Monthly Archives: April 2016

NFL Mock Draft: Round 4

Another day in the books and more stories to talk about. Both Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack went within the first ten picks of Round 2 and it was great to see. If fully healthy, they would have gone Top 5 overall. It’s impossible not to root for them.

Both with all the highs of draft day, there are even more lows. More talent has tumbled down the draft boards than expected. This is the day that really tests prospects. There are horror stories of seating out the final rounds. Tom Brady and Arian Foster’s have been well documented.

A fair amount of projected Day 2 prospects are still on the board. Most noticeably the quarterbacks. Surprises like Jacoby Brissett and Cody Kessler were taken ahead of flashy names like Connor Cook, Dak Prescott, and Kevin Hogan. How far the fall will be for them is certainly worth monitoring.

Now let’s try and figure out how Day 3 starts. Here is our projection of Round 4. (Remember: anything goes in these last four rounds)

1.) Cleveland Browns: Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma
2.) Cleveland Browns: Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado St.
3.) Dallas Cowboys: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan St.
4.) San Diego Chargers: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
5.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Hassan Ridgeway, DT, Texas
6.) Baltimore Ravens: Joshua Perry, ILB, Ohio St.
7.) Kansas City Chiefs: Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi St.
8.) Kansas City Chiefs: Jeremy Cash, S, Duke
9.) Baltimore Ravens: Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina
10.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kolby Listenbee, WR, TCU
11.) New York Giants: Willie Beavers, OT, Western Michigan
12.) Los Angeles Rams: Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota
13.) Detroit Lions: De’Runnya Wilson, WR, Mississippi St.
14.) New England Patriots: Devontae Booker, RB, Utah
15.) Los Angeles Rams: Kenny Lawler, WR, Cal
16.) Oakland Raiders: Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana
17.) Atlanta Falcons: Evan Boehm, C, Missouri
18.) Indianapolis Colts: Kentrell Brothers, ILB, Missouri
19.) Chicago Bears: DeAndre Houston-Carson, CB, William & Mary
20.) New York Jets: Harlan Miller, CB, SE Louisiana
21.) Houston Texans: Jerrell Adams, South Carolina
22.) Washington Redskins: Ronald Blair, DE, Appalachian St.
23.) Minnesota Vikings: Christian Westerman, OG, Arizona St.
24.) Cincinnati Bengals: Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame
25.) Pittsburgh Steelers: Landon Turner, OG, North Carolina
26.) Chicago Bears: Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah
27.) Indianapolis Colts: Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech
28.) Kansas City Chiefs: Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan St.
29.) Chicago Bears: Demarcus Ayers, WR, Houston
30.) Arizona Cardinals: Scooby Wright III, ILB, Arizona St.
31.) Cleveland Browns: Connor McGovern, OG, Missouri
32.) Baltimore Ravens: Jalen Mills, DB, LSU

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NFL Mock Draft: Round 2

What a night! The first-round was a crazy night across the board. Whether it was UCLA star linebacker Myles Jack falling from a potential Top 10 candidate to second-round pick due to injury concerns. Then there was Laremy Tunsil’s fall after a video of him smoking a gas mask bong hit Twitter ten minutes before the draft started! The virtual consensus number one overall prospect fell all the way to the Miami Dolphins at thirteenth overall.

There’s more to cover and we’ll address that when we issue our draft grades. But let’s get ready for tonight. Here is our Round 2 mock draft…

1.) Cleveland Browns: Myles Jack, ILB, UCLA
With all the pick hoarding the Browns are doing, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Browns trade down. But if they stay, they should take Jack. He would start Day One.

2.) Tennessee Titans: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Tennessee is another team with a boatload of picks. They hit on Conklin and Round 1, now they address their biggest need on defense.

3.) Dallas Cowboys: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
Dodd slipped out of the first round and the Cowboys couldn’t be happier. They can cross their two biggest needs off after two rounds and with extremely talented prospects.

4.) San Diego Chargers: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
The Chargers surprised many in the first-round. I say they go more conventional here and protect their quarterback. Phillip Rivers is too old to get hit like he did last year.

5.) Baltimore Ravens: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
Baltimore pairs former-Crimson Tide star C.J. Mosley with another Crimson Tider. Ragland, is another prospect that slipped into Round 2 with health concerns.

6.) Kansas City Chiefs: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan St.
If Cleveland wants to move down, the Chiefs could be the ones to move up and make this selection earlier. I had this happening in Round 1, I’m sticking with it.

7.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Jalen Ramsey fell into Jacksonville’s laps in Round 1 and another star caliber player falls to them in Round 2. Reed, is massive man who can anchor a line.

8.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma St.
Tampa worked the first-round masterfully. They stay put and add one of the top defensive ends in the class. Ogbah, could grow into a solid player in Tampa.

9.) New York Giants: Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
Even if Victor Cruz is healthy, the Giants still need a slot receiver. In head coach Ben McAdoo’s west coast offense, he needs weapons like he did when coordinating the Green Bay Packers offensive juggernaut.

10.) Chicago Bears: Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida
Bullard, is versatile lineman and projects best as a five technique. He could develop into a star and gives Chicago another nature 3-4 style of player.

11.) Miami Dolphins: Vonn Bell, S, Ohio St.
They didn’t address any needs by selecting Tunsil in Round 1. That was a luxury pick. At this point in Round 2, Bell is the best talent that checks off a need.

12.) Tennessee Titans: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
A mountain of a man, Tennessee adds (arguably) the best true nose tackle in the draft. He is supremely athletic and should thrive in Dick LeBeau’s defense.

13.) Oakland Raiders: Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
The Heisman Trophy winner is off the board. Head coach Jack Del Rio’s best days manning the ship of Jacksonville came when he had Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew in the backfield. Latavius Murray and Henry would form a great tandem.

14.) Tennessee Titans: Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky
Did I mention the Titans have a boatload of picks? Spence, gives the Titans another quality pass rusher. There are off-field flags, but LeBeau is a Hall of Famer for a reason. They will thrive together as teacher and pupil.

15.) Detroit Lions: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
The Lions continue to build in the trenches. Robinson, is just as great as his counter part Reed. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him taken earlier.

16.) New Orleans Saints: Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Boyd reminds me so much of when Allen Robinson was coming out of Penn State a few years ago. Great size and ultra productive at a top college program and for some reason got no love come draft season. Brees to Boyd would be a beautiful thing.

17.) Indianapolis Colts: Kamalei Correa, OLB, Boise St.
Robert Mathis and Trent Cole aren’t getting any younger. And even with them, the Colts’ pass rush has been lacking. Correa is freaky athletic.

18.) Buffalo Bills: Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi St.
Another quarterback is off the boards. Prescott, made a great choice in staying at school and developing more. He became more of a true pocket passer and showed he can make all the throws. A good fit.

19.) Atlanta Falcons: Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
The best prospect at the position by a long shot. The Falcons tight end position has been barren since Tony Gonzalez retired. Henry gives Matt Ryan the safety valve he needs.

20.) New York Jets: T.J. Green, CB, Clemson
Green, is an intriguing prospect. He started off as a wide receiver then converted to safety and now is being considered more of a cornerback. Is raw but could develop into a quality corner.

21.) Houston Texans: Jihad Ward, DE, Illinois
The Texans defense is loaded, but the departure of Jared Crick left an already thin defensive line thinner. Ward, could start Day One starter and set the edge with his tremendous size.

22.) Washington Redskins: Austin Johnson, DT, Penn St.
Another nose tackle off the board. The Redskins learned last year that success comes from building up the trenches. Johnson, is a quality anchor.

23.) Minnesota Vikings: Su’a Cravens, OLB, USC
Chad Greenway resigned, but it’s a swansong contract. Cravens, is the new breed of small, hybrid linebacker that the NFL is trending towards. He could excel working with defensive minded head coach Mike Zimmer.

24.) Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio St.
The Bengals wide receiving corps got hit hard via free agency and they need to stalk the cupboard back up. That starts with the hometown Thomas.

25.) Seattle Seahawks: Devontae Booker, RB, Utah
Seattle sticks to addressing the offense. Booker fits their scheme well and would pair well with surprise rookie sensation Thomas Rawls. With no more Marshawn Lynch, they need more horses in the stable.

26.) Green Bay Packers: Kentrell Brothers, ILB, Missouri
Brothers is a colossal linebacker and racked up a lot of tackles for the Tigers. There was a lot of pile jumping, but Brothers is always in position to make a play.

27.) Pittsburgh Steelers: Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas St.
Whitehair drops and the Steelers celebrate. They could continue to build the defensive secondary, but if he falls it would be hard to pass on him.

28.) Kansas City Chiefs: Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
After getting the green light on his injured knee following medical rechecks, Fuller’s stock is back on the rise. He could have gone in the first had he not been injured.

29.) New England Patriots: Sean Davis, CB, Maryland
Davis, is the prototypical Patriot. He can play corner or safety and he gives them something they are severely lacking in the secondary — SIZE.

30.) New England Patriots: Le’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
Back-to-back picks thanks to the Chandler Jones trade with Arizona. Expect one of these to be dealt. If they keep both, Clark would be a great choice. He can play the right or left and has starter upside.

31.) Carolina Panthers: Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
General manager Dave Gettleman stayed true to the draft board and took a defensive tackle they did not need. They just lost Josh Norman. They need a corner. Howard, is the best at this point and has the size to hang with the supersized receivers of the NFC South.

32.) Denver Broncos: Christian Westerman, OG, Arizona St.
The Broncos mad a great, aggressive move to go up and snag their quarterback of the future. Now they need to protect him. The interior is thin on their line, Westerman solves that.

NFL Mock Draft 4.0

It’s finally here! Christmas in April. At this point there’s nothing really more to say about the 2016 NFL Draft. We know the players, we know the teams and their needs, and now all we can do is sit back and enjoy.

There are a few predictions I would like to make, but before that I’d just like to stake my claim for why the draft is so important and fun for me, personally. Myles Jack, recently said that he has been watching the draft since he was nine years-old and in that light I can say the same.

The 1999 was the first draft I followed. I remember the excitement surrounding the prospects — Ricky Williams, Donovan McNabb, Edgerin James, and Torrey Holt. Of course what made it more exciting was all this energy was building around my favorite sport and also on my birthday. What could be better? Since then when friends or family ask what I’m doing doing for your birthday, I laugh and say “working”. Of course, when it came to live coverage in 2013, no amount of professionalism could tamper down the giddy nine year-old in me as I finally got to absorb the whirlwind excitement in Radio City Music Hall, firsthand. It was an experience I will never forget.

Now for the predictions!
1.) The Titans will trade up into the Top 10.
2.) The Browns will trade down again.
3.) A team will trade back into the first-round to select a quarterback.
4.) Leonard Floyd convinces a team to select him in the Top 10.
5.) A team will trade into the Top 10 for Ezekiel Elliott.

Now let’s take a gander. Here is the final first-round Blue Chip Sports 2016 NFL Mock Draft. Note: “first-round”. We’ll pump out one for the first round of each day. Let’s be real you can never have enough mock drafts. And one last word to the wise, remember this is a weak draft class. The best value comes in Rounds 3 to 5, so expect a lot of trades this year.

1.) Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB, Cal
We all know it. The only surprise that would come about this selection would be if Wentz was selected and even then, not that surprising.

2.) Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.
See above. You only trade away as much as the Eagles and Rams did in order to select a quarterback.

3.) San Diego Chargers: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Here we go! Now the draft can start. The Chargers have a lot of options and virtually set the tone for the rest of the draft with their selection. Stanley, has been rising the final week or so leading into the draft and has surpassed Tunsil on some boards.

4.) Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida St.
I don’t like this pick after spending a first on the position in last year’s draft, but I believe the Cowboys will double down on the defensive secondary and take Ramsey. He and last year’s selection Byron Jones gives the Cowboys a dynamic, young backfield to build on.

5.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
Jack, will be the most interesting story on Day One. More and more concerns have risen about his knee. Regardless of where he is selected, he is a Top 5 talent. I have him going right where he should be, but am anticipating a considerable drop.

6.) Baltimore Ravens: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
GM Ozzie Newsome faces the easiest selection, possibly, of his entire career. Arguably the top talent in the draft class falls to you AND you address a position of need? Tunsil is a Day One, ten year starter.

7.) San Francisco 49ers: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
Hargreaves, is an unbelievable talent. Most consider him Joe Haden Light, but that is not a knock. Hargreaves is dynamic and gives the Niners the talented playmaker that they have lacked at the position in recent years.

8.) Cleveland Browns: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Believe it! The Browns are widely considered to move down, but if Buckner falls to them? Forget about it. Buckner is a Top 5 talent and when teamed with last year’s first-round selection Danny Shelton in defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s aggressive 3-4 defense? Look out. A step towards respectability.

9.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio St.
The Bucs would love to have added Hargreaves, but with him off the board, Bosa is a pretty great consolation prize. Outside of Gerald McCoy the front four has been a great source of disappointment for some time now.

10.) New York Giants: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan St.
I’ve been back and forth with an offensive tackle or the top running back in the class at this selection. I’m going back to offensive tackle. Conklin, is too impressive a lineman and the Giants are that lacking upfront despite early round investments in recent years.

11.) Chicago Bears: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Floyd’s stock has been steadily rising all draft season long and is now poised to break through into the Top 10. I’ll keep him here though. He played in a 3-4 in college and stays in that system with Chicago.

12.) New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
As I’ve stated many times, the entire Saints defense was atrocious last year. Any top defensive lineman will be a good start for a massive overhaul.

13.) Miami Dolphins: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio St.
Miami gets their dream scenario. More likely than not this marriage will happen, but I have a feeling Miami will have to move up to get him.

14.) Oakland Raiders: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio St.
Oakland doesn’t care if there players can cook or not, Apple has size and playmaking ability. He should make an impact in their secondary as a rookie.

15.) Tennessee Titans: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio St.
The Titans have a boat load of picks after trading out. Protecting their quarterback should be their top priority. They can fill in the blanks later.

16.) Detroit Lions: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Detroit got hit hard via free agency at the defensive end position and the cupboards are bare. Lawson would bring a nice pass rushing tandem as he would team with emerging star Ziggy Ansah.

17.) Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio St.
This is a pick most have had all along. No surprises here. Lee is fast and can make plays all over the field. He should be a Day One starter.

18.) Indianapolis Colts: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
Indy desperately needs to beef up their line. Not only to help keep Andrew Luck up, but also to help a lagging running game. Kelly’s stock is rising. He can make all the calls on the line.

19.) Buffalo Bills: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
Dodd is raw with only one year as a starter under his belt, but is loaded with untapped talent. He will make as a nice replacement for Mario Williams.

20.) New York Jets: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Surprise, surprise. Two groups of top player evaluations that the Jets conducted — quarterbacks and wide receivers. I don’t see Paxton Lynch here and the aging (but still good) Brandon Marshall won’t be around forever.

21.) Washington Redskins: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
Ragland’s enlarged aorta won’t hamper his career, but is something that will require close watching, according to reports. If it looks like all systems are go from Washington’s medical perspective, Ragland is a perfect fit.

22.) Houston Texans: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
The second wide receiver off the board and it’s still not Treadwell. Fuller is the burner Houston needs. DeAndre Hopkins, Jaelen Strong, and Fuller would give Houston’s new quarterback Brock Osweiler a bevy of weapons to grow with.

23.) Minnesota Vikings: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Finally, Treadwell hears his named called. Minnesota made a mistake last year, passing on Teddy Bridgewater’s old college receiver DeVante Parker. They finally address the lack of passing game this year.

24.) Cincinnati Bengals: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
This is a value pick. It could be another wide receiver, but with a great talent like Reed this late in the first round and producing an heir apparent to Domata Peko, this is a great selection.

25.) Pittsburgh Steelers: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
We’ve all said it, we all know it. The retirement of Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu crushed the the Steelers secondary. It’s time to finally address the issue.

26.) Seattle Seahawks: Le’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
Another twist! Clark, another late riser, is versatile — a quality the Seahawks love in their lineman. He’s also the best tackle on the board and their protective shield for Russell Wilson got even weaker after two starters left via free agency.

27.) Green Bay Packers: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
Beef. They need beef in the middle after B.J. Raji decided to take a break for a year, whatever that means. Not the flashiest of names, but definitely a force on the field.

28.) Kansas City Chiefs: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Believe it. Alex Smith is good and all, but the Chiefs need to upgrade their cannon. With Chase Daniel’s departure they have no true back up. Lynch is the future.

29.) Arizona Cardinals: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
This pick stays the same. Just a perfect fit. Hopefully Nkemdiche can reach his potential.

30.) Carolina Panthers: Artie Burns, CB, Miami
Same as above. A raw prospect, but fills a need and has the size to match up with any receiver in today’s supersized game.

31.) Denver Broncos: Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas St.
Whitehair has been in and out of this pick for me all draft season. The way things have wound up, Whitehair sneaks back in. He’s the top guard in this year’s class and could have a very long NFL career.

NFL Mock Draft 3.0

The twist and turns keep on coming. You have to love draft season. After Tennessee dealt the top spot to Los Angeles two weeks ago, the Cleveland Browns dealt the second overall selection to the Philadelphia Eagles. And just like Tennessee, the Browns got the kings ransom they wanted.

Cleveland and Philadelphia swapped first rounders this year, then Cleveland collects Philly’s third- and fourth-round picks in 2016, their first-round pick in 2017, and their second-round pick in 2018. Cleveland’s first-year GM Sashi Brown and his, potentially game changing, analytic department did a great job in a their overall haul but also in targeting third- and fourth-round picks in this year’s draft where the most value is. Cleveland hands over their fourth-rounder next year.

Enough chit-chat. Here is our newest post-trade mock draft…

1.) Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB, Cal
Hollywood is all about making movies with “built-in” franchises and Goff, is that for the team moving to LA. The California Kid is the perfect fit for the Rams and the more proven of the two top quarterbacks.

2.) Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.
The Eagles handed a LOT of money to their quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel, in fact they guaranteed them $34 million. Yet, they still rolled the dice for Wentz? We’ll see how it goes.

3.) San Diego Chargers: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
This is a dream come true for San Diego, who’s offensive line was destroyed by injuries last year. However, they were on the phone talking trade as much as the Browns were this week. Could another Top 5 pick be dealt come draft day?

4.) Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida St.
After selecting a versatile cornerback/safety last year in Byron Jones, but are forced to double dip in addressing that position. It’s that bad and the cupboards are that bare. Rumor has it the Cowboys are all in on Ramsey.

5.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
Jack, is the perfect fit for the Jaguars defense. He’s the sideline-to-sideline defender they’ve been looking for. There are some injury concerns that could push Jack down, but it’s mostly smoke by teams hoping to drive Jack’s value down to them.

6.) Baltimore Ravens: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
The Ravens are at their best when their strong in the trenches. Buckner is a stud. This pick stays the same.

7.) San Francisco 49ers: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
Another pick that stays the same, if the draft shakes down this way. Hargreaves gives the Niners a playmaker at corner they haven’t had in a longtime.

8.) Cleveland Browns: Joey Bosa, OLB, Ohio St.
Cleveland is in an interesting spot here. I wouldn’t be surprised if they trade down again, but if they stay here they select a native son of Ohio. Bosa, is considered one of the “safer” early picks. A solid, unspectacular performer.

9.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
A jump for Lawson comes from being cleared medically after a recheck following the combine. Lawson addresses a major need for the Bucs and gives them a burgeoning player who blew up for 12.5 sacks last season.

10.) New York Giants: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio St.
An explosive player, Elliott drops a little bit, but still hangs on to a place in the Top 10. New head coach Ben McAdoo comes from a pass first offensive scheme from Green Bay, but a dangerous running game opens up the passing lanes even more.

11.) Chicago Bears: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
The Bears come out the biggest winner of the Browns-Eagles trade. It pushes Stanley out of the Top 10 and right into their laps. This allows the Bears to shift Charles Leno from the left side to the right, kicking Kyle Long back to his natural right guard position, and turning this unit into a team strength.

12.) New Orleans Saints: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
With Lawson gone, the Saints are left to turn to their interior defensive line. The whole defense needs to be rebuilt and you start that from the inside out. Reed is the run stuffer this team needs.

13.) Miami Dolphins: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
Jackson’s stock continues to rise. In two years as the starter for the Cougars, Jackson broke up 33 passes and intercepted seven balls. That’s why his stock continues to rise. He’s only going to get better.

14.) Oakland Raiders: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
Dodd, is an intriguing prospect. He could go at a lot of different spots. For now I have him here. There’s always risk in spending a first-round pick on a one year wonder, but Dodd’s physical traits suggest the best is yet to come and with Khalil Mack getting most attentions from opposing linemen, Dodd would have more time to develop stress free.

15.) Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan St.
This pick stays the same. Tennessee strikes a golden trade after adding a walk-on turned All-American mauler for their o-line.

16.) Detroit Lions: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Rankins has been a pretty quiet prospect, but he doesn’t play like one. He is a classic three-technique that lives in the backfield. With Haloti Ngata taking a lot of attention, Rankins could become a quarterbacks worst nightmare.

17.) Atlanta Falcons: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
The Falcons have lacked a quality inside linebacker since Keith Brooking left. Ragland, ends that dry spell. Ragland is a classic thumper and comes from a pro style defense.

18.) Indianapolis Colts: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
Kelly makes a big jump. Most have listed as a second-rounder, myself included, but Kelly’s sky rocketing right now due to the very shallow pool of talent at center. Indy has been severely lacking at the pivot position for years — problem solved.

19.) Buffalo Bills: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Another prospect moving up draft boards. Lynch, has ideal size and a canon arm. The Bills finished 28th in passing and 1st in running offense, that tells you everything you need to know.

20.) New York Jets: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
It wouldn’t surprise me to see Floyd taken earlier than this, but for this time around he lands with Gang Green. They’ve been needing youth on the outside for a long time and Floyd has his best football ahead of him.

21.) Washington Redskins: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Another pick that stays the same. Billings is a mountain of a man and is the building block this defense needs.

22.) Houston Texans: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
Butler moves up a few spots. With Jared Crick off to Denver via free agency, the Texans need to beef up their defensive front and inject some youth. Butler checks both those needs and adds a pass rushing threat from the five-technique.

23.) Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Our first wide receiver is off the board. The same as our last mock draft, Doctson is a perfect compliment to Stefon Diggs.

24.) Cincinnati Bengals: Laquan Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The Bengals couldn’t be happier with the fall of Treadwell. The pair of him and A.J. Green will give defenses trouble and take a lot of pressure off Dalton. He’s an upgrade over both Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones, who left via free agency.

25.) Pittsburgh Steelers: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio St.
Did you read above? Corners are needed, especially after ignoring the position for a long time. Apple has great size and the toughness to hang with the Steelers defense.

26.) Seattle Seahawks: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio St.
Another pick that sticks. Decker, addresses a major need from a college program known for churning out offensive linemen.

27.) Green Bay Packers: Darron Lee, ILB, Ohio St.
Back-to-back-to-back Buckeyes! A few years back, the Seelers selected Ryan Shazier, a linebacker who played outside in Ohio State’s 4-3 defense then shifted to the inside and is on his way to stardom. Same goes for Lee and the Packers.

28.) Kansas City Chiefs: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
While the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid drafted DeSean Jackson and his aerial attack took off. The Chiefs finished 30th in passing offense last season, Fuller could be the remedy with similar big-play ability as Jackson.

29.) Arizona Cardinals: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
This pick remains the same. Head coach Bruce Arians gets the most out of his players and could turn Nkemdiche into the star he has the potential to be.

30.) Carolina Panthers: Artie Burns, CB, Miami
With the stunning move of rescinding star cornerback Josh Norman’s franchise tag, this becomes the Panthers biggest need. Burns, is raw, but has great potential.

31.) Denver Broncos: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan St.
Believe it. Cook is another quarterback with rising stock. He fits well in head coach Gary Kubiak’s offense and already has all the pieces needed to exceed. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him beat out veteran Mark Sanchez to start Day One.

NFL Mock Draft 2.o

Holy smokes! Talk about turning the tables! Draft season turned from a snooze fest to absolute chaos overnight. The Titans and Rams pulled off one of the biggest trades in recent draft history. It will take some time to properly judge the deal, but as of now the Titans swindled a Rams team, who should know a thing about swindling people atop the draft board.

The Titans and Rams will switch first-round picks and then the Titans will receive both of the Rams second-round picks and their third-round pick in this year’s draft in addition to the Rams first- and third-round picks in 2017! The Rams get No. 1 overall and the Titans fourth- and sixth-round pick.

History says this won’t pan out good for the Rams when looking at the 2012 trade when the Rams got a boatload of picks from the Redskins in order to move up and acquire quarterback Robert Griffin III. He didn’t last his rookie contract. Then there was 1999 and Saints’ head coach Mike Ditka handing his whole draft over in order to move up and select running back Ricky Williams, who only lasted three years with the club.

Well, let’s get to it then. A brand new order to attack. Let’s see what we got…

1.) Los Angeles Rams: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.
Wentz is by all means considered the target desired by the Rams. That’s a lot to ask of anybody, let alone a prospect coming out of an Division 1-FCS school. The Rams are placing all of their chips on Wentz.

2.) Cleveland Browns: Jared Goff, QB, Cal
Cleveland would be wise to take note of the Titans highway robbery. If someone expresses a strong desire to acquire Goff, make the move. Like the Titans, the Browns roster is filled with holes. But if they stay, Goff is the right call.

3.) San Diego Chargers: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
With back-to-back quarterbacks off the board that pushes Tunsil down the board and the Chargers couldn’t be happier. Quarterback Phillip Rivers was sacked 40 times last season. The line under produced and was devastated by injuries.

4.) Dallas Cowboys: Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
The Cowboys could go a couple different ways here. After drafting a defensive back in the first-round last year, I think they pass on one early this year and instead take, arguably, the best player in the draft.

5.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida St.
Ramsey, is a godsend at this point on the draft. Jacksonville is a few spots away from making a serious playoff run, they just need a few playmakers on defense. The former-Seminole, has great size and versatility for the secondary and finished his college career with 22 pass breakups over the last two seasons.

6.) Baltimore Ravens: DeForest Buckner, DT, Oregon
Ten years ago Baltimore took an Oregon five-technique in the first-round. His name was Haloti Ngata. Here, Baltimore will select another in Buckner. Capping off his senior year with 10.5 sacks, Buckner would instantly make the Ravens d-line one of the best in the league.

7.) San Francisco 49ers: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
There’s a piece of me that would like to see the Niners select Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliott to give new head coach Chip Kelly’s run first offense a dynamic backfield, but I see cooler head prevailing. The Niners finished 27th in pass defense.

8.) Philadelphia Eagles: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio St.
After missing out in getting a quarterback in Round 1, Elliott is quite the consolation prize. After back-to-back seasons of over 1,800 yards and Todd Gurley reassuring the NFL it’s okay to draft a running back early, Elliott is a no-brainer.

9.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio St.
Bosa, has tremendous size and instantly upgrades a sore spot for the Bucs over the past few years. Bosa, could start Day One and that is a reassurance for new head coach Dirk Koetter who has to game-plan for Cam Newton, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan twice a season.

10.) New York Giants: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Another interesting spot. Could we see the first wide receiver off the board? Probably not, but it wouldn’t be surprising. The G-Men selected Ereck Flowers in virtually the same spot last year, but despite spending numerous early round picks in recent drafts they are still lacking upfront, especially on the right side.

11.) Chicago Bears: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
The Bears were 22nd against the run last season, Year One of the John Fox-Ryan Pace era. They transitioned to a 3-4 defense last year and are still searching for the proper players to fit the scheme. Reed, is the perfect prospect and is a force against the run.

12.) New Orleans Saints: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Another spot where a wide receiver could be selected. The Saints run as Drew Brees runs and currently Brees’ has no weapons. That being said, the Saints fielded one of the most atrocious defenses lasts season finishing 31st against the run AND the pass. Lawson, could help on both fronts and free up veteran Cam Jordan.

13.) Miami Dolphins: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio St.
When you face Tom Brady twice a season you need cornerbacks and not only could the Dolphins use an upgrade, but they also have little to no depth at the position. Apple, has tremendous size and isn’t afraid to mix it up in the run game.

14.) Oakland Raiders: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
The first ever selection in GM Reggie McKenzie’s tenure with the silver and black was D. J. Hayden, a Houston cornerback. Now, he delves back in to the waters of an emerging program. Jackson has the ability to grow into a quality playmaker.

15.) Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan St.
The Titans got the king’s ransom they were looking for and still walk away with a massive upgrade at the tackle position. Conklin, is a mauler and will allow the Titans to shift last year’s third-round pick Jeremiah Poutasi to his more suitable position of right guard.

16.) Detroit Lions: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The Lions have other needs, but when, arguably, the best receiver in the draft falls to you and your hall-of-fame receiver just retired, it’s kind of a no-brainer, right? Treadwell compliments veterans Golden Tate and Marvin Jones well.

17.) Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio St.
Lee, shot up draft boards following a killer performance at the Combine. He is the freakish athlete of today’s game that can fill up a stat sheet despite a smallish frame. The Falcons finally upgrade a sorely lacking position.

18.) Indianapolis Colts: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Indy needs to protect quarterback Andrew Luck, but Floyd’s stock is on the rise and they have virtually no pass rush. Robert Mathis and Trent Cole aren’t getting any younger and Erik Walden isn’t the long term answer. Floyd had 15 sacks in three seasons.

19.) Buffalo Bills: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Surprise, surprise. The Bills have quietly worked out many of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s class. Lynch, progressed every year at Memphis. His yards, completion percentage, and touchdowns swelled while his interceptions dropped. Give him a few years to marinate and you could be looking at a star.

20.) New York Jets: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
The Jets are thin in the middle. Demario Davis left and age is catching up to longtime starter David Harris. Ragland, is a force. He’s got a lot of lead in the pencil and comes from a pro-style defense.

21.) Washington Redskins: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
They lost a pork chop but added a mountain. Veteran nose tackle Terrence Knighton signed with the New England Patriots via free agency and quite literally left a crater in the middle of the Redskins defense. Billings is a giant that can man the middle for a decade.

22.) Houston Texans: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
The Texans have a possibly burgeoning receiving corps with the addition of Coleman. They already have star in DeAndre Hopkins, a quality possession option in last year’s third-rounder Jaelen Strong, and with Coleman have a weapon to take the top off a defense.

23.) Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Doctson’s numbers went up every year at TCU and he has great size at 6’2″ tall. While he is not a burner, he gets by and always works back to his quarterback. The Vikings’ finished 31st in passing offense due, mostly, to a lack of targets. Doctson, who is tough to beat on 50/50 balls, compliments last year’s draft steal Stefon Diggs.

24.) Cincinnati Bengals: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
Butler has been rising steadily throughout the draft process. A lesser known process, Butler will make sure you know his name quickly. He lived behind the line the past two seasons, racking up 23 tackles-for-loss and four sacks.

25.) Pittsburgh Steelers: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
A smaller than preferred corner (5’10”) and he didn’t register an interception over his two seasons at Clemson, but don’t hold those against him. He is a quality corner with the swagger to excel in the Steelers aggressive defense.

26.) Seattle Seahawks: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio St.
Decker slips a little bit in our second mock draft and man are the Seahawks happy. He is versatile enough to play on the left or right and can even kick in at guard, a trait the Seahawks love. Russell Wilson, will appreciate the help.

27.) Green Bay Packers: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
When veteran nose tackle B.J. Raji decided to take a little hiatus, it left a whole in the middle of the defense. The Packers need their linemen to keep the linebackers clean (another thin position), Robinson can do just that.

28.) Kansas City Chiefs: Artie Burns, CB, Miami
Burns is a bit raw as a prospect, but he has a lot of talent. For now, he can jam receivers and rely on his physicality as his coverage continues to develop. A former track star, Burns has a high ceiling.

29.) Arizona Cardinals: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has developed a locker room suitable for Nkemdiche to thrive. Nkemdiche, has Top 10 talent but character concerns have raised red flags. If he can put it all together, Nkemdiche could supplant veteran Frostee Rucker by season’s end.

30.) Carolina Panthers: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
The Panthers need an injection of youth and talent on the edge, especially after the retirement of Jared Allen. Dodd, who is still growing as a player has elite traits that could be realized with head coach “Riverboat” Ron’s tutelage.

31.) Denver Broncos: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Rankins slips a bit in our second mock draft. Rankins has the ability to play anywhere on the line and in Denver’s 3-4 he would replace the big shoes left by Malik Jackson’s free agency departure. Just like Jackson, Rankins will be able to put the heat on the opposing quarterback on every play.

NFL Mock Draft 1.0

The first ever Blue Chip Sports NFL mock draft. Doesn’t it feel good? Forget Christmas, draft season is truly the most wonderful time of year. Each Thursday leading up to the draft we will release an updated mock draft. Yes, it’s late for a first mock draft but come one, do insiders really need to break out the mocks before free agency has even started?

Read, break down, argue among yourselves. That’s what it’s all about. Here is our first 2016 NFL mock draft…

1.) Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
To be a successful organization you need three things: a franchise quarterback, a good head coach, and steady ownership. The Titans only have the first in Marcus Mariota and he was sacked 38 times and forced to shut down his promising rookie season due a sprained MCL. Tunsil will keep Mariota upright for the next decade.

2.) Cleveland Browns: Jalen Ramsey, S, Florida St.
The Browns put a band-aid on the quarterback position by signing Robert Griffin III and with that, allows them the opportunity to address other needs (and they have LOTS). Ramsey, is a rare prospect as safety is one of the hardest positions to fill due to the current evolution of the game.

3.) San Diego Chargers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
The Bolts need to get stronger in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Buckner is a prototype five-technique for their 3-4 defense, especially after losing multiple players to free agency. Not only did Buckner post 10.5 sacks, he also had five batted balls at the line. Of course it helps when you’re 6’7″.

4.) Dallas Cowboys: Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
To sum up Jack in a nutshell: he was Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2013. Even despite coming off a severe torn meniscus that cost him virtually all of his junior year. Jack is a sideline-to-sideline playmaker coming from a program that has already delivered a star outside ‘backer to the NFL (Vikings’ Anthony Barr).

5.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
The Jags always seem to have an interesting spot in the top ten. They could go a lot of ways here, but with an incredibly thin secondary and a shallow talent pool the Jags go with Hargreaves. A near clone of fellow Gator and NFL Pro Bowler Joe Haden, Hargreaves was a starter as a true freshman and notched 10 picks in three years.

6.) Baltimore Ravens: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Age is creeping up fast on their vaunted defense and they could go the way of an outside pass rusher, but when you are paying your quarterback an absurd amount of money and he is lost midseason to a torn ACL, then you lose your best lineman via free agency? I think it’s a no-brainer. Another 10-year stalwart off the boards.

7.) San Francisco 49ers: Jared Goff, QB, Cal
GM Trent Baalke won’t let new head coach Chip Kelly dismantle the roster as the Eagles allowed Kelly to do in 2015. Veteran quarterback Colin Kapernick has one foot out the door, selecting Goff helps get him the rest of the way. Goff, has the zip and smarts to excel in Kelly’s west coast system.

8.) Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.
Surprised? Don’t be. Incumbent quarterback Sam Bradford won’t be in Philly for long and new (first time) head coach Doug Pederson, is a former NFL quarterback himself. He’ll be able to groom the FCS-level competitor to take over in Year 2.

9.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio St.
Every year players fall and one team’s pass is another team’s pleasure. Bosa, instantly helps the pass rush and helps build upon a young, talented defense. The defensive line tandem of Gerald McCoy up the middle and Bosa off the edge will make the quarterbacks of the NFC South develop some itchy feet in the pocket.

10.) New York Giants: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio St.
Todd Gurley went in this spot last year, rejuvenating the idea that running backs are still worth high investment. Elliott keeps the idea alive. He can do everything and quarterback Eli Manning could use some ground support – something he’s been without the past few seasons. Elliott had back-to-back 1,800+ yard seasons.

11.) Chicago Bears: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Rankins has been climbing the draft board steadily. He is versatile enough to kick outside to the five-technique in the Bears’ 3-4 system. After hitting on Eddie Goldman last year, Rankins will round out a promising d-line for the Bears to thrive.

12.) New Orleans Saints: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The Saints defense was atrocious, but it’s the Saints. It starts and ends with quarterback Drew Brees. It was clear he didn’t have enough weapons in the arsenal and after cutting ties with long-time No. 1 receiver Marquis Colston, the Saints need to help out Brees.

13.) Miami Dolphins: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio St.
New Dolphins head coach Adam Gase was the offensive coordinator in Denver when they brought in cornerback Aqib Talib to help bolster their pass defense, a key building block on the road to defensive supremacy. Simply put: size matters. Apple, at 6’1″ has the size and cover ability to help from Day One in South Beach.

14.) Oakland Raiders: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
With Justin Tuck retiring and the loss of Benson Mayowa to free agency, the Raiders need more than just Khalil Mack to rush the quarterback. To that degree they pair Mack with Lawson, who had 12.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss last season. Look out AFC West.

15.) Los Angeles Rams: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
It was a move that surprised many around the league when the Rams cut starting middle linebacker and captain James Laurinaitis. It was only more perplexing when you looked to see the cupboards bare behind him. Ragland, steps in and mans the middle right out of the gates.

16.) Detroit Lions: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan St.
Conklin is a beast. He went from walk-on to All American over his time at Michigan State and has a blue collar work ethic. He looks to finish blocks by burying his man in the field. He would be the bookend to left tackle Riley Reiff.

17.) Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio St.
The Falcons have been THIN at linebacker for the past few years. Lee, changes that. He is a sideline-to-sideline defender who blew away people at the Combine. He is a playmaker who can rush the passer and be effective in coverage.

18.) Indianapolis Colts: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio St.
Quarterback Andrew Luck can take a sigh of relief here. Arguably, the most promising young quarterback in the league, Luck has taken a beating over his limited time in the league. Decker, is talented enough to play multiple spots allowing the Colts to find the best spot for him to protect Luck.

19.) Buffalo Bills: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
Rex Ryan lost Mario Williams and adds Kevin Dodd. Win Ryan. Dodd, is an explosive edge rusher just scratching his potential. Ryan, has selected a player like this before (Quinton Coples in 2012). Dodd, will take some time to develop some coverage ability but he can get to work rushing the passer asap.

20.) New York Jets: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Back-to-back rushers off the board. Floyd excelled in Georgia’s 3-4 system and moves into the same base defense in New York. Head coach Todd Bowles gets the most out his players, so expect Floyd to live in the backfield (38 quarterback hits in three years).

21.) Washington Redskins: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
The Redskins need help at multiple spots on defense and they could address the secondary here, but I think the Redskins’ brass learned their lesson last year with their stellar selection of Brandon Scherff – you start in the trenches. Billings is freakishly athletic for a mountain as big as him.

22.) Houston Texans: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Another riser over the draft process. Doctson, is everything you want in a modern receiver. He is big, fast, and a capable blocker downfield. He will need to work on his route running, but has the talent to develop quickly. A red-zone target.

23.) Minnesota Vikings: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Coleman, caught over 30 touchdowns in two seasons. Offensive system be damned, that is incredible. Coleman, is a burner who can take the top off a defense. This helps balance an offense that was 4th in rushing, but 31st in passing.

24.) Cincinnati Bengals: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
The strength of the Bengals is in their defense and the strength of that strength is upfront. Geno Atkins finally returned to form following a knee injury and Domata Peko was solid as always, however, Peko is 32 and there is virtually no depth behind them. Time to start prepping for life after Peko.

25.) Pittsburgh Steelers: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
The Steelers have infested a lot in linebackers the past few years, while ignoring a secondary that lost legendary Steelers Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu. Neither has been replaced to any degree and their pass defense sagged to 30th in the league. Alexander plays with the swagger cornerbacks need to succeed at the NFL level.

26.) Seattle Seahawks: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
The Seahawks lost Russell Okung to free agency and even with him, quarterback Russell Wilson was getting abused. Spriggs, could step in and save the offensive line from collapsing. He could excel in the Seahawks’ zone blocking scheme.

27.) Green Bay Packers: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
When B.J. Raji semi-retired, it left a big spot in the middle of the defense and Robinson is just the man to fill it. Big, strong, and scheme versatile, Robinson is the perfect piece to take pressure off the Packers’ linebackers at the second level.

28.) Kansas City Chiefs: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
As the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, head coach Andy Reid had the speedy DeSean Jackson and the aerial attack was potent. Reid needs that burner back in his offense and Fuller. Entering the draft process there were questions about his catching ability (double catches, body catches), but he impressed at his pro day.

29.) Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
The Cardinals have very few pieces missing from their puzzle and center is the most pressing and Kelly is just the answer. Coming from a pro style offense in Tuscaloosa, Kelly racked up the Remington Award and Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the best center in the nation and the SEC’s top blocker, respectively in 2015.

30.) Carolina Panthers: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
Carolina limped into the postseason in the defensive secondary. There was star cornerback Josh Norman and the rest were just pieces and parts from whatever was available on the street. Jackson, a two year starter at Houston, gives the Carolina a cornerback tandem to take on the NFL’s elite.

31.) Denver Broncos: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
John Elway is crossing his fingers that the Broncos are this lucky come draft day. They need a quarterback in the worst way and get a very talented one in Lynch. Give him a season to marinate with Mark Sanchez taking the reigns for a year and come Lynch’s second year, the Broncos could be making another serious playoff push.