2016 NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Post-Super Bowl Edition

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With Super Bowl L in the books and Peyton Manning likely riding off into the sunset, it’s officially the NFL offseason, the NFL Draft order is set and its time for another NFL Mock Draft.

(All Offensive, Defensive and line rankings come via Football Outsiders DVOA)

  1. Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss. Having found their franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota in last year’s draft, the Titans now need to give him better protection along their offensive line. The Titans had the worst offensive line in terms of pass protection, according to Football Outsiders, and adding one of the best blockers in the draft will help shore up Mariota’s blindside for years to come.
  2. Cleveland Browns: Jared Goff, QB, California. It’s only a matter of time now until Johnny Manziel is cut and the Browns are already looking for his replacement. It should come down to a two-horse race between Goff and Carson Wentz, but Goff get’s the nod due to his accuracy and pocket presence. Goff set numerous school records at Cal and may finally be the franchise QB the Browns have struggled to find.
  3. San Diego Chargers: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State. The Chargers ranked near the bottom of the NFL in most defensive categories, in large part due to a lack of a pass rush. Enter Joey Bosa, the best pass rusher in this year’s draft, who had 5.0 sacks and 16.0 tackles for a loss this past year at Ohio State. Bosa should immediately improve the Chargers up-front defensively.
  4. Dallas Cowboys: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA. While Jerry Jones will be tempted to take a QB or RB here, with a number of holes on defense he’d be smart to instead add a playmaker on defense instead, especially with an number of impending free agents. While Jack suffered an season-ending injury earlier this year, he’s a surefire talent – 87 tackles and 8.0 tackles for a loss (TFL) last season –  who should be healthy by the start of the 2016 season.
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida. The Jaguars ranked No. 31 in the NFL against the pass last season and need to improve their secondary if they want to continue their upward trajectory. Hargreaves, who had four interceptions and four passes defended this past season with the Gators, is more than just a cover corner and will vastly improve Gus Bradley’s defense.
  6. Baltimore Ravens: Jalen Ramsey, S, Florida State. In a division with Antonio Brown, A.J. Green and Josh Gordon, the Ravens desperately need to improve a defense than ranked No. 25 against the pass. Drafting Ramsey, who can play both CB and S, would add a versatile and talented piece to a depleted Baltimore secondary.
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State. Who knows what Chip Kelly will do here, but odds are he’ll be looking for a new quarterback to suit up for the 49ers this offseason. While Wentz might not be the typical “Chip Kelly” quarterback, he has all the traits to succeed at the next level even with the inferior level of competition he faced with North Dakota State.
  8. Miami Dolphins: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson. The Dolphins were pretty bad defensively last season, ranking in the bottom third of the league against the run and the pass. Miami needs to add talent in their secondary, especially with Brett Grimes playing poorly and on the wrong side of 30. Alexander shut down top-flight competition this season, including Notre Dame’s Will Fuller, and earned himself a 2015 All-ACC First Team nod.
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon. The Buccaneers pass rush was very mediocre this past season, especially considering Gerald McCoy, their DT, led them in sacks. Tampa Bay could use a edge rusher and Bucker fits the bill. The Oregon product had 9.5 sacks and 16.0 TFL this season and was one of College Football Focus’ top ranked pass rushers in NCAA Division I.
  10. New York Giants: Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky. With Jason Pierre-Paul’s status up a big unknown for next season, the Giants will look to add another pass rusher to a much-maligned defensive line. While Spence was kicked off Ohio State’s team two years ago, he’s incredibly talented, putting up 11.5 sacks and 22.5 TFL with the Colonels this past year. Spence impressed at the Senior Bowl and is quickly moving up draft boards, already being talked about as a Top 10 pick.
  11. Chicago Bears: Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame. While Bears fans will clamor for a QB to replace Jay Cutler here, or even a RB to replace Matt Forte, Chicago needs to continue building and improving their defense. Even after sustaining a knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl, Smith is still one of the best OLBs in this draft class, with 114 tackles and 9.0 TFL this past season. Smith will give a defense the ranked No. 28 in the NFL last season a much needing boost.
  12. New Orleans Saints: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor. With a defense that ranked last in the NFL last season, the Saints have lots of holes to fill. At 6’1” and 310 lbs. Billings can help fill a lot of those holes up the middle as he posted 14.0 TFL and 5.5 sacks this past season at Baylor, overshadowing his teammate Shawn Oakman.
  13. Philadelphia Eagles: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame. If the Eagles don’t re-sign Sam Bradford, a quarterback could be in play with this pick, but otherwise, Philly needs to upgrade their offensive line, which was in the bottom third of the NFL against the pass. Stanley, a possible top-10 pick, is versatile enough to play either tackle position for the Eagles, having played both for the Fighting Irish, and should start from day one, protecting whoever is under center for the Eagles.
  14. Oakland Raiders: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama. The Raiders improved a lot on defense this past season, but could still use a few pieces including an upgrade at ILB. Ragland had 102 tackles and 6.5 TFL this past year with the Crimson Tide and would give the Raiders another talented player on defense.
  15. Los Angeles Rams: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis. It’ll come down to a QB or WR with this pick, but one of those is the most important position in the NFL so the Rams go with the former. Neither Nick Foles nor Case Keenum proved they could be the guy last season, so Jeff Fisher and co. have to find one this offseaon. Lynch, who had a breakout season with Memphis this past year, and has all the physical tools to be an NFL QB.
  16. Detroit Lions: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss. With Calvin Johnson’s retirement, WR moves up to the top of the Lions list of offseason needs. Treadwell, who had 76 receptions for 1,082 yards and 8 touchdowns this year, would be a suitable replacement for the future Hall of Famer.
  17. Atlanta Falcons: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson. The Falcons ranked dead last in the NFL in sacks, and have had trouble conjuring up a pass rush for much of the season. Lawson, who had 9.5 sacks and 22.5 TFL this season for Clemson, and would give the Falcons a complement off the edge to fellow Tiger Vic Beasley.
  18. Indianapolis Colts: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State. One of these years the Colts are not going to draft a skill position in the first round and finally add to a poor, aging offensive line. Their line was a constant shuffle in front of Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck this season, and adding Decker will begin to shore up their protection.
  19. Buffalo Bills: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama. Even with Rex Ryan at the helm, the Bills defense was at the bottom of the NFL, with many of their troubles stemming from poor play along the defensive line. Robinson helped anchor an Alabama defense that’s among the best in the NCAA, and had 3.5 sacks and 7.5 TFL. He’ll give Rex Ryan a stout interior presence on defense.
  20. New York Jets: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State. With Chris Ivory expected to leave town in free agency, the Jets find his replacement in Elliott, who rushed for 1821 yards and 23 touchdowns this past season with the Buckeyes. Elliott might not be Todd Gurley 2.0, but he’s an incredible talent who could step right in for the Jets and give them a dynamic rusher.
  21. Washington: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss. No longer in the market for a quarterback, Washington can now can look to improve it’s defense, specifically it’s defensive line as they were in the bottom third of the NFL against the run. While there are some character concerns with Nkemdiche, he’s a Top 10 talent, with 3.0 sacks and 7.0 TFL last season with Ole Miss. If he can figure things out, he’ll be a steal here for Washington.
  22. Houston Texans: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State. Brian Hoyer was serviceable for the Texans this past season, but serviceable isn’t good enough in the NFL. Finding their QB of the future is priority No. 1 for Houston and while Cook, who threw for 3131 yards and 24 TDs in his senior season in East Lansing, has his inconsistencies, he’s ready to step in and be the Texans starting QB.
  23. Minnesota Vikings: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State. The Vikings need to shore up their protection of Teddy Bridgewater after allowing 45 sacks last season, 29th in the NFL. An All-Big Ten offensive lineman, Conklin would give Minnesota an upgrade at tackle and improve the protection of the Vikings young QB.
  24. Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State. The Bengals don’t really have surefire No. 2 WR behind A.J. Green and haven’t had one since T.J. Houshmandzadeh. While Thomas struggled in the Buckeye offense a bit this year, he’d give Andy Dalton another big, playmaking target down field, especially important considering Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones are set to hit free agency this offseason.
  25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State. While the Steelers were great against the run on defense, their pass defense suffered with a poor secondary, very much in need of improvement. Apple’s starred in the Buckeyes top-ranked defense these past two years, with 1 interception and 7 passes defended this past season, and would add much needed youth to an aging Steelers secondary.
  26. Seattle Seahawks: Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State. The Seahawks protection of Russell Wilson was atrocious this past year, ranking No. 30 in the NFL in pass protection. And with Russell Okung a free agent, the Seahawks need a number of upgrades along their offensive line. Whitehair was a 50-game starter at Kansas State and received All-Big 12 honors all four seasons he played.
  27. Green Bay Packers: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State. Clay Matthews is a monster all over the field, but the Packers need to give him some help at the linebacker positions. Lee, who had 11.0 TFL, 4.5 sacks and 2 passes defended this past season and was making plays all over the field this past season for the Buckeyes, and will do the same for the Packers.
  28. Kansas City Chiefs: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville. With a number of defenders headed towards free agency, the Chiefs will be hard pressed to keep them all and instead will look for a replacement or two via the draft. Rankins had 5.0 sacks and 13.0 TFL this past season with the Cardinal and after dominating at the Senior Bowl, should find himself a first round selection.
  29. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida. Arizona had one of the top defenses in the NFL last season but not only did their defensive line struggle to sustain a pass rush, ranking in the bottom third of the NFL, they’re also not getting any younger. Bullard was a monster off the edge for the Gators – 6.5 sacks and 18.5 TFL – and should lot right in along the Cardinals defensive line.
  30. New England Patriots: Pick Forfeited
  31. Carolina Panthers: Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn. The Panthers offensive tackles were absolutely torched by Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware in the Super Bowl and need to find an upgrade. After overcoming cancer, Coleman has become a mainstay along the Tigers offensive line, starting every game each of the past two seasons and should vastly improve Cam Newton’s protection.
  32. Denver Broncos: Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas. Vernon Davis is a free agent and Owen Daniels is on his last legs, so finding a new TE is one of the main priorities for Gary Kubiak and the Broncos this offseason. Henry had 51 receptions for 739 yards and 3 touchdowns this past season at Arkansas and standing at 6’5” 253 lbs, should give whoever is under center in Denver a big target to throw to over the middle.

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