It’s officially time! The NFL Draft is here and my final edition of the 2016 NFL Draft is done. No more adjustments, no more trade predictions and no more second guessing myself. I do believe we could see two more trades on the first night of the draft but only time will tell. Feel free to tweet any questions, comments or concerns to @DowntownTMSNX on Twitter!
1. Los Angeles Rams (from Tennessee) — QB from California — Jared Goff — It’s been well-known that the Rams are taking a quarterback. Which quarterback will they select? Personally, I’d take Wentz but for the Rams, they’ll go with Goff. He measures with smaller hands but he can throw the ball, that’s for sure. It scares me that Goff didn’t play in a pro-style offense at California. He, in fact, only had one snap under center during his entire career there. However, his transition to the NFL, should go smoothly as he’s got Todd Gurley for a running back. Goff will come into the league playing like Ryan Tannehill but could turn into a taller version of Drew Brees.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (from Cleveland) — QB from North Dakota State — Carson Wentz — The Eagles pull a shocking move, trade up to this pick and grab a really good quarterback. They now deal with some quarterback controversy as Sam Bradford is seeking a trade. Whatever happens, Wentz will be prepared. He’s got a great quarterback coach for a head coach in Doug Pederson and Wentz works incredibly hard. I think he’ll become a terrific player in this league.
3. San Diego Chargers — OT from Notre Dame — Ronnie Stanley — It could be a smoke screen or it could be true. Rumors are swirling that the Chargers are going to take Ronnie Stanley with their first round pick. Reasons are being that Tunsil has a lot of character concerns, especially with his step-father. As for Stanley, he’s being considered as the best pass blocker in the draft, has no off the field issues and he would be a huge upgrade for the Chargers at left tackle.
4. Dallas Cowboys — OT from Ole Miss — Laremy Tunsil — How do the Cowboys pass him up? They don’t. Doug Free is playing right tackle at 32-years-old. Tunsil would be an upgrade at the position and would be an instant starter for an already excellent offensive line.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars — FS from Florida State — Jalen Ramsey — Not the biggest need for the Jaguars and they could potentially look at someone like DeForest Buckner. However, Ramsey says he wants to play cornerback at the next level and that could be what he gets a shot at first in Jacksonville. Also, he’s the best player in the draft and should become a no-brainer for the Jaguars.
6. Baltimore Ravens — DE from Ohio State — Joey Bosa — Finding an opposite edge rusher to Terrell Suggs is important for the Ravens and their future success on defense. Bosa isn’t my favorite edge rusher in the draft but he’s versatile and can do anything you ask him to do. The Ravens would hope for someone like Tunsil or Ramsey but Bosa is the best bet for them at this spot in the draft.
7. San Francisco 49ers — DE/OLB from Georgia — Leonard Floyd — It’s almost like it’s the 2011 NFL Draft for the 49ers. Floyd is a hybrid edge rusher just like Aldon Smith was for the 49ers, that year. Floyd is getting pushed up draft boards because of how athletic he is and the potential he has as an edge rusher. The biggest reason to why he lacked production at Georgia was because of where he played. Floyd played middle linebacker, outside linebacker and defensive end. He played all over the field and right now, that has teams thinking of all the possibilities.
8. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia via Miami) — RB from Ohio State — Ezekiel Elliot — There’s a chance that the Browns move down in this draft, again. However, it’s very unlikely for a team to trade down twice. If the Browns do move down, they’ll either go quarterback or wide receiver. If they keep the pick, they take Ezekiel Elliot. He’s the only running back in this draft that can play every down. Elliot would protect RGIII at quarterback and would allow the Browns to have a legit playmaker on their offense.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — DE from Clemson — Shaq Lawson — You can only ask for so many sacks from Gerald McCoy. They’ve struggled to get any kind of edge rusher for their defense but they’ll use this pick to try to address that need. Lawson could be considered the best defensive lineman on the board and has the ability to become an elite edge rusher at the next level. He’s got Justin Tuck comparisons written all over him and is incredibly gifted in stopping the run and pass.
10. New York Giants — OT from Michigan State — Jack Conklin — With both left tackles off the board, the Giants will settle for the next best thing. Conklin is a left tackle that just buries every defensive lineman in his path. He’s got amazing upside and has been ranked higher than Ronnie Stanley, in some mock drafts.
11. Chicago Bears — DT from Oregon — DeForest Buckner — The Bears have struggled to get a dominant presence in the middle of their defensive line, for some time. Buckner falls to the Bears and he will move to the nose-tackle position. I’m not sold on Buckner because he’s almost too big but he’s got potential to get after the quarterback and stuff the run. He was productive at Oregon but I question the offensive line competitiveness in the Pac-12. That won’t stop the Bears from taking him at this spot in the draft.
12. New Orleans Saints — CB from Florida — Vernon Hargreaves III — Name one cornerback on the Saints’ roster. They were terrible last year and it showed in just about every game they played. They do need some help in the trenches but Hargreaves is a day-one starter.
13. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia) — OLB from UCLA — Myles Jack — The knee is scaring teams and I don’t believe that’s a smoke screen. The Dolphins need linebacker help though and there’s no way that they would pass on Jack, if he’s available.
14. Oakland Raiders — DT from Louisville — Sheldon Rankins — You could make a case for Rankins as the top defensive tackle in the draft. For now, I have Buckner ranked over him but not by much. Rankins is great player and should emerge as a playmaker at the next level. He would be an excellent fit for the Raiders defense and should help with stopping the run for a defense that’s starting to shape up to look very good.
15. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles) — OT from Ohio State — Taylor Decker — The scenario plays out to where the Titans are left with only one tackle to choose from. Decker is a right tackle at the next level and he’s a tremendous run blocker. The 2015 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year will pair well with Taylor Lewan and the duo will do a fine job protecting Marcus Mariota.
16. Detroit Lions — OLB from Ohio State — Darron Lee — There isn’t a tackle available and to be honest, that’s a good thing for the Lions. They need to take a defensive player, the only question is which one? Do they go with a linebacker, defensive lineman or do they take a safety? I think the Lions will go with the player that’s had a great pre-draft season and that’s Darron Lee.
17. Atlanta Falcons — WR from Ole Miss — Laquon Treadwell — It’s hard for me to believe that Treadwell is still at this spot in the draft. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Falcons take a receiver and that’s because I don’t trust Mohamed Sanu as a number two guy. Treadwell can run every route and is sure handed. Some experts question his work ethic but I don’t question him or anything I’ve seen of him on tape. The Falcons would have an awesome trio for Matt Ryan to work with.
18. Indianapolis Colts — OG from Kansas State — Cody Whitehair — You could make a case for Ryan Kelly at this spot but I like Whitehair. He can play anywhere on the line and would be a great addition to protecting Andrew Luck.
19. Buffalo Bills — ILB from Alabama — Reggie Ragland — Despite the need of an edge rusher for the Bills, they’ll take a linebacker. The Bills had terrible play from their linebackers last season and need to find a way improve it. Ragland is ready to start on Sunday’s and should be a great addition for Rex Ryan.
20. New York Jets — QB from Memphis — Paxton Lynch — I don’t think the Jets can pass on a quarterback. Maybe Fitzpatrick comes back or maybe he doesn’t. Whatever happens, the Jets need a quarterback. I’m not sold on Paxton Lynch but I believe he’ll be drafted before Connor Cook or any other quarterback that doesn’t go first or second overall. Lynch has never ran a pro-style offense and only ran an up-tempo offense at Memphis. He never played against good competition and struggles with a wide variety of throws. He’s a few years from being a starting quarterback but the Jets will take their chances on him.
21. Washington Redskins — SS from Ohio State — Vonn Bell — Despite the addition of Josh Norman, there ins’t a bigger need on the Redskins’ board than a safety. They’ve struggled with finding a starting safety for a few years and Vonn Bell is getting high praise from plenty of teams across the league. He’d be an ideal fit for the Redskins and should become a starter for a secondary that’s on the rebuild.
22. Houston Texans — DT from Ole Miss — Robert Nkemdiche — I can’t buy into the next three teams picking a wide receiver. With this pick, I’m going to have the Texans get the best player at the position, as far as talent is concerned. Nkemdiche was a top-five talent on the field but a complete bonehead off it. Pairing him up with J.J. Watt could do wonders for this team’s defensive line but he could also learn from Vince Wilfork, as well. It’s a surprising pick but it could pay big dividends for the Texans.
23. Minnesota Vikings — WR from TCU — Josh Doctson — There’s no certainty that Cordarrelle Patterson makes it through the Vikings pre-season but whether he makes it or not isn’t important. What’s important is that the only real receiver this team has is Stefon Diggs. With Doctson on the board, the Vikings will select him and get a player who can do just about everything as a wide receiver. He’s really moved up my draft board and has some sleeper potential at this point in the draft.
24. Cincinnati Bengals — WR from Baylor — Corey Coleman — Another fun receiver to watch is Corey Coleman. Nobody produced better than Coleman but then he got plagued by injuries. Now healthy, Coleman makes sense for the Bengals. They need as much help as they can get at receiver because of the departures of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers — CB from Houston — William Jackson III — If you haven’t watched tape on William Jackson, then you need to. He’s a fun player to watch and could easily go sooner in this draft. I think he’s a perfect fit for the Steelers, who desperately need a cover cornerback in their system. Jackson is press corner that always seems to find the football when it’s in the air. He’d be a perfect fit for the Steelers defense.
26. Seattle Seahawks — OT from Indiana — Jason Spriggs — The Seahawks’ defense isn’t perfect but nothing is as bad as their offensive line. Spriggs is a left tackle in the right scheme and that scheme would be the Seahawks. He’s more of a pass blocker than a run blocker and that’s okay, especially since Russell Wilson needs as much protection as he can get.
27. Green Bay Packers — DT from Alabama — Jarran Reed — I have to be honest, I’m not sold on Reed. I wouldn’t be shocked if he falls to the second round but he’s been getting a lot of praise from teams that are looking for a versatile 3-4 defensive lineman. The Packers would have to be one of those teams as they’re looking to replace their recently retired nose-tackle, B.J. Raji.
28. Kansas City Chiefs — CB from Ohio State — Eli Apple — Some other needs at this position of the draft but with Sean Smith signing with the Raiders, the Chiefs need to find another cornerback to be paired with Marcus Peters. Apple is still very raw, in my opinion. He’s got to stop being so physical with receivers and he needs to get better at playing the ball in the air. There’s no doubt about his upside but it might take him a year or two before he’s considered a consistent player for the Chiefs defense.
29. Arizona Cardinals — QB from Michigan State — Connor Cook — This is a tough prediction because I’m so unsure of what the Cardinals really need. With Cook on the board, he’s got upside and doesn’t have to play right away, even if he’s pro-ready. Carson Palmer is 36-years-old and has torn his ACL, twice. Things would look good for the future of the Cardinals with this selection.
30. Carolina Panthers — SS from Florida — Keanu Neal — You could make a case for the West Virginia safety, Karl Joseph. Personally, I think Keanu Neal measures out to be like Eric Reid from the 2013 NFL Draft. Neal fits a need for the Panthers but he’s also a hard-hitting player who can come across the middle at anytime. He’s got to work on his pursuit to the football but he looks the part of an NFL safety.
31. Denver Broncos — DE from Clemson — Kevin Dodd — If you compare Dodd’s measurements to Malik Jackson, it’s almost like you’ve got the same player. With Jackson leaving for Jacksonville, the Broncos could use another defensive lineman. Dodd doesn’t have to play right away but he’s getting a lot of praise for the back part of the first round. Mainly because teams think he’s just starting to hit the surface of what he can be. If that’s the case, the Broncos defense just got scary good again.