2016 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Round 1
6.) Baltimore Ravens – DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon (6’7 | 291 | 5.00)
It was an injury-ravaged season for the Ravens, but it seems almost unfair letting GM Ozzie Newsome pick this high in the draft. Traditionally Newsome has been one of the best drafters in the league and has his choice of multiple potential impact players this year. He’s stuck to the best player available mantra his whole career with the Ravens and it just so happens that this year the best player left on the board actually fills a significant need for the Ravens after the loss of starting DE Chris Canty.
A defensive line of Buckner, Timmy Jernigan, and Brandon Williams could be among the best in the league and improve an uncharacteristically mediocre run defense (13th in the league). The Ravens have more glaring issues elsewhere (secondary, wide receiver), but can address those later in the draft.
7. San Francisco 49ers – QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis (6’7 | 244 | 4.81)
Chip Kelly is saying all the right things about resurrecting Blaine Gabbert’s career and fixing Colin Kaepernick’s issues, but Lynch is a much better fit for Kelly’s offensive scheme. He’s mobile, gets rid of the ball quickly, has experience running the read option that Kelly was so successful running with Mariota, and will have some time to develop before Kelly realizes that both Gabbert and Kaepernick still suck.
8.) Philadelphia Eagles – RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohi0 St (6’0 | 225 | 445)
Right now injury-prone Ryan Matthews is the #1 RB on the Eagles depth chart. There is an absolute zero chance the Eagles go into the season with Mathews as their bell-cow back. Elliot is the clear-cut top running back in this class and could be a top ten NFL running back as a rookie. He not only has the speed, power, and vision to be a productive back but is the best pass blocking back in this year’s draft class and a natural receiver out of the backfield. For those of you fantasy players, put Elliot in the top ten of your RB lists, he’s going to be a beast.
9.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DE Joey Bosa (6’5 | 269 | 4.84)
The Bucs could use another cornerback which makes Vernon Hargreaves a possibility here, but their pass rush is also a mess. Outside of DT Gerald McCoy’s 8.5 sacks, they really don’t have any other pass rushers besides recently signed Robert Ayers and relative unknown Jacquies Smith. Their pass rush is such a question mark that there is no way the Bucs pass up a gift like Bosa falling this far. Bosa’s nightlife issues and rumors of a molly habit will scare off some teams early in the draft but he’s a steal at ninth overall. He could team with McCoy to give the Bucs a potent inside / outside rush attack.
10) New York Giants – OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame (6’6 | 312 | 5.18)
Despite the fact that the Giants seem to draft an offensive linemen in the first round every year, they haven’t been able to keep Eli Manning clean or consistently create lanes for their running backs. Stanley needs to spend some time in the weight room, but has quick enough feet and the length to develop into a quality NFL left tackle. The Giants spent a bazillion dollars on their defensive line in the off-season but still need to fix the offensive line.
Next: Picks 11-15