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2016 NFL Mock Draft 10.0: Risers and Fallers

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2016 NFL Mock Draft 10.0: Risers and Fallers

The NFL mock draft circuit is running at full blast these days. On this end, the 2016 mocks have been going since late in 2015, which means plenty of changes, but especially of late when it comes to stock value. Here's my sense of those making moves in both directions.

RISERS

Devontae Booker, RB, Utah  

Ezekiel Elliott is the clear top running back this year with Derrick Henry seemingly on his own tier. As for third on the list, Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Dixon is the call, but perhaps not by draft if the illusive Booker catches him. Speaking of catching, Booker is a true dual threat after hauling in 80 passes combined over the last two seasons while averaging at least 4.7 yards per carry during those campaigns. Could be a good Day 2 pick for the Browns or Dolphins. 

Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State 

Now that we know Jared Goff and Carson Wentz will in some order go 1-2 in the draft, all the potential quarterbacks with projections in the first two rounds move up. Paxton Lynch remains third in the class and likely goes off the board around pick 20. If Kansas City, Arizona and Denver want long-term options, passing on a passer in round one might not be wise. If Cleveland, Dallas and San Francisco are desperate for QB help, those teams might have no choice but to jump into the latter section of round one. 

Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia 

Read his NFL.com bio and just about everything sounds like what Redskins general manager desires in a "football player." Team captain and impactful leader. Plays with passion and a deep love of the game. Play-making safety with man cover ability and plus ball skills. Play style shows complete lack of respect for his own body. All of that sounds like a top 20 selection except Joseph injured his knee during a non-contact practice drill last season. After weeks and months of Day 2 projections, the buzz is ramping up. Assuming the final medical reports aren't nasty, I'd be shocked if Joseph isn't selected in the first round. 

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FALLERS

Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

Listen to some draft mavens like DraftInsider.com's Tony Pauline praise Alexander's cover skills, even making comparisons to Darrelle Revis and it seems impossible that the third-team All-American could slip beyond the first 31 picks. Then again, more and more do we see just that. Alexander would make sense for teams like the Steelers and Seahawks late in round one, but if his limited size and production spooks teams, we could be looking at a Day 2 pick. 

Jeremy Cash, S, Duke

Perhaps it's not fair to say the hard-hitter is falling, but other safeties are moving past him including Joseph and Florida's Keanu Neal. The drop might not be significant if Joseph and Ohio State's Vonn Bell go off the board no later than early second round. Otherwise, if Cash is the fourth or fifth safety selected, he might not learn his fate until late in the second round. 

Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Mississippi

This tweet sums up the status of the talented though perhaps troubled Nkemdiche.

Rule out the third pick and the top 10 even though he was headed that way late in his college season. In fact, at this point it seems far more likely Nkemdiche lands in the first 10 picks of the second round as the draft world notices the actual production (6.5 sacks over three seasons) while factoring in some concerning personal behavior. There is clear talent to mine. Perhaps the Denver Broncos consider selecting at 31 as a Malik Jackson replacement. For now, the trend is not Nkemdiche's friend.

Sideways

Chris Jones, DL, Mississippi State 

As many as seven defensive tackles could hear their names called in the first round. The powerful Jones lagged toward the back of that pack and seemingly wasn't part of it after recent off-the-field matters. Yet more and more, the powerful lineman with the ability to collapse the pocket is popping up in first round scenarios. In some cases, not just sneaking in either. However, some of these DL prospects will fall with Jones and UCLA's Kenny Clark being the most likely.

Noah Spence, OLB,  Eastern Kentucky

One NFL Insider reported this week that the pass rusher "seems to have solidified himself mid-to-late 1st rd." Yet a different gatherer of information told the world the former Ohio State transfer is unlikely to hear his name called in round one. Of these three first round mocks, one has Spence of the board with the 19th pick while the other two passed. The Redskins have taken a close look at Spence, but are they doing so for 21 or 53? Exactly. Where he lands largely depends on whether the off-the-field concerns trump his natural pass rush prowess.

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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