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2016 NFL mock draft: The rise of Carson Wentz

Hot off the Senior Bowl, how high could the North Dakota State quarterback go in the draft?

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off last week's Senior Bowl, a few players in the 2016 NFL Draft have their draft stock rising. This week's mock draft includes six participants, including two picks inside the top 10.

One of them is North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz. Although I thought he had an uneven week of practices, the opinions of those in NFL front offices are quite high on Wentz. When you see Wentz's 6'5 frame, his athleticism and a strong arm, it's easy to see why teams love him.

With Wentz and other Senior Bowl players on the rise, that will cause some highly rated players to slide. At least for now. Things are going to continue being fluid throughout the entire draft process.

1. Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

Tennessee doesn't have to complicate things too much with this pick. Tunsil will likely be rated among the best players in this year's draft, and he fills a need protecting Marcus Mariota.

2. Cleveland Browns: Jared Goff, QB, California

Count me in the people who still view Goff as being a better quarterback than Carson Wentz of North Dakota State. He's more pro-ready, which is needed in Cleveland, and has much better pocket presence. Goff's hand measurement at the NFL Scouting Combine will be important, and will help quiet any concerns about his ability to zip the ball through the cold weather.

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3. San Diego Chargers: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

The same principle that applies to the Titans applies to the Chargers. They need to make sure Philip Rivers is protected for what looks like the last couple years of his career. Stanley is a very good offensive tackle with good athleticism and foot quickness to handle speed rushers.

4. Dallas Cowboys: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

It can be hard to sell a quarterback being the pick for Dallas, even though he'd back up Tony Romo for at least a season. But connect the dots. Dallas didn't mind going with a smaller school quarterback in Romo and letting him sit to start his career. Obviously it was a much different situation, but the outcome could be the same.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

In a scenario where Stanley goes that high in the first round, Bosa could slip. If he does, Jacksonville will have to decide between him and Florida State's Jalen Ramsey. Bosa holds a slightly higher grade and is the pick, despite the Jaguars getting Dante Fowler back next season.

6. Baltimore Ravens: Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State

The rise of Wentz means a team like Baltimore will benefit from a highly rated player sliding some in the draft. Ramsey is arguably a top-three talent who can star at cornerback or safety.

7. San Francisco 49ers: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

San Francisco's wide receiver group can't rely on Torrey Smith as a No. 1 option. Treadwell is the draft's top wideout and profiles to be more of a No. 1 than anyone else in this year's draft.

8. Miami Dolphins: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

The level of talent in Miami's secondary is extremely low. Alexander could be drafted at No. 8 and slide right into the starting lineup as a rookie.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Noah Spence, DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky

There is maybe no hotter draft prospect following the Senior Bowl than Spence. During a week of practice, he showed he can line up at end and win with his speed and quickness to the edge.

10. New York Giants: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

New York's pass rush needs upgrading, and Buckner is a great choice on the edge. He has unique length and athleticism, and finished last season with 83 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks.

11. Chicago Bears: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

Jack slipping to the No. 11 pick would be an exciting development for Chicago. He's a superstar athlete for a linebacker, who can cover an incredible amount of ground on defense.

12. New Orleans Saints: Robert Nkemdiche, DE/DT, Ole Miss

This offseason, the Saints have to figure out how to both generate a pass rush and stop the run. Nkemdiche is the type of defensive lineman who can do both, more so than others available.

13. Philadelphia Eagles: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

With the signings of offensive tackle Lane Johnson and tight end Zach Ertz to new contracts, and close to one with defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, the Eagles are more so in win-now mode than build. Because of that, the Eagles might not want to use a first-round pick on a quarterback that needs developing. If not, a top-flight cornerback would be a good pickup. Byron Maxwell didn't have a good start to his Eagles career, and Hargreaves is a much better prospect than former second-round pick Eric Rowe.

14. Oakland Raiders: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

The Raiders need linebacker talent and some think Ragland is the best linebacker talent in the 2016 NFL Draft. At the Senior Bowl, Ragland worked at outside linebacker and held up fairly well. He's still much more of an inside linebacker at this point. Regardless, he could help the Raiders next season.

15. Los Angeles Rams: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

A new beginning for the Rams in Los Angeles could get off to a fresh start by drafting a quarterback in the first round. That would give the Rams Lynch and running back Todd Gurley as key pieces on a rebuilding offense for years to come.

16. Detroit Lions: Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State

Suddenly, the Lions need a wide receiver to go alongside Golden Tate, following the latest news on Calvin Johnson's impending retirement. Thomas is no Johnson -- no one is, obviously -- but he's a big, physical wideout who can go up and win contested catch situations. This could also be an interesting landing spot for another Ohio State player, Braxton Miller.

17. Atlanta Falcons: Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame

There has been some speculation that Smith will be ready to play by the start of next season, and we'll find out more about the rehab of his knee in a few weeks at the NFL Scouting Combine. If that's the case, he may not last long in the draft. If there are concerns, Atlanta will be in prime territory to take him.

18. Indianapolis Colts: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

All of the picks for the Colts in mock drafts tend to be an offensive tackle or running back. In an effort to look in a different direction this mock is taking a pass rusher. Floyd needs to pack on some power, but he has unique athleticism and quickness for the position.

19. Buffalo Bills: A'Shawn Robinson, DE/DT, Alabama

Robinson may not be a high-level pass rusher coming out of Alabama, but he can do enough in that area to help the Bills. Robinson is a highly regarded defensive lineman, who Buffalo can use in multiple ways. The last time Buffalo took an Alabama defensive lineman it worked out well with Marcell Dareus, and it should with Robinson, as well.

20. New York Jets: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

An upgrade over Breno Giacomini or a potential replacement for D'Brickashaw Ferguson could be found in the first round of this year's draft. Decker has experience playing on both sides and has enough talent to start early in his NFL career.

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21. Washington:  Jarran Reed, DT/DE Alabama

With Jason Hatcher contemplating retirement, Washington could use an infusion of talent on the defensive line. Reed just had an OK week at the Senior Bowl, so his draft stock isn't exactly skyrocketing. He or teammate A'Shawn Robinson could be had with this pick, and both would fill a big need.

22. Houston Texans: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Elliott being available for the Texans is an ideal situation. He's by far the draft's best running back, and could step right into the starting role for Houston. Elliott can be a workhorse back, and showed as much at Ohio State the last two seasons when he had 562 carries for more than 3,600 yards and 41 touchdowns.

23. Minnesota Vikings: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

Minnesota has some obvious needs on the offensive line, especially at guard. Although Conklin was an offensive tackle for the entirety of his career at Michigan State, he has the power move inside to guard if needed. For Minnesota, he could start there, or push Matt Kalil off the left tackle spot.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

Cincinnati could look to upgrade over Domata Peko at defensive tackle this offseason. If that's the case, Billings is an excellent option to play the nose spot next to Geno Atkins.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

If cornerback ends up being the pick for Pittsburgh at No. 25, there's going to be a long debate between Apple and Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech. Apple has superior size, athleticism and long-term potential.

26. Seattle Seahawks: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

At this point, Lawson is too good of a talent to overlook. It just so happens he would be a good fit in Seattle where he can line up in multiple spots on the defensive line. Getting Lawson at No. 26 overall would be a coup.

27. Green Bay Packers: Shilique Calhoun, DE/OLB, Michigan State

Before he had to pull out of the Senior Bowl with an injury, Calhoun was listed on the roster as an outside linebacker. That may be a big need for the Packers this offseason with Nick Perry entering free agency and the career of Julius Peppers winding down.

28. Kansas City Chiefs: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

If the Chiefs let Jaye Howard or Mike DeVito walk, that's a hole that will need filled up front. Rankins played defensive tackle at Louisville but has the athleticism and quickness to work as an end in three-man fronts.

29. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Bullard, DE/DT, Florida

Some of the typical targets for the Cardinals in mock drafts were Senior Bowl players like Spence and Rankins, and it looks like neither of them will last that long. There's nothing wrong with going with Bullard, however. He specialized in playing both end and tackle for Florida, finishing last season with 66 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He could push Frostee Rucker for playing time on the defensive line.

30. Denver Broncos: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana

Following a consistent week of Senior Bowl practices, Spriggs continues to straddle the first and second rounds of the draft. Denver's offensive line needs upgrading this offseason, and Spriggs is easily the best player available up front.

31. Carolina Panthers: Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Charles Tillman, who has had injury issues the last couple seasons, is a free agent. The Panthers could improve the position, even considering the high level Josh Norman has played at, and Bene Benwikere returning next season. Fuller was considered by most as a top-15 pick before the season, but injuries have his draft stock down. That could be a boon for Carolina.