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.
Rd. 6, Pk. 10
Brandon Doughty, QB, Western Kentucky
It's safe to say that Miami's confidence in Ryan Tannehill is not on an all-time high level. I expect the Dolphins to draft a young quarterback to groom at some point.
Rd. 6, Pk. 18
Jacoby Brissett, QB, NC State
It wouldn't be the worst idea for the Raiders to spend a mid-round pick on a quarterback, given that they don't really have a developmental arm right now.
Rd. 6, Pk. 36
Cody Kessler, QB, USC
Another quarterback? Well, the Cowboys would like a long-term backup, especially after Dak Prescott takes over. Dallas coached Cody Kessler at the Senior Bowl.
Rd. 6, Pk. 44
Vernon Adams, QB, Oregon
Vernon Adams will be considered in th later rounds, and Pittsburgh needs a reliable backup quarterback.
Rd. 7, Pk. 5
Jake Coker, QB, Alabama
The only quarterback on Jacksonville's roster besides Blake Bortles is Chad Henne. The Jaguars may want to think about developing another signal-caller.
Rd. 7, Pk. 18
Joel Stave, QB, Wisconsin
The Colts need to develop a solid backup behind Andrew Luck, and Mr. Stave sounds like someone Ryan Grigson would like to insert into his b-, I mean roster.
Rd. 1, Pk. 1
Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Days ago, I reported that the Browns had spoken with the Jets about trading from No. 12 to No. 6 in order to get Trubisky. I think Cleveland is motivated and has the ammunition to get Trubisky. I think the Browns will get it done and get their guy.
Trubisky looks like a second-round caliber prospect, but that doesn't preclude teams from reaching on him in Round 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft. Some teams graded Trubisky in the second round, but teams across the league believe he will go in the top 10. One team picking in the top 10 that could take a quarterback told me Trubisky is the only quarterback prospect they would take that high. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder was very efficient in 2016, flashing good decision-making and good accuracy in the short to intermediate part of the field. He has a decent, but not great, arm and some athleticism. However, across the history of the NFL, there have been very few 1-year college starters who turned into good pro starters. His accuracy going downfield is also something he needs to improve.
The junior beat up on some weak secondaries in 2016, but it still is impressive that he had three straight games throwing for over 400 yards without throwing a single interception. On the season, Trubisky completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,748 yards with 30 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also had five rushing touchdowns.
Rd. 1, Pk. 1
Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
With Tony Romo deciding to retire, the Texans are desperate at quarterback. I think they like Deshaun Watson and Pat Mahomes. I wouldn't be surprised if Houston trades up a few spots to make sure it gets its guy. I think the lean would be toward Mahomes if both are available. Both quarterbacks have great intangibles with work ethic and leadership. I believe that Houston would lean toward Mahomes, because he is more accurate, throws fewer interceptions, and could have more upside.
Mahomes played in a gimmick offense that won't translate to the NFL, but he has a powerful arm and flashed accuracy and mobility. He is also a real gunslinger who wants the ball in his hands and is a confident play-maker who is a hard worker off the field. Mahomes completed 66 percent of his passes in 2016 for 5,052 yards with 41 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He notched 12 rushing touchdowns, too. In 2015, Mahomes completed 64 percent for 4,653 yards with 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Some team sources are intrigued by Mahomes, while others are skeptics.
Mahomes (6-2, 225) is tremendous at improvising and making big plays when things break down. He clearly has the arm to make any throw in the NFL, plus has good mobility to throw on the run. Mahomes is going to need to improve his decision-making as he threw across the field too much at Texas Tech. He will need to do a lot of development on his footwork as well. Working under center and calling plays in the huddle will be other big jumps for Mahomes coming from the Red Raiders' offense. Thus, he has a good skill set with some grittiness as a player, but he is a project for the NFL.
The Steelers could start planning for life after Big Ben. Sources have told me Pittsburgh likes Kizer.
Of the quarterback prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft, Kizer has the best skill set and the most upside. The 6-foot-4, 233-pounder has a strong arm that can make all the throws for the NFL. He has also flashed superb accuracy and an ability to make accurate touch passes downfield to beat good coverage in tight windows. Kizer can also make beautiful passes in the face of a pass rush. Additionally, he has the mobility to buy time for his receivers, bail out his offensive line, and pick up yards with his feet. The big problem for Kizer is consistency as he is a streaky passer and player. He also had issues late in games with critical mistakes in crunch time, so his decision-making needs to improve.
In 2016, Kizer completed 59 percent of his passes for 2,925 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also ran for seven touchdowns. His completion percentage was thrown off by playing a game in the midst of Hurricane Matthew and his receivers consistently dropping well-thrown passes. He also was hurt by losing his No.1 receiver (Will Fuller), left tackle (Ronnie Stanley), center (Nick Martin), and running back (C.J. Prosise) to the NFL before the season. In 2015, Kizer completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,884 yards with 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He picked up 520 yards with 10 scores on the ground.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Let me preface this pick by saying I think Chicago will move back into the first round for Watson. The Bears have shown a ton of interest in him, and he could develop for a year behind Mike Glennon. Trading back into Round 1 for Watson would give Chicago a fifth-year option on his rookie contract, which could be massive savings if he pans out.
In 2016, Watson completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,593 yards with 41 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He had nine rushing touchdowns as well. Watson turned in underwhelming performances during the year against Auburn, Troy, Georgia Tech and Louisville. However, he played much better during the final month of the regular season and in the postseason. Watson can start games slowly, but plays his best when the game is on the line in the fourth quarter.
A problem for Watson in 2016 was poor accuracy in the first two-thirds of the season. He has lots of room for improvement with his field vision and ball placement. Watson missed wide-open receivers for scores throughout 2016. Watson also throws a lot of interceptions, and some of them come from forcing passes rather than reading the field. He also will have to make a huge jump to a pro-style offense, which will entail learning to work under center and call plays in the huddle. The Clemson offense predetermined where Watson would throw pre-snap, so he will need to learn to make reads in the NFL. Watson is great off the field with work ethic, character, quiet leadership skills, and loving football. His accuracy was better late in the year and in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line.
As a sophomore, Watson (6-2, 221) made some beautiful passes and was a big-time point producer. Watson played really well in 2015 to lead Clemson to the National Championship game. In 2015, Watson completed 68 percent of his passes for 4,104 yards with 35 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. On the ground, he averaged 5.3 yards per carry for 1,105 yards with 12 scores.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Davis Webb, QB, California
The Cardinals grab their understudy for Carson Palmer.
In 2016, Webb completed 62 percent of his passes for 4,295 yards with 37 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The graduate transfer has a strong arm and can make some well-placed passes downfield. He also has good size and stands tall in the pocket. Webb shows some field vision to work through his progressions, but he doesn't have mobility for the NFL. In terms of the critical characteristic of accuracy, Webb has potential. Sources say Webb (6-4, 229) can be erratic, but that they like him enough to think of him as a potential second-day pick. California's offense does a poor job of preparing quarterbacks for the NFL - see Jared Goff -, so Webb will have to learn calling plays in the huddle, working under center, traditional footwork for a pro quarterback, and running NFL plays instead of California's Bear Raid college plays.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami
The Chargers grab a backup quarterback to develop.
The Browns could use take multiple quarterbacks with the all the picks they have in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss
Andy Reid loves developmental quarterbacks, while Kelly has a skill set that would appeal to Reid. Additionally, Kansas City is willing to take on players with character concerns. The team also hosted Kelly on a pre-draft visit.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Jerod Evans, QB, Virginia Tech
The Bucs could use a backup quarterback, and Evans has a good skill set to develop. Perhaps they could turn him into a commodity they could trade for draft picks.
Well, how’s that for a welcome move LA? The LA rams (still so weird saying LA) traded a king’s ransom to move ALL the way up from pick 15 to pick 1. Honestly, I think they gave up way too much, and neither of these Quarterbacks seem to be the “can’t miss” sort of prospect that necessitates a trade like this one, but you can’t fault them for trying to get their guy, especially considering the pressure and nothing to lose mentality that GM Les Snead and Head Coach Jeff Fisher were likely under before this move. For the first time in a while it seems like the Rams are going to have a young QB worth getting excited about (sorry St. Louis fans). Jared Goff is actually slightly behind Wentz in my board, but likely a bit more pro-ready. He’s the pick here because that’s what reports seem to be leaning towards even if I would disagree. Goff has a really live arm and can make every throw in the book, even at the NFL level. One of the more impressive pure throwers in recent years. He’s got some aspects of his game that need working on such as his pocket presence and adjusting to the complexities of the pro game as he ran a very college-like system in the Bear Raid Cal offense. The other main thing that scares scouts is his hand size. The typical threshold for an NFL QB is 9’ hands, Goff measured in at exactly 9’ which is somewhat scary especially if he was to play in a cold weather city. Playing in Los Angeles should help him with at least two of those problems as he can sit for a bit (Rams insist on their belief in Case Keenum although I don’t believe it for a second) and learn as well as have him play in mostly nice weather. Watching this guy’s tape seriously is a joy as his is such an electric thrower. With some time to continue to grow his already impressive mind this guy can be a star in this league.
(Jacksonville gets #15, #45, 5th round, 2017 2nd round | LA gets #5)
Not the first round haul you would expect to be needed, but few things factor into this. Teams saw what Washington paid just to cut RG III this year. If not for Cousins, Washington would be a shell of team. Imagine Washington having Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick (despite his good year with the Jets) or Matt Cassel at QB in 2015 because they didn’t take Cousins the same year they took RG III, and had to scrounge around for a QB in FA. Well the other team on the end of that trade was Fisher and the Rams. They are not going to mortgage the farm just to get their QB, but if Wentz gets past the Cowboys they will start making the calls. It may not take long. Jacksonville is sitting pretty right now. They’ve spent big in FA to help their D, have a young core on Offense, and despite their bad record they are a team with a bright future. They have a young QB, weapons in the Allen’s/Julius Thomas. Again this is a nightmare scenario for Jacksonville who really want Ramsey/Hargreaves/Jack to help out the back half of their D (Fowler and Jackson are they incoming resources for the front 7). All 3 are gone. So trading out is ideal, that far maybe not as ideal, but the Rams are the only team desperate enough to trade up for a QB (depending on RG III decision). Jacksonville picks up a extra 2nd and 5th this year, and the rams give them next year’s 4th to sweeten the deal enough to get the trade done. Wentz is the only QB I think that LA would consider trading up for. If Cleveland takes Wentz #2, Jeff Fisher and LA won’t make this trade (At least not for this price).
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 is a dream pick for O'Brien. O'Brien coached Hackenberg at Penn State when he was his most successful. The Texans could use a tight end, running back like Elliott, another receiver to take pressure off of Hopkins and even a dominant inside linebacker and safety. However, without a quarterback you can't go anywhere. The fact the Texans were able to make it to the playoffs with Brian Hoyer as their quarterback speaks volumes to what O'Brien is doing in Houston. Hackenberg has a cannon for an arm with the ability to place the ball anywhere on the field. Hackenberg is a tough quarterback withstanding a beating behind a poor Penn State offensive line the last two years. Some issues with Hackenberg is that his accuracy is lacking and he can be wildly off. Hackenberg also is not very mobile looking more like a statue back in the pocket. He also has some maturing to do, he was visibly frustrated and making a scene many times on the Penn State sideline. Hackenberg would be best served sitting for a year or two while Hoyer holds onto the reigns before Hackenberg takes over.
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.