NFL mock draft coverage has kicked into high gear this week. Mel Kiper released his first 2016 NFL mock draft, showcasing the top 32 college football players he feels will get picked in the first round. His report on ESPN predicts that four players from the Pac-12 will get selected early and that national champion Alabama will have four players selected. The best represented team in his first 2016 NFL mock draft is the Ohio State Buckeyes, with four players projected to be selected in the first round.
Mel Kiper states that the Tennessee Titans will pass on selecting an offensive lineman and instead pick Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa with the first overall selection. It is surprising news that the first NFL mock draft doesn’t have the Titans selecting Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. Titans starting quarterback Marcus Mariota needs more protection on the offensive line, which seemed to forecast that the team would look to either Tunsil or Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley. Tunsil falls to the San Diego Chargers with the No. 3 pick in his projections.
As for the four Pac-12 players that appear early in the 2016 NFL mock draft, they are California quarterback Jared Goff to the Cleveland Browns at No. 2, Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner to the Dallas Cowboys at No. 4, UCLA linebacker Myles Jack to the New York Giants at No. 10, and UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 28. Kiper also has three quarterbacks going in the first round, with Goff to the Browns, Memphis QB Paxton Lynch to the Los Angeles Rams at No. 15, and North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz to the Houston Texans at No. 22.
The first 2016 NFL mock draft has come out from CBS Sports as well, with football analysts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler weighing in with their predictions. The pair has not updated this mock draft since Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd announced his intentions to enter the draft, though. Kiper has Dodd going to the Atlanta Falcons with the No. 17 overall selection, whereas CBS has left him off the projections so far.
The top five picks from the CBS NFL mock draft are Laremy Tunsil to the Tennessee Titans, Joey Bosa or Jared Goff to the Cleveland Browns, Joey Bosa or Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the San Diego Chargers, Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell or UCLA lineback Myles Jack to the Dallas Cowboys, and Ramsey or Alabama defensive tackle AShawn Robinson to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kiper and the CBS analysts have Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley going to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 6. There are a few additional differences in the two NFL mock drafts as well.
Rob Rang predicts that the Los Angeles Rams will target Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook with the No. 15 selection. While Kiper doesn’t feel that Cook is even a first round pick, Rang has him coming off the board during the opening half of the first round. Rang then has Memphis QB Paxton Lynch going to the New York Jets at No. 20 and NDSU QB Carson Wentz to the Houston Texans at No. 22. That would be four first round quarterbacks selected if the CBS mock draft turns out to be correct.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have five players that appear in the CBS predictions. They have Joey Bosa as either the No. 2 pick to the Browns or the No. 3 pick to the Chargers, offensive tackle Taylor Decker at No. 16 to the Detroit Lions or No. 26 to the Seattle Seahawks, running back Ezekiel Elliott to the Indianapolis Colts at No. 18, outside linebacker Darron Lee to the Minnesota Vikings at No. 23, and cornerback Eli Apple to the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 25. With the big day still months away, many additional 2016 NFL mock drafts are expected to come out soon.
[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]