With the NFL Scouting Combine now in the books, prospect evaluations and rankings are now clearer than ever. This is the last major event until April’s draft, which means there won’t be any major changes in the next couple of months leading up to draft day. Sure, there will be minor changes here and there, but the film is finalized, and teams were able to meet with likely targets during the interview portion of the combine. We still have individual Pro Days, but typically prospects tend to hurt themselves more-so than help their stock if anything.
What did we learn at the combine?
For one, you’re not going to get any speedsters in this WR class. Aside from Will Fuller and Corey Coleman who didn’t even run at the combine, there isn’t much speed in this draft. At QB, none of the mid round guys separated themselves from the group whereas Wentz and Goff solidified their status at the top of the draft. Ezekiel Elliott had the best combine of any RB and remains the only one with a 1st round grade. Although, Derrick Henry had a nice showing as well. The defensive linemen and rest of the pass rushers lived up to the hype and collectively put together a nice showing.
Don’t expect too much of a shakeup in the first round or two. However, Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith stock may fall to the 2nd or 3rd day after team physicals reveal major injury concerns – he definitely won’t play this season, or even in 2017.
Take a look at our new mock draft and let’s talk NFL Draft on Twitter @JonValencia_WiB.
1. Tennessee Titans – OT, Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
The closer it gets to draft day, the clearer it gets who the Titans will select at #1. Pass protection is vital when developing a young QB like Marcus Mariota. Head coach Mike Mularkey slightly hinted towards Tunsil in a combine interview. Tennessee gets a franchise left tackle to tighten up a pass block that gave up a season-high 54 sacks last season.
Apparently the Titans are still shopping this pick – if that occurs, you could see a team like San Francisco or Los Angeles flip flop Cleveland for one of the top QBs. Also, don’t rule out Joey Bosa, the best player in the draft.
2. Cleveland Browns – QB, Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
The combine was good to Carson Wentz as he pulled away as the top QB in the class. The Johnny Manziel era was over before it started. New head coach Hue Jackson gets his big, franchise QB. Who would’ve thought an FCS QB could go as high as #2?
Props to my colleague Keet Bailey for calling this pick for months now. Wentz brings a huge frame at 6’5”, 237 pounds with a polished arm and he can tuck it and run as well. Very comparable to Ben Roethlisberger.
3. San Diego Chargers – CB/S, Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
The Chargers have a few options here, but they elect to go with the dynamic defensive back. Ramsey brings versatility, in the secondary, though better suited at free safety. He has length and tremendous athleticism with tons of upside. His phenomenal combine performance put him at the top of many draft boards.
Eric Weddle is set to his the free agent market, so the Chargers get one of the best players in the class while filling a need.
4. Dallas Cowboys – DE, Joey Bosa, Ohio State
This is a very hard pick to project. Jerry Jones has publicized that he wants to go QB, so he could go Jared Goff here. Then again, dynamic defensive players are on the board in Myles Jack and Joey Bosa.
Jones makes the smart move here and goes for who most think is the best player in the draft class. Bosa brings a well-rounded game to the Cowboys defensive front. He has elite potential as a pass rusher and will be a difference maker in a pass heavy NFC East division.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – LB, Myles Jack, UCLA
The Jaguars are in dire need of pieces to build around on the defensive side of the ball. Telvin Smith and Dante Fowler are solid building blocks, but they need more help. Myles Jack is up there with Joey Bosa in terms of talent and potential.
Jack is a missile at LB corps with the smarts and ability to be a perennial Pro Bowler for years. He and Smith would form a great tandem in the front 7.
6. Baltimore Ravens – CB, Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
There are two playmakers on different sides of the ball that Baltimore could go with here. Do they take another 1st round WR in Treadwell, or tighten up the secondary with Hargreaves?
Ultimately, Harbaugh makes the right decision and takes a potential All Pro corner in VHIII. Hargreaves has outstanding ball skills and athletic ability and would bring a much needed spark to Baltimore’s secondary.
7. San Francisco 49ers – QB, Jared Goff, California
Even if Colin Kaepernick is still in San Francisco next season, Chip Kelly will get his guy here at 7. Goff is a straight up gunslinger who has a well polished arm and can make all the throws. You know Kelly loves his Pac-12 guys as he keeps Goff in-state.
8. Miami Dolphins – OT, Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
It’s a shame Miami misses out on defensive studs such as Jack and Hargreaves. They do, however, get a talented bookend in Ronnie Stanley. The Dolphins gave up 45 sacks last season and will need to tighten up the pass protection to fix inconsistencies all over the offense. You know Adam Gase is a guy who will want to sling the ball around with Ryan Tannehill, and that starts on the offensive line.
Stanley is a well-rounded offensive tackle who could eventually lineup as the blindside tackle when Branden Albert’s tenure is over.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DL, DeForest Buckner, Oregon
Widely considered a top 5 overall talent in this year’s class, the Buccaneers get great value at #9. Buckner will give new defensive coordinator Mike Smith plenty of flexibility on the defensive line as he can rush from the outside or be slotted next to Gerald McCoy to provide a strong run defender.
The Buccaneers have a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball, Buckner is a great route to go.
10. New York Giants – WR, Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
Every mock I do, I give Treadwell to the Giants. This would be a huge shakeup to round out the top 10 that I definitely wouldn’t rule out for Ben McAdoo and Mike Sullivan. Almost every mock has the Giants slated with a defensive linemen, but that’s by far the deepest position in the draft, which they could easily get in round 2.
Treadwell would provide another tremendous pass catcher alongside Odell Beckham, the two could be the best tandem in the NFL within a year or two. Treadwell won’t burn you with his speed, but he has a great overall skillset and would compliment ODB very well.
11. Chicago Bears – CB, Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
This is a tough spot for Chicago, they miss out on the top two defensive backs and a big target on the defensive line in DeForest Buckner. Regardless, they get a great talent in Mackensie Alexander, who may be a slight reach at pick 11. Still a bit raw, Alexander does bring tons of upside. He has blazing speed and is among the best man cover corners in the draft class.
Chicago is desperate for corner help with Kyle Fuller being the only quality CB on the team. They were top 5 in passing yards allowed last season.
12. New Orleans Saints – DT, Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
Regardless of what’s happened off the field, I’m still mocking Nkemdiche this high because he’s just this good. A top 5 player on my overall big board, the Saints get an absolute steal here and a player who can be a complete difference maker on that defense which the Saints have been desperate for.
Nkemdiche is a great overall player who has an outstanding motor and can provide tremendous interior pass rush.
13. Philadelphia Eagles – DT, Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
A guy like Jack Conklin here is tempting to Doug Pederson, but the Eagles keep the defensive line trend going as there’s likely to be a run at this point in the 1st round. The Eagles still haven’t re-signed Fletcher Cox who is set to hit the free agent market in 2017 because Sam Bradford remains the priority. With Bradford likely to be retained, the Eagles don’t need to go QB here.
Sheldon Rankins tore it up at the Senior Bowl, and at the combine as well. He will provide the Eagles with a disruptive interior presence as they likely transition to a 4-3.
14. Oakland Raiders – DE, Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky
The upside on a guy like Noah Spence is undeniable. Oakland isn’t afraid to take risks on guys with character concerns as they have Aldon Smith a second chance this past season. With an elite pass rusher in Khalil Mack, Spence could provide another elite presence on the opposite side of the line.
The draft stock of Spence has been buzzing for the past month or two after his dominant Senior Bowl performance. The Raiders take a risk here at 14 with tons of upside.
15. Los Angeles Rams – QB, Paxton Lynch, Memphis
With the move to LA, Jeff Fisher and the Rams snag a franchise QB in Paxton Lynch. His mammoth 6’7”, 245 pound frame would give the Rams a huge signal caller under center. He put up a solid showing at the combine which cemented his mid-late 1st round stock. Definitely will require some development, but should be ready to go by year 2.
16. Detroit Lions – DT, Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech
The Lions defensive front didn’t recover well this past season with the departures of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. To make matters worse, 3 of their 4 starters on the defensive line are set to hit the free agent market.
Detroit keeps the run of defensive linemen going as they snag Vernon Butler here in the middle of the first round. Butler has been surrounded by buzz following a solid Senior Bowl.
17. Atlanta Falcons – DE, Leonard Floyd, Georgia
Floyd’s combine set him apart from other mid-round edge rushers. Atlanta is desperate for more pass rush, even despite taking Vic Beasley in the 1st round last year. Floyd has great length and athleticism, although he still needs to bulk up a bit and add more strength.
The Falcons have a few options here, but they take the in-state kid.
18. Indianapolis Colts – OT, Jack Conklin, Michigan State
Keeping Andrew Luck healthy and upright is vital for the Colts success. There are many tempting defensive players they could go with here, but Chuck Pagano goes the smart route and takes the offensive linemen.
Conklin isn’t flashy, but he’s a strong, smart, reliable offensive tackle who could play on either side of the line.
19. Buffalo Bills – DL, Jarran Reed, Alabama
We know Mario Williams most likely won’t be back and we know how Rex Ryan loves his defensive linemen. Reed brings versatility and to Ryan’s hybrid defensive scheme and fits the mold of what Ryan likes to do up front. Reed is a well-rounded linemen who adds much needed youth up front fo Buffalo.
20. New York Jets – RB, Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
This is one of those “gimme” picks. If Elliott is there when the Jets go on the clock, there’s no doubt in my mind they’ll take him. For a team that has yet to re-sign Fitzpatrick and Ivory, they’re going to need some source of offense.
Elliott solidified himself as the top RB in the draft class after a great showing at the combine. He has a good blend of power and speed and is a complete back. Elliott can be a workhorse at the next level and carry the Jets offense for years.
21. Washington Redskins – ILB, Reggie Ragland, Alabama
With so many highly rated defensive players on the board, it was a tough decision here for the ‘Skins. It came down to two Alabama defenders, A’Shawn Robinson and Reggie Ragland. I believe they’ll re-sign Terrance Knighton which leaves a hole in the LB corps.
On the outside their defense features good, young guys such as Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Brown and Trent Murphy, but they needed to add skill and youth on the inside. Reggie Ragland is one of my favorite players in the draft class. A leader in the middle of the defense who can do an array of things. A safe pick and great value here for Washington.
22. Houston Texans – OT, Taylor Decker, Ohio State
With no QBs worthy at this point in the draft, the Texans address a big need at offensive tackle. Derek Newton was very ineffective at right tackle which is where Decker will start from day one.
Decker has tremendous size and length and brings a lot of power to the offensive line. He still needs a bit more polishing in terms of technique and footwork, but the upside is substantial.
23. Minnesota Vikings – DE, Shaq Lawson, Clemson
The Vikings are a team that have done an extremely good job at drafting in recent years. The popular pick here would be someone like Corey Coleman or Michael Thomas, but I think they wait on a WR in favor of one of the highly touted defensive line prospects in the class.
Shaq Lawson made a living in the backfield this past season as he led the nation in tackles for loss. He’s a disruptive force on the outside who brings a lot of power and length as a pass rusher and edge setter.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – DT, Andrew Billings, Baylor
The Bengals get a steal here in Andrew Billings. Cincinnati needs much needed youth and depth on the interior of their line. Billings has an incredible motor and can even be compared to Geno Atkins. The two would form a great tandem on the inside, both of whom can rush the passer.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB, Eli Apple, Ohio State
The Pittsburgh Steelers are an early, heavy favorite to win the AFC in 2016 with 6/1 odds, according to Mytopsportsbooks.com. However, in order to do so, they need to add talent to the secondary.
Corner is a glaring need for this team, which they decide to address in the first round. There are some other good value picks, but Apple would be a solid fit in Pittsburgh with his big size and physicality. His 4.4 flat 40 time solidified his 1st round stock, and could even see him go inside the top 20.
26. Seattle Seahawks – DT, A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama
The Seahawks get a great value pick here in Alabama’s A’Shawn Robinson. He has a great combination of size and athleticism. A little inconsistent during his career at ‘Bama, but he displayed pure dominance at times and can prove to be well worth it here for Seattle.
With guys like Rubin and Mebane set to hit the free agent market, this pick makes too much sense.
27. Green Bay Packers – DE/LB, Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
Like other teams ahead of them, the Packers get a great value pick here that fills a need. Ogbah slips to the end of the first round due to the abundance of pass rushers and defensive linemen in this year’s class. Ogbah has a good combination of power and length and actually ran faster than I thought he would at the combine.
With Julius Pepper a year away from retirement, Mike Neal set to hit the free agent market, the Packers need someone on the outside. I’m sure they would like to move Clay Matthews back inside at some point as well.
28. Kansas City Chiefs – DT, Kenny Clark, UCLA
There are a few routes Andy Reid could go here, but ultimately he goes with a safe pick. Kenny Clark excelled as a run stuffer at UCLA and provides versatility up front. Jaye Howard and Mike DeVito are both set to hit the free agent market, and you know how much Reid loves to bolster the trenches on both sides of the football.
29. Arizona Cardinals – DE/LB, Kevin Dodd, Clemson
Dodd is a guy who flew under the radar most of the season on Clemson’s defense as he was overshadowed by guys like Lawson and Alexander. He did, however, manage to make a name for himself as a pass rusher on that defense.
The Cardinals have a glaring need on the outside in their LB corps. Dodd is just tapping into his potential and can provide that closer in the 4th quarter the Cardinals need.
30. Carolina Panthers – OT, Jason Spriggs, Indiana
Carolina’s offensive line was exposed in the Super Bowl, so Carolina addresses that in the first round. Spriggs is extremely athletic and put up arguably the best performance of any linemen at the combine. He’s still quite raw, but he brings tons of upside and versatility.
31. Denver Broncos – DE, Jonathan Bullard, Florida
With a solid showing at the combine, Jonathan Bullard rounds out the first round. Bullard has a solid motor and is can be a balanced edge setter at the next level. The Broncos are likely to lose Malik Jackson, so Bullard will serve as his replacement from day one.
32. Cleveland Browns – WR, Corey Coleman, Baylor
33. Tennessee Titans – CB, William Jackson, Houston
34. Dallas Cowboys – RB, Derrick Henry, Alabama
35. San Diego Chargers – OT/G, Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M
36. Baltimore Ravens – WR, Josh Docston, TCU
37. San Francisco 49ers – WR, Will Fuller, Notre Dame
38. Jacksonville Jaguars – CB, Artie Burns, Miami
39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – S, Vonn Bell, Ohio State
40. New York Giants – LB, Darron Lee, Ohio State
41. Chicago Bears – QB, Connor Cook, Michigan State
42. Miami Dolphins – CB, Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
43. Los Angeles Rams – WR, Michael Thomas, Ohio State (Eagles)
44. Oakland Raiders – OT, Shon Coleman, Auburn
45. Los Angeles Rams – TE, Hunter Henry, Arkansas
46. Detroit Lions – DT, Chris Jones, Mississippi State
47. New Orleans Saints – CB, Xavien Howard, Baylor
48. Indianapolis Colts – G, Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
49. Buffalo Bills – LB, Su’a Cravens, USC
50. Atlanta Falcons – LB, Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame
51. New York Jets – LB, Kamalei Correa, Boise State
52. Houston Texans – QB, Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
53. Washington Redskins – DL, Adolphus Washington, Ohio State
54. Minnesota Vikings – G, Joshua Garnett, Stanford
55. Cincinnati Bengals – LB, Joshua Perry, Ohio State
56. Seattle Seahawks – OT, La’Raven Clark, Texas Tech
57. Green Bay Packers – DL, Austin Johnson, Penn State
58. Pittsburgh Steelers – S, Darian Thompson, Boise State
59. Kansas City Chiefs – G, Vadal Alexander, LSU
60. New England Patriots – CB, Cyrus Jones, Alabama
61. Arizona Cardinals – C, Ryan Kelly, Alabama
62. Carolina Panthers – WR, Braxton Miller, Ohio State
63. Denver Broncos – OT, Kyle Murphy, Stanford
64. Tennessee Titans – LB, Jordan Jenkins, Georgia
65. Cleveland Browns – LB, Kyler Fackrell, Utah State
66. San Diego Chargers – DL, Sheldon Day, Notre Dame
67. Dallas Cowboys – QB, Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
68. San Francisco 49ers – G, Landon Turner, North Carolina
69. Jacksonville Jaguars – C, Nick Martin, Notre Dame
70. Baltimore Ravens – LB, Kentrell Brothers, Missouri
71. New York Giants – DE, Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State
72. Chicago Bears – DE, Charles Tapper, Oklahoma
73. Miami Dolphins – LB, Deion Jones, LSU
74. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB/S, Jalen Mills, LSU
75. Oakland Raiders – S, Karl Joseph, West Virginia
76. Los Angeles Rams – LB, Scooby Wright, Arizona
77. Philadelphia Eagles – CB, Deiondre’ Hall, Northern Iowa (Lions)
78. New Orleans Saints – TE, Austin Hooper, Stanford
79. Philadelphia Eagles – OT/G, Spencer Drango, Baylor
80. Buffalo Bills – G, Christian Westerman, Arizona State
81. Atlanta Falcons – C, Max Tuerk, USC
82. Indianapolis Colts – RB, Devontae Booker, Utah
83. New York Jets – OT, Jerald Hawkins, LSU
84. Washington Redskins – OT, Joe Haeg, North Dakota State
85. Houston Texans – S, Jeremy Cash, Duke
86. Minnesota Vikings – WR, Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh
87. Cincinnati Bengals – DE, Shawn Oakman, Baylor
88. Green Bay Packers – RB, Jordan Howard, Indiana
89. Pittsburgh Steelers – DL, Willie Henry, Michigan
90. Seattle Seahawks – LB, Eric Striker, Oklahoma
91. Kansas City Chiefs – WR, Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma
92. New England Patriots – DE, Carl Nassib, Penn State
93. Arizona Cardinals – DL, Anthony Zettel, Penn State
94. Carolina Panthers – RB, Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech
95. Denver Broncos – G, Denver Kirkland, Arkansas
96. Detroit Lions – OT/G, Joe Dahl, Washington State (Compensation)
97. New England Patriots – WR, Leonte Carroo, Rutgers (Compensation)
98. Seattle Seahawks – RB, Paul Perkins, UCLA (Compensation)
99. Denver Broncos – RB, C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame (Compensation)
Top 10 Available Prospects:
1. DT, Maliek Collins, Nebraska
2. S, Jayron Kearse, Clemson
3. DE, Dadi Nicholas, Virginia Tech
4. CB, Will Redmond, Mississippi State
5. OT, Willie Beavers, Western Michigan
6. RB, Alex Collins, Arkansas
7. S, Miles Killebrew, Southern Utah
8. WR, Pharoah Cooper, South Carolina
9. TE, Nick Vannett, Ohio State
10. S, Keanu Neal, Florida