clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Daily Norseman 2016 NFL Mock Draft

New, comments
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

We are now, officially, 48 hours away from the start of the 2016 NFL Draft, folks. As I generally do every year, I'm going to take a shot at a one-time Mock Draft for the first round of this year's selection meeting. I'm not going to be projecting any trades, which means this whole thing is probably going to be invalid about thirty minutes into the draft process, but I'm going to have a go at it here anyway.

You can get to the site of any of the 32 SB Nation NFL blogs by clicking on the logos next to the picks. Here we go!

Los Angeles Rams (from Tennessee Titans)- Jared Goff, QB, California
The Rams became the first team in 15 years to trade up into the #1 spot prior to the draft, and with one of the NFL's better defenses, they're going to be looking to the quarterback position. As sad as it makes me that a player from North Dakota State isn't going to go #1 overall, I think that Goff is probably the more polished player at this point, and after moving to the West Coast, the Rams could use the local (or more local) guy to kick start things for them. So, we'll put Goff at #1 overall.
Philadelphia Eagles (from Cleveland Browns) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
I'm biased, but between Goff and Wentz, I think that Wentz is going to end up being the better quarterback. The Eagles, like the Rams, made this move for a quarterback (despite having the high-priced Sam Bradford in tow). Since I've got Goff at #1, Wentz slides into the #2 spot in my draft.
San Diego Chargers - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
The biggest loser. . .if there is such a thing in the Top 5 of a draft class. . .in two quarterback-needy teams trading up into the first two spots is Tunsil. He was thought to be a lock to go #1 overall when the Titans still had the pick, but he still finds himself in a good situation here. The Chargers know that Philip Rivers hasn't got many more seasons left, and if they want to win with him, they need to do a better job protecting his blind side than they did last year.
Dallas Cowboys - Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
At this point, pretty much all of the Cowboys' defensive ends are suspended for the first four games of the season. That might lead folks to believe that they'd go defensive end here, but you shouldn't make long-term decisions based on a four-game stretch of the schedule. So, I have the Cowboys taking Ramsey, who some have argued is the best player in this draft class. Is he a cornerback? Is he a safety? Whatever he is, he's going to immediately improve the defense in Dallas.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
The Jaguars have a lot of great, young talent on offense, but their defense is outright putrid. They lost their first round pick last year, Dante Fowler, to an injury in OTAs, but he'll be back and ready to go this year. Pairing him with someone like Bosa would do a lot for the Jacksonville defense.
Baltimore Ravens - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
The Ravens lost their best offensive linemen, Kelechi Osemele, in free agency this offseason, and they need to do something to keep Joe Flacco upright. Stanley will provide an immediate upgrade on the offensive front in Baltimore. He's clearly the #2 offensive tackle in this draft, in my opinion.
San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Yeah, like Chip Kelly is going to pass up an opportunity to take an Oregon guy. But seriously, Buckner has all the ability in the world, and the Niners could use help pretty much everywhere. Buckner could plug into the role that Justin Smith held on the San Francisco defense prior to his retirement last year, and the Niners could build around that for the long term.
Cleveland Browns (from Miami Dolphins through Philadelphia Eagles) - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Jack had been mentioned as a potential Top 5 candidate throughout this pre-draft process so far, but teams are allegedly worried that the medical re-check on his knee didn't come back with the positive results they were hoping for. Jack's injury certainly isn't on the level of what Jaylon Smith is dealing with, but it's significant enough where he could fall. But I think the Browns take a chance on him. They've got two first-round picks in 2017, and if they don't think they're going to be a factor this year, they could "redshirt" him for a season and pair him with those two first rounders next season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
The Buccaneers signed Miko Grimes (and her husband Brent) this offseason, but could still use help at the cornerback position. Hargreaves might be the best pure corner in this class, depending on whether you view Jalen Ramsey as a corner or a safety, and he would be a nice pickup for the Buccaneers at this spot.
New York Giants - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Yes, the Giants spent their top pick last season on an offensive tackle, Ereck Flowers, but Conklin would allow Flowers to move over to the right side. Conklin appears to have settled in as the #3 tackle in this class behind Tunsil and Stanley, and some might think this a bit high for him. But, if you need help at the position, there's nothing wrong with taking your guy when you can get him, and this is the Giants' biggest need.
Chicago Bears - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
The Bears are still making their transition to a 3-4 scheme, and there are a few defenders that they could consider at this spot. However, Lawson gives them a player with the ability to bring pressure off of the edge and that John Fox could move around to create mismatches.
New Orleans Saints - Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Everything about the Saints' defense was awful last season, and if they want to change that in 2016, they should probably start up front. Rankins has been one of the big risers of the pre-draft process, and should be able to provide immediate help to what might be the NFL's worst defense.
Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia Eagles) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
With the devaluation of running backs in recent years, Elliott is one of the harder players to project here. Some have him going as high as #4 to Dallas (which would be insane, but hey, Jerry Jones). I think the Dolphins would have considered him at #8 if they had stayed there, and if he makes it to #13 I think he's a no-brainer.
Oakland Raiders - William Jackson III, CB, Houston
The biggest need for the Raiders is probably safety, but there isn't a safety worth taking at this spot. They need help at cornerback as well, so Jackson is the pick here. Opinions seem to vary quite a bit on Jackson, but he has the speed that the Raiders (still) love and a ton of potential.
Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams) - Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
The Titans would probably love to see Conklin fall to this spot, but in our scenario he does not. Tennessee does, however, need another tackle to bookend with Taylor Lewan, and Decker is the next guy up on the chart as far as I can see. He'd plug into the right tackle spot straight away for the Titans.
Detroit Lions - Josh Doctson, WR, Texas Christian
Is Matt Millen back? Ha ha. . .no. But with Calvin Johnson deciding that he was going to hang it up, the Lions have a serious void at wide receiver. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are good options, but neither of them have the potential that Doctson does. Granted, Doctson isn't going to immediately replace "Megatron" either, but he's the sort of deep threat the Lions need in their offense.
Atlanta Falcons - Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia
The Falcons had some serious issues at the linebacker position last season, and it seems that they're always looking for pass rush help. Floyd would be able to help on both of those fronts. He's not a classic outside linebacker. . .not yet, anyway. . .but would be able to help the Falcons pressure opposing quarterbacks early on at the very least.
Indianapolis Colts - Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
The Colts haven't done a whole lot to add protection around Andrew Luck over the years, and the result last year was Luck missing most of the season and the Colts playing 206-year old Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback. The biggest issue on the offensive line for Indy is at the center spot, and Kelly is the best in this draft class at that spot. He wouldn't last to the Colts' selection in Round 2, so the smart play is to take him here.
Buffalo Bills - Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
The Bills' defense came into 2015 with some pretty high expectations. They've already dumped Mario Williams, who was awful last year anyway, but could use an upgrade in the middle of their defensive line as well, where Kyle Williams appears to be declining. The athletic Billings would be able to provide a jump start to the middle of the Buffalo defense.
New York Jets - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
If a team is going to be inclined to move up in the first round, I think it's going to be the Jets. They haven't figured out the Ryan Fitzpatrick situation, and there's no way they can go back to Geno Smith at this point, so taking Lynch at this spot makes sense. Lynch is pretty firmly entrenched as the draft's third-best quarterback at this point, and if he should drop to this spot, the Jets would be pretty pleased. I still think that they're going to have to move up for him, though.
Washington Redskins - Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
The Redskins won the battle royale of futility that was the NFC East in 2015, and they did it with a defense that was pretty atrocious up the middle. They could look at a defensive tackle here, but they'd be just as well-served to take Ragland in this scenario. Ragland is the best inside linebacker prospect in this year's draft, and would immediately upgrade the middle of the Washington defense. They can address the interior of the d-line later on.
Houston Texans - Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
The Texans have brought in Brock Osweiler to be their quarterback, and his weapons currently consist of DeAndre Hopkins and. . .well, that's pretty much it. Houston absolutely has to get more targets out there for Osweiler and the offense, and Coleman would be a nice match with Hopkins from a skill set perspective.
Minnesota Vikings - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi
For the overwhelming majority of the pre-draft process thus far, Treadwell has been considered the best wide receiver in this draft class. Yes, he put up a slow 40-yard dash time at his Pro Day in late March, but that doesn't change what he's done on the field. The Vikings had Teddy Bridgewater fall into their laps as the result of a bad Pro Day in 2014, and they could very easily be the recipient of such luck again. Given that Treadwell is also just 20 years old and a year removed from a pretty serious injury, it stands to reason that he has significant room for improvement as well. Treadwell would be an immense help to the Vikings offense. . .he gets open, he has great hands, and he can make the contested catch. If Treadwell falls to #23, the Vikings need to build a shrine at Winter Park to the patron saint of bad Pro Days (whoever that saint might be).
Cincinnati Bengals - Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
After losing both Mohammed Sanu and Marvin Jones this offseason, the Bengals need to replenish at the wide receiver position. Fuller has blazing speed, and could make a nice tandem with A.J. Green if he can get past his glaring case of Troy Williamson hands.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
The Steelers need some significant help in the secondary, and while the rumors are that they're smitten with William Jackson III, he's not available in this spot. Apple isn't a bad consolation prize, though. . .he has similar size to Jackson, and may be more polished at this point. They may be able to look at safeties at this point, too, but we'll give them Apple in our scenario.
Seattle Seahawks - Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State
It seems like the Seahawks are forever searching for offensive line help, and this year is no exception. They could possibly look at someone like Jason Spriggs with Russell Okung having moved on, but they need significant help at the guard spots, too. Whitehair is a good fit for the Seahawks at this spot, as he could plug into either guard spot for Pete Carroll and company.
Green Bay Packers - A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Last season, the primary defensive tackles for the Pack were B.J. Raji, who is now taking a hiatus from football, and Letroy Guion, who is still, in fact, Letroy Guion. Robinson could plug into any of the spots along the front line for Green Bay's defense. They could also look at his Alabama teammate, Jarran Reed, at this spot.
Kansas City Chiefs - Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
The Chiefs needed to upgrade both of their offensive tackle spots this offseason. They figured out the right side by signing Mitchell Schwartz in free agency, and in our scenario they get their long-term guy on the left side in Spriggs. Spriggs showed good athleticism in offseason workouts, and while he might need some seasoning, projects to be a solid long-term left tackle in the NFL.
New England Patriots - FORFEITED PICK
Balls
Arizona Cardinals - Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
The Cardinals need a second corner to pair with Patrick Peterson in their secondary, and Alexander is the best one left on the board at this point. The Cardinals could also, potentially, be looking at a replacement for Carson Palmer here, but they could probably address that in the second or third round and take someone like Alexander that would make a more immediate impact here.
Carolina Panthers - Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M
The Panthers made it all the way to Super Bowl 50 with Michael Oher and Mike Remmers starting at offensive tackle. That speaks to exactly how good Cam Newton was in 2015. Even with a quarterback of Newton's ability behind center, I wouldn't want to risk attempting to do that again. Ifedi has been moving quickly up the boards this offseason, and would be a fit at either tackle spot for the Panthers.
Denver Broncos - Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford
The Broncos have lost a lot in the months since they won the Super Bowl, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. However, they also need to start looking at upgrading the offensive line, and with Evan Mathis leaving town, the guard spot is a good place to start. If the Broncos are serious about starting the reanimated corpse of Mark Sanchez at quarterback. . .and it appears that they are. . .they're going to have to run the ball a lot, and a mauler like Garnett would help them out in that regard.