2016 NFL Mock Draft 7.0: The Final Mock

Photo Credit: NFL.com

With the NFL Draft just a few days away, it’s time for my final 2016 NFL Mock Draft. Two trades have recently shook up the order, landed the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles the No. 1 and No. 2 picks, respectively. So without further ado, my 2016 NFL Mock Draft 7.0: The Final Mock.

(All Offensive, Defensive and line rankings come via Football Outsiders DVOA)

  1. Los Angeles Rams (via Tennessee): Jared Goff, QB, California. After trading up 15 spots to land the No. 1 pick, the Los Angeles Rams select their quarterback of the future in Jared Goff. According to the likes of Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport, the Rams prefer Goff to Carson Wentz, and make the California-native the No. 1 overall selection. Goff threw for 4700+ yards and 43 touchdowns his junior year with the Bears and could quickly make the Rams contenders in the NFC West.
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (via Cleveland): Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State: Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is reportedly enamored with Wentz, who threw for over 5,000 yards in career at North Dakota State, so much so, that Philadelphia traded up to the No. 2 selection to land him. Wentz has all the tools to succeed in the NFL, and if given time, will easily acclimate to the level of competition.
  3. San Diego Chargers: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State. With the top 2 QBs going No. 1 and 2, the Chargers are in prime position to choose one of the best players in the draft in either Laremy Tunsil or Jalen Ramsey. And with two tackles under contract and Eric Weddle leaving via free agency, signs point to the Chargers taking Ramsey here. With 22 passes defended over his last two years at FSU, Ramsey would give the Chargers a much-needed playmaker in their secondary.
  4. Dallas Cowboys: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State. Ezekiel Elliott might be tempting for Jerry Jones here, but with Greg Hardy gone, Randy Gregory a big question mark and DeMarcus Lawrence suspended, the Cowboys need to find replacements along their defensive line. Bosa had 5.0 sacks and 16.0 tackles last season at Ohio States and would give Rod Marinelli a force off the edge.
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA. After adding Malik Jackson and Tashaun Gipson in free agency, the Jaguars further solidify their defense by drafting Jack, an absolute stud who had 87 tackles and 8.0 tackles for a loss (TFL) last season, can make plays all over the field. While the are some lingering injury concerns, Jack should be fully healthy and ready for the 2016 season opener.
  6. Baltimore Ravens: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss. If Tunsil is available for the Ravens with the No. 6 selection, there’s no doubt Ozzie Newsome isn’t letting him fall any further. Even though offensive line isn’t the biggest need for the Ravens, Tunsil would immediately give the Ravens an upgrade at left tackle, protecting Joe Flacco’s blindside for the next decade plus.
  7. San Francisco 49ers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon. Chip Kelly and the 49ers are certainly a wild card, especially with the Top 2 QBs off the board. Ronnie Stanley or Paxton Lynch could be options here, but Kelly does like drafting former Oregon Ducks, and Buckner who had 9.5 sacks and 16.0 TFL last season, would slot right in alongside Arik Armstead along the 49ers front seven.
  8. PROJECTED TRADE: Miami Dolphins (via Cleveland via Philadelphia via Miami): Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State. The Dolphins lost Lamar Miller in free agency and have been trying to find his replacement since, having submitted an offer sheet to Broncos RB C.J. Anderson that Denver matched. And with Cleveland looking to acquire more picks, the Dolphins trade up to select Elliott and solidify themselves at RB for the next 4-6 years. Elliott rushed for 1821 yards and 23 touchdowns this past season with the Buckeyes and would give the Dolphins offense a huge lift.
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida. With the No. 26 pass defense in the NFL last season, Tampa Bay’s looking to improve its secondary this offseason, and does so here with the selection of Hargreaves. Hargreaves had 4 INTs and 4 passes defended this past year with the Gators and would give the Bucs a lockdown No. 1 corner.
  10. New York Giants: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia. After improving their pass rush with the addition of Olivier Vernon, the Giants continue to add to a defense that ranked No. 28 against the pass and No. 20 against the run. The Giants are reportedly enamored with Floyd, who has great speed of the edge and had 4.5 sacks and 10.5 TFL with the Bulldogs last season and would vastly improve the Giants linebacking corps.
  11. Chicago Bears: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson. With a defense that finished No. 31 against the run and No. 23 against the pass, the Bears need help all over the field, but most especially pass rush. Lawson had 9.5 sacks and 22.5 TFL this past season and would certainly help improve the Bears speed of the edge.
  12. New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville. The Saints defense ranked last in the NFL last season, No. 32 against the pass and No. 27 against the run. Rankings, who had 5.0 sacks and 13.0 TFL this past season with the Cardinal, would slide right into the middle of New Orleans’ defense and provide a big improvement in the Saints 4-3.
  13. PROJECTED TRADE: Cleveland Browns (via Miami via Philadelphia): Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State. The Browns trade down 5 picks, acquiring a few extra picks, and are still able to land one of their rumored targets in Conklin. After letting Mitchell Schwartz go via free agency, the Browns have a big hole at right tackle opposite Joe Thomas. Conklin, an All-Big Ten offensive lineman, would solidify Cleveland’s offensive line and be an eventual replacement for Thomas.
  14. Oakland Raiders: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama. With the additions of Sean Smith and Bruce Irvin via free agency, the Raiders are just a few pieces away from having a top-flight defense in the AFC West. One of those pieces is an ILB, and Ragland, who had 102 tackles and 6.5 TFL this past year with the Crimson Tide, would give the Raiders a talented, physical linebacker to captain their defense.
  15. Tennessee Titans (via Los Angeles): Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame. With their quarterback on the future under center, the Titans attention turns to their offensive line, which was the worst offensive line in the NFL in terms of pass protection last year. And even after trading down, the Titans benefit from Stanley dropping a few spots here, nabbing a versatile tackle who will protect Marcus Mariota for the foreseeable future.
  16. Detroit Lions: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State. Protecting Matthew Stafford continues to be an issue for the Lions, who need to improve an offensive line that allowed 44 sacks last season. Decker, an All-Big Ten Offensive Lineman, would be an immediate upgrade at tackle, allowing Detroit to shift Riley Reiff to his more natural position on the right side of the line, and upgrading Stafford’s protection.
  17. Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State. With a defense that ranked in the bottom third of the NFL last season, the Falcons need a number of upgrades, especially at the linebacker position. Lee, who 11.0 TFL, 4.5 sacks and 2 passes defended last season with the Buckeyes, would improve a poor linebacker corps, giving the Falcons a rangy linebacker that can make plays all over the field.
  18. Indianapolis Colts: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama. While the Colts have one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL under center, they’ve given Andrew Luck very poor protection, having passed on offensive lineman in previous drafts. That should change this season after Luck was injured this past season. Kelly fills a huge need on their offensive line and would be able to start for Indy from day one.
  19. Buffalo Bills: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor. After a less-than-stellar season, ranking No. 18 in the NFL against the pass and No. 30 against the run, the Bills’ defense could use some upgrades at a number of positions in the Bills front-seven. Billings, had 14.0 TFL and 5.5 sacks this past season with the Bears and can help fill a lot of those holes up the middle with his physical, 6’1” and 310 lbs. frame.
  20. New York Jets: Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky. While Paxton Lynch could be an option here, one of the few remaining holes on the Jets’ defense is their pass rush, which ranked No. 21 in the NFL last season. A pass-rushing linebacker could be added, and the Jets look no further than Spence, who had 1.5 sacks and 22.5 TFL with the Colonels last season and would dramatically improve the Jets’ pass rush.
  21. Washington: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama. Washington’s defense ranked No. 19 in the NFL against the pass and No. 22 against the run last season, and after Terrance Knighton left via free agency, they need to find another interior presence along their defensive line. Robinson had 3.5 sacks and 7.5 TFL this past year, and would be an upgrade over the departed-Knighton.
  22. Houston Texans: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss. After signing Brock Osweiler in free agency, the Texas can further add to his arsenal of offensive weapons with this selection. With Jalen Strong facing a suspension, the Texans need to find another complement to DeAndre Hopkins and Treadwell, who had 76 receptions for 1,082 yards and 8 touchdowns this year, should do the trick.
  23. Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU. With Stefon Diggs and Jarius Wright atop the Vikings depth chart, Minnesota needs to find another wideout for Teddy Bridgewater. Doctson dominated at TCU this past season, catching 79 passes for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns, and his ability to win jump balls should translate well to the NFL.
  24. Cincinnati Bengals: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor. After losing Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones to free agency, the Bengals are in need to a No. 2 target alongside A.J. Green. Coleman had 74 receptions for 1,363 yards and 20 touchdowns last season in Waco and would give the Bengals a nice 1-2 punch at wideout with Green to terrorize AFC North secondaries.
  25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson. The Steelers pass defense suffered this past season with a poor secondary, ranking No. 15 in the NFL. And while Alexander has been sliding down draft boards as of late, he’s one of the best man-to-man cover corners in the draft and would be great value to a team that desperately could use some corner help.
  26. Seattle Seahawks: Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State. After losing three offensive linemen in free agency, including LT Russell Okung, improving an offensive line that ranked No. 30 in the NFL in pass protection is a must for Seattle. Whitehair was a 50-game starter at Kansas State and is versatile enough to start at guard or tackle for the Seahawks and would be an immediate upgrade in terms of pass protection.
  27. Green Bay Packers: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama. The Packers defensive line already needed some help against the run, but add in the fact that B.J. Raji won’t play this year, and the Packers certainly will be looking for a DT in the draft. Reed, who had 1.0 sack and 4.5 TFL last season, helped anchor a stout Alabama front seven and could slide right in for Raji in the Packers front seven.
  28. Kansas City Chiefs: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State. With Pro Bowler Sean Smith signing with the Raiders in free agency, the Chiefs have a glaring need at corner alongside Marcus Peters. Apple’s starred in the Buckeyes top-ranked defense, totaling 1 INT and 7 passes defended this past season, and would fill the hole at CB2 in the Chiefs’ defense.
  29. Arizona Cardinals: William Jackson III, CB, Houston. After Antonio Cromartie left via free agency, the Cardinals never really found a his replacement. Jackson though, at 6’0” and 189 lbs., is a big corner, who’d slide right in next to Patrick Peterson and fill the void left by Cromartie. Even against a lower level of competition at Houston, Jackson was a playmaker, with 23 passes defended this past year.
  30. New England Patriots: Pick Forfeited
  31. Carolina Panthers: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana. The Panthers offensive tackles were absolutely shredded by Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware in the Super Bowl and Carolina needs to find a left tackle of the future, instead of just a stopgap. A four-year starter at Indiana, Spriggs allowed just four sacks in his junior and senior seasons, and would be an immediate upgrade for the Panthers.
  32. Denver BroncosPaxton Lynch, QB, Memphis. While the Broncos have a desperate need along their offensive line, no lineman would be worth the pick here, so instead the Broncos opt to take their quarterback of the future in Lynch. Lynch has drawn comparisons to former Bronco Brock Osweiler, and while he’d certainly need time to develop, he has all the physical traits to succeed in the NFL and could easily end up being the best QB in the 2016 draft.

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