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2016 NFL mock draft: Trades shake up the 1st round

It's safe to say that trades will happen in the first round this year, and the targets could be the top quarterbacks.

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Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Trades in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft are inevitable. While they're difficult to project, they're nearly guaranteed to happen. In this week's mock draft, three hypothetical trades are projected with much of the action being on quarterbacks.

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

Titans general manager Jon Robinson won't stop talking about trading the No. 1 pick in the draft. Ultimately, though, it's difficult to see a team willing to move all the way up to the first overall pick. If that's the case, the choice is obviously starting to look like Tunsil for Tennessee.

2. Cleveland Browns: Jared Goff, QB, Cal

The Browns may have signed Robert Griffin III, but that shouldn't preclude them from taking a quarterback with the second overall pick. What it does do, however, is further the debate of Goff or Carson Wentz of North Dakota State. With Griffin, the Browns don't have to rush a rookie quarterback immediately, so the higher upside but less pro-ready Wentz may end up being the choice here. Goff is still the pick for now, but the debate rages on.

3. San Diego Chargers: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State

The Chargers are another team trying to drum up interest in a trade. Their GM Tom Telesco recently came out saying a team has contacted him about the pick. This could actually be a sweet spot for a deal to a team that's after whomever they view as the best defender in the draft. But it would be smart for the Chargers to stick here and get that player themselves. The choice this week is Ramsey because of his ability to step into the lineup straight away and make an impact.

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4. Dallas Cowboys: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

I'm still not on board with the idea of the Cowboys taking a quarterback with the fourth pick. Bosa can make a huge impact on the defense immediately, giving them a nice bookend for DeMarcus Lawrence. Considering Randy Gregory faces a four-game suspension to start the season, Bosa's talent is needed right now. Considering the Cowboys only had 31 sacks last season, they need to figure out how to pressure the quarterback better.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

Paul Posluszny's career in the NFL is winding down, and the Jaguars lack talent at the position beyond promising third-year linebacker Telvin Smith. Jack is an infusion of superstar talent and potential Jacksonville needs.

TRADE - 1: 6. Los Angeles Rams: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

Excuse me for not buying into the Case Keenum hype the Rams are pushing this offseason. With two second-round picks and the 15th overall selection, Los Angeles has the ammunition to move up and land a quarterback like Wentz. The idea of getting the quarterback of the future in the team's first year back in LA while being on Hard Knocks is such a storybook thing.

7. San Francisco 49ers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

With the two top quarterbacks gone, the 49ers would obviously have to go in a different direction in the first round. San Francisco needs to bolster the talent on the team, on both sides of the ball. Buckner is arguably the best player in the draft at this point and could be a staple up front for the 49ers across from former college teammate Arik Armstead. Oh, and the Chip Kelly/Oregon connection is too good to pass up.

8. Philadelphia Eagles: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

There is a reason the Eagles were willing to take on Byron Maxwell's terrible contract, and it's likely because there is a player inside the top 10 they want. Elliott could be the guy. He may not be as good as Todd Gurley last year, but it's very close. He's a plug-and-play three-down running back who should be a star early in his career.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

Hargreaves' draft stock seems to be all over the place in the first round, and maybe this is a little early for him. But he's such a natural that he should be able to contribute early in his career.

10. New York Giants: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

Even though the Giants used a top-10 pick on Ereck Flowers last year, they still need to improve the offensive line. Stanley is too good to pass up at this point, and he could work at left tackle for the Giants while Flowers moves to the right – which is more suited to his playing style.

11. Chicago Bears: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

The Bears made a splash in free agency by bringing in linebackers Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman, but they're nullified some if the front line for the Bears doesn't let them roam. Robinson, Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman can occupy blockers and fill gaps letting those linebackers move around.

12. New Orleans Saints: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama

A similar idea that applies to Chicago also goes for New Orleans. The Saints have added a few veteran linebackers this offseason, but the Saints don't have the bodies up front to keep them clean. Reed is a natural in a three-man front, and would slot in nicely next to nose tackle John Jenkins.

TRADE - 2: 13. New York Jets: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

Another move up to get a quarterback. Now, you might be wondering why the Jets would want to jump a bunch of teams that may not need a quarterback. Draft trades aren't always about jumping a team with a similar need. Sometimes the team trading out of a pick could be bluffing about another potential deal, or the team moving up simply wants to ensure getting the player they want. Considering the state of the quarterbacks on the Jets' roster, they could make a play for a quarterback.

14. Oakland Raiders: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State

In past mock drafts, I've gone with a cornerback here. If the Raiders don't go that direction, they could add a speed demon of a linebacker like Lee. He can play on the weak side and make plays all over the field.

TRADE - 1: 15. Baltimore Ravens: Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky

If the Ravens trade all the way back from the sixth pick to No. 15, they'll probably be seeking a high-ceiling athlete. That's Spence, who plays much faster than his combine numbers suggest. He could eventually be the replacement for Terrell Suggs.

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16. Detroit Lions: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

If Treadwell is on the board when the Lions pick, he'll be hard to pass up. Treadwell pulled in more than 200 receptions in three seasons at Ole Miss and is regarded by almost everyone as the draft's best wide receiver. With Treadwell and Marvin Jones added to Detroit's roster, the loss of Calvin Johnson could be minimal.

17. Atlanta Falcons: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

Ragland may not pop athletically, but he moves around the field effortlessly. As fun as speed on defense can be, Ragland can be an enforcer in the middle.

18. Indianapolis Colts: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

The Colts have a pedestrian pass rush with players like an underwhelming pass rusher like Erik Walden or aging players like Robert Mathis and Trent Cole. Floyd can provide the defense with the talent and youth it needs.

19. Buffalo Bills: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

The Bills have been poking around on defensive line prospects this offseason, and in this scenario Rankins is the top one on the board. He can play the five-technique spot because he has the required combination of athleticism, power and size.

TRADE - 2: 20. Miami Dolphins: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

Dropping down this far after originally having the eighth overall pick is a risk for the Dolphins, but they can score with the depth of the cornerback class this year. Alexander is a high-upside corner with impressive football IQ. The Dolphins could slide back in the draft, acquire an extra pick or two, and still find a starting secondary player like Alexander at this point.

21. Washington: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

Washington's defense quietly has a nice pass rush with Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy on the outside, but has to get better against the run. Billings is a natural nose tackle who would go a long way in improving the league's 26th-ranked run defense.

22. Houston Texans: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

By drafting a dynamic wide receiver like Coleman to go along with DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans would give new quarterback Brock Osweiler one of the league's best wide receiver duos.

23. Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

Minnesota needs a wide receiver like Doctson. In their offense, he would be the big body jump ball target that Teddy Bridgewater needs. Doctson can be an excellent red zone option for the Vikings, and the only people who will like him more than Bridgewater are fantasy football players.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

The No. 24 pick is a little early for Fuller, who has a habit for body catching. But his blazing speed is exactly what Cincinnati's offense needs. You wonder if the Bengals could be a team that looks into trading down to get an extra pick while still being able to land a good wideout.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers: William Jackson, CB, Houston

Although this is a repeat pick from last week's mock draft, there's reason for it:

Sure, teams can feign interest, but Brugler is typically pretty reserved when it comes to sharing insider information this specific. Jackson is a player on the rise.

26. Seattle Seahawks: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

Conklin dropping in the draft is the ideal scenario for the Seahawks, who suddenly have a hole at left tackle. Although Conklin isn't a standout athlete on the field, he provides a nasty temperament and powerful blocking.

27. Green Bay Packers: Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State

If he's coached up the right way, Jones has the potential to be a superstar. He was miscast too much at Mississippi State as a nose tackle, and often faced double teams. For a 3-4 defense like Green Bay's, he has the length needed to excel as an end.


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28. Kansas City Chiefs: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

After losing Sean Smith in free agency, the Chiefs have been poking around on cornerback prospects. In this scenario, Apple is the best one available. Apple may have some hot and cold moments as a rookie, but his potential is vast.

TRADE - 3: 29. Cleveland Browns: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

One final trade in this week's mock draft features the Cardinals dropping out of the first round. Arizona has only six draft picks after trading a second rounder to Patriots for Chandler Jones. Arizona could drop back to Cleveland's pick at No. 32 in the second round and pick up a mid-round pick. In turn, the Browns could get the big-time pass rusher they need. Lawson could be a Brandon Graham-type of player in defensive coordinator Ray Horton's hybrid defense.

30. Carolina Panthers: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson

The discussion about this pick will probably come down to a defensive end or offensive tackle when the Panthers are due to pick. The Panthers will be weighing ends like Dodd or Emmanuel Ogbah against offensive tackles like Taylor Decker or Jason Spriggs.

31. Denver Broncos: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

Surprised? Don't be considering Mark Sanchez is the current starting quarterback for the Broncos. Cook has some flaws -- his accuracy can be erratic -- but he comes from a pro-style offense and his arm talent is good enough for the NFL.