Engel's 2016 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

It’s every football fan’s favorite spring event: NFL Draft week, and with it, mock draft season. I could have done a mock where I just project the picks and save guys for certain spots or certain teams. Instead, I’m acting as the general manager of each team and making the picks, making what I think is the best possible pick for each team at each spot.

1. Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff, QB, California


I made the trade and I’m getting a quarterback. I like both Goff and Carson Wentz, but I think Goff is the better of the two. Despite playing in an Air Raid offense, he’s used to making multiple reads and moves well when pressured. I’m not worried about his transition from true shotgun quarterback to playing under center, since that’s teachable.

2. Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State


There’s no reason for me to make this trade and not get a quarterback. I’d be happy with whomever the Rams don’t take. I have a pretty young-QB friendly offense, and I also have the luxury of letting Wentz sit for a year behind Sam Bradford if necessary. I didn’t pay Bradford only to automatically relegate him to the bench after drafting somebody. I want a competition.

3. San Diego Chargers – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss


I have a really tough choice between taking the best two players in the draft – Tunsil or Jalen Ramsey. I’m thrilled I’m even in this position because I sat around while two teams traded up, but didn’t take the draft’s two best players. I go Tunsil because I value the offensive line just a little bit more, especially after trading up to get Melvin Gordon last year.

4. Dallas Cowboys – Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State


I want defense, so I’m between Ramsey or Bosa. I’m going to stick to the board and taking Ramsey, whom I have higher. With Ramsey and last year’s first round pick (Byron Jones), I have two really versatile and athletic defensive backs. I’ll figure out their positions later.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State


If available, I would have picked Ramsey, and if I wasn’t worried about his health, I’d take Myles Jack. But with Bosa and a healthy Dante Fowler, I have a great pair of bookend rushers. I love Bosa against the run as well. With the free agent additions, I feel better about the defense. I can address the secondary later.

6. Baltimore Ravens – DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon


I have bigger needs, but I’m not passing up Buckner, whom I consider one of the draft’s five best players. He’s scheme- and position-versatile and was the best interior pass rusher in college football last season. His ceiling in a couple years is extremely high.

7. San Francisco 49ers – Myles Jack, LB, UCLA


I’m willing to bet on the injury risk for a player who could quickly become my best defender. Jack can cover (even in man), diagnose and play the run very well, and play any linebacker spot. I think he’d be a draftable running back if he fully committed to it in college, which says a lot about him.

8. Cleveland Browns – Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame


I have as many needs as anyone, and a ton of picks, so position-wise I’m pretty flexible here. I take the best player available. Ultimately, all I need is an impact player here, because I lack them. I may not need a tackle as much as I do a rusher or a defensive back, but I’m not passing on Stanley for anyone available at those positions. 

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State


I have a big need at corner too, so I really think about Vernon Hargreaves. But I have to build around Jameis Winston, and I did just re-sign Doug Martin. With Conklin, I’ve now used three top-two round picks on lineman in the past two years. That’s building around my quarterback.

10. New York Giants – Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi


This isn’t because I’m opposed to taking a running back here. I think it’s my top need, and Ezekiel Elliott is worthy of a top-10 pick. But when I can pair Treadwell with Odell Beckham Jr., which also fills a need, I’m going to do that and get a running back later. I’m not scared by Treadwell’s average speed, because he has exceptional ball skills, good hands, and can separate without needing speed.

11. Chicago Bears – Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville


There are plenty of undersized defensive linemen who have thrived in the NFL. Rankins fills my top need while giving me another player who I could play at the three- or five-technique. He’s not a great pass rusher, but I’m looking for linemen who win against the run, control multiple gaps, and even drop into underneath coverage. Rankins gives me that.

12. New Orleans Saints – Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson


I’m littered with defensive needs, and I can help out my secondary by getting another rusher to pair with Cameron Jordan. Lawson also gives me a great run defender on the edge. He’s not fooled easily against the run and could also drop into coverage if needed.

13. Miami Dolphins – Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State


I’m trying to give Ryan Tannehill a good situation. I’ve made the coaching change and invested in the offensive line the last couple year. Now I’ll get an obvious three-down back to help take the pressure off him. Elliott also fills a need. Running backs aren’t normally worthy of being picked this high, but Elliott is an exception.

14. Oakland Raiders – Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida


This roster has made a ton of improvement and has had a lot of talent upgrades, although it hasn’t been noticed around the league. I’d like to get a tackle here, but I’m happy to get Hargreaves, a good value at this point that helps created depth in the secondary. He’s the draft’s best pure cover corner.

15. Tennessee Titans – William Jackson, CB, Houston


Much like the Browns, I have plenty of picks, but plenty of needs. Building around Marcus Mariota is my priority, but I have plenty of defensive needs too. Here, I’ll opt for Jackson, who I'm higher on than most. He's a physical press corner who can play on an island, but can play bail or off coverage.

16. Detroit Lions – Josh Doctson, WR, TCU


I’m fully intent on improving on the offensive line and the receiving corps, although I need some help on the defensive line and in the secondary. A’Shawn Robinson would be a good value here, but I’m addressing receiver now. Without Calvin Johnson, I lack a downfield, boundary threat with ball skills. Marvin Jones and Golden Tate are more possession-type players.

17. Atlanta Falcons – Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama


Defensive help is a must here, especially in the front seven. My goal here is the best available defensive lineman or linebacker. Ragland is an immediate impact guy who could be starting at middle linebacker Week 1. That’s a win for me.

18. Indianapolis Colts – Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State


The offensive line has been one of the worst in football the last few years. Decker may not have as high a ceiling as some of the other lineman picked before, but he’s ready to contribute anywhere along the line right away. That’s what I’m looking for at this spot.

19. Buffalo Bills – A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama


I want to get better up front. Pass rush help would be great, but I could create a good defensive line pairing with Robinson and Marcell Dareus that really helps against the run. Robinson could play anywhere along my three-man front and kick inside in four-man looks. He’s a good value here too. 

20. New York Jets – Noah Spence, DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky


Quarterback is completely unsettled, but reaching isn’t smart here. I’d need someone who could potentially start right away, and I don’t feel like anyone available could. Spence is a risk, but he’d bring much-needed speed off the edge. Talent-wise, he’s top-15 in this class at worst.

21. Washington Redskins – Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech


Offensive line is probably my biggest need, but I’m not thrilled with the value here. The defense quietly was solid last year, but I’m a little thin on the interior. Butler isn’t a widely known name, but has agile and burst and can play one-tech through five-tech.

22. Houston Texans – Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor


I spent the money on Brock Osweiler, so I have to take steps to make sure my quarterback investment pays off. I could use another receiver to compliment DeAndre Hopkins. Coleman is a speed receiver, but can lose defenders at the line with some physicality too. He ran a limited route tree at Baylor, but thanks to Hopkins he won’t have all the attention as a rookie. 

23. Minnesota Vikings – Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame


The Texas took my pick, and I like Coleman much more than Fuller. This is high for Fuller, but I’m opting to fill my biggest need, only because it helps a young quarterback who isn’t done in his development. Right now, Fuller can help as a deep threat and on short passes that get him the ball in space.

24. Cincinnati Bengals – Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama 


After losing Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, I’d like to add more depth at wide receiver. But that’s not an attractive option right now. Instead I’ll get Reed, who will provide depth right away and soon step in for Domata Peko.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers – Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson


Alexander has slipped a bit in this scenario, but this is a pretty easy decision. Alexander can play on an island and in man, but also excels in bail and zone. He’s fluid and fast, especially his recovery speed. I may even double up at cornerback in the next couple rounds.

26. Seattle Seahawks – Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson


Offensive line tops the list of needs, but getting some pass rush depth is important too. When looking at the available options at both positions, I go with Dodd. I can let him start as a situational rusher, and before long, he will grow into the team’s best rusher. 

27. Green Bay Packers – Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor


We saw how Jordy Nelson’s absence affected Aaron Rodgers last season, so receiver is in play here. But Billings can help replace B.J. Raji, who was a critical piece of the defense in his seven seasons. Billings has an impressive combination of power, agility and speed for a 311-pound tackle (4.96 40 at his pro day). He’s also aggressive in side-to-side pursuit of running backs.

28. Kansas City Chiefs – Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State


This may seen odd after the Marcus Peters pick last year, but what’s better than one physical, press corner that fits my press-man scheme? Two of them. Sean Smith departed in free agency and left a bit of a void back in the secondary. I’d be flexible with either a corner or safety, but Apple makes the most sense here for me.

29. New England Patriots – Pick Forfeited

30. Arizona Cardinals – Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia


I’d think about safety help, a center or even nabbing Carson Palmer’s successor here, but I think Floyd is a better player and better value here than anyone at those positions. His upside as a speed rusher is intriguing and he’s surprisingly effective in coverage for a player who’s a pass-rusher first. After the Chandler Jones trade and this pick, I have a pretty deep crop of rushers. That helped the team picking two spots behind me to a Super Bowl win.

31. Carolina Panthers – Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana


I got to the Super Bowl despite shaky edge protection. Shaky edge protection was also part of the reason I lost the Super Bowl. Rookies aren’t always an immediate upgrade, but Spriggs at worst brings competition at a spot where I want it. At best, he becomes a starter right away. He’s capable of the latter because of his advance athleticism and technique. His questionable strength is fixable.

32. Denver Broncos – Cody Whitehair, OL, Kansas State


Fans might not like this because Paxton Lynch is still on the board, but I don’t see him or Connor Cook as a Week 1 starter. We survived inconsistent quarterback play because of our defense, which remains largely intact, and because of the offensive weapons around the quarterback. My gaping need is on the offensive line. Because I have a pretty sound roster, I can take Whitehair instead of a higher-rated player or a quarterback who I’d prefer to sit for a year. I feel good about it because Whitehair is a safe pick as a guard and immediately upgrades my interior line issues. Any pick at this point in the draft that can be an immediate starter is a win.


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