2016 NFL Mock Draft: Early 1st-Round Predictions for Top Prospects

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
2016 NFL Mock Draft: Early 1st-Round Predictions for Top Prospects
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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
Pick Team Player Position School
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:

No. 7, WR Laquon Treadwell, San Francisco 49ers (Ole Miss)

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

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):

No. 15, DE Shaq Lawson, Los Angeles Rams (Clemson)

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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:

All heights, weights and stats are from CBSSports.com unless otherwise noted.

Follow B/R on Facebook


Subscribe Now

By signing up for our newsletter, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Thanks for signing up.