The NFL Draft is this Thursday in Chicago. Although everyone seems to proclaim they know the top two selections, a shroud of uncertainty seems to surround the rest of the draft. The San Diego Chargers could be sitting at the 3rd overall selection arguably with the two best players still available.. but thats what happens when you need a franchise quarterback, and a need overcomes value. There will be likely more trades and surprises than mocked in this draft, but we did our best to provide the way we see the 2016 NFL Draft unfolding.

1. ramsb_logo Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB, California

The Rams are no strangers to moves this offseason.. and they didn’t move all the way to Los Angeles, and give up a ransom to move to the first overall pick to take a QB who played his college ball in the Fargodome. Goff is the guy. Tall, accurate, and with the California appeal thrown in as a bonus. The Rams can get Goff behind center early in the season and lean on Gurley to help the rookie passer. If the Rams find a decent WR in the fourth round, this offense could finally be potent for the first time since Marc Bulger.

2. eaglesb_logo Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, NDSU

To Sam Bradford’s dismay, the Philadelphia Eagles will now pick second overall for the first time since selecting Donovan McNabb 17 years ago. Much like when they draft McNabb the Eagles have a new coach and a journeyman of sorts already on the roster, the difference being the journeyman QB in 1999 (Doug Pederson) is now the head coach of the team. The Eagles moved up with some knowledge of who the Rams would take, likely being happy with whatever passer was not selected. Philly will bring in the small town product in Wentz that has wowed the NFL scouting world. His mobility and arm talent should be a good fit in the West Coast scheme that Pederson runs, but will likely sit behind Chase Daniels to start his career. Eagles could shock the world and take Elliott here, but we’re gonna stick with the QB.

3. jaguarsb_logo TRADE** Jacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey, CB, FSU

Jaguars GM David Caldwell and the Chargers GM Tom Telesco both worked under Bill Polian with the Colts. They know each other well and that makes this trade an easy one for both parties. Coach Gus Bradley and Caldwell have emphasized getting a ‘playmaker’ at each of the three levels of their defence. Dante Fowler should be back this year, Posluszney is still working the middle, and drafting arguably the best talent in Ramsey will give them a dynamic secondary. Whether Ramsey will play at corner or fill in the Kam Chancellor role in Bradley’s defense is still to be seen, but the Jaguars become a lot more dangerous by trading up  two spots.

4. cowboysb_logo Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio St.

The hardest pick of the draft to predict in our minds.. but at the end of the day it seems crazy for Jerry and the Jones clan to pass up on a talent like Elliott. He has flatline speed, he has great hands, and most importantly he will excite a fan base that is sick of seeing Tony Romo holding his collarbone. The Cowboys were at their best with Demarco a few years ago, and their seemingly unstoppable offensive line looked mortal last season with Darren McFadden running the ball. Despite needing a pass rusher like Bosa or Buckner in the worst way, Elliott is the star.

5. chargersb_logo AS RESULT OF TRADE WITH JACKSONVILLE** Deforest Buckner, DE, Oregon

The Chargers are able to trade down two slots and still get the player they coveted at 3. Buckner has been gaining steam, and although most people are mocking the Chargers to take a tackle (which they very well could do to get Melvin Gordon going) they take the monster out of Oregon. 6’7, long arms, and a handful one the line. Buckner gives the Chargers a piece to add to their pass rush that is lacking when compared to the rest of the ferocious lines in the AFC West.

6.ravensb_logo Baltimore Ravens: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

Ozzie Newsome takes the best player available, and in a lot of circles this is the best player in the draft. The Ravens get a steal in Tunsil at 6. The Raven’s offensive line was horrendous last season, and left Joe Flacco spending more time on the ground the ever and eventually on an operating table for his knee. Losing one of the best guards in the league in Osemele was tough, but getting a huge tackle to base their line on going forward should make it a little easier. Tunsil is an exception run blocker for a left tackle, and should help Marc Trestman and his RB’s finally get the ball moving.

7. 49ersb_logo San Francisco 49ers: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio St

The 49ers likely coveted Buckner, and could probably use an offensive lineman.. but Bosa is the best player left on their board. Likely falling to 7 over character concerns, Bosa when at his best is a top 5 talent. He will bring some bite back to a San Francisco defense that has had more players retire than reach the Pro Bowl in the past two seasons. People forget that Chip Kelly is not the general manager in SF, and will play with the roster Baalke gives him. This is why we will shrug off the Paxton Lynch talk at 7 and give the 49ers a future double digit sack talent.

8. titansb_logo TRADE** Tennessee Titans: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

Which is less of a surprise, the fact the Browns traded down again.. or that Tennessee did exactly what they said they were gonna do and moved back into the top 10. Just because they traded back to 15 doesn’t change the fact the Titans need to protect Marcus Mariota. Albeit they can risk staying at 15 and get a Jack Conklin, Taylor Decker or someone on the interior.. several scouts are saying Stanley and Tunsil could be interchangeable as the top tackles in the draft. The Titans still end up with extra picks from their big trade and get a great tackle in Stanley in the process.

9. Bucsb_logo Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargraves, CB, Florida

For some reason all the buzz about the Florida corner has teetered off, despite being heralded as one of the best pure corners to come out in years by Mike Mayock. The Buccaneers will not complain and will take the Gator, and ask him to make the short trip to Tampa. The Bucs secondary has been lackluster ever since Ronde Barber left, Hargreaves can walk in the building and start on day 1, and allow the playmakers in the middle of this defense to hunt opposing QB’s. Tampa is a very young team, and a strong corner presence could be enough to finally put them over the edge.

10. giantsb_logo New York Giants: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

The Giants showed their hand this offseason that they are looking to improve their pass rush. Resigning JPP and dumping a lot of money into Olivier Vernon has them part way there, and adding the budding Lawson will only help that pursuit. The Giants were at their best winning Super Bowls when they were chasing the opposing QB, with Spagnuolo back in the building a player with Lawson’s speed and upside could cause chaos. A wide receiver to put opposite of OBJ or a linebacker like Ragland could be in consideration as well, but they may look in the later rounds to do so.

11. bearsb_logo Chicago Bears: Leonard Floyd, DE, Georgia

The Bears are another one of the teams in the top 15 that were known for their defense over the past decade, and have struggled mightily over the past couple of seasons. The rebuilding has already started, and having Coach Fox in the building will help expedite that process. Chicago needs to rush the passer, no player reached double digit sacks and the back end of the defense payed for it. Floyd can come in right away in third down packages and be a pass rushing specialist, he’s a long edge rusher that will  make his living chasing Aaron Rodgers. The Bears are one of those teams that could also mortgage some picks to go get Elliott if he were to slip past Dallas.

12. saintsb_logo New Orleans Saints: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

The idea of New Orleans taking Lynch is starting to finally take hold, as we all know Brees won’t play forever (although he may try) and Sean Payton just signed a long term extension. Lynch had an incredible pro day and could spend the next couple of seasons behind Brees, likely filling in when the passer goes down to injury. Brees is no stranger to mentoring a young QB, and played some of his best football while being pushed in San Diego. It’s hard to think of moving on from the bromance between Brees and Payton, but after almost firing Payton last season it may be time to start the transition (unless a team like Buffalo moves up or a team in the top 11 pulls the trigger on Lynch first).
13. dolphinsb_logo Miami Dolphins: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio St

The Dolphins will likely spend the first 20 minutes of the draft trying to move up to take Ezekiel Elliott, but if that doesn’t come to fruition then they will stay put and take the former Buckeye in Apple. Miami already has some serious cap space dedicated to their defense, but after parting ways with Brent Grimes in the offseason, the secondary is looking thin in comparison to the mauling front seven. Apple can come in and immediately have an impact in Coyle’s defense, and hopefully allow that defensive line to produce the way they are getting paid.

14. raidersb_logo Oakland Raiders: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

The slide will stop at 14. Long term knee health concerns left the top 5 projected Jack sliding down draft boards. GM Reggie Mackenzie will lay out the safety net and catch the dynamic prospect out of UCLA. If Jack was healthy he would likely be a top 4 pick, but even with the concerns he manages to break the top 15 on Thursday night. The Raiders add Jack to a increasingly talented core that includes Khalil Mack and the newest Raider Bruce Irvin. Oaklands defense will be no joke come the 2016 season. Robert Nkemdiche or an interior tackle could also be the choice here.
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15. brownsb_logo AS RESULT OF TRADE WITH TENNESSEE** Cleveland Browns: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

The Browns have to make a pick eventually… don’t they?. With so many holes to fill the sky is the limit even at the 15th overall pick. They could take a wideout, a tackle, a corner, or they could put an anchor in the middle of their defense in Ragland. Another strong linebacker coming out of Alabama, it’s hard to miss with the former captain of Saban’s complex defense. A SEC defensive player of the year, Ray Horton can put him inside and be less concerned when he blitzes every other down.

16. lionsb_logo Detroit Lions: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

The Lions luck out with a value selection in Conklin. Sure they could draft a replacement for Megatron, or try and fortify their defensive line.. but protecting Matthew Stafford is and always be there top concern. Stafford does not play nearly as well when pressured consistently, Conklin can play several positions on the line and help jump start a Lions running game that hasn’t exactly been easy to watch over the past few seasons. The Lions may have to learn how to run the ball in from the 1 yard line, as the fade to Calvin Johnson has likely left the playbook.

17. falconsb_logo Atlanta Falcons: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio St

The Falcons finally got some pressure from their edge in 2015, and drafting Lee will fill the gap in the middle of their defense. Dan Quinn had the luxury of Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright in Seattle, two players that could work from sideline to sideline.. Lee can come in and with his speed, produce the same kind of plays this Falcons defense is lacking since Sean Weatherspoon was in his prime.

18. coltsb_logo Indianapolis Colts: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio St

Taking Decker in the top 20 may seem like a bit of a reach, but the Colts have seen life without Andrew Luck and i’m sure they will do whatever they need to insure they never have to again. Decker isn’t the talk of the draft, but at 6’7 his size and strength will help lock down the side opposite of Castonzo.

19. billsb_logo Buffalo Bills: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

We’re still not convinced the Bills don’t move up to take Paxton Lynch, but if they don’t they very well may stay here at 19 and select Christian Hackenberg at the top of the second round. Instead Rex Ryan adds a piece to a line that wasn’t very Ryan-esque last season. Mario Williams blamed the scheme, but it’s rare we see a defense led by Rex get gashed the way they did. Rankins can come plug the run and eventually take over for Kyle Williams next to Dareus. Bills could also go Nkemdiche or Noah Spence if they aren’t scared off by the red flags.

20. jetsb_logo New York Jets: Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson

A raw talent out of Clemson, similar to when Aldon Smith came out. Bowles can mold the athletic pass rusher, and use him immediately in blitz packages. The New York Jets also need offensive line help and a corner, but it’s hard to see Bowles passing up a budding prospect with such double digit sack upside.

21. redskinsb_logo Washington Redskins: A’shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

The Redskins got an early Draft Week gift in Josh Norman, and now they take the mean tackle out of Alabama. The Redskins need to fill the whole in the middle of their defensive line left by Terrence Knighton departing, they get that plug in Robinson. Jarran Reed could also be in consideration with this pick.

22. texansb_logo Houston Texans: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

Houston adds another weapon for their newly acquired quarterback to play with. Deandre Hopkins exploded onto the scene last season, and is getting rave reviews this offseason. The Texans add likely the most well rounded receiver in this years draft in Coleman. He has the top end speed, and has experience outside and in the slot. With Lamar Miller wrecking things on the ground, and Coleman teaming with Hopkins this Texans offense could be potent. An offensive lineman is not out of the question here either.

23. vikingsb_logo Minnesota Vikings: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

After no wideouts were selected in the first 20 picks, two go back to back. The Vikings need to add targets for Teddy Bridgewater.. Mike Wallace couldn’t connect with the QB.. and who knows whats happening with Cordarrelle Patterson. Doctson will give Bridgewater an option on the outside, while Diggs continues to develop as an intermediate option. Will Fuller or Treadwell could be in consideration as well, but Doctson has better hands and speed respectively.

24. bengalsb_logo Cincinnati Bengals: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Mississippi

Most mock drafts have the run on wide receivers continuing.. but the Bengals will not pass up on the best player on their board. Nkemdiche is a great talent with a lot of off field baggage. Marvin Lewis has never been one to hide from character issues, and this could be the perfect situation for both parties. Nkemdiche can come in with Peko and Atkins and develop into a Pro Bowl talent on the stingy Bengals front.

25. steelersb_logo Pittsburgh Steelers: Andrew Billings, NT, Notre Dame

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense has been improving, but has never been the same since Casey Hampton and Brent Keisel ran the front seven. A corner would make a lot of sense to help out the secondary, as would safety Karl Joseph.. but Billings will come in and fill that void left by Hampton since those Super Bowl years. If they do go corner, Mackenzie Alexander makes a lot of sense.

26. patriotsb_logo TRADE** New England Patriots: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama

This may be a bit of a fun pick, but if you don’t think Bill Belichick will make a pick on Thursday night.. you might not know Bill Belichick. His moves are always calculated, and after being forced to forfeit a pick don’t be surprised if the Patriots find themselves back in the first round. Trade up for a center? Why not. The Pats need offensive line help to keep #12 upright, and Kelly can move around. The Patriots covet lineman who can play all five positions and i’m sure the Patriots have heard lots from Nick Saban about how talented the kid is.

27. packersb_logo Green Bay Packers: Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina St.

This may be a stretch, but Dom Capers needs players on to rotate on the inside of the line. BJ Raji had declined the past couple of seasons and is no longer in the building, and Hargrave can come in and fill that role amicably. Best case scenario the Packers can put Hargrave in right away and let him flourish along with their strong secondary.

28. chiefsb_logo Kansas City Chiefs: Laquan Treadwell, WR, Mississippi

The big receiver finally comes off the board. Until last season the Chiefs weren’t really known for throwing to their wideouts, but that likely won’t stop them from drafting another big target for Alex Smith. This offense really struggled when Maclin went down, and they can’t always rely on the running game. Treadwell isn’t a track star, but he makes up for it in size and strength. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs go Connor Cook at this selection either, or in the next round if they stick with wideout.

29. cardinalsb_logo Arizona Cardinals: William Jackson III, CB, Houston

The Cardinals were likely hoping for a tackle to fall to them, but they will take one of the best players available in Jackson. Projected to go much higher than this, the slide of Jack and other defensive players likely affected his value. The honey badger has been banged up a couple times, and Buchanan has become a linebacker hybrid. They can rotate in Jackson across from Peterson, and let Mathieu play entirely in the slot or over top at safety. Germain Ifedi could also be the pick here.

30. panthersb_logo Carolina Panthers: Mackenzie Alexander, CB, Clemson

The Panthers needed a corner before deciding to jettison Josh Norman. Although the fans probably want a receiver like Will Fuller, for the second year in a row they will be disappointed. Alexander can come in and be a large presence on the outside. He may not be able to shut down receivers the way Norman was able to, but he should be able to be a serviceable corner behind what is one the best defensive units in football.

31. broncosb_logo Denver Broncos: Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas

Gary Kubiak loves using tight ends in his offense, either as a stand up pass catcher or as an upback or blocker. Owen Daniels, Ryan Griffin, CJ Fiedorowicz, he can make anyone work in the scheme. Plug in the top tight end from this draft and whoever is throwing the ball in Denver will have quite the unit of pass catchers at their disposal. Henry could be a 80+ catch target in Denver’s offense, which will only open lanes for the running game and the other big receivers outside.. yeah the one that wears #88.

Notable first round omissions: Will Fuller, Cody Whitehair, Connor Cook, Jarran Reed, Noah Spence, Vernon Butler and Germain Ifedi.