2016 NFL Mock Draft - Kevin Hanson- Updated: Friday, January 22nd
|Hanson's 2015 NFL mock draft was scored as the most accurate among the 113 experts tracked by The Huddle Report.|
It's nearly impossible to nail a mock draft minutes before it starts -- let alone more than three months beforehand.
With this update of my 2016 NFL Mock Draft, the goal is to highlight some prospects and potential fits at this point. It's fair to say, this mock will likely look a lot different in the days leading up to the draft than it does today.
With that said, here is my (still) way-too-early 2016 NFL Mock Draft:
1. Tennessee Titans (team draft history): Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
It's certainly possible that the Titans go with Laremy Tunsil here to better protect second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota as no team surrendered more sacks than the Titans last season. With this pick, however, Bosa gives them someone that can get after opposing quarterbacks. Over his three seasons in Columbus, Bosa had 51.0 tackles for loss and 26.0 sacks.
2. Cleveland Browns (team draft history): Jared Goff, QB, California
Here are the final four quarterbacks still playing football this season: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton and Carson Palmer. Granted, Manning is not playing like the five-time MVP Manning, but it's no secret that it's virtually impossible to win a Super Bowl with a question mark at the most important position in sports. Since their return in 1999, the Browns have had nothing but question marks at the position. With a new coaching staff and front office, it would make sense to start over and try to fix their biggest problem.
3. San Diego Chargers (team draft history): Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
Injuries were a huge issue last season, but the Chargers offensive line ranked 32nd by PFF. Perhaps the top prospect overall in this year's draft class, Tunsil allowed only two sacks over 29 games at Ole Miss and none in his six games this season. This would surely be a welcome selection by Philip Rivers.
4. Dallas Cowboys (team draft history): DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Former Cowboys VP Gil Brandt suggested that the Cowboys pick could come down to Bosa, who's off the board in this mock, and Buckner. Even with the high-profile and controversial signing of Greg Hardy, who becomes a free agent this offseason, the Cowboys generated only 31 sacks, tied for 25th in the NFL.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (team draft history): Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
There is a lot to like about Ramsey -- his elite size (6-1, 202), athleticism (potential Olympian?) and positional versatility. Jacksonville ranked 29th in pass defense and only three teams intercepted fewer passes last season.
6. Baltimore Ravens (team draft history): Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
The Ravens signed Eugene Monroe to a five-year deal only two offseasons ago, but he has missed five-plus games in each of his two seasons with the club. Cutting him would save the team $6.5 million against the cap.
7. San Francsico 49ers (team draft history): Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi
While the Niners gave Torrey Smith big money last offseason, Anquan Boldin turns 36 in October and will become a free agent in March. Treadwell may lack elite speed, but he has excellent size, strength and hands.
8. Miami Dolphins (team draft history): Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
A knee injury ended his season and collegiate career prematurely, but the versatile and ultra-athletic linebacker was the Pac-12's Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the year. Despite some splash free-agent moves, the Dolphins defense ranked near the bottom of the league in 2015.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (team draft history): Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
No defense allowed a higher completion percentage (70.0) than Tampa Bay and despite facing the seventh-fewest pass attempts (540), they allowed the fifth-most passing touchdowns (31). While he lacks ideal size, the three-time All-SEC selection had 10 interceptions in his three seasons in Gainesville.
10. New York Giants (team draft history): Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
The Giants have a number of defensive ends set to hit free agency including Jason Pierre-Paul. Lawson led college football with 25.5 tackles for loss last season.
11. Chicago Bears (team draft history): Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
Earning SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors, Ragland led Alabama in tackles and tackles for loss. While he may have some coverage limitations, he will help shore up a run defense that allowed 4.5 yards per carry last season.
12. New Orleans Saints (team draft history): A'Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama
The Saints ranked second-to-last in total defense (413.8 yards per game) and last in scoring defense (29.8 points per game). Ranking 31st in both pass and run defense, the Saints allowed a league-worst 4.9 yards per carry last season. Robinson will help shore up the Saints leaky run defense.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (team draft history): Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
With prototypical size (6-5, 235) and playing in pro-style system, FCS to the NFL is a big jump for Wentz, but it also wouldn't be a shock if he were the first quarterback off the board. Or at least, off the board by this point in the draft. With Sam Bradford about to become a free agent and Chip Kelly out, the Eagles could find their quarterback of the future in Wentz.
Don't buy the narrative that Wentz is going to fly up draft boards. He's already there. Several top personnel guys have him as top QB.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) January 9, 2016
14. Oakland Raiders (team draft history): Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
A redshirt sophomore and top-five high school recruit, Alexander helps to fill one of the team's bigger needs. Even with the now-retired safety Charles Woodson having a strong season (five interceptions), the Raiders ranked 26th in pass defense and D.J. Hayden has not lived up to his (high) first-round expectations.
15. St. Louis Rams (team draft history): Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
The Rams make the move from St. Louis to Los Angeles with many talented players on their roster, but quarterback is a clear weakness. The team traded oft-injured Sam Bradford for Nick Foles, but he isn't the long-term answer. With more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (seven) last season, Foles was eventually benched in favor of Case Keenum. While it may be better for him to sit and learn for a season, Lynch has an intriguing complement of physical traits.
16. Detroit Lions (team draft history): Robert Nkemdiche, DT/DE, Mississippi
With a number of their defensive linemen about to enter free agency, the Lions could look to add reinforcements to their defensive front. The nation's top recruit coming out of high school, perhaps his on-field production did not entirely live up to the hype. And while there are the obvious off-field concerns, there is no denying the physical tools.
- Continue to Picks 17-32 in our 2016 NFL Mock Draft
- For more mocks, check out our NFL Mock Draft Database.
- Fantasy Football Rankings for Sunday's Conference Championship Games
To keep track of our updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle.