2016 NFL Mock Draft: Version 2.0

3 of 9

Sep 5, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (18) is tackled by Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jaylon Smith (9) in the second quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

5. Oakland Raiders- Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame

The Raiders have done a good job the past two years adding meaningful talent through the draft. They have made smart decisions by targeting productive college players like Khalil Mack, Derek Carr and Amari Cooper. Oakland has a chance to continue their draft hot streak with Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith.

Smith is an explosive athlete who makes plays from sideline to sideline. He plays the game with a ton of passion and tenacity which would be a great fit for what Oakland is building.

6. Tennessee Titans- Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Trent Richardson’s poor NFL career has done a lot to hurt the draft stock of the running back position. Things have just started turning the corner with Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon coming off the board in the first round of the 2015 draft. Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott is poised to make it two year’s in a row.

Elliott is a difference maker who runs with power, features the speed to score from anywhere on the field, catches the ball out of the backfield and is an asset as a blocker. The Tennessee Titans would be smart to give Marcus Mariota an running back to feed the ball. An established running game goes a long way to helping a young quarterback.

7. New York Giants- Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss

Things haven’t started out on the best foot for the New York Giants this season. They very easily could be sitting with a record of 2-0, but instead are win less. The dumb mistakes that cost them wins is only part of the story as the Jason Pierre-Paul saga is another painful topic.

Pierre-Paul’s long-term history is still very much in doubt which would make finding a disruptive force along the defensive line a major need. Ole Miss’s Robert Nkemdiche is exactly that type of player thanks to his combination of speed and power. Nkemdiche also brings versatility to the defense as he’s able to impact the game from both the defensive end and tackle positions.

8. Houston Texans- Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

Connor Cook is in the beginning stages on what could be a magical season for the Michigan State Spartans. However, NFL evaluators are thinking about next year where Cook has a chance to be a rookie starter in the league. The Houston Texans are one of those teams that obviously have a need at the position.

Cook fits the mold of what Bill O’Brien looks for in a quarterback with his strong throwing arm, good size and ability to win from the pocket. Christian Hackenberg will get consideration here because O’Brien is fond of him from their time together at Penn State, but it’s hard to feel good putting Hackenberg this high with his early season struggles.

In-depth Connor Cook Scouting Report

Next: No. 9 to No. 12