⇐ My Mock Drafts
Macerelli_M 2016 NFL Mock Draft 12.18.2015
Published at 12/19/2015 8:01:40 PM
Just like everyone who is reading this post, I like to create Mock Drafts for fun. A lot will change from now until Draft Day. Unexpected retirements and Free Agency activity will create team needs while filling others. My approach towards my Mock Drafts is to make selections based off the team's previous Draft history and the personalities of the decision makers. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to comment and critique!
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As it sits today, the Tennessee Titans will have the 1st Overall Pick. Last year, Tennessee hit on some key contributors and cornerstone players and will need to do so again this year to climb out of the cellar. With Cleveland in the No. 3 spot, the Titans are in prime position for a QB-needy team to offer a handsome trade, allowing Tennessee to move down, accumulating a number of premium picks in the process.
If they stay where they are, then the selection should be Laremy Tunsil. Tunsil (6'5", 305) has the athleticism to grow into a very effective pass protector. He looks to be completely healed from his broken leg suffered in 2014 and should pass the medical exam. Taylor Lewan is doing a very good job at Left Tackle already so the Titans should start him off at Right Tackle Day 1, giving Marcus Mariota a fighting chance in the pocket.
San Diego has had some horrible luck along the offensive line but, with Laremy Tunsil off the board, the Chargers should select Joey Bosa. Bosa (6'5", 275) is the best prospect in the draft this year and should be the pass rushing specialist from Day 1. His ability to convert speed to power when rushing the passer as well as setting the edge should make him a fan favorite very quickly.
Johnny Manziel has a chance to close out the season and show he is "The Guy" but I believe there will be a new front office and coaching staff after this season so the Browns will look once again for its Franchise QB. Paxton Lynch (6'6", 230) has the size and athleticism to survive in the AFC North. Lynch still has a lot to prove in the interview process to be the consensus No. 1 QB in 2016 but he has shown great improvement from last year to this year and the Browns will bank on his growth continuing in the NFL.
Do not get too used to seeing Baltimore picking in the Top 5 because it may not happen again for a very long time. Injuries derailed the Ravens this year and they will cash in on having such high picks. Jalen Ramsey (6'1", 202) will roam as a single high Safety on one play and then lock down a WR in man coverage the next. The do-it-all Safety is one of the best overall players in the 2016 Draft and should flourish in Baltimore's 3-4 defense, bringing back memories of Ed Reed.
San Francisco's QB situation is anything but settled right now. All signs are pointing to Colin Kaepernick's departure while Blaine Gabbert is playing like he was expected to when drafted by Jacksonville in 2011. Yet, the 49ers need to rebuild and put this disastrous season behind them so they will grab Jared Goff as the centerpiece. Goff (6'4", 210) should fill out his frame a little more by the start of the season but he has the arm talent and experience to lead this team back on top.
Detroit has made great strides in the second half of the season but Matthew Stafford is consistently under pressure. The Lions' offense lives and dies off Stafford's right arm so he needs to be upright. Ronnie Stanley (6'6", 315) has the length and athleticism to step in at LT but needs to add some more strength and refine his technique slightly. I would assume he will start immediately at RT his rookie year and then switch with Riley Reiff in his sophomore season.
Dallas will draft a QB to be groomed behind Tony Romo within the first 3 rounds next year but, with Lynch and Goff off the board, look for Dallas to go BPA. This selection should come down to Vernon Hargreaves III versus Jaylon Smith. With injuries and impending Free Agency with the LB group, Jaylon Smith gets the nod. Smith (6'3", 235) can play inside and outside and should be a difference maker in the passing game as well.
Jacksonville sits back and grabs Vernon Hargreaves III. Hargreaves is listed at (5'11", 198) but everyone will be keeping a close eye on his Combine measurements. If he measures at 5'10", 190, he could see his stock go down a little. Nevertheless, the local boy out of Florida can flat out ball. He isn't the fastest straight-line runner but his technique and twitchiness more than make up for any shortcomings. He can play both off coverage and press man and should consistently shut down opposing teams' No. 1 WR, resulting in coverage sacks by Dante Fowler and the gang.
The Miami Dolphins' defense was starting to come together before Cameron Wake went down with a torn Achilles. Adding Shaq Lawson makes sense because they need someone who can provide depth behind Wake and Olivier Vernon as well as take over for when Wake (33 years old) is done. Lawson (6'3", 270) has the stout size to stop the Bills' and Jets' rushing attacks yet he is explosive enough to pressure Tom Brady and the Patriots. More success from the defensive line should help mask the deficiencies in the secondary.
Assuming Dennis Allen is retained as the Defensive Coordinator, his track record of blitzing OLBs leads me to believe that the New Orleans Saints will grab the ultra-athletic Myles Jack. In Allen's past stints, he has selected Von Miller as the DC of the Denver Broncos in 2011 as well as Khalil Mack as the Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2014. Myles Jack (6'1", 245) fits the same mold as an athletic, rangy LB who can bring pressure off the edge. Jack should be completely healed from the torn anterior meniscus he suffered in September so I do not expect a drop in his draft stock.
St. Louis struck gold with Todd Gurley but defenses have really keyed on him as of late. Gurley will consistently see 8-man boxes until the Rams' offense can open things up on the outside. Connor Cook (6'4", 220) runs a very similar attack right now at Michigan State. They are a run-first team with Cook taking advantage off of play action. Nothing about him or his numbers will wow many people but he the guy has won on some of the biggest stages.
Give credit to the new Chicago Bears coaching staff. Adam Gase has done an excellent job with Jay Cutler and John Fox brings stability and experience to the team. Offensively, the Bears are in pretty good shape. Jeremy Langford looks like the future at Running Back and Kevin White should provide a big spark to the passing game next year. Offensive line may get a look here depending on how the coaching staff feels about Charles Leno and Chris Long as the OTs but I think they focus on the defense in this draft.
Defensively, the Bears need an influx of talent and scheme fits. Vic Fangio will opt for either DE A'Shawn Robinson or ILB Reggie Ragland. I think Ragland will remind Fangio of Patrick Willis enough to reach slightly for him here at No. 12. Ragland (6'2", 252) is explosive at the point of attack and will provide a major upgrade to the ILB position. After a great career at Alabama, he should be the Bears' defensive captain for the next 10 years.
Tampa has done a very good job utilizing the talent on its team. Jameis Winston, Donovan Smith, and Ali Marpet are all making strides on offense but the defense leaves much to be desired. They need help at each level. A'Shawn Robinson is the best defensive prospect available at this point and should be a huge upgrade at DT. Robinson (6'3", 312) has a knack for pushing the pocket and stuffing the run. He moves surprisingly well for his size and should develop quickly under the tutelage of Gerald McCoy.
How can Laquon Treadwell still be available at No. 14? He rebounded nicely after breaking his leg and dislocating his ankle last year. Treadwell (6'2", 210) lost some weight this season and looked a little more explosive in doing so. Atlanta desperately needs a spark on offense as Julio Jones is the only receiving threat. Roddy White looks to be finished while Leonard Hankerson is an underwhelming 3rd option. Treadwell should step into the WR 2 role nicely and take advantage of Jones' double teams.
With a great nucleus of young talent, Oakland is a team on the rise. Its secondary, however, is the weakest link. Tre'Davious White (5'11", 191) has the length and recovery speed to steal reps early in his rookie season. Although he could stand to gain some strength, he carries the same swagger as past LSU greats.
Whether or not Jason Pierre-Paul returns in 2016, the Giants need to add talent at the DE spot. DeForest Buckner (6'7", 290) fits the mold of what the Giants look for in a DE. He is talented and scheme-diverse enough to play all along the defensive line. Buckner also has the length and strength to jar blockers and set the edge in the running game.