Matthews, who has played all 16 games once since he was drafted in 2010. Ezekiel Elliott is hands down the best back in the draft. He is a dynamic runner and can catch passes out of the backfield.
Other Potential Picks: Paxton Lynch, Laquon Treadwell
9: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DeForest Buckner, Defensive Line, Oregon
The Bucs found their franchise quarterback last year in Jameis Winston. They have some nice pieces up front in Gerald McCoy and Robert Ayers, but adding DeForest Buckner would stregthen the front against both the run and the pass. He can be a three down player in this league, and combining him with McCoy makes it hard to run the football against this defense.
Other Potential Picks: Vernon Hargreaves III
10: New York Giants: Jack Conklin, Offensive Tackle, Michigan State
This pick is very hard to project. The Giants would love to get an elite left tackle or somebody like Ezekiel Elliott, but if they aren’t there, any needs would be reach picks. This offensive line has had issues for the last few years. Eli Manning is getting up there in age, and he needs to stop taking such a beating every night if he wants to continue playing. Jack Conklin might not have elite quickness, but uses his wide base and core strength to fend off edge rushers. Even if he can’t be the long term option at left tackle, he certainly has the skill set to play right tackle, and he’s pro ready.
Other Potential Picks: Darron Lee, Laquon Treadwell
11: Chicago Bears: Vernon Hargreaves III, Cornerback, Florida
Chicago was last in the NFL last year in passes defended and tied for second worst in interceptions. Vernon Hargreaves gives Chicago great value outside the top ten. He has the athleticism and ball skills to be a great corner in the NFL. In my last piece, I discussed how the Bears may trade down from this pick if somebody gives them a good package of assets. However, if Hargreaves is available, Bears fans better be excited because he fills a huge need with a great player.
Other Potential Picks: Shaq Lawson, A’Shawn Robinson
12: New Orleans Saints: Shaq Lawson, Defensive End, Clemson
New Orleans has a couple of big needs. Their secondary and pass rush need big upgrades, and they need to boost their receiving corps. Shaq Lawson showed his ability to get after the quarterback at Clemson, where he led them to a near-perfect season. He should slot in as the day one starter opposite Cameron Jordan.
Other Potential Picks: Laquon Treadwell, Eli Apple
13: Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia): Eli Apple, Cornerback, Ohio State
Eli Apple has everything you want in an NFL corner. He’s 6’1″, 200 pounds with good arm length and a sub 4.5 40 yard dash. Apple also had good production at Ohio State. The Dolphins have a huge need at corner. They traded for Byron Maxwell, but he was benched in Philadelphia and their other starter, Jamar Taylor, has been disappointing so far in Miami.
Other Potential Picks: Mackensie Alexander, Paxton Lynch
14: Oakland Raiders: Reggie Ragland, Inside Linebacker, Alabama
The Raiders already have a good linebacker corps thanks to All-Pro Khalil Mack and former Seahawks Malcolm Smith and Bruce Irvin. Although Jack Del Rio has traditionally been a 4-3 defensive coach, the Raiders personnel caused him to begin implementing 3-4 looks. The Raiders move Mack around on defense, lining him up at defensive end or outside linebacker depending on the situation. All of this means that despite having Malcolm Smith, the Raiders need another inside linebacker. Reggie Ragland has all of the leadership, run stuff, and coverage abilities you want in a franchise mike linebacker, and he has underrated athleticism. Personally, I think he’s one of the more underrated prospects in this draft. He’d be a great Raider.
Other Potential Picks: William Jackson III, A’Shawn Robinson
15: Los Angeles Rams: Paxton Lynch, Quarterback, Memphis
The Rams have a young running back with loads of potential and one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Right now, Nick Foles and Case Keenum are fighting for the starting quarterback job. That’s unacceptable. Paxton Lynch has all the physical tools to be a star quarterback. He’s tall, he’s smart, and he’s got a great arm. Much like Carson Wentz, Lynch’s athleticism is woefully underrated. His biggest drawback is the system he played in. Lynch wasn’t required to make calls at the line of scrimmage and read defenses. He’ll need a few years to develop, but Lynch could end up being the best quarterback in this class.
Other Potential Picks: William Jackson, Taylor Decker, Laquon Treadwell
16: Detroit Lions: Laquon Treadwell, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss
With Calvin Johnson’s retirement, the Detroit Lions have a massive hole at wide receiver. Golden Tate is decent, but he’s better working in the slot or underneath defenses, not going downfield. Marvin Jones was a nice free agent pickup, but he’s excelled as a number two receiver. Laquon Treadwell can be a go to receiver for any NFL team. Treadwell has below average speed, running in the 4.6 range at his pro day, but he does have the size and physicality to attack the football when the ball is in the air. Treadwell’s tape is also fantastic. He’s not the next Megatron, but he could be the next Alshon Jeffrey or Keenan Allen.
Other Potential Picks: A’Shawn Robinson, Sheldon Rankins, Darron Lee
17: Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, Outside Linebacker, Ohio State
Atlanta has finished in the bottom three in sacks each of the last three seasons. They were dead last in 2015, totaling just 19 sacks on the year. This defense is still several pieces away from being a contender. Vic Beasley was Atlanta’s first round pick last year, and he showed flashes of talent. Atlanta still needs playmakers who can rush the edge, whether from the outside linebacker or defensive end spot. Darron Lee brings elite athleticism, as shown by his 4.47 4o yard dash, 35.5 inch vertical leap, and 133 inch broad jump (10 feet, 11 inches). Lee needs to add muscle, but given time he could take over the weak side linebacker position.
Other Potential Picks: Taylor Decker, Sheldon Rankins
18: Indianapolis Colts: A’Shawn Robinson, Defensive Line, Alabama
The Colts have some nice pieces, including some studs in the back seven and a franchise quarterback. They needs to protect Andrew Luck and beef up their defensive line. A’Shawn Robinson gives you scheme versatility. He can play defensive end of defensive tackle in the Colts 3-4 defense. Robinson has tree trunks for legs and tremendous power. He’s tough to stop in one-on-one situations due to his bull rush ability.
Other Potential Picks: Taylor Decker, Robert Nkemdiche
19: Buffalo Bills: Sheldon Rankins, Defensive Tackle, Louisville
The Bills defensive line has been good, but an infusion of youth is needed. Marcell Dareus needs somebody to pair with to stuff the run and provide a pass rush on the inside. Rankins is a bit short for a defensive tackle, but he has the size and quick feet to be a nose tackle. Opinions on Rankins range widely, some believe he’s only functional as a nose in a one gap defense, other think he brings scheme versatility regardless of 4-3 or 3-4, one gap or two gap.
Other Potential Picks: Leonard Floyd, Kevin Dodd
20: New York Jets: Leonard Floyd, Outside Linebacker, Georgia
The Jets have a great defensive line, but for their defense to be elite like it was in the Rex Ryan/Sanchez years, they need somebody on the outside to rush the quarterback. Leonard Floyd is the best linebacker available at the Jets biggest need. He has a combination of ridiculous size and athleticism.
21: Washington Redskins: Jarran Reed, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
The Redskins were carried to the playoffs last year by Kirk Cousins in a weak division. If they want to return there they’ll need to add players on the defensive line. Jarran Reed is arguably the best player still on the board at this point. The Redskins were also bad against the run, giving up almost five yards a carry and 122 a game.
22: Houston Texans: Robert Nkemdiche, Defensive Line, Ole Miss
Houston is an interesting team. They went to the playoffs last year, only to be trounced in the first round by Kansas City. They have studs on both sides of the ball, including JJ Watt and DeAndre Hopkins. They brought in Brock Osweiler in free agency and replaced Arian Foster with Lamar Miller. This defense is good, but they could use a 3-4 end to pair with Watt. Nkemdiche has top 10 talent, but he was inconsistent and had some off the field issues. Personally, I feel those issues are overblown, and that he’ll be a great player in this league.
23: Minnesota Vikings: Corey Coleman, Wide Receiver, Baylor
The Vikings got their franchise quarterback when they traded up to take him with the last pick in the first round in 2014. Now, Bridgewater needs targets. Corey Coleman is a top two receiver in this class, and he should be a top 20 pick. Coleman has great speed and the ability to be a deep threat. He’s a bit undersized, but has the vertical leap to make up for it.
24: Cincinnati Bengals: Kevin Dodd, Defensive End, Clemson
The Bengals have great depth and few needs. If there’s one thing the Broncos showed us this year, it’s that a surplus of pass rushers is a very good thing. Dodd has the potential to be picked ten picks higher. He sh0wed his disruptive ability in the national championship game against Alabama when he decimated their backfield en route to a loss.
25: Pittsburgh Steelers: William Jackson III, Cornerback, Houston
The Steelers have needed to improve their secondary for several years now. William Jackson has the length and speed coaches love. He’s a little weak with some minor injury concerns, and he may need a year or two to be able to play with physical receivers. However, his upside is as high as any other corner in this draft.
26: Seattle Seahawks: Derrick Henry, Running Back, Alabama
With Marshawn Lynch literally hanging up the cleats, the Seahawks are losing a workhorse. Thomas Rawls is a good back with good speed, but getting another workhorse like Derrick Henry can keep this run first offense going. I think Henry is getting unfairly treated due to his perceived wear and tear, but keep in mind he was splitting time with TJ Yeldon before this year.
27: Green Bay Packers: Andrew Billings, Defensive Tackle, Baylor
While everybody else was focused on the monstrosity of Shawn Oakman, Andrew Billings was getting a co-Defensive Player of the Year award from the Big 12 and has 15 tackles for loss. As powerful as A’Shawn Robinson is, Billings may be stronger. He knocked out 31 reps on the bench press, and had 266 pancake blocks in two years in high school. Imagine that bull rushing you.
28: Kansas City Chiefs: Will Fuller, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
The Chiefs wide receiver struggles have been well documented, mainly because they couldn’t score. Will Fuller lit up the Combine with his 4.32 40 yard dash, but scouts were even more impressed when he showed his skill at catching the ball away from his body. His routes need polishing and he needs to bulk up if he wants to be more than a deep threat, but his potential as a “go get it” receiver is worthy of a first round pick.
29: Arizona Cardinals: Kenny Clark, Defensive Tackle, UCLA
The Cardinals recently added Chandler Jones to their defensive line. In their playoff loss to Carolina, it was exposed. Arizona’s current nose tackle, Corey Peters, has been battling injuries for the last few years. Jones is also going to be a free agent next year if he doesn’t sign an extension with Arizona. Clark has good power and production stemming from his time as a wrestler.
30: Carolina Panthers: Jason Spriggs, Offensive Tackle, Indiana
I really like the fit of Jason Spriggs in Carolina. Michael Oher has had a good career but needs to be replaced at left tackle. Spriggs is probably the most athletic lineman in the entire draft, and played in a run based system at Indiana. For a run-first team like Carolina, systems like that are much rarer in today’s college game. Spriggs is raw, but has great upside.
31: Denver Broncos: Connor Cook, Quarterback, Michigan State
Denver may be the Super Bowl champs, but their quarterback issues are well documented. Not only did they lose Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler, they lost some key pieces on the other side of the ball. If they want to make another run at the Super Bowl, they’ll need a confident signal caller to lead this team.
All stats courtesy NFL.com
Special thanks to ourlads.com for their up-to-date depth charts.