2016 NFL Mock Draft: Post NFL Combine, Free Agent Frenzy, & Pro Days

NFL Combine? Over. Free Agent frenzy? Came and went. Pro Days? A thing of the past. Time to bring it all together for my latest Mock Draft. 2 Rounds this time. The next one, a week out from the draft, will be 3 rounds…and then we’ll finish it off with a final “last minute” mock a day before Draft Day. We’re so close! Hang in there and stay on target!

1st Round:

 

Titans1) Laremy Tunsil (OT / Ole Miss) 

Second Option: Trade Down

Who They Probably Want: Trade Down and still land Tunsil/Stanley

Dark horse: Jalen Ramsey

Grade-A left tackle prospect to protect one of the more injury prone starting QBs in the league. Tunsil is the best LT prospect since Joe Thomas. HE uses his bear-like size and nimbleness/quickness to dominate edge rushers.  Barring a setback due to injury, he has a good shot at the Hall of Fame. That’s the type of prospect we’re talking about here.

Caveat: there have been rumblings this pick is up for grabs. If so, Wentz would likely be the target for the team looking to move up.

 

Browns2) Carson Wentz (QB / N Dakota St.)

Second Option: Laremy Tunsil (if team trades with TEN for Carson Wentz)

Who They Probably Want(ed): Carson Wentz

Dark horse: Trade Down

The Browns have a history of choosing the wrong QB, so they’d seamlessly be admitting their inability to get that right guy by getting TWO of them as a fail safe. Self awareness is a powerful tool, boys and girls.

Once coaches work with his footwork, I see a player with a top three arm in the NFL.

 

Chargers 3) Jalen Ramsey (DB / Florida St.)

Second Option: Ronnie Stanley

Who They Probably Want(ed): Laremy Tunsil

Dark horse: Joey Bosa

Though I’m not as high on Ramsey as most individuals—namely in terms of him playing corner instead of safety in the NFL—the talent is undeniable. The Chargers need a longterm replacement at safety with Eric Weddle officially out the door. Myles Jack is a possibility after the club told him they envision him as a Weddle replacement in coverage…but to me, that just further proves that Ramsey is the primary guy to go for here if they truly want a ballhawking safety.

 

Cowboys4) Ezekiel Elliot (RB / Ohio St.)

Second Option: De’Forest Buckner

Who They Probably Want(ed): Jalen Ramsey

Dark horse: Jared Goff

They already have Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden at RB, but please take a moment and repeat that back out loud. Now please do it one more time before you nod in agreement with the underlying message here.

 

Jaguars5) Myles Jack (LB / UCLA)

Second Option: Joey Bosa

Who They Probably Want(ed): Jalen Ramsey

Dark horse: Vernon Hargreaves III

The Jaguars have done an amazing job of overhauling their offense in free agency. All that truly remains is fixing the eye sore that is the linebacker unit. Jack can come in and not only improve that group, but he’s versatile enough to play coverage in sub packages to boot. Gus Bradley will love the athleticism and versatility on his team.

 

Ravens6) Ronnie Stanley (OT / Notre Dame)

Second Option: Joey Bosa

Who They Probably Want(ed): Laremy Tunsil

Dark horse: Vernon Hargreaves III

Stanley makes a lot of sense for a team whose starting left tackle, Eugene Monroe, is an injury waiting to happen. Projected starting right tackle, Ricky Wagner, is helping Stanley’s case as the #6th overall pick as well. Wagner had a terrible 2015 season with a 44.4 PFF grade—that’s not even average. Look for Ronnie Stanley to start on the right side before eventually sliding on over to blindside duties full time if Monroe bites the dust again. Or when they eventually move on from him—whichever comes first.

 

Niners7) De’Forest Buckner (DL / Oregon)

Second Option: Jared Goff

Who They Probably Want(ed): Carson Wentz

Dark horse: Trade up for Carson Wentz

Two reasons: I truly believe the 49ers aren’t sold on Jared Goff as their answer as franchise QB—at least not this high in the draft—and that they’d readily be happy with a guy like Connor Cook in round 2. Secondly, and perhaps most important, is that Bucker comes from Oregon. Oregon. Chip Kelly…Oregon…this is 1st grade math here, folks. Pairing him with last year’s rookie, Arik Armstead (also from Oregon), would make for a formidable edge rush on both sides of the ball.

 

Eagles*From Miami: 8) Jared Goff (QB / California)

Second Option: Joey Bosa

Who They Probably Want(ed): Carson Wentz

Dark horse: Vernon Hargreaves III

Sam Bradford and Chase Daniels. Go back to our discussion on the Cowboys already having two RBs…only this time apply it to the QB position.

 

Buccs9) Joey Bosa (DE / Ohio St.)

Second Option: Joey Bosa

Who They Probably Want(ed): Joey Bosa

Dark horse: Mackensie Alexander

This would be the absolute steal of the draft, and you’d also have to assume this is Tampa’s “wish upon a star” scenario. Joey Bosa’s fall, if my prediction comes to fruition, will in large part be due to fit. Most teams selecting in the top 10 run a 3-4 defense, whereas Bosa is an unknown commodity in anything other than a 4-3. It’s similar to Houston’s Jadaveon Clowney conundrum from a few years back with Houston—best player, but not the best fit in a 3-4 offense.

 

Giants10) Jack Conklin (OT / Michigan St.)

Second Option: Vernon Hargreaves III

Who They Probably Want(ed): Ezekiel Elliot

Dark horse: Leonard Floyd

Many would call Conklin a reach this early, but New York took an even bigger reach last year when they selected right tackle Erek Flowers 10-15 picks earlier than expected. So they clearly beat to the sound of their own drum, and they desperately need a left tackle after releasing starter Will Beatty. It’s not a sexy pick, but it’s a quality one.

 

Bears11) Sheldon Rankins (DL / Louisville)

Second Option: Vernon Hargreaves III

Who They Probably Want(ed): Joey Bosa

Dark horse: Mackensie Alexander

Chicago completely renovated their linebacking core in free agency, so that theoretically ditches Reggie Ragland, Darron Lee, and Leonard Floyd from the discussion. Adding Rankins here to solidify their front 3 will do wonders for this revamped defense.

 

Saints12) Vernon Hargreaves III (CB / Florida)

Second Option: Andrew Billings

Who They Probably Want(ed): Vernon Hargreaves III

Dark horse: Mackensie Alexander

New Orleans appears set on getting some much needed help on defense with this pick. Normally I’d have Billings slotted here, but with Hargreaves III falling, he’d be a fantastic steal for them.

 

miami-dolphins13) *From PHI: William Jackson III (CB / Houston)

Second Option: Eli Apple

Who They Probably Want(ed): Vernon Hargreaves III

Dark horse: Darron Lee

The ‘Fins have made it no secret that they’re keying in on cornerbacks, and William Jackson III could be a surprise pick here if Hargreaves III is off the board. Jackson III isn’t as popular as other top corner prospects in this draft class, but his great productivity in college combined with a stellar showing at the Combine definitely put him on the map for teams in need of help in the secondary.

 

Raiders14) Darron Lee (LB / Ohio St.)

Second Option: Reggie Ragland

Who They Probably Want(ed): Darron Lee

Dark horse: Corey Coleman

The Raiders had arguably the best NFL offseason so far this year—they’re absolutely stacked with young talent on both sides of the ball. Adding an athletic wunderkind who plays sideline to sideline like Lee at ILB would do wonders for head coach Jack Del Rio.

 

Rams15) Eli Apple (CB / Ohio St.)

Second Option: Corey Coleman

Who They Probably Want(ed): Jared Goff

Dark horse: Kevin Dodd

The Rams have needed a quality receiver for years now, but look for them to shore up their secondary after losing starter Janoris Jenkins in free agency. Eli Apple is a lanky press corner who could be coached up to be an upper echelon shutdown corner someday.

 

Lions16) Vernon Butler (DT / Louisiana Tech)

Second Option: Andrew Billings

Who They Probably Want(ed): Vernon Butler

Dark horse: Corey Coleman

This is one of my “stubborn” picks I refuse to change. The Lions have shown way too much interest in Butler to ignore. They’ve struggled to fill the void left by the departed Suh and Fairley. Butler is a freakish, athletic poundcake (is that technically an oxymoron?) who will help bring balance back to the middle of their line.

 

Falcons17) Leonard Floyd (Edge / Georgia)

Second Option: Corey Coleman

Who They Probably Want(ed): Darron Lee

Dark horse: Shaq Lawson

Floyd’s been a paralyzingly prospect. He absolutely has all the intangibles you look for—his length, power, and speed all are elite for his position. But the tape doesn’t match up. Many claim it was simply the way he was used at Georgia this past season. Who’s to say for certain? All that matters is that there are plenty teams lining up to gamble on a kid who could be the next great pass rushing phenom.

 

Colts18) Andrew Billings (DT / Baylor)

Second Option: Mackensie Alexander

Who They Probably Want(ed): Jack Conklin

Dark horse: Ryan Kelly

If Conklin falls here, don’t even think twice. Since that’s not the case, I have the Colts bolstering their abysmal defensive front with Billings—a guy I have pegged as a top 15 player in this draft class. I love the burst off the snap and power up the middle.

 

Bills19) Reggie Ragland (ILB / Alabama)

Second Option: Kevin Dodd

Who They Probably Want(ed): Leonard Floyd

Dark horse: Robert Nkemdiche 

Simply a case of BPA here. The Bills will need to find help at defensive end with Mario Williams enjoying South Beach now, but round 2 will still bolster plenty of quality defensive ends for them to choose from. Reggie Ragland is a flat out football player, speed be darned. This is a quintessential Rex Ryan player here. That said, this could easily be a landing spot for Robert Nkemdiche. Talent alone, he’s a top 5 pick. It’s the off field stuff that will likely keep him from going in round 1. But if there’s anyone who would take that risk, it’s likely to be Rex Ryan.

 

Jets20) Taylor Decker (OT / Ohio St.)

Second Option: Jarran Reed

Who They Probably Want(ed): Leonard Floyd

Dark horse: Paxton Lynch

Damon Harrison, the best run stuffing nose tackle in the league, left for the New York Giants. Wait…technically he didn’t actually “leave” if he’s still in NY…but I digress. So while one of the Alabama tackles—A’Shawn Robinson or Jarran Reed—makes a lot of sense here, I’m going with Taylor Decker. Both sides of their offensive line are a complete mess right now. D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s best day are now clearly behind him, and Breno Giacomoni struggled mightily this past season. Both scored PFF grades in the 30s this past season. So while this may be a little high for Decker according to most analysts, left tackle is just one of those positions you have to reach for if need be.

 

R Words21) Mackensie Alexander (CB / Clemson)

Second Option: Kevin Dodd

Who They Probably Want(ed): Eli Apple

Dark horse: Ryan Kelly

The Washington “R Words” have a few key areas they still need to hone in on this offseason. Their current projected starting center, Kory Lichtensteiger, posted an outstandingly horrific 22.6 PFF grade. That opens the door for a center like Ryan Kelly in round 1 here. But they also need to bolster their secondary. Mackensie Alexander and current starting Washington cornerback, Bashaud Breeland, both played at Clemson together in 2014. Let’s carry it on over to 2016 then, shall we?

 

Texans22) Corey Coleman (WR / Baylor)

Second Option: Will Fuller

Who They Probably Want(ed): Corey Coleman

Dark horse: Noah Spence

Houston’s defense is elite, I think it’s safe to say we all agree on that. If they want to take the next step forward towards Super Bowl contention, they need a better offense. And boy, have they accomplished that so far by signing quarterback Brock Oswelier away from Denver and also snagging the underused and misused running back, Lamar Miller, from Miami. To really bring it together, they should look for an explosive receiver to pair with DeAndre Hopkins. Coleman is that guy.

 

Vikings23) Laquon Treadwell (WR / Ole Miss)

Second Option: Josh Doctson

Who They Probably Want(ed): Laquon Treadwell

Dark horse: Cody Whitehair

A “slow” 40 yard dash at his Pro Day really helped out any team in the early 20s hoping Treadwell will fall to them. Don’t expect him to fall past Minnesota. Much like the Buccs’ landing Bosa, this just has to be general manager Rick Spielman’s ideal draft day scenario. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he moved up a few spots to secure him.

 

Bengals24) Will Fuller (WR / Notre Dame)

Second Option: Josh Doctson

Who They Probably Want(ed): Corey Coleman

Dark horse: Braxton Miller

Marvin Jones is out, as is Mohamed Sanu. For a team that’s found an identity as a vertical passing juggernaut, a replacement must come early in the draft. Fuller would be both an ideal replacement and improvement. His scorching speed will pair quite nicely with A.J. Green.

 

Steelers25) A’Shawn Robinson (DL / Alabama)

Second Option: Jarran Reed

Who They Probably Want(ed): Mackensie Alexander

Dark horse: Josh Doctson

The Steelers get the short end of the stick in the, “Round 1 Cornerback Sweepstakes” with Alexander, Apple, Hargreaves III, Jackson III, and Ramsey all off the board. Look for them to bolster their defensive front depth with a player like Robinson who’s versatile and can play multiple positions along the line.

 

Seahawks26) Germain Ifedi (OT / Texas A&M)

Second Option: Ryan Kelly

Who They Probably Want(ed): Taylor Decker

Dark horse: Noah Spence

The Seahawks offensive line was…I can’t even think of a creative enough word that describes just how abysmal it was in 2015. It’s a marvel they got to where they did in the playoffs (ah, the sheer magic and will of Russell Wilson…beautiful…and this is coming from a Vikings fan). To make matters worse, they last starting left tackle, Russell Okung, to Denver. He was literally the only “bright” spot on  a dreary line. Finding a replacement is an absolute, priority-A must since they failed to address the issue in free agency.

 

Packers27) Josh Doctson (WR / TCU)

Second Option: Jarran Reed

Who They Probably Want(ed): Will Fuller

Dark horse: Kamalei Correa

The Packers will be the first to tell you they have to get back to their brand of offense happy football that focuses on letting Aaron Rodgers do what he does best—chucking that pigskin. Adding another big, vertical threat opposite from Jordy Nelson, and putting Randall Cobb in the slot, will make this offense hum once more.

 

Chiefs28) Kendall Fuller (CB / Virginia Tech)

Second Option: Jarran Reed

Who They Probably Want(ed): Will Fuller

Dark horse: Kamalei Correa

With Pro Bowler Sean Smith ditching KC to join the divisional rival Vegas Oakland Raiders, they’ll need to bring in a new cornerback to pair with last season’s rookie sensation—Marcus Peters. Kendall Fuller was once touted as a top 10 pick candidate before a serious knee injury knocked him out for the 2015 season. If Myles Jack can enter the draft virtually unscathed by the media from his early season injury, there’s absolutely no reason why Fuller couldn’t still find himself somewhere in round 1.

 

PatriotsCheaters never win! PICK FORFEITED! 

Second Option: Eat grass. 

Who They Probably Want(ed): Michael Johnson

Dark horse: A foaming at the mouth Robert Kraft tries to make a pick anyway, and they get fined even more draft picks. 

 

Cardinals29) Paxton Lynch (QB / Memphis)

Second Option: Kevin Dodd

Who They Probably Want(ed): Paxton Lynch

Dark horse: Connor Cook

Carson Palmer can’t keep it up forever. Heck, he was demolished in the NFL Championship game and people still think he has more in him. That’s a pretty risky gamble at his age. They need to draft an heir.

 

Panthers30) Shaq Lawson (DE / Clemson)

Second Option: Kevin Dodd

Who They Probably Want(ed): Shaq Lawson

Dark horse: Jason Spriggs

Kony Ealy had a fantastic Super Bowl, but they can’t let that sway the fact that he’s better off as a rotational player. Otherwise we’d have teams like the Giants signing players like David Tyree to mega deals to make circus catches every game.

Yes, there are larger needs in the secondary…but Shaq Lawson is clearly the best prospect on the board in this scenario with all of the tier 1 and tier 2 cornerbacks already off the board. Reaching for a tier 3 corner makes little sense when there are a lot of quality tier 1/tier 2 edge rushers left up for grabs.

 

Broncos31) Connor Cook (QB / Michigan St.)

Second Option: Jarran Reed

Who They Probably Want(ed): Paxton Lynch

Dark horse: Christian Hackenberg

 

There’s a real solid chance this pick could end up going to the San Francisco 49ers in a deal revolving around Colin Kaepernick. Either way, both teams will be in need of a franchise signal caller depending on the outcome—the Broncos if the deal falls through, or the 49ers if the deal works out in the end.

The 49ers are reportedly high on Cook, which is a primary reason I have them passing up Jared Goff earlier in round 1. General Manager, Trent Baalke, has proven he won’t go for a QB early if he likes a prospect later on. That’s how they ended up with Colin Kaepernick in the first place.

 

2nd Round:

 

Browns 32) Vonn Bell (S / Ohio St.) 
Titans 33) Jarran Reed (DT / Alabama) 
Cowboys 34) Noah Spence (Edge / Eastern Kentucky) 
Chargers 35) Jason Spriggs (OT / Indiana) 
Ravens 36) Robert Nkemdiche (DL / Ole Miss)
Niners 37) Michael Thomas (WR / Ohio St.)
Jaguars 38) Kamalei Correa (OLB / Boise St.) 
Buccs 39) Ryan Kelly (C / Alabama)
Giants 40) Kyle Fackrell (LB / Utah St.)
Bears 41) Xavien Howard (CB / Baylor)
miami-dolphins 42) Kevin Dodd (DE / Clemson) 
Rams 43) Karl Joseph (S / West Virginia)
Raiders 44) Darien Thompson (S / Boise St.)
Rams 45) (*From PHI) Hunter Henry (TE / Arkansas)
Lions 46) Shon Coleman (OT / Auburn)
Saints 47Chris Jones (DL / Mississippi St.)
Colts 48Nick Martin (OG/C / Notre Dame)
Bills 49Emmanuel Ogbah (DE / Oklahoma St.) 
Falcons 50Jonathan Bullard (DL / Florida) 
Jets 51Derrick Henry (RB / Alabama)
Texans 52) Austin Johnson (DT / Penn St.)
R Words 53Cody Whitehair (OG / Kansas St.)
Vikings 54) Jaylon Smith (LB / Notre Dame)
Bengals 55) Deion Jones (LB / LSU)
Seahawks 56Joshua Garnett (OG / Stanford) 
Packers 57) Jerrell Adams (TE / South Carolina)
Steelers 58) Braxton Miller (WR / Ohio St.)
Chiefs 59) Kenny Clark (DT / UCLA)
Patriots 60) Jerald Hawkins (OT / LSU)
Patriots 61(*From ARI) Sterling Shepard (WR / Oklahoma)
Panthers 62) Artie Burns (CB / Miami (FL)) 
Broncos 63Christian Westerman (OG / Arizona St.) 

 

Missed the Cut:

Will Redmond (CB / Mississippi St.) 
Sheldon Day (DT / Notre Dame) 
Su’a Cravens (LB/S / USC) 
Charone Peake (WR / Clemson) 
Tyler Boyd (WR / Pittsburgh) 
Keanu Neal (S / Florida) 

 

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