The 2016 NFL draft is just about a week, so it's time for Chris Burke to take a stab at predicting the first three—yes, three!—rounds. How far does Laremy Tunsil fall? Who comes away with some Round 2 steals? Find out here: 

By Chris Burke
April 20, 2016

Were it not for Roger Goodell and the NFL’s Random Punishment Generator stripping the Patriots (first round) and Chiefs (third round) of early picks, this year's draft would have an even 100 selections over its opening two days. 

Alas, the number of players to be picked in Rounds 1–3 stands at 98. And all we know for sure about how the proceedings will play out is that the Rams will take a quarterback at No. 1. Which quarterback that is remains something of a mystery, as does just about everything from there on down. 

With just over a week to go until the draft begins, here’s a projection of how the first three rounds will go.

 

1
1Carson Wentz
QB, North Dakota State
2
2Jared Goff
QB, Cal
3
3DeForest Buckner
DE, Oregon
4
4Ezekiel Elliott
RB, Ohio State

Two quarterbacks and either Buckner or Tunsil landing at 1-2-3 is the ideal scenario for the Cowboys, who then could choose between Elliott, Ramsey, Myles Jack, Joey Bosa or a trade down. Nabbing Elliott would give their offense a shot to reach another level, with the likely Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite.

• KING: How Rams' trade for top pick got done

5
5Jalen Ramsey
CB/S, Florida State

There’s no reason to overthink this one. For the Jaguars to show meaningful improvement in 2016, and for Gus Bradley to stay out of the hot seat, the defense absolutely has to be better. Ramsey is the top defender in this draft. Jacksonville could envision him as its No. 1 cornerback or as a partner at safety for newcomer Tashuan Gipson. Either would move Bradley closer to his vision on that side of the ball.​

6
6Laremy Tunsil
OT, Mississippi

There arguably are more problematic spots on Baltimore’s roster than the O-line. But with Tunsil sliding from his previous post at No. 1 to No.6, this is too good to pass up. Tunsil would allow the Ravens to stop worrying about Eugene Monroe’s injury issues and underwhelming play. Here’s your new franchise left tackle.​

7
7Myles Jack
LB, UCLA
8
8Ronnie Stanley
OT, Notre Dame

If the Browns’ new front office really is committed to tearing this thing down and building it back up, it has to start in the trenches. With Mitchell Schwartz in Kansas City and Joe Thomas planted on the trade block (with a contract that includes no more guaranteed money), the Browns land their 2016 right tackle and ’17 left tackle.​

9
9Joey Bosa
DE, Ohio State

It’s borderline stunning that Bosa could land in Tampa Bay without the Bucs moving up, but here we are. Unless the Bucs’ brass, for whatever reason, has Shaq Lawson as the higher-rated defensive end, this should be one of those race-to-the-podium type picks.​

10
10Vernon Hargreaves
CB, Florida
11
11Sheldon Rankins
DT, Louisville

Among the main reasons Rankins keeps surfacing as a top-12 option is that teams don’t have to play the "Does he fit the scheme?" game with him. He does, no matter what said scheme happens to be. For the Bears, it would be as a defensive end in their 3–4 with the ability to drop inside on four-man looks.

12
12Laquon Treadwell
WR, Ole Miss

In the process of doing mock after mock, a few matches that are tough to ignore always emerge. This is one. Without question, the Saints must add defensive help in this draft. But they also still could use a true No. 1 receiver and, more importantly, a physical red-zone threat for QB Drew Brees.

13
13Shaq Lawson
DE, Clemson
14
14William Jackson III
CB, Houston

In signing Sean Smith and then drafting Jackson, the Raiders would have flipped their cornerback depth chart from an Achilles heel to a strength. Jackson has the size, length and wherewithal to be a shutdown outside defender.​

15
15Taylor Decker
OT, Ohio State

The Titans have too many needs to automatically assume that they will just take an offensive tackle here…and yet, with that said, this pick is a combo of fit and value. They’d be landing Decker at the start of his realistic draft range and could slot his ferocious run-blocking presence in on the right side so Taylor Lewan can take another crack on the left.

16
16A’Shawn Robinson
DT, Alabama

Circling back here on a match made long ago, then deserted. A bevy of possibilities still exist for the Lions here, including Jack Conklin, Noah Spence and Reggie Ragland. Robinson, though, at worst is a help vs. the run and at best develops into a dominant, one-gapping monster in Teryl Austin’s scheme.

17
17Leonard Floyd
LB, Georgia
18
18Jack Conklin
OT, Michigan State

A fairly quiet off-season means that the Colts could head into training camp with Denzelle Good penciled in at right tackle. They’re high on Good, but this would be a clear upgrade.

19
19Noah Spence​
DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky

Having one prolific edge rusher rarely cuts it in the NFL these days. It takes two for a defense to really wreak havoc. Pairing Spence with Jerry Hughes would give Rex Ryan’s Bills a chance to do just that. 

20
20Paxton Lynch
QB, Memphis

What will the next week bring for the Jets, as it pertains to their QB spot? Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return? Brian Hoyer’s arrival? No matter the outcome, they’re scrambling for 2016 and in limbo for 2017. 

21
21Reggie Ragland
LB, Alabama
22
22Andrew Billings
DT, Baylor

Can the Texans really bypass Josh Doctson for a D-lineman? They can for a player like Billings (or Vernon Butler)—a prospect with good feet, versatility and enough heft to spell Vince Wilfork at nose. 

23
23Josh Doctson​
WR, TCU

Houston’s decision opens a door for Minnesota, which finds a much-needed receiver now in its lap. A Doctson-Stefon Diggs combo would set up Teddy Bridgewater to blow past his previous career bests. ​

24
24Jarran Reed
DT, Alabama
25
25Mackensie Alexander​
CB, Clemson
26
26Ryan Kelly
C, Alabama

Seattle gets its replacement for Max Unger, who was dealt away as part of the Jimmy Graham trade a year ago. Kelly is a high-IQ center with the movement to excel in Seattle's offensive attack.​

27
27Vernon Butler
DT, Louisiana Tech

The Packers do not necessarily have to replace B.J. Raji in a one-for-one way. They do need to find more assistance for Mike Daniels up front. Butler can plug the middle or slide out to three- or five-techs.​

28
28Eli Apple
CB, Ohio State


29
29Connor Cook
QB, Michigan State

Planning for the future when you’re still one of the Super Bowl favorites is a tricky proposition, but this type of move has to be on Bruce Arians’s mind. Cook’s game is ideal for Arians’ downfield, big-play goals, and he could keep Arizona afloat should Carson Palmer falter or fall to injury. ​

30
30Corey Coleman
WR, Baylor

The Panthers should (and will) look for O-line help during draft weekend. One way to combat a pass rush, though, is by getting the ball out quickly into the hands of your playmakers. Coleman can be explosive after the catch and deadly deep.​

31
31Darron Lee
LB, Ohio State
32
32Su’a Cravens
LB/S, USC

 

33
33Chris Jones
DT, Mississippi State

 

34
34Kevin Dodd
DE, Clemson

 

35
35Michael Thomas
WR, Ohio State

 

36
36Shilique Calhoun
DE, Michigan State

 

<hr>
37
37Cody Whitehair
G/T, Kansas State

 

38
38Kenny Clark
DT, UCLA

 

39
39Karl Joseph
S, West Virginia

 

40
40Sterling Shepard
WR, Oklahoma

 

41
41Derrick Henry
RB, Alabama

 

<hr>
42
42Artie Burns
CB, Miami

 

43
43Will Fuller
WR, Notre Dame

 

44
44Robert Nkemdiche
DT, Ole Miss

 

45
45Xavien Howard
CB, Baylor

 

46
46Jason Spriggs
OT, Indiana

 

<hr>
47
47Emmanuel Ogbah
DE, Oklahoma State

 

48
48Hunter Henry
TE, Arkansas

 

49
49T.J. Green
CB/S, Clemson

 

50
50Vonn Bell
S, Ohio State

 

51
51Jonathan Bullard
DT, Florida

 

52
52Austin Hooper
TE, Stanford

 

53
53Christian Westerman
C/G, Arizona State

 

54
54Darian Thompson
S, Boise State

 

55
55Kendall Fuller
CB, Virginia Tech

 

56
56Javon Hargrave
DT, South Carolina State

 

57
57Jeremy Cash
S/LB, Duke

 

58
58Kamalei Correa
DE/OLB, Boise State

 

59
59Joshua Garnett
G, Stanford

 

60
60Kenneth Dixon
RB, Louisiana Tech

 

61
61Jihad Ward
DT, Illinois

 

62
62keanu neal
S, Florida

 

63
63Dak Prescott
QB, Mississippi State

 

Maybe this is the spot where the Panthers nab a tackle, should they look elsewhere in Round 1. As this mock happens to fall, however, Neal—drawing speculation as a Round 1 option—steps in as an enforcer on a Carolina defense that can help cover his flaws.

John Elway remains on the hunt for a 2016 starting quarterback. Prescott does not provide much help there, but should the Broncos wind up with a “bridge” option—Mark Sanchez, Brian Hoyer or Ryan Fitzpatrick—Prescott has a chance to become something special.

64
64Kyler Fackrell
OLB, Utah State
65
65Rashard Higgins
WR, Colorado State
66
66Germain Ifedi
OT, Texas A&M
67
67Braxton Miller
WR, Ohio State
68
68Austin Johnson
DT, Penn State
69
69Deion Jones
LB, LSU
70
70Hassan Ridgeway
DT, Texas
71
71Jalen Mills
CB/S, LSU
72
72Nick Vannett
TE, Ohio State
73
73Paul Perkins
RB, UCLA
74
74Leonte Carroo
WR, Rutgers
75
75Le'Raven Clark
OT, Texas Tech
76
76Connor McGovern
G/C, Missouri
77
Christian Hackenberg
QB, Penn State
78
78Will Redmond
CB, Mississippi State
79
79C.J. Prosise
RB, Notre Dame
80
Blake Martinez
LB, Stanford
81
81Joe Dahl
G/T, Washington State
82
82Jordan jenkins​
OLB, Georgia
83
Joe Schobert
LB, Wisconsin

 

84
84Bronson Kaufusi​
DE, BYU
85
85Tyler Boyd
WR, Pittsburgh
86
86Kentrell brothers​
LB, Missouri
87
87Malcolm Mitchell
WR, Georgia
88
88Jerell Adams​
TE, South Carolina
89
89Cardale Jones
QB, Ohio State
90
90Jordan howard
RB, Indiana
91
91Cyrus Jones
CB, Alabama
92
92Sean davis
CB/S, Maryland
93
Ronald Blair
DE, Appalachian State
94
94alex collins
RB, Arkansas
95
95Nick Martin
C, Notre Dame
96
96Joe Thuney
OL, N.C. State
97

[image:6737846]

97DeAndre Houston-Carson
CB/S, William & Mary
98
Sheldon Day
DT, Notre Dame 

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