NFL Mock Daft – Rounds 1 and 2
Welcome to the first ever Fantasy Football Freaks NFL mock draft. We will take you through the first 63 picks, breaking down exactly what we would do if we were the GM for each team. Predicting trades is dumb, the assumption is that each team stays put and drafts in their slot. Bookmark us or subscribe to receive all of our latest draft articles, including our 2016 NFL draft big board which will come out later this week.
2016 NFL Mock Draft – Round One
1. Tennessee Titans – Laremy Tunsil
I like Ramsey, but Tunsil just makes too much sense to pass on. The Titans are a bad team with a good young quarterback… job one is to protect him and by adding Tunsil, they are giving themselves the flexibility of having two legit tackles that can play on both sides. Tunsil projects out as an elite/elite pass blocker and Lewan could be the leagues best right tackle in a couple of years.
2. Cleveland Browns – Jared Goff
Prior to the 2014-2015 college football season, we wrote that Goff was the best passer in college football and would be the first quarterback taken in this year’s draft. Admittedly Wentz wasn’t on our radar at the time. We like both guys a lot, and Wentz may be the better leader, but Goff is brilliant in the pocket. He’s got great feet, guts, a huge arm, and the ability to throw the ball accurately down field. He’s not adapt to dropping back from under center yet, but given his quickness, we think he will adjust nicely.
3. San Diego Chargers – Jalen Ramsey
Ramsey is in the discussion with Tunsil and Elliott as the best players in this draft, and we know the Chargers have a need at safety. Truth be told, given the way Weddle played, I think Myles Jack is a better fit and if he didn’t have the injury issues would probably be the pick here. I also get the feeling San Diego knows that, so don’t be shocked if they shock everyone and let Ramsey slip to the Cowboys… Ramsey gives you so much flexibility in the secondary. He’s a can’t-miss prospect, because he’s a shut down corner with great feet and hips, that can play safety or even a hybrid safety-linebacker Kam Chancellor role.
4. Dallas Cowboys – Myles Jack
Given the Cowboys need for edge rushers, the safe pick would be Bosa, the upside pick would be Buckner, but I think Jerry goes with the player and takes Myles Jack. Jack can run sideline to sideline, can get after the quarterback from the LB spot, and can really cover. I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of the three go here, but my pick would be Jack… he fills a need, has huge upside, and feels like the type of player Jerry Jones would fall in love with.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Joey Bosa
The Jags have upside returning in Dante Fowler, I’m betting that they will take a lock in Joey Bosa if he gets past the Cowboys. Bosa is a known commodity in the NFL draft, he’s pretty close to his ceiling right now because he was coached extremely well in high school at St. Thomas Aquinas and was coached like a pro by Luke Fickell, Larry Johnson and co. What does this mean? His ceiling is what he is right now, an elite run-stopping defensive end that can get you 6-10 sacks per season. Jacksonville may prefer Jack, but plugging Bosa in next to Fowler for the next 5 years is a nice consolation prize.
6. Baltimore Ravens – DeForest Buckner
I’ve been on this pick all offseason. The Ravens are going to land Buckner and turn him into the best 3-4 defensive end in football. It’s a done deal. Buckner moves insanely well for a 6’7″ 290 lb defensive linemen, and his combination of motor, skill, the ability to use his hands and size, makes him extremely tough to block. Buckner is nowhere near his ceiling, but Baltimore will get him there and he will be a pro bowl DE for them.
7. San Francisco 49ers – Carson Wentz
If the 49ers somehow get Goff, just forget about it… He’s an absolute perfect fit in Chip Kelly’s system and could make the pro bowl in year one. However, Wentz would be just as interesting. Not as quick or natural in the pocket as Goff, Wentz is a tough, tough runner and is deadly accurate inside of 15 yards. The system would be a massive adjustment for Wentz, who played in a pure pro-style offense in North Dakota.
8. Philadelphia Eagles – Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott is NFL ready today. His game is nearly flawless, he can run between the tackles, outside of the tackles, can pull away and break big plays, runs great routes, has great hands, and can pick up the blitz as well as anyone else in the league. He’s a true 3-down running back already, and will make Ryan Matthews exactly what he should be – a luxury when healthy.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Ronnie Stanley
To us, the Bucs have two big needs – pass rusher and corner. That being said there is little value in drafting Shaq Lawson or Vernon Hargreaves here. Both guys have known limitations, and little upside when compared to a player like Ronnie Stanley. To me Stanley is one of the better left tackles I have watched film on in recent years. He’s not a right tackle, you aren’t moving him to guard, he doesn’t have the edge and is not there as a run blocker, but he’s a super-elite pass blocker. He has really, really good feet, and the strength and quickness to stop just about any edge move. Keep Winston upright and he’ll win you games Tampa.
10. New York Giants – Vernon Hargreaves
This board didn’t fall the way Giants fans hoped. I think the Giants would love to get Jack, Stanley or Elliott, but both guys are going ahead of them. It’s too early for Conklin, Lee, Floyd and Lawson, so either look to move back and grab one of those three guys, or go with the player that checks the most boxes. Hargreaves is NFL-ready so it’s hard to mess the pick up, the Giants were dead last in passing YPG allowed so whether they admit it or not… corner is a need, and he’s arguably the best player available.
11. Chicago Bears – Shaq Lawson
The Bears made some big moves on the defensive side of the ball through free agency, and they needed to. Usually a strength, and behind a defensive head coach, the Bears ranked 22nd against the run last season. They added interior line help and Danny Trevathan, but need to add a pass rusher with this first pick. The two names that would be at the top of our board are Shaq Lawson and Leonard Floyd. Floyd is more of a project and a pure pass rusher who may struggle on first and second down. Lawson can get after the quarterback, but is also strong against the run so he seems to make more sense given the Bears needs.
12. New Orleans Saints – Sheldon Rankins
I think the Saints should be looking at three guys in this spot: A’Shawn Robinson, Sheldon Rankins, and Darron Lee. Given just how bad their pass rush was last season, I think they have to value Rankins’ ability to get pressure up the middle. Louisville’s defense was phenomenal over the past two seasons, and if you put on the game film Rankins jumps off the screen as the main reason why. He gets into the backfield and blows up plays, the Saints should be falling over themselves to make this pick.
13. Miami Dolphins – Eli Apple
We have had Miami locked into the best available corner/defensive end for months now. It’s hard not to like what you get in Mackensie Alexander, he’s already a pro… However, like the Bosa/Jack or Bosa/Buckner comparison, the ceiling is so much higher for Eli Apple. Given the right coaching, he has the physical tools to be one of the game’s top corners. Apple is 6’1″ and is physical, he’s a perfect fit in a press coverage scheme and is above average against the run.
14. Oakland Raiders – William Jackson III
The Raiders have added Kelechi Osemele, Bruce Irvin, and Sean Smith, but they need more talent at corner and to add bodies that will come in, compete, and improve the weakest part of this team. William Jackson III is in the discussion as one of the best pure cover corners in this draft. He’s extremely athletic (4.37 40 time), but also very skilled (received PFF’s 2nd highest cover grade in college football last season).
15. Los Angeles Rams – Laquon Treadwell
Everybody wants to slot Paxton Lynch here, but I think that pick would be a nightmare for the Rams. You are moving to a new city, have a good defense, great running back, and solid offensive line. You can not hand the keys to a quarterback that needs (at least!) one full year to transition. I’m also in the camp of thinking Laquon Treadwell is going to be a special player in the NFL.
I hear the argument that he doesn’t get the separation that scouts look for, but let’s keep a few things in mind: One, he played in the SEC, Coleman and Doctson played in one of the weakest pass-defense conferences in the country in the Big 12, of course they create more separation playing against poorly coached, less talented corners. Two, he has all-time good ball skills… like Calvin Johnson, 50/50 balls are not 50/50 balls, they are closer to 80/20. Three, his leg exploded less than a year ago, he didn’t even get into game shape until halfway through the season. A season that saw him catch 80+ balls for 1200 yards and 11 touchdowns.
It’s our opinion that the Rams should draft a playmaker, maybe grab Connor Cook, Cardale Jones, or Christian Hackenberg later in the draft, let him compete, and take another QB next season. Drafting Lynch here would just handcuff your team to a project QB, with limited weapons, in Los Angeles.
16. Detroit Lions – Jack Conklin
If he is still on the board, this pick should take the Lions all of 30 seconds… No team had bigger issues at a position than the Lions had at right tackle. They signed a guy named Michael Ola (6’4″ from Hampton) off the street and he instantly came in, started, and looked significantly better than the garbage they had been rolling out there. Playing left tackle for the Spartans, in a conference that saw him face an NFL-caliber defensive end every other week, Conklin allowed 25 pressures on 849 snaps over the last two years. He’s a mauler who projects as the best right tackle in this draft, if the Lions really do want to improve the RT position and run the ball better, Conklin is a no-brainer pick.
17. Atlanta Falcons – Darron Lee
I’m fairly certain Quinn has told us they are drafting Lee (assuming he falls to 17). Essentially the Falcons are looking the add speed to their defense. Lee is speed… at the combine he ran a 4.43 and 4.47 and is more than a combine-star. Lee’s speed and ability to run sideline-to-sideline flashes in Ohio State game film. Given Dan Quinn’s history with linebackers the thought of him developing Lee is scary.
18. Indianapolis Colts – Taylor Decker
Indy can’t let this turn into a theme… they have to be better outside of the passing game. They have to defend, run the ball for average, and they have to protect Andrew Luck. They don’t need playmakers, because 12 is the playmaker… just play defense and keep him healthy, and you will be in the playoffs every season. Decker isn’t a left tackle, but he will settle in nicely as the Colts right tackle and similar to the Lions, provide stability at a position that hasn’t had it for a while.
19. Buffalo Bills – Robert Nkemdiche
Can’t you just picture Rex Ryan licking his chops, waiting for an insanely talented player that some consider a character risk to drop to him? Not only is Nkemdiche talented, but he’s versatile. His length and athleticism allows him to play every position on the defensive line for Rex Ryan. Admittedly he probably isn’t a run down lane clogger, but slide him outside and Nkemdiche (who is 6’4″ 300lbs) runs a 4.8 (has been clocked unofficially at 4.5) can set the edge, pressure the quarterback, then slide back inside to ruin the pocket on passing downs.
20. New York Jets – Noah Spence
If teams reach on QB’s and tackles early in the draft, the Bills and Jets can get back-to-back steals on ‘character issue guys’ here. Out of everyone we have going outside of the top 10 this season, we think Noah Spence and Jaylon Smith are the two guys that have the best chance of being the steals of this draft. Spence has the ability to be an elite pass rushing defensive end. If you are looking for a guy in this draft that could potentially lead the league in sacks over the next five years, Spence is it.
21. Washington Redskins – A’Shawn Robinson
The Redskins need to get better up the middle on defense so three Alabama guys could be in play here: Robinson, Reed, and Ragland. Robinson would make the biggest day one impact for a playoff team, and would make everyone on that defense better. Given their pressing need at center, and just how good Ryan Kelly is, don’t be shocked to see them lock in their center for the next decade here. It’s insanely early for a center, but offensive line coaches around the league are drooling about him. Either way our bet is that the Redskins end up with a Alabama product here.
22. Houston Texans – Corey Coleman
I know the Texans like the idea of sticking Will Fuller on the other side of the field of DeAndre Hopkins, but when you look at what the Texans really need to go along with Hopkins, Coleman is a much better fit. Coleman isn’t the vertical threat that Fuller is, few are, but he has much better hands, a more complete route tree, and more ability as a runner once he catches the ball.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Will Fuller
Remember what the Vikings thought they were getting in Mike Wallace? That is what they are getting in Will Fuller. We’ve been on this kid for two years now, he can consistently outrun cover two and will force you to play a safety over top of him. Meaning Diggs gets more space to work underneath, AP gets another body out of the box, and Teddy actually gets to flash that he’s capable of throwing the deep ball.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Jarran Reed
We keep seeing Josh Doctson here, but the Bengals are too smart to fall into the trap of forcing players onto their roster to fill needs. We have Doctson, Michael Thomas and Tyler Boyd as our top available receivers heading into round two. They still have AJ Green, Tyler Eifert, signed Brandon Lafell and have Brandon Tate, Dane Sanzenbacher, Mario Alford in place in their system already. Wide receiver isn’t an emergency and can be addressed later in the draft. Look for the Bengals to draft Jarran Reed who is ready to fill in all over their defensive line from day one. He was PFF’s top rated run defender defensive lineman in college football last season. The Bengals are in win-now mode, and Reed is a player that will step in and help them immediately.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers – Mackensie Alexander
Perfect player in a perfect fit… Kendall Fuller should be on the radar here, but Mackensie Alexander is a great fit given the Steelers immediate need. He’s a football junkie, already prepares like a pro, is a great man corner, and in the NFC North will have the ability to lock down anybody.
26. Seattle Seahawks – Chris Jones
With the way the board fell, I don’t think an offensive lineman is in play here, so look for the Seahawks to fill another need created with the loss of Brandon Mebane with either Chris Jones or Kenny Clark. I prefer the more athletic Jones who is one of the better pass-rushing defensive tackles in this draft.
27. Green Bay Packers – Reggie Ragland
If the board falls this way, the Packers would likely have three guys on the top of their list: Ragland, Kenny Clark, and Vernon Butler. It seems too perfect of a storyline that Ragland falls all the way to Green Bay at 27, then makes 9 of the next 10 pro bowls. Look for the Packers to address the middle of their defense in the first two rounds, and then add depth to their offensive line and perhaps add one more receiver on day two.
28. Kansas City Chiefs – Leonard Floyd
It’s pick 28 and I’m already tempted to type the name Jaylon Smith… Leonard Floyd has been in play since 11, but is such a hard player to project, he could slip all they way to the Chiefs at 28. He’s a project, has a ton of upside, can get after the quarterback, and actually put some decent coverage skills on film last season.
29. Arizona Cardinals – Ryan Kelly
Several players could fill needs for the Cardinals here, Keanu Neal could add depth and competition at safety, Emmanuel Ogbah fits their scheme and is one of the few remaining pass rushers, but after trading for Chandler Jones that need is somewhat filled. We are betting that either the Cardinals solidify their center position by taking Ryan Kelly, or use this pick to make up for the pick they traded bringing in Jones. You know that teams will be itching to move back into the first round to pick one of the names falling including Paxton Lynch, Kevin Dodd, and Josh Doctson.
30. Carolina Panthers – Vonn Bell
Carolina is in a great spot where the positions they need should fall to them. Unless they have a crazy grade on Jason Spriggs, they aren’t getting a starting left tackle… So they can rank Vonn Bell, Su’a Cravens, Kendall Fuller, and Karl Joseph however they want and take the best available player.
31. Denver Broncos – Vernon Butler
Again, the Broncos will have a franchise-shaping decision to make here… Do you commit to developing Paxton Lynch or Conner Cook, or do you fill the hole you have at DT/DE and RT? With Spriggs, Butler, and Billings still on the board, this may be a spot that Elway looks to trade out of. If he does make a pick, look for the Broncos to stick to the game plan, win on defense and to replace Malik Jackson with a young Vernon Butler. Out of LaTech, Butler has a ton of upside, projects as a 3-4 defensive end that can pressure the QB, and will likely be drafted in the 20-32 range.
Round 2 Mock Draft
32. Cleveland Browns – Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
33. Tennessee Titans – Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
34. Dallas Cowboys – Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
35. San Diego Chargers – Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
36. Baltimore Ravens – Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
37. San Francisco 49ers – Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State
38. Jacksonville Jaguars – Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
40. New York Giants – Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
41. Chicago Bears – Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
42. Miami Dolphins – Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
43. Los Angeles Rams – Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
44. Oakland Raiders – Darian Thompson, S, Boise State
45. Los Angeles Rams – Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State
46. Detroit Lions – Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
47. New Orleans Saints – Germain Ifedi, OT/G, Texas A&M
48. Indianapolis Colts – Kamalei Correa, DE/OLB, Boise State
49. Buffalo Bills – Shilique Calhoun, DE/OLB, Michigan State
50. Atlanta Falcons – Su’a Cravens, LB, Southern California
51. New York Jets – Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford
52. Houston Texans – Jonathan Bullard, DE/DT, Florida
53. Washington Redskins – Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
54. Minnesota Vikings – Jeremy Cash, S, Duke
55. Cincinnati Bengals – Scooby Wright III, LB, Arizona
56. Seattle Seahawks – Joshua Perry, OLB, Ohio State
57. Green Bay Packers – Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska
58. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
59. Kansas City Chiefs – Joe Thuney, OT, NC State
60. New England Patriots – Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech
61. New England Patriots – Jordan Jenkins, OLB, Georgia
62. Carolina Panthers – Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor
63. Denver Broncos – Bronson Kaufusi, DE/DT, BYU