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Mike's 2016 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
Published at 3/25/2016 5:17:41 PM
My second mock of the year. Here is my best stab at what will happen.Teams do some weird things sometimes. At the end of the day, these are the 31 prospects that I believe are first round picks this year. I try to think outside the box most of the time. Disclaimer: Don't believe everything coaches and GM's say this time of year!
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Unlike the last few years, the #1 pick this year does not have an overwhelming favorite heading into April. Jalen Ramsey is quickly gaining steam in the rumor mill and is obviously a strong candidate for the Titans. Until I hear more concrete evidence though, I'm keeping Tunsil at #1. Keeping Mariota upright is paramount.
Honestly, I'm more torn with this pick than most. I think Goff is just as likely a scenario here as Wentz. I even think a non-QB is a believable option. For now though, I'm sticking with Wentz. The Browns reportedly like Wentz, who has the biggest upside of any QB in this draft. Cleveland is rebuilding (again), so a quarterback makes sense here. Even with RGIII entering the fold, a QB is likely at #2.
TRADE! Rams trade the 15th overall pick, their 2017 first round pick and their 2016 4th round pick (#110 overall). I think all of this Case Keenum hype from Les Snead and co. is smokescreen. If the Rams like Goff, which I believe is possible, then they could make a move up the draft board. Lets be honest, the Rams are looking for ways to excite fans in LA, and Case Keenum doesn't do it. Bringing in a first round QB would make the statement the team is looking for. Of course, this isn't the only reason they could draft the QB. Goff has a great skillset.
A trade for a QB in the top 3 really shakes up the next 5-6 picks (in this mock). If two quarterbacks go in the top 3, Dallas would most likely be deciding between Ramsey and Bosa. Although the team has spent more time with Bosa, it could be because they think Ramsey would be off the board. If they're going Best Player Available, Ramsey has the edge. The Cowboys did draft Byron Jones last year, but they envision him as a safety in the long-term.
The Jaguars probably would have loved to scoop up Jalen Ramsey, but they would be thrilled with Myles Jack as well. The linebacker would add an impact defender to an improving Jaguars defense, and is probably the best player available at this spot.
The Ravens are another team that would benefit from a QB trade in the top 3. If that were to happen, it would potentially set up a choice between Joey Bosa and DeForest Buckner. The Ravens have Carl Davis to replace Chris Canty along the defensive line, so they have a bigger need at OLB. Terrell Suggs cannot be counted on as an elite pass rusher coming off major surgery, so Bosa would provide great value here.
One of the top two quarterbacks have been popular mock selections here, but if they are both off the board, it gives the 49ers a number of options. San Francisco has shown a ton of interest in Vernon Hargreaves recently, so I believe this is a likely scenario on draft day. The Niners have holes all over their roster.
I'm an Eagles fan, so I usually have some sort of inclination as to where my team is going in round one. This year, I have no idea. Its not April yet, so this pick could become more clear as time passes. I don't see Buckner as a great fit to Jim Schwartz's defense, so right now Elliott is the favorite. Philly could use a dynamic running back to shift Ryan Mathews into a complementary role. Elliott is one of the top players in the entire draft.
Does Buckner fit better in a 4-3 than a 3-4? Probably not. Is he the best player available at #9? Absolutely. The former Oregon Duck would be a steal here if he dropped to the Bucs. Tampa would love to add another impact defender to their front four.
Sure, the Giants selected Ereck Flowers in the first round last year. That doesn't rule out taking Ronnie Stanley here. 1) Stanley is arguably the best player available. 2) The Giants have brought in a number of free agent offensive tackles for visits during free agency, so its clear they want to improve Eli Manning's protection. Flowers would have an easier time on the right side.
Bit of a reach here, yes. But reaches happen all the time. Ogbah has very good potential as a pass rusher, and apparently the Bears like his talent and upside- bringing him in for a private workout. Chicago is in the market for another edge defender.
Sheldon Rankins is a talented prospect. If he went in the top ten, I wouldn't have much of an argument against it. The Saints need to push the pocket more effectively this season and in future years. This is step one to improving a defense. An interior pass rushing presence would complement Cameron Jordan well.
With Hargreaves and Elliott off the board, some would say selecting Jackson at #13 would be a reach. I would have to disagree. Jackson has the size and ball skills teams covet at the CB position. Jackson has been rising up draft boards over the past couple of months. I expect his stock to rise even more, eventually leading to a top 15 selection. Even after adding Byron Maxwell, Miami still needs help in the secondary.
This pick makes sense for a number of reasons: The Raiders could use another pass rusher with Mario Edwards' health in question and Aldon Smith's suspension. Floyd has also received interest from the Raiders, meeting with the team at his Pro Day. Floyd has a great motor and is one of the top available players here.
This pick is via the Rams in the above trade of course. The Chargers would use the same mindset picking at 15 as they would picking at #3- best player available. That player could be Vernon Butler. San Diego has a number of holes on the defensive side of the ball, so an interior defender to start alongside Brandon Mebane and Corey Liuget would provide great value.
For me, its either defensive line or offensive tackle here. Jack Conklin would be a viable option here, but I'm going with Jarran Reed. The Lions have expressed interest in the defensive lineman, helping run his Pro Day. Reed also gives Detroit more value here, being a superior prospect to Conklin.