NFL Mock Draft 2016: 1st-Round Projections for Most Coveted Prospects

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2016

Ohio State lineman Joey Bosa is seen   during an NCAA college football game against Minnesota Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State beat Minnesota 28-14. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
Paul Vernon/Associated Press

It's February, which means it's officially mock draft season as we gear up for the NFL Scouting Combine later this month. 

Because it's so early in the draft process, many mock drafts will first begin to nail down which teams need which positions before attempting to predict the order in which prospects will be taken in the first round, and that's true for the mock draft below. 

While the prospects below may not come off the board in exactly the order specified, an attempt has been made to identify each team's top need in the first 31 selections. Note that the New England Patriots do not hold a selection in the first round as part of the team's Deflategate sanctions.  

After the mock draft, we'll break down projections for three of the most coveted prospects at this point in the process. 


2016 NFL Round 1 Mock Draft
1Tennessee TitansLaremy TunsilOTOle Miss
2Cleveland BrownsCarson WentzQBNorth Dakota St.
3San Diego ChargersJalen RamseyCB/SFlorida State
4Dallas CowboysMyles JackOLBUCLA
5Jacksonville JaguarsJoey BosaDEOhio State
6Baltimore RavensRonnie StanleyOTNotre Dame
7San Francisco 49ersJared GoffQBCal
8Miami DolphinsVernon Hargreaves IIICBFlorida
9Tampa Bay BuccaneersDeForest BucknerDEOregon
10New York GiantsShaq LawsonDEClemson
11Chicago BearsNoah SpenceDEEastern Kentucky
12New Orleans SaintsA'Shawn RobinsonDTAlabama
13Philadelphia EaglesPaxton LynchQBMemphis
14Oakland RaidersMackensie AlexanderCBClemson
15Los Angeles RamsLaquon TreadwellWROle Miss
16Detroit LionsTaylor DeckerOTOhio State
17Atlanta FalconsDarron LeeOLBOhio State
18Indianapolis ColtsJack ConklinOTMichigan State
19Buffalo BillsRobert NkemdicheDLOle Miss
20New York JetsLeonard FloydOLBGeorgia
21WashingtonSheldon RankinsDTLouisville
22Houston TexansConnor CookQBMichigan State
23Minnesota VikingsCody WhitehairOGKansas State
24Cincinnati BengalsCorey ColemanWRBaylor
25Pittsburgh SteelersEli AppleCBOhio State
26Seattle SeahawksShon ColemanOTAuburn
27Green Bay PackersReggie RaglandILBAlabama
28Kansas City ChiefsJarran ReedDTAlabama
29Arizona CardinalsVernon ButlerDTLouisiana Tech
30Carolina PanthersKevin DoddDEClemson
31Denver BroncosAndrew BillingsDTBaylor
Michelle Bruton's picks


Projections for Most Coveted Prospects 

Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Joey Bosa is regarded by many draft analysts as the best defensive lineman available in this year's draft, and in fact, ranked him as its No. 1 prospect overall.

This makes Bosa something of a wild card in early mock drafts.

While he makes perfect sense for the Jacksonville Jaguars to grab at No. 5 to pair up with Dante Fowler and create a monstrous pass rush, it's possible that another team finds it too difficult to pass him up earlier. 

For example, Fox Sports' Aaron Torres recently argued the Tennessee Titans, whom we have going with tackle Laremy Tunsil at No. 1 overall, "would be insane" to pass on Bosa:

The San Diego Chargers also desperately need to upgrade their defense, and he could be too enticing to pass up. 

A lot of different scenarios could take Bosa off the board before the fifth overall pick, but if he's still there, he makes perfect sense for Jacksonville. 


Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State

Defensive back Jalen Ramsey makes a ton of sense for the Chargers, who will likely have to replace Eric Weddle this offseason. ranks Ramsey as the No. 3 overall prospect, making him a perfect value for San Diego at third overall. 

However, it's not certain that he will make it to San Diego's selection.

The Titans could go a few different directions, including trading out of the No. 1 spot, but defensive back is a big need. Perrish Cox can man the slot and Jason McCourty is under contract through the 2017 season, per Spotrac, but Tennessee could benefit from a versatile player who could play outside or even a hybrid safety role. 

"He has above-average anticipation, vision and instincts, seeing the field extremely well with uncanny awareness and timing to create turnovers and get his hands on the ball," Dane Brugler of noted. 

At this point, Ramsey and the Chargers seem like a perfect match.  


Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

The Titans are also in need of a tackle, and Tunsil is the best one in this year's draft class. So long as they don't trade out of the No. 1 pick, the pairing seems like a no-brainer. ranks Tunsil as the top offensive lineman in the class and the No. 2 prospect overall behind Bosa.  

"On the field, Tunsil is a nimble big man with a rare athletic skill set for the position, showing above-average balance and flexibility to easily bend, handle speed and absorb power at the point of attack," Brugler wrote

Tunsil struggled with injuries throughout his college career, never able to play a full season for the Rebels. He also started just five games in 2015, missing the season's first seven contests due to a suspension.

However, Tennessee has a major obligation to protect its franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota, and Tunsil is a gifted athlete. The Titans shouldn't get too creative with this pick and should be sure to address their most pressing need.  


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