The 2016 NBC 7 NFL Mock Draft

Who will go where in the first round

The NFL Draft is nearly upon us (April 28-30) so it’s time for the 2016 NBC 7 NFL Mock Draft (please hold your applause until the end of the first round). This is what I would like to see happen, not necessarily what I foresee actually taking place, and it does not take in to account trades, which we pretty much know is going to happen.

Without further delay, with the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Tennessee selects:

1)    Titans: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

It just makes too much sense ... if you think you have a franchise QB you get a franchise LT to protect him. Plus Tunsil has experience with mobile QB's from his time at Ole Miss so this choice should be fairly easy for Tennessee.

2)    Browns: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

The Browns have to take a QB here because nobody is going to want to trade up this high in this Draft. Jared Goff might be the more polished and NFL-ready option but the Browns are not a guy or two away so taking the longer-term project with the higher upside makes sense with time to let him learn.

3)    Chargers: DeForest Buckner, DE/DT, Oregon

I see four real possibilities here: Buckner, S Jalen Ramsey, OT Ronnie Stanley and LB Myles Jack. The Bolts are heavy on OLB but Jack is so talented he'll be tempting. Ramsey could be the guy to replace Eric Weddle and the Chargers certainly have a need at safety. Stanley is rated by some scouts as a better tackle prospect than Tunsil. But the bottom line is the Bolts are desperate for defensive line help. Bucker has the ability to be a force as an interior lineman but adding Brandon Mebane will allow them to play the rookie on the outside, as well. A line of Mebane, Corey Liuget and Buckner suddenly makes the San Diego front look formidable.

4)    Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Two words: Jerry Jones. He loves him some running backs and Elliott's game-breaking talent will have JJ drooling.

5)    Jaguars: Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA

Jags head coach Gus Bradley loves versatile playmakers and that's exactly what Jack is. Pair him with the return of last year's top pick Dexter Fowler (ACL tear) and Jacksonville starts to look like a defense that makes quarterbacks lose sleep.

6)    Ravens: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

With Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil aging the Ravens need a pass rusher in a bad way. Bosa is a pass rushing demon who can step in immediately and help.

7)    49ers: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

No, the 49ers are not going to take a QB in round one, and it's not because they're suddenly back on the Colin Kaepernick bandwagon. I'm playing a hunch here and saying the Niners are going to trade Kap for a 4th or 5th round pick (I'll let you speculate where but the Jets would and sign ...

Johnny Manziel.

Follow me here. Chip Kelly recruited Manziel to Oregon and would have had him if he'd not landed Marcus Mariota. Kelly loves how Manziel plays the game and my gut tells me he's going to take a flyer on the kid. Makes sense to grab a talented target like Treadwell to help him out.

8)    Eagles: Jared Goff, QB, Cal

The Eagles need a QB as badly as Kanye West needs attention. They get the guy who's arguably the most ready to step in and start Day 1 in this year's class.

9)    Buccaneers: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

The Bucs need edge rush help. Floyd can stand up or put his hand on the ground and get to the passer.

10)    Giants: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State

The Giants need linebacker help and speed on defense. Lee fills both holes. He ran a 4.47 at the Combine and has good instincts.

11)    Bears: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

Jay Cutler's contract and lack of production are huge issues for the Bears. They have to keep him for at least one more year to avoid salary cap Armageddon so getting a talent like Lynch in the system now, having him learn for a year, and hit the ground running in 2017 would be a smart play for Chicago.

12)    Saints: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

The Saints need help inside, especially if Nick Fairly reverts to "I don't really care" mode. Robinson takes up a lot of space on the interior line.

13)    Dolphins: Jalen Ramsey, S, Florida State

Every Draft has a player who inexplicably falls and this year it's Ramsey. He might be the best player in the class and the Dolphins get a gift to add to the back end of their secondary.

14)    Raiders: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

The Raiders pass defense was below average even before the loss of Charles Woodson. Hargreaves is a solid addition who can help quickly.

15)    Rams: Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State

The Rams have to do something with quarterback but at this stage Connor Cook is too big a wild card and Jeff Fisher simply does not reach for Draft picks. Instead he'll get a playmaker on the other side of Tavon Austin and either grab a QB later or look to next season.

16)    Lions: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

Shocked this guy fell to them, the Lions will grab him up quickly to help protect Matthew Stafford. I know they need to replace Calvin Johnson but there's no other guy left on their board like this tackle.

17)    Falcons: Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky

Nobody in the NFL had fewer sacks than the Falcons did last year. They need some dynamic players on defense and this kid has talent to spare.

18)    Colts: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama

The Colts are in dire need of help in the middle of their line. It's hard to go wrong with guys from Alabama, where they run the ball like mad. Kelly is probably the best center in the class and keeping Andrew Luck upright is Priority 1, 2 and 3 for Indy.

19)    Bills: Shaq Lawson, DE/OLB, Clemson

Rex Ryan likes productive pass rushers. Lawson is a productive pass rusher. The Bills will be lucky to get their hands on this guy.

20)    Jets: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State

The Jets are loaded on the interior but need help with an edge rusher. This guy has had effort issues but when he's motivated he's a force on the outside.

21)    Redskins: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

Kirk Cousins got the Franchise Tag. If you're going to work out a long-term deal with him, you'd better be sure he's the guy. Giving him as much help as possible is a good way of doing that. Doctson is the best guy available to work towards that end.

22)    Texans: Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas

Brock Osweiler relied quite a bit on Owen Daniels in Denver. Getting him a guy in that role will be a huge benefit for the Texans, who are thin at tight end.

23)    Vikings: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

Norv Turner likes guys who can stretch the field. Fuller has crazy speed. Teddy Bridgewater gets another target to help his progression as a solid starting QB.

24)    Bengals: Andrew Billings, NT, Baylor

They need a WR to pair with A.J. Green but don't want to reach after the top three targets are off the board. Marvin Lewis loves his big guys in the middle and Billings will be a stud with all the defensive talent around him.

25)    Steelers: Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

He's not the biggest guy on the corner but he has things the Steelers LOVE: ball hawking skills and an attitude. Fuller is not lacking in confidence and put up good numbers at Va Tech. He'll be a fan favorite in Pittsburgh.

26)    Seahawks: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

Seattle likes corners. A lot. Alexander is on the record saying he's the best cornerback in this Draft so he'll fit in with the attitude the Seahawks bring to their secondary perfectly.

27)    Packers: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama

Green Bay needs help at inside linebacker. Ragland is the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year and an old-school, put your helmet on anybody wearing a different uniform kind of guy.

28)    Chiefs: Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame

The Chiefs re-signed Tamba Hali but a talent like Smith will only make their already stellar defense even better. The Notre Dame star is coming off a knee injury or else he'd have been off the board a long time ago.

29)    Cardinals: Keanu Neal, S, Florida

He's been a steady climber up Draft boards lately. The Cardinals need safety help and this kid is possibly the most dangerous hitter at the position in the class. He wore number 42 at Florida but that's not the only reason some talent evaluators have compared Neal to Ronnie Lott.

30)    Panthers: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

As we saw in the Super Bowl the Panthers tackles are not all that great. Conklin is a mauler with an attitude who can help keep Cam Newton from having to answer post-game questions wearing a hoodie and a frown.

31)    Broncos: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama

Malik Jackson left for a big payday and they need a replacement. Reed is tough and athletic; two things John Elway built his world-class defense around.

There’s the first round and where I’ll stop for now. But I will say the Chargers should take Notre Dame C Nick Martin with their second round pick because they need a new center and Tom Telesco loves Golden Domers.

So what do you think? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!

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