2016 NFL Mock Draft: Version 2.0

2016 NFL Mock Draft: Version 2.0


2016 NFL Mock Draft: Version 2.0

We’ve already had two trades at the top of the 2016 NFL Draft, and it’s a safe bet that more picks will switch hands between now and the end of the first round Thursday night. Those moves could throw our final mock into disarray—though let’s be honest, it already is.

1-Rams (from Titans) – Jared Goff, QB, California
After failing to capitalize on their bounty from the RG3 trade, the Rams themselves mortgage the future to move to the top of the draft and make Goff the face of the LA franchise.

2-Eagles (from Brown) – Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Philly loves Sam Bradford so much that they packaged picks to move up and settle for Jeff Fisher’s leftovers.

3-Chargers – Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
If this is a decision between Ramsey and Laremy Tunsil, follow the money: the Bolts have more than $43 million already sunk into the offensive tackle position over the next three years. There is also some late buzz that has the Chargers taking—or perhaps trading down to take— DeForest Buckner.

4-Cowboys – Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
If Jerry didn’t take a running back through seven-plus rounds last year, when the need was even greater, it’s tough to see him taking Ezekiel Elliott here. Plus, between the Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence suspensions and Greg Hardy not returning the Cowboys are in desperate need of a pass rush.

5-Jaguars – Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Assuming the knee checks out, Jack holds his top-five spot as an athletic weapon for Gus Bradley to unleash.

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6-Ravens – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
With quarterbacks pushing the positional talent down the board, the Ravens could very well have their choice between a defensive lineman they covet (Buckner) or an offensive lineman to fill the void left by the departed Kelechi Osemele.

7-49ers – Ronnie Staley, OT, Notre Dame
Reach for Paxton Lynch? Maybe. But Chip Kelly’s first pick in Philly was an athletic offensive lineman, and while he doesn’t have the same autonomy in San Francisco upgrading the o-line is an area the Niners definitely need to address.

8-Browns (from Dolphins via Eagles) – DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
If the board falls this way don’t be surprised if the Browns trade down again—maybe to the Dolphins, who reclaim their own spot and take Ezekiel Elliott. Cleveland would be more inclined to keep the pick if one of the top offensive tackles were available, but Buckner is hardly a consolation prize.

9-Buccaneers – Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
The wild card here might be Robert Nkemdiche; it’s not as if the Bucs haven’t taken guys with perceived character issues in the first round before. Either way, defensive help is on the way to Tampa Bay.

10-Giants – Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
On the one hand, running backs are a commodity on which you don’t spend a first-round pick. On the other, Elliott is being talked about as the most complete back to hit the league in years. Odds are someone trades up to take him in front of this spot, assuming the Cowboys don’t use the fourth overall pick.

11-Bears – Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Lawson’s flexibility seems to best fit what the Bears need to address defensively, though Leonard Floyd could also be in play here.

12-Saints – Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Same position, different player. Most mocks have Rankins heading to New Orleans, and with all of the Saints’ defensive needs it makes perfect sense.

13-Dolphins (from Eagles) – William Jackson, CB, Houston
Barring a trade back up the board to get Ezekiel Elliott, the Dolphins are likely thinking defense here, adding one of the better corners in this class.

14-Raiders – Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss
Mock 1.0 had the Raiders bulking up in front of Derek Carr, and with only two tackles off the board that’s a distinct possibility. But an elite talent with character questions… why, that just smacks of vintage Raiders.

15-Titans (from Rams) – Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
The best of both worlds for the Titans, who pick up extra picks and don’t need to unseat Taylor Lewan while still protecting last year’s investment in Marcus Mariota.

16-Lions – Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
An offensive lineman like Taylor Decker is still in play here, but the defense needs help as well and Floyd is a value here.

17-Falcons – Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
Lee to the Falcons is another pick that’s reaching general consensus among most mocks. They’d prefer Floyd or Lawson, but they’ll settle for the athletic Lee to fill their desperate linebacking need.

18-Colts – Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Defense is still a glaring need, but that’s what the rest of the draft will be used for. Here, with an opportunity to put one of the draft’s top tackles in front of Andrew Luck, Indy goes offense again.

19-Bills – Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Rex Ryan would love to wrap his arms around about a half-dozen names on the board, all of them defensive front seven contributors. He’ll have to settle for just one, and Reed gets the nod over Kevin Dodd and Emmanuel Ogbah.

20-Jets – Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
You get the feeling there will be some jockeying for Lynch in front of this spot—maybe even as early as 8 with the Browns. But if he’s on the board here, the Jets can move on from Geno Smith—and maybe even Ryan Fitzpatrick.

21-Redskins – Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Washington upgraded their secondary dramatically with the Josh Norman signing. Now they dip into a deep defensive tackle class to improve the group in front of him.

22-Texans – Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
With a quarterback and running back added via free agency, the Texans complete their offensive overhaul by giving DeAndre Hopkins a running mate.

23-Vikings – Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Minnesota wants—needs—to add a receiver with a big catch radius to help Teddy Bridgewater and complement Stefon Diggs. The possibility they’ll get to choose between Treadwell and Josh Doctson is a luxury they’ll appreciate.

24-Bengals – Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
There’s buzz the Bengals are looking to leapfrog the Vikings to make sure they get Doctson—and if Treadwell goes off the board early, let the leaping begin. Here, they stand pat and still get their guy.

25-Steelers – Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
Maybe the first zig of the draft, but the Steelers don’t necessarily need an elite corner to function in their scheme. An elite safety, on the other hand, is reason to pick that position in the first round for the first time since Troy Polamalu.

26-Seahawks – Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
Last year’s strategy of drafting defensive linemen in the later rounds and converting them to the other side of the ball didn’t work. Plugging Kelly into the middle of the o-line at least gives the Seahawks a solid foundation to build from.

27-Packers – Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
Ragland still makes sense here as he allows the Packers to move Clay Matthews back outside. Better yet for Green Bay, he’s still likely to be on the board here.

28-Chiefs – Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
The Chiefs added Marcus Peters last year, then lost Shaun Smith via free agency. So as the did in Mock 1.0, they replenish the secondary—this time opting for Alexander over Eli Apple.

29-Cardinals – Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
Kelly would be in play here if he makes it past the Seahawks. Since he didn’t, Bruce Arians beefs up a secondary that was exposed with Tyrann Mathieu sidelined.

30-Panthers – Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
Carolina could look for offensive line help here, but with the top four tackles already taken they’ll get their beef on the other side of the ball and augment their stud interior with a quality end.

31-Broncos – Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State
Does Gary Kubiak love Connor Cook enough to pull the trigger here? Does Paxton Lynch fall? Or do the Broncos look to replicate last year and depend on an elite defense, replacing Malik Jackson with another interior stud?

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