2016 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions for 1st-Round Prospects Entering Offseason

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2016

Joey Bosa
Joey BosaCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 because their defense dominated the supposedly superior Carolina Panthers.

Defense may also be the signature of the offseason, at least when it comes to the NFL draft. Defensive players, led by Ohio State's Joey Bosa, may dominate the first round.

Here's our mock draft and a closer look at four likely first-round players who should have an impact in their rookie seasons.

2016 Mock Draft
PickTeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Tennessee TitansLaremy TunsilOTOle Miss
2Cleveland BrownsJoey BosaDEOhio State
3San Diego ChargersVernon Hargreaves IIICBFlorida
4Dallas CowboysJalen RamseyDBFlorida State
5Jacksonville JaguarsNoah SpenceLBEastern Kentucky
6Baltimore RavensRonnie StanleyOTNotre Dame
7San Francisco 49ersLaquon TreadwellWROle Miss
8Miami DolphinsJaylon SmithLBNotre Dame
9Tampa Bay BuccaneersDeForest BucknerDLOregon
10New York GiantsReggie RaglandLBAlabama
11Chicago BearsJared GoffQBCalifornia
12New Orleans SaintsMackensie AlexanderCBClemson
13Philadelphia EaglesCarson WentzQBNorth Dakota State
14Oakland RaidersTaylor DeckerOTOhio State
15Los Angeles RamsShaq LawsonDEClemson
16Detroit LionsA'Shawn RobinsonDTAlabama
17Atlanta FalconsEli AppleCBOhio State
18Indianapolis ColtsMyles JackLBUCLA
19Buffalo BillsKevin DoddDEClemson
20New York JetsDarron LeeLBOhio State
21Washington RedskinsEzekiel ElliottRBOhio State
22Houston TexansConnor CookQBMichigan State
23Minnesota VikingsVernon ButlerDTLouisiana Tech
24Cincinnati BengalsAndrew BillingsDTBaylor
25Pittsburgh SteelersJack ConklinOTMichigan State
26Seattle SeahawksMichael ThomasWROhio State
27Green Bay PackersTaylor DeckerOTOhio State
28Kansas City ChiefsLeonard FloydLBGeorgia
29Arizona CardinalsNoah SpenceDEEastern Kentucky
30Carolina PanthersShon ColemanOTAuburn
31Denver BroncosPaxton LynchQBMemphis

 

DE Joey Bosa, Cleveland Browns, No. 2 pick

Joey Bosa may not be another J.J. Watt, but the Ohio State stud has many of the same explosive characteristics as the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year winner.

Bosa has a mean streak and is hungry to get after the passer at all times. He is single-minded in his determination, and he has the physical strength and first-step quickness to become an immediate impact player in 2016.

He says the NFL player he would like to emulate is Kansas City's Tamba Hali.

Top prospect Joey Bosa of @OhioStAthletics tells @nflnetwork he patterns his game after @Chiefs' Tamba Hali. Good guy to emulate.

— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFL_CFB) February 5, 2016

Bosa is as solid against the run as he is when it comes to rushing the passer, and he is not going to let many running backs slip through his grasp.

He has the core strength that makes it very difficult for opposing blockers to handle him in one-on-one situations. 

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer explained to Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports why Bosa is so difficult to block. 

"He had the unique combination of just incredible power and strength and speed," Meyer said, "but also, I call it getting skinny. He was able to turn sideways, and the offensive line had such a hard time blocking him."

Bosa has the ability to give the Browns the kind of defensive identity that would excite their long-suffering fans.

 

Jalen Ramsey
Jalen RamseyNELL REDMOND/Associated Press

FS Jalen Ramsey, Dallas Cowboys, No. 4 pick

This is the position that can turn a good defense into a dominating unit.

Free safety is one of the most instinctive positions on the field, and Florida State's Jalen Ramsey has the kind of instincts that can impress the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff from the early days of training camp.

Ramsey has the ability to cover receivers like a top cornerback, but there is so much more to his game than that.

Jalen Ramsey's versatility makes him a top NFL prospect. @PFF_Sam https://t.co/LfYzfQlCba pic.twitter.com/gVbOciKXE0

— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 9, 2016

He is smart and has the kind of feel for the game that enables him to realize what the offense is trying to do. As a result, he is often in the right place at the right time.

The adjustment period for Ramsey should be short and sweet. He has the confidence that the position requires, and he is likely to play head games with receivers very early on. That fits in with the Cowboys, who like players with swagger.

He also has the talent to back up that kind of behavior. Ramsey should be a game-changer early in his career.

 

Reggie Ragland
Reggie RaglandJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

ILB Reggie Ragland, New York Giants, No. 10 pick

The defense paved the way for the Alabama Crimson Tide to win the national championship, and few players did more to help Nick Saban's team pick up the title than Reggie Ragland.

Ragland is a powerful hitter at 6'1" and 259 pounds, and while he may not have the speed to go from sideline to sideline, he can read the play, throw off the blocker and make the tackle.

He does his job on a consistent basis. He had 102 tackles to lead the Crimson Tide, and that included 6.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Ragland was voted the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year.

The New York Giants need tremendous help on defense after getting beaten badly on that side of the ball last year.

He may be the ideal inside backer for them since the Giants need consistent productivity.

Reggie Ragland Highlight Mix https://t.co/rc1LDpPSD8

— Lil Miller (@head9hunter) February 2, 2016

Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

 

QB Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles, No. 13 pick

In a class that does not have many top quarterback prospects, Wentz has emerged as a signal-caller with all the tools needed to be successful in the NFL.

Look for the Philadelphia Eagles to draft him and give rookie head coach Doug Pederson a quarterback with special talents.

Whether he can put those talents to use is a legitimate question because he did not face the level of competition that many scouts want to see. It's somewhat of a gamble for scouts to recommend using a first-round draft choice on a player from a smaller school.

Wentz has the size and arm strength that NFL teams are looking for, as he checks in at 6'5" and 233 pounds, and he has enough velocity to be successful. Wentz is a tough competitor who came back five days after his broken wrist had healed and led his team to a 37-10 playoff victory with a TD pass and two more on the ground.

With Manziel on his way out, which QB could be attractive for the #Browns with the No. 2 pick? Updated mock draft: https://t.co/Zx8v7dcpvd

— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 2, 2016

Wentz faced a major test with the upgrade in competition at the Senior Bowl, and he showed his competitive fire and talent, and was one of the more impressive players in Mobile, Alabama.

He also has a clean background, and that could help teams that may be on the fence about the lower level of competition he faced during his college career. It's clear that Wentz has much to prove as draft season picks up in intensity.

Personnel exec: "There is no way I would draft Carson Wentz in the first round."

--> https://t.co/u87krNqKOk pic.twitter.com/pBqv95AhgI

— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFL_CFB) February 5, 2016 

All measurements and stats are from CBS Sports unless otherwise noted.