Over the last decade, the NFL Draft has turned into an event that rightfully deserves a slot during prime time television hours. Every year, we see numerous trades, several head-scratching selections, and all the while multiple draft analysts give fan bases around the country plenty of reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season.
One of the major reasons for the growing interest in the Draft is all of the buildup and prognostication in the months and weeks leading up to Draft day. And if you are reading this, you are likely among those who are eagerly anticipating Day One of the Draft on Thursday, April 28, 2016. So, without further adieu, here is a look at our updated first round mock draft following the two blockbuster trades that rocked the NFL and reshaped the top of the draft.
1. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB, Cal
The Rams traded away a ‘King’s Ransom’ in exchange for this pick, and at this point, all signs are pointing towards the team having their sights set on selecting Goff with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
2. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Not long after the Rams shook up the NFL Draft by trading for the No. 1 overall pick, the Eagles followed suit and pulled off another blockbuster trade to acquire the No. 2 overall pick from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for two first round picks, a second round pick, a third round pick, and a fourth round pick. Simply put, you don’t give up that much for any position other than quarterback. And with the Rams set to take Goff, the Eagles are going to take Wentz, and hope that the North Dakota State product can develop into their quarterback of the future.
3. San Diego Chargers: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
In our eyes, Ramsey is the best overall player available in the Draft. The Chargers may be tempted to add an offensive tackle here, but in the end, we believe the allure of adding a potential All-Pro-caliber player to their secondary will be too much for San Diego to pass up – especially given the offseason departure of longtime safety Eric Weddle.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Elliott is the top running back in this year’s Draft, and the former Ohio State Buckeye has the skillset to be a special player in the NFL. The Cowboys will likely be flirt with the idea of adding a defensive player here, but the thought of Elliott running behind Dallas’ league-best offensive line is just flat-out scary. And as we all learned in 2014, when Tony Romo has a running game to fall back on, he is an elite quarterback.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Having played extensively on both sides of the ball in college, Jack may be the most versatile player available in the Draft. He projects to be a dominant force at linebacker in the NFL, but recent reports have suggested that Jack may have serious knee issues which could cause his stock to plummet before Draft day. Assuming his health checks out, we have a hard time seeing Jack slip out of the top five.
6. Baltimore Ravens: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
We could totally see Baltimore General Manager Ozzie Newsome, one of the best executives in the business, trading back here, but since we are operating under the assumption that they will stay put, we see the Ravens taking an offensive lineman here. And Stanley gets the nod due to his athleticism, consistency, and versatility.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
Tunsil is an all-around excellent fit here. He’s extremely athletic (a necessity to play offensive tackle in Chip Kelly’s offense), he fills a position of need, and he has All-Pro potential. All said, if the 49ers can land Tunsil, it will be a major win for a team that is clearly in rebuilding mode.
8. Cleveland Browns: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
At one point in time, Bosa was viewed as the best player available in the 2016 Draft class. His stock may have slipped a bit, but he still projects to be an above-average player in the National Football League. The Browns have loads of needs, and defensive line just happens to be among the biggest. Bosa, who can play in virtually any defensive scheme imaginable, would be a steal at this point in the Draft, and would be a great addition to the Browns’ depleted roster.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Hargreaves may not have elite size (5-foot-10, 204 pounds), but he may have the best coverage skills out of all of the cornerbacks available in the 2016 Draft class. He is explosive, instinctive, has great ball skills, and may be the most competitive player available this year. Don’t be shocked if Hargreaves develops into a Pro Bowler in Tampa Bay.
10. New York Giants: Laquan Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Some may call this a reach at this point, but when it comes down to it, the Giants need help at wide receiver, and we firmly believe that Treadwell is going to be a special player in the NFL. He may not be a burner, but he has elite size, excellent ball skills, and a competitive streak that is rare. By pairing Treadwell with Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants would suddenly have one of the top wide receiver duos in the game.
A review of the rest
Note: The New England Patriots forfeit their 2016 first-round pick as part of Deflategate punishment.
11. Chicago Bears: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
12. New Orleans Saints: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
13. Miami Dolphins: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
14. Oakland Raiders: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
15. Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
16. Detroit Lions: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
17. Atlanta Falcons: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
18. Indianapolis Colts: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
19. Buffalo Bills: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
20. New York Jets: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
21. Washington Redskins: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
22. Houston Texans: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
23. Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
26. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
27. Green Bay Packers: Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama
28. Kansas City Chiefs: Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State
29. Arizona Cardinals: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
30. Carolina Panthers: Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M
31. Denver Broncos: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis