NFL Draft 2016

Top prospects

The NFL Draft 2016 will not only be tense for the teams making the decision, but also for those young collegiate players that have waited for this moment their whole lives. The work that they’ve put in to impress scouts throughout the year in hopes that someone noticed their potential. The hype generated by those players can sometime outweigh the needs of the team, which makes it difficult to know exactly what’s going to happen. One’s thing for sure, there will be 253 players who will see their dream of entering in the NFL come true. Here are 10 highly touted prospects that are sure to have their name shouted out on stage during the Draft beginning Thursday April 28th at 8PM.

Laremy Tunsil, OT – Ole Miss

A three-year starter at left tackle, Tunsil was a much ballyhooed recruit and immediately lived up to the hype at Ole Miss, allowing only one sack as a true freshman starter in the SEC.

Jalen Ramsey, FS – Florida St.

It’s rare to see defensive backs mentioned as worthy of the No. 1 overall selection in the NFL Draft, but Ramsey deserves it with his natural playmaking skills. He can play cornerback (inside or outside), but his best NFL fit is in a nickel or safety role.

Joey Bosa, DE – Ohio St.

Bosa racked up 26 sacks and 51 tackles for loss in three seasons with the Buckeyes. An All-America and first team All-Big Ten player in 2015, he was constantly double-teamed while being held to only 5.0 sacks. But he remained an impact player with 16.0 tackles for loss while consistently freeing teammates to make plays.

Myles Jack, OLB – UCLA

Jack was an All-America candidate before suffering a torn meniscus during practice last September. He underwent surgery and ultimately decided to withdraw from school and focus on his preparation for the 2016 NFL Draft by rehabbing in the Phoenix area.

Jared Goff, QB – California

A Marin Catholic and North Coast (Calif.) Section legend, Goff, a four-star recruit, was handed the keys to Cal’s future almost immediately after signing with the team, Goff steadily impressed over his first seasons before emerging as arguably the best quarterback prospect in the nation in 2015.

DeForest Buckner, DE – Oregon

Oregon’s defense struggled in 2015, but that was no fault of Buckner’s. He decided to return for his senior season and continued to stand out, starting all 13 games and finishing with 10.5 sacks, 17.0 tackles for loss and 83 total tackles despite facing a steady stream of double- and triple-teams.

Carson Wentz, QB – North Dakota St.

A two-year starter who went 20-3 for the Bison, Wentz thrived in North Dakota State’s wide-open offense, taking snaps from under center and shotgun with several pro-style reads, including left-to-right and high-to-low progressions. Although he didn’t consistently face top competition at the FCS level, Wentz performed well in high pressure situations, including the 2014 and 2015 FCS national championship games.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB – Ohio St.

Elliott gained legendary status in the state of Ohio with his performance down the stretch in 2014, recording back-to-back-to-back 200-yard rushing performances in the Big Ten Championship Game vs. Wisconsin (220 yards), Sugar Bowl vs. Alabama (230) and National Championship game vs. Oregon (246). He earned offensive MVP honors in the final two games and finished the 2014 season with 1,878 rushing yards, the second-most in school history, adding 18 touchdowns.

Darron Lee, OLB – Ohio St.

A two-year starter in Ohio State’s versatile 4-3 base defense, Lee was a 195-pound quarterback in high school and although the Buckeyes coaches weren’t sure where he would play, they knew he could play.

Shaq Lawson, DT – Clemson

Lawson entered the 2015 season with more buzz than production, but officially broke out as a junior with an FBS-leading 24.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks and now projects as a top 20 pick.

Time now to enter your mock nfl draft 2016 for your chance to win a $100,000.

 

Posted in NFL

NFL Draft

LA Rams acquire first overall pick from Titans

Talk about respect.

Making a trade for the first overall pick in the NFL Draft is usually the biggest news in the sports world. But, the Rams even held off announcing the move until they deemed fit.

What could possibly be more important than announcing Los Angeles had just acquired the first overall pick?

Well, Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher was quoted as saying “the night belonged to Kobe”.

Respect.

Now that the cat’s out of the bag, let’s break down the momentous move.

laramstrade

The Titans received picks number 15 (1st), 43 (2nd), 45 (2nd), 76 (3rd), and 2017 1st and 3rd rounders. They already hold the 33rd overall pick (second pick in 2nd round), and 64th (first in 3rd round). The Rams received the first overall pick, pick 113 (4th), and 177 (6th).

The Titans now own six of the first 76 picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, enough ammo to rebuild any franchise let alone one with a few solid building blocks already in place. Namely, a (potential) franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota.

We knew Tennessee wasn’t in love with consensus top pick OT Laremy Tunsil, but that wasn’t enough to pull the trigger just yet. New GM Jon Robinson played his cards just right, and optimized the return for a position he didn’t need to be in. Word is they like the next set of best available OL, and taking Tunsil at number one didn’t necessarily optimize their needs. The Titans and Jack Conklin apparently have mutual admiration, news that surfaced yesterday sparking trade talk among fans and media alike.

When asked if any NFL Head Coaches have made an impact on him through the draft process he responded with “One [NFL head coach] that’s really stood out to me is Mike Mularkey. I really liked him because I see a lot of similarities between him and [Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio]. That really intrigues me because that is somebody that I trust and thrived under.”

While there it’s no sure thing that the Titans draft an offensive-lineman, their strategy was spot on. More importantly than the 15th overall pick, is perhaps the three second-rounders they now own. The 2016 draft is the kind you want to own a plethora of early to mid-round picks. A number of potential stars will be plucked between numbers 32 and 98.

A young running back to groom behind Demarco Murray, a talented wide receiver to pair with the developing Dorial Green-Beckham, and an athletic tight-end are all needs on the offensive side of the ball. While a youth infusion is needed on defense, as their linebacking core and secondary could use a serious upgrade after letting a few veterans go via free agency.

The Rams logic was simple. Get a franchise quarterback, now!

I’ve heard whispers that projected number two overall pick Carson Wentz will now go one, but I think Cal’s Jeff Goff will be the man.

Goff was the consensus top QB all season long, and the only reason Wentz name has been glued to the Browns is because new Head Coach Hue Jackson is enamored by the North Dakota State QB. He’s a great fit in Cleveland, as the more steady, blue-collar type. If in fact, the Browns opt to select him at number two, he would become the highest-drafted non-FBS quarterback in NFL history.

In my opinion the hometown Goff is a perfect fit for the Rams, as his gunslinger style is made for the lovely people of California. The fans will be able to deal with his growing pains, and by handing the ball off to Todd Gurley the team can limit his responsibilities early-on.  A luxury the Cleveland Browns certainly do not possess.

No matter who goes where, the draft process has been especially exciting this year and it can only get better the closer we inch to draft day.

Posted in NFL

NFL Mock Draft

The NFL Draft is now just 25 days away, so it’s about time I post my first NFL mock draft. This edition has no trades, and as always, there will be changes going forward.

If you’re wondering why there’s only 31 picks this year, no I did not forget one, but you will recall there was this big thing about deflated footballs a while ago. So, the Patriots will be forfeiting their first-round pick for breaking the league rules (again…).

Let’s take a look at my NFL mock draft, edition numero uno.

Speaking of uno, Laremy Tunsil holds it down at the number one spot. The Ole Miss Tackle had a terrific showing at his pro day, and will help solidify a Titans front-five that will ground and pound with new lead back DeMarco Murray all day.

Carson Wentz has been linked to Hue Jackson for months, but don’t count Goff out just yet. All season long he was the consensus number one quarterback, and now the small school Carson Wentz has jumped the more polished Cal product.

Arguable top overall prospect Jalen Ramsey slides to three because he’s a DB. The Chargers have the young and talented Jason Verrett at corner, but lost long-time leader and safety Eric Weddle. Ramsey will immediately improve the defense, wherever it is the Chargers will be playing in 2016.

  • My entire NFL Mock Draft

nfldraft16

Important Note

LA Rams – Taking Paxton Lynch at 15 seems crazy, but no other position will impact this franchise as much as a quarterback.

Even one who’s not necessarily ready for the pro game.

They were practically running a wildcat offense based off the threat of a permanent option call to Tavon Austin on the reverse, or a run up the middle by Todd Gurley. The faith shown in their QB’s down the stretch was as minimal as I’ve ever witnessed in the NFL, and I think that’s more telling than anything. When the coaching staff was forced to put Foles or Keenum in a passing situation where they needed to make the play, they failed miserably… Time and time again.

Maybe the Rams trade up and snatch Goff so he can stay in Cali, but without a trade scenario in this mock I’m improving their chances of winning games by upgrading the most important position on the team.

Denver Broncos – With Colin Kaepernick apparently just a matter of a “few dollars’ away from joining the Broncos, a QB was no longer coveted in the first round. Denver takes advantage of the DL depth in this draft and snatches a nice value at 31. Spence could go much higher, but questions about his speed (4.8 combine) and character are a legitimate concern.

Feel free to comment if you have any suggestions, or even your own NFL Mock Draft to share!

 

Posted in NFL

NFL Combine

Top 10 DBs 40-Yard Dash Results

On the final day of the NFL Combine, we saw the DBs fly into action. It’s always an exciting day when the ultra-athletic defensive backs take to the field and this year was no different. Here we take a look at the 40-yard dash results from the top 10 performers at the position.

Jalen Ramsey came in with the highest of expectations as a sprinter and champion long jumper for the Seminoles track team, and hit a 40-inch vertical leap in high school.

He did not disappoint.

NFL Combine

At 6’1 209 lbs, a 4.41 40-yard dash is an excellent showing for Ramsey. He also finished first place in broad jump and vertical leap. But make no mistake, he is not just a workout warrior, The kid can ball. He is the top db in this class by a mile and is adept at playing cornerback or safety. His ability to make plays all over the field have many teams penciling him in at free safety next season, rather than limiting him to the boundary.

One of the nicest surprises of this years combine has been Houston’s William Jackson III. At 6’0 he has nice length, and put up the fourth best time 40 time at 4.37. He was already considered a second rounder, and now he may slide up into the first if a team likes his athletic package enough. He led the nation in pass defenses with 23 this season. I can see a team like the Patriots taking him, or the Raiders trading back in to try and get a nice value pick late.

40-yard dash winner Jonathan Jones is undersized for the corner spot these days, but his great speed may have just earned him a career. With questions about his overall ability to defend (especially at the next level), coming through with such a great time was crucial for the potential 5th round pick. He is now a certified draft worthy prospect.

Posted in CFB, NFL

Fanpicks.com College Football Bowl Game Preview

Chick-Fil-A Peach BOWL

Florida State vs. Houston

 

Fanpicks.com is proud to bring you the Peach Bowl game preview featuring Florida State against Houston.  This bowl game will be another close nail bitter with Florida State topping Houston 24-20.  Play the best fantasy college football contests at Fanpicks.com

 

Houston is looking for its second 13-win season in school history and some national respect when it faces Florida State in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 31 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Seminoles’ senior class is trying to become the first in FBS history to win 50 games in a four-year span. The Cougars own a 12-2-2 record against Florida State, but the teams haven’t met since 1978.

Florida State became the first team since Alabama in 2011 to hold each regular-season opponent to fewer than 25 points and is ranked fifth in scoring defense (15.8). The Seminoles is tough against the run, allowing 141.8 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns on the ground. Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr. (1,041 rushing yards, 19 TDs) and running backs Kenneth Farrow (949 yards, 12 TDs) and Ryan Jackson (353 yards, three TDs) powered the Cougars’ ground attack.

Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook led the ACC in rushing yards (1,658) and touchdowns (18) and finished the season with four straight 100-yard games. Houston was also solid defensively – ranked 19th in scoring defense (20.5 points) and 12th in rushing defense (116 yards) – but hasn’t faced a back as explosive at Cook. The Cougars were also second nationally with a plus-17 turnover margin after recording 30 takeaways.

 

HOUSTON Season Overview(12-1, 7-1 American Athletic Conference): Ward, who completed 68.1 percent of his passes for 2,590 yards, 16 TDs and five interceptions, leads FBS quarterbacks with 16 runs of at least 20 yards. Cornerback Brandon Wilson rushed for 181 yards and two scores in two starts in place of the injured Farrow (missed past two games with ankle injury) and Jackson (past four games, collarbone), but the duo returned to practice and should be available New Year’s Eve. Demarcus Ayers led the Cougars – who averaged 40.6 points – with 89 catches for 1,140 yards and six touchdowns.

FLORIDA STATE Season Overview (10-2, 6-2 ACC): Sean Maguire (90-of-145 for 1,128 yards, nine touchdowns, two interceptions) prepares to start his first bowl game after replacing Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson – who did not make the trip to Atlanta because of personal reasons – for the second half of the season. Cook has the most rushes of at least 20 yards among FBS running backs (22) while Kermit Whitfield (53 catches for 742 yards, six TDs) and Travis Rudolph (52, 715 yards, six) lead the receivers. Defensive end DeMarcus Walker was tied for second in the ACC with 10.5 sacks while the cornerback duo of Jalen Ramsey and Marquez White provide a solid secondary.

 

Posted in CFB