Mock Draft

Alex’s Mock Draft (1st Round)

So here goes my attempt at predicting the most unpredictable event since guessing whether the dude on Maury is or is not the father.

1. Los Angeles Rams

QB Carson Wentz – NDSU

Pretty clear that when the Rams traded up to #1 that they had their sites set on one of the top QBs from this draft. The argument is between Wentz and Goff. While I personally have Goff ranked higher than Wentz, I think Fisher will see the athleticism and NFL body as a huge upside when making his selection. Fisher is no stranger to drafting small school QBs high as he chose Steve McNair 3rd Overall out of Alcorn State in 1995 as the Head Coach of the Oilers. A player who has many similarities to Wentz.

2. Philadelphia Eagles

QB Jared Goff – Cal

Again, trading picks 3 years deep is a bold move to not pick a QB at #2 so I would say it’s about 99.9% clear that the Eagles would go with the other Top QB here. In this mock, that is Goff. Goff has the accuracy that Pederson loved in Alex Smith and while Goff lacks a super strong arm, Pederson’s offense will mask that with good routes by Matthews and Agholor and a heavy dose of play action. Goff could end up being a star in this offense if he catches on quick enough.

3. San Diego Chargers

LB Myles Jack – UCLA

There has been a lot of talk surrounding Jack’s knee and it isn’t even in reference to his injury. According to a source from an “NFL team” there was an issue with Jack’s knee in the form of a Chondral Defect which was reportedly prevalent prior to his knee injury and may put him at risk for future injury. This would be bad news if I was actually buying the report. I think a team just a few slots below is poisoning the well with this report. Regardless, Jack is a killer fit in San Diego and he will be very good at whatever position Chargers DC John Pagano wants him to play.

4. Dallas Cowboys

DB Jalen Ramsey – FSU

It’s between Ramsey and Bosa and with Demarcus Lawrence’s status for the first 4 games in jeopardy it was easy to lean toward Bosa, but Jerry loves flash and that’s exactly what Ramsey is. Ramsey will be paired with last year’s 1st round pick Byron Jones and will make the most versatile pair of DBs the NFL has to offer. This unit struggled heavily, but those struggles did not fall on Jones’ shoulders as he was terrific when playing 1 on 1 coverage with players like Rob Gronkowski. I look for Ramsey to bring another force on the back end and give this unit some immediate assistance.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars

DE Joey Bosa – Ohio State

I can’t tell you enough how much I LOVE this fit. Gus Bradley was great as the Defensive Coordinator who brought Michael Bennett into relevancy and Joey Bosa has many similarities to Bennett when it comes to playing style and scheme fit for Gus’ defense. I look for Bosa to be plugged right in at Defensive End across from LEO Dante Fowler as well as in front of Fowler to create a completely bad*** pass rush to bring this team to the next level.

6. Baltimore Ravens

DE DeForest Buckner – Oregon

Ravens let Canty go this offseason and really have lacked a dominant pass rusher on their Defensive Line for awhile now as they have focused on bulk in the middle and pass rush at OLB. I see Buckner as a plug and play DE for Baltimore as he will flourish in Dean Pees’ famous scheme that utilizes a lot of movement and blitzes. We’ve seen great athletes flourish in this system before and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for Buckner.

7. San Francisco 49ers

QB Connor Cook – Michigan St.

Let me clarify – this is a HUGE reach and I believe they will actually try to leverage Tunsil’s fall to trade this pick, but I fully expect Baalke to draft Cook at the recommendation of Chip Kelly and his coaching staff. While I don’t like to buy into rumors and “sources” when it comes to the draft, I have to at least take into account that Baalke openly said that Cook was his favorite QB in this class. The options are Lynch and Cook.

8. Cleveland Browns

WR Laquon Treadwell – Ole Miss

Cleveland failed miserably to rope in either of Hue Jackson’s ex-players from Cincinnati and couldn’t even lock Travis Benjamin up. Now they are in a position where IF Josh Gordon can’t stay clean until August, they will be entering the season with Taylor Gabriel and Brian Hartline as their starting WRs. That doesn’t bode well for any quarterback, especially RG3 who I believe will start for this team come opening day. Enter Treadwell. This guy is a big body who runs crisp routes and has very reliable hands. This will give Hue an instant option and playmaker who will help this team convert on key downs and in the Red Zone.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

LT Laremy Tunsil – Ole Miss

Jameis had a good year last year and gave the Buccaneers something to be excited about, but with an offensive line sporting Donovan Smith and Gosder Cherilus at OT they will need a solid LT who can help Doug Martin move the ball and keep Jameis off the turf. I think new Head Coach Dirk Koetter will be more than happy to draft Tunsil who was Mocked as the #1 overall pick just 2 short weeks ago.

10. New York Giants

LT Ronnie Stanley – Notre Dame

Jerry Reese often drafts “Best Player Available” and there really is no better player left than Ronnie Stanley. Plugging Stanley in at LT and moving Flowers to his more natural position of RT will be a welcomed change for Eli Manning who spent the last 2 seasons on his back about 60 times. With Odell on the outside, it is going to be very important to give Eli some time to find one of the NFL’s most exciting WRs in open field.

11. Chicago Bears

LB Darron Lee – Ohio State

While I see Darron Lee as the perfect fit for a 4-3 OLB, he may be a very good fit in Vic Fangio’s 3-4 defense as an ILB which currently has Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan serving that position. Lee has many similar qualities that 49ers ILB Navarro Bowman has and Bowman was a great fit in Fangio’s defense accumulating over 100 tackles in each of his seasons there. With Trevathan, it seems like Fox and Fangio both agree that the smaller, more athletic and versatile LBs are the future of the NFL and adding Darron Lee to that group would certainly follow that mold.

12. New Orleans Saints

DE/OLB Shaq Lawson – Clemson

The Saints confronted their gaping hole on the DL with the addition of Nick Fairley to join John Jenkins and Cameron Jordan so while I would love this team to draft Sheldon Rankins, I think they look at the outside Pass Rusher position. By name, the Saints run a 4-3, but when you watch them it definitely looks like a sliding 3-4 which sports the LDE and ROLB right on the line of scrimmage. This defense would fit Shaq Lawson perfectly whether he is coming off the back of Cameron Jordan or working 1 on 1 with the RT.

13. Miami Dolphins

CB Vernon Hargreaves – Florida

Some would consider this to be a major drop, but I don’t. Athleticism and overall game projects Hargreaves to be a mid 1st round pick instead of the Top 10 pick that many people assume he’ll be. I think he will come into the NFL as a top notch nickel CB and will develop well into an outside CB who can take over for Brent Grimes as an off-zone CB where he can use his quick break to make plays on the ball.

14. Oakland Raiders

CB William Jackson III – Houston

Eli Apple is straight up the best Man CB in this year’s draft and Jack Del Rio is one of few coaches who still run a predominently man to man defensive scheme. So why did I mock Williams Jackson III here? He is the flashy pick and still fits this defense really well. Del Rio turned athletes like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie into Pro Bowlers while he was with Denver and I see alot of the same qualities in WJ3.

15. Tennessee Titans

DE Sheldon Rankins – Louisville

Tennessee traded away the Top pick for 2 reasons. They knew they could turn it into a whole lot of picks and they saw players in the middle of the 1st that could be helpful to them immediately. Rankins is one of those guys. With no real talent plugging up the middle of the DL with Jurrell Casey, they need a player who can come in and make plays from Day 1. Rankins has a thick lower frame, holds up well in the run and has the athleticism to cause QBs to panic alongside Casey.

16. Detroit Lions

OT Jack Conklin – Michigan State

This was difficult for me to mock. It’s not because Conklin isn’t a great pick and won’t be a great fit at RT, but it’s because with Doctson still on the board, it’s hard for me to not want to match him up with Stafford and Caldwell. Still, I think Lions new GM Bob Quinn will be looking to build his new team from the trenches out and that starts with a player who can help you run the ball effectively. Conklin does that for Detroit.

17. Atlanta Falcons

OLB Leonard Floyd – Georgia

While Floyd isn’t one of my favorite players in this draft, this happens to be my favorite scheme fit. Floyd should be able to excel in Dan Quinn’s scheme where he will basically be playing the same position that helped Bruce Irvin translate to the NFL.

18. Indianapolis Colts

NT Andrew Billings – Baylor

Indianapolis has had one of the worst run defenses for years and they just have not been able to get it right. Enter Andrew Billings. This man ate up the middle of Big 12 Offensive Lines and feasted on run plays before they even got started. Indy lost out on Wilfork last offseason and this is their chance to pick up a very similar player. Although, last year they drafted Philip Dorsett when they clearly needed help elsewhere so who knows what they will do.

19. Buffalo Bills

OLB Noah Spence – Eastern Kentucky

Bills need pass rush. That’s no secret. Rex is not afraid of character flaws. Also not a secret. I feel like this is a match made in heaven for both player and coach. Rex just got a Top 10 talent at 19 and Noah Spence can make some real noise in Rex and Rob’s rush heavy scheme that has manufactured some really good pass rushers over the last decade.

20. New York Jets

ILB Reggie Ragland – Alabama

Jets lost Snacks Harrison in the offseason and there is an overwhelming amount of reports that the team is trying to trade Muhammed Wilkerson, but both of those things weren’t enough to get me to mock A’Shawn Robinson here. Instead, I feel like his teammate Reggie Ragland could be a perfect fit to help make up for the loss of Snacks in the middle. Ragland is an aggressive run stopping LB who resembles the play power of Brandon Spikes. He also doubled as an outside LB at Alabama and I think Bowles will love that versatility.

21. Washington Redskins

WR Josh Doctson – TCU

With the Defense improving over the offseason with the additions of Kendall Reyes and Josh Norman, I don’t see why they’d look to add depth in the first round. Instead, I think they will draft a playmaker in the form of Josh Doctson. Pierre Garcon has proved inconsistent over the last few seasons and DeSean Jackson has been a limited participant and nearly half his games as a Redskin. With Cousins in a contract year, the team will want to put him in position to succeed and Doctson should do that in Gruden’s offense that calls for a great route running WR.

22. Houston Texans

WR Corey Coleman – Baylor

Coleman is an insanely exciting WR who does the things that Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien loves. In New England, he helped make Edelman famous with the same 4 routes that Coleman currently runs at Baylor. The screen, slant, go and drag. Pairing Coleman with O’Brien, opposite Hopkins seems like a match made in heaven and will certainly give Free Agent QB Brock Osweiler  the best shot at succeeding in Houston.

23. Minnesota Vikings

S Karl Joseph – West Virginia

Coach Zimmer has had a few top notch Safeties in his time as an NFL coach. He loves safeties who combine ball hawk qualities with hard hitting mean streaks. Karl Joseph checks off both of those boxes and with a deep DL and young Offense, I think he will focus on the defensive backfield that is similar to his past teams and have the power to swing a game’s momentum on one play.

24. Cincinnati Bengals

C Ryan Kelly – Alabama

Clearly Marvin Lewis understands the meaning of front-back team building as he doubled up on OT in the first 2 rounds last year. I can see Lewis once again building his OL with this pick. Ryan Kelly is easily the best Center in the 2016 Draft and his addition to Cincinnati would give them undoubtedly the best OL in the league to protect franchise QB Andy Dalton. If one of the Top 3 WRs makes it this far, I think they go there, but it just didn’t fall that way.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers

S Von Bell – Ohio State

This was tough. The Steelers secondary has historically been a force but in recent years they have been underwhelming at best. With Ross Cockrell and William Gay as their starting CBs it was tempting to send Alexander there in this Mock, but I believe that a defense is only as good as their help over the top is. In that sense, I think Von Bell makes a lot of sense. He covers a whole lot of ground and flashed a lot of instinctual plays at Ohio State.

26. Seattle Seahawks

RB Ezekiel Elliott – Ohio State

Top 10 talent without a doubt and I believe he will be a great player moving forward, but in this draft with so many good defensive players and so many defensive needs coming off of a Super Bowl where defense was the overwhelming theme I can’t help but imagine that Elliott drops much farther than people think. Whether he drops THIS far is certainly up for debate. I’ve seen him anywhere from 4 to 34, but I don’t think there is any way Seattle passes up on Elliot if he’s here at 26.

27. Green Bay Packers

DE/OLB Kevin Dodd – Clemson

There is probably two NFL teams that Kevin Dodd would play OLB on and Green Bay is one of them. Dodd has a great burst off the line, but struggles hitting the breaks and changing direction. Luckily, he makes up for that with strength and good hand fighting around the edge. Sitting Dodd behind Perry and Peppers for a year will make a huge difference to his game moving forward.

28. Kansas City Chiefs

OG Cody Whitehair – Kansas State

No doubt that the Chiefs have a great run game and that has been the case for almost a decade. While OLB and DE are probably bigger needs for this team, getting a player like Whitehair at 28 to keep the run game on point next year makes too much sense for a coach who loves to pick the best player available.

29. Arizona Cardinals

OLB Kamalei Correa – Boise State

Bruce Arians loves one thing over anything else. Versatility. Since taking over as the Cardinals Head Coach he has added LB/S Deone Bucannon, CB/S Tyran Mathieu, DE/OLB Kareem Martin, DE/OLB Chandler Jones and has transformed Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd into Slot and Outside WRs. Correa is not supremely talented at any one thing, but he is above average at jsut about everything he was asked to do on Boise’s defense. I can see Arians using him in a variety of ways

30. Carolina Panthers

CB Mackensie Alexander

Not to overreact to the rescinding of Josh Norman’s franchise tag, but it’s pretty clear the Panthers like a player that they believe they can draft this year. To me, it was between Artie Burns of Miami and Alexander of Clemson. Alexander won for me because of the attitude above all else. On tape, Alexander is average, but he excels at the things coach Ron Rivera likes. He is physical player who can react to quick movements and is MUCH better as a part of a full group rather than on an island. Alexander makes too much sense here as much as I thought he’d fall to the 2nd round.

31. Denver Broncos

DE/DT Vernon Butler – Louisiana Tech

While both A’Shawn Robinson and Butler made sense here, I think the Broncos will want the explosion that Butler brings with him in the passing game to make up for what they lost in Malik Jackson. Butler was dominant at Louisiana Tech and played NT, 3-4 DE and 4-3DT. His athleticism, strength and burst will be welcomed to this defense full of playmakers. His one issue in college was his stamina. An issue that shouldn’t be a problem in his rookie season on a DEEP defensive line.

Agree/Disagree with a pick. Let it be known!!!

 Author Bio:

Alex Harrison a football nerd who spends his free time watching game film on YouTube or NFL Game Pass as well as leading his flag football teams to perfect records. While he would love to work in the NFL, he makes his money working as a Content Coordinator. You can hit him up on Twitter @AHSizzler87



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