Alas, it’s time to mock the NFL draft. This is a sacred time for me. Every year around the Pro Bowl, I take a peak into next season. This is partly because the Cincinnati Bengals are always eliminated, but mostly (lie) because I can’t wait to see the new draft class; seriously, though, it’s because the Bengals are out.
With the Bengals preparing for next season, so to will I. This is the week that I look forward before readying myself for the Super Bowl bonanza that is next week. It’s always interesting to do this, and I’ll do it fairly often between now and the first round of the NFL Draft on April 28.
Now, I do my mocks a little differently. With each pick, I’ll select who I believe the team will take and who I think they should take or what they should do, such as trading down. When the combine and pro days roll around, this will likely change things. And trading down is always subject to a team willing to part ways with what they’ll give up to move higher on the draft board. But, it’s just an educated guess. None of us have any real clue what will happen on draft day.
Without further adieu, let’s begin!
1. Tennessee Titans
Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
The Tennesee Titans are in a unique spot. Back at the top of the draft, a familiar place in Nashville, they need to add several key things: offensive line help, a running back, and defensive help all around the back end. So what’s the most sensible solution when they don’t need a franchise quarterback? Trade down. That’s what the Titans must do with the number one pick this season. However, they need to lure a team to do this. With Cleveland sitting right behind them, that’s the biggest quarterback suitor eliminated. The Chargers and Cowboys both could use a quarterback for down the line, but I doubt that’s where we see them go this early. The Jaguars and Ravens are both set at the signal caller position. Continue down the list and nobody fits the bill of giving up a ton to get a quarterback, especially with the uncertainty surrounding this class. No trade works this season. So they address their top need, offensive line. Keeping Marcus Mariota upright is essential to any long-term success for Tennessee.
2. Cleveland Browns
Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Okay, Carson Wentz? You don’t even know who that is, do you? Well, get to know him. A new rumor has emerged that the Browns are actually digging into Wentz at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL. Under new head coach, Hue Jackson, they’re going to need a new quarterback. Jackson did quite an incredible job with Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, so why couldn’t he do it with another young gunslinger? Jackson brings his guy in and gets a big arm from a talent unknown to most fans. I know, the Browns selecting another quarterback is just rich, but I have faith that Wentz and Jackson can figure it out.
3. San Diego Chargers
Myles Jack, LB/RB, UCLA
I love Jack. He’s a beast on multiple fronts and one of the most talented players in the draft. A knee injury raises a lot of concerns with Jack. However, we’ve seen freak athletes bounce back and not miss a beat, Todd Gurley leaps off of that page. Jack is a home run pick in San Diego and will become a superstar on their defense alongside Manti Te’o and company.
4. Dallas Cowboys
Jared Goff, QB, Cal
The Cowboys are my first real interesting pick in the draft. They could use a lot of things. However, they don’t need all that much. Health killed 2015, so that’s the biggest concern in 2016. With that in mind, quarterback makes sense here. Not trading up, not missing out. Jared Goff is the top quarterback on my board; the Cowboys should take him. However, I can see them go any number of ways.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jalen Ramsey, CB, FSU
Jacksonville has some nice pieces already in place. They need to add depth and fix the defense. They’ll be getting Dante Fowler back after the rookie injured himself in training camp last season, so that’s a big addition. However, Ramsey helps a weak secondary in a big way. The best player on the board, this is a simple pick to make.
6. Baltimore Ravens
Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The second Rebel off the board early. Treadwell is a star in the making on the outside. Last season the wide receiver depth lacked from the beginning. Injuries compounded the lack of depth. They get a home run threat to add with last year’s first-round pick, Breshad Perriman. The offense could be high flying with a healthy Joe Flacco.