You will notice a few of these projections are the same as my last mock draft. That is because they make sense… for now. Less than five percent of you are actually reading this introduction. Thank you to those who are. These “projections” will change frequently. Don’t take these guesses as “X player is projected in the first-round.” It is too early to make such a statement. I suggest using early mocks as watch lists.
1. Tennessee Titans - FSU DB Jalen Ramsey - Everyone is mocking Laremy Tunsil here. For years it has been accepted that left tackle is the most important offensive line position. In the past, it seemed all of the top pass rushers played opposite the left tackle. That played into the importance of the position. Now pass rushers are deployed from all different alignments. Basically I’m trying to explain why tackle will not be the pick here, since Tennessee’s interior seemed to struggle just as much as the edge. The Titans likely want to trade this pick, but a versatile, aggressive defensive back with size and athleticism is not a bad consolation.
2. Cleveland Browns - Cal QB Jared Goff - New head coach Hue Jackson already stated the team will take a quarterback if one is worthy of the second selection. The question if one will be, or even if one will be forced. Just thinking out loud here, but I’m interested in what the process of labeling grades to quarterbacks is like with each team. I’m not sure how a quarterback needy team could list a quarterback at a random ranking like, say, No. 7. If a passer is listed that highly, they are either a quality starter or not, right? If so, they should be atop the board.
3. San Diego Chargers - Ole Miss T Laremy Tunsil - Philip Rivers has also displayed functional mobility and an ability to win in a confined pocket. Common thought would be that Rivers’ ability to succeed in such a situation would continue to decline with age. This entire offense would improve with a better offensive line. Tunsil has an aggressive demeanor to go along with his athleticism.
4. Dallas Cowboys - Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell - Treadwell and Dez Bryant on the same team? Why?.... Why not. Terrance Williams’ contract is up after 2016 and he is an average talent at best. Jason Witten is very close to transitioning from Dad Running to Dad Power Walking. Treadwell is an ultra-physical receiver both before and after the catch.
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5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Ohio State EDGE Joey Bosa - But they took an edge rusher last year?... So. The Jaguars will likely lose three edge rushers this offseason (Clemons played 675 snaps, Branch played 616 and Davis played 250) and were in dire need of pass rushing productivity this year. Bosa is all explosion and power, shedding his opposition with strength and extension. He is one of the best run defending edge players I have seen.
6. Baltimore Ravens - Notre Dame T Ronnie Stanley - Eugene Monroe only turns 29 in April, but he has only played in 17 games over the last two seasons. The Ravens cannot count on him to play a full season. On top of that, Kelechi Osemele is a free agent and 2016 is the final year of Ricky Wagner’s deal. Getting a talented left tackle in a rookie deal is a great proposition.
7. San Francisco 49ers - Baylor WR Corey Coleman - This pick will test Chip Kelly’s and Trent Baalke’s roster relationship. Coleman checks in under 6’0”, and Kelly has leaned towards size at the position. However, I think COleman plays bigger than his size and obviously offers speed and yards after catch capabilities. The 49ers’ offense needs a jolt, and Coleman would offer it. Especially if the 49ers sign Sam Bradford.
8. Miami Dolphins - Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves - Hargreaves’ 2015 season did not match 2014, but it was far from bad or even average. I was a big Jamar Taylor fan out of Boise State, but he has not played well. Unless the team really believes in young corners Bobby McCain and Tony Lippett as full time starters, expect them to address this position early.
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9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander - I can see why a lot of people like Alexander. In fact, many love his game. Hate it or love it, corner is now a position of size and stature. It can be difficult to find sub 5’10” corner who successfully plays the ball in contested situations. Jason Verrett was one, and Alexander needs to follow that path.
10. New York Giants - Oregon DL DeForest Buckner - I’m not completely sold on Buckner’s pass rushing success early on. However, I am sold on Buckner's individual traits that can result in a powerful pass rusher. Let me explain. Buckner has desired size and length. He is not slow off the football. He has strength in his hands and uses length. All of these show up as a run defender. Once he shows urgency and intent to play behind the line of scrimmage and shed against the pass, he can be a huge factor on a defense. The Giants might see a Justin Tuck comparison here.
11. Chicago Bears - UCLA LB Myles Jack - As of now, I consider Jack the top prospect in this draft class. Jack can play like a 260 lbs power linebacker or move like a 230 lbs coverage specialist. He moves differently than most players at the position. John Fox has invested in linebackers throughout his coaching career. Jack is on track to participate in the Combine.