Picks 1-20 in this 2016 NFL mock draft reflect the current NFL standings. Playoff selections are determined by current standings and predicted results in the playoffs.
1. Cleveland Browns (2-8) – Jared Goff (QB/California)
Johnny Manziel hasn’t been terrible, but Cleveland seems very non-committal about him. If they end up with the top draft pick, they will likely use it on a new franchise signal caller. Josh McCown was also never seen as the long-term solution.
As it stands now, Goff is the top dog at quarterback in this draft, but that could change by season’s end. He is accurate and has a decent enough arm to be successful in the NFL, but needs to improve when he is under pressure.
2. Tennessee Titans (2-7) – Laremy Tunsil (OT/Ole Miss)
Taylor Lewan was drafted to be the franchise left tackle in Tennessee, but he has been a hot head in his career and regressed this season. If the Titans have the ability to draft a franchise tackle, they need to pull the trigger. Tunsil missed last season with a broken leg and struggles a bit as a run blocker, but has played well since returning from injury and would serve as an immediate upgrade on the blind side.
3. Baltimore Ravens (2-7) – Joey Bosa (DE/Ohio State)
Baltimore have Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs on their roster, but the Ravens have a penchant for going after the best guy available and Bosa would help keep Suggs and Dumervil fresh by rotating in with them. Even scarier, Bosa is a force against the run as well.
4. San Diego Chargers (2-7) – Ronnie Stanley (OT/Notre Dame)
The Chargers offensive line has been a mess for several seasons now due to injuries and poor performance. Right tackle Joseph Barksdale is a free agent in 2016 and King Dunlap can’t escape injuries. Stanley has drawn comparisons to Jets offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson as neither are overpowering, but instead rely on elite athleticism to protect their quarterback.
5. Detroit Lions (2-7) – Paxton Lynch (QB/Memphis)
Detroit is cleaning house and there are signs that the team could move on from Matt Stafford and even Calvin Johnson. If they wind up with a top five draft pick, a quarterback is definitely in play. Lynch has skyrocketed up draft boards this season following a stellar year in Memphis. The 6’7″ signal caller could wind up being the top quarterback taken.
6. Dallas Cowboys (2-7) – Robert Nkemdiche (DE/Ole Miss)
Dallas drafted Randy Gregory last season and signed Greg Hardy, but Hardy is on a one-year deal so the team could look to move on from him. Nkemdiche would be a nice replacement and allow Dallas to have one of the most terrorizing pass rushing units in the league for years.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7) – Vernon Hargreaves (CB/Florida)
With both blue chip pass protectors gone, Jacksonville will look to go after the top available player. Hargreaves’ elite speed and ball skills has drawn comparisons to another Gator cornerback, Joe Haden.
8. San Francisco 49ers (3-6) – Connor Cook (QB/Michigan State)
San Francisco seems committed to moving on from Colin Kaepernick, and, if they’re smart, they may just clean house entirely, severing the ties with Trent Baalke and Jim Tomsula. Blaine Gabbert hasn’t made the most on the second lease of his NFL life and any coach who takes over will certainly look for a new face of this franchise.
Luckily for the 49ers, Cook may still be available. However, he injured his throwing shoulder last week. While he claims he will play next week, teams will be keeping a close eye on his performance throughout the rest of the season.
9. New Orleans Saints (4-6) – Myles Jack (OLB/UCLA)
The Saints defense is a mess in all aspects. While secondary help is a bigger need, Jack is a no-brainer if he is available. Jack is missing this season after tearing his ACL, but the injury is no longer the death sentence it once was. Todd Gurley tore his ACL much later in the season last year and he was still a top 10 draft pick.
10. Miami Dolphins (4-5) – Ezekiel Elliott (RB/Ohio State)
Lamar Miller is a free agent after the season and the team is already giving more carries to rookie Jay Ajayi. Elliott would serve as an improvement for the Dolphins running game over the inconsistent Miller.
11. Oakland Raiders (4-5) – Jalen Ramsey (FS/Florida State)
Charles Woodson is still a solid player, but at age 39, he may not have much left in the tank. If Ramsey is available, the Raiders absolutely can’t let him slip past them.
12. Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) – Laquon Treadwell (WR/Ole Miss)
Quarterback could also be in play here, but with the top three guys gone, Kansas City should look to the next best position of need. Jeremy Maclin is there, but after him, the Chiefs are extremely thin at wideout. With Jamaal Charles coming off of a torn ACL, Kansas City needs all of the offensive weapons they can get.
13. St. Louis Rams (4-5) – Tyler Boyd (WR/Pittsburgh)
The Rams are so desperate for help at wide receiver that they brought in the corpse of Wes Welker to catch passes. Don’t be surprised if the Rams ultimately trade up to take a quarterback, however, as Nick Foles has lost his job and Case Keenum is not an answer.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) – Emmanuel Ogbah (DE/Oklahoma State)
Tampa Bay is incredibly thin at defensive end to the point that they approach Henry Melton about sliding over on the defensive line. Gerald McCoy is one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL, but he needs someone else on the defensive line to take pressure off of him.
15. Chicago Bears (4-5) – Jaylon Smith (ILB/Notre Dame)
The Bears defense continues to be an issue and will be the focal point of this draft, especially with Jay Cutler playing well in his first season with Adam Gase. Smith is versatile enough to play inside or outside, but I think his future in the NFL will be in the middle.
16. Washington Redskins (4-5) – Leonard Floyd (OLB/Georgia)
Ryan Kerrigan is a solid player, but Washington never found a true replacement for Brian Orakpo after he left. Floyd is an explosive edge rusher who has a skillset similar to former Bulldog Justin Houston.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) – A’Shawn Robinson (DE/Alabama)
With Vinny Curry a free agent in 2016 and Fletcher Cox hitting the market a year later, Philadelphia needs to add some depth on the edge. Robinson is a raw prospect who will need some time to develop, but if he declares for the draft, he will only be 21.
18. Seattle Seahawks (4-5) – Taylor Decker (OT/Ohio State)
The Seahawks have struggled offensively thanks to poor play on their offensive line. Decker would be an immediate starter at right tackle and could eventually be moved to the blindside should the team move away from Russell Okung.
19. Houston Texans (4-5) – Reggie Ragland (ILB/Alabama)
Brian Cushing is no longer the elite player he once was and is oft-injured. Houston could save $2 million by releasing him in the offseason, so if they do move on from him, they could target an inside linebacker early in the draft to replace him.
20. New York Jets (5-4) – Jack Conklin (OT/Michigan State)
D’Brickashaw Ferguson has regressed over recent seasons and needs to be replaced. Conklin could spend a year on the right side while being groomed as their long-term solution on the blind side.
21. Indianapolis Colts (4-5) – DeForest Buckner (DT/Oregon)
The Colts roster is a mess, but Buckner falling here would be significant to them. He is a top 15 prospect, but may fall a bit depending on the needs of others teams. Due much in part to his large frame, Bucker has drawn comparisons to former teammate Arik Armstead.
22. New York Giants (5-5) – Kendall Fuller (CB/Virginia Tech)
Prince Amukamara is in his contract year, so New York may need to find a replacement if they fail to resign him. Fuller, the younger brother of Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller, is sitting out this season after opting for surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.
23. Buffalo Bills (5-4) – Vandal Alexander (G/LSU)
Richie Incognito has repaired his reputation and has been arguably the best guard in the NFL, but he is on a one-year deal so Buffalo may be unable to retain him. If he skips town, the Bills will need to find a replacement.
24. Minnesota Vikings (7-2) – Michael Thomas (WR/Ohio State)
Minnesota is surprisingly in first place, but they need to upgrade at receiver. Mike Wallace is unsurprisingly terrible, Charles Johnson is in a sophomore slump and Cordarrelle Patterson has been kicked off the offense. Teddy Bridgewater needs to find a true No. 1 receiver this offseason.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) – Tyler Johnstone (OT/Oregon)
Pittsburgh’s offensive line is so bad that is somehow lucked its way into winning this week by getting Landry Jones injured and forcing Ben Roethlisberger to play. Big Ben has been battered this season and the Steelers need to focus on protecting him if they expect to succeed.
26. Green Bay Packers (6-3) – Kenny Clark (DT/UCLA)
B.J. Raji is an upcoming free agent after the season and the Packers seem content with moving on from him. The only problem, however, if they do not have someone on the roster to replace him.
27. Arizona Cardinals (7-2) – Scooby Wright (OLB/Arizona)
Wright has a great motor, but lacks the athleticism. Regardless, he would serve as a much needed edge rusher for Arizona, who is currently peddling Dwight Freeney to get to the quarterback.
28. Cincinnati Bengals (8-1) – Josh Doctson (WR/TCU)
A.J. Green signed an extension, but Marvin Jones is a free agent in 2016 and could look for a big deal. Doctson has made some highlight reel plays this season and has drawn comparisons to Green. Expect him to sneak into the first round.
29. Atlanta Falcons (6-3) – Nate Andrews (SS/Florida State)
The Falcons defense has improved this season with Dan Quinn taking over, but play at safety has been pretty poor. If Andrews is gone (or doesn’t declare for the draft), USC strong safety Su’a Cravens could also be an option.
30. Denver Broncos (7-2) – Max Tuerk (C/USC)
It looks like Brock Osweiler will finally get a chance to make a statement in the NFL. If he fails, the team could trade up for a signal caller in the draft, but until they improve their porous offensive line, anyone who plays under center will struggle.
31. Carolina Panthers (9-0) – Shilique Calhoun (DE/Michigan State)
Given Jared Allen’s age and contract, he could be a cut candidate in the offseason. The Panthers get Charles Johnson back and Kony Ealy has played well, but Calhoun is the top available player and can provide some much-needed depth.