Movie quote of the day:
“Here at Globo Gym, we understand that “ugliness” and “fatness” are genetic disorders, much like baldness or necrophilia.”
– White Goodman, “Dodgeball” (2004)
Now that the Super Bowl is over, it’s time to switch gears to the NFL draft. I have to be honest, I absolutely love this part of the year. I love seeing which prospects rise and fall on draft boards, and how each team approaches the draft. Do they take a team need? Or do they take the best player available? I find the whole process fascinating. Over the next few months, my life will consist of mock drafts. I love to join the party and create my own mock drafts. Since the combine is a few weeks away this mock draft will most likely change again and I’ll come out with a new one. But I hope you enjoy this one for now. Here it is:
1. Tennessee Titans (3-13) – OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
6’5 305 pounds
Tennessee could go in a lot of different directions with this pick, but I think they need to go with offensive line. Marcus Mariota looks like he’s the future in Nashville and the Titans need to protect him. In just 12 games, Mariota was sacked 38 times (3.2 times per game). If Tennessee drafts Tunsil and puts him at left tackle, and moves Taylor Lewan to right tackle, it will have one of the best offensive tackle combinations in the league.
2. Cleveland Browns (3-13) – QB Jared Goff, Cal
6’4 210 pounds
I can’t see Cleveland drafting any position other than quarterback with this pick. The Browns hired Hue Jackson as head coach, who is a pretty good offensive mind. It would be smart to pair Jackson with a quarterback that he can develop. In my opinion, Goff is the best quarterback in this class.
3. San Diego Chargers (4-12) – DB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
6’1 202 pounds
Eric Weddle is about to be a free agent if San Diego can’t re-sign him, and is one of the best safeties in the league. If the Chargers can’t re-sign him, Ramsey would be a good replacement. He is a versatile defensive back, and could probably play every position in the secondary. If the Chargers do re-sign Weddle, they can put Ramsey at cornerback and pair him with Jason Verrett, who made the Pro Bowl this year. Either way, Ramsey will help solidify the Chargers’ secondary.
4. Dallas Cowboys (4-12) – DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
6’5 275 pounds
Greg Hardy’s personal life is too much for any team. It doesn’t look like the Cowboys are going to bring him back for 2016. I think if Bosa falls to Dallas, I think it’s a lock that the Cowboys are going to take him. The Cowboys need more pass rushers. Bosa is the best pass rusher and overall player in this class. DeMarcus Lawrence took a big leap last year, and him and Bosa will be two great edge rushers for the Cowboys’ defense.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) – DL DeForest Buckner, Oregon
6’7 290 pounds
Jacksonville needs more playmakers in the back end of its defense but I’ve always believed in building a team from the ball out. The Jaguars took a pass rusher last year in the first round (Dante Fowler Jr.), and they should take another one this draft. Buckner is a versatile defensive lineman that will be able to line up anywhere along the front. He fits a need for the Jaguars, and he will help apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks.
6. Baltimore Ravens (5-11) – OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
6’6 315 pounds
Baltimore looks like its ready to move on from Eugene Monroe at left tackle. Baltimore’s offensive line didn’t give up a ton of sacks last year, but the Ravens will need a replacement for Monroe if they decide to cut him. Stanley is the best solution to that problem and could a great long-term option at left tackle.
7. San Francisco 49ers (5-11) – WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
6’2 210 pounds
Anquan Boldin is about to be a free agent next month and is about to turn 36, in October. After gaining over 2,000 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in his first two seasons in San Francisco, his production declined in 2015, recording just 789 yards and four touchdowns. I doubt the 49ers will re-sign Boldin. That just leaves Torrey Smith as the only playmaker in the 49ers’ receiving corps. Treadwell will be a great replacement for Boldin as a big-body outside receiver.
8. Miami Dolphins (6-10) – ILB Myles Jack, UCLA
6’1 245 pounds
Plain and simple, Miami needs to get better on defense. The unit ranked No. 25 in the league in total defense. With Olivier Vernon set to be a free agent, and Cam Wake getting up there in age it wouldn’t hurt to take a pass rusher with this pick. However, Jack is the best player on the board at this spot and he fills a need for the Dolphins at middle linebacker.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10) – CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
5’11 199 pounds
Tampa Bay needs help in its secondary. Alterraun Verner’s play has declined ever since signing with Tampa Bay, in 2014. The Buccaneers lack playmakers and they can’t afford that in a division with Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, and Drew Brees. Hargreaves would help boost the Buccaneers’ secondary.
10. New York Giants (6-10) – DE Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky
6’3 254 pounds
It doesn’t look like the Giants are going to re-sign Jason Pierre-Paul. Even if they do, the Giants were one of the worst sack defenses in the league, ranking No. 30. It wouldn’t hurt to add more depth, or someone opposite of Pierre-Paul. Spence has skyrocketed up the draft board ever since the Senior Bowl. He’s the best option on the board and will help the Giants get after the passer.
11. Chicago Bears (6-10) – OT Jack Conkin, Michigan State
6’6 318 pounds
Chicago is another team that could use more help on defense but it just released left tackle Jermon Bushrod. I would imagine the Bears’ plan is to try out Kyle Long at left tackle. In case it doesn’t work out with Long at left tackle, it’s good to have a backup plan. Conklin could be that backup plan and help protect Cutler on either side of the offensive line.
12. New Orleans Saints (7-9) – OLB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame
6’3 240 pounds
Defense. Defense. Defense. That’s the biggest problem in New Orleans. The Saints have ranked toward the bottom in total defense in three of the last four years. New Orleans ranked No. 31 in rush defense this year. Smith was projected to be a top-10 pick before suffering a knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl. Smith would help anchor the defense in New Orleans and would improve the run defense.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (7-9) – QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
6’5 233 pounds
Philadelphia’s top need for the offseason is quarterback. A team can’t be successful without a good quarterback. Sam Bradford isn’t a terrible quarterback, but he’s about to be a free agent and the Eagles could do a lot better. Wentz has been rising up the draft boards recently. He’s better than the other quarterbacks on the Eagles’ roster.
14. Oakland Raiders (7-9) – CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
5’10 195 pounds
Oakland needs more playmakers in the secondary, especially now that Charles Woodson has retired. The Raiders took D.J. Hayden in the first round of the 2013 draft and he hasn’t been a good investment so far. Alexander is the best option for the Raiders, some draft experts consider him a top-10 pick. I expect him to contribute for the Raiders.
15. Los Angeles Rams (7-9) – QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis
6’6 230 pounds
The Los Angeles Rams desperately need a quarterback. Nick Foles has gone downhill ever since 2013 and he isn’t the future of the Rams. Since the Rams are moving (back) to Los Angeles, it would be a good idea to bring in a fresh, young face of the franchise. Lynch is bit of a reach at this pick but L.A. can’t afford to pass on a quarterback any longer.
16. Detroit Lions (7-9) – DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
6’2 304 pounds
Detroit had problems replacing Ndamukong Suh last year. The Lions took Gabe Wright in the fourth round last year, but he only registered six tackles all season. This draft class is deep with defensive linemen, particularly in the interior. This is the draft to start looking for a replacement for Suh.
17. Atlanta Falcons (8-8) – ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
6’1 259 pounds
Atlanta’s defense made a huge stride. The Falcons went from the league’s worst defense in 2014 to being ranked No. 16 in the league last year. However, one of Atlanta’s top needs is linebacker. Ragland is the best one on the board and will help bolster Atlanta’s run defense. He has great size and has the ability to cover space.
18. Indianapolis Colts (8-8) – DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson
6’3 270 pounds
Indianapolis needs to draft offensive linemen to protect Andrew Luck, but with Conklin off the board it’s a tad too early to take an offensive lineman. Indianapolis needs pass rushers. The Colts struggled to get after the passer last year, ranking No. 22 in the league with just 35 sacks. Robert Mathis and Trent Cole going to have an average age of 34.5, in 2016, and Bjoern Werner has been a bust. Lawson will help bring pressure to opposing quarterbacks, in a division that is starting get some talent at that position.
19. Buffalo Bills (8-8) – DT A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama
6’3 312 pounds
I don’t think Buffalo’s defensive personnel fit what Rex Ryan wanted to do. I think Ryan wants to make the transition to more of a 3-4 defense, and Buffalo never had that kind of personnel. The Bills need a defensive tackle with Kyle Williams getting up there in age. I think Robinson will be a great fit. He played a 3-4 defense in college, at Alabama. He should adjust nicely to what Ryan wants to do.
20. New York Jets (10-6) – ILB Darron Lee, Ohio State
6’1 235 pounds
The Jets are going to need some work in the front seven this offseason, particularly at linebacker. The Jets have David Harris and DeMario Davis, but Harris just turned 32. Lee would be a great option to be the rotational inside linebacker and learn from Harris. Then take over for him when Harris’ time comes to an end with the Jets. That’d give the Jets some youth at inside linebacker for the future with Lee and Davis.
21. Washington Redskins (9-7) – DT Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
6’3 296 pounds
Washington needs to get better on the defensive front. Terrance Knighton and Kedric Golston are going to be free agents, and the Redskins don’t have a ton of cap room to re-sign them. The Redskins will need a defensive lineman if it comes to that. Nkemdiche has had his problems off the field but he’s a great player nonetheless.
22. Houston Texans (9-7) – RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
6’0 225 pounds
Houston is another team that desperately needs a quarterback but it’s too early to take one at this pick. I think Arian Foster’s time has come to an end in Houston. Foster has become too injury prone, and I think the Texans are ready to move on. Plus, Foster is going to turn 30 this year. If that’s the case, the Texans could be in prime position to take Elliott with this pick. Elliott is the best running back in this class and will be a great replacement to Foster.
23. Minnesota Vikings (11-5) – OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State
6’7 315 pounds
Pro Football Focus ranked Minnesota’s offensive line as No. 14 in the league last year. However, it did allow Teddy Bridgewater to get sacked 44 times (sixth most in the league). It over-performed in the run game but needs to get better in pass blocking. Decker is the best offensive tackle available for this pick. He should be able to help keep Bridgewater upright.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) – WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
5’10 190 pounds
Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu are going to be free agents. It’s unclear if Cincinnati will re-sign either of them. Personally, I think the Bengals could use more talent at wide receiver in order to help A.J. Green. Coleman has blazing speed and has the ability to get open. He’d be a great slot receiver and help take the attention away from Green.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) – CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
6’1 200 pounds
Pittsburgh needs more talent in the secondary, particularly at cornerback. William Gay, Antwon Blake, and Brandon Boykin are about to be free agents. The Steelers need to revamp its cornerback group. They started it last year by taking Doran Grant and Senquez Golson, but they still need more talent at the position. Apple was a two-year starter at Ohio State, and he’s a big-body cornerback that’s gaining popularity in the NFL.
26. Seattle Seahawks (10-6) – OT Shon Alexander, Auburn
6’6 313 pounds
Seattle needs more help offensively. At one point last season the Seahawks’ offensive line was laughable and caused Russell Wilson to be sacked 45 times. The Seahawks eventually figured it out and it improved. However, starting left tackle Russell Okung is about to be a free agent. The Seahawks are going to need to draft an offensive tackle if they’re unable to re-sign Okung. Coleman has been rising up the draft board recently and is the best option.
27. Green Bay Packers (10-6) – DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
6’3 313 pounds
Green Bay needs more help up front to improve its run defense. The Packers just re-signed defensive lineman Letroy Guion, but he’ll be a rotational player. Datone Jones hasn’t panned out and hasn’t started a game since 2014. Reed has a big body that will be able to absorb blocks and help slow down the opposing team’s rushing attack. He’ll also fit in the 3-4 defense that Green Bay runs.
28. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) – WR Michael Thomas, Ohio State
6’3 210 pounds
Jeremy Maclin helped Kansas City’s passing attack but the Chiefs could use another wide receiver. Thomas is a physical, big-body wide receiver that they can put on the outside, opposite of Maclin. With Travis Kelce at tight end making plays in the middle of the field, the Chiefs will have a more balanced attack offensively.
N/A. New England Patriots (12-4) – Forfeit first round pick due to the Deflategate scandal.
29. Arizona Cardinals (13-3) –DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
6’1 310 pounds
Arizona has Calais Cambell on the defensive line, but they could use another interior lineman. Billings gives the Cardinals the best option. He’s great at stopping the run and has the ability to get after the passer, which is what Arizona needs. The Cardinals ranked No. 20 in the league in sacks. Arizona will get the best of both worlds from Billings.
30. Carolina Panthers (15-1) – DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson
6’4 275 pounds
Carolina is going to need help at defense end. Jared Allen announced his retirement this week and Charles Johnson’s production declined last year. Dodd is a player that has received a lot of hype in recent weeks. He tallied 12 sacks last year, three of those came in the national championship against Alabama. He fits Carolina’s 4-3 defense and will be able to come off the edge and get after opposing quarterbacks.
31. Denver Broncos (12-4) – OG Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
6’3 300 pounds
Pro Football Focus ranked Denver’s offensive line No. 20 in the league. The unit gave up 39 sacks, and Denver didn’t have a great run game last year. The Broncos need more push on the offensive line. It’s too early to take an offensive tackle and Whitehair is the best lineman available. White hair is a versatile player. He has experience playing tackle and guard when he was a four-year starter at Kansas State. He’ll be a great piece to the Broncos’ offense.
Thanks for reading
Follow me on Twitter – @priceisright53