Today, I present to the NFL fans my very own 1st round NFL Mock Draft up to this point of the season. I will give you an analysis on why that certain team or your team could end up selecting that player I picked.
This is the first round order for the 2016 NFL Draft. The first 20 teams are already set with the regular season ending on January 3rd, 2016. Now, the final 12 first-round spots will be determined by playoff results. For now, those teams will be ordered based on playoff seed if the season ended today except number #30 and #31 (for those they go by potential super bowl matchup winner and loser).
1. Tennessee Titans – Laremy Tunsil – OT – Ole Miss
First, the Titans can go with anything here, but you need to keep Mariota standing. In 2014, the Titans drafted Lewan. Lewan is more of your typical right tackle. Tunsil and Lewan on the perimeters of the offensive line should help keep Mariota standing and build one of the better tackle duos in the league. Tunsil would step in day one on the left side because he is a well skilled offensive tackle and pass protects better than Lewan.
2. Cleveland Browns – Paxton Lynch – QB – Memphis
With Manziel continuing to party and missing meetings with team doctors (this past Sunday), I could see the Browns ending the Manziel project by shipping him to the Cowboys, so he can join Jerry’s circus. Pettine and Farmer are no longer in the Browns organization and that means a new GM and Head Coach that would want their quarterback instead of Pettine’s quarterback (Manziel). Lynch would be a project in Cleveland, but would have McCown to help him in his early portion of his career. Lynch is the best quarterback in the draft and has a big arm and frame, also he can run if needed and can throw on the run.
3. San Diego Chargers – Vernon Hargreaves III – CB – Florida
First off, Brandon Flowers had a pitiful year and is owed a lot of money, which means he could be a cap casualty. Patrick Robinson filled in nicely for Flowers, but was on a one year deal and could demand some dough for his solid play. Hargreaves is a top 3 corner in this year’s draft and would step in day one. Hargreaves is not big, but plays bigger than visualized at.
4. Dallas Cowboys – Joey Bosa – DE – Ohio St.
The Cowboys need a quarterback to groom behind Romo, but they can get one on day two in the draft. Bosa is the best pass rusher in the draft and struggled in 2015 due to the fact that offenses were double teaming him. Bosa’s pass rush skills are on tape and show why he is the best at his position in the draft. Cowboys need more pass rushers with Hardy becoming a free agent.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jalen Ramsey – CB/S – Florida St.
The Jaguars have Fowler coming back from a torn ACL that forced him to miss his rookie campaign, so with that being said, the Jaguars can pass on a pass rusher in the first round and solve a big need. Ramsey solves that need with the Jaguars looking for a big, physical corner that can shut down the AFC South’s two best offensive players in Andrew Luck and DeAndre Hopkins. Ramsey is a versatile ball hawk that can play either corner or safety. Ramsey would remind Head Coach Gus Bradley of Richard Sherman, which he had in his defensive coordinator years with Seattle. Ramsey and Sherman are similar in speed, size, and length.
6. Baltimore Ravens – Mackensie Alexander – CB – Clemson
The Ravens secondary was one of the worst in the NFL this past season and need another corner to line up opposite of Jimmy Smith. Alexander would fit Baltimore with his hard style of play. Alexander covers exceptionally well and can make tackles in the open field. Alexander has great instincts and can play man to man really well. Alexander is the second coming of Darrelle Revis.
7. San Francisco 49ers – Jared Goff – QB – California
The 49ers are getting a new head coach and a new makeover. Kaepernick will be cut after the playoffs and Blaine Gabbert is a free agent. The Niners could bring Gabbert back to compete with Goff for the starting job. Goff grew up as a 49er fan and went to the University of California. Goff has the skills to be a NFL quarterback with his craftiness, accuracy, smartness, and poise. Goff is the best pick here for the 49ers.
8. Miami Dolphins – Jaylon Smith – OLB – Notre Dame
Now, the Dolphins need some playmakers in the linebacker corps and one need for that would be by taking Jaylon Smith to cover one side of the linebacker corps in Miami. The Miami linebackers have struggled all season except Jelani Jenkins. Jenkins can cover, which the Dolphins ask much of from their linebackers. Smith is a strong tackler with great instincts and a knack for sacking the quarterback.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Emmanuel Ogbah – DE – Oklahoma St.
The Buccaneers biggest need is at the defensive end and cornerback positions. I picked Ogbah to Tampa because he would step in right away and contribute to help the Bucs’ defensive line. Now, Gerald McCoy, Jacquies Smith, and Emmanuel Ogbah would be a nice trio in the trenches. Ogbah is NFL ready and is a sack machine, which the Bucs need. Ogbah has lots of power and speed that has translated into 26.5 college career sacks. This is my favorite player in the draft and he would be a steal for my Bucs.
10. New York Giants – Myles Jack – OLB – UCLA
Jack is a hell of an athlete and can make every tackle. He covers running backs and tight ends well. He is a fast linebacker that gets a good first step when the ball is thrown his way and when the ball is snapped from the line. Jack would add speed and power to the Giants linebacker corps and help them out in coverage as well. Jack would start along with Devon Kennard as the two outside linebackers. In fact, Jack missed a lot of the 2015 season with a torn ACL. Jack is the Todd Gurley of this draft. Hurt before draft and will be a top pick.
11. Chicago Bears – Ronnie Stanley – OT – Notre Dame
First off, Jay Cutler looked really good this year, but lately he has regressed. Now, part of the blame has to be on the offensive line, which features two struggling tackles. First off, Kyle Long is out of place and should be used at guard, while Charles Leno is just a solid backup instead of a starter and especially at the left tackle spot. With Stanley falling to the Bears at number 10, they can scoop him up and start by retooling the trenches.
12. New Orleans Saints – DeForest Buckner – DE – Oregon
The Saints pair the freak of the draft with Jordan and give the Saints a nice fresh start defensively. Buckner is a special player with special talents. He is a freak of nature at standing 6’7” and weighing 290 pounds. Not a speed threat on the line, but that will improve throughout his time in the NFL. Buckner is pure power with his long arms. He is actually very good in coverage when he drops back. Buckner loves to harass quarterbacks and plug up running lanes. Buckner is just like his former teammate Arik Armstead, but has more potential than Armstead.
13. Philadelphia Eagles – Jonathan Allen – DE – Alabama
Allen at #13 is really high, but I think he is the best out of the other 2 defensive linemen at Alabama (Reed & Robinson). Allen would replace Curry, who is a free agent and do not forget Cox is a free agent too, but I see the Eagles retaining Cox. Allen is versatile and could play in any scheme. So, the Eagles fill a need with a talented player that uses his ability to create pressure from the inside or outside, rushing off the edge or moving inside as a three-technique penetrator. Allen uses his hands and length to create pop at the point of attack and punch his way through blockers, using his lower-body agility to puncture gaps. He uses his low pad level and leverage to lean into blocks, generating pressure off his first step to push his opponent into the backfield.
14. Oakland Raiders – Robert Nkemdiche – DT/DE – Ole Miss
The Raiders could draft a corner here, but why when Nkemdiche is on the board. Robert would be a nice fit on Del Rio’s defense and he would play alongside Khalil Mack! Nkemdiche is the next Gerald McCoy and could play in the tackle position or end spot.
15. St. Louis Rams – Connor Cook – QB – Michigan St.
The Rams are having quarterback problems and need a franchise quarterback. Cook is a game manager and would be a perfect fit in St. Louis with the heavy run game. He is already pro ready by running in an NFL style offense at Michigan St. Cook would need a weapon in St. Louis other than Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin. Maybe the Rams draft a receiver like Will Fuller or Pharoh Cooper in the second round.
16. Detroit Lions – Shaq Lawson – DE – Clemson
With the Lions lacking defensive pressure on the opposing quarterbacks, they could add another defensive end to help Ezekiel Ansah. Lawson’s compact frame and power make him equally effective against both the run and pass. Now, that is where he shows his surprising initial quickness and agility as well as a terrific motor. He has quick, strong hands to create push with his upper-body strength, showing the fluid lower body to drive his legs and smoothly change directions based on his reads. Lawson plays decisive and disciplined to hold the edge and not abandon his responsibilities. This would be a safe pick for the Lions. Lawson has a great amount of potential and could be one of the better pass rushers in the league.
17. Atlanta Falcons – Laquon Treadwell – WR – Ole Miss
With Roddy White disappearing in the Falcons offense, it has become the Julio Jones show, where defenses only watch him because the Falcons have no one else to give the ball too. Freeman is a solid running back, but I am talking about other receivers. Treadwell and Jones together would not look pretty for defenses. Treadwell is the best receiver in this year’s draft by far.
18. Indianapolis Colts – Jack Conklin – OT – Michigan St.
The Colts need help on defense, but need to protect their franchise quarterback in Luck from taking all of those hits that caused his injuries in 2015. Conklin is a nice versatile tackle that can kick in if needed, but with Castonzo earning a big deal, it would seem Conklin would step in day one as the right tackle.
19. Buffalo Bills – Leonard Floyd – OLB – Georgia
With Mario Williams looking like he is going to get cut, maybe the Bills replace him with Floyd. Floyd is a pass rusher that could be used in a heavy rotation in his first two years of his career.
20. New York Jets – Reggie Ragland – ILB – Alabama
Both of the Jets middle linebackers have become older and look like they are regressing. Ragland loves to stop the run and hit people. This will be a solid pickup for the Jets.
21. Seattle Seahawks – Taylor Decker – OT – Ohio St.
The Seahawks need to rebuild the offensive line. Okung is a free agent after the year and the guard play has been terrible. Hopefully the Seahawks keep Okung so Decker can remain on the right side where he fits better with his strong run blocking skills.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers – Tre’Davious White – CB – LSU
The Steelers need some help on their offensive line, but the corner spot has been iffy all year. So, the Steelers end their problems by taking the best available corner in White from LSU. White is the next Brent Grimes, which is a good comparison. In addition, “White isn’t the fastest player on the LSU roster, but he has the foot quickness and fluid athleticism to blanket receivers on the outside, using his instincts and ball skills to disrupt the catch point. White will take some unnecessary chances and fall victim to coverage lapses, but his football future is bright.” – Dane Bulger. Now with Bulger saying those kind words about White, I can see him being like Brent Grimes with more speed. The Steelers take White also with the fact that there are going to lose William Gay, Ross Cockrell, Brandon Boykin, and Antwon Blake to free agency after the season.
23. Kansas City Chiefs – Andrew Billings – DT – Baylor
Billings is the strongest tackle in this draft and the Chiefs could use him with Poe disappointing many Chief fans this year. Also, Jaye Howard is a free agent after this season. Billings is a steal at number #23.
24. Green Bay Packers – A’Shawn Robinson – DT – Alabama
The Packers could use another big body to add power and run stopping abilities. Do not be fooled by this big man. He gets solid pressure on the quarterback. This would also make sense for the Packers with Raji getting older. A’Shawn would dominate the middle of that defensive line.
25. Washington Redskins – Scooby Wright – ILB – Arizona
The Redskins are set to lose their inside linebackers to the free agent market and could end up drafting Wright, who is a physical man. Wright is a great tackler that covers well when asked. The Redskins use their middle linebackers to stop the run and that is Wright’s number 1 asset. In 2014, Wright was the best defensive player in college by tackling a total of 164 players, which 31 resulted in a loss (lead NCAA in both categories) and also recorded 15 sacks. So when you tell Scooby to blitz he gets consistent pressure. Don’t forget to give him a Scooby snack after an amazing play.
26. Houston Texans – Ezekiel Elliot – RB – Ohio St.
Arian Foster is not getting younger and is always getting hurt. It is time for the Texans to think about getting a new running back that does it all. Alfred Blue is more of a backup at this point. They need that big named prospect to step in the backfield. Also, hopefully in the second round or maybe being able to trading back into the first round that head coach Bill O’Brien selects his quarterback from Penn St. in Christian Hackenberg.
27. Minnesota Vikings – Germain Ifedi – OT/OG – Texas A&M
Bridgewater needs more protection and time in the pocket. So take the versatile big man. Ifedi can play anywhere on the line and should step in as the right guard.
28. Cincinnati Bengals – Kenny Clark – DT – UCLA
Clark can play anywhere on the line and in any scheme. He is the best run stopper in the draft and the Bengals could use a man like him with Peko getting older.
29. Arizona Cardinals – Carson Wentz – QB – North Dakota St.
Carson Palmer is an older quarterback that will only have 2-3 more years left of good football. Wentz will need those 2-3 years to develop and this move will pay off in the future. Wentz is a clone of Palmer, which Arians would like.
30. Denver Broncos – Jonathan Bullard – DE – Florida
Wolfe and Jackson are free agents after this season and it will be hard to retain both, but maybe resign one and then draft Bullard to have a nice rotation. Bullard loves to bully offensive linemen, running backs, and quarterbacks. He has pure strength and stops the run well.
31. Carolina Panthers – Kendall Fuller – CB – Virginia Tech
With Finnegan, Tillman aging and becoming free agents after this season the Panthers need another corner to pair with Norman and Benwikere. Fuller is an excellent tackler and covers quite well. He might miss some time in early mini camp due to the fact he is rehabbing from a torn ACL.
Note: Patriots currently do not have a first round pick due to the scandal. So there are only 31 first round picks.
Other Players who could become day one picks:
Noah Spence – OLB/DE – Eastern Kentucky
Shilique Calhoun – DE/OLB – Michigan St.
Derrick Henry – RB – Alabama
Jarran Reed – DT – Alabama
Jayron Kearse – SS – Clemson
Cody Whitehair – OG – Kansas St.
Jason Spriggs – OT – Indiana
Josh Doctson – WR – TCU
Michael Thomas – WR – Ohio St.
Darron Lee – OLB – Ohio St.
Vonn Bell – S – Ohio St.
Eli Apple – CB – Ohio St.
Adolphus Washington – DE/DT – Ohio St.
Su’a Cravens – S/OLB – USC
Desmond King – CB – Iowa
Corey Coleman – WR – Baylor
Vadal Alexander – OG – LSU
Jerald Hawkins – OT – LSU
Sheldon Rankins – DT – Louisville
Will Fuller – WR – Notre Dame
Shon Coleman – OT – Auburn
Austin Johnson – DT – Penn St.
Christian Hackenberg – QB – Penn St.