Todd McShay NFL Mock Draft 2016: Notable Picks from ESPN Guru's 2nd Mock

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2016

North squad quarterback Carson Wentz of North Dakota State (11) runs the ball during the Senior Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, at Ladd–Peebles Stadium, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

All but two of the first-round positions in the 2016 NFL draft are set with only the Super Bowl left to play, which gave ESPN draft guru Todd McShay an opportunity to update his predictions for the April spectacle.

McShay released his second official mock draft Wednesday on, and while many big names were given expected landing spots, the veteran analyst included some surprises that will certainly have football fans talking as the draft process continues to heat up.

Draft stocks will undoubtedly fluctuate in the coming weeks and months due to the combine and pro days, but McShay provided a strong foundation for what to expect moving forward.

Here is a full rundown of McShay's first-round predictions, along with further analysis regarding some of his most intriguing picks.

Todd McShay's 2nd 2016 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1
1Tennessee TitansJoey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
2Cleveland BrownsJared Goff, QB, California
3San Diego ChargersLaremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
4Dallas CowboysCarson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
5Jacksonville JaguarsJalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
6Baltimore RavensRonnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
7San Francisco 49ersLaquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
8Miami DolphinsVernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
9Tampa Bay BuccaneersDeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
10New York GiantsSheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
11Chicago BearsMyles Jack, LB, UCLA
12New Orleans SaintsA'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
13Philadelphia EaglesJack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
14Oakland RaidersRobert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
15Los Angeles RamsPaxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
16Detroit LionsReggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
17Atlanta FalconsShaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
18Indianapolis ColtsTaylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
19Buffalo BillsJaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
20New York JetsEzekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
21Washington RedskinsJarran Reed, DT, Alabama
22Houston TexansVernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
23Minnesota VikingsDarron Lee, LB, Ohio State
24Cincinnati BengalsBraxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
25Pittsburgh SteelersEli Apple, CB, Ohio State
26Seattle SeahawksAndrew Billings, DT, Baylor
27Green Bay PackersHunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
28Kansas City ChiefsVonn Bell, S, Ohio State
29Arizona CardinalsNoah Spence, LB, Eastern Kentucky
30Denver BroncosJason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
31Carolina PanthersKevin Dodd, DE, Clemson's Todd McShay


Joey Bosa: No. 1, Titans

The Tennessee Titans are a team with several needs after a 3-13 season, and McShay envisions them going the best-available-player route by selecting Ohio State pass-rusher Joey Bosa with the No. 1 overall pick.

Bosa's numbers dropped off a bit in 2015 to the tune of six sacks, as he missed some games and was double-teamed on a regular basis, but he is just two seasons removed from a campaign that saw him register 13.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss for the Buckeyes.

He is a truly disruptive force capable of playing in essentially every defensive system, and he would give Tennessee a potential superstar on the side of the ball to go along with quarterback Marcus Mariota on offense.


Jared Goff: No. 2, Browns

Entering the 2016 draft, all eyes will be on a trio of quarterbacks with first-round aspirations. In McShay's estimation, California's Jared Goff will come off the board first among them to the Cleveland Browns at No. 2.

Goff was dominant in 2015 with 4,714 passing yards, 43 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and he has a strong body of work to boot, as he threw for 35 scores in 2014 as well.

The Browns desperately need to find a franchise signal-caller, and based on NFL Films producer Greg Cosell's comments on WGFX-FM in Nashville, Tennessee, he believes Goff fits the bill, according to's Dan Parr: "My initial study of Goff tells me that I think (Goff is) a more natural and better overall thrower than Mariota. I think he's a better prospect than (Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback) Jameis Winston. Where he goes? I can't answer that, but from studying it preliminarily, that's how I see it with Jared Goff."


Cleveland has a new power structure in place in the front office as well as on the sideline in the form of head coach Hue Jackson, and it could use a new quarterback to boot.

With Johnny Manziel likely on the way out, per's Pat McManamon, look for the Browns to move on quickly.


Carson Wentz: No. 4, Cowboys

Casual football fans may not know much about quarterback Carson Wentz since he played at FCS powerhouse North Dakota State, but that will soon change if McShay's prediction comes to pass.

According to his latest mock, Wentz is a candidate to go No. 4 overall to the Dallas Cowboys, who learned firsthand how important the quarterback position is in 2015, as they struggled mightily with Tony Romo on the shelf for much of the season.

Wentz turned some heads at the Senior Bowl, which prompted NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock to praise him, per's College Football 24/7:

It seems as though Wentz is trailing Goff in the quarterback race due largely to the latter's history of production at the highest level of college football, but Rob Rang of told Ken Carman of 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland he believes the gap between them will close, according to Joe D'Aloisio of CBS Sports Radio:

Wentz is a big, mobile quarterback who seemingly has all of the tools, but he still has plenty to prove throughout the predraft process.

If the Cowboys do take him, it will speak volumes about how they view his potential since Romo is still in the fold, and the organization has other more pressing needs at the moment.


Paxton Lynch: No. 15, Rams

With Goff and Wentz off the board, McShay mocked Memphis signal-caller Paxton Lynch to one of the NFL's most quarterback-needy teams at No. 15, the Los Angeles Rams.

Quarterback play was the biggest thing that held the Rams back in 2015, as Nick Foles and Case Keenum did little to supplement a great running game and a talented defense.

That makes Lynch a very real possibility for L.A. if he is available with the 15th pick, and FanDuel writer and former NFL cornerback Brian Witherspoon believes it is a pick that could pay big dividends:

Lynch is a huge, physical specimen at 6'7", with the ability to run and throw it deep, but he certainly seems to be a project of sorts since he is raw in certain areas.

He may have to sit and learn for at least one year before receiving significant playing time, which is something he admitted to being fine with on ESPN Radio 103.3 KESN-FM's Afternoon Show with Cowlishaw and Mosley (h/t

I'd be more than OK with doing whatever was best for me and the team and whatever team I got picked up by. When I first got to school, I didn't want to redshirt or anything. I thought I could go in there and play, but I realized later on down the road as I grew up and matured, I realized that redshirting is a good thing. You get a chance to sit back and learn what you need to learn and take care of your business off the field. I know if I got to sit behind somebody like a veteran quarterback, whoever it may be, I know that that would be a great learning experience to develop me mentally and physically in the game, give me a year just to sit back and see how you handle things professionally.

The Rams need an answer at quarterback as soon as possible, but there may not be an immediate fix available to them at No. 15.

If they're willing to wait and develop Lynch into a potential star, though, he could turn out to be one of the draft's biggest steals.


Jaylon Smith: No. 19, Bills

Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith is easily among the most talented all-around prospects in the 2016 NFL draft class, but a torn ACL and MCL suffered in the Fiesta Bowl has left his status in doubt.

According to Bleacher Report's Matt Miller, however, sources indicate he will be ready for the start of the 2016 campaign:

If that is the case, then one can only assume his stock will rebound to some degree. As far as McShay is concerned, though, a drop is still likely, which prompted him to slot Smith at No. 19 overall to the Buffalo Bills.

No team in major American professional sports has a longer playoff drought than the Bills at 16 years. They need immediate help in order to improve from 2015's 8-8 mark, and if Miller's sources are accurate, then Smith may provide just that.

A lack of quality linebackers contributed heavily to Buffalo's defensive drop-off in 2015, as it ranked 19th in total yardage allowed and 15th in points allowed.

The Bills and head coach Rex Ryan need a take-charge, playmaking linebacker, and Smith would be a perfect fit for that role.


Braxton Miller: No. 24, Bengals

Perhaps the biggest shocker of McShay's second mock draft is his elevation of Ohio State wide receiver Braxton Miller into the first round to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 24.

Miller spent just one season at wideout for OSU after three campaigns as a quarterback, and he showed some flashes of brilliance with 25 catches for 340 yards, 43 rushes for 261 yards and four total touchdowns.

The Senior Bowl represented an opportunity for Miller to prove himself at the position, and he didn't disappoint in the practice portion.

According to Jeff Cavanaugh of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, his athleticism stood out from the rest of the pack in a big way:

He also showed a great understanding of the nuances that come with being a wide receiver, per Jeff Risdon of ESPN 96.1 FM:

The Bengals have several weapons on offense, but with wide receiver Marvin Jones set to hit free agency, they could certainly use a complement to stud wideout A.J. Green.

With Green working the deep routes and Miller using his speed and quickness to help quarterback Andy Dalton pick apart opposing defenses underneath, the addition of the former Buckeye could add an entirely different dimension to Cincinnati's offense.

Taking Miller in the first would be a massive gamble due to his lack of experience, but it could pay off in a big way.    


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