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. New Orleans Saints (0-3) – Connor Cook (QB/Michigan State)
New Orleans rises to the top spot because they have more divisional losses than the Bears. Drew Brees missed last week’s game and it is starting to look like the beginning of the end for him. Brees turns 37 in January and only has one year left on his contract.
The Saints could find themselves in a good position here. If they take Cook, he can sit on the bench for a year as an understudy for Brees and handle the reigns in 2017.
2. Chicago Bears (0-3) – Jared Goff (QB/California)
The Bears are already beginning to have a fire sale, trading away Jon Bostic and Jared Allen this week. Unfortunately, they are stuck with Jay Cutler for at least one more season before they can release him with a reasonable cap hit. Until then, the Bears need to blow up this roster and hit reset. Goff, would likely serve as backup at the start of the season in Chicago before Cutler fails and he is inserted into action.
3. Baltimore Ravens (0-3) – Joey Bosa (DE/Ohio State)
Losing Terrell Suggs was a significant blow for Baltimore, but he is 33, so the teams should be looking for a younger pass rusher as well. Bosa has been a terror in college and has drawn comparisons to J.J. Watt, but he needs to work on his ability to read plays as he transitions to the pros.
4. Detroit Lions (0-3) – Laremy Tunsil (OT/Ole Miss)
Detroit has had one of the worst pass protections in football. Riley Reiff has been overmatched at left tackle, where he has allowed a three sacks, the second most in the NFL and 10 quarterback hurries. Adding Tunsil would give an immediate blindside protector Detroit has needed while simultaneously upgrading right tackle, where Reiff is better suited.
5. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) – Robert Nkemdiche (DE/Ole Miss)
Both Vinny Curry and Fletcher Cox are free agents at the end of the season. If the Eagles are unable to retain both players, they will seek a new pass rusher in the draft. Even if they are able to keep both players, Nkemdiche could serve as an upgrade over Curry and add depth to the pass rush.
6. Miami Dolphins (1-2) – Vernon Hargreaves (CB/Florida)
Brent Grimes is a solid cornerback, but his wife may have worn out their welcome and the team lacks depth outside of him at the position. Hargreaves excels in man-to-man coverage and has drawn comparisons to another Gator cornerback, Joe Haden.
7. Tennessee Titans (1-2) – Jalen Ramsey (S/Florida State)
Michael Griffin looks done and has become a liability on run defense. He is under contract through 2016, but he can be cut for a minimal loss after the season. Expect Tennessee to find a new replacement next year.
8. Seattle Seahawks (1-2) – Ronnie Stanley (OT/Notre Dame)
Russell Okung has not played up to par this season, but to make matters worse, Garry Gilliam has been horrendous on the right side. I can’t imagine the Seahawks ending the season with the eighth overall pick, but I can see them drafting a new right tackle.
9. San Francisco 49ers (1-2) – Leonard Floyd (OLB/Georgia)
The 49ers moved on from Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks has regressed. With all the hits the 49ers took this offseason, there are a lot of positions they need to fill, but Floyd is the best player available and fills a major need for this team.
10. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) – Laquon Treadwell (WR/Ole Miss)
The Chiefs ridiculous streak of games without a touchdown by a wide receiver is finally over, but the team could still stand to upgrade at wideout. Maclin was a good addition, but the team needs more than just him. Treadwell is aggressive towards the ball and has been compared to Dez Bryant. Plus, he will only be 20-year-old when drafted.
11. Washington Redskins (1-2) – Cardale Jones (QB/Ohio State)
Washington is moving on from Robert Griffin, but Kirk Cousins hasn’t been impressive either. Neither were picked by Jay Gruden, so there is a good chance that the Redskins allow Gruden to find his guy in the draft. Jones has been in somewhat of an odd situation at Ohio State where he is rotating (sort of), but with his arm strength and size (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) is it easy to see why scouts are comparing him to Ben Roethlisberger.
12. Houston Texans (1-2) – A’Shawn Robinson (DE/Alabama)
J.J. Watt has obviously been very good, but Jared Crick has struggled across from him. Houston wants a quarterback badly, but with the top three guys gone, they may wait until the second round to take someone like Christian Hackenburg.
13. San Diego Chargers (1-2) – Nate Andrews (S/Florida State)
Eric Weddle is a free agent after the season and does not seem interested in returning to San Diego, or Los Angeles. That said, it’s a significant loss for the Chargers, Weddle is one of the league’s best safeties and will not be easy to replace.
14. Cleveland Browns (1-2) – Ezekiel Elliott (RB/Ohio State)
The Browns need weapons on offense, nobody has stepped up at running back, Josh Gordon is suspended and their current slew of receivers are nothing special. Elliott could add a much needed running game to the team and help open up the passing game.
15. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) – DeForest Buckner (DT/Oregon)
Tyson Alualu is terrible. It is unexplainable how he is still in Jacksonville. Regardless, the team needs to look to move on from him. Much like his former teammate Arik Armsteak, Buckner is a tall, heavy prospect, who can play inside or outside the defensive line.
16. New York Giants (1-2) – Shilique Calhoun (DE/Michigan State)
With Jason Pierre-Paul’s status now up in the air, the Giants will seek a new pass rusher. A New Jersey native, Calhoun would make a big impact along New York’s defensive line.
17. St. Louis Rams (1-2) – Tyler Boyd (WR/Pittsburgh)
Tavon Austin hasn’t lived up to expectations and the Rams are rail-thin at wideout. Boyd is an impressive vertical threat, but needs to work on his route running which is weak even by college standards.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2) – Taylor Decker (OT/Ohio State)
Donovan Smith has failed to protect Jameis Winston. The Bucs are going to need to protect their franchise quarterback and getting Decker here is a tremendous value, but he does struggle with handling faster pass rushers.
19. Oakland Raiders (2-1) – Kendall Fuller (CB/Virginia Tech)
Surprise – D.J. Hayden is still terrible. Oakland is so desperate for help they claimed David Amerson off waivers, who was the worst cornerback in football last year. The Raiders will look to upgrade their secondary in the offseason.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) – Cameron Sutton (CB/Tennessee)
The Steelers took a hit at cornerback last year and tried to address it in the draft, but they have released fourth round draft pick Doran Grant already. Sutton is the lanky, physical cornerback that NFL teams seem to love now.
21. Indianapolis Colts (1-2) – Vandal Alexander (G/LSU)
The Colts offensive line is a mess. It is a wonder how Andrew Luck is yet to miss a play due to injury in his career. Indianapolis especially struggles on the interior, where players are undisciplined and allow a lot of pressure up the middle.
22. New York Jets (2-1) – Jack Conklin (OT/Michigan State)
D’Brickashaw Ferguson is no longer the NFL player he once was. He turns 32 next year, so the Jets will need to find a new young blindside protector. Conklin can play on the right side for a season or two until the team is ready to move on from Ferguson.
23. Minnesota Vikings (2-1) – Michael Thomas (WR/Ohio State)
Minnesota traded for Mike Wallace, but it still didn’t stop them from considering DeVante Parker in the draft. The Vikings brass seem eager to move on from Cordarrelle Patterson and could feel the same about Wallace after this season.
24. Dallas Cowboys (2-1) – Myles Jack (ILB/UCLA)
Jack has been hyped as a potential two-way player, seeing time on the offensive end as a running back, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing, which is why I have him a bit lower than other mock drafts. Regardless, he is a fit for the Cowboys who need help at middle linebacker. Rolando McClain has been a nice redemption story, but after being suspended four games, it’s hard to rely on him.
25. Buffalo Bills (2-1) – Landon Turner (G/North Carolina)
Richie Incognito has turned out to be a good signing, but John Miller has been horrible. Expect the Bills to upgrade their offensive line during the next draft.
26. Atlanta Falcons (3-0) – Su’a Cravens (S/USC)
The Falcons defense has played surprisingly well, but play at safety has been a weak link. Ricardo Allen is an unrestricted free agent after the season.
27. Carolina Panthers (3-0) – Spencer Drango (OT/Baylor)
Michael Oher is unsurprisingly struggling at left tackle. The Panthers can’t look at Oher as anything more than a stop-gap and will look for an upgrade after the season.
28. Cincinnati Bengals (3-0) – Tre’Davious White (CB/LSU)
Leon Hall and Adam Jones are in the final years of their deals and Steve Smith has offered his own scouting report on the Bengals secondary during last week’s game. The team has depth at the position, but it will be a bit thin after the year. The Bengals took a pair of tackles early in the draft last year, so don’t be surprised if they attack a position that they have depth.
29. Denver Broncos (3-0) – Max Tuerk (C/USC)
The Broncos offensive line is a mess, especially with Ryan Clady out. Tuerk is strong and athletic, but slow, so faster tackles can get past him.
30. Arizona Cardinals (3-0) – Derrick Henry (RB/Alabama)
Chris Johnson played well last week, but he can’t be relied on and Andre Ellington hasn’t lived up to expectations. Perhaps they can seek a more permanent solution in the draft.
31. Green Bay Packers (3-0) – Dominique Alexaner (ILB/Oklahoma)
The Packers have so many issue at linebacker that they are making their best pass rusher, Clay Matthews, play inside. It’s hard to imagine that Green Bay wants this to continue, so expect them to get someone.