2016 NFL Mock Draft - Kevin Hanson- Updated: Friday, May 22nd
|Hanson's 2015 NFL mock draft was scored as the most accurate among the 113 experts tracked by The Huddle Report.|
Roughly one month prior to the 2015 NFL Draft, I took a way-too-early look ahead to the 2016 NFL Draft and posted my initial 2016 NFL Mock Draft.
With the 2015 draft now behind us, it makes sense to redo my 2016 NFL Mock Draft now that we know what needs teams were able to fill (or not).
It's nearly impossible to nail a mock draft minutes before it starts -- let alone 11-plus months beforehand. More than anything, the goal here is to highlight some prospects and potential fits at this point. It's fair to say, this mock is going to look a lot different in the days leading up to the draft than it does today.
Obviously one of the challenges of creating a mock draft this far in advance is that we have no idea what the draft order will be. Well, we have "some idea" given that the Seahawks or Packers aren't going to be picking first overall, but you get the point.
In future updates, the draft order used will be the inverse of our NFL power rankings until the real draft order is known.
For this update, I've used Super Bowl 50 odds from Sportsbook.ag beginning with teams with the lowest odds to the best odds to win it. Where the order differs is that I made sure 12 playoff teams, six from the AFC and six from the NFC, had picks 21-32 with all eight divisions represented.
With all of that said, here is my (still) way-too-early 2016 NFL Mock Draft:
1. Tennessee Titans (team draft history): Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
As in the first version of my 2016 NFL mock at the end of March, there are once again four quarterbacks in the first round. With the Titans using the second overall pick this year on Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, however, they obviously won't be selecting a quarterback if they finish with the first overall pick and don't trade out.
Per Phil Savage, one organization used Bosa's freshman campaign as a measuring stick for evaluating draft-eligible tackles in 2014 that faced Bosa in 2013. Building upon his strong freshman campaign, Bosa, whose father John was a first-round pick by the Dolphins, posted 13.5 sacks and 20.0 tackles for loss with four fumble recoveries for the national-champion Buckeyes as a true sophomore last season.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (team draft history): Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
Perhaps Tunsil won't be the first offensive tackle off the board as Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley could certainly hold that honor, but the Jaguars allowed a league-worst 71 sacks in 2014. Even though the team used a top-two selection on Luke Joeckel a couple of drafts ago, the Jags would certainly consider Tunsil (or Stanley) if they don't significantly improve their protection for second-year quarterback Blake Bortles in 2015.
In his two seasons as the Rebels' starting left tackle, Tunsil was named First-Team All-SEC last season after being a Second-Team selection as a true freshman in 2013. Tunsil has allowed just two sacks in his two seasons with Ole Miss.
3. Washington Redskins (team draft history): Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
A few different quarterbacks could be in play as the first-drafted quarterback in 2016. As noted above, this mock has four signal-callers selected in the top 10. If Washington is picking in the top three, it likely means that the team didn't get strong quarterback play from RG3.
If Cook had declared for the 2015 NFL Draft, I would have slotted him in behind Winston and Mariota but ahead of any other quarterbacks in the draft class. Cook has prototypical size (6-4, 220) and arm strength and all of the physical tools to be successful at the next level. Returning for his senior year should help him work on his footwork and improve his accuracy -- only 58.1 and 58.7 completion percentages over the past two seasons, respectively.
4. Oakland Raiders (team draft history): Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
Selected First-Team All-SEC in both of his years in Gainesville, Hargreaves is the top cornerback prospect eligible for the 2016 NFL Draft. If he were eligible for the 2015 draft, he would have been the first corner off the board. After Hargreaves' freshman season, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah has compared Hargreaves to ex-Gator Joe Haden. Hargreaves led the Gators with three interceptions as a true freshman and added three more last season despite offenses often looking the opposite direction.
5. Cleveland Browns (team draft history): Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
After a strong freshman season (2,955 yards, 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions), Hackenberg threw more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (12) as a sophomore and his Y/A and completion percentages dropped from 7.54 to 6.15 and 58.9 to 55.8 percent, respectively. A new coaching staff (Bill O'Brien departed for the NFL), loss of his best receiver (Allen Robinson) and poor offensive line play (44 sacks vs. 21 in 2013) all contributed to his regression in year two. With a bounce-back season, Hackenberg, who has prototypical tools, could certainly be the most-coveted signal-caller in the 2016 draft class.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (team draft history): Robert Nkemdiche, DT/DE, Mississippi
Lofty expectations come with being the top-overall recruit in the nation and some may feel that hasn't fully lived up to those expectations, but Nkemdiche has a rare combination of size, power and athleticism (as seen in the vine below). Along with USC's Leonard Williams, he was named to the 2014 AP All-American Second Team at defensive tackle and one of his strengths, like Williams, is his versatility to play multiple positions along the line.
7. Chicago Bears (team draft history): A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
With the size of a nose tackle (6-4, 320), Robinson has played both nose tackle and defensive end for the Crimson Tide. As a freshman, he actually led Alabama with 5.5 sacks. Although the Bears used their second-round pick on Florida State's Eddie Goldman, Robinson could play five technique for the Bears as well.
8. Minnesota Vikings (team draft history): Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Had Stanley decided not to return to Notre Dame, there is a good chance that he would have been the first offensive lineman selected in this year's draft. Stanley started his (redshirt) freshman season at right tackle and took over for Zack Martin at left tackle in 2014. Stanley possesses the length and agility teams want in a left tackle and Matt Kalil, who is coming off a disappointing season, will be an unrestricted free agent in 2016. The Vikings used some mid-to-late round picks on offensive tackles -- T.J. Clemmings (fourth round), Tyrus Thompson (sixth) and Austin Shepherd (seventh) -- but Stanley would become the team's starting left tackle for the next decade, if available here.
9. New York Jets (team draft history): Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
I debated slotting a quarterback here, but with the team using a pick just outside the top 100 on Baylor's Bryce Petty, I think they will go in a different direction here. They did use a third-round pick on Louisville outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin, but starter Calvin Pace turns 35 in October and is a free agent after the 2015 season. In addition, the team's other starting outside linebacker, Quinton Coples, will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2016 season so adding an explosive edge rusher like Floyd adds depth in both the short and long term.
10. Houston Texans (team draft history): Jared Goff, QB, California
Give the team's quarterback woes, it's not a surprise that no team ran the ball more than the Texans last season and only the Seahawks (28.4/G) and Cowboys (29.8/G) threw it less than the Texans (30.3/G). While Bill O'Brien will roll with a pair of former Patriots backups atop the team's depth chart in 2015, it's likely the team will be in the market for a franchise quarterback next spring. As a true sophomore, the 6-foot-4 Goff threw for 3,973 yards with 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season.
11. San Francsico 49ers (team draft history): Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
The 49ers lost starting cornerbacks Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver in free agency and did not draft any cornerbacks in the 2015 draft. The 49ers will go with Tramaine Brock and Shareece Wright as their starting corners in 2015 and Wright will be a free agent again in 2016. Younger brother of Kyle Fuller, who was selected in the first round by the Bears in 2014, Kendall has started all but one of his 26 games with Virginia Tech and has a total of eight interceptions and 26 pass breakups in his two seasons.
12. San Diego Chargers (team draft history): Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi
A gruesome (broken) ankle injury ended his season in early November, but Treadwell appears to be recovering well and expects to be 100 percent in the summer and he's currently running routes "against air." Treadwell, who turns 20 in June, has a great combination of size (6-2, 229), strength and athleticism.
13. New Orleans Saints (team draft history): Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Boyd has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in both of his seasons at Pitt and has racked up 163 receptions for 2,435 yards and 15 touchdowns in his two seasons. Only 190 pounds at 6-foot-2, Boyd would benefit from adding some weight and strength, but Boyd has excellent ball skills, body control and athleticism to become the Saints No. 1 wide receiver opposite Brandin Cooks.
14. Carolina Panthers (team draft history): Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Surprisingly, the Panthers did not select an offensive tackle on either of the first two days of the draft. While they drafted Oklahoma right tackle Daryl Williams in the fourth round, they enter the 2015 season with Michael Oher slated to protect Cam Newton's blind side. While Oher's story is amazing (enough to make a movie about it), his recent struggles suggest that the Panthers will be in the market for an offensive tackle in 2016.
15. St. Louis Rams (team draft history): Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
With exceptional quickness for his size (6-4, 275), Ogbah had a breakout season with 17.0 tackles for loss and 11.0 sacks as a redshirt sophomore in 2014. If Ogbah builds upon last year's success, there's a good chance that he doesn't last to this spot in the draft. The Rams have Robert Quinn signed through the 2019 season, but Chris Long will become a free agent after the 2016 season.
16. Buffalo Bills (team draft history): Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
What a three-game run it was for Cardale Jones to close the 2014 college football season! There was some debate whether or not he should strike while the iron was hot and declare himself eligible for the 2015 NFL Draft, but he ultimately decided to return to school and gain more experience. Returning to Columbus with J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller complicates matters, but one excecutive told Fox Sports: "Maybe he would have gone in the second round, but I think it's just as likely we could have gone in the top 10 or 15. Look at that body, that arm -- and look at his competition (in the 2015 draft)."
- Continue to picks 17-32 in our 2016 NFL Mock Draft
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- 2015 NBA Mock Draft
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