2016 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions and Top Prospects' Stock Watch

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2016 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions and Top Prospects' Stock Watch
Associated Press
Jared Goff is raising his stock most as of late.

Folks aren't focused on NFL draft stock as much as they are Cinderellas, bubbles and other such basketball mannerisms right now.

For shame, too, because the future stars of the NFL continue to work through the draft process by going through their paces at pro days, interviews and more, altering the stock market like a rock thrown in a pond would send waves throughout.

Granted, nobody has tossed a boulder in the pond as of late, but enough subtle changes demand the attention of fans. To help keep pace with the constant updates in this distracting month of madness, here is a look based on team need and prospect value of the stock market.

 

2016 NFL Mock Draft

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

Author's projections

Stock Watch

2. Cleveland Browns: Jared Goff, QB, California

Here's a shocker—the guy who was the original No. 1 quarterback on most people's boards continues to reassert himself as the...No. 1 quarterback on most people's boards.

The NFL draft process loves shiny new things. Goff spent the entire collegiate season as the top quarterback, but Paxton Lynch out of Memphis and Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State certainly had their time in the spotlight.

Goff sits on the throne once again, though, after an incredible showing at California's pro day, including a laser of a pass on a rope captured by the NFL on Twitter:

Indeed, Goff chose to not do a simple scripted exercise at the pro day, garnering praise from NFL Network analysts such as Bucky Brooks.

"I think it's commendable that he showed (tougher throws)," Brooks said, according to NFL.com's Chase Goodbread. "He could've basically mailed it in, do an easy workout today, but he's actually giving scouts everything that they want to see in terms of using the entire field."

With a solid arm, an ability to read defenses and good size at 6'4" and 215 pounds, Goff should have never lost the top slot in the first place. 

He probably didn't in the minds of the Cleveland Browns. New head coach Hue Jackson will want his own guy to work with after years of reshaping Andy Dalton into a franchise quarterback in Cincinnati. Goff is his guy, and one who can start right out of the gates and develop over the course of a few years into a viable starter.

Verdict: Stock up

 

13. Miami Dolphins: Shaq Lawson, LB, Clemson

The airwaves have been all over the place with Clemson pass-rusher Shaq Lawson. 

Folks know Lawson as an elite athlete with great burst off the snap and a vast array of moves that help him to weave to quarterbacks and flush the pocket. Lawson has put this set of skills on display more than a handful of times so far to great effect.

Counterbalancing the positives, though, is a necessary medical recheck after at least one team flagged him for a shoulder issue. NFL Network's Albert Breer provided the context:

For now, Lawson's stock seems to hover right in the middle of the pack, which isn't such a bad thing for a team like the Miami Dolphins.

Mired in the same division as Tom Brady, the Dolphins only managed 31 sacks last season and lost Olivier Vernon. Adding Mario Williams helps, but getting deeper in the trenches and having an insurance policy such as Lawson to rush from different spots and angles can never hurt.

In fact, it might wind up as the edge that the unit needs to take home the AFC East.

As for Lawson, everything outside of the medical aspect looks great. Should the recheck go well, his stock might reach top-10 territory and remain there the rest of the way.

Verdict: No change 

 

19. Buffalo Bills: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

This is a wildly top-heavy draft for defenders, making the few notable quarterback prospects and their stock levels all the more important. 

The aforementioned Lynch has somewhat fallen in the process now compared to a small period of time when some considered him to be the top option, though other circumstances throughout the league have buoyed his stock.

Look at it this way—the Denver Broncos lost Brock Osweiler. The New York Jets still don't have Ryan Fitzpatrick back under contract. Other unexpected teams such as the Buffalo Bills could swoop in if they like what Lynch brings to the table.

And why wouldn't they? Osweiler only started seven games on a roster that went on to win the title, and he got a massive contract. Lynch might seem like a project, he but comes in at 6'7" and 244 pounds with a strong arm and an ability to pull the ball down and take off when necessary.

The Bills don't seem entirely sold on Tyrod Taylor as the future under center, based on comments that suggest an extension won't get done, per Matthew Fairburn of Syracuse.com. If that's true, the Bills might gamble on a guy they can groom for a season before unleashing him.

With so many teams in need and Lynch doing no real harm to himself during the process, his arrow remains up.

Verdict: Stock up

 

Stats courtesy of NFL.com and are accurate as of Saturday. All advanced metrics courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

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