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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Post-combine breakdown of Round 1

The 2016 NFL combine is all wrapped up, and the draft is just two months away. After observing time in Indianapolis,'s Chris Burke gives us his current order. 

NFL mock drafts are a bit like Starbucks: You may not always want it, but you won’t have to look far if you do. 

With that in mind, we dive back in here with a post-combine breakdown of Round 1. Earlier this week, our latest list of the top 100 prospects rolled out. The 31 first-round picks won't necessarily match up with how the Big Board fell—this is an educated guess at where teams' priorities will lie come draft day; the rankings are personal opinion.

The next big blip on the radar is free agency, which begins next week. How that all plays out obviously will affect what happens in the draft. Until then, here's how things stand:

2016 NFL Mock Draft

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1. Laremy Tunsil

OT, Ole Miss

In light of the last few drafts, there is understandable skittishness to locking in an offensive tackle at No. 1. Those feelings will not go away until Tunsil steps into game action next season. We talk all the time about prospects being pro-ready, and Tunsil is arguably more prepared for the NFL than any other player in this class. His combine, where he moved like a tight end in a 310-pound frame, only reiterated his strengths.• BURKE: Top 100 prospects in the 2016 NFL draft 

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CB/S, Florida State

Do the Browns want one of the top two quarterbacks in this draft, or do they want one of the top two players in this draft, period? That’s really what this decision boils down to. Given their current QB situation, with Johnny Manziel done and Josh McCown penciled in as the starter, it’s understandable why option A is the popular call. But this will be the first draft pick made by the new Cleveland front office. Don’t assume it is willing to gamble it on a QB. Ramsey is a stud. Cornerback? Safety? It doesn’t matter. Draft him and find a way to play him as much as possible.• BURKE: Should Ramsey be the No. 1 pick?

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DE, Oregon 

If the Chargers believe Ronnie Stanley can be a long-term answer at tackle (and I do), he very well could be the pick here. Otherwise, they are almost certain to take a defensive player or a trade down, and it’s on D where things get interesting. Buckner is a walking brick wall, capable of run stuffing and developing into an above-average 3–4 rusher. He is a better fit than Joey Bosa for the Chargers’ current scheme.

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4. Joey bosa

DE, Ohio State

Among the reasons why the Bosa–J.J. Watt comparisons are overdone—another being that it’s silly to compare any incoming rookie to the game’s most dominant defender—is that Watt has thrived as a 3–4 end. Bosa is best suited to be outside in a 4–3, although he, like Watt, will warrant a few opportunities to kick down inside on pass-rushing downs. Rod Marinelli would find the optimal usage for the Ohio State star.

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5. myles jack


Don’t let his three interceptions last year fool you: The Jaguars’ Paul Posluszny is a throwback run defender from the linebacker spot. Despite his limitations in coverage, he still had to play nearly 1,000 snaps last season, right on par with Telvin Smith. (Dan Skuta added another 417.) Posluszny’s early-down defense is important, but the league is trending away from him. Jacksonville needs another rangy linebacker who can cover. Enter Jack.• MURPHY: Jack impresses at combine without breaking a sweat

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6. ronnie stanley

OT, Notre Dame

Even with a run on defensive players occurring in picks 1–5, the Ravens wouldn’t mind this board. They get their pick between Stanley, Vernon Hargreaves, Mackenzie Alexander and every pass rusher not named Bosa. Stanley just happens to hit both the “best player available” and “position of need” bullets. Kelechi Osemele is an impending free agent, and Eugene Monroe can’t stay healthy.

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QB, Cal

Hand size aside, there were a few positive outcomes for Goff from the combine. For one, he had no major issues throwing the ball. Also, he weighed in at 215 (a good number for him) and ran a 4.84-second 40, about where Cardale Jones wound up and faster than Paxton Lynch. The notion that he’s a statue in the pocket is erroneous. The 49ers could be a two-QB team in the draft: Grab Goff here to be the starter, then add ... oh ... Vernon Adams on Day 3 to develop behind him. •​ STAPLES: Size matters? The QB trying to make his hands bigger

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CB, Florida

Having a standout slot corner is almost more important than having a second lockdown guy outside. No matter where the Dolphins see fit to use Hargreaves, he would provide an upgrade over what is currently on the roster aside from Brent Grimes. I ranked Mackensie Alexander higher than Hargreaves on our post-combine Big Board, but it’s neck and neck. Hargreaves is further along right this second. • BURKE: Alexander says he’s the draft's best cornerback 

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DE, Clemson 

I see Baltimore and San Diego as the Round 1 pivot points for Tampa Bay. If those teams both go for defense, thereby pushing Stanley down the board, then I think he’s the Bucs’ pick at No. 9. Nabbing Lawson is a strong fallback plan. He is put together at 270 pounds, yet he still ran a 4.7 40. Lawson is ready for the NFL. 

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10. Ezekiel Elliott

RB, Ohio State

It wasn’t the plan to have Elliott land in the same slot as Todd Gurley did a year ago. And it’s a little odd to have Elliott bookended here by Lawson and Noah Spence, two players who could boost the Giants’ dormant pass rush. Elliott, though, is a top-five talent in this draft class. Think of him as everything the Giants want Rashad Jennings to be.• BISHOP: Harvard players are more than just smart

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11. noah spence

OLB, Eastern Kentucky 

It’s hard to know exactly which teams are or aren’t comfortable with Spence’s off-field red flags following the combine meetings. His size (6' 2", 251 pounds) pairs better with a 3–4 front, as Chicago runs, than the Giants’ 4–3. He can be dominant off the edge getting after the quarterback. But does a team trust him enough to justify picking him this high?

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12. A’shawn robinson

DT, Alabama

It’s still TBD whether the Saints will use a base 3–4 or 4–3 next season under defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. Robinson works in either, especially as someone who can plug the interior against the run. He’s not a great inside pass rusher yet, by any means, but he did produce 9.0 sacks over three seasons at Alabama. A long, productive career awaits.• BURKE: This draft's D-linemen ready to disrupt