First off, thank you again for everyone participating in the mock draft this year. The submissions were generally on time and the write-ups were excellent. Aside from a few stragglers who dropped the ball, everything was close to perfect.
Here is the 2016 BRB NFL Mock Draft in comprehensive form, with the first ten of the thirty-one picks are compiled into one unified post.
1.) Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil (OT--Ole Miss) via LC575
With the first overall pick of the 2016 BRB Mock Draft, the Tennessee Titans select Laremy Tunsil (OT--Ole Miss).
Halfway into last season, Kronos decided to eat Ken Whisenhunt for not being able to protect his prized possession, Marcus Mariota. Laremy Tunsil is the athletic tackle that is needed in today's NFL to protect the number one investment on all teams.
With this selection, the Titans improve two positions by being able to move Taylor Lewin to right tackle. Hopefully, these upgrades at the tackle position allow Mariota to play 16 games, leading to a playoff berth.
2.) Cleveland Browns: Joey Bosa (DE--Ohio State) via mcavazos625
Now before people begin to scrutinize me for not picking a QB and try to explain to me that RG3 is not the answer, let me make my case. If this was me and I was the newly appointed Browns GM, I wouldn't want to keep throwing darts at QBs until one sticks. I would much rather build the rest of my team and gain some much needed talent instead of getting a decent QB and expecting him to win the Super Bowl on his own (like the Colts).
Bosa is at worst an impactful starter that can service the team for a long time. When you think about his ceiling, that's when you realize Bosa is the best pick for the Browns.
With their number one player off the board in Laremy Tunsil, the Chargers take the best player available. With all the quarterbacks left, San Diego really would like to trade back, but they'll take their future centerfielder.
4.) TRADE Los Angeles Rams: Carson Wentz (QB--North Dakota State) via Roll.Texans.Roll
The Los Angeles Rams receive:
Dallas' 2016 first round pick (No. 4 overall).
The Dallas Cowboys receive:
Los Angeles' 2016 first round pick (No. 15 overall);
Los Angeles' 2016 second-round pick (No. 45 overall);
Los Angeles' 2017 first-round pick; and
The Rams need a QB, period.
Les Snead and Jeff Fisher can say that Case Keenum is the team's starter and that they believe in him, but I don't buy it. Over the past few years with Fisher as head coach, the team has lacked stability under center. Whether it's injuries or poor play by retread quarterbacks, the Rams have failed to capitalize on the awesomeness of their defense by posting sub-.500 records in years they were expected to make the playoffs.
Here the Rams trade up by nabbing the QB with most upside. Wentz has garnered rave reviews from the media and scouts alike because of his size (6'5"/237 lbs.), athleticism (4.77 40-time/6.86 3 cone drill), and accuracy.
Drafting Carson Wentz not only gives the Rams their QB of the future to build an offense around, along with Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin, but it gives the fans of Los Angeles someone who they can rally behind and also gives "Hard Knocks" a great storyline to build this season on.
5.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack (LB--UCLA) via bigfatdrunk
If I'm Shahid Khan, I figure there are three (3) things keeping me out of the playoffs.
First, have you seen that mustache? I'm pretty sure the mustache has been controlling Khan for several years now. It's the only possible explanation for continuing to employ Gus Bradley.
Secondly, the Tinkle Kitties have to keep so many tarps around, it's just hard to move around in the stadium. Sometimes, you can't get into your office, so you go home and write Mark Brunell fan fiction.
Finally, there are the Houston Texans, the team that's been eating the Jaguars' lunch for the past several years. Flip the two annual losses against the Texans, and the Jaguars are a 7-9 team. Win one or two more games, and it's playoff time in front of empty seats in London Jacksonville!
The Jaguars have some nice, young offensive talent, especially at their skill positions. Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and T.J. Yeldon are all potential Pro Bowl candidates. Julius Thomas, coming off an injury, was a bit worse than expected, but he still brings positives. Blake Bortles brings a tremendous amount of upside, and his improvement is obvious.
Signing Kelvin Beachum to replace draft bust Luke Joeckel was a coup for the team. The Tinkle Kitties still need to address the offensive line in the draft, however, so that's a consideration for this pick. Unless I'm taking a left tackle, though, this is too early to address guard, center, or right tackle.
How have the Texans beaten the Jaguars? Defensively, of course. And that's where I'm going with this pick.
On the defensive line, the Jaguars signed Malik Jackson, adding him to a group that includes Roy Miller, Jared Odrick, and, most importantly, healthy versions of Sen'Derrick Marks and Dante Fowler.
Aside from Telvin Smith, who definitely flashed as a rookie, the linebacker corps is a nightmare. Dan Skuta is decent, but Paul Posluzny is terribly overrated.
In the secondary, the Tinkle Kitties will look to Prince Amukamara, Aaron Colvin, and Davon House at CB. That's not a great group, but they're solidly average. I think Tashaun Gipson was a fantastic signing for the team, though somebody who isn't Sergio Brown, Josh Evans, or John Cyprien needs to play S opposite Gibson.
With the Cokeboys trading away their pick to the Rams, who then took Carson Wentz with the pick, my path is clear.
As the Fake GM for the Jacksonville Tinkle Kitties, I'm proud to draft Myles Jack with the fifth overall pick in the 2016 BRB Mock NFL Draft. Jack and Smith give the team an extremely young and talented duo at OLB. Jack will be a nightmare for TEs and slot WRs, and he's somebody I won't be afraid to use off the edge to get to the QB.
With the aforementioned upgrades, the team should field an average defense. Coupled with a slightly above average offense, this is a team that should compete for the playoffs this year...except Gus Bradley, of course.
6.) Baltimore Ravens: DeForest Buckner (DL--Oregon) via praeceps93
A picture-perfect physical example of a 3-4 defensive end at 6'7", 297 lbs, Buckner is easily in the discussion for top defensive lineman in this draft. Buckner is known for having a high motor, using an array of moves to attack opposing lineman, and possessing a truly massive wingspan (34 3/8" arms) to hold his ground and swat passes down at the line of scrimmage. Seen as a slightly stronger run stuffer than as a QB killer, Buckner made huge strides in his pass rushing with 11 sacks in 2015 on his way to a Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award.
Drawing Calais Campbell comparisons, Buckner fills a need for the injury-plagued Baltimore Ravens following their disappointing 2015 season. The Ravens allowed 25.1 points per game in 2015, good for 24th best in the league. While DE Brent Urban has emerged recently, the "State of the Ravens" press conference in January indicated a strong preference for pass rushers in the 2016 Draft. The Ravens do have some big needs on their offensive line and secondary, but the available value players for those positions is not ideal at this pick. With Jalen Ramsey and Laremy Tunsil off the board, Buckner's talent is too much to pass up here. His pure power and high motor remind me of the Ravens defense of old, which made its name by being aggressive and extremely strong in the trenches.
With Terrell Suggs getting older, Buckner could represent a much-needed young cornerstone to slowly rebuild around; the current average age of their defense is 27, good for 21st in the NFL. While Buckner wouldn't directly replace Suggs (he's more of an interior DT/DE than the pure edge rushing role that Suggs plays), his presence would open up more opportunities for other edge rushers as he takes up blockers with his large frame on the inside.
While the Baltimore Ravens are picking 6th in the Draft, that doesn't tell the whole story of their season. The football gods were ruthless to any player dressed in purple as major injuries completely destroyed their season (and their depth chart). At various points in the year the Ravens lost Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett, Terrell Suggs, Steve Smith, and many others to season-ending injuries. In fact, over the course of the season eight of the Ravens' week one starters ended up on IR, including 6 on offense. In short, the Ravens got screwed, but it does put them in a unique position: they can pick up an elite talent without having to entirely rebuild their roster. Luckily, in this case, the talent matches up with a need.
Potential other picks: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame; Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida; Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State (actually came really close to picking Zeke; he's really talented).
7.) San Francisco 49ers: Jared Goff (QB--California) via astrosbro95
If he's still sitting there at 7, a 49ers staffer will literally be sprinting with the pick.
Colin Kaepernick is as divorced from the 49ers as any QB could be. Rather than a toxic locker room (truthfully, the organization as a whole can't seem to keep any player in house), we'll start over with a shiny new passer.
Goff's calling card is his incredible accuracy. His completion percentage rose from 60.4% to 62.1% in 2013 and 2014, respectively, before hitting a peak last season at 64.5%. Furthermore, what gives great hope for this team is the rise in yards/attempt in each season as well as TD-to-INT ratio.
All in all, he provides an incredible anchor for a team that lacks a true leader. For an offense lacking in firepower, Goff and Carlos Hyde should be a solid tandem to build around.
8.) Philadelphia Eagles: Vernon Hargreaves (CB--Florida) via bigfatdrunk
Chip Kelly: Philadelphia Eagles :: General Sherman: Atlanta
After Kelly's reign of error, "new" General Manager Howie Roseman has been pounding the Ctrl-Z (undo) function all off-season. So far, he's done a pretty dadgum good job of rebuilding Atlanta the Eagles, but he still has a way to go. In a sorry, talent-less NFC East, the Eagles should quickly be back and compete for the division title.
Offensively, there's a lot to like about the squad aside from the starting QB. Sam Bradford simply isn't a good QB, and I definitely admit to feeling a strong urge to go QB with this pick. If Goff was still in play, he'd be my guy. Otherwise, the offensive line will be one of the best in the NFL, and there's talent at both WR (need depth) and TE. RB, currently manned by perennial underachiever Ryan Matthews, is another concern.
Defensively, the Iggles have talent at all three levels, though CB is in bad shape. Eric Rowe, Nolan Carroll, Ron Brooks, and Leodis McKelvin frighten not a single offensive coordinator in the league. Replacing the replacement-level Nigel Bradham is also a thought.
Currently, common wisdom has the Eagles taking Ezekiel Elliott. This makes sense, of course. What makes less sense is taking a RB over a CB with this pick. I simply can't see the team looking at the 29 year old Carroll, who's coming off of an injury, and thinking "he's my #1 or #2 CB".
Thus, the Philadelphia "Booing Santa Claus" Eagles select Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida.
9.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ronnie Stanley (OT--Notre Dame) via denerrigoli
There may not be a team as talent bereft as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Aside from QB, WR, and RB - too heavy of an emphasis on skill positions - you can look at every level of Tampa Bay's team and see problems.
Defensively, there are maybe three players you can point to and say they're above average: Gerald McCoy, Robert Ayers, and Lavonte David. Otherwise, the talent is simply depressing, somehow far outplaying their 18th rank by DVOA.
Offensively, they have a shiny new QB to add to talented skill players Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, and Doug Martin. The team did add J.R. Sweezy to help on the offensive line...for some reason as he's pretty terrible.
As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mock GM, I've got to learn from what I saw last year. I'm not particularly enamored with any of the edge rushers at this spot as that would be a strong possibility. So if I can't get to the QB, I'm going to keep Jameis Winston clean. Thus, the the Bucs select Ronnie Stanley, OT, ND, to man Winston's blindside.
10.) New York Giants: Ezekiel Elliott (HB--Ohio State) via H&Hguy
Giants GM Jerry Reese came to the startling realization that he could only recognize the faces of three players on his own team, and one of them blew his finger off shooting fireworks. Naturally, when a GM realizes this, he has the impulse to spend 200+ million dollars of someone else's money in an attempt to cover up how poor of a job he has done since the team's last playoff appearance, which, coincidentally, is exactly what happened.
With the belief that their rebuilt defensive line is enough to turn Tom Brady's dreams of Uggs, Superbowl rings, and his children into nightmares of Bill Bellicheck sex life, the "vaunted" Giants pass rush, and Giselle, the team will decide to take RB Ezekiel Elliot with the 10th pick in the draft.
While Zeke is not quite the prospect Todd Gurley was, he has the patience, vision, and strength to be a feature back in an NFL offense, especially one in which the primary defensive onus will focus on Odell and Eli.
With over 50 passes and 400 yards receiving over the last two seasons, Zeke has proven to be a game changer in all phases of the game, and having played under an elite coach against the best of the best of college football, his transition to the NFL should be a smooth one.
The only real knock on Zeke are the rumors of substance abuse, and, of course, his cringe worthy questioning of Urban Meyers playcalling publicly. However, the possibility of getting the best player in the draft with the 10th pick is too great of an opportunity for the Giants to pass up, and an immediate, impact player is ready to fill in day 1 at a position of need.
(Disclaimer: I am the person who mocked Louis Nix III in round 1 to the Saints in 2013, so most of what I said is probably BS)