First-round predictions for the 2016 NFL Draft

Dec. 29, 2015; Fort Worth, TX; California quarterback Jared Goff (16) in action during the first half of the Armed Forces Bowl. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Dec. 29, 2015; Fort Worth, TX; California quarterback Jared Goff (16) in action during the first half of the Armed Forces Bowl. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

This mock draft takes a more traditional route and attempts to predict what each team will do rather than necessarily the best fit.

1. Los Angeles Rams: QB Jared Goff, California
The Rams go with the quarterback who can contribute immediately. Goff will have some growing pains in reading defenses and having his footwork right on his accuracy, but he appears to find a rhythm when running play-action.

2. Philadelphia Eagles: QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
The Eagles take the quarterback out of North Dakota State. Wentz’s mobility fits the Eagles’ scheme and he will be given the proper time to sit behind Chase Daniel.

3. San Diego Chargers: S Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
The Chargers go with the best secondary player on the board. San Diego needs an impact with the loss of Eric Weddle . Ramsey provides them a versatile player immediately.

4. Dallas Cowboys: DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
Dallas needs help with the pass rush immediately when the season starts with Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence facing four-game suspensions. The Cowboys must act quickly.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: DT Deforest Buckner, Oregon
Jacksonville adds a physical force to their front four that can be paired with Malik Jackson and create a stout pass rush to attack the Colts’ and Texans’ struggling offensive lines.

6. Baltimore Ravens: OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
Baltimore adds one of the better run blocking tackles in the draft. Stanley fits the Ravens mentality better than Tunsil.

7. San Francisco 49ers:  CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
The 49ers need help at the secondary position. The 6-1, 199-pound Apple would provide Chip Kelly a good sized corner with good feet and solid zone coverage.

8. Cleveland Browns: OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
Tunsil slips past the 49ers, but the pick provides the Browns with a new right tackle with the loss of Mitchell Schwartz and an heir-apparent to Joe Thomas.  This is likely the spot for a team to trade up and get Ezekiel Elliott.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
The Buccaneers need help in their pass rush and secondary. Tampa Bay is a good spot for snagging secondary help in the second round and go with best pass rusher on the board at this point.

10. New York Giants: DE Leonard Floyd, Georgia
Floyd has the athletic ability to play defensive end or a coverage linebacker in the Giants system. The former Georgia bulldog would provide the Giants necessary speed around the edge.

11. Chicago Bears:  CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
The Bears need help in their 3-4 system and Hargreaves gives them a quality corner that can help them topple the Packers. Chicago can find good 3-4 defensive line value in the top of the second.

12. New Orleans Saints:  DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson  
New Orleans needs help on defense, on the offensive line and at receiver. Dodd provides them with a good edge rusher immediately in a division that features quarterbacks Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston and Cam Newton.

13. Miami Dolphins: RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
Miami gets arguably the best running back in the draft to stabilize the position. The Dolphins will likely need to trade up to No. 8 to secure his rights, though.

14. Oakland Raiders: CB William Jackson, Houston
The Raiders need help in their back seven. Jackson provides the black and silver a promising corner, with good speed and a solid cover three skill set.

15. Tennessee Titans: OG Jack Conklin, Michigan State
Tennessee could use help along the offensive line and Conklin provides them a stout guard that could be paired with Taylor Lewan to move a solid side.

16. Detroit Lions: DT Jarran Reed, Alabama 
Detroit has lacked an inside presence in their defense since Ndamukong Suh left in free agency. Reed would provide much needed help in their run defense.

17. Atlanta Falcons: LB Darron Lee, Ohio State  
The Falcons need a great deal of help on defense. Lee would provide Atlanta necessary value in speed, coverage and ability to rush the passer in a 4-3 scheme.

18. Indianapolis Colts: C Ryan Kelly, Alabama
Indianapolis needs offensive line help to protect their franchise quarterback. Kelly provides great value here before he is snatched up by the Redskins, Texans or Seahawks. Luck gets a center that can grow within over the next five seasons.

19. Buffalo Bills: DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson
Rex Ryan needs help with his pass rush. Lawson potentially drops because of his shoulder issue, but provides Ryan with the versatility his line thrives on.

20. New York Jets: QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis 
This is likely the furthest Lynch falls in the draft before a team attempts to trade up and draft him. New York gets an athletic quarterback with a big arm and provides a long-term answer at the position. Geno Smith and Bryce Petty could be given the time to audition of their NFL futures.

21. Washington:  LB Myles Jack, UCLA  
Jack drops because of knee concerns, but provides tremendous value on the board at this spot. Defensive coordinator Joe Barry gets the most athletic linebacker that can shoot the gap, blitz and is very good in zone coverage.

22. Houston Texans:  S Karl Joseph, West Virginia
Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel gets his enforcer on the defense. Joseph is a physical tackler, play-maker and closes quickly in the run game.

23. Minnesota Vikings:  WR Josh Doctson, TCU 
Minnesota needs to add a reliable possession receiver to go along with Stefon Diggs. Doctson would provide the team with a mismatch on the outside and an explosive receiver in the open field.

24. Cincinnati Bengals:  WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss 
Cincinnati already has a deep threat in A.J. Green, but need a receiver to work the middle of the field. Treadwell is a receiver who understands how to use his body to box out defenders and is comfortable in tight coverage.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Mackenzie Alexander, Clemson 
Alexander brings a confident corner to a defense that ranked 30th against the pass. The former Clemson Tiger is a film junkie and puts in the proper work away from the field to perform on it.

26. Seattle Seahawks: RB Derrick Henry, Alabama 
Seattle needs help along their offensive line, but the need a physical replacement for Marshawn Lynch. Henry would provide the Seahawks with a bruising back that is very similar in running styles and athletic ability of Lynch.

27. Green Bay Packers:  LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
Green Bay could use help at nose tackle and wide receiver speed as well, but Clay Matthews can not have his talent wasted at inside linebacker. Ragland would provide the Packers are physical presence in the middle and a player capable on covering on third downs.

28. Kansas City Chiefs: DL Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech
Kansas City has a trend going where they seem to draft a first-round talent to replace a potential impending free agent. Eric Fisher, Dontari Poe and Eric Berry are currently the biggest free agents to hit the market in 2017. The Chiefs may have Berry locked up to a contract before then and have invested in Jaye Howard and Allen Bailey financially. Butler would provide the team with an athletic defensive lineman who can play defensive end and nose tackle.

29. Arizona Cardinals: OLB Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
The Cardinals were linked to multiple pass rushers during the free agency period. Ogbah would provide the team an athletic outside linebacker that can get around the edge and is solid against the run. He rushes effectively with his hand in the dirt or standing up and is capable of rushing from either side.

30. Carolina Panthers: OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana 
Carolina needed an athletic offensive tackle to keep Von Miller from hitting the corner on them in the Super Bowl. Spriggs will need to improve his strength but the athletic ability is there to develop.

31. Denver Broncos: QB Connor Cook, Michigan State
The Super Bowl champions find their heir-apparent in Cook, who would provide healthy competition for Mark Sanchez.


Nick Jacobs is a contributing writer for Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @Jacobs71.