2016 NFL Mock Draft No. 1-10

Our very own football savant and offensive co-ordinator Dan Cameron is giving a breakdown on the upcoming draft here is his analysis on picks 1-10.

1.

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NEEDS: WR / OL

 

PICK: QB JARED GOFF – CALIFORNIA

 

Despite some mad theories, the general consensus is that the LA feel all they need is a Quarterback to be able to compete and ascend from the almost perpetual 8-8 or 7-9 records that Jeff Fisher teams seem to be destined for.

 

Since his first full season as a Head Coach in 1995, 14 of those seasons came with 8 wins or less. In the last 4 years he hasn’t won more than 7 games and his median career win percentage in .508.

 

This trade that he and current GM Les ‘Trade’ Snead have manipulated has more than just desperation to win behind it. The teams owner Stan Kronke has just put $1 Billion dollars in escrow to secure the move of the team to a bigger media market and has to sell it self to a new fan base.

 

What better way to sell to Californian natives than having the prodigal Californian QB stay in state and be the poster child for the new Franchise? Remember Fisher was the QB that wanted to take Matt Leinart all those years ago but instead the then Titans Owner Bud Adams wanted Vince Young. I’m not convinced its exactly the same here but it shouldn’t be ruled out of the equation.

 

That may seem an utterly cynical view. It is. The difficulty is that Goff is not  worth the price they paid to get to the number 1 pick. And considering the price paid to get to 1 from 15 was about half the price the Skins gave up to LA for RGIII…..something just doesn’t sit right.

 

He has the ability to be an NFL Starter but none of the varying array of information available at this time of year has Goff (or Wentz for that matter) close to grading out to recent 1st round picks such as  Luck, Newton, Griffin III, Bortles, Winston and Mariotta. That should be concerning. That the base evaluation of a player that you are mortgaging the farm on isn’t worth sacrificing your next 2 drafts for.

 

There’s news that Fisher sees comparable feature to Steve McNair in Carson Wentz. Small Div 1AA school, big frame and stature, mobile, big arm but in reality I dont think Wentz should really be in the conversation.

 

WILDCARD: LA trade back to early teens, picking up multiple picks this year and next year and make John Robinson the Titans GM look a bit sheepish.

2.

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NEEDS: RB / OG / OT

 

PICK: QB CARSON WENTZ – ND STATE

 

This is a ridiculous pick.

 

Before the trade with LA and the Titans, the news was that the Eagles were the other suitor trying to move up but weren’t giving up the goods (with what LA gave up I can only imagine they were offering a Philly Steak and a tour of the Liberty Bell).

 

Jeffery Lurie, the Eagles owner, has been out on all the private workouts of the QBs showing that there is obviously a discussion at a high level that they need to get one of these Quarterbacks this year. If not it’s a well resourced smoke screen.

 

They just paid Sam Bradford $20 million for basically a one year deal, Chase Daniel comes as the reliable back up that knows the system and can assist in implementing it to the starter.

 

I don’t even think they have to move for this pick. They could even drop down and he would still be there.

 

Carson Wentz has managed to take hold of an NFL Media desperate for a QB controversy and manufacture some value. He looks the part but I don’t see what separates him from Connor Cook from Michigan State in all honesty.  They are for me the same player but Cook played against tougher defences in tougher games.

 

Each draft is different, but Wentz isn’t anywhere near the prospect Aaron Rodger was when so many teams passed on him down to pick 26 and so every year there is a player that manages to wield the situation to his advantage and that player that manages to wield the power of a position needy team and the order in which teams are picking.

 

Lots of people were wrong on Cam Newton, myself included. He may prove the doubters wrong but on what’s available and where he can take your team is not worth a pick this high.

 

Note: Written before the Eagles Traded to the 2nd pick on 20 April 2016.

 

21 April 2016

Now the trade I imagined would happen has, its even worse than I thought. Howie Roseman must be on a mission to prove he can pick the correct QB for the Franchise and that Kelly was just all kinds of wrong but this is just damn near suicidal.

 

They must just have thought that they couldn’t risk any one being able to jump in front of them but I’m damn sure the Cowboys, Jags and Ravens would all have flip-flopped for less.

 

In any event what’s done is done.

 

WILDCARD: None. They will take whoever is available but insist it was ‘their guy’ all along.

3.

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NEEDS: DL / S / TE

 

PICK: T LAREMY TUNSIL – OLE MISS

 

The impossible has happened and San Diego is ecstatic. Even if it doesn’t fill a need he is the best player at the top of their board.

 

Having kicked 2013 1st round pick D.J. Fluker inside to Guard for 2015 the Chargers are in need of a dependable LT. Orlando Franklin has struggled and for a team that only managed 4 Rushing Tds and never have a 100yd rusher having taken RB Melvin Gordon last year seriously need to address the unit that help move the ball on the ground.

 

Tunsil is by and large the consensus best player available in the draft. He has been overshadowed because of the quick assumption that he is a lock-in 10 year player and the mess in the media with the 2 QBs.

 

If the Chargers want to improve their offence then they do it by adding a player that will allow Phillip Rivers not to run for his life 15 times a game and improve the 31st ranked rushing offence in 2015.

 

WILDCARD: Jalen Ramsey to replace Eric Weddle and add versatility on defence.

4.

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NEEDS: CB / RB / QB

 

PICK: DB JALEN RAMSEY – FLORIDA STATE

 

The Cowboys are never easy to predict. They seemingly take the best player available on their board which is always a treat as it surprised us to learn that Zach Martin and Travis Frederick were drafted where they were in the 1st rounds of 2013 and 2014.

 

It worked for them though as it along with the addition of Tyron Smith earlier formed one of the most formidable rush attacks in recent memory with Demarco Murray taking full advantage.

 

Even though they took Byron Jones last year it doesn’t seem to phase them and with a player of Ramsey’s calibre, the first true freshman to start at Florida State since Deion Sanders, they would jump to add another quality Defensive back to a Secondary that has needed upgrading for years.

 

Morris Claibourne was supposed to be the beginning of that transformation but he has disappointed and is sometimes just plain awful. Jeff Heath the man more commonly known as the player who almost decapitated Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette is the main depth at S and while its great to see a small school guy making it in the NFL, Father Jerry demands Stars on the field for the stars on the helmets.

 

WILDCARD:Joey Bosa to replace Greg Hardy.

 

5.

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NEEDS: OLB / S / C

 

PICK: LB MYLES JACK – UCLA

 

With the Free Agent acquisitions of $90 million dollar man Malik Jackson, fresh of a superbowl and Prince Amukamara the Jags managed to fill some glaring holes identified during the 2015 season. The Jags will also be looking to see how last years 1st round pick Dante Fowler Jnr will be having sat all of last year with a torn ACL.

 

They could still do with secondary help but with Ramsey off the board and it still too early to start thinking about Offensive skills the obvious choice is to take LB (most definitely LB not RB) Myles Jack.

 

Part of the rebuilding project of Jim Mora at UCLA, Jack declared for the draft after only 2 season and 3 games. Jack hurt his knee 3 games in and with his body insured after his freshman season he left school and started focusing on his rehabilitation for the NFL.

 

If it wasn’t for the knee he could have been taken before Ramesy. But as it falls he adds to a thin LB group headed by allbeit tackling machine but held together by duct tape Paul Posluzny.

 

With the rapid Telvin Smith on one side and Jack on the other, it would be seriously difficult for opposing offences to do much on the outside in 2016.

 

WILDCARD: T Ronnie Stanley as an insurance police in case Luke Joekel doesn’t get his act together

 

6.

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NEEDS: OT / OG / CB

 

PICK: DE DEFOREST BUCKNER – OREGON

 

Ozzie! Ozzie! Ozzie! I dont think he can hear me.

 

After years of the Ravens being master of the dark drafting arts they have stalled over the last few years. Since taking the QB ‘who must not be named’ in 2009 the Ravens have traded out of the first round twice in 2010 and 2012, meaning their top picks became Sergio Kindle (who fell down a flight of stairs so badly he never played a down) and Courtney Upshaw who has just left in FA to Atlanta.

 

Those that are still with the team don’t read like a roll of honour: Jimmy Smith, Matt Elam, CJ Mosley and Breshard Perriman (who may or may not end up like Kindle). Out of those only Mosely looks like he will fulfil the promise of what’s wanted from a first rounder.

 

So that being said you cant miss with All-American Deforest Buckner. Can you? Well, time will tell but seeing as the Free Agency period allowed Kelechi Osemili to leave amid slurs of being under appreciated and not resigning Upshaw, or Canty, while signing Trent Richardson to an actual paying contract there will be questions needing answered is the Ravens are picking at the same point in 2017.

 

WILDCARD: Ezekiel Elliot to have a player who, you know might be able to play the position. I dont think Myles Jack gets past 5, bum knee and all.

 

BONUS WILDCARD: Trade with Dallas and pinch Jalen Ramsey.

 

7.

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NEEDS: QB / ILB / OT

 

PICK: RB EZEKIEL ELLIOT – OHIO STATE

 

Immediately 49ers fans are going ‘but we have Carlos Hyde?!?!’

 

You forget this is Chip Kelly and Trent Balke. Is the final year of the Kelly ‘experiment’ in Philadelphia Kelly stacked the backfield with Demarco Murray and Ryan Matthews. Both in this humble writers opinion were terrible fits and it pretty much showed.

 

Kelly wants to run the ball and Elliot is the best IZ gun runner to be this highly rated in like….well…..forever.

 

With the Kaepernick problem lightly stewing in the background and the strangely high praise Kelly had for Blaine Gabbert they can’t be ruled out as trade partners for the Browns. Their WR depth pretty much consists of Torey Smith with Anquan Boldin still not resigned but its too high to start looking at WRs.

 

Absent any move up best bet is they move down.

 

WILDCARD: If Cowboys take Bosa over Buckner, Chip goes back to a player he recruited in college and reunite with Arik Armstead. If Trent Baalke lets him.

 

8.

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NEEDS: WR / DL

 

PICK: DE JOEY BOSA – OHIO STATE

 

I just never bought that the ‘Broons’ would take a QB at 2 for the previously mentioned reason that neither ‘top’ Quarterback was worthy of it. A number reasons for this:

 

  • They signed RGIII. Rumour has it that Hue Jackson think he can ‘fix’ him.
  • The reason where Jackson is right now is the production provided and the progress of Andy Dalton. A solid prospect coming out of college taken at the top of the second round. The Browns can drop back a number of times or sit tight at the top of Round 2 and pick up a Paxton Lynch or Connor Cook.
  • The new GM Paul Podesta comes from a Baseball background with the predominate philosophy being ‘Moneyball’. The idea that analytics and stats allow safer more productive signing and ergo more value for money and also the more picks the more likely you are to find a player at the right value. The idea that his first move in the draft would be to take an unknown quantity at such an important position would be just too contrary for that.
  • Any QB taken by the Browns is just destined to fail. See the period of the Newco ‘Broons’ from 1999 onwards.

 

So, they need a lot of help. Ideally I wouldn’t even make this pick I think it is so unlikely to happen but needs must.

 

If you have to start rebuilding a franchise somewhere other than the top job then most would agree that D-line is the next position group you would address. This is a deep, deep draft for this group and Joey Bosa would fit what the Browns need, an explosive, disruptive, big athlete to put beside the promising Danny Shelton to bolster a very thin position group.

 

The Browns currently show only 5 Defensive lineman on their roster and other than Shelton there’s not much that can give Browns fans any confidence that they are starter in a very tough, run oriented Division.

 

Note: Written before the Eagles Traded to the 2nd pick on 20 April 2016.

 

21 April 2016

Now the trade I imagined would happen has, I still expect the Browns to drop down at least once more. All that has changed is that instead of Buckner going at 2 to Cleveland they take the next best available at the position.

 

WILDCARD: Taking the top CB or Rush OLB available, Leonard Floyd over Eli Apple.
9.

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NEEDS: CB / OT / S

 

PICK: DB VERNON HARGREVES – FLORIDA

 

The Bucs are able to go in a few directions. After a year where their first two picks of 2015 really stood out with QB Jamies Wintson and out of nowhere Hobart (I know me neither) G Ali Marpet and a glimpse of what the bones of this roster are capable of allows them to be choosy.

 

Free Agency has seen them fill gaps opened by the retirement of Logan Mankins in the for of former Seahawk J.R Sweezy and I’m sure Ronnie Stanley is a player that is generating a lot of discussions.

 

However, they signed Brent Grimes after his fallout with Miami, or more appropriately Miami’s fallout with Grimes’s wife, who chose social media as a tool for just plain trouble. He is more likely a patch at the position and with a talent like Vernon Hargreaves III falling to them they go for the upside available over the stability and dependable nature of Ronnie Stanley.

 

Dirk Koetter was elevated from his position as OC to the top job as a result of getting the most out of a group of players that always seemed to be under performing. Winston showed that he actually does have the necessary tools to take the team forward and with re-signing Doug Martin as well as the retention of Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans and A.S. Jenkins they will probably sit on those guys for the moment and go defence.

 

Mike Smith the former Atlanta Falcons Head Coach will have a lot of pull and will make noises about the comparisons between Hargreaves and former first round pick of the Falcons 2013 CB Desmond Trufant who just made his first Pro Bowl.

 

WILDCARD: CB McKensie Alexander – Clemson.
10.

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NEEDS: T

 

PICK: T RONNIE STANLEY – NOTRE DAME

 

With Mr Tom Coughlin out the door, and Jerry Reese somehow managing to pin the failing of the Roster on the Elder there is no real indicator for what Ben McAdoo might push for in his first year.

 

I have flip-flopped back and forth as to whether or not they try and keep Eli manning upright to throw the incredible amount of picks he does or provide him with someone as a legitimate option after Odell Beckham JR to let him not draw as many double teams.

 

In the end I’ve taken Stanely, a solid Tackle who will immediately plug himself in at RT and all Manning to be a bit more comfortable. The Giants have seen the success from a Division rival, Dallas, in taking many OL early and taking their quality over a necessary need. With Stanley the Giant will now have 3 First round Picks starting with last years selection Erik Flower and converted Tackle to Guard Justin Pugh.

 

McAdoo was in Green Bay when they won the Super Bowl and since that time the Packers frailties on the line have been all too clear. He sacrifices a new toy to ensure his current crop of skill players have a better chance to succeed this year.

 

WILDCARD: WR Will Fuller – Notre Dame

 

 

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