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 (2-10) – Joey Bosa (DE/Ohio State)
Johnny Manziel is back in Cleveland as a starter after the Browns brass and players protested Mike Pettine. This could be the early signs of a power struggle for the Browns. Ultimately, Cleveland may sever ties with Pettine this offseason and opt for a head coach who will commit to Manziel.
If this happens, Cleveland obviously won’t go for a quarterback in the draft. The Browns have a reputation of trading down and there are several teams who would be interested in drafting a new quarterback. If they stand pat here, however, don’t be surprised to see them going after a difference maker in the pass rush.
2. Tennessee Titans (3-9) – Jalen Ramsey (FS/Florida State)
Taylor Lewan has played well in recent weeks, so I’ll back off the Titans taking a tackle for not. With Marcus Mariota selected last year, Tennessee could also trade down.
No defensive back has gone in the top three since Shawn Springs in 1997, but Ramsey is a rare talent who would be an immediate upgrade to the Titans secondary.
3. San Diego Chargers (3-9) – Laremy Tunsil (OT/Ole Miss)
The Chargers offensive line is a mess and often injured. San Diego needs someone to anchor the offensive line. Tunsil would be an immediate starter on the blind side, allowing King Dunlap to move to the right and replace impending free agent Joseph Barksdale.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8) – Ronnie Stanley (OT/Notre Dame)
Luke Joeckel has never lived up to expectations in Jacksonville. Blake Bortles may be the most improve quarterback of the year, but he would benefit tremendously from having someone more reliable on the blind side.
5. Baltimore Ravens (4-8) – Robert Nkemdiche (DE/Ole Miss)
An insurance policy in case Terrell Suggs isn’t 100 percent in 2016. Plus, you can never have enough edge rushers in today’s NFL. Having Nkemdiche gives Baltimore the luxury of being able to rest Suggs and Elvis Dumervil when needed.
6. New Orleans Saints (4-8) – Jared Goff (QB/California)
Drew Brees turns 37 in January and will be in the final year of his contract in 2016. If the Saints continue to struggle, they will be in position to take a quarterback in the draft. Drafting Goff now will let him learn under Brees for a year before taking full control of this offense.
7. San Francisco 49ers (4-8) – Paxton Lynch (QB/Memphis)
Given how well Blaine Gabbert played last week, there is a chance he may retain the job in 2016. The Colin Kaepernick era is obviously over, but it’s hard to imagine Gabbert being the long-term solution.
8. Dallas Cowboys (4-8) – Vernon Hargreaves (CB/Florida)
Brandon Carr continues to be underwhelming and Morris Claiborne is a free agent after the season. The Cowboys took Byron Jones last year in the first round, but Hargreaves is a special talent who could form a fearsome duo alongside Jones in future years.
9. Detroit Lions (4-8) – Taylor Decker (OT/Ohio State)
Detroit’s offensive line woes need to end. Riley Reiff was a pretty solid right tackle, but he has been over matched since moving to the blind side. Decker is a strong tackle who is also serviceable as a run blocker.
10. Chicago Bears (4-8) – Myles Jack (OLB/UCLA)
Chicago needs help on all three levels of their defense. Jack isn’t playing this season after tearing his ACL, but he should be ready by Week 1 and ACL tears are no longer the career-ender they used to be.
11. St. Louis Rams (4-8) – Connor Cook (QB/Michigan State)
Nick Foles has been the worst starting quarterback in football this year. Jeff Fisher certainly didn’t have this in mind when he traded Sam Bradford for Foles. Given the threat for a team to trade up for a signal caller, the Rams may need to move up to acquire a quarterback.
12. Miami Dolphins (5-7) – Ezekiel Elliott (RB/Ohio State)
Lamar Miller is a free agent after the season and may get a sizable deal. Elliot would serve as an upgrade should Miller leave.
13. Washington Redskins (5-7) – Jaylon Smith (ILB/Notre Dame)
Perry Riley has been awful on the inside, so it is hard to imagine the Redskins will want him back next season. Smith would be a steal at this spot for Washington, even if he plays a non-elite position.
14. New York Giants (5-7) – Reggie Ragland (ILB/Alabama)
Jon Beason’s season is over and he will likely retire in the offseason. New York is currently sending out undrafted rookie Uani’ Unga as their starting middle linebacker, but he has been less than stellar thus far.
15. Oakland Raiders (5-7) – A’Shawn Robinson (DE/Alabama)
Undrafted second year player Denico Autry is one of the starters on Oakland’s defensive line and has struggled in the role. There is some young talent on the Raiders defense, but there is still plenty of work to be done.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6) – Jack Conklin (OT/Michigan State)
Gosder Cherilus was a last-minute signing to play right tackle and he has played about as well as you could imagine someone would as a late hire. Additionally, Donovan Smith is not an ideal left tackle. Conklin has been dominant in recent weeks, and could see his stock rise.
17. Atlanta Falcons (6-6) – Laquon Treadwell (WR/Ole Miss)
With not many teams prioritizing at wide receiver, Atlanta may luck out and find someone to play across from Julio Jones. Roddy White is aging and the rest of the Falcons wideouts are marginal talents.
18. Houston Texans (6-6) – Christian Hackenburg (QB/Penn State)
A bit of a reach, but Hackenburg was recruited to Penn State by Texans head coach Bill O’Brien. The Texans need a franchise signal caller as I can’t imagine Brian Hoyer starting again next season.
19. Buffalo Bills (6-6) – Shaq Lawson (DE/Clemson)
Rex Ryan made a bad move by transitioning the Bills to a 3-4 and as a result play at defensive end has regressed. Mario Williams may be a cap casualty this offseason as Buffalo seeks players to fit their new scheme.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) – Jayron Kearse (SS/Clemson)
Will Allen has played relatively well this season, but at age 33, he is not the long-term answer. The Steelers will need to overhaul their secondary during the offseason.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) – DeForest Buckner (DE/Oregon)
Vinny Curry is headed to free agency in March and Fletcher Cox’s contract expires in 2017. Philadelphia will have a hard time retaining both players, so they may look to find their replacement this offseason.
22. New York Jets (7-5) – Leonard Floyd (OLB/Georgia)
Quinton Coles was released a few weeks ago, but the Jets don’t have a real solution for an edge rusher.
23. Kansas City Chiefs (7-5) – Jason Spriggs (OT/Indiana)
Eric Fisher has been a bust draft pick and the Chiefs need to move away from him. His contract is fully guaranteed, meaning the Chiefs will have him on the roster next season, but it’s hard to imagine that he will be a starter.
24. Minnesota Vikings (8-4) – Vandal Alexander (G/LSU)
Minnesota could stand to upgrade at guard where Brandon Fusco has been inconsistent all season long. The emergence of Stefon Diggs may allow the team to look for a position other than wide receiver.
25. Seattle Seahawks (7-5) – Tyler Boyd (WR/Pittsburgh)
Talent-wise, Boyd is a top 15 pick, but character issues drop him a bit. Seattle has taken on players like this before without much of an issue and have a need for a receiver, so it could be a good fit for him.
26. Green Bay Packers (8-4) – Kenny Clark (DT/UCLA)
The Packers are apparently ready to move on from impending free agent B.J. Raji. Green Bay is in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards allowed, so upgrading Raji will be important this offseason.
27. Denver Broncos (10-2) – Emmanuel Ogbah (DE/Oklahoma State)
Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson are free agents after this season. Both have played well and the Broncos may be forced to pick between one of to re-sign.
28. Cincinnati Bengals (10-2) – Michael Thomas (WR/Ohio State)
A.J. Green is a solid wide receiver, but Marvin Jones will be a free agent after the season who may be seeking a big payday. Cincinnati’s passing game would benefit from another offensive weapon to avoid defenses double-teaming Green.
29. Indianapolis Colts (6-6) – Kendall Fuller (CB/Virginia Tech)
Vontae Davis is a solid cornerback, but Greg Toler is a free agent after the season. Toler turns 31 in January, so Indianapolis could look for a younger option.
30. Arizona Cardinals (10-2) – Shilique Calhoun (DE/Michigan State)
Arizona’s defense is in need of an upgrade to their pass rush as they’re currently sending out the corpse of Dwight Freeney to get to the quarterback.
31. Carolina Panthers (12-0) – Josh Doctson (WR/TCU)
Kelvin Benjamin returns next season, but it still doesn’t hurt to have another wide receiver to play across from him.