2016 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
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"Joey Bosa"

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

I’m back and the site has a new look. It was time I bit the bullet and updated the site. So I’ve taken the last seven months off – some would argue two years – but I’m coming out firing this draft season. Part of my hiatus was to take a deep dive into the CFB world with an eye on evaluating players instead of worrying about writing an article. So it’s time to ratchet up the NFL Draft coverage this season with our first 2016 NFL Mock Draft.

As much as I didn’t want to come out with a first piece being a mock draft – I had to satisfy emailers asking since July. Don’t put any attention into order as I’ve been constructing this since Sunday night. Love to hear your feedback and welcome back to NFL – leave some feedback on the look of the site. It’s probably not a finished product yet but it’s getting close.

1. Cleveland Browns – Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

It’s probably not all that likely that Mike Pettine and Co. are back after another dismal season. I would fully expect that Jimmy Haslam will go full implosion in Berea on January 4. A QB will definitely be in play here with a new regime and the 6 game proving ground for Johnny Manziel. If Manziel shows growth, the Browns would be foolish to reach (in my opinion) for Lynch, Goff, or Cook with Joey Bosa staring them down.

2. Tennessee Titans – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

The Titans have to protect Marcus Mariota. Tunsil is a day one starter at left or right tackle on this squad and gives the Titans a significant upgrade at either spot.

3. Baltimore Ravens – Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State

"Jalen Ramsey"

Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore defense is a far cry from that dominating crew of the last decade. Jimmy Smith and Ladarius Webb can’t stay on the field and the safety play is an atrocious nightmare. Ramsey’s versatility to play safety or corner significantly helps this defense. While it’s high, Ramsey is the difference maker in the back that the Ravens sorely need.

4. San Diego Chargers – Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

I get some of the Ronnie Stanley hate as of late but his ceiling is too high for him to slide out of the top 10. Clearly, there’s some fixes that will need to be made but he’s a day one starter for the Chargers that represents a significant upgrade over anyone they are rolling out on Sundays.

5. Dallas Cowboys – Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

Is this the year the Cowboys pull the trigger on Tony Romo’s successor? I think so and here’s why. Romo’s absence this year has been a preview of things to come without a solid succession plan. This team is fairly talented with Romo on the field but when he’s out there’s such a steep decline. That said, Jerry Jones and the Cowboys won’t anticipate drafting this high for a long time so why not grab a QB.

6. Detroit Lions – Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss

The Lions defense has been a joke this season. The front four need an infusion of talent and Nkemdiche provides that in spades. His ability to rush the passer on the interior gives the Lions an element they’ve sorely missed with Suh in Miami.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

I don’t see CB being the biggest need for the Jags but I also don’t see them passing on defensive talent like Hargreaves. Hargreaves’ playmaking ability in the defensive backfield is something Gus Bradley should and will be pounding the table for.

8. San Francisco 49ers – Jared Goff, QB, Cal

How do you go back to Colin Kaepernick after replacing him with Blaine Gabbert? You don’t. Kaepernick and the Niners could both use a change of scenery. That said, the Niners can’t rely on Gabbert as a starter if they want to win games. I’ve been high on Goff since seeing him live last year at Northwestern. No doubt there’s room to grow in his game but the Niners have to take a shot on a QB given their situation.

9. Houston Texans – Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

The least of the Texans’ worries are Brian Hoyer. That offensive line is a battered group, they have zero run game and outside of Nuk Hopkins nothing scares you on offense. I haven’t mentioned a defense that largely underperformed over the first five games but seems to be hitting their stride shutting down the Bengals on Monday night. So why Connor Cook given what I’ve talked about? Because it’s the NFL and the blame is always squarely on the QB.

10. New Orleans Saints – Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

I’m a sucker for big guys that move like Billings. Fully realizing that his types don’t go this high in the draft, I think New Orleans need at the spot could drive them to take Billings this high. If not, I’d look at one of the receivers coming off the board here.

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

I think Buckner has as much as upside as any player in this draft class. With that in mind, the Bucs take a shot on him early. Not to mention I think he’s head and shoulders better than his teammate Arik Armstead, who went 17th to the Niners in 2015.

"Mackensie Alexander"

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

12. Miami Dolphins – Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

If you haven’t paid attention to Clemson’s Mackensie Alexander than you need to. He’s not nearly a finished product in terms of technique but he’s exactly what the NFL is looking for at the position. He’s missing the polish of Hargreaves or Ramsey but his ceiling is equally high.

13. Oakland Raiders – A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

The Raiders and Reggie McKenzie are putting something together. Adding A’Shawn Robinson in the defensive trenches is another step in the right direction. After a bit of a slow start to the season, Robinson has picked it up and is worthy of a top 15 selection in this draft.

14. Washington – Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

Treadwell may be too good to pass on at this point. The Washington WR corps is fine in its current state but I’m not sure Pierre Garcon and Desean Jackson are both back next season (Jackson being the most likely to return with dead cap sitting over $6M). That said Treadwell gives Jay Gruden’s offense a big and productive target for the present and well into the future.

15. Philadelphia Eagles – Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn

Shon Coleman is a head scratcher for me. I think he has top 10 ability but the unknown with his health is scaring me away. Coleman has battled leukemia since 2010 – battling his way into the starting left tackle job for the last two seasons. On tape, I’m not sure Coleman isn’t the most talented draft eligible tackle. With that in mind, I don’t know how teams will evaluate the medical on him if he chooses to come out. I’m rooting hard for this kid and here’s to hoping he checks team’s medical boxes and lands in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

VIDEO: NFL.com Shon Coleman overcomes cancer in journey to the draft

16. Kansas City Chiefs – Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame

Jaylon Smith is as explosive as an athlete at the LB position as we’ve seen. I don’t know that this is the best fit for him but I can’t see him falling much further than 16 in the draft – just too much upside, athleticism and big league production.

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Author: Brad

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  • metalhead65

    yeah maybe the bears would have thought about taking him before his knee injury but he will not be the impact player they need now that that has happened to him. I would take the best corner available when they pick or why not pick the best offensive lineman even though that is not a glaring need it couldn’t hurt.

    • bradc11

      Too good a value to drop any further than that range. His knee will be fine…he’ll have had plenty of time to recover and I fully expect him to show well during pre-draft workouts. Corner makes sense but I don’t value anyone that was left on the board near the value of Jack.

  • reggie

    Brad!!! Glad to have you back. Always love reading a mock that goes outside the social norm. Lions I am torn on with Robert Nkemdiche. I think the guy has elite play but I worry about his functional strength as I see him go sideways way too often and be pushed out of the run play. I am not sure I would take him over A’Shawn Robinson, DeForrest Buckner, or Emmanuel Oghab but its early and I cannot argue DL being a need. It would be hard to pass on Vernon Hargreaves there as well. Its too bad Lions will not get a LT but that is highly realistic where they are selecting. If the went DT in Round 1 I would hope in Round 2 that they get Su’a Cravens or Kendall Fuller. Though Oghab might be my choice

    • bradc11

      Good hearing from you Reggie. I have to admit I’m a bit torn on Nkemdiche as well. He’s so disruptive at times but can be wiped out of plays over long stretches…I worry about that in the NFL. I was very close to going Hargreaves there, pairing him with Slay would be nice for the next ten years. Hey you keep winning and we’ll have a whole group of new prospects to debate.

      • Reggoe

        Agree completely on Sudfeld by the way in other article. Wish Lions could get him Round 3 or 4 this season.

        Hargreaves is a beast. Would love him in Detroit. Shocked with you and Browns passing on QB’s but this group is falling like the Hindenburg

        • bradc11

          It was tough for me not to go QB and that is likely to change. My only thought was whether Bosa was too good to pass up…that’s a question mark for me. I think out of the QB group I would go with Paxton Lynch…a ton of upside and he’s built for the Cleveland weather. You are likely to see him in my next mock for the Browns. Sudfeld is a top 50 guy for me in this draft…I’ll have an article out on him next week.

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