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February 19, 2016

2016 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine Edition

It's nearly impossible to nail a mock draft minutes before it starts -- let alone more than two months beforehand.

With this update of my 2016 NFL Mock Draft, the goal remains is to highlight some prospects and potential fits at this point. It's fair to say, this mock will likely look a lot different in the days leading up to the draft than it does today.

With that said, here is my 2016 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Tennessee Titans (team draft history): Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi

No team allowed more sacks last season than the Titans (54). Given their investment in second-year franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota, the Titans should make improving their leaky pass protection an offseason priority.

A three-year starter at left tackle, Tunsil allowed just two sacks over his career and none this past season for Ole Miss. With unique athletic traits for the position, the former five-star recruit has drawn comparisons to Tyron Smith. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein, whose father is an offensive line coach with the Cardinals, recently said that "Tunsil to me is going to be the best left tackle in the league, or one of the top two, within three years."

Zierlein went on to say, "With Tunsil, he's got all that athleticism, but he's a three-year starter in a major conference who has played left tackle the entire time and has some of the cleanest technique you're going to find at the position. He's ahead of Tyron Smith in terms of his knowledge, technique and ability at the position right now, coming into the league. Laremy Tunsil comes in and has a shot at being a Pro Bowler as a rookie."

2. Cleveland Browns (team draft history): Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

Since their return to the NFL in 1999, the Browns have had nothing but question marks at the most important position in sports. Unfortunately, the team has invested a number of first-round picks at the position, which have not panned out and the latest -- Johnny Manziel -- will be released next month.

With prototypical size (6-5, 235), a strong arm and excellent mobility, Wentz has all of the physical traits to develop into a franchise quarterback in the NFL. And while he has experience playing in a pro-style system, the biggest question about Wentz is his transition from the FCS level to the NFL.

3. San Diego Chargers (team draft history): Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State

There is a lot to like about Ramsey -- his elite size (6-1, 202), Olympic-caliber athleticism and positional versatility. A second-team All-American at safety last year, Ramsey was a first-team All-American at cornerback this year. Not only will Eric Weddle depart via free agency this offseason, but the team could use help at cornerback as well.

4. Dallas Cowboys (team draft history): Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

If it weren't for injuries -- or the same injury, multiple times -- to Tony Romo, the Cowboys wouldn't be picking this high. While the front office could view this as a rare opportunity to get a franchise quarterback as his long-term replacement and an upgrade to his backup, I think it's just as likely that the team goes with a prospect like Bosa that can make an immediate impact.

The son of a former first-round pick, Bosa had 51.0 tackles for loss and 26.0 sacks in his three seasons with the Buckeyes. Even with the high-profile and controversial signing of Greg Hardy, who becomes a free agent this offseason, the Cowboys generated only 31 sacks, tied for 25th in the NFL.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars (team draft history): Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

A knee injury ended his season and collegiate career prematurely, but the versatile and ultra-athletic linebacker was the Pac-12's Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the year. In essence, the Jags will be adding a pair of top-five defensive picks as last year's first-rounder, Dante Fowler at No. 3, missed all of last season with a torn ACL to a defense that allowed more points than every team except the Saints.

6. Baltimore Ravens (team draft history): DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

Drawing comparisons to Calais Campbell, Buckner (6-7, 290) has plenty of upside, but he has the collegiate production to match. Named the 2015 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Buckner had 17.0 tackles for loss including 10.5 sacks and 83 tackles as a senior.

7. San Francsico 49ers (team draft history): Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi

While the Niners gave Torrey Smith big money last offseason, Anquan Boldin turns 36 in October and will become a free agent in March. Treadwell may lack elite speed, but he has excellent size, strength and hands to develop into a legitimate No. 1 receiver in the league.

8. Miami Dolphins (team draft history): Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida

Hargreaves helps fill what is arguably the team's biggest need. Among their top four corners last year, Brent Grimes turns 33 in July and is a pay-cut candidate with a $9.5 million salary, Brice McCain was released this month and Jamar Taylor could be on the way out too. While he lacks ideal size, the three-time All-SEC selection had 10 interceptions in his three seasons in Gainesville.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (team draft history): Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

In my previous update, I had Hargreaves slotted here and the Bucs will need to address a weak secondary in either free agency and/or the draft. Not only will Demar Dotson be a free agent after the 2016 season, Gosder Cherilus and rookie Donovan Smith -- bookend starters for most of the season -- both received negative grades from PFF. Stanley possesses an elite combination of athleticism and length among left tackle prospects.

10. New York Giants (team draft history): Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame

Prior to the knee injury sustained in the Fiesta Bowl, Smith was a likely top-five pick in this year's draft. As Rotoworld's Evan Silva writes in his team needs column, the Giants' top need is "Every Position on Defense." Once healthy, Smith will give the Giants a true difference-maker on the defensive side of the ball.

11. Chicago Bears (team draft history): Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

Earning SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors, Ragland led Alabama in tackles and tackles for loss. While he may have some coverage limitations, he will help shore up a run defense that allowed 4.5 yards per carry last season while filling one of the team's bigger needs.

12. New Orleans Saints (team draft history): A'Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama

The Saints ranked second-to-last in total defense (413.8 yards per game) and last in scoring defense (29.8 points per game). Ranking 31st in both pass and run defense, the Saints allowed a league-worst 4.9 yards per carry last season. In other words, the Saints could use reinforcements across all levels of their defense.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (team draft history): Jared Goff, QB, California

Reports are the Eagles won't use the franchise tag on Sam Bradford and the only quarterback under contract for 2016 is Mark Sanchez, who has one year left on his deal. One free-agent target could be Chase Daniel as new coach Doug Pederson believes Daniel has potential as a starter. Pederson has also talked about developing a young quarterback as well. Most mocks have Goff off the board by this point and there are some concerns about his frame, but Goff has plenty of arm talent, accuracy and good anticipation.

14. Oakland Raiders (team draft history): Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

Even with the now-retired safety Charles Woodson having a strong season (five interceptions), the Raiders ranked 26th in pass defense and D.J. Hayden has not lived up to his (high) first-round expectations. A redshirt sophomore and top-five high school recruit, Alexander helps to fill one of the team's bigger needs.

15. St. Louis Rams (team draft history): Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

Making the move to Los Angeles with many talented players on its roster, quarterback remains a clear weakness for the Rams. With more interceptions thrown (10) than touchdowns (seven) last season, Nick Foles was eventually benched in favor of Case Keenum. While it may be better for him to sit and learn for a season, Lynch has an intriguing complement of physical traits and perhaps more upside than any quarterback prospect in this year's draft class.

16. Detroit Lions (team draft history): Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

There are a lot of reasons to like Rankins -- college production, quickness, motor, etc. -- even if he's a bit undersized. Over the past two seasons combined, Rankins has racked up 26.5 tackles for loss and 14.0 sacks. In addition, the Lions have a number of interior defensive linemen about to hit free agency -- Haloti Ngata (UFA), Tyrunn Walker (UFA) and Khyri Thornton (ERFA).

- Continue to picks 17-32 in our 2016 NFL Mock Draft

- For more mocks, check out our NFL Mock Draft Database.

- Also, check out a way-too-early 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

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February 14, 2016

Way-Too-Early 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 5

Our way-too-early 2016 fantasy football mock draft is a one-man mock draft, but we will feature more mock drafts with more of our contributors and other scoring formats later this offseason.

Here is Round 5 of my one-man 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

5.01 - Team 1: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay PackersThe loss of Jordy Nelson (ACL) for the season hurt the offense in general and Rodgers production in particular. Rodgers completed 60.7 percent of his attempts for just 6.7 Y/A, both of which were lows since he became a starter (2008). Before this season, however, Rodgers finished as the QB1/QB2 in all full seasons as a starter and I'd be more than willing to draft him here as the QB3 in this mock.

5.02 - Team 2: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina PanthersAs a rookie in 2014, Benjamin finished with 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns. Unfortunately he missed all of 2015, but he's clearly the team's top wide receiver for last year's highest-scoring offense.

5.03 - Team 3: Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago BearsWith Matt Forte set to play somewhere else in 2016, Langford could move up in my rankings if the team doesn't add much competition via free agency and/or the draft. When Forte was sidelined, Langford was productive for fantasy football owners. Even though he averaged just 3.33 YPC from Weeks 9 to 11, Langford racked up 366 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in his three starts.

5.04 - Team 4: Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay PackersCobb exceeded 100 yards in Week 2 against the Seahawks and finished with 91 yards and three touchdowns in Week 3 against the Chiefs. From there on out, Cobb disappointed his fantasy owners. Over the final 13 games, Cobb averaged 47.85 YFS per game and scored just two touchdowns. With Nelson back as the team's No. 1 receiver, however, it should benefit Cobb as well.

5.05 - Team 5: Tom Brady, QB, New England PatriotsDespite all the controversy leading into the season, Brady finished with the second-most fantasy points among quarterbacks behind Cam Newton, the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player. With better health from his receivers (and running backs), Brady could have posted even better numbers, but he threw for 4,770 yards, 36 touchdowns and only seven interceptions with three rushing scores as well.

5.06 - Team 6: Chris Ivory, RB, New York JetsSet to become an unrestricted free agent, it's unclear where Ivory will be playing his football in 2016, but it at least seems possible that it will be for someone other than the Jets. One year after finishing as a top-20 fantasy running back, Ivory finished the season as a top-10 fantasy back while recording his first-ever 1,000-yard season (1,070 yards on 247 carries).

5.07 - Team 7: Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle SeahawksAfter a slow start, Wilson's production spiked down the stretch as he once again finished the full season as fantasy's QB3. Not only did Wilson rush for 500-plus yards for a third consecutive season, he finished with career-best passing numbers — 4,024 yards, 34 touchdowns, 68.1 completion percentage and 110.1 passer rating. With the depth of talent at the position including the guys already off the board in this mock and others (Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, etc.) still available, it once again makes sense to wait on a quarterback.

5.08 - Team 8: Arian Foster, RB, Houston TexansA ruptured Achilles ended his 2015 season prematurely, but it's unclear whether Foster will be back with Houston for the final year of his contract. Not only does Foster turn 30 in August, but he has played only 25 games over the past three seasons combined. A workhorse back when healthy, Foster would go much earlier than this if you could guarantee he'd play (close to) a full season.

5.09 - Team 9: Dion Lewis, RB, New England PatriotsTearing his ACL only seven games into the season, Lewis was on pace for 1,422 yards from scrimmage, 82 receptions and nine total touchdowns. Still only 25 years old, there's a good chance that Lewis will be ready for the start of the season.

5.10 - Team 10: Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami DolphinsSetting a franchise record with 111 receptions last season, Landry had 1,159 receiving yards, 111 rushing yards and a total of six touchdowns. Better in PPR leagues, you could certainly argue that this is too low for him even in a standard-scoring league like this mock.

5.11 - Team 11: John Brown, WR, Arizona CardinalsIn Year 2, Brown finished with 65 catches for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns as he scored the 22nd-most fantasy points among wide receivers. All three of the team's top-three receivers are limited some by the presence of the other two, but the arrow is pointing up for the speedy third-year receiver.

5.12 - Team 12: Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona CardinalsWhile Floyd once again failed to exceed 1,000 yards, he finished the season strong after a slow start. Floyd exceeded the 100-yard mark in five of his final eight regular-season games in 2015.

> Go back to Round 1 of our Fantasy Football Mock Draft

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Way-Too-Early 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 4

Our way-too-early 2016 fantasy football mock draft is a one-man mock draft, but we will feature more mock drafts with more of our contributors and other scoring formats later this offseason.

Here is Round 4 of my one-man 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

4.01 - Team 12: Matt Forte, RB, Chicago BearsOne of the most versatile running backs in the league, Forte turned 30 in December and will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Forte won't be back with the Bears so there is plenty of uncertainty about his 2016 outlook. Even though he missed three games last season, Forte averaged close to 100 yards -- 69.1 rushing and 29.9 receiving -- per game in 2015.

4.02 - Team 11: Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo BillsTrading up to select Watkins with a top-four pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Bills finally started to use Watkins the way fantasy owners wanted. Of course, it took some public complaints by Watkins for that to happen. Not only did Watkins have at least 80 yards in his final six games, but he exceeded 100 yards in four of those games and he scored a total of six touchdowns during that stretch. Based on his talent and late-season production, you could easily argue that this is too low for Watkins.

4.03 - Team 10: Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ersA stress fracture in his foot limited Hyde to just seven games last season, but he should benefit from playing in an up-tempo, run-heavy Chip Kelly offense. The Eagles have ranked in the top-11 in rush attempts in all three of his seasons in Philadelphia.

4.04 - Team 9: Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh SteelersA big-play receiver in Pittsburgh's high-powered offense, Bryant has averaged 17.3 yards per reception and scored a total of 15 touchdowns in 21 games played. Suspended for the first four games of last season, there is the potential of a full-season ban if he violates the league's substance-abuse policy again, but he's a high-upside WR2 for this team with Alshon Jeffery as its WR1.

4.05 - Team 8: T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis ColtsDisappointing fantasy owners, Hilton still finished with 1,124 yards but just five touchdowns. With 67-plus yards in six of his first seven games, Hilton had more receiving yards (606) than all but five receivers through Week 7. Given that Andrew Luck played just seven games all season including a few at much less than 100 percent, Hilton's numbers should improve in 2016 assuming a healthier version of Luck under center.

4.06 - Team 7: C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver BroncosDrafted as a late first-round pick in many 2015 fantasy drafts, Anderson started slowly and spent much of the season in a timeshare with Ronnie Hillman. In the second half of the season, however, CJA was much better. Starting with Week 8, Anderson carried the ball 85 times for 540 yards (6.35 YPC) and five touchdowns and hopefully that momentum will carry over into 2016. In addition, Hillman will be a free agent this offseason.

4.07 - Team 6: Jermy Maclin, WR, Kansas City ChiefsReunited with Andy Reid, Maclin had his second consecutive 1,000-yard season as he finished with a career-high 87 receptions for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns. Finishing as a mid-tier WR2 (WR17 in 2015), Maclin will be a solid WR2 to Demaryius Thomas on this team heading into 2016.

4.08 - Team 5: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona CardinalsFitzgerald got off to a phenomenal four-game start: 30/432/5. Naturally, his pace slowed from that torrid start, but he finished the year with a career-high 109 receptions for 1,215 yards, his first 1,000-yard campaign in four years, and nine touchdowns. I still expect Fitzgerald to be the most productive of the team's receivers in 2016, but Michael Floyd and John Brown will be right behind him.

4.09 - Team 4: Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina PanthersOlsen followed up with his first career 1,000-yard season with a 77/1,104/7 campaign in 2015 and the fourth-most fantasy points among tight ends. The (soon-to-be) 31-year-old durable and consistent tight end should post similar numbers in 2016.

4.10 - Team 3: Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego ChargersMG3 disappointed fantasy owners in his rookie season as he failed to score a touchdown on 217 touches and averaged just 3.5 YPC. Bigger and better things should be expected for Gordon in his second season, however.

4.11 - Team 2: Eric Decker, WR, New York JetsScoring a touchdown in 12 of 15 games, Decker's weekly production was extremely consistent: 8.1 to 15.7 fantasy points every week. While he finished as a weekly top-12 fantasy wide receiver only twice, he never finished worse than WR31 last season. That consistency led to a top-10 full-season finish in fantasy points scored among wide receivers.

4.12 - Team 1: Jordan Reed, TE, Washington RedskinsDominant in the fantasy playoffs, Reed finished as the weekly TE1 in Weeks 14, 15 and 16 as he hauled in 25 catches for 333 yards and five touchdowns during that three-game stretch. On the year, only Rob Gronkowski and Gary Barnidge scored more fantasy points than Reed. If we knew he would play 16 games in 2016, he'd be my second-ranked TE heading into 2016, but his next 16-game season will be his first.

> Continue to Round 5 of our Fantasy Football Mock Draft
> Go back to Round 3 of our Fantasy Football Mock Draft

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Way-Too-Early 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 3

While our way-too-early 2016 fantasy football mock draft is a one-man mock draft, we will feature more mock drafts with more of our contributors and other scoring formats later in the year.

Here is Round 3 of my one-man 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

3.01 - Team 1: Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland RaidersScoring the 11th-most fantasy points among running backs, Murray finished fourth in the NFL in touches (307) and sixth in rushing (1,066 yards). Not only did he have a large workload overall, Murray had 15-plus touches in 15 of 16 games with 13 being the lone exception. Here is the list of players with 15 15-touch games in 2015: Murray. End of list.

3.02 - Team 2: T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville JaguarsYeldon missed four games as a rookie, but he averaged more than 18 touches per game. While it was disappointing that he had only two rushing touchdowns and just four carries from inside the 5-yard line, I'd expect more scoring opportunities in 2016.

3.03 - Team 3: Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego ChargersPlaying only eight games, Allen hauled in 67 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns -- or a full-season pace of 134/1,450/8. The 23-year-old (turns 24 in April) receiver enters 2016 as the team's clear-cut top pass-catching option.

3.04 - Team 4: Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina PanthersThere are a couple of concerns with Stewart: (1) durability and (2) Cam Newton-vultured touchdowns. After all, Newton has the third-most rushing touchdowns since entering the league in 2011. Before a Week 14 injury, Stewart had eight consecutive games with 20-plus carries so the workload is there when healthy. That said, he has missed at least three games in four consecutive seasons.

3.05 - Team 5: Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans SaintsThe breakout may not have been as great as many had expected, but Cooks finished the season with a productive stat line of 84/1,138/9. Eight of those touchdowns came in the final nine games and three of his four 100-yard games happened in December so he carries momentum into 2016.

3.06 - Team 6: Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati BengalsAdmittedly, I was high, too high, on Hill going into the 2015 season and he was a disappointment. With one more carry than he had as a rookie, Hill's rushing yards dropped from 1,124 (5.1 YPC) in 2014 to 794 (3.6 YPC) in 2015. That said, he did score a total of 12 touchdowns. Perhaps we shouldn't expect similar efficiency as his rookie season, but I do expect to see a bit of a bounce-back from the 235-pound Hill.

3.07 - Team 7: Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay PackersBased on early reports, Nelson's rehab from a torn ACL last preseason is progressing well as he's started to run full speed. Turning 31 in May, Nelson had stat lines of 98/1,519/13 (2014) and 85/1,314/8 (2013) in his previous two seasons.

3.08 - Team 8: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina PanthersThe top-scoring fantasy quarterback in 2015, Newton threw for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns while rushing for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns. Newton has now finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in four of his five NFL seasons. No quarterback has more weekly upside than the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player as he finished as the weekly QB1 in five of his final nine games in 2015.

3.09 - Team 9: Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis ColtsIt was a lost season for Luck, who missed more games (nine) than he played (seven) in 2015. And when he was on the field, he was (much) less than 100 percent for much of the year. Like Cam, Luck benefits from his dual-threat abilities as he rushed for 255-plus yards per year with a total of 12 touchdowns in his first three seasons. With better health in 2016, I expect a bounce-back season from the Colts' franchise quarterback.

3.10 - Team 10: Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland RaidersStill just 21 years old, Cooper had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie and battled a foot injury down the stretch. With 20 yards or less in four of his past seven games, his rookie campaign could have been even better, but I expect a stronger performance throughout all of 2016 for the talented second-year receiver.

3.11 - Team 11: DeMarco Murray, RB, Philadelphia EaglesAfter leading the NFL in rushing (1,845 yards) in 2014, Murray had more than 1,100 yard less with the Eagles (702). In addition, he set career lows in YPG (46.8) and YPC (3.6). I'd like to think that things will only get better for Murray with a new coaching staff in place, but NFL Network's Ian Rapoport writes that the two sides are "not in a good place."

3.12 - Team 12: Julian Edelman, WR, New England PatriotsMissing seven games with a broken foot, Edelman set a career high with seven receiving touchdowns and averaged 6.8 receptions and 76.9 yards per game, both of which were career highs. Edelman has missed multiple games in each of the past two seasons, but he's a high-volume receiver playing with one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

> Continue to Round 4 of our Fantasy Football Mock Draft
> Go back to Round 2 of our Fantasy Football Mock Draft

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Way-Too-Early 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 2

Our way-too-early 2016 fantasy football mock draft is a one-man mock draft, but we will feature more mock drafts with more of our contributors and other scoring formats later in the offseason.

Here is Round 2 of my one-man 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

2.01 - Team 12: Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville JaguarsBreaking out in his second season, the 22-year-old Robinson finished with 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 and scored the fourth-most fantasy points among wide receivers. In his final 12 games of the season, Robinson finished with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown (or more) in every game. Robinson is one of only five players in the past decade to have a 1,400/14 season.

2.02 - Team 11: A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati BengalsWith only 132 targets last season, Green was targeted 10-plus times in only four of 16 games in 2015. While he may not have as much upside as the receivers off the board before him, Green has exceeded the 1,000-yard mark in all five of his NFL seasons and scored double-digit touchdowns three times.

2.03 - Team 10: Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay BuccaneersAs a rookie, Martin exploded onto the scene with 1,926 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns. After two injury-plagued disappointing campaigns, Martin exceeded the value of his 2015 draft slot with 1,673 YFS and seven touchdowns last season. Martin is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, but the team appears intent on re-signing him.

2.04 - Team 9: Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago BearsLike Martin, Jeffery is scheduled to become a free agent, but it's highly unlikely that the (soon-to-be) 26-year-old receiver hits the free market. In an injury-marred 2015 season, Jeffery averaged 6.0 catches and 89.7 yards per game, both of which were career highs. With better health in 2016, Jeffery should easily finish as a top-10 fantasy receiver.

2.05 - Team 8: Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle SeahawksIt's been an impressive run for Marshawn Lynch in Seattle, however, he has decided to hang up the cleats. The Seahawks and fantasy owners have seen a glimpse of what life could be like with Rawls as the full-time starter. In the six games that he started and finished, Rawls had four 100-yard rushing games and averaged 118.67 rushing yards per game.

2.06 - Team 7: Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay BuccaneersAlthough he set career highs of 74 catches for 1,206 yards, Evans had just three touchdowns (after 12 as a rookie) and led the league in drops. Only 22 years old (turns 23 in August) and with the continued development of Jameis Winston, Evans has a chance to post markedly better numbers in 2016.

2.07 - Team 6: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver BroncosWith 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of the previous three seasons, Thomas had 105 catches for 1,304 yards and six touchdowns in 2015. Assuming that Peyton Manning is no longer under center next season, Thomas should at least post a stat line similar to last year's production with a full season of Brock Osweiler as starter.

2.08 - Team 5: LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo BillsMissing four games in his first season with the Bills, McCoy averaged nearly 20 touches (19.58/G) and 100 YFS (98.92/G) per game. Assuming good health, McCoy should rank near the top of the league leaders in usage and YFS in 2016. One major question mark, however, is the uncertainty pending the assault investigation at the Philadelphia night club with reports that an arrest warrant could be issued soon for McCoy.

2.09 - Team 4: Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay PackersFollowing back-to-back 1,100-yard rushing seasons with 24 total touchdowns in his first two seasons, Lacy disappointed fantasy owners with only 758 rushing yards and five total touchdowns. Benched for a stint during the season and called out by his coach after the season, the Packers would like Lacy to lose 30 pounds in the offseason. Assuming closer attention paid to his conditioning and fitness, Lacy should rebound in 2016.

2.10 - Team 3: Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans SaintsThe biggest issue with Ingram has been durability. The 26-year-old back has missed three or more games in four of five seasons including four games in 2015. Over the past two seasons, however, Ingram has averaged 18.84 touches per game.

2.11 - Team 2: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami DolphinsPerennially under-involved on offense, Miller has been highly productive on a per-touch basis. Scoring the sixth-most fantasy points among running backs, Miller had just 194 carries last season. Set to become an unrestricted free agent, Miller's outlook could change depending on his landing spot in free agency.

2.12 - Team 1: Brandon Marshall, WR, New York JetsIn all but two games this season, Marshall had either 100 yards and/or a touchdown (or more) as he set a career high in touchdowns (14) and nearly missed a career high with 1,502 yards. In fact, it was the first time since Randy Moss (2003) that a receiver had at least 109/1,502/14 and only the fifth time in NFL history. While I don't expect a repeat of his historic numbers, 1,200-plus yards and 8-10 touchdowns would be a reasonable projection.

> Continue to Round 3 of our Fantasy Football Mock Draft
> Go back to Round 1 of our Fantasy Football Mock Draft

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February 13, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Way-too-early One-Man Mock

Earlier today, I posted a way-too-early 2016 fantasy football mock draft. It's a one-man mock draft (i.e., I made all the picks), but later in the year, we will feature more mock drafts with more of our contributors and other scoring formats.

Here is Round 1 of my one-man 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

1.01 - Team 1: Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh SteelersFor me, the decision comes down to Bell or his teammate, Antonio Brown. Many, perhaps most, would take Brown first overall and that wouldn't necessarily be the wrong choice. Injuries at running back are obviously a huge risk and Bell missed a huge chunk of the season, but he's a highly productive, true three-down back when he's on the field.In 22 games over the past two seasons, the (now) 23-year-old Bell has 510 touches -- 403 carries and 107 receptions -- for 2,907 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns. That averages out to 23.18 touches, 132.14 YFS and 0.64 touchdowns -- or more than 17 (standard) fantasy points -- per game.

1.02 - Team 2: Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh SteelersLikely the consensus top pick in 2016 fantasy football drafts, Brown is as safe and productive as it gets. While Brown set career highs of 136 catches and 1,834 yards, his numbers would have been even better had Ben Roethlisberger not missed time. Over his past three seasons combined, Brown has a total of 375 receptions for 5,031 yards and 31 touchdowns.

1.03 - Team 3: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York GiantsIn his young career, Beckham has averaged more than 100 yards per game (2,755 yards in 27 career games). Even though he has missed five games over his first two seasons, OBJ has 15 100-yard games during that span. Only Brown (17) and Julio Jones (16) have more. In addition, no player has more receiving touchdowns than Beckham (25) over the past two seasons.

1.04 - Team 4: Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta FalconsNot only did Jones lead the NFL in receiving yards (1,871), but it was the second-most of any season in NFL history. Jones has more than 100 catches and 1,500 yards in back-to-back seasons, but he has only 14 touchdowns in those two seasons. Based on his volume of targets as well as his combination of size and speed, Jones should be more productive in the red zone.

1.05 - Team 5: Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles RamsDespite missing the first three games of the season, Gurley finished third in the NFL with 1,106 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Gurley exceeded the 100-yard mark only once in his final eight games, but he still averaged 4.8 yards per carry over his rookie campaign. There remains concerns about the weakness of the team's passing attack (and in turn, the eight-men boxes in Gurley's future), but he will be one more year removed from his torn ACL and should rank near the top of the league in rush attempts in 2016.

1.06 - Team 6: Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England PatriotsCounting 10 playoff games, Gronkowski has a total of 75 touchdowns in career 90 games. And with the exception of his seven-game 2013 season, Gronk has double-digit touchdowns in five of his six NFL seasons. Still 26 years old (turns 27 in May), Gronk is one of the league's biggest mismatches and the clear-cut top option at his position.

1.07 - Team 7: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota VikingsAfter sitting out virtually all of the 2014 season, Peterson led the NFL in carries (327), rushing yards (1,485) and rushing touchdowns (11). The Vikings will continue to ride AP as their workhorse. Despite his superhuman physical traits, the only concern is that he turns 31 years old in March.

1.08 - Team 8: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston TexansOne of the best young talents in the NFL, Hopkins took another big step forward in his age-23 season. Even with a less than ideal quarterback situation, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.

1.09 - Team 9: Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta FalconsJust like we had all expected, no running back scored more fantasy points in 2015 than Freeman. Not only did Freeman rush for more than 1,000 yards, but he hauled in 73 catches, third-most among running backs, for 578 yards. In addition, he scored a total of 14 touchdowns last season. While he may not score 14 touchdowns again, he's developed into a true three-down back for the Falcons.

1.10 - Team 10: Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas CowboysIt was a disappointing season for Dez and the Cowboys. Not only was Bryant sidelined for nearly half the season with a broken foot, but Tony Romo broke his collarbone (two times). When healthy, however, Bryant is one of the most dominant receivers in the league and only Gronk has more receiving touchdowns than Bryant (53) since 2011.

1.11 - Team 11: Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City ChiefsComing off a torn ACL, there's obviously concerns with Charles from a health perspective, but the good news is the injury happened reasonably early in the season and reports suggest that his recovery is going well. The next time the versatile eight-year veteran averages less than 5.0 yards per carry will be his first. In his five games last season, he averaged 18.4 touches, 108.2 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown per game.

1.12 - Team 12: David Johnson, RB, Arizona CardinalsInjuries finally led to Johnson getting a shot at the featured role, but the third-rounder out of Northern Iowa had been productive in limited opportunities before that. Johnson scored a total of 13 touchdowns -- eight rushing, four receiving and one return -- on only 161 touches. Finishing as a top-five weekly performer in three of his five starts, Johnson has a legitimate shot at finishing as a top-five running back for all of 2016.

> Continue to Round 2 of our Fantasy Football Mock Draft

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February 07, 2016

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has "told people close to him" that he plans to retire this offseason.

There were reports last offseason that he was strongly considering retirement so it comes as little surprise that he plans to do so after an injury-marred 2015 season.

Battling hamstring injury early and having abdominal surgery later in the season, Lynch was anything but Beast Mode. Lynch missed more games (nine) than he played (seven) and averaged just 3.8 yards per carry, his lowest average since 2010 when he was traded by Buffalo to Seattle.

Lynch finished the year with 111 carries for 417 yards and three touchdowns plus 13 catches for 80 yards. Meanwhile, undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls rushed for nearly twice as many yards (830) and averaged a league-best 5.6 YPC.

Since 2011, Lynch's first full season in Seattle, he ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards (5,774) behind LeSean McCoy (5,970) and Adrian Peterson (5,893) and first in rushing touchdowns (51).

Going into 2016, Rawls will be a top-10 fantasy running back and a solid second-round pick in 2016 fantasy football drafts.

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