Now that Superbowl 50 has just entered the history books, players, coaches and fans all now are looking forward to the 2016 NFL Draft set to take place on Thursday, April 28th through Saturday April 30th.  Teams now have the chance to beef up their lineups and fill needed vacancies, the seven round NFL draft will certainly help some teams with the addition of new and raw talent.  While sometimes players chosen in the latter rounds turnout to be as good as or better than some of the first round picks, generally first round picks are the cornerstone players that teams need to make their starting lineup a top contender.  Below is a draft guide of first ten choices of the 2016 NFL draft, what each teams’ top priorities and needs are as well the hottest prospects being scouted by teams with picks early in the first round

                1)The Tennessee Titans’ (3-13) biggest need is an offensive tackle and are likely to pick Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss, Ronnie Stanley of Notre Dame, or Jack Conklin of Michigan State.  The Titans also are in need of a Running back, safety, and inside linebacker and may opt for top choices in those categories such as Running Back Ezekiel Elliot of Ohio State, Safety Darian Thompson of Boise State, and inside linebacker Reggie Ragland of Alabama.  The Titans however must help their young quarterback Marcus Mariota by protecting him in the pocket and building a steady attack on offense, thus look for the Titans to opt for either a running back or offensive tackle.          

                2) The Cleveland Browns (3-13) top need is quarterback, but they also could use a wide receiver, defensive end or inside linebacker.  The top quarterbacks are Jared Goff of Cal, Paxton Lynch of Memphis, and Carson Wentz of North Dakota State.  If the Browns don’t like what they see at Quarterback, the team may opt for Laquon Treadwell of Ole Miss at Wide Receiver or Deforest Buckner of Oregon at Defensive End or Inside Linebackers Reggie Ragland (Alabama), Scooby Wright (Arizona), or Antonio Morrison of Florida.  The Browns’ last attempt filling the quarterback spot seems to have failed, but defending against the run is also something the team must address in the offseason which a defensive end or inside linebacker would be helpful in.    

                3) The San Diego Chargers (4-12) are in need of a wide receiver as well as Linebacker, Quarterback, and center.  Laquon Treadwill may their choice if he is still available, Tyler Boyd (Pittsburg) and Corey Coleman (Baylor) are also top wide receiver prospects.  At Linebacker the Chargers may opt for Myles Jack (UCLA), Leonard Floyd (Georgia) while if the team decides on drafting a new quarterback in the first round, they may pick Jared Goff if the QB is still available, Paxton Lynch (Memphis), or Carson Wentz of North Dakota State.  At the center position, Ryan Kelly of Alabama and Max Tuerk of (USC) are likely selections.  The Chargers offensive needs another wide receiver as their wide receiver Keenan Allen is on injured reserve.  The Chargers current quarterback Phillip Rivers will likely remain the starter but the team may want to pick a backup who will eventually take over the position.  Adding a quality starting center is also a priority.


 

                4) After the Dallas Cowboys disappointing 4-12 season and the injury and descent of Tony Romo and his tenure at Quarterback, the team must find a replacement.  Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch and Carson Wentz are certainly being eyed by team scouts while the team’s need for a running back may be fulfilled by either Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State), Derrick Henry (Alabama), or Jordan Howard (Indiana).  The Cowboys also need a linebacker and defensive end if they don’t like their options at Quarterback and Running Back, one top linebackers Myles Jack (UCLA), Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame), and Leonard Floyd (Georgia) may be the Cowboys first choice in this year’s draft.  At Defensive Tackle the Cowboys may want to go with Andrew Billings (Baylor), A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama), or Jarran Reed (Alabama).  The Cowboys offensive line is solid, now the team must focus on building the line on the defensive side.  

                5) The 5-11 Jacksonville Jaguars biggest need is a cornerback while the team is also in need of a Safety, Center, and defensive tackle.  At Cornerback likely to be picked are Jalen Ramsey (Florida State), Vernon Hargreaves (Florida), and Mackensie Alexander (Clemson); while at Safety joining the Jaguars roster may be Darian Thompson (Boise State), Jayron Kearse (Clemson), Deon Bush (Miami).  At Defensive Tackle don’t be surprised to see the Jaguars to add either Andrew Billings (Baylor), A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama), or Jarran Reed (Alabama) while the center position could be filled by Ryan Kelly (Alabama), Max Tuerk (USC), or Evan Boehm (Missouri).  The Jaguars need to give Dante Fowler help in the secondary and the team’s rushing game would likely improve a lot with the addition of a dependable center.

 

                6) The Baltimore Ravens disappointing 5-11 season could be aided by the addition of a Safety, Rush Linebacker, and wide receiver should the team be able to find the right choice in each respective position.  Top first round prospects at Safety are Darian Thompson (Boise State), Jayron Kearse (Clemson), and Deon Bush (Miami).  If the player the team wants has already been selected then at Rush Linebacker the Ravens likely will choose Leonard Floyd (Georgia), Kyler Fackrell (Utah State), or Kamalei Correa (Boise State); depending on who is still available and who the team scouts are most impressed with.  If the team decides it wants a wide receiver in the first round, likely being eyed by Ravens staff are WR: Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), Tyler Boyd (Pittsburgh), and Corey Coleman (Baylor).  The Ravens main need is a safety to help protect against the deep ball while a quality wide receiver would make quarterback Joe Flacco’s job easier.         

               

                7) The 5-11 San Francisco 49ers’ top need is a quarterback, the team also could use help at Right Tackle, wide receiver, and the defensive line.   Top QB prospects Jared Goff (Cal), Paxton Lynch (Memphis), and Carson Wentz (North Dakota State) may become 49ers during the draft while wide receivers Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), Tyler Boyd (Pittsburgh), and Corey Coleman (Baylor) are possible selections at the number 7 pick.   Adding a new defensive line and ensuring consistency at wide receiver are things the team’s scouts must consider after the sudden retirements that have seen the team’s roster suffer.  Top offensive tackle prospects are Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame), and Jack Conklin (Michigan State) and the Defensive line of the 49ers could be helped by the addition of DeForest Buckner (Oregon), Joey Bosa (Ohio State), Andrew Billings (Baylor).
 

                8) The Miami Dolphins (6-10) first round choice probably will be used to select a cornerback, but may also be used to pick a guard, offensive tackle, or inside linebacker.  Teams in need of a cornerback are eyeing Jalen Ramsey (Florida State), Vernon Hargreaves (Florida), and Mackensie Alexander (Clemson).  The top Guard prospects Cody Whitehair (Kansas State), Joshua Garnett (Stanford), Landon and Turner (North Carolina) and the OT position may be filled by top prospects Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame), or Jack Conklin (Michigan State).  At inside linebacker The Dolphins may opt for Reggie Ragland (Alabama), Scooby Wright III (Arizona), or Antonio Morrison (Florida).  A new and talented cornerback is a priority for the Dolphins as their roster is weak at that positon.    
 

                9) The 6-10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers also need a cornerback and may opt for the top prospects the Miami Dolphins most certainly are considering.  The Buccaneers also a have a shared need with the Dolphins in finding an offensive tackle and guard.  Who the team will select is likely dependent on availability of the top prospects mentioned, and also if the coaching staff decides to address the teams need at Defensive End, in which case they may choose either DeForest Buckner (Oregon), Joey Bosa (Ohio State), or Kevin Dodd, if the player they like best seems to be the right pick.   

                10) The New York Giants and their fans alike probably thought that the team would have finished with a better record than 6-10.  The Giants biggest need this offseason seems to be at Defensive End while they also are in need of a Running back, Safety, and offensive tackle.  The top prospects at defensive end, DeForest Buckner (Oregon), Joey Bosa (Ohio State), and Kevin Dodd (Clemson) certainly are being watched in film rooms of the Giants as are running backs Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State), Derrick Henry (Alabama), and Jordan Howard (Indiana).  Safeties Darian Thompson (Boise State), Jayron Kearse (Clemson), and Deon Bush (Miami) are top choices being considered while the OT position the team may fill with top recruits Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame), and Jack Conklin (Michigan State).  The Giants desperately need to add a pass rusher ASAP, the running game meanwhile must be improved if the Giants intend to contend next season, Tom Coughlin wants a dependable runner rather than a slew of backs to get the job done. 

Published by Ville Iso-Ahola