2016 NFL Mock Draft: February edition
14th Pick – Oakland Raiders (7-9)
Ronnie Stanley – OT
Notre Dame – Redshirt Junior
6-6, 315 Pounds
With the upcoming free agency approaching, I feel it’s time to let some (Austin Howard and Menelik Watson) go, and begin to bring some back (Donald Penn). Donald Penn had a hell of a year, proving that the big fella still had some gas on those wheels, and should be expecting a valuable contract this year. Austin Howard on the other hand, could be getting his walking papers fairly soon, where both Howard and Menelik Watson had a tough time protecting Derek Carr.
Enter the prized draft choice of Ronnie Stanley, one year removed from being considered a first overall selection for the 2015 draft. Stanley did have a good year, but I feel like he didn’t perform as well as Laremy Tunsil. He was very good at pass-protection, his long arms were able to keep opponents at bay, but he had his struggles with speed-rushers. Stanley could eventually become a solid left tackle, but when he leaves for his future team, he could be thrown onto the right side. His long stance could be hard for him to be a run-blocker, unable to get to the second level.
If Ronnie Stanley lasts until the middle of the first round, it won’t be because of lack of talent, but more because of a team refusing to leave him out on an island at left tackle. Stanley is perfectly fine, he survived at left tackle for the Fighting Irish, but the athletes are bigger and stronger in the NFL. This selection is to protect the investment of Derek Carr (and if Latavius Murray survives in Oakland), so don’t take this personally.
Player Comparison: D’Brickashaw Ferguson – New York Jets
Next: The Rams are on the clock