Mockingham Palace

It’s that time again where for some teams they are preparing the playoffs but for the remaining NFL teams especially Tennessee Titans, “you’re on the clock”. Whether or not the owner is determining which coach to fire, which coach to hire, what free agents are available remains to be determined but one thing for sure there will be a NFL Draft so why not do a Mock Draft. This will be the first of a billion mock drafts and this is before Todd McShay, Matt Miller and Mel Kiper get in the mix. There is so much uncertainty in this draft because there’s always a variable that can change such as a trade up or down in the draft or someone picks the other team’s selection and then let the mayhem truly begin. These GM’s may have to watch the Draft Day movie as a refresher to what needs to happen. One team to be on the lookout for is the Cleveland Browns. When you have an owner that has no problem firing any and every one isn’t surprised what tricks he has up his sleeve. I’m only doing the top 10 because that’s all I want to do for real.

Tennessee Titans- Ole Miss Tackle Laremy Tunsil– Left Tackle, Quarterback and Corner in my mind are the most important positions in the draft. You just drafted the future in Marcus Mariotta which could be the Rookie of the Year, now you need some protection. Why not draft a 6’5 300+ individual with footwork, speed and hands. He has the power to go against the premiere edge rushers in the league and can provide longevity not only for himself but for Mariotta. Expect a King’s ransom if you want this pick

Cleveland Browns-Memphis QB Paxton Lynch– Look when the owner says ‘We have the 2nd pick of the draft’ with respect to their starting quarterback going AWOL then you know anything is up for grabs. Jimmy Haslem has already fired the coach, GM, the GM’s friends and practically everyone associated with the previous regime. You have a QB that may need help outside of football. You have a decent corner in Joe Haden and a good LT in Joe Thomas so why not invest in a QB. Paxton Lynch is 6’7 about 245 pounds with a cannon. With a healthy Travis Benjamin, Gary Barnridge and Josh Gordon returning after a yearlong suspension this could be a good pick. Another option could be Joey Bosa, DE from Ohio State. Can’t go wrong with either pick.

San Diego-Notre Dame Tackle Ronnie Stanley– It’s pretty much the same premise as with the Titans except Phillip Rivers is getting older and his body shouldn’t have to take as many hits and it can produce a better rush game since they took Melvin Gordon as their first pick last year.

Dallas- Ole Miss Wide Receiver LaQuan Treadwell– ‘Are you serious’-dick vitale voice but hear me out. Tony Romo is on his last leg and arm right. You have a great offensive line. You have a great receiver in Dez Bryant but Jason Witten is broken down, Terrance Williams is average and Cole Beasley is a poor man’s poor man’s poor man’s Wes Welker. You need instant offense so why not add a dynamic receiver like Treadwell. I mean you could grab a QB in free agency like RG3, Johnny Manziel, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Fitzpatrick and others. Another option would be Paxton Lynch or Jared Goff because you may never be this position to draft a dynamic quarterback. Dallas didn’t do too badly last time they had a top 5 pick and drafted a quarterback. Remember Troy Aikman.

Jacksonville Jaguars- Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves III– Jacksonville is a team on the rise thanks to Blake Bortles and the Allen Brothers but you need a defense in a division with Andrew Luck and Marcus Mariotta so you need a good CB. Insert Hargreaves III who could be the future CB for years to come. I know Miami would be pissed but hey they got some more good corners on the market. Another interesting pick would be Joey Bosa. Imagine him on one end and a healthy Donte Flower on the other end. This tandem could wreak havoc in the near future

Baltimore- LSU CB Jalen Ramsey– Face it Ravens….We had a bad season. Our team was hampered with injuries not just regular injuries but season ending injuries. Whether it was Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco, Steve Smith, Justin Forsett, Breshard Perriman and the list goes on and on. The Ravens that stepped on the field were good but the defense has some deficiencies especially at the corner back position. Jimmy Smith, LaDarius Webb need some help so why not draft a corner. If he’s gone then Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander isn’t a bad choice either. Another option knowing Ozzie Newsome is trading down and the last time he did that was in 2008 and from that he drafted Joe Flacco. Not too shabby huh. If Perriman doesn’t return from his injury LaQuan Treadwell would be an interesting selection for the Ravens.

San Francisco- California QB Jared Goff– San Fran has taken a dive quicker than Greg Louganis in the Olympics. They were in the Championship game 3 years in a row not too long ago and now they are a shell of what they once were. Colin Kapernick is on the way out the door and you need someone better than Blaine Gabbert so why not get the best QB on the draft board. I know Paxton Lynch was drafted earlier but Jared rates higher. He may need to sit for a year or two because Gabbert can manage a game but I’m not resting my future on him though. He’s a California kid and last time San Francisco had a chance to draft a California QB they passed and he has become a baaaaaaaaaaddd man…the guy I’m talking about is Aaron Rodgers. Discount double check.

Miami Dolphins- Ohio State DE Joey Bosa– Could you imagine the smile on the owner Stephen Ross’ face if Joey Bosa fell this far down the draft board. I mean his last game he was ejected for targeting so maybe this left a bad taste in owners mouth but to add him with Cameron Wake and Suh could be terrifying and it could seal the fate of Olivier Vernon who has been on a terror this year as well. Maybe you keep all 4 of them but you have assembled one of the better defensive lines in the league with this addition. Another option could be Mackensie Alexander because face it Brent Grimes is declining.

Tampa Bay- Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander– The corner back position could easily have two maybe three picks in the top 10 and they could go in any order but Tampa Bay selects the third CB of the 2016 Draft with Alexander. Alexander has the tools to be a shutdown corner and when you facing WR’s like Julio Jones, Kelvin Benjamin and Brandin Cooks you need a CB that can stop them. Another option could be UCLA LB Myles Jack to pair up with Lavonte David or Oregon Defensive Lineman DeForest Buckner

New York Giants- UCLA LB Myles Jack– Tom Coughlin is gone and the offense is pretty solid with OBJ, Reuben Randle, and Larry Donnell. Add a healthy Victor Cruz and it’s become deadlier than before. But a good offense can only go so far so let’s begin to work on the defense and why not draft the best LB in the draft in Myles Jack. Very versatile LB could become a Day 1 starter and figure for the Giants for years to come and they have always had a sixth sense in drafting linebackers. Could he be the next addition?

Wild Card

Could you have asked for a better season than this? The emergence of Cam Newton, Adrian Peterson continuing to run well at 30, Carson Palmer healthy for the whole year, Russell Wilson balling out of his damn mind since December 1st and if Big Ben and Antonio Brown aren’t the best QB-WR combo in the league then who’s better? Now that the regular season is over we must move to the next phase which is the Playoffs…yes Jim Mora I said Playoffs. Now it’s the time when teams are physically and mentally fatigued, 12 teams must strap up their cleats for a few more weeks in order to be crowned Super Bowl Champions for the 2015-2016 season. Yea Dennis Green, I’m going to crown them because they were who we thought they were but I won’t let them off the hook. This offseason will be interested especially with the coaching carousel that’s about to start. So far 5 coaches and a GM have been fired but up to 11 coaches can be fired before it’s all said and done. A lot of free agents will be available that can change the scope of a franchise not to mention a solid draft class.

Before I go into my picks for the NFL playoffs, I must salute one of the greatest defensive backs and overall players in my generation…Mr. Charles Woodson. One of the top 4 picks in the 1998 NFL Draft, Charles Woodson retired Sunday after going to battle against Peyton Manning who was the number one pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Never was a troublemaker, he was always about bettering himself and the team , a leader in every locker room and an automatic pick for Hall of Fame.

With the playoffs starting this Saturday it doesn’t give teams a lot of time to rest unless you are the Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos or New England Patriots. First things first who do you start if you’re the Broncos. Sure Brock Osweiler is young and inexperienced with respect to the playoffs but Peyton Manning isn’t the most stellar QB in the playoffs either. If I’m not mistaken he has a losing record in the playoffs so would do you gamble with. My personal opinion is a healthy Peyton Manning at home in a playoff game with his weapons getting healthier could be scary. Let’s face it Brock it will be your team soon enough so what’s a couple more games.

Wildcard Matchups:

Saturday: Kansas City vs. Houston Texans

The first game of these NFL playoffs featuring the two hottest teams in the NFL. On October 31, both of these teams were 2-5 but since then they have gone 16-2. Even though Kansas City has won 10 straight games you can never rule out the Texans as long as JJ Watt is playing. I know Jadeveon Clowney was supposed to be the next Lawrence Taylor but look out for Whitney Marceilus who has become a force as well. In the last 9 games Houston has allowed 6, 6, 17, 6, 30, 27, 10, 6 and 6 points. If Houston doesn’t get any pressure on Alex Smith, Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce may prove to be too much for Houston’s defense. Brian Hoyer must play as if his career is on the line. I think this will be a low scoring game but I give the edge to Kansas City

Score: 17-14 Kansas City

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

It’s always good when division opponents face each other in the playoffs. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati will be facing each other for the third time this year but this game has more on the line especially with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Cincinnati has had turrrible (Charles Barkley voice) luck in the playoffs since Carson Palmer tore his ACL back in 2006 against who you might ask….the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since then, Marvin Lewis has gone 0-6 and could easily go 0-7 if Andy Dalton isn’t fully healed and ready to roll. It’s nothing against AJ McCarron but is he ready to battle against Big Ben and the receiving core from hell. Imagine if Leveon Bell was healthy my god. The one player who could make a big difference is Deangelo Williams. If he plays I see the Bengals going 0-7 since Marvin Lewis has been the head coach and could also be Marvin Lewis’ last game as coach.

Score: 34-28 Pittsburgh

Sunday: Seattle Seahawks vs. Minnesota Vikings

Two black quarterbacks. Two great running backs. Two good defenses. For a second you thought I was going to re-create the Jay-Z classic Twenty two twos but nah. Minnesota has the pleasure of playing the hottest quarterback since December in Russell Wilson and with the possibility of Marshawn Lynch coming back, how will Minnesota responded. They were 1 second away last night of losing to the Packers now you’re facing a team that just beat the number two seed which are the Arizona Cardinals by 30. Adrian Peterson must go beast mode-see what I did there in order to make this game close. I’m talking at least 150 yards rushing because Minnesota must keep the ball out of Russell Wilson’s hands so no fumbles Cordalle Patterson. Will the playoff atmosphere be too much for Teddy Bridgewater? Will Russell Wilson cool off after his hot start? I got Seattle’s experience and Russell Wilson propelling them into a matchup in the divisional round.

Score: 31-14 Seattle

Green Bay vs. Washington Redskins

“You like that”, Redskins fans as you not only made the playoffs but you have a home game. I can only imagine how lit DC will be Sunday afternoon. I wonder how crazy Stadium is going to be after the game. At one point the Packers were 6-0 but a 4-6 ending has put them in danger of an early exit. Shout out to Richard Rodgers because if it wasn’t for his Hail Mary catch I don’t think the Packers make the playoffs. For some odd reason, I think Aaron Rodgers will do a discount double check and have a chip on his shoulders as he goes into the house that Darrell Green built. It’s like the football gods pulled a Freaky Friday move on Kirk Cousins and Aaron Rodgers. I’m waiting for Cousins to rip his face off and it’s really Aaron Rodgers and vice versa. I see coaching and special teams as the biggest variables in this matchup as we have an experienced playoff coach in McCarthy going up against a novice in Gruden. Will the hype get to the Redskins? Will Green Bay turn things around? Even though Washington is slightly favored, I have Aaron Rodgers re-emerging as the baaaaaaaaaaddd man that we are accustomed to seeing and DC will be in an uproar.

Score: 35-31 Green Bay