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Big Red's 2016 NFL Mock Draft - 2.0
Published at 4/1/2016 4:18:47 PM
My second update of my mock draft this season. This one takes into account Combine performances and team needs throughout free agency. I only project trades if there is one that I think makes a lot of sense. Let me know what you think!
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The tides have recently turned in regards to the number one overall pick, and it looks like Laremy Tunsil is no longer the favorite to be the top selection. The Titans reportedly love Jalen Ramsey and because of the team’s extremely weak secondary, the team is looking into selecting him with the top overall pick.
Ramsey is a highly versatile player and the Titans will be able to figure out if his best position is corner or safety as he develops. The team may try to trade down and still take Ramsey but as of right now he is certainly the favorite at the top of the draft.
I never thought there was a chance that the Cleveland Browns would keep Johnny Manziel after this season. He betrayed the trust of the organization and the team decided they had enough and released him earlier in the offseason. As a result of that, the Browns are once again be looking for a franchise quarterback and they will look at both Wentz and Jared Goff with this pick. I think that Wentz currently has the advantage over Goff.
Despite not playing too well in the Senior Bowl, Wentz had a great week of practice and he played very well for North Dakota State in the FCS playoffs. Wentz reportedly had a fantastic Pro Day as well, so he is gaining some momentum heading into April. Both league personnel and Browns’ head coach Hue Jackson praised Wentz’s work as well, so it looks like he could end up being a long term fit in Cleveland.
The Chargers will rejoice if Tunsil is on the board here. Widely considered the best player in this class, Tunsil falls out of circumstance. The Chargers have a huge need at the left tackle position, as King Dunlap has not been able to stay healthy, and Tunsil will be a terrific blocker for the team. Tunsil will protect Philip Rivers as he enters the final seasons of his career and he will be a mainstay for the team’s line over the next decade.
The Cowboys taking a shot on a talented yet troubled defensive end. Hmm. That sounds familiar. Despite spending a second round pick on Randy Gregory last year, the Cowboys still need another solid pass rusher to add to their defense. Bosa was compared to J.J. Watt before this past season, but he was clearly overrated. Bosa played well, but did not display traits of a dominant pass rusher against his competition in college. Still, he is favored to go pretty high in a weaker draft class and Jerry Jones will likely be a fan of him.
Bosa could come in and be a starter for the Cowboys, but I would wager that he will cause more problems than he will resolve. Pairing Bosa and Gregory on the field will be dangerous for opposing teams, but pairing them off the field may be even more dangerous. If the duo cannot stay out of trouble, then expect Bosa to be a bust.
The Jaguars are going to focus on improving their front seven in the draft, and I have a feeling Myles Jack will be their preferred choice if the first four picks go like this. Despite tearing his ACL this past season, Jack is a projected top ten pick who excels in run support and in coverage. He’s going to be a tackle machine in the NFL and he could approach Bobby Wagner/Luke Kuechly territory if he can stay healthy. Jack would be an upgrade over Paul Posluszny and will create a dynamic tandem with stellar young outside backer Telvin Smith.
This would be a huge trade up, but I could definitely see this happening. The Ravens don’t really have a glaring need, they pretty much need depth all around, and the Rams have depth but need a quarterback. With the team moving to Los Angeles, they are going to have to find a franchise quarterback (despite their adamant claims that Case Keenum will be the starter) and Goff would be a logical fit.
Goff played his college ball at California, so the fan base out there is already familiar with him. Goff has been impressive throughout his college career, and is virtually a top ten lock. He played very well in his bowl game, and if he can perform well at the Combine he could end up being the number two overall pick. The Rams simply need to get him if they can, and like I said I think the Ravens would be open to moving down.
No, I’m not mocking an Oregon player to the 49ers just because they’re Chip Kelly’s team. The team needs an infusion of talent on the defensive front and Buckner is the best player left on the board. Buckner is highly athletic and had no trouble getting into the backfield for Oregon over the past two seasons, putting up 30 total TFL and recording 14.5 sacks. He could be a force on the field if he reunites with former teammate Arik Armstead and he could end up being a great investment by the 49ers.
The Eagles made a really solid deal when they traded Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso to trade spots in the first round with the Dolphins. Now, the team will be guaranteed that one of their top players will be on the board and the Doug Pederson era can get off to a good start. The team also traded Demarco Murray away and as a result they will need a new running back. Elliot was an absolute monster for Ohio State last year and will be a bell cow back at the next level. Need I say more?
The Buccaneers added Robert Ayers to their pass rush this offseason, but they could still use some young blood at the position. Ogbah is a phenomenal pass rusher who put up 22.5 sacks in the past two seasons and he should translate well to the NFL. He is solid in the run game and has the ability to force fumbles, making him a well-rounded player. Ogbah has been a stud in workouts and he should be able to use his athleticism to beat some of the better left tackles in the league.
What a spending spree the Giants went on this offseason, signing Olivier Vernon, Janoris Jenkins, and Damon “Snacks” Harrison to improve their defensive issues. The team will likely be improved in 2016, but they still need corner depth and Hargreaves is the best player on the board.
Hargreaves was once considered a top five lock, but some late season struggles in the bowl game dropped his stock a bit. However, Hargreaves has worked out well recently and his arrow will be trending up again soon. Landing with the Giants would be great for him, as he could play behind Jenkins and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie until he is officially ready to see the field.
The Bears really need some help to protect Jay Cutler and Jeremy Langford, so having Stanley fall to this pick would be great for them. Stanley likely would have been a top ten pick last season, and he only got better during his final campaign with Notre Dame. He will be a great left tackle in the NFL, and he will be a massive upgrade over Charles Leno and Bobbie Massie.
Although the Saints recently signed Nick Fairley to a one year contract, the team still needs a lot of help on the defensive line. Aside from Cameron Jordan, they really do not have much but adding a player like Sheldon Rankins could change that.
Rankins had a great final season at Louisville and quietly became one of the best interior rushers in the college game. He has been drawing comparisons to Aaron Donald who has developed into one of the best all-around defensive tackles in the league. Rankins would be able to start right away for the Saints and it would be hard to imagine them passing up on him with this pick.
The Dolphins got old and injured this offseason. At the defensive end position, the team has nothing besides aging 30+ year olds who are past their prime in Mario Williams and Cameron Wake. I fully expect them to add a defensive end in the first two rounds, and I could see Floyd being the pick here.
Floyd is an uber athletic player who could develop into a really good edge rusher for the Dolphins. He had a consistent career at Georgia and while he never put up any terrific numbers, he was still productive. He made a lot of tackles and consistently put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. With a year or two of development, Floyd will be able to harness all his athleticism and become a solid pass rusher.
The Raiders cut Curtis Lofton earlier in the offseason and they will need to find a replacement for him. Ragland was the leader of Alabama’s title winning defense and he notched over 100 tackles this season. He has great instincts and was great in coverage as well.
Ragland makes sense with this pick and he should be a great complement to Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack. He can focus on stopping the run and dropping into coverage while the others can rush the passer. Jack Del Rio will love having a player like Ragland at his disposal.
So Baltimore trades down and still lands a great defensive prospect. Go figure. The Ravens already have Timmy Jernigan and Brandon Williams on their defensive front but adding one more player there would give them an elite three man unit. Robinson is a great do-it-all player that should have major success in the NFL. He’ll fit right in with the Ravens, as GM Ozzie Newsome has shown an affinity for Alabama players in recent drafts.
The Lions lost Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley last offseason, and their defensive line was a mess as a result. The team will almost certainly select a defensive lineman early in this draft, and Butler’s stock is trending upwards right now. Butler is a massive man who will be a great all-around player at the next level. He is going to be a tough lineman who has Muhammad Wilkerson-like potential. The Lions will be happy to add a player of his caliber at this point.