2016 NFL Mock Draft: Projections Based on Buzz Surrounding 1st-Round Prospects

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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Projections Based on Buzz Surrounding 1st-Round Prospects
Bruce Crummy/Associated Press
The NFL is abuzz after a strong pro day from Carson Wentz.

JaMarcus Russell had a great pro day.

It's a quick but heavy statement of the perils surrounding the NFL during this portion of the calendar. In a way, it fits right in with the so-called madness of March.

As the NFL draft approaches, the top prospects continue to make waves in the stock department via pro days and individual workouts with teams. It's a fun time of year, but a cautionary one, as what could be as much as four years of film take a back seat to more recent events such as favorable workouts.

So keep such lessons from year's past in mind while perusing the NFL draft buzz. Here's a look at the latest and what it truly means.

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 Reggie Ragland LB Alabama
12 New Orleans Saints Noah Spence DE/LB Eastern Kentucky
13 Miami Dolphins Ezekiel Elliott RB Ohio State
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 Shaq Lawson LB Clemson
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 Corey Coleman WR Baylor
22 Houston Texans Robert Nkemdiche DL Ole Miss
23 Minnesota Vikings Josh Doctson WR TCU
24 Cincinnati Bengals Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss
25 Pittsburgh Steelers Eli Apple CB Ohio State
26 Seattle Seahawks Leonard Floyd LB Georgia
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

Notable Buzz Around Prospects

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida

Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press
Vernon Hargreaves wowed scouts in workouts.

See, there is a big difference between someone such as Russell, who had well-documented motivation issues, and a guy like Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, whose best comparison for years has been Joe Haden.

Hargreaves comes in at 5'10" and 204 pounds with elite athleticism, anticipation and explosiveness to plant himself around the football and make a difference.

The Florida product reinforced any and all comparisons by wowing scouts at the team's pro day, according to CollegeFootball 24/7:

Had Hargreaves tanked, this would seem like a much different story, but he took to positional drills and reflected his film, buoying his already-stellar stock in the process.

Rest assured the Jacksonville Jaguars paid attention to the local kid. If they cannot get their hands on Jalen Ramsey, Hargreaves is the next-best option to slap in a secondary that ranked 29th against the pass last year.

Adding Malik Jackson, Hargreaves and getting Dante Fowler back from injury should go a long way in helping Jacksonville turn things around on the defensive side of the ball.

15. Los Angeles Rams: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

Carson Wentz is the trickiest of the hype.

Wentz attended North Dakota State and didn't face any meaningful competition, but he's always looked the part at 6'5" and 237 pounds with an ability to hit most throws on film.

Folks began digging into Wentz after the season and liked what they saw, raising his stock. Wentz seemed to help himself at North Dakota State's pro day Thursday, as the NFL captured:

But again, these things have to come with a dash of caution. For example, NBCSN's Ross Tucker hit the nail on the head before the day even began:

Wentz threw the ball well in a workout he's done plenty of times on his home turf surrounded by teammates and supporters. While he looked great, it might be premature to swap him with California's Jared Goff in the draft process. 

Not that the Los Angeles Rams will complain if Wentz remains in the mid-round range. Avoiding another dose of Nick Foles, or at least doing so knowing there is a high-ceiling prospect learning on the bench, would help the franchise.

Such a ceiling might end up trumping everything else, but for now it's hard to shake the feeling that the hype around Wentz booms simply because this is one of the weakest quarterback classes in recent memory. For now, he's sticking around No. 15.

21. Washington: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

LM Otero/Associated Press
Corey Coleman didn't have problems making waves at Baylor's pro day.

Baylor's Corey Coleman is another interesting case.

The explosive deep threat didn't do much at the combine, but years and years of productive film trumped the absence. Instead, Coleman chose to take to the Baylor pro day and put on a show. 

Which he did. Coleman put up explosive numbers, albeit on friendly turf. The NFL knows how to look past big numbers at a pro day and get right to the point, which it sounds like it has, as John McClain of the Houston Chronicle detailed:

Already considered a first-round prospect in college, Coleman enters a weak class sure to fulfill the expectations. The pro day, though, didn't make him a can't-miss prospect who will come off the board among the first 10 picks, as it's still muddy as to which wideout will hear his name called first.

Still, Coleman is quite the get for a team like Washington. The team kept Kirk Cousins under center and now needs another talented vertical threat to run with DeSean Jackson and tight end Jordan Reed.

With Pierre Garcon slowing, adding another dependable threat such as Coleman will work wonders for the spacing and timing of the Washington offense.

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

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