My goal in this Mock Draft is to help you clear up some rumors and scenarios just days from the Draft. Who are the Rams taking #1? What are the Browns doing at #2? Anymore big trades on the horizon? Let’s Dive In!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Since 2013, no NFL Draft expert, not Mel Kiper, Jr. (ESPN), not Todd McShay (ESPN), not Mike Mayock (NFL Network), have gotten more first-round selections correct than Fantasy Sharks’ very own Dan Collins.
Kiper = 1 Correct
McShay = 4 Correct
Mayock = 11 Correct
Collins = 13 Correct
Kiper = 5 Correct
McShay = 4 Correct
Mayock = 4 Correct
Collins = 11 Correct
Kiper = 6 Correct
McShay = 8 Correct
Mayock = 7 Correct
Collins = 10 Correct
1) Los Angeles Rams
Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
They wanted to make a splash for this season while moving to Los Angeles and the did just that. Giving away 6 picks to acquire the #1 overall selection in order to get their “franchise quarterback.” Most reports have them leaning towards Jared Goff at the moment, but that goes against who Jeff Fisher is as a quarterback selector. Let’s look at similar situations that Jeff Fisher has been a part of:
1995 – Steve McNair over Kerry Collins
2006 – Vince Young over Matt Leinart
When Jeff Fisher is at the top of the Draft and has the opportunity to draft a young quarterback, he has chosen the more athletic mobile quarterback over the pocket passer. Carson Wentz is more athletic and mobile than pure pocket-passer Jared Goff, so I believe they will go with him. In my opinion, this is a mistake. Jared Goff is a much better quarterback prospect than Carson Wentz and will give Los Angeles a better overall offense with his arm and passing ability. Wentz needs a lot of development heading into the league and can’t step in and be a decent rookie like Jared Goff can in Year 1. Fisher always leans on the run (Todd Gurley) and will fall in love with Wentz and likely take him #1 overall because of the ridiculous praise he has received from the media and big name scouts. I find it ironic that my NFL comparison is their previous #1 overall picked quarterback.
My NFL Comparison: Sam Bradford (Philadelphia Eagles)
A lot of hype leading up to the draft, question marks overlooked, seen by many as a great quarterback prospect, does have talent to be an above average quarterback with the right coach.
2) Philadelphia Eagles
Jared Goff, QB, California
The Browns traded out and the Eagles are the new #2 overall pick. They like both Jared Goff and Carson Wentz and would be happy drafting either one. We will see as the draft gets closer which quarterback the Los Angeles Rams are favoring so we know who will be the Eagles selection at #2. My choice for Carson Wentz to the Rams leaves me with Jared Goff to the Eagles. The Eagles didn’t see a bright future in potential quarterbacks in upcoming drafts, so they pulled the trigger and decided now is the time.
NFL Comparison: Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons)
Similar body types, physical skill set and demeanor on the football field.
3) San Diego Chargers
DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
I do not understand the reasoning of putting Laremy Tunsil in San Diego. They are set on the offensive line for 2016 and the immediate future. King Dunlap is signed through 2019, carries a $9 million dead cap hit number for next season if released, and holds no trade value at age 30. He is healthy for next year and ready to go. They re-signed Joe Barksdale to a contract through 2020 and he is a solid right tackle. They also signed versatile tackle Chris Hairston who played pretty well last season as a fill-in for different spots to a 2-year deal. Drafting Tunsil wouldn’t be wise due to the fact that one of those three starting tackles would be sitting on the bench and wasting valuable cap space. This team can win some games this year in their division and fight for a playoff spot with a healthy roster and with the Broncos not having a quarterback.
This decision for the Chargers rests between Jalen Ramsey and DeForest Buckner. Joey Bosa isn’t the ideal fit for the Chargers in their specific 3-4 scheme. This also poses a salary cap situation for the Chargers and using their resources wisely. They have quality starting cornerbacks in Brandon Flowers, Jason Verrett, and newly signed Casey Hayward who are all signed through at least 2018. They also signed Dwight Lowery, who played well last season for the Colts, to a 3-year deal this offseason to play free safety. Buckner fills an immediate need and can help this team find some pass rush and strength along the defensive line.
I think they look to trade out of this pick if a team wants a specific player at #3 or a team wants Laremy Tunsil once he falls down the board. Teams like the New York Giants or Chicago Bears who really need a left tackle could be suitors for possibly moving up to #3. Possibly the Jacksonville Jaguars at #5 if they want Jalen Ramsey, Joey Bosa, or Myles Jack before the Cowboys get a chance to take them at #4.
They have been rumored to possibly have a trade in place with Philadelphia before they decided to go with the Browns and their #2 pick. I think they want DeForest Buckner but don’t want the scrutiny of passing on Jalen Ramsey and Laremy Tunsil. They could trade out on Draft Day to a team like the Giants who really want a left tackle to solidify their line. Something to watch for on Draft Day.
NFL Comparison: Calais Campbell
Similar physical stature and talent along the edge of a 3-4 defense.
4) Dallas Cowboys
Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
First of all, the Cowboys will draft their future quarterback at the top of the second round now for sure. It will be Dak Prescott, or Connor Cook. The No. 4 overall pick comes down to the top players left on the draft board: Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack or Joey Bosa.
I would take Joey Bosa here at #4, but I think Jerry Jones and the Cowboys take another solid defensive player. Bosa would help solidify their weak defensive line and provide them with a pass rusher, but rumors are they will likely pass on Bosa if he’s available. I think they go with Jalen Ramsey to help their secondary either playing cornerback or free safety. Byron Jones could move full time to free safety and allow Jalen Ramsey to be their #1 corner. The comparisons to Deion Sanders will most likely be too much for Jerry Jones to pass on him at #4 here for the Cowboys.
NFL Comparison: Tyrann Mathieu
Hard to find a good match but I picked Mathieu – a versatile defensive back that can play corner, slot or safety.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars
Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
The Jaguars are in a perfect spot to get one of the elite defensive players in this draft.
Myles Jack or Joey Bosa. What a difficult question. Both would fit well in coach Gus Bradley’s scheme and have an instant impact. What do they need more? A pass rusher or a versatile athletic linebacker?
It seems that they have their eyes set on Myles Jack as their guy here at #5. They have plenty of big men on the defensive line and will pass on Bosa to take an athletic linebacker to add to their roster.
NFL Comparison: Lavonte David (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Similar body builds, fluid athletes in space, instincts to pursue and find the ball from sideline to sideline.
6) Baltimore Ravens
Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
If nobody trades up for Laremy Tunsil, the Ravens could trade out for somebody that wants him or take him. Eugene Monroe is signed through 2019, but has often dealt with injuries and has lost a step or two. He could easily move to right tackle and have Laremy Tunsil be the future for the Ravens at left tackle. This would solidify the line and keep Yanda at guard, his Pro Bowl position. Their offensive line could be a question mark this season with some injuries and next offseason with some decisions they would have to make about some of their players. Tunsil gives them some security for the immediate future and long term. Joey Bosa will also be hard to pass here, but Tunsil will be too much to say no to here at #6.
NFL Comparison: Tyron Smith (Dallas Cowboys)
From the first tape I watched of him, his mobility and athleticism are very elite like Smith.
7) San Francisco 49ers
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
With Philadelphia now grabbing a quarterback at #2, the 49ers and Chip Kelly have to grab Paxton Lynch here at #7 overall. If they truly want to get rid of Colin Kaepernick and send him to Denver in a trade, they need to get the next best available quarterback in the draft. The kicker is he fits extremely well with Chip Kelly and what he is looking for to lead his offense. He is very athletic, mobile to make plays on the perimeter, and has a cannon for an arm. This would be a good fit for both Paxton Lynch and Chip Kelly’s 49ers.
NFL Comparison: Alex Smith (Kansas City Chiefs)
I make this comparison based on the way Smith has played in Kansas City. Underrated athleticism that helps in the pocket, good decision makers that can be solid quarterbacks even though Lynch has a higher ceiling than Smith.
8) Cleveland Browns
Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Trading down to the #8 overall spot puts the Browns in a great spot for a true rebuild of their roster. Adding a ton of picks and still staying in the top 10 is a great trade for Cleveland. If they are truly rebuilding their team and intent on having Robert Griffin III or a 2nd-round quarterback be the possible starter in 2016 and beyond, they need to have a well built offensive line. This is especially important to keep Robert Griffin III comfortable in the pocket and safe from being hit and possibly re-injured. Stanley can be placed at right tackle and be a good addition as a functional athlete in space for the run game and very efficient for the pass game.
Joey Bosa would be hard to pass up as well for a possible 3-4 outside linebacker. He is an Ohio State kid that the fan base could get excited about it, something to keep in mind.
I also think they have their eys set on developing Connor Cook or Christian Hackenberg either of who could be drafted in the early 2nd or by trading back into the late 1st round. They need a 3rd quarterback on this roster with RGIII and Josh McCown’s injury history and a developmental project with high upside is a good fit with Hue Jackson.
NFL Comparison: Trent Williams (Washington)
Natural athletes with left tackle talent, just need more strength to be an elite tackle in the NFL.