NFL Draft Main 500 300 2016


Early 2016 Mock Draft: Round One


 

Like all good and studious Dynasty zealots we here at DFW stay in tune to minor league football or as some refer to it, college football. That’s right we are already studying the next crop of athletes to help get you ready for your 2016 rookie drafts. As you can also imagine we watch the pro action as well in effort to identify team draft and free agency needs for the upcoming offseason. Our musings have finally edited themselves into coherent thoughts, so here are our findings.

Tunsil to Motown could answer a lot of questions.

Tunsil to Motown could answer a lot of questions.

1.01 Detroit Lions – Needs: CB, OT, WRLaremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss Runnin’ Rebels – His long arms prevent defenders from using swim moves to get around him. Tunsil is also able to remain very low while coming out of stance, which allows him to stay under defenders and punish their mid-section. He is exactly what the Lion offense needs. He is full of grit and not too much swag. Tunsil is the safest player in the class and he can be the cornerstone of any future successes in Motown.

1.02 Tennessee Titans – Needs: OL, TE, DTA’Shawn Robinson, DE/DT, Alabama Crimson Tide – With some other youthful pieces in place defense-wise, adding Robinson will make everyone better off the edge. He may be drafted with some #IDP potential but plugging gaps will be his forte. He will be disruptive to opponents running and short yardage games, and he will wear down their interior linemen. He can succeed at NT, DT or even DE and that gives him an edge over most DTs in this draft. It’s not a sexy pick, but you need a biscuit before you can make the gravy.

1.03 Baltimore Ravens – Needs: EDGE, WR, DBJoey Bosa, DE, Ohio State Buckeyes – DFW’s own Bruce Kimbrough believes Bosa can be a top five DE as early as his rookie season. He flashes shades of Richard Dent, but may be even more versatile. The Ravens have had some feared pass rushers in their time and Bosa could write the next chapter in B-More lore. What a difference he would make, right!

It's not like Cleveland hasn't gamble on a QB before.

It’s not like Cleveland hasn’t gamble on a QB before.

1.04 Cleveland Browns – Needs WR, TE, QB, EdgePaxton Lynch, QB, Memphis Tigers – Lynch is all the rage right now since his team took down a SEC opponent. We do not dispute the kid has talent, but the scheme is not pro-ready. Timing based slants and bubbles litter his game tapes. His deep ball, though rare, is very accurate. So why Cleveland, you ask? With 5-foot-9 WRs being the norm, why not bring in a skilled short game facilitator in the vein of Ryan Tannehill. Like most young QBs, he does bird-dog his first option. The same was said of Carson Palmer many moons ago and at least the Browns have a solid O-line. He is not the messiah, but could be very Bernie Kosar-esque. And yes it is time for Johnny Manziel to sit on Tim Couch.

1.05 San Diego Chargers – Needs DL, OL, WRLaquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss Runnin’ Rebels – Assuming Malcolm Floyd retires and Stevie Johnson does not get any younger, Treadwell could be a quality downfield option for the Chargers. Standing 6-foot-2, he uses his size and agility well. Treadwell reminds me a lot of Dallas WR Terrence Williams. He will need to show more toughness to succeed, but with Keenan Allen the only real future piece at WR, Treadwell could be a major part of the Chargers passing game.

1.06 San Francisco 49ers – Needs OL, DL, WR, CBJaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish – Smith is widely regarded as the best LB in the class, and another tackle-volume LB to aid NaVorro Bowman will be a serious upgrade. The rag-tag LB bunch currently in San Francisco lacks a legitimate floor. Smith is a sound tackler with real speed. He can be a true difference-maker in creating a fearful defense.

1.07 Jacksonville Jaguars – Needs OL, DL, ILBRobert Nkemdiche, DT/DE Ole Miss Runnin’ Rebels – Nowadays, when we see a sub-300 pound DT, we want to compare him to Aaron Donald. Nkemdiche in Jacksonville could be very Donald-like. Sen’Derrick Marks is a ticking time bomb and Michael Bennett is showing the world why he slipped in the 2015 draft. So Nkemdiche will have an opportunity to gain a majority snap count very early.

1.08 Chicago Bears – Needs QB, DE, OLB, CBJared Goff, QB, California Golden Bears – This is an obvious choice if the Bears are be able to sever ties with Jay Cutler this off-season. Goff is hardly the answer to all there problems, but a fresh start at QB should invigorate Chicago much like the Teddy Bridgewater Fever that is spreading in Minnesota. Goff is a polished/heady passer and he is not a Florida Gator! He will inherit Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White, most rookie QBs are not so lucky.

 

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Those moves could spurn a lot of Lone Star love.

1.09 Dallas Cowboys – Needs RB, CB, LBEzekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State – Was this choice too easy? Okay maybe it was but it makes total sense. Elliott is an off-tackle force. Many Fantasy pundits will get overzealous and take Elliott way to early. He has a bright future, but a long way to go to be an NFL RB1. Elliott would join a committee and he will eventually win out as the best option. Dallas (Jerry Jones) loves making big splashes, and a first round RB is quite the kaboom. Elliott will help them win games and possibly make the playoffs as well.

1.10 Houston Texans – Needs QB, RB, TEConnor Cook, QB, Michigan State Spartans – It is about time the Texans get over their only venture at drafting a franchise QB. David Carr never stood a chance after his 50-plus sack season. Houston has seemed simply pigheaded about taking a QB early ever since. That all can change when they nab Cook. The Texans’ 2015 QBs Brian Hoyer and now exiled Ryan Mallet–have started less games in their NFL careers that Cook has over the past three seasons in East Lansing. He is a precise and careful thrower. With young WRs already on the roster, Cook can grow up quickly. His ability to fit the ball into tight windows should translate nicely, along with his solid TD/INT ratio. #DeAndreHopkins

1.11 Kansas City Cheifs – Needs OL, CB, WRRonnie Staley, OT, Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish – With the KC O-line underwhelming, Stanley can be the next man up. He is a natural anchor the Chiefs can lean on for years. Given proper encouragement and technical guidance Staley could be an elite talent. KC always seems to be searching for offensive balance and Stanley can be a key piston in their engine to finding it.

1.12 Miami Dolphins – Needs OL, OL, TE, LBTyler Johnstone, OT, Oregon Ducks -Who says you must be well north of 300 pounds to play LT in the NFL? With Branden Albert aging faster than his contract expiration date, Johnstone can be the heir-apparent. He has torn the same ACL twice, but as a three-year starter for the Ducks he has maintained since. The uptempo Oregon scheme heightens the stamina of some it’s bigger athletes. On more than one occasion, opponents have had to move their top defensive player to the opposite side of the field as Johnstone. Miami needs a lengthy bruiser like this to contain the crop of edge rushers that are becoming the norm.

 

jalen-ramsey-florida-state-tri

It may be impossible to be too excited for Ramsey to take to the NFL stage.

1.13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Needs OL, CB, WR, DEJalen Ramsey, S/CB, Florida State Seminoles – Maybe the most coveted DB prospect since fellow FSU alum Deion Sanders. He might not clock in the 4.2’s at the combine, but his instincts are like an energy drink compared to a glass of milk. Pairing Ramsey with stud CB Alterraun Verner could be a deadly combo for Bucs opponents.

1.14 Philadelphia Eagles – Needs OL, WRGermain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M Aggies – Philly needs an efficient running attack for Chip Kelly’s offense to succeed and for him to keep his job. Ifedi is massive specimen who doesn’t look 20 pounds over 300. His quick hands are outmatched only by a graceful side step. I believe his abilities could translate to playing guard in the NFL as well. No matter where they slot him, he will open holes for the Eagle RBs to set the pace.

1.15 Washington Redskins – Needs DE, QB, S, WR, – Leonard Floyd, Edge, Georgia Bulldogs – Floyd was asked to play ILB this season due to a depleted depth chart. He prospered, but shouldn’t be type casted. He is an edge crusher, and with a decent LB corps in DC, Floyd can a dynamic DE in certain situations. Adding Floyd could also allow the massive Preston Smith to move back to DE on first and second down. Floyd will be a disrupter at the next level and the ‘Skins would get themselves a gem with this selection.

1.16 Buffalo Bills – Needs OL, QB, OLBVadal Alexander, OG/OT, LSU Tigers – Rex Ryan will willingly live and die by the run. Alexander will give the Bills a big body to help continue their downhill attack. Alexander has the upper body power that justifies drafting him in the first round. His versatility at guard and tackle will help the Buffalo offense do many things successfully.

1.17 New Orleans Saints – Needs Defense, TEVernon Hargeaves, CB, Florida Gators – Warm healthy bodies are needed all over for the New Orleans defense, but Hargeaves has to be the choice here. If 2015 draftee P.J. Williams recovers to be a contributor, the Saints could have a nice young tandem for the future. His ability to read the QB and anticipate routes will earn him snaps early. To have continued success in the NFL you cannot miss on your first round picks and Hargeaves is as safe as they come.

 

Aug 30, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun (89) scores a touchdown on fumble recovery against the Western Michigan Broncos during 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 26-13. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Calhoun is a straight up athlete.

1.18 Seattle Seahawks – Needs WR, DE, CBShilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State Spartans – Somewhere between Leonard Little and Julius Peppers lies a slender and bendy edge crusher named Calhoun. Seattle already has solid LBs in place, so adding a true pass rushing DE like Calhoun could make them very dangerous. So what if he looks like a TE? He has the burst like one as well. Calhoun will slip into the Sehawks’ rotational defense and find many QBs to chase on third and long.

1.19 Pittsburgh Steelers – Needs CB, DT, S, RB, QBTra’Davious White, CB, LSU Tigers – Talk about fitting a need! White can be an every-down player at the next level, but it will take at least a year. At 5-foot-11 he defends bigger WRs well, however inside routes are his weakness. He is not afraid to mix it up, and plays the ball well when it’s in the air. White presses effectively and does not allow the WR to gain a free release. After losing Ike Taylor to retirement, the Steelers must realize it’s time to plant a seed before William Gay is gone too.

 

Just what the DOCT ordered for the Rams.

Just what the DOCT ordered for the Rams.

1.20 St. Louis Rams – Needs WR, CB, TEJosh Doctson, WR, TCU Horned Frogs – The athletically gifted Doctson will be an outside presence for Rams. He can can force the defense to pay attention to him while Tavon Austin and Todd Gurley shred the middle of the field. Doctson is a smooth and fluid route runner. He also understands how to extend his route to help his QB be out.

1.21 Indianapolis Colts – Needs DL, OL, SKenny Clark, DT, UCLA Bruins – Really, the best defensive player available will do here for the Colts. With Clark, Indy gets a player who plays bigger than his 310 pound frame. He stands his ground and forces the play away from him. Like most DTs he is not going to be a stat monster, but will provide some much needed strength as a hole-plugger.

1.22 New York Giants – Needs OL, OLB, DBJack Conklin, OT, Michigan State Spartans – When the need is so enormous, you must draft O-lineman in the first round in consecutive years. That is the overwhelming case here in New York. The G-Men want to extend their franchise QB’s career, and protecting him is vital to such an investment. Conklin could play either LT or RT depending on how 2015 first rounder Ereck Flowers develops. Conklin plays with power and stability in pass pro, and with a whole lot of charge when run blocking. He could be the key piece to another deep run for Eli Manning in New York.

 

Henry to the Big Apple! Gang Green Style.

Henry to the Big Apple! Gang Green Style.

1.23 New York Jets – Needs OL, WR, RB, TE, QBDerrick Henry, RB Alabama Crimson Tide – Please use no stigmas when watching Henry. At 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds he can run through– and past–would-be tacklers. His pass pro is phenomenal. Being the “yang” to Chris Ivory’s “ying” will not help his Fantasy stock, but do not downgrade him. His future is as strong as he is a runner. He may lack top-end speed, but he will break enough tackles to make you forget about his shortcomings.

1.24 Oakland Raiders – Needs CB, CB, CB, DE, OLShaq Lawson, DE, Clemson Tigers – If Hargeaves and Ramsey are gone, Oakland could find an eventual replacement for Justin Tuck. Based on looks alone, Mason could get any job. He is monstrous like you would expect an NFL player to be if you met them in person. His long and powerful arms paired with his enormous thighs will leave you almost fearful. This would give Oakland the beefy Mario Edwards, Jelly Ellis, and Dan Williams! That is one humungous D-line that could contain and let Ken Norton’s LBs do some serious damage. Mason would not need to be a double-digit sack guy in this scheme. Yet, he could use his thickness to create space for others.

1.25 Minnesota Vikings – Needs OL, OL, OLTaylor Decker, OT, Ohio State Buckeyes – This would give the Vikings two 6-foot-7 pillars to protect Teddy Bridgewater in the pocket. Matt Kalil will still anchor his LT position and Decker could play RT, leaving 2015 rookie T.J. Clemmings to back up both or slide over to one of guard positions. Decker is already a very powerful run blocker, and his frame should enable him to swat at DEs in pass pro. He might not be a Hall of Fame talent, but he should very start-able.

 

The ATL is about to get Jacked!

The ATL is about to get Jacked!

1.26 Atlanta Falcons – Needs OL, TE, S, LBMyles Jack, LB, UCLA Bruins – With Vic Beasley slicing the edge on one side, Jack can police and squash everything underneath. Jack has every-down LB written all over him. He can be disruptive in pass coverage and will slow down the running game–or at least force it inside. The torn meniscus he suffered in September was brutal and he will slip in the draft because it. Jack, however, has dropped out of school to make his rehab top priority. He plans to be ready to showcase himself at the combine or a pro day. This means Jack could be a week-one starter in 2016.

1.27 Arizona Cardinals – Needs OL, ILB, DT, QBReggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama Crimson Tide – Emotional leaders like Ragland don’t come around often enough. He hits with power and often stops the ball carrier in his tracks. Ragland can also play in a zone defensive scheme, and displays an ability to keep a receiver in front of him downfield. This ‘Zona defense is already good but Ragland will enhance their depth for the future.

1.28 Green Bay Packers – Needs OL, OLB, CBSu’a Cravens, OLB, USC Trojans – He sets the edge very well and holds his ground. Cravens possesses the speed to give chase. He would be ideal at LOLB, which would enable Nick Perry to slide to right side as an eventual replacement for Julius Peppers. Cravens is not a decisive tackle but a redshirt year in cheese land should fix that. He could contribute as a nickel- or dime-backer during his rookie year.

1.29 Cincinnati Bengals – Needs DE, CBEmmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State – He is a strong kid who needs some fine-tuning. He too often vacates his ground for a better pursuit angle. He does finish well and hits hard. With Carlos Dunlap entrenched, Ogbah should see time as a situational pass rusher as a rookie, and push Michael Johnson for a 50/50 snap split.

1.30 New England – Needs OL, WR, CB – pick forfeited #MoreLikeDeflated

 

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Finally, another real WR for the Panthers.

1.31 Carolina Panthers – Needs OL, WR, S, RBMichael Thomas, WR, Ohio State Buckeyes – Soft sticky hands with over the middle toughness. What more could Cam Newton ask for? Thomas isn’t afraid to throw or stick with a block. He times jump balls very well and has the strength to rip it away from the defender while ascending. His toughness should lead to some quality rookie production in the Panthers scheme.

 

Oakman to the Mile High City.

Oakman to the Mile High City.

1.32 Denver Broncos – Needs OL, DE, QB Shawn Oakman, Edge, Baylor Bears – Oakman will get the edge designation, but at 6-foot-8 his hand needs to be on the ground. Winding up in Denver could be lethal with Von Miller helping Oakman’s quest for stats. His IDP future could warrant some JPP comparisons. His freakish abilities will translate into a high snap-count earlier than most. Long term, he will be better at run defense than pass rushing.