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NFL Mock Draft 2016: Edition 1

Paxton Lynch to Cleveland
It is a tough and bitter pill to swallow but it is the truth: the fall weekends filled with football are slowly drawing to a close. College football is already done with it's regular season, while the NFL season moves on to December, where already many teams are thinking about next year. For those particular teams, the 2016 Draft process has already begun. There is so much to happen between now and spring, where injuries, off-the-field issues and the Combine will all play a role. But, as things stand right now, here is my first edition of the 2016 NFL Mock Draft...

1. Cleveland Browns Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
It appeared as though Mike Pettine and Cleveland were at least making progress, after recording a 7-9 mark a year ago. Though, by all standards, this year has been a disaster for the Browns. They have limped to a 2-8 mark behind a porous defense and an offense that has lacked any punch whatsoever. To make things even tougher, the quarterback situation has been terrible. Johnny Manziel has shown flashes of something in his time in Cleveland, but continous off-the-field issues could mean his days in the city are numbered. I'm not sold on Paxton Lynch yet, but the Memphis quarterback has good size, can make all the throws and is an experienced winner.

2. Tennessee Titans Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
The Titans believe they have found their franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota, who has played well despite injuries and an average offensive line. The Titans should reinforce their shaky O-Line by selecting Tunsil out of Ole Miss. Tunsil has dealt with a freak injury to his knee in last year's Peach Bowl and eligibility issues throughout this year. Even throughout all that, he is still widely seen as the best offensive line prospect in the 2016 Draft. That should show you just how much scouts love his strong, athletic frame.

3. San Diego Chargers Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
This hasn't been a very fun season in San Diego. Forget about the relocation questions surrounding the franchise, the Chargers have been a major disappointment all year long. Both the offensive line and defensive lines could use revamping, and San Diego would love to select Tunsil. Though, if he isn't available, Bosa would be one heck of a consolation prize. The stud defensive end hasn't absolutely dominated this season, but he has been faced with constant double and triple teams. Bosa has the size, strength and versatility to be the impact pass rusher San Diego lacks.

4. San Francisco 49ers Jared Goff, QB, California
Remember just a few years ago when Colin Kaepernick was the new, star quarterback bursting on to the scene? When he led San Francisco to a Super Bowl appearance just weeks after taking over for Alex Smith? It certainly feels like a longtime ago in San Francisco. Kaepernick was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert, so that should tell just how bad he has been. Jared Goff is an intriguing prospect; the Cal QB has an insane arm and has tremendous pocket awareness. But, scouts worry about the system he played at in college, and the junior struggled against some of the elite Pac-12 defenses this season. Even so, San Fran is desperate for a new face of the franchise and Goff could be that guy.

5. Baltimore Ravens Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
The Ravens have been about as consistently good as you can ask for under Ozzie Newsome. So, it will be very weird to see them selecting in the Top 10 (most likely) this year for the first time since the early 2000's. While injuries have played a major role, the Ravens also have to realize they have some major holes, particularly in their secondary. Ramsey is about as versatile as you can get at the position, and his ball skills and hard hits could soon remind Baltimore fans of Ed Reed. 

6. Detroit Lions Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
A slow start to the year seemed to indicate Detroit was ready for what would likely be a rebuild, as they began to shift away from Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson. But now, the Lions have gone on a four game tear and Stafford and Johnson may still have a future in the Motor City. If so, Detroit needs to add a tackle to help support Stafford. Stanley is a big, bulky linemen with great footwork who would work well.

7. Dallas Cowboys Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Injuries to Tony Romo and Dez Bryant have ruined any postseason aspirations for Dallas. While the Cowboys may be interested in selecting some extra insurance for their offense, they should focus on one of their bigger holes, the defensive backfield. Their safety positions are extremely weak and at cornerback, Morris Claiborne is set to be a free agent. Jerry Jones would love Jalen Ramsey, but Hargreaves, a proven shutdown corner at Florida, would also do the trick.

8. Miami Dolphins Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
It has been a rough year in Miami, and the team could go in any direction in this year's upcoming draft. But, their rush defense hasn't been great, and their linebacker corps are extremely limited. Jack, a talent out of UCLA, is coming off a torn ACL, but has the raw talent and versatility to be an immediate upgrade from Day One for the 'Fins.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss
This year has been a disappointing one for Nkemdiche, a former highly coveted recruit who has contributed at Ole Miss since the second he stepped on campus. Injuries have kept the defensive linemen from truly dominating, which we are sure he can do. Nkemdiche's massive frame screams NFL, while his deceptive speed could allow him to contribute in multiple areas. Jacksonville did add former Florida defensive end Dante Fowler last year, but picking up Nkemdiche would only strengthen a defensive line that head coach Gus Bradley could play with.

10. New Orleans Saints Emmanuel Ogbah, DL, Oklahoma State
Big changes could be on the horizon for New Orleans, as Sean Payton and Drew Brees may be on their last legs in the Crescent City. Even so, New Orleans' defense has been absolutely terrible for years and they need some young pieces. Emmanuel Ogbah has been a monster at Oklahoma State and is a pure pass rusher. He could certainly help the Saints' ailing pass rush and grow into a more formidable defender in run support as well.

11. Chicago Bears Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Jay Cutler isn't going to ever win anything in Chicago but the team is too invested in him to go elsewhere at the moment. That could mean at least helping him out by bringing in a left tackle that can block. Taylor Decker has been a stud for a long time at Ohio State, and should quickly develop into an above-average linemen with the Bears.

12. St. Louis Rams Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Overall, the Rams have actually done a solid job building their team. They have a legit stud in Todd Gurley in the backfield, a strengthened offensive line and they are great everywhere defensively. The one thing that has lagged behind just happens to be the most important: the quarterback position. Nick Foles has been only slightly better than Sam Bradford, and his future with St. Louis is cloudy. Cook, who just helped MSU to a Big Ten Championship, is a pro-ready quarterback who may be a slight reach here, but would work well for the Rams.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
The Bucs as a whole have taken huge strides in the first year of the Jameis Winston era, but there is still work to be done in Tampa. Defensively, the Bucs could use an upgrade at either defensive end or cornerback. Alexander could be the ideal fit; although just a redshirt sophomore, Alexander is a proven corner good size and athleticism for the position.

14. Philadelphia Eagles Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
If Chip Kelly is going to be back in Philadelphia next year he will have to make some major changes. While the defenses has holes aplenty, the quarterback position and offensive line are even more severe question marks. With no top level quarterback available here, Kelly should play it smart and go with a proven offensive tackle here. Conklin is an experienced leader for Michigan State, who has NFL size and stamina.

15. New York Giants Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
A major reason for the Giants' defensive struggle this season has been the lack of a consistent pass rush, that has only been hurt by the longtime absence of Pro-Bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. "JPP" should be able to regain his dominant form, but the Giants could still use a strong defensive linemen in this draft. Billings has been an absolute monster at Baylor, and he gives New York the best interior pass rusher in this draft.

16. Oakland Raiders A'Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama
After selecting Khalil Mack in the 2014 Draft, and then spending big on Justin Tuck this past summer, Oakland's front seven has improved drastically. Even so, the defensive line is a problem, nobody beyond Tuck and Dan Williams is very inspiring in the 4-3 look. Expect Oakland to give Robinson a go. Despite being well over 300 pounds, Robinson's versatility and agility are impressive, and he is bound to be a difference-maker for the Raiders.

17. Washington Redskins Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama
The Redskins have been a pleasant surprise so far this season, and they still appear to have allegiance with Kirk Cousins at QB going forward. With that in mind, Washington should look to improve it's defense, particularly it's front seven in the draft. Reed isn't flashy whatsoever, but he played in a great and established system at Alabama and is a gritty, hard-working defender.

18. Houston Texans Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
It may be time for Houston to accept the situation at running back: Arian Foster may never, ever be the same. Sure, Houston could still hold on to him for a few years considering he is only 30 and is owed quite a bit of money over the coming years. But, injuries have completely decimated his career, and the Texans need a solution. Zeke Elliott is the best tailback in the draft, as he absolutely punished people at Ohio State.

19. Buffalo Bills Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
Both Mario Williams and Kyle Williams have disappointed on Buffalo's defensive line this season, and Kyle turns 33 this offseason. Expect Buffalo to look for a long-term replacement to pair with Marcel Dareus inside here. Clark is a high energy guy who was extremely productive player at UCLA. He is the type of hungry defender that Rex Ryan would love to have on his defense.

20. Atlanta Falcons DeForest Buckner, DE/LB, Oregon
Even though Atlanta selected Vic Beasley eighth overall in the 2015 Draft, they have the lowest sack total in the NFL at the moment. They could find their solution in Buckner, a massive pass rusher out of Oregon. Gifted with a wide, 6'7" frame, Buckner also could spend some time at outside linebacker. Paired with Beasley, Atlanta could have a strong pass rushing duo for years to come.

21. New York Jets Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
Give credit to the Jets, who have exceeded many expectations to likely finish over .500 with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback and a new head coach. The main reason for the success has been the Jets' usual stout defense. Todd Bowles could further reinvigorate the unit by acquiring an impact inside linebacker, which would only help New York's rush defense. Ragland is a gifted linebacker that would be a great fit.

22. Seattle Seahawks Vadal Alexander, OL, LSU
Seattle's offensive line as a whole this season has looked weak, and things could only get worse when linemen Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy hit free agency this summer. The Seahawks could use those possible departures as a way to get younger on the O-Line, by selecting Alexander. A versatile blocker that can punish anywhere, Alexander would be a welcome addition on the West Coast.

23. Indianapolis Colts Leoard Floyd, LB, Georgia
The Colts made a pick that made no sense when they selected Phillip Dorsett in the first round a year ago. Sure, it added a high-upside weapon to their system, but it did little to solve their offensive or defensive line issues. They certainly could look at improving the trenches here, but the pass rush altogether needs reinforcements. Floyd is lethal as a 3-4 edge linebacker and could even spend time as an undersized defensive end. He could take over Robert Mathis' role, as his career is certainly on it's last legs.

24. Kansas City Chiefs Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor
Former No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher has struggled in his time in Kansas City, which could lead Andy Reid, who loves bolstering the trenches, to look for help at tackle here. Spencer Drango, an experienced and proven blocker at Baylor, has all the tools to be a superb addition to the Chiefs. The only issue could be the scheme fit; Drango will have to adjust from a quick, up-tempo offense at Baylor, to the more slow, methodical KC offense.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
Pittsburgh's pass defense is not completely abysmal, it has actually been solid all year. But, its currently pieced together by veterans, and Pittsburgh needs some long-term solutions. Tre'Davious White is just scratching the surface of what he can be as a cornerback but the raw talent is there for the LSU product to be a shutdown corner for years to come.

26. Minnesota Vikings Su'a Cravens, S/LB, USC
While the Vikings currently have one of the league's best defensive backs in Harrison Smith, extra insurance is needed in the secondary, as little remains beyond him at safety. Cravens is about as versatile as you can get; he starred at both safety and linebacker for the Trojans, and offers tremendous upside. He would add another young stud to Mike Zimmer's rising defense.

27. Green Bay Packers Kentrell Brothers, LB, Missouri
The Packers' defense has somehow been able to survive with a 35-year-old Julius Peppers as it's go-to pass rusher and Clay Matthews playing inside and outside and anywhere they need him. Green Bay would be better suited to allow Matthews to play his natural edge linebacker spot and pick up a young inside linebacker in the Draft. Brothers was a tackling machine in his time at Mizzou, and he brings plenty of potential.

28. Denver Broncos Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Denver's defense has been great all year, particularly their pass rushing duo of Malik Jackson and Derek Wolfe. But, both ends are set to hit free agency in the summer and are likely to be paid quite a bit. Denver could retain one and bring in Lawson, who has dominated at Clemson this year. Lawson could bring more youth and upside to an established pass rush.

29. Cincinnati Bengals Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
As good as A.J. Green is, Cincinnati has absolutely nothing beyond the elite pass-catcher. Expect that to change after this year's Draft, especially considering the amount of pure talent that should be left at receiver late in the first round. After putting up insane stats all year at Baylor, Coleman should continue to produce at the next level, and alleviate some of the pressure away from Green.

30. Arizona Cardinals Noah Spence, DE/LB, Eastern Kentucky
Few defensive line prospects in this year's Draft have the talent that Spence possesses. He has an explosive first step, but brings an unbelievably high motor. But, drug abuse got him kicked out at Ohio State, and he is truly a wild card. Though, Arizona is a great organization with a number of veterans that should keep him in line. If he works out, he could pair with an aging Calais Campbell to form a formidable D-Line.

31. Carolina Panthers Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
Give credit to Cam Newton; he has put up an-MVP caliber season with nothing at receiver. While having Kelvin Benjamin back next year will help, Carolina will need to continue to address the position. Thomas offers great size and playmaking ability, and should work perfectly well with Newton. 

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