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2016 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions, Prospects Who Will Shape Day 1

Daniel Kramer@dkramer_Featured ColumnistApril 2, 2016

NEW YORK - APRIL 29:  The stage is shown with the NFL Logo at the 2006 NFL Draft on April 29, 2006 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

As the calendar turns to April, most of the NFL attention will steer toward the draft in just four short weeks. 

Will the Tennessee Titans hold onto the No. 1 pick? Which teams will take a lofty step in selecting their next franchise quarterbacks? We take an in-depth look at these questions, which will be answered soon. 

Here is a look at the latest mock draft and a few storylines to keep an eye on:

2016 NFL Mock Draft—First Round
PickTeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Tennessee TitansLaremy TunsilOTOle Miss
2Cleveland BrownsCarson WentzQBNorth Dakota St.
3San Diego ChargersJalen RamseyDBFlorida State
4Dallas CowboysJared GoffQBCalifornia
5Jacksonville JaguarsMyles JackLBUCLA
6Baltimore RavensJoey BosaDEOhio State
7San Francisco 49ersVernon Hargreaves IIICBFlorida
8Philadelphia EaglesEzekiel ElliottRBOhio State
9Tampa Bay BuccaneersDeForest BucknerDEOregon
10New York GiantsA'Shawn RobinsonDT/DEAlabama
11Chicago BearsLeonard FloydDE/LBGeorgia
12New Orleans SaintsJarran ReedDT/DEAlabama
13Miami DolphinsRonnie StanleyOLNotre Dame
14Oakland RaidersMackensie AlexanderCBClemson
15Los Angeles RamsPaxton LynchQBMemphis
16Detroit LionsEmmanuel OgbahDEOklahoma State
17Atlanta FalconsShaq LawsonDEClemson
18Indianapolis ColtsJack ConklinOLMichigan State
19Buffalo BillsReggie RaglandLBAlabama
20New York JetsSheldon RankinsDTLouisville
21Washington RedskinsLaquon TreadwellWROle Miss
22Houston TexansWill FullerWRNotre Dame
23Minnesota VikingsJosh DoctsonWRTCU
24Cincinnati BengalsEli AppleCBOhio State
25Pittsburgh SteelersTaylor DeckerOLOhio State
26Seattle SeahawksCody WhitehairOLKansas State
27Green Bay PackersKenny ClarkDTUCLA
28Kansas City ChiefsDarron LeeLBOhio State
29Arizona CardinalsMiles KillebrewSSouthern Utah
30Carolina PanthersCorey ColemanWRBaylor
31Denver BroncosConnor CookQBMichigan State
Bleacher Report's Daniel Kramer

Titans Rightfully Trying to Trade No. 1 Pick

The Titans have a slew of holes on their roster that they hope to address in this year’s draft. And normally, having the first overall selection is a coveted position to be in. 

But since no glaring names stand out at the top of the draft boards in 2016 and the Titans already drafted a franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota last year, Tennessee is wisely seeking to trade the selection and gain more draft picks in return. 

"We would like to move on from having the No. 1 pick, but we want to capitalize on it and try to make an impact to our roster," new general manager Jon Robinson said at the NFL combine in February, per Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today

The Dallas Cowboys (fourth overall pick), San Francisco 49ers (seventh) and Los Angeles Rams (15th) are believed to be in the market for a quarterback, but all seem to be standing pat. But why?

Perhaps it’s because there isn’t a consensus on which of the top quarterbacks has the ability to become a franchise superstar. 

Cal’s Jared Goff, Memphis’ Paxton Lynch and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz are among the top QB prospects, but they pale in comparison to last year’s duo of Mariota and Jameis Winston.

The Titans are also reportedly seeking a “king’s ransom” for the pick, according to Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com. It makes sense they would want a big return, but given the unknown among the top prospects this year in particular, it’s also understandable why teams appear hesitant to make such a trade.

If the Titans are unable to strike a deal before draft day, they’d be wise to take top offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. The Ole Miss product could beef up Mariota’s blind side and bolster a unit that last year allowed 54 sacks—tops in the league. 

It makes sense why the Titans are trying to trade the pick, but if all else fails, protecting their lofty investment from a year ago is a logical choice.

Landing Spots for Top QBs Remain Unclear

Wentz, Goff and Lynch are the top trio of quarterback prospects, but where they will go in the draft remains a huge mystery. 

Even though they signed Sam Bradford to a pricey extension this offseason and added Chase Daniel as his backup, the Eagles met with Wentz earlier this week, per CSNPhilly.com. They’re also working out him, Goff and Lynch this week, according to Chase Goodbread of NFL.com. 

Of the three, Lynch seems the most likely to fall to Philly, which holds the No. 8 pick. 

The big question mark is whether the Cleveland Browns, fresh off acquiring Robert Griffin III, will take a quarterback with the second pick. From there, the domino effect will be in place. Adding a top offensive lineman such as Tunsil—if available—or the comparable Ronnie Stanley to protect RG3 would make a lot of sense. 

The Cowboys need to consider bringing in Tony Romo’s heir, and spending the fourth overall pick on such a player would be a wise move. The San Francisco 49ers, who pick seventh, appear to be sticking with Colin Kaepernick, though his name has been linked to trade rumors throughout the offseason—notably with the Denver Broncos, per Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole

The 49ers still worked out Goff Wednesday—a day before Kaepernick’s $11.9 million base salary became guaranteed. With the incumbent’s status still somewhat in limbo, the 49ers could make a move on Goff if he’s there. 

If the Broncos don’t acquire another quarterback before the draft, they could take one with the 31st overall pick. Now that Brock Osweiler and Peyton Manning are gone, and with the questionable Mark Sanchez and 2015 seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian as the only quarterbacks on the roster, it would make sense for Denver to make such a move. 

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