The Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers joined the ranks of those teams looking ahead to the 2016 NFL draft after taking losses in Saturday's postseason action.
In other words, it's time for another mock draft.
With so many teams now charging ahead toward the draft, more and more info will continue to roll out about the impending class before the process even hits Indianapolis for the combine, ensuring the year-round operation holds strong.
Below, let's take a look at a mock based on team need and prospect projection before looking deeper at a few notable selections.
2016 NFL Mock Draft
|1||Tennessee Titans||Laremy Tunsil||OT||Ole Miss|
|2||Cleveland Browns||Jared Goff||QB||California|
|3||San Diego Chargers||Ronnie Stanley||OT||Notre Dame|
|4||Dallas Cowboys||Joey Bosa||DL||Ohio State|
|5||Jacksonville Jaguars||Jalen Ramsey||CB/S||Florida State|
|6||Baltimore Ravens||Mackensie Alexander||CB||Clemson|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||Myles Jack||LB||UCLA|
|8||Miami Dolphins||Reggie Ragland||LB||Alabama|
|9||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||DeForest Buckner||DE||Oregon|
|10||New York Giants||Leonard Floyd||LB||Georgia|
|11||Chicago Bears||Jack Conklin||OT||Michigan State|
|12||New Orleans Saints||Paxton Lynch||QB||Memphis|
|13||Philadelphia Eagles||Taylor Decker||OT||Ohio State|
|14||Oakland Raiders||Vernon Hargreaves III||CB||Florida|
|15||St. Louis Rams||Carson Wentz||QB||North Dakota State|
|16||Detroit Lions||Ezekiel Elliott||RB||Ohio State|
|17||Atlanta Falcons||Shilique Calhoun||DE||Michigan State|
|18||Indianapolis Colts||A'Shawn Robinson||DT||Alabama|
|19||Buffalo Bills||Jarran Reed||DL||Alabama|
|20||New York Jets||Shaq Lawson||DE||Clemson|
|21||Washington||Laquon Treadwell||WR||Ole Miss|
|22||Houston Texans||Sheldon Rankins||DT||Louisville|
|23||Minnesota Vikings||Michael Thomas||WR||Ohio State|
|24||Cincinnati Bengals||Emmanuel Ogbah||DE||Oklahoma State|
|25||Green Bay Packers||Robert Nkemdiche||DL||Ole Miss|
|26||Kansas City Chiefs||Corey Coleman||WR||Baylor|
|27||Pittsburgh Steelers||Tre'Davious White||CB||LSU|
|28||Seattle Seahawks||Noah Spence||DE/LB||Eastern Kentucky|
|29||Denver Broncos||Jason Spriggs||OT||Indiana|
|30||Arizona Cardinals||Jaylon Smith||LB||Notre Dame|
|31||Carolina Panthers||Eli Apple||CB||Ohio State|
Analyzing Notable Picks
15. St. Louis Rams: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Say hello to one of the early big risers.
Most don't know about Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State, but he's blowing up from a stock standpoint now that those who dissect film and scout have had a chance to get to his.
Wentz stands at 6'6" and is 235 pounds, and while he didn't always play against top-tier competition, all the intangibles the NFL wants are easy to see. CBSSports.com's Dane Brugler explained these well:
Although his internal clock needs maturing, Wentz performs well within structure, but can also improvise when the play breaks down, stretching out his legs to pick up chunk yardage if it's there (949 career rushing yards). He possesses a NFL-style skill-set with his size, athleticism and arm talent, including the field vision to work through reads and make sound decisions. Wentz ideally needs a redshirt rookie season in the NFL, but will be the top senior quarterback on several NFL draft boards.
Or in more simplistic terms, here's NFL Network's Gil Brandt:
Gil Brandt @Gil_Brandt
Saw Carson Wentz play 2x this season in person. Reminds me of Matt Ryan. Not saying he'll be that in NFL but that was my impression.1/11/2016, 5:50:58 PM
A team like the Los Angeles Rams won't find it easy to pass on such upside.
After suffering through Nick Foles and Case Keenum, the Rams could use a new quarterback even without tossing in the logic that a moving franchise could use a new franchise player under center.
At the least, grabbing a high-upside player like Wentz here would provide a shot at a potential franchise quarterback down the line while the team suffers through another year of iffy veteran play.
If that's all it takes to get someone who might compare to Matt Ryan, why not?
16. Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
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Look, there are a lot of problems in Detroit.
The defense finished 23rd in scoring at 25 points allowed per game on average, and issues in the offensive trenches almost took down the entire offense on its own.
At some point, though, a team has to simply go with the best player available, a guy who can change the complexion of a game on his own, often despite such issues.
Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott looks like that guy.
Folks know about Elliott, the 6'1", 225-pound sledgehammer who ran for 1,821 yards and 23 scores this year. What folks might not realize is that Elliott's one of the most versatile backs in the class thanks to his fluid ability to run routes and catch passes, not to mention his strong pass-blocking skills.
Yes, Detroit spent a pick on Ameer Abdullah, but the 5'8", 203-pound back isn't a workhorse, and does anyone want to hinge their offensive hopes on Joique Bell, who hits the dreaded age of 30 in August?
Of course not. Elliott can compensate for some of Detroit's issues while the franchise continues to build around him.
26. Kansas City Chiefs: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Kansas City's 27-20 loss to New England Saturday showed it well enough—the Chiefs need wideouts in a bad way.
It's never a good sign in a potential shootout with Tom Brady when a team's leading receivers turn out to be 32-year-old Jason Avant and relative unknown Albert Wilson, while Jeremy Maclin catches just two passes.
Baylor's Corey Coleman is the obvious choice in this range.
Coleman won't blow anyone away with his size at 5'11" and 190 pounds, but he's one of the most explosive wideouts available. While Baylor's offense might have inflated his numbers, it's sort of like Kansas City's 11-game streak against somewhat iffy competition—sooner or later it has to be given credit:
Kansas City could use a game-changing threat such as Coleman, who can keep defenses honest with his ability to line up mostly anywhere and weave his way to paydirt.
Pair Coleman's talent with Maclin and the reliable Travis Kelce, and quarterback Alex Smith wouldn't have too many problems rattling off another strong season and supporting an elite defense well.
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