College football is almost over as Clemson and Alabama play for the national championship tonight. As such, what better opportunity to look ahead to see where some of these athletes will be playing in 2016?

On a side note, I’ve decided not to include Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith in this mock draft. We don’t yet know the extent of the injury he suffered in the Fiesta Bowl and he will be left off of mock drafts for the foreseeable future until we get a better understanding of his timetable.

  1. Tennessee Titans – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss – The Titans have their quarterback of the future in Marcus Mariota and they draft Tunsil with the first pick to ensure better protection for him going forward. Taylor Lewan slides over to right tackle and it immediately gives Tennessee one of the best sets of tackles in the league.

    Allstate Sugar Bowl - Mississippi v Oklahoma State
    Laremy Tunsil won’t be asked to score touchdowns in the NFL, but that playmaking ability can’t hurt, right? (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
  2. Cleveland Browns – Joey Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State – The Browns have a tough choice with this pick. They could go for a quarterback here, since they’re obviously done with Johnny Manziel, but there’s not a quarterback in this class worthy of the second overall pick. Picking a quarterback here would put either Goff or Lynch in a terrible situation and would likely spell disaster again for Cleveland. Instead, they’ll likely go for the safer route, sign a proven commodity in free agency and select Joey Bosa here. The Browns have also lacked an identity on defense for a long time and Bosa gives them a future at pass rusher.

    Maryland v Ohio State
    Joey Bosa will give the Browns an identity on defense, something they have lacked for a long time. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
  3. San Diego Chargers – Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss – Apart from Keenan Allen, the Chargers have nothing at wide receiver. Phillip Rivers’ window is rapidly closing so the Chargers snag Treadwell here to give him another weapon on the outside.

    Allstate Sugar Bowl - Mississippi v Oklahoma State
    Laquon Treadwell and Keenan Allen would be a nice pair of receivers for Phillip Rivers. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
  4. Dallas Cowboys – Myles Jack, LB, UCLA – Much like the Browns, the Cowboys will pass on a quarterback here. Myles Jack is a phenomenal talent at a position of need for the Cowboys, so there’s no sense in passing him up. With Rolondo McClain heading to free agency and Sean Lee consistently leaving the field due to injury, Jack is a must-get here.

    Virginia v UCLA
    Myles Jack is the complete package at linebacker. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State – Jacksonville breathes a sigh of relief here that Ramsey is still on the board. Ramsey is a do-it-all playmaker who can be a difference maker from day one for the Jags. He’ll likely move to safety in the NFL where he’ll be able to impact every play.

    496171772
    Jalen Ramsey will bring some swagger to the Jacksonville secondary. (Streeter Leckla/Getty Images)
  6. Baltimore Ravens – Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson – Baltimore lacks a shut-down cornerback and luckily Mac Alexander is available here. The redshirt sophomore has been arguably the best cover corner in college football and has a higher ceiling than any other corner in the class.
  7. San Francisco 49ers – Jared Goff, QB, California – Goff stays in the state of California with the 49ers. Is Goff worthy of a Top-10 pick? Maybe not, but the 49ers have nothing to build around right now (don’t say Blaine Gabbert).
  8. Miami Dolphins – Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame – Miami has other needs, namely cornerback, but Ryan Tannehill’s protection has been abysmal this season. Stanley has all the tools to be a franchise left tackle down the road.
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida – By the end of the season, the Bucs were starting an UDFA at cornerback. That has to change. Hargreaves might fall due to his size, but can bring playmaking ability and swagger to the Bucs secondary.
  10. New York Giants – Shaq Lawson, EDGE, Clemson – Jason Pierre-Paul will never be the same pass rusher again and the Giants need to look at drafting his replacement early. Lawson is a dominant edge rusher who can step in right away (assuming he’s 100% healthy from his injury in the Orange Bowl).

    Capital One Orange Bowl - Clemson v Oklahoma
    Shaq Lawson can be the Giants’ replacement for JPP. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
  11. Chicago Bears – DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon – Buckner has been one of the most underrated players in college football this season. He can do a little bit of everything for the Bears, but will excel at run stopping, which helps in a division with Adrian Peterson and Eddie Lacy.
  12. New Orleans Saints – Noah Spence, EDGE, Eastern Kentucky – Spence was dismissed from Ohio State for drug problems, but is still a dominant edge rusher. He’s dominated every game he played at Eastern Kentucky and his raw pass rushing ability should land him in the Top-15.
  13. Philadelphia Eagles – Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis – The Chip Kelly experiment failed miserably and the new head coach will likely want to part ways with Sam Bradford as soon as possible. Paxton Lynch is a good centerpiece for a franchise focused on rebuilding their offense.
  14. Oakland Raiders – Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State – The Raiders have their quarterback, wide receiver and pass rusher and now they grab Decker to be their franchise left tackle
  15. St. Louis Rams – Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State – Tavon Austin is a nice playmaker, but he’s not a No. 1 receiver. The Rams grab Thomas here to be the go-to receiver for whichever quarterback they draft in round two.

    BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl - Ohio State v Notre Dame
    Michael Thomas can step in and become the Rams’ No. 1 receiver. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
  16. Detroit Lions – Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama – DeAndre Levy is a really good player, but the Lions need more help at linebacker. Luckily for them, Reggie Ragland is the best inside linebacker prospect in the class and available here.
  17. Atlanta Falcons – Jonathan Allen, EDGE, Alabama – The Falcons drafted Vic Beasley last year, but still need help at defensive end. Allen might get lost in the shuffle of Alabama’s dominant defensive front, but is still a first-rounder in his own right.
  18. Indianapolis Colts – Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State – The protection has to get better around Andrew Luck. Period. Cody Whitehair is the best guard prospect and has drawn comparisons to Zach Martin as a prospect as well.
  19. Buffalo Bills – Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss – Nkemdiche might be a Top-10 talent, but off-the-field issues will cause him to fall. Luckily for him, Rex Ryan will gamble on him and the Bills might have the perfect defense for him to utilize his skill-set.
  20. New York Jets – Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia – The Jets have one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL, but lack a playmaking outside linebacker. Leonard Floyd can do a little bit of everything for the Jets: rush the passer and drop back into coverage.

    498224708.jpg
    Leonard Floyd can become a playmaking linebacker for the Jets. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
  21. Washington Redskins – Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State – The Redskins had an UDFA wide receiver starting at cornerback in their playoff game. Not good. Eli Apple is an immediate upgrade at cornerback moving forward.
  22. Houston Texans – Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State – Quarterback is a bigger need, but none are worthy of a first round pick here so the Texans go with Elliott to be their future at running back.
  23. Minnesota Vikings – Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford – Offensive line play for the Vikings has been poor this year. They draft Garnett here to help in pass protection, but also for his superb run blocking skills.
  24. Cincinnati Bengals – Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame – A.J. Green is the guy, but they need another receiver to draw coverage away from him. Fuller is a speedy receiver who can burn defensive backs deep if they leave him one-on-one coverage.
  25. Pittsburgh Steelers – Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech – Fuller has sat out most of this season due to an injury, but has proven that he is worthy of a first-round pick. The Steelers desperately need help at defensive back.

    Virginia Tech v Purdue
    Kendall Fuller comes from a great family of professional football players. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
  26. Seattle Seahawks – A’Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama – It almost doesn’t seem fair slotting Robinson to the Seahawks given how dominant their defense is. But defensive line is a need for the Seahawks and Robinson already looks the part of a ten-year NFL veteran.
  27. Green Bay Packers – Emmanuel Ogbah, EDGE, Oklahoma State – The Packers need to upgrade their pass rush with Julius Peppers reaching the end of his career. They grab Ogbah here, who might not be an immediate upgrade, but as a player who can sit and learn behind Peppers for a season before taking over.
  28. Kansas City Chiefs – Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn – Eric Fisher has been an absolute bust and the Chiefs need to upgrade their offensive line, especially if their playoff window is closing. Coleman will be a great story heading into draft season, about how he beat cancer, but is also a very good prospect at left tackle.
  29. Denver Broncos – Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana – It seems as if the Broncos are set on Brock Osweiler as their quarterback of the future and they draft Spriggs here to be his left tackle moving forward.
  30. Arizona Cardinals – Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida – The Cardinals lack a playmaker on the defensive line and Bullard is an athlete who has the capability to play defensive end or slide inside to the interior.

    497336518.jpg
    Jonathan Bullard (#90) is a great fit for the Cardinals’ defensive front. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
  31. Carolina Panthers – Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State – Michael Oher is not the left tackle of the future for the Panthers, so they grab Conklin here. Oher might be better right now, but Conklin has the tools to be their left tackle in the long-term.
  32. New England Patriots – pick forfeit
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s