2016 NFL Mock Draft: Full 1st-Round Projections for Top-Tier Prospects

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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Full 1st-Round Projections for Top-Tier Prospects
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

NFL draft discussions are always more interesting when there's a legitimate debate about the top quarterback in the draft.

The Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota debate was intriguing in 2015, and we should have a similar situation this year with the North Dakota State Bison's Carson Wentz vs. the California Golden Bears' Jared Goff.

Wentz over Goff

Michael Chang/Getty Images

Unless he stumbles mightily at the NFL Scouting Combine, Wentz should be the first signal-caller taken in the 2016 NFL draft.

NDSU isn't the type of program that usually produces first-round picks—let alone franchise quarterbacks—but nothing about Wentz seems like the usual. He has the ideal size at 6'5" and 232 pounds, solid arm strength, decent athleticism and excellent intangibles.

Had he played in the SEC, Pac-12 or Big Ten, he probably would have won the Heisman Trophy, and he wouldn't have had to come almost out of nowhere in the last two months to garner national attention.

If the Tennessee Titans trade the top pick, there's even a chance Wentz goes No. 1 to the team that decides to mortgage multiple picks in an effort to leap to the top spot. There will be some who like Goff more than Wentz.

It's understandable.

Goff's excellence came against competition that most fans hold in high regard. In this instance, it won't matter. Wentz will be the true franchise quarterback out of the 2016 class. He has the "it" factor, and the Cleveland Browns should take him at No. 2 if he's available or package their No. 2 with another selection to move up to No. 1 if need be.

That snakebitten franchise may not get another opportunity to draft a QB who can help turn things around for another 30 years. As for Goff, he should be right at home if the San Francisco 49ers do the right thing and take him with the No. 7 pick.

Here's a look at the latest mock draft. Just after the table is a breakdown of two more top-tier prospects.

NFL Mock Draft 2016
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 Kevin Dodd DE Clemson
30 Carolina Panthers Eli Apple CB Ohio State
31 Denver Broncos Jason Spriggs OT Indiana

picks per Mazique

Ezekiel Elliott Is Just What Andrew Luck Needs

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts offense need a franchise running back who can get 25 touches per game and presents a legitimate threat on the ground and as a receiver out of the backfield. With all due respect to future Hall of Famer Frank Gore (yes, I said that) at 32 years old, he can no longer be that guy.

The Ohio State Buckeyes' Ezekiel Elliott has the vision, power and speed to be the workhorse back who takes pressure off Luck and the passing game.

There's a chance a team could try and swoop in to take Elliott before the Colts pick at No. 18. If that happens, it would be foolish to move up to take him. The more sensible option would be to look at a running back like the Utah Utes' Devontae Booker in the second or third round.

However, if Elliott is still on the board, drafting him should be an easy decision for the Colts.

Ramsey Would Energize Jags Secondary

Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

It will seem like the Jacksonville Jaguars had two first-round picks in 2016. Last year's first-round pick, Dante Fowler, didn't play in 2015 because of a knee injury. He'll be making his NFL debut this season along with the player the Jags draft with the fifth pick.

There's a few directions Jacksonville could go. Wide receiver is an option, but the best selection would be Florida State Seminoles defensive back Jalen Ramsey. More than anything, Ramsey offers a prospective team versatility. 

He could play safety in the NFL, but he figures to have more of an impact at corner. At 6'1" and 202 pounds, he has the size to match up with big receivers. His 40-inch vertical leap proves that he can elevate to create even more length to defend passes.

Plugging Ramsey in at corner in Jacksonville could potentially give the Jags a game-changer on two levels of their defense.

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