2016 NFL Mock Draft
First Round Draft Projections
April 23, 2016
1. Los Angeles Rams (7-9) (In a trade with the Tennessee Titans) - QB Jared Goff, California (6-4, 215 lbs)
The Rams make the trade up to the top of the draft to get one of the quarterbacks, and all signs point to Jared Goff becoming the new face of the Los Angeles Rams.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (7-9) (In a trade with the Cleveland Browns) - QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State (6-5, 237 lbs)
The Browns needed a ton of help, so when the Eagles offered them multiple picks, they gladly accepted. The Eagles believe the Rams will choose Goff ahead of them, but they reportedly love both Goff and Wentz and will be happy with whichever quarterback the Rams do not choose.
3. Cleveland Browns (3-13) (In a trade with the San Diego Chargers)- QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis (6-7, 244 lbs)
After acquiring three additional picks, the Browns turn around and trade two of their own picks in order to get the quarterback that they most covet. The Browns feel like they have to get in front of the 49ers in order to land Paxton Lynch, who, rumor has it, they have ranked higher on their draft board than either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz. They find a willing trade partner in the Chargers, who get the eighth overall selection, plus a second and a third round pick. If this trade were to happen, it would be the first time in the history of the NFL Draft that three quarterbacks were selected with the first three picks.
4. Dallas Cowboys (4-12) - FS Jalen Ramsey, Florida State (6-1, 209 lbs)
The Cowboys need secondary help, and the best secondary player falls right into their laps. Ramsey reportedly is the highest-rated player on the Cowboys' draft board, and although Ramsey wants to play cornerback he is far better as a free safety. Either way, a defensive back as athletically gifted as Ramsey doesn't come along very often.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) - OLB Myles Jack, UCLA (6-1, 245 lbs)
If not for a knee injury, Jack could have been the top overall pick in this draft. Jack does not have a true position because he excels at every position. He has lined up as a linebacker, at safety, and even played a year of running back. Simply put, God only makes a very limited number of freak athletes like Myles Jack.
6. Baltimore Ravens (5-11) - LT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss (6-5, 310 lbs)
We considered giving the Ravens a punter, but eventually decided upon Tunsil. They need a dependable LT to protect Joe Flacco's blindside. Tunsil was originally projected to be the #1 overall pick of the entire draft and Ozzie gets great value here with this selection.
7. San Francisco 49ers (5-11) - DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon (6-7, 291 lbs)
The Niners need a defensive end, and Buckner is the best one in this draft (despite Bosa getting the majority of the hype). Plus, Chip Kelly would be reunited with an Oregon Duck.
8. San Diego Chargers (4-12) (Trade with Cleveland Browns through Philadelphia Eagles) - DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State (6-5, 269 lbs)
Need plus best available player equals the perfect pick. For the Chargers to get Bosa at eight AND acquire two much-needed extra draft picks from the Browns, well, that would be a very successful draft for the Chargers.
9. Miami Dolphins (6-10) (In a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers)- RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State (6-0, 225 lbs)
The Dolphins lost a rock-solid running back in Lamar Miller. As Todd McShay said, “I do not condone drafting a running back in the first round, unless he is special, and Elliott is indeed special.” The Dolphins made the trade up as they felt they had to get in front of the NY Giants.
10. New York Giants (6-10) - OLB Leonard Floyd, Georgia (6-6, 244 lbs)
The Giants just spent $200 million on defensive players, but as their GM stated, “That does not mean we are done adding to this defense.” Floyd would become an immediate fan favorite as he will instantly provide the pass rush the Giants defense has been sorely lacking.
11. Chicago Bears (6-10) - DT Jarran Reed, Alabama (6-3, 307 lbs)
Reed is the draft’s best two-gap run-stuffer and is rarely ever beaten at the point of attack by a single blocker. You will not get much in terms of a pass rush, but no team will be able to run in Reed’s direction.
12. New Orleans Saints (7-9) - DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville (6-1, 299 lbs)
The Saints take Rankins to fill their huge need for an interior pass-rusher. Rankins' versatility as a potential starting five- or three-technique makes him a fit in virtually any NFL defensive system
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10) (In a trade with the Miami Dolphins) - CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida (5-10, 204 lbs)
Hargreaves was born and raised in Tampa, and during his Pro Day workout he even had the words “City of Tampa” written across his cleats. The Buccaneers will be more than happy to draft the local product, getting arguably the best pure cover corner in the draft in the process.
14. Oakland Raiders (7-9) - ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama (6-1, 247 lbs)
The Raiders are set on the defensive line, as well as at outside linebacker. The only weak spot in their front seven is inside linebacker. Oakland could use help in the secondary as well, but considering that the Chiefs and Broncos have become run-first teams (especially now that Peyton Manning has retired), Ragland is the run-stuffer that the Raiders will need.
15. Tennessee Titans (3-13) (In a trade with the Los Angeles Rams) - LT Jack Conklin, Michigan State (6-6, 308 lbs)
Conklin is not the most athletic player, but his determination is unmatched. Case in point: he had a very good game against Oregon's DeForest Buckner. His sheer will power will help to keep the pressure off of Marcus Mariota.
16. Detroit Lions (7-9) - DT A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama (6-4, 307 lbs)
The Lions lost Suh and Fairley in back-to-back offseasons. Ngata is a good stop-gap, but this might be his final season. Robinson is a physical specimen. He is a big, strong run-stuffing nose tackle who has enough pass rushing skills to stay on the field during passing downs. When watching his tapes, you will not see him miss a tackle; simply, once he gets his hands on the opposing player, they go down.
17. Atlanta Falcons (8-8) - OLB Darron Lee, Ohio State (6-1, 232 lbs)
The Falcons will take one of these three positions: linebacker, safety, or cornerback...and the best player available happens to be Darron Lee as he is the epitome of the new era NFL LB...fast as heck with sideline-to-sideline range and equally good blitzing or in pass coverage.
18. Indianapolis Colts (8-8) - OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame (6-6, 312 lbs)
Ronnie Stanley is a must, otherwise Andrew Luck is going to get killed. If they choose any other position, then they're dooming themselves to be without a quarterback once again. Stanley at one time was expected to be a top-10 pick, but has since dropped in the eyes of many teams because of a “soft” label and perceived lack of passion. Regardless, he provides great value here at #18 for the Colts, and nobody is happier about this selection than Andrew Luck.
19. Buffalo Bills (8-8) - DE/OLB Shaq Lawson, Clemson (6-3, 269 lbs)
We all know that Rex is going to draft a defensive player; that is a given. Lawson replaces Mario Williams, who played some snaps at defensive end and some downs as a stand-up outside linebacker. Lawson is a high motor and high character kind of guy. Rex is already salivating about the different creative ways Lawson can be used.
20. New York Jets (10-6) - OLB Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky (6-2, 251 lbs)
Spence has had his share of troubles (addicted to Ecstacy) and interviewed poorly, but there is no doubt that he can rush the passer. The Jets have already proven they are not afraid to take a risk on “troubled” players such as Erin Henderson and Brandon Marshall. Spence will finally give the Jets that edge rusher they haven't had in forever.
21. Washington Redskins (9-7) - DT Andrew Billings, Baylor (6-1, 311 lbs)
Having just signed CB Josh Norman to a huge five-year deal, the Redskins can now address their other biggest need. After losing NT Terrance Knighton in free agency, there is a big hole right in the center of their defensive line. Billings is the best nose tackle to come out of college since Dontari Poe as he is powerful, quick and disruptive. The thing that stands out about him is that he was an offensive lineman prior to college. So, as good as he currently is, he is still learning the position and will only get better.
22. Houston Texans (9-7) - WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame (6-0, 186 lbs)
In order to succeed, Brock Osweiler will need to be surrounded by weapons. The Texans pair DeAndre Hopkins up with a speedy receiver as Fuller has seen his stock rise rapidly lately.
23. Minnesota Vikings (11-5) - WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss (6-2, 221 lbs)
Bridgewater likes to throw short, and Treadwell is a big, tall target with sure hands who is very good after the catch. He is also the red-zone threat and possession receiver the Vikings sorely need and are looking for in this draft.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) - RB Josh Doctson, Texas Christian (6-2, 202 lbs)
The Bengals lost two receivers (Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones) and they need someone to pair with AJ Green. We also strongly considered Baylor's Corey Coleman and Ohio State's Michael Thomas here, but Doctson was the highest rated of the three.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) - SS Karl Joseph, West Virginia (5-10, 205 lbs)
Robert Golden just signed a low-tiered contract, so Joseph could indeed sit for a year (if need be). That said, we fully expect Joseph to take over the starting job by Thanksgiving. Joseph is our favorite player in this draft, and yes, we rationalized a way to give him to the Steelers. We also considered putting Andrew Billings here, but we could not see a way that he drops past both Washington and Cincinnati; our rationalizations will only go so far.
26. Seattle Seahawks (10-6) - DT Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (6-2, 217 lbs)
He is a perfect fit for the Seahawks. Say what you will about Pete Carroll, he gets the most production he can out of players, and Nkemdiche needs a strong coach to push him to his full potential which truly is vast...if he can realize it.
27. Green Bay Packers (10-6) - NT Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech (6-4, 323 lbs)
The Packers lost BJ Raji, and thus, this is a need pick. Butler played nose tackle in college, but might be better suited as a defensive end, which is fine, because the Packers could use an end as well. We see Butler attempting to play the nose at first, and if he is not successful, he will simply move outside, much like Corey Liuget did in San Diego.
28. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) - CB William Jackson III, Houston (6-0, 189 lbs)
The Chiefs lost Sean Smith to their division-rival Raiders. They respond by pairing the ball hawking William Jackson III with Marcus “defensive rookie of the year” Peters for what may well eventually become the best cornerback tandem in the AFC.
29. Arizona Cardinals (13-3) - C Ryan Kelly, Alabama (6-4, 311 lbs)
When AQ Shipley is your starting center, you know that you need an upgrade. Kelly was a three-year starter and team leader for the Crimson Tide.
30. Carolina Panthers (15-1) - CB Eli Apple, Ohio State (6-1, 199 lbs)
Having just lost Josh Norman, cornerback has become a need. Eli Apple has an outstanding size-speed combination; his 4.40 40-yard dash is the fourth-fastest by a defensive back who is 6-foot-1 or taller at the NFL combine since 2006.
31. Denver Broncos (12-4) - QB Christian Hackenberg, Penn State (6-4, 223 lbs)
As a freshman, Hackenberg was en route to being the #1 overall pick. As a sophomore and junior, his coach did not put Hackenberg in a position to succeed; in turn, Hackenberg’s mechanics deteriorated. Gary Kubiak is the perfect coach to transform Hackenberg back into that player who could have gone #1 overall in the Draft.