The Annual TeePee Sports Mock Draft – 2016 Edition
It’s that time once again. So without further pause, let’s get to the matter at hand.
Queen, this one is dedicated to you.
Cocoa Mel, aka Seminole Warrior, the CEO of TeePee Sports, managing a limited number of picks for the 2016 NFL Annual Selection Meeting, and acting as lead agent for the Atlanta Falcons, respectfully submit the following selections. Our vision: The building of a team core and laying a foundation for the future.
As always, I want to pay homage to my draft mentors, Sensei Ozzie Newsome and Mel Kiper. Like the great Sensei, we will NEVER reach for a player; we will simply move on to the best player available at an immediate position of need. After all, our single mission is to acquire and develop productive football players.
ROUND ONE Primary Selection: DT Vernon Butler – Louisiana Tech University
ROUND ONE Secondary Selection: DT Kenny Clark – University of California, Los Angeles
For the past two years, we at TeePee Sports have attempted to fill a critical need at defensive tackle. First, we wanted a penetrating, disruptive presence in 2014. We wanted Aaron Donald. Last year, 2015, TPS insisted on acquiring an interior presence that would aid in facilitating a more effective pass rush as well as stopping the run inside. We wanted Danny Shelton.
Here we are again and the need is still the same. Our defensive front scares no one, we still can’t find an effective push inside to aid in generating a pass rush, and we, while improved against the run, could be better. Tee Pee Sports offers TWO equally talented solutions: Vernon Butler and Kenny Clark.
Both Butler and Clark are capable of being disruptive against the interior of offensive lines. Both can handle double teams. VB and KC each move with remarkable agility for his size. Both men have the ability to move along the line of scrimmage and make plays from behind. Both are respected leaders with tremendous upside if paired with a first class defensive line coach and scheme.
I said this last season about Shelton and I will say it again this year about Butler and Clark. While they have the potential to compliment this facet, Butler or Clark are not being chosen by Atlanta to rush the passer. Rather, Butler or Clark will serve as the desperately needed interior presence (anchor) that will facilitate the ability of SO MANY others to do that.
ROUND TWO Primary Pick: OT Jason Spriggs – Indiana University
ROUND TWO Secondary Pick: DE/DT Jonathan Bullard – University of Florida
Unlike many, TeePee Sports is not sold on Jake Matthews at the left tackle position. Matthews had only one year experience at the position before being selected by Atlanta. TeePee Sports feels that he is at his best as a run blocker so a move to guard or right tackle is what we consider best for the team long term. With that, we need a legit, true, and experienced left tackle.
Enter Indiana’s Jason Spriggs. A four year starter at left tackle, Jason Spriggs is a solid technician. He surrendered only FOUR sacks in the last TWO years and is a stellar run blocker as well. All of the traits that I love in an effective left tackle are clearly present here; he is technically solid, plays with a fire and nasty streak, and is a leader on and off the field. He epitomizes GREAT value at this point. With any luck, he becomes a Falcon and remains one for a long, long time.
The Falcons need a LEGIT presence at the defensive end position. Coach Dan Quinn needs a presence on his defensive front that is capable of being a force inside and outside. He needs a “Michael Bennett” like presence for his scheme.
Jonathan Bullard represents OUTSTANDING value here. In terms of defensive ends, JB appears to be the best “true” defensive end in this draft class. His work ethic, total team first attitude, willingness to play through pain, and dedication to improving all facets of his game, are critical facets that TeePee Sports really feels strongly about.
PRIMARY: OG Connor McGovern – University of Missouri
SECONDARY: OG Joe Dahl – Washington State University
The Falcons are STILL in need of OL depth across the board. Unfortunately, there is only so much we can accomplish in 2016.
The guard positions are an absolute travesty due to poor free agency and lack of draft attention. Luckily, courtesy of trips to Columbia and Pullman, the team at TPS found a pair of very promising prospects that would excel in the zone blocking scheme.
Guards Connor McGovern and Joe Dahl are both technically solid, position versatile, and leaders on the field. Both represent great value at this juncture in the draft and have the upside going forward to become very solid NFL players. CM and JD each dsiplay a diverse skill set and needed experience/possible depth as offensive tackles as well. As a matter of fact, Dahl was a full starter at the critical LT position last season, allowing only ONE sack in one of the nation’s most wide open passing attacks.
PRIMARY: LB Tyler Matavich – Temple University
SECONDARY: LB Nick Vigil – Utah State University
The Falcons have not had a presence at middle linebacker since the release of Curtis Lofton. That changes with the selection of Tyler Matakevich.
TM is a serious football player. He is a student of the game and one of the most tenacious linebackers in recent college football history. Had this kid been in the SEC, he would be a in the conversation as a first round selection hands down. His motor is relentless, possesses a lightning quick first step move, displays excellent anticipation skills, and very solid tackling technique. TM can be disruptive when asked to blitz and is better than given credit in his pass coverage skills. His ONLY shortfall is that he tends to be a tad overactive at times in his play but quality coaching can clean this up in short order.
The weak-side linebacker position could use some serious help as well. The Falcons could help themselves big time with the selection of Utah State’s Nick Vigil.
Vigil is an outstanding talent and represents INCREDIBLE value at this selection. If you are a fan of former Utah State star and current Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner, then you are going to like Nick Vigil.
Vigil is a focused defender that displays strong tenacity and incredible scheme focus. He is always near the ball with a fiery presence. He displays great skill in pass coverage as he displays nice closing speed, the ability to change direction in coverage, and excellent field vision. His tackling technique is very solid and he is a physical presence. He also has a legit pass rushing skill set that could surprise a few NFL defensive coordinators. In summary, Vigil could be effective at either the MLB or WLB positions.
ROUND SEVEN: TE Steven Scheu – Vanderbilt University
Alge Crumpler. What if I told you I found the second coming of this Falcons stellar performer? Well, TeePee Sports did just that.
Tight end is a position of need for Atlanta. Jacob Tamme is a serviceable band-aid at the moment but depth and reliability behind are suspect at best.
At Vanderbilt University, Steven Scheu was a steady, improving force on a perennially bad football team. He’s quick and agile enough to gain a quick release off the line of scrimmage and is a potentially dominate red-zone force. He has outstanding hands, uses his body well as he secures the ball in coverage, and is technically solid as a route runner. Finally, Steven Scheu is solid as a blocker.
He is not a speed merchant by any means but neither was Alge. And we all know how well that selection worked out for Atlanta.
POST-DRAFT (UNDRAFTED) FREE AGENT SIGNINGS:
OG Jordan Walsh: 6’2” 310 – University of Iowa
OG/OT Parker Ehinger: 6’6” 310 – University of Cincinnati
C Matt Skura: 6’3” 305 – Duke University
C Austin Blythe: 6’2” 300 – University of Iowa
TE Sean Price: 6’3” 250 – University of South Florida
WR Chris Moore: 6’1” – University of Cincinnati
WR Max McCaffrey: 6’2” 200 – Duke University
WR Nelson Spruce: 6’1” 205: University of Colorado
K Brad Craddock: 6’ 190 – University of Maryland
OLB/DE Victor Ochi: 6’1” 250 – Stony Brook University
ILB Brandon Chubb: 6’ 235 – Wake Forest University
DT Niles Lawrence-Staple: 6’1” 320 – Florida State University
S KJ Dillon: 6’ 210 – West Virginia University
S Kevin Byard: 5’11” 210 – Middle Tennessee State University