As promised, my friend Michael has completed his mock draft in preparation for Friday and has consented to my posting of it here. Much like my format, he has added analysis for each pick and accounts for team needs throughout. Enough introduction, let’s get right to his picks.
Message from Michael: Here it is. The classic day before the draft mock. I already want to change some of my picks (i.e. I think Buckner will go #3 now), but here we go.
Click read more to see each of the selections and their analysis.
- Los Angeles Rams – QB Jared Goff, California: This one’s easy. The Rams of Los Angeles traded up in order to secure a quarterback. After much debate, the consensus opinion is that Goff will be the pick. It makes a ton of sense as Goff is a California kid who will be used to the Cali environment.
- Philadelphia Eagles – QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State: The Eagles made a very surprising decision a week ago when they traded their future to get the #2 pick. They don’t get to pick whichever quarterback they want, but Wentz is the better prospect to me and a much better fit in Philadelphia than Goff would be.
- San Diego Chargers – CB/S Jalen Ramsey, Florida State: The Chargers have a big hole at OT but they already have so much money invested in the O-Line. Because of that, I think Ramsey will be the pick as he is a ball hawk and the best prospect in this class.
- Dallas Cowboys – LB Myles Jack, UCLA: I am seeing a ton of Bosa to the Cowboys and it makes sense as he would fill a need and Jerry Jones doesn’t seem to mind character concerns. But with Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory already getting into loads of off the field trouble, not to mention Greg Hardy, the Cowboys may want a clean prospect off the field with loads of talent, and Jack is just that. I think he could easily be the best player in the class when all is said and done.
- Jacksonville Jaguars- DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State: The Jaguars should be winners in this draft regardless of who they take between Jack and Bosa. Both would be another great young piece to add to Gus Bradley’s core. Bosa is the one to fall in this scenario and henceforth he’s the pick.
- Baltimore Ravens- OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss: Ozzie Newsome commits highway robbery by landing the former projected #1 overall pick at #6. The Ravens need offensive line help and they get to address the need with the best prospect at the position in the draft. Love the fit.
- San Francisco 49ers – DE DeForrest Buckner, Oregon: The way I see it is there are 5 elite non-QB prospects in this draft. The 49ers have holes all over the roster so it’d be smart for them to just take whichever of the 5 is remaining. I could see Bosa falling to here as well as Jack, but most likely Buckner will be the pick.
- Cleveland Browns – OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State: I have to think this pick comes down to a tackle like Ronnie Stanley or Conklin, a best player available like Elliot, or the corner Vernon Hargreaves. But the right side of the Browns line is a mess so need alone leads me to believe that Conklin will be the pick, since he is a natural right tackle.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame: I think Tampa is going to have a tough time passing up the opportunity to get Jameis Winston a blind side protector for the next dozen years. Although the pass rush needs to be addressed and could lead to someone like Leonard Floyd getting the nod, I think Stanley is way too good to let slide at this juncture.
- New York Giants – HB Ezekiel Elliot, Ohio State: Boom. Elliot goes in the same spot the top running back from last year did. I think the Giants are realizing that the Manning window is closing and that the team needs playmakers on offense outside of OBJ. Elliot would step in day one and make an instant impact. He is a terrific prospect that is going to make any team better right away. I love the fit.
- Chicago Bears – OLB Leonard Floyd, Georgia: Leonard Floyd is the best talent available here and I can not see him passing 11. Maybe some team will trade up for him but I think the Bears are just going to pull the trigger and take the prospect many teams are salivating over.
- New Orleans Saints – CB Vernon Hargreaves, Florida: The Saints pass stop unit has been atrocious. The front office will race to the podium if Hargreaves is still available for them.
- Miami Dolphins – DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson: The Dolphins lost a very talented pass rusher in Oliver Vernon in free agency. Here’s a pick to lessen the sting a bit. Eli Apple could also very well be the selection.
- Oakland Raiders – DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville: The Raiders have had a glorious offseason but still need to add Defensive Line depth. Rankins is a great talent and could go much higher than this.
- Tennessee Titans- OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State: With the three top left tackle prospects off the board, the Titans reach for Decker. With all of the picks they have available, they can afford this luxury.
- Detroit Lions – DT Jarran Reed, Alabama: The Lions need to fill their hole at defensive tackle after both Suh and Nick Fairley departed the team. Haloti Ngata is a good fill now, but he’s getting up there in age and wasn’t that effective last season anyways.
- Atlanta Falcons – OLB Darron Lee, Ohio State: If Lee is available here this pick is a lock. He’s a great fit for the defense, the top prospect available, and fills a huge need. Win win win.
- Indianapolis Colts – DT Andrew Billings, Baylor: The Colts desperately need to improve their o-line but their front office has shown a history of incompetence and there are no great tackle prospects available in this lovely mock. Because of that, I think they address their DT need with a coveted prospect in Andrew Billings.
- Buffalo Bills – DE/OLB Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky: I think Spence is a great talent who absolutely dominated at OSU. Although he doesn’t have the strongest combine numbers, he is a true football player with great game speed. The Bills dont care about character concerns and Spence is a top-10 talent without them.
- New York Jets – OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana: The Jets offensive line sucks following The Brick’s retirement. Here’s a player to help whoever is behind center in 2016.
- Washington Redskins – CB Eli Apple, Ohio State: Wait! Didn’t Washington just sign Josh Norman?!?! Yeah, but I think Apple is a top-15 talent and so do the Redskins. The chance to form a lockdown secondary and develop Apple alongside Norman might be too good to pass up. The whole defense would improve as a result.
- Houston Texans – WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame: Fuller over Treadwell because the Texans need speed over playmaker. Fuller will give Houston its first legitimate number 2 receiver in its 13 years of existence.
- Minnesota Vikins – DT Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech: Wide receiver could totally be the pick here but everyone and their mothers is mocking the Vikings a WR so I think they choose a player who is an exceptional fit for Mike Zimmer’s defense. Butler would play so well in Minnesota and really solidify an already top notch unit. Receivers are a few dimes a dozen and a good one (or two) can be found in day 2.
- Cincinnati Bengals – WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss: Teams in the NFL aren’t high on Treadwell because of his 4.64 40. Thats nonsense, however. Treadwell is a legit football player who makes tremendous plays and is a winner. He gets all jump balls and runs crisp and beautiful routes. I think he is going to feel slighted that he fell to 24 and he will wreck the league because of it. Perfect player to catch Daltons short, quick throws and explode for extra yards. He will be the steal of the draft.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – S Keanu Neal, Florida: The Steelers need secondary help and Neal has gotten a ton of buzz as being a late first rounder
- Seattle Seahawks – OG/OT Cody Whitaker, Kansas State: The Seahawks have a history on reaching on athletic, versatile O-Line men (i.e. James Carpenter). They have a huge need all over the line and Whitaker has the potential to be moved around.
- Green Bay Packers: ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama: Okay, this is a dream come true for me, but I swear I didn’t plan it this way. Everyone has been mocking the Packers a DT but the past few years, even with strong DT play, they couldn’t win a title. ILB has been their biggest need for years. The Packers need speed and a play maker in the middle, that will free up lanes for Matthews and Perry on the outside. Jake Ryan is a great run stopper and tackler, but not a great athlete. Putting him next to Ragland would shore the Packers defense for a decade. A trade down for a QB seeking team is possible but the value with Ragland is way too immense.
- Kansas City Chiefs – QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis: I think that if a team doesn’t jump KC, Lynch will be the pick. They can develop him for a few years behind Smith and than let him take over. They obviously won’t win a Super Bowl with Captain Average Alex.
- Arizona Cardinals – DE/OLB Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss: Like his fellow Ole Miss alum Laquon, I really think the media has killed Nkemdiche’s stock. The kid is so young and has such a vibrant personality that I think he will be a stud. He’s another player who will want to make NFL teams pay for his fall. Great player and a great fit, filling a huge need.
- Carolina Panthers – WR Josh Doctson, TCU: The Panthers struck gold with a WR at the end of the first round a couple years ago. Coleman could go here as well. Newton needs another guy to throw to, as evidenced by the Super Bowl and his top 2015 target: Ted Ginn.
- Denver Broncos – QB Cardale Jones, Ohio State: Boom. Cardale is my favorite prospect in the draft and I just had to get him into my first round. The kid has an absolute cannon and a love for the game. Urban Meyer said it best when he said this kid will be great now that he doesn’t have to worry about school (typical). His 3 game title run in a system that doesn’t fit him could have made him the number 1 overall pick. He has big game experience and can thrive in a good environment. I hope the Browns will be kicking themselves if this pick is made, because seeing Cardale, a hometown kid, in Cleveland would be a dream come true for NFL fans. Kids going to be a stud.
This is just a reminder that this draft was done by my friend Michael. You can expect to maybe see some more entries by him and most likely an NBA mock in the coming months. And that’s all I have, so this is me…signing off. -Lukas.