Final 2016 NFL Mock Draft - Kevin Hanson- Updated: Wednesday, April 27th
Here are picks 9-16 in our 2016 NFL Mock Draft:
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (team draft history): Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
While he may lack ideal size, Hargreaves, a three-time All-SEC selection, is extremely fluid with outstanding ball skills as his 10 interceptions over three seasons would indicate. Per PFF, all five of Tampa's qualified corners (out of 111 total) in 2015 graded 64th or worse and two of them. The Bucs signed a pair of free-agent cornerbacks, Brent Grimes and Josh Robinson, but that doesn't rule out signing a talent like Hargreaves here. In addition, Grimes play dropped off in 2015 and he turns 33 years old this summer.
10. New York Giants (team draft history): Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
One of the top pass-rushers in this year's draft class, Floyd has generated buzz that he could be a top-10 pick on Thursday night due to his explosiveness and athleticism. The Giants have spent some money in free agency on the defensive side of the ball, but the last time they used a first-round pick on a defensive player was 2011 (Prince Amukamara).
11. Chicago Bears (team draft history): Shaq Lawson, DE/OLB, Clemson
Playing with a non-stop motor, Lawson led the nation in tackles for loss and racked up 12.5 sacks in 2015. If available here, however, he should be a strong consideration for the Bears, who could use pass-rush help. Then again, which team couldn't use more talented pass-rushers?
12. New Orleans Saints (team draft history): Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
The Saints ranked 31st in total defense (413.8 yards per game) and 32nd in scoring defense (29.8 points per game) so there is a lot of room for improvement on that side of the ball. In fact, they were 31st in both pass and run defense so there's a good chance this pick will be on the defensive side of the ball although one of the rumors du jour is that Paxton Lynch would be in play here. That said, Rankins is one of the most disruptive interior linemen in this year's draft class even if he's a bit undersized in the mold of All-Pro Aaron Donald.
(Projected trade) 13. Cleveland Browns (team draft history): Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
A knee injury ended his season and collegiate career prematurely and he's been described as "a time bomb" over long-term concern about his knee. Those worries could potentially lead to a draft-day drop for Jack outside of the top-10 picks. With six top-100 picks in this year's draft before adding more with another (projected) trade down, the Browns have the flexibility to take some risk with this pick on a high-upside player like Jack.
On the field, Jack is an ultra-athletic three-down linebacker that's custom-made for today's NFL. One of the most versatile players in this year's entire draft class, Jack was named the Pac-12's Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the year early in his UCLA career.
14. Oakland Raiders (team draft history): William Jackson III, CB, Houston
One of the biggest "winners" after his combine performance, the 6-foot corner ran a 4.37 40-yard dash, third-fastest among defensive backs. Former first-rounder D.J. Hayden graded out as PFF's 105th (out of 111) cornerback(s) last season and is entering the final year of his rookie season. Not only did the Raiders sign Sean Smith in free agency, but David Amerson graded out as PFF's CB14 in his first year in Oakland. Like Hayden, however, Amerson will be a free agent after the 2016 season.
15. Tennessee Titans (team draft history): Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
A former walk-on at Michigan State, Conklin has the size, strength and demeanor to be a bookend to Taylor Lewan at right tackle, but he tested better at the combine than expected and possesses good length (35-inch arms). One NFC North scout told NFL.com's Lance Zierlein, "That is a dude, right there. He was busting up Ohio State in the fourth quarter of that game not because he was more talented than those guys but because he just wanted it more. He's tougher than old beef jerky ..."
16. Detroit Lions (team draft history): Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Decker played left tackle at Ohio State, but he's a better fit on the right side at the next level. The fourth offensive tackle off the board in this mock, Decker would provide the Lions with an upgrade over right tackle Michael Ola. Not only did the Lions allow the 10th-most sacks (44) last season, but left tackle Riley Reiff, right guard Larry Warford and right tackle Michael Ola are all scheduled to become free agents after the 2016 NFL season.
- Continue to picks 17-32 in our 2016 NFL Mock Draft
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