As the combine comes to a close, some players have tremendously helped their cause while others have fallen in the rankings. Personally, I don’t put too much stock in the Combine because after all it is only a practice session that gets baseline measurements. Size definitely helps and having the “perfect body” for your position makes you much more appealing to teams but there have been plenty of successful NFL players who do not necessarily “size up”. However, many teams will make some adjustments to their draft boards after the scouts, coaches, and executives return home to team facilities. I have done the same and this is how I believe the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft will play out:
1. Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
No change at number one as I still believe Tunsil is still the best tackle in the draft.
2. Cleveland Browns: Carson Wentz, QB, South Dakota State
No change at number two as I think Wentz is solidifying himself as the top quarterback in this draft. I don’t see the Browns taking anyone other than Wentz or Goff as they are trying to finally get that stable NFL quarterback.
3. San Diego Chargers: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
As Eric Weddle moves on, the Chargers get a premier, versatile talent to replace him. He had a great combine and looks to be the best player in this draft.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Jerry Jones has reportedly said that the Cowboys will not target a quarterback with the fourth overall pick. If the Cowboys want to launch themselves back to the top of the NFC East, they will take the best available pass rusher to fix that defensive line.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Gus Bradley is looking to build up his secondary and unfortunately for him I think the best player in the draft is off the board at this point. However, Hargreaves is an explosive athlete and a very intelligent guy who can start the to fix the Jaguars’ defensive problems.
6. Baltimore Ravens: Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
Terrell Suggs is nearing the end of the road and the Ravens could use an upgrade at outside linebacker. Jack is a quick, explosive linebacker who might drop in stock if he doesn’t pass physicals pertaining to his meniscus tear.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Jared Goff, QB, California
With Kaepernick’s agents seeking a trade, I don’t see the Kelly-Kaepernick marriage working out. Kelly will get a franchise quarterback to build around and get a guy who the fans already love from his college days.
8. Miami Dolphins: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Brent Grimes is turning 33 and the rest of the cornerback depth is lackluster. The Dolphins will take a bet on Alexander’s confidence and film room studies to translate into success. Alexander had a great career at Clemson and is pretty good in man coverage, but needs work before he becomes an NFL starter.
9. Tampa Bay Buccanneers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
The Bucs are in dire need of another play maker on the defensive line and if Buckner falls this far, they better snatch him up.
10. New York Giants: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
It was ugly to watch the Giants defensive line without Jason Pierre Paul so the Giants absolutely need to pick up a pass rusher with this pick. I could see the Giants going with either Dodd or Clemson teammate Shaq Lawson to bolster up their defensive line.
11. Chicago Bears: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
I originally had the Bears taking OLB Jaylon Smith out of Notre Dame to be a premier pass rusher for a team in need of one. However, Smith was failed on quite a few teams’ physicals after he tore ACL and MCL in the Fiesta Bowl. Now I see them taking Conklin to lock up the left tackle spot for years to come.
12. New Orleans Saints: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
The Saints’ secondary was an atrocity this season to watch. Apple is more pro-ready then Alexander is, but he will have to avoid penalties as he transitions his game from the college level to the pro level. His speed and sixe make him an ideal corner in the NFL and everyone around him has praised his outstanding work ethic to improve the technicality flaws in his game. All in all, Apple’s draft stock could still be on the rise as we get closer to draft day.
13. Philadelphia Eagles: Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State
With Sam Bradford getting an extension, the Eagles will definitely not draft a quarterback in the first round so thank goodness that’s been put to rest. The guard play was awful this year and Whitehair is a versatile player who could play at either guard or tackle and produce for the Eagles.
14. Oakland Raiders: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
They’ve got the franchise quarterback and now they have got to protect him. Decker has a high floor and will be a good tackle in the NFL for a long time.
15. Los Angeles Rams: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The Rams really need a quarterback, but I personally have my concern’s about Paxton Lynch being a first rounder because he is a project. If the Rams opt to hold off on a quarterback until the second round I think they need to bolster the weapons on offense. Treadwell as long been considered the best wide receiver in the draft due to his size and stellar footwork.
16. Detroit Lions: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Right tackle was huge weakness for the Lions last season with LaAdrian Waddle and Cornelius Lucas both playing horrible all year. Waddle actually made PFF’s midseason Worst Players at Every Position because he was ranked the worst pass blocker and among the worst run blockers in the NFL leading up to his eventual release. Stanley was solid in both pass protection and run blocking this season which makes him a good fit to help build up that offensive line.
17. Atlanta Falcons: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
An extremely explosive wide receiver who can beat cornerbacks up and down the field, Coleman needs to sure up his hands to ensure success in the NFL. With Roddy White out of the picture, the Falcons will pick up a nice compliment to Julio Jones with this pick.
18. Indianapolis Colts: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Initially I had Floyd going one pick higher to the Falcons to team up with Vic Beasley, but now I see him falling one spot to help out the pass rush in Indianapolis. Floyd had a very good combine and has a ton of upside if a team is patient with him.
19. Buffalo Bills: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Mississippi
Had it not been for off the field issues, Nkemdiche would be arguably a top ten pick due to his gifted ability as an inside pass rusher. Rex Ryan will certainly have no problem taking a guy with questionable character as long as he believes in his skill set. In my mind, there is no questioning Nkemdiche’s skill set as potentially the best interior lineman in the daft.
20. New York Jets: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
An immediate starter who could put up huge numbers behind the Jets’ great defensive line. Very good against the run and can keep up with most running backs and tight ends in coverage. Ragland’s stock could rise as we get closer to draft day, but I still see him ending up in New York at the moment.
21. Washington Redskins: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
He is the perfect build for an interior lineman who can use his power to toss one-on-one blockers to the side. He rarely lets anyone get out of his grip, but needs to polish up his game a little.
22. Houston Texans: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
At first, I didn’t anticipate a running back being drafted in the first round because of how Melvin Gordon turned out last year and the overall lack of value in the running back position. However, this guy is too talented and had too good of a combine to be left out of the first night of the draft. With Arian Foster’s release official, the Texans get their next star running back.
23. Minnesota Vikings:Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
My favorite receiver in this draft who will be a true star in the NFL as long as his wrist heals and he bulks up a little more. He’ll provide Teddy Bridgewater with a go-to target in big moments as the Vikings try to build a passing game.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
If somehow Rankins falls this far, the Bengals could use to beef up their nose tackle depth with a powerful, explosive guy up front whose stock continues to rise.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
Heath Miller has finally called it quits and the Steelers could hit an upgrade if they draft Henry in the first round. He did not drop a single pass this season while showing off his gifted route running ability. Even better, his running blocking abilities would be greatly appreciated by Le’veon Bell and Deangelo Williams. The Steelers may be tempted into picking up help in the secondary from a guy like William Jackson III whose stock has been on fire since the combine.
26. Seattle Seahawks: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
Jackson’s stock shot up after running a 4.37 40 yard dash at the combine and the Legion of Boom could use another playmaker opposite of Richard Sherman. While the Seahawks are still in desperate need of offensive linemen, Jackson’s combination of size, speed, and skill is very hard to pass up on.
27. Green Bay Packers: Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky
I originally had the Pakcers taking an inside linebacker here to help out Clay Matthews, but Scooby Wright had a poor combine after an injury plagued season which never bodes well for one’s draft stock. Spence may fall this far due to character issues, but adding an outside linebacker who is good speed around the edge and can get down is a great move for the Packers.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
Jeremy Maclin could use a guy like Desean Jackson who spreads the field with his unbelievable speed. Fuller may not be as fast or as reliable as Jackson, but the guy can flat out run. This explosiveness will provide the Chiefs with three big threats in the passing game.
29. Arizona Cardinals: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
For a team that depends on an active, disruptive defensive front it would be great to build up some depth as Frostee Rucker and Cory Redding grow older. Lawson is a great talent who will most likely not last this long, but if he does, the Cardinals will get tremendous value out of this pick.
30. Carolina Panthers: Le’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
I think the Panthers may reach in order to fill a need that became extremely obvious in the Super Bowl. Wouldn’t be surprised if they went with a safety or running back here, but they really need an offensive tackle.
31. Denver Broncos: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Could move over to defensive end and provides great depth for the Broncos on an already stacked defense. The Broncos could use an offensive lineman, but it would be a reach at this point.
**Patriots have no pick in the first round due to Deflategate**
I will most likely come out with an updated mock draft as more pro days happen and teams fill needs in free agency. Get ready NFL fans as the new NFL year starts March 9th with free agency opening at 4 p.m. ET. Follow me @raydunne21 on Twitter for reactions, news, and random thoughts about the NFL.