The day has officially come! The wait is over! The beginning of the 2016 season has arrived with teams selecting new young players to help their team fight for a chance to win a Super Bowl. Optimism is running high for your team’s outlook! There’s going to be plenty of movement still to come during the draft as more trades could play a big part. Let’s dive into my final mock draft and see who I think your team will select in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Since 2013, no NFL Draft expert, not Mel Kiper, Jr. (ESPN), not Todd McShay (ESPN), not Mike Mayock (NFL Network), have gotten more first-round selections correct than Fantasy Sharks’ very own Dan Collins.
Kiper = 1 Correct
McShay = 4 Correct
Mayock = 11 Correct
Collins = 13 Correct
Kiper = 5 Correct
McShay = 4 Correct
Mayock = 4 Correct
Collins = 11 Correct
Kiper = 6 Correct
McShay = 8 Correct
Mayock = 7 Correct
Collins = 10 Correct
1) Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff, QB, California
They traded up to get their “Franchise Quarterback” and look to be taking Jared Goff. He is the best quarterback prospect by far in this year’s class and will be a great addition to the new franchise in Los Angeles. The new duo of Todd Gurley and Jared Goff portend good things for the future of the Rams.
2) Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
The Eagles also traded up to get their “Franchise Quarterback” and will be selecting Carson Wentz. He is not ready to play in his rookie year and would need time to develop. He gets that chance for success likely playing behind Sam Bradford or Chase Daniel in 2016. Wentz should be very happy as his best NFL fit is in the type of offense that Doug Pederson will be running in Philadelphia.
3) San Diego Chargers
DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Buckner makes the most sense for the San Diego Chargers at #3. They have invested in their secondary (Casey Hayward, Dwight Lowery) this offseason and already have two solid cornerbacks (Brandon Flowers, Jason Verrett) all signed through at least 2018, so Jalen Ramsey wouldn’t be a wise choice for their roster. They also have plenty of money invested in their offensive line, especially at the tackle position which would make Laremy Tunsil another bad choice for them with this selection. DeForest Buckner immediately helps them on defense and is an elite prospect as a 3-4 defensive end, which is a big need for the Chargers heading into 2016.
4) Dallas Cowboys
Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
Their situation mandates that they attack the defensive end position. Jerry Jones does whatever he wants though and takes another solid defensive player. The Cowboys seem to really like Ramsey and will take him over Joey Bosa, even though Bosa would fill a bigger need for their roster right now. I expect the Cowboys to look at defensive end and quarterback with their selections in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Likely defensive end in the 2nd round and quarterback in the 3rd round.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars
Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
The Jaguars view Jack as the perfect match for what they need on defense. His skill set is something that is missing on Gus Bradley’s defense. The Jaguars are young and talented on offense and set for the immediate future. If they want to take the next step in 2016 as a playoff contender, they need more playmakers on defense, which is what Myles Jack can be for Jacksonville.
6) Baltimore Ravens
Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
The Ravens can’t pass on a future franchise left tackle. They will find a way to put him in the starting lineup, whether he plays right tackle, guard, or takes over for Eugene Monroe at left tackle while moving Monroe to right tackle. Protecting Joe Flacco is essential for the Ravens to succeed in 2016 and beyond and getting the best offensive tackle is never a bad idea for a team with offensive line question marks.
7) San Francisco 49ers
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
I don’t think they can pass on Paxton Lynch at #7 overall. Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers have no future together and will ultimately divorce. The locker room and management have lost faith in Kaepernick and he will likely be traded, most likely to the Denver Broncos. There may even be a deal in place for Colin Kaepernick to head to Denver as long as the 49ers get a quarterback. This is the perfect match for Chip Kelly in San Francisco. Paxton Lynch’s mobility and arm strength are a great match for this offense and it would be a mistake to pass on him here as the future at quarterback for the 49ers. Should they pass on Lynch, they don’t have a backup plan for when Colin Kaepernick is out of San Francisco.
8) Miami Dolphins (Trade with Cleveland Browns)
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
I think the Browns trade down again, and the Dolphins are a solid fit to where the Browns would be willing to go. I think it’s going to happen and they will add more picks to their rebuilding process. They would like to have more picks at their disposal in order to be able to jump back into the 1st and grab Connor Cook (more on that later). Another team to watch is the Titans who might be eyeing Ronnie Stanley. The Dolphins will move up to grab Ezekiel Elliott who can be their lead back. They can keep their 2nd round pick in order to grab a corner and don’t have to give it up for this trade. They get to attack their two main issues with the first two rounds.