The Combine is over. Now begins the long, two-month wait for the actual draft to play out. We've got pro days coming up, and free agency of course. But what to do before then? Oh, I know! How about a mock draft.
I'm not talking a one-round mock draft. Not two rounds. Not even three. Let's go FOUR rounds. I've decided to crack my knuckles and flex those mocking muscles to bring a four rounder for you. You may not...no, I guarantee you will not agree with at least one of my choices, but hey, that's the beauty of this whole thing.
I provided short descriptors for the first two rounds. I did, however, provide explanations for all four Giants picks. It should be noted that this is not the same as my big board. There are quite a few instances where higher ranked players go below lower ranked ones (even at the same position). That's because I tried to factor in both need, value, and scheme fit for each team. Key word there is "tried." Enjoy!
- Tampa Bay (2-14) Jameis Winston, QB FSU - I think the Bucs are smitten with Winston and so, he's the early favorite for the top overall pick in the draft.
- Tennessee (2-14) Leonard Williams, DL USC - Leonard Williams and Jurrell Casey would form an intimidating duo out in Tennessee.
- Jacksonville (3-13) Dante Fowler, EDGE Florida - Jacksonville needs help right away with the pass rush, so I think the more pro-ready local kid will be the selection over Randy Gregory.
- Oakland (3-13) Kevin White, WR WVU - Any of the top 3 receivers works, but White is the best fit for what Bill Musgrave and Derek Carr's cannon arm want to do.
- Washington (4-12) Randy Gregory, EDGE Nebraska - It's time to prepare for life after Brian Orakpo, and the speed-to-power specialist Gregory fits like a glove.
- New York Jets (4-12) Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon - An easy selection here. Nothing gets better if you don't have a QB.
- Chicago (5-11) Brandon Scherff, OL Iowa - Chicago needs help at a lot of places. Thought about edge rusher, but Scherff is the draft's top guard and I think should head for a top 10 selection since he could possibly play right tackle as well. A duo of Kyle Long and Brandon Scherff would possibly be the league's best guard combo.
- Atlanta (6-10) Shane Ray, EDGE Missouri - Bud Dupree also works here. Atlanta gets one of the best first steps in the game to propel their pass rush.
- New York Giants (6-10) Amari Cooper, WR Alabama - I'm not going to get many fans because of this pick. I'm okay with that. My top three choices are Cooper, Peat, and Dupree here, with Cooper by far the BPA. He fits the offense like a glove and with Eli Manning using a more quick-hitting offense, he'll take over for Rueben Randle (who's in a contract year) and make the Giants an incredibly frightening team in the near future. In Kevin Gilbride's offense, Eli Manning routinely got rid of the ball in approximately 2.66 seconds. Last year, it was 2.44. Now 0.22 seconds doesn't seem like anything at all, but in this case, it's exceedingly important. With another year in that system, Eli is going to look to get rid of it even quicker. He needs players that can win instantly, and with the acceleration and separation created by the lightning quick footwork that Cooper possesses, he's the perfect man for the job.
- St. Louis (6-10) Devante Parker, WR Louisville - An easy choice, the last of the big 3 and the one that projects to be an A.J. Green type player, Parker is an elite talent that St. Louis is lucky to have.
- Minnesota (7-9) La'el Collins, OL LSU - Collins goes here because he's so versatile that he can help Minnesota at any point in the line, even possibly take over for the struggling Matt Kalil at left tackle.
- Cleveland (7-9) Andrus Peat, OT Stanford - My top OT prospect doesn't go off the board until 12 because he has no versatility. That's okay for Cleveland, who moves Mitchell Schwartz to guard to open up that right tackle spot.
- New Orleans (7-9) Alvin Dupree, EDGE Kentucky - Not much doubt that the Saints could use a freak edge rusher to help jump start their pass rush.
- Miami (8-8) Danny Shelton, DT Washington - I'm not sure Shelton is a top 10 player, but I definitely think the 15-20 range is an option for him. He'll take over for the disappointing Randy Starks.
- San Francisco (8-8) Vic Beasley, EDGE Clemson - San Francisco gets an explosive edge rusher in Vic Beasley that fits perfectly into what they want to do.
- Houston (9-7) Ereck Flowers, OT Miami - Houston needs a bookend opposite Duane Brown to keep whoever their QB is upright.
- San Diego (9-7) T.J. Clemmings, OT Pittsburgh - DJ Fluker is not a tackle. T.J. Clemmings is, and he'll take over, solidifying the Chargers' front.
- Kansas City (9-7) Jaelen Strong, WR Arizona State - An easy pick. The Chiefs are desperate for a wide receiver, and Strong can pluck the ball out of the air with ease.
- Cleveland - from Buffalo (9-7) Malcom Brown, DL Texas - With Strong gone, I didn't see any WR worth it, so Cleveland opts to upgrade their front with the dynamic Brown.
- Philadelphia (10-6) Shaq Thompson, LB/S Washington - Thompson is exactly the kind of hybrid that I think the Eagles could use at safety and prosper.
- Cincinnati* (10-5-1) Eric Kendricks, ILB UCLA - Kendricks would be a fantastic fit in the middle of that defense, injecting some athleticism to it.
- Pittsburgh* (11-5) Landon Collins, SS Alabama - Troy Polamalu's successor is drafted around the same place as HaHa Clinton-Dix was last year.
- Detroit* (11-5) Marcus Peters, CB Washington - The best CB in the draft, I think he sold teams on his repentance from past mistakes to invest highly.
- Arizona* (11-5) Arik Armstead, DL Oregon - Depending on what you are looking for in a prospect, Armstead can be seen anywhere from a top 5 guy to a guy that belongs in the late 1st/early 2nd round. The big, athletic Armstead has drawn comparisons to Calais Campbell. The Cardinals can use him to move on from Darnell Dockett.
- Carolina* (7-8-1) Melvin Gordon, RB Wisconsin - Deangelo Williams was released and Jonathan Stewart might be next. Gordon would provide a massive upgrade.
- Baltimore* (10-6) Trae Waynes, CB MSU - Waynes showed he had incredible long speed at his size. He's a little stiff, however, so this seems like a good spot for him.
- Dallas* (12-4) Carl Davis, DL Iowa - I think Dallas would jump all over Davis in the first as a pocket punishing 1 tech next to Tyrone Crawford.
- Denver* (12-4) Cameron Erving, OL FSU - The Broncos would jump at the chance to draft the most versatile player in the draft. Erving helped himself tremendously at the combine.
- Indianapolis* (11-5) Eric Rowe, S Utah - My top rated free safety conversion prospect, Rowe could also contribute as a corner. He could take over for Sergio Brown and provide a terrific presence in the back end for Indy.
- Green Bay* (12-4) Eddie Goldman, DT FSU - The replacement for B.J. Raji, Goldman is a monstrous 2 gapping defensive tackle that has a raging punch and country strength.
- Seattle* (12-4) Maxx Williams, TE Minnesota - Even though his 40 time wasn't great, Williams' tape still is. Upgrades the middle of the field for the Seattle offense.
- New England* (12-4) Devin Smith, WR OSU - The premier deep threat with elite ball tracking skills and body control, Smith takes the top off the defense, making Gronkowski and Edelman even more lethal.
- Tennessee (2-14) D.J. Humphries, OL Florida - One of, if not the fastest risers in the draft, Humphries displays excellent footwork, if not great functional strength. He'll upgrade that Tennessee line after they let go of Michael Oher.
- Tampa Bay (2-14) Nate Orchard, EDGE Utah - Tampa has Michael Johnson and Gerald McCoy, but Orchard could add another speed rusher to the mix.
- Oakland (3-13) Todd Gurley, RB Georgia - Oakland needs playmakers. Gurley is one of the top ones in the draft. He'll be in the mix as soon as he's healthy.
- Jacksonville (3-13) Devin Funchess, WR/TE Michigan - Jacksonville has wide receivers, but imagine Funchess with Allen Robinson going up and high pointing Bortles' deep throws?
- New York Jets (4-12) Sammie Coates, WR Auburn - The Jets need a complementary piece from Eric Decker for Mariota to throw to, and Coates fits the bill perfectly.
- Washington (4-12) Benardrick McKinney, LB Mississippi State - The Redskins double-down on linebackers with an inside thumper that could put them over the edge on defense.
- Chicago (5-11) Eli Harold, EDGE, Virginia - Chicago is moving to a 3-4, so they need some quality edge players. Enter Eli Harold, who reminds me of Jeremiah Attaochu as a prospect last year.
- New York Giants (6-10) Jake Fisher, OT Oregon - This was a tough decision, and it was between Fisher, Cann, Michael Bennett, and Odighizuwa for me. I went with Fisher because after his brilliant Combine, I had to go research him further. For a team running a zone scheme on the OL, he's a tremendously clean prospect. He can play four spots on the line due to his balance and agility. He could move Pugh inside or stay at LG and prosper as well. The Giants put the finishing touches on what should be a monstrous offense.
- St. Louis (6-10) A.J. Cann, OL South Carolina - Cann will help the Rams out at offensive line. Greg Robinson should remain at left tackle.
- Atlanta (6-10) Michael Bennett, DT OSU - They just drafted Rashede Hageman, but they need more. Bennett is a pure 1 gapping 3 technique that could thrive in Atlanta and upgrade their pass rush even further.
- Cleveland (7-9) Phillip Dorsett, WR Miami - Cleveland finally selects a wide receiver. Even though DGB is my top WR left, I have serious doubts that Cleveland of all places wants to play that game.
- New Orleans (7-9) Paul Dawson, LB TCU - Forget Dawson's poor combine, he's still a maniac on the field. New Orleans will take him as their WILB and run.
- Minnesota (7-9) Denzel Perryman, ILB Miami - Perryman has his limitations, but he plays with a ton of IDGAF, and that will add some personality to that Vikings LB corps. Plus, Anthony Barr's athleticism will help cover for some of his flaws.
- San Francisco (8-8) Dorial Green-Beckham, WR Oklahoma - The 49ers will take the risk because they need a wide receiver and could get a monster in return.
- Miami (8-8) Quinten Rollins, CB Miami (Ohio) - He's just starting out playing, and wouldn't start right away in Miami, but he'd certainly be a super high end developmental guy that could be the best DB from this draft class.
- San Diego (9-7) Owamagbe Odighizuwa, EDGE UCLA - A monstrous performance from the combine helps solidify his stock. The only reason he's this low is because of potent medical red flags.
- Kansas City (9-7) Senquez Golson, CB Ole Miss - Darby stole the show at the combine, but Golson was super impressive. He's likely a nickel for Kansas City, but he could be an elite one in the mold of Brandon Boykin or Chris Harris Jr.
- Buffalo (9-7) Clive Walford, TE Miami - Buffalo has been looking at free agent QBs, so I don't know if they take one here, but they certainly would like a big time tight end.
- Houston (9-7) Cody Prewitt, FS Ole Miss - I know Prewitt's stock is down, but I'm still a fan. He is instinctual and could be a stabilizing player on Houston's back end.
- Philadelphia (10-6) Brett Hundley, QB UCLA - He broke a few QB records in agility drills at the combine, apparently killed his interviews, and threw the ball beautifully. Hundley had always been my 3rd QB and his combine stock is soaring. I can see the Eagles giving him a chance to command their offense.
- Cincinnati* (10-5-1) Jordan Phillips, DT Oklahoma - Cincy needs a brutal nose to help take the pressure off Geno Atkins. Phillips is exactly what the doctor ordered.
- Detroit* (11-5) Ameer Abdullah, RB Nebraska - There's whispers that the Lions could get rid of Reggie Bush. What better way to replace him than with the explosive Ameer Abdullah?
- Arizona* (11-5) Lorenzo Mauldin, EDGE Louisville - The Cardinals add to their defensive front by getting a well balanced edge rusher.
- Pittsburgh* (11-5) Markus Golden, EDGE Missouri - Pittsburgh wants in on the pass rushing option, as they were limited to starting James Harrison last year. Golden is probably more of a base end, but he's athletic enough to make the transition.
- Carolina* (7-8-1) Laken Tomlinson, OG Duke - Carolina needs all the help it can get in the trenches. Tomlinson is a mauling guard that can step in and crush people in his path.
- Baltimore* (10-6) Duke Johnson, RB Miami - Baltimore always seems to get these types of steals. Duke is one of my favorite RBs in this draft. He and Justin Forsett would make one hell of a tandem.
- Denver* (12-4) Mario Edwards Jr., DL FSU - Denver adds to it's formidable defensive line in the event that Terrance Knighton isn't retained. Edwards can play end or tackle and is a load.
- Dallas* (12-4) Tevin Coleman, RB Indiana - A perfect replacement for Demarco Murray, Coleman is a pure one-cut, well built homerun hitter. With that OL, that's a lot of homeruns.
- Indianapolis* (11-5) Danielle Hunter, EDGE LSU - Really chiseled freakish athlete. I'm not as big a fan as a lot of people but there's no doubting upside. I think this is a steal for Indianapolis.
- Green Bay* (12-4) Stephone Anthony, ILB Clemson - The secret is out. He's good. really damn good. If you were around a few drafts ago, think about how we were talking about Kevin Minter but with more range and agility.
- Seattle* (12-4) Cedric Ogbuehi, OL Texas A&M - This is a luxury pick for Seattle to develop. While Justin Britt was pretty good at right tackle, I think he's a guard, so Ogbuehi could move him inside.
- New England* (12-4) Josue Matias, OL FSU - A versatile, functionally strong offensive lineman for New England? You don't say!
- Tampa Bay (2-14) Chris Hackett, FS TCU
- Tennessee (2-14) Nelson Agholor, WR USC
- Jacksonville (3-13) Daryl Williams, OT Oklahoma
- Oakland (3-13) Gerod Holliman, FS Louisville
- Washington (4-12) Jeremiah Poutasi, OL Utah
- New York Jets (4-12) Hauo'li Kikaha, EDGE Washington
- Chicago (5-11) Xavier Cooper, DL Washington St.
- St. Louis (6-10) Hroniss Grasu, OL Oregon
- Atlanta (6-10) Breshad Perriman, WR UCF
- New York Giants (6-10) Preston Smith, EDGE Mississippi St - If you could construct a base 4-3 end in the mold of the first tenure of Steve Spagnuolo, it would be Preston Smith. 6-foot-5, 270 pounds with 34-inch arms who runs 4.78 (1.63 split) and an outstanding 7.07 3-cone time. He's got very good tape as well. Can set the edge, violent hands, great balance. He falls because of lack of scheme versatility, but he works for us. Plug him in as a closed end and can also move him to tackle in NASCAR packages. I was debating between him, tight end Jesse James, and possibly safety Jaquiski Tartt, but it was a pretty easy choice.
- New Orleans (7-9) Henry Anderson, DL Stanford
- Minnesota (7-9) Tyler Lockett, WR Kansas State
- Cleveland (7-9) Jesse James, TE Penn State
- Miami (8-8) Anthony Harris, SS Virginia
- San Francisco (8-8) Andy Gallick, OL Boston College
- Kansas City (9-7) Tyrus Thompson, OL Oklahoma
- Buffalo (9-7) Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB Oregon
- Houston (9-7) Bryce Petty, QB Baylor
- San Diego (9-7) Jaquiski Tartt, S Samford
- Philadelphia (10-6) Jalen Collins, CB LSU
- Cincinnati* (10-5-1) Derron Smith, S Fresno State
- Arizona* (11-5) Ty Sambrailo, OT Colorado State
- Pittsburgh* (11-5) Mike Davis, RB South Carolina
- Detroit* (11-5) Grady Jarrett, DT Clemson
- Carolina* (7-8-1) Ronald Darby, CB FSU
- Baltimore* (10-6) Trey Flowers, EDGE Arkansas
- Dallas* (12-4) P.J. Williams, CB FSU
- Denver* (12-4) Jalen Mills, FS LSU
- Indianapolis* (11-5) Tre' Jackson, OG FSU
- Green Bay* (12-4) Ali Marpet, OL Hobart
- Seattle* (12-4) Ty Montgomery, WR Stanford
- New England* (12-4) T.J. Yeldon, RB Alabama
- Tennessee (2-14) Garrett Grayson, QB Colorado State
- New England - from Tampa Bay (2-14) Nick O'Leary, TE FSU
- Oakland (3-13) Zach Hodges, EDGE Harvard
- Jacksonville (3-13) David Cobb, RB Minnesota
- New York Jets (4-12) Kevin Johnson, CB Wake Forest
- Washington (4-12) Steven Nelson, CB Oregon State
- Chicago (5-11) Kevin White, CB TCU
- Atlanta (6-10) David Johnson, RB Northern Iowa
- New York Giants (6-10) Kwon Alexander, LB LSU - My comparison for Alexander is Kevin Pierre-Louis, who was drafted by Seattle in Round 4 last year. They are very similar players. He is a new-age off-ball linebacker, smaller, quicker, faster. He flies to the football. We'd throw him in on the weak side and he could be a starting caliber player for us. It was between him and Durrell Eskridge, the free safety from Syracuse who tested well at the Combine, but I went with who I think could be the better player.
- Tampa Bay - from St. Louis (6-10) Rob Havenstein, OL Wisconsin
- Minnesota (7-9) Jeremy Langford, RB Michigan State
- Cleveland (7-9) Durell Eskridge, S Syracuse
- New Orleans (7-9) Javorius Allen, RB USC
- Philadelphia - from Buffalo (8-8) Lynden Trail, EDGE Norfolk St
- Miami (8-8) Jamison Crowder, WR Duke
- Cleveland - from Buffalo (9-7) Sean Mannion, QB Oregon State
- Houston (9-7) Rashad Greene, WR FSU
- San Diego (9-7) Anthony Chickillo, DL Miami
- Kansas City (9-7) Gabe Wright, DL Auburn
- Philadelphia (10-6) Stefon Diggs, WR Maryland
- Cincinnati* (10-5-1) Reese Dismukes, OL Auburn
- Pittsburgh* (11-5) Tyeler Davidson, DL Fresno State
- Detroit* (11-5) Za'darius Smith, DE Kentucky
- Arizona* (11-5) Byron Jones, CB Connecticut
- Carolina* (7-8-1) Tre McBride, WR William & Mary
- Baltimore* (10-6) Vince Mayle, WR Washington St.
- San Francisco - from Denver* (12-4) Marcus Hardison, DL Arizona St.
- Dallas* (12-4) Kurtis Drummond, S Michigan State
- Indianapolis* (11-5) Hayes Pullard, ILB USC
- Green Bay* (12-4) Geneo Grissom, EDGE Oklahoma
- Seattle* (12-4) Josh Shaw, CB USC
- New England* (12-4) Ramik Wilson, LB Georgia
So that's it! Who would you pick differently given what plays out in each round? Feel free to mock my mock!