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Home / Draft / MOCK DRAFT 2.0: In-Depth 1 – 10

MOCK DRAFT 2.0: In-Depth 1 – 10

6) New York Jets (5-11)

Offense

Points Per Game: 17.2 (30th)
Yards Per Game: 329.2 (26th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 216.6 (27th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 112.6 (12th)
Yards Per Play: 5.3 (20th)

Pretty simple explanation really for the Jets’ offense this past season. They were built to win now with veterans Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and Eric Decker on offense. All they needed was a quarterback that could get them the ball and not turn it over. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, and Bryce Petty all failed. Injuries hit this team in a big way and their season went south quickly. Their offensive line was hit with some injuries and struggled mightily. A season to forget in New York.

Defense

Points Per Game: 25.6 (28th)
Yards Per Game: 342.4 (11th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 243.6 (17th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 98.3 (13th)
QB Hurries: 90 (22nd)
Sacks: 27 (29th)
Yards Per Play: 5.5 (t-13th)

Todd Bowles has to be frustrated with how the defense looked this past season. A defense filled with “star” power that struggled all year long. The defense seemed to lose its mojo last season and seemed to give up when injuries piled up, their offense was struggling, and were out of the playoff hunt early. If they don’t play well next season under a defensive minded head coach, it may put Todd Bowles on the hot-seat.

Key Pending Unrestricted Free Agents

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB)

Geno Smith (QB)

Brian Winters (G)

Benjamin Ijalana (OL)

Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith are likely out as quarterback options in 2017 as they both were disasters. Brian Winters is their starting guard and will be a top priority this off-season for the Jets. Benjamin Ijalana filled in at left tackle and played very well and may be their best option moving forward knowing the offensive scheme.  

Moving Forward into Next Season

This entire off-season circles around their gigantic issue at quarterback. They need a viable option as Bryce Petty didn’t look like he could be the guy in 2017. Do they really think Christian Hackenburg can be worth anything? They drafted him in the 2nd round last year! It will be a failed off-season if they don’t add some options with potential to lead their offense for next season. The defense needs a spark and energy to reach the potential they have with the immense talent on their roster. We are talking about a team in 2015 that was one win away from a playoff berth. Obviously they need depth and starters in different areas, but quarterback is the biggest priority that hopefully they have a plan to fix very early in the off-season. The Darrelle Revis situation sure doesn’t help the overall defense.

Draft

The Jets’ quarterback situation is interesting due to the fact that they drafted a quarterback in the 2nd round last year and would possibly be in a situation to draft one at #5 overall. I feel like that would be a poor idea so I imagine the Jets going with a veteran route and taking the best player on the board at #5 overall. Offensively, investing some youth into the offensive line would be wise due to the age of Nick Mangold and uncertainty of current players. Adding a young running back to have on the depth chart would be wise behind veteran Matt Forte and versatile Bilal Powell. Pass-rusher is also a need as they struggled to get to the quarterback this past season. I expect Todd Bowles to attack the secondary heavily in this draft. He needs an infusion of talent at cornerback with aging Darrelle Revis and no clear cut outside cornerbacks on the roster. They could use a rangy free safety to help them in the pass game and create turnovers.

Mock Draft Pick

Jamal Adams (S) LSU

The Jets are a team that are on the verge of a rebuild, but have one last off-season to show they could be an above average team and fight for a playoff spot. Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Matt Forte are veterans and should be accompanied by a veteran quarterback. I expect current free agent quarterbacks like Colin Kaepernick, Tyrod Taylor, and Brian Hoyer to view this as their next chance at being a starting quarterback in the league. Todd Bowles is a defensive minded coach but doesn’t have a play-maker on the back end of the defense. Jamal Adams gives him a play-maker in the secondary that needs to create more turnovers.

 

7) San Diego Chargers (5-11)

Offense

Points Per Game: 25.6 (9th)
Yards Per Game: 356.8 (14th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 262.4 (8th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 94.4 (26th)
Yards Per Play: 5.6 (t-11th)

The offense kept them in most of their games this year. Philip Rivers deserves a ton of credit for working with backup receivers and putting up the numbers he did for the Chargers. Melvin Gordon looked much better than his rookie season and has given the organization more ease that he was worth a 1st round selection. The offensive line once again was inconsistent and needs more talent if they want to move forward and become a better team.

Defense

Points Per Game: 26.4 (29th)
Yards Per Game: 347.1 (16th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 249.2 (20th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 97.9 (12th)
QB Hurries: 106 (11th)
Sacks: 35 (t-14th)
Yards Per Play: 5.4 (t-11th)

The Chargers defense often was the reason for the team losing close games. Overall they are not a bad defense with a good secondary and pass rush, they just gave up too many points. I believe some play-calling and scheme philosophy changes may be a big help to this defense. Joey Bosa looks like an all-pro already and had 10.5 sacks in just 12 games.

Key Pending Unrestricted Free Agents

Danny Woodhead (RB)

Jahleel Addae (SS)

Melvin Ingram (OLB)

Manti Te’o (LB)

Danny Woodhead was a go-to man in 2015, but this past season was lost to injury. He may re-sign because of his connection with Rivers in the passing game. Jahleel Addae has been there starting strong safety for two season and may be a priority signing. He missed some time with injuries this season but is an above average player. Melvin Ingram will be a hot commodity during free agency as a young stud pass rusher. Is it still OK to make Manti Te’o fake girlfriend jokes? Denzel Perryman, Korey Toomer, Jatavis Brown, and Joshua Perry look to be the main inside linebackers moving forward so Te’o will likely hit the free agency market.

Moving Forward into Next Season

I will be fascinated to see how this off-season looks for the Chargers after the announcement of moving to Los Angeles. Will this attract free agents or make them uncertain of the franchise moving forward into the immediate future. They drastically need youth and talent along the offensive line and can either address that in the draft or in free agency. The Chargers will also be working with a new coaching staff and creating a philosophy and identity will be the main goal working toward training camps and preseason.

Draft

Right now the only starting offensive lineman under the age of 29 is D.J. Fluker. They need more offensive lineman heading into their prime instead of leaving it for their future. If they don’t fix this issue sooner rather than later, the Chargers could be looking at a total rebuild when Philip Rivers retires or leaves. A dependable #1 receiver will be a top priority for the Chargers this off-season and may be taken care of in the early rounds of the draft. Keenan Allen continues to struggle with injuries and may need to look towards the future and get another player to play alongside him or as the true #1 target. Defensively, Melvin Ingram will be a big domino that may influence their draft night plans in the 1st round. Brandon Flowers, Jason Verrett, and Casey Hayward are a great combination at cornerback, but the Chargers may look to add another young option in case of injury next season. Addae leaving may trigger them to explore a strong safety option in the draft.

Mock Draft Pick

Soloman Thomas (DE) Stanford

The transition from a 3-4 to 4-3 defense makes this pick a little more interesting. Imagine a Gus Bradley pressure defense with Joey Bosa and Soloman Thomas coming off the edge. I feel like this would create a scary young defense in Los Angeles with these two young stars on the defensive line. It’s not their biggest need, but passing on this opportunity might be too much to handle for the Chargers’ front office. You have to think watching divisional rivals Denver and Kansas City have success with good pass rush will light a fire under the Chargers to do the right thing.

 

8) Carolina Panthers (6-10)

Offense

Points Per Game: 23.1 (15th)
Yards Per Game: 343.7 (19th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 230.3 (21st)
Rush Yards Per Game: 113.4 (10th)
Yards Per Play: 5.2 (t-21st)

A horrific season after a Super Bowl berth for the Panthers. Cam Newton was knocked around this season and the Panthers hopefully will make the right adjustments this off-season to secure his future. Jonathan Stewart was injured again throughout the season and can no longer be counted on as a lead back in this offense. They have gotten away for far too long with a weak wide receiver depth chart and it showed this year with drops and missed opportunities.

Defense

Points Per Game: 25.1 (26th)
Yards Per Game: 359.8 (21st)
Pass Yards Per Game: 268.2 (29th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 91.6 (7th)
QB Hurries: 123 (t-3rd)
Sacks: 42 (2nd)
Yards Per Play: 5.6 (t-19th)

It will be hard to replace Sean McDermott as defensive coordinator. The stats show a poor defense when in actuality, it seemed to be a specific issue that caused this defense to stumble. Not having a veteran play-maker in the secondary at cornerback or free safety made this defense have less bite than it did in the previous season. Rookie corners have to adjust to the NFL game and didn’t help Carolina get off to a hot start. The pass-rush and line of scrimmage penetration was fantastic as usual, but they couldn’t make anything happen in the back end of the defense.

Key Pending Unrestricted Free Agents

Kawaan Short (DT)

Charles Johnson (DE)

Mike Remmers (RT)

Ted Ginn Jr. (WR)

Mario Addison (DE)

A.J. Klein (LB)

They likely pay Short big money to stay in Carolina. Charles Johnson only had 4 sacks on his “prove it” deal that he was given last off-season and is 30 years old — but he would like to stay. Mike Remmers even played left tackle this season and may possibly see a decent payday this off-season if the Panthers are willing to pay after likely signing Kawaan Short to a long-term deal. Ted Ginn Jr. seemed to find a niche in Carolina and may take a pay-cut to stick around. Mario Addison will likely test the free agent market due to his solid season and the Panthers not wanting to pay him. A.J. Klein filled in with injuries this season and played very well, he could go looking for a permanent starting position on another team.

Moving Forward into Next Season

The Panthers will look to shake-up some aspects of their roster to create a spark heading into 2017. They need to make sure they are working with Cam Newton to protect himself moving forward and possibly doing less running the ball until the redzone. They need to add some play-makers on their offense to take pressure off of Cam and add some new elements to the offense. Players in the secondary that can create turnovers will also help this team get back to a more competitive form in 2017.

Draft

I believe we likely see the Panthers make some splashes on draft night with some offensive play-makers. They need a young running back to take some of the workload away from Cam Newton. A younger version of Ted Ginn Jr. would also be a possible spark to this offense with Cam’s big arm. They also need a ball-hawk free safety to create some turnovers on the back end of the defense. Kurt Coleman plays well as a strong safety, but they lack a player that can play in space with the ball in the air in the secondary. Luke Kuechly’s concussion history and Thomas Davis’ age will likely put the Panthers in a spot to draft a linebacker early in the draft. Pass-rusher could also become very prevalent if they decide not to keep Charles Johnson or Mario Addison. I see them adding another corner in this draft to add more competition.

Mock Draft Pick

Leonard Fournette (RB) LSU

The Panthers’ largest priority this off-season is to take pressure off of Cam Newton. This means a better offensive tackle or a player that can take the workload away. The Panthers will take Leonard Fournette to create a two headed monster on offense in Carolina. This should take away hits from Cam Newton, which was such a huge issue last season.

9) Cincinnati Bengals (6-9-1)

Offense

Points Per Game: 20.3 (24th)
Yards Per Game: 356.9 (13th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 246.4 (15th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 110.6 (13th)
Yards Per Play: 5.4 (t-18th)

The loss of A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard, and Tyler Eifert was a huge issue for the Bengals and their offense. Relying on Brandon LaFell and rookie Tyler Boyd proved too much for this passing offense. They lacked explosive plays as Dalton was forced to play more conservatively. When everyone is healthy entering next season, this offense should be very good again.

Defense

Points Per Game: 19.7 (8th)
Yards Per Game: 350.8 (17th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 237.5 (11th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 113.2 (21st)
QB Hurries: 112 (t-6th)
Sacks: 33 (t-19th)
Yards Per Play: 5.4 (t-11th)

If we examine the Bengals’ defense, we see two main issues. They need to get more athletic in the second level of their defense and need more pass-rushers. They may have the three slowest linebackers starting together in the NFL with Karlos Dansby, Rey Maualuga, and Vontaze Burfict. I expect them to get some players this off-season that can fix this issue.

Key Pending Unrestricted Free Agents

Kevin Zietler (G)

Andrew Whitworth (OT)

Domata Peko (DT)

Brandon LaFell (WR)

Dre Kirkpatrick (CB)

Kevin Zietler may be the best guard in the NFL and will come at a high price. Andrew Whitworth is 35 and may not be worth re-signing unless they have no confidence in their younger tackles Fisher and Ogbuehi. Damata Peko is 32 years old and may have seen his Cincinnati days come to an end as his production has dropped this past season. Brandon LaFell played a bigger role than he originally thought with A.J. Green’s injury and may be worthy of re-signing. Dre Kirkpatrick started this season and may be re-signed after Adam Jones’ off-field incident with younger players yet to prove themselves.

Moving Forward into Next Season

Short and Sweet: They are a team that could be much better by just getting healthy. I expect the Bengals to do the usual re-sign their own and get some solid additions in the draft. Re-signing their own free agents will be their biggest issues this off-season. Marvin Lewis will be on the hot seat and will need to have a solid season next year to keep his job.

Draft

I usually like what the Bengals do in the draft. They likely attack their defensive front early in the draft by adding a defensive end. Adding a more athletic linebacker should be another big priority at some point in the off-season and likely the best option to find one at a discount is in the draft. Offensive line will also be a point of emphasis as Zeitler and Whitworth could be leaving in free agency.

Mock Draft Pick

Reuben Foster (LB) Alabama

The Bengals will look at the board and take the best available player that fills a need. Their athleticism at the linebacker position is maybe the worst in the league. Foster is a 3 down linebacker that will instantly improve that second layer of the defense.

 

10) Buffalo Bills (7-9)

Offense

Points Per Game: 24.9 (10th)
Yards Per Game: 354.1 (16th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 189.8 (30th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 164.4 (1st)
Yards Per Play: 5.6 (t-11th)

Tyrod Taylor got the raw end of the deal this season. He was working with very sub-par receivers all year due to injuries to Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods throughout the year. I think he is underappreciated and the Bills seem to want to trade or release him this off-season. Their rushing attack however was potent with LeSean McCoy, Mike Gillislee, and Tyrod.

Defense

Points Per Game: 23.6 (t-16th)
Yards Per Game: 357.0 (19th)
Pass Yards Per Game: 223.9 (7th)
Rush Yards Per Game: 133.1 (29th)
QB Hurries: 98 (17th)
Sacks: 39 (8th)
Yards Per Play: 5.6 (t-19th)

Sean McDermott walks into an interesting Bills defense. They are currently built for the 3-4 scheme, but McDermott ran a 4-3 scheme in Carolina. I’m curious to see how this transition works for McDermott as he tries to turn a Rex Ryan defense into his own. He will get the benefit of adding two young players that did not see the field as rookies for the Bills in Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland. If they can reach the potential that they were drafted at in the early rounds, they could add some punch to this defense. McDermott has pieces for a nice Front 7 with Adolphus Washington, Marcell Dareus, Jerry Hughes, and the aforementioned Lawson and Ragland.

Key Pending Unrestricted Free Agents

Stephon Gilmore (CB)

E.J. Manuel (QB)

Jordan Mills (RT)

Zach Brown (LB)

Robert Woods (WR)

Lorenzo Alexander (OLB)

Stephon Gilmore had a down year and it will be interesting to see what the price tag will be to keep a cornerback that has shown flashes of being great. E.J. Manuel is gone and will likely be heading to another team desperate for a quarterback. Jordan Mills has been inconsistent at right tackle and will likely have to test the free agent market. Zach Brown was second in the league for tackles with 147 this season and will probably try and get paid this off-season. Robert Woods hasn’t been great, but has been a decent wide receiver in this league. Lorenzo Alexander was tied for 3rd in the league for sacks but is 33 years old and may not be worth the risk to overpay.

Moving Forward into Next Season

This team could take to the coaching change and be a sneaky competitive team. This only happens with a decent quarterback starting in 2017 and I’m very interested to see what they do with Tyrod Taylor. If they move him or release him, they will give themselves a veteran option besides Cardale Jones on the depth chart. They need some more pieces on offense such as offensive lineman and wide receivers to create a better offense next season. The key for McDermott and Doug Whaley their GM is to see what they have on their defense currently and assess what they need to transition to a 4-3 type defense.

Draft

I expect the Bills to take a quarterback in this year’s draft. They have a new head coach and are looking for a fresh start. They have Cardale Jones, but he has yet to prove himself and he did look shaky in the final game of the season. I expect them to address their right tackle position early in the draft if they don’t sign anyone of note as a free agent. Sammy Watkins hasn’t been healthy for a full season since his rookie year. They need to invest in some talent at wide receiver to give any quarterback they go with in 2017 a chance. Defensively, they have some nice pieces in the front 7 and may focus on their secondary. Gilmore leaving at cornerback and Aaron Williams’ injury may force them to go get a play-maker in the secondary early in the draft.

Mock Draft Pick

Malik Hooker (FS) Ohio State

Sean McDermott will want to create a dominant defense in Buffalo. Injuries, free agents, and lack of cap space will force them to look at the draft for important aspects of their team. Malik Hooker in the back end of the secondary could make this defense much better at creating turnovers.

For more Draft information and thoughts, follow Daniel Collins on Twitter @Dan_R_Collins

About Dan Collins

I have always been an avid football enthusiast. The NFL Draft and Fantasy Football is my passion in the realm of football. I write Mock Drafts and inform readers of what is happening during the critical stages of the NFL Draft. I spend way too much time working through Fantasy Football analysis, situations, and thoughts; it is an issue. Follow on Twitter @Dan_R_Collins for Football info and the occasional joke or wisecrack.