Happy Draft Day!!!! This will be our penultimate 2016 NFL mock draft update, with the final version coming late this afternoon. To get you ready for the draft, here’s a list of 40 NFL Draft buzzwords, catch-phrases and cliches that you’ll hear tonight, and all weekend, from the TV network draftniks.
“He can make all throws when you put him in space a hand in the round guy road grader space eater people mover who plays faster than his tape.”
Consider this your cheat sheet of Mike Mayock/Mel Kiper/Toddy McShay phrase. We list 40 categories, but all in all there’s about 60 of their favorites on this list.
Also, here’s the full list of the 25 players who were invited to the Green Room for NFL Draft night.
Finally, our 2017 NFL mock draft has also been updated.
Also, here’s the link our site’s second 2016 NFL mock draft, via a different author, Alex Harrison.
1. Los Angeles Rams, Jared Goff, QB, California
It’s leaked now! Goff is going first overall to Los Angeles. (here’s more on that)
It seems like they’re ready to take a new signal caller, and although this is a very weak class, at slot #2 you have to do so. Goff is a star in the making, and he’s shown a mastery for a high-powered complex offense that will make him very pro ready. Sonny Dykes’ “The System” and its up-tempo “bear raid” offense has helped Goff flourish. For the L.A. Rams 2016 NFL Draft mocksourcing go here. For more on Jared Goff click here.
The only real knock on Jared is that he needs to add muscle weight for the next level. That’s not too hard to fix. For the Eagles 2016 NFL Draft mocksourcing go here.
2. Philadelphia, Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Obviously, the Eagles will take whichever of the two franchise QBs that L.A. does not. Philly probably gave up way too much to get here in this spot to get Wentz, but he is no doubt a franchise level signal caller. You know he has strong character and Midwestern values, as he’s never even gotten a B in school. This high school valedictorian also went 5-0 against FBS teams during his collegiate career; thus alleviating some concerns about his FCS level resume and status.
3. San Diego, Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
Tunsil was projected #1 overall in several mock drafts, and I finally committed to putting him the top spot in my 2016 NFL mock draft before the two big trades. Now with the trades completed, Tunsil should just go ahead and handle all the processes go hand in hand with moving to San Diego. Yes, the Chargers have much bigger needs, especially on the defensive side of the ball, but he’s best player available no doubt.
Go here for the San Diego Chargers 2016 NFL Draft mocksourcing.
4. Dallas Joey Bosa, DL, Ohio State
Bosa is a good fit for the Rod Marinelli scheme, and they won’t even be able to line up at Defensive End on opening day unless they do something about it. DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory are suspended; and the Cowboys finally parted ways with human piece of garbage Greg Hardy. So you know they have to go DE. Bosa fits the pick perfectly.
“I never really loved being in the spotlight, you know. I’ve never been that kind of person,” said Bosa ahead of the Fiesta Bowl when asked about being a proverbial rock star.
“I pretty much like sitting in my apartment, being in a dark cave alone for hours. I spend the whole day in there. I have no problem with that.”
“I have a tight circle. I’m not really letting a lot of people into my life. I just got my guys, that’s really it.” For more on Joey Bosa go here.
With the NFL Draft being in Chicago, you’ll know you’re going to get several references to Al Capone when Bosa gets picked. Here’s why, courtesy of FOX Sports:
In addition to his father being a former first-round pick in 1987, his great-grandfather, Tony Accardo, was the head of Al Capone’s crime syndicate in Chicago.
Accardo had multiple nicknames, both of which displayed the type of guy he was. He was called “Big Tuna” by the press because a photo surfaced of him standing next to a 400-pound tuna. His nickname “Joey Batters” comes from Capone, himself, after Accardo allegedly killed two men with a baseball bat.
For the Cowboys 2016 NFL Draft mocksourcing go here. For the Ohio State NFL Draft mocksourcing of offensive players go here. For the Ohio State NFL Draft mocksourcing of defensive players go here.
5. Jacksonville, Jalen Ramsey, S, Florida State
Such a weak safety class in 2015. It was truly broke, and 2014 wasn’t anything special either. Now, finally in 2016 we’ll see a legit blue-chip safety prospect for this ultra pass happy league. Ramsey is more than that. He can play corner effectively too. Perhaps no one had a better combine than this kid. His stock took off like a rocket ship and went to Pluto. Go here for more on Ramsey.
For the Jacksonville Jaguars mocksourcing go here. Look for Jacksonville to go defensive best player available.
6. Baltimore, DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Buckner seems to be one of the few elite prospects who are consensus top 10 picks. How big could Buckner be at the next level?
“HUGE,” as Donald Trump often likes to say. For the Baltimore Ravens mocksourcing go here.
7. San Francisco, Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
In today’s NFL, you can never have enough pass-rushers, pass-protectors or elite pass-defenders. The best of the best at those positions will always have a premium placed upon them. Hargreaves is one of the elite corners of this class; and a slam dunk top ten selection. Go here for more on Hargreaves
Niners probably won’t get the QB they want, unless they trade up. Thus, they should likely go best player available here. For the San Francisco 49ers mocksourcing go here.
8. Cleveland, Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
An elite prospect due to his natural play-making abilities with extraordinary athleticism and instincts. Jack suffered a serious knee injury Sept. 23 but most teams are satisfied with his rehabilitation and convalescence. Not every team is worried, but some still are.
It doesn’t seem that crazy to me that the Brownies shied away from the chance to draft a franchise a signal caller. Yes, they need a quarterback more than any other team in the league right now, but their decision to trade away from the opportunity, and instead completely fleece the Eagles might pay off in the end.
Also, Cleveland can easily get a decent QB at #32.
The Browns making astute draft trades?! What is this the movie “Draft Day?” Go here for the Cleveland Browns mocksourcing.
9. Tampa, Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
This guy has seen his stock fly up the boards after a great combine. Go here for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers mocksourcing.
10. New York Giants, Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Go here for the New York Giants mocksourcing Giants GM Reese is very much a best player available kind of guy, hence we see a running back going #10 overall, but not higher. Many have him mocked to the Browsns, but I still feel nervous about that idea.
Everyone was talking about Elliott, all Fiesta Bowl week long, and everyone was extolling his virtues. Urban Meyer probably said it best though in postgame:
“I think Zeke, all due respect to all the great running backs in Ohio State history, my first-round draft pick, I’d pick Zeke Elliott. What he does without the ball, his work ethic in practice, just his attitude every day, the way he shows up, bounces around with us. I love him.
“He’s as good a running back as I’ve ever been around.” For the Ohio State NFL Draft mocksourcing of offensive players go here. For the Ohio State NFL Draft mocksourcing of defensive players go here.
11. Chicago, Ronnie Stanley, OL, Notre Dame
For more on the idea of the Bears nabbing a late round QB this year, with help from ESPN’s Mel Kiper go here. For more on the idea of the Bears filling their other position needs in this draft go here. (again with some insight from Kiper).
Stanley won’t exactly ace the interview portion of the Scouting Combine, as he’s not much of a soundbite. But this is the NFL Draft, not a talk show. And Stanley’s job is to make pancake blocks, not make good copy. Stanley brutalizes opposing defensive lineman as well as he brutalizes the idea of “winning the press conference.”
For the Notre Dame NFL mocksourcing go here.
Also, here’s our Chicago Bears NFL Draft “mocksourcing.” Take a look at where mocks from all across the internet have the Bears going. Here’s what the experts at ESPN and NFL Network see the Bears doing tonight.
Conklin is an elite player at a very high value position in a class that’s very much loaded. Lots of OTs in this 2016 NFL mock draft. Go here for more on Conklin. He fills a Saints need too. Many mocks have New Orleans going Conklin. Go here for the New Orleans Saints mocksourcing.
13. Miami, Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
Apple is a CB who is rising fast. With his 4.40 40-yard-dash, time to get bullish on this Buckeye. Pretty much every mock has Miami going CB with their first pick. For the Ohio State NFL Draft mocksourcing of offensive players go here. For the Ohio State NFL Draft mocksourcing of defensive players go here. Go here for more on Apple.
14. Oakland, A’Shawn Robinson, DT/DE, Alabama
The Oakland Raiders, on the heels of back to back stellar draft classes, have returned to respectability. Adding yet another elite draft class this spring would put them in postseason contention. General Manager Reggie MacKenzie is on the way towards building a winner. No team could pass up a talent/youth upgrade like Robinson on the DL. Here’s more on the other ways that the Raiders could go in this draft.
Also, here’s our Oakland Raiders NFL Draft “mocksourcing.” Take a look at where mocks from all across the internet have the Raiders going. If the Raiders go defensive back with this pick…we explored that idea as well in depth at this link.
Here’s what the experts at ESPN and NFL Network see the Raiders doing tonight.
15. Tennessee, Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Decker is a dynamite player, great talker and a stand-up guy off the field we’re told. He also gave the most realistic and truthful soundbite you’ll ever hear from a college football player in response to a NFL mock draft.
“I think a big thing they look for is do you improve as a player year to year,” said Decker at Big Ten Media Day.
“I had a decent projection coming out of this year, but I want to improve upon it. If they sense complacency, it won’t improve my stock at all.” Go here for more on Taylor Decker.
For the Ohio State NFL Draft mocksourcing of offensive players go here.
For the Ohio State NFL Draft mocksourcing of defensive players go here.
16. Detroit, Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
And to boot he fills a Lions need as Megatron retired. Yes, the Lions did grab a nice receiver already in free agency, but replacing the production of Calvin Johnson will require a group effort. Go here for the Detroit Lions 2016 NFL Draft mocksourcing.
17. Atlanta, Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
Ohio State Defensive Coordinator Luke Fickell, in advance of the Fiesta Bowl, said this about Darron Lee:
“You take a Darron Lee, you look, he was a high school quarterback. A lot of teams in high school, if you have your best athlete, where are you going to put? You’re going to put him at quarterback so he can touch the ball every snap.”
“In the whole time I’ve had a lot of great linebackers, I don’t know if there’s a ton of them that can truly play tailback at the college level. Shazier may be one of them, maybe Darron. There’s a few of those guys out there. They can do that. They’re a unique breed.”
Go here for more on Lee. For the Ohio State NFL Draft mocksourcing of offensive players go here.
For the Ohio State NFL Draft mocksourcing of defensive players go here.
18. Indianapolis Colts, Vernon Butler, DE/DT, Louisiana Tech
Amazing a Green Room talent like Butler has fallen this far, but there’s just nowhere else to slot him. Having lost one of their top tacklers in free agency to the Bears, look for the Colts to reinforce the front seven.
19. Buffalo, Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
The Bills are reportedly prioritizing front seven in this draft and they could use an upgrade at inside linebacker.
20. NY Jets, QB, Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
I’m still not convinced of their signal caller situation, Lynch is the third and final QB with a first round grade. Paxton Lynch exploded onto the scene this past season at the University of Memphis, which earned him first-team All-ACC honors and recognition as a Manning Award finalist. At six-feet, seven-inches and 244 pounds, Lynch displays an imposing yet agile presence in the pocket. Go here to see a fantastic artist rendering of Lynch.
NFL Media’s Mike Mayock sees Lynch to the Jets as a logical next step, provided Buffalo doesn’t get him first.
“I’ve always connected the dots, and that’s about where he should go. So I don’t know how far the Jets need to go up or not, but I think they do need to be aware of Buffalo,” said Mayock.
21. Washington, Andrew Billings, DT/NT, Baylor
Might be a perfect fit in D.C.
22. Houston, Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Tremendous value here, as the Texans already found their answer to their biggest offseason question- QB. They think Brock Osweiler will be the guy and that’s good for them because all three signal callers in this class will be gone by the time they get to select.
23. Minnesota,Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
A member of ND’s “Money Team,” Fuller had a monster season. He does drop some balls here and there, and he is a bit small, but the numbers don’t lie and the speed kills. At Fiesta Bowl Media Day, Fuller said he got his NFL draft feedback , but he didn’t want to talk about it. That’s understandable. When asked if he’s happy with the feedback, Fuller said “Maybe, I don’t know. Maybe.”
Then he went out and had a monster combine which did all the talking for him. His measurables in Indy more than make up for his small hands. Go here for more on Fuller. For the Notre Dame NFL mocksourcing go here. Go here for the Minnesota Vikings 2016 NFL Draft mocksourcing.
24. Cincinnati, Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss
Being that this is the NFL Draft, there will be extensive scrutiny of personality and character. Hey now, Nkemdiche was invited to the NFL Draft Green Room for a reason though. Despite all of his red flags, and there are many, he will so somewhere in the first round. Only 25 players get Green Room invites. When you’re Nkemdiche’s size, you’re just not supposed to be able to move like he does, and his raw physical gifts will overshadow his character concerns in the eyes of many teams. For the Bengals 2016 NFL Draft mocksourcing go here.
25. Pittsburgh, Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Of course, DB will be an option/priority. Alexander certainly does not have the stats, but he has the intangibles and the measurables. Go here for the Pittsburgh Steelers mocksourcing.
26. Seattle, Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
There are knocks on this guy, and he didn’t have a good combine, but his stock is still pretty high. Lots of mixed opinions on Floyd but he will will go somewhere in the first round. If he falls to the Seahawks here, it would be a steal. Michael Bennett, one of the 20 Michael Bennetts that have played college and NFL football, has re-signed; making the idea of drafting a pass-rusher more of a luxury than a need.
27. Green Bay, Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
The Pack should look to get younger/find some more depth on the edge in this draft. Ted Thompson is a value GM who often goes best player available. Go here for the Green Bay Packers 2016 NFL Draft mocksourcing.
28. Kansas City, Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State
Interestingly enough, Whitehair was an offensive tackle for the Wildcats. He’s now moving to the guard position as a means of augmenting his draft stock and furthering his pro career prospects. The only prospect in this year’s draft who could be classified as a true guard is Stanford’s Joshua Garnett. He is more of a traditional blocking guard on the left side and will certainly be a strong pass protector for any team that uses him. Go here for more on Whitehair.
29. Arizona, Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State
As you saw from the NFC title game, the Cards need help at Safety. This might be a stretch here, but picks in the high 20s and low 30s almost always are, year after year. Go here for more on Bell.
The Ohio State Buckeyes can challenge perhaps the most impressive record in NFL Draft history — the most first-round picks from one school in a single draft.
Miami currently holds the record with six first-rounders, which it set in 2004. That class included: Sean Taylor (No. 5 overall); Kellen Winslow Jr. (No. 6); Jonathan Vilma (No. 12); D.J. Williams (No. 17); Vernon Carey (No. 19); and Vince Wilfork (No. 21).
New England (PICK FORFEITED)
30. Carolina, Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Panthers have great pass-catchers who are NOT at the receiver position, and need to fix that. Kelvin Benjamin needs help.
31. Denver, Connor Cook, QB Michigan State
Both Connor Cook and Christian Hackenberg are essentially third or fourth round prospects at this point, but you must remember that no position in any sport consistently is “a reach” or “over-drafted” than quarterback. Former NFL Coach, Monday Night Football Analyst Jon Gruden is very, VERY high on Connor Cook, as he envisions the former MSU star going #7 to San Francisco.
Said Gruden: “my old boss Al Davis would have loved Connor Cook because this kid pushes the ball down the field. He’s one of the guys in this draft that made me make funny sounds when I was watching him. I would be groaning like, Oh, what a throw, Ahh.”
Denver pretty much has to do this, as Mark Sanchez is not a bonafide QB1 in the NFL. The Broncos will probably end up having to trade way up if they want to get Lynch instead. “He made some jaw dropping throws against Stanford in the Rose Bowl. He pushes the ball down the field. I love that about him. He’s got a great amount of experience, and he’s got size and athleticism, and he’s gotten results. I don’t know anybody else that’s won 34 games at Michigan State. So I think he would be a great pick for the 49ers personally.” Go here for more on Connor Cook
BONUS PICK! First pick of the second round
32. Cleveland Browns, Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
As someone who updates their NFL mock draft every week throughout the year, and 2-3 times per week this time of year, I find all the endless scrutiny and debate about Hackenberg to be utterly fascinating. We’ve done our part, with “Christian Hackenberg NFL Draft Stock Over-Analysis Column 2014” following PSU’s loss at Illinois that November.
Every franchise needs a sequel and that came with “Christian Hackenberg Over-Analysis Column 2015” this past fall when a ton of NFL scouts showed up to PSU’s loss at Northwestern. Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace was there, maybe they nab Hackenberg at #72 overall in the third round?
Nope, Hack doesn’t last that long, and Jon Gruden’s prediction that five quarterbacks will go within the top 35 comes to fruition. Go here for more on Hackenberg.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication and Bold Global.