NFL Mock Draft - 1.0

1.)Tennessee Titans – Laremy Tunsil OT/Ole Miss. Unless this guy blows out his knees he’s the top pick. Marcus Mariota got sacked 38 times last year. Exposing a quarterback of his stature and skillset to that kind of abuse again could be extremely damaging. Additionally, the Titans really struggled to run the ball last year, as Antonio Andrews was their leading rusher with just 520 yards on the ground in 14 games. Laremy Tunsil will give Mariota protection for years to come, and help pave the way for Demarco Murray to return to his 2014 form.

2.)Cleveland Browns – Carson Wentz, QB/NDSU. When I watched film on Wentz he displayed things you just cannot coach. Anticipation, ball placement, and touch are all strengths of his. That being said it is one thing to be able to display those traits at the Division I AA level against UC Davis in the Great West Conference, but it’s a totally different challenge doing it at the NFL level. He should not be a day one starter, but he certainly has the tools to become a franchise QB. Unfortunately for Wentz, Cleveland, or any team that selects him in the first round, he will be asked to play and perform almost immediately.

3.)San Diego Chargers – Trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jags swap firsts and give up a 2nd, and a 4th in this year’s draft. Jags select Joey Bosa, DE/Ohio St. A little explanation behind this trade: The Chargers are an absolute tire fire on defense, as they gave up 29 rushing touchdowns, and ranked in the bottom third in total defense. They have a lot of holes to fill. Attracting free agents to fill those holes is difficult when the state of the franchise is influx and proven leaders like Eric Weddle openly admit how they hate the ownership. Trading for more picks is honestly San Diego’s only shot to rebuild the D, and do it quickly. On to the pick, Joey Bosa has been drawing comparisons to JJ Watt, and while I disagree with that, I do believe that he is a physical freak of nature. The Jaguars are poised to be a breakout team in 2016. Gus Bradley just needs more talent in the front seven of the defense to really complete the turnaround. Jacksonville is getting back last year’s first round pick DE Dante Fowler, and by pairing him with Joey Bosa, and the newly acquired Malik Jackson the Jags have the makings of a very talented defensive line that fits what Gus Bradley wants to do.

4.)Dallas Cowboys – Vernon Hargreaves III, CB/Florida. Jerry Jones has publically stated that Tony Romo will be the Cowboys QB for the next three to four years. Their offensive line is one of the best in the league, and they have plenty of offensive weapons in Dez, Witten, and the recently signed Alfred Morris. While their defense did not play as terribly as the stats or others will have you believe, they do have weaknesses at every level of the defense. DE Randy Gregory can’t be counted on due to his off field problems with anxiety and marijuana, DE Greg Hardy is unpredictable, and unlikely to be back with the team, LB Sean Lee is another year older and has a long injury history, and the secondary is a mess. Former first round pick CB Morris Claiborne never panned out, and they recently announced they plan to cut CB Brandon Carr. Enter Vernon Hargreaves III. He was the best pure corner in the college football last year. He has great speed and ball skills. He will make an immediate contribution this season, and Dallas would be wise to snatch him up.

5.)Jacksonville Jaguars – Trade with the San Diego Chargers. Chargers select Jalen Ramsey DB/ FSU. I’ve been a big fan of what Jimbo Fisher has done down in Tallahassee these past few years. Jalen Ramsey is a highly impressive safety. He tested extremely well at the combine, and when you watch him on film it is easy to see that he is not just a combine athlete. He has excellent range, and sideline-to-sideline speed. He does not shy away from run support, and is a sure tackler. Lastly, he is an experienced winner. In his three seasons at FSU, he was won over 30 games, and a national championship. He can be the replacement for Eric Weddle and help stabilize the secondary in San Diego.

6.)Baltimore Ravens – Laquan Treadwell, WR/Ole Miss. The Ravens signed Mike Wallace in free agency to help solidify their receiving core that consists of a 36 year old Steve Smith, coming off of a torn Achilles, Breshad Perriman, who has never played a snap in the NFL, and Kamar Aiken. Wallace is a one trick pony, and an aging pony at that. Treadwell will inject some youth in the core, and he has the potential to become Flacco’s main target for years to come. Treadwell had 82 rec, 1,200 yards, and 11tds this past year, which was good enough to make him a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award as the best collegiate receiver in the nation. Treadwell is 6’2, 205lb and knows how to use his size to get separation against smaller corners.

7.) San Francisco 49ers – Jared Goff, QB/California. Look, the Colin Kaepernick saga is getting weirder by the day, he asked to be traded to the Browns for Christ sakes. Chip Kelly is a lunatic and a control freak. Goff is the best available QB on the board at this point. Goff has a good arm, good accuracy, is technically sound, and is a tough SOB. He got sacked a ton at Cal early on in his career. Consistency is his biggest flaw, but I’m sure Chip thinks he can fix this and finally run his up tempo offense to his liking. Honestly, they could pick me here and I wouldn’t be surprised. The 49ers have quickly become a an unpredictable joke with no punch line.

8.) Philadelphia Eagles – Myles Jack, LB/RB/UCLA. The Eagles are in rebuild mode of sorts, they have talent at some spots (DL, TE, WR) but are very weak along the OL, RBs, and LBs. Myles Jack might be the best overall prospect in the entire draft from a physical standpoint, but because LBs are viewed as replaceable by many GMs Jack will not go higher than 8. Jack can do it all. He had meaningful snaps at running back at UCLA in 2014, where he scored double digit tds, and was the Bruins’ goal line back. His 2015 campaign was cut short by a knee injury, but all reports have Jack being more than ready to play by the NFL opener this September. He is a great coverage linebacker, fantastic lateral quickness, straight-line speed, and very instinctive against the run. Simply put, he is a playmaker and a player I have dreams about being in a Bills uniform.

9.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Shaq Lawson, DE/Clemson. The Bucs made some strides last year. Jameis looks like he can be a real franchise QB and they have weapons surrounding him. However, the defense is still a disaster. Pairing Shaq Lawson with Gerald McCoy will be the first step in righting the ship, and creating pressure on opposing QBs. Lawson is 6’3, 270lbs, and plays with a low center of gravity and really uses his thick frame to establish leverage at the point of attack. Conditioning isn’t stellar, but that can be corrected.

10.) New York Giants – DeForest Buckner, DE/Oregon. I know the Giants signed Oliver Vernon to a massive deal this free agency, and have JPP coming back. But beyond those two pass rushers, the group is very thin. The Giants were at their best and won two super bowls when they rushed the passer extremely well. Expectations will be high for the Giants as they are in a very winnable division and have talent across the board. However, Oliver Vernon only had 7.5 sacks last season, and JPP’s injury isn’t going away anytime soon even though he may be getting more comfortable with it this offseason. Buckner was a force in the Pac 12 and had 10.5 sacks this past season for the Ducks. Personally, I don’t believe he projects to be an above average DE, let alone a great one. He plays too tall, and takes himself out of position often.

11.) Chicago Bears –A’Shawn Robinson, DT/Alabama. The Bears are in the midst of turning their defense around. They signed linebacker Danny Trevathan, and purged themselves of the undersized Shea McClelain. Robinson was a very good DT at Alabama, both against the run and the pass. He is 6’4 and 310 lbs, although he plays much stronger than that. DC Vic Fangio would love to get Robinson in the fold and start turning the defense around.

12.) New Orleans Saints – Reggie Ragland, LB/Alabama. The Saints signed James laurinaitis in free agency to help strengthen their linebacking core. Laurinaitis is a good coverage linebacker but at age 30, it would be unwise to think he will be very productive at such a violent position for more than two more years. Reggie Ragland was the captain of the Alabama defense, and is the prototypical downhill middle linebacker the saints need for the future. The saints have holes all over their defense, their secondary is a mess, and their defensive line is nothing special minus Cameron Jordan. Drew Brees and the offense can not carry this team forever, it’s time the Saints start building their D or Freeman, Newton, Stewart, and Martin will continue to march on the Saints in the division.

13.) Miami Dolphins – Ezekiel Elliott RB/Ohio State. The had a very interesting free agency. They lost Oliver Vernon and Brent Grimes, but added the LB Kiko Alonso, DE Mario Williams, and CB Byron Maxwell. The dolphins don’t seem to have a clear direction. They have sunk a ton of money into their defensive line, but ignored corner, and linebacker for the most part. Additionally, they failed to snatch RB CJ Anderson away from the Broncos with their offer sheet after RB Lamar Miller left for the Texans. New Head Coach Adam Gase is accustom to having multipurpose running backs on his offense to take pressure off of the QB (see Matt Forte in Chicago). Elliott was Ohio State’s Swiss army knife, and a very effective one at that. He has good hands coming out of the backfield, deceptive speed, and is used to shouldering a lot of carries because he played in Urban Meyer’s run first offense as a Buckeye.

14.) Oakland Raiders – Eli Apple, CB/Ohio St. The days of the Joakland Raiders seem to be over. Derek Carr is a capable NFL QB, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree formed a great WR tandem. RB Latavius Murray is the first 1,000 yard rusher the Raiders have had in 5 years. Defensively Mack and Irvin create a formidable pass rushing duo, and Aldon Smith might be coming back to join them. The secondary is one of their only glaring weaknesses. Eli Apple is a 6’1, 200lb corner that possesses good speed, footwork, and toughness. Ball skills need some work (he’s only had 4 picks, and 18 pass breakups in two seasons as a starter). Apple can step in and play right away for the raiders, and maybe become what DJ Hayden has failed to be, an above average NFL CB.

15.) Los Angeles Rams – Connor Cook, QB/Michigan St. The Rams have publically stated they are rolling with the probably still concussed Case Keenum as their starting QB for the 2016 season. However, this has to be an early April Fools joke. Connor Cook had a 2014 season for the Spartans, but struggled mightily in 2015. Cook has attributed his struggles to injuries, and stated he will be back to the 2014 version of Connor Cook in the future. Cook does not have the strongest arm in the world, but he does have good anticipation on his short and intermediate throws. This style of QB play fits the Rams receiving core and type of offense perfectly. However, this pick could also be used on defense since they lost key defenders in Chris Long, and James Laurinaitis.

16.) Detroit Lions – Corey Coleman, WR/Baylor. Megatron decided it he had enough of Stafford, losing, and being coached by a living dead man in Jim Caldwell by opting to retire. Filling Megatron’s shoes will be very difficult. Golden Tate is not a true #1 WR, and while the Lions were able to sign Marvin Jones, and Jeremy Kerley, they have been unable to find an explosive WR. Corey Coleman had 20 receiving tds and nearly 1,400 yards in 2015 alone. He is electricity personified, and put up his 2015 stats while playing with three different starting QBs. Coleman won the Biletnikoff Award in 2015. The only true detractors to his game are his size, 5’11, 195lbs, and his route tree since he was able to take advantage of his speed and offensive system to get open in college.

17.) Atlanta Falcons – Jarran Reed, DT/Alabama. Dan Quinn has made strides with the Falcons defense, but some holes still remain at linebacker and defensive line. Jarran Reed was an anchor on the national champion crimson tide front seven. Reed is very good against the run but has nearly no pass rushing statistics to speak of. Some of this may be due to scheme at Bama, or an accurate reflection of his capabilities and talents. Regardless the Falcons need a run stuffing DT, Reed can become that guy.

18.) Indianapolis Colts – Derrick Henry, RB/Alabama. This pick should make Civil War General Andrew Luck happier than kid on Christmas. I am not a scientist but Derrick Henry might be a literal horse. He is 6’3, 250lb, and ran a 4.5 40 yard dash. If you watched a single second of Bama football this past season you’d know that he was the definition of dominant. He faced 8 man fronts regularly, and still rushed for over 2,200 yards and 28 tds. Luck has never had a real running back threat, and this (along with a poor offensive line) has attributed to the physical beating he has taken over the past few years. Defenses will no longer be able to pin their ears back and send the house at Luck. Also, if you even think of comparing Henry to Richardson just because they are both bama running backs you need a lobotomy in the worst way.

19.) Buffalo Bills – Robert Nkemdiche, DE/Ole Miss. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it till the day I die. Character doesn’t matter. Talent does. Every player on my team could be a criminal and I wouldn’t bat an eye as long as they showed up and won on Sundays. While Nkemdiche is certainly not a criminal, pundits have painted him as selfish, unmotivated, and lazy. Nkemdiche has acknowledged some of these flaws, and promised to change in the future. Rex is a huge believer in two things: talent and second chances. Nkemdiche is a physical specimen at 6’3, 300lbs, but he put up just 6.5 sacks in three years as a starter. I believe that Rex, being a player’s coach, will be able to tap into Robert’s unlimited potential. Additionally, he will get a ton of one-on-one matchups and opportunities to make plays on our defensive line.

20.) New York Jets – Hunter Henry, TE/ Arkansas. The Jets continue to do Jets things by letting Ryan Fitzpatrick walk after he put up the best statistical season a Jets QB has had in three decades. The pick of Hunter Henry hinges on who the Jets get at QB (Kaep, RG3, Fitz), or if they choose to roll with Geno and a rookie. If the Jets do not get Kaep, RG3, or Fitz then they go QB here. Hunter is a field stretching TE, and a stud run blocking TE to boot. He had no drops in 2015, and would really address a position of need for the Jets as he can help block for Forte, and take attention away from Marshall and Decker.

21.) Washington Redskins – Mackensie Alexander, CB/ Clemson. The Redskins had a nice season last year, Kirk Cousins engineered that offense well and was rewarded with a playoff birth and a fat contract. Defensively however, the Redskins are weak at certain spots. Deangelo Hall is not only alive, but is still being relied on to be a starting CB in this league. Beyond Hall, the depth is not great and in a division with WRs like Bryant, Beckham, and Matthews, strong physical corners are a must. Mackensie Alexander fits the bill. While he is only 5’10, he is a sturdy 195 lbs and ran a 4.4 40 yard dash. Additionally, he did not give up a td reception in 2015. He is technically sound and plays the ball well. The only concern is his height, or lack thereof.

22.) Houston Texans – Taylor Decker, OT/Ohio St. The Texans are an extremely confusing franchise. They paid Brock Osweiler a ton of money after he made 7 unimpressive starts in the NFL. Arian Foster bounced, and aside from DeAndre Hopkins, there are no real offensive weapons to speak of. Bill O’Brien is on the hot seat this year, and he needs Brock to be a success. The only way that even has a shot at happening is to solidify the offensive line in front of him. Taylor Decker is a great run blocking tackle, and honestly, is probably more suited to play right tackle. He is not a great pass protecting lineman because his footwork and lateral quickness is nothing special, so he can be beat wide. But if he locks onto you he will drive you ten yards back.

23.) Minnesota Vikings – Jaylon Smith, LB/Notre Dame. The Vikings don’t have a ton of holes as currently constructed (they signed tackle andre smith and guard alex boone), and HC Mike Zimmer loves to win by relying on the running game and his defense. Jaylon Smith might be the best prospect in the draft when healthy, but news of potential nerve damage from his torn ACL is causing him to fall down draft boards left and right. The Vikings are one of the few teams that can afford to use a first round pick on smith and roll the dice. If the nerve damage subsides and allows him to play in 2017 then the Vikings will get an absolute stud to replace chad greenway.

24.) Cincinnati Bengals – Michael Thomas, WR/Ohio State. The Bungles lost two big targets this free agency in Marvin Jones, and Mohamed Sanu. The two combined for roughly 100 receptions, and 1,100 yards. Thomas wont put up those type of numbers immediately, but he does possess the physical skillset to replace them in a year or two. He is 6’3, 215lb and ran a 4.48 unofficial 40. He was Ohio State’s deep threat and go to receiver this past season and put up some great individual stats (9 tds, 800 yards, 80 catches) in a run first offense. Sidenote, the Bengals probably won’t pick Thomas because it makes sense and they always find a way to mess up a good thing (see playoffs the past 5 seasons).

25.) Pittsburgh Steelers – Kendall Fuller, CB/ Virginia Tech. The Steelers are in a fairly foreign position in their secondary. Their corners blow, and blow hard. They were unable/unwilling to address this issue in free agency so the draft will be their saving grace. I believe this is a very deep draft for defensive backs. Kendall Fuller is the younger brother of Bears Corner Kyle Fuller, and is just as fearless as Kyle. Kendall is a great tackler in run support, and really has a nose for the football. He missed a majority of the 2015 season due to a knee injury, and does not possess ideal size for a corner in today’s NFL as he is just 5’11, 185 lbs, but I believe the Steelers love his potential and bloodline.

26.) Seattle Seahawks – Ryan Kelly, C/Alabma. The Seahawks run game has honestly not been the same since they traded Max Unger and a first to New Orleans for Jimmy Graham. Additionally, Marshawn Lynch has retired, and Thomas Rawls is coming off of a season ending injury. Enter Ryan Kelly. Kelly isn’t the largest center, checking in at 6’4, 311lbs, with 34 inch arms. But what Kelly lacks in size, he makes up for in toughness. Kelly anchored the Crimson Tide line and was responsible for calling out line protections for Jake Coker while facing a lot of 8 man fronts worried about stopping RB Derrick Henry. While some do not believe Kelly is worthy of a first round pick, the Seahawks have a history of bucking public perception in drafts, finding guys that fit their style of play. Kelly fits a need, and their style of play well.

27.) Green Bay Packers – Jack Conklin, OT/Michigan St. Mike McCarthy has a done a fabulous job with wasting years off of future HOF QB Aaron Rodgers’ career. Failing to build an offensive line that can protect his other worldly QB is an egregious error, and resulted in a few injuries to his star player. Rodgers got sacked 46 times in 2015, and the Packers went through tackles like you wouldn’t believe during the end of the season and the playoffs. Conklin isn’t the most gifted athlete but performed exceptionally in the Big 10. At 6’6, 310 lbs Jack has prototypical size for a LT in the NFL and can really help solidify the offensive line woes in GB.

28.) Kansas City Chiefs- Darron Lee, LB/Ohio State. Somehow Andy Reid, Aka Mr. Kool-Aid, got this team to 11 wins without Jamaal Charles, and despite having Alex smith throw for over 200 yards just 3 times in their 10 game winning streak that propelled them to the playoffs. The Chiefs defense was great last year, but unfortunately, got another year older at some key positions. LB Derrick Johnson is an unrestricted free agent and is going to be turning 34 during the season. OLB/DE Tamba Hali is also an unrestricted free agent. Darron Lee can help remedy these two likely losses. Lee is a very good coverage LB, who plays borderline recklessly when it comes to making plays against the run. Also because Urban Meyer recruited him there is a 1:3 chance he becomes either a murderer, all-pro, or devout Christian. My money is on the first two.

29.) Arizona Cardinals – Vadal Alexander, G/LSU. Carson Palmer got destroyed in the playoffs and most of his interceptions can be attributed to rushing throws to avoid hits. The Cardinals Offensive line needs work, plain and simple. The guard spot is vulnerable since they traded often injured guard Jonathan Cooper to the Pats, and signed an aging Evan Mathis to replace him. Alexander is a typical road grading guard. Alexander is big, strong, and deceptively agile. As Palmer continues to age, the Cardinals would be wise to feature the ground game more and more. David Johnson looks like the real deal, and the Cardinals would be wise to get him and palmer some help if they want to make a final championship push before palmer’s window slams shut.

30.) Carolina Panthers – Will Fuller, WR/Notre Dame. The Panthers wide receiver corps this past year was basically a list of names that always holds you back from getting 100% on a sporcle quiz. Kelvin Benjamin is expected to be back this season, which is a big boost. But even then, the Panthers still lack a true #2 WR although the team is high on Devin Funchess. Will Fuller can be a great compliment to KB and Bunches of Funchess. Fuller attacks the football, and can really high point it. His route running is needs some polishing, as does most highly productive collegiate WR’s because they just rely on their supreme athleticism to make plays in college. Fuller won’t be a candidate for ROY in Carolina, but he is absolutely an upgrade over the likes of Jerricho Cotchery and Ted Ginn Jr.

31.) Denver Broncos – Paxton Lynch, QB/Memphis. I’ll be the first to admit this is an unlikely scenario, but so was the broncos carrying Peyton’s corpse to a super bowl title. However, this is probably the best situation the Broncos could hope for. The Broncos are really screwed at the QB position as of this mock since they lost Brock Osweiler to the Texans and Peyton Manning to retirement. Lynch is not a finished product at all, and the speculation of him going 1st overall was insane to me. He stockpiled great stats in a terrible conference while running a version of the run and shoot. If the Broncos, or any team for that matter take a year or two to groom him and teach him how to be an NFL QB they will probably be rewarded in a big way. Lynch has ideal height, and arm talent to play in the NFL. However, if there was one team where Paxton could step on the field and be asked to be a day one starter it’s this team. They are loaded with talent across the board. Could be a situation similar to Ben Roethlisberger’s first few years in Pittsburgh where he just manages the game and lets the D and running game carry them.