2016 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions for Prospects with Rising Stock

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2016

Josh Doctson leads the way in rising stock this week.
Josh Doctson leads the way in rising stock this week.Gregory Payan/Associated Press

While not boasting fancy terms such as Cinderellas and bracket-busters, the NFL draft matches the hype of the month blow-for-blow with the draft process forging ahead.

The most notable term in NFL land these days is "stock," the almighty "S" word that folks slap on prospects whenever something at all happens to them, whether it's a workout, pro day or any endless other tornado of factors that form the summary.

Rest assured that stocks have continued to move and shuffle the board even with the globe's attention elsewhere. Here's a review via a mock based on team need and prospect value with a closer look on three notable risers.

 

2016 NFL Mock Draft

PickTeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Tennessee TitansLaremy TunsilOTOle Miss
2Cleveland BrownsJared GoffQBCalifornia
3San Diego ChargersJalen RamseyCB/SFlorida State
4Dallas CowboysMyles JackLBUCLA
5Jacksonville JaguarsVernon Hargreaves IIICBFlorida
6Baltimore RavensRonnie StanleyOTNotre Dame
7San Francisco 49ersJoey BosaDLOhio State
8Philadelphia EaglesJack ConklinOTMichigan State
9Tampa Bay BuccaneersDarron LeeLBOhio State
10New York GiantsDeForest BucknerDEOregon
11Chicago BearsReggie RaglandLBAlabama
12New Orleans SaintsNoah SpenceDE/LBEastern Kentucky
13Miami DolphinsEzekiel ElliottRBOhio State
14Oakland RaidersMackensie AlexanderCBClemson
15Los Angeles RamsCarson WentzQBNorth Dakota State
16Detroit LionsTaylor DeckerOTOhio State
17Atlanta FalconsShaq LawsonLBClemson
18Indianapolis ColtsA'Shawn RobinsonDTAlabama
19Buffalo BillsPaxton LynchQBMemphis
20New York JetsJonathan BullardDEFlorida
21WashingtonCorey ColemanWRBaylor
22Houston TexansRobert NkemdicheDLOle Miss
23Minnesota VikingsJosh DoctsonWRTCU
24Cincinnati BengalsLaquon TreadwellWROle Miss
25Pittsburgh SteelersEli AppleCBOhio State
26Seattle SeahawksLeonard FloydLBGeorgia
27Green Bay PackersSheldon RankinsDTLouisville
28Kansas City ChiefsMichael ThomasWROhio State
29Arizona CardinalsEmmanuel OgbahDEOklahoma St.
30Carolina PanthersKevin DoddDEClemson
31Denver BroncosJason SpriggsOTIndiana
Author's projections

Notable Stock Risers

3. San Diego Chargers: Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State

Jalen Ramsey could come off the board No .1.
Jalen Ramsey could come off the board No .1.L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

Normally, a guy as highly thought of as Florida State's Jalen Ramsey doesn't get a mention as a stock-riser because he can't really climb much higher.

A talent like Ramsey can, though, especially with folks using the draft process to realize just how special of a prospect he really is.

NFL.com's Chad Reuter noted Ramsey could go first off the board to the Tennessee Titans. It's something the organization seemed to reinforce with comments on the Florida State product:

Chances seem strong the Titans still grab an offensive lineman to protect Marcus Mariota, but it's easy to see why some consider Ramsey the top pick.

Coming in at 6'1" and 209 pounds, he can play any spot in the defensive secondary and do so quite well. With his elite athleticism, length and smarts, he can play physical at the line with bigger receivers or drop back into deep center and track like a safety.

The description makes perfect sense for the San Diego Chargers, the first team in the order that can't pass up Ramsey. After losing Eric Weddle this offseason, the Chargers can add Ramsey to a secondary that already boasts Jason Verrett and begin to build something special.

 

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State

Freak athleticism has Darron Lee's stock higher than ever.
Freak athleticism has Darron Lee's stock higher than ever.Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Folks didn't hear much about Ohio State's Darron Lee before the NFL draft process really got into the meat of the schedule because it was easy to look at his measurements and move on to the next guy.

Fair enough. Most NFL linebackers don't come in around 6'1" and 232 pounds and find success.

Lee might, though.

He is an absolute burner, one of the most freakish athletes in the draft after running a 4.47 40-yard dash at the combine, a time better than most wideouts. He has a great knack for tracking the football too, prompting folks who spoke with Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to label him as an immediate starter:

Redshirt sophomore started all 28 games in 2014-'15. "Run, see, hit type guy," one scout said. "Little bit like Myles Jack. Very athletic. Little undersized. 4-3 'Will' or 3-4 inside backer. Immediate nickel backer." Had 12 sacks, 27 ½ tackles for loss and three interceptions. "More of a finesse guy than anything," another scout said. "Has to be covered up. He goes out and plays on the slot a lot. First-round talent."

It's jarring praise for a guy who wasn't even in the first-round conversation before the end of the season. 

So it goes, though. Nickel 'backers are more important than ever, and Lee has the upside to be one of the league's best, which is why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won't bat an eye at grabbing him.

Tampa Bay has a lot of work to do on that side of the ball after ranking 16th against the pass last year and giving up 26.1 points per game, the 26th mark in the league. Letting Lee learn from Lavonte David and using the rookie properly could lead to big things for the unit.

 

23. Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

Josh Doctson's pro-ready skills have teams buzzing.
Josh Doctson's pro-ready skills have teams buzzing.Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The globe seems obsessed with Baylor's Corey Coleman right now because he ran a fast dash time at his pro day, but TCU's Josh Doctson's stock is rising quietly too.

Why not? It's a somewhat weak wideout class, and Doctson doesn't flash pretty numbers in drills. Yet he's a guy at 6'2" and 202 pounds with sticky hands and elite route-running abilities—traits that folks continue to realize more and more as the process continues.

"He killed it at the combine and that really helped him. He was first round before that, now he might have moved up a few spots," a scout told Mark Eckel of NJ.com. "Don't be surprised if he goes before [Laquon] Treadwell."

The Minnesota Vikings won't ignore Doctson's ability to climb the ladder and get the ball at the point of attack after a crisp route. A quarterback can depend on him in a pinch.

With Cordarrelle Patterson looking like a bust and only Stefon Diggs and Jarius Wright as starters, the Vikings should select Doctson as they attempt to surround Teddy Bridgewater with more talent.

Boasting so many pro-ready skills, Doctson has a chance to end up as Minnesota's No. 1 wideout as a rookie once he develops chemistry with his new quarterback.

 

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

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