2016 NFL Mock Draft: Final Mock 7 Rounds
Chris Ransom Last Updated: Last Updated: April 26, 2016 with updates every Tuesday leading up to Draft Day.
Tennessee Titans: Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers
- The Tennessee Titans could use another receiver. Leonte Carroo fits the bill as he had 39 receptions, 809 receiving yards, and 10 receiving touchdowns in 2015 after having 55 receptions, 1,086 receiving yards, and 10 receiving touchdowns in 2014. Carroo is 6-1 201 lbs and is a terrific red zone threat.
- The Titans could use Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter in third and long situations on deep passing plays with a vertical offense. In the red zone you could have Dorial Green-Beckham, Leonte Carroo, and Delanie Walker. Just imagine how lethal the Titans would be in the red zone. The Titans already have the receivers that allow Mariota to stretch the field vertically and to move the chains. They don't have any red zone threats outside of Dorial Green-Beckham, Delanie Walker, and backup tight end Craig Stevens. Another target is needed and Carroo meets the criteria as a red zone target and a sleeper on the Titans board.
Cleveland Browns: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
- Cleveland drafts their developmental quarterback here. Connor Cook is available at this spot and he's a guy the Browns have been linked to.
- Cook had 3,131 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, and 7 interceptions in 2015. Cook was awful in 2015, and that's why I have him sliding this far in my 2016 NFL Mock Draft. Cook's decision not to play in the Senior Bowl and how he handled himself with Archie Griffin after winning the Big 10 Championship Game is why teams are concerned. Getting picked apart by Alabama's defense also hurt his draft stock.
- There's no question the 6-4 220 lb Cook would have been the third quarterback taken in the 2015 NFL Draft had he declared. Even though most felt like Cook made the right choice by returning, I had this horrible feeling Cook would ruin his draft stock and I turned out to be right.
- One thing I love about Cook though is his football IQ. This guy can play in any offensive scheme whether it is a balanced run first offense, a west coast offense involving the short passing game to set up the deep passing game, the vertical offense where you fire deep passes to open up the short passing game, and running game. That fact that Cook knows all these offensive schemes makes him capable of starting for an NFL team right away.
- Cook has a solid arm, that's good like Philip Rivers, but not great like Carson Palmer. He will never have a cannon arm like Matthew Stafford or Colin Kaepernick if that's what you want when it comes to arm strength.
- Sure Cook is a winner, but his production isn't spectacular as he posted 2,755 passing yards in 2013 only to post 3,214 passing yards in 2014. A quarterback does not have a great arm unless they post 3,500 passing yards or unless they show a lot of velocity and arm strength when firing the ball downfield.
- Cook has two more concerns besides his arm strength. He's not the most consistent passer in terms of accuracy. He misses throws on tape and has never had a completion percentage at 60 percent. Cook's completion percentage has always been below 60 percent throughout his career at Michigan State after sitting behind Kirk Cousins when he first arrived on campus. Cook also lacks the footwork that Hackenberg and Jones both display that NFL Draft scouts salivate over.
- Cook dominated the 2016 NFL Combine as well as Michigan State's Pro Day. That's why teams like Cleveland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Miami brought him in for individual workouts. The only team that may be remotely interested is Cleveland as Dallas has 4 quarterbacks graded out as first round prospects and the one guy they have is a Big 10 quarterback not named Connor Cook.
San Diego Chargers: Willie Beavers, LT, Western Michigan
- San Diego needs a left tackle. Willie Beavers has the size to be a left tackle in San Diego's blocking scheme and he can also sit out a year until the Chargers can release King Dunlap without it counting against their Salary Cap.
Dallas Cowboys: Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
- I've had Kenneth Dixon to Dallas for the past month even after the Cowboys brought in Alfred Morris. Christian Hackenberg finally goes to the Cowboys in the third round. Dallas initially had Hackenberg as a late fourth round prospect, but came away so impressed with him at his Pro Day and at his individual workout that they moved him up to 26 on their board ahead of Connor Cook. If Cook goes in round 3 and the Cowboys wait for a quarterback, then they will go with Hackenberg by process of elimination.
- Christian Hackenberg ended his junior season with 2,525 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, 2 rushing touchdowns, 18 total touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. Christian Hackenberg can thrive in a West Coast offense, but he needs a year or two to develop under the right quarterback.
San Francisco 49ers: Kyler Fackrell, 3-4 ROLB, Utah State
- Now the 49ers can finally turn to the defensive side of the ball. Kyler Fackrell played 4-3 right outside linebacker, 4-3 middle linebacker, and 4-3 left outside linebacker as a freshman. Following his freshman season, Utah State switched to a 3-4 where he played 3-4 middle linebacker. In 2015, Fackrell moved to 3-4 right outside linebacker after missing 2014 with an injury.
- Kyler Fackrell has the versatility to play anywhere at linebacker in a 4-3 or a 3-4. Fackrell ended his senior season with 37 solo tackles, 45 assisted tackles, 82 total tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, 13 quarterback hurries, 11 quarterback knockdowns, 4 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Fackrell is a great run stuffer that can cover well while getting to the quarterback. Fackrell has the potential to develop into a guy that gets 11 sacks a year even though he's not a sack artist at this point.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Graham Glasgow, C, Michigan
- Jacksonville needs a center and they failed to sign Alex Mack. Graham Glasgow has the versatility to play left guard, center, or right guard and does not have durability questions like Jack Allen which is why he's my third best center in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Baltimore Ravens: Joshua Garnett, LG, Stanford
- The Ravens need a left guard to replace Kelechi Osmele. The Ravens get the 6-5 315 lb Joshua Garnett who won the 2015 Outland Trophy for top interior offensive lineman in the country with this pick.
New York Giants: John Theus, RT, Georgia
- The New York Giants need a right tackle across from Ereck Flowers. John Theus is a perfect fit for their scheme as he is a great run blocking right tackle who will compliment Flowers well.
Chicago Bears: Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
- Chicago needs someone to groom behind Jay Cutler. Cardale Jones weighs 6-5 250 lbs and dominated Ohio State's Pro Day throwing 21 passing touchdowns at his Pro Day. He can develop behind Jay Cutler in the Windy City.
Miami Dolphins: Keanu Neal, FS, Florida
- The Miami Dolphins need a starting free safety. Keanu Neal has 10-inch hands and impressed at Florida's Pro Day. The fact that he has the versatility to play both strong safety and free safety while some teams have him listed as a late first round pick only enhances why Miami should draft him here.
Previous Pick: Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sterling Shephard, WR, Oklahoma
- Tampa Bay got Brent Grimes in Free Agency. With Brent Grimes at field cornerback, Zack Sanchez at boundary cornerback, Josh Robinson at nickel, Alterraun Verner in the dime, and Jonathan Banks at quarter cornerback, I could see them going with another position. With Logan Mankins retiring, Tampa Bay can take a left tackle and move Donovan Smith over to left guard. On the other hand, they are going to start Sweezy at left guard after he played right guard his entire career in Seattle and to top that off, Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson are both listed as left tackles. Tampa Bay may wait until Day 3 of the 2016 NFL Draft to address left tackle and cornerback.
- One guy that Tampa Bay could take here is Sterling Shephard. Tampa Bay does not have a slot receiver on the inside across from Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. They can draft Shephard as a slot receiver here.
- The 5-10 193 Sterling Shephard ran a 4.48 at the 2016 NFL Combine he also did 20 reps on the bench press. Shephard is an incredibly skilled slot receiver and provides terrific value here.
- Shephard ended his senior season with 86 receptions, 1,288 receiving yards, and 11 receiving touchdowns. Shephard showed the hands and route running that NFL Scouts look for in Mobile and reinforced those attributes on Day 2 of the 2016 NFL Combine in the pass catching drills when running the gauntlet.
- Shephard is a second round talent, but I thought he may fall to the third or fourth round because a lot of teams appeared to be set at wide receiver. After mocking Shephard to the second round in a few mocks, he fell to the third in this mock.
Oakland Raiders: Bronson Kaufusi, LE, BYU
- Bronson Kaufusi had 10.5 sacks in 2015. He can play left end or right end. Oakland goes with Kaufusi over Shawn Oakman in the wake of Oakman being investigated for Domestic Assault leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft.
Tennessee Titans: Antonio Morrison, 3-4 MLB, Florida
- The Tennessee Titans finally draft their 3-4 middle linebacker. Antonio Morrison can play anywhere in the 4-3 at right outside linebacker, middle linebacker, and left outside linebacker or in the 3-4 defense at middle linebacker. He is what the Titans are looking for at 3-4 middle linebacker.
Cleveland Browns: T.J. Green, FS, Clemson
- The Browns need a starting safety. Green is expected to be one of the first free safeties drafted now after running a 4.34 40 time at the 2016 NFL Combine. Green wasn't as impressive at Clemson's Pro Day though. Cincinnati and Cleveland both brought him in for an individual workout. Green is now a Brown in our final mock draft.
Previous Pick: Keanu Neal, FS, Florida
New Orleans Saints: Vadal Alexander, RG, LSU
- New Orleans gets the 6-5 335 lb Vadal Alexander as a left guard. The Saints never replaced Ben Grubbs at left guard and they lost Jahri Evans on top of that. Alexander was once a late first round pick and the top guard in the 2016 NFL Draft, but he struggled in Mobile and at the 2016 NFL Combine. Alexander is expected to start at right guard with last years first round pick Andrus Peat moving inside to left guard.
Philadelphia Eagles: Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech
- Philadelphia got rid of DeMarco Murray and placed Ryan Matthews on the trading block. The pass catching, Kenneth Dixon is too good to pass on at this point.
- Dixon had 197 carries, 1,070 rushing yards, and 19 rushing touchdowns in 2015. Dixon also had 34 receptions, 467 receiving yards, and 7 receiving touchdowns. Dixon has almost everything you want in a running back.
- Dixon struggled with ball carrier vision during the 2016 Senior Bowl. The speed, agility, hands, blocking, everything else you knew he had, he showed during the 2016 Senior Bowl. Those tools are why teams are high on Dixon.
- Despite struggling at times in practices during the 2016 Senior Bowl, Dixon still got voted the best running back during Senior Bowl practice week by some teams. I'd imagine one of those teams was the Philadelphia Eagles if they saw him in person during his week in Mobile.
- Philadelphia will have to make do with left tackle Jason Peters, left guard Stephen Wisniewski, center Jason Kelce, right guard Brandon Brooks, and right tackle Lane Johnson. There are upgrades that can be made on the offensive line, but thanks to swapping a fourth round pick that the Titans sent to Cleveland, the Eagles are sort of stuck with this offensive line until 2018 when they get a first round pick back. The good news is they have Carson Wentz and a starting running back in Kenneth Dixon.
Buffalo Bills: Tyler Matakevich, ROLB, Temple
- The Buffalo Bills need a starting right outside linebacker. The 6-1 232 lb Tyler Matakevich is slightly undersized, but what makes him so special is his versatility to play right outside linebacker, middle linebacker, or left outside linebacker in the 4-3.
- Tyler Matakevich had 77 solo tackles, 61 assisted tackles, 138 total tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, 5 interceptions, 5 deflections from pass breakups, and 1 quarterback hurry. Matakevich may not be a pass rusher, but he's versatile, can stop the run, and knows how to drop back into coverage.
Atlanta Falcons: Darian Thompson, FS, Boise State
- The Atlanta Falcons need a free safety to go with strong safety Jayron Kearse. Darian Thompson is a good fit in the third round.
- Darian Thompson had 63 total tackles in 2013, 71 total tackles in 2014, and 65 total tackles in 2015. Thompson has the tackling and versatility to play either safety position.
- The 6-2 212 lb free safety is a natural at tackling, stopping the run, and zone coverage. Thompson's 8.5 tackles for a loss were a career best in 2015.
Indianapolis Colts: Yannick Ngakoue, 3-4 ROLB, Maryland
- Indianapolis needs a sack artist at pass rusher. Yannick Ngakoue was listed as a first round prospect on the Arizona Cardinals prior to the Chandler Jones trade. I've seen Ngakoue go as early as the late first rounds and I've also seen him fall to as late as the sixth round. This week, he goes to the Colts in this mock.
- Yannick Ngakoue may be a first round prospect after having 14 tackles for a loss and 13 sacks in 2015. Getting by Brandon Scherff, Taylor Decker, Taylor Lewan, Donovan Smith, and Jack Conklin on tape from his freshman year and sophomore seasons in 2013 and 2014 will also help his cause. Ngakoue had 13.5 tackles for a loss and 6 sacks in 2014 so consistency is there.
New York Jets: Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford
- The New York Jets need a starting tight end. Austin Hooper had 34 receptions, 438 receiving yards, and 6 receiving touchdowns in 2015. Hooper has the run blocking, hands, and acrobatic ability to make one-handed catches as Hooper is the next Cardinal out of Stanford's factory of tight ends that grows on trees. Hooper can give Arizona a possible starting tight end.
Washington Redskins: Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State
- Rashard Higgins also known as Rashard "Hollywood" Higgins made an immediate statement as a freshman at Colorado State in 2013 when he had 68 receptions, 837 receiving yards, and 6 receiving touchdowns.
- Higgins did much more in 2014 when he had senior quarterback Garrett Grayson firing him the football. As a sophomore Higgins hauled in 96 receptions, 1,750 receiving yards, and 17 receiving touchdowns.
- The 6-2 181 lb Rashard Higgins had 75 receptions, 1,062 receiving yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns in 2015. Higgins would be a good value pick for Washington at this spot.
Houston Texans: Jack Allen, C, Michigan State
- The Texans need a starting center. Jack Allen has the versatility to play any position on the offensive line at left tackle, left guard, center, right guard, or right tackle. Allen is a natural center and that's the position the Texans need to upgrade in the trenches.
Minnesota Vikings: Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA
- Minnesota got Josh Doctson and Jonathan Bullard in the first two rounds. The Vikings can grab another wide receiver here. The 6-1 216 lb Jordan Payton dominated at the 2016 Senior Bowl, 2016 NFL Combine and at UCLA's Pro Day.
- Payton had 78 receptions, 1,106 receiving yards, and 5 receiving touchdowns. He's done enough on tape to move into the first three rounds and would do great next to Stephon Diggs.
Cincinnati Bengals: Shilique Calhoun, RE, Michigan State
- The Bengals go with a 4-3 right end for depth. Shilique Calhoun is a bargain this late in the third round.
- This season Calhoun had 22 solo tackles, 27 assisted tackles, 49 total tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, 18 quarterback hurries, and 3 deflections from a pass breakups in 2015. Calhoun originally chose to go to Mobile to play in the 2016 Senior Bowl, but he withdrew at the last minute and that seemed to hurt his chances of creeping into the top 10. Calhoun should still be a late first round pick though.
- Calhoun received mixed reviews at his 2016 NFL Combine and Michigan State's Pro Day. That's why he should be drafted if he's still available at this pick.
Previous Pick: T.J. Green, FS, Clemson
Green Bay Packers: Beniquez Brown, 3-4 LOLB, Mississippi State
- The Packers can use this pick on Beniquez Brown, a Mississippi State outside linebacker who is a K.J. Wright clone. Wright has the versatility to play 4-3 outside linebacker or 3-4 outside linebacker on either side. Some think he has the versatility to play 4-3 middle linebacker and 3-4 middle linebacker as well, but most see him as an outside linebacker.
- The Packers have a first round grade on Beniquez Brown at the moment. In 2015, the Packers gave Quentin Rollins a first round grade, and yet they drafted him in the second round. This time the Packers get Brown in the third round after taking Kenny Clark in the first round and Kentrell Brothers in the second round as the Packers use Day 1 and Day 2 to get 3 players they had on their top 32 final big board.
- Clay Matthews turns 30, Julius Peppers turning 35 and Nick Perry returning. One more outside linebacker to fill out the depth chart is still needed here.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyvis Powell, FS, Ohio State
- Pittsburgh needs upgrades at both safety spots. Tyvis Powell played free safety at Ohio State, but did line up at strong safety when Von Bell lined up at free safety.
- Tyvis Powell had an awesome Senior Bowl week and he also ran a 4.43 40 time at the 2016 NFL Combine. Powell had a bad Pro Day which is why he fell to Pittsburgh.
- Powell had 41 solo tackles, 30 assisted tackles, 71 total tackles, 3 deflections from pass breakups, and 3 interceptions in 2015. Powell also intercepted Cody Kessler and Carson Wentz in practices for the North team in Mobile during the 2016 NFL Senior Bowl.
- The Steelers have selected someone from Ohio State in five of the last six NFL Drafts, Thaddeus Gibson 2010, Cameron Heyward 2011, Mike Adams 2012, Ryan Shazier 2014, and Deon Grant 2015. Expect that trend to continue in 2016.
Seattle Seahawks: Willie Henry, DT, Michigan
- The Seahawks would love to have Willie Henry this late in the third round. Seattle could use a 4-3 defensive tackle.
- Willie Henry lined up at both 3-4 left end and 3-4 right end in 2014 at 6-2 293 lbs. He bulked up to 6-3 311 lbs and showed the versatility to play both the 4-3 and 3-4 as he lined up as a 4-3 defensive tackle. There were plays where Jim Harbaugh made Henry his nose tackle. Henry had 13 solo tackles, 21 assisted tackles, 34 total tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, 3 quarterback hurries, and 2 deflections from pass breakups in 2015. Henry is the one player from this group that could emerge into a riser leading up to NFL Draft day.
New England Patriots: Joe Haeg, RT, North Dakota State
- The Patriots have addressed most of their needs during Free Agency. They are in talks with Terrance Knighton as a defensive tackle for depth which is why they go offensive line here. This means they can use the draft to get players at positions where guys have expiring contracts in 2017 which would allow the Patriots to reload at certain positions without having to worry about the Salary Cap.
- Left tackle Nate Solder may be under contract until 2018. At the same time, starting right tackle Sebastian Vulmer, Marcus Cannon the Patriots swing offensive tackle will both be Free Agents.
- New England can draft North Dakota State left tackle Joe Haeg, who has experience at both offensive tackle spots and develop him for a year before starting him at right tackle in 2017 allowing them to continue to focus on other positions in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Arizona Cardinals: Max Tuerk, C, USC
- Max Tuerk was my top ranked center in my 2016 NFL Draft center rankings. He hasn't been able to work out leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft due to injuries.
- Max Tuerk has the versatility to play left tackle, left guard, center, right guard, or right tackle despite dealing with an injury at the moment. Arizona released Lyle Sendlein and traded Jonathan Cooper meaning they need a new starting center. Tuerk is a guy the Cardinals can take a flyer on here.
Carolina Panthers: Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
- Carolina released Josh Norman. Now the Panthers need multiple cornerbacks so they have to take Xavien Howard after going with Emmanuel Ogbah and Braxton Miller.
- The 6-2 200 lb Xavien Howard ran a 4.39 40 time at Baylor's Pro Day. He also did a good job covering Corey Coleman in practice sessions. Adding him is smart for the Patriots with this pick.
Denver Broncos: Jihad Ward, 3-4 RE, Illinois
- The Denver Broncos will need to replace Malik Jackson, sure they got Jared Crick and re-signed Derek Wolfe. Denver never replaced Antonio Smith and needs another five technique player that can play on both sides. Jihad Ward is the top player available and he makes too much sense at this point at 6-5 293 lbs.
Detroit Lions: Charles Tapper, LE, Oklahoma
- Detroit gets the 95th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft as a compensation pick. They get this pick because the Miami Dolphins signed Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in the 2015 NFL Free Agency Period after Suh became a Free Agent in 2015.
- Charles Tapper was a three year starter at 4-3 left end for Oklahoma. Tapper had 31 solo tackles, 19 assisted tackles, 50 total tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 quarterback hurries, and 3 deflections from pass breakups in 2015. Tapper followed his stellar 2015 season up with a strong Senior Bowl.
- Tapper also impressed at the 2016 NFL Combine. That may propel him up draft boards and Detroit could consider him here.
New England Patriots: Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota
- New England gets the 96th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft as a compensation pick. They get this pick because the New York Jets signed New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis in the 2015 NFL Free Agency Period after Revis became a Free Agent in 2015.
- Eric Murray would have been my 2015 sleeper if he declared as a junior. Murray returned to school for his senior year and continues to show he can be a consistent cornerback in the NFL.
- Murray had 47 solo tackles, 19 assisted tackles, 66 total tackles, 7 deflections from pass breakups, 4 tackles for a loss, 3 forced fumbles, 1 interception, and 1 sack in 2015. Murray dominated in coverage at the 2016 Senior Bowl.
- Murray had 47 solo tackles, 22 assisted tackles, 69 total tackles, and 7 deflections from pass breakups in 2014. Murray had 10 deflections from pass breakups as a sophomore in 2013.
- Murray ran a 4.49 40 time at the 2016 NFL Combine. To top that off he did well at Minnesota's Pro Day. He did weigh 5-10 198 lbs at the NFL Combine, but weighed 6-0 198 his projected size at Minnesota's Pro Day and dominated that Pro Day. Murray has blanketed numerous wide receivers including TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson, Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas, and Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson. Murray was one cornerback that kept Robinson to under 100 receiving yards the year before Robinson declared for the 2014 NFL Draft.
Seattle Seahawks: Jerald Hawkins, LT, LSU
- Seattle gets the 97th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft as a compensation pick. They get this pick because the Philadelphia Eagles signed Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell in the 2015 NFL Free Agency Period after Maxwell became a Free Agent in 2015.
- Seattle has yet to take a left tackle. Jerald Hawkins has left tackle potential and its time he came off the board.
Previous Pick: Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
Denver Broncos: James Bradberry, CB, Samford
- Denver gets the 98th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft as a compensation pick. They get this pick because the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas in the 2015 NFL Free Agency Period after Thomas became a Free Agent in 2015.
- The 6-1 209 lb cornerback ran a 4.50 40 time and had 11 deflections from pass breakups in 2015. Bradberry would start out as a quarter cornerback and work his way up the depth chart. Aqib Talib is now 30-years-old and Denver can save 10 million by releasing him in 2017. Kayvon Webster, the teams nickel corner will be a Free Agent in 2017. Dime cornerback Bradley Roby could be a boundary cornerback across from Chris Harris with one more year of development.