With the NFL combine over and the official start of the new NFL season underway, team needs have changed. Some teams got off and running using trades and free agency to fill voids, but all teams have holes left to fill. That’s where the draft comes in. Check out the Pug’s mock draft 1.0 here.
2015 Record: 3-13 4th Place AFC South
Team Needs: OT, DE, CB, S
Pick: Laremy Tunsil, OT (Ole Miss)
The Titans filled a need at the running back position in a big way by trading with the Eagles for DeMarco Murray by simply swapping 4th round picks. Good start but they still have work to do. They will be tempted to go after Jalen Ramsey the versatile and athletic corner out of Florida State, but they need a solid offensive tackle to protect Marcus Mariota and open running lanes for Murray.
2015 Record: 3-13 4th Place AFC North
Team Needs: QB, WR, OL, DL, ILB
Pick: Carson Wentz, QB (North Dakota St.)
Wow is this franchise in disarray right now. They lost WR Travis Benjamin, C Alex Mack, and OT Mitchell Schwartz to free agency leaving many voids to fill on the offense. The Browns are still searching for a franchise quarterback since they came back into the league in 1999. With the release of Johnny Manziel, the Browns are ready to try again in the draft to nab a competent signal caller to build a team around.
2015 Record: 4-12 4th Place AFC West
Team Needs: OL, DL, S
Pick: Jalen Ramsey, CB (Florida State)
Ramsey was nothing short of incredible at the combine and really improved his already top 10 draft stock into consideration for top pick overall. The Chargers should select Ramsey here because he is also capable of playing safety, a position the Chargers need to address with the departure of Eric Weddle. Wide receiver was a glaring need for the Chargers but signing Travis Benjamin to a four year deal should make a formidable duo between him and Keenan Allen.
2015 Record: 4-12 4th Place NFC East
Team Needs: QB, RB, DT, CB
Pick: Ezekiel Elliott, RB (Ohio St.)
Although options still exist as far as running backs go via free agency, the Cowboys stayed relatively quiet to start out the new league year. The lack of interest in the free agent RB crop makes me believe the see Elliot as their future at the running back position. Elliot has always been seen as a first round choice, but the closer to the draft we get, the more he has been rising up the board. Even though there is still a solid chance they go go defensive line or even Vernon Hargreaves at this spot, the Cowboys need a bell-cow back to make their offense formidable once again.
2015 Record: 5-11 3rd Place AFC South
Team Needs: C, OG, OLB, CB
Pick: Myles Jack, OLB (UCLA)
The Jags made quite a splash when free agency opened signing DL Malik Jackson and RB Chris Ivory to multi-year deals. With Dante Fowler Jr. returning from injury, and the addition of Jackson, Myles Jack could help complete a trio that could be scary for years to come for opposing quarterbacks. The Jags do have a need at the cornerback position, but Jack cannot be passed at the 5 spot here.
2015 Record: 5-11 3rd Place AFC North
Team Needs: WR, OL, OLB, CB
Pick: Ronnie Stanely, OT (Norte Dame)
The Ravens are another team that have been quiet through the initial free agency frenzy, and the release of Daryl Smith leaves a glaring hole at the linebacker position. That doesn’t take away from the need for an offensive lineman, and picking Stanely here will help them towards building a solid line for Joe Flacco.
2015 Record: 5-11 4th Place NFC West
Team Needs: QB, WR, OT, OG, ILB
Pick: Jared Goff, QB (California)
With all the talks about shipping Collin Kaepernick out of town, the 49ers are looking to lock down the next franchise quarterback. Goff was originally the top quarterback prospect in this draft class, but a mediocre combine along with smaller than average hands, have made in slip in the rankings. Goff goes to the 49ers with a chance to start right away as long as Chip Kelly sees him as a fit for his style of offense.
Pick 8: Philadelphia Eagles (Acquired from the Miami Dolphins)
2015 Record: 7-9 2nd Place NFC East
Team Needs: RB, WR, OL, DE, OLB
Pick: Joey Bosa, DE (Ohio State)
The Eagles move up to the 8th pick here in the trade that sent Kiko Alonzo and Bryon Maxwell to the Dolphins. With most of the needs changing in the top ten, the Eagles get a steal here with arguably one of the better prospects in the draft. Bosa will be an immediate impact player that will help to solidify a pass rush for this revamping Eagles defense. If the cowboys don’t take Elliot like I think they will, the Eagles could select him here to replace the traded DeMarco Murray.
2015 Record: 6-10 4th Place NFC South
Team Needs: OT, DE, CB, S
Pick: DeForest Buckner, DE (Oregon)
The Bucs have been very active in using free agency to plug holes. The secondary is in need of some more help, and they could very easily go after Vernon Hargreaves with this pick, but it is hard to ignore the talent of Buckner with this pick, especially with the need for a pass rusher. The recent signing of Brent Grimes allows them some flexibility as far as grabbing a DB in the first round. Pairing Buckner with newly acquired Robert Ayers will take some pressure off of Gerald McCoy and provide the Bucs with a formidable pass rush that their defense most desperately needs.
2015 Record: 6-10 3rd place NFC East
Team Needs: RB, WR, OL, LB, S
Pick: Reggie Ragland, ILB (Alabama)
The Giants have made tons of noise in free agency thus far revamping their entire defense. They took care of their defensive line holes by adding Damion Harrison and Olivier Vernon and also resigning Jason Pierre-Paul. Janoris Jenkins filled a need for a corner back, so the biggest need for the Giants defense now is at linebacker. Ragland is the best inside linebacker prospect in the draft by far, and I can only see them drafting a linebacker. They could decide to go with Leonard Floyd or Jaylon Smith on the outside, but the inside linebacker position is the most needed.
2015 Record: 6-10 4th Place NFC North
Team Needs: OG, DL, OLB, CB
Pick: Vernon Hargreaves, CB (Florida)
Although the Bears need help on the defensive line, they also need secondary help. They made a fantastic signing in Danny Trevathan, one of the most underrated at his position in my opinion, to patrol the middle of the field. Some team have already passed on Hargreaves to fill more glaring needs, but the Bears won’t do the same. He may be short, but what he lacks in height he makes up for in skill. He has been compared to Joe Haden, and if he fulfills that potential there will be no disappointment in this pick from the Bears brass.
2015 Record: 7-9 3rd Place NFC South
Team Needs: OG, DL, OLB, CB
Pick: A’Shawn Robinson, DT (Alabama)
Saying the Saints defense is a mess might be an under statement. The only free agent acquisition the Saints made was to lock down the tight end position by signing Coby Fleener. In other words the Saints hands are tied and they need to draft defense. They select Robinson as their starting point to revamping statistically the worst defense in the NFL. Robinson is the best defensive tackle in the draft and he should help to contain the run much better than the Saints did last year. (Ranked 31st against the run)
Pick 13: Miami Dolphins (Aquired from the Philadelphia Eagles)
2015 Record: 6-10 3rd Place AFC East
Team Needs: OT, OG, CB
Pick: Eli Apple, CB (Ohio State)
When Brent Grimes was released it all but guarantied the Dolphins would be drafting a corner. Apple has caught the eyes of many scouts and has quickly moved up many big boards. The Dolphins signed Jermon Bushrod away from the Chicago Bears to help fill a hole in the offensive line, which allows them to freely draft Apple, who could make an immediate impact as a starter. Hargreaves is the superior corner, but the Dolphins loose out on him in the trade to acquire Bryon Maxwell and Kiko Alonzo. Alonzo fills their need for a middle linebacker if he stays healthy. Maxwell and Apple could form a dangerous duo if they both can live up to potential.
2015 Record: 7-9 3rd Place AFC West
Team Needs: OT, CB, S
Pick: Jack Conklin, OT (Michigan State)
Big free agent signings of Bruce Irvin and Sean Smith allow the Raiders to use their first round pick to build a formidable line that would allow young and promising quarterback Derek Carr to prosper. He is extremely strong but needs help with speedier edge rushers. With the raw tools to be a great guard, this pick will help the Raiders and Derek Carr step up to the next level.
2015 Record: 7-9 3rd Place NFC West
Team Needs: QB, WR, C, DB
Pick: Laquon Tredwell, WR (Mississippi)
There are no true number one wide receivers on the Rams roster. That changes with this pick. By and far the best wide receiving prospect in the draft, Tredwell will help the Rams offense bring it to the next level. Although the Rams may want to take Paxton Lynch here, Tredwell offers them better value at 15.
2015 Record: 7-9 3rd Place NFC North
Team Needs: WR, OT, DL, ILB, CB
Pick: MacKenzie Alexander, CB (Clemson)
The Detroit Lions might find a diamond in the rough here. A guy who is being undervalued due to his lack of stats, Alexander is a shut down corner who’s skills won’t show up in the stat sheet, but they will help turn a defense around. The Lions take the 4th corner off the board in the first round, but his skills could make other wish they made the reach.
2015 Record 8-8 2nd Place NFC South
Team Needs: DE, LB, S
Pick: Leonard Floyd, OLB (Georgia)
One of the biggest knocks against former Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd is he is too small to play the position. He is, however, great at pressuring the quarterback, and that is what the Falcons are looking for. Vic Beasley, Sean Weatherspoon and Leonard Floyd could form a scary trio of linebackers that are all capable of getting to the quarterback at one time or another.
2015 Record: 8-8 2nd Place AFC South
Team Needs: OL, OLB, CB, FS
Pick: Cody Whitehair, OG (Kansas State)
To say the Colts had a disappointing season last year is an understatement. With Andrew Luck spending a lot of time riding the bench due to injuries last season, the Colts need to find a way to better protect their prized possession. Whitehair has played left guard, left tackle and right tackle throughout his college career. His versatility to play multiple line positions will help the Colts finally get a line together that can be successful from both sides.
2015 Record: 8-8 3rd Place AFC East
Team Needs: WR, RT, DL, LB, K
Pick: Shaq Lawson, DE (Clemson)
Rex Ryan has some holes to fill in the defense, and the departure of Mario Williams put a huge need a defensive end. Lawson fills that need. He is can play in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense and his ability to play both will appeal to the Ryan brothers who love to show many different looks on defense.
2015 Record: 10-6 2nd Place AFC East
Team Needs: QB, TE, OL, OLB
Pick: Jaylon Smith, OLB (Norte Dame)
For the second year in a row the Jets have one of the best prospects in the country fall in their laps. Smith was considered arguably the best defender in the country until he tore his ACL and LCL in his left knee at the Fiesta Bowl. This pick could be a quick change to an offensive lineman based on Smith’s health evaluation in April and if the Jets can get D’Brickashaw Ferguson to take a pay cut to take away from his massive cap hit, because if not they ould cut him and need immediate help on the offensive line.
2015 Record: 9-7 1st Place NFC East
Team Needs: WR, C, DL, CB
Pick: Chris Jones, DT (Mississippi State)
The Washington Redskins surprised the world winning the NFC East last year. The Redskins may look to address their aging wide receiving core, but getting some help on the defensive line has to be a priority for them in order for them to return to the top of the division. Although his game may need some work, there is no denying Jones has the raw power to become dominant along the defensive line.
2015 Record: 9-7 1st Place AFC South
Team Needs: WR, OL, TE, DE
Pick: Will Fuller, WR (Norte Dame)
The Texans has a big need at quarterback until signing Brock Osweiler away from the Broncos. They had a need at running back by filled that by signing Lamar Miller. Now they use the draft to take pressure off of star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and land the speedy Fuller. The Texans do need depth at defensive end and might be tempted by Kevin Dodd, but ultimately getting the offense right is more beneficial for this Texans team.
2015 Record: 11-5 1st Place NFC North
Team Needs: WR, OG, OT, P
Pick: Josh Doctson, WR (TCU)
The Vikings had a great run to the top of the NFC North last season. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater showed promise, but the lack of offensive weapons from the wide receiver position probably hinged his potential. Now is the time to find out. Doctson should fit in nicely opposite of last years’ bright spot at the position Stefon Diggs. Doctson was targeted like a number one receiver and has great quickness off the line. One of the best running backs in the league, a fantastic pass catching tight end, and a young talented duo of wide receivers, to go along with one of the NFL’s best defenses, could mean the Vikings could make a deep playoff run next year.
2015 Record: 12-4 1st Place AFC North
Team Needs: WR, C, NT, LB
Pick: Braxton Miller, WR (Ohio State)
The Bengals have lost a couple of receivers to free agency, so naturally it is their biggest need. Miller might be a first round stretch especially with Corey Coleman still available, but Miller is extremely athletic and quick, and the more exposure he gets at wide receiver, the more there is to like. Again this may be a gamble, but it is one the Bengals can afford to take.
2015 Record: 10-6 2nd Place AFC North
Team Needs: OG, OLB, CB, S
Pick: William Jackson III, CB (Houston)
The Steelers biggest weakness last season was the inability to stop the pass. Their secondary is also starting to become aged. The youth movement begins with the acquisition of Jackson III. Not coming from a big school may scare off potential suitors, but his size and speed could make him prosperous in the right system. The Steelers will look to be that system.
2015 Record: 10-6 2nd Place NFC West
Team Needs: RB, OT, OG, DL, CB
Pick: Taylor Decker, OT (Ohio State)
Repairing an offensive line that saw Russell Wilson take 53 sacks (including the playoffs) is a priority. Why not draft the leader of the Ohio State offensive line to do that? It doesn’t hurt that he is 6’7″ and weighs 310 pounds. Keeping Wilson upright has to be a priority, and the big man from Ohio State would be a good start to that.
2015 Record: 10-6 2nd Place NFC North
Team Needs: OT, TE, NT, OLB, ILB
Pick: Andrew Billings, NT (Baylor)
With the news of B.J. Raji retiring, the Packers need some help along the defensive front. Enter the powerful Billings who is strong enough to play defensive tackle as well. The best nose tackle prospect in the draft, the big man could be producing results in the middle for the Packers for years to come.
2015 record: 11-5 2nd Place AFC West
Team Needs: QB, WR, DL, OLB
Pick: Robert Nkemdiche, DT (Mississippi)
Powerful and a great porspect, the only reason Nkemdiche falls this low is because of questions about his character. He ended his career by taking a fall from a hotel room and being charged with possession of marrijuana, not exatcly a good entry note into the NFL, but Andy Reid should be able to keep him out of trouble and showcase his skills.
2015 Record: 13-3 1st Place NFC West
Team Needs: TE, OLB, CB, S
Pick: Keanu Neal, S (Florida)
There are a few other positions that offer better prospects, but the Cardinals need to address the safety position. Selecting Neal provides them with the best safety prospect in the draft. The Cardinals needed an edge pass rusher, but solved that problem with the acquisition of Chandler Jones from the Patriots. Well worth the reserve offensive lineman and a second round pick. The lack of a second pick also comes into play with the Cardinals first round selection.
2015 record 15-1 1st Place NFC South
Team Needs: RB, OT, DE, DB
Pick: Noah Spence, DE ( Eastern Kentucky)
The Panthers might be tempted to go with Derrick Henry with this pick, but the skill of Noah Spence is hard to pass up at their pick. Although he fought a documented drug addiction, he used last season to prove that is behind him. Spence has the athleticism to also play at the linebacker position giving the Panthers a chance to fill a need and have flexibility as well.
2015 Record: 13-3 1st Place AFC West (Won Super Bowl 50)
Team Needs: QB, OL, DL, LB
Pick: Paxton Lynch, QB (Memphis)
Is everyone leaving the Broncos? The Super Bowl champs are beginning to have more holes than Swiss cheese, and none more glaring than quarterback. If the Broncos are unable to get anther starting quarterback through free agency, they are going to need to start to groom the quarterback of the future. Lynch definitely has the tools to be successful. His skills may need to be polished at the NFL level, but his height and athleticism are uncanny. If the Broncos can let him sit the bench for a year and learn the system, he could be their quarterback for years to come.
The New England Patriots do not have a first round pick due to the leagues judgement in the Deflategate scandal.
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