Well we have reached the zenith of our draft coverage, as we are one day away from the 2016 NFL Draft. Over the past 2 months, I’ve given you my outlooks as to what each team needs, who they should look at, etc. But who do I think they will actually draft? Here is my official Mock draft of the 2016 NFL Draft!!!
Let me preface this by saying that this is considering the current trades that have happened since Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Also there are 31 picks due to the New England Patriots not having a first round pick.
- Los Angeles Rams (Acquired from Tennessee)
Pick: Jared Goff, QB, California
Why: L.A. wants a franchise quarterback to groom and Goff is the safest bet they have. While he has had a subpar career at Cal, his upside is so high that L.A. would be foolish not to pick him.
- Philadelphia Eagles (Acquired from Cleveland)
Pick: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Why: Second best quarterback in the draft, and in a division where every team has a franchise quarterback, even if some of them are overrated (looking at you, Romo), you need to catch-up, fast.
- San Diego Chargers
Pick: Laremy Tunisil, OT, Ole Miss
Why: San Diego needs to protect Phillip Rivers this year. If the Chargers want to make a run at the AFC West title, they need to address this position and nothing would help more than drafting this kid, who it can be argued, might be the best player in the draft.
- Dallas Cowboys
Pick: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Why: Dallas has problems everywhere, but the biggest gaping hole in the team is on defense. Bosa is a big problem solver on that front, and while he wont solve all of Dallas’ problems, he can definitely be the building block to fix it.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
Why: Best defensive pick in the draft. He can play DB, rush nickel and safety and will provide the spark that Jacksonville needs. Along with last years pick of DE Dante Fowler, expect him to be a top player in 2 years.
- Baltimore Ravens
Pick: Deforest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Why: Baltimore is in desperate need for a pass rusher other than the usual suspects like Terrell Suggs. Plus with the acquisition of Eric Weddle in the backfield, you need a young buck to rush the passers in the AFC North. Buckner is lengthy, has great speed and will make a lot of plays, even without being near the ball for the Ravens.
- San Francisco 49ers
Pick: Vernon Hargreaves, DB, Florida
Why: San Francisco has a ton of issues, but Hargreaves could help solve it by coming to the Gold Mind. His speed and ability to play bigger than his size makes him an absolute box-office player, and San Fran would be foolish not to pick him with the seventh pick in the draft.
- Cleveland Browns (Acquired from Philadelphia)
Pick: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Why: If RG3 is going to be your quarterback, then you need to surround him with fast weapons. Elliott falls right into that background, as his play style matches that of RG3 when he was at Baylor and his first year at Washington. Expect a lot of up-tempo play when Elliott arrives.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Why: If Tampa is going to pull itself out of fourth place in the NFC South, it has to start getting to the opposing quarterback. Billings gives you that chance and then some. Despite being over 300 pounds, he moves like a damn lightweight and will terrorize players not only lining up against him, but also the playmakers in the backfield.
- New York Giants
Pick: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Why: Now I know a lot of people are going to criticize this pick, especially with the reports that have come out about his health. But when it comes to Jack, he is not worth passing up, especially for the Giants, who don’t have a legit cog in the defensive middle of the front seven. Expect Jack to play in the later portion of this upcoming season or next season, but he will make an impact no matter when he debuts.
- Chicago Bears
Pick: Jarrun Reed, DT, Alabama
Why: This pick makes the most sense for the Bears. Granted they are in the same position as Dallas with them needing to plug up their defense, but Reed might make more of an impact as he will be going up against three playoff quarterbacks in the NFC North.
- New Orleans Saints
Pick: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
Why: New Orleans biggest issue, among the fact that they couldn’t keep Drew Brees upright, was there lack of defensive identity. Sure you picked up Nick Fairley in the offseason, and sure, you want to become more defensive minded, but you need to make this possible by drafting Lee. While it will be discounted against him for playing with Joey Bosa and Eli Apple, understand that he was the captain of the defense and led them to not only a national championship, but also a Fiesta Bowl win in his last two seasons.
- Miami Dolphins
Pick: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
Why: Hey Miami, you want to be better? You want your multi-million dollar players to make the playoffs and actually earn their money this year? Then draft Reggie Ragland and he will make your defense, the only good thing about the Dolphins last year, a threat to the AFC East crown.
- Oakland Raiders
Pick: Mackenzie Alexander, DB, Clemson
Why: You need to replace Charles Woodson, and that should be your only concern. By drafting Alexander, you do that and complete your team. This team is one defensive playmaker away, and counting in how the strongest team in the AFC West is now you, you need to make this move. Alexander’s speed and strength is going to make him millions in this division and the fact that he just came from a program that knows high-pressure situations, expect Alexander to fit right in at home in the Black Hole.
- Tennessee Titans
Pick: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Why: This is Tennessee consolation prizes for trading away the number one overall pick and wanting more picks in the future. Now while Stanley isn’t ranked the top O-lineman in the draft, he is nothing to dismiss. He legitimately is a beast on the O-line and can cause problems for anyone going up against him. Plus if you play him on the inside, it opens a lot of holes for Demarco Murray to gain positive yards in.
- Detroit Lions
Pick: Shaq Lawson, DT, Clemson
Why: Imagine this: imagine Aaron Rodgers running for his life from not just one Ziggy Ansah, but two of them? That is what you get with Lawson, who is a certified bloodhound when it comes to hunting the quarterback. His impact on defense will make Detroit Lions fans forget about Suh and realize that they have two legitimate beasts on the front line.
- Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Kevin Dodd, DT, Clemson
Why: Coincidentally right after his former teammate, the third best player coming out of Clemson this year needs to go to Atlanta. The Falcons need another pass rusher on the opposite side to hunt down players such as Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Jameis Winston in order to win the division and get back to the playoffs. He is just as big as Lawson and can move just as fast, if not a bit faster.
- Indianapolis Colts
Pick: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Why: The Colts desperately need a pass rush that can actually do something and Rankins provides that. With Rankins, Indy can get off the field defensively and allow Andrew Luck to come back on and put points on the board for the Colts.
- Buffalo Bills
Pick: A ‘Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Why: With the loss of Mario Williams, the Bills need someone to help them circle the wagon, especially seeing how most teams in the AFC east will see Tom Brady’s 4-game suspension as a godsend. Robinson can hurt you up the middle and cause issues for whoever he goes up against and would make game in Buffalo more exciting.
- New York Jets
Pick: William Jackson III, DB, Houston
Why: With the loss Antonio Cromartie, the Jets need to replace him immediately. Enter Jackson, who wont be a complete replacement to Cromartie, can begin the process to replacing him. If he can keep his head on correctly, and learn from Darrelle Revis while he is still a Jet, expect Jackson to be the top corner in the AFC East.
- Washington Redskins
Pick: Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
Why: Washington needs a pass rush to compliment the pickup of DB Josh Norman. Spence doesn’t come from a program that is booming with talent, but his talent is such that fits the needs of Washington. They need a guy who can demand double teams, and put enough pressure on opposing offenses that they slip up and make a mistake for the defense to capitalize on.
- Houston Texans
Pick: Josh Doctson, WR, Texas Christian
Why: This pick is absolutely scary if you are any other team in the AFC South other than Houston. You are matching up one the best receivers with a quarterback in Brock Osweiler who is going to bomb it down the field all day long. Expect Houston to make waves when they make this pick.
- Minnesota Vikings
Pick: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Why: As a Detroit Lions fan, this scares me to no end. Treadwell is the best receiver in the draft and the fact that he is going to a team that is one long ball receiver away from winning the division for 4 straight years, everyone should be afraid. Minnesota is dangerous beyond belief and if you add this beast, expect the new Viking Arena to play the horn for a very long time.
- Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia
Why: This pick fits the Bengals completely. Floyd is an absolute beast and will punish the AFC North in more ways than one. He is lengthy, fast and a straight up tattoo artist when it comes to tackling offensive playmakers. If Cincy gets him, the AFC North quarterbacks should be afraid.
- Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Why: Pittsburgh needs to protect Big Ben. Plain and simple. If the Steelers want to win the AFC North and the conference, then they need to keep Big Ben upright. Conklin will allow this and be able to protect the quarterback, something that any AFC North quarterback needs.
- Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
Why: Seattle needs to make this top priority. I don’t care that Alabama running backs don’t always translate well to the league, Henry is beast mode 2.0 and everyone knows it. He is big enough to punish the NFC West defensive lines and his long strides will make him a hard man to bring down. Seattle needs this pick in order to become a multi-dimensional offense.
- Green Bay Packers
Pick: Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech
Why: This pick isn’t because of Eddie Lacy not dropping pounds, or James Stark’s problems in the postseason. It’s more so about Randall Cobb. Cobb can’t handle getting hit by D-Lineman and last year it hurt you in the passing game. Dixon is the best receiver out of a backfield and if you give him at least 12 touches a game, expect the offense to be more dynamic and the playbook to open up even more.
- Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Why: Your top receiver in Jeremy Maclin carried the offense via passing touchdowns, while the rest only caught four touchdowns. Coleman would be a great compliment to Maclin, allowing the offense to open up and be more productive in an open AFC West.
- Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Why: While Carson Palmer has about 2 more years left in him, you need an upstart that is a gamer to come in and learn from him. If Cook is there, expect the Cards to not have any form of a letdown from Palmer to Cook. Cook has the talent to work with good receivers and can make any pass you need.
- Carolina Panthers
Pick: Eli Apple, DB, Ohio State
Why: This pick is to replace Josh Norman and probably the reason they removed the franchise tag from Norman. Apple is a great corner, can provide above average run support and can keep up and outrun a lot of receivers against him. Carolina knows they need to replace this position and while we don’t know how much it will hurt them, Apple could lessen the pain.
- Denver Broncos
Pick: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Why: Denver needs a quarterback that is a franchise caliber quarterback. If Denver picks him, you have a younger Big Ben to play with and who might have as good, if not better arm than Big Ben. Denver has everything they need to ease Lynch into the system: you have the running back, the receivers, and the defense. Expect Lynch to make the playoffs in his first year as a Bronco.
Well those are my picks for this year’s draft. This is going to be a great draft and we don’t know what the future holds for these great players. Who will trade their picks? Who will be a bust and who will be a star? All this and more is yet to be answered, but either way I can’t wait to watch it all go down.
What are your picks for your favorite team? Leave a comment below and let me know.