The NFL mock draft circuit is running at full blast these days. On this end, the 2016 mocks have been going since late in 2015, which means plenty of changes, but especially of late when it comes to stock value. Here's my sense of those making moves in both directions.
Devontae Booker, RB, Utah
Ezekiel Elliott is the clear top running back this year with Derrick Henry seemingly on his own tier. As for third on the list, Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Dixon is the call, but perhaps not by draft if the illusive Booker catches him. Speaking of catching, Booker is a true dual threat after hauling in 80 passes combined over the last two seasons while averaging at least 4.7 yards per carry during those campaigns. Could be a good Day 2 pick for the Browns or Dolphins.
Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
Now that we know Jared Goff and Carson Wentz will in some order go 1-2 in the draft, all the potential quarterbacks with projections in the first two rounds move up. Paxton Lynch remains third in the class and likely goes off the board around pick 20. If Kansas City, Arizona and Denver want long-term options, passing on a passer in round one might not be wise. If Cleveland, Dallas and San Francisco are desperate for QB help, those teams might have no choice but to jump into the latter section of round one.
Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
Read his NFL.com bio and just about everything sounds like what Redskins general manager desires in a "football player." Team captain and impactful leader. Plays with passion and a deep love of the game. Play-making safety with man cover ability and plus ball skills. Play style shows complete lack of respect for his own body. All of that sounds like a top 20 selection except Joseph injured his knee during a non-contact practice drill last season. After weeks and months of Day 2 projections, the buzz is ramping up. Assuming the final medical reports aren't nasty, I'd be shocked if Joseph isn't selected in the first round.
Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Listen to some draft mavens like DraftInsider.com's Tony Pauline praise Alexander's cover skills, even making comparisons to Darrelle Revis and it seems impossible that the third-team All-American could slip beyond the first 31 picks. Then again, more and more do we see just that. Alexander would make sense for teams like the Steelers and Seahawks late in round one, but if his limited size and production spooks teams, we could be looking at a Day 2 pick.
Jeremy Cash, S, Duke
Perhaps it's not fair to say the hard-hitter is falling, but other safeties are moving past him including Joseph and Florida's Keanu Neal. The drop might not be significant if Joseph and Ohio State's Vonn Bell go off the board no later than early second round. Otherwise, if Cash is the fourth or fifth safety selected, he might not learn his fate until late in the second round.
Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Mississippi
This tweet sums up the status of the talented though perhaps troubled Nkemdiche.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 13, 2016
Rule out the third pick and the top 10 even though he was headed that way late in his college season. In fact, at this point it seems far more likely Nkemdiche lands in the first 10 picks of the second round as the draft world notices the actual production (6.5 sacks over three seasons) while factoring in some concerning personal behavior. There is clear talent to mine. Perhaps the Denver Broncos consider selecting at 31 as a Malik Jackson replacement. For now, the trend is not Nkemdiche's friend.
Chris Jones, DL, Mississippi State
As many as seven defensive tackles could hear their names called in the first round. The powerful Jones lagged toward the back of that pack and seemingly wasn't part of it after recent off-the-field matters. Yet more and more, the powerful lineman with the ability to collapse the pocket is popping up in first round scenarios. In some cases, not just sneaking in either. However, some of these DL prospects will fall with Jones and UCLA's Kenny Clark being the most likely.
Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky
One NFL Insider reported this week that the pass rusher "seems to have solidified himself mid-to-late 1st rd." Yet a different gatherer of information told the world the former Ohio State transfer is unlikely to hear his name called in round one. Of these three first round mocks, one has Spence of the board with the 19th pick while the other two passed. The Redskins have taken a close look at Spence, but are they doing so for 21 or 53? Exactly. Where he lands largely depends on whether the off-the-field concerns trump his natural pass rush prowess.