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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Browns opt for QB Carson Wentz over Jared Goff

2016 NFL Mock Draft: Browns opt for QB Carson Wentz over Jared Goff

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

First mock draft of the season comes following the conclusion of the 2016 NFL Combine and it features the hottest name in football right now -- Carson Wentz -- going extremely early. Wentz impressed in a big way at the combine, and Cleveland's in a spot where they have to take a quarterback.

It essentially comes down to Wentz vs. Jared Goff, with one offering more upside and one offering more potential early success out of the gate.

As with almost every single quarterback prospect in the history of football, there is no sure thing. But the Browns don't have a choice this offseason. For now Wentz is their pick.

1. Tennessee Titans

Laremy Tunsil, T, Mississippi: Not going to buck convention out of the gate. Tunsil getting ratted out by teammate Robert Nkemdichefor being present when Nkemdiche fell at a hotel doesn't help his case, but he's too talented at protecting the quarterback and the Titans need to much help there to pass on him.

2. Cleveland Browns

Carson Wentz , QB, North Dakota State: There's little doubt they go quarterback. Just a matter of whether it's Wentz or Jared Goff. For now we'll lean Wentz just because the Carson Wentz Hype Train is moving at such a ridiculous pace it might just careen off the tracks.

3. San Diego Chargers

Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State: The Chargers need to shore up a couple different spots, including pass rush. The question is how well he fits if he's forced into an outside linebacker role instead of as a hand-in-the-ground end.

4. Dallas Cowboys

Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State: The temptation to take a quarterback will be strong. You only get so many looks this high in the draft. But there are way too many other positions of need for Dallas to gamble against winning now. Plus they can always just get Robert Griffin III.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars

Myles Jack, LB, UCLA: Injecting Jack and Dante Fowler into a disappointing defense would immediately allow the Jags to catch up on the other side of the ball.

6. Baltimore Ravens

Ronnie Stanley, T, Notre Dame: Give Ozzie Newsome a shot at a top-10 draft pick and he's bound to land himself a guy who can anchor a position for a decade.

7. San Francisco 49ers

Jared Goff, QB, California: Still a lot of time left for the Colin Kaepernick drama to unfold. He'll “absolutely” be on the team according to Trent Baalke, but there are “absolutely” a lot of trade rumors out there. Smoke, fire, etc.

8. Miami Dolphins

Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida: Dolphins need help in a secondary (and in general on defense where they could see turnover) that might not be whole by the start of the new year. Drafting an athletic corner like Hargreaves would help.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon: Gotta be able to get after the quarterback in the NFC South (see: Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan) and pairing Buckner with Gerald McCoy would make life less fun for quarterbacks in the division.

10. New York Giants

Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson: The Giants' roster is quietly a mess right now. No Eli Manning/Odell Beckham and things would be real bad. But defense is the primary issue and they need some pass rush ASAP.

11. Chicago Bears

A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama: Big body to go on a defensive front as Vic Fangio and John Fox continue to revamp.

12. New Orleans Saints

Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky: Little bit of a first-round gamble here on a character-issue guy, but the Saints need the upside Spence offers in terms of pass rush.

13. Philadelphia Eagles

Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State: This is going to be a major question mark in every mock draft until Philly makes a move at quarterback. If Sam Bradford isn't back, then it opens up the chance of gambling on someone like Paxton Lynch. Instead they opt for protection.

14. Oakland Raiders

Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson: Finding David Amerson in free agency made up for whiffing on D.J. Hayden. But the Raiders still need help in the secondary.Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis: “We're going to start Case Keenum next year.” Say it out loud.

15. Los Angeles Rams

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis: “We're going to start Case Keenum next year.” Say it out loud.

16. Detroit Lions

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi: No one can replace Calvin Johnson (assuming he actually retires) but someone's got to try.

17. Atlanta Falcons

Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama: He tallied 220 total tackles and four sacks the last two seasons for Alabama. Not exactly a modern linebacker, per se, but Dan Quinn can get a trigger man for the inside of his defense.

18. Indianapolis Colts

Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville: The defense just has to get more impactful. Rankins isn't a massive man (only 6-foot-1, 304 pounds), but his production trumps those concerns.

19. Buffalo Bills

Robert Nkemdiche, DE, Mississippi: This feels like a perfect marriage. Hyper-talented defensive lineman capable of playing different spots but with major character concerns. It's not hard to imagine Rex Ryan rolling the dice on his upside.

20. New York Jets

Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia: Continuing to pump resources into the defense while hoping Chan Gailey and the Brandon Marshall/Eric Decker combo can hold up the offense gives the Jets playoff potential in 2016.

21. Washington Redskins

Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech: Big and physical, which is the way Scot McCloughan's leaned since he got to DC job and started trying to turn this team around. He also offers pass-rush capabilities with upside.

22. Houston Texans

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State: Hard to imagine Arian Foster in the long-term plans for Houston and they've got to get better on offense somehow. Going running back in the first round is questionable but Zeke could impact this offense immediately and take the load off Brian Hoyer or whatever rookie QB they take in the second or third round.

23. Minnesota Vikings

Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor: Not immediately a refined option but they've got to get Teddy Bridgewatermore weapons. Can take the top off of defenses.

24. Cincinnati Bengals

Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson: The Bengals like to keep their stable of pass-rush weapons full and adding Dodd's upside here would give them a nice wave of attack behind Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers

William Jackson, CB, Houston: Pittsburgh needs to reinvest in the secondary and grabbing Jackson, who impressed at the combine, starts that process.

26. Seattle Seahawks

Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame: The Seahawks' brass feels like a group secure enough and willing to gamble on grabbing top-end talent with injury risk (and a fifth-year option) here.

27. Green Bay Packers

Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas: Doesn't feel like a Ted Thompson pick necessarily but Aaron Rodgers needs some more weapons. We saw what happened when Jordy Nelson went down.

28. Kansas City Chiefs

Cody Whitehair, OL, Kansas State: Getting Alex Smithan extra weapon would be great but so would getting Smith some protection.

29. Arizona Cardinals

Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State: He had a strong showing at the combine and the Cardinals can use some pass rush help.

30. Carolina Panthers

Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State: Not even remotely a need for the Panthers -- and Dave Gettleman doesn't care. If the best player on his board is a defensive tackle, he'll take him.

31. Denver Broncos

Andrew Billings, DL, Baylor: Big bodies flying off the board left and right. Denver's got to restock its defense thanks to all the potential losses.

Cleveland will look to Wentz to turn things around. (USATSI)

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