NFL FIRST ROUND MOCK DRAFT: 2016
Titans: The Titans are in desperate need of an offensive line. An athlete like Marcus Mariota needs a wall to hide behind if he’s going to throw like he did in his years at Oregon, and he’s gonna need people to open up holes in the defense if he’s going to run like he did in Oregon. Mariota is clearly the focal point of this offense, and as that focal point he needs people to throw to. Opposite of Delanie Walker (who’s getting pretty old, might I add) they have zero downfield threats. They have a decent defense, but the release of Michael Griffin is big, considering the potential he still has (although his 2015 season was awful).
Browns: Johnny who? The sharp turn into a world of drama and criminal charges has caused the Browns to release Johnny Manziel, and Josh McCown isn’t getting any younger. A pick like Jared Goff would be great for the Browns, considering their offensive line isn’t terrible, and Goff is a pretty tough guy to take down. Because of Gary Barnidge and his recent explosion as one of the best TE’s in the league, a WR isn’t horrible needed, especially if they keep Travis Benjamin around. A running back would be nice, and would take some pressure off of Goff, but the likelihood of drafting both Goff and a solid RB like Ezekiel Elliott or Derrick Henry is very small. Also, a good LB or DE could go a long way, as the Browns don’t have a bad defense, they just have no one to lead it.
Chargers: This is a team with talent. Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates, Eric Weddle, and Manti Te’o make for a solid team. If they can stay healthy. The Chargers were injury plagued this year, and that’s what lead them to a poor record. If they could land a good rusher to take some pressure off of Rivers, that would be great for them. A good downfield like Laquon Treadwell would be awesome, as teams with good DB’s tend to bottle up Gates and Allen. A good pass rusher is always good, and that can come from Joey Bosa, who is an absolute animal up front.
Cowboys: For the sake of the lord, Dallas, you have one of the best offensive lines the NFL has ever seen. USE IT. A draft like Ezekiel Elliott would be crazy good for this team. Reminiscent of DeMarco Murray’s prime, even. Also, Tony Romo isn’t getting any younger, and Dez Bryant can’t seem to stay healthy enough to make Romo useful. A late round QB could be good for “America’s Favorite Team”. Now, I want you to name a defensive back on the Cowboys. You can’t. The days of Deion Sanders are gone, draft someone you can use, like Jalen Ramsey, or Mackensie Alexander.
Jaguars: The Jaguars don’t need anyone on offense, they have one of the most talented, albeit youngest, offenses in the league with Blake Bortles, the Allens (Hurns/Robinson), Julius Thomas, and TJ Yeldon (who still shows crazy potential). What the Jaguars don’t have, is someone to stop the run. Joey Bosa would be a perfect pick for the Jags, as would Reggie Ragland. Jalen Ramsey would provide good pass coverage, as would Mackensie Alexander. All things aside, this teams just needs to stop other teams, and one player can make a world of a difference.
Ravens: Yet another quality team plagued by injuries. Joe Flacco remains one of the elite QB’s in the league as long as he stays healthy, Justin Forsett is the same way. Even with Steve Smith Sr. coming back from an injury and Kamar Aiken as a quality up and comer, the Ravens still need a wide receiver that doesn’t drop passes or get injured every other play. Laquon Treadwell would be a PERFECT choice for this team, as he has great hands and can take a beating. They could also do well with a good CB and LB, bringing Jalen Ramsey and Reggie Ragland to mind. At this point in the draft, Joey Bosa will most likely be taken, but DeForest Buckner could be just as potent at the DE spot.
49ers: I still have faith in Colin Kaepernick, you don’t have THAT good of a season and just fall off. Under Chip Kelly’s direction, I think he still has a shot to be elite. All he needs to do that is a good offensive line which allows him to both throw AND run, because he’s good at both. This brings Cody Whitehair and Laremy Tunsil to mind, as they can pancake defenders like no other. Further on the offensive spectrum, they need a wide receiver. As fast and as reliant Anquan Boldin is, he’s not getting younger. Also, the loss of Vernon Davis is pretty big, so they could go for a big blocking tight end like Hunter Henry or Austin Hooper. On defense, the 9ers aren’t horrible, they just have difficulty stopping the pass. At this point in the draft, Ramsey will be taken, but Mackensie Alexander and Vernon Hargreaves are solid choices as well.
Dolphins: The Dolphins have potential, they have for years, they just had a coach who didn’t know who to use. Lamar Miller was criminally underused this year as Dan Campbell had little to no faith in his o-line. This is why the Dolphins need a good blocker like Cody Whitehair, to give new head coach, Dan Gase, some faith. Now while the Dolphins do have a good defense with defensive end Ndamukong “Stomp On Your Head” Suh, and safety Reshad Jones, they could always go with a good linebacker like Reggie Ragland, assuming he isn’t taken. Kentrell Brothers would be a good choice as well. Jarvis Landry is slowly evolving into a poor man’s OBJ, and that’s great for the team. But as Jordan Cameron is both injury prone and a better blocker than pass catcher, they could use a good WR.
Bucs: The Bucs are a playoff team. Arguably one of the best, youngest trios in the NFL lies within this team. Doug Martin, Mike Evans, and Jameis Winston makeup one hell of an offense. Their line isn’t terrible, but could use some fortification, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins is pretty good if he can stay healthy. It’s the secondary that has doomed this team to mediocrity as of recent, as they have NO ONE to stop the pass. Mackensie Alexander or Vernon Hargreaves, or even a linebacker like Kentrell Brothers could have a crazy impact on this team, and potentially put them in a wild card spot next year.
Giants: It is my firm belief that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has not ran his course yet. The man is a straight up athlete, and plays the cornerback like a receiver. What this team lacks is a good safety to play multiple receivers instead of just one. If Ramsey isn’t taken, which I can almost guarantee he will be, then Vonn Bell would be a great choice. On the offensive side, they need a running game. Manning and OBJ can run an offense forever, Ezekiel Elliott or Derrick Henry would prove great for this team, although Henry is more of a workhorse.
Bears: Get this team a defense. The former NFC powerhouse is now a shell of it’s former self without Brian Urlacher to lead its formerly dominant defense. Reggie Ragland or Kentrell Brothers is what this team needs. Mackensie Alexander would be a great addition to their secondary, as would Vonn Bell. On the offensive side, Jay Cutler just had one of his most productive seasons even without Alshon Jeffery, so his return could spell good things for the Chicago offense. The running back Jeremy Langford enjoyed a quality rookie season, even while taking back seat to the washed up Matt Forte, who is likely going to be released soon.
Saints: Just… Just give this team anyone to stop the pass. Just do it. For the sake of the Saints, just do it.
Eagles: Demarco Murray still has potential, no one runs for 1,845 yards, 13 touchdowns, and just stops being good. Hopefully new coach Doug Peterson realizes this and gets him an offensive line reminiscent of the one Murray hung out behind in Dallas, or the one Pederson was used to in Kansas City. On the vertical side of things, Sam Bradford still has potential if he stays healthy, and the sudden explosion of Jordan Matthews as the Eagles main target is nice, though a receiver like Corey Coleman or Michael Thomas could be good for this team. On the flipside, Malcolm Jenkins still remains dominant, as does most of the Eagles defense (they’re really not all that bad) but another DB or LB could prove useful in stopping other teams.
Raiders: About mid-season, Oakland was looking great. Derek Carr seemed to have found his stride, Latavius Murray was doing well, Michael Crabtree, and stud rookie Amari Cooper were enjoying very productive defense. Not to mention, OLB Khalil Mack and legend Charles Woodson were killing it on defense. Then the offensive line fell apart. Carr saw pressure and uncharacteristically became a turnover machine about 10 games in. This team is due for a new o-line. Any prospects would be a good choice. On defense, the departure of Woodson raises some issues however, as he was the Raiders stud DB. Drafting another one would prove useful, then again, they are in high demand so it’s hard to tell who would be a good pick.
Rams: You can’t run an offense solely through one person, especially if that person has dealt with injuries before. Todd Gurley could be the next Marshall Faulk, but Faulk had the greatest show on the turf with Kurt Warner. The Rams NEED another Kurt Warner, and they could be a playoff team. With a good o-line, Paxton Lynch and his athleticism could prove very good for this team, as could another receiver as Tavon Austin shows promise, but also drops about half of his passes. Their defense is terrifying, with Aaron Donald leading the charge, so there aren’t many changes to be made here.
Lions: Megatron (Calvin Johnson) is retiring after 9 seasons. Matthew Stafford now has to rely on Golden Tate, who may be one of the fastest human beings ever to play in the NFL, but still has issues with ball control. Laquon Treadwell would be the perfect replacement for Johnson if he isn’t taken already, but Corey Coleman or Michael Thomas could be a good pick too. Defensively, this team doesn’t have too much to worry about, as Darius Slay is easily the most underrated cornerback in the NFL, and Ezekiel Ansah is scary on the line. A good free safety could prove useful, as Slay can’t guard everyone.
Falcons: Talk about a flop. This team came out and started pulverizing teams until 6 games in. A lot of people could blame the play calling, but I blame Matt Ryan and the offensive line. Not only is Ryan a washed up version of the stud we saw three years ago, but he has no protection. Also, the lack of protection up front means Devonta Freeman, who is CRAZY good at running the ball, has less protection. Defensively, this team is solid, but could use a good LB like Ragland, Lee, or Brothers to lead the charge.
Colts: Andrew Luck is healthy, T.Y Hilton still catches everything that’s thrown at him, and the o-line is still awful. A good offensive lineman to protect the fragile Luck and the aging Frank Gore would prove excellent. Now T.Y Hilton is good, but he doesn’t have a counterpart to draw the attention of opposing safeties and linebackers, plus the guy is only 5’9, so he gets shut out by bigger DBs. A solid TE would bring back the days of Dallas Clark, as Hunter Henry would do crazy things for the offense. Opposite that, the Colts are a pretty solid team, with Vontae Davis and Dwight Freeney leading the charge.
Bills: Tyrod Taylor had one of the best QBRs of the season, even with missing two games because of a concussion, so it’s my belief that the Bills have the QB position locked down. Lesean McCoy is possibly facing criminal charges, so that’s not good. During his injury last year, Karlos Williams and Mike Gillislee did very well while he was out of commission. What the Bills really need is a good linebacker and defensive end to reinforce a pretty stout defense. Reggie Ragland would be a good pick for this team, as the secondary got Ronald Darby last year, which was a great pick.
Jets: The Jets are a playoff team, possibly a Super Bowl team. They have good coaching, an experienced yet still stingy defense, and a very high powered passing attack. What could do this team some good, you ask? A gosh darn running game. Chris Ivory is too hit or miss and Bilal Powell is really only good for catching the ball, so I think Derrick Henry could work miracles for this team. Further down the offensive spectrum, a QB could be in the foreseeable future, since Fitzmagic isn’t getting younger. On the defensive, this team could use another defensive back. Darrelle Revis is phenomenal, but he was showing some wear and tear toward the end of the season, especially against faster receivers. Another linebacker is always useful too, but David Harris is pretty solid.
Redskins: Enough of asking what other teams like, Kirk, we all know you’d like a competent receiver. Pierre Garcon is always injured, Desean Jackson drops everything, and Jordan Reed is too much of a tight end to run down the field. Treadwell will be taken by this point in the draft, but Coleman’s explosiveness combined with Cousin’s ability to throw accurately downfield? Too good to pass up. Alfred Morris is good as well, but an RB could be a nice change of pace for this offense to use. Defensively. this team needs a secondary. Mackensie Alexander would be a good choice for this team, but then again they also need a linebacker. Ragland could bring this defense the spark they need to become elite.
Texans: So. Many. Turnovers. We saw how ugly the Texans v. Chiefs game was, and it was mainly Brian Hoyers fault. Carson Wentz or Paxton Lynch could be the decider in what makes this team good enough for a potential championship run. Then again, they need an offensive line to protect a new QB, so perhaps they’ll take Tunsil or Whitehair. Defensively, this team is stacked. Jonathan Joseph is an animal, and JJ Watt is already a future hall of famer, so this team doesn’t need a lot on defense. Just get this team a QB.
Vikings: The Vikings are good, and honestly should’ve beaten the Seahawks. Their defense is solid, opposite of some secondary issues, all they really need is someone for Teddy Bridgewater to throw to. Adrian Peterson is still elite, the offensive line is still solid. All this team needs is someone like Coleman or Thomas for Teddy to whip it down to on 3rd down, then they’ll be contenders.
Bengals: Other than having the worst fans in the NFL, the Bengals are pretty good. They have the best overall receiving corps in the league, two great running backs, and a great QB. The defense is good, but could use some line work. Some secondary work could be needed so that Pacman Jones doesn’t have to do all of the work.
Steelers: If this team had any sort of secondary, they would win the Super Bowl. Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, , Ben Roethlisberger, and Le’Veon Bell make up arguably the most talented offense in the NFL. Give this team a good DB or Safety like Vernon Hargreaves or Vonn Bell and they’d be set. A good TE would do this team some good too, allowing the offense to stay more condensed with their passing game.
Seahawks: This is a good team that is just prone to messing up, I mean look at the divisional game this year, they were massacred in the first half, then almost came back and won it. All this team needs is another receiver to contend with Doug Baldwin in catches, a good defensive end, and another cornerback just so Richard Sherman can have some slack. I’d also say another RB would be good, but Thomas Rawls looks to take up right where Marshawn Lynch left off.
Packers: A healthy Green Bay team with some offensive line boost will win the next Super Bowl. Rodgers comes back healthy, Jordy Nelson comes back healthy, Eddie Lacy and James Starks figure themselves out. This team is good.
Chiefs: I thought the Chiefs were gonna make a Super Bowl run this year. They had a huge winning streak and one of the meanest defenses in the NFL with studs such as Justin Houston, Marcus Peters, and Eric Berry (who is the best safety in the league right now, sorry Kam Chancellor). Really all this team needs is another threat like Coleman or Thomas for Alex Smith to throw to since Jeremy Maclin is prone to drops and Travis Kelce can’t get down field very well. Jamaal Charles comes back next year, and last time he came back off of an injury he ran for 1,700 yards, and even if he doesn’t, Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware provide a deep RB corps.
Cardinals: Yet another NFC powerhouse to go along with Green Bay, Seattle, and Carolina, the Cardinals are a great team. David Johnson was a late season miracle, Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, and Michael Floyd are a great set of pass catchers, and Carson Palmer just had the best season of his life. All this team needs is another linebacker to work with Daryl Washington, and some o-line work for Johnson to work around.
Panthers: Everyone thought that Carolina would win the Super Bowl, me included, but it turns out that they can’t stop a good pass rush. With Kelvin Benjamin back, this team will prioritize getting a good o-line in hopes they can protect Cam Newton.
Broncos: Defense wins championships, but a good QB can help get you more. This team just needs a good QB to throw to Demaryius Thomas and Eman Sanders, and Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler are not looking like the best options for those two.
–Patriots– (No First Round Pick)