Seahawks sign Tavaris Barnes, Brandon Williams

The Seahawks made a pair of signing ahead of the 2016 draft, adding free agent defensive end Tavaris Barnes and tight end Brandon Williams.
Barnes, who is listed as 6-foot-3, 275 pounds, signed with New Orleans last year as an undrafted rookie out of Clemson and made the 53-man roster out of training camp. Barnes, 24, appeared in 12 games with the Saints, totaling five tackles. He was waived by New Orleans earlier this week.
Williams, 28, played at Oregon and came into the league as an undrafted free agent with the Carolina Panthers. Williams appeared in 25 games with the Panthers from 2013 to 2015, catching four passes for 44 yards. After being waived by Carolina last season, Williams signed with Miami where he split time between the practice squad and active roster, appearing in four games.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.

Dolphins cut four players

The Miami Dolphins today announced they have waived defensive back Damarr Aultman, wide receivers Tyler Davis and Robert Herron and defensive tackle Robert Thomas II. The team has also released linebacker Terrell Manning.
Aultman was signed by the Dolphins to a reserve/futures contract on Jan. 8, 2016 after having spent three weeks on Miami’s practice squad during the 2015 season. He also spent the 2015 training camp as a wide receiver with the Dolphins before being waived on Sept. 5, 2015. Aultman played collegiately at Maine.
Davis joined the Dolphins on Jan. 7, 2016 after signing a reserve/futures contact, his first in the NFL. He played the past two seasons in the German Football League. A St. Louis, Mo. native, Davis played defensive back for Missouri Valley, an NAIA school located in Marshall, Mo.
Herron was signed by Miami to a reserve/futures contract on Jan. 6, 2016 after he spent the final 12 weeks of the 2015 season on the Dolphins’ practice squad. He originally entered the NFL as a sixth-round selection (185th overall) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014 and played eight games for Tampa Bay that season. Herron played collegiately at Wyoming.
Thomas II joined the Dolphins on Dec. 1, 2015 when he was signed off the New England Patriots’ practice squad. He played in one game for Miami vs. Baltimore (Dec. 6, 2015) and recorded one assisted tackle before suffering a season-ending injury and was placed on injured reserve. He originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Washington Redskins on May 14, 2014 and played collegiately at Arkansas.
Manning signed a reserve/futures contract to join the Dolphins on Jan. 6, 2016 and had multiple stints on the team’s practice squad in 2014 and 2015. He originally entered the league as a fifth-round pick (163rd overall) by the Green Bay Packers in 2012. Manning has also seen time with the San Diego Chargers (2013), New York Giants (2014) and Chicago Bears (2014).
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL
Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.

Two-Round Mock Draft

With the 2016 NFL draft less than 24 hours away here is my take on how the first two-rounds of the draft might play out.
1. LA Rams: Jared Goff, QB, California
Rams make the big splash and trade up to the top spot to select local boy Jared Goff and make him the face of the franchise.
2. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, NDSU
Eagles take my top rated quarterback in Wentz. Even with the limited amount of starts at NDSU, Wentz played in a Pro-Style system and is the most ready to play signal caller between he and Goff.
3. San Diego Chargers: DeForest Buckner, DT, Oregon
Rumored to be taking an offensive tackle to protect Phillip Rivers, the Chargers decide to go defense and take Oregon’s Buckner. Where he will be a building block along the Chargers defensive front.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
The need pick here would have been Bosa, but the Cowboys go with the top defensive back in the draft in Ramsey, who when paired with last year’s first rounder Byron Jones, gives Dallas two very versatile and athletic back-half defenders.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
If Myles Jack’s knee was 100% healthy he would be the pick here, but Gus Bradley and GM David Caldwell can’t afford to have their last two top picks both be entering 2016 coming off major need surgeries. So they “settle” for Bosa who could be one of the draft’s better pass rushers.
6. Baltimore Ravens: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens have the top offensive lineman fall down to them filling a major need. They wanted a pass rusher but with Bosa and Buckner gone they opt to protect Joe Flacco’s blindside.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
The draft’s first “Wow” moment comes here when Chip Kelly picks his quarterback in Paxton Lynch. This selection should be followed shortly by a trade of Colin Kaepernick to another team. Lynch has length, arm strength, and mobility to go along with good accuracy downfield. He will need some time to adjust and might not play right away, but he will be a very good NFL quarterback.
8. Miami Dolphins(via Trade With Cleveland): Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
The Dolphins will trade back-up into the spot they had previously held and shipped off to the Eagles as a part of the Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso trade to select Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott. The former Buckeye will fill a major need for Miami and also help alleviate some of the offensive burden off the shoulders of Ryan Tannehill.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Tampa Bay selects the local kid Hargreaves to help improve a secondary that allowed 31 passing touchdowns last season. There are some rumblings that the Bucs might go with Sheldon Rankins at this spot, to help improve their interior pass rush so this pick might still in flux.
10. New York Giants: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
The Giants stop the Myles Jack fall and select the UCLA linebacker. Jack is one of the most talented defensive playmakers in this draft and if it was not for the uncertainty surrounding the knee he would not have been available for New York. Meantime the Giants are ecstatic to get Jack and add him to a defense that, if you factor in their free agent acquisitions, should be an improved unit next season.
11. Chicago Bears: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
With their free agent acquisitions, that helped fill holes on both offense and defense, the Bears have the luxury of picking the best available player at this spot, and that happens to be Stanley. The former Golden Domer will come in and compete right away with last year’s starter Charles Leno for the starting left tackle position.
12. New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Saints look to improve their interior pass rush by selecting Rankins, who down at the Senior Bowl practices was unblock able in one-on-one pass protection drills. Rankins interior push should complement the outside rush provided by Cameron Jordan.
13. Cleveland Browns(via Trade with Miami): Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Rumors are that the Browns might still look to move down from this spot to try and collect more picks, but if they stay here they select Conklin out of Michigan State to play right tackle and fill the void left by Mitchell Schwartz departure to Kansas City.
14. Oakland Raiders: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
GM Reggie McKenzie gambles here on talent and goes with Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche who, if he can eliminate his off-field distractions, can be one of the most talented defensive line prospects in this draft. The Raiders will rely heavily on Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton Jr, and Defensive line coach Jethro Franklin, to motivate and bring out the best in Nkemdiche.
15. Tennessee Titans: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
The Titans were expected to go offensive lineman here, but instead go with the best player available and give defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau another weapon on defense with Floyd. Floyd can lineup at linebacker or defensive end, and will add speed and quickness to the Titans defensive front.
16. Detroit Lions: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Detroit fills a major need at right tackle with the selection of Decker, who should start right away. The Lions had journeyman Michael Ola start seven games at right tackle last season.
17. Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
One of the fastest linebackers in Darron Lee goes to the Falcons whose head coach emphasizes speed, speed, and more speed on defense. Seems like a perfect fit for me.
18. Indianapolis Colts: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
Alabama center Ryan Kelly is one of the best interior lineman in this draft, and he will help try solidify a unit that almost got Andrew Luck killed last season.
19. Buffalo Bills: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
Buffalo finds a running mate for underrated inside linebacker Preston Brown, while Rex Ryan also gains a defensive leader and future defensive captain in Ragland. Having been coached by Nick Saban at Alabama Ragland comes to the NFL well-prepared and should make an immediate contribution.
20. New York Jets: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Another “Wow” moment happens here when the Jets go with TCU receiver Josh Doctson. With starters Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker having good seasons last year, the Jets look to add some depth and talent behind them. Doctson increased his stock immensely at the scouting combine where he displayed better speed than anticipated and some terrific lower body explosiveness.
21. Washington Redskins: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
The Redskins add a talented run defender in Reed who, just like Ragland, comes well-coached and prepared for the NFL by Alabama’s Nick Saban.
22. Houston Texans: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Houston continues adding to their offense this off season by selecting Baylor’s speedy playmaker Corey Coleman. Coleman will give the Texans offense the element of speed which will help draw some of the attention away from DeAndre Hopkins on the other side.
23. Minnesota Vikings: LaQuon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Minnesota gets lucky and has what many might consider the best receiver in the draft drop right to them. Treadwell will help balance out the Vikings offensive attack by supplying size on the outside and in the red zone. He will be a good compliment for the quicker and shiftier Stefon Diggs on the opposite side of the formation.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Seeing a run on receivers happen right before their pick, Cincinnati goes on the defensive and selects the third Crimson Tide defensive player in this first round in Robinson. Robinson, who looks like he is 40 years old, is just 21 years old and at the moment is a better run defender than pass rusher. With the Bengals he will have a chance to back-up and learn from one of the best defensive tackles in football in Geno Atkins, who can help Robinson improve as a pass rusher.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
Rumors are that head coach Mike Tomlin loves Joseph and has banged the table for him in predraft meetings. As long as the knee checks out medically, the Steelers will have selected one of the most underrated players in the draft.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
Big, long corner who can play zone or man-to-man and likes to get his hands on a receiver, Eli Apple sounds tailor made to be a Seattle Seahawk and the newest member of the Legion-of-Boom.
27. Green Bay Packer: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
Packers look to fill the void left by BJ Raji’s retirement with Vernon Butler. Butler has the size, strength, arm length, and power coupled with quickness not usually seen with players his size to play any position along the defensive line.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
Losing Sean Smith to the Raiders forces the Chiefs to go cornerback in the first round for the second year in a row. Jackson is a press corner, who needs to add strength, but has shown to have good ball skills.
29. Arizona Cardinals: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Having added Chandler Jones in a trade earlier this off season pass rusher was not a dire need, but in this case Lawson was too good to pass up. Lawson is the type of physical defender that GM Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians love having on their defense.
30. Carolina Panthers: Artie Burns, CB, Miami
Losing Josh Norman, coupled with the possible retirement of Charles Tillman made cornerback a vital position of need for Carolina. Burns has good size with long arms and is comfortable in either press or zone coverage.
31. Denver Broncos: Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M
The defending Super Bowl Champions look to add to their offensive line with A&M’s Ifedi. He is a massive, well-built thick bodied offensive right tackle who eventually might be moved inside to guard. Ifedi would be able to backup two positions along the offensive line, or possibly start inside for Denver as a rookie.
Second Round
1. Cleveland Browns: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
2. Tennessee Titans: Le’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
3. Dallas Cowboys: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
4. San Diego Chargers: Noah Spence, Edge, Eastern Kentucky
5. Baltimore Ravens: Emmanuel Ogbah, Edge, Oklahoma State
6. San Francisco 49ers: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Mackenzie Alexander, CB, Clemson
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
9. New York Giants: Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
10. Chicago Bears: Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State
11. Miami Dolphins: Keanu Neal, S, Florida
12. Tennessee Titans: TJ Green, DB, Clemson
13. Oakland Raiders: Su’a Cravens, S, USC
14. Tennessee Titans: Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
15. Detroit Lions: Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
16. New Orleans Saints: Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State
17. Indianapolis Colts: Jihad Ward, DE, Illinois
18. Buffalo Bills: Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
19. Atlanta Falcons: Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State
20. New York Jets: Kamalei Correa, OLB, Boise State
21. Houston Texans: Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
22. Washington Redskins: Darian Thompson, S, Boise State
23. Minnesota Vikings: Deion Jones, LB, LSU
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
25. Seattle Seahawks: Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame
26. Green Bay Packer: Nick Martin, OG/C, Notre Dame
27. Pittsburgh Steelers: Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
28. Kansas City Chiefs: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
29. New England Patriots: Devontae Booker, RB, Utah
30. New England Patriots: Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers
31. Carolina Panthers: Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State
32. Denver Broncos: Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU
Danny Shimon is a graduate of Introduction to Scouting and Scouting Boot Camp. 
Follow Danny on Twitter @dshimon56

Louisiana Tech DL Vernon Butler visited Titans, Panthers, Lions, Buccaneers, Bills

Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Vernon Butler visited the Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills to a league source.
Butler worked out for the Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers and Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans.
Butler is in Chicago for tonight’s first round of the NFL draft.
Butler is 6-4, 323 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 5.15 seconds, bench pressing 225 pounds 26 times with a 33 1/2 inch vertical leap and a 9-3 broad jump.
Butler was an All-Conference USA selection who 50 tackles last season with 10 for losses, three sacks and eight quarterback hurries. He had 56 tackles, 13 1/2 for losses as a junior.
Butler excelled at the Senior Bowl all-star game.
Butler has scheme flexibility as a potential 4-3 or 3-4 fit.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.

Gabriel's Mock Draft 4.0 for the 2016 NFL Draft

When I did my first “final” mock draft yesterday, I inadvertently left out Paxton Lynch, so here we go again. Obviously with the Lynch addition, there are some changes from yesterday. For the record, I expect at least two more trades within the top 10.
Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff – QB – California – Personally, I like Wentz better but I’m hearing that Goff is the Rams guy.
Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz – QB – North Dakota St – I think that the Eagles wanted Wentz all along as he has the best upside of the two quarterbacks.
San Diego Chargers – Laremy Tunsil – OT – Mississippi – This could very well be a defensive pick but for now the Chargers get a player who can help keep Philip Rivers on his feet.
Dallas Cowboys – Joey Bosa – DE – Ohio State – A week ago I would have gone with Myles Jack, but with both Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence getting suspended, the Cowboys don’t have a pass rusher.
Jacksonville Jaquars – Jaylon Ramsey – DC – Florida State – David Caldwell adds another strong player to the defensive side of the ball.
Baltimore Ravens – Ron Stanley – OT – Notre Dame – The selection not only fills a need, but gives the Ravens the best player available.
San Francisco 49ers – Paxton Lynch – QB – Memphis – With the 49ers saying that there is a good chance Kaepernick gets traded this weekend, they have a huge need for a quarterback. Lynch may be Kelly’s type because of his great athleticism and passing skills. He played in an Oregon type offense at Memphis.
Cleveland Browns – Ezekiel Elliott – RB – Ohio State – I think Elliott goes in this slot but it may not be to the Browns.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Vernon Hargreaves III – DC – Florida – Hargreaves is from the Tampa area so this will be a very popular selection in the Tampa Bay area. And by the way, it also fills an important need.
New York Giants – DeForest Buckner – DT – Oregon – The Giants took care of defense in free agency and may go offensive tackle here but Buckner is too good to pass on.
Chicago Bears – Shaq Lawson– OLB – Clemson – A strong edge pass rusher that the Bears need. A big 5-technique could also be in play here.
New Orleans Saints – Sheldon Rankins – DT- Louisville – Rankins gives the Saints a versatile defensive lineman who can be an explosive inside pass rusher.
Miami Dolphins – Derrick Henry – RB – Alabama – I know, this is a surprise but The Dolphins need a RB and I’m a big fan of Henry’s
Oakland Raiders – Reggie Ragland – ILB – Alabama – Personally I feel this is too high for Ragland, but the Raiders are said to be enthralled with his traits.
Tennessee Titans – Jack Conklin – OT – Michigan State – The Titans would have selected a tackle had they stayed at one, Conklin is the best one available, though he probably goes higher.
Detroit Lions – Leonard Floyd – LB – Georgia – Floyd gives the Lions and combo OLB/Edge pass rusher. The Lions could go for a pure DE here also.
Atlanta Falcons – Myles Jack – LB – UCLA – Who knows how far Jack will fall, my guess is here.
Indianapolis Colts – Eli Apple – DC – Ohio State – The Colts would prefer an O-Linemen, but the top ones are gone. Apple gives them a tall, long corner who matches up well against the taller receivers in the league.
Buffalo Bills – Kevin Dodd – DE – Clemson – With Mario Williams gone, the Bills have a strong need for an edge rusher. Dodd gives them an excellent replacement.
New York Jets – William Jackson III – DC – Houston – The Jets would prefer a quarterback, but there is not one worth taking at this time.
Washington Redskins – A’Shawn Robinson – DT – Alabama – Robinson has the versatility to play the 5-tech or on the nose.
Houston Texans – Corey Coleman – WR – Baylor – Coming from the Baylor offense, Coleman isn’t the most polished receiver, but he has by far the most talent.
Minnesota Vikings – Josh Doctson – WR – TCU – Docson is the most ready to play receiver in this draft class. He can help the Vikings right away.
Cincinnati Bengals – Darron Lee – LB – Ohio State – The Bengals got rid of A.J. Hawk. Here is his replacement.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Mackenzie Alexander – DC – Clemson – The Steelers have don an inordinate amount of work on corners. Alexander is the best corner available.
Seattle Seahawks – Jarran Reed – DT – Alabama – Reed can play either tackle spot in the Seahawks defense.
Green Bay Packers – Emanuel Ogbah – DE – Oklahoma State – Ogbah can play OLB or at the 5-tech in the Green Bay defense. He is one of the better natural pass rushers in this draft.
Kansas City Chiefs – Artie Burns – DC – Miami – Burns replaces Sean Smith who was lost to the Raiders in free agency.
Arizona Cardinals – Ryan Kelly – OC – Alabama – Kelly is the highest rated interior offensive lineman in the draft. Can play center or guard and will start right away.
Carolina Panthers – Chris Jones – DT – Mississippi St. – Jones is young and raw, but has a lot of upside. Needs to play with a bit more consistency.
Denver Broncos – Connor Cook – QB – Denver doesn’t have a quarterback who is good enough to start in the NFL. Cook is by far the best quarterback left on the board and has starter traits.

Source: Xzavier Dickson worked out for Seahawks today

The Seattle Seahawks worked out defensive end-outside linebacker Xzavier Dickson today, according to a leagues our
He’s a former New England Patriots seventh-round draft pick.
He was cut by New England and then signed with the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad. He played collegiately at Alabama.
At Alabama, Dickson had 42 tackles and nine sacks and 12 1/2 tackles for losses his last year.
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL
Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott visited Eagles, Bills, Cardinals, Cowboys

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott visited the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys, according to a league source.
He also worked out privately for the Cowboys.
Prescott issued an apology after his recent arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence.”I want to make a statement, and first take complete responsibility for my actions,” Prescott wrote. “I’m very remorseful for my misjudgment. I want to apologize to my true supporters, my family, Mississippi State University, the NFL, and the kids who look up to me. I won’t ask for forgiveness; however, I’ll show the true man I am and exhibit my character through my actions and behavior moving forward.”Over the past two seasons, Prescott has gone 19-7 as a starter and passed for 7,242 yards, 56 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.Prescott was a two-time first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection who set 38 school records as a senior.
Prescott passed for 3,793 yards last season with 29 touchdowns and five interceptions as he rushed for 588 yards and 10 touchdowns.
He had 37 touchdown runs over the last three seasons.

Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL
Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.