As the 2016 NFL Draft approaches, the intentions of many teams are starting to show. We're a couple of weeks into free agency with teams checking off needs via signs and trades. For instance, don't pencil in a quarterback for the Houston Texans or an offensive tackle for the Denver Broncos in the first round.
We're also in the middle of pro day season and information is trickling out about draft range for players. For the most part, at least. Some of the draft's certain first-round players are all over the place in terms of exactly where they may land. One example of that is Oregon pass rusher DeForest Buckner. He could reasonably go third overall or slip just outside the top 10 picks.
This week's mock draft also happened to feature a greater emphasis on wide receivers and the defensive backs who have to stop them. As a result, a couple of defensive and offensive tackles slid out compared to previous weeks.
Note: If the picks in this week's mock draft don't do much for you, fear not. Later this week we're starting the SB Nation NFL writers mock draft. It's a two round mock draft with every SB Nation NFL team site making the picks for their respective teams. It starts on Friday and goes two rounds running every week day leading up to the draft. But for now, the picks are still all mine:
1. Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
Pay no attention to Titans general manager Jon Robinson saying it will take a ransom to trade for this pick. Even if the Titans get offered a nice package -- which is unlikely anyway -- they'd be smart to stick at No. 1 and take Tunsil.
2. Cleveland Browns: Jared Goff, QB, Cal
Even if the Browns acquire a veteran quarterback like Robert Griffin III or Colin Kaepernick, it shouldn't stop them from taking a quarterback at No. 2. Browns coaches put Goff through the paces at his pro day last week, and will do the same for Carson Wentz this week. After that, don't be surprised if we start to get a true indication about where the Browns lean.
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3. San Diego Chargers: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
This is where the draft really takes a turn. The Chargers could go with several different players to fill a need with high-level talent. Bosa gets the nod because he grades out higher than every prospect on the board.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Jalen ey, CB, Florida State
The Cowboys wouldn't be faulted if they opted for Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner here, but Ramsey has a chance to be a superstar. He's regarded by some as the draft's most talented player and could be a standout at cornerback in Dallas.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Jacksonville added quality talent on the defensive line and in the secondary, but still need a long-term answer at linebacker. With his sideline-to-sideline ability and pure athleticism, Jack can be that player.
6. Baltimore Ravens: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Coached up in the right system, Buckner could have a career similar to that of Calais Campbell of the Arizona Cardinals. Baltimore is the right system. Buckner can line up at end and use his power and length to be a force versus the run.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
An argument can be made that Wentz needs to sit and learn a year, but team's aren't often afforded that luxury anymore. With a new regime in place in San Francisco, the offense can be catered to Wentz and built around his strengths.
8. Philadelphia Eagles: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
By trading with the Dolphins, the Eagles positioned themselves to land one of the 10 best players in this year's draft. Elliott is one of those players. He's an all-purpose running back Philadelphia's offense could be built around.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Donovan Smith played solidly as a rookie left tackle last season, but was projected by some as a right tackle before last year's draft. With a player of Stanley's quality on the board, Smith could be shifted over and the Buccaneers could have a nice pair of bookends for years.
10. New York Giants: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Lawson's draft stock is all over the place. He's solely a 4-3 end, so if the Giants pass at No. 10 he could slide. Obviously that's not the case here. Even though New York signed Olivier Vernon, they need a long-term replacement for Jason Pierre-Paul.
11. Chicago Bears: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
With Buckner and Stanley both being gone, the Bears could turn to the defensive line. It's the strength of this year's draft and Chicago could have their choice of defensive tackles. Robinson could line up at end, giving the Bears a front line of Robinson, Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman.
12. New Orleans Saints: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
The fit of Reed with New Orleans is perfect. Next to nose tackle John Jenkins, Reed would help bolster the Saints' poor run defense. Having Reed up front would help a underrated linebacker group stay off blockers to attack the ball carrier.
13. Miami Dolphins: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
The Dolphins have poked around on some running backs this offseason, most notably C.J. Anderson. That could be an indication they might not be ready for Jay Ajayi to handle the full load. But after trading with Philadelphia, the Dolphins may not be in position to get Elliott. If they can't, they could turn to cornerback. Byron Maxwell's level of play isn't equal to his paycheck, so it's not like the Dolphins have a true No. 1 corner on the roster. Hargreaves could be that player. His instincts are very good and he's fearless playing on the outside.
14. Oakland Raiders: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
The Raiders have a really good cornerback in veteran free agent signing Sean Smith. But beyond him, there isn't a lot of talent. Alexander has as much potential as any corner this year and could give Oakland a promising duo.
15. Los Angeles Rams: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
It seems like there has been some rumblings of late about Lynch being available in the back half of the first round. By the time the draft gets closer, expect his stock to rise back up because of position scarcity and upside. In Los Angeles, it's just hard to see Case Keenum being the starter over a quarterback with this type of potential.
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16. Detroit Lions: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The addition of Marvin Jones was a good one, but he and Golden Tate are more No. 2 receivers. Treadwell is the draft's top wide receiver who would give Matthew Stafford a nice threat on the outside.
17. Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
If Lee is available, he'd be a nice pickup for the Falcons. He's a super athlete for a linebacker and can make plays all over the field. Of all the top linebackers in this year's draft, Lee fits Dan Quinn's defense the best.
18. Indianapolis Colts: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
The Colts have tried and failed with a few different pass rushers over the past few years. Floyd can be the answer. He has a good first step, can play all over the field and has shown he can bend the edge against left tackles.
19. Buffalo Bills: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Rankins could fill the challenging five-technique position in Rex Ryan's defense. He's a good enough combination of power, athleticism and range to do it.
20. New York Jets: Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky
Spence is another player whose draft stock is all over the place. It's easy to fall in love with his ability to get after the quarterback, but his offseason testing numbers give pause about his chances of being a sure thing. For a player with off-field question marks, that's not a good thing.
21. Washington: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
If there is a sure thing in the first round, Ragland might be it. He may not be the most overly athletic linebacker, but he's a sure tackler with good instincts and leadership ability.
22. Houston Texans: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Beyond DeAndre Hopkins, Houston doesn't have a lot of talent at wide receiver. Coleman could give the Texans a great 1-2 punch at wideout. He has a penchant for making big plays and would give Brock Osweiler a really good offense to grow around.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
After bolstering the offensive line in free agency, the Vikings can target a wide receiver in the first round of the draft. Doctson is arguably the draft's second-best wide out, and is an excellent jump ball receiver.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
A run on wide receivers would not be good for the Bengals. Although Fuller is a good player, he's still the fourth player at the position to come off the board in the first round. For the Bengals Fuller is a nice replacement for Marvin Jones and would provide a little more field stretching ability.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: William Jackson, CB, Houston
While it's true the Steelers don't draft first-round cornerbacks, Jackson's high level of talent might be too good to pass up. If Pittsburgh waits to pick a cornerback, it's going to be hard finding someone in the second round or later who can make an impact early in their career.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Now that Russell Okung is off to Denver in free agency, offensive tackle becomes Seattle's biggest need. If the Seahawks don't swing a trade for a veteran, it could leave them hoping someone like Conklin slips. There's a considerable gap between Conklin and the fourth-best offensive tackle, so Seattle would be fortunate to see him on the board.
27. Green Bay Packers: Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
Whether it's playing at end or over the nose, Clark showed his versatility at UCLA. That could be attractive to a team like Green Bay, which needs an infusion of young talent up front to go along with players like Mike Daniels and Letroy Guion along the defensive line.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
With Sean Smith off to Oakland, the Chiefs could find his replacement early in the draft. In this scenario, Apple happened to slip a little. He's a nice replacement with high upside.
29. Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
The Cardinals have made a big push this offseason by trading for pass rusher Chandler Jones, filing the team's biggest need. That leaves center as perhaps Arizona's biggest need. This might be a little early for him, but Kelly is the draft's best center. It would be smart of the Cardinals to move down in the draft and still get Kelly early in the second round.
30. Carolina Panthers: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson ￼
It's been a challenge to find a player for the Panthers in the first round that's not an offensive tackle, but Dodd is a great alternative. He's a long-armed edge rusher who made the most of his opportunities at Clemson.
31. Denver Broncos: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
Malik Jackson bolted for Jacksonville and a six-year, $90 million deal. Fortunately for the Broncos, they can grab the Ole Miss product and give the defense line some of the power it lost when Jackson left.