With the 2015 draft coming to an end I am sure many of you are already wondering who the top prospects for 2016 might be. Trying to predict not only the top prospects, but also the draft order is tall order right now, but I am willing if you are. My first 2015 FIRST MOCK DRAFT saw me pick 7 out of the top 10 right, but only 13 out of 32 players went in the first round for a variety of reasons.2 of them stayed in school, one was kicked off his team, and one went completely un-drafted due to a serious knee injury. So keep that in mind because some of these guys will get hurt, play to avoid injury & disappoint, decide to stay in school, maybe even be kicked off the team, or just not play up to my expectations for a whole . Not to mention the teams may play better or worse for a whole lot of reasons themselves. Right now I am predicting a DALLAS/COLTS Superbowl, but a significant injury to Luck or Romo would kill that notion, so keep that in mind as well. The prospects have NFL player comparisons below their name, so you can get an idea of who it is your getting, but I will change them later if someone else comes to mind that I think is a better comp. I have done limited tape study on these prospects so far, and they are mostly guys I couldn't help noticing while watching others on tape this year, or guys I expected to enter the 2015 draft that didn't. Some are just really talented ,and I expect them to step up this year as well. Right now I see a draft deep at offensive tackle, safety, and running back if the players expect come out, Connor Cook is the is the most well known QB, and I hope he steps up enough to be the #1 pick, but I expect others will challenge him for the top QB spot . I am going to go with guys I already had a first round grade on from 2104 tape at the top for now. So here it is. Enjoy.
1.JACKSONVILLE - RONNIE STANLEY -OT - N. DAME
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DUANE BROWN - TEXANS
Sorry jags fans, but rushing Blake Bortles onto the field last year may have stunted his development, and another year of failure may permanently scar him. Unless he is downright terrible, and Gus Bradley gets fired ,I think the jags will give Blake one more year before drafting another QB. While I hope I am wrong ,and he is successful, there is a reason why so many vegas odds-makers have the jags as the biggest long shot to win it all. I personally no longer believe in Luke Joeckel as a left tackle, but they stuck with him anyway. I am not even sure if Gus Bradley will keep his job after this season, but if he does he will want to run the ball. Stanley would have been a first round pick in this draft, and he has the athletic ability to fit right into their zone scheme.
2.OAKLAND - JOEY BOSA - DE - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MARIO WILLIAMS - BILLS
Despite a good draft I just don't have faith in Derek Carr as the long term answer as the Raiders QB, although I doubt they give up on him quickly enough to draft a QB here. With Justin Tuck past his prime ,and Mario Edwards showing he is a better fit inside, I expect the Raiders will need help off the edge next year. Rarely do you see a 4-3 strong side end who is a great pass rusher, but Bosa is. Great frame with long arms and the overall height and length to be a 5 technique. Shocks blocker with his hands off the snap and stays in control of them until he wants to shed them. He can already flat out dominate against the run or pass.
3.WASHINGTON - VERNON HARGREAVES the 3rd- CB - FLORIDA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DARRELLE REVIS - JETS
Washington has an improved roster , but the reason I don't think they will do much this year is coach Jay Gruden. Gruden was hired to improve RG3 .Instead of improving RG3 ,he has publicly embarrassed him, and I wouldn't be surprised if he divides the locker room this year as well. I expect the next coach will come in and claim he can fix Griffin as well, and they will give Griffin one more try in 2016 to see if he can be their franchise QB. However, they do lack a #1 corner. I have never seen a sophomore corner be the clear cut best corner in all of college football before, but Vernon was last year. He is smart. fluid , physical and fast. He only average size, but you wouldn't know it by the way he challenges receivers.
4.SAN FRANCISCO - DEFOREST BUCKNER -DE - OREGON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CALAIS CAMPBELL - CARDINALS
The 49ers still have plenty of talent on their roster, but I think this is a transition year for them in the NFL's toughest division, and that their record will reflect that .I believe that Justin Smith will join the group of players retiring ,and that the leadership void he and Patrick Willis leave behind will be hard to fill on defense. Not to mention the talent and toughness a lot of guys who departed brought to this team. Losing Harbaugh, Iupati, Willis, Borland, McDonald, and Justin Smith is hard enough, but Navorro Bowman and Aldon Smith are also question marks for different reasons. However I do believe it will be a short term dip in wins. Buckner is a guy I couldn't help noticing on tape when I was watching 49ers 2015 first round pick Arik Armstead. He has similar gigantic dimensions, but was a much more productive player than Armstead on film.
5.JETS - JACK CONKLIN - OT - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAKE LONG - FA
Every team in the AFC East except the patriots got better this off season, but the Patriots still have Brady and Belichick ,so they will probably still be in contention for the division title. The Jets were a team with a good defense and bad offense last year, and I expect it will be the same this year,despite more weapons on offense. The reasons for that are QB play and the lack of a significant upgrade along the O-line.After drafting Bryce Petty I believe the Jets won't be looking for a a QB just yet , although I personally believe they should take one if he's there when they draft. D'brickashaw Ferguson is past his prime ,and has a big salary, Conklin already plays with a finishers attitude,and is dominant at times in college, but he just needs a little more strength to consistently enforce his will in the NFL.If he spends this off season getting stronger he could be a mauler, and if he makes that jump up he could be in contention for the # 1 overall pick.
6.CLEVELAND - CONNOR COOK - QB - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MATT RYAN - FALCONS
Barring any evidence to the contrary right now I expect that the Browns will be bad again because they lack a proven QB, and this time they will be adamant about drafting a QB that comes from a pro style offense . So barring their owner deciding to take a homeless guys advice again I think they take Cook in this scenario, instead of the more talented Cardale Jones. Cook has the size, big arm, and talent around him to make a big jump up in production this season. If he does he could be the first pick in the draft.
7.BUFFALO - CARDALE JONES - QB - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CAM NEWTON - PANTHERS
Unless EJ Manuel can force himself to throw down field , and be good at it, I doubt does much this season. Throw in that Matt Cassel has the weakest arm of any possible starting QB, and I think BIlls fans will be trying to drag Kyle Orton out of retirement. While Orton is nothing special as a starter that just shows you how bad the other choices are. Add that they didn't improve their woeful O-line much this off-season ,and I expect that the Bills will be team with a great defense that loses a lot of close games, just like last year . Although signing La'el Collins could have helped a ton. Jones is a physical specimen with a cannon for an arm. The Ohio ST. offense changed for the better when Jones took over, and I expect that hey will add more pro style looks to the offense this season.
8.TAMPA BAY - EZEKIEL ELLIOT - RB - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - FRED TAYLOR - retired
I expect the bucs will be better this year, especially in the 2nd half of the season, but they are now a young team that probably won't be a contender just yet. Thier is already talk of trading Doug Martin, and while Charles Sims is a well rounded guy, he is not a special talent. Elliot is big, fast, and played his best games late in the season.Especially in the biggest game of the year, as he was ridiculous in the national championship.
9.SAN DIEGO - LAREMY TUNSIL - OT - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOE STALEY - 49ers
The chargers biggest weakness is their O-line, and while bringing in Orlando Franklin helps, they still have OT's who aren't playing the position that fits them best. With the Chargers refusing to even address OT in the draft, I have to hope they will have realized it after a down season this year. I bet you Phillip Rivers already knows and his window is closing fast.DJ Fluker has shown he lacks the feet to play right tackle, and KIng Dunlap is more of a right tackle. This pick would allow them to kick Fluker inside to guard, move Dunlap to right tackle, and improve 3 positions at once. Tunsil is coming off a broken leg , and only his injury history keeps him out of contention from being the first OT picked. Only Carolina needed La'el Collins more.
10.HOUSTON - CHRISTIAN HACKENBURG - QB - PENN ST
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - BEN ROETHLISBERGER - STEELERS
Houston has just about everything but a QB on their team, and barring one of the guys on there roster taking a big step up, they won't be in contention this season. Hackenburg looked like a future number one overall pick when he played for Texans coach Bill O'brien as a freshman. Last year he looked like a different player without him , and even if he improves this season I doubt it will be enough for any other team to pick him in the first round. O'brien would be wise to get his guy here though ,because he can step in from day one in this familiar offense, and be a better QB than what they have.
11.DETROIT - ROBERT NKEMDICHE - DT/DE - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - SHELDON RICHARDSON - JETS
The lions switch to a 3-4 helps mitigate the loss of Suh, but they still didn't do enough in the draft or free agency to improve their pass rush. Nkemdiche has the size and strength to hold up against the double team, and the explosion and quickness to rush the passer.
12.ATLANTA - SHILIQUE CALHOUN - DE - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CLIFF AVRIL - SEAHAWKS
The falcons had an excellent draft this year, and while they did improve their pass rush some, DE's Kroy Biermann and Adrin Clayborn aren't exactly world beaters coming off the edge. Calhoun might have been a 1rst round pick in the 2105 draft if he had entered. If he keeps improving and gets stronger he could be the first edge rusher drafted.
13.TENNESEE - DERRICK HENRY - RB - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CHRISTIAN OKOYE - retired
The titans are team on the rise now,and I expect they will be pushing the Colts for the division title pretty soon. One of the things they lack is a franchise running back to run behind the line they have assembled. Henry is a huge running back , but he still has the speed to crank out big runs.
14.NEW ORLEANS - HUNTER HENRY - TE - ARKANSAS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - GREG OLSEN - PANTHERS
The saints traded Jimmy Graham , and now seem content to try a veteran by committee approach to the the tight end position in 2015. My guess is they will see the error of their ways when they miss the playoffs, and want a new TE in 2016. Henry is a complete TE that is a match-up problem for any defense as a receiver ,and he is also a good blocker.
15.CHICAGO- SCOOBY WRIGHT - LB - ARIZONA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LUKE KUECHLY - PANTHERS
The bears spent a lot of money in free agency , and also had an excellent draft, but one of the areas they didn't properly address in either was inside linebacker. This defense needs a middle linebacker with a high football IQ, instincts, and the ability to excel in coverage. Wright has all that and he is also an excellent pass rusher.
16.GIANTS - ADOLPHUS WASHUNGTON DT - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - SHELDON RICHARDSON - JETS
The pass rush was the real key to the Giants 2 Superbowl victories under Tom Coughlin, and while Johnathan Hankins does his part inside , he is really a one technique. Washington would slide right in at the three technique and help return them to glory.
17.STEELERS - KENDALL FULLER - CB - VIRGINIA TECH
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JASON McCOURTY - TITANS
After the retirement and letting go of so many long term veterans the Steelers defense is in a transition phase. They drafted 2 smaller corners this year, but need another with more size. Fuller follows his brother Kyle as a first round pick.
18.MINNESOTA - TAYLOR DECKER - OT - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LANE JOHNSON - EAGLES
Despite Matt Kalil's bad season the vikings didn't draft a left tackle this year, and he is coming off knee surgery as well. 4th round steal TJ Clemmings has left tackle ability, but since he is still learning how to even play on the right side, they may want to just keep him there. Decker was clearly the best player on a buckeye O-line that dominated in the
national championship game.
19.KANSAS CITY - JALEN RAMSEY - S - FLORIDA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DEVIN McCOURTY - PATRIOTS
With Eric Berry's football life in jeopardy due to cancer the Chiefs have big shoes to fill in the secondary, and unless they convert 3rd round corner Steven Nelson over to corner they will lack one that can cover man to man . Ramsey is a former corner who converted to safety in 2014 and had a big season. Now they may convert him back to corner but the NFL is longing for players who can play both, and Ramsey can fill that need.
20.ST. LOUIS - LAQUAN TREADWELL - WR - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JORDY NELSON - PACKERS
The rams decided to pay the unreliable Kenny Britt , and while it wasn't #1 receiver money, but I just don't trust him to be a reliable receiver. I would have Treadwell a lot higher , but he suffered a knee injury last season. He should be back this year, and if he still has that same explosiveness to match his size, he has a good chance of being the first receiver taken in the draft.
21.CAROLINA - JERALD HAWKINS - OT - LSU
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - WILLIAM BEATTY - GIANTS
Out of all the teams that pursued La'el Collins the Panthers were the one that NEEDED him the most, but he signed with Dallas so they still need a left tackle. Hawkins was LSU's right tackle last year, but he isn't the mauler most people want on the right side, and profiles better as a left tackle. Since he is moving to the left side this season after the departure of Collins , he should excel. He has left tackle feet and is a good athlete, but needs to play nastier this year to rise up higher in the draft.
22.CINCINATTI - TYLER BOYD - PITTSBURGH
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - REGGIE WAYNE - FA
The Bengals still don't have a serious receiving threat opposite AJ Green after the draft, and while I think Mario Alford was a good pick in the 7th round that can help open up the field some, what they need is another outside receiver that safeties fear. Boyd has been a stud for 2 straight years ,on a power running team ,with below average QB play most of the time.
23.NEW ENGLAND - A'SHAWN ROBINSON - NT - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MARCELL DAREUS - BILLS
The patriots lack a 3-4 nose tackle that can rush the passer, and it has to be one that can 2 gap against the double team. Robinson has that kind of ability, and if he can steadily get pressure on the QB this season he could go a lot higher.
24.ARIZONA - JARED GOFF - QB - CALIFORNIA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CARSON PALMER - CARDINALS
I am not sure if Carson Palmer will even make it through this season healthy, but even if he does ,he will be 36 with a bad injury history. Goff actually reminds me of Palmer and he has the arm to make the throws down-field that Bruce Arians requires for his vertical scheme.
25.MIAMI- MILES JACK - LB - UCLA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LAWRENCE TIMMONS - STEELERS
One of the needs the Dolphins failed to fill in the draft was inside linebacker. Jack will be playing inside a lot more this year now that Eric Kendricks has moved on the NFL. He is already a play-maker ,and has the athleticism to be a every down stud in the middle.
26.PHILADELPHIA - SHAWN OAKMAN - DE - BAYLOR
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - SEAN JONES - retired
Chip Kelly reportedly made Fletcher Cox available in trade talks in his pursuit of Marcus Mariota. Cox is the best player on the Eagles defense so I don't know what Chip was thinking. I doubt Cox was happy about it, and even if he isn't available for a trade any longer, he will be a free agent after the 2016 season. Oakman has the size any NFL team would want , but Kelly likes size and length more than most , and Oakman displays surprising quickness in spite of it. He really fits best as a 5 technique, and with his length he could get up to 300 pounds and still look lean.
27.BALTIMORE - EMMANUEL OGBAH - DE - OKLAHOMA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - EZEKIEL ANSAH - LIONS
Both Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are in their 30's and can't play at their current high level forever. Ogbah has the explosive burst and size off the edge NFL teams crave .
28.GREEN BAY -DHADI LHOMME-NICHOLAS - V IRGINA TECH
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - KAMERION WIMBLEY - retired
Julius Peppers will be 36 after this season ,and the packers would be wise to try and find his replacement soon.Nicholas has that kind of ability if he can add a little more muscle.
29.DENVER - MAX TUERK - C - USC
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MAX UNGER - SAINTS
I really don't like the Broncos center situation this year. 4th rounder Max Garcia seems too slow and stiff for a zone scheme to me. Tuerk is a former left tackle with the quickness and smarts t excel in this scheme.
30.SEATTLE - GERMAIN IFEDI - OT - TEXAS A&M
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ANTHONY COSTANZO - COLTS
Left tackle Russell Okung is a free agent after the season, and while he is a good player ,he is also too injury prone to pay well. Ifedi would be the 4th straight Texas A&M offensive tackle to go in the first round.
31.INDIANAPOLIS - JAMES CONNOR - RB - PITTSBURGH
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JEROME BETTIS - retired
The colts only have Frank Gore and Josh Robinson at running back in their power offense. While both are tough as nails , Gore will be 32 after the season , has torn both ACL's, and also had a broken hip a while back. Robinson was a 6th round pick Conner was dominant in a power offense last year, and the 250 pounder would fit right in.
32.DALLAS - THOMAS TYNER - RB - OREGON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON- JAMALL CHARLES
Talk about the rich getting richer. I bet Tony Romo is downright giddy after Dallas inexplicably landed the best O-lineman in the draft, under the weirdest circumstances possible, after the draft.Dallas already had one of( if not the) best O-lines in football before getting La'el Collins,but now they could be historically great. That line will make it much easier for their stable of veteran running backs to look better than they are, but they all lack breakaway speed. I expect Tyner to be the focal point of the ducks offense this season, and he could give the boys the homerun hitter they lack in the running game.