With the recent conclusion of the 2015-16 college football regular season and the College Football Playoffs right around the corner, here is my new end of the season college football mock draft.
1. Cleveland Browns- QB Jared Goff/California
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report likes Paxton Lynch more but Goff is by far the safer option. Goff had all the hype before the season and I believe Goff did perform to the expectations I had for him. Sonny Dykes isn’t a good coach and resulted in an average season for a talented Cal offense, I can’t blame Goff for that. 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions is by far enough to prove that to me.
2. Tennessee Titans- S Jalen Ramsey/Florida State
To me, this pick is between Hargreaves of UF and Ramsey. Ramsey is a safety, and that’s a bigger need for a Titans defense that has turned some heads this year with their front seven, although that Jaguars game wouldn’t show that. Ramsey is a flexible option as a defensive option for the Titans.
3. San Diego Chargers- OT Laremy Tunsil/Ole Miss
Tunsil is my #1 player in this draft. He’s the epitome of what teams look for in an OT. San Diego needs to protect Phillip Rivers and need to understand that Melvin Gordon is a one-cut runner who needs holes to hit. Tunsil will also be a cornerstone for whatever happens next in San Diego/LA, etc.
4. Baltimore Ravens- CB Vernon Hargreaves/Florida
Hargreaves is my 3rd rated player in this draft and the Ravens are in dire need of a CB to play opposite of Jimmy Smith. Ladarius Webb is a has-been at this point of his career and without an elite S you have to make up the difference by upping the core at CB.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars- DT Robert Nkemdiche/Ole Miss
Nkemdiche is a playmaker defensively, he’s the kind of player Jacksonville could need to sure up that front seven. Jacksonville does need help in the secondary but Ramsey and Hargreaves are gone already with the previous selections. I expect Nkemdiche to be a day one player as a DT, and a very good one.
6. Dallas Cowboys- DE Joey Bosa/Ohio State
Bosa is a sack machine when he’s rolling, but even when he had his drought, other players in the Ohio St. defense stepped up. The Cowboys will likely not retain Greg Hardy among all the drama and storylines he’s brought to the team. Bosa and Demarcus Lawrence would be a star-studded duo. Lawrence has taken his game up a notch as of late.
7. St. Louis Rams- QB Paxton Lynch/Memphis
The Rams are likely going to fire Snead and Fisher if they select in the top 10, that’s simply unacceptable from that staff with all that talent. Lynch can provide newfound hope to this franchise and he can sit behind Nick Foles or whomever they start. Todd Gurley is a hell of a back and now they need a man that can lead that offense.
8. New Orleans Saints- LB Jaylon Smith/Notre Dame
New Orleans once traded into the top 10 and passed on a young LB from the University of Tennessee (Jerod Mayo). Once again LB is a big need for Payton and Loomis. Smith is up for all sorts of awards and there’s a reason for that, he’s the face of that Notre Dame defense. I fully expect him to be a top 10 pick.
9. San Francisco 49ers- WR Lequan Treadwell/Ole Miss
The 49ers miss out on Goff and Lynch hypothetically but I think they can find a QB in round 2. A guy like Dak Prescott perhaps… Treadwell is future #1 WR in my eyes, can replace Anquan Boldin and work well complimenting Torrey Smith. The team also needs to figure out what to do with Colin Kaepernick.
10. Detroit Lions- OT Jack Conklin/Michigan State
The Lions should focus less of the blame on Matt Stafford and more of it on a front office that waited too long to develop an OLine. They can’t run the ball at all, that’s a huge problem for the Lions. This pick could be WR if Calvin Johnson were to traded or released but it’s too early for that banter.
11. New York Giants- DE Emmanuel Ogbah/Oklahoma St.
This pick simply couldn’t make any more sense for Jerry Reese and the New York Giants. They likely won’t have JPP at full strength ever again. So I say draft a guy who is similar to him in Ogbah. Ogbah can stop the run and wreck havoc in pass rush on either side of the end. Ogbah is a special player and a top 5 draft grade from me.
12. Miami Dolphins- OT Ronnie Stanley/Notre Dame
Last year he was a wildcard top 5 pick, now he’s barely in the top 15. Stanley is a big guy who is quite athletic, the combine will help his stock stay between 12-24. The Dolphins are also desperate for an OT. Desperate teams reach to epic proportions and most of the time they’re wrong. Stanley is a fine player but with a new coaching staff coming I think this pick will flex a ton.
13. Oakland Raiders- LB Myles Jack/UCLA
Oakland has a core of players to build with going forward. Jack could be another! He may not have played much this season. But he’ll recover by the time of the combine. Jack will join a real lineage at UCLA from the LB position. Oakland would love to have him, we all know that much.
14. Philadelphia Eagles- DE Deforest Buckner/Oregon
Another Oregon Duck for Chip Kelly but you can’t blame him… Buckner is a mammoth of a man, forces double teams, and can provide some pass rush, that’s a swell deal in my opinion for a team that has Fletcher Cox, Kiko Alonso, and Vinny Curry.
15. Chicago Bears- CB Kendall Fuller/Virginia Tech
Chicago can get a pass rusher in free agency, Fuller is a guy who is slipping on boards for little to no reason other than his injury concerns. Any defensive help in Chicago could be a good thing. So, let’s presume Amos, Fuller, and Fuller are starters… That’s a really young core going forward.
16. Atlanta Falcons- LB Reggie Ragland/Alabama
The Falcons need attitude, the Falcons need to stop playing soft and they looked like they were on their way and then this recent skid had them looking from behind once again. Ragland is a leader on the field and with Sean Weatherspoon not working out that leaves them with a need.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- DE Shaq Lawson/Clemson
Tampa has a lot of needs along the OL and DL, and Lawson is a good pick to cut some of the needs out. He’s a pass rusher who’s been well-coached by Brett Venables and the Clemson Tigers. Tampa gave up on Daquan Bowers and couldn’t keep Adrian Clayborn healthy. Let’s give Gerald McCoy and Levonte David some help.
18. Houston Texans- QB Connor Cook/Michigan State
It’s clear as day that the QB position is a “brick in the wall” for the Texans in building a contender because they have a great and talented group of players. But Brian Hoyer isn’t good enough to win any significant games and that’s why Cook is at this pick. I think there’s a chance Hackenberg stays because of the year he had. I also believe Cook is a leader on and off the field.
19. Buffalo Bills- S/LB- S’ua Cravens/USC
Cravens is a do it all type of player, think of him as a potential Honey Badger in the type of role he can play. He’s definitely a mid-1st rounder. The Bills also have needs at DE and OT with Mario Williams and Cordy Glenn as possible departures. I wouldn’t expect them to cut Williams.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers- CB TreDavious White/LSU
Pittsburgh has William Gay and Antwon Blake starting at CB… That’s horrible, they need some new blood via White. White has been solid all year long and it’s no shock he soared to the 1st round almost over the span of the month of October. The Steelers also could look at QB in the middle rounds. So keep an eye on that.
21. New York Jets- DE/OLB Shalique Calhoun/Michigan St.
Calhoun is a big reason for Michigan State’s astounding defense the last two seasons. He could’ve declared last season and noticed it was worth staying after winning a Big Ten title game. The Jets could use more pass rush and also may want to consider a QB of the future.
22. Seattle Seahawks- OT Taylor Decker/Ohio St.
Seattle’s OL has improved greatly in recent weeks but they still should look to revamp that unit. Decker was highly regarded during the preseason and he had a good season blocking for both QBs and Elliot.
23. Kansas City Chiefs- DT Shawn Oakman/Baylor
Once the combine comes around Oakman will be a wanted man I promise you, and a man who has taken gambles before will do it again with Shawn Oakman. Oakman will get a lot of praise from scouts as he will be examined much closer by assistant coaches.
24. Minnesota Vikings- WR Tyler Boyd/Pittsburgh
Boyd has character concerns but he really is a gifted WR. He can create a big play after the catch as good as any college WR. But his attitude may just be his crutch. But the Vikings may need a guy who can separate from tight coverage. Minnesota should also look at OL to protect Teddy Bridgewater.
25. Washington Redskins-RB Ezekiel Elliott/Ohio State
Ok I can explain this… The Redskins have Matt Jones but Alfred Morris is a UFA which means that he may be gone at season’s end for the Redskins. Elliot can do it all at RB but his concerns about the play-calling a few weeks back. But let’s keep in mind that Derrick Henry may also be in play.
26. Indianapolis Colts- OG Vidal Alexander/LSU
The Colts need to sure up this OL problem before they send Matt Hasselbeck and Andrew Luck into hiding. Alexander is the highest rated OL remaining on the board I’m using. The Colts could also target pass rush and S but OL is too desperate of a need to pass on it. Look at that Pittsburgh game… YIKES!
27. Green Bay Packers- OT Jason Spriggs/Indiana
When you play Ohio St, Michigan, Penn St., and Sparty you get top talent and great pass rushers for competition. Spriggs I have as an early 2nd round pick but with the injuries they’ve had at OT, they need a guy to replace Bulaga. Green Bay could also explore DT options like A’Shawn Robinson, Kenny Clark, and Andrew Billings.
28. Arizona Cardinals- DE Jonathan Allen/Alabama
Allen makes his debut in the 1st round this month. He’s a versatile, high motor 3 technique on the next level. Frostee Rucker and Cory Redding are now up there in age. You almost have to consider revamping that unit with some youth and energy. Especially the talent they’ve got in the secondary.
29. Cincinnati Bengals- WR Michael Thomas/Ohio St.
The Bengals are on the verge of possibly losing Mohammed Sanu and Marvin Jones via free agency and I’m sure both guys will be wanted commodities. Thomas can be a #2 as a rookie and opposite of AJ Green will help him learn from a veteran WR. He will face a good CB in Keivarae Russell at Notre Dame, this will reflect how much Thomas will climb.
30. Denver Broncos- DT Adolphus Washington/Ohio St.
Last season, the Ohio State Buckeyes were the best DL in the country with Bosa, Washington, and Bennett. Washington and Bosa continued where they left off for the most part and the Broncos have their DEs entering UFA, so Washington could likely replace one of those guys.
31. Carolina Panthers- RB Derrick Henry/Alabama
An All-SEC backfield in Carolina could very well happen with Jonathan Stewart having a chance to be out the door. Henry will likely win the Heisman Trophy and will be the reason for Alabama’s case to win the National Championship. Newton and Henry can likely put the differences aside to dominate opponents.