NFL Draft 2016: Mega Mock[the_ad id=”58837″]One of our newest and sharpest staff writers, Doug Moore, put together a massive 5800 word two round Mock draft that went live last week. If you haven’t checked it out, you can do that here.
This NFL mega mock draft doesn’t have trades, as it would be too difficult to read. Although some of the writers have projected players on teams that they assume will trade up. Check out the writers thoughts and insight to their picks below the Mock Draft.
Other NFL Draft Articles to Check Out:
- 10 NFL Teams Likely to Add Rookie Running Back Depth
- 4 Rookie Wide Receivers That’ll Make a Fantasy in 2016
- 5 NFL Teams Desperately Needing Offensive Line Help
- 7 Bold NFL Draft Predictions
- Fantasy Factor Podcast: WR Rookies (with guest Matt Harmon)
- 5 Rookie RB Sleepers You Need To Learn About Now
Gridiron Experts Staff Thoughts & Insight
J.P Scott Ezekiel Elliott is probably the best overall player in the draft. He’ll fall to the Giants because of the overall value of running backs in the modern game, as well as because every team above them either is set at the position or has greater needs.
All four corners I have going in Round 1 look like surefire starters and immediate impact players. Despite the deep offensive tackle class in 2016, the two best overall linemen in the draft could very well be Alabama center Ryan Kelly and Stanford guard Josh Garnett. Both fall into great situations with playoff teams from a season ago. Some people will question why I have Connor Cook going that high to Buffalo, but I think Rex Ryan secretly admires the fact that the kid is a winner, despite what others think of him. Next to Goff, Cook might be the most NFL-ready signal caller in the draft.
Denver rarely drafts based on need. Instead, I have them taking the player with the biggest upside in Nkemdiche. John Elway has shown to be a guy who loves to stockpile talent on the defensive side of the ball. Based on the results of last season, I’m not going to second guess him. I’m not sure the quarterback position is as big a deal in Denver’s front office as it is in the media. Denver won the Super Bowl with basicallly mediocrity at the position for all of 2015. My dark horse for best overall player in this draft when we look back years from now is Reggie Ragland. I’ve done multiple mocks and in every one of them, I have Ragland going to an NFC North squad. He is the prototypical NFC North middle linebacker and I think he’s the next great one at the position.
Jody Smith The Chargers have done a good job keeping quiet and they’re the key to the early part of this draft. San Diego’s selection impacts the next 4-5 picks and the Chargers could go a number of different routes, including offensive tackle, secondary or pass rusher. Cleveland, currently sitting at eight and with a new analytics-inspired staff, could be a popular trade target for RB Ezekiel Elliot- or they could take the superstar running back. I see WR Laquon Treadwell slipping past the Giants, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him go there. “Character concern” guys slip to the bottom of the round, where good teams pick up solid value late. In all, this is a good defensive draft and very hard to predict.
Austin Gayle At the top of the draft, the Dallas Cowboys’ need at edge-rusher is far more significant than needs in the secondary because of the fallout of Greg Hardy and the looming Randy Gregory suspension. Therefore, Bosa makes the most sense for Dallas at No. 4. Despite the medical concerns surrounding his knee, Myles Jack is simply too good of a talent for Ozzie Newsome to pass up at No. 6 overall.
Rather than going with the trendy pick of a cornerback to Tampa Bay, I have the Buccaneers taking former Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson in an effort to add another pass rusher opposite of Robert Ayers. Yes, I’m aware that Oakland added Kelechi Osemele and re-signed Donald Penn, but with the question marks surrounding Austin Howard’s consistency, Jack Conklin will compete for a starting spot at right tackle. Though the Detroit Lions have previously invested some high picks in their interior offensive line (i.e. Larry Warford, Travis Swanson, and Laken Tomlinson), I predict that they will continue that trend by replacing Swanson at center with Ryan Kelly. Given their inability to both run the football and protect Matt Stafford in 2015, the Lions need a talented leader like Kelly to better solidify their offensive line. In hopes that the Jets bring back Ryan Fitzpatrick, I have them passing on Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch to address their pass-rushing needs, while Arizona will work to develop Lynch behind Palmer for one or two years. Though I am a firm believer in the Mark Sanchez era in Denver, John Elway is not. I have him taking the next best quarterback available in Connor Cook.
Mike Rigz As mentioned at the top we didn’t add trades into this Mega Mock Draft mainly because it would be too difficult to read. Nevertheless, I am still “mocking” for a trade between the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns. I think the Dolphins move up to snag their biggest need, adding running back Zek Elliott to the starting roster. The trade would stockpile even more picks for the Browns and give them the 13th overall pick. From there I’m predicting the Browns beef up their defensive line with the selection of Sheldon Rankins. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cleveland landed offensive or defensive line talent further down the board. I could see the Browns playing Money Ball at this years NFL Draft and moving back even further after trading with the Dolphins.
I like my Mock Draft, but don’t believe the players I listed will go in this particular order. I could see 7 to 8 trades in the first round, not including the two we already know about that sent the Rams and Eagles to the top of the board.
Bob Talbot Even though Dallas has interest in Bosa and Elliot, Jalen Ramsey is too good to pass up on for a team with defensive back woes, tasked with covering Odell Beckham twice a year. Jack and Jacksonville aren’t a match as Joey Bosa makes more sense for them off the edge. A team will move up to draft Bosa’s teammate, Ezekiel Elliott (I’m guessing Miami), and Tampa Bay seems most likely to move down given its needs. That sets up the Giants to break my heart once again. I expect them to nab the edge rusher everybody is falling for, Leonard Floyd, even though he’s built like a wide receiver, because… Jerry Reese. Paxton Lynch is way up my board on account of Goff and Wentz going 1-2. Too many teams are looking for a quarterback (Bills, Jets, Niners, Browns, Broncos, Saints?), so it makes sense to see a trade-up to grab Lynch, who many believe is the next best option. I’m calling the Saints bluff and saying they trade the pick to another suitor.
If there’s ever a team likely to take a chance on a defensive troublemaker, Rex Ryan and the Bills seem like the best bet to grab Noah Spence, in need of some edge rush help. I also think GMs wise up and realize Laquon Treadwell is far from the best wide receiver in this class, as you’ll see Josh Docston, Corey Coleman (staying in Texas) and Will Fuller fly off the board ahead of him. Lastly, I think the Panthers ignore their cornerback void on Day 1 and take a chance on Sterling Shephard, whose exceptional route-running and slot work could make him a nice compliment to Kelvin Benjamin in 2016.
Shae Cronin While anticipating a lot of action for Thursday night’s first round via trades, moves, and shakes, I’ll mock my first surprise pick as early as No. 5, where the Jags pass on a guy like Myles Jack and take Leonard Floyd. The obvious medical red flags surrounding Jack cause his stock to slide a little bit and Jacksonville goes with Floyd, who offers lots of potential as an athletic and speedy edge rusher. It wouldn’t be a shock to see Chip Kelly and the Niners go with a quarterback in the first round if they like one enough, but DeForest Buckner carries awesome value for San Francisco at No. 7. Jack’s slide doesn’t last long and the Giants make him a top-10 pick, anyway. Fish, fish, got my wish for the Dolphins, as Ezekial Elliott somehow lasts to 13 and lands safely in Miami with immediate fantasy value and attractiveness (which actually happens wherever he lands).
I’d expect some sort of ruckus by the middle of the first round if Paxton Lynch is still around, but without mocking trades the Jets have an opportunity to officially close the book on Ryan Fitzpatrick and move forward with Todd Bowles’ guy of the future. A bit of a surprise comes around again at No. 22, not because Houston decides to go with a wideout, but because out of names like Laquon Treadwell, Corey Coleman, and Josh Doctson, Notre Dame’s Will Fuller ultimately becomes the first wide receiver taken on Thursday night. Clearly I’m not the only guy with the idea of Reggie Ragland to Green Bay, but I may be the biggest fanboy of the move. Great value for the Packers, Ragland feels like a perfect fit as a player, and his addition could shift Clay Matthews back wide. Keanu Neal is a guy who I could see going earlier than anticipated and Washington would make sense. As for my most confident picks, in order: Laremy Tunsil to San Diego, Vernon Hargreaves to Tampa Bay, Vernon Butler to Washington.
NFL Draft Game (Play along)[the_ad id=”58835″]With bragging rights always a huge motivation for our team, we have decided to make a little game for Thursday nights NFL Draft with a Mock Draft Challenge. Usually, you can find a draft game of some sorts floating around the web, but this year we haven’t seen one, so we’re making our own. The way you play is simple. We’re awarding one point for the correct pick of the following
- Offense or Defense
- Rookie’s Name
Person with the most points wins.
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