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Monday, August 10, 2015

2016 NFL MOCK DRAFT 8/10/15

With the 2015 draft coming to an end I am sure many of you are already wondering who the top prospects for 2016 might be. Trying to predict not only the top prospects, but also the draft order is a tall order right now, but I am willing if you are. So keep that in mind because some of these guys will get hurt, play to avoid injury & disappoint, decide to stay in school, maybe even be kicked off the team, or just not play up to my expectations as a whole . Not to mention the teams may play better or worse for a whole lot of reasons themselves. Right now I am predicting a DALLAS/COLTS Superbowl, but a significant injury to Luck or Romo would kill that notion, so keep that in mind as well. The prospects have NFL player comparisons below their name, so you can get an idea of who it is your getting, but I will change them later if someone else comes to mind that I think is a better comp. I have done limited tape study on these prospects so far, and they are mostly guys I couldn't help noticing while watching others on tape this year, or guys I expected to enter the 2015 draft that didn't. Some are just really talented ,and I expect them to step up this year as well. Right now I see a draft deep at offensive tackle, safety, center, linebacker, and running back if the players I expect come out, Connor Cook is the is the most well known QB, and I hope he steps up enough to be the #1 pick, but I expect others will challenge him for the top QB spot, and I am far from sold on him right now. I am going to go with guys I already had a first round grade on from 2104 tape at the top for now. So here it is. Enjoy.


1.SAN FRANCISCO - JOEY BOSA - DE - OHIO ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MARIO WILLIAMS - BILLS
The 49ers still have plenty of talent on their roster, but I think this is a transition year for them in the NFL's toughest division, and that their record will reflect that . Justin Smith has joined the group of players retiring ,and the leadership void he and Patrick Willis leave behind will be hard to fill on defense. Not to mention the talent and toughness a lot of guys who departed brought to this team. Losing Harbaugh, Iupati,  Willis, Borland, McDonald, Anthony Davis and Justin Smith is hard enough. Navorro Bowman is also question mark coming off a major injury, and sadly Alson Smith has imploded off the field once again, and is now gone  too . However. I do believe it will be a short term dip in wins. If Kaeperneck gets hurt early behind that new line, they cold actually go winless with Gabbert at QB. Rarely do you see a 4-3 strong side end who is a great pass rusher, but Bosa is. He also has a great frame with long arms and the overall height and length to be a 5 technique. Shocks blocker with his hands off the snap and stays in control of them until he wants to shed them. He can already flat out dominate against the run or pass.




2.WASHINGTON - VERNON HARGREAVES the 3rd- CB - FLORIDA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DARRELLE REVIS - JETS
Washington has an improved roster , but the reason I don't think they will do much this year is coach Jay Gruden. Gruden was hired to improve RG3 .Instead of improving RG3 ,he has publicly embarrassed him, and I wouldn't be surprised if he divides the locker room this year as well.  I expect the next coach will come in and claim he can fix Griffin as well, and they will give Griffin one more try in 2016 to see if he can be their franchise QB. However, they do lack a #1 corner. I have never seen a sophomore corner be the clear cut best corner in all of college football before, but Vernon was last year. He is smart. fluid , physical and fast. He only has average size, but you wouldn't know it by the way he challenges receivers.



3.CHICAGO - JARED GOFF - QB - CALIFORNIA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CARSON PALMER - CARDINALS
I just don't have much faith in Jay Cutler anymore, and I don't know any bears fans who do either. Unless something drastically changes this season I doubt the Bears coaches & front office will want him back if he has another down season, While it would still suck then, eating his contract next year would still be a lot more palatable compared to this season. Goff is a top shelf talent with a big arm, and if he can convince NFL teams that he can transition to a pro style offense ,he has a chance to be the first QB drafted



4.JACKSONVILLE - RONNIE STANLEY -OT - N. DAME
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DUANE BROWN - TEXANS
It's rare for me to put a team who's recent draft I liked so much so high in next years mock draft, but they still have too many questions for me right now.Sorry jags fans, but rushing Blake Bortles onto the field last year may have stunted his development, and another year of failure may permanently scar him. However, Bortles does have the talent to lead them to a .500 record if he could just play up to 75 percent of his potential this year. Unless he is downright terrible, and Gus Bradley gets fired ,I think the jags will give Blake one more year before drafting another QB. While I hope I am wrong ,and he is successful, there is a reason why so many vegas odds-makers have the jags as the biggest long shot to win it all. I personally no longer believe in Luke Joeckel as a left tackle, but they stuck with him anyway. I am not even sure if Gus Bradley will keep his job after this season, but if he does he will want to run the ball. Stanley would have been a first round pick in this draft, and he has the athletic ability to fit right into their zone scheme.The sad loss of Dante Fowler to a torn ACL only makes the chances of the jags having another high pick far more likely.




5.OAKLAND - LAREMY TUNSIL - OT - OLE MISS

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOE STALEY - 49ers
Despite a good draft I just don't have faith in Derek Carr as the long term answer as the Raiders QB, although I doubt they give up on him quickly enough to draft a QB here. 32 Donald Penn yer old Donald Penn played very well last year , but I doubt he can keep it up for long , and I have always felt he would be a better fit on the right side anyway. Tunsil is coming off a broken leg , and only his injury history keeps him  from being the first OT picked here. If he is healthy this year , and his health checks out long term at the combine, he could be a franchise left tackle.


6.HOUSTON - CHRISTIAN HACKENBURG - QB - PENN ST

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - BEN ROETHLISBERGER - STEELERS
Houston had just about everything but a QB on their team, and then Arian Foster got hurt. Barring one of the QB's on their roster taking a big step up, they won't be in contention this season. Hackenburg looked like a future number one overall pick when he played for Texans coach Bill O'brien as a freshman. Last year he regressed badly and looked like a different player without him . Even if Hackenburg improves this season I doubt it will be enough for any other team to pick him as the 1rst QB. O'brien would be wise to get his guy here though ,because he can step in from day one in this familiar offense, and start from day one.



7.CLEVELAND - CONNOR COOK - QB - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MATT RYAN - FALCONS

Despite a really talented offensive line, and a potentially great defense, I just don't believe in the browns again. The reasons are they lack a proven QB, and a wide receiver that scares defenses. Quarterback is more important, and unless Manziel is a completely different person after rehab , they will be looking for a QB again. I bet that this time they will be adamant about drafting a QB that comes from a pro style offense . So barring their owner deciding to take a homeless guys advice again ,I think they take Cook in this scenario, instead of the more talented Cardale Jones. Cook has the size, big arm, and talent around him to make a big jump up in production this season. If he does he could be the first pick in the draft.



8.DETROIT -  ROBERT NKEMDICHE - DT/DE - OLE MISS

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - SHELDON RICHARDSON - JETS
The lions switch to a 3-4 helps mitigate the loss of Suh, but they still didn't do enough in the draft or free agency to improve their pass rush. Nkemdiche has the size and strength to hold up against the double team, and the explosion and quickness to rush the passer. He was the # 1 overall prospect out of high school a few years back for a reason.
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9.CAROLINA - TAYLOR DECKER - OT - OHIO ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LANE JOHNSON - EAGLES
Out of all the teams that pursued La'el Collins the Panthers were the one that NEEDED him the most, but he signed with Dallas so they still need a left tackle. Decker was clearly the best player on a buckeye O-line that dominated in the national championship game. If he gets stronger this season he could be a top 10 pick.





10.BUFFALO - CARDALE JONES - QB - OHIO ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CAM NEWTON - PANTHERS
Unless EJ Manuel can force himself to throw down field , and be good at it, I doubt does much this season. Throw in that Matt Cassel has the weakest arm of any possible starting QB, and I think BIlls fans will be trying to drag Kyle Orton out of retirement. While Orton is nothing special as a starter, that just shows you how bad the other choices are., but don't be shocked if Tyrod Taylor is the starter by seasons end Add that they didn't improve their woeful O-line much this off-season ,and I expect that the Bills will be team with a great defense that loses a lot of close games, just like last year .  Jones is a physical specimen with a cannon for an arm. The Ohio ST. offense changed for the better when Jones took over, and I expect that they will add more pro style looks to the offense this season.Even if he starts all year NFL reams are usually wary of players with anything less than 2 years as a full-time starter, so he may fall farther than someone of his obvious talent deserves.




11.TAMPA BAY - EZEKIEL ELLIOT - RB - OHIO ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - FRED TAYLOR - retired
I expect the bucs will be better this year, especially in the 2nd half of the season, but they are now a young team that probably won't be a contender just yet. There is already talk of trading Doug Martin, and while Charles Sims is a well rounded guy, he is not a special talent. Elliot is big, fast, and played his best games late in the season.Especially in the biggest game of the year, as he was ridiculous in the national championship.




12.TENNESEE -  DEFOREST BUCKNER -DE - OREGON

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CALAIS CAMPBELL - CARDINALS
The titans are team on the rise now,and I expect they will be pushing the Colts for the division title pretty soon. They passed on Leonard Williams this year for a franchise QB, and I can't fault them for that, but a bookend 5 technique to go with Jurell Casey could really bolster their defense. Buckner is a guy I couldn't help noticing on tape when I was watching 49ers 2015 first round pick Arik Armstead. He has similar gigantic dimensions, but was a much more productive player than Armstead on film.




13.GIANTS - EMMANUEL OGBAH - DE - OKLAHOMA ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - EZEKIEL ANSAH - LIONS
The pass rush was the real key to the Giants 2 Superbowl victories under Tom Coughlin, and I doubt it's a good one this season. JPP already looked on the decline due to his back injury, but blowing up his hand in a boneheaded fireworks gone wrong incident  only makes things worse. They already rescinded his long term contract offer, and considering how badly he has handled the aftermath of this situation, I wouldn't be surprised if they yanked the franchise tag away too. Ogbah has the explosive burst and size off the edge NFL teams crave , and could fill JPP's spot.



14.NEW ORLEANS - A'SHAWN ROBINSON - NT - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MARCELL DAREUS - BILLS
The saints wisely extended Cam Jordan and drafted Tyler Davidson to help out on the nose this year. However, the cash strapped Saints probably can't afford to re-sign Akiem Hicks next year, or carry 32 year old Brodrick Bunkley's 4.4 million dollar salary after locking up Jordan. Robinson has the ability to play both the nose tackle and 5 technique, and if he can steadily get pressure on the QB this season he could go a lot higher.



15.JETS - DERRICK HENRY - RB - ALABAMA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CHRISTIAN OKOYE - retired
Every team in the AFC East except the patriots got better this off season, but the Patriots still have Brady and Belichick ,so they will probably still be in contention for the division title. The Jets were a team with a good defense and bad offense last year, and I was expecting it to be the same this year despite more weapons on offense, until I remembered that Chan Gailey is their new OC. Gailey is a coach that plays to his QB's strengths, instead of trying to force them into his cookie cutter offense. That being said ,Geno Smith now has a much much better chance at success as their starting QB. The main reasons I expect them to still miss the playoffs is the lack of a significant upgrade along the O-line, but /5th rounder Jarvis Harrison can be a big help if plays up to his potential. However, all of the current starters except left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson are better as run blockers, and only center Nick Mangold is plus player right now. They have a stable of power running backs, but none are special. Todd Bowles and Gailey will both want to run the ball a lot . Henry is a huge running back , but he still has the speed to crank out big runs. If a possible franchise left tackle is available when they pick that could also be the pick


16.SAN DIEGO - JAYLON SMITH - ILB - N. DAME

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAMIE COLLINS - PATRIOTS
Donald Butler has declined for two straight seasons at middle linebacker, but the chargers gave him a big deal anyway. Drafting Denzell Perryman helps, but they need a guy who has more speed an excels in coverage next to him. While they can't cut Butler just yet, in addition to spelling Butler inside Smith can also play improve their pass rush as a OLB in their 3-4, and be their nickle LB. 



17.STEELERS - KENDALL FULLER - CB - VIRGINIA TECH

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JASON McCOURTY - TITANS
After the retirement and cap cuts of so many long term veterans the Steelers defense is in a transition phase. They drafted 2 smaller corners this year, but need another with more size. Fuller follows his brother Kyle as a first round pick, and has the potential to be even better.
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18.MINNESOTA - JERALD HAWKINS - OT - LSU

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - WILLIAM BEATTY - GIANTS
Despite Matt Kalil's bad season the vikings didn't draft a left tackle this year, and he is coming off knee surgery as well. 4th round steal TJ Clemmings has left tackle ability, but since he is still learning how to even play on the right side, they may want to just keep him there.  Hawkins was LSU's right tackle last year, but he isn't the mauler most people want on the right side, and profiles better as a left tackle. Since he is moving to the left side this season after the departure of La'el Collins , he has a chance to excel. He has left tackle feet and is a good athlete, but needs to play nastier this year to rise up higher in the draft.


19.NEW ENGLAND - LAQUAN TREADWELL - WR - OLE MISS

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ANDRE JOHNSON - COLTS
With The Brady suspension ,and the Pats being the only AFC EAST team that didn't get better this off season, I now believe it's highly possible that New England misses the playoffs. The patriots haven't had a true #1 receiver on the outside since Randy Moss was shipped out of town. I would have Treadwell a lot higher , but he suffered a knee injury last season. He should be back this year, and if he still has that same explosiveness to match his size, he has a good chance of being the first receiver taken in the draft. If he is a bit rusty, or takes a while to return to completely to form, the Pats love a bargain.



20.ST. LOUIS - COREY ROBINSON - WR - N. DAME

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - COREY ROBINSON - WR - N. DAME
The rams decided to pay the unreliable Kenny Britt , and while it wasn't #1 receiver money, I just don't trust him to be a reliable player. The son of NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson has great size, body control, has shown a willingness to block, and is a great guy on & off the field like his dad .



21.KANSAS CITY - JALEN RAMSEY - S - FLORIDA ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DEVIN McCOURTY - PATRIOTS
With Eric Berry's football life in jeopardy due to cancer the Chiefs have big shoes to fill in the secondary, and unless they convert 3rd round corner Steven Nelson over to safety they will lack one that can cover man to man . Ramsey is a former corner who converted to safety in 2014 and had a big season. Now they may convert him back to corner ,but the NFL is longing for players who can play both, and Ramsey can fill that need.


22.ATLANTA - SCOOBY WRIGHT - LB - ARIZONA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LUKE KUECHLY - PANTHERS
The falcons had an excellent draft this year, and while they did improve their pass rush some, they lack still lack a every down MLB to QB their defense. This defense needs a middle linebacker with a high football IQ, instincts, and the ability to excel in coverage. Wright has all that and he is also an excellent pass rusher.


23.CINCINATTI - TYLER BOYD - PITTSBURGH

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - REGGIE WAYNE - FA
The Bengals still don't have a serious receiving threat opposite AJ Green after the draft, and while I think Mario Alford was a good pick in the 7th round that can help open up the field some, what they need is another outside receiver that safeties fear. Boyd has been a stud for 2 straight years ,on a power running team ,with below average QB play most of the time.For those who want a QB here I understand, but I expect AJ McCarrron to beat out Andy Dalton at some point this year. If not a QB will be in play.


24.ARIZONA - JOSHUA DOBBS - QB - TENNESEE

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - COLIN KAEPERNICK - 49ers
I am not sure if Carson Palmer will even make it through this season healthy, but even if he does ,he will be 36 with a bad injury history. If you are looking for a dark horse first round QB next  season, then Dobbs could be your guy. His talent is undeniable, even though he is still raw and inexperienced right now. He is really smart,  athletic, and has the arm to make the throws down-field that Bruce Arians requires for his vertical scheme. 


25.MIAMI- MILES JACK - LB - UCLA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LAWRENCE TIMMONS - STEELERS
One of the needs the Dolphins failed to fill in the draft was inside linebacker. Jack will be playing inside a lot more this year now that Eric Kendricks has moved on the NFL. He is already a play-maker ,and has the athleticism to be a every down stud in the middle if he outs on a litle more muscle.


26.PHILADELPHIA - SHAWN OAKMAN - DE - BAYLOR

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - SEAN JONES - retired
Chip Kelly reportedly made Fletcher Cox available in trade talks in his pursuit of Marcus Mariota. Cox is the best player on the Eagles defense , and why I don't know what Chip was thinking, I doubt he cares what anyone else thinks anyway. I doubt Cox was happy about it, and even if he isn't available for a trade any longer, he will be a free agent after the 2016 season. Oakman has the size any NFL team would want , but Kelly likes size and length more than most , and Oakman displays surprising quickness in spite of it. He really fits best as a 5 technique, and with his length he could get up to 300 pounds and still look lean.


27.DENVER - MAX TUERK - C - USC
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MAX UNGER - SAINTS
I really don't like the Broncos center situation this year.  4th rounder Max Garcia seems too slow and stiff for a zone scheme to me, and Geno Gradkowski has never even played 2 good NFL games in a row. Tuerk is a former left tackle with the quickness and smarts to excel in this scheme. After the loss of Ryan Clady to his second major injury in 3 years I understand why some people will want a left tackle here, and if one pops up that I think might be available this late, that will be the pick. Keep in mind that Clady was the ONLY Bronco lineman I felt good about in this scheme. If they stick with the plan of running Kubiak's offense they won't be in shotgun all the time, won't have a tired defense trying to keep up  with their no huddle offense, won't be able to keep defenses from subbing & getting better situation specific personnel  on the field, and  Manning won't have as much time to throw. I do expect them to run the ball a lot better though, and they can still be a contender if some things break right, or smart adjustments are made.





28.SEATTLE - ADOLPHUS WASHINGTON DT - OHIO ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - NICK FAIRLEY - RAMS
Left tackle Russell Okung is a free agent after the season, and while he is a good player ,he is also too injury prone to pay well.  However, I doubt they take a tackle in the first round based on their recent drafting tendencies, even if one is available here. Their interior pass rush was disappointing last season though, and they absolutely do value their pass rush. Brandon Mebane will be 30 this year, was injured last season, and will be a free agent after this year. Washington would slide right in at the three technique .


29.BALTIMORE - CARL LAWSON - OLB/DE - AUBURN

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JASON BABIN - EAGLES
Both Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are in their 30's ,and can't play at their current high level forever. Lawson tore his ACL last year, and missed the whole season, but he was a stud as a true freshman. If healthy and back to his old self he could be a steal late in the first round.



30.GREEN BAY - SHILIQUE CALHOUN - DE - MICHIGAN ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CLIFF AVRIL - SEAHAWKS
Julius Peppers will be 36 after this season ,and the packers would be wise to try and find his replacement soon. Calhoun might have been a 1rst round pick in the 2105 draft if he had entered. If he keeps improving and gets stronger he could be the first edge rusher drafted, but if he doesn't his best fit may be as a 3-4 OLB.



31.INDIANAPOLIS - JACK CONKLIN - OT - MICHIGAN ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAKE LONG - FA
The colts haven't made protecting Andrew Luck the priority that they should. Gosder Cherilus has been a free agent disappointment at right tackle, and they could save a lot of money by cutting him and upgrade the position with Conklin. Conklin already plays with a finishers attitude,and is dominant at times in college,  but he just needs a little more strength to consistently enforce his will in the NFL.If he spends this off season getting stronger he could be a mauler, and in Indy's run heavy scheme he could even be a left tackle if they don't pay Costanzo after this season. Since he can fill either potential need this pick makes a ton of sense.


32.DALLAS - CAMERON SUTTON - CB - TENNESEE

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - AQIB TALIB - BRONCOS
Unless Dallas decides to move Byron Jones to safety they will still lack one that is good in coverage, and can be counted on to make the tackle. With Mo Claiborne's injury & confidence issues, Brandon Carr being very overpaid, Tyler Patmon being relatively unproven , and Corey White being a better fit at safety, that seems unlikely right now . Plus Jones would give them the big athletic outside corner they want long term , and that Claiborne hasn't become. Right now they have him playing the slot , outside corner in ,and he's also playing some safety in camp. No matter how this year plays out I believe he will eventually spend more time at safety,because he has the coverage skills to cover the slot when teams spread the field, and that is a very rare quailty in today's NFL for a safety. However, with both Claiborne and Carr possibly spending their last year as a cowboy, Dallas will probably just take the best DB left on the board , regardless of position when their pick is up , since  Byron's versatility gives them the option of him spending more time at the other position. In that case I have Sutton as the highest ranked DB left. He is a big physical corner , and I feel he is a steal this late.

Monday, July 13, 2015

2016 NFL MOCK DRAFT 7/13/15

With the 2015 draft coming to an end I am sure many of you are already wondering who the top prospects for 2016 might be. Trying to predict not only the top prospects, but also the draft order is a tall order right now, but I am willing if you are. So keep that in mind because some of these guys will get hurt, play to avoid injury & disappoint, decide to stay in school, maybe even be kicked off the team, or just not play up to my expectations as a whole . Not to mention the teams may play better or worse for a whole lot of reasons themselves. Right now I am predicting a DALLAS/COLTS Superbowl, but a significant injury to Luck or Romo would kill that notion, so keep that in mind as well. The prospects have NFL player comparisons below their name, so you can get an idea of who it is your getting, but I will change them later if someone else comes to mind that I think is a better comp. I have done limited tape study on these prospects so far, and they are mostly guys I couldn't help noticing while watching others on tape this year, or guys I expected to enter the 2015 draft that didn't. Some are just really talented ,and I expect them to step up this year as well. Right now I see a draft deep at offensive tackle, safety, center, linebacker, and running back if the players I expect come out, Connor Cook is the is the most well known QB, and I hope he steps up enough to be the #1 pick, but I expect others will challenge him for the top QB spot, and I am far from sold on him right now. I am going to go with guys I already had a first round grade on from 2104 tape at the top for now. So here it is. Enjoy.


1.SAN FRANCISCO - JOEY BOSA - DE - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MARIO WILLIAMS - BILLS
The 49ers still have plenty of talent on their roster, but I think this is a transition year for them in the NFL's toughest division, and that their record will reflect that . Justin Smith has joined the group of players retiring ,and the leadership void he and Patrick Willis leave behind will be hard to fill on defense. Not to mention the talent and toughness a lot of guys who departed brought to this team. Losing Harbaugh, Iupati,  Willis, Borland, McDonald, Anthony Davis and Justin Smith is hard enough. Navorro Bowman & Aldon Smith are also question marks for different reasons. However. I do believe it will be a short term dip in wins. If Kaeperneck gets hurt early behind that new line, they cold actually go winless with Gabbert at QB. Rarely do you see a 4-3 strong side end who is a great pass rusher, but Bosa is. He also has a great frame with long arms and the overall height and length to be a 5 technique. Shocks blocker with his hands off the snap and stays in control of them until he wants to shed them. He can already flat out dominate against the run or pass.


2.JACKSONVILLE - RONNIE STANLEY -OT - N. DAME
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DUANE BROWN - TEXANS
It's rare for me to put a team who's recent draft I liked so much so high in next years mock draft, but they still have too many questions for me right now.Sorry jags fans, but rushing Blake Bortles onto the field last year may have stunted his development, and another year of failure may permanently scar him. Unless he is downright terrible, and Gus Bradley gets fired ,I think the jags will give Blake one more year before drafting another QB. While I hope I am wrong ,and he is successful, there is a reason why so many vegas odds-makers have the jags as the biggest long shot to win it all. I personally no longer believe in Luke Joeckel as a left tackle, but they stuck with him anyway. I am not even sure if Gus Bradley will keep his job after this season, but if he does he will want to run the ball. Stanley would have been a first round pick in this draft, and he has the athletic ability to fit right into their zone scheme.The sad loss of Dante Fowler to a torn ACL only makes the chances of the jags having another high pick far more likely.





3.WASHINGTON - VERNON HARGREAVES the 3rd- CB - FLORIDA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DARRELLE REVIS - JETS
Washington has an improved roster , but the reason I don't think they will do much this year is coach Jay Gruden. Gruden was hired to improve RG3 .Instead of improving RG3 ,he has publicly embarrassed him, and I wouldn't be surprised if he divides the locker room this year as well.  I expect the next coach will come in and claim he can fix Griffin as well, and they will give Griffin one more try in 2016 to see if he can be their franchise QB. However, they do lack a #1 corner. I have never seen a sophomore corner be the clear cut best corner in all of college football before, but Vernon was last year. He is smart. fluid , physical and fast. He only has average size, but you wouldn't know it by the way he challenges receivers.



4.CHICAGO - JARED GOFF - QB - CALIFORNIA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CARSON PALMER - CARDINALS
I just don't have much faith in Jay Cutler anymore, and I don't know any bears fans who do either. Unless something drastically changes this season I doubt the Bears coaches & front office will want him back if he has another down season, While it would still suck then, eating his contract next year would still be a lot more palatable compared to this season. Goff is a top shelf talent with a big arm, and if he can convince NFL teams that he can transition to a pro style offense ,he has a chance to be the first QB drafted




5.CLEVELAND - CONNOR COOK - QB - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MATT RYAN - FALCONS
Despite a really talented offensive line, and a potentially great defense, I just don't believe in the browns again. The reasons are they lack a proven QB, and a wide receiver that scares defenses. Quarterback is more important, and I be that this time they will be adamant about drafting a QB that comes from a pro style offense . So barring their owner deciding to take a homeless guys advice again ,I think they take Cook in this scenario, instead of the more talented Cardale Jones. Cook has the size, big arm, and talent around him to make a big jump up in production this season. If he does he could be the first pick in the draft.



6.OAKLAND - LAREMY TUNSIL - OT - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOE STALEY - 49ers
Despite a good draft I just don't have faith in Derek Carr as the long term answer as the Raiders QB, although I doubt they give up on him quickly enough to draft a QB here. 32 Donald Penn yer old Donald Penn played very well last year , but I doubt he can keep it up for long , and I have always felt he would be a better fit on the right side anyway. Tunsil is coming off a broken leg , and only his injury history keeps him  from being the first OT picked here. If he is healthy this year , and his health checks out long term at the combine, he could be a franchise left tackle.


7.HOUSTON - CHRISTIAN HACKENBURG - QB - PENN ST
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - BEN ROETHLISBERGER - STEELERS
Houston has just about everything but a QB on their team, and barring one of the guys on their roster taking a big step up, they won't be in contention this season. Hackenburg looked like a future number one overall pick when he played for Texans coach Bill O'brien as a freshman. Last year he looked like a different player without him , and even if he improves this season I doubt it will be enough for any other team to pick him as the 1rst QB. O'brien would be wise to get his guy here though ,because he can step in from day one in this familiar offense, and be a better QB than what they have.




8.DETROIT -  ROBERT NKEMDICHE - DT/DE - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - SHELDON RICHARDSON - JETS
The lions switch to a 3-4 helps mitigate the loss of Suh, but they still didn't do enough in the draft or free agency to improve their pass rush. Nkemdiche has the size and strength to hold up against the double team, and the explosion and quickness to rush the passer. He was the # 1 overall prospect out of high school a few years back for a reason.
.



9.CAROLINA - TAYLOR DECKER - OT - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LANE JOHNSON - EAGLES
Out of all the teams that pursued La'el Collins the Panthers were the one that NEEDED him the most, but he signed with Dallas so they still need a left tackle. Decker was clearly the best player on a buckeye O-line that dominated in the national championship game. If he gets stronger this season he could be a top 10 pick.





10.BUFFALO - CARDALE JONES - QB - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CAM NEWTON - PANTHERS
Unless EJ Manuel can force himself to throw down field , and be good at it, I doubt does much this season. Throw in that Matt Cassel has the weakest arm of any possible starting QB, and I think BIlls fans will be trying to drag Kyle Orton out of retirement. While Orton is nothing special as a starter, that just shows you how bad the other choices are., but don't be shocked if Tyrod Taylor is the starter by seasons end Add that they didn't improve their woeful O-line much this off-season ,and I expect that the Bills will be team with a great defense that loses a lot of close games, just like last year .  Jones is a physical specimen with a cannon for an arm. The Ohio ST. offense changed for the better when Jones took over, and I expect that they will add more pro style looks to the offense this season.Even if he starts all year NFL reams are usually wary of players with anything less than 2 years as a full-time starter, so he may fall farther than someone of his obvious talent deserves.




11.TAMPA BAY - EZEKIEL ELLIOT - RB - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - FRED TAYLOR - retired
I expect the bucs will be better this year, especially in the 2nd half of the season, but they are now a young team that probably won't be a contender just yet. There is already talk of trading Doug Martin, and while Charles Sims is a well rounded guy, he is not a special talent. Elliot is big, fast, and played his best games late in the season.Especially in the biggest game of the year, as he was ridiculous in the national championship.




12.TENNESEE -  DEFOREST BUCKNER -DE - OREGON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CALAIS CAMPBELL - CARDINALS
The titans are team on the rise now,and I expect they will be pushing the Colts for the division title pretty soon. They passed on Leonard Williams this year for a franchise QB, and I can't fault them for that, but a bookend 5 technique to go with Jurell Casey could really bolster their defense. Buckner is a guy I couldn't help noticing on tape when I was watching 49ers 2015 first round pick Arik Armstead. He has similar gigantic dimensions, but was a much more productive player than Armstead on film.




13.GIANTS - EMMANUEL OGBAH - DE - OKLAHOMA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - EZEKIEL ANSAH - LIONS
The pass rush was the real key to the Giants 2 Superbowl victories under Tom Coughlin, and I doubt it's a good one this season. JPP already looked on the decline due to his back injury, but blowing up his hand in a boneheaded fireworks gone wrong incident  only makes things worse. They already rescinded his long term contract offer, and considering how badly he has handled the aftermath of this situation, I wouldn't be surprised if they yanked the franchise tag away too. Ogbah has the explosive burst and size off the edge NFL teams crave , and could fill JPP's spot.



14.NEW ORLEANS - A'SHAWN ROBINSON - NT - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MARCELL DAREUS - BILLS
The saints wisely extended Cam Jordan and drafted Tyler Davidson to help out on the nose this year. However, the cash strapped Saints probably can't afford to re-sign Akiem Hicks next year, or carry 32 year old Brodrick Bunkley's 4.4 million dollar salary after locking up Jordan. Robinson has the ability to play both the nose tackle and 5 technique, and if he can steadily get pressure on the QB this season he could go a lot higher.



15.JETS - DERRICK HENRY - RB - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CHRISTIAN OKOYE - retired
Every team in the AFC East except the patriots got better this off season, but the Patriots still have Brady and Belichick ,so they will probably still be in contention for the division title. The Jets were a team with a good defense and bad offense last year, and I was expecting it to be the same this year despite more weapons on offense, until I remembered that Chan Gailey is their new OC. Gailey is a coach that plays to his QB's strengths, instead of trying to force them into his cookie cutter offense. That being said ,Geno Smith now has a much much better chance at success as their starting QB. The main reasons I expect them to still miss the playoffs is the lack of a significant upgrade along the O-line, but /5th rounder Jarvis Harrison can be a big help if plays up to his potential. However, all of the current starters except left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson are better as run blockers, and only center Nick Mangold is plus player right now. They have a stable of power running backs, but none are special. Todd Bowles and Gailey will both want to run the ball a lot . Henry is a huge running back , but he still has the speed to crank out big runs. If a possible franchise left tackle is available when they pick that could also be the pick


16.SAN DIEGO - JAYLON SMITH - ILB - N. DAME
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAMIE COLLINS - PATRIOTS
Donald Butler has declined for two straight seasons at middle linebacker, but the chargers gave him a big deal anyway. Drafting Denzell Perryman helps, but they need a guy who has more speed an excels in coverage next to him. While they can't cut Butler just yet, in addition to spelling Butler inside Smith can also play improve their pass rush as a OLB in their 3-4, and be their nickle LB. 



17.STEELERS - KENDALL FULLER - CB - VIRGINIA TECH
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JASON McCOURTY - TITANS
After the retirement and cap cuts of so many long term veterans the Steelers defense is in a transition phase. They drafted 2 smaller corners this year, but need another with more size. Fuller follows his brother Kyle as a first round pick, and has the potential to be even better.
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18.MINNESOTA - JERALD HAWKINS - OT - LSU
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - WILLIAM BEATTY - GIANTS
Despite Matt Kalil's bad season the vikings didn't draft a left tackle this year, and he is coming off knee surgery as well. 4th round steal TJ Clemmings has left tackle ability, but since he is still learning how to even play on the right side, they may want to just keep him there.  Hawkins was LSU's right tackle last year, but he isn't the mauler most people want on the right side, and profiles better as a left tackle. Since he is moving to the left side this season after the departure of La'el Collins , he has a chance to excel. He has left tackle feet and is a good athlete, but needs to play nastier this year to rise up higher in the draft.


19.NEW ENGLAND - LAQUAN TREADWELL - WR - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ANDRE JOHNSON - COLTS
With The Brady suspension ,and the Pats being the only AFC EAST team that didn't get better this off season, I now believe it's highly possible that New England misses the playoffs. The patriots haven't had a true #1 receiver on the outside since Randy Moss was shipped out of town. I would have Treadwell a lot higher , but he suffered a knee injury last season. He should be back this year, and if he still has that same explosiveness to match his size, he has a good chance of being the first receiver taken in the draft. If he is a bit rusty, or takes a while to return to completely to form, the Pats love a bargain.



20.ST. LOUIS - DUKE WILLIAMS - WR - AUBURN 
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DEZ BRYANT - DALLAS
The rams decided to pay the unreliable Kenny Britt , and while it wasn't #1 receiver money, I just don't trust him to be a reliable player. Williams is big , overpowering and explosive. While he is also raw ,and plays in an offense that's hard to translate to the NFL, his skill set is also very rare.



21.KANSAS CITY - JALEN RAMSEY - S - FLORIDA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DEVIN McCOURTY - PATRIOTS
With Eric Berry's football life in jeopardy due to cancer the Chiefs have big shoes to fill in the secondary, and unless they convert 3rd round corner Steven Nelson over to safety they will lack one that can cover man to man . Ramsey is a former corner who converted to safety in 2014 and had a big season. Now they may convert him back to corner ,but the NFL is longing for players who can play both, and Ramsey can fill that need.


22.ATLANTA - SCOOBY WRIGHT - LB - ARIZONA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LUKE KUECHLY - PANTHERS
The falcons had an excellent draft this year, and while they did improve their pass rush some, they lack still lack a every down MLB to QB their defense. This defense needs a middle linebacker with a high football IQ, instincts, and the ability to excel in coverage. Wright has all that and he is also an excellent pass rusher.


23.CINCINATTI - TYLER BOYD - PITTSBURGH
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - REGGIE WAYNE - FA
The Bengals still don't have a serious receiving threat opposite AJ Green after the draft, and while I think Mario Alford was a good pick in the 7th round that can help open up the field some, what they need is another outside receiver that safeties fear. Boyd has been a stud for 2 straight years ,on a power running team ,with below average QB play most of the time.For those who want a QB here I understand, but I expect AJ McCarrron to beat out Andy Dalton at some point this year. If not a QB will be in play.


24.ARIZONA - JOSHUA DOBBS - QB - TENNESEE
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - COLIN KAEPERNICK - 49ers
I am not sure if Carson Palmer will even make it through this season healthy, but even if he does ,he will be 36 with a bad injury history. If you are looking for a dark horse first round QB next  season, then Dobbs could be your guy. His talent is undeniable, even though he is still raw and inexperienced right now. He is really smart,  athletic, and has the arm to make the throws down-field that Bruce Arians requires for his vertical scheme. 


25.MIAMI- MILES JACK - LB - UCLA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LAWRENCE TIMMONS - STEELERS
One of the needs the Dolphins failed to fill in the draft was inside linebacker. Jack will be playing inside a lot more this year now that Eric Kendricks has moved on the NFL. He is already a play-maker ,and has the athleticism to be a every down stud in the middle if he outs on a litle more muscle.


26.PHILADELPHIA - SHAWN OAKMAN - DE - BAYLOR
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - SEAN JONES - retired
Chip Kelly reportedly made Fletcher Cox available in trade talks in his pursuit of Marcus Mariota. Cox is the best player on the Eagles defense , and why I don't know what Chip was thinking, I doubt he cares what anyone else thinks anyway. I doubt Cox was happy about it, and even if he isn't available for a trade any longer, he will be a free agent after the 2016 season. Oakman has the size any NFL team would want , but Kelly likes size and length more than most , and Oakman displays surprising quickness in spite of it. He really fits best as a 5 technique, and with his length he could get up to 300 pounds and still look lean.


27.DENVER - MAX TUERK - C - USC
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MAX UNGER - SAINTS
I really don't like the Broncos center situation this year.  4th rounder Max Garcia seems too slow and stiff for a zone scheme to me, and Geno Gradkowski has never even played 2 good NFL games in a row. Tuerk is a former left tackle with the quickness and smarts to excel in this scheme. After the loss of Ryan Clady to his second major injury in 3 years I understand why some people will want a left tackle here, and if one pops up that I think might be available this late, that will be the pick. Keep in mind that Clady was the ONLY Bronco lineman I felt good about in this scheme. If they stick with the plan of running Kubiak's offense they won't be in shotgun all the time, won't have a tired defense trying to keep up  with their no huddle offense, won't be able to keep defenses from subbing & getting better situation specific personnel  on the field, and  Manning won't have as much time to throw. I do expect them to run the ball a lot better though, and they can still be a contender if some things break right, or smart adjustments are made.





28.SEATTLE - ADOLPHUS WASHINGTON DT - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - NICK FAIRLEY - RAMS
Left tackle Russell Okung is a free agent after the season, and while he is a good player ,he is also too injury prone to pay well.  However, I doubt they take a tackle in the first round based on their recent drafting tendencies, even if one is available here. Their interior pass rush was disappointing last season though, and they absolutely do value their pass rush. Brandon Mebane will be 30 this year, was injured last season, and will be a free agent after this year. Washington would slide right in at the three technique .


29.BALTIMORE - CARL LAWSON - OLB/DE - AUBURN
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JASON BABIN - EAGLES
Both Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are in their 30's ,and can't play at their current high level forever. Lawson tore his ACL last year, and missed the whole season, but he was a stud as a true freshman. If healthy and back to his old self he could be a steal late in the first round.



30.GREEN BAY - SHILIQUE CALHOUN - DE - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CLIFF AVRIL - SEAHAWKS
Julius Peppers will be 36 after this season ,and the packers would be wise to try and find his replacement soon. Calhoun might have been a 1rst round pick in the 2105 draft if he had entered. If he keeps improving and gets stronger he could be the first edge rusher drafted, but if he doesn't his best fit may be as a 3-4 OLB.






31.INDIANAPOLIS - JACK CONKLIN - OT - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAKE LONG - FA
The colts haven't made protecting Andrew Luck the priority that they should. Gosder Cherilus has been a free agent disappointment at right tackle, and they could save a lot of money by cutting him and upgrade the position with Conklin. Conklin already plays with a finishers attitude,and is dominant at times in college,  but he just needs a little more strength to consistently enforce his will in the NFL.If he spends this off season getting stronger he could be a mauler, and in Indy's run heavy scheme he could even be a left tackle if they don't pay Costanzo after this season. Since he can fill either potential need this pick makes a ton of sense.




32.DALLAS - TONY CONNER - S - OLE  MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DAWAN LANDRY - JETS
Unless Dallas decides to move Byron Jones to safety they will still lack one that is good in coverage, and can be counted on to make the tackle. With Mo Claiborne's injury & confidence issues, Brandon Carr being very overpaid, Tyler Patmon being relatively unproven , and Corey White being a better fit at safety, that seems unlikely right now . Plus Jones would give them the big athletic outside corner they want long term Claiborne hasn't become. Right now Conner plays a hybrid safety/linebacker position in the Rebels defense, but he is a sure tackler who appears to have the range to be interchangeable at either safety position. Hopefully they give him more looks deep this year and we can can get a better read on his long term prospects. Even if he stays in the box ,he as shown the ability to cover close to the line, and none of the cowboys current safeties tackles well anyway.

Monday, July 6, 2015

2016 NFL MOCK DRAFT 7/6/15

With the 2015 draft coming to an end I am sure many of you are already wondering who the top prospects for 2016 might be. Trying to predict not only the top prospects, but also the draft order is  tall order right now, but I am willing if you are. So keep that in mind because some of these guys will get hurt, play to avoid injury & disappoint, decide to stay in school, maybe even be kicked off the team, or just not play up to my expectations for a whole . Not to mention the teams may play better or worse for a whole lot of reasons themselves. Right now I am predicting a DALLAS/COLTS Superbowl, but a significant injury to Luck or Romo would kill that notion, so keep that in mind as well. The prospects have NFL player comparisons below their name, so you can get an idea of who it is your getting, but I will change them later if someone else comes to mind that I think is a better comp. I have done limited tape study on these prospects so far, and they are mostly guys I couldn't help noticing while watching others on tape this year, or guys I expected to enter the 2015 draft that didn't. Some are just really talented ,and I expect them to step up this year as well. Right now I see a draft deep at offensive tackle, safety, and running back if the players I expect come out, Connor Cook is the is the most well known QB, and I hope he steps up enough to be the #1 pick, but I expect others will challenge him for the top QB spot . I am going to go with guys I already had a first round grade on from 2104 tape at the top for now. So here it is. Enjoy.


1.SAN FRANCISCO - JOEY BOSA - DE - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MARIO WILLIAMS - BILLS
The 49ers still have plenty of talent on their roster, but I think this is a transition year for them in the NFL's toughest division, and that their record will reflect that . Justin Smith has joined the group of players retiring ,and the leadership void he and Patrick Willis leave behind will be hard to fill on defense. Not to mention the talent and toughness a lot of guys who departed brought to this team. Losing Harbaugh, Iupati,  Willis, Borland, McDonald, Anthony Davis and Justin Smith is hard enough, but Navorro Bowman & Aldon Smith are also question marks for different reasons. However I do believe it will be a short term dip in wins. Rarely do you see a 4-3 strong side end who is a great pass rusher, but Bosa is. He also has a great frame with long arms and the overall height and length to be a 5 technique. Shocks blocker with his hands off the snap and stays in control of them until he wants to shed them. He can already flat out dominate against the run or pass.


2.JACKSONVILLE - RONNIE STANLEY -OT - N. DAME
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DUANE BROWN - TEXANS
It's rare for me to put a team who's recent draft I liked so much so high in next years mock draft, but they still have too many questions for me right now.Sorry jags fans, but rushing Blake Bortles onto the field last year may have stunted his development, and another year of failure may permanently scar him. Unless he is downright terrible, and Gus Bradley gets fired ,I think the jags will give Blake one more year before drafting another QB. While I hope I am wrong ,and he is successful, there is a reason why so many vegas odds-makers have the jags as the biggest long shot to win it all. I personally no longer believe in Luke Joeckel as a left tackle, but they stuck with him anyway. I am not even sure if Gus Bradley will keep his job after this season, but if he does he will want to run the ball. Stanley would have been a first round pick in this draft, and he has the athletic ability to fit right into their zone scheme.The sad loss of Dante Fowler to a torn ACL only makes the chances of the jags having another high pick far more likely.





3.WASHINGTON - VERNON HARGREAVES the 3rd- CB - FLORIDA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DARRELLE REVIS - JETS
Washington has an improved roster , but the reason I don't think they will do much this year is coach Jay Gruden. Gruden was hired to improve RG3 .Instead of improving RG3 ,he has publicly embarrassed him, and I wouldn't be surprised if he divides the locker room this year as well.  I expect the next coach will come in and claim he can fix Griffin as well, and they will give Griffin one more try in 2016 to see if he can be their franchise QB. However, they do lack a #1 corner. I have never seen a sophomore corner be the clear cut best corner in all of college football before, but Vernon was last year. He is smart. fluid , physical and fast. He only average size, but you wouldn't know it by the way he challenges receivers.



4.DETROIT -  ROBERT NKEMDICHE - DT/DE - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - SHELDON RICHARDSON - JETS
The lions switch to a 3-4 helps mitigate the loss of Suh, but they still didn't do enough in the draft or free agency to improve their pass rush. Nkemdiche has the size and strength to hold up against the double team, and the explosion and quickness to rush the passer. He was the # 1 overall prospect out of high school a few years back for a reason.




5.CLEVELAND - CONNOR COOK - QB - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MATT RYAN - FALCONS
Barring any evidence to the contrary right now I expect that the Browns will be bad again because they lack a proven QB, and this time they will be adamant about drafting a QB that comes from a pro style offense . So barring their owner deciding to take a homeless guys advice again I think they take Cook in this scenario, instead of the more talented Cardale Jones. Cook has the size, big arm, and talent around him to make a big jump up in production this season. If he does he could be the first pick in the draft.



6.OAKLAND - LAREMY TUNSIL - OT - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOE STALEY - 49ers
Despite a good draft I just don't have faith in Derek Carr as the long term answer as the Raiders QB, although I doubt they give up on him quickly enough to draft a QB here. 32 Donald Penn yer old Donald Penn played very well last year , but I doubt he can keep it up for long , and I have always felt he would be a better fit on the right side anyway. Tunsil is coming off a broken leg , and only his injury history keeps him out of contention from being the first OT picked. If he is healthy this year , and his health checks out long term at the combine, he could be a franchise left tackle.


7.HOUSTON - CHRISTIAN HACKENBURG - QB - PENN ST
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - BEN ROETHLISBERGER - STEELERS
Houston has just about everything but a QB on their team, and barring one of the guys on there roster taking a big step up, they won't be in contention this season. Hackenburg looked like a future number one overall pick when he played for Texans coach Bill O'brien as a freshman. Last year he looked like a different player without him , and even if he improves this season I doubt it will be enough for any other team to pick him as the 1rst QB. O'brien would be wise to get his guy here though ,because he can step in from day one in this familiar offense, and be a better QB than what they have.




8.CHICAGO - JARED GOFF - QB - CALIFORNIA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CARSON PALMER - CARDINALS
I just don't have much faith in Jay Cutler anymore, and I don't know any bears fans who do either. Unless something drastically changes this season I doubt the Bears coaches and front office will want him back if he has another down season. Goff is a top shelf talent with a big arm, and if he can convince NFL teams that he can transition to a pro style offense he has a chance to be the first QB drafted.



9.CAROLINA - TAYLOR DECKER - OT - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LANE JOHNSON - EAGLES
Out of all the teams that pursued La'el Collins the Panthers were the one that NEEDED him the most, but he signed with Dallas so they still need a left tackle. Decker was clearly the best player on a buckeye O-line that dominated in the national championship game. If he gets stronger this season he could be a top 10 pick.





10.BUFFALO - CARDALE JONES - QB - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CAM NEWTON - PANTHERS
Unless EJ Manuel can force himself to throw down field , and be good at it, I doubt does much this season. Throw in that Matt Cassel has the weakest arm of any possible starting QB, and I think BIlls fans will be trying to drag Kyle Orton out of retirement. While Orton is nothing special as a starter that just shows you how bad the other choices are. Add that they didn't improve their woeful O-line much this off-season ,and I expect that the Bills will be team with a great defense that loses a lot of close games, just like last year . Although signing La'el Collins could have helped a ton. Jones is a physical specimen with a cannon for an arm. The Ohio ST. offense changed for the better when Jones took over, and I expect that they will add more pro style looks to the offense this season.Even if he starts all year NFL reams are usually wary of players with anything less than 2 years as a full-time starter, so he may fall farther than someone of his obvious talent deserves.




11.TAMPA BAY - EZEKIEL ELLIOT - RB - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - FRED TAYLOR - retired
I expect the bucs will be better this year, especially in the 2nd half of the season, but they are now a young team that probably won't be a contender just yet. There is already talk of trading Doug Martin, and while Charles Sims is a well rounded guy, he is not a special talent. Elliot is big, fast, and played his best games late in the season.Especially in the biggest game of the year, as he was ridiculous in the national championship.




12.TENNESEE -  DEFOREST BUCKNER -DE - OREGON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CALAIS CAMPBELL - CARDINALS
The titans are team on the rise now,and I expect they will be pushing the Colts for the division title pretty soon. They passed on Leonard Williams this year for a franchise QB, and I can't fault them for that, but a bookend 5 technique to go with Jurell Casey could really bolster their defense. Buckner is a guy I couldn't help noticing on tape when I was watching 49ers 2015 first round pick Arik Armstead. He has similar gigantic dimensions, but was a much more productive player than Armstead on film.




13.SAN DIEGO - JAYLON SMITH - ILB - N. DAME
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAMIE COLLINS - PATRIOTS
Donald Butler has declined foe two straight seasons at middle linebacker, but the charges gave him a big deal anyway. Drafting Denzell Perryman helps, but tey need a guy who has more speed an excels in coverage next to him. While they can't cut Butler just yet, in addition to spelling Butler inside Smith can also play OLB in their 3-4, and be their nickle LB. 



14.NEW ORLEANS - A'SHAWN ROBINSON - NT - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MARCELL DAREUS - BILLS
The saints wisely extended Cam Jordan and drafted Tyler Davidson to help out on the nose this year. However, the cash strapped Saints probably can't afford to re-sign Akiem Hicks next year, or carry 32 year old Brodrick Bunkley's 4.4 million dollar salary after locking up Jordan. Robinson has the ability to play both the nose tackle and 5 technique, and if he can steadily get pressure on the QB this season he could go a lot higher.



15.JETS - DERRICK HENRY - RB - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CHRISTIAN OKOYE - retired
Every team in the AFC East except the patriots got better this off season, but the Patriots still have Brady and Belichick ,so they will probably still be in contention for the division title. The Jets were a team with a good defense and bad offense last year, and I was expecting it to be the same this year despite more weapons on offense, until I remembered that Chan Gailey is their new OC. The main reasons I expect them to still miss the playoffs is the lack of a significant upgrade along the O-line, but /5th rounder Jarvis Harrison cam be a big help if plays up to his potential. Gailey alone gives Geno Smith a much better chance at success as their starting QB, but the O-line is now probably the teams weakest position group. However, all of the current starters except left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson are better as  run blockers. They have a stable of power running backs, but none are special. Todd Bowles and Gailey will both want to run the ball a lot . Henry is a huge running back , but he still has the speed to crank out big runs. If a possible franchise left tackle is available when they pick that could also be the pick


16.GIANTS - ADOLPHUS WASHUNGTON DT - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - NICK FAIRLEY - RAMS
The pass rush was the real key to the Giants 2 Superbowl victories under Tom Coughlin, and while Johnathan Hankins does his part inside , he is really a one technique. Washington would slide right in at the three technique and help return them to glory.



17.STEELERS - KENDALL FULLER - CB - VIRGINIA TECH
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JASON McCOURTY - TITANS
After the retirement and letting go of so many long term veterans the Steelers defense is in a transition phase. They drafted 2 smaller corners this year, but need another with more size. Fuller follows his brother Kyle as a first round pick, and has the potential to be even better.
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18.MINNESOTA - JERALD HAWKINS - OT - LSU
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - WILLIAM BEATTY - GIANTS
Despite Matt Kalil's bad season the vikings didn't draft a left tackle this year, and he is coming off knee surgery as well. 4th round steal TJ Clemmings has left tackle ability, but since he is still learning how to even play on the right side, they may want to just keep him there.  Hawkins was LSU's right tackle last year, but he isn't the mauler most people want on the right side, and profiles better as a left tackle. Since he is moving to the left side this season after the departure of La'elCollins , he should excel. He has left tackle feet and is a good athlete, but needs to play nastier this year to rise up higher in the draft.


19.NEW ENGLAND - LAQUAN TREADWELL - WR - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ANDRE JOHNSON - COLTS
With The Brady suspension ,and the Pats being the only AFC EAST team that didn't get better this off season, I now believe it's highly possible that New England misses the playoffs. The patriots haven't had a true #1 receiver on the outside since Randy Moss was shipped out of town. I would have Treadwell a lot higher , but he suffered a knee injury last season. He should be back this year, and if he still has that same explosiveness to match his size, he has a good chance of being the first receiver taken in the draft.



20.ST. LOUIS - DUKE WILLIAMS - WR - AUBURN 
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DEZ BRYANT - DALLAS
The rams decided to pay the unreliable Kenny Britt , and while it wasn't #1 receiver money, I just don't trust him to be a reliable receiver. Williams is big , overpowering and explosive. While he is also raw ,and plays in an offense that's hard to translate to the NFL, his skill set is also very rare.



21.KANSAS CITY - JALEN RAMSEY - S - FLORIDA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DEVIN McCOURTY - PATRIOTS
With Eric Berry's football life in jeopardy due to cancer the Chiefs have big shoes to fill in the secondary, and unless they convert 3rd round corner Steven Nelson over to safety they will lack one that can cover man to man . Ramsey is a former corner who converted to safety in 2014 and had a big season. Now they may convert him back to corner ,but the NFL is longing for players who can play both, and Ramsey can fill that need.


22.ATLANTA - SCOOBY WRIGHT - LB - ARIZONA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LUKE KUECHLY - PANTHERS
The falcons had an excellent draft this year, and while they did improve their pass rush some, thye lack still lack a every down MLB to QB their defense. This defense needs a middle linebacker with a high football IQ, instincts, and the ability to excel in coverage. Wright has all that and he is also an excellent pass rusher.


23.CINCINATTI - TYLER BOYD - PITTSBURGH
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - REGGIE WAYNE - FA
The Bengals still don't have a serious receiving threat opposite AJ Green after the draft, and while I think Mario Alford was a good pick in the 7th round that can help open up the field some, what they need is another outside receiver that safeties fear. Boyd has been a stud for 2 straight years ,on a power running team ,with below average QB play most of the time.For those who want a QB here I understand, but I expect AJ McCarrron to beat out Andy Dalton at some point this year. If not a QB will be in play.


24.ARIZONA - JOSHUA DOBBS - QB - TENNESEE
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - COLIN KAEPERNICK - 49ers
I am not sure if Carson Palmer will even make it through this season healthy, but even if he does ,he will be 36 with a bad injury history/ Dobbs is really smart,  athletic, and he has the arm to make the throws down-field that Bruce Arians requires for his vertical scheme. 


25.MIAMI- MILES JACK - LB - UCLA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LAWRENCE TIMMONS - STEELERS
One of the needs the Dolphins failed to fill in the draft was inside linebacker. Jack will be playing inside a lot more this year now that Eric Kendricks has moved on the NFL. He is already a play-maker ,and has the athleticism to be a every down stud in the middle.


26.PHILADELPHIA - SHAWN OAKMAN - DE - BAYLOR
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - SEAN JONES - retired
Chip Kelly reportedly made Fletcher Cox available in trade talks in his pursuit of Marcus Mariota. Cox is the best player on the Eagles defense , and why I don't know what Chip was thinking, I doubt he cares what anyone else thinks anyway. I doubt Cox was happy about it, and even if he isn't available for a trade any longer, he will be a free agent after the 2016 season. Oakman has the size any NFL team would want , but Kelly likes size and length more than most , and Oakman displays surprising quickness in spite of it. He really fits best as a 5 technique, and with his length he could get up to 300 pounds and still look lean.


27.DENVER - MAX TUERK - C - USC
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MAX UNGER - SAINTS
I really don't like the Broncos center situation this year.  4th rounder Max Garcia seems too slow and stiff for a zone scheme to me, and Geno Gradkowski has never even played 2 good NFL games in a row. Tuerk is a former left tackle with the quickness and smarts to excel in this scheme. After the loss of Ryan Clady to his second major injury in 3 years I understand why some people will want a left tackle here, and if one pops up that I think might be available this late, that will be the pick. Keep in mind that Clady was the ONLY Bronco lineman I felt good about in this scheme. If they stick with the plan of running Kubiak's offense they won't be in shotgun all the time, won't have a tired defense trying to keep up  with their no huddle offense, won't be able to keep defenses from subbing & getting better situation specific personnel  on the field, and  Manning won't have as much time to throw. I do expect them to run the ball a lot better though, and they can still be a contender if some things break right, or smart adjustments are made.





28.GREEN BAY - SHILIQUE CALHOUN - DE - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CLIFF AVRIL - SEAHAWKS
Julius Peppers will be 36 after this season ,and the packers would be wise to try and find his replacement soon. Calhoun might have been a 1rst round pick in the 2105 draft if he had entered. If he keeps improving and gets stronger he could be the first edge rusher drafted, but if he doesn't his best fit may be as a 3-4 OLB..


29.BALTIMORE - EMMANUEL OGBAH - DE - OKLAHOMA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - EZEKIEL ANSAH - LIONS
Both Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are in their 30's and can't play at their current high level forever. Ogbah has the explosive burst and size off the edge NFL teams crave . Ozzie Newsome strikes again.



30.SEATTLE - JACK CONKLIN - OT - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAKE LONG - FA
Left tackle Russell Okung is a free agent after the season, and while he is a good player ,he is also too injury prone to pay well.  Conklin already plays with a finishers attitude,and is dominant at times in college,  but he just needs a little more strength to consistently enforce his will in the NFL.If he spends this off season getting stronger he could be a mauler, and in Seattles run heavy scheme he could be a left tackle.




31.INDIANAPOLIS - JAMES CONNOR - RB - PITTSBURGH
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JEROME BETTIS - retired
The colts only have Frank Gore and Josh Robinson at running back in their power offense. While both are tough as nails , Gore will be 32 after the season ,  has torn both ACL's, and also had a broken hip a while back. Robinson was a 6th round pick and lacks a big upside. Conner was dominant in a power offense last year, and not only the 250 pounder would fit right into their running game, the Panthers say he is going to be a lot more involved in the passing game this season. A player with his physicality & size would probably excel in ass protection if he took more snaps there.




32.DALLAS - TONY CONNER - S - OLE  MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DAWAN LANDRY - JETS
Unless Dallas decides to move Byron Jones to safety they will still lack one that is good in coverage, and can be counted on to make the tackle. With Mo Claiborne's injury & confidence issues, Brandon Carr being very overpaid, Tyler Patmon being relatively unproven , and Corey White being a better fit at safety, that seems unlikely right now . Plus Jones would give them the big athletic outside corner they want long term . Right now Conner plays a hybrid safety/linebacker position in the Rebels defense, but he is a sure tackler who appears to have the range to be interchangeable at either safety position. Hopefully they give him more looks deep this year and we can can get a better read on his long term prospects. Even if he stays in the box ,he as shown the ability to cover close to the line, and none of the cowboys current safeties tackles well anyway.
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