With the twenty-ninth (29th) pick of the 2016 BRB HovaFlow, on behalf of the Arizona Cardinals, says...,
As we approach the end of the BRB Mock Draft, the back of the first round is filled with talented players that have fallen due to various on and off the field issues or because of depth at their respective playing positions. As the faux GM of the Arizona Cardinals, I have a who's who of falling talent at my fingertips. What does a team with no glaring weaknesses do at this juncture? With no second round pick, which was given to the New England Deflatriots along with Jonathan Pooper for pass-rusher Chandler Jones, do we go BPA? BPA-free? Risky? Safely?
The most obvious need is at center. Where there was once a 10-year starter, there is now a void the size of a Tech Deck package on a Walmart merchandise peg. Do we select Ryan Kelly, the man with two first names? Despite the glaring issue at this position, this is something I'd rather address in the third round.
Several defensive starters on the front seven are either on the rise; such as Markus Goldenrod, or coming back healthy, like Alex Okafor. The biggest weakness for the defense last year, the pass rush, has been addressed with the addition of OLB Chandler Jones, but will his obsession with injecting potpourri become an issue? There are certainly some options here in Robert Nkemdiche, Shaq Lawson, and Kevin Dodd. Nkemdicheis the most intriguing out of the bunch: a physical specimen and underachiever with off-the-field baggage not even Southwest Airlines would let you carry on.
With unproven cornerback Justin Bethel playing opposite of all-world Patrick Peterson, and Tyrann Mathieu possessing knee ligaments made from generic brand paper towels, I also considered a cornerback here. Mackensie Alexander is available, but I didn't want to be "that guy" who considers multiple individuals with two first names as potential draft picks.
So, with a team ranked first in offense, fifth is defense, and stacked at almost every position; what is my draft strategy? I'm taking the best player available and the guy with the highest upside of potentially anyone else in this draft.
With the 29th pick of the 2016 BRB Mock Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select Jaylon Smith (LB--Notre Dame). Yes, there's the gruesome knee injury and teams will have to wait on his medicals before making a final decision. But damn it, I'm a phony GM! See! The hat comes right off!
In a division with the Seattle Seahawks, Jaylon Smith is a guy who can spy mobile quarterbacks, shut down receiving tight ends, and is even athletic enough to cover slot receivers. Against the Carolina Panthers, who knocked the Cardinals out in the playoffs last year, Smith is a guy who can spy Cam Newton and is smart enough to decipher all of his Laws of Motion mid-play. And forget about your running backs getting to the edge; Jaylon Smith has the speed to beat them there and make the play, or to force them into the teeth of the defense. Even if he sits out most of 2016, there's the possibility of contributing in the playoffs and the potential to be a perennial All-Pro. You just don't pass up on a guy like that.
Well, here we are. The draft is wrapping up tomorrow. The Carolina Panthers and Vance87 are on the clock. Your pick is due to us via email by 7 pm CDT tonight.
1. Tennessee Titans--Laremy Tunsil (OT--Ole Miss)
2. Cleveland Browns--Joey Bosa (DE--Ohio State)
3. San Diego Chargers--Jalen Ramsey (CB/S--FSU)
4. Los Angeles Rams (via trade with the Dallas Cowboys)--Carson Wentz (QB--NDSU)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars--Myles Jack (LB--UCLA)
6. Baltimore Ravens--DeForest Buckner (DL--Oregon)
7. San Francisco 49ers--Jared Goff (QB--California)
8. Philadelphia Eagles--Vernon Hargreaves III (CB--Florida)
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers--Ronnie Stanley (OT--Notre Dame)
10. New York Giants--Ezekiel Elliott (RB--Ohio State)
11. Chicago Bears--A'Shawn Robinson (DE/DT--Alabama)
12. New Orleans Saints--Sheldon Rankins (DT--Louisville)
13. Miami Dolphins--Eli Apple (CB--Ohio State)
14. Oakland Raiders--Jack Conlin (OT--Michigan State)
15. Dallas Cowboys (via trade with the Los Angeles Rams)--Noah Spence (DE/OLB--Eastern Kentucky)
16. Detroit Lions--Laquon Treadwell (WR--Ole Miss)
17. Atlanta Falcons--Darron Lee (LB--Ohio State)
18. Indianapolis Colts--Cody Whitehair (OG--Kansas State)
19. Buffalo Bills--Emmanuel Ogbah (DE--Oklahoma State)
20. New York Jets--Leonard Floyd (OLB--Georgia)
21. Washington Redskins--Corey Coleman (WR--Baylor)
22. Houston Texans--Vernon Butler (DT/DE--Louisiana Tech)
23. Minnesota Vikings--Josh Doctson (WR--TCU)
24. Denver Broncos (via trade with the Cincinnati Bengals)--Paxton Lynch (QB--Memphis)
25. Pittsburgh Steelers--Andrew Billings (DT--Baylor)
26. Seattle Seahawks--Taylor Decker (OT--Ohio State)
27. Green Bay Packers--Reggie Ragland (ILB--Alabama)
28. Kansas City Chiefs--William Jackson III (CB--University of Houston)
29. Arizona Cardinals--Jaylon Smith (LB--Notre Dame)
30. Carolina Panthers--Vance87
31. Cincinnati Bengals (via trade with the Denver Broncos)--Summer of Watt