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2016 NFL Draft Mock (1.0)

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At College Football Metrics, we want to outperform all other scouting services in correctly evaluating where teams should take prospects in the NFL Draft. But we also want to lead the way in predicting what teams will actually do with their draft picks. In 2015, we made our debut in The Huddle Report’s exclusive, expert-only NFL Draft contests. CFM took 5th place (out of 113) in the mock draft competition and 4th place (out of 56) in the top 100 board competition. In 2016, we want double crowns!

CFM has partnered with Xavier Cromartie (Twitter @xaviercromartie) to produce mock drafts and top 100 prospect boards based on his latest intel, research, and analysis. Xavier was the final grand prize winner of ESPN’s NFL Draft 1st Round Forecast game, and he is the undefeated Play The Draft Champion Emeritus.

Draft scenarios change as new information comes in during draft season, and so we will run updates here as often as Xavier makes adjustments to his mocks and boards.

 

 

Round 1

  1. Tennessee Titans: LT Laremy Tunsil (Mississippi)

I’m not sure why the Titans drafted Jeremiah Poutasi to play right tackle when everyone projected him as a guard. He doesn’t pass block well. This pick does not merely fill a need; many scouts believe that Tunsil is the best overall prospect.

 

  1. Cleveland Browns: QB Jared Goff (California-Berkeley)

The question is not whether to take Goff but whether anyone will move up to the first pick to take him.

 

  1. Los Angeles Chargers: DE Joey Bosa (Ohio State)

A lot of mocks want to force Ronnie Staley here out of need, but you don’t reach at pick 3. Teams value edge defenders more than any position other than QB.

 

  1. Dallas Cowboys: ILB/RB Myles Jack (California-Los Angeles)

Why would they take Carson Wentz? Romo and the amazing Kellen Moore aren’t going anywhere. They will probably sign Manziel or RG3 as a backup, as well. Imagine Jack and Sean Lee together, before Lee gets hurt. Jack is a player who transforms a defense. Also, the Cowboys could use him as their goal-line RB.

 

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: CB/S Jalen Ramsey (Florida State)

The Jaguars have the most pathetic safeties. Ramsey is a good fit for their defense.

 

  1. Baltimore Ravens: 3-4DE DeForest Buckner (Oregon)

Ozzie Newsome’s philosophy is to take the best player available. Buckner is a smart pick to get their defense back on track. I know everyone is thinking Hargreaves here.

 

  1. San Francisco 49ers: ILB Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame)

We know that the 49ers are willing to take injured players. Losing the high-level LB play from both Willis and Borland severely impacted their defense. There are about 8 players whom scouts consider ‘best in the draft.’ Smith is one of those players.

 

  1. Miami Dolphins: RB Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State)

People are mocking Elliott in the 20s, like they did with Gurley last year. He’s a RB without a flaw. Lamar Miller is a free agent. This pick makes it easier for Adam Gase to establish himself as an offensive mastermind.

 

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Vernon Hargreaves (Florida)

At CB they have mediocre Sterling Moore, who is a free agent, and some busts. It’s an easy decision.

 

  1. New York Giants: DT A’Shawn Robinson (Alabama)

They really need a defensive lineman. The Giants are typically fond of big men from big schools. At worst, Robinson helps stuff the run and likely contributes some to the pass rush.

 

  1. Chicago Bears: 3-4OLB Leonard Floyd (Georgia)

Floyd is a little underrated right now, like Vic Beasley last year. Whether you assume BPA or need here, Floyd makes sense.

 

  1. New Orleans Saints: CB Eli Apple (Ohio State)

DT is also a possibility, but it’s such a deep class that there’s no need to reach. Brandon Browner was the worst CB in 2015. CB is a valuable position. It’s a deep draft for DL.

 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles: LT Ronnie Staley (Notre Dame)

I expect them to resign Bradford rather than draft a QB. Despite having Jason Peters and Lane Johnson, the consensus is that OL is a major need. Peters is old and expensive.

 

  1. Oakland Raiders: CB Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech)

They have a pretty decent roster. They need RG and S, but they won’t go there in round 1. CB could use some depth.

 

  1. Los Angeles Rams: QB Carson Wentz (North Dakota State)

Foles is done. Keenum is a fine backup. Wentz is the hot new thing at QB, already moving ahead of Paxton Lynch for some people.

 

  1. Detroit Lions: DT Robert Nkemdiche (Mississippi)

There’s some risk in this pick, but their defensive wall has completely collapsed. RT is also a need.

 

  1. Atlanta Falcons: WR Laquon Treadwell (Mississippi)

Although they have defensive needs, Treadwell would serve as a much-needed complement to Julio Jones.

 

  1. Indianapolis Colts: ILB Darron Lee (Ohio State)

I think they can fix their o-line interior in the later rounds. At LB, however, they are poor all-around. If they had a shot at Elliott here, they would probably take him.

 

  1. Buffalo Bills: RT Jack Conklin (Michigan State)

Assuming Cordy Glenn resigns, RT is still a major need. I thought they wanted to run the ball 50 times per game. Conklin is also the consensus BPA here.

 

  1. New York Jets: RT Taylor Decker (Ohio State)

Decker is the BPA pick, but he also fills a glaring need. Both OTs were horrible last year.

 

  1. Washington Pigskins: NT Andrew Billings (Baylor)

They needed an NT last season, and now it’s even more urgent. Scouts consider Billings a powerhouse.

 

  1. Houston Texans: QB Paxton Lynch (Memphis)

There is no way that they will go into next year with Hoyer/Savage/Yates/Weeden. Potential trade up.

 

  1. Minnesota Vikings: WR Corey Coleman (Baylor)

Bridgewater has a ridiculous lack of people to throw to. This team scored zero touchdowns in a home playoff game.

 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals: DT Jarran Reed (Alabama)

There are a lot of options here. Geno Atkins remains dominant, but the biggest need for depth is at DT.

 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Mackensie Alexander

Ok, it’s really time for the Steelers to finally draft a CB. They have to hope that one falls to them. I’ve never seen such diverse opinions about a player’s talent. Is Alexander the best CB or a mid-rounder?

 

  1. Seattle Seahawks: DT Sheldon Rankins (Louisville)

There is a screaming need for an interior presence. Rankins should make his way into round 1 despite the number of DT options.

 

  1. Green Bay Packers: ILB Reggie Ragland (Alabama)

You cannot play Clay Matthews at ILB again. They should be thrilled if Ragland is available, since some people think he’s a top 15 pick. He’s slow but, hey, Alabama.

 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs: 3-4DE Adolphus Washington (Ohio State)

I think he can go in the first round despite much debate about his character, like Marcus Peters last year. Talent wins out.

 

  1. Denver Broncos: RB Derrick Henry (Alabama)

No o-lineman is worth taking here. D-line is another big need. But with Manning likely retired, I think they will want to establish their conservative dream. Hand the ball off to a stud RB and let the defense dominate. Anderson and Hillman are both free agents.

 

  1. Carolina Panthers: DE Emmanuel Ogbah (Oklahoma State)

They have no obvious weaknesses, but they are getting old at DE. Ogbah is highly productive and a good value here.

 

  1. Arizona Cardinals: DE/OLB Noah Spence (Eastern Kentucky)

A pass rusher seems like the biggest need, but it’s not a great class for them. They’re willing to take a chance on a potential difference-maker (like Tyrann Mathieu).

 

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