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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

2016 NFL MOCK DRAFT 12/15/15

When the 2015 draft came to an end I am sure many of you were already wondering who the top prospects for 2016 might be, but now the actual college and NFL seasons are almost done ,and the real work begins. Trying to predict not only the top prospects, but also the draft order is still 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.  The Patriots " US against the world" mentality is working right now. I bet right now the deflate gate witch hunt, which I still believe was just a chance to retroactively punish the Pats for not punishing them hard enough for Spygate, looks pretty stupid to 'DICKtator' Goodell and his cronies right now. Carolina has emerged as the favorite in the NFC in my book. So I am now predicting a another PATRIOTS/PANTHERS SUPERBOWL, but this time the panthers gave a great QB too. The prospects have former or current NFL player comparisons below their name , so you can get an idea of who it is your team might be getting.  However, I will change them later if someone else comes to mind that I think is a better comp.  Right now I see a draft deep at offensive tackle, Defensive tackle, edge rusher , safety, center, outside off the ball linebacker, and running back if the players I expect come out.  I currently have 3 QB's with a 1rst round grade, but none of them are as highly graded as Winston & Mariota last year. Although the rest of this years draft is better in blue chip talents at the top compared to last season .The Patriots have officially been docked their number one pick. So here it is. Enjoy.


# Is for a player with with reported character or maturity concerns


** Is for a player with reported injury concerns.




1.CLEVELAND - 
PAXTON LYNCH - QB - MEMPHIS

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - (a more athletic) - JOE FLACCO - RAVENS
I has expected the Browns to still be planning on Manziel being their QB of the future, and with McCown getting knocked out of the game week one he was already getting a chance to play. If he had kept maturing, growing as a passer, and staying out of trouble he may have actually developed into that guy. I wasn't sold on him yet though, and he cleared things up by imploding again right after he was named the starter for the rest of the season. Unless he gets another shot , and it's very possible with McCown now out for the year, I personally don't believe that Johnny does well enough for the Browns to stay committed to him. So the Browns draft a new potential franchise QB here. and Manziel is gone in this scenario.   I wasn't on Lynch until I watched the Ole miss game, but after I saw how well he played in that game I went back and watched the rest. He's a legit first rounder, with a perfect frame, and great tools & athleticism. Although it would probably be smart for him to sit behind McCown for at least part of his rookie season why he learns the pro game.If he closes out the season strong, and does well in the interview & on the chalkboard he could end up going number one overall. I have no doubt his physical abilities will WOW teams in the pre-draft process.

 

2.SAN DIEGO - LAREMY TUNSIL - OT - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOE STALEY - 49ers
The chargers O-line woes have continued this year. They especially need a center , and I expect they will go there in round 2 or 3, but it's highly unlikely you will ever see one worth this pick in any draft .They have even spent a lot of money & draft picks on this O-line recently, and while injuries and retirements have contributed to the whole debacle, they don't look much better just yet. Right tackle Joseph Barksdale is on a one year deal, and it's curious that the Rams( or anyone else for that matter )wouldn't pay him much after a good 2014 season. My guess is they move on from him , even though he has played OK this season. They are still financially committed to current left tackle King Dunlap, and that will probably be the difference between he and Barksdale. Tunsil is coming off a broken leg , and was being held out by the NCAA for receiving extra benefits. The punishment finally came to an end and he started playing again on October 24th against Texas A&M. Not only did Tunsil play, he played really well against a likely 2017 top 10 pick in Myles Garrett, and he has continued to play well since. The suspension could be a blessing to him , because less games means less chance of injury. As long as he keeps showing he is still the same elite talent I saw on tape before the injury , avoids any character mishaps, and avoids another injury, I believe he will be the first OT taken.


3.SAN FRANCISCO - JARED GOFF - QB - CALIFORNIA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CARSON PALMER - CARDINALS
Colin Kaepernick's Jeckle and Hyde imitation has continued, and while I think he is getting to much of the blame, his contract allows them to move on from him after this year without a big penalty. Now that they have benched him( and since it's Gabbert replacing him I don't see them getting much better) a new QB is the most likely pick here.A more standard issue pocket passer will probably be wanted by the new head coach the niners are likely to hire. Yes, I think Tomsula will also be gone by next year, if not sooner. Goff is a top shelf talent with a good arm. If he can add 15 to 20 pounds of muscle before the combine to fill out his frame ,and can convince NFL teams that he can transition to a pro style offense ,he has a chance to be the first QB drafted. Goff has improved in all areas, and the last time they passed on a local CAL QB at the top of the draft it was Aaron Rodgers. He has faltered some of late ,and is no longer a shoe in to be the first QB taken, but in this case I believe he will be happy anyway. Even though Goff isn't an elite QB prospect right now, he is still pretty good, and a QB needy team will probably snatch him up high.





4.DALLAS - JOEY BOSA - DE - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JUSTIN TUCK - RAIDERS
Sorry cowboys fans. I was one of those who though you could pull out the division and make a run with Romo back, but without him it's over this year. As of now though I just believe they will be so mentally drained after the Romo injury that they have a good chance at Bosa. On the bright side a top 5 pick can not only bring you a premium player, but picking at ( or near) the top of every round , in addition to the extra compensatory picks you are likely to have, could really fill out your roster for a title run next season . It wouldn't surprise me if they lost every game the rest of the way, but the way their season has gone they will probably screw themselves and win at least one game. At best they win 2 with Cassel, but they could completely lose out too, and for now I am going to just guess they lose them all. Don't forget Cassel was the QB of the 2012 chiefs who lost 9 of his 10 starts on the way to a 2-14 record & the first pick in the draft. This is a similar circumstance. With Romo gone Dallas might rest Dez because he is playing hurt, and is obviously not himself yet,, but i doubt they do until they are mathematically eliminated. They could even part ways with perennial headache Greg Hardy. Either to just rid themselves of his distractions,  save money on the cap, or both.You should pray they don't play Kellen Moore because I think he might do a better job ,and move your pick out of the top 10. They need Bosa, Nkemdiche, Ramsey, or Jalon Smith with this pick to fill a big need ,and also get value in the top 10. Winning 2 games will likely cost them any of the 4 players mentioned , but also a chance to trade back to a QB needy team & get a big haul of picks if they are so inclined. No I will not give them a QB this high if your wondering. Not only does a healthy Romo make them an instant contender, but Jerry Jones isn't going to use a top 5 pick on a guy who is likely to sit at least a year, and possibly 3. Jerry is in his 70's , and desperately wants to to win a Jimmy Johnson-less title he can claim all for his own. Most don't count their last one in 1996 for Jerry, because Jimmy built the overwhelming majority that roster. Although , I do think Dallas drafts a QB in the first 3 rounds to groom for the future, be a competent backup to Romo now & give them a better chance to avoid a complete collapse again if Romo's hurt for a stretch next year  . However, Dallas desperately needs playmakers on defense. 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 is already very disruptive against the run or pass despite being a focus of offensive game plans  . Now if they would just fire predictable ,ultra conservative game micro-manager, run on almost every first down , give up before half time & kneel down, unable the manage the clock Jason Garret,  I would really think they could win it all next year. Norv Turner anyone? Sure, he's not Tomlin or Belichick  . However, he would allow Jerry the spotlight he craves and run this offense much better. Yes, I know they just beat Washington in spite of Garret & Cassel. I also think the pass rush schemes of Rex Ryan and Todd Bowles will destroy Cassel .




5.BALTIMORE -  RONNIE STANLEY -OT - N. DAME

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DUANE BROWN - TEXANS
Joe Flacco's cap number will be north of 28 million this year. With him now coming off a major injury I can see why some might want the Ravens to take a new QB here. Especially because they aren't likely to pick this high again anytime soon, but I will tell you while I doubt it. First, Flacco's  cap number is so high because he had so much leverage coming directly off a Superbowl victory. The ravens were 3-7 with at QB this year before he go hurt.Second, Flacco had also just had one of the great statistical postseasons in NFL history when he got over paid. This year Joe has 14 TD's, 12 picks, is 25th in QB rating, and 28th in total QBR. 4th- Flacco is coming off a major knee injury, and that not only depresses his value for next season, but also long term. You may look at  Flacco and see a big plodding guy , but he isn't. Sure he hasn't been the athlete that Newton or Luck are as a big QB's, but he has always been underrated with his sneaky athleticism in my book. That is probably unlikely coming off this injury. So with the Ravens likely to return from a rash of injuries, reload in the draft, and get Flacco at a much more reasonable price this time around, I doubt they go QB in the first round. With Eugene Monroe being injured again, and his knee being a long term issue anyway, the Ravens are probably looking for a long term left tackle prospect. James Hurst has been really bad replacing Monroe, both last season & this year. In fact it was his inability to hold his ground that caused Joe to tear his ACL & MCLThis pick added to a healthy Flacco, and another great Ozzie Newsome draft, can make them a contender again right away.Stanley would have been a first round pick in the 2015 draft, and while he is already a stud pass protector, and would also be an asset in their zone blocking scheme. Stanley would be a big upgrade upgrade at left tackle.





6.TENNESEE- JALEN RAMSEY - CB/S - FLORIDA ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CHARLES WOODSON - RAIDERS
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. Ramsey is a former corner who converted to safety in 2014 and had a big season. Now they have converted him back to corner , and he looks great. The NFL is longing for players who can play both, and Ramsey can fill that need. Plus he has the ideal size that the NFL is now seeking in corners. Plus, I believe it's 50/50 that Chip Kelly will be the titans head coach next season, and Ramsey fits Kelly's profile.



7.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 potential 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, but a recent high profile off the field incident involving weed could send his stock tumbling.





8.CHICAGO - VERNON HARGREAVES the 3rd- CB - FLORIDA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DARRELLE REVIS - JETS
With Jay Cutler playing better than expected ,and Jon Fox having an a aversion to playing rookies at key positions, I am now thinking they go a different direction in the draft. The bears have plenty of needs though ,and Fox prefers to build on the defensive side of the ball. I had previously 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.


9.JACKSONVILLE - JAYLON SMITH - LB - N. DAME
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DERRICK JHONSON - CHIEFS
Left tackle is probably their biggest need, but I don't see one that fit their scheme worth this pick right now. Paul Posluszny is a solid veteran player and the Jags defense is better when he is in the game, especially against the run. However he is injury prone, will be 32 next season, and the jags aren't financially tied to him. In addition Gus Bradley comes from Seattle where the versatile and athletic Bobby Wagner allowed his defense to do a lot of things Gus can't without a similar player.



10.ST. LOUIS - JACK CONKLIN - OT - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAKE LONG - FA
Personally I now think Jeff Fisher is one of the most overrated coaches of all time. Don't get me wrong , I am sure he is a nice guy, a skilled politician, is good at dealing with the media, and is even a good defensive mind. But he's not anyone who should ever have anything to do with an offense. As a matter of fact ,unless he had Steve McNair at QB his teams have always under performed even when they are really talented. So I expect him to be fired in conjunction with the RAMS move to LA. They could take a QB here and sit him for a season, but with Foles signed through next season I doubt it, and it would be nice to se what he could do with them with better protection. Former #2 overall pick Greg Robinson has been real bad on the blindside. He is a powerful physically gifted kid, but just like Michael Oher I think his best fit is at guard. Conklin has enough athletic ability & feet to immediately upgrade their pass protection. He also plays to maul and can be a big asset in the run game long term.


11.NEW ORLEANS - LAQUAN TREADWELL - WR - OLE MISS

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ALLEN ROBINSON - JAGUARS
Drew Brees tends to miss high when his throws are off the mark, and that's why Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham have been so valuable to him over the years in New Orleans. That is also why 5"10" Brandin Cooks hasn't worked out for them as well as they hoped, and why they should either trade him, find more ways to get him open in space, or permanently move him to the slot . So it stands to reason that if they are going to get Brees a new potential receiver he needs to either be tall ,or a good leaper. Williams has looked like he has finally shaken the rust off in the second half of the season, and is showing he is the same talent he was before a serious leg injury. He is also currently the best bet at WR to be a top 5 pick in this draft if he a receiver needy team is picking that high. 

 

12.PHILADELPHIA - TAYLOR DECKER - OT - OHIO ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JARED VELDHEER - CARDINALS
I honestly thinks it's 50/50 whether Chip Kelly will be their head coach next season. They have suffered a rash of injuries, and if he can get a QB (Kaepernick, Tebow, maybe even RG3 ?) who can run his whole system I still believe he will be a great NFL coach. Either way they are set up to run a zone system , and will value Decker more than most teams because he played in a very similar scheme in college. Cutting Pro bowl left guard Evan Mathis has proven to me a huge mistake for the Eagles. To rectify the problem the eagles need someone agile enough to play in their system, and strong enough to anchor the pocket in the passing game.That being said it would currently be a bit of a reach to take any of the other OT's left on the board here, but like I said Decker is tailor made for their scheme, and could start out at guard. I thought he played better in 2014 , but I expect he will test so well in the pre-draft process that many offensive line coaches will believe they could make him more consistent. If he does become more consistent  he could be great. He can also slide over one spot to left tackle if soon to be 34 year old Jason Peters goes down again, and might even be the long term answer there . That makes this an even better fit.




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

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - EZEKIEL ANSAH - LIONS
Cameron Wake has had a stellar career, but he will be 34 next season ,and coming off a torn Achilles. So the Dolphins might be in need of a new strong side end. Ogbah has the explosive burst and size off the edge NFL teams crave , and he could fill that spot. He is still really raw and mostly gets by on talent right now, but like Ansah he could be a pro - bowler if he gets coached up & buys in. He is another guy I could easily see rising in the top 10 by the time the draft roles around if a team falls in love with his tools.




14.NEW YORK GIANTS
 - 
SHAQ LAWSON - DE - CLEMSON

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - BRIAN ROBINSON - VIKINGS
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 would be shocked if they brought him back next season. He finally passed a physical and is playing again, but even if they do bring him back I think he would he might be a better fit on the strong side now. so far they have kept playing him on the right though.Lawson has had a great season, and after the game he played against likely top 10 pick Ronnie Stanley everyone is taking notice.


15.OAKLAND - DEFOREST BUCKNER -DE - OREGON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CALAIS CAMPBELL - CARDINALS
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. He has had even better season this time around, has won match ups against big time players, and must be accounted for on every play. He deserves to go higher than this in my opinion, but D-lineman who aren't elite pass rushers rarely go in the top 10. I am sure the Raiders would laugh all the way to the bank if he was here this late.



16.TAMPA BAY - JASON SPRIGGS - OT - INDIANA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - TERRON ARMSTEAD - SAINTS
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. Spriggs is a 4 year starter that has improved every season. I have a low first round grade on him right now, but he has already grown on me a lot this season.  He is also the kind of athlete that could rocket up draft boards with a good senior bowl & workouts.



17.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 is just OK in coverage & as a pass rusher. Also, he doesn't cover enough ground for the exotic defenses that Rex Ryan likes to run. Jack was playing inside a lot more this year after Eric Kendricks moved on the NFL, but a knee injury ended his season prematurely. Some may have thought Jack should have returned for another year, but he has a insurance policy that pays him 5 million if he gets injured and doesn't go in the first round. That being said he had too much to lose to stay in school, and wisely let the Bruins know he was leaving for the draft I thought he was atop 10 pick pre-injury , but he is just too good to fall far as long his medicals come back positively. He is already a play-maker , has the athleticism to be a every down stud at any linebacker spot , in any defense, 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.


18.ATLANTA - **JOSH DOCTSON - WR - TCU

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - AJ GREEN - BENGALS
Roddy White has had a long and distinguished career. in fact he is a future HOFer in my book. However , father time is undefeated and has caught up to Roddy now. Doctson just keeps getting better .He has great hands, good speed, length, and ability to win the jump ball. He can be the guy they need to help take the pressure off Julio Jones.



19.HOUSTON - EZEKIEL ELLIOT - RB - OHIO ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - (a faster) - ARIAN FOSTER - TEXANS
Arian Foster is out for the year, will be 30 next season, the Texans can save 6.5 million of their cap by cutting him this off season, and he will have missed 23 of the last 48 regular season games when the years over. They can get a younger, faster, more durable, and cheaper version of him right here though. Elliot is the only for sure first round back in this draft, has been extremely productive for 2 straight years, and he fits their system.


20.NEW YORK JETS - DERRICK HENRY - RB - ALABAMA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - BRANDON JACOBS - retired
Chris Ivory is still relatively young, but he also is injury prone, and a free agent to be having his best season. Throw in that this will be his highest usage year ,and you have all the makings of another Demarco Murray, although to a lesser degree in production & price tag. Henry is a huge bruiser with surprising straight ahead speed for his size. He has excelled in a power scheme similar to one the jets run at Alabama, and the Jets head coach and OC also want to run the ball first and foremost. Personally I have the Heisman winner as a late second rounder because of his lack of wiggle , and feel he is limited to power/man schemes only . However - the scheme fit , team need, hype he has already generated, and my belief that he will run a sub 4.5 forty at 240 plus pounds when the combine takes place, make me believe this pick is a decent possibility. 



21. WASHINGTON - 
REGGIE RAGLAND - ILB - ALABAMA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ROLANDO McCLAIN - COWBOYS
I know some of people will be  shocked that I now have the Redskins winning the NFC EAST , but it makes a lot of sense to me. They play an Eagles team who's defense has been terrible & play the ROMO-less( I.E. really bad cowboys) in the last game when Dallas could be in contention for a top 5 pick & hoping to lose. Also the Giants just have a all around tougher schedule to close out the season. If Kirk Cousins leads them here they will not only likely be out fo contention for a first round QB, but also might try to get him signed to a low risk middling ( for a QB) contract that only obligates them for about 2 years like the Nick Foles deal. This is especially likely if they make the playoffs because jay Gruden will keep his job for another year, will want to keep Cousins, and their new GM is committed to building the whole roster up for the long haul through the draft. Chris Culiver has been injured this year & bad when healthy. All 3 ILB's the skins have tried this year have been bad.
 Ragland has the size to stuff blocks, the physicality to strike ball carriers against the run, is a vicious blitzer, and is even improving in coverage.



22.KANSAS CITY - JERALD HAWKINS - OT - LSU

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON -  WILLIAM BEATTY - GIANTS
The only thing former #1 overall pick Eric Fisher has shown for certain is that he doesn't play well as a left tackle. Current left tackle Donald Stephenson is a good athlete , but watching him get mollywopped against Green Bay convinced me he is not the long term answer for the Chiefs on the blindside either. 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 has moved to the left side this season (after the departure of La'el Collins )he has excelled. He has left tackle feet and is a good athlete, but needs to consistently play nastier this year to rise up higher in the draft.



23.CINCINNATI - 
ANDREW BILLINGS - NT - BAYLOR
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - BRYANT YOUNG - RETIRED
Domara Peko is still a decent starter who gives good effort, but he will be 32 next season, and they can save about 3.5 million off the cap letting him go. They could negotiate his salary down & try to keep him as a backup, but they have been trying to replace him since 2012 when they drafted Still and Thompson in the 2nd & 3rd rounds. Since neither of them were able to beat him out , Still has already been let go, and Thompson will be a free agent after the year, I believe they will be trying to draft a DT that can stuff the run & give more as a pass rusher than they are currently getting from their one techniques. Billings is massively strong,  can take on the double team , penetrate, and has the quickness to develop into a good pass rusher. He has the second highest upside of all the DT's (behind only Nkemdiche)in this draft, and the ability to play any interior position in a odd or even front. If he takes well to NFL coaching and reaches his potential he could be elite.


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24.MINNESOTA - GERMAIN IFEDI - OT - TEXAS A&M

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ANTHONY COSTANZO - COLTS
Left tackle Matt Kalil has definitely played better this year, especially in the run game, but was still better 4 season ago as a rookie. However , barring something going really wrong in the rest of this season the Vikes will probably pick up his 2016 option. Left guard Brandon Fusco has just been downright bad though.Ifedi is the next Texas A&M offensive tackle with a good chance to go in the first round. He has already played tackle & guard,  has been especially good in the run game, and in that's a big plus in this run first offense . He could play left guard as a rookie , and would at least give them a solid fall back option for Kalil if he gets hurt again ,or they decide to not resign him after next season.



25.INDIANAPOLIS - VADAL ALEXANDER - G/T - LSU
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - VERNON CAREY - retired
Right guard Hugh Thornton and center Khaled Holmes have done nothing to make me think they should be starting 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. They could replace Thornton with Aexander . If they just take a worthy offensive lineman of any kind I am sure Luck would be happy. After they wasted their first rounder on a poor mans TY Hilton this year,and then signed Hilton to a long term deal anyway, who knows what they are thinking. I suspect GM Ryan Grigson will be fired after the season, and smarter personnel decisions will start being made right away.I will give them the benefit of the doubt for now, and assume they do fire him. Alexander is a physical force on the line ,has experience at both tackle & guard ,and could upgrade their entire offense across the board.




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

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CLIFF AVRIL - SEAHAWKS
Clay Matthews is the kind of player that would be effective in many different roles. While the packers certainly miss him as an edge rusher they say they want to keep him inside as the QB of their defense . Calhoun has improved this season , but I still think he would be better as a 3-4 OLB, instead as the 4-3 end he is now. With Julius Peppers on the decline, turning 36 next season, and the chance to save over 7 million by cutting him, I would go here in the draft for that reason alone. Add in that their other 2 primary rush backer s(Nick Perry and Mike Neal ) are also free agents means addressing this position early in the draft is a must. 


27.PITTSBURGH 
TRE'DAVIOUS WHITE - CB - LSU
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOHNATHAN JOSEPH - TEXANS
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. In that case I have  as the highest ranked DB left. White has displayed great feet and shown a penchant for disrupting passes at LSU. He was also the player who covered Amari Cooper better than anyone in 2014.


28.SEATTLE - 
KENNY CLARK - DT - UCLA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - STAR LOTULELEI - PANTHERS
First off let me say they should pick nothing but O-lineman in the first 3 rounds, but not only do I doubt they will, based on their drafting patterns I don't see them taking one in the first unless a guy they see as a starting left tackle worth this pick falls here.  The Seahawks really struggled to stop the run early this year, aren't getting enough of a pass rush from their interior D-Lineman, long term stalwart Brandon Mebane looks past it, and is a free agent after the season. Clark excels at taking on the double team and playing with leverage. Has the strength to play nose & the agility to be a 5 technique if called upon to do so, but I like him best in the middle. If he can steadily get pressure on the QB this season he could go a lot higher, but right now he's mostly a bull rusher. He is hands down the most consistent run stuffing interior college D- Lineman I have seen this season on tape. He cab easily be their one technique, or play the hybrid role Red Bryant used to in their defense.



29.ARIZONA - 
A'SHAWN ROBINSON - DT/DE - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MARCELL DAREUS - BILLS
The Cards need help on the front of their 3-4 defense. Other than their elite 5 technique Calais Campbell none of their down lineman can both hold the point of attack against the double team, and get a good pass rush.  Robinson tape hasn't been as good as 
I hoped it would be, but he still has first round talent. His versatility to play both the NT and 5 technique make him a good fit for the cards.





30.DENVER - 
JOE DAHL - T/G  - WASHINGTON ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOSH SITTON - PACKERS
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 did expect them to run the ball a lot better than they have though, and they can still be a contender if some things break right, or smart adjustments are made. As of now their offense looks less than stellar, and their defense is the main thing keeping them in games. In fact the only time the offense has looked even half way decent before their bye week was with Manning in Shotgun, but a big part of that is their O-line woes. If Elway and Kubiak swallow their pride(and let Peyton run his offense)their defense is great enough to still win the Superbowl this year. Manning looked better doing it their way coming out of the bye, but then he got injured again?. No matter who the QB is I expect them to be running Kubiak's zone scheme next season, but Brock Osweiler is making a good case right now. Dahl is a college left tackle who would start out playing left guard for the Broncos. With Joe's experience at both tackle and guard he can just slide to the left one spot if Clady goes down again , and fill in for at least the short term. 






31.CAROLINA - COREY COLEMAN - WR - BAYLOR

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - STEVE SMITH - BALTIMORE
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 has surprisingly looked pretty good at LT in pass protection , he has been horrible as run blocker, but I no longer think they will look to replace him in the first round. Cam Newton also deserves a reliable wide receiver. Someone who can get open and be relied upon to make the catch. Coleman does both and he can stretch the field. If he was 6 "2" he would be a top 5 pick , but even at a reported 5"10" he has been unstoppable this year.He's fierce and reminds me of a young Steve Smith minus the dominant attitude that Newton doesn't need in his huddle.

3 comments:

  1. The Raiders have given no indication they are "swithing" to a 3-4 defense. We run multiple fronts.

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    1. They already do run a base 3-4 defense. All teams who run a base 3-4 run multiple fronts. Usually when they go to a nickel defense they take out a linebacker, or interior D-lineman, and a DB. In the Raiders case they usually just move Mack to end and go to a 4 man front when they go to nickel.

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