Saturday, November 5, 2016

Midseason Mock Draft

1) Cleveland Browns select Myles Garrett, Defensive End, Texas A&M
Honestly, I think that Cody Kessler has shown a decent amount of promise with the garbage line in front of him and could be a solid starter. With there not being a surefire quarterback in this draft, the Browns might as well build on a terrible defense with the top player in the draft. Garrett is capable of having Von Miller (coincidentally both Aggies) type performances and would be an instant upgrade.

2) Chicago Bears select Deshone Kizer, Quarterback, Notre Dame
Like I said above, I don't think any of the quarterbacks in this class are going to be world beaters, but I do think Kizer could develop into a solid starter for the Bears. He has shown some good accuracy and has the size needed to survive the NFC North. It really is time for the Bears to move on from Cutler as well.

3) San Francisco 49ers select Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson
I'm really not a big fan of Watson, and thus had to talk to myself into this selection. Watson does possess an intriguing skill set that Chip Kelly could maybe work with, but he's too inconsistent and makes some terrible decisions with the ball. But if he does fix some of his flaws, this could end up being a great pick.

4) New York Jets select Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU
After missing out on the arguably the top tier of quarterbacks in this draft, the Jets stay focused on the offense by finding Matt Forte's replacement. Talent like Fournette only comes along every decade or so, so it isn't crazy to think that a running back could go this high in back to back years. While the Jets figure out their garbage heap of quarterbacks, they could rely on Fournette to help carry the offense.

5) New Orleans Saints select Jonathan Allen, Defensive End, Alabama
It's an absolute travesty that the Saints have surrounded Drew Brees with this dog shit defense for so long as it has ruined the twilight of his career. The Saints need to keep building their defense from the front to the back, and it just so happens the best player available fills that need perfectly. Allen is an absolute force and would be perfect for the rebuilding process.

6) Carolina Panthers select Cam Robinson, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
This was the first pick where I really went back and forth, but at the end of the day the Panthers need to keep Cam Newton upright. Robinson has tremendous athleticism and would be in contention for a top three selection if he didn't have a rocky sophomore year. If he rebounds as expected, he is easily deserving of a top ten selection.

7) Tennessee Titans select Adoree Jackson, Wide Receiver/ Corner back, USC
As Ricky from Trailer Park Boys says, this pick gets two birds stoned at the same time. The Titans have holes to fill at both receiver and corner, so taking someone with the versatility of Jackson would be a huge boost. His true position is probably at corner, but he is simply too dynamic not to get into the fold on offense.

8) Jacksonville Jaguars select Jabrill Peppers, Safety/Outside Linebacker, Michigan
The Jaguars would have to be thrilled if they can let two elite defensive prospect fall to them in two consecutive drafts. After starting out as a corner, Peppers now plays the safety-linebacker hybrid position that is becoming more popular in the NFL. The combination of formations that him and Jalen Ramsey would form could be borderline unfair.

9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Derrick Barnett, Defensive End, Tennessee
Tampa Bay has struggled to get to the quarterback over the past couple of years and now they have one of the best pass rushers in the draft in their laps. Barnett has been very good over his time in Knoxville beginning with his 10 sack freshman season. If he continues to live up to his potential, he could be a problem for a long time to come.

10) Baltimore Ravens select Tim Williams, Outside Linebacker, Alabama
I know that this is pretty damn high for Tim Williams considering he is just a pass rush specialist, but it seems like the perfect marriage doesn't it? Ozzie Newsome has shown a real affinity for drafting Alabama players and the Ravens could use some help rushing the passer. If Williams can develop his run defense and become a three down linebacker, this could be a steal.

11) Miami Dolphins select Marlon Humphrey, Corner back, Alabama
Front seven help could definitely be used here, but at this juncture I think it would be really tough for the Dolphins to pass on Humphrey. One of the top recruits coming out of high school a few years ago, Humphrey has seen enough playing time to show drastic improvement. His ability to shadow top receivers and make plays on the ball would be a good starting point on a defense that needs all sorts of help.

12)  Indianapolis Colts select Malik Hooker, Safety, Ohio State
If some offensive lineman starts shooting up the draft boards, that is a definite possibility with this pick. But with no such luck here, the Colts start rebuilding an absolutely putrid defense by taking one of the top playmakers in the draft. After finally getting a chance to start for the Buckeyes, Hooker has been a ball hawk and has shown the range that is needed to carry that over to the NFL.

13) Tennessee Titans via LA Rams select Charles Harris, Outside Linebacker, Missouri
With the Titans having two picks in the first round, they should really be able to pick up a couple of immediate contributors from this draft. Outside of Jurrell Casey, nobody on this defense really gets after the quarterback on a consistent basis. Harris hasn't been quite as explosive this year as he has been in previous years, but if he comes on strong to end the season he could easily be taken this high by a team in need of a pass rusher.

14) New York Giants select Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Florida State
The Giants currently sport some bastardized stable of running backs and it has caused the offense to stall far too often. Although he wouldn't have a great line to work with, Cook could alleviate a lot of pressure on the passing game. Whether running inside or outside the tackles, or catching passes out of the backfield, Cook can do it all and is a more complete back than even Fournette at this stage.

15) San Diego Chargers select Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Clemson
It's truly unfortunate to say, but who knows how long Keenan Allen will be able to hold up in this league with the variety of injuries he's suffered. Even if he is able to return 100% over the next couple of years, the Chargers should look for a true complement to Allen over Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin. Mike Williams has averaged close to 20 yards per carry during his career at Clemson and has often been Watson's safety net when a big play is needed.

16) Washington Redskins select Dawuane Smoot, Outside Linebacker, Illinois
Trent Murphy has shown some potential since leaving Stanford, but the Redskins need a more reliable pass rusher to pair with Ryan Kerrigan. Smoot's sack total this year doesn't represent the amount of disruption he causes on a weekly basis. His presence would be an excellent counter piece to the current quarterback situation in the NFC East.

17) Arizona Cardinals select Brad Kaaya, Quarterback, Miami, FL.
This is my first pick where I just am really winging it. The fact is besides interior offensive line, the Cardinals may be one of the top three or four most complete teams in the NFL. With Carson Palmer regressing this year and showing his true age, the Cardinals would be smart to do what the Packers did a decade ago and take a young quarterback with some flaws and groom them under the current quarterback. Kaaya has the potential and would be putting up better numbers if he was surrounded by a more talented team.

18) Buffalo Bills select Malik McDowell, Defensive Tackle/End, Michigan State
Another defensive player for Rex Ryan to play with. I could see the Bills taking a receiver here, but their offense has been fine as of late and a talent like McDowell could really thrive under Ryan. While he plays defensive tackle at Michigan State, McDowell would be a perfect five-technique in a 3-4 defense. He is stout against the run and has shown the ability to consistently get after the quarterback.

19) Kansas City Chiefs select JuJu Smith-Schuster, Wide Receiver, USC
To be honest, Jeremy Maclin has actually been a lot better for the Chiefs than I thought he would be. But while they have him and an merging receiver in Chris Conley, receiver help would still be the smart choice at this point. JuJu has had to deal with a lot of inconsistencies at quarterback and head coach, but he has still come up big in plenty of big time games. He is immensely athletic, so if he can fine tune parts of his game he could become a very dynamic receiver.

20) Detroit Lions select Jalen Tabor, Corner Back, Florida
At the beginning of the year I probably would have slotted a receiver here, but after how good Stafford looks without Megatron the Lions can easily spend this pick to bolster their defense. While Darius Slay has become a shutdown corner, taking Tabor at this point could give this team an elite tandem at corner back. And when you're playing in a division where your biggest competition is almost always going to be Aaron Rodgers, you need all the help you can get.

21) Cincinnati Bengals select Carl Lawson, Defensive End, Auburn
Lawson arrived at Auburn as a highly ranked five star recruit, but hasn't developed the consistency that the Tigers were hoping for. However, there have been flashes of the immense athlete that he truly is as evidenced by his strong game against Laremy Tunsil. With the Bengals really struggling to get after the quarterback this year, they can afford to reach a bit here for a defensive end.

22) Houston Texans select Mike McGlinchey, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame
There's no doubt that Brock Osweiler is terrible and will not be the franchise quarterback that the Texans were hoping for, but at this juncture there isn't a quarterback worth taking. While Osweiler hasn't shown much promise, it is hard for him to truly develop with terrible offensive line protection. McGlinchey has been tremendous for Notre Dame this year after taking over the blindside for Ronnie Stanley and would be a steal with the 22 overall pick.

23) Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles) select Marshon Lattimore, Corner Back, Ohio State
Having two picks in the first round should really allow the Browns to bolster their shitty defense. After taking Garrett first overall to bolster the pass rush, taking a corner to play opposite Joe Haden would go a long way. After waiting his turn behind Eli Apple and Gareon Conley, Lattimore has burst onto the scene to become a shut down corner. With how frequently the Browns are torched, a ball hawking presence like Lattimore in the secondary would be welcomed with open arms.

24) Atlanta Falcons select Demarcus Walker, Defensive End, Florida State
Another prospect getting pushed up a bit due to the need for pass rushers, Walker could see some significant playing time as a rookie. While Vic Beasley has really started to come into his own in his third year, more help is needed along the defensive line. Walker has been one of the better players on a Florida State defense that is uncharacteristically down and could really help the worst pass rushing unit in the league.

25) Oakland Raiders select Cordrea Tankersley, Corner Back, Clemson
Despite being a defensive minded coach, the Raiders have really struggled on defense. While pass rushing could be an option, the Raiders need to move on from DJ Hayden and get a starter across from Sean Smith. Tankersley has been awesome so far this year, keeping receivers in check so much that quarterbacks rarely throw to his side of the field. His presence in this secondary could give Del Rio plenty of options to limit opposing quarterbacks.

26) Green Bay Packers select Raekwon McMillan, Linebacker, Ohio State
The Packers are one of the most well put together teams in the league, so picks like this are pretty hard to gauge. I could realistically see this being a receiver or tight end, but middle linebacker is a position where the Packers really need to get better so Clay Matthews can solely play outside as a pass rusher. While McMillan has struggled a bit this year trying to do too much in a young linebacking corps, he is the prototypical inside linebacker who has a thick build and great instincts to read keys.

27) Pittsburgh Steelers select OJ Howard, Tight End, Alabama
Another team that is well put together from top to bottom, there are only a few positions that the Steelers would need to address here. Imagining Howard in this offense is borderline unfair. He has been grossly underutilized by Lane "What do I do with all this talent?" Kiffin, but his potential was on display against Clemson in the National Championship. Putting him in an offense with Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, and Le'Veon Bell would give the Steelers the most explosive offense in the league.

28) Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota Vikings) select Roderick Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Florida State
After obtaining the Vikings' pick from the Sam Bradford trade, the Eagles should use this opportunity to bolster the offensive line which has been solid but can use an upgrade. Lane Johnson is constantly suspended and Jason Peters won't play forever. Since breaking into the lineup as a true freshman, Johnson has been a staple on the left side of the line. He has struggled this year, but his length and athleticism and tape from previous years should keep him in the first round.

29) Denver Broncos select Nick Chubb, Running Back, Georgia
We all know that the defense is set for a while thanks to nailing some recent draft picks, but the offense still needs a little bit of work. If a prospect falls, offensive line could be in play here but I think that Chubb could go a long way towards making this team a consistent contender. Gary Kubiak can make a 1000 yard rusher out of any running back, so just imagine what he could do with a talent like Chubb.

30) Dallas Cowboys select Travin Dural, Wide Receiver, LSU
Pretty much everyone thought that the defense would be a major liability this year, but it has been surprisingly stout and has really helped out the development of Zeke Elliott and Dak Prescott. While the offense has been very good under the two rookies, one area that they could improve is at receiver as Terrance Williams hasn't emerged as a reliable target opposite Dez Bryant. Despite playing with a dreadful array of quarterbacks, Dural has really shined in this offense and would make a great second option.

31) Seattle Seahawks select Pat Elfein, Offensive Guard, Ohio State
It is nothing short of amazing that the Seahawks are in second place in the NFC considering their offensive line can't protect Russell Wilson or run block. Selecting Elfein with this pick would be able to alleviate both of their problems and help Seattle regain their identity. Having played all three interior positions for Ohio State, he would give the Seahawks flexibility and a road grader in the middle of the line.

32) New England Patriots select Christian McCaffrey, Running Back, Stanford
This has to be the most Patriots pick ever, right? It almost seems like destiny that McCaffrey would end up playing for Bellicheck. And honestly, why wouldn't the Patriots want to take him if he lasts all the way to this spot? LaGarrette Blount has been getting the job done, but we all know Bellicheck has no problem cutting or trading star players. Even if Blount is part of the long term plans, McCaffrey would be an excellent change of pace back and would add another element to the passing game.

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