NFL Mock Draft - 2.0

NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (April 4th edition)

1.) Tennessee Titans (Positions of Need: OL, S, CB, LB) – Laremy Tunsil, OT/ Ole Miss. Laremy Tunsil wowed the scouts at his pro day at Ole Miss, but they could have saved themselves the trip by reading by mock instead. Tunsil has all the tools: excellent flexibility, athleticism, outstanding footwork, and strength. With this selection the Titans would be able to move former first round pick OT Taylor Lewan to his more natural position (RT), and have Tunsil as a franchise LT to protect QB Marcus Mariota. There have been reports that the Titans are shopping this pick, however I highly doubt they move down unless they get an unbelievable offer. (Previous Pick: Laremy Tunsil OT/Ole Miss)

2.) Cleveland Browns (Positions of Need: QB, OL, LB, WR) – Carson Wentz, QB/NDSU. The Browns signed QB Robert Griffin III to a 2yr 15 million dollar deal last week. Many pundits believe this will prevent the Browns from selecting a QB with the 2nd overall pick. I am not in that camp. The Browns current QB depth chart includes Griffin, Josh McCown, and Austin Davis. So if Griffin goes down the Browns are back to square one. Fun Fact Alert: Griffin has never played in, or started all 16 games of a regular season in his 4 year NFL career. Also, even if the Browns hit the lottery by signing RG3 and he plays lights out, the odds that he stays with the Browns at the end of two successful seasons is infinitesimal. The Browns got a stop gap QB in Griffin, but still need a QB of the future. Wentz needs time to develop. He has a lot of the physical tools to play QB in the NFL, but the jump from Division I-AA to the NFL is incredibly difficult. Mental reps and film study as a backup will help Carson, and the Browns enormously. (Previous Pick: Carson Wentz, QB/NDSU)

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. Jaguars select Jalen Ramsey, DB/FSU. I am still in the camp that a trade here works best for both these teams. The Chargers were a mess on defense (29th in total defense last season) and of the 8 picks the Chargers have in the 2016 draft, 4 of them are between picks 175-224. The Chargers need to get more picks in the top 100 in order to increase their chances of finding NFL caliber defenders. The Jaguars on the other hand are in a great position to take a risk, move up, and grab a player that can really be a catalyst for a defensive turnaround. CB/S Jalen Ramsey is a freakish athlete who can play either safety, or corner. Ramsey possesses fantastic sideline-to-sideline speed, great straight-line speed, and is a fearless tackler. The 2015 consensus first team all-American can be HC Gus Bradley’s Earl Thomas. Pair him with the signings of DE Malik Jackson and the return of last year’s first round pick DE Dante Fowler and the Jaguars are poised to make strides this season. (Previous Pick: Joey Bosa, DE/Ohio St).

4.) Dallas Cowboys – (Team Needs: DL, LB, DB, RB) Ezekiel Elliott, RB/Ohio State. Reports out of Ft. Worth have the Cowboys raving about the potential impact that a running back like Elliott can have on their team. Personally, I would be stunned if they took a running back this high. Their defense has so many holes, and their offensive line is so talented that it made RB Darren Mcfadden productive again so selecting Elliott at 4 would be a head scratcher. The running back position has been severely devalued in the past decade (Don’t tell that to the folks at One Bills Drive though). The Cowboys need corners and edge rushers in the worst way. I believe the 4th pick would be better spent addressing those holes, but it’s Jerry’s world and we’re just living in it. (Previous Pick: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB/Florida).

5.) Jacksonville Jaguars – Traded to the San Diego Chargers (Positions of Need: DE, S, WR, OL) DeForest Buckner, DE/Oregon. As I previously mentioned the Chargers have holes all over the defense. They have a few quality starters in DT Corey Liuget, CB Brandon Flowers, CB Jason Verrett, and LB Manti Teo, but they need more explosive playmakers that can create turnovers and change the momentum of a game. Personally, I am not a huge fan of DeForest Buckner because he plays upright too often, his speed can take him out of position at times, and he is not great against the run. However, the Chargers need a speed rusher with a high ceiling, and Buckner fits the bill. Buckner is a boom or bust prospect and will have plenty of opportunities to create turnovers. (Previous Pick: Jalen Ramsey DB/ FSU).

6.) Baltimore Ravens (Positions of Need: DE, LB, DB, WR) - Joey Bosa, DE/Ohio State. Recently, the Ravens have expressed their desire to get pass-rushing help and Joey Bosa would fill that need. Bosa is an incredible athletic prospect, but has slid due to concerns regarding his effort and character. This would be an unbelievable stroke of luck for the Ravens. Bosa was a nightmare for offensive lines in 2014, and faced double, and sometimes triple teams regularly in 2015. Many touted him as the top pick in this draft up until February. While HC John Harbaugh is not the motivator his brother Jim is, I believe John could get the best out of Bosa. (Previous Pick: Laquon Treadwell, WR/Ole Miss)

7.) San Francisco 49ers (Positions of Need: LB, DL, OL) – Myles Jack, LB/RB/UCLA. The 49ers have publically committed to QB Colin Kaepernick for the 2016 season, and his contract becomes fully guaranteed on April 1st, so it is highly unlikely the 49ers invest the 7th overall selection on a QB. The 49ers were 31st in rushing touchdowns allowed, and 29th in rushing yards allowed in 2015. The 49er linebacking core has taken a beating the past two years, LBs Patrick Willis and Chris Borland retired before the 2015 season, and LB Navarro Bowman finally returned to the field after a gruesome knee injury in the 2013-14 NFC Championship Game. Simply put, the 49ers need linebackers. Myles Jack is the best linebacker prospect since Luke Kuechly. Jack is instinctual and physical against the run, and he is a fantastic coverage LB because he possesses incredible speed and agility (he played RB at UCLA his first two seasons also). (Previous Pick: Jared Goff, QB/California)

8.) Philadelphia Eagles (Positions of Need: LB, OL, RB) – Leonard Floyd, LB/Georgia. The Eagles had a very successful offseason. They got rid of that buffoon Chip Kelly, shed a big contract by trading CB Byron Maxwell to Miami, moved injury prone LB Kiko Alonso to Miami, signed LB Nigel Bradham, and hired DC Jim Schwartz. Schwartz wants his defenses to be fast, aggressive, and versatile. Floyd is all of the above, and should be a perfect fit for Schwartz’s defense. To me, Floyd is a big boom or bust prospect. Yes he’s fast (Ran a 4.60 40 yd dash), is very good in coverage (6’6, with 33” arms, and ran a 4.3 shuttle), and led the Bulldogs in sacks three straight seasons. However, because of his height, Floyd often plays to straight up and misses tackles he should have because he doesn’t have leverage on his opponent consistently. If he fills out his long frame, and learns better form when it comes to tackling he could become Jamie Collins. If not, he will be a poor man’s Manny Lawson. (Previous Pick: Myles Jack, LB/RB/UCLA)

9.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Positions of Need: CB, S, DE) – Vernon Hargreaves III, CB/Florida. The Buccaneers made some progress in 2015. Doug Martin had a career renaissance in Dirk Koetter’s offense, and Jameis Winston proved he was worth taking 1st overall last year by throwing for over 4,000 yards, scoring 28 total touchdowns, and completing nearly 60% of his passes. However, the Bucs pass defense was 25th in touchdowns allowed, and it really cost them winnable games. They sort of addressed this by signing an aging CB Brent Grimes (husband of the twitter famous Miko Grimes) but they are still projected to be starting project Jude Adjei-Barimah at the 2nd CB spot. Hargreaves is a natural athlete, who possesses excellent instincts, footwork, and ball skills. At just 5’10 Hargreaves is a tad undersized for an NFL CB, especially when you consider he will be facing tall WRs like Kelvin Benjamin, and Julio Jones multiple times a year. But make no mistake, he can play day one, and prove that contrary to popular belief size doesn’t matter. (Previous Pick: Shaq Lawson, DE/Clemson)

10.) New York Giants (Positions of Need: LB, WR, OG) – Reggie Ragland, LB/Alabama. The Giants made some big moves to address last year’s defense that ranked 30th in points allowed. Signing DE Oliver Vernon and CB Janoris Jenkins was a step in the right direction, but to say their linebacking core is weak would be a compliment. The Giants only have 6 picks in this draft and need to get quality players at linebacker, wide receiver, and offensive guard. Ragland is reminds me of London Fletcher. Ragland is a stout, downhill, run stuffing MLB who possesses great instincts and awareness. Some question Ragland’s ability to become a three down linebacker because he struggled in coverage. I believe this is a valid concern, but it’s a risk worth taking. Ragland is the best run-stuffing linebacker in this draft, and it addresses a major area of need for the G-Men. (Previous Pick: DeForest Buckner, DE/Oregon)

11.) Chicago Bears (Positions of Need: DL, LB, DB, OL) –Ronnie Stanley, OT/Notre Dame. The Chicago Bears have been lackluster at LT for some time now, currently Bobbie Massie and Charles Leno are the top candidates for protecting Jay Cutler’s blindside. Both are the equivalent of a swinging door. Ronnie Stanley can step in and be an upgrade over both Massie and Leno from day one. Stanley was a second team All American, has experience playing at both left and right tackle, and demonstrates great footwork in pass protection on a consistent basis. While Stanley is a technically sound tackle, he does lack some pure strength for the position. At 6’6, 312 lbs, he could stand to gain more weight without sacrificing his quickness and athleticism. Ideally, the Bears would like to use this pick on the defense, but the top players at the defensive areas of need are likely to be off the board, so Stanley will be the best player available at #11. (Previous Pick: A’Shawn Robinson, DT/Alabama)

12.) New Orleans Saints (Positions of Need: LB, DB, DE) – Darron Lee, LB/Ohio State. On paper the Saints had one of the best offseasons in the NFL. They addressed areas of need by signing TE Coby Fleener, DT Nick Fairley, and LB James Laurinaitis. The Saints still have holes on the defensive side of the football, and I believe their first three picks should be used on every level of the defense. The Saints were 32nd in passing TDs allowed in 2015, and while the secondary gets most of the blame, their LB core is equally at fault. Their LB’s simply couldn’t cover anyone. James Laurinaitis should help, but he’s turning 30 this season so he shouldn’t be counted on for more than two to three years. Darron Lee is the second best coverage linebacker in this draft. He ran a 4.47 40 yard dash, and a 4.20 in the 20 yard shuttle. He has great straight-line speed and sideline-to sideline speed. He can get after the QB too, as he had over 14 sacks in two seasons as a buckeye starter. He was defensive MVP in the 2014-15 sugar bowl against Alabama. Lee’s biggest problem is shedding blocks. He isn’t the strongest linebacker in the world, so offensive linemen can swallow him up at times.  (Previous Pick: Reggie Ragland, LB/Alabama)

13.) Miami Dolphins (Positions of Need: DB, OL, RB) – Eli Apple, CB/Ohio State. New HC Adam Gase would love to pick Ezekiel Elliott here because he relies on having versatile running backs in his offense (see Knowshon Moreno, CJ Anderson, and Matt Forte). Unfortunately for the Dolphins, I don’t think Elliott makes it to #13. This means the Dolphins would have to address the secondary needs with this selection. Eli Apple is 6’1, 198lbs, making him one of the larger, stronger corners in this draft. Currently the top two CB’s on the team are Byron Maxwell, who consistently got burned last year and almost failed his Dolphins physical because he refused to do a pushup due to a shoulder injury, and something named Jamar Taylor. The Dolphins haven’t had a potential shutdown corner since the days of Sam Madison. The Dolphins will face WRs Sammy Watkins, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Julian Edelman multiple times yet again this season so fixing the secondary should be a top priority. Apple has the tools to be a press corner, and matchup physically with these WRs. He was part of a very good defense at Ohio State and was on an island in one-on-one coverage a lot.  (Previous Pick: Ezekiel Elliott RB/Ohio State)

14.) Oakland Raiders (Positions of Need: DB, LB, OL) – Sheldon Rankins, DT/Louisville. The Raiders improved in a lot of areas in 2015. DE Khalil Mack wreaked havoc on opposing QB’s, and their offense is relatively young and dangerous with WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, and RB Latavius Murray. QB Derek Carr progressed in 2015 by posting career highs in yards, TDs, and completion percentage. Additionally, the Raiders signed LB/DE Bruce Irvin from Seattle, and there have been rumors that troubled but talented DE Aldon Smith could be back with the team. The Raiders did lose future HOF DB Charles Woodson to retirement, and could lose DE Mario Edwards to a career threatening neck injury. By selecting DT Sheldon Rankins, the Raiders would be adding a powerful defensive lineman that is good against the run, and can really get upfield and after the QB. Rankins has good lateral quickness, and keeps his pad shelf low at the point of attack. (Previous Pick: Eli Apple, CB/Ohio St)

15.) Los Angeles Rams (Positions of Need: QB, OL, LB, CB) – Jared Goff, QB/California. If the 49ers pass on taking Goff at #7, this is the next logical landing spot for the former Golden Bear. The Rams have publically supported QB Case Keenum as their 2016-week one starter, but I just don’t buy it. Keenum’s most memorable NFL moment was getting so concussed he forgot how to hold a football. If you forgot then here you go. Nick Foles isn’t any better either, and I don’t need stats to back that up, I just need two functioning eyes. The Rams have a very good defensive line, a great RB in Todd Gurley, and an explosive weapon in WR Tavon Austin. Drafting a potential franchise QB is just too tempting to pass up. Jared Goff is a perfect fit for the LA Rams. Goff is intelligent (he got a perfect score on the wonderlic), has an NFL arm that can make all the throws, and has good footwork in the pocket. As the kids of today say, the Rams would be #blessed to get Goff. (Previous Pick: Connor Cook, QB/Michigan St)

16.) Detroit Lions (Positions of Need: WR, OL, DB) – Laquon Treadwell, WR/Ole Miss. The Lions lost WR Calvin Johnson to retirement this offseason. The Lions have a lot of holes, so it is extremely possible that they opt to address those areas of need instead. But QB Matt Stafford complicates this pick. He’s 28, under contract until 2018 (when he’ll be 30), and has been the best QB the lions have had since Bobby Layne back in the 1950’s. To me, this selection tells me a lot about whether the Lions want Stafford to be their QB beyond 2017. If they do want Stafford beyond 2017 then they select Treadwell, and start working on building chemistry for the future. If they do not want Stafford beyond 2017 then they are more likely to address their other areas of need. Treadwell is a 6’2, 205 lb WR that excels at high pointing the football, and isn’t afraid to go over the middle. He’s not the fastest WR in the world, but he’s quick in tight spaces, and uses his size to create separation. (Previous Pick: Corey Coleman, WR/Baylor)

17.) Atlanta Falcons (Positions of Need: DL, OL, DB) – Jarran Reed, DT/Alabama. The Falcons only recorded 19 sacks, and allowed 20 rushing TD’s in 2015. HC Dan Quinn, former DC with Seattle, prides himself on having a strong defensive line that can play the run and pass effectively. Jarran Reed is a polished defensive tackle prospect against the run.  He didn’t have a single missed tackle or broken tackle attributed to him in 2015. He is not a gifted pass rusher (only 2 sacks in 2 seasons in Tuscaloosa), and I have a difficult time seeing that changing in the NFL. Reed will be a good building block for Dan Quinn’s run stuffing goals. Reminds me of Pat Williams type defensive lineman, any sacks you get from him will be like found money but you know that he will make life for opposing offensive lineman difficult in the run game for 60 minutes every sunday. (Previous Pick: Jarran Reed, DT/Alabama)

18.) Indianapolis Colts (Positions of Need: OL, RB, LB) – Derrick Henry, RB/Alabama. RB Frank Gore is turning 33 this year, and while he’s still somewhat effective he is clearly slowing down. One of QB Andrew Luck’s biggest problems is his inability to rely on a consistent running game. His predecessor, QB Peyton Manning, was fortunate enough to have RB Marshall Faulk, and shortly after, RB Edgerrin James to turn to and rely on in his early years under center. Luck needs a workhorse running back he can rely on and grow with if the Colts want him to reach his full potential as a QB. Henry is built like a semi, and doesn’t shy away from contact the same way other Crimson Tide backs have (cough Trent Richardson cough). Henry ran for over 2,200 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2015 at Alabama while facing 8 man fronts every week. In the NFL, he wont face as many 8 man fronts because Andrew Luck is able to exploit the one on one matchups in the passing game that come from playing against 8 man fronts. Earlier this week, former RB Merril Hoge said that Henry won’t be effective in the NFL because he lacks the lateral quickness to evade penetration in the backfield. This is incredibly stupid. Plenty of NFL running backs aren’t laterally quick but still effective (see Mark Ingram, Eddie Lacy, Jeremy Hill, Rashad Jennings, Mike Tolbert, etc). (Previous Pick: Derrick Henry, RB/Alabama)

19.) Buffalo Bills (Positions of Need: DL, LB, S) – Andrew Billings, NT/Baylor. Rex Ryan’s defense wasn’t a disaster (15th in points allowed), but it sure felt like it after watching 16 games, and constantly hearing players bicker about schematic issues. Maintaining a championship level defense for more than two years is nearly impossible due to the wear and tear on the players, cap constraints, and potential coaching changes. The Bills lost starting caliber players (Mario Williams, Nigel Bradham, Leodis McKelvin) at every level of the defense this offseason, and those who are still on the roster getting older (looking at you Kyle Williams). Selecting NT Andrew Billings would allow Rex to have more personnel flexibility along the defensive line, and help cover up what is sure to be the weakest unit of the 2016 defense….linebacker. Billings is 6’1, 315 lbs and he benched 500 lbs in high school. Despite his large frame, Billings possesses some elite athleticism as he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.9 seconds, and ran the 3 cone shuttle in 7.8 seconds. Billings is an extremely powerful man that can eat blocks and keep linebackers clean to pursue the ball carrier. A defensive line with Dareus, Williams, and Billings would be tough to run against.  (Previous Pick: Robert Nkemdiche, DE/Ole Miss).

20.) New York Jets (Positions of Need: QB, TE, LB) – Connor Cook, QB/Michigan St. As a Bills fan I just want thank the big guy upstairs for the Jets existence. Their roster mismanagement and draft history makes the folks down at One Bills Drive look like a team of Stephen Hawkings. Look, I know Fitz is Fitz and will always give the opposing defense chances to make plays but he literally put up the BEST STATISTICAL SEASON BY A JETS QB IN OVER 25 YEARS, and they are letting him walk. Fitz is loved by his WR’s (Marshall and Decker), has familiarity with OC Chan Gailey, and isn’t really asked to do too much beyond his capabilities and skillset week in and week out. If the Jets don’t sign him, then I can write 2 W’s in pen for the Bills before the season even starts. Cook was a very productive college QB in the Big 10. He had a great 2014 campaign, but really took a few steps back in 2015. He cited injuries and constant defensive pressure as the reasons for his struggles. (Previous Pick: Hunter Henry, TE/ Arkansas). FUN FACT ALERT: My buddy Pat Glose picked off Connor Cook in High School and I think it still haunts Cook at night.

21.) Washington Redskins (Positions of Need: DL, DB, LB) – A’Shawn Robinson, DT/Alabama. The Redskins lost DT Terrance Knighton to the Patriots this week, and while the team didn’t act overly concerned about losing the massive nose tackle they should be. At 6’3, 355 lbs Knighton was tough to move, and tough to run on. The Redskins defense as a hole wasn’t great at stopping the run (26th in rushing yards allowed), and losing Knighton won’t help. A’Shawn Robinson won’t be able to match up the Knighton from a height and weight standpoint as he is just 6’4, 310 lbs, but he is more talented and versatile than Knighton. Robinson has an extremely high ceiling, but he will never reach his full potential until he utilizes his leverage on a consistent basis. He gets stoodup at the point of attack at times because he fails to get his pads/shoulder low when exploding out of his stance.  If he can rectify that weakness he can be an absolute force in the middle of a defense. Sidenote, as of the combine the dude had the best beard in the draft. Gotta love a good beard on D Lineman, looking at you Brett Keisel. (Previous Pick: Mackensie Alexander, CB/ Clemson).

22.) Houston Texans (Positions of Need: OL, S, WR) – Taylor Decker, OT/Ohio State. HC Bill O’Brien is in a must win year, and the stakes got raised when the Texans signed QB Brock Osweiler to an absurd contract to start free agency. If the Texans wants the rest of the NFL to get Brocked this season they will need to protect him, and give him time to get the ball to WR DeAndre Hopkins and RB Lamar Miller. The Texans gave up 36 sacks in 2015, and need to solidify the tackle spots. LT Duane Brown is solid, but they can improve at the RT spot by selecting Decker. Decker is not an NFL left tackle because he lacks the requisite athleticism and flexibility to protect a QB’s blindside. However, Decker can be a great RT. He is tall (6’7), strong, and powerful. Great run blocker, and solid in pass protection from the right tackle position. (Previous Pick: Taylor Decker, OT/Ohio St).

23.) Minnesota Vikings (Positions of Need: WR, LB, CB) – Will Fuller, WR/Notre Dame. The Vikings are a very good team because of their consistency on offense and defense. However, the offense lacks versatility and explosion in the passing game. Teddy Bridgewater only threw 14 TDs in 16 games. Rookie WR Stefon Diggs was a revelation for the Vikings offense last season as he gave them a true deep threat/playmaker, but the rest of the WR core is underwhelming to say the least. WR Cordarrelle Patterson has been a disappointment; WR Charles Johnson failed to live up to the hype that he could be a #2 WR; and the Vikings just cut WR Mike Wallace. Fuller is a fast (ran 4.3 in the 40), athletic WR who high points the football. At 6’0, with a 33.5” vertical and a long wingspan Fuller has a good catch radius, and knows how to use his body to create separation. If the Vikings want to take the next step, Teddy needs a WR tandem that he can trust, and can make big plays for him. Fuller and Diggs can be that tandem.  (Previous Pick: Jaylon Smith, LB/Notre Dame).

24.) Cincinnati Bengals (Positions of Need: WR, LB, DB) – Josh Doctson, WR/TCU. The Bengals lost two very solid WR’s in Mohammad Sanu and Marvin Jones this offseason. WR Brandon LaFell is simply too inconsistent to be relied upon to be Dalton’s #2 WR. If the Bengals don’t’ address this position WR AJ Green will be facing a lot more double coverage. Doctson is 6’2, 200lbs with solid straight line speed. He amassed 2,300 yds, and 25 TDs in two years as a TCU starter. He is a fluid route runner, with good hands. Doctson struggles with creating separation at times because he isn’t very strong in his upper body. This means he can get jammed and rerouted by stronger corners. Overall, I would expect Doctson to be a serviceable #2 WR for the Bengals from day one. He won’t put up eye-popping stats his rookie year but he will be far from a bust.  (Previous Pick: Michael Thomas, WR/Ohio State).

25.) Pittsburgh Steelers (Positions of Need: CB, S, OL) – Mackensie Alexander, CB/Clemson. The Steelers have publically stated that CB and S are areas of need this season. Current #1 CB William Gay turned 31 this January and is getting towards the downside of his career. Mackensie Alexander has all the skills to be a #1 CB in the NFL. He ran 4.47 in the 40 yard dash, and didn’t give up a single receiving TD in 2015. Alexander is a very aggressive corner who has extreme confidence in himself so he isn’t afraid to jump routes and take risks. There are three knocks on Alexander. First, his is only 5’10 and 190lbs so scouts question how he will fair against tall, physical WRs. Second, scouts are split on his footwork. Personally, I think this inconsistency in technique and footwork stem from his confidence in his athletic ability to recover rather than an inability to practice good technique. Similar to what Deion Sanders used to do to bait QBs into throwing in his direction. Lastly, Alexander has been criticized for his lack of interceptions and pass deflections. This is hilarious to me. His lack of statistics is a reflection of teams respecting and fearing Alexander, not an inability to make plays. I’m a big fan of Alexander, and I think he projects well in the NFL. (Previous Pick: Kendall Fuller, CB/ Virginia Tech).

26.) Seattle Seahawks (Positions of Need: C, DE, RB) – Ryan Kelly, C/Alabama. The Seahawks are losing RB Marshawn Lynch to retirement, and RB Thomas Rawls is coming off of a season ending injury. Additionally, their running game got off to a slow start in 2015 after having to adjust to losing C Max Unger to the trade with New Orleans before the start of the season. Ryan Kelly is a tough, scrappy center that fits the Seahawks identity to a T.  Kelly anchored the Crimson Tide offensive line that propelled RB Derrick Henry to a Heisman winning season. Kelly is intelligent, and capable of making all the protection calls.  (Previous Pick: Ryan Kelly, C/Alabama).

27.) Green Bay Packers (Positions of Need: OL, DL, S) – Jack Conklin, OT/Michigan St. To say the Packers struggled protecting QB Aaron Rodgers would be a severe understatement. Rodgers got sacked 46 times in the regular season, and has been sacked 306 times in his NFL career. He’s 32 years old, and his window is closing.  If the Packers want to make another run at the Lombardi trophy they need to protect him. David Bakhtiari is the only true LT on the roster, and struggled mightily with injuries and speed rushers. Jack Conklin is solid in pass protection. He has good footwork, and above average strength. Conklin needs to improve his run blocking, but the Packers don’t run the ball a ton so this weakness won’t be exposed regularly. (Previous Pick: Jack Conklin, OT/Michigan St).

28.) Kansas City Chiefs (Positions of Need: LB, DE, WR) – Shaq Lawson, DE/Clemson. The Chiefs continue to defy logic in today’s NFL because they win with the definition of below average to average QB play and a sound defensive game. The Chiefs lack playmaking depth on the defensive line and their star pass rushers (DE/OLB Tamba Hali and DE/OLB Justin Houston) are getting older. Shaq Lawson is a powerful DE that can set the edge in run defense and get to the QB thanks to his strength and bulrush technique. Lawson is 6’3, 270 lbs and put together an All-American season in 2015 by registering 12.5 sacks. Conditioning and a reliance on “effort/coverage sacks” are the two major concerns about Lawson’s ability to transition to the NFL. Lawson would get winded easily at the end of games and miss important snaps at times. Also, Lawson isn’t an exceptional athlete. He doesn’t have great hip flexion or lateral quickness to spin/twist on tackles. Pure strength will only get you so many sacks in the NFL because the tackles are so much stronger at that level. Overall, I think Lawson will be a plus addition for the Kool-Aid man and his confusingly effective Chiefs. (Previous Pick: Darron Lee, LB/Ohio State).

29.) Arizona Cardinals (Positions of Need: OL, TE, DE) – Hunter Henry, TE/Arkansas. I struggled mightily figuring out what the Cardinals should do with this pick. The Cardinals still need offensive line help in my opinion. RG Evan Mathis is 32 and on his last legs. LG Mike Iupati is good when healthy but he hasn’t been healthy very often. Their tackles are nothing to write home about either.  But the Cardinals are in a tough spot because the top offensive linemen are all likely to be gone by the 29th selection, and I doubt they would reach for a player in an area of need that doesn’t meet the value of the 29th pick. Additionally, the Cardinals TE core is a mishmash of mediocrity. Jermaine Gresham, Darren Fells, and Troy Niklas combined for roughly 300 yards and 5 TDs. None of them are field stretching threats, or exceptional blockers in the run game. Hunter Henry is the most complete TE in this draft. Henry is 6’5, 250 lb and ran a 4.6 40 yard dash. He is a vertical threat with sure hands, and a great in line blocker. (Previous Pick: Vadal Alexander, G/LSU)

30.) Carolina Panthers (Positions of Need: WR, RB, DE) – Corey Coleman, WR/Baylor. What the Panthers did in 2015 was remarkable. If you thought the Panthers could go 15-1 and get to the super bowl after WR Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL in training camp then you’re a liar. QB Cam Newton put that team on his back and had a great year. He made WR castoffs like Ted Ginn Jr. and Jerricho Cotchery relevant and productive. WR is this team’s biggest need, and Coleman is the most explosive WR in the draft. Coleman ran a 4.37 in his pro day 40, has a 40” vertical, and won the Biletnikoff award for the best collegiate receiver in 2015. There are two major knocks on Coleman; his height, and his route running/college offense. Coleman is generously listed at 5’11, but is much closer to 5’9.5. Also while Coleman’s stats are impressive (74 rec, 1,300 yds, 20 TD’s in 2015) some argue that this was a product of playing in both the Big 12 conference, which is notorious for poor defense, and Baylor’s run, and shoot offense. Coleman can be a great complement to kelvin Benjamin and give cam something he has never had before, a talented WR tandem. (Previous Pick: Will Fuller, WR/Notre Dame)

31.) Denver Broncos (Positions of Need: QB, DL, OL) – Paxton Lynch, QB/Memphis. The defending champion Broncos find themselves in rare territory entering the 2016 NFL season. Right now the Broncos have zero QB’s from their super bowl winning team on their current 2016 roster. To their credit they did sign journeyman QB Mark Sanchez to help address this issue, but Sanchez is not the answer if they hope to make the playoffs again. Additionally, the Broncos are too cash strapped to sign a QB like Fitzpatrick to the type of money he is asking for. This makes drafting Paxton Lynch the best option the Broncos have left. Lynch is a tall strong-armed QB with solid mobility. Lynch can make all the throws at the NFL level. However, he played weak competition during his time at Memphis, ran a version of the run and shoot offense using half field reads, and a large percentage of his yards came off of easy throws (Bubble screens, slants, etc). I think Lynch has the physical tools to be a good NFL QB but he needs time to learn his progressions and reads, and adjust to the speed of the NFL game. (Previous Pick: Paxton Lynch, QB/Memphis). This pick would not change if the Broncos get Kaepernick in a trade with the 49ers as rumored this weekend. But the trade would impact the 49ers selection.