With the NFL draft just three weeks + one days away, it’s time for the first installment of my 2016 NFL Mock Draft. These picks based upon whom I believe these teams need to take, given their current roster and draft tendencies.
Round 1, Pick 1: Cleveland Browns: EDGE rusher Myles Garrett (Texas A&M)
The Browns need a QB, but there’s not one in this draft worth the top pick. Garrett has the tools to build a defense around, and maybe even a franchise.
Round 1, Pick 2: San Francisco 49ers: DE Solomon Thomas (Stanford)
Great defenses have great pass rushers. Thomas can be that man.
Round 1, Pick 3: Chicago Bears: DT Jonathan Allen (Alabama)
The Bears need a true presence in the middle, and Allen can stop the run while pushing the pocket as a rusher.
Round 1, Pick 4: Jacksonville Jaguars: SS Jamal Adams (LSU)
The Jags have dedicated a ton of cap space and draft capital to their defense, so why not replace Jonathan Cyprien with a hard-hitting safety to scare teams away from the middle of the field?
Round 1, Pick 5: Tennessee Titans: CB Marshon Lattimore (Ohio State)
The Titans need a true CB1, and someone has to help them stop Andrew Luck.
Round 1, Pick 6: New York Jets: QB Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina)
As bad as the Jets have drafted in recent years, I might as well have put Pat Elfien here…anyway,and while Trubisky’s lack of experience might scare some teams, he produced well in his one season as starter.
Round 1, Pick 7: Los Angeles Chargers: FS Malik Hooker (Ohio State)
Hooker steps in as the Eric Weddle replacement while adding a rangy safety to an already quality secondary.
Round 1, Pick 8: Carolina Panthers: RB Leonard Fournette (LSU)
The Panthers lack a franchise-caliber back on the roster. Fournette solves the Panthers desire to have a power run game while decreasing Newton’s involvement in the run game.
Round 1, Pick 9: Cincinnati Bengals: WR Corey Davis (Western Michigan)
The Bengals are seriously imploding, and to stop the bleeding, they add the draft’s most complete receiver and give AJ Green the best running mate he’s ever had.
Round 1, Pick 10: Buffalo Bills: DE Derek Barnett (Tennessee)
Sean McDermott needs an end he can build a defense around. Barnett can help lessen the losses in the secondary.
Round 1, Pick 11: New Orleans Saints: CB Marlon Humphrey (Alabama)
I’ve seen O.J Howard mocked here, but the Saints offense is already good, and they invested $36 million into Coby Fleener. Humphrey helps fix a woebegone defense.
Round 1, Pick 12: Cleveland Browns: ILB Reuben Foster (Alabama)
Joe Haden hasn’t played well for a few years now, so a cornerback at 12 makes tons of sense, but adding a three down backer that can help solve the Browns run defense woes is just as sensible.
Round 1, Pick 13: Arizona Cardinals: CB Gareon Conley (Ohio State)
The Cardinals had a lot of problems, and their cornerback issues opposite Patrick Peterson was arguably the most problematic.
Round 1, Pick 14: Philadelphia Eagles: RB Dalvin Cook (Florida State)
The Eagles need weapons to help Carson Wentz. Adding Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith in free agency means they can the draft’s most dynamic back.
Round 1, Pick 15: Indianapolis Colts: OLB Hasson Reddick (Temple)
Chris Ballard left the Chiefs to become the Colts GM, and look at his additions: DE Jabaal Sheard, OLB Barkevious Mingo, ILB Sean Spence, DT Al Woods. Then look at the Chiefs defense. Clearly, he’s trying to make the Colts defense NFL quality, and adding the versatile Reddick makes too much sense.
Round 1, Pick 16: Baltimore Ravens: DE Taco Charlton (Michigan)
Terrell Suggs can’t carry a pass rush anymore, so enter the 6’6, 277-pound Charlton, who provides the size and youth the Ravens defense needs to get back on track.
Round 1, Pick 17: Washington Redskins: S/LB Jabrill Peppers (Michigan)
The safety play for the Redskins has been subpar for some time now, and while I’m not sure what position Peppers really is, he’s a playmaker, and you can never have enough of those.
Round 1, Pick 18: Tennessee Titans: TE O.J Howard (Alabama)
Howard gives the Titans tight end corps some youth while adding down-field receiver for Marcus Mariota.
Round 1, Pick 19: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Christian McCaffrey (Stanford)
The future of Doug Martin, after another injury-filled season (and drug violation), is unknown, and it leaves me to believe the Bucs will look to take a back early. McCaffrey can catch, run, and make big plays on special teams. Not a bad addition to an offense already boasting Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson.
Round 1, Pick 20: Denver Broncos: DL Malik McDowell (Michigan State)
The Broncos run defense struggled last season, and was one of the major reasons why they failed to make the playoffs. McDowell is huge (6’6, 295) and would re-establish Denver as one of the league’s top run stuffing teams.
Round 1, Pick 21: Detroit Lions: OLB Takkarist McKinley (UCLA)
The Lions need a linebacker that can make splash plays, especially with the decline of DeAndre Levy.
Round 1, Pick 22 Miami Dolphins: EDGE rusher Charles Harris (Missouri)
The Dolphins need edge rush help with the release of Mario Williams and age of Cameron Wake.
Round 1, Pick 23: New York Giants: T Cam Robinson (Alabama)
The Giants need help at guard and tackle, and Robinson can play both. He’ll help the running game and Eli Manning (who needs all the help he can get).
Round 1, Pick 24: Oakland Raiders: CB TreDavious White (LSU)
The Raiders secondary, even with the additions of Reggie Nelson and Sean Smith, wasn’t great. White has great cover skills and will only help the Raiders in their return to prominence.
Round 1, Pick 25: Seattle Seahawks: G Forrest Lamp (Western Kentucky)
Seattle has to address the offensive line at some point, am I right? (Luke Joeckel doesn’t really count, does it? I mean, it beats basketball players, but…)
Round 1, Pick 27: Kansas City Chiefs: QB Deshaun Watson (Clemson)
Watson was clutch for Clemson when it mattered most, so despite the turnovers and inconsistent ball placement, I believe he’s the best quarterback in this draft.
Round 1, Pick 28: Dallas Cowboys: T Garrett Bolles (Utah)
The retirement of Doug Free left a big hole in the Great Wall of Dallas 2.0, and with Ronald Leary also gone, the right side of their line could get ugly in a hurry without substantial reinforcements.
Round 1, Pick 29: Green Bay Packers: CB Cordrea Tankersley (Clemson)
If Matt Ryan didn’t make it obvious, the Packers need serious help in the secondary. Cordrea is a long corner who can cover and play the run.
Round 1, Pick 30: Pittsburgh Steelers: TE David Njoku (Miami)
You can’t trust Ladarius Green to stay healthy, or Martavis Bryant to stay on the field.
Round 1, Pick 31: Atlanta Falcons: SS Obi Melifonwu (Connecticut)
A combine sensation, Obi brings deep centerfield skills that would’ve certainly helped the Falcons not blow a 25-point lead…then again, he doesn’t call plays. Right, Kyle Shanahan?
Round 1, Pick 32: New Orleans Saints: QB Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech)
There’s only two better quarterbacks to learn from than Drew Brees, and Mahomes would have the benefit of having plenty of weapons to throw to when he does wind up starting.
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