2016 NFL Mock Draft: First Round Following Divisional Round Playoffs

    2016 NFL mock draft following the divisional playoff round. Find out who's projected to be selected in the first round of the draft this year.

    January 14, 2016

    2016 NFL mock draft following the divisional round of the playoffs.

    With the divisional round of the NFL playoffs now in the books, the order of the first 28 selections has been locked in. The final three positions will be determined by the outcome of the AFC and NFC championship games and Super Bowl. As part of its punishment for Deflategate, New England forfeits its first round pick this year, thus the reasoning for only 31 selections. 

    Below is the latest NFL mock draft following the divisional round of NFL playoff games.

    Note: We’ve included underclassmen who are expected to declare for the NFL draft.

    2016 NFL Mock Draft First Round

    1. Tennessee Titans (3-13)

    Needs: OL, WR, DE

    Pick: Laremy Tunsil – OT, Ole Miss

    Tennessee has the quarterback of the future in Marcus Mariota. Now, it needs to give him a chance to breathe and keep him off the injured reserve list. With Mariota being sacked 38 times this last season, drafing Laremy Tunsil out of Ole Miss seems like the only option. He’s big, quick, powerful and has the technique to match.

    2. Cleveland Browns (3-13)

    Needs: QB, WR, DE

    Pick: Joey Bosa – DE, Ohio State

    This is the first of many changes to the mock draft. Cleveland’s hiring of Hue Jackson as its next head coach makes a big difference in the direction the Browns are going. There likely won’t be any trade suitors for Johnny Manziel, so the second-year quarterback will likely be released. Cleveland will probably look to bring in a quarterback via trade or free agency and take Joey Bosa because he’s the best player in the draft — talent over need.

    3. San Diego Chargers (4-12)

    Needs: OL, DE, DB

    Pick: Ronnie Stanley – OT, Notre Dame

    San Diego might not be the home of the Chargers for much longer, but Philip Rivers will probably still be the quarterback. He’s signed through 2020 and was sacked 40 times last season. Drafting Ronnie Stanely would be the first step in rebuilding a broken offensive line. Stanely will keep Rivers’ jersey clean and help open lanes for Melvin Gordon

    4. Dallas Cowboys (4-12)

    Needs: DE, SS, FS, QB

    Pick: Jalen Ramsey – CB/S, Florida State

    Unfortunately for Dallas, Bosa doesn’t fall to No. 4 if the Browns decide to go away from the quarterback position at No. 2. But the Cowboys can still land a playmaker with Jalen Ramsey. He’s a safety with the ability to play corner. Ramsey lays the wood as well as anyone and can sniff out the ball from a mile away.

    5. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)

    Needs: CB, S, DE, OL

    Pick: Vernon Hargreaves III – CB, Florida

    The Jaguars would probably rather have Ramsey here, but they’d be more than happy selecting Vernon Hargreaves III. He’s a lockdown corner who keeps pace with any wide receiver he’s matched up with. He’s a little undersized, but he plays much bigger than he is. As far as technique goes, he’s lightyears ahead of any other corner in the draft — hip rotation, footwork, hands, etc. Jacksonville will happily take him and pair him with his old teammate, Dante Fowler Jr.

    6. Baltimore Ravens (5-11)

    Needs: CB, OL, WR

    Pick: Myles Jack – OLB, UCLA

    Myles Jack is a freak athlete, and that’s what Baltimore is hoping for after he missed most of the season with a knee injury. Terrell Suggs missed the 2015 season with a torn achilles, and he can’t play forever. The Ravens could take Jack and pair him with Courtney Upshaw to build for the future.

    7. San Francisco 49ers (5-11)

    Needs: QB, OL, DL

    Pick: Jared Goff – QB, California

    Now that Chip Kelly has been hired, there’s a chance Colin Kaepernick survives in San Francisco. But it still seems as though the 49ers want to go with a quarterback here — just in case. If so, Jared Goff is the pick. His draft stock doesn’t scream top 10, but the 49ers need a quarterback, and taking Goff from California would be a popular pick. His numbers are impressive having passed for 4,714 yards and 43 touchdowns this past season, but he still needs to prove he can consistently drop dimes down field. If Kaepernick doesn’t work out down the road, they’ll at least be able to give the wheel to Goff when he’s a little more experienced.

    8. Miami Dolphins (6-10)

    Needs: OL, DB, LB, RB

    Pick: Mackensie Alexander – CB, Clemson

    He was hobbled in the national championship game, but Mackensie Alexander is still a baller. He’s quick, athletic and has a lot of upside. Sure, he’s a bit raw, but Miami needs athletes — especially on defense. He needs to work on his technique and footwork, but Alexander is worth the risk for the Dolphins, who are going in a new direction with Adam Gase at the helm.

    9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10)

    Needs: DE, MLB, FS, CB

    Pick: Shaq Lawson – DE, Clemson

    Like his teammate, Alexander, Shaq Lawson wasn’t completely healthy for the national championship game against Alabama. Lawson brings a lot of power to the defensive end spot and can collapse a pocket. But he needs to quicken his first step and work on his hand fighting. Tampa Bay needs someone who can track down Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Drew Brees.

    10. New York Giants (6-10)

    Needs: OLB, MLB, OL, DL

    Pick: Jaylon Smith – OLB, Notre Dame

    New York made it official by hiring Ben McAdoo as its next head coach, replacing Tom Coughlin. But McAdoo will have to put his offensive schematics aside for a minute and reconstruct the defense. The Giants need to add playmakers, and Jaylon Smith is definitely a difference maker. He flies to the ball and can match up in coverage, but his best attribute is his aiblity to stuff the run. His health is the biggest question mark right now, as he’s coming off a torn ACL and MCL. If he’s at 100 percent, Smith can start day one.

    11. Chicago Bears (6-10)

    Needs: DT, WR, DB

    Pick: Andrew Billings – DT, Baylor

    The Bears need to answer some questions in free agency. One of them being: do they bring back Jarvis Jenkins? Chicago can let Andrew Billings fall to it at No. 11 and easily stick him next to Eddie Goldman — maybe show some more 4-3 looks because of that, too. The Bears allowed 1,934 yards on the ground, and Robinson would definitely play a big part in stopping the run. That’s a big deal considering the Bears play Adrian Peterson twice a year.

    12. New Orleans Saints (7-9)

    Needs: OL, DL, OLB

    Pick: Jack Conklin – OT, Michigan State

    Drew Brees only has so many years remaining in his illustrious career. So, the Saints need to do everything they can to keep him healthy. Sean Payton was retained as the head coach, and he won’t be able to do his job if Brees isn’t on the field to toss the football. New Orleans drafted Andrus Peat last year, and now they need to pair him with Jack Conklin. Between Peat, Conklin and Max Unger, the Saints’ offensive line could look as good as it ever has.

    13. Philadelphia Eagles (7-9)

    Needs: LB, QB, OL

    Pick: Darron Lee – OLB, Ohio State

    Okay, Philadelphia, what do you need here? Um- okay, actually, what don’t you need here? Rumor has it that Sam Bradford’s days with the Eagles are over — especially after Chip Kelly was fired. But until we know who the next coach will be, it’s hard to imagine the Eagles going anywhere but with a defensive playmaker. Darron Lee can stand up and rush the passer. He can hold his own in pass coverage, and he gets to the football. Putting him next to Kiko Alonso wouldn’t be a bad choice.

    14. Oakland Raiders (7-9)

    Needs: FS, SS, CB, DT

    Pick: Jayron Kearse – FS, Clemson

    There were definitely times when Jayron Kearse disappeared this season, but that doesn’t wipe away the talent. His interceptions have gone down each year at Clemson, but he flies to the flats and finds the ball in the air. With Charles Woodson retiring, Oakland could use a ballhawking safety who can also lay the lumber. At 6-foot-4 and 220 lbs, Kearse could be an intimidating presence in the third level of the Raiders defense.

    15. St. Louis Rams (7-9)

    Needs: QB, CB, WR

    Pick: Connor Cook – QB, Michigan State

    Goodbye, Gateway Arch. Hello, Hollywood sign. Okay, so maybe the Rams will be about a 30 minute drive from Los Angeles, as they’ll actually be moving to Inglewood, Calif., but it’s still a big move. And what better way to bring in the news of the franchise’s relocation than to draft Connor Cook as the quarterback of the future. He’s the most pro-ready quarterback in the draft and has a big arm. With Todd Gurley emerging as an NFL star, Cook could have an easier time developing than he would in other situations.

    16. Detroit Lions (7-9)

    Needs: DT, WR, OL, LB, CB

    Pick: DeForest Buckner – DT, Oregon

    The losses of Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh were big, very big, and Detroit tried to bridge the gap by signing Haloti Ngata. But he’s already 31 years old, and he can’t do it by himself. Picking up a physical lineman like DeForest Buckner would force offensive lines to pick and choose whom they want to double team. Buckner would help plug gaps and get to Teddy Bridgewater, Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers.

    17. Atlanta Falcons (8-8)

    Needs: LB, DL, WR

    Pick: Robert Nkemdiche – DT, Ole Miss

    Off-the-field concerns aside, Nkemdiche was a little inconsistent at Ole Miss, but there is no denying his talent. He was the No. 1 recruit coming out of high school for a reason. He moves very well for his size and has the power and explosion to turn into a dynamic NFL defensive lineman. With Dan Quinn trying to re-design Atlanta’s defense, Nkemdiche would be an excellent fit.

    18. Indianapolis Colts (8-8)

    Needs: SS, OL, HB

    Pick: Taylor Decker – OT, Ohio State

    Indianapolis should just hang a sign that says, “Offensive lineman wanted.” That’s how bad the blocking has been for the Colts. While they could easily take a shot at addressing the secondary, they could just as well grab an offensive lineman. Decker may not be a left tackle out of the gate, but he can get some reps on the right side of the line and grow into the role. Anything to keep Andrew Luck safe.

    19. Buffalo Bills (8-8)

    Needs: DT, CB, WR

    Pick: Leonard Floyd – DE/OLB, Georgia

    Buffalo’s defense sort of underperformed this past season, considering what the expectations were for a Rex Ryan-coached team. Rumors are swirling about Marrio Williams being unhappy in the scheme and the possibility he won’t be a Bill for much longer. We have no idea how that situaiton will be resolved, but if it ends with Williams’ departure, Leonard Floyd could help fill his void. He can get to the quarterback and make plays on the edge. Ryan could find more than a few ways to get him involved.

    20. New York Jets (10-6)

    Needs: ILB, OLB, QB

    Pick: Ezekiel Elliot – HB, Ohio State

    It’s hard to imagine the Jets not taking a defensive player here, but sometimes you just need to take the best player on the board at the spot you’re picking in. And, sure, Chris Ivory had a great season with 1,070 yards rushing, but Ezekiel Elliot would be an excellent compliment. He can split through the C-gap, turn up field on the perimeter and catch passes out of the backfield. It’ll help extend Ivory’s career, as well as give New York another playmaker.

    21. Washington Redskins (9-7)

    Needs: OL, DT, CB

    Pick: Vadal Alexander – OG, LSU

    All indications are that Kirk Cousins will be returning to Washington. Now, the contract length and total ammount are unknown, but it’ll probably be a lucrative deal. The Redskins need to put more bodies in front of him, and Vadal Alexander would be a great addition. He’d also help create holes for Matt Jones and Alfred Morris to run through.

    22. Houston Texans (9-7)

    Needs: HB, QB, WR, OL

    Pick: Paxton Lynch – HB, Memphis

    It’s a very steep dropoff from the No. 2 spot that Paxton Lynch was going before, but if the Browns don’t go with a quarterback, Lynch could easily fall. He’s big, athletic and has a great arm, but he is a little raw. Houston needs a quarterback, and Bill O’Brien could mold the offense around a Lynch-DeAndre Hopkins connection. Oh, and there’s that Arian Foster guy, too. He’d be a pretty nice safety blanket for a rookie quarterback.

    23. Minnesota Vikings (11-5)

    Needs: WR, OL, S

    Pick: Josh Doctson – WR, TCU

    While many Vikings fans wouldn’t necessarily argue against taking a kicker with their first-round pick — give the wound time to heal — Minnesota needs to supply Teddy Bridgewater with a few more weapons. Stefon Diggs showed out as a rookie, and Adrian Peterson is still a beast. But adding Josh Doctson would give the Vikings a deep threat, who can work his way over the middle, too.

    24. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)

    Needs: OG, CB, OLB

    Pick: Tre’Davious White – CB, LSU

    There aren’t a whole lot of needs for Cincinnati, but cornerback is definitely one. Leon Hall and Adam Jones only have so many seasons left. The Bengals love SEC players, so drafting Tre’Davious White out of LSU makes sense for multiple reasons. With Steve Smith, Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown in the division, Cincinnati needs as much help as it can get defending the pass.

    25. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)

    Needs: OL, CB, S

    Pick: Darian Thompson – FS, Boise State

    Everyhting about Darian Thompson screams ballhawk. Maybe you can chalk it up to quarterbacks never actually seeing him — thanks to that blue field — but Thompson flat-out made plays for the Broncos. He has good range and reacts well to the ball in the air. Pittsburgh needs to look ahead to the future, and Thompson could be a long-term investment in the secondary.

    26. Seattle Seahawks (10-6)

    Needs: OL, OLB, DL

    Pick: Reggie Ragland – ILB, Alabama

    Bobby Wagner is already one of the league’s best middle linebackers, and you’re probably thinking there’s no way Seattle drafts someone who’s going to take reps away from him and his big contract. But don’t forget that Bruce Irvin is a free agent, and Ragland has experience putting his hand in the dirt. He’d help stop the run and inject some new energy into the Seahawks’ defense.

    27. Green Bay Packers (10-6)

    Needs: OL, CB, DE

    Pick: Kevin Dodd – DE, Clemson

    Kevin Dodd had an excellent year for the only FBS team that went undefeated in the regular season. Green Bay is hoping Julius Peppers plays forever, but that seems at least a little unlikely. Dodd could be a long-term answer on the edge.

    28. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5)

    Needs: WR, OL, DL

    Pick: Cody Whitehair – OG, Kansas State

    It’s not like Kansas City’s offensive line is in shambles, but you can never have too many offensive linemen. Cody Whitehair is fairly agile and has strong hands. He would provide another option as an interior lineman and help create holes for Jamaal Charles to shoot through when he comes back.

    Below are NFL mock draft picks for each team remaining in the playoffs. The selection order has yet to be set.

    Denver Broncos (12-4)

    Needs: OL, DL, HB, QB

    Pick: Germain Ifedi – OT, Texas A&M

    Denver needs to keep its quarterbacks healthy. It’s as simple as that. Germain Ifedi would be a quality pick toward the end of the first round. His pad height can be a little high sometimes, but he finishes blocks and can even slide inside if he has to.

    Arizona Cardinals (13-3)

    Needs: DE, OL, TE, WR

    Pick: Emmanuel Ogbah – DE, Oklahoma State

    Calais Campbell is entering free agency in 2017, and Frostee Rucker will be right beside him. Emmanuel Ogbah would be an insurance pick. He’s big, agile, athletic and fires off the ball. Arizona could develop him into an elite pass rusher with the right coaching. Bruce Arians seems to be a pretty solid coach (sarcasm).

    Carolina Panthers (15-1)

    Needs: WR, OLB, DL

    Pick: Jonathan Bullard – DE/DT, Florida

    If there is any player in the draft who helped himself out more than Jonathan Bullard did by returning for his senior year, then point him out. Bullard went from being a second-day pick to a potential first-round selection. He can shift down the line and stop the run from the inside or the outside. He can help Carolina get after Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston, and that’s always a good plan.

    More NFL Draft: What Early Entry Quarterbacks Are The Making Right Decision


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