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With the 2016 NFL Draft set to begin on April 28th, many “experts” across various football publications and television shows have posted mocks of where they think each player will be taken. It will come as a shock to no one that come late April, most of these clowns will be hilariously wrong about a great number of their predicted picks. (Christian Hackenberg in the first round? You’re fucking mental.) Despite my assertion that many of these so-called experts barely qualify to wave a sign outside of a payday loan shop, the predictions I have made in my own mock draft will probably not come true either. This, however is because what I have assembled is less of a mock draft and more of collage of wishful thinking and unconventional “wisdom” that I penned in the aftermath of one of the worst bar crawls in recent memory. It’s still likely to beat Maurice Jones-Drew’s latest mock. Reading that was even more painful than watching him lumber to 2.2 yards per carry with the Oakland Raiders.
1st Overall Pick – Tennessee Titans (3-13)
Laremy Tunsil, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi
This pick is actually in line with most predictions across the various NFL publications, and I tend to agree with them regarding this particular gentleman. On the football side of things, it makes total sense. The Titans are a team with an emerging defense led by the likes of Bryan Orakpo and Derrick Morgan, and they appeared to find their quarterback with the second overall pick of last year’s draft. This quarterback, Marcus Mariota, is the very reason that this team needs Tunsil first overall. The Titans have a subpar offensive line, with Taylor Lewan and Chance Warmack needing some help if they want to avoid getting their QB ripped to shreds. When you look at Mariota, you see a true professional at the position. The guy is quiet and respectful on and off the field and generally about as straight-laced as you’ll see an NFL player. Tunsil, on the other hand, is the Hyde that can complement Mariota’s boring-ass Jekyll. Tunsil was arrested in 2015 on domestic violence charges, and was also allegedly present during an incident in which first-round hopeful and former Ole Miss teammate Robert Nkemdiche fell out of a hotel window before being charged with marijuana possession. If Tennessee does the right thing here and takes Laremy Tunsil at number one, he’ll help his quarterback out in pocket protection and personal growth. By that, I mean that if Mariota can learn to put up with Tunsil yakking in the huddle after a night out on the town, he will progress to the point at which no opposing defenses can faze him.
2nd Overall Pick – Cleveland Browns (3-13)
Tanner Mangum, Quarterback, Brigham Young University
Tanner who!? Tanner Fucking Mangum, that’s who. Let’s face it, the Cleveland Browns have a laundry list of needs all over their team, but I believe Mangum is their guy. My reasoning is quite simple: He is the opposite of Johnny Manziel. Back in 2014, Cleveland’s top brass made the ballsy and highly questionable decision of taking Manziel in the first round. This was a guy that came with a number of character and mechanical flaws, and Cleveland just had to have him. Following a nightmarish 2014 season, the Browns management changed their tune in the 2015 draft, opting to pick conservatively in the first round. Danny Shelton? Boring. Cameron Erving? Snore. However, I do believe that they will continue with these “safe” draft picks, choosing to pick up a choir boy with a rocket arm. Mangum grew up in Idaho and spent two years of his college career on a Mormon mission in South America. Right off the bat, you’re not going to have many character concerns with this fellow. This pick is also safe in that the Browns can let him hold the clipboard for a few years while RGIII and Josh McCown break records. I’m also going to ignore the fact that Tanner Mangum isn’t draft-eligible for 2016, because my gut is telling me he’s the right guy. Hopefully, Cleveland’s personnel team will agree with me. I’ll end with one final case for the low risk of this pick: Even if they turn out to be wrong, they’ll probably be right back here in the top five for 2017. #Believeland
3rd Overall Pick – San Diego Chargers (4-12)
DeForest Buckner, Defensive End, Oregon
This is yet another pick that makes sense on multiple fronts. For one, San Diego needs help on defense. After all, they finished in the bottom half of total defense in 2015, and running one of the best defensive backs in franchise history out of town probably doesn’t help them. However, the main reason this pick makes sense is with the name recognition factor. It is a likely scenario that San Diego opts to make the move to Los Angeles next year, which is one of the biggest media markets on the planet. If that is the case, do you really want someone with a name like Jalen Ramsey, Ronnie Stanley or Cody Whitehair getting media attention? No, you don’t. You want goddamn DEFOREST BUCKNER. This is a guy with an intriguing combination of pass-rushing talent and marketability, just what a team in Southern California needs. I will admit that Buckner would also be a great fit for Chicago at pick 11. Because where do bears live? In DE FOREST. Good God, I’m so sorry.
4th Overall Pick – Dallas Cowboys (4-12)
DRAFT PICK FORFEITED – NO SELECTION
This is probably the riskiest prediction I’ll ever make, but I’m going with my gut on this one. After weeks of Jerry Jones insisting that he wants to trade all the Cowboys’ picks to move up to number one and take Johnny Manziel, the rest of the top brass will hatch a plan to have Quaaludes put in Jerry’s mimosa on the morning of Draft Day, knocking out the old bastard so that he can’t mortgage the future of the team. All will seem to be going well until Roger Goodell is at the podium, ready to announce who Dallas will choose 4th overall. At this moment, Jones will come in like a bat out of hell and knock Goodell to the floor, after which he will proceed to slur the Cowboys’ draft pick into the microphone: “We want Johnny Gahhhdamn Foohhhball!” I’ll be the first to admit, this is a longshot, but you can never rule anything out in Jerrahworld.
5th Overall Pick – Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)
Demarcus Robinson, Wide Receiver, Florida
A no-brainer to round out the list. For years, Jacksonville has been a team without an identity. It would be a wise move for them to take Robinson here, as his reputation for being “Mr. Suspension” during his college career at Florida will go a long way toward reflecting the trashy vibe of the Jacksonville area. With mounting rumors that former first round pick Justin Blackmon may be permanently dismissed from the team in the near future, many are wondering who will take up his mantle of perpetually being on the reserve/suspended list. Choosing Robinson may seem like a reach at number five, but don’t forget that this is the team that took a punter in the 3rd round a few years back..
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