It's nearly impossible to nail a mock draft minutes before it starts — let alone seven weeks beforehand.
With this update of my 2016 NFL Mock Draft, the NFL Scouting Combine is now behind us and the start of NFL Free Agency is upon us.
It's fair to say that this mock will change, perhaps quite a bit, leading up to my final version, but here is my updated 2016 NFL Mock Draft:
1. Tennessee Titans (team draft history): Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
No team allowed more sacks last season than the Titans (54). Given their investment in second-year franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota, the Titans should make improving their leaky pass protection an offseason priority.
A three-year starter at left tackle, Tunsil has allowed only two sacks — and none last season — over his career at Ole Miss. With unique athletic traits for the position, the former five-star recruit has drawn comparisons to Cowboys All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein, whose father is an offensive line coach with the Cardinals, recently said that "Tunsil to me is going to be the best left tackle in the league, or one of the top two, within three years."
Zierlein went on to say, "With Tunsil, he's got all that athleticism, but he's a three-year starter in a major conference who has played left tackle the entire time and has some of the cleanest technique you're going to find at the position. He's ahead of Tyron Smith in terms of his knowledge, technique and ability at the position right now, coming into the league. Laremy Tunsil comes in and has a shot at being a Pro Bowler as a rookie."
2. Cleveland Browns (team draft history): Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Since their return to the NFL in 1999, the Browns have had nothing but question marks at the most important position in sports. Unfortunately, the team has invested a number of first-round picks at the position, which have not panned out and the latest — Johnny Manziel — should be released any day now.
With prototypical size (6-5, 235), a strong arm and excellent mobility, Wentz has all of the physical traits to develop into a franchise quarterback in the NFL. And while he has experience playing in a pro-style system, the biggest obstacle for Wentz will be his transition from the FCS level to the NFL.
3. San Diego Chargers (team draft history): Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
There is a lot to like about Ramsey -- elite size (6-1, 202), Olympic-caliber athleticism and positional versatility. A second-team All-American at safety in 2014, Ramsey was a first-team All-American at cornerback this past season. With Eric Weddle being a free agent, Ramsey could either be an immediate starter at free safety or cornerback.
4. Dallas Cowboys (team draft history): Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
It was a highly disappointing season for the Cowboys after Tony Romo broke his clavicle (twice). Should the Cowboys brass use this opportunity to draft Romo's long-term replacement and upgrade the backup spot? Or should they look for a difference-making player that can help them make a run over the next year or two (provided Romo can stay healthy)? Granted, Jerry Jones has said they won't draft a quarterback, but pre-draft comments from a team's front office are meaningless anyways.
Last season, the Cowboys generated just 31 sacks, which ranked 25th in the NFL. The son of a former first-round pick for the Dolphins, Bosa had 51.0 tackles for loss and 26.0 sacks in his three seasons with the Buckeyes. Not an elite athlete, Bosa is also an outstanding run defender with the ability to consistently generate double-digit sacks as a pass-rusher.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (team draft history): Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
A knee injury ended his season and collegiate career prematurely, but Jack is an ultra-athletic three-down linebacker that's custom-made for today's NFL. One of the most versatile players in this year's entire draft class, Jack was named the Pac-12's Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the year early in his UCLA career.
With this pick, the Jags will essentially be adding a pair of top-five defensive selections as last year's first-rounder, Dante Fowler at No. 3, missed all of 2015 with a torn ACL. In addition, the Jags added Malik Jackson and Tashaun Gipson to their defense in free agency. Only the Saints allowed more points last season, but the new-look Jags should be much improved on that side of the ball in 2016.
6. Baltimore Ravens (team draft history): Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
The Ravens signed Eugene Monroe to a five-year deal only two offseasons ago, but he has missed five-plus games in each of his two seasons with the club. Cutting him would save the team $6.5 million against the cap. In addition, the Ravens lost Kelechi Osemele to the Raiders in free agency. Stanley does have experience at right tackle as well, but he has the length and mobility to allow him to excel as Joe Flacco's blind-side protector.
7. San Francsico 49ers (team draft history): Jared Goff, QB, California
By the time the NFL Draft rolls around at the end of April, it is unlikely that Colin Kaepernick will still be on San Francisco's roster. With the loss of Peyton Manning (retirement) and Brock Osweiler (free agency), it seems possible that Kaepernick ends up in Denver. While plenty of attention has been given to Goff's frame and hand size, his intelligence, accuracy and arm talent could make him Chip Kelly's long-term answer at the position.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (team draft history): DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
The debate here came down to Buckner or Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves and I went back and forth. Even though the Eagles re-signed Vinny Curry to a five-year deal in February, Cedric Thornton departed to Dallas via free agency and Fletcher Cox is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2016 season.
Drawing comparisons to Calais Campbell, Buckner (6-7, 290) has plenty of upside, but he has the collegiate production to match. Named the 2015 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Buckner had 17.0 tackles for loss including 10.5 sacks and 83 tackles as a senior.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (team draft history): Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
While he lacks ideal size, Hargreaves was a three-time All-SEC selection with good fluidity and ball skills as his 10 interceptions in his three seasons in Gainesville would indicate. Per PFF, all five of Tampa's qualified corners (out of 111 total) in 2015 graded 64th or worse. And two of them, Sterling Moore (64th) and Mike Jenkins (94th) are free agents.
10. New York Giants (team draft history): Ezekial Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Before this update, all previous versions of my 2016 NFL Mock Draft slotted a defensive player to the G-Men. In the early part of free agency, however, the Giants have been big spenders, especially on the defensive side of the ball, so this turns out to be the best-player available here. That said, Rashad Jennings turns 31 later this month.
The top-ranked running back prospect in this year's draft class, Elliott is a do-it-all, three-down back with no holes in his game. Outstanding in pass protection, the 225-pound back was highly productive with the ball in his hands as he rushed for 3,699 yards and 41 touchdowns and added 55 catches for 446 yards over the past two seasons.
11. Chicago Bears (team draft history): A'Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama
The Bears ranked 23rd in rushing defense (120.9 yards per game) and allowed 4.5 yards per carry (25th). Robinson has the physical tools that give him the potential to develop into a dominant lineman in Vic Fangio's defense.
12. New Orleans Saints (team draft history): Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Rankins has had an impressive offseason with a strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl and Combine workout. A scout told Yahoo's Charles Robinson that Rankins "could end up being the best defensive lineman taken in this draft, and could end up as a top-10 surprise on draft day," which says a lot considering how deep defensive line is this year.
13. Miami Dolphins (team draft history): Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
While the Dolphins lost Olivier Vernon in free agency, they added Mario Williams as the other starting defensive end opposite Cameron Wake. With both Wake (34) and Williams (31) on the wrong side of 30, Lawson would make sense here.
14. Oakland Raiders (team draft history): Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
Not only did the Raiders add Kelechi Osemele to the offensive line, but they have signed edge rusher Bruce Irvin and cornerback Sean Smith to their defense in free agency. While he may be a little undersized (6-1, 232), Lee possesses blazing speed and his 4.43 time in the 40-yard dash was the fastest within his position group in nearly a decade.
15. St. Louis Rams (team draft history): Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi
Perhaps the Rams go quarterback here with Paxton Lynch, as I had slotted in my previous update, but the Rams lack elite weapons in the passing game for whomever is under center as well. Treadwell isn't a burner, but he possesses excellent size, strength and hands to develop into a legitimate No. 1 receiver in the league.
16. Detroit Lions (team draft history): Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
A former walk-on at Michigan State, Conklin has the size, strength and demeanor to be a great right tackle, but he tested well at the combine and has long arms (35 inches) as well. One NFC North scout told NFL.com's Lance Zierlein, "That is a dude, right there. He was busting up Ohio State in the fourth quarter of that game not because he was more talented than those guys but because he just wanted it more. He's tougher than old beef jerky. He fits in our division."
- Continue to picks 17-32 in our 2016 NFL Mock Draft
- For more mocks, check out our NFL Mock Draft Database.
- Also, check out a way-too-early 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.
To keep track of our updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle.