If Desmond King along with Vernone Hargreaves gives Tampa the best corners in the NFL then I would pass and I am also confused on how that is a luxury pick. The best DT, RT, or safety prospect will be better.
Some of the major media people (as well as one individual who has plagiarized content off this site twice) have reported that Jared Goff will be the pick. We had Carson Wentz slotted here initially, and the Rams did, in fact, favor Wentz over Goff at some point. However, things have changed, and the Rams now plan on choosing Goff with the first-overall selection.
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. None - It's 99.9-percent certain that Goff will be the pick.
I'm confused about this trade, but the one thing that is clear is that Philadelphia will be selecting a quarterback No. 2 overall. The Eagles have been linked to Wentz, and it's become apparent that the Rams' preference is now Goff after liking Wentz earlier, so Philadelphia will get its man for sure.
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. None - It's 99.9-percent certain that Wentz will be the pick.
Rd. 2, Pk. 1
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
I don't think Paxton Lynch will be available when the Browns are scheduled to be on the clock. The Jets and Chiefs could both take him, or perhaps the Broncos could move up ahead of Kansas City. Thus, the Browns will have to plot a trade of their own, which is very feasible because they happen to have extra picks. Leaping the Chiefs and swapping choices with the Packers makes a ton of sense.
Rd. 3, Pk. 4
Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
The Cowboys will consider Dak Prescott in the second half of Day 2. They want a solid backup as well as a successor for Tony Romo. As a Hall of Fame running back once said, this is killing two stones with one bird.
Rd. 3, Pk. 9
Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
Jay Cutler will probably be around for just one more year, so the Bears need to think about using an early draft choice on a successor.
Rd. 3, Pk. 20
Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
As of this writing, Ryan Fitzpatrick is still on the open market. Charlie Campbell reported that the Jets have been scouting quarterbacks hard this offseason, perhaps well aware that some team would outbid them for Fitzpatrick (or knowing he'd ask for too much money). With that in mind, Cardale Jones is a strong possibility here. From the sound of it, Jones will be chosen in the second day, and he projects as a great fit for Chan Gailey's offense.
Rd. 3, Pk. 31
Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
If the Broncos miss out on Paxton Lynch, I imagine they'll be in the hunt for another quarterback, even if they trade for Colin Kaepernick.
Rd. 4, Pk. 35
Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas
Even if the 49ers plan on starting Blaine Gabbert next year, they still have to draft a quarterback at some point, right?
Rd. 5, Pk. 17
Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford
The Bills have scouted quarterbacks pretty hard, so it would be a surprise if they don't take one in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Rd. 5, Pk. 28
Jeff Driskel, QB, Louisiana Tech
Jeff Driskel seems like he'd fit well into Bruce Arians' offense. Arians will have to look for a young quarterback to eventually supplant Carson Palmer, who had an epic meltdown in the playoffs.
Since the Rams traded up with the Titans, I thought that Wentz was their target based on information from the Senior Bowl and some recent minor clues. However, teams sources told me that the Rams will be choosing Goff. Thus, he's the pick here even though I think they're making a big mistake in taking Goff over Wentz.
In 2015, Goff completed 64 percent of his passes for 4,719 yards with 43 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He has a quality, accurate arm with field vision. Goff also has functional mobility to avoid rushers and pick up some yards on the ground. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder is lanky and could use more weight. He also could have some issues with getting rattled and handling the rush in the NFL. Holding up against the pass rush led to him having some mechanical issues that he's working on fixing.
Goff enjoyed a breakout 2014 season. The sophomore completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,973 yards with 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He displayed real pocket-passing potential while playing with a less-than-ideal supporting cast. Goff became the starter as a freshman in 2013 and completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,508 yards with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Rd. 1, Pk. 2
Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
The Eagles gave up the farm for Carson Wentz, and I think developing him as a backup will be good for his long-term success.
In 2015, Wentz completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,669 yards with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions while missing six games with a broken wrist. He also had four rushing touchdowns. Sources say that Wentz (6-5, 233) is a prospect who has everything you want in a potential quarterback. He demonstrated that at the Senior Bowl with a strong week that showed off his arm talent. At the combine, Wentz was the most impressive quarterback at throwing the ball.
Multiple teams have told me they had given Wentz a high first-round grade and think that he is the real deal. They say that Wentz has a good arm, size and athleticism, plus they love him off the field. They like his pocket presence, field vision, experience under center, ability to make play calls in the huddle, and potential to grow in the NFL. They also believe that Wentz will fill out his frame in a NFL strength and conditioning program. Scouts from multiple teams have raved about Wentz on and off the field with his play recall and football I.Q. Sources said the big challenge for him will be the drastic change in the speed of the game coming from North Dakota State's opponents compared to the NFL.
As a junior, Wentz completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,111 yard with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. He had six touchdowns on the ground.
Rd. 1, Pk. 31
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Lynch could easily go in the top 25, and I wouldn't be surprised if a team trades up to land him. I know Denver has already spoken with teams in the 20s about moving up, and given the Broncos' need at quarterback, it is understandable. Lynch is a good fit for Gary Kubiak's offense, and Denver have the staff to work with his impressive skill set.
To me, Lynch looks like a mix of Blake Bortles and Brock Osweiler as a prospect in terms of athletic skill set. In 2015, Lynch completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,778 yards with 28 touchdowns and three interceptions. His arm can make all the throws for the pro game, and he flashed the ability to pass accurately with precise completions into tight windows. Additionally, Lynch has the athleticism to make plays with his feet and throw on the run.
However, the redshirt junior is a project for the NFL. Sources said that Lynch (6-6, 244) has been taught next to nothing in terms of NFL X's and O's. Lynch has a great skill set, but needs work as a pocket passer with developing his field vision and understanding coverage. He also can get rattled by the pass rush, which impacts his field vision and accuracy. Lynch probably will go in the top 25 of the 2016 NFL Draft out of need and demand. In terms of physical skill sets, Lynch is worthy of being a first-round pick.
Pick change; previously Chris Jones, DT
Rd. 2, Pk. 1
Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
The Browns grab their quarterback competition to go with Robert Griffin III.
Cook connected on 56 percent passes in 2015 for 3,131 yards with 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He's showed NFL evaluators that he has a quality arm, pocket presence, flashes of brilliant passes, and the mobility to avoid rushers and roll out.
On the flip side, Cook lacks accuracy, which is a real problem heading into the NFL. Sources also have questions about him off the field, his lack of leadership, and his focus on football. Teams said he interviewed poorly at the combine. They were surprised about his lack of football I.Q. from an X's and O's perspective and diagnosing coverages.
The 6-foot-4, 217-pounder played in a pro-style system and displayed steady improvement with his ability to function in the pocket while working through his progressions. There is that accuracy issue however. He'd make some amazing throws into extremely tight windows and then would regularly miss on routine passes.
In 2014, Cook connected on 58 percent of his passes for 3,214 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He completed 59 percent of his passes in 2013 for 2,755 yards with 22 touchdowns and six interceptions. Cook improved throughout that season and was very impressive against Ohio State and Stanford to close out the year.
Pick change; previously Josh Doctson, WR
Rd. 2, Pk. 20
Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
The Jets are smart not to overpay Ryan Fitzpatrick. He's only a stopgap signal-caller at this point in his career, while the team's third quarterback, Bryce Petty, was just a fourth-rounder. General manager Mike Maccagnan worked with Bill O'Brien in Houston and heard O'Brien gush about Hackenberg. The Jets have done a ton of homework on Hackenberg this spring. New York needs a long-term franchise quarterback and I think Hackenberg is the target.
In 2015, Hackenberg completed 54 percent of his passes for 2,525 yards and 16 touchdowns with six interceptions. He needs to make big improvements to his accuracy and precision, but in almost every game of his career, he also made some great passes downfield that were dropped by his receivers. After being sacked over 80 times across the past two seasons, Hackenberg is a project and not an instant starter in the NFL.
Hackenberg completed 56 percent of his passes in 2014 for 2,677 yards with 12 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He played better than the numbers indicate as his supporting cast was a huge liability and the offensive line was awful. To end the season, Hackenberg led a huge overtime, comeback win over Boston College, completing 34-of-50 passes for 371 yards and four touchdowns.
Hackenberg (6-4, 223) was the star recruit for Bill O'Brien at Penn State and proved the hype wasn't misplaced during an impressive 2013 season that saw him named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Hackenberg completed 59 percent of his passes for 2,955 yards with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions that season. He also ran for four touchdowns. Hackenberg has good size and a strong arm. He showed better field vision while playing for O'Brien.
Rd. 3, Pk. 29
Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
The Cardinals grab their quarterback understudy for Carson Palmer.
There is no doubt that Jones (6-5, 253) can make some devastating throws with elite arm strength for the NFL. Aside from his right-arm cannon, Jones has running ability and is difficult to sack with his huge size. He was up and down in 2015, but considering he only had 11 starts in his college career, it is understandable that he is raw and needs development. In 2015, Jones completed 63 percent of his passes for 1,460 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions.
Jones put on a display in 2014 after entering the starting lineup behind Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett. In his three starts, he completed 61 percent of his passes for 860 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions.
Jones has a ton of upside and could be a tremendous play-maker if he improves his football I.Q., field vision and overall passing technique. Teams do have concerns about his maturity and leadership skills.
Rd. 4, Pk. 3
Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
If Prescott gets passed on by the Broncos, I think he could slip to the third day of the 2016 NFL Draft. Dallas has shown a lot of interest in Prescott and he could be a good understudy for Tony Romo.
Prescott (6-2, 226) completed 66 percent of his passes in 2015 for 3,793 yards with 29 touchdowns and five interceptions. On the ground, he totaled 588 yards with 10 scores. Prescott hurt defenses with his arm and legs while showing improved accuracy and ability to function as a pocket-passer.
Prescott completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,996 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2014. He also ran for 939 yards (4.8 average) with 13 touchdowns. Teams really like Prescott's leadership skills, football I.Q., and character.
Rd. 4, Pk. 19
Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford
The Bills grab some quarterback competition.
As a senior, Hogan completed 68 percent of his passes for 2,867 yards with 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In his good games, he looked like an early rounder; in his bad games, he looked like an undrafted free agent. Hogan has a good enough skill set to play as a pro, but looks more like a backup-caliber signal-caller in the NFL. Sources said they like Hogan's intelligence to quickly master the playbook and become a quality backup quarterback early.
Rd. 4, Pk. 32
Jacoby Brissett, QB, N.C. State
The Ravens could use a backup quarterback behind Joe Flacco. Ryan Mallett can't be relied on.
Brissett is a thick-bodied, quality-armed pocket passer who has some athleticism. The 6-foot-3, 236-pounder doesn't get a lot of attention, but there is a buzz building about him in NFL circles.
Brissett completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,662 yards with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions during the 2015 regular season. As a junior, he completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,606 yards with 23 touchdowns and five interceptions. In 2011 and 2012, Brissett was a backup at Florida. Former Gators head coach Will Muschamp mistakenly chose Jeff Driskel instead of Brissett to be the starter, and that paved the way for Brissett to transfer.
The 49ers are undergoing a full-on identity crisis, and nobody (not even ownership) knows what the future holds for the Bay City. The 2015 season was nothing short of a disaster, and with head coach Jim Tomsula being shown the door, former Eagles coach Chip Kelly is now the team's head coach, a head-scratching move to say the least. It's well known how far both general manager Trent Baalke and Chip Kelly will go for full autonomy (just ask Jim Harbaugh or Howie Roseman), and pairing these two together is a recipe for disaster. Baalke will reportedly have the final say over the 53-man roster, but expect Chip to have his say as well. Much of the offseason talk has been about where Colin Kaepernick will be playing in 2016, and it's becoming more and more likely that Kaepernick stays put in the Bay Area. Despite this, it's become evident that Kaepernick has regressed in the past several years, and the 49ers would be wise to add another quarterback to the mix at seven overall. At 6"4 and over 200 pounds, California's Jared Goff is the top quarterback prospect available with Carson Wentz off the board. Goff began his college career with little fanfare, before becoming one of the best quarterbacks to suit up for the school since a guy currently playing quarterback in the snowy state of Wisconsin. In three seasons with the Golden Bears, Goff passed for over 12,000 yards and nearly 100 touchdowns, while also earning All-Pac-12 honors in the process. In the final game of his college career, Goff passed for an astonishing six touchdown passes and over 450 yards, adding a stellar mark to an already impressive resume. He may not have the most impressive arm strength, but Goff's quick release and fastball make up for it. Selecting and pairing Goff with a knowledgeable coach like Kelly that can tailor the offense to his skills will hopefully be what it takes for the 49ers to return to relevance in 2016.
What would you do if you were stuck in one place and everyday was exactly the same and nothing you did mattered? For the Cleveland Browns, their Groundhog Day has become Black Monday, and the long-suffering franchise just can't seem to break the rut. Another losing season has lead again to yet another full house cleaning in Berea, as the franchise searches for it's fifth head coach in seven years. It seems no matter how hard the organization tries, it's always doomed to fail. Every few years a promising, up-and-coming coordinator is paired up with an equally inexperienced general manager along with a rookie quarterback, and that team is expected to compete for nothing short of a Super Bowl in a short amount of time. It's happened with Pat Shurmur and Colt McCoy as well as Rob Chudzinski and Brandon Weeden, and most recently with Mike Pettine and Johnny Manziel. Now, attorney-turned executive Sashi Brown and former Oakland Athletics (yes, baseball) assistant general manager Paul DePodesta are the team's top executives, while former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is the new head coach. If Jackson's work with Andy Dalton means anything, the Browns may have a promising future after all. Will Jackson be the coach to finally turn the Browns around? Only time will tell, but let's hope Jimmy Haslam is more patient this time around. It's no secret that if Cleveland wants to find success, they must reach stability at the quarterback position and end "The List" once and for all. Manziel's off the field behavior has punched him his one-way ticket out of Cleveland, and 36 year old journeyman Josh McCown or former Redskins flameout RGIII won't be hoisting the Lombardi trophy in downtown Cleveland either, which is why Cleveland must start over at the quarterback position on draft day. While the debate between California's Jared Goff and North Dakota State's Carson Wentz will certainly heat up throughout the draft process, rumors are begin to swirl that many view Wentz as the draft's top quarterback prospect. Similar to Blake Bortles coming out of Central Florida two years, Wentz has been a late bloomer. At 6"6 and over 230 pounds, the small-school stud lead the Bisons to two straight national championships in his two seasons as the starting quarterback, while passing for over 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns throughout his entire college career. Built similar to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, Wentz is an athlete playing the quarterback position, one that can make plays with his feet and can improvise on the fly. With Wentz in the mix, the woeful Browns may finally have something to cheer about in 2016.
NFL.com Comparison: Marcus Mariota
My Comparison: Joe Flacco
Very tall, athletic body with ability to scan over the top. Elite foot quickness for a tall quarterback. Can maneuver quickly out of a busy pocket and away from trouble, but desires to keep passing option alive. Sets up in the pocket quickly and generally keeps feet "throw ready". More functional scrambler than "tuck and run" quarterback. Sacked just 15 times over 477 drop backs. Able to win with his feet when he needs to. Has a quick release to overcome his slight wind-up. Has enough arm to drive the ball into restricted windows. Has enough arm to attack downfield while on the move. Makes good decisions. Rarely takes the cheese when cornerbacks try and bait him. Displays qualities of a field leader and isn't easy to rattle. Yards per attempt have exploded over his last two years. Can gain chunk yards as zone-read quarterback and will appeal to boot-action teams. Will be challenging to defend in the red area. Took better care of the football cutting turnovers down from 16 last season to just four this year. Completed 54.6 percent on intermediate throws (1120) and 44.9 percent on deep balls (21-plus yards) including 19 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
While the hype around "dual threat" quarterbacks has subsided, Lynch possesses the size and athleticism to make NFL teams take a second look. Unlike other size/speed quarterbacks like Vince Young and Colin Kaepernick, Lynch prefers to extend passing plays with his feet rather than bolting from the pocket, but he is still likely to make plenty of plays with his feet over the long haul. Lynch shows the ability to read defenses and make smart decisions, but not yet at an NFL starting level. While he has the physical tools to start right away, a team who is willing to allow him to sit and study his craft for a year could reap maximum rewards in the future.
I’m willing to bet a lot of money that this pick is a quarterback Which quarterback it is and which team (I really think this pick is going to end up being traded to a team like Cleveland or San Francisco who REALLY want that fifth year option that is attached to a first round pick) are still up for question. If the Broncos stay put here they too could, and probably should, go quarterback. It’s really strange to see a Super Bowl Champ with this much quarterback attrition in one offseason but like I said before the bottom of this draft is just strange. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of Connor Cook. I’d personally rather take my chance on a guy like Christian Hackenberg or take a risk on Dak Prescott or Cardale Jones (I have so much faith in that guy for some reason), but this is not a mock of what I would do but what I believe the teams will do. Scouts and teams seem to be high enough on this guy to take a chance in the first round. The biggest thing about him that scares me really is the character. He’s not a bad kid by any means, he stays relatively clean and out of trouble, but he seems really cocky and not a pleasure to be around (according to reports of course). Also, I can’t get it out of my head that he wasn’t a captain as a 4 year starter senior quarterback. Even the team he was already on didn’t look at him as a leader and that just scares me. His tape is pretty solid. He’s been efficient and effective most of his career but he doesn’t have any “wow” traits. Pretty solid arm, pretty solid pocket presence, pretty solid athleticism, and is very experienced and battled tested. He won a lot of big games against big time competition for a very good Michigan State team. But nothing he does jumps out at you, and his accuracy is a major concern. Struggles with his footwork and forces throws that he doesn’t need to force as well as missing some easier routine ones because he’s just not sound mechanically. He’s got good enough traits and good enough production to have a chance in this league, but I just don’t think he does anything that screams “franchise quarterback” to me, and drafting at the end of the first round necessitates that in my eyes. Someone is going to take this guy higher than I believe he should be taken, let’s see if he can prove me wrong.
This time last year, just about every Bears fan was calling for Jay Cutler's head. With the new regime in charge, it seemed Cutler's days in the Windy City were numbered. Fast forward a year later, where Cutler put together a respectable season passing for over 3,600 yards and 21 touchdowns, even having the Bears in the playoff conversation at times during the season. While Cutler seems to be in Chicago's plans for the foreseeable future, there's no doubting both Ryan Pace and John Fox would like to develop their own quarterback for the future. If the 2016 NFL Draft were actually held in the summer of 2015, there'd be little doubt that Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg wouldn't be the top overall pick. At 6"4 and over 230 pounds, Hackenberg put together an impressive season in his freshmen year under head coach Bill O'Brien, throwing for nearly 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. After O'Brien's departure in 2014, Hackenberg would see a dip in production, before ultimately ending his college career with over 8,000 yards and nearly 50 touchdown passes. While nobody views Hackenberg as the consensus top quarterback in the class anymore, Hackenberg has all the potential to be one of the draft's biggest steals. Hackenberg has the prototypical size of an NFL quarterback, and while he may not exactly have a rocket for an arm, the former Nittany Lion has all the tools to make any throw that is asked of him. Despite his size, Hackenberg is mobile and can move around in the pocket and take off if need be, showing similarities to Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Hackenberg has all the tools to be a successful quarterback in the NFL, and will benefit from sitting behind Cutler and developing his skills.
I've already given the Rams a "D" for moving up to the No. 1 pick in my NFL Draft Trade Grades page, and part of this mark has to take the deal into account. Los Angeles was desperate for a quarterback, but didn't need to panic like this. There will be better quarterback prospects next year - check my 2017 NFL Mock Draft - and 2018 as well, with Josh Rosen set to declare. Rosen and Deshaun Watson are superior prospects - at least at the moment - compared to Jared Goff, who might not even be the top signal-caller in this class.
Goff is a rail-thin quarterback coming out of a goofy spread offense. He had a losing record in college, and his completion percentage wasn't great. These are all red flags, and it's baffling that the Rams are ignoring them. The Rams actually liked Carson Wentz more in between the Senior Bowl and Combine, so I don't know what changed for them. Whatever it is, I don't agree with it, and our contacts around the NFL feel the same way. For example, one successful offensive coach on a team that doesn't need a quarterback was completely baffled by Los Angeles' preference, indicating that Wentz was the easy pick of the two.
I think a C- grade is appropriate for the first-overall choice in the 2016 NFL Draft. This looks to be a bad pick, and the Rams surrendered way too much for it, but I can at least understand why they're taking a quarterback at this selection.
Rd. 1, Pk. 2
Carson Wentz, QB,
As with the Rams' grade, I'm going to have to penalize Philadelphia for its trade. I gave the Eagles a Millen on my NFL Draft Trade Grades page, as they surrendered way too much. Even if Wentz hits, Philadelphia will struggle to maintain success because of a lack of resources. Think about what happened to the Falcons in the wake of the Julio Jones deal. Matt Ryan is a solid quarterback, and Jones obviously panned out, but Atlanta hasn't visited the playoffs in a while because of a severe lack of depth. Unless Wentz is the next Andrew Luck and can single-handedly carry the Eagles as Luck does with the Colts in a soft division, Philadelphia will have trouble consistently reaching the postseason for quite a while.
Having said that, I think Wentz is the better option, so the Eagles will be given a full letter grade higher than the Rams. Wentz is seen as the superior signal-caller by most of our NFL contacts, and it's easy to understand why. While the rail-thin Jared Goff played in a goofy spread system and maintained a losing record in college, Wentz won and was more accurate in a pro system, and he doesn't look like he'll snap in half at any second.
While it would probably be better for the Eagles to wait a year or two to land a franchise quarterback - again, check the 2017 NFL Mock Draft for what appear to be two top-five signal-callers next April - it seems like Wentz is the better option of the two available in this class.
Rd. 1, Pk. 26
Paxton Lynch, QB,
I'm not sure about Paxton Lynch. He's very raw, and I don't think he's ready for the NFL. That said, I not only completely understand this pick; I'm in favor of it. The Broncos were very desperate for a quarterback. Mark Sanchez was the projected starter, for crying out loud. Denver absolutely had to make a move, and I'd rather spend the 27th pick in the draft than trade for either Colin Kaepernick or Sam Bradford. I think the Broncos need to bring Lynch along slowly, even if it means sacrificing the 2016 campaign, but he could eventually pan out. I should also note that while I'm usually not in favor of teams moving up, I get why the Broncos did it, given that the Chiefs were a serious landing spot for Lynch. The Browns were also a candidate to trade up.
Rd. 2, Pk. 20
Christian Hackenberg, QB,
The Jets fan the NFL Network camera caught was shouting, "We got a QB!" Well, we'll see. I'm a Penn State alumnus, and I've called Christian Hackenberg a trap. He has supreme talent, but there are numerous things wrong. He's inconsistent with his throws; he struggles to process information quickly; and he also had some locker-room issues at Penn State. I would've taken him in the third round. This is a bit too early for my blood, and I don't know how he fits Chan Gailey's offense.