Below is a 2016 NFL mock draft because I haven’t seen enough of them on the internet so far. This isn’t what I would do for each team’s pick, this is what I think will actually happen. I even included trades to spice things up a bit. Let’s get to the picks:
1. Titans – Laremy Tunsil OT (Ole Miss)
The Titans secured their quarterback last season and now it’s time to protect him. The Titans led the NFL with 54 sacks allowed and Tunsil is the best offensive tackle on the board. While this isn’t an exciting pick for Titans fans, think of it as drafting stability at quarterback rather than drafting an offensive tackle.
2. Browns – Connor Cook QB (Michigan State)
The Browns are going to totally screw up again. I know it, you know it, and Browns fans know it. There is no sure thing at quarterback this draft, but the Browns are going to reach and take one with the second pick anyway. Not only that, but they won’t take the best one and they’ll take Cook because he was “midwest values” or something stupid like that. The Browns drafted Colt McCoy in 2010, Brandon Weeden in 2012, Johnny Manziel in 2014, and they’ll fail to find their guy again in 2016.
3. Chargers – Ronnie Stanley OT (Notre Dame)
The Chargers offensive line was a dumpster fire this season with injury after injury contributing to their demise. San Diego (or perhaps Los Angeles) adds to their depth by drafting the second-best tackle in the draft. While wide receiver is a need for the Chargers, the 3rd overall pick is not the place to do it.
4. Cowboys – Joey Bosa DE (Ohio State)
While defensive end isn’t the most pressing need for the Cowboys, even Jerry can’t resist Bosa at this point in the draft.
5. Jaguars – Jalen Ramsey CB (Florida State)
The Jags were 29th in the league against the pass last season and can immediately improve their secondary by taking Ramsey with their first round pick.
6. TRADE! Eagles – Jared Goff QB (California)
The Ravens trade down in the draft to acquire some additional draft picks. The Eagles jump one spot ahead of the 49ers to snag the best quarterback on the board. Unsure of what Chip Kelly will do with the 7th pick, Philly lets Sam Bradford walk and goes ahead with Goff as their quarterback of the future.
7. 49ers – Corey Coleman WR (Baylor)
Chip Kelly wants a new offensive weapon to play with and he goes for one that looks like someone who could have played for his Oregon offenses. With Anquan Boldin listed as an unrestricted free agent, Coleman slides in opposite of Torrey Smith for the 49ers offense. The question will be who is the quarterback throwing to both of them.
8. Dolphins – Myles Jack LB (UCLA)
Miami needs lots of help on defense and Jack projects as an elite athletic linebacker even though he also played as a running back at UCLA.
9. Buccaneers – Jack Conklin OT (Michigan State)
Similar to the Titans above, the Bucs appear to have their quarterback and now they need to protect him. The Bucs project to have a lot of turnover on the offensive line and taking a tackle early in the draft should help solidify the unit going forward.
10. Giants – A’Shawn Robinson DT (Alabama)
The Giants need a big man for their defensive front, especially if they let Jason Pierre-Paul walk via free agency.
11. Bears – Laquon Treadwell WR (Ole Miss)
Alshon Jeffery is entering free agency and should be sought after by much of the league. If the Bears decide against using the franchise tag (and the roughly $15M that goes with it), Treadwell is in play for the Bears.
12. Saints – Vernon Hargreaves CB (Florida)
Did you see the Saints against the pass last season? Holy hell. They need a lot of help in the secondary and they need it fast.
13. Ravens – DeForest Buckner DE (Oregon)
This is a dream scenario for the Ravens as they trade down and still get an elite prospect in Buckner, who could easily be a top five pick during the real draft in April.
14. Raiders – Taylor Decker OT (Ohio State)
The Raiders have two tackles entering free agency and surprisingly, Oakland has been making smart decisions lately so they do the same here and take an offensive tackle to protect Derek Carr.
15. Rams – Carson Wentz QB (North Dakota State)
Nothing to get the new Los Angeles fans excited like a highly touted prospect from North Dakota! But seriously, the Rams have to know that Nick Foles is a lost cause and that Case Keenum isn’t going to be anything special. Wentz gives the Rams a young quarterback that the new fans in L.A. can watch grow.
16. Lions – Shaq Lawson DE (Clemson)
The Lions get an elite pass rusher that can help fill the void left since a man named Suh left for the Dolphins.
17. Falcons – Jarran Reed DT (Alabama)
At some point, Atlanta has to find some more offensive weapons to supplement Julio Jones. It’s too early to take that plunge here, and shoring up the defensive line is a much better path for the Falcons.
18. TRADE! Texans – Paxton Lynch QB (Memphis)
Houston starts to get antsy seeing all of the quarterbacks coming off the board and trades up just in case the Bills or Jets had the idea to get their quarterback of the future. The Colts make a rare trade within the division but are willing to move down four spots for the extra pick later in the draft.
19. Bills – Robert Nkemdiche DT (Ole Miss)
Rex Ryan ignores Nkemdiche’s Humpty Dumpty tendencies and goes after an elite defensive talent to help improve his defense and help him keep his job in Buffalo.
20. Jets – Reggie Ragland LB (Alabama)
The Jets add a marquee linebacker to go along with their very talented defensive line. The current linebackers on the Jets are passed their prime and this pick rectifies this situation.
21. TRADE! Bengals – Josh Doctson WR (TCU)
The Redskins slide down three spots while Cincinnati jumps ahead of Minnesota to grab the wide receiver they wanted. A.J. Green and Eifert are returning but both Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu are entering free agency so the Bengals look to add another weapon to the passing game and pair up a TCU receiver with a former TCU quarterback.
22. Colts – Ezekiel Elliott RB (Ohio State)
Taking a running back in the first round usually isn’t a good idea. Then again, bringing back Pagano and Grigson probably wasn’t a good idea either. So conventional wisdom be damned, the Colts end up taking Elliott even though they have other needs on the field that are more pressing.
23. Vikings – Jaylon Smith LB (Notre Dame)
Smith was injured in his final game and may not be able for all of the 2016-17 season. That being said, he was a potential top five pick prior to his injury so the Vikings are getting a steal talent-wise. With Chad Greenway likely out the door, Smith is great replacement for Minnesota.
24. Redskins – Kendall Fuller CB (Virginia Tech)
The Redskins pluck a cornerback from their own back yard to place into their secondary.
25. Steelers – Mackensie Alexander CB (Clemson)
Two consecutive ACC corners as the Steelers try to improve their secondary that ranked 30th last season in passing yards allowed.
26. Seahawks – Andrew Billings DT (Baylor)
Seattle selects a big 310-pounder to bolster their defensive line.
27. Packers – Kevin Dodd DE (Clemson)
Green Bay adds a much-needed pass rusher to their defensive line. Julius Peppers is entering his final year of his contract at the age of 36 so adding some youth to this unit is a good decision by the Pack. Green Bay then looks to the later rounds to add some more offensive weapons for Aaron Rodgers, specifically looking for a pass-catching tight end.
28. Chiefs – Leonard Floyd LB (Georgia)
Leonard Floyd is listed as a hybrid which fits well with Kansas City’s need for a pass rusher and a linebacker. The Chiefs failed to get to the quarterback in their playoff loss to New England without Justin Houston so they add another piece for depth in this area.
29. Broncos – Shon Coleman OT (Auburn)
Denver needs a lot of help on the offensive line and they start with an offensive tackle from the SEC. If they decide to go guard, I could also see Cody Whitehair (Kansas State) as an option here.
30. Cardinals – Emmanuel Ogbah DE (Oklahoma State)
The defensive line for the Cardinals is very good but it is aging. Ogbah is ridiculously athletic and should help improve their sack totals as Arizona ranked tied for 20th this season.
31. Panthers – Will Fuller WR (Notre Dame)
It’s amazing what Cam Newton has done with the receiving corps he has had this season, imagine what he can do with Kelvin Benjamin returning and adding a young receiver early on in the draft.