Last update: Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015.
Round 4 added.
Next update: Next week. Follow me @walterfootball
The order of this 2016 NFL Mock Draft based on the NFL Power Rankings
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Go to 2016 NFL Mock Draft: Round 2 | Go to 2016 NFL Mock Draft: Round 3
*** 2016 NFL MOCK DRAFT (4 rounds) updated Dec. 26. This mock draft will be updated each week.Check out old versions of this 2016 NFL Mock Draft in the archived mock section. Follow @walterfootball for NFL Draft updates. ***
Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
Marcus Mariota has taken an absolute beating thus far, and now he's been knocked out for the season. The Titans have to do something about this; they cannot afford to have Mariota transform into David Carr.
In the wake of San Diego's senseless victory over the Dolphins, it appears as though Tennessee has won the Laremy Tunsil sweepstakes. With Tunsil on the roster, the Titans will have outstanding bookend tackles, allowing Jeremiah Poutasi to slide inside to guard, where he would probably be more comfortable. There's no way the Titans will pass on Tunsil if they have a chance to obtain him.
Follow @walterfootball for updates.
Cleveland Browns: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
I'm beginning to wonder about this selection. Quarterback was the no-brainer position a couple of weeks ago, but Johnny Manziel has played well in his previous two starts and even showed some leadership in pining for Mike Pettine to return next year. I'll still mock a signal-caller to Cleveland for now, but if Manziel continues to perform on a high level - and avoids more drunken escapades - the Browns could end up going for Joey Bosa.
It's sounding like Paxton Lynch is the top quarterback in this class, as he has the most upside. He'll be the selection, in all likelihood, if Manziel screws up again. Bosa, on the other hand, would bolster a pass rush that is in the bottom 10 of sacks.
San Diego Chargers: Joey Bosa, DE/OLB, Ohio State
A tackle will be the popular mocked pick here, but with Laremy Tunsil off the board, the Chargers may feel that they can address the position in the second round. Besides, if they go best player available, I'm sure they'll strongly consider Joey Bosa, who can help their lacking pass rush. Melvin Ingram, who hasn't been able to stay healthy, is entering his contract year in 2016.
Charlie Campbell reported that Bosa is regarded by some as a 5-7 overall player; not a top prospect as many believe he is. You can read all about it in the NFL Draft Rumor Mill. However, the one caveat is that Bosa could rise in a weaker class, and I have to think the Chargers would love to grab him in an attempt to improve their underwhelming defense.
Baltimore Ravens: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
The Ravens have a notoriously awful secondary that has to be improved. Both the cornerback and safety positions must be bolstered, and Vernon Hargreaves will be the top defensive back that Baltimore will be able to get its hands on.
Dallas Cowboys: Myles Jack, LB/RB, UCLA
The Cowboys have been awful defensively this year when they've lost either Sean Lee or Rolando McClain to injury during a game. Well, McClain happens to be an impending free agent, while Lee's durability history is quite dubious. Dallas will be searching for linebacker help and could possibly pull the trigger in the top 10, maybe even in the top five if Vernon Hargreaves is off th board.
And yes, Myles Jack is still a first-rounder and a likely top-10 prospect. Jack injured his knee, yet he's still in play to go this high. Todd Gurley was chosen No. 10 overall despite his knee injury, and Jack got hurt so early that he'll be ready for the 2016 NFL season opener.
San Francisco 49ers: Jared Goff, QB, California
I shied away from the 49ers taking a quarterback a couple of weeks ago after seeing Blaine Gabbert put together some quality performances. Gabbert, unfortunately, looked like an abomination in an embarrassing losses to Cleveland and Cincinnati. Inept owner Jed York won't be able to sell his fans of another year of Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick, so he'll green light the front office selecting a quarterback in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey, S/CB, Florida State
In a 2-week stretch recently, Philip Rivers and Marcus Mariota combined to go 49-of-72, 568 yards, eight total touchdowns and one interception. That's not good, right? The Jaguars desperately need to fix their secondary, which has to see an upgrade at both cornerback and safety. Jalen Ramsey can play both positions.
Miami Dolphins: Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
The Dolphins have issues on every level of their defense, and the best player on the board who can help their stop unit is Jaylon Smith. The linebacking corps is in need of an upgrade. Jelani Jenkins is the only linebacker they have who's not terrible in coverage, and he's just OK.
New Orleans Saints: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
We all know how bad New Orleans' secondary is, but part of the problem is that the team isn't getting any sort of push up front. It's especially dire at defensive tackle, where 80-year-old Kevin Williams is the team's best player. Something absolutely needs to be done about that.
Detroit Lions: A'Shawn Robinson, DE/DT, Alabama
I'm going to mix things up with the Lions here. I've had them picking a tackle for the longest time, but Riley Reiff and Michael Ola haven't been terrible lately. Instead, how about an upgrade in the defensive interior, where Detroit is getting absolutely no push? The Lions have to find a replacement for Ndamukong Suh.
Pick change; previously Ronnie Stanley, OT
Chicago Bears: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Jay Cutler looked like a new man earlier in the year, but he has regressed recently. Part of the blame has to be on the offensive line, which features two struggling tackles. Kyle Long is out of place and should be used at guard, while Charles Leno is just a swing tackle, at best. Surprised that Ronnie Stanley is still available, the Bears will happily scoop him up.
Pick change; previously A'Shawn Robinson, DE/DT
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
Gerald McCoy and Jacquies Smith were called the Buccaneers' "top two pass-rushers" when they both missed a game recently, which has to be discouraging to any Tampa backer. Smith is a marginal talent who definitely needs to be upgraded. Acquiring more pass-rushers makes sense in a division comprised of Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan.
New York Giants: Robert Nkemdiche, DE/DT, Ole Miss
I had Robert Nkemdiche falling to No. 19 in my previous update, and I wouldn't be shocked if he drops to the 20s. Even before his latest off-the-field issues, the teams we spoke to believed that he was overrated. Both Charlie and I had him in the teens before his recent incident.
However, the Giants could definitely look into snatching him up. They've taken chances on prospects who have fallen because of off-the-field issues before, and there's no question that Nkemdiche would fill a huge void next to Johnathan Hankins on the defensive interior.
Pick change; previously Shaq Lawson, DE
Indianapolis Colts: Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
There's no interior lineman worth taking this high. The Colts have other pressing needs, including cornerback. Vontae Davis is having one of his worst seasons in a while, yet he's still the best corner the Colts have. That tells you how the dire the situation is for Indianapolis at the position.
Pick change; previously Vadal Alexander, G
Oakland Raiders: Leonard Floyd, DE/OLB, Georgia
The Raiders were getting decent play out of Aldon Smith, but he's been suspended for an entire season. Trusting him for the long term is probably not a good idea, so they could have interest in Leonard Floyd, the top player on the board, as a replacement.
Philadelphia Eagles: DeForest Buckner, DE/DT, Oregon
The Eagles have an outstanding defensive line, but Vinny Curry and Cedric Thornton are impending free agents. It'll be difficult to keep the two of them, so if one (or both) leaves, Chip Kelly may decide to snatch another Oregon Duck to help him fill a need.
Go to 2016 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 17-32
Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I've received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwidth.
Go to 2016 NFL Mock Draft: Round 4 | Go to 2017 NFL Mock Draft
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