2016 NFL Mock Draft: George Stockburger
1. Los Angeles Rams - Jared Goff, QB, Cal
While Carson Wentz is my highest rated quarterback in this years class, the word around the league is that California native Jared Goff is the reason the Rams traded six draft picks to move up to number one.
2. Philadelphia Eagles - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
The Philadelphia Eagles sent three years worth of draft picks to the Browns so they could get their next franchise quarterback. Carson Wentz is a large, prototypical quarterback who has one of the strongest arms in this class.
3. San Diego Chargers - Laremy Tunsil
King Dunlap went unranked by Pro Football Focus in the offensive tackles category, highlighting the Chargers need to protect their aging quarterback Philip Rivers.
4. Dallas Cowboys - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
With Greg Hardy out and Randy Gregory dealing with off the field issues, Dallas needs to get a bona fide pass rusher. Joey Bosa can do just that if he can make a quicker first step off of the line.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
Whether you’re starting him at cornerback or safety, Jalen Ramsey can help any secondary with his physicality, range, and ball hawk skills.
6. Baltimore Ravens - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Coming off of an ACL injury, Joe Flacco will need extra protection from his offensive line. Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley slides over to right tackle to replace Rickey Wagner, who was one of the worst run blocking tackles in 2015.
7. San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Chip Kelly takes an Oregon player (surprise surprise) who will be a sack machine from day one. San Francisco only managed 28 sacks last year, highlighting their need for young talent at the position.
8. Cleveland Browns - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
After trading down, the Browns take a chance on the most athletic player in this year’s draft. While he has questions surrounding his knee, a healthy Myles Jack and Paul Kruger combination should be strong for years.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
The free agent signing of Brent Grimes does not prevent Tampa Bay from taking the cornerback out of Florida. Despite being undersized, Vernon Hargreaves proved himself with the Gators.
10. New York Giants - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
New York has swung and missed on first round running backs in the past, but Ezekiel Elliott projects to be one of the best backs to come out of the draft in years.
11. Chicago Bears - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
The Bears beefed up their front seven in free agency with the additions of Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman, so a pass rusher may not be their primary need. Protecting Jay Cutler will be the next need for Chicago and they grab a top offensive tackle in Jack Conklin.
12. New Orleans Saints - A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
New Orleans continues to add pieces to their defense, drafting linebackers Stephone Anthony and Hau’oli Kik’aha early in 2015. Adding a dynamic run-stuffer in A’Shawn Robinson is the perfect move for a defense struggling to find an identity. Keep an eye on quarterback Paxton Lynch here as well.
13. Miami Dolphins - Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
While they acquired Kiko Alonso in the trade with Philadelphia, the former Defensive Rookie of the Year’s health and durability is questionable. Miami gets a product of the Alabama defense that was a major factor in their championship run last season.
14. Oakland Raiders - William Jackson III, CB, Houston
Oakland showed their offense can click with Derek Carr and Amari Cooper. With All Pro Khalil Mack providing the pass rush, Jackson helps a secondary that was ridden with talent.
15. Tennessee Titans - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
After trading out of the first overall pick, the Titans get a shutdown cornerback to pair with Jason McCourty. The former Buckeye will help contain receivers such as DeAndre Hopkins and Allen Robinson, who he will play twice a year.
16. Detroit Lions - Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Matthew Stafford was sacked 44 times, signaling a need for a retooled offensive line. If Decker can work on his pad levels, he will be a bookend tackle for years to come.
17. Atlanta Falcons - Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
Atlanta added Vic Beasley from Clemson last year with the eighth pick, but he needs help on the opposite end of the line. Kevin Dodd had a breakout game in the National Championship and can be paired up with his former teammate.
18. Indianapolis Colts - Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
Signing an aging Trent Cole was a horrible decision by the Colts and they need to get youth in their front seven. The Buckeye linebacker is a strong tackler who will bring support in both the pass rush and run defense.
19. Buffalo Bills - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
After taking a Draft Day fall due to his lack of speed, the Bills take the best player available in Laquon Treadwell. With an oft-injured Sammy Watkins being the only reliable receiving option for Tyrod Taylor, Laquon Treadwell provides a hulking red zone option for Rex Ryan.
20. New York Jets - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
With Ryan Fitzpatrick still unsigned, the Jets are left with Geno Smith and Bryce Petty as their only quarterback options. While Lynch is still a bit raw, his arm strength and athleticism is unquestionable.
21. Washington Redskins - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
The Redskins need to add more consistent pass rushing to their front seven. Shaq Lawson is a reliable option when it comes to reaching the quarterback, proven by his 12 sacks for Clemson.
22. Houston Texans - Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
With the size and hands of AJ Green, Josh Doctson gives Brock Osweiler another weapon alongside DeAndre Hopkins. Doctson stays in the state of Texas and will force safeties to choose between watching him or Hopkins.
23. Minnesota Vikings - Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
A speedy touchdown machine, Corey Coleman gives Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings a reliable deep threat option. Coleman can stretch the field and open up space for Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph underneath.
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Sheldon Rankins, DT, Clemson
The Bengals do not have a plethora of needs this year, but bolstering their interior defensive line would be a smart move for Marvin Lewis.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers - Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
The Steelers secondary has suffered for far too many years. Mackensie Alexander from Clemson gives them their first reliable cornerback since the days of Ike Taylor.
26. Seattle Seahawks - Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
A player with top five pick talent, Robert Nkemdiche’s off-the-field history forces him down to the end of the first round. Seattle replaces Brandon Mebane and (almost unfairly) continues their dominance on defense.
27. Green Bay Packers - Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
BJ Raji is now out of football, meaning the Packers need to secure the inside of their defensive line. While an inside linebacker would be the ideal pick, the value for one is not available. Look for Green Bay to trade down if able.
28. Kansas City Chiefs - Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
The Chiefs have an aging Tamba Hali, who will need to be replaced soon. Leonard Floyd is a very athletic outside linebacker who sets the edge and can become a threat in pass rusher packages.
29. Arizona Cardinals - Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
The Arizona Cardinals are another team with very few needs and the ability to trade out of the first round. They go with the best player available to lineup next to the newly acquired Chandler Jones to shut down opposing offenses.
30. Carolina Panthers - Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
The Panthers allowed Cam Newton to be sacked seven times during Super Bowl 50, a stat that all but crushed their championship dreams. Jason Spriggs can replace Michael Oher at left tackle and use his excellent pass protection skills to keep Cam upright.
31. Denver Broncos - Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State
The Broncos roster was gutted in free agency, especially on defense. Chris Jones has excellent handwork and can replace the departed Malik Jackson on the inside of the Denver defensive line.
George Stockburger is a junior majoring in journalism with a focus in broadcasting. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org