2016 NFL Mock Draft: Latest 1st-Round Predictions for Top Prospects in Class

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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Latest 1st-Round Predictions for Top Prospects in Class
L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

NFL free agency is officially upon us, which makes all mock drafts published before March 9 essentially useless. 

Okay, that's not entirely fair—even early mock drafts are useful for, if nothing else, pinpointing team needs ahead of the new league year.

But it's true that free agency drastically alters the landscape of the draft. 

Some teams, such as the Houston Texans, New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars, addressed what was projected to be their biggest need in Round 1 in free agency instead. 

The updated mock draft below reflects the moves made on Day 1 of free agency. Keep in mind that New England does not own a selection in Round 1 due to Deflategate sanctions. 

NFL First Round Mock Draft
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 Jalen Ramsey CB/S Florida State
4 Dallas Cowboys Joey Bosa DE Ohio State
5 Jacksonville Jaguars Myles Jack OLB UCLA
6 Baltimore Ravens DeForest Buckner DL Oregon
7 San Francisco 49ers Jared Goff QB Cal
8 Philadelphia Eagles (MIA) Ezekiel Elliott RB Ohio State
9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Shaq Lawson DE Clemson
10 New York Giants Ronnie Stanley OT Notre Dame
11 Chicago Bears Noah Spence DE Eastern Kentucky
12 New Orleans Saints A'Shawn Robinson DT Alabama
13 Miami Dolphins (PHI) Vernon Hargreaves III CB Florida
14 Oakland Raiders Emmanuel Ogbah DE Oklahoma State
15 Los Angeles Rams Paxton Lynch QB Memphis
16 Detroit Lions Taylor Decker OT Ohio State
17 Atlanta Falcons Darron Lee OLB Ohio State
18 Indianapolis Colts Jack Conklin OT Michigan State
19 Buffalo Bills Sheldon Rankins DT Louisville
20 New York Jets Leonard Floyd OLB Georgia
21 Washington Mackensie Alexander CB Clemson
22 Houston Texans Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss
23 Minnesota Vikings Will Fuller WR Notre Dame
24 Cincinnati Bengals Corey Coleman WR Baylor
25 Pittsburgh Steelers Eli Apple CB Ohio State
26 Seattle Seahawks Shon Coleman OT Auburn
27 Green Bay Packers Reggie Ragland ILB Alabama
28 Kansas City Chiefs Cody Whitehair OG Kansas State
29 Arizona Cardinals Robert Nkemdiche DL Ole Miss
30 Carolina Panthers Kevin Dodd DE Clemson
31 Denver Broncos Jarran Reed DT Alabama

Michelle Bruton's picks

Predictions for Top Prospects 

Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The Cleveland Browns have officially waived quarterback Johnny Manziel, the team announced Friday. 

Accordingly, the projection for them at No. 2 overall is still a quarterback, and in this mock draft specifically it's North Dakota State product Carson Wentz. 

Wentz went 20-3 as a starter for North Dakota State and has proven that he can succeed in a pro-style offense even. 

He may not have faced top defenses in college, but he's continuing to make a case for being the first quarterback taken off the board with his offseason workouts. 

At the combine, Wentz stood out in the 40-yard dash (4.77 seconds), broad jump (118 inches) and three-cone drill (6.86 seconds), per NFL.com

Wentz may still be developing after playing only two years in an FBS program, but he's the perfect prospect around whom to build a franchise. And that's exactly what Cleveland needs right now. 

DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon 

Gregory Payan/Associated Press

The Baltimore Ravens could definitely pursue an offensive lineman in the first round of the draft, but addressing the defensive line makes just as much if not more sense with their first selection.

After losing Chris Canty to free agency, the Ravens need to beef up their run defense without committing a ton of money toward their salary cap. 

Buckner accomplishes both goals. 

He's also not too shabby at rushing the passer; in 2015, his senior year at Oregon, Buckner amassed 10.5 sacks, 17.0 tackles for loss and 83 total tackles.

"He plays with explosive movements and terrific body control for his size, flashing heavy hands and initial power to be a disruptive force," wrote Brugler

Stocking the defensive line with Buckner, Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan would be a power move by the Ravens sure to pay dividends in the competitive AFC North. 

Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State 

Gregory Payan/Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys may have addressed their front seven in free agency when they signed defensive lineman Cedric Thornton Thursday, as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported

But that doesn't mean they can't look to double down on beefing up their defensive front through the draft as well, and that's where Ohio State product Joey Bosa comes in. 

Bosa may be a better fit as a 4-3 defensive end, but he could also be a strong 3-4 rush linebacker for the right team. 

Brugler wrote that Bosa is "active on stunts with experience lining up inside and outside—a proven threat anywhere in the front seven." 

With Randy Gregory suspended for the first four games of the season and given that Dallas was lackluster in getting after the passer last season, Bosa makes a ton of sense for the Cowboys. 

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