NFL Mock Draft 3.0

The offseason is in full swing for all 32 teams. With the draft fast approaching, it’s time for the the next installment of my 2016 NFL Mock Draft –post-free agency edition.

  1. Tennessee Titans

Previous Pick: CB/S Jalen Ramsey (Florida State)

New: Same

The Titans didn’t make much noise in free agency, and with the arrival of quarterback Brock Osweiler (Houston) to the division, I fully believe Dick Lebeau will bang the table hard for a rangy, play-making safety similar to the one he had in Pittsburgh.

  1. Cleveland Browns

Previous Pick: QB Jared Goff (California)

New: Same

The Browns offense got significantly worse (on paper) with the free agent losses of tackle Mitchell Schwartz (Chiefs), receiver Travis Benjamin (Chargers), and center Alex Mack (Falcons). Despite adding Robert Griffin III today (2 years/$15 million), I think Hue Jackson will look to find his franchise guy.

  1. San Diego Chargers

Previous Pick: DE DeForest Buckner (Oregon)

New: Same

Adding cornerback Casey Heyward and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane during free agency leads me to believe the Chargers will continue to address their defense in the draft. Buckner is a dominant interior player who will automatically boost their pass rush.

  1. Dallas Cowboys

Previous Pick: QB Carson Wentz (North Dakota State)

New Pick: Same

The Cowboys do need to find pass rushers that don’t have some degree of off-field issues, but Tony Romo is 36 years old. The time for a new chapter of the Cowboys is now.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Previous Pick: DE Joey Bosa (Ohio St.)

New Pick: Vernon Hargreaves III (Florida)

With the additions to the defense they made (DT Malik Jackson, S Tashaun Gipson), I think it would help the Jaguars greatly if they added a shutdown corner on the outside. Bradley succeeded in Seattle because he had top-notch corner play, and bringing in Hargreaves would help him return to that in Jacksonville.

  1. Baltimore Ravens

Previous Pick: T Ronnie Staley (Notre Dame)

New Pick: Same

Losing guard Kelechi Osemele to Oakland leaves a big hole in the Ravens offensive line, a hole that a dominant lineman like Staley could fill.

  1. San Francisco 49ers

Previous Pick: WR Laquon Treadwell

New Pick: Same

Anquan Boldin is 35 years old, and has yet to be resigned. Torrey Smith is a boom or bust playmaker, leaving the Niners without a chain moving/possession receiver. Treadwell has a wide catch radius, and has a nose for paydirt.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (from Dolphins in exchange for ILB Kiko Alonso, CB Byron Maxwell)

Previous Pick: QB Paxton Lynch (Memphis)

New Pick: RB Ezekiel Elliot (Ohio St.)

With the trade of DeMarco Murray to Tennessee, the Eagles backfield took a big hit. Taking the Ohio State star makes almost too much sense here. He’s not only an exceptional runner, he can pass block and catch too.

  1.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Previous Pick: Hargreaves III

New Pick: CB Eli Apple (Ohio St.)

As I said with Hargreaves in my last mock, I’ll say with Apple in this edition. Tampa Bay needs to upgrade it’s secondary, and Apple’s combination of size and physicality certainly fits the bill.

  1. New York Giants

Previous Pick: DE Kevin Dodd (Clemson)

New Pick: WR Corey Coleman (Baylor)

With their massive spending in free agency on a lackluster defensive squad, I think upgrading at the WR2 spot makes a lot of sense. Reuben Randle has yet to be resigned, and Coleman adds another level of speed to an already dangerous unit.

  1. Chicago Bears

Previous Pick:  ILB Reggie Ragland (Alabama)

New Pick: Bosa

With the additions of ILB’s Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman in free agency, the Bears upgrade their front with the addition of Bosa. He attacks every down, and he finds ways to get the quarterback.

  1. New Orleans Saints

Previous Pick: DE Shaq Lawson (Clemson)

New Pick: DT Robert Nkemdiche (Mississippi)

Nkemdiche does have a spotty past, but the Saints could use a boost on the interior of their defensive line. With Nkemdiche in the middle, Cameron Jordan could dominate the edge.

  1. Miami Dolphins 

Previous Pick: T Laremy Tunsil (Mississippi)

New Pick: CB Mackensie Alexander (Clemson)

They added cornerback Byron Maxwell in a trade with Philadelphia, but cut veteran Brent Grimes, leaving them weak at the position. Alexander doesn’t have ideal size, but like Grimes, he covers better than you’d expect.

  1. Oakland Raiders

Previous Pick: Apple

New Pick: Ragland

With the free agent additions of CB Sean Smith and OLB Bruce Irvin, the Raiders take Ragland to start at middle linebacker. A massive upgrade over Ben Heeney, Ragland attacks the run while being effective in coverage.

  1. Los Angeles Rams

Previous Pick: Lynch

New Pick: Tunsil

Losing DE Chris Long, CB Janoris Jenkins, and S Rodney McCleod doesn’t change the fact that the Rams need a quarterback. However, you just can’t pass on the elite talent of Tunsil.

  1. Detroit Lions

Previous Pick: WR Will Fuller (Notre Dame)

New Pick: DT A’Shawn Robinson (Alabama)

With the addition of WR Marvin Jones in free agency, I think Detroit can focus on improving the middle of their defense. Robinson is a nasty player inside, who can dominate the run game while getting after the quarterback.

  1. Atlanta Falcons

Previous Pick: WR Michael Thomas (Ohio St.)

New Pick: OLB Darron Lee (Ohio St.)

The Falcons linebackers could use a boost. Lee is crazy fast, and while he lacks ideal size, you can play him anywhere on a defense and watch him perform.

  1. Indianapolis Colts

Previous Pick: TE Hunter Henry (Arkansas)

New Pick: OLB Leonard Floyd (Georgia)

If the Colts are going to return to the playoffs, they’ll need to find better pass rush. Floyd (6’5, 235) is a force on the edge, as his light frame allows him to speed around offensive tackles.

  1. Buffalo Bills

Previous Pick: DE Noah Spence (Eastern Kentucky)

New Pick: Dodd

Since the Bills released Mario Williams prior to free agency, they find themselves needing a pass rusher. Dodd, while not as talked up as a collegiate edge-rushing buddy Shaq Lawson, has the natural talent and the ability to dominate out the gate.

  1. New York Jets

Previous Pick: Elliot

New Pick: Lynch

With Ryan Fitzpatrick unsigned, the Jets have a quarterback quandary. Lynch is raw, but the Jets have a need, and his potential could be worth taking a chance on.

  1. Washington Redskins 

Previous Pick: Robinson

New Pick: DT Jarran Reed (Alabama)

Like his collegiate teammate, A’Shawn Robinson, Reed is a stout defender against the run, but he has an added element as the superior pass rusher.

  1. Houston Texans

Previous Pick: Reed

New Pick: DT Sheldon Rankins (Louisville)

With the additions of Brock Osweiler and Lamar Miller in free agency, the Texans can focus on adding youth to the interior defensive line, knowing Vince Wilfork isn’t getting any younger.

  1. Minnesota Vikings 

Previous Pick: T Jack Conklin (Michigan State)

New Pick: WR Josh Doctson (TCU)

With Mike Wallace being released during free agency (and later signing with the Baltimore Ravens), the Vikings have a need at wideout. To help speed up Teddy Bridgewater’s development, adding a true WR1 on the outside would pay dividends.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals

Previous Pick: CB Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech)

New Pick: WR Will Fuller (Notre Dame)

With the losses of Mohammed Sanu and Marvin Jones, the Bengals have a considerable need at wide receiver opposite A.J Green. Will Fuller adds incredible deep speed, and better than advertised hands.

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers 

Previous Pick: CB William Jackson III (Houston)

New Pick: Same

Pittsburgh decided not to retain Antwon Blake in free agency, and while that wasn’t a bad move, it leaves them wanting for a talented starter to pair with William Gay. Jackson is fast, with a keen nose for the ball.

  1. Seattle Seahawks 

Previous Pick: Rankins

New Pick: Conklin

With the departures of tackle Russell Okung and guard J.R Sweezy, the Seahawks once again have a very weak offensive line heading into the draft. Conklin gives them a solid blindside protector, who doubles as a road grader in the run game.

  1. Green Bay Packers

Previous Pick: Lee

New Pick: DT Vernon Butler ‎(Louisiana Tech)

With the hiatus of B.J Raji, the Packers could use a young NT like Butler. He’s a powerful player who routinely splits gaps and gets into the backfield.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs

Previous Pick: Doctson

New Pick: G Cody Whitehair (Kansas State)

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With their biggest holes filled via free agency, and with no first round worthy corners left on the board, the Chiefs continue to upgrade their offensive line with the addition of Whitehair, who excels in pass and run blocking.

  1. Arizona Cardinals

Previous Pick: OLB Leonard Floyd

New Pick: Lawson

With all their biggest needs filled in free agency, Cardinals GM Steve Kiem can sit back and take the best player available approach. Lawson could sub for the older Calais Campbell, and eventually take his place.

  1. Carolina Panthers

Previous Pick: Alexander

New Pick: T Taylor Decker (Ohio St.)

The Panthers didn’t upgrade their tackle spot during free agency, leaving me to believe they’ll fix it during the draft. If I’m Dave Gettleman, the last thing I want for my franchise quarterback is a repeat of the Super Bowl.

  1. Denver Broncos

Previous Pick: T Taylor Decker (Ohio St.)

New Pick: RB Derrick Henry (Alabama)

With the additions of tackles Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson in free agency, and the trade for quarterback Mark Sanchez, the Broncos passing game could fall in 2016. To help offset that, Henry’s powerful inside running style could chew clock and help support their dominant defense.

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