NFL mock draft: Could Titans go away from Laremy Tunsil at No. 1? (Shutdown Corner)

We admit: A lot changed last week at the combine in Indianapolis. And a lot more will change over the coming weeks with free agency set to hit. But the demand for mock drafts is high, and it gives you, dear reader, another chance to mock our selections. Two weeks ago, right before the start of the NFL scouting combine, we did our third mock for the 2016 NFL draft. Now we want to revise our picks based on things we heard and learned in Indianapolis. [ Follow Yahoo Sports draft expert Eric Edholm on Facebook and Twitter ] One thing we learned : Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith, a top-10 talent (and maybe top five) is in brutal shape healthwise following a devastating knee injury. Projecting him to play Year 1 is extremely dicey now without more information. Another thing: Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche is a top-20 player, but based on us speaking with a well-placed source with one team, we think many clubs will not be able to trust him fully. In a deep DL class, we could see him sliding to the top of Round 2. [NFL free agency starts March 9. Here are Shutdown Corner’s free-agency rankings for offensive players and for defensive players and specialists .] The draft starts with the Tennessee Titans at No. 1, and the feeling we got last week was that their pick was not set in stone. Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil is the presumed choice, and he turned in a great workout, but we don’t believe the Titans have locked in that pick quite yet. A trade, or perhaps a pick of Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey, is entirely possible. Hey, we know all this will change again. But we think we have things closer now than we did two weeks ago. So here are our picks — both now and then, for perspective. Team 3/2 Post-combine selection 2/17 Pre-combine selection Skinny 1. Tennessee Titans Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil We’re sticking with Tunsil for now until we get more info. But a few people hinted the Titans might not be as locked in on him as most mock drafts would have you suggest. They do like Jalen Ramsey, for what it’s worth. 2. Cleveland Browns North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz Cal QB Jared Goff We told you we were open to change here. And hearing Browns head coach Hue Jackson talk at the combine, we’re switching to Wentz for now. 3. San Diego Chargers Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey Oregon DE DeForest Buckner Another team that would love to deal out of this pick. If they stay, Ramsey — not an offensive tackle, unless Tunsil falls — makes the most sense from a value perspective to me. 4. Dallas Cowboys Cal QB Jared Goff Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey When is the next time they’re going to pick this high and have a chance to get this kind of talent? Goff could be great if he’s not thrown to the wolves immediately, which having Tony Romo prevents them from having to do. 5. Jacksonville Jaguars UCLA LB Myles Jack Ohio State DE Joey Bosa Jack can be the starting “Mike” LB from Day 1 and be an upgrade over Paul Posluszny, and the Jaguars can start rebuilding the defense with him, Dante Fowler Jr. and the free-agent help they’re sure to go after. 6. Baltimore Ravens Ohio State DE Joey Bosa Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence The last time GM Ozzie Newsome drafted in the top 10, he took a pass rusher with a slower-than-expected 40-yard dash. It worked out well with Terrell Suggs, and it would do the same with Bosa. 7. San Francisco 49ers Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell UCLA LB Myles Jack An awkward spot for the 49ers, with two QBs gone and no clear-cut choice. Draft another Oregon 5-technique? No, we’ll go with a Chip Kelly-style receiver who wins with physicality. 8. Miami Dolphins Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves Measuring in at 5-10 1/2 at the combine was a big deal for Hargreaves, who could fill a big void here assuming the Dolphins don’t first fill it in free agency. 9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Oregon DE DeForest Buckner Ohio State CB Eli Apple The Bucs call an audible here, not expecting Buckner to be here. He can rush the passer or kick down inside. This would be a gift at this point, even though he’s not a true edge rusher. 10. New York Giants Clemson DE Shaq Lawson Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith Drafting Lawson (whether or not they re-sign Jason Pierre-Paul) might give the Giants a nice little boost to the pass rush, something they sorely lacked a season ago. We think they prefer Lawson to Noah Spence. 11. Chicago Bears Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence Alabama LB Reggie Ragland Ragland is a nice player, but we think the Bears would pull the trigger on an edge player who might be a terror rushing from a two-point stance in a Vic Fangio defense. 12. New Orleans Saints Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander Georgia LB Leonard Floyd With Treadwell off the board, we thought about going defensive line — but can the Saints wait til Round 2 for that? Instead, they get a brash man-cover corner, which is a big need. The Saints must get some swagger back defensively. 13. Philadelphia Eagles Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz The Eagles have re-signed Sam Bradford, and they could add a QB in free agency, too. So we’ll go with a talented tackle who falls a little farther than expected, hitting on a need position (even if Jason Peters is in the plans for 2016). 14. Oakland Raiders Alabama LB Reggie Ragland Alabama DL Jarran Reed I’m still very much in flux here. The Raiders still have needs up front and on the back end, but if they can get past the Rolando McClain stigma they’ll land a tone setter. 15. Los Angeles Rams Memphis QB Paxton Lynch Memphis QB Paxton Lynch They have drafted 46 players the past five years and own three of the first 45 picks this year. Why not take a big-armed project and let him grow behind … Case Keenum?! 16. Detroit Lions Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley We’ll see what they do about Haloti Ngata, but even if he does return the Lions need help up front with three DT free agents. Rankins has been a rising commodity. 17. Atlanta Falcons Ohio State LB Darron Lee Clemson DE Shaq Lawson In a division with dynamic quarterbacks, yes, the Falcons need a better pass rush. But they also need three-down linebackers who can make plays on the ball. Lee adds the speed they desire. 18. Indianapolis Colts Ohio State OT Taylor Decker Ohio State OT Taylor Decker If they go OL, I could see them picking between Decker, Michigan State OT Jack Conklin, Alabama C Ryan Kelly and Kansas State OG Cody Whitehair. We’ll stick with Decker for now. 19. Buffalo Bills Michigan State OT Jack Conklin Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell Rex Ryan loves tough maulers at right tackle, and he’s not currently getting that with either Seantrel Henderson or Cyrus Kouandjio. Conklin is a good fit. 20. New York Jets Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott What a coup this would be. A run of three Buckeyes in four picks is capped with the best true runner in the entire draft, and the best the Jets have had since Curtis Martin. 21. Washington Redskins Alabama DL Jarran Reed Alabama NT A’Shawn Robinson Depends which Bama DL they want. The need might be greater outside with Chris Baker and Jason Hatcher beyond their primes. A classic Scot McCloughan pick, building the team from the inside out. 22. Houston Texans Baylor WR Corey Coleman Baylor WR Corey Coleman This is a very difficult call given that we have zero clue what direction the Texans will go at QB. Not sure how, but I think they first seek a veteran and draft one later. This leads to another big need: a speedy complement to DeAndre Hopkins. 23. Minnesota Vikings TCU WR Josh Doctson Michigan State OT Jack Conklin GM Rick Spielman hinted at the combine that some size at receiver might be nice, and even with all the OL questions this is a pretty good choice. Doctson looked great in Indy. 24. Cincinnati Bengals Alabama NT A’Shawn Robinson Ohio State LB Darron Lee This is a value pick, and it also hits on a need considering that Domata Peko is an overrated player and entering the final year of his deal. 25. Pittsburgh Steelers Ohio State CB Eli Apple Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander No big reason for Apple’s “fall” here — his combine workout was great — other than fit and need. He probably was too high at 9, and at 25 he’s a bargain, frankly. 26. Seattle Seahawks Houston CB William Jackson III Kansas State OG Cody Whitehair Jackson has vaulted himself into the first-round discussion, and he fits exactly what the Seahawks’ CB prototype is. They look for an OL later on. 27. Green Bay Packers Georgia LB Leonard Floyd Baylor NT Andrew Billings Even with Clay Matthews expected to play more back on the outside, this is a thin spot with Nick Perry hitting free agency and Julius Peppers in the twilight of his career. 28. Kansas City Chiefs Texas Tech OT Le’Raven Clark Ohio State WR Braxton Miller A hunch pick here, and hey, we might be overshooting a bit. But Andy Reid loves defensive-minded, quick-footed offensive linemen, and Clark seems to be his type. 29. Arizona Cardinals Clemson DE Kevin Dodd Utah State OLB Kyler Fackrell We think an edge player would be in play here, helping boost the pass rush alongside emerging Markus Golden. But don’t rule out a strong-armed QB such as Connor Cook here. 30. Carolina Panthers Indiana OT Jason Spriggs Clemson DE Kevin Dodd The Panthers place a high priority on big and athletic in the draft, and they have a need at offensive tackle that might not be able to be overlooked. 31. Denver Broncos Michigan State QB Connor Cook Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins Hey, why not? We’re not sure who will stay or go on the Broncos with free agency, but they will have a need at either QB (if Brock Osweiler leaves) or DE-DT (if Malik Jackson does). We say they’ll roll the dice on Cook, or trade down. – – – – – – – Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm

from Yahoo Sports



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s