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Me vs Mel: 2016 Edition

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In 1994, Colts GM Bill Tobin said this about ESPN's Mel Kiper, "Who the hell is Mel Kiper? Mel Kiper has no more credentials to do what he’s doing than my neighbor, and my neighbor’s a postman." I'm out to prove that a postman, or in this case a Colts blogger, can out Mock Draft the "draft guru" of ESPN.

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Well folks, it's finally time. It took a long time, but I'm finally ready to unveil my second annual Me vs. Mel Mock Draft. Note that I'm using Mel's Mock from April 19, for this write up.

Last year Mel blew me away in our competition (which he doesn't know exists) but I'm back and ready to dominate this year. Here. We. Go.

1. LA Rams - Mel's pick: Jared Goff, QB. My pick: Goff

Mel and I agree here. The Rams don't have a QB to speak of on a roster that many (including myself) have thought is close to contending for a playoff spot, if not more. You don't move to Los Angeles, trade oodles of picks to jump to the top spot, and then not take the California kid as your QB. This is a no-brainer and I'm somewhat surprised the Rams haven't signed Goff to a contract yet.

2. Philadelphia Eagles - Mel's pick: Carson Wentz, QB. My pick: Wentz

Again Mel and I agree. But again it's too obvious. The Eagles are trying to distance themselves from Chip Kelly, and apparently decided the way to do that was to mortgage their future to move up in the draft. To me, Wentz isn't worth it, since I don't think he'll be that good. But then again, teams aren't paying me the big bucks to make these picks. Probably a good thing.

3. San Diego Chargers - Mel's pick: Laremy Tunsil, OT. My pick: Tunsil

I'm going with the same pick again. I think Tunsil will be a better and more valuable player then either Goff or Wentz. This is a gift for the Chargers to get a solid tackle. I don't see why Tunsil can't be a franchise tackle much like Joe Thomas.

4. Dallas Cowboys - Mel's pick: Jalen Ramsey, CB. My pick: Ezekiel Elliott, RB

Ok so this might be a huge mistake. Let me just say that I think Dallas could easily move down and snag Elliott, but I won't project trades. This isn't the smart pick for Dallas, but it could pass as the flashy pick. Jerry Jones lost DeMarco Murray a year ago, and the Cowboys offense sputtered. Of course, that had more to do with Romo's injury than anything else. Still, I think after seeing what Todd Gurley did last year, Jones pulls the trigger on the Ohio State back.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Mel's pick: Myles Jack, LB. My pick: Jalen Ramsey, CB

This much is certain: the Jaguars won't be going offense. Scarily, they actually have a good core on that side of the ball. The defense needs help, though. If Ramsey slips to them I don't see how Jacksonville doesn't pull the trigger. Yes, Jack is a playmaker. He also has major injury concerns with his knee. Plus the Jaguars have Fowler coming back this year. They don't need a linebacker, but they do need help in the secondary.

6. Baltimore Ravens - Mel's pick: Joey Bosa, DE. My pick: Ronnie Stanley, OT

Honestly, the Ravens could use both players. I'm giving the nod to Stanley here because the line is far more important. The Ravens were bad last year, but it didn't help when Joe Flacco went down. The team whiffed (in my opinion) on Michael Oher, and will right that decision here with Stanley.

7. San Francisco 49ers - Mel's pick: Ronnie Stanley, OT. My pick: Jack Conklin, OT

I was so tempted to have the 49ers reach for a QB here. And I do think they deal away Kaepernick sometime over the weekend. Number seven is too early to take a QB, though, with Goff and Wentz gone. Whoever will line up under center will need to be protected. So the 49ers continue the run on Tackles here.

8. Cleveland Browns - Mel's Pick: DeForest Buckner, DE. My pick: Joey Bosa, DE

Cleveland has managed to do the draft right so far. They made a spectacular trade to move back and fleece the Eagles on a trade. Now they get a chance to take Bosa with the eighth pick? They won't complain.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Mel's pick: Jack Conklin, OT. My pick: William Jackson III, CB

The Bucs need a corner, and it isn't too much of a stretch to take Jackson here. I think Tampa would like to go with a tackle, but the top guys are gone, and Decker is a stretch here. I don't think the Bucs complain about the next best corner on the board.

10. New York Giants - Mel's pick: LaQuon Treadwell, WR. My pick: Treadwell

Here is my cue to say that no, I haven't forgotten about Myles Jack. The Giants need a receiver to complement Odell Beckham, and let's be honest, Victor Cruz is not that guy anymore. Treadwell might be a bit of a reach here, but I think it's the smart pick.

11. Chicago Bears - Mel's pick: Sheldon Rankins, DT. My pick: DeForest Buckner, DE

The Bears are a team that's closer than a lot of folks realize. A pass rushing end could be the next step in the process (remember how fierce that defense was with Julius Peppers?). With Buckner still on the board, the Bears jump at the chance to solidify the defensive line with a new pass rush threat.

12. New Orleans Saints - Mel's pick: William Jackson III, CB. My pick: Josh Doctson

It seems like almost every year the Saints take a defensive player, but the defense is still iffy at best. So this year they make the big switch and take the playmaker out of TCU. Give Drew Brees one more big target and hope the defense improves. It might work. Know, I was so so so so so close to having the Saints reach for Paxton Lynch here.

13. Miami Dolphins - Mel's pick: Darron Lee, LB. My pick: Robert Nkemdiche, DT

Here comes the first huge surprise of my mock draft. Nkemdiche is probably the most scrutinized player in this draft due to his charismatic (amongst other things) character. Yes, the Dolphins already have Suh. But that also means they can tolerate some character issues. And just imagine, for one second, what a Suh and Nkemdiche line might look like.

14. Oakland Raiders - Mel's pick: Vernon Hargreaves III. My pick: Hargreaves

Yes, I agree with this. The Raiders are another team that is tantalizingly close to success. Hargreaves gives the defense another boost and replaces, somewhat, Charles Woodson in the secondary. I feel like Oakland could go any direction (other than QB) and this would be a good pick.

15. Tennessee Titans - Mel's pick: Josh Doctson, WR. My pick: Taylor Decker, OT

The Titans would like a tackle, and may move back into the top five (trade with Jacksonville?) to do it. If they stay here, going after Decker isn't a stretch. He's a solid player who can help protect Marcus Mariota as well. The Titans might like a receiver as well, but they have plenty of second round picks to grab one.

16. Detroit Lions - Mel's pick: Shaq Lawson, LB. My pick: Sheldon Rankins, DT

What a gift for the Lions. They have been struggling to replace Suh in the last year and they get their man with Rankins here. Lawson would be a great pick as well, but the Lions can't, and won't, pass on Rankins.

17. Atlanta Falcons - Mel's Pick: Reggie Ragland, LB. My pick: Darron Lee, LB

The Falcons get their choice of Lawson or Lee here, and I have them opting in for Lee. Actually I think Lawson is the better pick here, but I just can't see the Falcons taking a hard pass on Lee.

18. Indianapolis Colts - Mel's pick: Taylor Decker, OT. My pick: Ryan Kelly, C

I would be thrilled if the Colts select Kelly. The Center position has been in flux ever since Jeff Saturday's departure. Kelly could provide stability at the position for years to come. Which is exactly what the Colts need with Andrew Luck (hopefully) under center for years to come.

19. Buffalo Bills - Mel's pick: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE. My pick: Myles Jack, LB

The free fall of Jack stops here. I think a lot of teams will be concerned with his knee much like teams were with Da'Quan Bowers in 2011. I don't see Rex Ryan passing on a player with the ability of Jack if he's on the board though. If Jack's knee remains healthy, this could be the steal of the draft.

20. New York Jets - Mel's pick: Germain Ifedi, OT. My pick: Paxton Lynch, QB

And here's another surprise pick. Reaching for a QB here is such a Jets thing to do. This is a team that nearly made the playoffs with Ryan Fitzpatrick, so imagine what they could do with a real QB. I'm not saying Lynch is that guy, but I'm saying the Jets may think he is.

21. Washington Redskins - Mel's pick: Ryan Kelly, C. My pick: Shaq Lawson, LB

Until recently I would have slotted a corner here. Well. That isn't a need anymore. With Lawson still on the board, the Redskins have to pull the trigger on the best player available, which Lawson is at this point. You can never have enough linebackers in the league today, so this pick makes complete sense if Lawson is still available.

22. Houston Texans - Mel's pick: Corey Coleman, WR. My pick: Germain Ifedi, OT

For so long I had Houston pegged to take Christian Hackenberg. He was recruited by Bill O'Brien and played well for O'Brien. With Brock Osweiler in house, though, the pick won't be a QB. The team gave Osweiler franchise money, and now they need to protect him like so. With Idefi still on the board, Houston gets their man.

23. Minnesota Vikings - Mel's pick: Will Fuller, WR. My pick: Corey Coleman, WR

I think the Vikings definitely go receiver here and I think Coleman is a much better option than Fuller is at this point. I've read reports that say the Vikings may lean away from a wide out. I don't buy them. This team needs more firepower, and Coleman will bring them that.

24. Cincinnati Bengals - Mel's pick: A'Shawn Robinson, DT. My pick: Will Fuller, WR

The Bengals lost a handful of playmakers this off-season and now need someone opposite from AJ Green. Fortunately, Fuller falls to them here, as he is the last viable first round receiver, in my mind. I could see the Bengals going linebacker as well with the suspension (and who knows what moving forward) of Burfict.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers - Mel's pick: Eli Apple, CB. My pick: Apple

I think Mel is right on here, and I won't digress. Despite their flashy offense, defense is still what most fans think of when they hear Pittsburgh. The Steelers, as with any team, could use help in the secondary and Apple is a great pick here.

26. Seattle Seahawks - Mel's pick: Artie Burns, CB. My pick: Reggie Ragland, LB

The Seahawks certainly could go corner here. However, in this mock, Ragland is still on the board. He's too good of a player for the Seahawks to pass on. The Seahawks live and die by their defense, and picking up a potential playmaker is an easy choice at 26.

27. Green Bay Packers - Mel's pick: Kamalei Correa, LB. My pick: Vonn Bell, S

The Packers are always tricky to mock in the draft. I know a couple years ago they grabbed Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round, but he hasn't been as great as expected. There is always room for another versatile safety on any team. The Pack could go with Burns, but Bell is too tempting to pass up.

28. Kansas City Chiefs - Mel's pick: Vonn Bell, S. My pick: Kamalei Correa, LB

If there was a feasible running back, I would almost be tempted here. But there isn't. Much like Oakland, I could see the Chiefs going a ton of directions here, and none of them would be bad choices. I went with Correa as you can't have too many linebackers. Seems like I've said that before.

29. Arizona Cardinals - Mel's pick: Leonard Floyd, LB. My pick: Artie Burns, CB

The last time we saw the Cardinals, they were getting their clock cleaned on both sides of the ball by the Panthers. I think the offense is still mostly fine, if Carson Palmer keeps his head. Picking Burns represents a back-up if Matthew goes down with injury again this year.

30. Carolina Panthers - Mel's pick: Kevin Dodd, DE. My pick: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE

I think Mel is right about going with a defensive end here. The Panthers couldn't manufacture pressure on Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl which did them in. Getting a quality end like Ogbah is the first step to remedy that problem. Probably.

31. Denver Broncos - Mel's pick: Cody Whitehair, G. My pick: Christian Hackenberg, QB

Yup I'm gonna pull the trigger on this one. The Broncos need a QB and Hackenberg, in my opinion, could have the most upside in this draft. If he's coached well, and maybe given the chance to sit for a while, he could become great. Kubiak knows what it takes to develop a QB so I don't think he's scared of this. The pick is a win later move from the team that has been in win now mode for the last few years.


Let's be honest. I'll be wrong about most of these. But just like last year, I'll have the final tally once the draft is all said and done. Will I best Mel this year? Will I even beat one of the other Stampede Blue writers? Only time will tell.