21.) Washington Redskins: Corey Coleman (WR--Baylor) via Matt Weston
I don't watch college football. After 2014, I don't pay attention to the draft until after it's over so I can see where the pieces fit. Instead, I do other things. So when Whiteiron failed to submit his pick (BOOOOOOOOOO), I must have some tar and feather laying around, I decided to instead mix things up for when we select for the Texans.
So with the 21st pick the Washington Redskins select Corey Coleman--WR Baylor.
22.) Houston Texans: Vernon Butler (DT/DE--Louisiana Tech) via BRB Staff
Tim asked all of you earlier this morning to help break the masthead's tie when it came to deciding on who the Texans should pick in the annual BRB mock draft. Some among us wanted Memphis QB Paxton Lynch as an insurance policy for Brock Osweiler, while others targeted defensive end/defensive tackle extraordinaire Vernon Butler in order to help reload in the trenches. You made your voices heard, and those voices overwhelmingly called for more talent on defense.
So with that, with the 22nd overall pick of the 2016 BRB Mock Draft, the Houston Texans select Vernon Butler (DE/DT, Louisiana Tech). Christian Covington and Devon Still are likely bound to fight it out for the starting defensive end position across from J.J. Watt now that Jared Crick is a Bronco, but Butler could still throw his hat into that ring as well. Where I think he is really destined to fit in this defense, however, is at nose tackle. Butler has a hulking frame at 6'4", 323 pounds, but what really stands out is his incredibly long arms at over 35 inches. Nose tackles in Romeo Crennel's scheme first and foremost need to be able to stack and shed to shut down the run game up the gut, and that tantalizing length should come in handy to do just that.
Some scouts have compared Butler's physical gifts to both Muhammad Wilkerson and Marcell Dareus, which backs up his versatile projections as anything from a 5-technique defensive end to a true 0-technique nose tackle. The future is murky at best when it comes to the defensive line in Houston (outside of J.J. Watt, of course), so adding a talent that can immediately contribute at multiple positions is an opportunity that is too good to pass up.
23.) Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson (WR--TCU) via King_of_the_Gridiron
This pick isn't a surprise if you have looked at most mock drafts. While I see that Teddy Bridgewater does need help with protection, this WR class lacks depth. So, with that said, if you're going to get a quality guy, you need to grab him early. With the departure of Mike Wallace, this offense lacks receiving talent. The Vikings have a good group of RBs with Adrian Peterson, Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata. The emergence of Stefon Diggs in the second half of the season provides hope, but I believe adding Doctson would help take pressure off of Peterson, Kyle Rudolph and Diggs. Now, let's break down this 2015 All-American.
Around the midway point in the 2015 NFL season, mock drafts started and projected Doctson going around the #7-10 overall range. Then, in November, Doctson broke his wrist, ending his 2015 season. That's when his buzz started to fade into the background. It honestly baffles me as to why. I know he may not be a speed demon like Will Fuller or as dynamic as Corey Coleman, but what Josh Doctson does represent is consistency. He's not a one-year wonder or combine warrior.
Compare his 2014 season to last year, and you will see improvements across the board. He's got a decent build (6'2", 202 lbs., 41" vertical) and excellent hands. By far, Doctson has the best hands in this draft. To compare him to the other consensus #1 rated WR in this class, Doctson's measurables beat everything except arm length. Doctson is great at boxing out and shielding defenders from the ball. He possesses a great stiff arm. His leaping ability is awesome, and he attacks the ball with toughness. His outstanding leaping ability helps him out in this area.
All these things will help him transition smoothly into Minnesota and he'll be the #1 guy on day one. One thing Vikings fans will love to hear is that Doctson is a class act. He's not going to subliminally call out Bridgewater. He is a humble, hardworking and dependable guy on and off the gridiron.
In terms of negatives, Doctson is an upright runner and won't break many tackles, but his stiff arm is his preferred tactic. He was part of a spread offense in college, and that could potentially be a problem. Doctson is a little bit limited on his route running, and it will be interesting to see if he can expand it. Some guys adjust faster than others. His wrist injury did require pins, so I'm not too sure how that could potentially play out long-term.
Even in a worst case scenario, Minnesota has a mediocre #2 WR playing as the main go-to guy. That's the best part of this pick. There's not much to lose, so Docston is trading his TCU purple in for Vikings purple.
24.) TRADE: Denver Broncos: Paxton Lynch (QB--Memphis) via Summer of Watt
The Denver Broncos Receive:
Cincinnati Bengals' 2016 first round draft pick (No. 24 overall).
The Cincinnati Bengals Receive:
Denver Broncos' 2016 first round draft pick (No. 31 overall);
Denver's 2016 third round draft pick (No. 94 overall); and
Denver's 2016 fourth round draft pick (No. 136 overall).
The Broncos trading up here may have some scratching their heads, with no teams ahead of them with a real need at QB. With that being said, Paxton Lynch is a first round talent whose tools fit well within the Broncos' system. Absent Goff, Wentz, and Lynch, there is not another early round QB that would interest Denver. Rather than wait it out, potentially allowing another team from the second round to jump ahead of them, I have the Broncos getting aggressive here to make sure they get their guy. Parting with a 3rd and 4th rounder is a little steep, but those would've been two players that likely don't start on Denver's team -- if that means they get their QB of the future, it is worth it.
On the Bengals' side, the draft is shaping up the way they thought it would. Their primary target being no longer available, moving down seven spots in the first and taking back a 3rd and 4th can add important depth to a team that is already a contender.
As the GM of the Super Bowl winning Broncos, I am smarter than all of you. Combined. Look, it's nothing to be ashamed of - all I do is win. People ask me all the time, "John, how the hell are you so freaking amazing at what you do?" My answer is always the same: "Desire, you f*cking moron, desire." Now, I'm not talking about something as trivial as my desire to be better than every single one of you (I don't need to desire something that is inherently true). I'm talking about something far deeper, far more difficult to quantify -- a PLAYER'S desire to BE A BRONCO. You see, what I do is this: if a player doesn't WANT to play for Denver, I don't have them on this team (because that is TOTALLY my choice).
Look at all of the brilliant moves I've made this offseason:
1. Brock Osweiler -- you know, that no-name guy we drafted in the second round and have been grooming behind Peyton Manning who came in last year and dragged our team into the playoffs - he didn't WANT to be here, so I was like, "GTFO." All that reported news that we offered him nearly as much as Houston? That was just strategery to make Houston pay more for that guy that we trained up, had no back-up plan for, and totally didn't want.
2. Colin Kaepernick -- look, just because we went out of the way to negotiate a trade for this wannabe does not mean we really wanted him here. If he WANTED to be a Bronco (which he clearly didn't, so he can go f*ck himself, because we didn't want him anyway), he would have given back all that money he was already guaranteed to make.
3. Mark Sanchez -- now there's a guy with all of the intangibles. Whenever you look at the tape for a guy like that, you've got to look past all of the losing, the interceptions, and the butt fumbles - you know, really dig into his character. When you talk about QB, the most important position on the team, you need to focus on three things: 1) is he alive, 2) does he WANT to be a Bronco, and 3) are you sure he WANTS to be a Bronco? When Mark came in here and signed his contract to come to Denver, I knew we had ourselves a winner.
4. Letting Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan walk -- scrubs. Both of them. They didn't WANT to be Broncos, so I told them, "The Broncos don't want you!" Of course, I told them that before they left, because I knew they didn't want to be here. Genius.
On to why I'm here: to announce the Broncos' first round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Despite my strong belief that we don't need to pick anyone because my team is perfect as-is -- full of players who WANT to be here -- my advisors are telling me that we need to put someone's name down on the card.
Based on whisperings that some of my players are less excited to be Broncos than others (along with some apparent talent -- whatever that is -- and depth-related considerations), there are really only three positions I considered with this pick: QB, OL, and DT. To help rationalize this, I've included an email I got from our head coach, my main man, Gary Kubiak (I couldn't figure out how to copy and paste, so I left the whole thing in there):
"John - what the F*CK have you been doing?! I go on vacation for one week in March and my team -- the one I won a Super Bowl with -- has been F*CKING fleeced?! How did you let this happen? What the hell were you thinking? I come back and my QB of the future is gone, my starting RB is gone, and two defensive starters are gone! How do you expect me to compete here?
"OK... This is what we are going to do: we need to fix this in the draft. Running backs aren't important in this offensive scheme (I also hear that Arian Foster is available -- if he can get healthy, we go there #Texans2.0), so that is something we can live with.
"That leaves us with two major gaps - defensive front (Malik was a beast) and QB - you know... quarterback... that position you played... It's kind of important, and don't you give me that, 'But Mark Sanchez wants to be here' crap - he's horrible. Absolutely horrible. Also, I'm going to throw in offensive line - we gave up too many sacks last year and if we want to survive with a new QB, we need the big guys to get to work.
"I think we can do something to stop the bleeding on defense... This guy I used to coach in Houston, Jared Crick - he's pretty serviceable on the line. He doesn't nearly fix the sh!tstorm you created, but it's a start. #Texans2.0.
"At the end of the day, John, I'm absolutely nothing without a QB. Look at what I did in Houston -- I could barely tread water there without a QB. Matt Schaub was bad enough to give anyone anxiety attacks, and that was when he was playing well! That year he started throwing pick sixes left and right ("Schaubing It," as Wade and I like to put it), I got hooked on meth that year. Things got pretty crazy. Why else do you think I ultimately went back to Case Keenum?
"With that in mind, if we can get a future franchise QB in this draft, we NEED to make that happen. If you can trade up, do it. I don't care who you trade with or what you give up -- I'm THAT useless without a QB. If we can't get Wentz or Goff, we need Paxton Lynch from Memphis.
"The guy is 6'7", 244 lbs., and has wheels with a cannon. Most importantly for us, he likes to keep the passing play alive and has only been sacked 15 times on 477 dropbacks. Our offensive line may not be able to give him time, but this is the QB that can make time. Further, he is perfect for the bootlegs that my offense so predictably goes to. With his capabilities in a zone-read scheme, he can also make up for deficiencies at the RB position. One other important factor: this guy takes care of the ball - last year, he only through 2 interceptions compared to 19 touchdowns. I know he missed half of the season last year, but his pro day looked good and that just means he has more tread left on the tires. Sure, there are some accuracy issues, but our scheme can hide those things and I can coach him up. While in an ideal situation we wouldn't want him to start, he is capable enough with his feet to make it through this year if he's forced into starting duty - which is not that far-fetched given the complete ineptitude of Mark Sanchez."
There you have it. Because Gary is always right, and I think it would be good for Paxton to sit behind Sanchez and learn how to WANT to be a Bronco, with the 24th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select Paxton Lynch (QB--Memphis).
25.) Pittsburgh Steelers: Andrew Billings (DT--Baylor) via GannonNash
First off, I'd like to start this analysis by saying: I was extremely tempted to take Paxton Lynch with this pick, to groom another massive QB behind ODB (Ol' Dirty Ben) but then Elway, being the almighty higher deity of football wizardry that he his, duped the Cincinnati Bungholes into trading with him. So kudos to you, Denver.
The Steelers are a team that is pretty set on offense. They have the aforementioned ODB at QB, and the gods of offense Le'Veon Bell (who I plan on drafting for the fourth year in a row in fantasy football this year, even with one knee) and Antonio Brown. Their WRs and RBs are perfectly fine, and it feels wrong and a little dirty to say that a Steelers team is more set on the offensive side of the ball than the defense.
With that being said, there are two HUGE needs for this Steelers team that if they don't address this offseason they won't find themselves in the Super Bowl mix this year. Those two needs are DT and CB. Considering I've never even heard of any of the players the Steelers currently have on the roster and the corners are dreadful at best, after careful consideration, I've decided that...with the 25th pick of the 2016 BRB Mock Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers will select Jared Goff Andrew Billings (DT--Baylor).
Oh, shocking, the Baylor guy chose the Baylor defensive tackle. Yeah, so what? Up yours. Andrew Billings is a player who can play all three downs for the Steelers, who currently have a pass rush made up of Bud Dupree, Jarvis Jones, Lawrence Timmons (who is solid), Cameron Heyward, and Stephon Tuitt. Out of those players I mentioned, about 3 of them I would consider fairly above average.
Billings is not a prototypical nose tackle, but he played NT at Baylor on some run-heavy teams like Texas and Kansas State and managed to hold them considerably. He has great speed for someone who weighs 300+ lbs. and could come right in and play on the first snap on defense of the season. I see the obvious need for a cornerback for the Steelers, and it's not so much that I'm blatantly ignoring it, so much as it is that I see other cornerbacks in this draft who if they fell to the Steelers in the second and third round would be formidable for their defense. Also, Andrew Billings is one of the youngest players in the draft, having turned 21 last month. So having a young, quick, and big boy in the middle of the line for the Steelers would help them for years to come.
Thanks and have a Sic ‘Em day
(no one actually says that)
26.) Seattle Seahawks: Taylor Decker (OT--Ohio State) via thepencilneck
The Seattle Seahawks chose the wrong time to stop drinking the kool-aid.
This offseason has been brutal for them, losing Bruce Irvin and Brandon Mebane from their defense and Marshawn Lynch, Russell Okung, and J.R. Sweezy from their offense.
At this point in the draft, there are some options available. They could turn to their defense and select Shaq Lawson to bolster their pass rush, but Lawson lacks ideal height; plus, although he's got violent hands and can stack and shed with the best of them, he's only a one-year starter. That's a danger flag. Plus his name is Shaq, for crying out loud.
They could go Jarran Reed and get a nimble inside pass rusher who can stand blockers up. And I really did come this close to making this the pick.
Of course, then there's Jared Goff, who would benefit from the decade he'd spend sitting behind Russell Wilson.
After all that, the obvious choice is someone who can open up holes for running backs, which is something running backs not named Lynch need from time to time. The fact that this guy is also a nasty player who would protect Mr. Wilson helps, too.
With the 26th pick in the 2016 BRB Mock Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Taylor Decker (OT--Ohio State).
27.) Green Bay Packers: Reggie Ragland (ILB--Alabama) via FeedEmToTheWolves1099
The Packers basically get a two-for-one deal here by selecting Reggie Ragland. Not only do they get a legitimate first round pick in Ragland, but they also get to move Clay Matthews back outside to his natural position. With the unexpected B.J. Raji retirement, the Packers could easily go D-line here, but I suspect they will wait until the second round due to the depth of the position in this year's draft. The Packers' offense is shaping up nicely in the offseason, which is why I decided to go defense with the 27th pick overall.
Reggie Ragland had a productive career at Alabama and has some positional versatility. Ragland did everything he could at the NFL Combine and his Pro Day to show that he can make plays by rushing the passer as well. I expect Don Capers to teach him how to be a pro at his natural position first and then experiment with him rushing the passer later.
Ragland had a solid 2015 season with a combined 102 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 7 pass deflections. The main knock on Ragland has been his overall speed and his man coverage skills (or lack thereof). Overall, I think this is a great pick for the cheeseheads, and they can finally put the need for a true inside linebacker to rest.
28.) Kansas City Chiefs: William Jackson III (CB--University of Houston) via Senor Stan
When looking at the Chiefs' needs, there are several positions that would be a good choice here. Justin Houston is likely out for the year. They lost Sean Smith to hated a division rival. Dee Ford has been disappointing. Their top targets are CB, D-Line with pass rushing ability, and a potential rush OLB.
Considering they don't have a 3rd rounder due to tampering on the Jeremy Maclin deal, fake GM John Dorsey (a.k.a Señor Stan) needs to hit on this pick. They tried to woo the fake Broncos into a trade, but the Arrogant John Elway would not be denied.
A lack of depth and the league trending toward nickel coverage as a base package mean BPA and need intersect for them right now at CB. That means the choice is down to either William Jackson III out of U of H or Mackensie Alexander from Clemson.
Mackensie Alexander had only 11 pass breakups and 0 interceptions from 2014-2015. Some would say that it is because he was so good that he was never challenged. Others would say it was because he never got to play against Brian Hoyer.
William Jackson III has the statistical edge, better length and measurables.
So with the 28th pick of the 2016 BRB Mock Draft, the Chefs of Kansas select William Jackson III (CB - University of Houston)
29.) Arizona Cardinals: Jaylon Smith (LB--Notre Dame) via HovaFlow
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.
30.) Carolina Panthers: Shaq Lawson (DE--Clemson) via Vance87
For all intensive purposes, the Carolina Panthers should have a very open mind when it comes to pick #30. The team doesn't have a glaring need at any position, and GM Dave Gettleman has openly said, "I could care less about a certain position - we are all about the best player available". This strategy certainly has served them well over the past few years. But let's be honest - almost everything is centered around the quarterback position, and Cam Newton is not what comes to mind when you think "pocket passer". Sure, he can make every throw, but his ability to scramble and not get injured is something I bet Carolina fans take for granted. This selection, while maybe a bit controversial, could be a blessing in the skies for the Panthers down the road...and that is why with the 30th pick of the NFL draft, the Carolina Panthers select Jared Goff, QB, C-
Wait...I'm getting...he's been taken? When?? Fine, whatever. It doesn't change my reasoning. The Carolina Panthers select Paxton Lynch, QB, Mem-
WHAT THE HELL? Who grabbed him?! Oh my kitten...ELWAY? OH KITTEN, WHAT A GENIUS. THAT MAN IS A LIVING GOD. I CANNOT believe he swiped Lynch right out from under the team he just beat in the Super Bowl. I'm sweating bullets. Okay...kitten it, we'll do it live.
Somebody once said "You cannot have too many pass rushers." I have no idea who said that, he's probably dead now...but I'm guessing he said it enough so now that people think it's true. And maybe it is; who am I to argue? With that sound reasoning in mind, with the 30th pick of the 2016 BRB Mock Draft, the Carolina Panthers and Mr. BPA GM select Shaq Lawson (DE--Clemson).
If this were the real draft, Shaq would have slipped a bit to get to #30. He's consistently ranked in the mid-teens as far as big boards go, and most mock drafts don't have him going to the Panthers only because nobody expects him to still be there that late in the first. Rob Rang of CBS Sports states:
"Quick off the ball, powerful and tenacious, Lawson was a threat on every snap in 2015, leading the country with 25.5 tackles for loss, including two (both sacks) against Alabama in the national championship game loss. Better yet, with only one starting season under his belt, Lawson may only be scratching the surface of his potential."
This seems like a great pick for a team that doesn't need an All-Star to fill in right away to make a difference. This is a player who can develop his skills and perhaps turn into a monster DE on an already stacked defense. I thought about going OT here, but with all of the higher-ranked OTs already taken and Gettleman's instance on going best player, Shaq would be ripe for the picking. Oh, and Clemson fans won't have to travel far to see him play in the NFL.
31.) Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Thomas (WR—Ohio State) via viper17d
In recent years, de-facto GM/Owner Mike Brown has ceded his GM duties to a committee comprised of Executive VP Katie Blackburn, Head Coach Marvin Lewis, and several members of the historically famous Brown family. While they have continued to make allowances for off field conduct tolerance--why should that change?--the overall performance of the Bengals' football team has improved. Yes, arrests, domestic abuse, and the "bad boy attitude" do serve the Bengals well, but, to their credit, they have been able to develop a few winning seasons and divisional championships. Yet no wins in the playoffs. Getting over that hump has to be the goal of the current front office.
The Bengals were hit hard in certain areas in free agency this offseason. WRs Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu both departed, and the knee-jerk reaction would be to try to replace those two with a first round pick. You are right. However, there is value in this year's WR class. The Bengals made overtures to several teams ahead of the Texans in an attempt to snag Corey Coleman. Alas, it was not to be. Not that Corey Coleman would be the Bengals' target, but just to irk the BRB world, it would have been fun. Anyway, I think the Bengals can do some valuable WR shopping. The Bengals also picked up free agent WR Brandon LaFell, who while falling off his normal expected production last season in New England, promises to fill the No. 2 or No. 3 WR spot. The Bengals still have All-Pro WR1 A.J. Green and soon to be Top-Five TE Tyler Eifert. So, here we go.
The added value of the 2016 WR class has allowed the Bengals to sit tight and even move back while picking up more picks later in the draft. We swapped first rounders with the Broncos and also picked up their 3rd and 4th rounders to boot. This will allow us to make a WR pick here in the 1st and wait for a value pick later in the draft. I suppose this is a good time to mention that we are also filing an official protest against Elway and the Broncos because they traded us a 4th round pick that they do not have. I expect that the Commissioner of the league will come down hard on crazy Elway and award us additional Broncos' picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, perhaps. Now back to business.
With the 31st pick in the 2016 BRB Mock Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select Michael Thomas (WR--Ohio State). We knew going into the draft that Michael Thomas would be a target at the bottom of the 1st or top of the 2nd round. With the added attention the other WRs were getting on the BRB, we thought he would fall right into our lap even with a trade down. We consider this a huge payoff.
A little bit about Michael Thomas. He fits the triangle numbers of height/weight/speed of a WR1. His measurables are 6'3", 212 lbs., 10 1/2" hands, 4.57 40-yard dash, 4.13 shuttle, 6.8 cone, 35" vertical jump, and 18 reps on the bench press.
He will require some developing, but he has a very high ceiling. With A.J. Green providing tutoring, we look for a long future of terrorizing defenses with that tandem. The sky's the limit! He fills a need and he might not be available at No. 55. With Michael Thomas and our additional picks, I think the Bengals are off to their first playoff win in some time and possibly the Super Bowl!
Incidentally, I noticed that Nashmeister repeatedly was saying "What about Michael Thomas?" every time WRs were discussed on BRB and I kept thinking to myself, "Be quiet, Nashy!!!" Luckily, I was probably the only one hearing him...
There you have it. All of it. The longest mock draft ever created.