2016 NFL Mock Draft April 25, 2016
Thank you to all who help read, share, use my mock draft as a preparation tool. Many wonder why so many people, as well as myself, get so wrapped up into mock drafting and the actual NFL Draft. The answer is simple, teams are historically built through the draft. Teams that pick in the top 10 year in and year out struggle finding talent and system fitting players in the draft. Its easy to listen to the hype of the NFL combine and pro days, which more often than not, boosts or sinks an athletes draft stock based on how fast they can run a straight line or lift a 225 lb. bar. Feel free to leave me a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, questions, or any feedback.
1. Jared Goff, QB, Cal
What a perfect time to put a new face of the franchise on a new location. Los Angeles just mortgaged the teams drafts for the next couple years on this trade. It’s said to be Carson Wentz but I won’t be surprised if Goff emerges as the winner. The Browns, Hue Jackson, has shown a lot of interest in Jared Goff which makes me believe LA knew they had to get ahead and take the home town kid.
2. Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Another block buster trade puts the 2 quarterbacks in position to go #1 and #2. Doug Pederson will love Wentz at #2 as he likes a little bit more mobile quarterbacks as he had in Alex Smith. This trade allows Philly to sit the QB they get for a year or two or best case scenario beat out Bradford for the starting position and lead the team.
3. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
The Chargers are getting some help back from injury on the O-line but still no reason to pass on a very high level tackle in Laremy Tunsil. Sometime in the near future they will have to start looking at new quarterbacks so why not be pro active and provide solid protection. There has been some talk of SD trading this pick so hold tight to see what comes of it!
4. DeForest Buckner, DE/DT, Oregon
Most NFL mock drafts have Dallas going after Joey Bosa but I see them taking the best available player. Many lose sight of Buckner due to the flashy athletes at the combine and pro days. Buckner isn’t flashy but the guy can simply play ball. Every year the mock drafts start to lean towards the hype of the media as pro days, combine, and interviews go on but at the end of the day Buckner is one of the best players in this draft and I feel scouts and GM’s will honor that. Jerry Jones has said he will be looking for “war horses” in this draft, and with 2 pass rushers facing suspension this leads me to believe he’ll be looking for Buckner.
5. Jalen Ramsey, S/CB, Florida State
So the “doomsday scenario” I had played out for the Jaguars, all of a sudden becomes a dream with the trade by the Rams in hopes the quarterbacks go #1 and #2. This leaves Jacksonville with Ramsey or Jack. They have invested so much time into Myles Jack it makes me think they found something unappealing in his knee. I’m also compelled to put VHIII here as Dave Caldwell has shown he is not scared to reach for a player he loves.
6. Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Baltimore needs help at wide receiver and pass rush but with Bosa still available this should trump all. I don’t see much value for a wide receiver at the #6 pick so Bosa is the guy. With an aging Suggs and Dumervil, Bosa should be able to learn a lot from those 2.
7. Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Jack is the player that is starting to float all over 1st round mock drafts due to his knee. I’m sure every team would love him, but its going to take one team to put him above a “safer” pick. If truely healthy, Jack has the ability to become a rock solid linebacker in the NFL-especially at MLB in a 3-4 system.
8. Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
By trading out of the #2 pick, Cleveland has shown that they are either comfortable with RGIII or eyeing a different quarterback later. With that being said, VHIII should be an easy pick. They missed on Justin Gilbert and need another corner to pair with Joe Haden. This should be a match made in heaven as VHIII draws close comparison to Haden and both coming from the University of Florida.
9. Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
I don’t think its a mystery here. Tampa Bay has plenty of offensive weapons. This pick has to be an edge rusher or a corner. I don’t see Tampa falling in love with any of the remaining corners(Apple, Alexander, Fuller) especially at #9 so why not take a solid edge rusher with run stopping ability. With Cam Newton as the star of that division, Shaq Lawson will be looked at to be the “Newton Stopper”.
10. Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Stanley falling this far and needing dire help protecting Manning, this pick is a lock. Stanley comes in and is able to play both RT and LT depending on what they want to do with Flowers, who they drafted last year.
11. Leonard Floyd, DE/OLB, Georgia
Chicago filled a lot of position on there line backing corps in free agency leaving a glaring need still at pass rusher. Floyd can play the Sam linebacker position on running downs as well as edge rush on passing downs. He’s shown great pass rushing moves with the speed to be able to drop in coverage if needed.
12. Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
New Orleans needs help all over. They surprised a lot of people last year in taking a middle linebackers early so that tells me they may be looking to improve that position as a whole which is why I have Lee going to NO. Darron Lee showed at the combine that he is VERY athletic. He should be a plug and play weak side linebacker.
13. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Miami struggles all over the defensive side of the ball. They could go in any direction here. They traded for Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell to help shore up that defense so that makes me think they’re comfortable with it. With Jay Ajayi as the only RB on the roster they have to be looking at Elliot in the first or Booker in the second but with Elliot still available I see him finding a home in South Beach.
14. Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
Jack Del Rio, a former linebacker in the NFL, should realize a gaping hole at MLB. Oakland has plenty of outside linebackers but ultimately need a guy to “quarterback” the defense to allow Mack to rush the passer. Ragland isn’t the fastest linebacker in the world but he is a true, down hill, thumper.
15. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Tennessee doesn’t have to love any player at this pick. They stock piled so many draft picks from this trade, they can move around to get a lot of the players they want. However, lets not lose sight of Mariota needing protection and weapons. DGB emerged as a decent target for Mariota but at the end of the day he needs a #1 target to rely on, as many elite quarterbacks have.
16. Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Rankins put on a show at the Senior Bowl, proving he’s worth a high draft pick. After losing Suh, Detroit has been looking for an answer at DT. Rankins has the same ability Suh does to wreak havoc in the backfield, play after play.
17. Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Matt Ryan spent a lot of time last year evading pass rushers and lack there of. Pairing Conklin with Matthews would provide the bookends Atlanta needs moving forward to create enough protection.
18. Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
Indianapolis needs a rushing game again but with Elliot likely off the board why not bolster the pass rush. The combine numbers for Spence weren’t appealing but hopefully teams take a look at what he did in college and at the Senior Bowl. The guy can create sacks, especially being a stand up 3-4 OLB.
19. Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Defensive tackle is a big need for Buffalo. Kyle Williams has been a staple at this position but is due a lot of money in the off season and might not get it. Reed would be a plug play kind of guy. He’s shown violent hands and motor.
20. Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
The Jets have been trying to get back to the days of having a nasty defense. With little depth at the CB position I see New York looking to get a young solid CB in there to mentor under Revis while he’s still elite. Apple is that long, aggressive frame that teams look for.
21. Karl Joseph, S, West Virgina
I’m going to agree with Mel Kiper here. Washington is in pretty hard to get Josh Norman so why not add a FS that reminds people of Sean Taylor of old to solidify that secondary. The media knocks Joseph for only being 5′ 10″ but he can be a terror all over the field with good tackling and hit power as well as good coverage skills.
22. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
With a top 10 defense, new RB, and a franchise QB, look for Bill O’brien to give Brock some new weapons. With very little depth behind DeAndre Hopkins and garden variety TE’s, Coleman adds a lot of energy to the receiving corps. I don’t see any tight ends in this draft worth a 1st round pick so watch for this to be either Coleman or Doctson.
23. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Mike Wallace did not pan out to be the showstopper he was signed to be. Stefon Diggs emerged as a possible go-to receiver but regardless the Vikings still need help at this position. Docstson gives Minnesota the big threat ability to add cohesion to the receiving corps.
24. Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
Cincinnati needs help at DT. Especially with Peko on the way out and Adkins facing annual injuries. Cincy has shown they have no issues taking in players with off the field issues(Adam Jones, Vontaze Burfict, Chad Johnson) which works great to draft one of the top all around talents in this draft at #24 in hopes to harness the off the field issues and still get a steal.
25. Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State
Pittsburgh needs a lot of help in the secondary. Some say this is a reach for Bell but unless they make a trade I don’t see Bell or even Cravens available at this spot in the 2nd round. Bell has what it takes to play both FS and SS as well as a high motor to put in the work to perfect his game at any position they put him at.
26. Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
Butler is a super fast riser on many draft boards. Seattle hasn’t had solidity at the DT position in while. Butler has shown to be a complete animal in all phases of the defense. Watch for Butler to be some teams pro bowl 3-tecnique DT.
27. Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Billings should be a plug and play kind of guy to take over for the retired BJ Raji. Green Bay loves drafting defense in the first round as it has paid off. Billings has the strength and skill set to be a dominate nose tackle and the next level.
28. Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
This would be a surprising but great pick in my eyes. Lynch has enough mobility that Kansas City wants with the arm strength to be better than Alex Smith. They let Chase Daniel go to Philly which leaves them with no depth at the position. Smith isn’t getting any younger so letting Lynch sit behind Smith for a couple years and learn the speed would be a dream scenario.
29. Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Arizona’s pick is one of the hardest to predict but Alexander might be one of the best all around, shut down corners in this draft. He’s shown to be a little “edgy” but regardless the guy can ball. He doesnt show up in the stat column because when he was thrown to he blanketed the wide receiver. (see the national championship game before he got injured)
30. Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
With Jared Allen retiring, they need a pass rusher. Carolina clearly has plenty of weapons on offense. Edge rusher is a position I see a need for a staple guy. It’s been Peppers, Davis, and Hardy in the past so I see them drafting Dodd to pressure the passing offenses in the NFC South. I see them trading up if Spence starts to fall that far but I’d stay in place for Dodd.
31. A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Denver lost a lot on defense, including Malik Jackson. With Robinson still available, he should be an immediate replacement for Jackson. Many link them to taking an offensive lineman but passing on Robinson should be a no-no at #31.