Acme Packing Company's 2016 mock draft continues on with picks five and six in round one, as we release the first-round picks over the course of this week. The rules were simple: seven authors were assigned four or five teams apiece, and made the picks for each of those teams whenever they came up. We will pick the first three rounds of the draft.
We finally come to the end of the first round of the draft, which consists of 31 picks instead of 32. Of course, that is due to the forfeiture of the New England Patriots' first-round pick, which would have been number 29. The final two picks come from the teams who played in Super Bowl 50, and the events of that game (and in free agency afterwards) clearly influence the selections in our mock.
Round 1, Pick 30: Carolina Panthers select offensive tackle Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M
Jon Barnett was on the pick for the Panthers, who address the area that was most responsible for the team's Super Bowl loss - the offensive line:
The Panthers believe that if they could have simply controlled the Denver pass rush, they would have been the Super Bowl Champions last year. With Kelvin Benjamin coming back off an ACL injury and the return of Greg Olson, Devin Funchess and Tedd Ginn, the receiving game will be fine. Stewart may be running down, but there is no option for a valuable running back here that would not still be available in the late second round. The defense is solid and the Panthers look for a solid tackle.
Germain Ifedi started for three years at Texas A&M, both at guard and tackle. He is a large frame at 6'5" and 324 pounds. He is a strong pass blocker. He will not be a drop in the run blocking that is the cornerstone of their offense, but they need to add some more effective pass blocking. The Panthers cannot rely solely on Cam Newton's escapability if they want to take that last step. The Panthers have reason to believe they are close and picking Ifedi here is no stretch pick for need.
Round 1, Pick 31: Denver Broncos choose defensive tackle Jarran Reed, Alabama
Zach Roethlisberger gets to make the picks for the defending champs, who replace a free agent who just got a big payday:
The Super Bowl Champions have had an eventful offseason to say the least, with multiple big names becoming free agents. Everybody knew the Broncos would not be able to keep everybody, especially when having to pay Von Miller a huge amount of money to keep in Denver given how impactful he was last season. Big names such as Brock Osweiler and Malik Jackson both chose to sign with other teams, leaving the Broncos with some holes to address this season.
Given the quarterbacks off the board, the Broncos would be smart in selecting Reed here to add to their defensive line with the departure of Jackson. I would find it surprising that Reed is still on the board here, but if he is, the Broncos will land an absolute steal here, with a player who is already NFL ready, and will rarely see any double teams, given the attack coming from the outside in Miller and DeMarcus Ware.
Mock Draft Summary
|1.3||SD||Jalen Ramsey||DB||Florida State|
|1.4||DAL||Joey Bosa||DE||Ohio State|
|1.7||SF||Carson Wentz||QB||North Dakota State|
|1.8||PHI (via MIA)||Ezekiel Elliott||RB||Ohio State|
|1.9||TB||Ronnie Stanley||OT||Notre Dame|
|1.11||CHI||Vernon Hargreaves III||CB||Florida|
|1.13||MIA (via PHI)||Shaq Lawson||DE||Clemson|
|1.16||DET||Jack Conklin||OT||Michigan State|
|1.17||ATL||Darron Lee||LB||Ohio State|
|1.18||IND||Noah Spence||OLB||Eastern Kentucky|
|1.19||BUF||Emmanuel Ogbah||DE||Oklahoma State|
|1.21||WAS||Cody Whitehair||OL||Kansas State|
|1.25||PIT||Taylor Decker||OT||Ohio State|
|1.26||SEA||William Jackson III||CB||Houston|
|1.30||CAR||Germain Ifedi||OT||Texas A&M|