Now that the NFL regular season is finally over it’s time for our first mock draft of 2016. The draft will take place in April and there is a lot of time for things to change before Roger Goodell takes the podium to announce the first pick which currently belongs to the Titans. Player’s stock will rise and fall with upcoming pro days, NFL Combine and private workouts still to come. Let’s get to it.
1. San Fransisco 49ers-Jared Goff QB Cal
Right now the Titans are on the clock. That doesn’t mean Tennessee will keep the pick. The 49ers fired Jim Tomsula and will be starting over with a new coach. Whoever is the next coach in San Fransisco will be in the market for a QB. Colin Kaepernick was thought to be the QB of the future until he was benched earlier this year and the team and went with Blaine Gabbert. The Niners are blowing things up and need a QB of the future. That’s why they will trade up to get Jared Goff. Goff will be a popular pick since he played down the street at Cal and is the top QB in the draft. Cleveland is in the market for a quarterback as well the 49ers. That’s why San Fransisco will trade up to get the best QB available. The Titans will get the Niners 1st round pick this year and in 2017 and 2018 as well as an extra second round pick this year.
2. Cleveland Browns-Paxton Lynch QB Memphis
With Johnny Manziel on this way out of Memphis the Browns will have to get a QB for the future in the draft. With Goff of the board Cleveland will take the next best QB in the draft, Paxton Lynch.
3. San Diego Chargers-Joey Bosa LB Ohio State
Joey Bosa is considered by many scouts the best player in the draft. He has a motor that doesn’t stop and proved he can still make plays even though he was double-teamed a lot this year. San Diego gets a steal at #3 with Bosa.
4. Dallas Cowboys-Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss
Many thought Dallas would be looking for a QB in the first round but with Goff and Lynch off the board the Cowboys will wait and try to snag Christian Hackenburg or Connor Cook in the second round. Combining Treadwell with Dez Bryant the Cowboys will have the receiving corps in the NFC East.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars-Jalen Ramsey CB Florida State
The Jaguars are on the ascend in the AFC South. Next season with 2015’s top pick Dante Fowler and Jalen Ramsey on the Jags defense will get a huge shot in the arm and a big upgrade from last season. Fowler was injured in a team workout before the season and missed the entire year. Ramsey can play corner or safety at a high level and will give Andrew Luck and Marcus Mariota problems for years to come.
6. Baltimore Ravens-Vernon Hargreaves CB Florida
Antonio Brown and AJ Green will force the Ravens hand to go get the best corner available. The Ravens defense has slipped from where it used to be and by grabbing a dynamic corner like Vernon Hargreaves they will take steps in shutting down the passing game of the Bengals, Steelers and Browns for years to come.
7. Tennessee Titans-Laremy Tunsil OT Ole Miss
The man the Titans wanted all along will still be there at #7. Tunsil will contribute immediately and help Marcus Mariota become one of the premier QBs in the NFL. The Titans offensive line has been horrible all year and Tennessee will waste no time grabbing the best offensive lineman on the board.
8. Miami Dolphins-Robert Nkemdiche DT Ole Miss
Imagine Nkemdiche and Ndamukong Suh up front wreaking havoc on opposing teams offensive lines. Before having some problems in Atlanta last month Nkemdiche was thought to be the best player in the draft. But after being suspended for the Rebels bowl game the big Ole Miss defensive lineman toppled down a lot of mock draft boards. Nkemdiche will shine in private workouts and there’s no way he isn’t selected in the top ten.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Ronnie Stanley OT Notre Dame
Jameis Winston needs some help up front. The former #1 pick threw a ton of picks this year but he didn’t have a lot of time to get the ball off with a porous offensive line up front. Winston was sacked 27 times this year and by bringing in Stanley the Bucs will upgrade the offensive line.
10. New York Giants-DeForest Buckner DE Oregon
Besides Joey Bosa Buckner could be the best defensive line player in the draft. The Giants need help on defense and Buckner’s size and ability to get to the QB can make an immediate impact in New York.
11. Chicago Bears-Myles Jack LB UCLA
The Bears need help at linebacker and will get a steal in Jack who is coming off an injury. Had he not injured his knee in September he could have gone in the top ten. The UCLA linebacker was All-Pac 12 last year and was second team All-American.
12. New Orleans Saints- Reggie Ragland LB Alabama
Ragland is a dynamic playmaker who has a motor that doesn’t stop. He’s a big reason why Alabama’s defense is so dominant all year and shut down everyone from Alex Collins to Leonard Fornette. Ragland will make a difference for the Saints for years to come.
13. Philadelphia Eagles-Taylor Decker OT Ohio State
Decker is solid up front and will help plug some holes in the Eagles’ offensive line. He can run block and protect the QB. He’s not a sexy pick but he will be a starter in week 1 next season.
14. Oakland Raiders-Mackensie Alexander CB Clemson
With Rod Woodson retiring the Raiders will need help in the secondary to keep Phillip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Alex Smith from lighting them up next year. Alexander was a shutdown corner for the Tigers this year and has a ton of potential at the next level.
15. St. Louis Rams-Leonard Floyd LB Rams
The Rams need help at quarterback and I expect them to grab one in round two. Last year Jeff Fisher grabbed the best player available in Todd Gurley. I think they do the same thing and grab Floyd who is too good to pass up.
16. Detroit Lions-Jack Conklin OT Michigan State
It’s no secret that the Lions need help on the offensive line. Matthew Stafford struggled all year and it mainly due to the poor offensive line. Conklin will be a popular pick due to his days at Michigan State and he will help Stafford immediately.
17. Atlanta Falcons-Su’a Cravens S/LB USC
The Falcons need help on defense and I expect Dan Quinn to go after guys in the draft to get things turned around. Cravens can play linebacker but he will probably get a look at safety since it’s a position the Falcons are thin at.
18. Indianapolis Colts-Ezekiel Elliott RB Ohio State
This pick makes too much sense. The Colts need a stud at running back and Elliott has the potential to be a perennial All-Pro in the NFL. Combining him with Andrew Luck will make life miserable for AFC South defenses for years to come.
19. Buffalo Bills-A’Shawn Robinson DE/DT Alabama
This late in the draft Robinson is too good to pass up. The Bills need help at defensive tackle and the Crimson Tide playmaker is a great fit.
20. New York Jets-Connor Cook QB Michigan State
This might be a reach but the Jets are going QB this year in the first round since the Texans will be picking right behind them. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t going to win a Super Bowl in New York and Geno Smith is not the guy either. New York will turn some heads on day one by drafting Cook.
21. Washington Redskins-Kenny Clark DT UCLA
The Redskins need help on defense. Clark specializes in stopping the run and will be a force up front for the Skins. The UCLA defensive tackle was first team All-Pac 12 this season and had eight tackles and a sack against Nebraska in their bowl game.
22. Houston Texans-Christian Hackenburg QB Penn State
Christian Hackenburg had his share of struggles his senior year and was thought to be a top ten pick coming into the year. The Penn State QB has a ton of upside and Texans coach Bill O’Brien will be happy to be reunited with his former player.
23. Seattle Seahawks-Jack Conklin OT Michigan State
Russell Okung is in a contract year and it’s a safe bet the Seahawks go after a big guy to put up front in case he doesn’t get re-signed.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers-Tre’Davious White LSU
With Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton torching the Steelers defense earlier this year Pittsburgh will go out and grab the best corner they can get. White is a ball hawk and has a knack for being where the ball is. The LSU corner will start next year for Mike Tomlin.
25. Green Bay Packers-Darron Lee LB Ohio State
The Packers need help on defense. Clay Matthews can’t do everything himself and Lee will be a starter on opening day helping to stop the run. In the Buckeyes bowl win over Notre Dame Lee had seven tackles.
26. Minnesota Vikings-Jaylon Smith LB Notre Dame
Smith is a very intriguing prospect. Before he was injured in the Fighting Irish’s bowl loss to Ohio State many expert had him going in the top five. Smith will be coming off an injury but he has all the tools to be a pro bowl linebacker in the NFL. The Vikings get a steal.
27. Kansas City Chiefs-Jason Spriggs OT Indiana
Look for the Chiefs to bolster their offensive line in the draft. Eric Fisher hasn’t been great since he was drafted a few years ago. Spriggs is a big agile guy who did well against top Big Ten defenses this year. He could be a guy who is worked into the rotation in 2016.
28. Denver Broncos-Spencer Drango OT Baylor
The Broncos are set on defense. Denver needs to improve the offensive line to protect Peyton Manning should he come back next year. Drango is an All-American and is one of the best linemen in the Big Twelve. He has a lot of upside and would be a good addition to the offensive line in Denver who could play right away.
29. Cincinnati Bengals-Josh Doctson WR TCU
Andy Dalton will be happy to hear another Horned Frog’s name called on draft day. He will be getting a dynamic receiver who will take pressure off of AJ Green. Doctson probably would’ve gone higher but injuries cut his season short with a wrist injury. The TCU receiver can make some highlight reel catches and knows how to get open.
30. Arizona Cardinals-Derrick Henry RB Alabama
We keep hearing that Derrick Henry is a second round selection. But after a big game against Michigan State and potentially another big game in the Championship game against Clemson we have a feeling Henry will jump up the draft boards and someone will grab him after Ezekiel Elliott gets picked. David Johnson has been a diamond in the rough and could be the starter next year but Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington don’t appear to have much tread left on the tires.
31. Carolina Panthers-Shaq Lawson DE Clemson
Lawson is s big, strong defensive end who can blow up the offensive line and get to the QB in passing situations. If Lawson falls this far the Panthers will have a starter for years to come at defensive end. He’s already a legend at Clemson and the fans in Carolina will love him.
New England does not get a selection due to the Deflategate scandal from the AFC Championship Game last year.