The MMQB's Peter King presents his 2016 Mock Draft, including potential first round trades.
The Atlanta Falcons are on the clock as we head into the second half of our fourth annual Buccaneers.com Mock Draft. How about we predict that Thomas Dimitroff and company just forget to turn in their card?
No, as much as it pains us, we have to attempt to find the best possible pick for the Buccaneers division foes, and that task specifically falls to Joe Kania. Joe, Andrew Norton, Casey Phillips and I are conducting this mock draft in roundtable fashion, and Joe has already had the privilege of picking for the Buccaneers at #9. Now his turn is up again and it coincides with our rivals from Georgia.
Will the Falcons try once again to pump up their pass rush? Will the Jets look for their quarterback of the future? Do the Bengals need to reload at wide receiver after their free agency defections. Those questions and more will be addressed here in Part 3. Let's get to it…
…after we repeat our usual caveat: These are our own opinions. They are not meant to reflect the opinions of Jason Licht, Dirk Koetter or anybody who will actually be making non-mock picks on April 28. You probably know that by now.
17. Atlanta Falcons: Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia (Joe Kania's pick)
The Falcons need help at several spots on defense, but linebacker seems like the most pressing issue. I was torn here between Floyd and Ohio State's Darron Lee, and the truth is there are questions about both players regarding how they will fit into certain schemes. I went with Floyd because he has the greater pass-rush potential. Will the team that drafts Floyd end up with a stand-up edge rusher or a three-down linebacker who can also make plays in the box? I'm not sure, but if the worst-case scenario is a good pass-rusher for a team that has been searching for exactly that for years now, it's probably worth the risk.
18. Indianapolis Colts: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama (Scott Smith's pick)
I have zero confidence in this pick. If the draft falls anything like the way it's going in our mock, this seems like a really bad spot for the Colts. Indy GM Ryan Grigson has said his team needs to "knock this [draft] out of the park," and to me that means finally finding some blue-chip offensive line talent to protect Andrew Luck. I would have jumped at Taylor Decker, but Andrew completed the tackle run by giving him to Tennessee three picks earlier. The Colts could use interior line help, too, and that's why I've gone with Kelly, perhaps higher than you'll see him in a lot of other mocks. In real life, would the Colts look to trade up to get one of the tackles or trade back and take an interior lineman later? I could see it.
19. Buffalo Bills: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson (Andrew Norton's pick)
The Bills could certainly use some help along their offensive line, but saw four tackles taken before their 19th overall pick. A defining feature of the Bills over the years has been a dominant defensive front, so instead, I see them looking for an edge rusher. With Mario Williams out (but still in the division), the Bills hope that Dodd can help fill his shoes immediately. He didn't get a ton of playing time in college, but did end his Clemson career on a streak with a sack in five straight games.
20. New York Jets: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis (Casey Phillips's pick)
With two quarterbacks going at the top of the draft, I wasn't sure if Lynch would still be here for the Jets to take. He may need a little time to pick up NFL-caliber offenses after the more simplified offense of Memphis, but he is definitely a skilled player. Now that it seems more likely the Jets could come to terms with Ryan Fitzpatrick, that could allow Lynch the time he needs to catch up to the NFL game. Regardless, it's become obvious Fitzpatrick is not the Jets' long-term solution, and neither are Geno Smith or Bryce Petty. Lynch may be a bit of a reach as a prospect, but if the Jets feel there's even a chance he could turn into a franchise guy, it's a risk worth taking.
21. Washington Redskins: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama (Joe Kania's pick)
Reed's college teammate along the line, A'Shawn Robinson, would also be an excellent pick here, but he was swiped early by Andrew and the Chicago Bears. The Redskins could definitely use some help clogging the middle of the defense after allowing 122.6 rushing yards per game last year. Reed is one of the draft's most physical players and at 6-3 and 307 pounds, he would fit that run-stopping role perfectly for the Redskins. NFL.com's analysis says that Reed is a run down specialist posting 108 tackles in two seasons, despite playing just 55% of the total snaps. He was also charted with no broken tackles or missed tackles all of last season.
22. Houston Texans: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor (Scott Smith's pick)
I moaned a bit about how this mock draft had fallen in front of Indy when I had to make the Colts pick, but here at Houston's slot it couldn't be better. The Texans want to give 23-year-old Pro Bowl wideout DeAndre Hopkins a running mate and pricey new quarterback Brock Osweiler another big weapon. Nobody has dipped into the receiver pool yet, so sitting here at #22 the Texans have their pick of the litter. The problem for me, then, in terms of trying to "win" this thing and hit on late-round picks is, which one do I go for? I'm going to rule out Laquon Treadwell because he's a little too much like Hopkins, and because the Texans need speed more than size. That leads me to Will Fuller, Corey Coleman or Josh Doctson. I'm going with Coleman after he ran a 4.37 at his Pro Day. This works outs so well for the Texans that they could even fill their need at tight end with the top player on the board in Hunter Henry, but I think the speed receiver would make a greater impact.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss (Andrew Norton's pick)
Unlike the Texans, the Vikings could use more size than speed. Last year's rookie WR Stefon Diggs had a solid season for them, but they need a big, number-one guy. Maybe someone a lot like DeAndre Hopkins. As Scott so nicely pointed out, that man is Laquon Treadwell. Not a speed guy, not very impressive Combine numbers, but a well-rounded and consistent receiver. With Teddy Bridgewater under center and Adrian Peterson in the backfield, Treadwell is the missing piece to create a frightening set of triplets in the NFC North.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame (Casey Phillips's pick)
Well dang guys, you had to take my wide receivers right before this pick didn't you? The Bengals are looking to replenish the WR core after losing Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu. I think Fuller's deep threat potential will be too much for the Bengals to pass up despite his occasional issues with drops. A total of 29 career touchdowns in college is nothing to sneeze at, especially in an offense that was fairly well balanced between the run and passing game. He can stretch the field and pull defenders away from other targets like A.J. Green, and Fuller has shown a unique ability to create separation in his routes.*