2016 NFL Mock Draft: Breaking Down Post-Week 2 Predictions

Ryan McCrystal@@ryan_mccrystalFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2015

California quarterback Jared Goff throws a pass in a NCAA football game against San Diego State Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Berkeley, Calif. California won 35-7. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

The NFL season is still young, but it's never too early to look ahead to the NFL draft—especially if your team is 0-2.

Since the second week isn't even complete, don't worry too much about the draft order. It's mostly based on preseason expectations and very early results. 

Many of the top college prospects are already off to fantastic starts, and the top of the 2016 draft class is shaping up to be as strong as we've seen in a number of years. 

A lot can change between now and April, but there are some big names in this early mock draft that will almost certainly remain in the conversation. 

Post-Week 2 Mock Draft
1. Tampa Bay BuccaneersRonnie StanleyOTNotre Dame
2. Tennessee TitansLaremy TunsilOTOle Miss
3. Oakland RaidersJoey BosaDEOhio State
4. Chicago BearsJared GoffQBCalifornia
5. Washington RedskinsJaylon SmithLBNotre Dame
6. Cleveland BrownsLaquon TreadwellWROle Miss
7. Jacksonville JaguarsTaylor DeckerOTOhio State
8. Houston TexansConnor CookQBMichigan State
9. New Orleans SaintsRobert NkemdicheDLOle Miss
10. New York GiantsEzekiel ElliottRBOhio State
11. New York JetsA'Shawn RobinsonDLAlabama
12. St. Louis RamsTyler BoydWRPittsburgh
13. San Francisco 49ersJalen RamseyCBFlorida State
14. Detriot LionsVernon Hargreaves IIICBFlorida
15. Baltimore RavensAdolphus WashingtonDLOhio State
16. Minnesota VikingsJack ConklinOTMichigan State
17. Philadelphia EaglesDarron LeeLBOhio State
18. Miami DolphinsKeiVarae RussellCBNotre Dame
19. Carolina PanthersTre'Davious WhiteCBLSU
20. Kansas City ChiefsMichael ThomasWROhio State
21. Atlanta FalconsGermain IfediOTTexas A&M
22. San Diego ChargersAdam GotsisDTGeorgia Tech
23. Buffalo BillsCarl LawsonDEAuburn
24. Pittsburgh SteelersSu'a CravensLBUSC
25. Cincinnati BengalsShilique CalhounDEMichigan State
26. Denver BroncosCody WhitehairOGKansas State
27. Seattle SeahawksNick MartinOLNotre Dame
28. Arizona CardinalsDeForest BucknerDEOregon
29. Indianapolis ColtsCassanova McKinzyLBAuburn
30. Dallas CowboysSheldon DayDTNotre Dame
31. New England PatriotsNo Pick--
32. Green Bay PackersMax RedfieldSNotre Dame
Ryan McCrystal

Notable Early Projections

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Ronnie Stanley

It's rare for an early projection to have a non-quarterback at the top. But with so many teams having recently filled their need for a signal-caller, there's a good chance another position will get the glory of going No. 1 in 2016. 

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Stanley has an impressive blend of size and mobility, making him an ideal left tackle in the NFL. 

Through 2 gms, Notre Dame LT Ronnie Stanley is perfect in pass protection.. zero sacks, hits or hurries allowed in 56 pass pro snaps

— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) September 15, 2015

He's done a brilliant job blocking for three different starting quarterbacks in the past two seasons, and he could wind up protecting Jameis Winston's blind side in the NFL next season.

4. Chicago Bears - Jared Goff

There wasn't a unanimous choice for the top quarterback entering the season, but momentum is swinging toward Goff. 

To be fair, the increased hype is partially by default, as others such as Cardale Jones and Christian Hackenberg have started the season with a thud. 

Jared Goff is one of the most-productive quarterbacks in the country with a stable of quality wide receivers. pic.twitter.com/Tpzawqzcyn

— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 19, 2015

At the very least, Goff has met expectations, showing adequate arm strength, impressive accuracy and improved decision-making skills. 

If Jay Cutler misses significant time due to his hamstring injury, it may force the Bears to start seriously thinking about the future. 

8. Houston Texans - Connor Cook

It's tempting to match Christian Hackenberg up with his former coach, but the season has been such a disaster for the Penn State quarterback that it's just not possible to justify. 

He showed it last year with Lippett and he's showing it this year with other WRs, but Connor Cook is great on back shoulder throws.

— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) September 19, 2015

So O'Brien lands another Big Ten quarterback in this scenario, as Cook has been steady, if not spectacular this season. 

Cook's physical tools don't jump off the charts, but his consistency and leadership will endear him to NFL coaches. 

O'Brien favors traditional pocket passers such as Ryan Mallett, so Cook's physical attributes should make him a great fit as a young quarterback for O'Brien to mold.

10. New York Giants - Ezekiel Elliott

The Giants running back by committee has been a disaster, as Rashad Jennings currently leads the team with 22 carries for 64 yards

There would be no need for a committee approach with Ezekiel Elliott, who has been the only bright spot on Ohio State's disappointing offense the past two weeks. 

Elliott is a workhorse with an impressive blend of size and agility, making him a great fit for the NFC East. 

Ezekiel Elliott is just like your favorite running back. Only better. https://t.co/aH1dHRn68W

— Eleven Warriors (@11W) September 19, 2015

Follow Ryan McCrystal on Twitter for more NFL and college football analysis.