2016 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0: PRE-DRAFT EDITION

NFL Draft season is once again upon us. College football superstars at every level have now turned draft hopefuls, eager their name to be called at the end of April by one of the 32 NFL teams. From underclassmen leaving school early, to college seniors taking their talents to the next level, to small-school standouts looking to step up, this year’s draft class is talent rich, with impact players, quality starters, and intriguing developmental prospects available in every round.

This is my third consecutive year of scouting players and building mock drafts, and after a hiatus last offseason, I’m back publishing my mocks to Ringside to Sideline. This year, my personal big board is 700+ players deep, with the goal of being familiar with every player selected between rounds one through seven, and as many undrafted free agents as possible that teams sign immediately following the draft.

There will be multiple milestones on the path to the draft that will impact team needs, draft stocks and my big board, and I’ll be releasing a new mock as we reach each one.

So, following Pro Day workouts and a couple of blockbuster trades, here is my 2016 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Pre-Draft Edition. These first-round projections are based on my impressions of team needs as of April 20 and do not reflect any potential draft-day trade scenarios. Thank you for reading and enjoy!

1) Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB, California
Relocation wasn’t the only move the Rams had planned for this offseason, as they paid a king’s ransom to jump from 15 to 1 to draft a franchise quarterback. They choose the pro-ready Goff to lead their team back to prominence.
Mock 2.0 selection: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Mock 1.0 selection: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

2) Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
The Eagles make another move up the board, trading up to 2 to secure a quarterback to groom for the future. Wentz has the physical tools and potential to be an elite player at the position.
Mock 2.0 selection: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Mock 1.0 selection: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

3) San Diego Chargers: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
The Chargers have their choice of position players at 3 and elect to take Tunsil, widely considered to be the top overall prospect in the draft, to lock up the left tackle position for the next decade.
Mock 2.0 selection: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Mock 1.0 selection: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State

4) Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
The Cowboys have a difficult decision to make with their needs and the prospects available to them at 4, but elect to add another chess piece to their secondary in the versatile Ramsey.
Mock 2.0 selection: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Mock 1.0 selection: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

5) Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
The Jaguars have a number of defensive needs and address the linebacker position first with a second-level playmaker in Jack.
Mock 2.0 selection: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
Mock 1.0 selection: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

6) Baltimore Ravens: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
The Ravens pass rush receives a boost with the addition of Bosa, who can set the edge and pressure opposing quarterbacks.
Mock 2.0 selection: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Mock 1.0 selection: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

7) San Francisco 49ers: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense requires exceptional athletes at the tackle position and the 49ers land one in Stanley.
Mock 2.0 selection: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Mock 1.0 selection: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

8) Cleveland Browns: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The Browns bailed out of 2, dropping down to 8, bringing the big, physical receiver Treadwell into play to give the team a viable lead receiver and red-zone threat.
Mock 2.0 selection: Jared Goff, QB, California
Mock 1.0 selection: Jared Goff, QB, California

9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
The Buccaneers need secondary help and Hargreaves is considered to be the top pure cornerback prospect available in most circles.
Mock 1.0 selection: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
Mock 1.0 selection: Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky

10) New York Giants: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
The Giants give their offense an instant upgrade with Elliott, a three-down back who can run between the tackles and potentially take one to the house on any snap.
Mock 2.0 selection: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
Mock 1.0 selection: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

11) Chicago Bears: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
The Bears bring a new monster to the midway, drafting the monstrous Buckner to man the trenches.
Mock 2.0 selection: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Mock 1.0 selection: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

12) New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins, DE, Louisville
The Saints gain a disruptive defensive lineman in Rankins to push the pocket and stuff the run in the NFC South.
Mock 2.0 selection: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
Mock 1.0 selection: A’Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama

13) Miami Dolphins: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
The Dolphins defense is desperate for a sideline-to-sideline presence at linebacker and Lee gives them exactly that.
Mock 2.0 selection: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Mock 1.0 selection: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

14) Oakland Raiders: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
The Raiders add another weapon to their up-and-coming offense with the explosive Coleman.
Mock 2.0 selection: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Mock 1.0 selection: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida

15) Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
The Titans move back from 2 to 15, but still land a top tackle prospect in Conklin, while accumulating extra picks.
Mock 2.0 selection: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
Mock 1.0 selection: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

16) Detroit Lions: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
The Lions look to solidify a continually problematic position on their offense, drafting Decker to play tackle.
Mock 2.0 selection: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Mock 1.0 selection: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

17) Atlanta Falcons: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
The Falcons bring another Clemson Tiger into the fold to upgrade their pass rush, choosing Lawson to play opposite last year’s first-round pick, Vic Beasley.
Mock 2.0 selection: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Mock 1.0 selection: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

18) Indianapolis Colts: Cody Whitehair, OL, Kansas State
Drawing comparisons to Zack Martin, Whitehair could prove to be a tremendous value pick at 18 for the Colts, who need to improve their offensive line.
Mock 2.0 selection: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Mock 1.0 selection: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

19) Buffalo Bills: Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
The Bills need an edge rusher in a bad way and Spence gives them a pass rush specialist.
Mock 2.0 selection: Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
Mock 1.0 selection: Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama

20) New York Jets: Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama
The Jets bring in more beef to reload their defensive line, drafting the versatile Reed.
Mock 2.0 selection: Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama
Mock 1.0 selection: Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame

21) Washington Redskins: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
Seeking an upgrade at the center position, the Redskins take Kelly, who has been rising up draft boards in recent weeks.
Mock 2.0 selection: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
Mock 1.0 selection: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

22) Houston Texans: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
The Texans have taken hits to their defensive front in the offseason, but Robinson should help fill the void.
Mock 1.0 selection: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Mock 1.0 selection: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

23) Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
The Vikings add another target for Teddy Bridgewater, selecting the playmaking Doctson.
Mock 2.0 selection: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Mock 1.0 selection: Cody Whitehair, OL, Kansas State

24) Cincinnati Bengals: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
The Bengals grab another big body to solidify their front four in the disruptive Billings.
Mock 2.0 selection: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Mock 1.0 selection: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

25) Pittsburgh Steelers: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
The Steelers swipe a long, athletic defender to retool their secondary in Jackson.
Mock 2.0 selection: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
Mock 1.0 selection: Kenny Clark, DL, UCLA

26) Seattle Seahawks: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
The Seahawks use the first round to address a gaping hole at the tackle position with the selection of Spriggs.
Mock 2.0 selection: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Mock 1.0 selection: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

27) Green Bay Packers: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
The Packers close a revolving door at inside linebacker by taking a day-one starter in Ragland at 27.
Mock 2.0 selection: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Mock 1.0 selection: Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas

28) Kansas City Chiefs: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
The Chiefs open up their offense by snagging a receiver with speed to burn in Fuller.
Mock 2.0 selection: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
Mock 1.0 selection: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

29) Arizona Cardinals: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
The Cardinals pluck another elite athlete for their secondary in Apple.
Mock 2.0 selection: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
Mock 1.0 selection: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

30) Carolina Panthers: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
The Panthers find a potential replacement for free agent corner Josh Norman by drafting a similar player in Alexander.
Mock 2.0 selection: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
Mock 1.0 selection: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana

31) Denver Broncos: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
The Broncos search for a new franchise quarterback ends at 31 as Lynch falls right into their lap.
Mock 2.0 selection: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Mock 1.0 selection: Vernon Butler, DL, Louisiana Tech

New England Patriots forfeit first-round selection in 2016 NFL DraftDraft FeatureWhat do you think of my mock draft selection for your team? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

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