1. New York Jets - Connor Cook QB, Michigan State
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Demario Davis, Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Amari Cooper WR, Alabama
Teams Needs: QB/WR/RT/CB/RB
Another season, another chance to rectify a disastrous QB situation. Unless Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota fall in the 2015 NFL draft the Jets will likely go into the season with Geno Smith at the helm yet again. With a new coach, and a new scheme to learn, things are only going to get worse for the offense. 2015 should be the year that they finally bottom out enough to land a franchise QB in the subsequent draft.
There should be a lot of options at QB in 2016, especially if the top rated underclassmen declare. At this point the top rated QB for 2016 should be Connor Cook. Had he entered the 2015 draft he would've been a top 15 pick, and quite possibly would have challenged Winston and Mariota to be the first off of the board. He has a solid frame, a strong arm, decent mobility, and a strong grasp of a pro-style offense.
The Jets will have a lot of other issues to deal with at some point. There will be a lot of free agent decisions to make on the defense, particularly in the front seven, as well as at RB.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Joey Bosa DE, Ohio State
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Josh McCown, Doug Martin, Lavonte David, C.J. Wilson
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Teams Needs: DE/LB/OL/CB/S
The biggest issues facing the Bucs, once they address the QB position, will be to improve their pass-rush. Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers were complete and total busts. Michael Johnson, the Bucs key free agent acquisition of 2014, has not lived up to expectations so far.
Joey Bosa, who's been compared to a bevy of past and present NFL stars such as JJ Watt, Justin Smith, and Patrick Kearney(basically any white guy that happens to be a good pass-rusher), is currently a true sophomore but if he were able to enter the 2015 draft would likely be a top 15 pick.
3. Oakland Raiders - Laremy Tunsil OT, Ole Miss.
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Donald Penn, Khalif Barnes, LaMarr Woodley, Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Leonard Williams DT, USC
Teams Needs: LT/S/DE/RB/ILB/WR/CB
I've stated in my 2015 mock draft that Donald Penn is not the long-term answer at LT, a year later and Penn will be a free agent, as will Khalif Barnes. Perhaps by now Menelik Watson will finally realize his potential but if he doesn't it'll be time to draft a franchise LT here.
Laremy Tunsil is a former 5-star recruit who has definitely lived up to the hype. He stepped into the starting role as the blindside protector from the start of his freshman season and has not disappointed. He and Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley, and perhaps MSU's Jack Conklin, should be battling it out as the top OT prospect for 2016.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars - Vernon Hargreaves III CB, Florida
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Marcedes Lewis, Justin Blackmon, Clay Harbor, Chad Henne, Will Blackmon
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Randy Gregory DE/OLB, Nebraska
Teams Needs: DE/S/CB/RB/OL
Gus Bradley has the Jags on an upward trajectory. Unfortunately the cupboard was bare when Bradley got there so it's going to be a slow and painful process. In 2016 they will still have a lot of holes on the defense and will have to rebuild the offensive line, especially if Luke Joeckel hasn't developed by then. As such, the Jags could go in any number of directions with this pick.
VH3 is an incredibly smooth, natural athlete with elite cover skills. Like Laremy Tunsil, he's a former 5-star recruit who's been turning heads as a starter in the always tough SEC since his freshman season.
5. Tennessee Titans - A'Shawn Robinson DT/DE, Alabama
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Sammie Lee Hill, Shonn Greene, Bernard Pollard, Kendall Wright, Craig Stevens
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Teams Needs: CB/QB/OLB/S/WR
The Titans will most likely use this pick to continue rebuilding the defense to fit Ray Horton's 3-4 scheme. They would certainly consider Leonard Williams as a 5-technique in 2015 and should consider A'Shawn Robinson here, especially with Sammie Lee Hill headed for free agency.
Robinson could be the best defensive player, and certainly the best defensive linemen, that Alabama has produced since Marcell Dareus. In a developing theme here, Robinson is the third in a row of players who are former 5-star recruits, have been starters in the SEC since their freshmen seasons, and would be first round picks if they were eligible for the 2015 draft.
6. Washington Redskins - Ronnie Stanley OT, Notre Dame
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, RGIII, Kirk Cousins, Alfred Morris, Chris Chester
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Teams Needs: DE/S/RT/CB
The Redskins will have serious decisions to make at QB with both RG3 and Kirk Cousins entering free agency. They'll also need to do a better job protecting whomever it is playing QB going forward. Washington could easily take the top OT in 2015 but will probably roll the dice with the oft-injured Trent Williams who is a free agent in 2016.
Had the redshirt sophomore declared for the 2015 draft, Ronnie Stanley likely would have been the first OT tackle taken. In fact, until he decided to return to Notre Dame for another season I had him going to Washington with their 2015 first round pick. Stanley has excellent athleticism, drawing comparisons to a longer Zach Martin or slimmer Greg Robinson.
7. Chicago Bears - Kendall Fuller CB, Virginia Tech
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, Shea McClellin, Roberto Garza, Jay Ratliff, Ryan Mundy
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Shane Ray DE/OLB, Missouri
Teams Needs: CB/RT/S/LB/NT
Unless the Bears find a way to dump Jay Cutler's albatross of a contract, thereby necessitating that they draft a QB here, Chicago will likely use this pick to continue rebuilding their defense. They drafted Kyle Fuller in the first round of the 2014 draft presumably to eventually replace 33 year old 2015 free agent Charles Tillman. Here the Bears can draft Tim Jennings, who has been relegated to nickel CB anyway, replacement in Kyle's brother Kendall Fuller.
Kendall is the youngest of four brothers, the other three have all played at VT and gone on to play in the NFL, is fast, fluid, and just as instinctive as his big brother Kyle.
8. Minnesota Vikings - Jack Conklin OT, Michigan State
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith, Chad Greenway, Charles Johnson, Robert Blanton
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: DeVante Parker WR, Louisville
Teams Needs: OL/S/RB/DE
The Vikings should be very solid at the skill positions but they need to do a much better job of protecting Teddy Bridgewater. After a solid rookie campaign LT Matt Kalil has regressed rapidly, and this is in addition to major needs at OG. Defensively the Vikings should re-sign Harrison Smith but both he and Robert Blanton will be free agents in 2016. A pass-rusher could also be an option as Brian Robinson has be a sub par replacement for Jared Allen.
Jack Conklin flirted with entering the 2015 draft but made the wise decision to go back for another year. While he may have been a first round pick, he was not a flawless prospect. With another year in school, Conklin can hopefully add some weight and clean up his technique a little bit, and should be able to challenge to be the first OT taken in 2016.
9. New York Giants - Robert Nkemdiche DE/DT, Ole Miss
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Eli Manning, Prince Amukamara, Mathias Kiwanuka, Cullen Jenkins, JD Walton
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Andrus Peat OT, Stanford
Teams Needs: OL/DL/LB/S
The Giants love drafting defensive linemen, especially athletic freaks, and may have to with aging starters set to reach free agency in 2016. As always they will need to upgrade at linebacker and could have issues along the offensive line.
Robert Nkemdiche was the most hyped high school recruit since Jadeveon Clowney. Where they differ is that Nkemdiche may eventually grow into a full time DT given his 6-foot-4, 280 pounds frame. He may be best suited as a 5-technique, but with his combination of strength, speed, and athleticism the sky's the limit for him, and he could be a very versatile weapon regardless of defensive scheme.
10. San Fransisco 49ers - Cameron Sutton CB, Tennessee
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Aldon Smith, Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin, Justin Smith, Alex Boone
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Kevin White WR, West Virginia
Teams Needs: CB/WR/DE/TE
As usual the 49ers seemingly have a solid overall roster and shouldn't have many pressing needs in 2016. One issues they have faced over the last few seasons is at CB. They've gotten by on late round picks and short-term free agent signings, and could really use some long-term starters at the position.
Cameron Sutton has an ideal frame at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, he's fast and physical, and could easily challenge Kendall Fuller and VH3 as the top CB taken.
11. Atlanta Falcons - Tyler Boyd WR, Pittsburgh
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Julio Jones, Steven Jackson, Harry Douglas, Joe Hawley, Peter Konz, Paul Worrilow
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Dante Fowler DE, Florida
Teams Needs: OL/LB/WR/RB/TE
The Falcons needs should be just about the same in 2016 as they are in 2015. New HC Dan Quinn is currently facing a lot of free agency issues with their pass-rushers in addition to needing to reshape the roster, converting the defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3. He's going to need an OLB who can play the Leo role as well as collecting a bevy of tall CB's. A major 2016 free agency concern is at WR where they'll need to re-sign Julio Jones. It's likely that they will let a 31 year old Harry Douglas walk but may have to release a 34 year old Roddy White to re-sign Jones.
Tyler Boyd is currently tabbed to the first WR taken in 2016. He's got decent size at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds with enough speed to be a factor in the return game.
12. Cleveland Browns - Cardale Jones QB, Ohio State
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Phil Taylor, Mitchell Schwartz, Josh Gordon, Gary Barnidge, John Hughes, Billy Winn
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Danny Shelton DT, Washington; Brandon Scherff OT, Iowa
Teams Needs: QB/WR/DL/TE
Another year, another chance to draft a QB int he first round. Teams do not usually give up on young QB's so fast but this is a Browns organization that's drafted Brandon Weeden and Johnny Manziel in the first round in the last three years. This pick could easily be used on another QB as Manziel has checked himself into rehab.
By now everyone knows Cardale Jones' story. The first three starts of his career were the Big10 Championship, The Sugar Bowl, and the National Championship. He's been compared to Ben Rothlisberger because of his size, strong arm, and mobility. He would be a huge hit in Cleveland, and possible give some stability to a franchise that hasn't had any in a very long time.
13. Carolina Panthers - Scooby Wright III OLB, Arizona State
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, DeAngelo Williams, Greg Olsen
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Erik Flowers OT, Miami
Teams Needs: OL/WR/RB/LB
The Panthers should continue to add to an anemic offense but will face a big decision to make at linebacker. There is almost no way possible that they will let franchise cornerstone Luke Kuechly walk in free agency, but they might be forced to let Thomas Davis go. He's been a stalwart for their defense but he'll be a 33 year old free agent with a history of injury issues.
Scooby Wright was an absolute beast this season. He is a tackling machine, who has the speed to play sideline-to-sideline, the strength to hold up against the run, and can rush the passer with ease. He could very easily end up in the top 5 with the 2016 draft rolls around.
14. St. Louis Rams - Jared Goff QB, California
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Sam Bradford, Michael Brockers, Kendall Langford, Janoris Jenkins, Brian Quick
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Vic Beasley OLB, Clemson
In 2016 the era of Sam Bradford will be over in St. Louis. There should be a plethora of QB prospects going into the 2016 draft from which to choose from.
Jared Goff has an extremely high upside due to his accuracy and ability to read through his progressions. He has poise in the pocket but he also has a tendency to hold onto the ball for way too long.
15. Buffalo Bills - Miles Jack OLB, UCLA
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Marcell Dareus, Stephon Gilmore, Cordy Glenn, Scott Chandler, Fred Jackson
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Mario Edwards DE, Florida State
Teams Needs: WR/FS/OLB/DE/RT
In what will be year two of Rex Ryans' Bills who know what direction they could be going in. EJ Manuel is unlikely to be the starter but will the Bills draft his replacement? One thing we know Ryan likes to do is draft for defense, particularly in the front seven. Jerry Hughes is a free agent in 2015 who is also unlikely to re-sign, not wanting to play OLB in a 3-4. Plus, Mario Williams could potentially be a cap casualty.
Myles Jack is essentially a larger version of Shaq Thompson at 6-foot-1, 230 pounds. He is a solid pass-rusher but is a natural in pass-coverage with sideline-to-sideline ability. In 2013 he was both the offensive AND defensive freshman player of the year in the Pac12 and has the ability to play inside or outside.
16. Houston Texans - Christian Hackenberg QB, Penn State
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Joseph, Whitney Mercilus, Chris Myers, Ben Jones
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Trae Waynes CB, Michigan State
Teams Needs: QB/OL/CB/S/WR
It seems unlikely that the Texans will fill their long-term QB needs in the 2015 draft, meaning they will head into the season with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tom Savage, or Ryan Mallett(assuming he's re-signed) as the starter. Should he make it within range of the Texans pick in 2016, I see no way that Bill O'Brien doesn't make a move for his golden boy Christian Hackenberg.
Hackenberg was the jewel of Bill O'Brien's first recruiting class at Penn State, and his phenomenal freshman season lifted the spirits of the Nittany Lion faithful after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. He suffered a sophomore slump but has all the tools necessary to be an elite QB at the pro level.
17. Miami Dolphins- Chris Jones DT, Mississippi State
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Ryan Tannehill, Mike Pouncey, Randy Starks, Oliver Vernon, Lamar Miller
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Todd Gurley RB, Georgia
Miami may need to remake their entire defensive line in the next year or so. Jared Odrick will be a high priority free agent this offseason while Randy Starks and Oliver Vernon will be free agents in 2016, as such we could see Miami use and early in at DT in consecutive years.
Chris Jones is a former 5-star recruit who has been starting since his freshman season. He has a big frame at 6-foot-5, 300 pounds and commands constant double-teams to take away his considerable pass-rushing abilities.
18. Kansas City Chiefs - Jalen Ramsey S, Florida State
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Tamba Hali, Dontari Poe, Eric Berry, Sean Smith, Derrick Johnson, Mike DeVito
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Jalen Strong WR, Arizona State
Teams Needs: OL/WR/S/ILB
The Chiefs have endured a lot of free agency issues over the last couple of years and it will continue to be a problem in 2016 as well. In addition to constant issues on the offensive line K.C. Will have a lot of priority free agents to re-sign. At safety Kurt Coleman, Ron Parker, and Kelcie McCray could be gone in 2015, while Eric Berry and Husain Abdullah will be free agents in 2016. Eric Berry has a long injury history, and with his recent cancer diagnosis may never play football again.
Jalen Ramsey is a smooth enough athlete in coverage to play CB(doing so in his freshman season) while still being very stout in run support.
19. San Diego Chargers - Shilique Calhoun DE/OLB, Michigan State
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Philip Rivers, Eric Weddle, Corey Liuget, Melvin Ingram, Kendall Reyes, Lardarius Green
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: La'el Collins OT, LSU
Teams Needs: OL/DL/OLB/CB
San Diego's biggest issues appear to be on defense. They've had trouble generating a consistent pass-rush from their front seven. On top of that will be free agency issues with both of their starting OLB's and DE's. They already have a replacement for Jarret Johnson in 2014 second round pick Jeremiah Attaochu but will need to replace talented but injury-plagued Melvin Ingram as well.
Shilique Calhoun surprisingly returned to school for another when he could've been a first round pick in 2015. He's a solid speed rusher but needs to continue to add functional strength to his lean 6-foot-5, 256 pounds frame while developing a repertoire of pass-rushing moves.
20. Philadelphia Eagles - DeForest Buckner DE/DT, Oregon
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Nick Foles, Fletcher Cox, Mychal Hendricks, Brandon Boykin, Carey Williams
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Brett Hundley QB, UCLA
Teams Needs: CB/ILB/WR/S
The Eagles have serious issues in the secondary that need to be addressed at some point, either in the 2015 draft but definitely by 2016. As far as the 2016 offseason goes, their biggest free agent issue is Fletcher Cox. Should he sign somewhere else Chip Kelly will have the privilege of drafting another of his Oregon guys.
DeForest Buckner could've been a second round pick had he entered the 2015 draft. In fact, a lot of draft pundits were ranking him above uber-athletic teammate Arik Armstead. His 6-foot-6, 285 pounds frame is ideally suited for playing the 5-technique.
21. New Orleans Saints - Vadal Alexander OG/OT, LSU
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Cameron Jordan, Akiem Hicks, Corey White, Nick Toon, Tim Lelito
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Bud Dupree DE/OLB, Kentucky
Teams Needs: OC/RB/OG/WR/DE
With only one major free agent issue to deal with the Saints should be in a pretty good spot when the 2016 offseason rolls around. They still need to find a long-term successor to Drew Brees. They'll also need to start thinking about the future at OG. Jahri Evans will be 32 years old and count 8 million against the cap in the final year of his contract, while Ben Grubbs will be 31 and count over 7 million in his final year.
Vadal Alexander is a behemoth at 6-foot-6, 335 pounds but moves well for his size, making him very reliable as a pass protector from the inside. With La'el Collins moving on the NFL, Alexander will shift to left tackle but his home in the NFL should be at guard.
22. Cincinnati Bengals - Spencer Drango OT, Baylor
Notable 2016 Free Agents:A.J. Green, Leon Hall, Andre Smith, Andrew Whitworth, Dre Kirkpatrick, Adam Jones
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Arik Armstead DE, Oregon
Teams Needs: OT/CB/QB
The Bengals seem committed to Andy Dalton for the long-term despite his inability to win a playoff game. Other issues they should address with this pick are at CB and OT as they have several starters entering free agency.
Spencer Drango was a fringe first round pick before deciding to go back to school for another season. Drango has a lean 6-foot-5, 310 pounds frame but also boasts above average, fluid athleticism and a perfect kick slide.
23. Detroit Lions - Ezekiel Elliot RB, Ohio State
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Riley Reiff, Jason Jones, DeAndre Levy, Ryan Broyles, Bill Bentley, James Ihedigbo
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Malcom Brown DT, Texas
Teams Needs: DL/S/RB
The Lions would be better served upgrading at LT and either letting Riley Reiff walk in free agency or shifting him inside to OG. They'll also need to continue to rebuild the defensive line after likely losing Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in free agency in 2015, and Jason Jones in 2016. At RB the Lions have lacked a three-down, long-term option for some time.
Overshadowed by the QB carousel going on this season OSU's Ezekiel Elliot was having a quietly productive season until, like Cardale Jones, he exploded onto the nation scene with impressive games in the Big10 Championship and the Sugar Bowl, before capping it all off by rushing for 246 yards and four touchdowns against Oregon in the National Championship. He sports a chiseled 6-foot, 225 pounds frame with the speed and cutback ability to elude defenders and the strength to pick up yardage after contact.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Su'a Cravens SS, USC
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Heyward, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Kelvin Beachum, Mike Adams, Sean Spence, Willie Gay, Bruce Gradkowski, Steve McLendon
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Eddie Goldman NT, Florida State
Teams Needs: OLB/CB/OT/FS/TE/NT
Let's start with the free agents. It should be practically a sure thing that the Steelers front office will re-sign Big Ben, Cam Heyward, and David DeCastro. It's also fairly likely that Kelvin Beachum will be re-signed as well, barring some uncharacteristically outlandish contract request on his part. Players like Ramon Foster, Steve McLendon, Willie Gay, and Bruce Gradkowski should all be brought back on modest contracts as well. Sean Spence is a toss up. On the one hand he may sign a team friendly deal considering how the franchise stuck with him through two injury-plagued seasons, but on the other hand he may want a chance to go somewhere that he'll get the opportunity to start. There's also the matter of the Steelers wanting to pay near-starter money for a backup.
The real issues facing the Steelers in 2016 should be a RG, TE, CB, and S. My pipe dream at RG would be that the Steelers could pry away Mike Pouncey from Miami, but it's likely that Foster returns on a modest deal while Colbert & Co. invest a mid round pick to develop as his eventual replacement. Heath Miller will be 33 years old and entering the final year of his contract so if the Steelers haven't already done so by then, it's definitely time to start looking for his long-term successor. What's to say about the CB position? It's been an issue for years, and even if the Steelers spend an early round pick on one in 2015 they could still spend another early round pick at the position depending on Willie Gay's free agency and whether or not Cortez Allen has a bounce-back season. And then there's safety, both free and strong. It's safe to say that Mike Mitchell's tenure at FS did not go as hoped for in year one. With another year in the system everyone should get a better idea as to whether or not he is the long-term answer, plus after that point there is no more guaranteed money left on his contract. This offseason we could wave goodbye to the man, the myth, the "Tasmanian Devil" himself, Troy Polamalu. Sure to be a first ballot Hall of Famer, his time has come in Pittsburgh. The Steelers have an heir apparent in Shamarko Thomas but to this point he's been an injury-plagued disappointment. If he can't hold onto the starting position after Troy's gone it's time to seek a better option.
It's merely a coincidence that the player picked to replace Troy Polamalu in this mock draft also happens to come from Troy's alma mater. Su'a Cravens is a nightmare for any WR willing to cross the middle of the field. At 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, USC uses Cravens in a hybrid S/LB role, playing close to the line of scrimmage. He's fluid in coverage with ball skills while being exceptional in run support and can even rush the passer. His 2014 stat line reads 68 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 9 passes defensed, and 3 int's, including a pick-6 against OSU's Sean Mannion. If you're looking for an NFL comparison he's basically Kan Chancellor with better ball skills.
25. Indianapolis Colts - Emmanuel Ogbah DE/OLB, Oklahoma State
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Andrew Luck, Anthony Castonzo, TY Hilton, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, Greg Toler
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Jordan Phillips DT/DE, Oklahoma
Teams Needs: OL/RB/TE/DL/OLB
Indy has a lot of work to be done on the defense, especially is Bjoern Werner fails to develop. Erik Walden has been a bust free agent signing and will be entering the final year of his contract in 2016. But this is an offensive based team with Andrew Luck at the helm. TY Hilton is expected to be re-signed, and at some point in 2015 the Colts should find replacements for Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks to pair with Hilton and Donte Moncrief, but TE could be an issue with both Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen entering free agency. Both of whom have been relative disappointments, Allen's red zone prowess not withstanding, and the Colts could be looking to replace at least one of them in 2016.
Redshirt sophomore Emmanuel Ogbah entertained the idea of entering the 2015 draft would would have been a fringe first round pick. He has solid speed and very good power from his 6-foot-4, 270 pounds frame. He wreaked havoc against a solid FSU line for 2.5 sacks, and finished the season with 11 sacks and 17 tackles for loss.
26. Dallas Cowboys - Andrew Billings DT, Baylor
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Morris Claiborne, Jeremy Mincey, Tyrone Crawford, Mackenzy Bernadeau
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Shaq Thompson OLB, Washington
Teams Needs: DL/LB/CB/S
Same stuff, different year for the Cowboys. They should continue upgrading a defense that is severely lacking in talent, especially at DE with all of the free agents they'll have. Unfortunately but the end of the first round the DE pool may be a bit shallow.
For anyone who doesn't know who Andrew Billings is yet, do yourself a favor and Google search the clip of him chasing down KSU RB Corey Avery. After Avery caught a screen pass, all 6-foot-2, 300 pounds of Billings managed to accelerate and catch up to Avery 20 yards down field, grabbing him from behind by the shoulder pads and slamming him to the ground out-of-bounds. Billings has a 4.97 seconds 40 yard dash time. As a Texas high school senior, he broke a 22 year Texas state power lifter record with a total of 2,010 pounds(805 on squats, 500 on bench, 705 on dead lift). Like his teammate Shawn Oakman, Billings is a raw, athletic marvel with extremely high upside.
27. New England Patriots - Duke Williams WR, Auburn
Notable 2016 Free Agents: Nate Solder, Chandler Jones, Dont'a Hightower, Ryan Wendell, LeGarrette Blount
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Kevin Johnson CB, Wake Forest
Teams Needs: OG/WR/DT/RB
New England will have several key free agent decisions to make in 2016, as well as thinking about the long-term futures at RB at DT. One issue that has plagued them for years is a lack of a true number one WR who can be a consistent, down field threat.
If a majority of the top underclassmen declare, the 2016 crop of WR prospects should be as good as it has been in the last couple of seasons. Dhaquille "Duke" Williams could have been a first round pick in a loaded 2015 class but decided to return to school. He combines size, speed, and route-running with his 6-foot-2, 216 pounds frame to beat out speed freak Sammy Coates as the number one WR on the depth chart.
28. Seattle Seahawks - Jaylon Smith OLB, Notre Dame
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Russell Wilson, Russell Okung, Bobby Wagner, Marshawn Lynch, Bruce Irvin
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Devin Funchess WR, Michigan
Teams Needs: OL/LB/RB
The time is coming for the Seahawks to pay the piper with regards to their success in drafting quality talent. With so many priority free agents needing to be re-signed someone is going to have to be replaced. Bruce Irvin is great in the Leo role but he's not going to get paid before Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, and Russell Okung.
Unlike Bruce Irvin, Jaylon Smith is not a DE convert but a true LB prospect. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, he has the strength and physicality to hold up against the run as well as rush the passer, but enough speed and athletic prowess to cover WR's. He has played both inside and outside linebacker in ND's 4-3 scheme.
29. Baltimore Ravens - Marquez North WR, Tennessee
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Haloti Ngata, Marshal Yanda, Jimmy Smith, Bernard Pierce, Courtney Upshaw
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Marcus Peters CB, Washington
Teams Needs: WR/RB/CB/DE
The Ravens biggest issue they are facing this offseason, and possibly in 2016, is what to do about Haloti Ngata. The final year of his contract counts 16 million against the cap, and if they can't come to an agreement on a contract renewal for the now 31 year old, he might have to be released this year or allowed to walk next.
Baltimore has need a long-term compliment to Torrey Smith for some time now. Marquez North is a 6-foot-4, 221 pounds WR with a thick, muscular frame that should remind many Ravens fans of Anquan Boldin.
30. Arizona Cardinals - Shawn Oakman DT/DE, Baylor
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Darnell Dockett, Michael Floyd, Bob Massie, Jerraud Powers, Lyle Sendlein
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Melvin Gordon RB, Wisconsin
Teams Needs: OL/S/DE
The Cardinals could face a big issue at DE in 2016. Darnell Dockett will 34 years old, having come back from a torn ACL, and be a free agent. Frostee Rucker sill be 32 and heading into the final year of his 2-year contract, and Calais Campbell will be 29 and heading into the final year of his contract as well. Campbell should be re-signed but unless third round rookie Kareem Martin can progress, the Cards will need a long-term starter to replace Dockett.
Shawn Oakman's projections have been all over the map. Some thought of him as a mid-first round pick, others had him in the second round, there were rumors that some scouts though he was a mid-to-late round pick at best, so he made the right decision to return to school. Oakman may have the highest upside of anyone in the draft class. His 6-foot-8, 278 pounds frame is ripped but lean. He is extremely raw as a player, with a quick but inconsistent first step, but will have to be used in a situational role until he learns the nuances of the game.
31. Denver Broncos - Leonard Floyd OLB, Georgia
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Von Miller, Derek Wolfe, Brock Osweiler, Manuel Ramirez, Danny Trevathan
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Bernardrick McKinney ILB, Mississippi State
Teams Needs: QB/OLB/OL
Will Peyton Manning be back for 2015? And if so, will he come back again in 2016? Regardless of when his time comes, is Brock Osweiler, a free agent in 2016, the long-term answer at QB? The answer will not be found at the end of the first round but must still be answered at some point.
Another question will be at OLB. In addition to superstar Von Miller being a free agent, although he is more than likely to be re-signed, Danny Trevathan is also a free agent.
Leonard Floyd is a bit of an enigma at this point. He flashes elite pass-rushing ability but is very inconsistent. He sports a very lean 6-foot-4, 230 pounds frame. Once a candidate to play 3-4 OLB, his body type suggests that he isn't going to be able to pack much more weight on his frame. He's played DE, OLB, and the "Star" position (hybrid S/OLB role) while at Georgia and would be a prime candidate to play the "Leo" role in the NFL.
32. Green Bay Packers - Jordan Jenkins OLB, Georgia
Notable 2016 Free Agents:Nick Perry, Casey Hayward, Mike Neal, James Starks, AJ Hawk, Brad Jones
2015 NFL Mock draft Pick: Denzel Perriman ILB, Miami
Teams Needs: OLB/ILB/CB
In 2016 Green Bay may have several issues at CB. For starters, 31 year old Tramon Williams is a free agent in 2015, but Casey Hayward and Davon House are free agents in 2016. At OLB Julius Peppers wil be 36 years old and the disappointing Nick Perry will be a free agent.
Jordan Jenkins is an impressive athlete at 6-foot-2, 255 pounds. He's very muscular and has a few highlight real jumps over would be blockers trying to cut low on him. He has a fast first step and solid power, his only real issue is a lack of pass-rushing technique. He needs to do a better job using his hands and developing a repertoire of moves.
THE BEST OF THE REST
Laquan Treadwell WR, Ole Miss
Treadwell could easily be the first WR taken in the draft. At 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, He is fast and physical. The only thing holding him back is a gruesome knee injury that he'll need to work his way back from.
Nate Andrews S, FSU
5-foot-11, 210 pounds with good range and solid in run support, Nate Andrews and Jalen Ramsey are fairly indecipherable on the field.
Tony Connor S, Ole Miss
This could be a monster year for safeties as well as for Ole Miss players. Tony Connor is 6-foot, 217 pounds who is fast with excellent instincts.
Derrick Henry RB, Alabama
Henry's 6-foot-3, 241 pounds frame stands out for a RB. He's fast for his size with good hands in the passing game.
O.J. Howard TE, Alabama
Classic "Joker" TE at 6-foot-6, 242 pounds. Lacks top end speed but quick off of the line with soft hands. Woefully underused in Alabama's offense.