1.TAMPA BAY - LAREMY TUNSIL - OT - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOE STALEY - 49ers
So far Tampa Bay's O-line has looked very bad , and while all these younger players could develop by seasons end I think it's clear that Donovan smith would be a better fit at RT , or even better inside at guard. With Logan Mankins turning 34 this season, on the downside of his career, and having a salary close to 7 million he could be cut . Smith could then slide inside to left guard. If they want Jameis Winston to survive & thrive they will need to upgrade the left tackle spot at the very least. Tunsil is coming off a broken leg , and is currently being held out by the NCAA for potential violations. The suspension could be a blessing to him , because less games means less chance of injury. As long as he comes back in time to show he is still the same elite talent I saw on tape before the injury he will be the first OT taken. He was dominant both as pass & run blocker, and would give Winston the blindside protector he currently lacks. They could also use Joey Bosa , but I think protecting the franchise takes precedence.
2.CLEVELAND - JOEY BOSA - DE - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - GREG HARDY - DALLAS
I expect the Browns to still be planning on Manziel being there QB of the future, and with McCown getting knocked out of the game week one he is already getting a chance to play. If he keeps maturing, growing as a passer, and staying out of trouble he may actually develop into that guy. I am not sold on him yet though, and if he implodes they could go after a QB again. However their QB's play this season, I still see them as a flawed organization & team with little hope of making the playoffs this year . 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 blockers 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. He could team with Danny Shelton to form a serious force up front for years to come.
3.WASHINGTON - JARED GOFF - QB - CALIFORNIA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CARSON PALMER - CARDINALS
Washington has an improved roster , but the reason I don't think they will do much this year is coach Jay Gruden &n RG3. Gruden was hired to improve RG3 .Instead of improving RG3 ,he has publicly embarrassed him, destroyed his confidence, and I wouldn't be surprised if he divides the locker room this year as well. For his part Griffin has acted entitled and lazy according to some reports. Others even say his own linemen don't like him , but they still kept him on the roster? Unless Cousins or McCoy show something on the field that we haven't seen yet, I expect I an implosion could be coming in Washington this season. A new QB for a new head coach would give hope to their fans again. Goff is a top shelf talent with a good arm. 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. Only Cardale Jones impresses me more from last years tape, and we aren't even sure how much playing time he will get.
4.CHICAGO - CONNOR COOK - QB - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MATT RYAN - FALCONS
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. 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, but he needs to show that "IT" factor & grace under pressure that every team wants in their franchise signal caller.
5.OAKLAND - DEFOREST BUCKNER -DE - OREGON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CALAIS CAMPBELL - CARDINALS
Despite a good draft I am still not sold on 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. With the raiders switching to a 3-4 defense ,and lacking the long term 5 technique DE prospects needed to take it to next level, Buckner's selection would be ideal.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.
6.SAN FRANCISCO - LAQUAN TREADWELL - WR - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ANDRE JOHNSON - COLTS
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 were also question marks for different reasons. Smith screwed up again and was cut, but Bowman looks like his old dominant self so far. However. I do believe it will be a short term dip in wins. What they really lack is a young number one receiver that Kaeperneck can count on and grow with. Torrey Smith isn't that guy either. Williams still needs to shake the rust off , and show he is the same talent he was before a serious leg injury, but he is also currently the best bet at WR to be a top 10 pick in this draft.
7.CAROLINA - RONNIE STANLEY -OT - N. DAME
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DUANE BROWN - TEXANS
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. While Michael Oher looked pretty good at LT in the pre-season ,he hasn't played well there in the regular season since his rookie year,and I still feel his best position would be inside at guard. Stanley would have been a first round pick in the 2015 draft, and while he is already a stud pass protector, he needs to add more strength to be a bigger asset in the run game. He would give Cam the blindside protector he has lacked since Jordan gross retired.
8.JACKSONVILLE - TAYLOR DECKER - OT - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LANE JOHNSON - EAGLES
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 at least 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 know protecting Blake is a priority. Decker has the athletic ability to fit right into their zone blocking scheme, and upgrade their pass protection.The sad loss of Dante Fowler to a torn ACL only makes the chances of the jags having another high pick far more likely.
9.NEW YORK 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 despite DC Steve Spagnouolo's return 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. As of now he can't even pass a physical.Ogbah has the explosive burst and size off the edge NFL teams crave , and he could fill JPP's spot.
10.TENNESEE- VERNON HARGREAVES the 3rd- CB - FLORIDA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DARRELLE REVIS - JETS
For a young team that has already got some of the major building blocks of their rebuild in hand the best player available is usually the best strategy. In this case it may also coincide with an emerging need . Jason McCourty looked to be declining a little last season , and now he has a groin injury that required surgery and caused him to miss the beginning of the season. With a 7 million dollar base salary in 2016, and very little dead money consequence to the their cap if they cut him, a possibly declining McCourty may be a luxury they can do without. A new # 1 corner would then be needed, and it needs to be a guy who can play man coverage a lot. I have never seen a sophomore corner be the clear cut best corner in all of college football before, but Vernon was in 2014 . He is smart. fluid , physical and fast. He only has average size, but you wouldn't know it by the way he challenges receivers.
11.DETROIT - ROBERT NKEMDICHE - DT/DE - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - SHELDON RICHARDSON - JETS
The lions lost Suh and Fairley, and Haloti Ngata is just a short term partial stop gap at the position. They do have some promising young players inside. but a potentiol ALL - PRO DT would surely be welcomed again. Nkemdiche has the size and strength to hold up against the double team, and the explosion & quickness to rush the passer. He was the # 1 overall prospect out of high school a few years back for a reason.
12.NEW ORLEANS - JALEN RAMSEY - S - FLORIDA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DEVIN McCOURTY - PATRIOTS
The saints have spent a lot of money and draft picks to improve their secondary, but injuries have kept us from seeing what they could do if all of them were healthy together. 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. The saints especially need a inexpensive versatile guy who can fill in wherever they need him.
13.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 in the draft, but a later first round selection is still possible. O'brien would be wise to get his guy here though ,because he has the tools & talent that some team with an aging veteran QB might take him to develop behind the starter. Hackenburg can step in & start from day one in this familiar offense, and O'brien has already showed that he can bring the best out of him.
14.KANSAS CITY - JAYLON SMITH - ILB - N. DAME
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAMIE COLLINS - PATRIOTS
While Derrick Johnson appears to have returned to form coming off an injury, he is also going to be 33 by next season, and the Chiefs don't have anyone special playing next to him inside. Smith is an elite talent with sideline to sideline range, and the agility to excel in coverage. Playing next to a pro like Jhonson for a few years can only improve his football IQ. Smith is also an explosive pass rusher who can play some as a 3-4 rush backer if Tamba Hali isn't brought back.
15.NEW YORK JETS - JACK CONKLIN - OT - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAKE LONG - FA
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 , I thought Geno Smith now had a much better chance at success as their starting QB. With his broken jaw slowing down that process , it;s really hard to see it going well enough to get them in the playoffs this season . From now on Geno should pay his gambling debts , and also avoid writing checks with his mouth that his ass can't cash , or he could piss his entire career away. The other main reason I expect them to still miss the playoffs is the lack of a significant upgrade along the O-line, and the lack of a good QB. However, all of the current starters except left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson are better as run blockers, and only center Nick Mangold is a plus player right now. Ferguson is on the decline ,and I doubt he will be worth the 8.6 plus million they would have to pay him in 2016. The Jets could save a lot of money by cutting him and upgrade the position with Conklin. Jack already plays with a finishers attitude,and has been 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 season getting stronger he could be a mauler in the Jets run heavy scheme
16.PITTSBURGH - 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 i the NFL.
17.SAN DIEGO - A'SHAWN ROBINSON - NT - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MARCELL DAREUS - BILLS
The chargers lack the true three down nose tackle all 3-4 teams crave, and getting a young cost controlled one could really help their cap situation. 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.
18.BUFFALO - MILES JACK - LB - UCLA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LAWRENCE TIMMONS - STEELERS
Preston Brown is good at taking on blocks and stuffing the run, but he isn't strong in coverage, or as a pass rusher,and he doesn't cover enough ground for the exotic defenses that Rex Ryan likes to run. 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 puts on a little more muscle. He can even fill in at running back if the Bills suffer another rash of injuries in the backfield.
19.ARIZONA - CARDALE JONES - QB - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CAM NEWTON - PANTHERS
If I thought Carson Palmer would make it through this season healthy, I would pick them to make the playoffs, but I doubt he does. While Matt Barkley doesn't fit Bruce Arians QB prototype he is the kind of smart QB that might at least not lose games for them. Palmer will be 36 with a bad injury history next season anyway. Jones is a physical specimen with a cannon for an arm, and he can be the player they hoped Logan Thomas was when they took him in the 4th round. 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 using top 10 picks on QB's with anything less than 2 years as a full-time starter . So he may fall farther than someone of his obvious talent deserves. He is the kind of player that could really rise later in the draft process though.
20.ST. LOUIS - TYLER BOYD - PITTSBURGH
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - REGGIE WAYNE - FA
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. Brian Quick also has # 1 WR talent, but hasn't shown he can stay healthy. Boyd has already been a stud for 2 straight years ,on a power running team ,with below average QB play most of the time. At least he will have a QB upgrade on this team.
21.CINCINNATI - SCOOBY WRIGHT - LB - ARIZONA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JULIAN PETERSON - retired
Since getting paid Vontaze Burfict hasn't been very healthy, and he is not a guy I would put a lot of long term faith in anyway. 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. For those who want a QB here I understand, but I expect AJ McCarrron to get a shot to win the job if Andy Dalton falters again. Only if AJ does and fails will a QB be a in play.
***TRADE*** DALLAS trades their first round pick (#31) and 3rd rounder in this draft VIKINGS first round pick(#22) in this draft***
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - FRED TAYLOR - retired
I know Dallas thinks they can get by with a RB by committee approach, and with that bad ass O-line I actually agree. However, if a truly special back that fits their system were within their reach I believe they would go after him. Elliot is that back and Dallas should have some extra compensatory picks in this draft. That could entice them to part with some of their own picks, rather than pay any of their current backs big money.
23.ATLANTA - CODY WHITEHAIR - G/T - KANSAS ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JACK MEWHORT - COLTS
The falcons need help inside at guard and it needs to be someone agile enough to play in their zone blocking scheme. Whitehair is a college left tackle , but would probably be a better fit at guard in the pros, and he displays the toughness play inside . A versatile tough guy like him would fit on any team in ant scheme.
24.PHILADELPHIA - GERMAIN IFEDI - OT - TEXAS A&M
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ANTHONY COSTANZO - COLTS
The eagles are in need of an upgrade at at least one guard spot, and maybe even a long term replacement for left tackle Jason Peters. Ifedi is the next Texas A&M offensive tackle with a good chance to go in the first round. He also has experience at guard , and the athleticism to fit in the eagles scheme.
25.MIAMI - SHAWN OAKMAN - DE - BAYLOR
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - SEAN JONES - retired
The dolphins have a lot of money invested in their D-line already. With Olivier Vernon being up for a new contract , Cameron wake turning 34 and being a free agent the following year, a young DE prospect is needed. Oakman has the size and length any NFL team would want , but he displays displays surprising quickness in spite of it. He would be a better fit as the long term replacement for Wake on the strong side, and is big enough to move inside on obvious passing downs.
26.BALTIMORE - JORDAN JENKINS - OLB/DE - GEORGIA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - BRIAN ORAPKO - TITANS
Both Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are in their 30's ,and can't play at their current high level forever. Leonard Floyd may get more press, but the more tape I watch the more I prefer Jenkins as a Bulldogs pass rusher. He is fast , physical, and relentless.
27.SEATTLE - SU'A CRAVENS - S/OLB - USC
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - THOMAS DAVIS - PANTHERS
With Kam Chancelor's holdout showing no end in sight, and a distinct possibility that he stays out until week 10 existing, a replacement strong safety might be just what the Seahawks need. Cravens can also play OLB, but having him on the roster would take away some of Kam's leverage. Wherever they play him he is definitely a play maker, and if he worked out they could even trade Chancellor.
28.DENVER - MAX TUERK - C - USC
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MAX UNGER - SAINTS
I really didn'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. Free agent Matt Paradis ended up with the job and he hasn't impressed me yet either.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.
29.GREEN BAY - REGGIE RAGLAND - ILB - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ROLANDO McCLAIN - COWBOYS
Clay Matthews is the kind of player that would be effective in many different roles. While he is effective as an inside linebacker the Packers certainly miss him as an edge rusher. Ragland could man the middle for the Pack, and allow Clay to move back outside. Ragland has the size to stuff blocks, the physicality to strike ball carriers against the run, and is even improving in coverage.
30.INDIANAPOLIS - VADAL ALEXANDER - G/T - LSU
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - VERNON CAREY - retired
Left guard Lance Louis and center Khaled Holmes have done nothing to make me think they should be staring for an NFL team right now. Since protecting Andrew Luck should be their first priority I am hoping they will take the best interior O-lineman available. Since they took Jack Mewhort, moved him to guard in 2014, and to right tackle this year, they could just take the best right tackle prospect and move Mewhort back to left guard. If they just take a worthy offensive lineman of any kind I am sure Luck would be happy, but after they wasted their first rounder on a TY Hilton clone this year,and then signed Hilton to along term deal anyway, who knows what they are thinking. I will give them the benefit of the doubt for now. Alexander has experience at both left guard & right tackle, would fit right into the Colts power running game, and has a strong anchor to keep the pocket from collapsing.
31.MINNESOTA - (dallas)- DERRICK HENRY - RB - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CHRISTIAN OKOYE - retired
No matter how dominant Adrian Peterson has been in the past, how genetically gifted he is, or how much money they pay him, and how much rest he has recently had, he is still a 30 year old running back with a lot of miles on his tires. That mean the decline could come very quickly. Henry is a perfect fit for their power running game, and is already a better receiver & blocker than Peterson is.