2016 NFL Mock Drafts

Pete Prisco
By Rob Rang
The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

2017 NFL Draft: For third consecutive year, quarterbacks go 1-2 in super-early mock At this early stage, the top talent potentially available in the 2017 NFL Draft appears to be Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett and LSU running back Leonard Fournette. Of course, Joey Bosa looked like the top talent a year ago at this time and he "slid" to third overall because the value of quarterbacks trumps everything else. The class of 2017 could play out just like the past two years with QB-needy teams ignoring better, safer players at other positions in the hopes of turning things around quickly. --The draft order for this exercise was determined based on the current Vegas odds to win next year's Super Bowl.
NFL Mock Draft - 5/4/2016
Round 1
1. Cleveland Browns

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson: If Cleveland is drafting No. 1 overall, the experiments with Robert Griffin III and rookie Cody Kessler were a failure. Watson lacks ideal size but has the arm, athleticism and moxie to potentially turn into a franchise quarterback.
2. San Francisco 49ers

Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss: Unless Chip Kelly is able to resurrect the careers of Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert (or get a kick-start out of rookie Jeff Driskel), the 49ers will be looking for an upgrade at quarterback in 2017 if selecting this high. Kelly - the nephew of Bills Hall of Famer Jim and not related to the 49ers' head coach - possesses the arm and athleticism to be an ideal match in Chip's offense. He comes with questions on and off the field but is an undeniable talent who could soar up draft boards with a big 2016 season.
3. San Diego Chargers

Jamal Adams, SS, LSU: The Chargers failed to adequately replace Eric Weddle in the 2016 draft but would not likely allow a safety of Adams' caliber to slip by this time around, especially after investing heavily on front seven defenders in 2016, most notably edge rusher Joey Bosa with the third overall pick.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars

Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M: Frankly, I'd be shocked if the Jags are selecting this high - I think they are a legitimate contender to win the AFC South this year - but if once again picking in the top five, then 2015 first-round pick Dante Fowler, Jr. likely did not have the kind of impact expected coming off injury. Garrett is a special talent who could push for No. 1 overall consideration if no quarterbacks emerge.
5. Tennessee Titans

Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida: Some clubs seem to annually struggle at certain positions and with not a single cornerback from Tennessee in the modern era having earned multiple Pro Bowl nods, GM Jon Robinson could find Tabor's talent and tenacity simply too intriguing to pass up.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama: The Bucs are high on young left tackle Donovan Smith but may see him as a better fit on the right side as competition for veteran Gosder Cherilus, especially if a talent like Robinson is available.
7. New Orleans Saints

Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn: The selection of defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins should help but the Saints still need help along the defensive line. Adding the powerful and athletic Lawson to a unit built around Cameron Jordan could turn a relative weakness into a strength.
8. Detroit Lions

Desmond King, CB, Iowa: Most assumed King would bolt for the NFL after winning the Thorpe Award last season. His size, physicality and penchant for the big play would fit in nicely in Detroit.
9. Cleveland Browns

Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: Hue Jackson's commitment to running the football could result in production for the backs already on Cleveland's roster, but none of them possess anything closer to Fournette's raw talent.
10. Miami Dolphins

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: If the duo of Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake does not result in the production Miami is looking for in 2016, the Dolphins could find help in the form of the relatively local star, Cook, a do-everything back.
11. Tennessee Titans

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Southern California: The Titans invested heavily in running backs in 2016, but helping Marcus Mariota with a big-play receiver like Smith-Schuster could be the top priority a year from now.
12. Washington Redskins

Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State: The culture in Washington is changing with GM Scot McClougan valuing toughness and physicality over raw athleticism. At 6-6, 285 pounds, McDowell has the length and power to play all over the defensive line.
13. Atlanta Falcons

Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama: After leading the Crimson Tide in sacks (12.0) and tackles for loss (14.5) in 2015, Allen surprisingly passed up the NFL to return to Tuscaloosa.
14. Chicago Bears

Jabrill Peppers, SS, Michigan: Cornerback, safety, returner - put him wherever you'd like - Peppers is a natural playmaker with the instincts and athleticism to carry over his success and versatility into the NFL.
15. Houston Texans

Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama: Brian Cushing is coming off a good year, but it was the first time in the past five seasons in which he it through all 16 games unscathed. The Texans could pair Foster as an explosive athlete to complement Cushing and last year's second-round pick Bernardrick McKinney.
16. Buffalo Bills

Zach Banner, OT, Southern California: Left tackle Cordy Glenn's long term future with the club was answered with a five-year deal. Banner isn't for everyone, but Rex Ryan would probably love his power in the running game on the right side.
17. Oakland Raiders

Adoree' Jackson, CB, Southern California: Like Peppers at No. 14, Jackson is such a dynamic athlete that he has been featured at receiver, cornerback and returner over his career. The Raiders could find his athleticism and versatility intriguing, especially with the need for depth at all three positions.
18. NY Giants

Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State: For the first time in modern franchise history, the Giants did not select an offensive or defensive lineman in the 2016 draft. Reinforcements could be needed next year up front with Johnson possessing the bulk and feet to help immediately.
19. NY Jets

Eddie Jackson, SS, Alabama: Ball-hawking safeties are all the rage in the NFL and Jackson showed promise in this area in 2015, intercepting six passes after playing cornerback earlier in his career.
20. Baltimore Ravens

Jarrad Davis, OLB, Florida: Instinctive and physical, Davis could be the perfect complement to 2014 first-round pick C.J. Mosley.
21. Kansas City Chiefs

Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama: With Tamba Hali aging and Justin Houston coming off surgery, the Chiefs could once again be on the hunt for an edge rusher. Williams was a pass rush specialist for the Tide last year, generating 10.5 sacks despite not starting a single game.
22. Indianapolis Colts

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: Adding some juice to the backfield in Indianapolis could be the perfect way to support Andrew Luck. McCaffrey is a legitimate talent, combining vision, agility, burst and hands to serve as a dynamic all-around weapon. The Stanford background could make the transition that much easier for both Luck and McCaffrey.
23. Minnesota Vikings

Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami (Fla.): If Teddy Bridgewater takes the next step in 2017 and guides the Vikings back to the playoffs (as this projection indicates), Minnesota might look first to the offensive line. Kaaya's leadership and experience in a run-oriented, pro-style offense could be appealing if Bridgewater's marginal play last season continues in 2016.
24. Dallas Cowboys

O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama: Gavin Escobar is a nice player but he is not a true long-term replacement for Jason Witten, whose lack of speed is starting to catch up with him (along with everyone else). Howard, on the other hand, does have this kind of seam-breaking ability.
25. Arizona Cardinals

Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech: Tight end is not a featured position in Bruce Arian's offense but this former quarterback is not a traditional tight end, boasting the size and raw athleticism to be a matchup nightmare.
26. Carolina Panthers

Charles Harris, DE, Missouri: The Panthers are currently set along the defensive line but with Charles Johnson on a one-year deal, GM Dave Gettleman likely would not pass on adding an athletic edge rusher like Harris - who led the SEC with 18.5 tackles for loss last year -- if given the opportunity to add to his collection of "hog mollies."
27. Cincinnati Bengals

Skai Moore, OLB, South Carolina: Size and physicality has been the calling card of Bengals 'backers in recent years, but 2016 third-round pick Nick Vigil could signal a changing of the guard. Like Vigil, Moore has the athleticism to handle coverage responsibilities as well as be a nuisance in the running game.
28. Denver Broncos

Zach Cunningham, ILB, Vanderbilt: With Von Miller seeking a monster contract, the Broncos will be looking for inexpensive and dynamic front seven defenders to complement him. Cunningham isn't a national name yet, but the Commodores star is well known in the SEC, especially among coaches who voted him to the First Team squad with 16.5 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles in 2015 - more than any Vandy defender this century.
29. Green Bay Packers

Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio State: It seems the Packers are annually in search of athletic linebackers. Powerful and athletic, Miller could be end to Green Bay's troubles at the position.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pat Elflein, OG, Ohio State: Some would argue injuries to stars Le'Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger the past couple of seasons were predictable with the startling lack of attention Pittsburgh has paid to its offensive line, with just two of the club's 33 draft picks during that time used on blockers. A powerful blocker with the versatility to play guard or center, Elflein could help immediately.
31. Seattle Seahawks

Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee: The Seahawks are hoping to squeeze another year or two of production out of Cliff Avril and Chris Clemons, but will be on the lookout for fresh blood among edge rushers next year. Barnett is not the elite athlete that his production indicates but he possesses a relatively pro-ready game.
32. New England Patriots

Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU: Coach Bill Belichick makes investing early picks in the secondary nearly an annual exercise, and White possesses the buttery smooth athleticism to excel in coverage and on special teams.

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