2016 NFL Mock Draft: Ohio State dominates first round
There are over 360 days until the 2016 NFL Draft, but it's never too premature for an early forecast of next year's projected top prospects, including five Buckeyes who could land in the first round.
There are more than 360 days until the 2016 NFL Draft, but it's never too premature for an early forecast of next year's projected top prospects, including five Buckeyes who could land in the first round.
For arguments sake, the same top-32 order of the 2015 NFL Draft is used for this exercise.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Ohio State DE Joey Bosa (6-5, 285, 4.82): Sacks and shrugs, that's what Bosa does. The Buckeyes' pass rusher has quickness, power and football instincts to disrupt the backfield and be the No. 1 pick.
2. Tennessee Titans -- Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley (6-6, 318, 5.16): Zack Martin 's replacement last season at left tackle, Stanley might have been the top offensive lineman drafted this year had he declared early. He'll anchor the Notre Dame offense this fall.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves III (5-11, 194, 4.49): If eligible, there is no doubt Hargreaves would have been the first defensive back drafted in 2015. At only 5-11 and 195 pounds, he lacks ideal size, but his fluidity and cover instincts are NFL ready.
4. Oakland Raiders -- Alabama DT A'Shawn Robinson (6-3, 320, 5.18): The Raiders decided to pass on Leonard Williams, but Reggie McKenzie goes with Robinson, a player who is primed for a breakout season in the SEC, with this selection.
5. Washington Redskins -- California QB Jared Goff (6-4, 198, 4.76): The first quarterback off the board, Goff is an athletic, strong-armed passer who likely be compared to another Cal QB, Aaron Rodgers .
6. New York Jets -- Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg (6-4, 234, 4.78): Although his development dipped in 2014, Hackenberg has the traits of a top 10 pick and if he improves his consistency, he'll be drafted this high.
7. Chicago Bears -- USC S Su'a Cravens (6-1, 225, 4.62): Cravens was the MVP of the USC defense in 2014, displaying terrific versatility with 68 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 12 passes defensed.
8. Atlanta Falcons -- Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell (6-2, 229, 4.52): Roddy White turns 34 during the upcoming season and Treadwell, who has a Dez Bryant -like skill-set when healthy, would be scary on the same field with Julio Jones .
9. New York Giants -- Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche (6-4, 280, 4.86): A player just scratching the surface of his potential, Nkemdiche has terrific body control and movement skills for an interior rusher.
10. St. Louis Rams -- Pittsburgh WR Tyler Boyd (6-2, 185, 4.47): Boyd, who has already broken several of Larry Fitzgerald 's school records, is a savvy pass-catcher with speed and terrific hand-eye coordination.
11. Minnesota Vikings -- Baylor DE Shawn Oakman (6-8, 278, 4.92): A first-player-off-the-bus type, Oakman has a tremendous physique and skill-set, but needs to consistently play up to those measureables.
12. Cleveland Browns -- Michigan State QB Connor Cook (6-4, 220, 4.89): The Browns are currently in quarterback purgatory and unless Johnny Manziel rights the ship, Cleveland likely will be in the market for a talented passer like Cook.
13. New Orleans Saints -- Oregon DE DeForest Buckner (6-6, 286, 4.89): While Arik Armstead was a top-15 pick this year, Buckner is a better NFL prospect, leading the Ducks in tackles for loss (13) last season.
14. Miami Dolphins -- Florida State S Jalen Ramsey (6-1, 204, 4.50): A do-it-all safety vs. the run and pass, Ramsey is everywhere for the Seminoles, making it appear like there are four of him on the field.
15. San Francisco 49ers -- Notre Dame DE/OLB Jaylon Smith (6-1, 230, 4.56): The leading tackler for the Irish in 2014, Smith is a fluid athlete who has outstanding closing burst and spatial skills, dropping in coverage or rushing the pocket.
16. Houston Texans -- Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel (6-4, 208, 4.85): A wild-card quarterback prospect, Kiel tossed 31 TD passes last season, and if he continues to develop his decision-making, he'll be in the early-round mix.
17. San Diego Chargers -- Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil (6-5, 305, 5.23): Tunsil has the potential to be a top-five pick, but he needs to stay healthy as a junior in 2015. He's currently rehabbing a leg injury.
18. Kansas City Chiefs -- Ohio State DT Taylor Decker (6-7, 315, 5.17): Decker was the only returning offensive lineman last year for Ohio State, but he was the anchor for the national Champion Buckeyes, impressing scouts in the process.
19. Buffalo Bills -- Baylor DT Andrew Billings (6-1, 310, 5.04): Everyone knows about Oakman, but he's not the only potential first-rounder on Baylor's D-line. Billings loves to wreck the dreams of the offense.
20. Philadelphia Eagles -- Virginia Tech CB Kendall Fuller (5-11, 195, 4.48): The youngest of the Fuller brothers, Kendall might be the best and will try to be the highest drafted of the family ( Kyle Fuller was 14th overall in 2014).
21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun (6-4, 257, 4.72): The Spartans' leading pass rusher last year (eight sacks), Calhoun lacks a true power move, but uses his momentum to win the corner and finish in the pocket.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Ole Miss S Tony Conner (6-0, 217, 4.56): Shamarko Thomas , a 2013 fourth rounder, will get the first shot to fill the shoes of Troy Polamalu, but if that doesn't work, Conner could be the next man up.
23. Detroit Lions -- Notre Dame WR Corey Robinson (6-5, 205, 4.59): The son of NBA legend David Robinson, Corey has terrific measureables and a high football ceiling, and would give Matthew Stafford anotehr weapon.
24. Arizona Cardinals -- Ohio State QB Cardale Jones (6-5, 250, 4.76): Jones absolutely made the right decision to return to Columbus because he wouldn't have been a first-round pick this year. But with another year of development, he might be.
25. Carolina Panthers -- Baylor OL Spencer Drango (6-5, 315, 5.10): Next year's version of Zack Martin or Brandon Scherff, Drango is a college left tackle, but his skill-set projects him best inside as a terrific NFL guard.
26. Baltimore Ravens -- Auburn DE/OLB Carl Lawson (6-2, 261, 4.76): Coming off a knee injury, Lawson has top-10 potential as a pass rusher and he might get back up there if he proves to be fully healed from last year's ACL issue.
27. Dallas Cowboys -- Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott (6-0, 225, 4.52) The lone running back in this mock, Elliott was unstoppable during in College Football Playoff games last year and has first-round potential.
28. Denver Broncos -- South Carolina WR Pharoh Cooper (5-11, 201, 4.52): Whether it's at quarterback, running back or wide receiver, Cooper is one of the best athletes in the SEC and a threat to score whenever he touches the ball.
29. Indianapolis Colts -- UCLA OLB Myles Jack (6-1, 230, 4.56): A prospect who will receive a lot of Shaq Thompson comparisons, Jack is a versatile athlete who will see snaps a linebacker and running back, but he's best suited to defense.
30. Green Bay Packers -- Ohio State OLB Darron Lee (6-1, 225, 4.68): A Ryan Shazier -like prospect, Lee is a speedy athlete who has above average burst and explosiveness, making him a fit in any defense.
31. Seattle Seahawks -- Oklahoma State DE Emmanuel Ogbah (6-4, 270, 4.76): One of college football's breakout stars last seasonr, Ogbah led Oklahoma State with 17 tackles for loss and 11 sacks and has NFL-level skills.
32. New England Patriots -- Texas A&M OL German Ifedi (6-5, 320, 5.34): The latest product of the Aggies offensive line pipeline, Ifedi has experience at tackle and guard and is expected to take over for Cedric Ogbuehi at left tackle in 2015.
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