The worst kept secret of this year’s draft. LA continues to publicly keep their mouths shut on the matter, but every reputable NFL journalist in the nation reports that Jared Goff is the guy here. Personally, I think Wentz is a far better fit and a better long term (and possibly short term for that matter) prospect…but c’est la vie. Both players (and teams, for that matter) have incredible bright futures ahead of them.
Philadelphia gets their man here at #2 New head coach—and coach whisperer—Doug Pederson has raved about Carson Went and his star potential in the past. Some may have called it a smokescreen or sorts, but that talk of high praise was backed up, and then some, when they ended up trading away a small fortune to move up to pick #2; despite all the money they already have invested in quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel.
This is probably the pick I’ve been the most undecided on of late. It could go any of 4 different ways: Ronnie Stanley, Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey, De’Forest Bucker, or a trade down. As of yesterday I had De’Forest Bucker here, so that would be my second guess. But the big rumor out today—the day of the draft—is that the Chargers not only prefer a LT here, but that they actually prefer Ronnie Stanley over Laremy Tunsil. This goes against everything we’ve believed in leading up to the draft, but there’s been a reported sentiment around the league that quite a few GMs actually feel this way as well.
So will Stanley be the pick here? I still question this notion. It makes far more sense to trade down a few spots to a team like Jacksonville who would likely love to net Jalen Ramsey. But I’m done overthinking this one…Ronnie Stanley it is.
I’m torn between Jalen Ramsey and Ezekiel Elliot here. We know that Jerry Jones has been campaigning for Elliot, and there’s a rumor floating around that head coach Jason Garrett feels the same…but you know what, I just can’t pull the trigger. Despite media outlets going with this take the day of the draft here, I think it’s a smokescreen of sorts. While I’m sure they truly like him, I just don’t see them passing on a long, rangey defensive back like Jalen Ramsey. He’s the type of player that just screams Dallas Cowboy and would pair nicely with last year’s first round selection, DB Byron Jones. They’d easily make for the most athletic DB duo in the league going forward.
There were rumors that Jacksonville loves LB Myles Jack, but he’s falling down the board fast now after a recent report that his knee is essentially bone on bone, will likely require a micro fracture surgery at some point early on, and that it will effect the longevity of his career by a significant margin. So for a team looking to become a powerhouse in the next few seasons as opposed to already being at that pinnacle, it makes more sense to go for a player they can grow and have a longterm future with. Joey Bosa here would complete their overhaul in the tenches on defense. In addition to Bosa, they added Malik Jackson in free agency and will be getting last year’s redshirted rookie Dante Fowler Jr. back in the mix. Add in the other vast improvements this team made in free agency, and it’s not hard to be excited for Jaguar fans. They deserve some happiness for a change. Yes, as a Vikings fan, I can still feel empathy for other…unfortunate…teams as well.
GM Ozzie Newsome has gone on the record as saying the Ravens will go for the best player on the board at pick #6; need be darned. While Joey Bosa makes for intriguing pairing, Laremy Tunsil is likely the guy here if he’s still on the board. Looking at how this roster currently stands, Baltimore’s offense will revolve heavily around speedy receivers who’ll be told to run plenty of go routes to stretch the field. This means QB Joe Flacco will need every second he can afford in the pocket to let these guys get open down field. So if they expect Eugene Monroe to hold up at LT after repeatedly failing to do so of late with his laundry basket of health concerns, they’re in for a world of hurt. Or Joe Flacco is, more specifically.
Laremy Tunsil could be the best LT to enter the draft since Joe Thomas in 2007. He has the size, strength, nimbleness, bend, and pop off the snap to dominate the position for years to come. Color me surprised he somehow falls this low, but so be it. Congratulations to whoever’s lucky enough to land a guy who should be a perennial Pro Bowler at one of the most important positions in football. Someday we’ll likely look back and question the teams who passed on him.
First off, there’s the Chip Kelly/Arik Armstead/Oregon connection. Now that we have the obvious out of the way, Bucker would be a great fit here to boot. He’s one of the most versatile players in the entire draft this year, able to adapt and thrive in any defensive front. Perfect on the edge in a 3-4, but can easily kick it inside for Nickel formations or traditional 4-3 fronts. Great against the pass, and exceptional against the run. This is the ideal NFL lineman in 2016.
Pairing him with former Oregon teammate, Arik Armstead, on the opposite side of the line would make for an intriguing edge duo.
I have Elliot going here assuming there will be a trade with a team like Miami who’s hot to trot for an elite ‘back to replace Lamar Miller, but I’m hedging my bet on the fact that Cleveland could also use a guy like Elliot despite the fact that there’s essentially zero chat the Browns will actually go for a RB. Why? Because he’s simply the most complete running back to enter the league since…LaDainian Tomlinson. Thought I was going to say Adrian Peterson, didn’t you? As a Vikings fan, I can assure you…AP was and still is far from a complete RB. Most dominant RB? Sure. But understand what complete means; a player who can run in the trenches, around the trenches, pass block, catch the ball out of the backfield, the works. Ezekiel Elliot is that type of ‘back, and he’d take an immense amount of pressure off of Robert Griffin III. Not to diss Isaiah Crowell or Duke Johnson, but they’ll never be the type of ball carriers who can make opposing defenders blush.
Most have Vernon Hargreaves III pegged here, but I buy into the rumor that they aren’t enamored with him. In fact, I don’t think any team in the top 15 will be enamored with an undersized, short arm CB. So I have them going for Shaq Lawson here. The powerful, violent edge rusher out of Clemson would add much needed pressure on opposing QBs.
The Giants typically don’t go for linebackers early in the draft, but Floyd is an exception. His measurables are off the charts. He’s very long and has the type of twitch like athleticism that has a lot of teams at the top of the draft excited for his potential. That said, this is a boom or bust prospect here. He’s very thin and will need to beef up some.
I know two picks earlier I said teams in the top 15 shouldn’t be too excited for a short and short armed CB, but at the same time, that’s really not fair. He’s such an exceptional player and will likely have a long career ahead of him. He’s got the smarts, hips, and athleticism to thrive for the years to come. For the Bears, he comes in and gives them more help at a position of need, albeit it’s probably not their greatest need. But size concerns aside, he’s the best player on the board. If nothing else, he should be an elite NFL nickel.
The Saints are transitioning to a 4-3 defense afters years of a making the 3-4 look shoddy. They need help everywhere, but finding a plug in the middle is a great start. I love Billings and how fast he gets off the snap and then goes after the QB or ball carrier with reckless abandon. Perhaps the best part? He’s only 20 years old. Saints fans will love this guy, and I for one will be jealous the Vikings don’t end up with him.
Miami would love a shot at Ezekiel Elliot. If he falls to the Browns at pick #8, I think there’s a great chance the Dolphins pull the trigger. So would the Browns still take a corner here if they end up with pick #13? There’s a chance, but I’m making this selection specifically with Miami in mind. They’ve been looking a big corners leading up to the draft here, and WJIII had the productiveness in college to match the blazing speed and measurables he showcased at the Combine. That’s enough to put him over Eli Apple in my mind as the 3rd CB off the board behind Jalen Ramsey and Vernon Hargreaves III.
I think this might be a little high for Apple, but teams tend to overshoot for long press corners like this. The Raiders have done an amazing job building their team up this offseason in free agency. They just added Sean Smith from the division rival Chiefs, and adding Apple into the mix will be the cherry on top towards revamping their poor secondary.
Peter King has been in contact the the Titans this offseason and he’s convinced the Titans are going to move this pick. If they end up trading #15 to the Browns, I could see them going for Jack Conklin as a Joe Thomas replacement once they trade him. If not, the Titans would be absolutely stoked if they had to stand pat and were still able to get a top notch edge protector for the oft. injured Marcus Mariota. If they want him to stay healthy, doing everything they can to protect him is of utmost importance. And while Conklin isn’t the most athletic edge protector in the draft, he’s just athletic enough and has the smarts and strength to push people around. High floor guy. If not at LT, then at RT. If not at RT, then at guard. He’ll be great somewhere along the line.
The Lions have shown far, far too much interest in Vernon Butler this offseason to ignore. For a team in clear need of help in the middle of their line, it adds up.
The biggest question this draft is just how far Myles Jack will fall. His knee is a “ticking time bomb.” Sounds like a Brandon Roy scenario from years ago. He was a fantastic NBA superstar for a few years, but everyone knew he was on borrowed time. So while I’m not sure the Falcons are close to competing for a title, I think they’d be happy to take the immediate help.
Indy’s offensive line was atrocious last season, and it showed with Luck’s injury riddled season after getting hit so often. Yes, part of that was his own fault…but the play along the line, particularly in the middle, just won’t do. Ryan Kelly is probably the safest pick in the draft this year. The definition of plug and play.
People overrate Decker as a pass protector. He’s a far, far greater run blocker, and it’s not even close. But the Jets will take that regardless. While they could use a replacement for NT Damon Harrison or speedier edge rushers, they’re not in a position to ignore their struggling edge protection now that D’Brickashaw Ferguson hung up his cleats.
The R Words lost some talent along the line this offseason, Reed helps fill in the gaps along the trenches…literally.
The Texans add a speedy receiver to play alongside one of the best in the game, DeAndre Hopkins. Teams had enough trouble as it was honing in on Hopkins. Imagine what he can do with a better QB and more pressure taken off him in 2016.
Mike Zimmer is probably swooning over the defensive talent on the board here, but WR is just too far a need to ignore. In order for Teddy Bridgewater to take that next big step forward in year 3, he’ll need an elite target. And with Doctson, you get a huge target with an absurd catch radius using his amazing body control and solid mitts to bring in practically everything thrown his way. Think Odell Beckham Jr. in terms of spectacular catches.
Treadwell is still on the board here, and he’ll be tempting…but I think Coleman makes more sense pairing with AJ Green. There will be plenty of other big targets to take later on in the draft if they’re specifically looking for a Marvin Jones replacement after losing him to Detroit in free agency. Nabbing Coleman here gives them the most explosive vertical threat in this draft by a large margin. There’s simply no one else like him in this draft class.
The hard hitting safety would be the perfect fit for the smash mouth Steelers.
This is a name that isn’t as popular as other defensive linemen this year, but his upside could be the highest of the bunch. He has the tools necessary to be an elite pass rusher from the middle in a 4-3 scheme or the edge in a 3-4 front. The biggest question is motor. He’ll need to be motivated and coached up, or he could fall to the wayside.
This would be a dream come true for Packers fans. Two years ago, Alabama safety Ha-Ha Clinton Dix inexplicably fell to them when he was “supposed” to go much higher in the draft. Same could hold true for this Alabama product. Now there’s a small red flag here…he just got diagnosed with an enlarged aorta. I’m not going to pretend to know what this is, but apparently it shouldn’t effect his career if they stay on top of it. So that’s something to at least be aware of. Other than that, he’s perfect for the Packers. This allows Clay Matthews a move back to his more natural position at OLB.
The Chiefs seem to always be looking for help on offense. They were fortunate enough to nab Jeremy Maclin last offseason to fix their receiving worst from 2014 (ZERO TDs for their WRs!). And now adding Treadwell here makes their offensive outlook in 2016 that much sweeter. Alex Smith isn’t a downfield passer, and that fits perfectly with a guy like Treadwell who’ll do his damage on slants and post routes.
The Cardinals have gone on record as saying they want to get more athletic at safety. Well, can’t do much better than nabbing Joseph.
The Panthers place a lot of defensive emphasis on the pass rush in their scheme, so adding a guy like Dodd bodes well for them. Kony Ealy had a fantastic Super Bowl, but one great game shouldn’t change the fact that he’s best off as a rotational guy.
John Elway sure is one stubborn fella, isn’t he? Despite having Mark Sanchez as your current starting QB, it sounds like he won’t be reaching for a QB in the draft. I guess I can’t blame him. This team clearly goes as far as their defense takes them. After losing Malik Jackson to Jacksonville via free agency, replacing him on the line should be a priority. Landing Nkemdiche at the end of the first round would be huge for them. Talent wise, he’s a top 5 pick. It’s the off field issues that cause this massive drop. But just like they did last year with Shane Ray and the year before with Bradley Robey, they’ll gladly take the gamble on highly skilled players with questionable attitudes/issues.
31) Cleveland — Paxton Lynch (QB / Memphis)
32) Tennessee — Michael Thomas (WR / Ohio St.)
33) Dallas — Noah Spence (EDGE / Eastern Kentucky)
34) San Diego — Darron Lee (LB / Ohio St.)
35) Baltimore — Germain Ifedi (OL / Texas A&M)
36) San Francisco — Cody Whitehair (OL / Kansas St.)
37) Jacksonville — Emmanuel Ogbah (DE / Oklahoma St.)
38) Tampa Bay — Mackensie Alexander (CB / Clemson)
39) New York Giants — Henry Hunter (TE / Arkansas)
40) Chicago — A’Shawn Robinson (DL / Alabama)
41) Miami — Jihad Ward (DL / Illinois)
42) Tennessee (*from LA and PHI) — Artie Burns (CB / Miami (FL))
43) Oakland — Kenny Clark (DL / UCLA)
44) Tennessee (*from LA) — Austin Johnson (DL / Penn St.)
45) Detroit — Jason Spriggs (OL / Indiana)
46) New Orleans — Connor Cook (QB / Michigan St.)
47) Indianapolis — La’Raven Clark (OL / Texas Tech)
48) Buffalo — Christian Hackenberg (QB / Penn St.)
49) Atlanta — Sterling Shepard (WR / Oklahoma)
50) New York Jets — Kamalei Correa (EDGE / Boise St.)
51) Houston — Joshua Garnett (OL / Stanford)
52) Washington — Nick Martin (OL / Notre Dame)
53) Minnesota — Vonn Bell (DB / Ohio St.)
54) Cincinnati — Deion Jones (LB / LSU)
55) Seattle — Shon Coleman (OL / Auburn)
56) Green Bay — Braxton Miller (WR / Ohio St.)
57) Pittsburgh — Su’a Cravens (S/OLB / USC)
58) Kansas City — Dak Prescott (QB / Mississippi St.)
59) New England — Jonathan Bullard (DL / Florida)
60) New England (*from ARI) — Tyler Boyd (WR / Pittsburgh)
61) Carolina — Derrick Henry (RB / Alabama)
62) Denver — Christian Westerman (OL / Arizona St.)
Just missed the cut:
T.J. Green (DB / Clemson)
Kyle Fackrell (EDGE / Utah St.)
Charone Peake (WR / Clemson)
Xavien Howard (CB / Baylor)
Kendall Fuller (CB / Virginia Tech)