NFL Mock Draft 2016: Full 1st-Round Projections for Nation's Top Prospects

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NFL Mock Draft 2016: Full 1st-Round Projections for Nation's Top Prospects
Paul Vernon/Associated Press

The biggest names in free agency have almost all found homes for the 2016 season, which puts the NFL draft picture into a clearer perspective. 

Many teams have already filled needs, while others have created holes by failing to re-sign free agents. 

With that in mind, here's a look at an updated mock draft based on free-agency moves and rumors swirling around the league. 

NFL Mock Draft
Pick Team Player Pos School
1 Tennessee Titans Laremy Tunsil OT Ole Miss
2 Cleveland Browns Jalen Ramsey DB Florida State
3 San Diego Chargers Joey Bosa LB Ohio State
4 Dallas Cowboys DeForest Buckner DL Oregon
5 Jacksonville Jaguars Myles Jack LB UCLA
6 Baltimore Ravens Vernon Hargreaves III CB Florida
7 San Francisco 49ers Jared Goff QB California
8 Philadelphia Eagles Ronnie Stanley OT Notre Dame
9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Shaq Lawson DE Clemson
10 New York Giants Josh Doctson WR TCU
11 Chicago Bears Carson Wentz QB North Dakota State
12 New Orleans Saints A'Shawn Robinson DT Alabama
13 Miami Dolphins Ezekiel Elliott RB Ohio State
14 Oakland Raiders Eli Apple CB Ohio State
15 Los Angeles Rams Paxton Lynch QB Memphis
16 Detroit Lions Sheldon Rankins DT Louisville
17 Atlanta Falcons Darron Lee LB Ohio State
18 Indianapolis Colts Taylor Decker OT Ohio State
19 Buffalo Bills Kevin Dodd DE Clemson
20 New York Jets Leonard Floyd LB Georgia
21 Washington Redskins Vernon Butler DT Louisiana Tech
22 Houston Texans Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss
23 Minnesota Vikings Corey Coleman WR Baylor
24 Cincinnati Bengals Michael Thomas WR Ohio State
25 Pittsburgh Steelers Jack Conklin OT Michigan State
26 Seattle Seahawks Cody Whitehair OG Kansas State
27 Green Bay Packers Reggie Ragland LB Alabama
28 Kansas City Chiefs Mackensie Alexander CB Clemson
29 Arizona Cardinals Noah Spence LB Eastern Kentucky
30 Carolina Panthers Jason Spriggs OT Indiana
31 Denver Broncos Jaylon Smith LB Notre Dame

Notable Picks

11. Chicago Bears: Carson Wentz

Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Jay Cutler has had a tumultuous career in Chicago, and the Bears may be on the verge of cutting ties with their polarizing quarterback. 

According to Spotrac, Cutler is under contract through 2020, but it would take a very small cap hit to cut him loose after the conclusion of the upcoming season. 

Even without a replacement in place, the Bears would have to seriously consider moving on from Cutler given the significant cap space they would save. 

By adding Carson Wentz in the first round, the Bears' decision to part with Cutler would be even easier to handle. 

From Wentz's perspective, this would be one of the ideal landing spots. With limited experience against top competition he isn't ready for a starting role in 2016, but in Chicago he could redshirt a year before being handed the reins. 

13. Miami Dolphins: Ezekiel Elliott

According to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole, the Dolphins are having internal discussions about targeting Ezekiel Elliott with the 13th pick: 

Cole noted that head coach Adam Gase is interested in adding a "cutback runner" to the Dolphins offense, and he may view Elliott as one of his only options after losing Lamar Miller and missing out on C.J. Anderson and Chris Johnson in free agency. 

Elliott is a well-rounded back and more than just a cutback runner, but that is an element of the game at which he excels. His change-of-direction ability ranks among the best running backs in this class, and it would make sense for Gase to target him in the first round.

It's unfortunate that the Dolphins have reached this point due to their many other needs, but it appears as though they may be forced to target Elliott on draft day after whiffing on their main free-agent targets. 

15. Los Angeles Rams: Paxton Lynch

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

How desperate are the Rams to start fresh with a new quarterback in Los Angeles? That's the question that will determine this selection.

Few draft experts have Paxton Lynch ranked as a viable top-15 selection. Rotoworld's Josh Norris, for example, has Lynch ranked 60th overall, making him a fringe 2nd-round prospect. 

But we've seen many teams reach for quarterbacks in the middle of the first round since the rookie wage scale lessened the financial risk of such a gamble. 

Another franchise might pass on Lynch in this scenario, but as the Rams head to a new city the decision process feels different. Can the Rams really expect to win over a new fanbase with Nick Foles or Case Keenum at quarterback?

Owners have been known to meddle with draft-day decisions when quarterbacks are involved, and this selection could end up being as much about Rams owner Stan Kroenke wanting to give the new fanbase hope as it is about making a good football decision. 

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