The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Super Bowl Reaction and Mock Draft

See a full review of the biggest game of the year and a full preview for what the 2016 NFL Draft will hold.

Levi’s Stadium has been emptied, locker rooms have been left a mess, teams have returned home, and millions of Americans unwillingly dragged themselves into work or school this past Monday, which can only mean one thing: Super Bowl madness is over.

In edition number 50 of the biggest game of the year, it was only fitting that fans would be treated to a Super Bowl surprise as most people across the country believed that the Carolina Panthers would put the Denver Broncos back into their stalls.  According to a Bleacher Report Twitter poll, 62 percent of fans who voted said that they believed the Carolina Panthers would win, compared to a mere 38 percent for the Denver Broncos.  

Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, played host to the biggest edition of the “big game” so far.  According to a CNN money article, the average resale ticket price was $4,639, the most expensive ticket price for a Super Bowl to date.  And once a spectator was inside the grand event, they were subject to spend even more ridiculous amounts of money, since Levi’s Stadium concessions were selling items such as a $20 sandwich and a $7 bottle of water or soda.

But if you ask many fans, the money may not have been worth it.  The game itself seemed less than spectacular compared to other recent Super Bowls.  Many fans would argue that the game didn’t really feature any big shocker moments that spectators have become all-too-familiar with in the Super Bowl.  Unlike David Tyree’s signature helmet catch that led to the New York Giants defeating the undefeated New England Patriots in 2008’s Super Bowl, or last year’s Malcolm Butler interception at the one-yard line to ice the New England Patriots win over the Seattle Seahawks, there never really seemed to be a memorable moment in this game.  

As a result of the Broncos’ 24-10 win, Peyton Manning became the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl at 39 years old and the only quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different teams (Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos).  The Broncos also set a record for the fewest total yards by a winning team (194 total yards) and the Broncos’ defense tied a Super Bowl record with seven team sacks, which was headlined by Von Miller, who was named Super Bowl MVP with six tackles, two and a half sacks, and two forced fumbles.

While Peyton Manning won’t officially announce that he is retiring yet, most people speculate that Manning’s time on the field is now over.  Included in that audience is Archie Manning, Peyton’s father, who said after the game that he believes his son is “done in Denver and probably done everywhere.”  

If Peyton does decide to hang up his cleats, similar to Marshawn Lynch’s tweet during the Super Bowl, he would end his career as a 14-time Pro Bowler with 79,279 passing yards and 579 passing touchdowns (playoffs included for both stats).  The no-doubt Hall-of-Famer is considered by some to be one of, if not the, best quarterbacks of all time, and the Broncos would definitely struggle to replace him.

Now that the Super Bowl is over, it is officially the beginning of the 2016 NFL season, and all teams are now starting with a fresh slate.  The next big step in the NFL season is the 2016 NFL Draft, which will be held in Chicago for the second year in a row after an extremely successful debut in the city last year, drawing an estimated more than 200,000 people.  Looking ahead for the next few months until the draft officially takes place on April 28-30, mock drafts all over the internet will be updated daily, which means that it is now “mock draft mania” season.  So here is my own breakdown of how the draft should go:




Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil, Tackle, Ole Miss:  Now that the Titans have their franchise quarterback in last year’s draft pick Marcus Mariota, it’s time for them to get some protection for their offensive centerpiece, and there is nobody better for the job than Mississippi’s Tunsil.


Cleveland Browns: Jared Goff, Quarterback, California:  With Johnny Manziel all but officially gone in Cleveland, the Browns desperately need someone under center.  Some people believe this could be either Goff or North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, who some mock drafts have the Browns taking.  The NFL combine could end up being the deciding factor for the battle between the two.


San Diego Chargers: Jalen Ramsey, Cornerback, Florida State: With many needs on the roster, Ramsey offers a good, young talent to the Chargers secondary.  With the ability to play cornerback or safety, Ramsey could become one of the centerpieces of the defense for years to come.


Dallas Cowboys: Joey Bosa, Defensive end, Ohio State:  Considered by many to be the best overall player in the draft, Bosa has the ability to make an immediate impact in Dallas.  With exceptional pass-rushing skills, Bosa is the perfect player to add into defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s defense, especially after losing Greg Hardy.


Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack, Linebacker, UCLA: Myles Jack, who has been one of the most versatile players on UCLA for the past few years, would be a great addition to a Jaguars linebacker core, and with last year’s pick Dante Fowler set to make his NFL debut after suffering an ACL tear, the Jaguars defense would be filled with great young talent.


Baltimore Ravens: Ronnie Stanley, Tackle, Notre Dame: The Ravens could go in multiple directions with their pick, but tackle is one thing that they need to improve on.  If improving their offensive line is the direction they choose to go, Stanley would be their best option.


San Francisco 49ers: Carson Wentz, Quarterback, North Dakota State: With Colin Kaepernick likely gone in the city by the Bay, the obvious position that the 49ers need to address is filling their quarterback role.  If they choose to not go in this direction, they could go with Goff (if he is still available) or with receiver Laquon Treadwell from Ole Miss.  Either way, they need to add an offensive playmaker.


Miami Dolphins: Noah Spence, Defensive end, Eastern Kentucky: With defensive end Cameron Wake not getting younger, and coming off of an achilles injury, Spence would be the best addition for the Dolphins here.  They can add to their pass rush defense for the long term.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mackensie Alexander, Cornerback, Clemson: The Buccaneers could look to add to their defensive secondary with the number 9 pick.  Mackensie Alexander of Clemson would be their best option if they choose to go that route.




New York Giants: DeForest Buckner, Defensive end, Oregon: The number one thing the Giants need to address this offseason is their pass rushing.  The Giants have had a long history of good defensive ends, beginning with Michael Strahan, to Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Jason Pierre-Paul.  But after JPP suffered a fireworks-related injury over the summer which caused him to lose a few fingers on one hand, his future as a pass rusher is in question.  In addition, his age is beginning to be on the older side.  Buckner could be the answer for the Giants and continue the dynasty of pass rushers.


Chicago Bears: Jaylon Smith, Linebacker, Notre Dame:  After suffering a torn ACL in the Fiesta Bowl, the biggest question for Smith is his health.  If it wasn’t for the injury, he would be a for sure top-five pick.  The biggest positional need for the Bears is linebacker, both inside and outside. According to multiple different reports, those close to Smith have said that they believe he will be able to play once the season begins, so if the Bears could grab Smith with the number 11 pick, it would be a steal considering his talent.  


New Orleans Saints: Vernon Hargreaves, Cornerback, Florida:  The Saints have a variety of defensive players to pick here.  If the Bears don’t take Smith, they could grab him.  They could also go in a bunch of other directions too.  If they choose to take Hargreaves, it would help add to their struggling pass defense, and help to lock down against top receivers.


Philadelphia Eagles: Paxton Lynch, Quarterback, Memphis: With Sam Bradford becoming a free agent, the Eagles would likely need to replace their quarterback and Lynch would be their best option.  Additionally, now that they have a new coach in Doug Pederson, it’s obviously rebuilding time in Philly and a new quarterback to complement their new coach would be a good time to make that move.


Oakland Raiders: Eli Apple, Cornerback, Ohio State:  With Charles Woodson retiring, the Raiders will need to add a threat to their secondary since they will be losing one of the greatest of all time.  Apple has shown great traits all through his college career, and would definitely be able to help the Raiders.


Los Angeles Rams: Michael Thomas, Wide receiver, Ohio State: The biggest thing the Rams need to address in the offseason is their quarterback, but they will likely do that through free agency somehow.  If they do get their quarterback, the next thing they need is a wide receiver for him to throw to.  With AP Offensive Rookie of the year Todd Gurley in the backfield, the only threat they need to address is a receiver.


Detroit Lions: Jarran Reed, Defensive tackle, Alabama: The Lions already have an established pass rusher with Ziggy Ansah, so now they need to address their inner-defensive line, which Reed could help with.  If they do this, they will have dual threats for offensive lines, which would create less attention for Ansah.


Atlanta Falcons: Reggie Ragland, Linebacker, Alabama: The Falcons need to add a linebacker to their defense, and Ragland would be one good addition.  Darren Lee of Ohio State would be another option, but as of right now, we will have to see who has a better combine and that could end up being the deciding factor between the two.
Indianapolis Colts: Darren Lee, Linebacker, Ohio State: Similar to the Falcons, the Colts need to address their linebacker spot.  Depending on who is picked first, expect the Colts to take whoever’s left from Lee or Ragland.




Buffalo Bills: Shaq Lawson, Defensive end, Clemson: Lawson would be a great addition to the Bills’ defensive line and add a pass rusher opposite to Mario Williams, who will be a free agent.  If Williams leaves, Lawson could potentially replace him.  If he stays, the Bills could have one of the most dangerous defensive lines in the league.


New York Jets: Ezekiel Elliot, Running back, Ohio State: If Elliot slips this far down in the first round, the Jets should pounce on him right away.  He would be the best player still available on the board and would be able to add an immediate threat to the Jets’ offense.


Washington: A’Shawn Robinson, Defensive end, Alabama: Washington really needs an improved pass rush, and Robinson could really help out with that.


Houston Texans: Laquon Treadwell, Wide receiver, Ole Miss: The Texans already have one of the league’s top receivers in DeAndre Hopkins, and if they could take Treadwell, if he’s still available, they would have one of the league’s best, young duos.  


Minnesota Vikings: Jack Conklin, Tackle, Michigan State: Now that the Vikings have their franchise quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater, they just need to protect him.  The Vikings struggled all year with pass protection, and Conklin would definitely help out.


Cincinnati Bengals: Braxton Miller, Wide receiver, Ohio State: The Bengals need to add a receiver, and nobody has turned more heads so far than Miller.  As a quarterback-turned-receiver, Miller is debatably the best athlete available in the draft, and his performances at the combine and his pro day should only add to his stock.


Pittsburgh Steelers: Taylor Decker, Tackle, Ohio State: The Steelers need to add more protection for Big Ben, and Decker would likely be their best option.


Seattle Seahawks: Corey Coleman, Wide receiver, Baylor:  The Seahawks need to add an offensive threat to their many weapons, but if Marshawn Lynch does indeed end up retiring, expect the Seahawks to immediately look to find a replacement at running back.  
Green Bay Packers: Kevin Dodd, Defensive end, Clemson: The Packers could look to add more pass rush pressure to their defense here.  With Clay Matthews moving to middle linebacker a few years back, and Julius Peppers reaching retirement soon, Dodd should make an impact.  He had a pair of great games in the College Football Playoff and could look to be a force in the NFL.




Kansas City Chiefs: Andrew Billings, Defensive line, Baylor:  The Chiefs need to add more power to their defensive line and Billings could be their best option to do so.


Arizona Cardinals: Kendall Fuller, Cornerback, Virginia Tech: Tyrann Mathieu suffered a late-season knee injury, and Jerraud Powers will likely be testing free agency, so the Cardinals really need to address their defensive secondary.


Carolina Panthers: Darian Thompson, Safety, Boise State: The Panthers’ defense is already good, but adding one more key player could make it a great, unstoppable force.


Denver Broncos: Cody Whitehair, Guard, Kansas State: With quarterback Peyton Manning likely retiring, it couldn’t hurt to add a bit more protection for whoever steps in afterwards to fill the legend’s shoes.


*Reminder: The New England Patriots do not have a first round pick this year as part of their punishment for the “deflate-gate” scandal.

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
Super Bowl Reaction and Mock Draft