Early look at the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft
1. LA Rams: Jared Goff, QB
The Rams gave up a lot, probably way too much, but here they are at number one. They are going to take a quarterback, it’s just a question of which one.
2. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB
We’re still a week away from the draft and we’ve already gotten two big trades. Even with Sam Bradford and the newly signed Chase Daniel, the Eagles wouldn’t have traded up this high to draft anything but a quarterback.
3.San Diego Chargers: DeForest Buckner, DE
This pick seems to be gaining a lot of steam lately and it looks like Buckner could go over Ramsey and right now it’s hard to tell what the truth is. Either pick would be a good addition to the Chargers defense.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey, DB
The Cowboys may be forced to draft Joey Bosa due to the suspension of Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence. My guess is that Ramsey is higher on their draft board, so he’s the pick.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joey Bosa, DE
The Jaguars have been linked to Myles Jack a lot, but his knee injury has caused a lot more concern since his medical re-check. Linebacker is probably a bigger need, but the Jaguars could still add a pass rusher given question marks surrounding Dante Fowler.
6. Baltimore Ravens: Laremy Tunsil, T
Tunsil really won’t be benefitting with the Eagles and Rams trading up. Once a first overall pick, Tunsil could slide out of the top-five.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Ronnie Stanley, T
I’m not sure how the 49ers feel about Jack’s knee, but he could be the pick if Buckner is gone. The 49ers offensive line was horrible in 2015 and Stanley could start at right tackle and eventually move to the left.
8. Cleveland Browns: Vernon Hargreaves, CB
The Browns could take Stanley here, but their secondary needs a lot of work. Joe Haden might be a big name, but he was really bad in 2015 even before his concussions.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: William Jackson III, CB
It seems almost universally accepted that Vernon Hargreaves is going to be the pick here. Well, in my mock the Browns take Hargreaves leaving the Buccaneers to take Jackson III. I don’t think this is a bad pick, considering the need, and Jackson checks all the boxes physically that Hargreaves doesn’t.
10. New York Giants: Jack Conklin, T
The Giants did a pretty solid job of improving their defense through free agency, leaving their first round pick a bit harder to predict. At this point, their top three needs are on the offensive line, linebacker, and running back. It may be a bit too early for Ezekiel Elliott, but it could happen.
11. Chicago Bears: Ezekiel Elliott, RB
Well, Elliott recently said himself that the Bears love him. I’ll take his word for it.
12. New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins, DL
The Saints could use a playmaker on defense, and Rankins is one of the hottest prospects in this draft. He’s drawn pretty big comparisons over the past few weeks to Aaron Donald and other interior defensive linemen.
13. Miami Dolphins: Myles Jack, LB
No one really knows what is going on with Jack’s knee right now. Reports say the Dolphins have been hoping that Jack falls to them, so for now, he’s the pick.
14. Oakland Raiders: Darron Lee, LB
The Raiders checked all the boxes in free agency and now their biggest need is grabbing another linebacker. They might go the more traditional route with Reggie Ragland, but Lee is on another level athletically.
15. Tennessee Titans: Taylor Decker, T
The Titans pulled off a really great trade to move down to 15 overall. They could grab a tackle or defensive back here.
16. Detroit Lions: Mackensie Alexander, CB
Right tackle is arguably a bigger need but why not add a better companion to Darius Slay in the secondary?
17. Atlanta Falcons: Leonard Floyd, LB
Floyd has been getting as much buzz as anyone in the draft right now. A lot of people say he’s a top 10 pick, I have no idea if he is, but I wouldn’t take him in the 10.
18. Indianapolis Colts: Shaq Lawson, DE
Lawson is an interesting prospect because at one point he seemed like a fringe top-5 pick then his stock cooled a bit, and now he’s back on the upswing. I still think this may be too low for Lawson, but he’d be a great addition to the Colts pass rush.
Noah Spence is every bit as talented as Joey Bosa but he does come with some extra baggage. The Bills were horrible at getting to the quarterback in 2015 and Spence would form a nice partnership with Jerry Hughes.
20. New York Jets: Paxton Lynch, QB
I doubt Lynch makes it this far, but in a mock without trades, this is where he lands.
21. Washington Redskins: Laquon Treadwell, WR
The Redskins have quite a few needs on defense but they also need to grab a reliable playmaker on offense. DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon aren’t guaranteed to return which means the Redskins are going to need another reliable option next to Jordan Reed.
22. Houston Texans: Jarran Reed, DE
This was probably the most difficult pick to make in the draft, but I wound up if the Texans can’t re-sign Jared Crick, they’ll need to add to the defensive line.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson, WR
The Vikings addressed offensive line with the signing of Alex Boone. They could still add more to the line, but with the release of Mike Wallace, the Vikings have next to nothing behind Stefon Diggs.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Andrew Billings, DT
Wide receiver is a big need for the Bengals, but it’s not like they don’t have A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert. Billings is a stud defensive tackle in the making, so why reach for a receiver in round one?
The Steelers have one of the worst secondaries in the NFL, drafting a cornerback in the first two rounds is a must.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Jason Spriggs, T
The Seahawks offensive line was a disaster for the most part of the 2015 season. They could also be looking for a new left tackle if the can’t re-sign Russell Okung.
27. Green Bay Packers: Reggie Ragland, LB
Despite a few decent moments from Jake Ryan in 2015, Green Bay has next to nothing at middle linebacker.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: A’Shawn Robinson, DT
Cornerback is a bigger need but there isn’t one here that wouldn’t be a reach. Robinson would be a nice addition the Chiefs defensive line.
29. Arizona Cardinals: Robert Nkemdiche, DT
If there’s one coach that has his business in order, it’s Bruce Arians. The Cardinals defensive line is a bit weak, and Arizona would be the perfect place for Nkemdiche to put the past behind him.
30. Carolina Panthers: Karl Joseph, S
The Panthers need help in the secondary desperately, and though cornerback may be a bigger need, I’m not sure Artie Burns is worth taking over Joseph.