Rivals 2016 NFL Mock Draft 3.0
The NFL Scouting Combine is long gone and many pro days are in the books so franchises and scouts have a bunch more information heading into April’s NFL Draft. With free agent moves and trades, there’s no better time to release Mock Draft 3.0. Here is a breakdown of each pick by Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney.
No. 1 Tennessee Titans
Farrell: OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
This hasn’t changed for me at all. The Titans need an elite tackle to protect Marcus Mariota and Tunsil is that guy.
Gorney: OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
Others could be more tempting in this spot, like Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey but the Titans need to protect franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota and Tunsil looks to be the best offensive tackle in this draft.
No. 2 Cleveland Browns
Farrell: QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
It’s either Wentz or Jared Goff here for the Browns as they need a quarterback of the future more than anything else. I like Goff better but the Browns like Wentz for his athleticism and high ceiling.
Gorney: QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
The Browns are going after Colin Kaepernick but that’s nowhere near a done deal yet so Wentz is still the pick here. If the Kaepernick deal gets done, then the Browns easily go after Ramsey since he blew away people at the combine.
No. 3 San Diego Chargers
Farrell: LB Myles Jack, UCLA
Jack’s pro day workout showed a lot of explosion that scouts questioned. The temptation to take Jalen Ramsey will be large, but the Chargers know this draft is deep at cornerback and thin when it comes to playmaking linebackers.
Gorney: CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
If the Browns take a quarterback with the second pick, Ramsey should be the selection here because he’s the best available player -- especially after his combine performance -- and the Chargers need help everywhere. Lock him up and deal with other issues later on.
No. 4 Dallas Cowboys
Farrell: CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
There is no way the Cowboys expected Ramsey to fall here and despite the need at quarterback and other offensive positions, Ramsey is a huge pickup for a secondary that needs help.
Gorney: DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
Tony Romo is the Dallas quarterback for four or five more years according to owner Jerry Jones and the Cowboys desperately need help at defensive end. Joey Bosa is definitely a serious option here, but Buckner has blown people away with his length and athleticism. He goes first.
No. 5 Jacksonville Jaguars
Farrell: DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
With Ramsey and Jack gone, Jacksonville could be tempted to go after Vernon Hargreaves III at corner, but the Jaguars have many needs on defense and Bosa appears to be more of a sure thing.
Gorney: LB Myles Jack, UCLA
The defense in Jacksonville needs help and an explosive playmaker like Jack cannot be passed up. He proved at the UCLA pro day that his knee injury won’t be an issue, he can make plays all over the field and he helps the Jaguars defense in numerous ways.
No. 6 Baltimore Ravens
Farrell: OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
The Ravens need help on the offensive line as well as on defense, but with Ramsey gone and other corners too risky this high, they take the next best tackle in the draft behind Tunsil.
Gorney: DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
There is absolutely no question the Ravens have major issues at offensive tackle but this is too high for Ronnie Stanley. Baltimore can solve those issues in other ways. If Bosa is still on the board, he’s the pick and the Ravens beef up their defensive line.
No. 7 San Francisco 49ers
Farrell: QB Jared Goff, Cal
With Jack moving up the board after his pro day, the 49ers lose their top target but will happily fill a huge need at quarterback with a local product who could be a star. They might even trade up to land him at No. 4 if they feel Jack will be gone by the time they draft.
Gorney: QB Jared Goff, Cal
The Kaepernick deal is far from finished and there has been some discussion now about just keeping him and having him fight for the starting spot. That doesn’t mean the 49ers should pass on Goff, who could be a franchise-type quarterback and is a local guy. This pick just makes sense even if he does have small hands.
No. 8 Philadelphia Eagles
Farrell: RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
Gorney: RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
The Eagles traded away two players and moved DeMarco Murray for a reason. It must be to move up for Elliott, who has moved up the charts after excellent showings at recent events. A lot of people thought if the Eagles stayed at No. 13 they would take an offensive line but Elliott could be a steal here.
No. 9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Farrell: CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
Things are falling into place for Tampa Bay, who were hoping the Dolphins would pass on Hargreaves so he would fall to them. Now with the Eagles trading up, Hargreaves should be here.
Gorney: CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
Brent Grimes was brought over in free agency -- don’t read his wife’s Twitter for the news -- but that doesn’t mean the Buccaneers pass on Hargreaves, maybe the best pure corner in this draft.
No. 10 New York Giants
Farrell: LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
Picking up Olivier Vernon means the Giants go away from defensive end even with Shaq Lawson and DeForest Buckner available. Ragland is clearly the best inside guy in the draft and fits a huge need for the Giants.
Gorney: OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
This is a big-time guess, especially since New York aggressively moved for Olivier Vernon in free agency and have free-agent targets at offensive tackle as well. If that doesn’t work out or the Giants want to build even more depth there then Stanley could be the pick. If a safety emerges, that could make complete sense, too.
No. 11 Chicago Bears
Farrell: DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
Having two of the best defensive ends in the draft fall this far is unexpected, so the Bears must choose between Bucker and Lawson. They take the longer player with the higher ceiling and hope he can play more physical.
Gorney: DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson
The Bears need help on defense, especially along the defensive front and at linebacker and Lawson is too talented and too much of a playmaker to pass up. Reaching on a linebacker here, especially with Jaylon Smith falling, isn’t prudent so Chicago takes the best defensive end available.
No. 12 New Orleans Saints
Farrell: DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson
With so many defensive needs, the Saints want either an elite inside guy or an edge rusher. Lawson was supposed to be gone by now so they will happily snag him quickly here.
Gorney: DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
New Orleans needs immediate help across the defensive front and especially inside. The best player left on the board is Rankins, who has impressed at the Senior Bowl and the combine and has tremendous speed and athleticism for someone his size.
No. 13 Miami Dolphins
Farrell: CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
The Dolphins were linked with Hargreaves previously before trading down so now they take the next best corner on their board, another Florida high school product in Mackensie who could be even better.
Gorney: LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
A lot of concerns were addressed in free agency, but the Dolphins were toward the bottom of the NFL against the run last season. That means a run-stuffing, ball-hawking linebacker like Ragland would be perfect here although Miami could opt for one of the best remaining cornerbacks, too.
No. 14 Oakland Raiders
Farrell: CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
The Raiders were hoping one of the elite corners in this draft would slide to them and are happy to see Apple available. Few players raised their stock more than Apple did at the combine and he fits a need for the Raiders.
Gorney: CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
The Raiders did a phenomenal job in free agency and addressed issues on the offensive line, cornerback and linebacker, but their pass defense was such a major issue last season they still need help there. In comes Alexander, who had a terrific pro day and in my estimation is a better corner than Eli Apple at this point.
No. 15 Los Angeles Rams
Farrell: WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
The need at quarterback is great here and maybe the Rams will trade up for one of the big two or take a shot at Paxton Lynch, but they also need a big wide receiver to help out the quarterbacks they do have and Treadwell is the best one.
Gorney: WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
The Rams desperately need help at quarterback, but is Memphis’ Paxton Lynch the answer? There still might be some questions about Treadwell’s explosive speed but he’s the best receiver in the draft and St. Louis takes him with this pick. Lynch could be the pick, but how do you pass on an SEC receiver who dominated?
No. 16 Detroit Lions
Farrell: OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State
I think Taylor Decker is the better prospect but Conklin is more of a brawler and the Lions need to add toughness to their team. Being a Michigan State alum means nothing here to the Lions, it’s just an added bonus.
Gorney: OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State
Defensive line is an issue in Detroit and that could be a realistic pick but there are reports that Conklin will have a private workout with the Lions soon. After proving he’s definitely an offensive tackle at the combine and with his toughness and power, Conklin makes a lot of sense to beef up the o-line.
No. 17 Atlanta Falcons
Farrell: LB Darron Lee, Ohio State
Gorney: LB Leonard Floyd, Georgia
Ragland would be the pick here if he’s still available and Ohio State’s Darron Lee makes a ton of sense but the Falcons brought 16 coaches and front-office personnel to Georgia’s junior day, according to an ESPN report. One big reason was to watch Floyd, so there’s no question the interest level in him is super high.
No. 18 Indianapolis Colts
Farrell: OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State
This hasn’t changed since Mock 1.o. The Colts need an offensive tackle, Decker is the guy they’ve had on their radar for a while and they are happy he is still here.
Gorney: OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State
With Conklin gone and a need at offensive tackle to better protect quarterback Andrew Luck, Decker is the obvious choice here. I really do believe Indiana’s Jason Spriggs could move up a lot on draft boards, but Decker is the safer, better bet here and that’s what the Colts need with this selection.
No. 19 Buffalo Bills
Farrell: DT Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
I still think the brash nature of the Ryan brothers will lead the Bills to take a chance on Nkemdiche, who has the biggest boom/bust factor in the first round. This is a risk and will either make or break their interior defense over the next few years.
Gorney: DT A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama
I’ve gone back and forth on this pick whether the Bills take Lee from Ohio State as a playmaking linebacker, but Buffalo also needs help on the defensive front and Robinson is too talented to pass up. With Nkemdiche probably falling further, Robinson is a good pick here, although many other names make sense.
No. 20 New York Jets
Farrell: DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson
The Jets want an edge rusher to complement their impressive defensive interior and Dodd made himself a lot of money in the championship game against Alabama. He’s a reach for round one, but the Jets don't see it that way.
Gorney: LB Darron Lee, Ohio State
With Matt Forte coming over from the Chicago Bears, running back is a settled issue in New York, but linebacker doesn’t seem to be and if Lee falls this far, then the Jets take him. He’s a playmaker who covers sideline to sideline and he can come up in run support and make a lot of tackles.
No. 21 Washington Redskins
Farrell: DT A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama
Robinson is the best defensive tackle in the draft and the Redskins are very happy he’s fallen here. They need help in the middle and a pure run stuffer and Robinson can do that and push the pocket as well.
Gorney: DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
What the Redskins need is a mean, tough defensive tackle who takes up space and is a run stuffer. That fits Reed perfectly and he should fit in well in Washington, be an immediate impact guy and fill an absolutely glaring need in the Redskins’ defense.
No. 22 Houston Texans
Farrell: WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame
I had the Texans taking Lynch before they signed Brock Osweiler and now they need to add some weapons for him. Fuller showed off his speed at the combine and they hope his inconsistent hands become steady as an option opposite DeAndre Hopkins.
Gorney: WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
The Texans have revamped their skill position players with Brock Osweiler and running back Lamar Miller and now is the chance to land an explosive, stretch-the-field type wide receiver in Coleman. Houston coach Bill O’Brien was at Baylor’s pro day for a reason: to get a close eye on his first-round pick.
No. 23 Minnesota Vikings
Farrell: WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
The Vikings would take either Fuller or Coleman here despite having a smallish receiver already in Stefon Diggs. Coleman is too explosive to pass up and fits a need to help make Teddy Bridgewater more effective.
Gorney: WR Josh Doctson, TCU
Former Vikings receiver Mike Wallace said he signed with Baltimore instead of Minnesota because he needed a “good quarterback” but QB is not the issue for the Vikings. They didn’t have a speedy outside receiver with excellent hands that could be Bridgewater’s main target. That role is filled by Doctson. Notre Dame’s Will Fuller is also a serious option but he has “drop” concerns, so the Vikings could take the sure thing.
No. 24 Cincinnati Bengals
Farrell: WR Josh Doctson, TCU
I’ve compared Doctson to A.J. Green before and, while a smaller, speedier receiver might be optimal here, teaming these two together is too tempting. This might be a bit of a stretch with three wide outs going in a row, but the need is there for many teams.
Gorney: WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame
He blew people away with his 40-yard dash at the combine and he provides another major threat in the passing game. The Bengals have been loading up on defense recently which only makes sense that they’re about to pull the trigger on a receiver who could stretch the field and complement A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert. Fuller had seven touchdown receptions of 40+ yards in 2015, including three of 70+.
No. 25 Pittsburgh Steelers
Farrell: CB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
Everyone knows the Steelers need secondary help and this is a deep draft for cornerbacks but with Ramsey, Hargreaves, Alexander and Apple off the board, they take a shot at Fuller and hope his knee injury won’t hamper him. This could be the pick of the draft if Fuller hasn’t lost any quickness.
Gorney: CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
My prediction is that Alexander goes off the board earlier which leaves the Steelers with a great situation by drafting Apple, who impressed at the combine and is longer than Alexander but maybe not a more-polished overall corner. Apple is physical and goes after the receiver and the ball so this pick works.
No. 26 Seattle Seahawks
Farrell: DE Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
Ogbah fits the bill as an outside pass rusher for the Seahawks with great quickness off the edge and he is strong enough to hold the edge and play the run. His playing style fits what the Seahawks and Pete Carroll like as well as he’s well rounded despite not being very long.
Gorney: DL Kevin Dodd, Clemson
The interior of both lines needs to be addressed and it looks like the offense is getting worked on through free agency. With so many outstanding defensive linemen in this draft it could be a major steal to get Dodd, who really improved his stock late in the season, this late in the first round.
No. 27 Green Bay Packers
Farrell: DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
Last time I had Ragland falling all the way to the Packers and they would have loved that, but free agency changes everything and he’s gone much earlier now. With B.J. Raji stepping away, Billings fits a need as a nose who can stuff the run.
Gorney: DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
I’m sticking with my previous pick of Billings and I’m even more confident after B.J. Raji announced he’s stepping away from football. Billings had a great combine, he’s fierce and tough up the middle and he showed at the combine that he’s also a tremendous athlete. Seems like an easy pick.
No. 28 Kansas City Chiefs
Farrell: OG Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
The Chiefs added a bit of help on the offensive line but they still need help on the inside and will go either offensive or defensive line. Whitehair is the nasty fit they want.
Gorney: CB William Jackson III, Houston
The Chiefs lost Sean Smith to free agency but the good news here is that there is another super talented cornerback available in the draft and he should still be on the board late in the first round. Jackson has the height, maybe not the thickness of Smith but Jackson had 28 pass deflections this past season. He and Marcus Peters would be dynamite.
No. 29 Arizona Cardinals
Farrell: S Keanu Neal, Florida
Once again the Cardinals look for secondary help to shore up an already strong unit and add a guy who can come up and hit and make up for a lack of size elsewhere at defensive back.
Gorney: S Keanu Neal, Florida
Not to steal from Farrell here, but the Cardinals addressed their edge rusher issues and they’re working on the offensive line but one position that still needs work is safety. Neal plays the position so well and he tested really well at the combine so Arizona doesn’t get flashy but addresses an issue with this pick.
No. 30 Carolina Panthers
Farrell: RB Derrick Henry, Alabama
Gorney: RB Derrick Henry, Alabama
Farrell might have started something here by picking Henry in the last mock draft and it makes sense. Carolina is shoring up its defensive line issues at least and the mere thought of Henry and Cam Newton in the Panthers’ backfield is too exciting to pass up. After his outstanding combine performance, Henry is a first-rounder.
No. 31 Denver Broncos
Farrell: QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis
The quarterback position is a disaster in Denver and Lynch could be a steal here if he slips away from the Rams and others. This sudden need at quarterback could be a great thing for the Broncos as Lynch could be a home run.
Gorney: DT Chris Jones, Mississippi State
Defensive tackle Malik Jackson needs to be replaced after he was lost in free agency to Jacksonville. Denver will have its pick whether the Broncos choose Nkemdiche, Louisiana Tech’s Vernon Butler or others but my guess is Jones. He can move inside or outside, he has been a playmaker and he fills an absolute need.