2016 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions for Every Team Ahead of Super Bowl

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2016 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions for Every Team Ahead of Super Bowl
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

North Dakota State Bison quarterback Carson Wentz is the hottest name in NFL draft circles. The 6'5" 232-pounder didn't attend a Division I school, but most talent evaluators believe he has the goods to be a franchise quarterback. 

Here's what Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote about Wentz:

With a body type that is as prototypical as they come and a background in reading the entire field and working through progressions, Wentz will immediately check a couple of boxes that many college quarterbacks won’t be able to check. While his arm strength is OK, he can still make all the throws and he can make them with accuracy.

His ability to escape pressure and pick up first downs with his feet will be yet another check mark in his favor. Wentz is still in a developmental phase after just two years at an FBS program, but has the mental and physical building blocks of a future, franchise quarterback.

Based on that talent evaluation, and similar ones from other draft prognosticators, it would be a shock if Wentz doesn't hear his name called within the first eight picks. Here's the latest first-round mock draft with a predicted landing spot for Wentz and the other top prospects available.

NFL Draft 2016 Mock Draft
Pick Team Player Position School
1 Tennessee Titans Laremy Tunsil OT Ole Miss
2 Cleveland Browns Carson Wentz QB North Dakota St.
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 Jared Goff QB Cal
8 Miami Dolphins Myles Jack LB UCLA
9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers DeForest Buckner DE Oregon
10 New York Giants Reggie Ragland LB Alabama
11 Chicago Bears Leonard Floyd OLB Georgia
12 New Orleans Saints A'Shawn Robinson DT Alabama
13 Philadelphia Eagles Taylor Decker OT Ohio State
14 Oakland Raiders Vernon Hargreaves III CB Florida
15 Los Angeles Rams Paxton Lynch QB Memphis
16 Detroit Lions Jack Conklin OT Michigan State
17 Atlanta Falcons Shilique Calhoun DE Michigan State
18 Indianapolis Colts Ezekiel Elliott RB Ohio State
19 Buffalo Bills Jaylon Smith LB Notre Dame
20 New York Jets Shaq Lawson DE Clemson
21 Washington Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss
22 Houston Texans Robert Nkemdiche DL Ole Miss
23 Minnesota Vikings Michael Thomas WR Ohio State
24 Cincinnati Bengals Emmanuel Ogbah DE Oklahoma State
25 Pittsburgh Steelers Kendall Fuller CB Virginia Tech
26 Seattle Seahawks Noah Spence DE/LB Eastern Kentucky
27 Green Bay Packers Sheldon Rankins DT Louisville
28 Kansas City Chiefs Corey Coleman WR Baylor
29 Arizona Cardinals Shilique Calhoun DE Michigan State
30 Denver Broncos Jason Spriggs OT Indiana
31 Carolina Panthers Eli Apple CB Ohio State

Predictions by Mazique.

Jared Goff vs. Carson Wentz

Many draft experts are having a hard time determining whether the California Golden Bears quarterback prospect Jared Goff or Wentz is the top prospect at the position. It could be a case of six in one hand and half-a-dozen in the other.

Because the two teams with the biggest need for a QB within the top 10 picks have very different climates in their home states, the ability to produce in the cold could be the determining factor. Wentz played his college career in the blustery winds of North Dakota in high school. There's no doubt he's accustomed to operating in cold temperatures.

Goff is a California kid who may be able to make the switch, a la Aaron Rodgers—who also came from Cal and has had a Hall of Fame-worthy career with the Green Bay Packers.

If you're the Cleveland Browns, the safer bet would be Wentz. As Zierlein indicated, Wentz passes all of the eye tests and he has the characteristics of a natural leader. Thus, the predicted spot for him is Cleveland.

Goff is a little slighter than Wentz, and everything about him says West Coast QB. At 6'4" 215 pounds, he's a little thin, but there's no reason to believe he can't bulk up for the NFL grind. His Cali roots would make him a popular selection for the San Francisco 49ers at No. 7.

His ability to run a fast-paced offense might make him an ideal candidate to run new head coach Chip Kelly's system.

Leonard Floyd

Brett Davis/Associated Press

The Chicago Bears have several needs, the biggest are at cornerback and safety. There won't be a player worthy of the No. 11 pick available. Because of that, Chicago should look at filling another need on the defensive side of the ball.

A pass-rusher to accompany Pernell McPhee would be a welcomed addition. After Ohio State's Joey Bosa is off the board within the top three picks, the next best option is 3-4 outside linebacker Leonard Floyd from the Georgia Bulldogs.

At 6'4" 231 pounds, Floyd is thinner than most defensive coordinators would prefer, but he has freakish athleticism. He's so quick and rangy, that he looks like a player who could develop into a double-digit sack producer if he's coached properly and gains a little muscle.

Ezekiel Elliott

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The top running back prospect in the draft looks to be the Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott. There's a few teams that could use a workhorse back like Elliott, but which will be willing to make him a first-round pick?

Expect that to be the Indianapolis Colts at No. 18. 

Andrew Luck needs a ton of help on offense, and a dependable back would be a big asset. Elliott has the size and power to be an instant force in the NFL. At 6'0" 225 pounds, he's already built like an NFL back. He possesses excellent vision and enough breakaway speed to hit the occasional home run if he's given the room.

He'd be a great fit in the Colts backfield.

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