NFL Mock Draft 3.0

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There has been quite a shakeup in the draft order this past week, as the Los Angeles Rams have traded up fourteen spots for the first overall pick.  Tennessee will move back to 15 and acquire two second round picks from the Rams, as well as a third rounder this year, and a first and third next year.  And, just today, the Eagles have traded with the Browns to acquire the second overall pick.  The Browns received the 8th overall pick, as well as a third and fourth rounder this year, and a first and second next year.  This shakeup means that the draft will have a very new look to it, which means the mocks must adjust.  Let’s show those adjustments.

(1) Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB, California

The Rams obviously moved up to grab a quarterback here.  The ultimate question is, who will they take here, Goff or Wentz? I think the Rams, knowing that Wentz still needs some development and would need to sit behind someone for a bit, go for the quarterback that can start right away in the league, and immediately helps out their offense.  Goff does exactly that.

(2) Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

The Eagles gave away a bunch to acquire this pick, and they will obviously be taking a quarterback.  I think Wentz being able to sit behind Bradford for a couple years will only help him progress into a better player.  Time will tell if this trade works out.

(3) San Diego Chargers: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi

San Diego gets to choose from everyone at the top of their big board after seeing two quarterbacks get taken off the board.  It would be very hard not to take Ramsey here, as he would add a big boost to a secondary that Eric Weddle departed, but Tunsil is as sure fire a pick in this draft as anyone.

(4) Dallas Cowboys: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Yes, Elliott is very popular at this spot, but I argue that Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden will be fine in that backfield.  Plus, if Dallas really wants to contend for a title, they need to address their defensive line, which at this point doesn’t really have a consistent pass rushing presence.  Adding Joey Bosa will fix that for Dallas.

(5) Jacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State

After all the drama with the trade, the Jags end up grabbing the best player in the draft.  Ramsey will add playmaking ability on defense that the Jags just have not had for some time.  He will join Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson, and a returning Dante Fowler to ignite a young and talented up and coming defense.

(6) Baltimore Ravens: DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon

The Ravens defensive line will be a question mark heading into 2016, with Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil aging, along with the departure of OLB Courtney Upshaw.  The defensive line is an area where the Ravens must get younger.  Adding a big, strong, physical presence like Buckner is exactly what the Ravens need.

(7) San Francisco 49ers: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

San Fran misses out on both quarterbacks, but they grab the next best need for them.  Chip Kelly needs a strong offensive line for his run heavy scheme, and Stanley fits that bill with his strength and athleticism.

(8) Cleveland Browns: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

The injury questions only get harder to answer for Myles Jack.  But, I think his potential to be the top player in this draft will entice Cleveland to make a move.  Jack has the ability to play in coverage just as well as he plays against the run.  Jack can become a serious cornerstone of this defense.

(9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

Defense, defense, defense.  That should be Tampa Bay’s focus in this draft.  The secondary should be a top priority, and Hargreaves getting to nine is exactly what the Bucs need.  He provides them with great ball skills, toughness, and instincts.

(10) New York Giants: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State

The Giants definitely overhauled the defense in free agency, signing Olivier Vernon and Janoris Jenkins, but the spot they need to address is linebacker.  Darron Lee provides something at the position that you don’t see very often: toughness AND speed.  He reminds me a lot of Ryan Shazier, and if teams think he has that type of potential, he will be a high pick.

(11) Chicago Bears: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

Chicago has a lot of places they could address, from the defensive line to the offensive line.  I think their best option would be to grab an edge rusher that they can pair with Pernell McPhee.  Leonard Floyd has huge potential and may end up being the best pass rusher in this draft.

(12) New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

The Saints will for sure be focusing on defense in this draft.  I don’t see them taking Treadwell like many mock drafts have, because adding Fleener in free agency will immediately help out the passing game.  Adding a pass rushing defensive tackle like Rankins will help free up Cam Jordan and second year rusher Hau’oli Kikaha with one on one chances to get to the QB.

(13) Miami Dolphins: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

It’s a dream scenario for the Dolphins.  They are lacking a running game since Lamar Miller left for Houston in free agency, so having a stud like Elliott be there at 13 helps out the offense immensely.  Adam Gase could use Elliott in so many ways, and he can take the pressure off of Ryan Tannehill.

(14) Oakland Raiders: William Jackson III, CB, Houston

The Raiders will continue to rebuild and reload through their defense, which added Bruce Irvin this offseason.  Even though they did add Sean Smith, another physical corner with some speed would fit them nicely, and that’s exactly what Jackson brings to the table.

(15) Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

A trade up to Cleveland’s spot seems unlikely when both Tunsil and Stanley are gone, but they have the next best guy at that position fall right into their lap.  Conklin has the pass protection ability to play left tackle, but the odds are that Tennessee will play him at right tackle and leave Lewan at left tackle.

(16) Detroit Lions: A’Shawn Robinson, DE/DT, Alabama

Offensive line would be another way for the Lions to go, but with Haloti Ngata not too far from hanging it up, Robinson seems like the ideal replacement for Ngata.  He has the strength to get to the quarterback, and has the versatility to play both defensive tackle and defensive end.

(17) Atlanta Falcons: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama

Atlanta continues to add defensive pieces under Dan Quinn, and this time they have added a cornerstone in Reggie Ragland.  Ragland reminds me of a better CJ Mosley, and his run stopping and tackling ability are unmatched in this draft.  He has a great football IQ and is a great addition to a Falcons team that lacks a strong linebacking core.

(18) Indianapolis Colts: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

This pick might be the easiest to predict.  Assuming one of the top four offensive linemen gets to them, they will take one.  The Colts cannot afford another season of losing Andrew Luck, so boosting the offensive line throughout the entire draft is a must.  Decker will provide the Colts with the ability to protect Andrew Luck’s blindside.

(19) Buffalo Bills: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

The Bills don’t have a ton of holes.  One of the possibilities for the Bills would be to go quarterback, but do they think Lynch is the guy?  Middle linebacker would be another option, but would they reach for someone without a first round grade?  Their safest option is to replace the loss of Mario Williams, and Shaq Lawson’s potential as a pass rusher will entice the Bills enough to take him.

(20) New York Jets: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

Right now, it seems like the Ryan Fitzpatrick situation is far from being figured out, and I don’t think the Jets want Geno Smith to start at quarterback.  Lynch may end up starting the year if Fitzpatrick doesn’t get a deal done, but the weapons are there to take the pressure off of him.  (NOTE: There is a VERY strong possibility Lynch goes 4-5 picks before the Jets’ spot at 20, considering what has happened with the top two picks, so the Jets may need to trade up to get him.)

(21) Washington Redskins: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama

Washington has a few holes on their defense to address, but why not add one of the best defensive tackles in the draft who is a run stopping machine.  He would anchor a very solid defensive line and be a solid player for quite some time.

(22) Houston Texans: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

Fuller running in the 4.3 range vaulted him into the first round conversation.  Fuller would complement Hopkins very nicely in Houston’s passing game, and if he can fix the drop issue he had in college, Fuller can be a serious stud in this league.

(23) Minnesota Vikings: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi

Minnesota is solid on defense, so they must find weapons to help Teddy Bridgewater prosper in their offense.  Treadwell, perhaps the best wideout in this draft, will complement second year receiver Stefon Diggs nicely, and his physicality and his ability to win jump balls will be huge for the Vikes.

(24) Cincinnati Bengals: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

Losing both Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu was a big blow to the Bengals offense.  They need to find someone who can complement AJ Green’s deep ball explosiveness.  Josh Doctson is that guy.  Doctson is more of a possession receiver at the next level, but his hands and route running will help him become a very viable number two guy.

(25) Pittsburgh Steelers: Artie Burns, CB, Miami

Along with Indy needing help on the offensive line, the Steelers need major help in the secondary.  With a few options to consider, Pittsburgh goes with the guy with the best size and speed in Artie Burns.  Burns has the ability to be a top notch outside cover guy.

(26) Seattle Seahawks: Germain Ifedi, OL, Texas A&M

Seattle, without Max Unger last year and now with Okung being traded to Denver, Seattle needs instant help on the offensive line.  Ifedi gives them the versatility to mix and match their offensive line how they want.

(27) Green Bay Packers: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech

Green Bay needs help at defensive tackle with the abrupt Raji retirement, and I think Butler has a chance to be a serious star in this league.  Butler has impressed me a lot since the Senior Bowl and vaulted his stock to my top 25.  He can play nose tackle but also could move to defensive end in certain situations.

(28) Kansas City Chiefs: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

The Chiefs added a future star last year in Marcus Peters, but losing Sean Smith to free agency has them back on the market for a corner.  Eli Apple has a similar style of play as Sean Smith, and his size will be very helpful to the Chiefs defense.

(29) Arizona Cardinals: Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Mississippi

Arizona needs help on the defensive line, and although acquiring Chandler Jones helps them out on the pass rush front, they still need a guy who can plug up the middle.  Nkemdiche has serious potential, and if he can avoid off the field issues, this would be an absolute steal.  He has a great combo of abilities in the run and pass rush game, and his team up with Jones could be the missing pieces Arizona has looked for.

(30) Carolina Panthers: Cody Whitehair, OL, Kansas State

Carolina could look for help at the safety spot or for their pass rush, but if you watched the Super Bowl, you know where the Panthers must look first: their offensive line.  They can’t afford to get beaten up in the trenches and risk Cam Newton getting hurt.  Whitehair is another offensive lineman that has the versatility to play guard or tackle.

(31) Denver Broncos: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

Denver did a solid job retaining defensive pieces, but losing both Osweiler and Manning hurts.  Mark Sanchez is certainly not the long term solution, and may not even be a good short term one.  Connor Cook has the potential to be the top QB in this draft, and sitting for a little while will help him progress.




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