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Thursday, January 14, 2016

2016 NFL MOCK DRAFT - 1/14/16

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 season is 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, get in trouble off the field, impress & disappoint in ALL-STAR games, or decide to stay in school. Also, coaching and scheme changes will change some teams needs and drafting profiles very soon. 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, Interior D-line, edge rusher, corner back , safety, and off the ball linebackers if the players I expect come out. Still, there is no clear cut elite franchise top players at the top of of this draft. 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.TENNESSEE - JOEY BOSA - DE - OHIO ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JUSTIN TUCK - 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. Bosa has the highest floor with a pretty good upside,and in a draft where their is no clear cut number one pick he might be the best choice for them. The question is what defense the Titans will be running next season under their new head coach. Fortunately for Tennessee Bosa is scheme diverse.   
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.



2.CLEVELAND - JARED GOFF - QB - CALIFORNIA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - TRENT GREEN - retired
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. Since then he has done everything he can to screw himself ,and anyone else who believed in him. So the Browns draft a new potential franchise QB here. and Manziel is gone in this scenario. 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 good chance to be the first QB drafted. Goff has improved in all areas this season, and even adjusted well after a spate of interception heavy games around mid-season. Even though Goff isn't an elite QB prospect right now, he is still pretty good, he finished really strong in his bowl game, and a QB needy team will probably snatch him up high.


3.SAN DIEGO - LAREMY TUNSIL - OT - OLE MISS

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - TRENT WILLIAMS - REDSKINS
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, but they can flip Dunlap over to the right side. 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.  


4.DALLAS - JALEN RAMSEY - CB/S - FLORIDA ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CHARLES WOODSON - 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. Now that Moore is playing and Washington has already locked up the division I believe they will bear Washington in week 17, and knock themselves out of the top 5. They need Bosa, Ramsey, or Jalon Smith with this pick to fill a big need ,and also get value in the top 10.  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 10 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. 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. It's highly unlikely though. Garret is Jerry's guy and I think he would rather lose than admit he made a mistake when he gave him a long term extension. Between the impending free agency & injury proneness of Morris Claiborne, the questions of how speedy slot corner Orlando Scandrick will look coming off a torn ACL, the high salary of Brandon Carr, and the fact that neither Carr or Claiborne has ever lived up to their billing Dallas is going to need help at corner next season. 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. Ramsey can fill that need while teaming with Byron Jones to give their secondary a lot of flexibility for a long time. Plus he has the ideal size that the NFL is now seeking in corners.



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

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DUANE BROWN - TEXANS
Blake Bortles has made huge strides this season, but Luke Joeckel has not, and I personally no longer believe in Joeckel as a left tackle.Gus Bradley will keep his job after this season, but this is the last year of his contract, and he knows protecting Blake is a priority. You can't know how good Bortles can be until he has better protection on the backside. Stanley would have been a first round pick in the 2015 draft, would be a big durable upgrade at left tackle , and would also be an asset in their zone blocking scheme.  


6.BALTIMORE - LAQUAN TREADWELL - WR - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ALLEN ROBINSON - JAGUARS

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. I was thinking they would go offensive tackle, but with the top 2 off the board and them now having the 6th pick I think they go a different way to get more value . Steve Smith has decided to come back for one more year, and while he was clearly their best receiver before his injury , he is also going to be a 37 year old wide receiver coming off a torn Achilles. 2015 first round wide receiver Breshad Perriman missed the entire season with a knee injury, and Kamar Aiken is better off as a complimentary receiver. Treadwell looks like he has finally shaken the rust off and is showing he is the same talent he was before a serious leg injury. A big bodied fierce guy who attacks the football would be appreciated by any QB, and that's Treadwell down to his toes.He is also currently the best bet at WR to be a top 5 pick in this draft if a receiver needy team is picking that high. However he needs to test well to do so, especially speed.



7.SAN FRANCISCO - CARSON WENTZ - N. DAKOTA ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - BEN ROETHLISBERGER - STEELERS
Colin Kaepernick's Jeckle and Hyde imitation has continued, and while I think he is getting too much of the blame, his contract allows them to move on from him after this year without a big penalty. If they bring in Chip Kelly I will go in a different direction , because he would would probably excel in Chip's offense, but I still think it makes too much sense for Tennessee to snatch him up.A more standard issue pocket passer will probably be wanted by any other new head coach the niners are likely to hire. With Connor Cook's leadership questions and disastrous bowl game I no longer see him being the likely 3rd QB off the board. If not for an injury that cost him half the year Wentz might have been a first round lock, but we will never know now. However, he has a chance to pump up his stock at the Senior bowl. After leading N. Dakota to a NCAA division 1 championship ,he was having an even better season this year when he broke the wrist on his throwing hand. While FCS guys are harder to project ,he did play in a pro style offense , and has good tools. He returned from injury for the bowl game and led his team to another FCS championship. With Paxton Lynch imploding in his own bowl game Wentz gas a good chance to be the 2nd QB off the board now.




8.MIAMI - MILES JACK - ** - LB - UCLA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DERRICK BRROKS - retired
Left guard Dallas Thomas has been atrocious this year, and injuries all over the line have decimated the Dolphins, but I don't see them taking a guy they are likely to play a guard out of the gate when a stud like Jack can fill a big need at middle linebacker. Kelvin Sheppard is OK in the middle, but he just doesn't cover enough ground, especially in coverage. Jack has sideline to sideline ability, and is an elite athlete in the middle who can excel in coverage, can even play RB if they suffer a rash of injuries,and he is a natural born play maker anywhere on the field. Jack can definitely be an elite play maker as 4-3 OLB, or in the middle in a Tampa 2. If he gets up around 250  , and their are already rumors that he has been using the time off to put on more muscle,he could even be a 3-4 rush or middle linebacker in any defense.He would have been a top 10 lock before a early season meniscus tear, and might have even gone top 5. He should be fine by the combine, and with the meniscus not generally considered a long term problem, he could be medically cleared and kill it in workouts. He could go as high as # 4 to Dallas in that scenario. The injury to Jaylon Smith  makes any battle between the 2 to be the top off the ball linebacker moot. 



9.TAMPA BAY - JACK CONKLIN - OT - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAKE LONG - FA

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. Logan Mankins was still their best O-lineman this year, but with 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. Conklin is a former walk on and self made man who earned a starting job as a red shirt freshman.  He is a 3 year starter in a power 5 conference who has improved every year, and still did a very good job this year while playing hurt. He has the angry play through the whistle style that coaches love, and does it without a ton of penalties. He would be ideal in this run first offense.



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

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - WILL SMITH - retired
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 against the run & pass. He is also big & strong enough to move inside on obvious passing downs. After the game he played against likely top 10 pick Ronnie Stanley everyone was already taking notice. I have had Emmanuel Ogbah in this spot for awhile, but not anymore. Lawson was more productive in the national championship game limping around on one leg than Ogbah was healthy in his bowl game. Both guys played against high level first round tackles too, but Lawson's higher floor could be the difference come draft day.



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

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JASON VERRETT - CHARGERS
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.




12.NEW ORLEANS - MACKENSIE ALEXANDER - CB - CLEMSON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CHRIS HARRIS JR - BRONCOS
Brandon Browner was down right terrible this year. Usually you know you are going to get a lot of penalties with him, but also some physical quality play that frustrates receivers. Not this year, and if ever a guy was a candidate to be cut and eat his dead money on your cap it's him, and that's saying something considering the terrible cap situation in New Orleans. 

As a 3rd year sophomore Alexander wasn't a guy I thought would enter the draft, but after watching him blanket Sterling Shepard when he lined up outside in the Oklahoma game I have reconsidered. I started going through some of his tape and his feet & hips are awesome. He also has confidence and knows how to get into a receivers head. He may never pick off a lot of balls, but it's hard to tell because QB's tend to avoid throwing into his coverage. If he plays well against Alabama he could go in the top 10.


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

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JARED VELDHEER - CARDINALS
Chip Kelly got fired, and while I still believe he will be a great NFL coach in Tennesee, they need to move forward rebuilding their O-LINE. 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 there 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 maybe be the long term answer there . That makes this an even better fit.






14.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 this year, and must be accounted for on every play. He deserves to go than this in my opinion, but I am sure the Raiders would laugh all the way to the bank if he was here this late.





15.ST. LOUIS - PAXTON LYNCH - QB - MEMPHIS

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - (a bigger) - CARSON PALMER - CARDINALS
Personally I now think Jeff Fisher is one of the most overrated coaches of all time, but it looks like they will bring him back. Don't get me wrong , I am sure he is a nice guy. Also 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 , and his teams consistently under perform in my book. As a matter of fact ,unless he had Steve McNair at QB his teams have always under performed even when they are really talented.
The rams obviously aren't sold on Nick Foles, and why they do have him signed for next season I believe Fisher will want to draft a QB high to give him an excuse to gie him more time. 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 a veteran for at least part of his rookie season why he learns the pro game, and since Gabbert  surprisingly played OK after taking over they could use him as that short term stop gap. I have no doubt his physical abilities will WOW teams in the pre-draft process. After a really bad bowl game Lynch is going to have to do some damage control to merit this pick, and work on speeding up his delivery, but QB's tend to go higher than they should.




16.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 young 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 bone headed high profile off the field incident involving weed could send his stock tumbling.


17.ATLANTA - EMMANUEL OGBAH - DE - OKLAHOMA ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DeMARCUS LAWRENCE - DALLAS
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 had caught up to Roddy now, but with all the injuries among this draft's top receiver's it's not clear if their will be another receiver worth this pick after Treadwell's gone. For now they can get value here with Lawson, and fill a need. Kroy Beirman still holds up well against the run on the strong side despite being undersized, but he is just serviceable as pass rusher, and will be 31 next season. Ogbah has the explosive burst and size off the edge that NFL teams crave. He is still raw and mostly gets by on talent right now, but he has the motor and violent play style to succeed once he takes to NFL coaching. Like Lawrence he could develop into a pro bowler once his technique improves and he improves his snap anticipation. He is a guy I could see going higher to a team that falls in love with his tools once draft day roles around.



18.INDIANAPOLIS - ANDREW BILLINGS - NT - BAYLOR

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - BRYANT YOUNG - RETIRED
Billy Wynn is better as a backup interior D-Lineman on any team, but he is especially miscast as 3-4 nose tackle. 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.


19.BUFFALO - REGGIE RAGLAND - ILB - ALABAMA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DONT'A HIGHTOWER - PATRIOTS
Preston Brown is good at taking on blocks and before this season he was decent at stuffing the run, but he didn't even do that well this year, and is just OK in coverage & as a pass rusher. This year he hasn't even stopped the run well. Also, he doesn't cover enough ground for the exotic defenses that Rex Ryan likes to run & Ragland's skills as a blitzer would be key in this scheme 





20.NEW YORK JETS - JASON SPRIGGS - OT - INDIANA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - TERRON ARMSTEAD - SAINTS
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 was really hard to see it going well enough to get them in the playoffs this season . From now on Geno should pay his 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 expected them to still miss the playoffs is the lack of a significant upgrade along the O-line, and the lack of a good QB. Fitzpatrick has played better than I thought he would, and they did narrowly miss the playoffs ,but at least they were close. 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. 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, and if he adds some more muscle & weight he can be great.  He is also the kind of athlete that could rocket up draft boards with a good senior bowl & workouts.




21. WASHINGTON - TRE'DAVIOUS WHITE - CB - LSU

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOHNATHAN JOSEPH - TEXANS
With the skins being a somewhat surprising NFC EAST winner, but having very little chance to advance in the playoffs, the draft is very much on the mind of my best( he's a skins fan) friend already  . Since Kirk Cousins lead them here they will not only likely be out 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 Nick Foles deal.  Chris Culiver has been injured this year & bad when healthy. Plus , Deangelo Hall is 33 and way past his prime. 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.



22.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 this off season,, and will have missed 23 of the last 48 regular season games. 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.


23.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 in pass protection 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.




24.CINCINNATI - KENNY CLARK - DT - UCLA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - STAR LOTULELEI - PANTHERS
Domata 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. 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 had more pass rush moves he would go higher, but right now he's mostly a bull rusher, although he regularly collapses the pocket. He is hands down the most consistent run stuffing interior college D- Lineman I have seen this season on tape.


25.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, and they especially need to replace Antwon Blake. 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. In that case I have Fuller as the highest ranked corner left. Fuller will join his brothers as NFL cornerbacks, and has the talent to be the best of the bunch. Although he is coming off an injury I still see his size, previous tape, and polish getting him into the first round.


26.GREEN BAY - JAYLON SMITH - ** - LB - N. DAME

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DERRICK JHONSON - CHIEFS
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 . Smith has a similar skill set,  plays a similar role to the one Clay does now, and having 2 of them would allow more varied & unpredictable looks for the Packers scheme. If not for a major knee injury in his bowl game he would be at least a top 10 pick, and probably top 5 in my opinion. The Packers are one of the teams that smartly draft for the long haul, and have the stability to wait for him to return to form before putting him on the field. Jaylon's stock could rise much farther if his progress in rehabbing the knee looks good after the combine medical checks, but the top 10 is likely out now, but the top 15 could be in play . With Julius Peppers on the decline, turning 36 next season, and the chance to save over 7 million by cutting him they need an edge rusher (or someone who frees Clay up to be one again). Add in that their other 2 primary rush backer s(Nick Perry and Mike Neal ) are also free agents means addressing this need early in the draft is a must. 



27.KANSAS CITY
 - SHON COLEMAN - OT - AUBURN

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - KYLE TURLEY - retired
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. Coleman is big, strong, athletic, and can bury people when he's on. If you watch him vs Texas A&M you see him as a first rounder, but if you watch him vs Alabama he looks more like a 3rd rounder. I believe teams will think they can they can refine his technique and improve his awareness . If he interviews & test well at the combine a player with his aggressive tendencies  & obvious talent will go in the late first round.




28.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.


29.DENVER - JONATHAN ALLEN - DE - ALABAMA

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MALIK JACKSON - BRONCOS
O-line is their biggest need but I don't see a guy worth this pick available right now, and a lot of teams that run zone schemes tend to think they can get undersized college lineman later. However, their second biggest need is probably at 3-4 DE. Both Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson are free agents this off season, and I doubt they can resign both. Of the trio of Alabama interior D-Lineman that have a chance to go in the first round Allen is the best pass rusher of the three. I am not sure if he wouldn't be an even better three technique in a 4-3, but he has already proven what a stud 5 technique he can be in the SEC.



30.SEATTLE -  JERALD HAWKINS - OT - LSU

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON -  WILLIAM BEATTY - GIANTS
First off let me say the Seahawks should pick nothing but O-lineman in the first 3 rounds, but not only do I doubt they will, I think they trade back unless a tackle they think is athletic enough to play in a zone scheme, and is worth this pick is available when they are up. 
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 & is a good athlete, but needs to convince teams he can consistently play nastier to rise up higher in the draft.



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.

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