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NFL Mock Draft: Browns, 49ers select quarterbacks in Round 1

Don Banks's first mock draft of the 2016 has the Browns and 49ers collecting quarterbacks.

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With April Fools’ Day just two days away, what better time to roll out my first mock draft of 2016, because there’s always the potential that the joke’s on the one who does the mocking. At the moment the focus is, as always, on the first-round quarterbacks. Despite Robert Griffin III’s arrival in Cleveland and Colin Kaepernick’s continued presence in San Francisco, I still have the Browns and 49ers spending their top-10 picks on a quarterback of the future. 

There’s still four weeks and a day before the draft begins on the night of April 28 in Chicago, and that’s plenty of time for things to change and the stock of prospects to rise or fall. But in a draft that holds few certainties, here’s our best stab at how things will unfold in the first round. As always, your results may vary....

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1. Laremy Tunsil

OT, Ole Miss

The Titans are making it clear they’re willing to deal out of the top spot, but I’m not expecting anyone to be motivated enough to swing that type of blockbuster. (It has been 15 years since the most recent pre-draft trade involved a No. 1 pick, with Atlanta dealing with San Diego and taking Michael Vick in 2001). So it’s Tunsil for all the obvious reasons, given that protecting quarterback Marcus Mariota and featuring a grinding run game are Tennessee’s top priorities. The Titans are in position to become the first team since the ’09–10 Rams to pick at No. 2 one year and follow it up with the first overall selection the ensuing year. St. Louis took offensive tackle Jason Smith at No. 2 in ’09, and then quarterback Sam Bradford at No. 1 in ’10. Neither choice panned out for the Rams, and the Titans have to be hoping their quarterback-tackle tandem fares considerably better.

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2. Jared Goff

QB, Cal

With the short-term services of Robert Griffin III secured, perhaps the Browns will be tempted to take a non-quarterback (Florida State safety Jalen Ramsey?) and hope that either Connor Cook or Paxton Lynch are quarterback options at No. 32. But I’m not ready to buy that scenario just yet, because Griffin is such an unknown at this point in his short but eventful career. The Goff versus Carson Wentz debate has weeks and weeks to rage, but for now, given the track record of how long Browns head coaches last, I’d be looking for the most pro-ready passer if I were Hue Jackson. And that’s thought to be Goff.

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3. Jalen Ramsey

S, Florida State

Landing an elite prospect for the defensive line would be an easy call to make, with Oregon’s DeForest Buckner and Ohio State’s Joey Bosa still on the board. But Ramsey might wind up being the best player this draft has to offer, and with veteran safety Eric Weddle taking his talents to Baltimore, Ramsey would fill a need in the secondary no matter where he lines up.

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