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
Carson Wentz
QB, North Dakota State
•​ JACOBS: A conversation with Rams RB Todd Gurley
2
Jared Goff
QB, Cal
​​•​ The great draft QB debate: Carson Wentz or Jared Goff?​
3
DeForest Buckner
DE, Oregon
• ​​BEDARD: Why so many college stars slip through cracks
4
Ezekiel 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
Jalen 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
Laremy 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
Myles Jack
LB, UCLA
•​ FARRAR: Watching tape with Myles Jack
8
Ronnie 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
Joey 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
Vernon Hargreaves
CB, Florida
11
Sheldon 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
Laquon 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
Shaq Lawson
DE, Clemson
•​ ​ROSENBERG: Manziel loses another ally in latest spiral
14
William 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
Taylor 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
A’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
Leonard Floyd
LB, Georgia
•​ BURKE: NFL draft needs for all 32 teams
18
Jack 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
Noah 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
Paxton 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
Reggie Ragland
LB, Alabama
• JACOBS: Unpredictability of the NFL schedule
22
Andrew 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
Josh 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
Jarran Reed
DT, Alabama
• FARRAR: Top 50 draft scouting reports | Wentz | Goff
25
Mackensie Alexander​
CB, Clemson
• FARRAR: Watching tape with CB Alexander 
26
Ryan 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
Vernon 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
Eli Apple
CB, Ohio State
29
Connor 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
Corey 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
Darron Lee
LB, Ohio State
32
Su’a Cravens
LB/S, USC
 
33
Chris Jones
DT, Mississippi State
 
34
Kevin Dodd
DE, Clemson
 
35
Michael Thomas
WR, Ohio State
 
36
Shilique Calhoun
DE, Michigan State
 
0
37
Cody Whitehair
G/T, Kansas State
 
38
Kenny Clark
DT, UCLA
 
39
Karl Joseph
S, West Virginia
 
40
Sterling Shepard
WR, Oklahoma
 
41
Derrick Henry
RB, Alabama
 
0
42
Artie Burns
CB, Miami
 
43
Will Fuller
WR, Notre Dame
 
44
Robert Nkemdiche
DT, Ole Miss
 
45
Xavien Howard
CB, Baylor
 
46
Jason Spriggs
OT, Indiana
 
0
0
47
Emmanuel Ogbah
DE, Oklahoma State
 
48
Hunter Henry
TE, Arkansas
 
49
T.J. Green
CB/S, Clemson
 
50
Vonn Bell
S, Ohio State
 
51
Jonathan Bullard
DT, Florida
 
52
Austin Hooper
TE, Stanford
 
53
Christian Westerman
C/G, Arizona State
 
54
Darian Thompson
S, Boise State
 
55
Kendall Fuller
CB, Virginia Tech
 
56
Javon Hargrave
DT, South Carolina State
 
57
Jeremy Cash
S/LB, Duke
 
58
Kamalei Correa
DE/OLB, Boise State
 
59
Joshua Garnett
G, Stanford
 
60
Kenneth Dixon
RB, Louisiana Tech
 
61
Jihad Ward
DT, Illinois
 
62
keanu neal
S, Florida
 
63
Dak 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
Kyler Fackrell
OLB, Utah State
65
Rashard Higgins
WR, Colorado State
66
Germain Ifedi
OT, Texas A&M
67
Braxton Miller
WR, Ohio State
68
Austin Johnson
DT, Penn State
69
Deion Jones
LB, LSU
70
Hassan Ridgeway
DT, Texas
71
Jalen Mills
CB/S, LSU
72
Nick Vannett
TE, Ohio State
73
Paul Perkins
RB, UCLA
74
Leonte Carroo
WR, Rutgers
75
Le'Raven Clark
OT, Texas Tech
76
Connor McGovern
G/C, Missouri
77
Christian Hackenberg
QB, Penn State
78
Will Redmond
CB, Mississippi State
79
C.J. Prosise
RB, Notre Dame
80
Blake Martinez
LB, Stanford
81
Joe Dahl
G/T, Washington State
82
Jordan jenkins​
OLB, Georgia
83
Joe Schobert
LB, Wisconsin
 
84
Bronson Kaufusi​
DE, BYU
85
Tyler Boyd
WR, Pittsburgh
86
Kentrell brothers​
LB, Missouri
87
Malcolm Mitchell
WR, Georgia
88
Jerell Adams​
TE, South Carolina
89
Cardale Jones
QB, Ohio State
90
Jordan howard
RB, Indiana
91
Cyrus Jones
CB, Alabama
92
Sean davis
CB/S, Maryland
93
Ronald Blair
DE, Appalachian State
94
alex collins
RB, Arkansas
95
Nick Martin
C, Notre Dame
96
Joe Thuney
OL, N.C. State
97
DeAndre Houston-Carson
CB/S, William & Mary
98
Sheldon Day
DT, Notre Dame 

You May Like