I’m still an NFL Draft nerd at heart

NCAA Football: FCS Championship-Jacksonville State vs North Dakota State

North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz is my top quarterback prospect in this year’s draft.


I’ve written in the past about my love for the NFL Draft. When I was in college, I had my own draft website (dabearsman.com) which got a ton of hits and, if I do say so myself, was pretty darn accurate.
I am also convinced to this day that ESPN’s John Clayton stole info off my website. That’s a story for another day, though.
Instead, I’ll give a quick story to prove my obsession with the draft in college.
In 2000, before I became an RA for Lund Hall at the University of Montevallo, I lived alone in my third-floor dorm room.
Being the conservative school that it was, my college elected to do “room raids” to see if anyone of the opposite was in rooms after hours. By rule, all members of the opposite sex had to be out of the dorms by midnight during the week. It was moronic.
Of course, this being college, everyone broke this rule.
On this night, however, I was up late working on my website. At 2 a.m., there was a knock on my door. I opened it up to see one of the campus cops there.
Now this being Montevallo, everyone knew the campus cops by their first names. In fact this cop, Barry, also worked part time at the local convenience store. I always joked that Barry could sell you beer, then arrest you for public intoxication later in the night.
Anyway, this is how the conversation went:

Me: Hey Barry, how’s it going?
Barry: Well, I’m checking to make sure there are no girls in your room after hours. I need to come in and look around.
Me: Look Barry, it’s 2 a.m. and I’m on my computer looking at NFL Draft rumors. If there was a girl in here, do you honestly think that is what I’d be doing?
Barry: (pause) Good point. Have a nice night.

I consider that story both boring and sad.
I obviously don’t have time to run an NFL Draft website anymore, but I still love the rumors and the mock drafts. Each year, I still do one mock of my own.
I do predict trades, because let’s be honest, if you do a mock with no trades, it’s going to be horribly wrong. At least, more wrong than every other mock.
So here you go, my 2016 NFL mock draft:

1. Los Angeles – Jared Goff, QB, Cal
Personally, I’d go Wentz, but Goff is the better prospect if the Rams want a Day 1 starter.
2. Philadelphia – Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Perfect situation for Wentz, because he’ll be able to sit and learn as a rookie.

* Quick note – I had zero problem with the Rams and Eagles giving up so much to trade up for quarterbacks. Everyone always says you need a franchise QB to win in the league. So why, when you have an opportunity to get one, do teams get criticized? I get that they gave up a lot of picks, but if Goff or Wentz turn out to be franchise guys, it was totally worth it.

3. San Diego – DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon
Lot of ways the Chargers can go, but they’ll elect for most athletic DL in the draft.
4. Dallas – Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
It will be tough for Jerry Jones to pass on Ezekiel Elliott, but Ramsey could be the best player in the draft.
5. Jacksonville – Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Myles Jack’s knee could give them pause and make them go the safe route with Bosa.
6. Baltimore – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
Because the Ravens always get lucky and have a top player drop to them.
7. San Francisco – Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Lynch will either go here or to the Browns at No. 8.
8. Tennessee (projected trade with Cleveland) – Ronnie Stanley, OL, Notre Dame
Once Lynch is gone, the Browns will look to trade down again. Titans get their LT.
9. Miami (projected trade with Tampa Bay) – Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Elliott won’t get past Giants at No. 10, so if the Dolphins want him, they’ll need to trade up.
10. New York Giants – Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
He’s raw, but Floyd has a lot of upside as a pass rusher.
11. Chicago – Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
After Kevin White’s knee issue last year, the Bears may want to avoid another potential health risk. However, Jack’s talent should be too much to pass up.
12. New Orleans – Sheldon Rankins, DL, Louisville
The Saints will hope Rankins can turn into the next Aaron Donald.
13. Tampa Bay (projected trade with Miami) – Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Much like the Titans, the Bucs choose to protect their franchise QB.
14. Oakland – Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
Ragland is a plug and play guy and adds a little nastiness to the Raiders’ defense.
15. Cleveland (projected trade with Tennessee) – Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The Browns need weapons, and Treadwell, while not the fastest, is the best receiver in the draft.
16. Detroit – Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama
His ability to stop the run makes him a great pick up at this spot.
17. Atlanta – Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
May go Darron Lee, but Hargreaves is probably the top-rated defensive player available here.
18. Indianapolis – Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
May be tough to pass on an offensive lineman, but Lee gives the Colts’ defense added speed.
19. Buffalo – Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss
This knucklehead is a top 5 talent, which is why Rex Ryan won’t be able to resist.
20. New York Jets – William Jackson III, CB, Houston
The Jets could go several ways on defense, but Jackson could make their secondary one of the league’s best.
21. Washington – Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
May try to trade up for Reed, but Lawson is a nice consolation.
22. Houston – Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
The Texans won’t take a receiver as most predict. Instead, they’ll go either OL, DL or S. Kelly is an immediate starter.

* Quick note – Everyone was all up in arms about the Texans paying Brock Osweiler a bunch of cash. These are the same people that have been clamoring for Houston to find a quarterback worth a crap. Those same people also laughed the Rams and Eagles for trading up. Look folks, to get a franchise QB, sometimes you have to take a chance. And honestly, it made a lot more sense to spend a lot of cash then to pay the super high cost it would have taken for the Texans to move from No. 22 to the top 2. So stop complaining!

23. Cleveland (projected trade with Minnesota) – Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
This will be a spot where teams will look to trade back into a first to get Cook on a 5-year contract (all players after Round 1 only get 4-year deals).
24. Cincinnati – Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
With the exodus of receivers this offseason, the Bengals need someone opposite A.J. Green.
25. Pittsburgh – Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
The Steelers will absolutely take a defensive back. Apple is the best available at this spot.
26. Seattle – Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Russell Wilson is tired of running for his life. Decker will help.
27. Green Bay – A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
The Packers’ 3-4 defense needs that anchor up front.
28. Dallas (projected trade with Kansas City) – Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
The Cowboys will get antsy and trade up to grab Henry, a perfect fit for their offense.
29. Arizona – Vernon Butler, DL, Louisiana Tech
Butler has a lot of potential and should be a good fit in the Cardinals’ disruptive scheme.
30. Carolina – Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
Might look receiver, but Joseph is a versatile defender for the backfield.
31. Denver – Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
After missing out on Cook, Kubiak will take the best pass-catching tight end for his offense.

Bear Down and #CommitForLife


About Joshua Buckley

I used to be a Sports Editor. Now I'm the Media Relations Manager at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.


One thought on “I’m still an NFL Draft nerd at heart

  1. I feel like you need to include that New England doesn’t have a first round pick. I think Patriots fans would really appreciate that.

    Posted by Matt Walker | April 28, 2016, 1:08 pm

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