Everyone loves a mock draft, even if that draft is almost 10 months away. Come inside as I tell you which five teams will finish at the bottom of the NFL barrel and who will be the top 5 selections of the 2016 NFL Draft.
1) Oakland Raiders
Why #1 Overall?
Carr has a bright future, but still lacks talent around him. They are going into next year with only one capable receiver who is very talented (Cooper), and a bunch of subpar running backs. They will struggle offensively, period. Defensively, they have Khalil Mack as a stud, but no other true impact defensive players.
Pick: Joey Bosa (DL) Ohio State
Jack Del Rio has taken over the Raiders and has a franchise quarterback and will look to add another impact player to his defense. Bosa can play anywhere on the line and make an impact immediately. Del Rio will love his versatility and easily make this pick as Bosa has a chance to be the next J.J. Watt.
2) Tennessee Titans
Why #2 Overall?
The Titans still have a very weak roster even after finding their new franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota. He will have some growing pains and the Titans have question marks on the offensive line and skilled positions. Their defense is transitioning to a 3-4, which takes time and they still need to add the right people to fully accomplish that scheme.
Pick: Shawn Oakman (DE/3-4 OLB) Baylor
A 3-4 defense thrives off of pass-rushers from the outside. Oakman is a freak athlete that will thrive as a true 3-4 OLB coming off the edge terrorizing the backfield. A trio of Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan, and Oakman would be an ideal situation for their defense moving forward. I almost took an offensive tackle here to be the future protector of Mariota, but a freak athlete with huge upside takes priority while Lewan could be the LT of future for the Titans.
3) Chicago Bears
Why #3 Overall?
When Jay Cutler is your quarterback and your team is transitioning from a 4-3 to a 3-4, your team is going to struggle. Not to mention you are playing the Packers, Lions, and an improving Vikings team twice each per year.
Pick: Christian Hackenburg (QB) Penn State
They will be dropping Jay Cutler and starting fresh in the 2016 NFL Draft. Face it Chicago fans, this is a grooming year and a transitional year to a new era under John Fox. Hackenburg has the tools to make it in the NFL and be a cornerstone for a rebuilding franchise.
4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Why #4 Overall?
They have a lot of young talent (Winston, Evans, Seferian-Jenkins) at key offensive positions. But they also have a young offensive line (Smith, Marpet) that is full of question marks as it transitions to the NFL which will cause the offense to struggle. Their defense has young players with potential but not a lot of proven talent. You will see improvement overall, but not in their record.
Pick: Ronnie Stanley (LT) Notre Dame
Protecting Winston will be a priority going into next offseason and Stanley will fit the bill as the left tackle of the future allowing the Bucs to move recently drafted Smith to right tackle which is also a better fit.
5) San Francisco 49ers
Why #5 Overall?
Kaepernick is in an offense with some new pieces that will have to prove themselves. They lost Iupati, Davis, Gore, and Crabtree from their offense, which are proven NFL quality talent players. On defense, they lost a few players but still have the talent to be a quality defensive team. I am concerned with Kaepernick’s development as their divisional schedule includes the Seahawks, Cardinals, and Rams twice a year. This is a time of transition in San Francisco.
Pick: Vernon Hargreaves III (CB) Florida
I almost went with Conner Cook here and said goodbye to the Colin Kaepernick. Don’t discount that as an option for the 49ers heading into the offseason with them being in position to take one early in the 2016 Draft. Hargreaves will bring some much-needed talent to the cornerback position.
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