NFL Draft 2016: Post-Pro Bowl Selection Order and 1st-Round Mock Draft

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2016

Carson Wentz lived up to his first-round status over the weekend.
Carson Wentz lived up to his first-round status over the weekend.Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Noah Spence, Dak Prescott and others stole the show at the 2016 Senior Bowl, the first major landmark on the path to the 2016 NFL draft.

The league-related festivities didn't stop there, with the Pro Bowl going down from Hawaii this last weekend, too. 

While the results of both don't have a rather large impact on the first round of the upcoming draft, there are notables to understand from the event in Mobile, Alabama. For example, Prescott has swung the door pretty wide open at quarterback, making the order the position comes off the board more interesting than some would have thought.

The draft process is over the hill and picking up speed as it heads down the slope. As it does, let's take a look at a mock based on prospect value and team need.

 

2016 NFL Mock Draft

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

 

Notable Post-Senior Bowl Selections

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

DeForest Buckner didn't hurt his stock by missing the Senior Bowl.
DeForest Buckner didn't hurt his stock by missing the Senior Bowl.Ryan Kang/Associated Press

The Senior Bowl was a haven for elite defensive line play, as strong rushers silenced notable quarterbacks besides Prescott. 

Oregon's DeForest Buckner would have certainly helped, but he chose to decline his invitation. In fact, he was one of just three players to decline an invitation, as CBSSports.com's Dane Brugler pointed out:

Maybe Buckner's on to something, though.

He might not be a household name, but Buckner is an athletic monster who doesn't really have an equal in the class. This, combined with a relentless play style and solid all-around game, is why someone such as ESPN's Mel Kiper mocks him No. 4 to the Dallas Cowboys: 

You get a 6-foot-7, 290-pound defensive end who can put a tackle on skates right into his own quarterback. The No. 1 thing you love about Buckner: major motor. He plays hard. He could have been taken relatively early last year, but came back and put an exclamation point on it.

A scheme-versatile player, most teams in the top 10 have to love what Buckner brings to the table. This especially applies to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that got 38 sacks last year but could use a more unpredictable rush to mask a struggling secondary.

Some will knock Buckner for missing the event in Mobile, but he has plenty of in-game film, and the league can see him shine in practices at the combine. His stock hasn't suffered.

 

15. Los Angeles Rams: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

One of the Senior Bowl's biggest winners?

Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State.

Many entered the event doubting Wentz, who has come out of nowhere as of late to see his name make the rounds in first-round talk. It speaks both to the somewhat weak quarterback class about to enter the league and how much Wentz (6'6" and 235 lbs) pops on tape when it comes to franchise-quarterback traits.

As Fox Sports' Charles Davis captured, some critics turned into believers after Wentz put on a show in practices:

CollegeFootball 24/7 provided the thoughts of Mike Mayock, one of Wentz's biggest vocal supporters after the event:

Wentz didn't post gaudy numbers this past season, and it ended on a sour note with an injury. But scouts wanted to see up close and personal if the hints of a developmental talent on tape were truly there.

It turns out they are, and a team like the Los Angeles Rams won't have any problem jumping all over the opportunity. The Rams cannot afford to suffer through another year of Nick Foles and Case Keenum, or whoever else, unless there is a franchise quarterback waiting in the wings.

Wentz might be that for the Rams, a franchise in need of a new face in a new locale. The rebuild is far from over, but skimping on the most important position of all is a good way to find oneself stuck in rebuilding limbo.

 

30. Denver Broncos: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana

Jason Spriggs put on a clinic at the Senior Bowl.
Jason Spriggs put on a clinic at the Senior Bowl.Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Jason Spriggs seemed to solidify his first-round status in Mobile.

It's early to say such a thing, but all folks needed to see from the Indiana product was the same play he showed on tape, but against some of the best senior competition the draft class has to offer.

Let's just say Spriggs delivered, taking home some individual hardware in the process, according to the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson: 

In a game dominated by rushers, Spriggs stood tall and lived up to the hype, his 6'6", 305-pound frame and elite athleticism from his days as a tight end helping him counter almost any and all challengers.

As Brugler paired with colleague Rob Rang to conclude, Spriggs has an easy fit in the NFL:

Scouts looking for tackles to play in a zone blocking scheme will certainly want to check out Spriggs, a former tight end who has maintained his athleticism while getting bigger and stronger to start the past four years at left tackle for the Hoosiers. Quick and agile, Spriggs is very effective blocking on the move and has the length and balance to mirror in pass protection. He's not particularly stout, however, and may struggle acclimating to the power he'll face in the NFL. 

There's no better fit in the first round for Spriggs than with the Denver Broncos. 

Denver, Peyton Manning or not, continues to employ a zone-blocking scheme to protect its men under center and pave the way for runners.

The Broncos could use an upgrade on the edges, especially with Ryan Clady on injured reserve. Depth is never a bad thing, especially if Manning chooses to give it another go. And even if he doesn't, perfect fits don't fall into a team's lap often, and especially not at the end of the first round at one of the most important positions of all.

 

Stats courtesy of NFL.com and are accurate as of February 1. All advanced metrics courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

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