2016 NFL Mock Draft: Will Price
1. Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff, QB (California)
Goff is arguably the most pro ready QB in the draft, as he showed tremendous skill last season for Cal throwing 43 touchdowns in 12 games. Look for this California native to make the move to LA.
2. Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz, QB (North Dakota State)
Wentz quietly led NDSU to two of it five straight Division 1 (FCS) National Championships. Bolstered by his strong combine performance it’s a toss-up between Wentz and Goff for the No. 1 pick.
3. San Diego Chargers – Laremy Tunsil, OT (Ole Miss)
The Chargers are lucky enough to be able to snag Tunsil at this spot. Once projected to go No. 1 in many mock drafts, with the recent trades look for Tunsil to fall two spots to the Chargers to protect an aging Philip Rivers.
4. Dallas Cowboys – Ezekiel Elliot, RB (Ohio State)
This seems like a match made in heaven: imagine this team’s offensive line coupled with the hyper athleticism of Elliot and you’ve got rookie of the year aspirations. Most of the time they say to avoid taking running backs this early. However, this is one player that would be hard to pass up.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jalen Ramsey, CB (Florida State)
After an impressive free agency period in Jacksonville, they look to continue their hot offseason by drafting one of the best players in the draft. Versatile and crazy athletic, Ramsey is a no brainer at this spot.
6. Baltimore Ravens – Ronnie Stanley, OT (Notre Dame)
Stanley is the second rated offensive tackle in the draft. The Ravens have started to falter and this draft may be what they need in order to get back to their former glory. First things first, they need to protect Joe Flacco, who is coming of a torn ACL
7. San Francisco 49ers - Reggie Ragland, ILB (Alabama)
Ragland was the center piece to a strong Alabama defense. He adds immediate run support to any team. Paired with NaVorro Bowman and this linebacker core is something to be reckoned with.
8. Cleveland Browns – DeForest Buckner, DE (Oregon)
The way I see it, the Browns made a great move to trade down. They still get a great DE in Buckner, adding on to their young D-Line, plus they have even more picks to play with later. Let’s see if they put them to good use.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Vernon Hargreaves, CB (Florida)
Although I’m sure Jameis Winston would like to see his team steal Jalen Ramsey, which is not a very likely scenario. The Bucs will take Hargreaves, who is almost if not just as good as Ramsey. Hargreaves has supreme playmaking ability and will help the Bucs secondary emerge from the middle of the pack.
10. New York Giants – Myles Jack, OLB (UCLA)
Jack is a high motor linebacker that could easily be picked by any of the teams in the top 10. However, due to a torn meniscus in his knee that was sustained early in the season, many question marks arise for Jack. He is too good for a team like the Giants not to pick up as the Giants had the worst defense in football last year. Drafting Jack should help them trend up.
11. Chicago Bears – Leonard Floyd, OLB (Georgia)
Floyd is a guy that plays very fast and has a good motor, but there have been concerns about his strength. One should not overlook his playmaking ability, plus he was one of the top preforming linebackers in the combine. Hard to pass on that.
12. New Orleans Saints – Joey Bosa, DE (Ohio State)
The self-proclaimed “best player in the draft,” Bosa’s talent is undeniable. Frankly the Saints would be lucky to grab Bosa at No. 12 considering he was projected to go as early as fourth in many mock drafts.
13. Miami Dolphins – Jack Conklin, OT (Michigan State)
There are many question marks for the Dolphins. I could see them taking a CB in this spot, but I believe they need to focus on protecting Tannehill. That’s why I have them taking Conklin, a guy that you can plug in on each side of the line and still get great production out of.
14. Oakland Raiders – Eli Apple, CB (Ohio State)
The Raiders have made great pick the last two years (Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper, Derek Carr). They look to continue that trend with taking Apple at this spot. A starter on a top tier defense at Ohio State, the duo of Apple and Sean Smith looks to be extremely dangerous.
15. Tennessee Titans – Taylor Decker, OT (Ohio State)
The Titans traded down to the No. 15 spot from the No. 1 pick. They felt they could get quality players later in the draft and I agree. Tunsil would’ve been nice, but they can still get a lot out of Decker in the same position.
16. Detroit Lions – Le’Raven Clark, OT (Texas Tech)
The Lions season was disappointing to say the least, and losing Calvin Johnson to retirement did not make it much better. I don’t think they will be looking for a Megatron 2.0 in this round. Instead, they will protect their best asset in Matthew Stafford by drafting another OT.
17. Atlanta Falcons – Kevin Dodd, DE (Clemson)
Everything was looking great for the Falcons last year, winning six of their first seven. They then had a collapse for the ages losing seven of their last nine games. Taking them out of the playoff hunt. Well it’s not all bad in Atlanta, their defense showed great signs and they will get even better if they take Dodd. He knows how to get to the QB, a valuable trait for any team.
18. Indianapolis Colts – Cody Whitehair, OG (Kansas State)
Wild Card, Divisional, AFC Championship, miss the playoffs? That progression doesn’t seem to make sense. The Colts were many people’s pick to make it to the Super Bowl last year. That dream died when Andrew Luck went down last year. They need to protect him and get the run game going. Whitehair can help them achieve both.
19. Buffalo Bills – Shaq Lawson, DE (Clemson)
The Bills had a very strong defense line the past couple years, now they are looking to replace Mario Williams. Shaq Lawson can be that guy. Adding Lawson would make this team a nightmare to play against.
20. New York Jets – Darron Lee. OLB (Ohio State)
The Jets narrowly missed the playoffs once again. They still don’t have a starting QB but because of the lack of depth in that position, I doubt they would take one. Instead they continue to work on the defense and draft a very good linebacker in Lee. A very athletic LB that could perform very well in the Jets system.
21. Washington – A’Shawn Robinson, DT (Alabama)
Washington did not have a very good run defense last year. Adding Robinson would be an instant boost to a lackluster defensive line.
22. Houston Texans – Hunter Henry, TE (Arkansas)
This was a toss-up between Will Fuller and Henry. Ultimately the Texans need someone who can catch the tough balls over the middle in short yardage situations. Henry is that guy, plus they already have phenomenal talent in DeAndre Hopkins. No need to get a WR this early.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Laquon Treadwell, WR (Ole Miss)
The first receiver to come off the board, would’ve gone much earlier if certain trades wouldn’t have happened. Treadwell is a freak, you just throw up the ball and he will go get it. That is something Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings definitely need, someone who will stretch the field. It only make Adrian Peterson’s job easier.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Sheldon Rankins, DT (Louisville)
Cincinnati can improve on an already impressive rushing defense. Rankins is too versatile and too good to pass on in this spot.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers – William Jackson III, CB (Houston)
It’s no secret that the Steelers have one of the worst secondaries in the league. It’s been like that for a couple of years now. However they have not taken the necessary action to improve in that area the last couple of years, drafting linebackers three straight years. With a draft class brimming with corners, it would be absolutely foolish for the Pittsburgh not to take a corner like Jackson. He was the fastest CB at the combine and has a big frame that will help him cover receivers like AJ Green.
26. Seattle Seahawks – Shon Coleman, OT (Auburn)
In order for Russell Wilson and Thomas Rawls to have continued success, Seattle need to fill the void Russell Okung left during free agency. Shon Coleman can be that guy.
27. Green Bay Packers – Su’a Cravens, OLB (USC)
The Packers need to get younger on the defensive side of the ball. Clay Matthews is injury prone and his days in Green Bay could be numbered. Cravens can help fill in that spot and can play all over the field. Could see some time at safety if need be.
28. Kansas City Chiefs – Corey Coleman, WR (Baylor)
If there is one thing the Chiefs could use, it’s a dynamic receiver. Coleman personifies the word dynamic. Coleman has proved that his size is not much of a factor when it comes to his big play ability. With him and Maclin, Kansas City’s receiving core becomes very dangerous.
29. Arizona Cardinals – Jaylon Smith, OLB (Notre Dame)
The only thing keeping Jaylon Smith from being a top five pick in this draft is the knee injury that he sustained during the Fiesta Bowl. He has had setbacks in his recovery and that has many teams worried. Other than that he is a tremendous talent, if the Cardinals take a chance on him they could be rewarded with a Pro Bowl caliber linebacker late in the first round.
30. Carolina Panthers – Emmanuel Ogbah, DE (Oklahoma State)
The Super Bowl runner-ups already have a very impressive defense. Charles Johnson is signed for just one more year. Ogbah can play on the line or as an outside linebacker. He can provide good pressure on the QB.
31. Denver Broncos – Paxton Lynch, QB (Memphis)
Many are not convinced that Lynch is a first round QB, and depending on whether they finalize a trade for Kaepernick or not the Broncos could change their mind on this pick. Lynch will provide a similar passing skill set like Brock Osweiler coupled with great speed and athletic ability.
Will Price is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.