After months of conjecture and hyperbole, we've finally made it the week of the 2016 NFL Draft. The lead up to this draft has been unique thanks to a pair of blockbuster trades that changed the first two picks in the draft.
Now that the dust has settled on those trades, some clarity (or at least overwhelming popular opinion) has come with the first two picks in the draft. After that, things remain pretty wide open. Some first-round needs are obvious, but the names can be changed around.
1. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB, Cal
Throughout the entire process Goff has been the best quarterback in the draft. Forget not playing in the Senior Bowl or having relatively smaller hands, Goff gets the advantage. He's more developed as a prospect and faces a smaller learning curve because of his football smarts.
2. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Wentz has skyrocketed from possible first-round pick 12 months ago to being a surefire pick with the second overall selection in the draft. Wentz's ascension has been impressive. Even just in January, Wentz was a mid-first round player. Then teams got comfortable with him and pushed him up.
3. San Diego Chargers: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
It may be intriguing for the Chargers to try and trade down to a team looking for the best non-quarterback in the draft. It would be smarter for the Chargers just to sit back and take Tunsil. He's a much better blocker than anyone on the roster and would help keep Philip Rivers upright.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
This pick is a coin flip between Bosa and Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey. The choice is Bosa for two reasons, with the first being that he's the top player in the draft. The second is that it's much harder to find a pass rusher late in the draft than it is a cornerback.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
This is where things get interesting with Myles Jack of UCLA. He would be an excellent pickup for the Jaguars, but there are some long-term questions about the health of his surgically repaired knee. If Jacksonville has even the slightest pause about it, they need to go in another direction. In this case, this direction happens to be a superstar defensive back.
6. Baltimore Ravens: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Although there is some risk associated with Jack, the Ravens need an inside linebacker after releasing Daryl Smith in March. Jack is a dynamic player who could be the cornerstone of the defense in Baltimore.
7. San Francisco 49ers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
This pick becomes easy if the board falls in this fashion. There is a clear distinction in the top seven or eight players in this year's draft, and Buckner is in that group.
8. Cleveland Browns: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
It's hard to pinpoint what the Browns are going to do with this pick. It's likely that it gets traded. If it's not and Elliott is on the board, he can the focal point of Hue Jackson's offense in Cleveland.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
As mentioned, there is a clear top seven or eight players in this year's draft, so this is where things really open up. The Buccaneers need good cornerbacks badly, and Hargreaves is NFL ready.
10. New York Giants: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Over the past several weeks, Floyd has been consistently associated with the Giants. He's a talented player who can play multiple roles in the defense.
11. Chicago Bears: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
If Floyd is on the board, he'll get a long look by the Bears. If he's not, Chicago could bring in a big body up front to help bolster the defensive line. Robinson only scratched the surface of his potential at Alabama.
12. New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
The Saints are usually given space-filler defensive tackles with this spot, but Rankins would be a good fit as well. He can offer disruption up the middle, letting the team's linebackers clean up the trash on the outside.
13. Miami Dolphins: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
It's hard to see Stanley dropping this far, but that's what happens when a mock draft doesn't have trades. This pick is purely a best-player-available scenario for Miami. Picking him could push Ja'Wuan James to guard, or give the team an eventual replacement for veteran Branden Albert.
14. Oakland Raiders: Reggie Ragland, MLB, Alabama
The Raiders have done a nice job of adding speed on defense, but still need that enforcer in the middle. Ragland is built for that role.
15. Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Whether they get him at No. 15 or if they use their extra draft capital to move up, it would benefit the Titans to get Conklin in the first round. He's the exact type of offensive tackle they need to pair with Taylor Lewan. He's a physical blocker who can help implement head coach Mike Mularkey's "exotic smashmouth" offense.
16. Detroit Lions: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Getting a defensive end in the first round may seem like a luxury with Ziggy Ansah and Devin Taylor on the roster, but good pass rushers are hard to pass up in the first round.
17. Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
Lee is a popular choice for the Falcons in mock drafts because he's such a good fit. He provides a different type of athleticism that most of the teams' linebackers don't possess.
18. Indianapolis Colts: Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky
This is the range in the draft where there will be interest in Alabama center Ryan Kelly. But what offers more impact for a team, a center or a pass rusher? If the answer is the latter, Spence is the easy choice for the Colts.
19. Buffalo Bills: Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State
For whatever reason, Jones has been a late riser in the draft. Like many of the picks in this mock draft, it's taken directly from the latest Mocking the Draft podcast. Jones fits the five-technique criteria for Buffalo as a powerful defensive lineman with length and athleticism. He needs coaching up, but the tools are impressive.
20. New York Jets: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Even if the Jets bring back Ryan Fitzpatrick, they would be smart to draft Lynch if he's available at pick No. 20. His long-term upside is too good to pass up.
21. Washington: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Washington's needs changed a little bit with the big-money signing of cornerback Josh Norman. That pushes a run-stopping defensive tackle to the top of the needs list, if it wasn't there already. Reed is arguably the best run stopper in the draft this year and has experience in a 3-4.
22. Houston Texans: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
This is the part of the draft where most think we'll see a run on wide receivers. In which order they go is the confusing part. Doctson is my pick for the Texans (for now) because he's such a good playmaker. You can argue for about four different wideouts here.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole
Having Treadwell be the second or even third wide receiver off the board has become a popular notion the past couple of weeks. Here he's the second one gone. For the Vikings he's a possession receiver plus some. Treadwell is a good receiver after the catch. He's not going to make people miss, but he sure will run a few defensive backs over.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Coleman could be the third wide receiver taken or he could be the first. In Cincinnati he's obviously the replacement for Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones. Yes, he is talented enough to replace both. He's a 100-catch type of receiver in the right system.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
The Steelers need cornerback help badly, and Alexander is capable of playing a variety of styles against different types of receivers. There have been reports that he might rub people the wrong way, but he's an incredible talent.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Decker may not last this far on draft night, but if he does, the Seahawks could pick him up to be their new starting right tackle. Decker plays with a nasty demeanor that line coach Tom Cable would love.
27. Green Bay Packers: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
The Packers need some talent up front, and Butler is a player who could line up in a number of different positions. That versatility, coupled with no off-field concerns, pushes him ahead of Robert Nkemdiche of Ole Miss.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
If you're the Chiefs, do you gamble on the upside of Apple or go with the pro-readiness of WIlliam Jackson of Houston? Both players make sense. With Marcus Peters already looking like a No. 1 cornerback, they could go with Apple and hope for the best. If he actualizes his talent, they have two shutdown corners. If he doesn't, having Peters will help mitigate Apple's standing as a No. 2 corner.
29. Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
There may be no hotter player in the draft right now than Kelly. If he's available for the Cardinals, he'd be a smart choice. The closer we get to the draft, though, it looks more and more like Kelly will be long gone by now. Trading back to pick up another pick might be smart for Arizona as well.
30. Carolina Panthers: William Jackson, CB, Houston
Suddenly cornerback is the top need for the Panthers. With Josh Norman gone, the Panthers would be lucky to land Jackson at No. 30 overall. Some consider him the top cornerback in the draft.
31. Denver Broncos: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
This pick came down to either Nkemdiche or Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook. If Nkemdiche is playing hard and staying out of trouble, he's a top-five pick in this draft. That type of talent is too hard to pass up at No. 31.