It may only be a little over a month into the NFL season, but it is never too early to take a lot at the 2016 NFL Draft.
By the way, the Detroit Lions are now on the clock. So much is made of mock drafts, making assumptions, trying to predict the future and proving, much like myself, there are a few NFL Draft nerds that know what they are talking about.
And with teams that were expected to be playoff contenders hovering at the bottom of the fish bowl, not only could 2015’s record mean a high draft pick, it could me the end of some pretty good coaching tenures in cities that have thrived in recent years.
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This is my first swing of the college and NFL season at an NFL Draft. There will be more to come. But this could be what the first 10 picks look like once the commissioner walks to the podium in Chicago in April next season.
1) Detroit Lions – Joey Bosa, Defensive End, Ohio State
The Lions defense took a huge hit over the offseason in free agency. Bosa is the best pass rusher in the Draft and will give the team an outside edge rusher it needs. The Lions defense will get better this season, but with Bosa could be dominant again in 2016.
2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Laremy Tunsil, Tackle, Ole Miss
The Buccaneers are building a foundation to go with Jameis Winston. Tunsil will help solidify the offensive line. If the Bucs are going to be better, they must build solid lines on both sides of the ball. Tunsil is the type of player to sign and put in the starting lineup for the next 10 years.
3) Miami Dolphins – Derrick Henry, Running Back, Alabama
I know the Dolphins have Lamar Miller, but Henry is an Earl Campbell-type runner who is a punisher. The Dolphins need help on defense and well and may look to solidify the line. Henry is a home run threat who could remind many of Ricky Williams.
4) Cleveland Browns – Jared Goff, Quarterback, California
Goodbye, Johnny Manziel. The quarterback class is lacking again this year. Goff is the best on the board with Connor Cook of Michigan State second on the list. The Browns need plenty of help everywhere, but decide to pull the trigger on another franchise signal caller.
5) New Orleans Saints – Robert Nkemdiche, Defensive Tackle, Ole Miss
Another Rebels player off the board. Nkendiche is by far the best defensive tackle in this draft and for the Saints, the defense needs help. With Nkemdiche’s speed and power, he could play in outside packages and could be moved around the line like Leonard Williams of the New York Jets.
6) Houston Texans – Jalen Ramsey, Defensive Back, FSU
Ramsey is a need pick for the Texans, who need help reestablishing the defense as its calling card. Ramsey is tall, physical and can help the team in man-to-man and zone coverage. He can also help in the return game and is a solid tackler.
7) Jacksonville Jaguars – Vernon Hargreaves, Defensive Back, Florida
The Jaguars used their pick last season to take Dante Fowler, Jr. He should help the pass rush this season after missing all of last year. Hargreaves is arguably the best defensive back in the draft and fills a must need for this team. He is a hard hitter and plays solid in zone coverage. Could be the best defensive back on the team since Donovan Darius.
8) Philadelphia Eagles – Tyler Boyd, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh
It seems Chip Kelly got rid of major playmakers on this team. Boyd gives them another option to team in the Eagles’ offense. If Sam Bradford ever gets it together, he may have to of the best young receivers in the league in Boyd and Nelson Agholor.
9) Chicago Bears – Connor Cook, Quarterback, Michigan State
I am not crazy about this pick, but the Bears get Cook by default. Chicago needs to start over behind center. Cook is a solid option who can manage a game or take chances down the field. Whether he will have Matt Forte in the backfield is not known, but the team will build around a new signal caller.
10) San Francisco 49ers – Shawn Oakman, Defensive End, Baylor
At 6’8”, he is a menace on the line. Coming off the edge he is hard to block and makes the loss of Aldon Smith a little easier to deal with. Oakman can be a solid pass rusher and with those long arms, could make it difficult for quarterbacks to hit receivers in passing lanes.