The Combine is over and Pro Days are in full swing which means it is the fun Mock Draft Time!
MIAMI DOLPHINS: Reggie Ragland LB from Rawl Tyde
Miami moved back in the 1st when they made the trade for The Legend and a benchwarmer in Byron Maxwell. This means they get to wisely be out of the range for Vernon Hargreaves (never trust a Gator). The big need for the Fins outside of CB is ILB where they need someone who can be the leader of the defense and give them a guy who can help against the run and drop into coverage. That guy is Ragland who is your prototypical Alabama ILB. Ragland is stout against the run and despite not being the quickest athlete, has some coverage skills. His closest comparison in the NFL is Dont’a Hightower which isn’t a horrible player to be compared to. If Jaylon Smith didn’t suffer his knee injury in January, he would also be a choice but the Fins might go the safe route and get a solid linebacker who can be the captain of their defense for the next ten years. It isn’t a splashy pick, but it is a solid pick which will pay off in the short and long term.
BUFFALO BILLS: Kevin Dodd from Choke U (Clemson)
The Bills defense is getting a remake as Rex has shown to be incapable of being flexible when it comes to defense (tune in next time for more on that subject). With Mario Williams gone, the Bills will have to be getting his replacement. Kevin Dodd was overshadowed at Clemson by Shaq Lawson last year before the National Title game where he went off. He can play the 3-4 DE spot as well as OLB as times. Pretty much he is Mario Williams at 1/9th the cost. He gives the Bills pass rushing as well as run stopping capabilities which means he can contribute right away. Dodd can also drop into coverage which is perfect for a Rex Ryan defense that cares more about confusion than rushing the passer. I would rather the Bills be able to draft an OT or a WR but with Rex at HC, defense is all the Bills will draft.
NEW YORK J-E-T-S: Paxton Lynch QB from Memphis
The Jets are currently playing a game of chicken with Fitzmagic and hoping his asking price goes down. However if that doesn’t happen, the Jets will not be rolling with Geno and all his Genovers next year. Instead they will most likely be drafting a QB and probably with their 1st pick. With Goff already gone, they go with this guy. Lynch is big, tall and is pretty much the next Brock Osweiler. He is familiar with the type of offense Chan runs as Memphis under their HC ran a very similar style of offense. Lynch can make every throw, move well for a guy his size and is for the most part smart with his throws. The only downside for now is he has a longer throwing motion which will need to tightened up but that is no major thing. The Jets have been looking for a franchise QB and with Fitz not immediately coming back, it allows the Jets to get one now instead of waiting until it is a horrible draft class a la 2013 and being forced to get one.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Kendall Fuller CB from Virginia Tech
Since the NFL refuses to admit that they’re wrong (again), the Patriots still do not have their 1st round pick back and most likely won’t get it back by the time draft comes. This means the Patriots now have to wait until the 2nd round to make their first selection in this draft. In the 2nd round Belichick only drafts defensive backs or wide receivers which means no big men that the Pats need. Instead they go with an injury prone cornerback from Virginia Tech. Fuller is the younger brother of Kyle Fuller and while in college some said he was the superior player. He has very good instincts and can play press and zone. If there isn’t any setbacks injury wise, Fuller would be a day one starter opposite Patriots Legend Malcolm butler. That would be a solid tandem at corner for the Patriots and it will help the so-so front four have time to generate pressure. Fuller isn’t a typical 2nd round pick that the Patriots do considering he wouldn’t be overdrafted by three rounds. However the Patriots do have another second which they can use to draft that guy from Rutgers or Stanford who is a projected 7th round pick.