[title_box title=”2016 NFL Mock Draft 1.0″]
It is March. Not only does that signal an exciting time in college basketball, but it also means it is time for NFL mock drafts. Here is a breakdown of potential first-round picks.
1. Tennessee Titans – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
The Titans had a glaring weakness at right tackle last season and Tunsil is the man to make quarterback Marcus Mariota feel safer in the pocket. He has great footwork for an offensive lineman and is a smart, strong player. Along with all of this, he may be the safest player to draft in this class.
2. Cleveland Browns – Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
The Browns need a quarterback and Wentz is the guy to escort this franchise into the future. He showed his arm is NFL-ready a few weeks ago at the Senior Bowl. He could break Steve McNair’s record as the highest-drafted FCS player in history.
3. San Diego Chargers – Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
Ramsey is one of the most talented athletes in this class and he showed it at the combine. He has great instincts and can play either corner or safety.
4. Dallas Cowboys – Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Bosa has obvious physical gifts. He’s a great pass rusher and can stop the run as well. If he can remain calm and avoid being ejected out of games, he will be a great addition to the Cowboys.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
The Jaguars are very weak in the secondary and Hargreaves can help that defense get back on track. He is definitely a pro-ready cornerback and I’m excited to see if he or Ramsey will have a better career in the NFL.
6. Baltimore Ravens – Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Stanley has a great frame and refuses to get beat around the edges. The Ravens didn’t do a great job of protecting Flacco last season, so he would be a great pickup.
7. San Francisco 49ers – Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
Jack is a really athletic and quick linebacker. I think he is the best defensive player in this class in terms of getting to the ball carrier and he should revamp this San Francisco defense.
8. Miami Dolphins – Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame
Smith is great at getting after the quarterback and also dropping into coverage, something that often gets overlooked when it comes to linebackers. He has the tools to be a star in the league and is definitely someone to keep an eye on.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Tampa Bay needs a defensive lineman that can get after it, and that’s Buckner. He’s quick off the snap and can get to the flats in a hurry.
10. New York Giants – Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Elliott has the big-play ability and great vision that one needs to make an impact as an offensive threat in the NFL. He’s well-rounded too. He’s a reliable receiver out of the backfield and a punishing pass blocker as well.
11. Chicago Bears – Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Lawson led the nation in tackles for a loss last season and he plays with some major attitude. He’s a very physical defender that flies to the ball and will help the Bears defend the run.
12. New Orleans Saints – A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Robinson completely owned the trenches at Alabama and showed that he is totally NFL ready. Running up the A-gap on the Saints will prove difficult with this guy plugging up the middle.
13. Philadelphia Eagles – Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
I love Decker because he is a hard worker who has great size at 6-foot-7. He’s a well rounded tackle who would have been a first round pick last year, but he decided to stay in Columbus for his senior season.
14. Oakland Raiders – Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Alexander is a confident player who is always up to the challenge to cover the best receivers in the game. He’s a tad undersized, but makes up for it with his speed. He is also an entertaining player, always trash talking and mixing it up with whoever he’s assigned to.
15. Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff, QB, California
I can see the Rams taking a quarterback to chaperone them into a new era of football in California. Goff is a great downfield passer and is solid on almost all fronts. At times, he does struggle with his accuracy, but he will improve with the right coaching.
16. Detroit Lions – Reggie Ragland, MLB, Alabama
The Lions released Stephen Tulloch a couple of weeks ago and Ragland is a player that can fill that void. He can play inside or outside, but doesn’t possess elite speed, so the Lions will probably stick him in the middle. He’s a very physical and instinctive player that will help beef up the Lions’ defense.
17. Atlanta Falcons – Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
Lee is a small guy but knows how to shed off blockers to get to the ball. He was one of the leaders on Ohio State’s defense last season and will help Atlanta be more aggressive when defending the run.
18. Indianapolis Colts – Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Conklin is a solid player but doesn’t have great speed. He’s susceptible to getting beat around the edge, but don’t try to go through him.
19. Buffalo Bills – Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
Nkemdiche is as fast of a defensive end that you can find these days. He’s explosive off the line of scrimmage and has a plethora of moves at his disposal to free himself up from offensive linemen.
20. New York Jets – Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Here’s another great pass rusher in this class. Floyd was a 2015 Butkus Award finalist and is dangerous off the edge.
21. Washington Redskins – Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Reed was another anchor that Alabama had on the defensive line last year and he is great at stuffing the run. The Redskins could use another big guy to mix things up in the trenches.
22. Houston Texans – Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Rankins is great at shedding off blockers and is really quick for an interior lineman. He’s the perfect candidate to free up J.J. Watt on the edge.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
If you followed any college football last year, you would know that Treadwell is a playmaker. He’s a smart receiver who knows how to get open and is competitive when the ball is in the air.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Coleman is a great deep threat and will help Bridgewater develop even further. He’s one of the fastest players in this class and should make an impact from his first snap as a pro.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers – Vonn Bell, FS, Ohio State
The Steelers are solid up front, but the addition of Bell will help boost their secondary. He’s great in man coverage and has great awareness. He’s not a great run supporter, but don’t try to test him downfield.
26. Seattle Seahawks – Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
Butler is an athlete with above-average strength, but is still somewhat of a project. He does have good qualities in that he plays with passion and is eager to learn. Give him some time and Seahawks fans are going to be happy with what they get out of him.
27. Green Bay Packers – Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
Dodd has great size at 6-foot-5, 275 pounds and is instinctive when it comes to defending the play-action or screen plays. He had a great season last year at Clemson and should rejuvenate an aging Packers defense.
28. Kansas City Chiefs – Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
Apple has a great work ethic and is a good overall athlete. He also ran a 4.40 40-yard dash at the combine, so his speed will help solidify an already-good Kansas City secondary.
29. Arizona Cardinals – Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
Spence is a great pass rusher who doesn’t give up if the play gets to the second level. He has a high motor and Bruce Arians will love his intensity.
30. Carolina Panthers – Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Billings played nose tackle at Baylor, yet somehow led his team in tackles for loss and sacks. He’s great at hand-to-hand battle in the trenches and is an expert at getting off of double teams. If the Panthers can keep Kawaan Short this offseason and draft Billings, they will make Carolina’s defense even scarier.
31. Denver Broncos – Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
Henry is the best tight end in this class and he reminds me of Jason Witten. He’s an athletic player with great hands and will help whoever is going to play quarterback for the Broncos next season.
Featured image by thoreauthroughandthrough
Edited by Cody McClure