2016 NFL Mock Draft: Updated First-Round Picks Before Super Bowl 50

by NESN Staff

January 27, 2016

The NFL draft quickly will become the main focus of all 32 teams after the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers crown a new champion in Super Bowl 50.

This year’s draft is deep with quarterbacks and defensive stars, which is good news for a lot of the teams in the first half of the opening round.

Here’s our latest NFL mock draft for all 31 teams. We’ve highlighted five of these picks.

1. Tennessee Titans (3-13): Lareny Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
2. Cleveland Browns (3-13): Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
3. San Diego Chargers (4-12): Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The Chargers’ leading receiver was running back Danny Woodhead with 80 receptions. Keenan Allen ranked second with 67 catches, but he was the only San Diego wideout with more than 45. Allen also led Chargers receivers with 725 yards, and the only other player to crack 500 was Malcolm Floyd, and he’s retiring.

It’s clear the Chargers need a true No. 1 receiver for quarterback Philip Rivers. Antonio Gates still is a top-tier tight end, but he’s 35 years old and has battled injuries in recent seasons.

Treadwell is the top receiver in this class. At 6-foot-3 and 216 pounds, Treadwell is a speedy receiver with excellent route running, the ability to make highlight-reel catches and experience playing in the slot and outside positions. He hauled in 82 receptions for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior for Ole Miss.

4. Dallas Cowboys (4-12): Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11): Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
6. Baltimore Ravens (5-11): Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
7. San Francisco 49ers (5-11): Jared Goff, QB, California
8. Miami Dolphins (6-10): Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10): DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
10. New York Giants (6-10): Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
The Giants ranked 18th in rushing yards per carry and tied for 29th in rushing touchdowns this season. The team’s running back-by-committee approach didn’t work, and without a clear-cut starter for 2016, drafting a running back is worth the risk.

Elliott is without question the best running back in this draft class. He ran for 1,821 yards on 6.3 yards per carry, in addition to 21 touchdowns for the Buckeyes in 2015. Elliott also displayed improved receiving skills with 27 catches for 207 yards. This would be a boom-or-bust pick for the Giants, but the potential reward is Todd Gurley-type of production.

11. Chicago Bears (6-10): Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
12. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame
13. Philadelphia Eagles (7-9): Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
14. Oakland Raiders (7-9): Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
15. St. Louis Rams (7-9): Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
The Rams need a new quarterback. Nick Foles clearly isn’t the answer after throwing for 2,052 yards and seven touchdowns with 10 interceptions in 11 games. St. Louis used its first-round pick last year to draft Gurley, who ranked third in rushing yards, and he arguably was the league’s best rookie.

The Rams must pair Gurley with a talented quarterback, and the best option at this stage of the draft should be Wentz. He played in just seven games because of injuries, but he posted a 62.5 completion percentage, 1,651 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Wentz has the arm strength, athleticism and accuracy that NFL teams covet.

16. Detroit Lions (7-9): Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
17. Atlanta Falcons (8-8): Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
18. Indianapolis Colts (8-8): Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
19. Buffalo Bills (8-8): Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
20. New York Jets (10-6): Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
21. Washington Redskins (9-7): Shilique Calhoun, DL, Michigan State
22. Houston Texans (9-7): Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
The Texans won the AFC South without a legit starting quarterback, which is a testament to head coach Bill O’Brien and his staff. O’Brien has enjoyed lots of quarterback success throughout his coaching career, most recently with Tom Brady and at Penn State.

Cook is worth a shot at this stage of the first round after a tremendous senior season at Michigan State. He threw for 3,131 yards and 24 touchdowns with seven interceptions, while leading the Spartans to the College Football Playoff with road wins over Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa.

23. Minnesota Vikings (11-5): Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
24. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4): Tre’Davious White, DB, LSU
25. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6): Vadal Alexander, G, LSU
26. Seattle Seahawks (10-6): A’Shaw Robinson, DT, Alabama
27. Green Bay Packers (10-6): Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
28. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5): Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska
29. Arizona Cardinals (13-3): Kenny Clark, DL, UCLA
30. Denver Broncos (12-4): Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
31. Carolina Panthers (15-1): Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton could end up winning the NFL’s MVP award next month, but he certainly needs some more weapons on offense outside of elite tight end Greg Olsen. Second-year wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin will return from a season-ending ACL tear suffered in August, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be the same player after a major knee surgery.

Coleman caught 73 passes for 1,363 yards and an astounding 20 touchdowns at Baylor this season. He has good hands, runs routes well and has enough strength to get off the line of scrimmage against bigger cornerbacks.

The New England Patriots lost their first-round pick as NFL punishment over Deflategate.

Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Michigan State Spartans quarterback Connor Cook (18) holds up the Archie Griffin trophy for MVP as FOX emcee Joel Klatt interviews after the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Conference football championship at Lucas Oil Stadium. Michigan State won 16-13.
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