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Wandylic's 2016 NFL Mock Draft: T-16 Weeks
Published at 1/5/2016 12:34:54 PM
Welcome to the first of hopefully many installments of my mock draft series! As this is my first mock draft of the year, I expect it to be kind of bad, but it's a key step in learning what each team is looking for and improving my future mock drafts. Thank you for your patience and enjoy!
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After spending a first round pick last year on Marcus Mariota, the Titans are widely expected to use this first overall pick to shore up their offensive line to protect their new franchise quarterback. Mariota was sacked 38 times in 12 games, an average that would have tied Blake Bortles for the league lead had he stayed healthy for the last four games.
The Browns appear to be done with Johnny Manziel, although they were very widely hinting that they would be done with him at season's end anyway even before this latest incident. In choosing Goff over Lynch, I looked at their bowl game performances: Goff torched the Air Force defense while Lynch played a terrible game against Auburn.
It will be hard for the Chargers to pass on Bosa, who many regard as the top player in this draft. The Chargers have multiple needs, including at wide receiver and offensive tackle, but those can be addressed with less risk in later rounds. Bosa, meanwhile, brings an instant spark to a struggling defensive line.
I wouldn't be surprised to see the Cowboys trade up to as high as #2 in order to get Bosa (perhaps parlaying Manziel into the deal?) but without trades in this mock, they turn to Jack to overcome their defensive woes.
The Jaguars sort of get a bonus first round pick as Dante Fowler returns to the team after missing his first year in the NFL with a torn ACL. Meanwhile, the Jaguars add another piece to their defense by picking up Jalen Ramsey, who should be a key piece in a broken secondary.
The Ravens' secondary has become a shell of its former self. They turn to Vernon Hargreaves here to rebuild their secondary which has serious gaping holes at the cornerback position.
Speaking of teams that are done with quarterbacks, the 49ers have moved on from Colin Kaepernick. Blaine Gabbert clearly isn't the solution to this franchise's woes, so they'll need to draft a quarterback as soon as possible.
Seeing as the Dolphins are in dire straits needing a cornerback, I wouldn't be surprised to see them either move up to get their choice of cornerback or to make a major play in free agency. Given that I can't see into the future, this will have to do for now.
Defensive linemen appear to be a dime a dozen in this draft, so the Buccaneers should stay put and be happy with whoever comes up at #9. In this case, they get a talented prospect in Robinson, who should provide instant relief to a subpar defensive line.
Yet again, a team with a strugging defensive line uses a high pick on a defensive lineman. With Jason Pierre-Paul's best days (and two of his fingers) behind him, the Giants desperately need a defensive end like Ogbah on their team.
Only time will tell if Smith's Fiesta Bowl injury makes teams reconsider his high draft stock, but the Bears are in dire need of a pass rusher and Smith's athleticism fits the bill.
The Saints would presumably rather have a linebacker at this spot, but all things considered Buckner should be a huge improvement to a hapless defense.
There are a lot of avenues the Eagles can explore here - offensive tackle, quarterback, and linebacker to name a few - but it will be very hard to turn down the second best offensive tackle on the board who's made a big fall in this mock draft.
Conklin has been the most-mocked pick to the Lions at #13, but the Raiders have an equally big need for an offensive tackle here, so Conklin makes sense as their pick.
Treadwell has made a meteoric fall in this draft, and the Rams would scoop him up in an instant. Perhaps they could gamble on a quarterback in this spot, but I think Nick Foles should be given one more year to see if he can turn his career around.
With Suh and Fairley gone, the Lions' defensive line was not nearly as disruptive as it has been in years' past. Thus, it makes sense that they would use their first round selection to bring its defensive line back to prime condition.