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Mock Drafts

2016 NFL Mock Draft

by Josh Norris
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Football Outsiders' 2015 season projections were used for the draft order.


I posted this tweet a few days ago and I stand by it.


Just be aware, rankings and mock drafts at this time of year lead to the dreaded "Once considered a first round pick..."

— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) May 4, 2015


Please do not use these “projections” as where prospects were once considered. Mock drafts this early are more for watchlist purposes. "Next year" is not always better than this year. Remember how closely these prospects are evaluated and even nitpicked during the process. That does not happen on live viewing.


1. Washington Redskins - DL Joey Bosa, Ohio State - You will see Bosa listed as an edge player in many places. He can line up outside, but I’ve seen Bosa handled tackles a guards while closed by another defender. He wins with power and quickness.


2. Cleveland Browns - QB Cody Kessler, USC - Of the quarterbacks in first round contention (at this time), Kessler easily was the most consistent in terms of positive performances. His arm is not outstanding, but he certainly has functional mobility and a willingness to work through reads.


3. Oakland Raiders - T Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame - You all know how much I love Stanley’s game. I would have ranked him as the top T in the 2015 draft. He can take over for Donald Penn on the left side.


4. Tennessee Titans - CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida - Hargreaves has faced some of the top receivers in the country. He has not always won, but there is obvious skill in his game. Expect him to lock down many opponents this season.


5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DL/EDGE DeForest Buckner, Oregon - Arik Armstead was worthy of a first round selection, but there were numerous games where Buckner was the better player. After focusing on offense early in the 2015 draft, the Bucs might shift to defense in 2016.


6. Jacksonville Jaguars - DL A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama - The Jags added a much needed edge player in Dante Fowler. They have plenty of young pieces on offense. A long term interior defensive line piece might be their biggest need.


7. New York Jets - QB Christian Hackenberg, Penn State - Remember, it is May of 2015, but I do not see how someone can watch Christian Hackenberg’s 2014 games and see a top 10 worthy prospect. Was the situation good? No. Did he make it worse? Frequently, yes. 2015 will obviously be important for his evaluation.


8. St. Louis Rams - LB Myles Jack, UCLA - A complete linebacker who can help in the run, blitzing and in coverage. The Rams could use a linebacker who consistently plays at a high level.


9. Arizona Cardinals - QB Cardale Jones, Ohio State - I am so happy we will have more than two games to evaluate Cardale. After re-watching both, the Oregon contest was more impressive than his game against Alabama. His evaluation is a bit of a mystery right now: will Cardale continue to escape out of the back of the pocket? Can he progress past being a see-it, throw-it passer?


10. Minnesota Vikings - T Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss - Tunsil suffered a fracture fibula in December, so that is definitely worth watching. Before the injury he was one of the more dependable left tackles in college football.


11. Carolina Panthers - S Su’a Cravens, USC - Cravens makes plenty of plays in the backfield, at the line of scrimmage and at the second level both in coverage and against the run. I would be interested to see how he handles more split safety or single high reps.


12. Chicago Bears - QB Connor Cook, Michigan State - At times, Cook’s inability to effectively handle pressure borders on being a fatal flaw. Hopefully he harnesses the positive reps when he shows good movement while keeping his eyes up. Cook is certainly willing to throw into contested situations.


13. San Francisco 49ers - WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss - Treadwell is coming off of a major left leg injury suffered in November. He is very good at creating a sliver of space in the final moments of a route to separate.

 

14. Detroit Lions - DL Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss - Nkemdiche was much better as an interior pass rusher than when lined up on the edge. He was extremely quick, powerful and explosive against interior offensive linemen.


15. Houston Texans - QB Jared Goff, Cal - Goff reminds me of Jimmy Garoppolo. He is willing to look at multiple receivers and has a quick motion. However, some will question his velocity since defensive backs are frequently close to making plays on his passes. Will five quarterbacks be selected in the first round? No.


16. Buffalo Bills - DL Chris Jones, Miss State - Jones burst onto the scene as a true freshman and has not really slowed down. Miss State likes to use a rotation up front, which I respect. Jones could be Kyle Williams’ future replacement.

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17. Cincinnati Bengals - LB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame - Emmanuel Lamur is the Bengals’ best athlete at linebacker. At some point they have to move on from Rey Maualuga, right? Right? Smith and Burfict would be a nice combination.


18. Pittsburgh Steelers - T Jack Conklin, Michigan State - Some might end up ranking Conklin as he top tackle in the class. Connor Cook’s success is somewhat linked to Conklin’s performance in 2015.


19. Philadelphia Eagles - G Nick Martin, Notre Dame - The Eagles have one of the oldest offensive lines in the NFL and their depth might be questioned in 2015. Martin, Zack’s brother, will have experience at G and C before leaving Notre Dame.


20. San Diego Chargers - WR De’Runnya Wilson, Miss State - Wilson ran into trouble off the field in the form of a marijuana charge in early March. He flashes tremendous ability to win in contested situations and could breakout in 2015.


21. New Orleans Saints - WR Marquez North, Tennessee - If Tennessee produces consistent performances in 2015, expect North to be a major factor. He has moments of flare, especially when making contested grabs with corners draped on him. One receiver will emerge this year, and it could be North.


22. New York Giants - RB Derrick Henry, Alabama - Lets continue with more running backs in the first round. Zach Whitman has already hinted at Henry’s future SPARQ score. He has long speed along with great power to be first contact. He might give Giants’ fans a good Brandon Jacobs vibe.


23. Baltimore Ravens - CB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech - Fuller did not play as well his sophomore year as his freshman year. Still, it's not as if the talent disappeared. Teams will like the NFL bloodlines.


24. Kansas City Chiefs - S Jalen Ramsey, FSU - Ramsey has no clear position at this time, which is fine. He plays in the slot, at linebacker and at safety. Pinpointing where and how he consistently wins will be critical.


25. Atlanta Falcons - WR Rashard Higgins, Colorado State - Higgins is awesome. From what I saw, the CSU receiver was very good at picking up yards after the catch once creating and sustaining separation.


26. Indianapolis Colts - RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State - Elliott’s final stretch of the season was unreal. Ohio State is returning so many talented players, so expectations are high for the running back’s upcoming season.


27. Green Bay Packers - EDGE Leonard Floyd, Georgia - Floyd has plenty of natural ability. He has the frame, length, functional strength and speed teams covet. He needs to put all of those tools in a package consistently.


28. Denver Broncos - LB Darron Lee, Ohio State - Another athletic linebacker. Matching receivers, tight ends and running backs in space is becoming more important. Preventing a mismatch is another way to put it. Lee can offer that athleticism.


29. Miami Dolphins - EDGE Shawn Oakman, Baylor - As much as I like Oakman, I would love for him to put his ability on display more frequently. Do not expect him to bend and turn the corner. Instead, look for ridiculous speed to power


30. Dallas Cowboys - RB Corey Clement, Wisconsin - Three running backs? Why not? Clement now has the clear lane to more carries. He has explosion to take advantage of space created and can break arm tackles. Hopefully Wisconsin’s passing offense is improved.


31. New England Patriots - WR Josh Doctson, TCU - Doctson is recovering from a broken hand suffered in spring practice. He can really elevate and float in 50/50 situations. His game is not too dissimilar from DeVante Parker’s.


32. Seattle Seahawks - EDGE Anthony Zettel, Penn State - Zettel is a great prospect who lines up outside and inside. Expect for more to catch on to his name during Big Ten play.

Josh Norris
Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .