By Ryan Crawford
Welcome to the 2016 NFL Draft. Just like 2015 it looks like quarterbacks go 1 and 2 and the top talent slides a little. Without further adieu, lets get this party started.
- LOS ANGELES RAMS (from Tenn) – Jared Goff – QB – California
This is a pretty easy choice for the average draft prognosticator, as the Rams did not trade up to the number one spot so they could draft defense or a tackle. They want to make a big splash as they move to LA and they feel Goff is the natural choice to lead the franchise to the west coast. Les Snead and Jeff Fishers job security will be tied to Goff’s development and overall success but they feel they have a good defense and plenty of offensive weapons to put around him. There are many who feel that Carson Wentz is a more natural fit for their offense but it seems clear that the Rams have settled on the California kid with the big arm and a high ceiling.
- PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (from Cle) – Carson Wentz – QB – North Dakota St
Like the Rams, the Eagles did not move up to this spot to take anyone other than a quarterback. Wentz is the clear-cut choice at number 2. These two QB’s are really 1 and 1A and ewrrword is the Eagles are more in love with Wentz anyway. He’s big and strong, makes every throw and can avoid trouble with his legs. The only question has become whether Sam Bradford will be there with him for the first year or two. Looks like the answer to that is probably not.
- SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – DeForest Buckner-DT-Oregon
Once the Rams and Eagles jumped up to be in position to grab the two quarterbacks, the Chargers ended up in the enviable position of being able to choose the best player in the draft who was not a QB. In the weeks leading to draft night the prevailing sentiment was that although they already had two tackles, Laremy Tunsil would be too good to pass up. However word has filtered out in the last few days that the Chargers are thoroughly smitten with DeForest Buckner and he clearly plays a need position for the team. Unless this is an elaborate smokescreen to get a team to give up a couple of picks to move into that slot, I am going to take the bait and give Buckner to the Chargers. What does make sense to me would be if Jacksonville or Baltimore wanted to jump Dallas for Jalen Ramsey then the Chargers could get a pick and still grab Buckner at 5 or 6. Unless Dallas loves Buckner too?? Hmmmm…
- DALLAS COWBOYS – Jalen Ramsey-CB-Florida State
No matter which way they go the Cowboys should get a great prospect. To me the most natural fit for them is Ramsey. He and Tunsil are generally regarded as the top two talents in this draft and he fills a big need for the Cowboys at the same time. He can play safety or corner and can match up positionally based on the opponent that week. I could see teams trying to jump to number 3 or 4 to get him. In the end I think he is the Cowboys pick. On another note the Cowboys can use a running back in the draft and I’m sure they like Ezekial Elliott but I think the chatter of picking him at 4 is purely a smokescreen to hide their true target.
- JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Joey Bosa– DE– Ohio State
I don’t see Jacksonville picking in this spot. I could see them jumping up to 3 or more probably trading down for a couple of picks. Miami for Elliott and Tennessee for Tunsil or Stanley seem to be the most logical trading partners. If they stay at 5, they can decide between Joey Bosa and Myles Jack. I will give them Bosa because Jack’s knee problem might scare them off.
- BALTIMORE RAVENS – Laremy Tunsil- T- Mississippi
Well it looks like 2015 all over again when the top rated talent falls to the 6th pick in the draft. Ozzie Newsome always picks the highest guy on his board and you can’t get much higher than Tunsil. The Ravens will be thrilled to plug this guy in for the next 10 years.
- SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Ronnie Stanley-T- Notre Dame
Ronnie Stanley has steadily risen up the draft board and rumors have him going even higher than 7 to the Niners. The 49ers have been more decimated by injuries, defections and early retirements than any team I can remember so they need to start from scratch. To me that means building up the lines and Stanley is a great start.
- CLEVELAND BROWNS (from Phi) – Josh Doctson- WR- TCU
A surprise pick for many draft pundits but after all it is the Cleveland Browns. With Josh Gordon out yet again, the Browns have a glaring need at Wide Receiver and this guy has all the tools. At the end of the day I do not expect the Browns to be picking in this slot but rather a few spots further down. Still, I think Doctson is their man.
- TAMPA BAY BUCS – Vernon Hargreaves- CB- Florida
The Bucs need some work in their secondary and would love to get their hands on Jalen Ramsey. That doesn’t appear likely so the 2nd corner on draft lists is Vernon Hargreaves who would be a great fit. Other needs for Tampa are a pass rusher, the offensive line and another wide receiver. Chatter around about them trading down to the middle of the round as well. Tennessee a candidate at 15.
- NEW YORK GIANTS – Jack Conklin- T- Michigan State
A big nasty tackle to help keep Eli Manning upright. Doesn’t have the athletic ability of Tunsil or Stanley but will make up for it with toughness and a mean streak that allows him to get the job done. Giants GM Jerry Reece is under a lot of pressure to have a good draft and this guy is a nice start
- CHICAGO BEARS – Myles Jack – LB- UCLA
His bum knee caused this drop to 11. Fully healthy, Jack would have easily been a top 5 pick. The Bears check him out medically, clear him and then pounce on him. Another possibility for the Bears is to move this pick in a deal with the Jets for Muhammad Wilkerson but that seems to have lost some steam
- NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Sheldon Rankins-DT- Louisville
The buzz is that the Saints have their eye on Paxton Lynch as a long-term successor to Drew Brees. While I think that Lynch is a good prospect, the Saints defense cannot stop anyone and they cannot afford the luxury of drafting a player in the first round who will sit and learn for two or three years. A more likely scenario is that they pick up a run stuffer who can also rush the passer like Rankins and pick up a QB prospect on day 2 of the draft.
- MIAMI DOLPHINS (from Phi) – Ezekiel Elliott- RB- Ohio State
Elliott is the wildcard of the draft. You can see his name in mock drafts going anywhere from the Cowboys at 4 to Texans at 22. When the Dolphins tell everyone they are comfortable with their stable of running backs, they are blowing smoke. I think at the end of the day Elliott will be a Dolphin. We will see what pick they take him with.
- OAKLAND RAIDERS – Shaq Lawson – DE – Clemson
The Raiders are building a ferocious defense with speed and power, which was always the Al Davis way. Adding another player to rush the passer off the edge only makes them more difficult to stop. Lawson is a powerful rusher who makes plays. Corner is another possibility here with William Jackson III the most likely candidate.
- TENNESSEE TITANS (from LA) – Taylor Decker -T- Ohio State
The Titans are in the market to move back up into the top 10 to draft one of the offensive tackles to protect Mariota. If they aren’t successful in their attempt they will settle for Decker. Decker is a very highly rated prospect in a deep pool and can be plugged in from the first day of camp.
- DETROIT LIONS – Laquon Treadwell- WR-Mississippi
The Lions really need to replace Calvin Johnson and rebuild parts of their offensive line. The top 4 tackles are gone but Treadwell is still on the board. Treadwell is a gifted receiver who plays faster than his 40 time and provides a much-needed big target for Matthew Stafford.
- ATLANTA FALCONS – Leonard Floyd- LB- Georgia
Falcons are pleased and surprised that Floyd drops to them at 17. Another pass rusher for Dan Quinn’s schemes should help improve a Falcons defense that was torched in the second half of 2015.
- INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – Noah Spence- DE/OLB- Eastern Kentucky
When is the last time the Colts had a good defense? Wasn’t Bubba Smith on that team? This guy can rush the passer and although he had some past issues that gave him that dreaded “Red Flag”, word is he’s past that and checked out clean for all the teams. The Colts have also been linked to Ryan Kelly and the 4 top tackles if they slip down as they need to protect Andrew Luck better than they have been.
- BUFFALO BILLS – Paxton Lynch- QB- Memphis
Leave it to Rex to spoil the Jets plans at 20. Not sold that the Jets were on Lynch as much as others are but I don’t have to be. Only Rex has to be. Lynch is a very good prospect with a cannon and quick feet and the Bills need a top flight QB to compliment their defense. It will take him a year or two to be ready but this pick should pay dividends down the road.
- NEW YORK JETS – Darron Lee – LB- Ohio State
Jets need an edge rusher with speed to help the defense and Jets can figure on whichever edge rusher the Falcons don’t choose. Lee has been a demon for the Buckeyes and will fill his role nicely in Todd Bowles’ defense
- WASHINGTON REDSKINS – Jarran Reed -DT- Alabama
The Redskins were 28th in rushing yards allowed per game last season and a run stuffer in the middle of their 3-4 defense is a must. Adding a top prospect like Jarran Reed to the mix can only help.
- HOUSTON TEXANS – Corey Coleman- WR- Baylor
It’s no secret that the Texans are in the market for a new receiver for Brock Osweiler to throw to. Corey Coleman is a speedster who can stretch the field for Osweiler and open things up for DeAndre Hopkins. A good choice for the Texans
- MINNESOTA VIKINGS- Michael Thomas – WR- Ohio State
The Minnesota Vikings are next on line for a wide receiver. Will Fuller is next man up at the position and I originally had him going to the Vikings but he’s a 170 pound burner and Thomas seems to be a better fit. The Vikings are looking for a big physical receiver and at 6’3 and 212 pounds, Keyshawn Johnson’s nephew has the size and the bloodlines.
- CINCINNATI BENGALS – Ryan Kelly -C- Alabama
A hot name who is moving up on many draft boards, Kelly is a plug and play guy who could play center or guard in the NFL. The Bengals can use interior linemen to help protect Andy Dalton and generate more of a running game. Kelly makes a lot of sense for the Bengals but he could go earlier.
- PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Karl Joseph- S – West Virginia
Many of the so called experts seem to be tying the knot between Joseph and the Steelers. The Steelers secondary is a mess and they have been looking for Troy Polamalu’s replacement for two years. Joseph is next up to fill that huge void in the Steeler lineup. One of the top corners like Apple, Jackson or Alexander are strong possibilities here as well. One thing seems for sure. The Steelers will be picking someone to play in their defensive backfield.
- SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Germain Ifedi- T- Texas A&M
The toughest pick to figure out. The Seahawks have talent everywhere and have picked the best available athlete under this regime. Their top needs include a young corner, help on the offensive line and a speed rushing linebacker to replace Bruce Irvin. Ifedi seems to be drawing the Seahawks attention and he’s the pick here.
- GREEN BAY PACKERS – A’Shawn Robinson -DT- Alabama
The Packers are in the market for players that fit into their front seven. The Packers have been linked to 3 Alabama players in Robinson, Reggie Ragland and Jarran Reed but Reed is gone and Robinson can replace BJ Raji. They would love to line up Darron Lee opposite Clay Matthews but would have to move up a few spots to get him and Ted Thompson has a tendency to stay put. Ragland would have been the pick but late reports of an enlarged aorta probably drop him out of the first round
- KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Vernon Butler-DT-Louisiana Tech
The Chiefs are in the market for linebackers, wide receivers and defensive line help. I think it comes down to Will Fuller at the receiver slot and Vernon Butler to anchor the line inside. The choice is Butler.
- ARIZONA CARDINALS – Kevin Dodd – DE- Clemson
The Cardinals need secondary help and an edge rusher to help their defense. Dodd is the best edge rusher still available and would be a nice fit for the Cardinals D. Chatter has them trading down to add a pick or two.
- NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – N/A
Forfeited the pick in deflategate but don’t be surprised if Belichick and company make a draft splash and move into the lower half of the round.
- CAROLINA PANTHERS ––Eli Apple- CB – Ohio State
With Josh Norman gone to Washington and three of the top rated corners still on the board, this becomes a choice of not which position, but which corner. Mackensie Alexander and William Jackson would be good picks but we will go with Eli Apple.
- DENVER BRONCOS –- Dak Prescott – QB –Mississippi State
While we all know that doing a mock draft is basically educated guessing, this pick is anything but educated. It’s purely a guess and a hunch on my part. Watching Prescott throughout his college career, the thing that I took away was his toughness and his ability to escape the defensive rush. Did I hear someone say Russell Wilson? Maybe that was the little voice in my head but the Broncos do need a QB, right?
By Brett Malamud
Here’s some tips as your fantasy football playoff race heats up in week 11:
The Coop Troop
Starting Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper this week will be vital to your team’s success, and I’ll even name him my Start of the Week. Cooper has been an extremely reliable option at wideout thus far, and the last few weeks are proof of that. In his last three weeks, Cooper has been targeted 31 times. This number makes it very intriguing to play him, considering the recent success of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (who should be started as well). The Detroit Lions defense have given up at least 73 yards to seven out of the nine top receivers they’ve faced this season, so Cooper is expected to have a big day.
It’s been a while since Danny Amendola was a reliable fantasy wide receiver option. You’d have to go back to his days in St. Louis to compare the hype that he’s been getting this week. Amendola will have the opportunity to return that level after the losses of pass catching running back Dion Lewis and wide receiver Julian Edelman. This obviously gives a major boost to a player like tight end Rob Gronkowski, who will certainly see an increase in targets. I’m looking at Amendola to step up though, especially after having 10 catches last week. I’d definitely play Amendola as a flex this week.
This week marks the return of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to the starting lineup. Not much to say here. He’s going to have a nice day against a struggling Miami Dolphins team.
Don’t(e) Play Donte
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief is my buyers beware player of the week this week. Of the five touchdowns that Moncrief has this week, every one has been from quarterback Andrew Luck, who is prepared to come back in mid-December. The last time that Matt Hasselback started for the Colts, Moncrief had just one catch. Plus there’s the fact that the Falcons have been great against opposing wide receivers. I’d keep Moncrief on the bench, as you probably have a better option.
Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy
By Brett Malamud
Happy Halloween! We’ve taking the Take it to the Bank report this week and giving it a Halloween feel with today’s section: Trick or Treat! Use this section as you look to this week and beyond as you set your fantasy football lineups.
Trick: Charcandrick West
Yes, many people had Jamaal Charles in their running back slot and are looking to West to produce. Yes, West had a big game last week, rushing for 110 yards and a touchdown. Yes, I did say to pick him up (and he should be picked up), but I’m not that big on him. This player is not a RB1, and I’m not sure he’s a reliable RB2 option. You can’t judge a book by its cover, and you can’t judge West by one big game. He’ll probably have a good game this week, but don’t expect huge numbers every week.
Treat: Gurley Owners
Gurley owners that stuck through the thick and thin are now grinning at the results. Gurley has been the league’s most productive player, especially in an offense that has become run-heavy. Continue to enjoy Gurley having big games almost every week.
Trick: The Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are an interesting story. Yes they took a heartbreaking loss to the Giants last week, letting the Giants return a kickoff for a touchdown just after tying the game. But they also found new life in running back Darren McFadden. With Joseph Randle possibly out for a few games due to violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, the Cowboys will look to McFadden, Christine Michael and Rod Smith. Flashback to a week ago when Jason Garrett planned on making Michael the starter. Yeah, so that didn’t happen, and you can look elsewhere for a better running back on your team. McFadden however is a flex play at best this weekend as the Cowboys welcome in the Seattle Seahawks, so don’t be tricked by last week’s big performance.
Treat: The New York Jets
The Jets are another interesting story. The offseason changed everything for them, bringing in cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, along with wide receiver Brandon Marshall and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Many members of the New York media propelled them to Super Bowl contenders. Then the season came, and Geno Smith got punched in the jaw by his now-former teammate I.K. Enemkpali, sending the Jets predictions out the window. There was no way that Ryan Fitzpatrick could pick up the pieces right? Wrong. The Jets headed into New England last week at 4-1. They played till the final whistle and although they sit at 4-2, look at their schedule. Eight out of their remaining 10 games come against teams that are currently at or below .500 and that should be looked at closely. Fitzpatrick should be looked at if he’s still available in your leagues, and Brandon Marshall and Chris Ivory should be starting in your lineup. The defense should be starting most if not all weeks. If you want that sneaky play, look to Eric Decker, as teams are focused on stopping Brandon Marshall.
Trick: The New York Giants
While I’d like to stick the entire NFC East in the tricks section, I’m not going to do that because I’m not that mean. But I will stick the Giants in here with the Cowboys because of their fantasy impact. I understand that the team is 4-3, but with a lot of tough teams (looking at you AFC East and Carolina Panthers) coming up on their schedule, it’s not really an ideal situation. I definitely do not trust any of the Giants running backs, and other than Odell Beckham Jr., I don’t trust any of their wide receivers. I’d consider Ruben Randle in deeper leagues, but only if you don’t have other options due to the bye week. Quarterback Eli Manning certainly cannot be trusted in fantasy leagues, compiling just 14 fantasy points in ESPN standard leagues over the last two weeks. I’d look elsewhere for impactful fantasy players.
Treat: San Diego Chargers Tight Ends
So Antonio Gates came into the season off a four game suspension, and immediately made a major impact. Gates had two touchdowns in his first game back, and has had 90+ receiving yards in both games that he has played in. But with a sprained MCL, the Chargers looked to Ladarius Green and he has been contributing all season. Quarterback Philip Rivers loves to throw to his tight ends, and while Gates is taken in most leagues, Green isn’t so pick him up now.
Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy
By Brett Malamud
Football fans, your day has come. Today marks the the start of the NFL season. For many teams comes a fresh start, a clean slate. For others, comes a window of opportunity. As is tradition, the opening day of any of the big four sports leagues means that it is time for me to unveil my season outlook. Here’s my division and playoff picks for this year.
|New England Patriots||11-5*|
|New York Jets||9-7*|
NE- Tom Brady’s “suspension” would have been a major blow but now that they’ll have him for all 16 games, the Patriots are the team to beat.
NYJ- The Jets made some major acquisitions this offseason in Revis, Cromartie and Brandon Marshall, just to name a few. Losing Geno Smith for a few weeks will hurt, but with an easy schedule, the Jets will coast.
MIA- The Dolphins defense will carry them, but ultimately the AFC East will be run by the Patriots and Jets.
BUF- Last year I wrote: “Sammy Watkins could be a great addition but it doesn’t mean anything if he doesn’t have a strong QB.” The same holds true for this season. LeSean McCoy will help, but they’ll need that next level quarter back if they want to take the next step.
PIT- This Steelers offense will be ready to go deep into the playoffs
BAL- I feel like the Ravens have an easy schedule right in the middle of the season, but at the end of the season they won’t be able to get it done.
CIN- Andy Dalton and AJ Green will carry the team, but will fall just short of the playoffs.
CLE- I’m not sure that Johnny Football and Josh McCown have what it takes to bring the Browns very far. They’ll struggle.
IND- Last year’s prediction: “Andrew Luck will lead one of the top offenses in the league on a journey that could go deep into the playoffs.” Ditto this season.
HOU- I think that this is the year that Houston takes the next step. This will be a fun defense to watch. Watt rushing from one side, Clowney from the other side, and Wilfork up the middle. Scary.
JAX- They still have much room to improve but Bortles will be good this year.
TEN- Marcus Mariota will help, but not in this division.
|San Diego Chargers||9-7*|
|Kansas City Chiefs||8-8|
DEN- I think that Peyton is still a top quarterback, and he’ll carry them back to the playoffs again.
SD- Philip Rivers will have another good year, and Melvin Gordon will be a top 10 rusher.
KC- I like this team but can’t take them to go into the playoffs. Jamaal Charles will be a top 5 rusher though.
OAK- Another year, another tough schedule. Sorry Raiders fans but the AFC West is tough.
|New York Giants||10-6*|
NYG- This is the year of the Giants. I think that Eli is back (Yes, really.) and OBJ will have another huge year.
PHI- I really like the Eagles this year. Sam Bradford is due for a great year and the running game led by DeMarco Murray will dominate the league
DAL- The Cowboys will be ok this year. The loss of DeMarco Murray will show though.
WAS- A QB controversy will overshadow this season, and that will be the downfall of this Redskins squad.
|Green Bay Packers||12-4*|
GB- Aaron Rogers will be the top NFC QB. Period. He’ll lead the Jordy Nelson-less Packers on another deep playoff run.
MIN- AP is back and that means big things for the VIkings. Teddy Bridgewater must rise to the occasion though.
DET- The loss of Suh will hurt but not too much. Matt Stafford will still lead the Lions offense to a seven win season.
CHI- Brandon Marshall is gone. While many Bears fans think it’ll be a good thing, I’m saying that it won’t be. They’ll struggle.
|New Orleans Saints||10-6*|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5-11|
NO- I think that the Saints will be the top team here.
ATL- I believe they’ll scratch their way to .500
CAR- Kelvin Benjamin will be missed. Not sure that Cam Newton can get much done without him.
TB- Jameis Winston will come in and will be pretty good. Not to many pieces around him though
|St. Louis Rams||7-9|
|San Francisco 49ers||4-12|
SEA- They’re still elite. The addition of Jimmy Graham doesn’t hurt either.
ARI- It’ll be interesting to see this team. Carson Palmer is aging though and so is Larry Fitzgerald
STL- Nick Foles comes in and I like him this season. Todd Gurley will make noise when he plays too.
SF- Carlos Hyde will power this team. Kaepernick won’t. Since their entire defense left, I’ll take them out of the playoff picture.
*Denotes that the team will clinch a playoff spot
I’m going to take the Colts over the Patriots
I think that the Colts get to the Super Bowl after a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship.
Packers over Seahawks
I know. I’m big on the Packers this year, but for good reason. Eddie Lacy gets it done in Seattle and powers the Packers into the Super Bowl.
SUPER BOWL XLIX
Colts over Packers
In a battle of the QB’s, Andrew Luck comes out on top. TY Hilton catches three touchdowns and is named Super Bowl MVP.
I hope that everyone enjoys this NFL season. Stay tuned in to Dabuzzza this season as we bring you weekly analysis and fantasy football picks.
Brett Malamud is a English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy
By Ryan Crawford
So everyone figures Tampa Bay will grab a QB with the first pick so the hot spot for this draft is the Titans at #2. While most expect the second QB to fall here, the question is who will make the selection. Mock #2 is here now…
1. TAMPA BAY BUCS – Jameis Winston – QB –Florida State
The thought process behind the pick is simple. Which Quarterback has the most upside. A few well respected draft analysts have moved Marcus Mariota ahead of Jameis but most still have Winston as the top ranked QB on the board. I think Lovie Smith goes with the chalk and makes Winston the pick.
2. TENNESSEE TITANS – Leonard Williams – DT – USC
The prevailing thought is that Mariota gets picked in this spot. Rumors have San Diego trading Rivers here or the Browns, Rams or Jets trading packages of picks. While I think there will be a significant amount of movement in this draft the guess is that Tennesse stays put. If Tennessee is not sold on Mariota they will try to move down but since the Jaguars, Raiders and Redskins don’t need Quarterbacks at three, four and five the Titans need to go lower. They could look to the Jets at six or the Rams at 10. Not sure the Jets want to spend to move up and I don’t think the Titans want to go too low so look for the Titans to sit tight and take the stud they want at #2. Williams is the top talent in the draft and fills a huge need in the middle of the Titans defensive line.
3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS- Amari Cooper-WR-Alabama
Jaguars are looking to upgrade on defense and everyone is putting an edge rusher in this spot but the Jaguars drafted a franchise quarterback last year and why wouldn’t you get him a stud receiver when you are in a position to do so. It just makes too much sense. The choice comes down to Cooper and White but the Jags go with the more polished Cooper.
4. OAKLAND RAIDERS – Kevin White-WR-West Virginia
The Raiders figured with the two quarterbacks going one-two and an edge rusher to the Jags they would have their choice of the two players they covet, Leonard Williams or Amari Cooper. That’s why you can’t read mock drafts. Once they get over their disappointment they will come to the conclusion that there are still a few potential #1 receivers available and Kevin White is the best of them.
5. WASHINGTON REDSKINS– Dante Fowler – DE/OLB – Florida
The Redskins desperately want to trade out of the 5th spot and add a couple of picks but with Fowler still available I’m not so sure that happens. Word is he’s the top defensive player on their board and they do need an immediate replacement for Brian Orakpo.
6. NEW YORK JETS – Marcus Mariota- QB- Oregon
The Jets also want to trade for more picks but will have a difficult decision if Mariota is still available. Trade possibilities would probably exist with the Rams at 10 and the Browns at 12 which would allow them to add picks and defense. The defensive minded new head coach Todd Bowles would probably like that scenario but another go round with Geno Smith might preclude it from happening. The Jets take the quarterback..
7. CHICAGO BEARS – Vic Beasley-DE-Clemson
Beasley and Bud Dupree are the two fastest risers on draftboards across the country. This is what I wrote in my first mock draft back in March, “Watching the Bears play defense last season was somewhat frightening for Bears fans”. That has not changed in the off-season so put two and two together and send Beasley to Chicago. If Cooper or White drop they could be in play as well.
8. ATLANTA FALCONS – Bud Dupree- DE/OLB- Kentucky
The other riser on draft boards, Dupree is the freakathlete. He ran a 4.56 40, has a 42 inch vertical leap and did a 138 inch broad jump. At 6’4 and 269 lbs. he can become a game wrecker at the next level.
9. NEW YORK GIANTS – Brandon Scherff– Tackle- Iowa
The Giants most important job is to keep Eli Manning upright so he is able to get the ball to Odell Beckham Jr, Victor Cruz and Ruben Randle. The Cowboys have shown the importance of continuing to beef up the offensive line and the Giants can take a lesson from their arch rival. Another possibility here is Trae Waynes as the Giants will need to address the secondary at some point.
10. ST LOUIS RAMS – Devante Parker- WR- Louisville
The Rams really need a receiver and there is an elite one still on the board. Parker is rated only a smidge below Cooper and White as he does not drop the ball and gets up high to reel in the tough ones. At 6’3 and running a 4.45 he uses his size and speed to his advantage. An easy choice.
11. MINNESOTA VIKINGS – Andrus Peat – T- Stanford
The Vikings are a team that could look to move up a few spots to secure one of the big 3 receivers. In this mock they need to get past the disappointment of losing out on the receivers and work on their offensive line. Andrus Peat is a smart choice for them. The 6’7 313lb Peat might be the top tackle prospect in the draft.
12. CLEVELAND BROWNS – Danny Shelton – DT- Washington
Another team that has major concerns at the wide receiver spot with Josh Gordon being a major question mark, the Browns too could move up some. What makes more sense would be for the Browns to choose the massive Shelton and help their porous defense.
13. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Trae Waynes- CB- Michigan State
Most mock drafts have the Saints taking edge rushers and defensive linemen but the Saint secondary is lacking and Waynes is the top cover corner in the draft.
14. MIAMI DOLPHINS – La’El Collins – T – LSU
Collins is a mauler at 6’5 and 322 lbs and the Dolphins are in dire need of another top lineman. A potentially nasty left tackle in front of Ryan Tannehill fills a big need in Miami. If recent legal problems push Collins down then Ereck Flowers becomes a real possibility
15. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Arik Armstead–DE/DT–Oregon
There are rumors everywhere that the 49ers will trade down to add picks as the team has been decimated by injuries, retirements and defections from all areas, especially on defense. If they stay here look for them to address the defensive line and Armstead projects to be a good one.
16. HOUSTON TEXANS – Breshad Perriman- WR-Central Florida
The Texans biggest need is a wide receiver to replace Andre Johnson. Perriman is the son of former Miami Hurricane, New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions receiver Brett Perriman. The younger Perriman has been charging up draft boards for the past month and has a solid 1st round grade from most scouts. At 6’2 and 212 lbs with blinding 4.24 speed, Breshad is a great fit for the Texans.
17 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – Todd Gurley- RB- Georgia
Somewhat of a wildcard in the draft, Gurley has shown up in mock drafts everywhere from 6 to 36. Considered one of the top Running Back prospects of the last 10 years the comparisons have ranged from Marshawn Lynch to Adrian Peterson. The torn ACL he suffered last season has been given a clean bill of health so that will just keep moving him up. Don’t be surprised if he goes higher but the Chargers will be thrilled if he is available.
18 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Kevin Johnson- CB- Wake Forest
The can really use a young corner and Johnson looks to be a good one. Tall and athletic, he still has room to add weight to his thin frame. Will start immediately.
19. CLEVELAND BROWNS – Nelson Agholor- WR-USC
The Browns grab the wide receiver they so desperately need to help their quarterbacks. Agholor is a quick dynamo with great hands who can double as a punt returner as well.
20. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – Marcus Peters – CB- Washington
The Eagles need a corner and Marcus Peters is a good one. Chip Kelly is familiar with Peters from his Oregon days and will work with him as Peters has a reputation for being uncoachable. If Peters takes to the coaching he could be a steal at this point because the talent is there.
21. CINCINNATI BENGALS – Landon Collins-S- Alabama
The Bengals can use some secondary help and Landon Collins is generally regarded as the top safety in the draft. Collins is an extremely aggressive safety who is top notch against the run and a physical hitter. He would be a nice addition to the Bengals secondary
22. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Shaq Thompson– LB/SS – Washington
Would have loved Collins to replace Troy Polamalu. Call this a hunch but Thompson is an athlete who played linebacker in college but projects as a potential strong safety in the NFL. Most forecasters have Thompson in the 2nd round but the Steelers need a safety and can also use another outside linebacker to replace Jason Worilds. Thompson could be something of a hybrid in the Steelers schemes. Might be an unorthodox choice but seems to make some sense. Nothing like going out on a limb.
23. DETROIT LIONS– Malcom Brown- DT- Texas
The Lions need to replace Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley to maintain their defense. They have already added Haloti Ngata but he is aging and a young stud at the position would be a smart move. That said, Malcolm Brown is an athletic mountain of a man who would be a great addition.
24. ARIZONA CARDINALS – Eric Kendricks– ILB– UCLA
The Cardinals could use another playmaker at the inside linebacker spot. Kendricks has an athletic pedigree as his brother Mychal plays for the Eagles and his dad was a UCLA running back who led the school in rushing in 1970 and 1971 and played in the CFL. Kendricks won the Butkus award as the nations top linebacker.
25. CAROLINA PANTHERS – Ereck Flowers- T –Miami
The Panthers have needs at offensive tackle and wide receiver. This pick will be based on who they like better. Choices could include Flowers and Jake Fisher at tackle or a receiver like Philip Dorsett or Jaelen Strong.
26. BALTIMORE RAVENS – Melvin Gordon–RB–Wisconsin
The Ravens need a top running back in the worst way and have been linked to Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley since the draft process began. Looks like Gurley will not fall this far but Gordon could. If he does look for the Ravens to jump on him. A dark horse could be the two headed monster of Randy Gregory and Shane Ray.
27. DALLAS COWBOYS – Randy Gregory- OLB/DE- Nebraska
Can’t you just see GM Jerry Jones picking the top ten talent with red flags for positive marijuana tests. There is nothing not to love about Gregory from an athletic standpoint. If you feel he‘s grown up and can be trusted then he is a steal at this point of the draft.
28. DENVER BRONCOS – Cameron Erving- C-Florida State
The Broncos offensive line is in a state of flux and needs a boost. Erving is the top center in the draft and has the versatility to play center or guard. A solid pick who could help anchor this line for many years.
29. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS– Jake Fisher– T– Oregon
When I look at my mock at this point there doesn’t seem to be a more perfect choice for any team. Fisher is looked at as a day one starter for most teams. While he might not have the perceived upside of some of those drafted ahead of him, he has all the tools and could turn out to be the best lineman in the draft.
30. GREEN BAY PACKERS – Denzel Perryman – ILB – Miami
This is what I wrote in mock #1 and I will stay with it: “The Packers just released veteran A.J.Hawk and Perryman is a highly regarded prospect who could step into that inside linebacker role”. Other possibilities could be a cornerback like Jalen Collins of LSU or Byron Jones of Connecticut or LB Bernardrick McKinney.
31. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Phillip Dorsett- WR-Miami
Got the corner they needed with #13 so now the Saints go back to what they are known for: Offense! Dorsett is another weapon for Drew Brees to play with. He is small but lightning fast and will stretch the field for Brees and the Saints
32. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Jalen Collins – CB– LSU
I really wanted to put Ali Marpet, the fast rising guard from Hobart here because wouldn’t that be just like Belichick to go against the establishment and pick a guy from Hobart in the first round. Then I thought Shane Ray but he’s proven that he is not bright enough to play for Belichick. In the end I figured that there is no Revis in New England so you better give me the next corner up. Collins is the best of the bunch so he goes to the champs. Byron Jones also a possibility.
Other first Round Possibilities
Eli Harold- LB- Virginia
Jaelen Strong- WR- Arizona State
Eddie Goldman- DT- Florida St
Byron Jones- CB Connecticut
D.J. Humphries- T- Florida
Jordan Phillips- NT- Oklahoma
Cedric Ogbuehi- T- Texas A & M
T.J.Clemmings – T- Pittsburgh
Devin Smith – WR- Ohio State
Laken Tomlinson- G- Duke
Bernardrick McKinney- ILB- Miss. St
Damarious Randall- S- Arizona St
Eric Rowe-CB- Utah
By Ryan Crawford
The hot commodities of this draft include the two intriguing quarterbacks, two high level running backs, a batch of very good interior defensive linemen, three dynamite edge rushers and a group of wide receivers that just might rival last years extraordinary crop. Here’s my initial mock draft for 2015. There’s sure to be many changes before long.
1. TAMPA BAY BUCS – Jameis Winston – QB – Florida State
Lovie Smith and the Bucs badly need a franchise quarterback and Jameis Winston can be that guy. Questions about his maturity and too many interceptions are the major red flags. I think the Bucs jump at the opportunity to snag such a high level QB prospect and hope the potential problems work themselves out.
2. TENNESSEE TITANS – Leonard Williams – DT – USC
I do not think the Titans are enamored with developing Marcus Mariota at QB. Williams might be the top talent in the draft and fills a huge need in the middle of the Titans defensive line.
3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Randy Gregory-OLB- Nebraska
Jaguars are looking to upgrade on defense and Gregory is a stud.
4. OAKLAND RAIDERS – Amari Cooper-WR-Alabama
Take your choice between Cooper, White, Parker etc. but there is a clear need at the receiver position and the Raiders will have plenty to choose from. Cooper seems to be the cream of the crop.
5. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – Landon Collins – S- Alabama
Best safety in the draft fills a huge void for the Redskins.
6. NEW YORK JETS – Dante Fowler – DE/OLB – Florida
Bigtime explosive pass rusher is a welcome gift for the defensive minded new head coach Todd Bowles.
7. CHICAGO BEARS – Shane Ray – DE – Missouri
Watching the Bears play defense last season was somewhat frightening for Bears fans. Ray is a pure pass rusher who should put some pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
8. ATLANTA FALCONS – Danny Shelton -DT- Washington
Another team with a bad defense…seeing a trend down here? Danny Shelton was a monster at the senior bowl and should anchor the middle of the Falcons line for years.
9. NEW YORK GIANTS – Brandon Scherff- OT- Iowa
The Giants most important job is to keep Eli Manning upright so he is able to get the ball to Odell Beckham Jr, Victor Cruz and Ruben Randle. This load should help accomplish that goal.
10. ST LOUIS RAMS – Marcus Mariota- QB- Oregon
Rams are thrilled to see Mariota drop into their laps and will jump at the chance to replace the often injured and highly paid Sam Bradford
11. MINNESOTA VIKINGS – Kevin White – WR- West Virginia
White ran a 4.35 at the combine. At 6’3″ with top flight speed, he can be a dynamic weapon for Teddy Bridgewater
12. CLEVELAND BROWNS – Devante Parker- WR- Louisville
Parker is another top weapon to be contended with and the Browns have major concerns at the wide receiver spot with Josh Gordon being a major question mark.
13. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Vic Beasley-DE-Clemson
Beasley is a prolific pass rusher who will be called upon to play OLB because of his size. Certainly the Saints will require some defense sooner or later. Had a great combine.
14. MIAMI DOLPHINS – Ereck Flowers- OT- Miami
Another massive body in front of Ryan Tannehill could be just what the doctor ordered for the Dolphins.
15. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Arik Armstead –DE/DT-Oregon
New coach, new ideas but there will be a big need to retool the ferocious 49ers defense and Armstead is a mountain of a man for the defensive line.
16. HOUSTON TEXANS – Andrus Peat – OT- Stanford
The Texans need to build up their offensive line and Peat is great place to start
17. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – Eddie Goldman- DT- Florida State
With all the weapons they have on offense, the Chargers can use a little defense and this guy is a force in the middle of a four man front
18 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Dorial Green Beckham- WR- Missouri
Green-Beckham is just one of those guys who could not seem to find his niche in college but oozes talent. The Chiefs are a team that had no touchdowns last year from a wide receiver. Seems like a match to me.
19. CLEVELAND BROWNS – TJ Clemmings- OT- Pittsburgh
The Browns continue to build up their offense. Now if they can only figure out the quarterback situation then they can start to move the team forward.
20. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – Trae Waynes – CB – Michigan St
Not sure how I got Waynes to drop down this far, especially after he ran a 4.30 in the combine, but the Eagles would be thrilled if he did and snatch him up quickly.
21. CINCINNATI BENGALS – Bud Dupree- DE/OLB- Kentucky
Called a physical freak of nature, this future NFL edge rusher will help the Bengals defense immensely. Ran a 4.56 in the 40 yard dash and has a 42 inch vertical leap and did a 138 inch broad jump. All while weighing in at 270 lbs. Oh My!!
22. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Malcolm Brown- DT- Texas
A mountain for the middle of the Steeler defensive line.
23. DETROIT LIONS – LaEl Collins – OT – LSU
The Lions have a few holes on their offensive line and Collins looks like he’ll be a pretty good one. At 6’5″ and 322 lbs, he projects at left tackle.
24. ARIZONA CARDINALS – Jaelen Strong- WR- Arizona State
At 6’4″, this blazer is another stud in the crop of highly sought after receivers. A local product, the Cards are thrilled to scoop him up at 24.
25. CAROLINA PANTHERS – Marcus Peters – CB- Washington
Regarded as the number two cornerback in the entire draft, Peters is a very physical corner who fills a major need for the Panthers.
26. BALTIMORE RAVENS – Melvin Gordon-RB-Wisconsin
The Ravens are in dire need of a top flight running back and Gordon is considered the best of a strong group.
27. DALLAS COWBOYS – Maxx Williams- TE – Minnesota
The heir apparent to Jason Witten, the Cowboys are on the lookout for a young tight end that they can develop. Williams has great hands and top speed. Reminds some of a young Jeremy Shockey.
28. DENVER BRONCOS – Devin Funchess- WR- Michigan
Broncos are in salary cap dilemmas with the Thomas boys. If they franchise Demaryius Thomas, they might lose Julius Thomas. Either way they should be in the market for a pass catching tight end with speed to play receiver and Funchess certainly fits the description.
29. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – Cedric Ogbuhei- OT- Texas A & M
When you have a quarterback with the ability of an Andrew Luck, you must wisely do anything and everything to protect him. A big tackle helps and Ogbuhei oozes with potential.
30. GREEN BAY PACKERS – Denzel Perryman – ILB – Miami
The Packers just released veteran A.J.Hawk and Perryman is a highly regarded prospect who could step into that inside linebacker role.
31. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Kevin Johnson- CB- Wake Forest
The Legion of Boom was a little banged up by the end of the season and with Byron Maxwell slated for free agency, a young corner might be just what the doctor ordered.
32. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Mike Bennett – DT- Ohio State
Another big body for the defensive front should help the Patriots continue to dominate the NFL.
Other Potential 1st Round Picks
Todd Gurley- RB- Georgia
Trey Flowers – DE- Arkansas
Shaq Thompson- OLB – Washington
Eli Harold- DE- Virginia
Breshad Perriman- WR- Central Florida
Quinten Rollins – CB- Miami (Ohio)
By Brett Malamud
The regular season has come and gone, and teams begin to look forward to the playoffs. However, we’ll take a step back. There were many highs and lows this season, and that leads us to this season’s final edition of Studs and Duds:
Stud: Dallas Cowboys records
The Cowboys made Jerry Jones one happy man this season. Running back DeMarco Murray broke Emmitt Smith’s franchise rushing yards record. Then Dez Bryant broke Terrell Owens’ single-season receiving touchdown record.
Dud: Ray Rice/Adrian Peterson/Roger Goodell
Domestic violence in the NFL quickly made national headlines after Roger Goodell brought a two game suspension down on the now-former Ravens running back Ray Rice for an altercation with his fiancée. Then TMZ released the video footage which showed Rice delivering a violent punch to the face of his fiancée. Goodell faced numerous protests calling for his resignation. While Goodell handled himself well in national press conferences, the situation was far from over. The NFL was being criticized by various women’s rights organizations, anti domestic violence organizations, and even current NFL players. Goodell suspended more players that were reportedly involved in domestic violence cases, including Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Rice was released by the Ravens the day he was suspended and although he was reinstated by the NFL, he is still a free agent and is looking for a job. Peterson was suspended for the entire season and it remains to be seen as to whether he will be back with the Vikings next season or not.
Stud: Seahawks Media Antics
I’m not sure which I enjoyed more, Marshawn Lynch replying “yeah” to every question, replying “nope” to every question, or replying “thank you very much for asking, I appreciate the question.” I’d probably go with the latter. From the short answers to the cardboard cutouts, the Seahawks antics were hilarious this year.
Dud: New York Jets
Oh the Jets. Gang Green headed into this season confident as always. After taking a win at home against the Raiders, the New York tabloids declared that the Jets were much improved from last season, in which they went 8-8. The additions of Eric Decker and Chris Johnson meant that this team was for real. But then the Jets went on a eight game losing streak, virtually ending their season. While they somehow pulled out a win against the Steelers at home in week 10, They lost three more games after that to push their record to 2-11, with just three weeks remaining. In the game dubbed “The Mariota Bowl,” named for Oregon quarterback and top 2015 NFL Draft prospect Marcus Mariota. The loser of this game was expected to have the top pick in the draft with the opportunity to draft the franchise quarterback. The Jets won the game, bringing Jets fans hopes and dreams of a franchise quarterback to a crashing halt. The Jets proceeded to win two of their final three games, dropping them to the sixth pick in the draft.
Stud: Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants
Beckham Jr. came on the spotlight in the middle of the season after Victor Cruz went down with a season ending injury. The rookie took the league by storm with his one handed grab against Dallas Cowboys on November 23. Beckham Jr. is sure to be a great weapon for years to come.
Dud: Jadeveon Clowney
Clowney was down and out from the start. In the preseason, he experienced concussion like symptoms and missed preseason weeks three and four. Week one came and Clowney went down with a knee injury. It was later revealed that he had a torn meniscus. After a brief comeback, Clowney was sidelinded for the rest of his rookie season and had knee surgery.
Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy