1-Arizona picked Kyler Murray

If you’re going to hire Kliff Kingsbury as your head coach, you might as well give him the QB he wants to run the system. This selection certainly has a bust factor to it, but he has electric ability that could be a paradigm changer. But Murray had better be good — and relatively fast — otherwise it could be trouble for GM Steve Keim.

2-San Francisco picked Nick Bosa

Arguably the best player in the draft, definitely no lower than third, Joey’s younger brother is a plug-and-play prospect. He may not be as big and athletic as his older brother, but they are virtually the same player.

3-New York Jets picked Quinnen Williams

The No. 1 player on our draft board, Williams is the total package. He’s big, strong, fast and can take over a game. As Missouri coach Barry Odom said, “You have to gameplan around him.” The Jets reportedly tried to trade this pick.

4-Oakland picked Clelin Ferrell

Solid player, military kid, winner, but No. 4? This is the Raiders not using group think and going with who they think is the best player on the board. They’re going to get crushed for picking a player most thought would go middle of the first round. They could have the last laugh. Or not.

5-Tampa Bay picked Devin White

A former running back, White is as tenacious as they come. He is a vicious hitter who flies all over the field, which is his biggest knock: Can he play under control? He has the potential to be the heartbeat of the Bucs defense from Day 1.

6-New York Giants picked Daniel Jones

So Giants fans … here is Eli Manning’s replacement. No. 56 on our board, this is the best GM Dave Gettleman can do? Could have had their choice of QB last year (outside of Baker Mayfield), but instead have opted for a player who didn’t complete 60-percent of his passes in college.

7-Jacksonville picked Josh Allen

Fell right into the Jaguars lap. Allen is a game-changing talent who forces offenses to account for his whereabouts. Allen is a sack machine who will work best if Jacksonville simply lets him loose.

8-Detroit picked T.J. Hockenson

Can catch and block, a rarity at tight end these days. The Lions will rely on him more for the latter to start, with the hope that A) he becomes a playmaker by Year 2 or 3 and B) isn’t Eric Ebron.

9-Buffalo picked Ed Oliver

Rare athleticism for a big man, the 281-pounder’s shuttle time was faster than Saquon Barkley’s. Seriously. The only knock is that he’s a bit undersized for a D-lineman. That said, Oliver’s play did lead the NCAA to make a rule change, so that’s something.

10-Pittsburgh picked Devin Bush

Via a trade with Denver, Steelers get an instinctive playmaker who can cover the field sideline-to-sideline. Bush is a superb leader who can fit in anywhere. Pittsburgh, in an effort to fill the gap left by Ryan Shazier’s injury, gave up their own first (20) a second this year and a third next year.

11-Cincinnati picked Jonah Williams

A detailed-obsessed film junkie, Williams can play every position on the O-line, save center. That gives the Bengals flexibility. Not a sexy pick, but Cincinnati can plug him in for the next eight to 10 years.

12-Green Bay picked Rashan Gary

Good for him, bad for Green Bay. A high-maintenance guy who isn’t a pass rusher. Doesn’t strike fear in opponents. This has bust written all over it.

13-Miami picked Christian Wilkins

Big, big athlete. Wilkins is a high-character guy who will make the Dolphins locker room better Day 1. He’s a versatile guy who will help shore up a bad rushing defense.

14-Atlanta picked Chris Lindstrom

No one moved up more through the draft process than Lindstrom thanks to a solid Senior Bowl. The best pass-blocking guard in the draft, he can step in and start immediately for the Falcons, who have a need at the guard position. Lindstrom may not be special, but he will be very good.

15-Washington picked Dwayne Haskins

Washington gets their QB, as Haskins becomes the third quarterback off the board. Big body, analytical, strong arm … Haskins seemingly has all the necessary tools. The Redskins would be wise to sit him for a year behind Case Keenum.

16-Carolina picked Brian Burns

Just 21, Burns has massive potential (No. 4 on our board) that he’s yet to unlock. The Panthers may need to give him some time to develop, but when he does he could be one of the league’s premier pass rushers.

17-New York Giants picked Dexter Lawrence

Notable: Daniel Jones would have been available with this pick. Lawrence becomes the third defensive linemen from Clemson off the board. Three years ago, he would have been a top-five pick with rare athleticism/size combination, but he comes with a lot of risk (see the PED suspension and nerve damage in his leg).

18-Minnesota picked Garrett Bradburry

He’s not big for an interior linemen, but he’s quick, agile (he is a former tight end) and smart. He has the goods to start immediately for the Vikings and stay there for the next decade.

19-Tennessee picked Jeffery Simmons

Character issues and an ACL tear are definite concerns surrounding Simmons. But if he turns out to be the guy he models his game after (J.J. Watt, sans the injuries), the Titans are getting a stud who can be a disruptor on the defensive line.

20-Denver picked Noah Fant

Second tight end off the board, second tight end off the board from Iowa (the first time that’s ever happened). He’s a better pass-catcher than blocker, but good luck putting a linebacker on him man to man.

21-Green Bay picked Darnell Savage Jr

They had to trade up to 21 to get Savage, who was 89th on our board? A nice player, but this is a questionable move by the Packers.

22-Philadelphia picked Andre Dillard

The Eagles traded up to fill a need, replacing Jason Peters. This is an excellent move by Philadelphia, who need to keep Carson Wentz healthy.

23-Houston picked Tytus Howard

A former high school quarterback who couldn’t bench 175 pounds once when he arrived at Alabama State. Can play both left and right tackle, who swapped between the two in games. Big question: Does the competition at Alabama St. transfer to the NFL?

24-Oakland picked Josh Jacobs

With Marshawn Lynch retiring, the Raiders fill a need at running back. It may have been an obvious pick, but it’s a solid one. He’s elusive and can catch the ball, key in Jon Gruden’s scheme.

25-Baltimore picked Marquise Brown

Lamar Jackson gets his home run threat. Brown, who will replace John Brown, is the first wide receiver off the board. The Ravens can utilize him all over the field: screens, deep, end arounds.

26-Washington picked Montez Sweat

Maybe the biggest question mark in this draft. Sweat’s talent as a defensive playmaker isn’t in question; his enlarged heart is. Some teams took him off their boards entirely. The Redskins clearly did not, trading up to get him. They paid a price (a second rounder this year and next), but they got a top-10 talent late in the first round.

27-Oakland picked Johnathan Abram

He is a junkyard dog, perfect for the Raiders. Hard worker in practice who will bring it every single day. He’s a decent cover player, but he is an enforcer who will make his presence known.

28-Los Angeles Chargers picked Jerry Tillery

A fascinating character, some call eccentric. Some question if he has other interests outside of football, but when he wants to turn it on, he can be a nasty dude. He will complement an already stout Chargers defensive front.

29-Seattle picked L.J. Collier

Some like him more than others. Collier is a rough-and-tumble power end to help replace Frank Clark. It’s an interesting pick for the Seahawks, but it remains to be seen if he can help get after QBs consistently.

30-New York Giants picked Deandre Baker

The Jim Thorpe Award winner brings his shutdown corner skills to the Giants, who are in a division that is looking up at Philadelphia. Baker doesn’t lack in confidence and isn’t afraid to say as much.

31-Atlanta picked Kaleb McGary

Falcons fortifying the right side of their offensive line after taking Chris Lindstrom earlier. It’s a huge win for Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones.

32-New England picked N’Keal Harry

A big, physical receiver who the Patriots have been on for awhile. Harry is a hard-working, high-character player, which means he’ll be perfect for Brady/Belichick.


Posted in NFL, Top Fantasy Picks

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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 Fantasy League

NFC West

One day, that is all that separate us from the 2016 NFL Draft, and it has yet to be determined who will go number one this year. There’s plenty of candidates, but there’s only one team with that significant pick. The Rams are in the midst of a major change. They will be relocating from St.Louis to Los Angeles starting next season. In fact, they will be making their return to the city of angels for the first time since 1994. This will increase their fanbase significantly. With a much higher population count, a wealthier metropolis and being the neighborhood of stardom, the Rams should do just fine there. They’ve already doubled in value from $1.5 billions to $2.9 billions, catapulting them in third place for the most expensive teams in the league. The number one pick, whoever that will turn out to be, will have an immediate popularity that will follow him in L.A. Does that mean that the other NFC West teams should be worried about this new franchise? What should they do? To maximize your selections for the NFL Draft Fantasy League contest, let’s find out what the NFC West teams needs are!

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona will have to be on the lookout for a high-pressure pass rusher. It would be time to look for younger option at defensive end rather than to bank on Frostee Rucker and Cory Redding for another few years. A young and talented middle linebacker with good size needs to be addressed as well. While Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu are already receiving much of the defensive backfield play time, adding an additional playmaker who’s formidable against the pass could definitely help the Cards.

Top 2 round picks: 29th selection.

Seattle Seahawks

Entering the draft, the Seahawks should covets playmaking secondary players. It would also be a possibility that they could look for some cornerback talents. Since moving Justin Britt to inside guard, Seattle needs to figure out who should helm the tackle spot opposite Russell Okung. The middle of the D-line looks empty since the loss of Brandon Mebane, and Bruce Irvin’s speed will also be missed off the edge of the second-tier. The Seahawks have made a tremendous job at building their defense through the draft, they are expected to do so again.

Top 2 round picks: 26th and 56th selections.

San Francisco 49ers

What to say about the saga that is Colin Kaepernick! New coach Chip Kelly as likely already set up a plan to grab a quarterback in the first-round. The offensive line woes will have to be attended to in the following rounds. The 49ers should also target some wide receivers to fit into Kelly’s offensive scheme. On the defensive side, linebackers would be needed.

Top 2 round picks: 7th and 37th selections.

Los Angeles Rams

Yet another draft where the Rams have to find a premium wide receiver, where they can build their passing game around. And even if they can find a true number one wide receiver, they will first need a quarterback. Finding some more cornerback and safety should help the team, especially with the departures of Rodney McLeod and Janoris Jenkins.

Top 2 round picks: 1st selection.

Posted in NFL

Fantasy Football Draft

AFC West

We are almost there, the day before the NFL draft. Things have been crazy with predictions on whom will be picked during the draft. But one thing is for sure, and that’s the fact that both the city of San Diego and Oakland will live to see another draft pick coming to play in their home stadiums. The AFC West Chargers had an unsuccessful 2015 season and will select early in this draft (3rd pick), unlike their divisional rivals and Superbowl champion Denver Broncos. The Manning-less team will be the last team to choose in the first-round, due to their post-season conquest. FanPicks gives you the chance to win $100,000 with their 2016 NFL Fantasy Football Draft Frenzy contest. Click on the link and follow the instruction to be part of the biggest NFL event of the summer.

Denver Broncos

Things doesn’t look as smooth with no Peyton Manning, and even Brock Osweiler in the Broncos lineup. They have yet to fill a starter for next season in that spot. Well, there no place like any to start looking than at the draft. Denver could look to add-in some help at guard and tackle within the initial four rounds. The losses of DT Malik Jackson and LB Danny Trevathan should be something to look at as well.

Top 2 round picks: 31st and 63rd selections.

Kansas City Chiefs

The re-signing of Tamba Hali allows the Chiefs to maintain a solid asset at linebacker position. But the future still needs to be addressed and a perfect fit could come knocking on Hali’s door. Another high-end defensive linesman could be useful K.C. The loss of Chase Daniels as the backup QB will need to be taking care of.

Top 2 round picks: 28th and 59th selections.

Oakland Raiders

Adding Kelechi Osemele to their ranks will certainly fortify the interior Raiders O-line. Yet, they will still need to improve at the tackle spot. Stabilizing the back-end with another tailback shouldn’t be hard to find in this draft. Okland will need to replace CB Sean Smith and S Charles Woodson. Bruce Irvin will add even more juice to the Raiders’ pass rush, but a little help at middle linebacker could be looked at in the middle-rounds.

Top 2 round picks: 14th and 44th selections.

San Diego Chargers

Philip Rivers can count on his fingers how many receivers he threw to over the last few year. One of his main target is NFL 13-years veteran Antonio Gates. In fact, they hold the NFL record for most TD’s between a quarterback to tight end. Unfortunately for them, this union has run his course and it could be time to find Gate’s replacement. The Chargers added safety Dwight Lowery to replace the departed Eric Weddle. Is that enough though? For the rest, San Diego will need to upgrade their offensive and defensive line for this season.

Top 2 round picks: 3rd and 35th selections.

Posted in NFL

NFC South

NFL Fantasy Draft Needs Preview

While the first wave of free agency is settling quietly, draft needs are clearer. Only a few days until the 2016 NFL Draft and the next 72 hours will be extremely busy strategically. With so many speculations going on in the league, FanPicks will be providing a special  draft contest for you starting on April 28th 2016. This NFL Fantasy Draft Needs preview is brought you by FanPicks.com.

Atlanta Falcons

With only 5 picks this draft, the Falcon’s priority should lie in getting more pass rush to pair up Vic Beasley off the edge. On top of that, their back end of their secondary could use a little help if their willing to get a safety. The question is however, how early in the draft would they make that movie? They need some kind of leader in defense to reminisce the last few years when they had some of the most talented linebacking corps in the league. They’ve been attempting to upgrade their offensive line aggressively but there’s still some room to improve in that sector.

Top 3 round picks: 17th and 50th, 81th selections.

Carolina Panthers

With Josh Norman gone and rescinding his franchise tag, this leaves a huge gap to fill at the cornerback position. Their GM is sure that their pass rush can make any cornerback look good, explaining his move on letting go Norman. They need to replace Charles Johnson in the long run at defensive end and will definitely try to get the best available player left at that position.

Top 3 round picks: 30th and 62nd, 93rd selections.

New Orleans Saints

New Orleans has had trouble stopping passing teams and despite 3rd round CB P.J. Williams being on the injured reserve list, they should try to find more talent for that position. They’ve had a track record of stockpiling picks but this year for the first time since 1997, will be trading down. As they tried to rebuild their base, they went from 9 picks in 2015 to only 6 picks this year to work with. Not only they need to strengthen defensively, but a big guy that could blow some holes for Mark Ingram and guard Drew Brees could put them back as threats in the league.

Top 3 round picks: 12th and 47th, 78th selections.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucks need to focus on defense since they just drafted one single defensive player the past 2 years. They should look for an athletic young replacement for Gosder Cherilus, something we may see in the first 2 or 3 rounds. Robert Ayers’s arrival may help at defensive end, but Tampa Bay could use more competition in the CB and Safety positions. Look out for them to really go full out on D this draft.

Top 3 round picks: 9th and 39th, 74th selections.

Posted in NFL

AFC South

NFL Fantasy Football Draft Needs Preview

The NFL Draft is quickly approaching and we’re less than a week away. This NFL Fantasy Football Draft Needs preview of all the AFC south teams is brought you by FanpPicks. FanPicks will be providing a special  draft contest for you starting on April 28th 2016.

Houston Texans

The Texans kind of lacked last season in terms of Wide Receiver and speed offensively. They filled their void with the signings of QB Brock Osweiler and RB Lamar Miller. Those additions will take off huge needs off the draft board for Houston. With Duane Brown coming back from a big enjury and their center spot still unsettled with the loss of Ben Jones, the Offensive line position will definitely is going to be looked over this draft.

Top 3 round picks: 23rd, 52nd, and 85th selections.

Indianapolis Colts

With franchise QB Andrew Luck missing 9 games last year and the Colts giving up 118 QB hits, an Offensive Line recruitment is critical and needs to be addressed quickly. With a few of their cornerbacks set to become free agents this offseason, they should look into recruiting in that position after taking care of the pass rush issue.

Top 3 round picks: 19th and 48th, 82nd selections.

Jacksonville Jaguars

With the addition of Malik Jackson and Dante Fowler’s return, the pass rush should be resolved for the Jaguars. But they definitely need to recruit more talent to be competitive in those secondary positions. They will definitely need to step up their running game as well and find the right fit to fill the interior.

Top 3 round picks: 5th and 38th, 69th selections.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans are set when it come to their defensive line but may recruit further talent with so many talented defensive linemen in the draft. They will also need to focus on their offensive tackle to build their QB’s confidence and protect him as well as solidify their offensive strategy.

Top 3 round picks: 15th and 43rd, 45th selections.

 

 

 

Posted in NFL

DFS NFL Draft

With the upcoming NFL Draft, it’s the time of year where we take a look at the weaknesses that could be fix with some new blood. We’ll take a look at what improvements could be made by each team during the draft. FanPick will be providing a special  draft contest  for you, starting on April 28th 2016.  Now let’s see what the NFC East teams want for the forthcoming  DFS NFL Draft.

Washington Redskins

Kirk Cousins has provided a nice boost at the QB position for the Redskins, finally solving the problem that had been lingering for a while. It’s not sure though that Cousins may be the long-term solution.  Washington will need to find the players to protect him for the time being, stuffing the offensive line with some young talents. A center could be an early round possibility for them. The front-end of their defense could need some fine-tuning as well.

Top 2 round picks: 21st and 53rd selections.

Philadelphia Eagles

Chip Kelly has left his mark on the Eagles, unfortunately it’s been for the wrong reasons. It was a mess of a 2015 season after he took charge of the team’s entire football operations. They will need to rebuilt from the ground up, starting with the DFS NFL Draft. First and foremost, the team will need to find a wide-receiver. Philadelphia once possessed a remarkable O-line. Well now it’s in need of an upgrade at both guard, despite the addition of RG Brandon Brooks, and at tackle positions also.  But most of all, their biggest need is for a reliable tailback to pair up with fellow running mate Ryan Matthews. 

Top 2 round picks: 2nd selection.

New York Giants

The Giants addressed it’s primary offseason need at defensive end, resigning Jason Pierre-Paul and adding Olivier Vernon. Now they need to find their boss man at middle linebacker. Adding another reliable target to take the heat off Odell Beckham is not out of the equation. Landon Collins works one of the safety position, they could find another in this draft. A dual-threat safety who can handle himself in coverage would be preferable.

Top 2 round picks: 10th and 40th selections.

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas could go for a bell cow type of player in the back-end of the attack. It could improve the rushing game, like the way it used to with DeMarco Murray. Tony Romo just keeps getting hurt, as-fact from his season-ending injury. A new heir to his long stand as Cowboys quarteback may be a higher priority now than it as ever been before. ”America’s team” has a solid offensive line, but his defensive one may be in need of an upgrade, especially at defensive tackle. 

Top 2 round picks: 4th and 34th selections. 

Posted in NFL

Fantasy Football NFL Draft

With the upcoming NFL Draft, it’s this time of the year where we take a look at the needs for every team this off-season to improve in the next few year. FanPick will be providing a special mock draft contest on April 28th 2016.  Let’s take a look at what requirements need to be addressed for the AFC East division teams in the fantasy football NFL Draft.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills were having issues with their offense this time last year. The upgraded offense is now the best part of the the team, while  their powerful defense took a dive this past season. Ooooh things have changed in Buffalo! Coach Rex Ryan needs to fix his defensive squad front seven. With Mario Williams gone, a defensive end is not a bad option. The Bills were also unable to re-sign Nigel Bradham. Is spot as linebacker will need to be fixed during the draft as well.

Top 2 round picks: 19th and 49th selections.

Miami Dolphins

Miami as a clear idea of his needs for the draft. First, they have to replace the hole left by running back Lamar Miller during the off-season. They also have two openings at corneback, one as a starter and the other one to play nickel. Another option would be at the guard position, but it should fall behind the previous two positions.

Top 2 round picks: 13th and 42nd selections.

New England Patriots

The Patriots have a short-term answer at the running back spot, which mean a young talent to refresh it is not out of the question. Coach Bill Belichick can never have enough cornerbacks on his squad. With 2014 first-round pick Dominique Easley released, a penetrating 3-technique could help on the inside of the defensive line. New England will unfortunately forfeit his first-round pick due to the deflate-gate debacle.

Top 2 round picks: 60th and 61st selections.

New York Jets

The Jets are likely to draft at least two starters for next year. An edge rusher who can develop into an every-down, 3-4 outside linebacker would be a possibility. The right side of the O-Line would need help as well, with right tackle Breno Giacomini and right guard Brian Winter not doing the job. They could also pursue a quarterback, especially if Ryan Fitzpatrick stay unsigned until then.

Top 2 round picks: 20th and 51st selections.

 

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 Draft

Top 10 WRs

With the NFL Draft now less than a month away, I present to you my first edition of my top 10 positional rankings.

You will notice I have 12 players listed here, but that’s just in honor of the depth this draft class possesses at the receiver position. While there are no Calvin Johnson’s or Julio Jones’ in this group, there are more than a handful of legitimate prospects with the potential to become impact players at the next level.

Laquon Treadwell is the consensus number one, and though many will point to his stop watch time (4.65) with doubt, it’s his fluidity and game tape that put him in pole position.

topwrsdraft

Baylor’s Corey Coleman has been under heavy scrutiny for his apparent lack of overall skills. He ran a limited route-tree in college, so word of bad route-running and only possessing straight-line speed has surfaced. He also has drop issues, especially in the middle of the field. He ran a 4.37 at his Pro Day and scored 20 TDs through the first eight games of the 2015 season, so going deep is no issue. The issue is that he didn’t score any in the next four games and never came close to 100 yards again. If college teams can figure out how to shut him down, NFL defenses will without breaking a sweat. But if he lands with the right team, those same defenses will be sweating just watching the film on him.

Will Fuller also has the speed (4.32) but as one scout and former NFL receiver said “I hear the DeSean Jackson comparison and I can’t get there. DeSean was faster, tougher and more reliable than Fuller. I’m not saying Fuller can’t play, but I don’t think he’s DeSean.”

Josh Doctson is of a different mold. More of a possession type receiver with the ability to go up and snag the ball out of the air. The Minnesota Vikings seem really interested in what TCU product has to offer, as would he be a great compliment to their young receiving core. An immediate starting job on the outside seems to be in Doctson’s future.

Sterling Shepard rounds out my top five (for this edition anyway). The Sooner may leave something to be desired in terms of measurements, but definitely leaves nothing on the field in terms of effort. The 5’10 slot man not only comes with a ferocious hunger to make plays, but the talent to execute them. I see shades of Steve Smith all over this one.

Posted in NFL

NFL Combine: Winners

The NFL combine has come and gone, so toss out those pre-combine mock drafts and reconsider life as we know it. Every year mock drafts are completely re-written post combine due to both great, and disappointing performances from the hopeful athletes.

Every year players get lumped into various categories. Two of the major ones would be workout warriors, and “football players”. Ideally you find a nice balance of the two and feel safer projecting them at the next level.

Here is a list of good football players who had nice workouts to boot, they will surely be at the least, solid pros in the NFL.

Winners

QB Carson Wentz – Showed off his ability to make all the throws – with a ton of zip to boot. As one anonymous NFL scout said  “This guy’s unique. He’s just different. And obviously, he’s 6-5, 230, and can spin it like a mother.”

He ran an impressive 4.77 in the 40-yard dash, real nice for a 6’5 230 lb QB (2nd at the position), and also put up a 3-cone drill of 6.86 seconds, one of only four quarterbacks to accomplish it in under 7 seconds. He will most likely go number 2 overall to Cleveland.

QB Jeff Goff – Put on a passing clinic for everyone in attendance. Wentz may have the better measurables, but many believe Goff is the better thrower. Played at Cal, so he’s seen the bright lights and pressure that comes with the position. Certainly a top 10 pick, and while the Browns like their man, Goff could be the better player down the line. The right fit in the NFL could turn him from a potential serviceable starter to a perennial Pro-Bowler.

WR Braxton Miller – While fans may have felt let down by his 40 time at the NFL Combine, his 60-yard shuttle, 20-yard shuttle, 3-cone drill results were among the elite. His performance confirmed what we saw on on film and why we believe he can make the transition to wide receiver, when so many before him haven’t.

Aside from his competitive drive, he has outstanding feet and explosion in those legs.  He will be a fine route runner once he learns the nuances of the position by translating those skills into separation from DBs at the top of his routes. Get the ball in his hands around the short to intermediate areas and he will find success in the NFL. Update* He ran a 4.33 at his pro day.

BraxtonMillerfanpicks

 

Posted in CFB, 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

NFL Combine Day 2

Day 2 of the NFL Combine has come and gone, and as usual there was drama and excitement of all kinds. Even a couple of staff members got into it.

The athletes had their ups and downs, notably a major down for Ohio State QB Cardale Jones who pulled his hamstring and is done for the remainder of the combine. Christian Hackenberg was terribly inaccurate during his throwing session, but did run a respectable 4.78 40-yard dash. Positively, Jeff Goff had a fantastic day throwing, as did Carson Wentz. Wentz also ran an impressive 4.77 40-yard dash, when you consider he measured in at 6’5 237 lbs. The latter two are considered the classes top QBs and probably top 10 picks.

The Wide Receivers…

The wide outs ran their 40’s today, and we had some surprises. Mike Mayock says this is the slowest group of WR’s we’ve maybe ever seen, and they are all “quicker than fast”. Laquon Treadwell didn’t run, but is still considered the top player at his position.

Here is the Top 10…plus the next two since they are very notable names.

Top10WR40s

Braxton Miller was probably Day 2 of the combine’s biggest surprise. While folks are still high on him, the Buckeyes converted QB was expected to run somewhere in the 4.3 range. His 4.5 flat (best) was disappointing to say the least. There was claims he ran a 4.36 as a QB for Ohio State, so after training so long as a wide receiver he would be even faster. That wasn’t the case, but his physicality and quickness are what make him a good WR anyway. He can be an NFL team’s number 2 WR one day soon. I see many first-down conversions in the future for this converted competitor.

Notre Dame’s Will Fuller unsurprisingly was among the events top performers. Impressively, he finished at the top medal standings.

TCU’s Josh Doctson is in the discussion as a top 3 pick at his position. His 40 time will definitely lower his draft stock, and now is a mid-to-late first round pick at best.

Posted in CFB, NFL