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. Tennessee Titans (3-11) – Laremy Tunsil (OT/Ole Miss)
Ideally, Tennessee should trade down and acquire as many picks as they can get since there are so many needs on this team and a handful of teams will be looking for a quarterback. If they stand pat, Either Tunsil or Joey Bosa will likely be the pick. Marcus Mariota has already missed a pair of games before being shutdown this week, so addressing the offensive line to protect him better will be a theme this offseason.
Drafting Tunsil will actually upgrade two positions on the offensive line, since he will become the new blindside protector. Taylor Lewan will slide over to the right side.
2. Cleveland Browns (3-11) – Paxton Lynch (QB/Memphis)
Yet again, it looks like Cleveland is headed to rebuild mode. Mike Pettine will likely be gone and Johnny Manziel may even be flipped this offseason. If the latter is gone, quarterback yet again becomes a position of need for the Browns.
Regardless of their on-field results, the lack of continuity is a major reason why the Browns consistently struggle. They take no time to develop their franchise quarterback (they have drafted four in the first round since 1999, only Tim Couch has started more than 20 games) and they refuse to let a head coach see through the entire rebuild process (if Pettine is fired, he is the fourth straight coach to last two of less seasons). If Cleveland wants to see some on-field results, they need to allow for these changes to happen.
3. San Diego Chargers (4-10) – Ronnie Stanley (OT/Notre Dame)
The Chargers offensive line is a mess in just about every aspect. Their starters are injury prone, they have no depth and they suffer from a lack of talent. It’s surprising that Philip Rivers has been healthy all season.
4. Baltimore Ravens (4-10) – Joey Bosa (DE/Ohio State)
Offensive tackle is also a position of need for Baltimore, but with Stanley and Tunsil gone, the Ravens will pursue the next best player. Bosa allows the Ravens to have some flexibility in their pass rush with Terrell Suggs returning from a torn Achilles and Elvis Dumvervil turning 32.
5. Dallas Cowboys (4-10) – Jared Goff (QB/California)
Boom. Jerry Jones has flirted with the idea of taking a quarterback before with Johnny Manziel, but with Tony Romo coming off an injury derailed season, Dallas showed just how thin they were at quarterback. Romo will turn 36 in April, so he doesn’t have much time left. The Cowboys would be wise to draft their next franchise signal caller now to be groomed for a season or two before taking over, like Green Bay did with Aaron Rodgers.
6. San Francisco 49ers (4-10) – Connor Cook (QB/Michigan State)
Colin Kaepernick isn’t returning to the 49ers next season and while Blaine Gabbert hasn’t been terrible, he is still Blaine Gabbert. The 49ers are starting from scratch, so expect them to obtain their next franchise quarterback.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9) – Vernon Hargreaves (CB/Florida)
Marcus Mariota and Philip Rivers have torched the Jaguars secondary in back-to-back weeks, and have been in the bottom half of the league for the entire year. Hargreaves has the potential to become an elite cornerback at the NFL level, so getting him here is a steal.
8. Miami Dolphins (5-9) – Jaylon Smith (ILB/Notre Dame)
The Dolphins have holes that need to be filled all across their defense. Smith is capable of playing inside or outside, but his future in the NFL is likely in the middle, where he is strong against the run and in coverage.
9. Detroit Lions (5-9) – Jalen Ramsey (FS/Florida State)
Another best player available situation, Ramsey can play both cornerback or free safety at the next level, but the latter is his more natural position. Detroit has Glover Quin, but he doesn’t exactly scream job security.
10. New Orleans Saints (5-9) – Myles Jack (OLB/UCLA)
The Saints need help at all levels of their defense. Jack sat out this season after tearing his ACL, but that injury isn’t the career-killer it once was and Todd Gurley was taken 10th overall last year and tore his ACL much later in the season. Jack would likely be ready for the beginning of the season.
11. Chicago Bears (5-9) – Ezekiel Elliott (RB/Ohio State)
Matt Forte is 30 and a free agent after the season, so the Bears will likely let him walk in free agency. Chicago needs help on their defense, but with all of the top guys gone, Elliott is in play here.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) – Andrew Billings (DT/Baylor)
Next to Gerald McCoy, the Buccaneers are rotating Clinton McDonald and Akeem Spence. Certainly, Tampa Bay would like something a bit more consistent.
13. New York Giants (6-8) – Reggie Ragland (ILB/Alabama)
Jon Beason’s career is likely over after being put on injured reserve again. Uani’ Unga has been terrible in his place and Jasper Brinkley hasn’t fared much better. The Giants need to find a more reliable option.
14. Indianapolis Colts (6-8) – Robert Nkemdiche (DE/Ole Miss)
It is hard to project where Nkemdiche will land after his most recent incident, but I can’t imagine a situation where he is the top available player and the Colts don’t take him. Robert Mathis is the team’s best pass rusher and he is 35.
15. Oakland Raiders (6-8) – Leonard Floyd (OLB/Georgia)
Having Aldon Smith playing across from Khalil Mack was pretty awesome until the NFL banned Smith for a year. Oakland shouldn’t trust Smith with any type of long-term deal, so they may look to replace him instead.
16. Philadelphia Eagles (6-8) – A’Shawn Robinson (DE/Alabama)
Vinny Curry is in the final year of his contract and Fletcher Cox will be next year. Philadelphia needs to prepare for their future if they fail to keep either player.
17. Buffalo Bills (6-8) – Shaq Lawson (DE/Clemson)
The Bills pass rush has regressed after leading the league in sacks in 2014. Mario Williams may be released in the offseason, so Buffalo will be in the market for a new pass rusher.
18. St. Louis Rams (6-8) – Laquon Treadwell (WR/Ole Miss)
The Rams lack aerial weapons. Kenny Britt is terrible and Tavon Austin is nothing more than a gadget player. St. Louis will have two goals this offseason, find a new quarterback and get him a weapon.
19. Atlanta Falcons (7-7) – Jayron Kearse (SS/Clemson)
William Moore hasn’t been that good for the past two seasons (except for when he delivered a spinebuster on Mike McNeil). With a defensive-mined coach in town, expect him to upgrade the position.
20. New York Jets (9-5) – Jack Conklin (OT/Michigan State)
D’Brickashaw Ferguson has been a solid player for the Jets, but he is at the tail end of his career and has regressed in recent seasons. New York should look to find their new blindside protector.
21. Washington Redskins (7-7) – Kendall Fuller (CB/Virginia Tech)
Washington is still sending out an old DeAngelo Hall at cornerback, who was burned by DeAndre Hopkins during “Hard Knocks” and then burned during the regular season before moving to free safety. Either way, the Redskins need to address their secondary.
22. Houston Texans (7-7) – Christian Hackenburg (QB/Penn State)
I’m really not a fan of Hackenburg, especially in the first round, but Houston is in desperate need of a quarterback and Bill O’Brien recruited Hackenburg at Penn State, so the pair makes sense. North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz is also an option.
23. Minnesota Vikings (9-5) – Vandal Alexander (G/LSU)
Brandon Fusco has been inconsistent all season long at left guard, so Minnesota may be prepared to replace him.
24. Denver Broncos (10-4) – Taylor Decker (OT/Ohio State)
The writing may be on the wall for Ryan Clady after the team reportedly tried to acquire Joe Thomas at the trade deadline. Whoever may is Denver’s quarterback next year is going to need protection in a division where they face Khalil Mack and Justin Houston.
25. Kansas City Chiefs (9-5) – Jason Spriggs (OT/Indiana)
Why did the Chiefs extend Jah Reid? Either way – he is better suited at guard and Eric Fisher has not lived up to the billing of a first overall draft pick.
26. Seattle Seahawks (9-5) – DeForest Buckner (DT/Oregon)
Offensive line issues are present, but with no talent left at the position, Seattle will go for the top available prospect.
27. Cincinnati Bengals (11-3) – Michael Thomas (WR/Ohio State)
Mohamed Sanu is a free agent after the season and may go after a big paycheck. If the Bengals move on from him, they’ll need to find another guy to line up across from A.J. Green.
28. Arizona Cardinals (12-2) – Emmanuel Ogbah (DE/Oklahoma State)
Despite how talented the Cardinals are on defense, their pass rush is pretty terrible. Dwight Freeney was brought in as their best pass rusher. Arizona needs to find a younger, more long-term solution.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) – Mackensie Alexander (CB/Clemson)
The Steelers secondary has a weak link last season and none of their solutions have panned out. Pittsburgh will have to address the position early in the draft.
30. Green Bay Packers (9-5) – Scooby Wright (OLB/Arizona)
Wright is diverse enough to play inside or outside. In Green Bay, he would take up the middle, allowing Clay Matthews to return to his more natural position as an edge rusher.
31. Carolina Panthers (14-0) – Tre’Davious White (CB/LSU)
Josh Norman has been solid this season, but an aging Charles Tillman has been lining up across from him. Adding a second cornerback with an early pick in the draft could improve an already elite defense.