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NFL Draft 2016: 1st-Round Draft Order and Predictions Heading into Week 17

Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) throws a pass during the first half of the Birmingham Bowl NCAA college football game against Auburn Auburn, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press
Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2016

Twenty of the 32 picks for the 2016 NFL draft will be set in the coming days. Sunday will settle most or even all of the selections, with the 20 teams sitting out of the playoffs having their draft pick set.

As it stands, the Tennessee Titans have the most to gain by losing heading into Week 17. The Titans are the favorites to land the land the top overall selection, which would give them the opportunity to select a weapon for Marcus Mariota or make a big pick on the defensive side. 

Tennessee sits at 3-12 and will play the Indianapolis Colts, who may be playing for head coach Chuck Pagano's job. ESPN.com's Mike Wells reported the Colts have no plans on retaining Pagano unless the team makes the playoffs, which is a near impossibility. Nine games have to go in Indy's favor for it to make the postseason, only one of which it actually controls. With the Colts having all the incentive in the world to win and the Titans sitting in the opposite position, look for Tennessee to lock up the first pick.

2016 NFL Mock Draft/Order
PickTeamSelection
1Tennessee TitansJoey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
2Cleveland BrownsJared Goff, QB, California
3San Diego ChargersJalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
4Dallas CowboysJaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
5San Francisco 49ersPaxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
6Miami DolphinsDeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
7Jacksonville JaguarsVernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
8Baltimore RavensLaremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
9Tampa Bay BuccaneersRonnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
10New York GiantsMyles Jack, LB, UCLA
11New Orleans SaintsMackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
12Philadelphia EaglesConnor Cook, QB, Michigan State
13Detroit LionsTaylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
14Chicago BearsReggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
15Buffalo BillsVonn Bell, S, Ohio State
16Oakland RaidersRobert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
17Indianapolis ColtsJack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
18St. Louis RamsMichael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
19Atlanta FalconsEmmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
20Pittsburgh SteelersKendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
21WashingtonA'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
22Houston TexansCarson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
23Seattle SeahawksMaliek Collins, DT, Nebraska
24New York JetsSu'a Cravens, OLB, USC
25Kansas City ChiefsVadal Alexander, G, LSU
26Minnesota VikingsCorey Coleman, WR, Baylor
27Green Bay PackersJarran Reed, DT, Alabama
28Denver BroncosKenny Clark, DL, UCLA
29Cincinnati BengalsJason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
30Arizona CardinalsLeonard Floyd, LB, Georgia
31Carolina PanthersEzekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

The Titans locking up the first pick wouldn't be such a bad thing for the Cleveland Browns, who will likely be looking to take the best available quarterback. The Johnny Manziel era hasn't worked out—to put it mildly—and it would be smart for the team to make a transition. Jared Goff and Paxton Lynch are the two top quarterbacks on nearly every board and look to be locks for the top 10 at this point.

The San Diego Chargers, who currently sit in the No. 3 slot, aren't likely to draft a quarterback. However, things get more interesting once you hit the fourth spot.

The Dallas Cowboys spent the entire 2015 season struggling amid a series of Tony Romo injuries. They cycled through Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore as their starting quarterbacks, each progressively performing worse. Might they be in line for an heir apparent?

If they aren't, the San Francisco 49ers are in need of a quarterback of the future right now. The 49ers need a long-term replacement under center as their relationship with Colin Kaepernick comes to an ugly end. Blaine Gabbert has performed far better than anyone expected, but he is still Blaine Gabbert. Their future will be with either Goff or Lynch if one is still on the board.

The remainder of the top 10 is currently filled with teams that came into 2015 with reasonable playoff expectations. The Miami Dolphins have been a total mess all season, their once-formidable talent going down in a blaze of glory. They have quarterback Ryan Tannehill signed to a big, long-term extension, so they're stuck for at least the time being. However, they may look to add a deep threat if one is available, or go to the defensive side, where they've struggled all season.

The Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have to be enthused by their progression out of the NFL's bottom, but both are still in need of talent. Jacksonville has kept a steady hand in its rebuild and will need to draft an impact player to keep things trending in the right direction. It'll be Year 4 for head coach Gus Bradley in 2015; it's time to show actual progress.

Tampa can take a slower outlook to its rebuild, but the progress it made in 2015 is promising. Jameis Winston, Doug Martin and Mike Evans form a solid core, which will need to be accentuated going forward. The Bucs could use help on the defensive side, or could even go with another receiver to replace Vincent Jackson, whose cost may be outweighing his production at this point.

Rounding out the top 10 are the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants, who both thought they'd be drafting far later. Baltimore needs offensive skill position players badly, even with Steve Smith coming back for one more season in 2016. Joe Flacco can't rely on Kamar Aiken and Smith only; they'll need a deep threat in one of the first few rounds.

The Giants, meanwhile, could make major changes if head coach Tom Coughlin doesn't return. Might they look to begin a full-scale rebuild and move on from the Eli Manning era? It's not entirely impossible, especially if Goff or Lynch winds up falling to the No. 10 spot. 

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