There are miles and months to go in the draft season, and players who are in the first round of mock drafts in mid-February may not be there in late April, and players who look like second- and third-rounders right now could find themselves getting a handshake from commissioner Roger Goodell when he announces the first-round selections on April 28.
Many prospective draftees will attend the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis later this month, and many of the biggest names will have private workouts for scouts and coaches.
But until those events occur, scouts are going over game film and studying reports to get the best reads on the top draft prospects.
Here's our early look at the first round of the 2016 NFL draft.
|2016 Mock Draft|
|1||Tennessee Titans||Laremy Tunsil||OT||Ole Miss|
|2||Cleveland Browns||Joey Bosa||DE||Ohio State|
|3||San Diego Chargers||Vernon Hargreaves III||CB||Florida|
|4||Dallas Cowboys||Jalen Ramsey||DB||Florida State|
|5||Jacksonville Jaguars||A'Shawn Robinson||DT||Alabama|
|6||Baltimore Ravens||Ronnie Stanley||OT||Notre Dame|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||Laquon Treadwell||WR||Ole Miss|
|8||Miami Dolphins||Jaylon Smith||LB||Notre Dame|
|9||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||DeForest Buckner||DL||Oregon|
|10||New York Giants||Reggie Ragland||LB||Alabama|
|11||Chicago Bears||Jared Goff||QB||California|
|12||New Orleans Saints||Mackensie Alexander||CB||Clemson|
|13||Philadelphia Eagles||Carson Wentz||QB||North Dakota State|
|14||Oakland Raiders||Taylor Decker||OT||Ohio State|
|15||Los Angeles Rams||Shaq Lawson||DE||Clemson|
|16||Detroit Lions||Robert Nkemdiche||DT||Ole Miss|
|17||Atlanta Falcons||Eli Apple||CB||Ohio State|
|18||Indianapolis Colts||Myles Jack||LB||UCLA|
|19||Buffalo Bills||Kevin Dodd||DE||Clemson|
|20||New York Jets||Darron Lee||LB||Ohio State|
|21||Washington Redskins||Ezekiel Elliott||RB||Ohio State|
|22||Houston Texans||Connor Cook||QB||Michigan State|
|23||Minnesota Vikings||Vernon Butler||DT||Louisiana Tech|
|24||Cincinnati Bengals||Andrew Billings||DT||Baylor|
|25||Pittsburgh Steelers||Jack Conklin||OT||Michigan State|
|26||Seattle Seahawks||Michael Thomas||WR||Ohio State|
|27||Green Bay Packers||Jarran Reed||DT||Alabama|
|28||Kansas City Chiefs||Leonard Floyd||LB||Georgia|
|29||Arizona Cardinals||Noah Spence||DE||Eastern Kentucky|
|30||Carolina Panthers||Shon Coleman||OT||Auburn|
|31||Denver Broncos||Paxton Lynch||QB||Memphis|
No. 2, DE Joey Bosa, Cleveland Browns (Ohio State)
The Browns clearly have significant holes to fill on both sides of the ball, and many expect them to go after a quarterback. However, Joey Bosa has game-changing ability and is an energetic pass-rusher from Ohio State who could become a lethal sack artist early in his career.
The son of former NFL defensive end John Bosa (three years with the Miami Dolphins) checks in at 6'5" and 275 pounds and has the power and moves to get the best of most offensive tackles. However, it's his quick first step and his ability to get sideways that make him so difficult to block.
Bosa had 13.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss in Ohio State's national championship season in 2014. He was not as productive in 2015 (5.0 sacks), but he did manage 16 tackles for loss. Bosa has the lateral quickness that allows him to slide to the ball-carrier, which makes him dependable against the run.
NFL draft experts have consistently lauded him, including the NFL Network's Mike Mayock:
.@MikeMayock's top 5 edge rushers in 2016 Draft:— NFL Media (@NFLMedia) February 10, 2016
1. Joey Bosa
2. Noah Spence
3. Shaq Lawson
4. Leonard Floyd
5. Kevin Dodd
No. 7, WR Laquon Treadwell, San Francisco 49ers (Ole Miss)
The San Francisco 49ers fell apart from nearly every angle last season, and their inability to make big plays was a key factor in their last-place finish in the NFC West.
Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell has a chance to be a game-changing player at the next level. Treadwell checks in at 6'2" and 210 pounds, and that gives him the ability to outfight defensive backs for the ball. Treadwell is coming off a stellar season in which he caught 82 passes for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Ole Miss Rebels.
Treadwell has huge, strong hands, and he has the ability to wall off defenders and make the tough catch in traffic. He also has long, deceptive strides that enable him to eat up a lot of ground for a bigger wide receiver.
Treadwell will need to work on his route running to get to his maximum potential. However, he will be starting his pro career in an excellent position to become an impact player.
Treadwell ranks extremely high on Mayock's list of receivers (via National Football Post):
Laquon Treadwell top receiver on Mike Mayock’s list: SEC players figured heavily in noted NFL draft analyst Mi... https://t.co/T9SH4UnPf3— NationalFootballPost (@FootballPost) February 11, 2016
No. 15, DE Shaq Lawson, Los Angeles Rams (Clemson)
There was a lot of hype about Shaq Lawson prior to the 2015 season, and he more than lived up to it with a breakout year for the Clemson Tigers.
Lawson had 24.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks last season, and his relentless style and high energy should allow him to become a devastating player against the run. While he is not huge for the position at 6'3" and 270 pounds, he is a fighter who has tremendous hands that allow him to win the battle against blockers and consistently make plays.
Lawson excels at setting the edge and holding it, and it is virtually impossible for a running back to get outside of him and gain any significant yardage.
While Lawson will see much bigger and more athletic offensive tackles at the next level, it's difficult to imagine opponents neutralizing him because of his impressive strength.
Lawson impressed the scouts from Pro Football Focus:
Tyler Boyd, Shaq Lawson are among our top NFL draft prospects from the ACC. https://t.co/ySm7dg7YwK— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 10, 2016
All heights, weights and stats are from CBSSports.com unless otherwise noted.
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