The 2016 NFL Draft is upon us. Tonight at 8 p.m. ET, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will walk up to the podium and begin the talent selection process. For my final mock draft, I teamed up with fellow draft enthusiast Grant Baker to give you two different types of mock drafts. Without further ado, here is our final mock draft.
1) Los Angeles Rams
Grant Baker: Jared Goff, QB (Cal)
David Howman: Carson Wentz, QB (North Dakota State)
Like every other mock draft aficionado, Grant and myself agree that the Los Angeles Rams (I’ll never get tired of typing that out) will take a quarterback with the first overall pick, making it the sixth time in the last eight years that a QB was taken first overall. The only question is who will that QB be: Goff or Wentz? The majority of analysts believe it will be Goff, but it’s really a toss-up.
2) Philadelphia Eagles
GB: Carson Wentz, QB (North Dakota State)
DH: Jared Goff, QB (Cal)
Again, we both agree that Philadelphia plans to take whichever QB the Rams don’t. It’s not much of a prediction, though, since GM Howie Roseman has all but said “We’re taking a quarterback!” The only question is which quarterback will be left? It’s really just a different way of posing the question I already asked. Head coach Doug Pederson has stated that he doesn’t see a clear advantage between the two, meaning they’re okay with whomever they end up with.
San Diego Chargers
GB: Laremy Tunsil, OT (Ole Miss)
DH: Laremy Tunsil, OT (Ole Miss)
We agree on this pick, and so do many others. It’s hard to think that the Chargers would pass up the opportunity to draft the next great left tackle after he falls a couple spots.
4) Dallas Cowboys
GB: Jalen Ramsey, DB (Florida State)
DH: Jalen Ramsey, DB (Florida State)
If the Cowboys have a chance to draft Jalen Ramsey, who many consider the best overall player in the draft, at the fourth spot in the draft and they don’t, I’ll personally throw bleach in my eyes so that I no longer have to see the horrible decisions made by Jerry Jones.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars
GB: Joey Bosa, DE (Ohio State)
DH: Myles Jack, LB (UCLA)
The Jaguars will almost certainly be looking to beef up their defense after a dismal 2015 performance. Bosa would certainly be a boost to the Jags’ pass rush and make a formidable pass rushing duo between himself and last year’s first round pick, Dante Fowler. Yet Jack is also considered a top three overall talent and can do pretty much everything on defense. It’s a win-win situation for a franchise that traditionally has trouble spelling the word “win,” let alone securing one.
6) Baltimore Ravens
GB: Ezekiel Elliott, RB (Ohio State)
DH: Joey Bosa, DE (Ohio State)
The idea of Ezekiel Elliott in Baltimore is admittedly something I want to see, as the former Buckeye has a high enough ceiling to become the best running back in the franchise’s history. Yet the Ravens also need help on defense and Bosa offers a similarly high amount of potential.
7) San Francisco 49ers
GB: DeForest Buckner, DE (Oregon)
DH: DeForest Buckner, DE (Oregon)
We both think the team being run by former Ducks coach Chip Kelly will jump at the chance to draft former Ducks player DeForest Buckner. The consensus on Buckner is that he’s an overwhelming run defender with potential to also become a great pass rusher. The 49ers need both of those things, but their run defense was especially putrid last season.
8) Cleveland Browns
GB: Myles Jack, LB (UCLA)
DH: Ezekiel Elliott, RB (Ohio State)
What will the Browns do in the draft? That’s the most unpredictable question every year, it seems. Jack would help a defense that was otherwise awful last year and Elliott would give new QB Robert Griffin III a great running presence next to him in the backfield. But with the Browns, anything can happen, kind of like a black hole. Not that I’m comparing the Browns to a black hole or anything…
9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
GB: Shaq Lawson, DE (Clemson)
DH: Shaq Lawson, DE (Clemson)
To put it simply, the Buccaneers need a pass rush and Shaq Lawson is the best pure pass rusher after Bosa in this draft. It’s a no brainer.
10) New York Giants
GB: Ronnie Stanley, OT (Notre Dame)
DH: Ronnie Stanley, OT (Notre Dame)
The Giants probably need to focus on defense, even after spending $19 trillion (or something like that) on defensive players in free agency, but when you have a chance to get a blue chip left tackle like Stanley at this point, you’ve pretty much got to seize the opportunity.
11) Chicago Bears
GB: Leonard Floyd, OLB (Georgia)
DH: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB (Florida)
The Bears are probably keen on upgrading their defense, but what do they think is more pressing of a need: pass rush help, or secondary help? Floyd has spent the past three years doing nothing but rush the passer and Hargreaves’ style of defense is exactly what Bears head coach John Fox looks for.
12) New Orleans Saints
GB: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB (Florida)
DH: Sheldon Rankins, DT (Louisville)
Like so many other teams before them, the Saints’ defense is a train wreck. Switching to a 4-3 base makes it harder, too. Taking a defensive player at any position will be a good idea for New Orleans at this point.
13) Miami Dolphins
GB: William Jackson III, CB (Houston)
DH: William Jackson III, CB (Houston)
The Dolphins need a cornerback and they would certainly love for Florida standout Hargreaves to fall to them, but Grant and I just don’t see it happening. Oh well. Jackson III is a pretty darn good consolation prize, at least,
GB: Darron Lee, OLB (Ohio State)
DH: A’Shawn Robinson, DT (Alabama)
The Raiders would be smart to continue fortifying their defense into what’s looking to be pretty stout early on. Lee would pair nicely with Khalil Mack and newly-signed Bruce Irvin, while Robinson would give the Raiders an absolute terror on the defensive line.
15) Tennessee Titans
GB: Jack Conklin, OT (Michigan State)
DH: Taylor Decker, OT (Ohio State)
This pick comes down to who the Titans think is the better offensive tackle between Conklin and Decker. They can both come in and start immediately, so it makes for a good choice for the Titans.
16) Detroit Lions
GB: Josh Doctson, WR (TCU)
DH: Laquon Treadwell, WR (Ole Miss)
After Calvin Johnson retired, it seemed likely that Detroit would like to find their next great receiver in this draft. Granted, there will never be another Megatron, but Doctson and Treadwell both possess similar traits to the future Hall of Famer.
17) Atlanta Falcons
GB: Kevin Dodd, DE (Clemson)
DH: Darron Lee, OLB (Ohio State)
Pass rush is the key for Atlanta. Dodd represents some outstanding skills on the edge despite limited experience, while Lee is just pure speed at the position.
18) Indianapolis Colts
GB: Taylor Decker, OT (Ohio State)
DH: Jack Conklin, OT (Michigan State)
The Colts absolutely must address their protection for Andrew Luck this year. At this point, it’s a question of which lineman the Titans don’t take at 15, as both of these players can come in and start immediately.
19) Buffalo Bills
GB: Jarran Reed, DT (Alabama)
DH: Leonard Floyd, OLB (Georgia)
Rex Ryan likes defense, and after losing so much talent in the offseason, he needs more. Reed is the type of space-eating havoc that Ryan likes on the defensive line, while Floyd is great at rushing the passer standing up.
20) New York Jets
GB: Paxton Lynch, QB from Memphis
DH: TRADE!!! Jets receive QB Colin Kaepernick and 37th overall pick from San Francisco in exchange for this pick. The 49ers then select Paxton Lynch.
We both think Paxton Lynch goes off the board here. We just disagree on which team Lynch will be going to, because trades are crazy and awesome.
21) Washington Redskins
GB: Sheldon Rankins, DT (Louisville)
DH: Jarran Reed, DT (Alabama)
Washington needs a big body up front in the trenches and both Rankins and Reed fulfill that need.
22) Houston Texans
GB: Corey Coleman, WR (Baylor)
DH: Josh Doctson, WR (TCU)
After Jaelen Strong was arrested in the offseason, the number two WR role for the Texans has become an open spot. Coleman and Doctson highlight a long list of talented receivers in this year’s class.
23) Minnesota Vikings
GB: Laquon Treadwell, WR (Ole Miss)
DH: Corey Coleman, WR (Baylor)
Teddy Bridgewater needs someone to throw to…right?
24) Cincinnati Bengals
GB: A’Shawn Robinson, DT (Alabama)
DH: Michael Thomas, WR (Ohio State)
The thought of Robinson being added to that Bengals defensive line qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment. The Bengals also would probably like to get a new receiver after losing both Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu.
25) Pittsburgh Steelers
GB: Eli Apple, CB (Ohio State)
DH: Eli Apple, CB (Ohio State)
The Steelers need to get younger at cornerback and Eli Apple is the best player left at the position.
26) Seattle Seahawks
GB: Germain Ifedi, OT (Texas A&M)
DH: Derrick Henry, RB (Alabama)
The Seahawks seemingly always need to get better along the offensive line and Derrick Henry’s bruising running style is best comparable to recently retired Marshawn Lynch. Oh, the choices.
27) Green Bay Packers
GB: Reggie Ragland, ILB (Alabama)
DH: Reggie Ragland, ILB (Alabama)
This one is pretty simple: the Packers need an inside linebacker, Reggie Ragland plays that position, and Reggie Ragland is very good at playing that position. Need I explain further?
28) Kansas City Chiefs
GB: Michael Thomas, WR (Ohio State)
DH: Andrew Billings, DL (Baylor)
The Chiefs don’t really have many huge needs at this point and that makes this pick tough to figure out. The player they take will likely ride the bench for most of the year.
29) Arizona Cardinals
GB: Ryan Kelly, C (Alabama)
DH: Robert Nkemdiche, DE (Ole Miss)
The Cardinals don’t really have needs. More so they have areas that could be better, but don’t need to be. Center is one of those, as is the pass rush. Kelly is the best center in the draft and Nkemdiche, if he can keep his nose clean (pun intended), will also be a great pass rusher.
30) Carolina Panthers
GB: Mackensie Alexander, CB (Clemson)
DH: Noah Spence, DE (Eastern Kentucky)
Ridding themselves of Josh Norman makes it likely that Carolina will look to draft a corner, and adding to their pass rush is always a good idea, especially after generally failing to pressure Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl.
31) Denver Broncos
GB: Robert Nkemdiche, DE (Ole Miss)
DH: TRADE!!! Broncos receive Tennessee’s 43rd and and 76th overall picks and the Titans receive this pick. The Titans then select Ryan Kelly, C from Alabama.
The Broncos kind of need a quarterback but there’s not a QB worth taking at this point, so best player available might point to Nkemdiche if the Broncos feel okay about his off-field issues. However, the Broncos might also look to trade down to a team looking to get back into the first round.
And there it is: the last 2016 NFL Mock Draft before the actual event. Be sure to tune in to either ESPN or NFL Network at 8:00PM ET tonight!