Less than a week and counting.
If you are like me, you are drooling at the idea of three days of the NFL Draft, signifying that the 2016 season has truly begun.
And if you are like me, you are hoping and praying to the football gods that your team will do the right thing and take the best player available, regardless of the position.
I’m a Jaguars fan, so that has to be Jalen Ramsey or Joey Bosa.
The Draft has already had its share of shocking developments with Los Angeles and Philadelphia trading for the top two picks on Thursday night. That all but guarantees two quarterbacks to be chosen. The rest is a mixed bag of hope and disappointment. There will be more shocking developments as the night unfolds. Who rises and who falls? Who sits in the Green Room? And most of all, how will Mel Kiper’s hair look?
These are five bold predictions that could happen while we Draftniks watch with anticipation.
The Dallas Cowboys will take Ezekiel Elliott with the No. 4 Pick
It would not shock me if the team took linebacker Myles Jack, Ohio State’s Joey Bosa or even DeForest Buckner of Oregon. But Jerry Jones has been hemming and hawing about needing another running back.
The team signed Alfred Morris in the offseason, but we all know Jones is a greedy man and Elliott is the best running back in this Draft.
In the second round, it would not shock me either if they chose Dak Prescott, the heir to Tony Romo at quarterback.
We all know there is no rhyme or reason for the Dallas draft classes. This year, the team needs to make picks with the future in mind.
Laremy Tunsil falls to the sixth pick in the Draft
When the Tennessee Titans traded away the top pick in the Draft, Tunsil should have fallen to third overall. Now with the Cleveland Browns traded the second overall pick, who knows how far Tunsil could fall.
There is a need for a tackle in San Diego, but I am guessing the team will use their No. 3 pick to land FSU defensive back Jalen Ramsey and then worry about a tackle in the second round. The Cowboys have one of the better offensive lines in football, so that won’t work. The Jaguars would be foolish to invest in a tackle. The next team on the list is Baltimore, who incidentally needs help on the offensive line.
Tunsil is a tackle who could anchor a line for the next decade. The Ravens get a steal here.
The Cleveland Browns will trade out of the No. 8 slot
The Browns threw up all over themselves when they got a king’s ransom for the second pick. The rumor is the team isn’t done stockpiling draft picks. And they shouldn’t be.
Cleveland’s new management team, which includes head coach Hue Jackson, have many needs.
The Browns signed Robert Griffin III but that does not mean they won’t draft a quarterback. They could use their first round pick on Paxton Lynch of Memphis or wait until the second round and grab a second tier passer. But the notion of trading down, which means more draft picks and future considerations, will help this team grow.
Finally, a real plan in Cleveland.
Robert Nkemdiche will wind up in Buffalo
Don’t ask me why, but I just see this happening.
Besides Noah Spence, Nkemdiche is the biggest enigma in this Draft class and the one most teams either love or have written him off their draft boards. He is a top five talent.
Right now, I think there more teams worried about his character issues than anything else. But if there is one team (besides New England) where he can flourish, it is Buffalo.
Bills head coach Rex Ryan knows this is a make or break season for him and he must hit a home run with the Draft. The Bills defense needs to improve on the interior and Nkemdiche does not have to start right away.
This is the best place for him.
Bill Belichick will still have a stellar draft class
Every year, the New England Patriots go out and find players in the back half of the Draft who turn out to be studs or major contributors to the team. Since the Patriots do not have a first round draft pick, because of that thing called Deflate Gate, it would not surprise me if the team goes out and once again, finds depth and playmakers to help Tom Brady take a shot at a fifth ring.
New England needs a pass rusher, depth at linebacker and of course, wide receivers. Expect the mastermind of Belichick to find all those players and help the Patriots remain the best team in the AFC Conference.