NFL Draft 2016: Complete Mock Draft for All 32 1st-Round Picks

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2016

Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook begins the path to the 2016 draft.
Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook begins the path to the 2016 draft.Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

The collegiate season hasn't yet ended, with the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide still needing to play for the title, but NFL draft season has kicked into high gear. 

It's the infancy of the process in a way as 20 teams look toward the offseason while the rest look at the NFL playoff bracket. What this does, though, is begins to give observers a better idea of how things might play out in a few months. 

Much can change, of course, such as the unfortunate injury to Notre Dame star linebacker Jaylon Smith perhaps impacting things down the line.

Below, let's look at how things stand right now as the globe beings to wrap its mind around another draft season. Better to move forward armed with knowledge than to get blindsided.

 

2016 NFL Mock Draft

PickTeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Tennessee TitansLaremy TunsilOTOle Miss
2Cleveland BrownsJoey BosaDLOhio State
3San Diego ChargersRonnie StanleyOTNotre Dame
4Dallas CowboysJaylon SmithLBNotre Dame
5Jacksonville JaguarsJalen RamseyCB/SFlorida State
6Baltimore RavensMackensie AlexanderCBClemson
7San Francisco 49ersJared GoffQBCalifornia
8Miami DolphinsMyles JackLBUCLA
9Tampa Bay BuccaneersDeForest BucknerDEOregon
10New York GiantsReggie RaglandLBAlabama
11Chicago BearsJack ConklinOTMichigan State
12New Orleans SaintsPaxton LynchQBMemphis
13Philadelphia EaglesTaylor DeckerOTOhio State
14Oakland RaidersVernon Hargreaves IIICBFlorida
15St. Louis RamsConnor CookQBMichigan State
16Detroit LionsEzekiel ElliottRBOhio State
17Atlanta FalconsShilique CalhounDEMichigan State
18Indianapolis ColtsA'Shawn RobinsonDTAlabama
19Buffalo BillsJarran ReedDLAlabama
20New York JetsShaq LawsonDEClemson
21Pittsburgh SteelersTre'Davious WhiteCBLSU
22Seattle SeahawksNoah SpenceDE/LBEastern Kentucky
23Green Bay PackersRobert NkemdicheDLOle Miss
24Kansas City ChiefsCorey ColemanWRBaylor
25WashingtonLaquon TreadwellWROle Miss
26Houston TexansSheldon RankinsDTLouisville
27Minnesota VikingsMichael ThomasWROhio State
28Cincinnati BengalsEmmanuel OgbahDEOklahoma State
29Denver BroncosJason SpriggsOTIndiana
30Arizona CardinalsLeonard FloydLBGeorgia
31Carolina PanthersEli AppleCBOhio State
Author's projections.

 

Mock Draft Notables

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

DeForest Buckner's versatility raises his draft stock, as any team can look his way for help.
DeForest Buckner's versatility raises his draft stock, as any team can look his way for help.Ryan Kang/Associated Press/Associated Press

Know what a team like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers needs? 

More versatile playmakers to massage a defense that allowed 26.1 points per game on average. With the offense developing around Jameis Winston, it only makes sense for head coach Lovie Smith to go after guys who can make a difference on defense. 

DeForest Buckner of Oregon certainly qualifies. The 6'7", 290-pound monstrosity terrorized the Pac-12 this past year and earned high praise from many, including Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo:

Chandler Jones, a guy who by Palazzolo's own rankings this year came in as the No. 15 4-3 defensive end in the NFL with 13 sacks, eight quarterback hits and four hurries.

The Buccaneers tallied 38 sacks, but the points allowed speaks for itself. William Gholston isn't scaring anyone on one side of the line, though Jacquies Smith was one of the league's quietest breakout stars with his seven sacks.

Adding Buckner to the mix only creates a positive ripple effect on the unit.

 

15. St. Louis Rams: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

Cook has the look of a franchise quarterback.
Cook has the look of a franchise quarterback.LM Otero/Associated Press

Folks can argue for days and days about whether a quarterback will turn out right, but nobody really knows—see recent examples such as Robert Griffin III, EJ Manuel and Johnny Manziel.

It's Connor Cook's time to earn the "polarizing" label. He passes the eye test at 6'4" and 220 pounds, but he never completed better than 58.7 percent of his passes in a season. This past year, he hit 56.1 percent with 3,131 yards, 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Then he gets comparisons like this from new Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, according to Zach Braziller of the New York Post:

That sound? It's the St. Louis Rams rubbing their collective hands together. Nick Foles didn't work out, tossing seven touchdowns to 10 interceptions while watching Case Keenum steal some playing time.

There are other issues in St. Louis, especially at wideout. Potential franchise quarterbacks only come around so often, though, and pairing Cook with a strong running game might provide the Rams the foundation they desperately need to escape middling territory and begin to climb the mountain.

 

21. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU

Tre'Davious White's upside will put him in the first round.
Tre'Davious White's upside will put him in the first round.Mike Groll/Associated Press

It's not a secret what way the Pittsburgh Steelers will look in this year's draft. 

Ben Roethlisberger can only prop up a struggling defense for so long. He's great, but much of what he does helps to gloss over the fact that the defense ranks 30th while allowing 271.9 passing yards per game.

Granted, the unit generated 48 sacks and plays the run well, but it doesn't mean much when corners such as William Gay and Antwon Blake, among others, struggle to shut down opposing receivers.

Tre'Davious White is the latest LSU cornerback to potentially hit the pros and make a difference. He can return punts, but the real allure here is the sheer upside he brings with his 5'11", 191-pound frame.

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler summed up the allure to White's obvious upside well:

He isn't quite as big as Jalen Collins and isn't the fastest player on the LSU roster, but he has the foot quickness and fluid athleticism to blanket receivers on the outside, using his instincts and ballskills to disrupt the catch point. White will take some unnecessary chances and fall victim to coverage lapses, but his football future is bright.

Some might argue drafting upside isn't the way to go, but an organization like Pittsburgh always has an eye on the future. White won't be the perfect prospect out of the gates, but with the proper coaching he can morph into an every-down starter sooner rather than later.

 

Stats courtesy of NFL.com and accurate as of January 6. All advanced metrics courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

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