2016 NFL Mock Draft

Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the stage before the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the stage before the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /

2016 NFL Mock Draft

This 2016 NFL Mock Draft features some interesting trades which could change the shape of the entire draft.

1. Tennessee Titans – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

As enticing as Jalen Ramsey is here, I can’t imagine not upgrading the tackle position with Marcus Mariota as your future and just trading for DeMarco Murray. The Titans would be wise to lock up their blindside protector with the first pick of the draft.

2. Cleveland Browns- Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State

Hear me out on this one. I know all the mock drafters are saying that the RGIII signing doesn’t detour the Browns from taking a QB with their first pick. I argue that point, Hue Jackson is real high on RGIII and they signed him to a new deal for two years. There is also the possibility that Josh Gordon gets reinstated which would be an interesting scenario having RGIII and Gordon paired up again in Cleveland. Next, there are some quality QB’s left on the board that you can possibly take in the beginning of round 2. Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook being two names off the top of my head would be sufficient enough to come in and compete for the starting job right away. I am going against the grain with this pick, but I have been right before by going with my gut and I’m going with the Browns taking Jalen Ramsey with the #2 overall.

3. San Diego Chargers- Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

I can see the Chargers being a team to trade back if Ramsey is off the board here and they can find a partner. If they stay I think they will go with Myles Jack. Ultimately, the best thing possible, if Ramsey is off the board, is to trade back and add picks. They could also do DE here and slide Brandon Mebane to nose. Half the top defenses in the NFL have the typical 3-4 Nose weighing 320-330 and the other half have nose tackles that are a little slimmer in the 305-315 range that are producing at a high efficiency also. For right now, I think they go with Myles Jack.

4. Dallas Cowboys- DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon

The Boys need help along the defensive line. Greg Hardy will not be back and Randy Gregory is suspended for the start of the season. Bringing in Cedric Thorton helps but it is not a solution. DeForest Buckner is a DT that you can be creative with by moving him around and having opposing offenses on their toes. Having both Carson Wentz and Jared Goff on the board here is definitely interesting and I am sure the Boys will be fielding calls to move back but at this point I don’t think they will have any suitors strictly because I think they will ask for too much.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars- Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida

With Myles Jack off the board here the Jags won’t go linebacker. Even with the Prince Amukamara signing the Jags could afford to add another young corner to lock it down there for the next couple years. The Jags have had a very nice off season thus far and I think they build on it further here. They are a significantly different team than they were at the end of 2015. When the season finished I told myself “This is a team on the cusp of something special and if they do things right in free agency and the draft, they can do some good things next year”. I believe that have done just that and will be excited to watch them next season.

6. Baltimore Ravens- Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

There is no way around it, the Ravens desperately need help along the offensive line. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if 2 of their top 4 picks go to picking offensive lineman. They lost Kelechi Osemele to the Raiders so they are going to have to get creative with their offensive line. Rick Wagner isn’t a starting caliber tackle in the NFL so the Ravens could use an upgrade there. They will also have to find a replacement for Osemele somewhere in the draft also. Joey Bosa will tempt the Ravens here so the Ravens are also a team that may look to trade back if someone is willing to give them what they want for Bosa.

7. San Francisco 49ers- Jared Goff, QB, California

The Niners Colin Kaepernick but I can’t imagine he will be the starter day 1 or even on the roster for that matter. He has been a total prima-donna. There is only room for one prima-donna in San Francisco and his name is Chip Kelly. What I don’t understand is why Kaepernick wants out? Chip Kelly is the perfect system for him to thrive in. If he is there I can still see the Niners taking a QB here. I say they will go with Jared Goff. Goff is a Chip Kelly system guy so this would make sense here.

More from With the First Pick

8. Los Angeles Rams (Trade with the Eagles)- Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

If both of the QB’s fall out of the first round, which could happen, expect a trade after the first QB is selected. At the number 8 pick the Rams would be within striking distance to make a trade. What they would have to give up, I don’t know. Carson Wentz is considered by many (and myself) to be the best QB in the draft. This trade makes sense because it would give the Eagles more room to breathe with their selection while adding a pick or two in the process. The Rams need a franchise QB (Nick Foles isn’t it), the Eagles need a CB, DT, and could gamble to see if Ezekiel Elliott is around at pick 15. It’d be more believable for the Eagles to take Elliott at pick 15 rather pick 8. The Rams probably wouldn’t have to give away the house as this is something the Eagles would be likely looking into with Hargreaves and Buckner off the board.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

This pick makes a lot of sense to me. In a division with Cam Newton, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan, you need to be able to get after the QB. If a QB has the ability to feel comfortable in the pocket they will absolutely rip you apart. Best way to be able to contain these guys is to have enough fire power in the trenches to make them flustered. Look at what happened in the super bowl for instance. Prior to, the nation thought Cam Newton to be invincible. The Broncos pinned their ears back and suffocated Cam the entire game to make him look human again. Although Gholston is an adequate player for the Bucs, he isn’t a game changer. Joey Bosa can be a nice piece to add next to Robert Ayers to create the type of havoc I’m talking about.

10. New York Giants- Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

The Giants just resigned Jasper Brinkley at middle linebacker to a one year contract. With all the additions they have on defense through free agency, I don’t see the Giants rolling with Brinkley as the play caller in the middle for the start of the season. I believe the Giants best bet is to select Reggie Ragland with this pick. With the additions of Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, and bringing back Jason Pierre-Paul- this makes life very easy on a rookie middle linebacker. It’s not a flashy pick like Ezekiel Elliott would be but it’s a pick that makes the most sense to me with what is on the board here. They can always trade up in round 2 for Derrick Henry.

11. Miami Dolphins (Trade with the Bears)- Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

This is a trade I can see happening. I can see John Fox and Ryan Pace calling up Adam Gase in Miami to tell them “Hey, we’re going to take Ezekiel Elliott with our pick. We know you are also in the market for a running back, so what would you give to make this happen”? Both teams bid on restricted free agent CJ Anderson and missed. That tells me that if Elliott was on the board, for either team, they would take him. Whatever the Dolphins offer the Bears, I’m sure they’ll take it as they don’t have as many holes to fill after a nice job of adding through the free agency period.

12. New Orleans Saints- LaQuon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

The Nick Fairley signing was a big one for the Saints. That signing gives them a little more draft flexibility now. Brandon Cooks will need a running mate whether that is at the #12 pick or not. Normally, the top wide receiver is off the board by the this point of the draft and in some cases the number 2 WR is off the board here also. The Saints sort of lucked out here and get a big, athletic wide receiver that will win a lot of 50/50 balls for Drew Brees.

13. Chicago Bears (Trade with Miami)- Sheldon Rankins, DL, Louisville

The Bears add some draft picks and in my mind are in the same position they were prior to the trade as far as how their board looks. They have done a great job in free agency adding players like Trevathan, Freeman, Hicks, and Massie. I believe they will continue that trend and add on the defensive side of the ball.  The Bears should go with Rankins here. It came down to speed for me because that’s what John Fox keeps talking about. I was trying to decide between A’Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed, and Rankins. Rankins is just faster than the other two and also looks very physically fit which I like to see anytime I am talking about a defensive lineman.

14. Oakland Raiders- Shaq Lawson, Edge, Clemson

The Raiders were pretty large winners in free agency also. Depending how Shaq Lawson’s medical recheck goes will be telling as to if he is the pick here or not. Lawson would just add to a what’s shaping up to be a very good defense next year.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (Trade with Los Angeles)- Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State

At this point I’m not sure there is a huge difference between a corner back you can get here and a corner in the second round. There is one thing I do know though, and that is, if you want to make life easier for a young cornerback such as Eric Rowe and whoever you may get in the second round, you position yourself with the best front seven you possible can. Much like I said before, you need to create chaos in the trenches to force opposing quarterbacks hurry their throws which makes it very easy for young corners to cover. Fletcher Cox will slide back inside with Bennie Logan. Vinny Curry is a hybrid type guy that will likely line up at defensive tackle and end. Both Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham with likely slide down to defensive end with the Eagles switching to a 4-3. They signed Nigel Bradham who will like play outside linebacker next to Mychal Kendricks which leaves a spot at OLB to fill. With Darron Lee on the board here the Eagles couldn’t be happier. Lee is an ultra athletic linebacker that can do whatever is asked of him. My only knock on Lee is that he is a little light for linebacker. However, I fully anticipate he will have no problem filling out his frame in his rookie season. He reminds me a lot of Shaq Thompson who had a good rookie season Carolina last year. Lee will be able to line up at a variety of different spots to give headaches to opposing offenses.

16. Detroit Lions- Jack Conklin, OL, Michigan State

If the Lions aren’t careful here they will be picking in top 10 next year. Detroit gave up the 10th most sacks in the league last year. They have to go with the best player available to protect Mathew Stafford. If Stafford goes down, then the Lions will be one of the first teams to enter the tank for Fournette sweepstakes next year. Although they might not “tank” per say, they may actually just be that bad.

17. Atlanta Falcons- Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia

The Falcons did a nice job adding Alex Mack at Center and Derrick Shelby at defensive end. I see their biggest area of need being the outside linebacker position. Sure, they could take one of the top defensive tackles left on the board here but I think they will give Ra’Shede Hageman another year to be the player they thought he would be when they drafted him in the second round. Floyd is a player that Atlanta has likely seen a lot of being that he played for the Bulldogs in Athens.

18. Indianapolis Colts- Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

The Colts need to do a better job of protecting Andrew Luck as he gets back from injury. Indy was middle of the pack in sacks given up. The Jaguars, Texans, and Titans have all gotten better this offseason. They should look to grab the best offensive tackle on the board here. Anthony Castonzo and Joe Reitz are both, meh. If you’re able to give Andrew Luck the time he needs then the Colts offense will have a significantly different look than last year.

19. Cincinatti Bengals (Trade with Buffalo Bills)- Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

With teams like Minnesota, Houston, and Washington that could potentially draft a wide receiver, I have the Bengals making a move here. They already have the all around wide receiver in AJ Green. Now they could use a Steve Smith type guy who is real fast and real shifty. Those are the most successful wide receiver situations in my mind. Based on tape alone I feel the Corey Coleman will be a significant upgrade over Marvin Jones and Mohammad Sanu as a number 2 WR.

20. New York Jets- Noah Spence, Edge, Eastern Kentucky

The Jets NEED to take either an outside linebacker or tackle here. Eli Apple would be nice to pair with Darrell Revis but the need at tackle and outside linebacker is too great. I say they take whoever the best of the two are and that is, Noah Spence. Spence was a 5 star recruit out of high school that landed with Ohio State. He was let go from the school for disciplinary reasons and enrolled at Eastern Kentucky with the help of Urban Meyer. Spence showed he belonged during senior bowl week and is a big reason why I have the Jets taking him here. Reg flag prospect with HUGE potential.

21. Washington Redskins- Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

With Pot Roast not being back and Kedric Golston being 32, the Redskins will have to address this position with their first pick. Andrew Billings is a guy that can step in and play day 1. At 6’1 311 lbs he produced at a high level for the Bears last season. I anticipate he won’t miss a beat once given the opportunity to start.

22. Houston Texans- A’Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama

Pairing A’Shawn Robinson with JJ Watt and Vince Wilfork up front would scare me if I were a team in AFC South. He even kind of looks like Vince Wilfork. Anyways, baby Wilfork, actual Wilfork, JJ Watt, Whitney Mercilus, Brian Cushing, Benardrick McKinney,and a healthy JaDeveon Clowney is something that would keep me up at night as an opposing offensive coordinator.

23. Minnesota Vikings- Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

The Vikings need a wide receiver to start winning some 50/50 balls for Teddy Bridgewater. Doctson would be that guy and a nice complement to Stefon Diggs. Teddy Bridgewater would appreciate a large target to have inside the red zone. Much like Treadwell, Doctson will be great for winning a good amount of 50/50 balls like I stated above. They need to find more playmakers to take some pressure off Adrian Peterson and open up the field for Bridgewater.

24. Buffalo Bills (Trade with Cincinnati Bengals)- Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame

Depending on what the Bills receive from the Bengals (3rd or 4th rounder) the Bills could afford to use this pick on Jaylon Smith. If his medical recheck comes back clean this could be a potential landing spot for the outside linebacker from Notre Dame. The Bills are more than 1 or 2 pieces away from doing anything in the AFC East. Tyrod Taylor had a good year last year but I really don’t see him being the one that will get you past New England, New York, or even Miami. The Bills can use a ton of help at LB, an upgrade over Seantrel Henderson, upgrade at QB, and possibly even an upgrade over Robert Woods as your #2. If Smith can play at all next year I don’t see Buffalo letting him slip past #24. If he can get healthy the Bills will get a future Pro Bowler and a guy that can really pressure on a quarterback.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers- Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

Although the Steelers need help at tackle and nose tackle, I can’t see them passing on Eli Apple. Apple is a top 15 player on my board that just happens to fall to the Steelers at #25 based on how this draft shakes out. Apple will be nicely paired with William Gay. Corner is a position that the Steelers likely would address in the draft anyway, just I did not anticipate them doing so in round 1.

26. Seattle Seahawks- Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss

The Seahawks could use an upgrade at defensive tackle and I am going with Nkemdiche over Reed here. Nkemdiche would be a nice fit for Seattle because their defense holds each other accountable. The defensive tackle would have no room to be lazy on a defense full of leaders. If he had no off the field issues and was more consistent on tape, he’d be a top 5 selection. The talent available on the defensive line is too good to pass up rather than reach on a tackle.

27. Green Bay Packers- Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama

With Jarran Reed on the board and BJ Raji’s retirement, I think it would be fitting for the Packers to select him. Obviously, in most drafts I don’t think Reed would be on the board here just happens to shake out this way. You could say the same about Nkemdiche and Apple. Either way I think this is a huge upgrade over BJ Raji who’s level of play has really dipped in the last couple seasons.

28. Kansas City Chiefs- Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

There aren’t too many holes to fill for the Cheifs. They would be smart to add Macksensie Alexander to pair with Marcus Peters. With the departure of Sean Smith, this selection makes a lot of sense. On a lot of boards I have seen, Mackensie Alexander is actually the third ranked corner. So you could say that the Chiefs get a bit of a bargain here.

29. Arizona Cardinals- Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama

Bruce Arians hinted at Lyle Sendlein’s retirement and even if he doesn’t retire the Cardinals could use an upgrade at center. Ryan Kelly is a plug in and start from day 1 type guy. He will be a nice add here to anchor that offensive line for the future. The Cardinals will have to address tackle, nose, and middle linebacker also at some point in the early rounds of the draft.

30. Carolina Panthers- Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana

After the Super Bowl there is no way the Panthers can go into the 2016 season with the tackles they have currently. The next best tackle on the board is Jason Spriggs so we will go with him and pray he will be better than Michael Oher and Mike Remmers.

31. Denver Broncos- Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

Zero care that the Broncos signed Mark Sanchez. They have to get the best QB available. The size of Paxton Lynch is what I think lures the Broncos in. At 6’7 and a cannon arm you know he will be able to get it to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. He actually reminds me a lot of Brock Osweiler. Let’s hope this situation doesn’t end like to last.