NFL Draft

2016 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions and Prospects to Watch

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 26: Running back Derrick Henry of Alabama runs the 40-yard dash during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2016

As the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine continues, teams are starting to reshape their draft boards as they see prospects up close and personal. 

A number of players have altered their draft stock based on their combine performances, and the first round of the draft is evolving as a result. 

Here's a look at an updated mock draft, with some alterations based on the first few days of the combine. 

 

NFL Mock Draft
PickTeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Tennessee TitansLaremy TunsilOTOle Miss
2Cleveland BrownsJoey BosaDLOhio State
3San Diego ChargersJalen RamseyDBFlorida State
4Dallas CowboysMyles JackLBUCLA
5Jacksonville JaguarsNoah SpenceDEEastern Kentucky
6Baltimore RavensRonnie StanleyOTNotre Dame
7San Francisco 49ersJared GoffQBCalifornia
8Miami DolphinsDarron LeeLBOhio State
9Tampa Bay BuccaneersDeForest BucknerDLOregon
10New York GiantsEzekiel ElliottRBOhio State
11Chicago BearsA'Shawn RobinsonDTAlabama
12New Orleans SaintsSheldon RankinsDLLouisville
13Philadelphia EaglesCarson WentzQBNorth Dakota State
14Oakland RaidersMackensie AlexanderCBClemson
15Los Angeles RamsCorey ColemanWRBaylor
16Detroit LionsLaquon TreadwellWROle Miss
17Atlanta FalconsShaq LawsonDEClemson
18Indianapolis ColtsTaylor DeckerOTOhio State
19Buffalo BillsKevin DoddDEClemson
20New York JetsEli AppleCBOhio State
21Washington RedskinsVernon Hargreaves IIICBFlorida
22Houston TexansDerrick HenryRBAlabama
23Minnesota VikingsCody WhitehairOGKansas State
24Cincinnati BengalsJaylon SmithLBNotre Dame
25Pittsburgh SteelersXavien HowardCBBaylor
26Seattle SeahawksJack ConklinOTMichigan State
27Green Bay PackersReggie RaglandLBAlabama
28Kansas City ChiefsBraxton MillerWROhio State
29Arizona CardinalsRobert NkemdicheDLOle Miss
30Carolina PanthersJason SpriggsOTIndiana
31Denver BroncosVernon ButlerDTLouisiana Tech

Prospects to Watch

Derrick Henry, Alabama Crimson Tide

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

After a stellar performance at the combine, Derrick Henry has a chance to join former Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott in the first round. 

Entering the combine, there were concerns about Henry's speed but as Bleacher Report's Bryan Fischer noted, those questions were answered:

Derrick Henry confirming freak status with the 4.54 40 yard dash at 247 pounds.

— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) February 26, 2016

The Houston Texans are one of the potential landing spots for Henry, especially given their franchise's successful history with bigger running backs. 

Henry would be an ideal replacement for veteran Arian Foster, who has just one year remaining on his contract and has struggled to stay healthy in recent years. 

Some teams may still view Henry as a second-round prospect due to his size and the lack of running backs sustaining success in the pros with his body type, but he certainly answered any questions about his athleticism at the combine. 

 

Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Linebacker Jaylon Smith #9 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish lays on the field after an injury during the first quarter of the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1,
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The combine brought devastating news for Jaylon Smith, who will reportedly miss the 2016 season, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport:

Difficult day for #NotreDame LB Jaylon Smith, who had his medicals. Ankle & knee nerve issues, teams believe he's out for 2016 -- at least

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2016

Knowing Smith will miss the season is certain to drop him on most draft boards, but in the late first round a team could still gamble on him if they're comfortable with his ability to fully recover. 

The major issue for Smith is the report of nerve damage, which is typically a longer recovery process than muscle or ligament ailments, and also harder to predict. 

The Cincinnati Bengals could be a team willing to take a chance on Smith given their recent draft history. 

In the last few years the Bengals have been willing to essentially redshirt some of their rookies, allowing them to learn on the bench before stepping into larger roles a year later. 

In 2015, for example, the Bengals selected Texas A&M lineman Cedric Ogbuehi with the 21st pick, knowing his 2015 season was in jeopardy. Like Smith, Ogbuehi suffered a knee injury (torn ACL) in his final collegiate game. 

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