2016 NFL Draft: Updated 2-Round Mock Draft and Prospect Rankings

2016 NFL Draft, College Football, NFL, NFL Draft

Temperament, personality, desire, internal drive, work ethic, will power, character and heart — they’re the key intangibles which separate the good athletes from the great ones.

Unfortunately, those intangibles are so difficult for evaluators to measure and quantify.

Data for workout numbers such as 40-yard-dashes, bench presses and jumps of all sorts is widely available; so are game statistics for any category you could think of.

Still, these days when every  workout result, rumor, new trendy analytic of the day and hot story of the hour is broadcast out into the digital sphere for all to see, there’s still a mysterious behind-closed-doors feeling that remains surrounding the NFL Draft.

32 brain trusts are all searching for those special prospects that they can mold their organizations around for the future. None of them want to tip their hand before the proceedings start.

At all levels, coaches always trot out that line, “this game separates boys from the men.”

Well, one situation where that mantra certainly rings true is the NFL draft.

Saturdays and Sundays may only be separated by a single thin line on the calendar, but in the football world, it’s a clear dividing line. Excelling in the collegiate ranks against Kevin from chemistry class is one thing. But the NFL is a whole different rodeo. Handling the leap to the next level requires a special type of mental fortitude that only a few collegiate players possess.

It’s up to those 32 brain trusts to figure out who has it and who doesn’t.

The information accumulation phase of the process is pretty much complete. Now begins the all-important final decision-making period. This is the “separating men from boys” period for GMs, scouts, personnel evaluators and assorted front-office executives.

It’s time to hand out the grades, stack the board and prepare for a draft weekend that’s, as always, marked by both intrigue and mystery.

DeForest Buckner, the No. 1 overall prospect in this year’s class , appears destined to become the first overall pick in the 2016 festivities. Still, it’s far from a guarantee.

Tennessee could consider one of the other “Fab Five” prospects: Ohio State DE Joey Bosa, Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil, UCLA LB Myles Jack or Florida State CB Jalen Ramsey. The Titans could also entertain the idea of trading down if an offer is overwhelming enough.

We’ve got another month left to debate, dispute and draw conclusions.

For now, though, here’s my forecast and projections for every pick in the first two rounds of the 2016 NFL draft, as well as complete prospect rankings for every major position.

2016 NFL Draft: Updated Mock Draft, Senior Bowl Edition

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The majority of the top prospects in the 2016 NFL draft may be underclassmen. However, this year’s draft class features more than its fair share of seniors who will factor into the first-round equation as well.

Some of those first-round hopefuls such as North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz, Alabama LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama DE Jarran Reed, and Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence chose to attend this week’s Senior Bowl festivities down in Mobile, Alabama, hoping to impress scouts and boost their draft stock.

Now that the underclassmen declaration deadline date has passed, and the order of the 2016 draft is just one game away from being finalized, you can sense the gathering wave of speculation on the horizon, as the mock draft silly season is almost ready to kick into full swing.

The Senior Bowl marks the true beginning of the offseason evaluation phase of the process. The next big stop will be the NFL combine, and then it’s onto the pro day/individual workout circuit.

The road to the 2016 NFL draft is sure to feature some interesting twists and turns. For now, here’s a look at the updated projections for all 63 picks in the first two rounds.

2016 NFL Draft: Mock Draft, Volume 1

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With the college football regular season complete and the 14th Sunday of the NFL regular season now in the books, it’s a good time to put together the first mock draft for the 2016 NFL Draft and an updated edition of the prospect power rankings.

There’s still a month left for underclassmen to declare their eligibility for the 2016 draft, and a lot will change between now and draft weekend.

For now, here are the current projections for the first round of the draft.

2016 NFL Draft: Updated Mock Draft

1 – Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
2 – Cleveland Browns: Joey Bosa, DE Ohio State
3 – San Diego Chargers: Jalen Ramsey, S, Florida State
4 – Baltimore Ravens: Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
5 – San Francisco 49ers: Jared Goff, QB, Cal
6 – Dallas Cowboys: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
7 – Detroit Lions: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
8 – Miami Dolphins: Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
9 – Jacksonville Jaguars: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
10 – Chicago Bears: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
11 – St. Louis Rams: Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
12 – New Orleans Saints: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
13 – New York Giants: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
14 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
15 – Atlanta Falcons: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
16 – Oakland Raiders: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
17 – Philadelphia Eagles: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
18 – Buffalo Bills: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
19 – Houston Texans: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
20 – Pittsburgh Steelers: Desmond King, CB, Iowa
21 – New York Jets: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
22 – Minnesota Vikings: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
23 – Kansas City Chiefs: Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor
24 – Seattle Seahawks: Germain Ifedi, OL, Texas A&M
25 – Washington Redskins: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
26 – Indianapolis Colts: Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee
27 – Green Bay Packers: Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska
28 – Denver Broncos: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
29 – Cincinnati Bengals: Su’a Cravens, LB, USC
30 – Arizona Cardinals: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
31 – Carolina Panthers: Spencer Drango, OL, Baylor

Updated Prospect Power Rankings

*Asterisks denote underclassmen

The Top 5 Quarterbacks

1 – Jared Goff, Cal*

  1. Paxton Lynch, Memphis*
  2. Connor Cook, Michigan State
  3. Cardale Jones, Ohio State*
  4. Christian Hackenberg, Penn State*

 

The Top 5 Running Backs

1 – Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State*

  1. Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama*
  2. Devontae Booker, Utah
  3. Alex Collins, Arkansas*
  4. Kareem Hunt, Toledo*

 

The Top 5 Wide Receivers

1 – Michael Thomas, Ohio State*

  1. Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss*
  2. Corey Coleman, Baylor*
  3. Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh*
  4. Josh Doctson, TCU

 

 

The Top 5 Tight Ends

1 – Hunter Henry, Arkansas*

  1. Evan Engram, Ole Miss*
  2. OJ Howard, Alabama*
  3. Jordan Leggett, Clemson*
  4. Austin Hooper, Stanford*

 

The Top 5 Offensive Tackles

1 – Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss*

  1. Taylor Decker, Ohio State
  2. Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame*
  3. Jack Conklin, Michigan State*
  4. Spencer Drango, Baylor

 

The Top 5 Interior Offensive Linemen

1 – Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M*

  1. Vadal Alexander, LSU
  2. Joshua Garnett, Stanford
  3. Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas
  4. Jack Allen, Michigan State

 

 

The Top 5 Defensive Tackles

1 – Andrew Billings, Baylor*

  1. A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama*
  2. Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss*
  3. Maliek Collins, Nebraska*
  4. Kenny Clark, UCLA*

 

The Top 5 Defensive Ends

1 – Joey Bosa, Ohio State*

  1. DeForest Buckner, Oregon
  2. Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State*
  3. Shawn Oakman, Baylor
  4. Shaq Lawson, Clemson*

 

The Top 5 Linebackers

1 – Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame*

  1. Reggie Ragland, Alabama
  2. Myles Jack, UCLA*
  3. Su’a Cravens, USC*
  4. Yannick Ngakoue, Maryland*

 

 

The Top 10 Cornerbacks

1 – Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida*

  1. Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech*
  2. Mackensie Alexander, Clemson*
  3. Desmond King, Iowa*
  4. Cameron Sutton, Tennessee*

 

The Top 5 Safeties

1 – Jalen Ramsey, Florida State*

  1. Jayron Kearse, Clemson*
  2. Vonn Bell, Ohio State*
  3. Darian Thompson, Boise State
  4. Jeremy Cash, Duke

2015 NFL Draft: Final 2-Round Mock Draft

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“This is the most unpredictable NFL draft in years” is the cliché phrase that gets trotted out during the lead up to every NFL draft.

The 2015 NFL draft certainly lives up to that billing, though.

For months, the sense was that Jameis Winston would go No. 1 overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But after that, there was a great deal of uncertainty swirling around every other top pick, especially surrounding the draft’s other top quarterback prospect: Marcus Mariota.

Luckily, the finish line is now in sight, as the 2015 NFL draft will begin tonight live from Chicago. The speculation will soon come to an end and reality will take hold. Still, until Roger Goodell steps out onto the stage and puts the Bucs on the clock, the possibilities and scenarios remain infinite.

Who knows, maybe the Titans, Eagles and Browns could orchestrate some remarkably intricate three-team trade that nets Philadelphia the No. 2 overall pick, Cleveland Sam Bradford and the Titans Mychal Kendricks, Fletcher Cox and a plethora of picks.

Maybe the Jaguars shock the world by going against the grain with the No. 3 pick yet again and take Todd Gurley or Vic Beasley.

Maybe the Falcons make a bold move by trading up for Dante Fowler Jr.

Maybe a team like the Browns or the Saints puts together both of its first-round picks in a trade package to make a big move up the board and shake up the top 10.

Or…

It could all go pretty much according to plan: The Bucs take Winston, the Titans take Mariota, and then the three best non-quarterback prospects: Dante Fowler Jr., Amari Cooper and Leonard Williams—will round out the top five in some fashion. 

Soon enough the speculation will end, but for now, all we can do is predict and project, which is exactly what I did in my final two-round mock draft.

Though I believe there will be a good number of trades on the first night of the draft, and potentially even a few shakeups in the top 10, I opted against trying to project trades for the final mock, and instead opted to just go straight down the board and match players with teams based on a combination of value, need and overall team-prospect fit.

Here’s a look at the final predictions and projections for the first two rounds of the 2015 NFL draft.

2015 NFL Draft: Updated Mock Draft and Prospect Rankings

2015 NFL Draft, College Football, NFL

Now that both the college football and NFL regular seasons are in the wind down phase, it’s time to take a good, hard look at the 2015 NFL draft class.

Since a record number of underclassmen entered the 2014 NFL draft—including many of the sport’s biggest names—there was plenty of room for new stars to be born this season. Over the last three months, many players have seized the opportunity and emerged as coveted commodities in the scouting community.

Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon, Missouri DE Shane Ray and West Virginia WR Kevin White are just a few of the burgeoning breakout stars who have boosted their stock immensely and pushed their names up draft boards.

Unlike the lead up to the 2014 draft, when Jadeveon Clowney went wire to wire as the consensus favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick, this time around, there’s a lot more mystery surrounding the top of the 2015 draft. Reigning Heisman winner Jameis Winston may be the most gifted overall talent in the collegiate ranks, but Winston has gained plenty of detractors and critics for his questionable off-the-field behavior.

Winston is without a doubt the most polarizing figure in college football, but he’s one of just many prospects in the 2015 class who will be worth closely monitoring in the months leading up to draft weekend.

A lot will surely change between now and April 30th, but for now, here’s a look at the latest first-round predictions, projections and complete prospect rankings for the 2015 NFL Draft.

2014 NFL Draft: Predicting The Top 100 Picks

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

That’s apparently not an old adage that the NFL brass adheres to.

The league’s decision to push its most anticipated event of the offseason—the NFL draft—back from its usual spot in late April to early May has been met with universal criticism and backlash from fans.

You would think that maybe the silver lining would be that the extra time would provide us all with more clarity for what’s going to actually happen in this year’s draft. But the opposite has happened. Rumors, smokescreens and innuendo have dominated the headlines for weeks, leaving fans wary, scornful and in the mood to give in and say, “Let’s go already.”

Luckily, the day that we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived.

Yes, draft day is here.

With a record number of underclassmen declaring for the 2014 NFL draft, this year’s draft class has been labeled as the deepest and most talent-stocked group we’ve seen in quite some time.

Big names like Johnny Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney and Sammy Watkins have been at the forefront throughout the process. However, this year’s class runs much deeper than just the big star names.

As we prepare for tonight’s much-awaited kickoff to the festivities, there are still plenty of questions about what to expect over the next few days.

This year’s draft may feature much more star power than last year’s affair. Somehow, though, it’s managed to remain more unpredictable and mysterious.

I certainly can’t say for sure how it will all transpire, but I can at least attempt to venture a quality guess as to how the first three rounds will unfold. Here are my final predictions for how the top 100 picks of the 2014 NFL draft will play out.