2016 Mock Draft Roundup: Third Edition

Posted Mar 7, 2016

Could the Rams land Jared Goff in the first round? That's what one analyst projects in the latest mock draft roundup.

The week after the NFL Combine is often a goldmine for mock drafts, and there were many who weighed in over the past seven days on the upcoming first round. In our third edition of the mock draft roundup, there appears to be a general consensus of who analysts think the Rams will pick at No. 15, but a few created some interesting scenarios in which Los Angeles lands a highly-regarded quarterback.

Before we get to the latest projections, remember you can check out our previous editions in the links below.

First Edition - Feb. 8
Second Edition - Feb. 22


Let’s start with that general-consensus pick: Laquon Treadwell. Analysts from four different media outlets projected the wide receiver from Ole Miss to go to Los Angeles in just the last week.

Peter Schrager of FOX Sports is among them, commenting, “Treadwell is the most fascinating prospect in this entire draft class. I am downright intrigued to see where he ends up in April. He's a crisp route runner who does it all on tape. He produces. But he opted not to run a 40-yard dash at the Combine, raising some eyebrows. He could be the next Anquan Boldin.”

The next Anquan Boldin? It’s probably a little early to make such assertions, but that’s pretty high praise. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller concurs with the selection in part because of Treadwell’s explosive-play potential.

“The Rams need big playmakers on offense, and without a quarterback here worthy of pick No. 15, it's easy to look at Laquon Treadwell and see the type of physical, in-your-face receiver who can spark an offense that's starting to come together well with Todd Gurley in the backfield,” Miller writes. “Treadwell has fallen slightly down my board (No. 22 overall) over concerns about being able to separate from defenses (be it with speed or power) at the next level. But betting on him to be able to overpower cornerbacks in an Alshon Jeffery or Kelvin Benjamin-like way is something the Rams could do.”

Over at the MMQB, Robert Mays thinks Treadwell could be a good piece to compliment current Rams wideout Tavon Austin.

“Treadwell may not be a burner, but he has great hands and knows how to win at the catch point,” Mays writes, asserting Treadwell could be a strong “big-body, outside-the-numbers threat.”

ESPN’s Todd McShay concurs with the pick, but his reasoning is a bit different, starting with his discussion of if Los Angeles may instead target a signal-caller in the first round -- perhaps via trade.

“Would the Rams pull the trigger on Memphis QB Paxton Lynch if he's still on the board here? I'm guessing they'd pass,” McShay writes (Insider subscription required - $$). “Would they try to package some picks and move up to, say, No. 6 to snag [Jared] Goff or [Carson] Wentz? Perhaps. For now, I'll give them Treadwell. … He didn't run at the combine, and I'm interested to see his time at his pro day on March 28, but his game isn't built on pure speed. He's a big, strong receiver with a very good combination of athletic ability, body control and ball skills.”

Treadwell completed his junior season at Ole Miss in 2015, where he caught 82 passes for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns. He led the SEC in both yards receiving and receiving touchdowns, earning a spot as one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award and a first-team All-SEC selection.

Given that he did not participate in the 40-yard dash at the Combine, his pro day will be significant for teams to measure his speed.


As McShay insinuated, if there’s a second position analysts think the Rams are targeting in the first round, it’s quarterback. While the usual projection is Paxton Lynch out of Memphis -- with conventional wisdom being that Cal’s Jared Goff and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz will be selected in the top 10 -- a couple analysts went a different route.

At Sports Illustrated, Chris Burke maintained his stance from his earlier mock in projecting Los Angeles to select Wentz at No. 15. Burke labeled Wentz as being a sound investment for the QB position.

“The Wentz–Andrew Luck comps are even more unnecessary than those of Bosa-Watt,” Burke writes, “but from both a mental and physical standpoint there are many reasons to believe Wentz can be a franchise QB.”


But perhaps the most intriguing mock draft of the week was one from NFL Media’s Charles Davis. He often presents different kinds of scenarios in his mock drafts -- one from last year had quarterback Jameis Winston sliding all the way down to the Rams at No. 10. His projections from March 3 follows that model, as Davis has the Rams selecting Goff at No. 15.

“In a bit of a surprise, this QB is still available,” Davis comments. “Of no surprise, the Rams race to the podium to select him to start their latest tenure in L.A.”

How realistic is this scenario? Probably not very. In today’s pass-heavy NFL, arguably the top-rated incoming rookie quarterback is unlikely to fall to No. 15. But as McShay pointed out, Goff is a player the Rams could perhaps target with a trade if the club elects to move into the top 10. We’ll see what happens as we get closer to the first round on April 28.