2016 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Round 1

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports /

20.) New York Jets – OLB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame

A late season ACL tear may drop Smith from a top-5 pick to a mid-round selection. If Smith recovers soundly from his injury, he could provide top-5 value late in the draft and be a Pro Bowler early in his career. The Jets replacing Demarrio Davis with Smith could be a huge upgrade to an already solid Jets D.

21.) Washington Redskins – DE Sheldin Rankins, Louisville

Was one of the most dominant d-linemen at the Senior Bowl and could be a force off the edge for the Skins who can stuff outside runs and has the quickness to beat tackles in 1-1 pass rush battles as well. Rankins could be a force against both the run and pass and considerably improve the Skins defense as a while. Rankins is a steal this late in the draft.

22.) Houston Texans – RB Ezekiel Elliot, Ohio St

Losing RB Arian Foster to injuries most seasons and not having a legitimate replacement back, could lead the Texans to drafting Elliot. He’s shown great vision, break-away speed, and the power to run through arm tackles. Most years Elliot would be a top ten pick but this is such a deep draft that the Texans could get a steal here late in the 1st round.

Elliot is the most explosive RB in the draft, a great value this late, and is a massive upgrade over the Blue / Grimes combo the Texans had to use late in the season. Elliot is a high-upside back with the speed and power to be a rookie All-Pro.

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports /

23.) Minnesota Vikings -WR Josh Doctson, TCU

Assuming the Vikes cut bait with WR Mike Wallace and a his $11M+ cap number, he could be replaced with 6’2 | 200 pound WR Josh Doctosn from TCU. Doctson has elite ability to high point the ball, runs sharp routes and catches everything in his vicinity. So he’s basically the opposite of the one-dimensional Wallace, and would give young QB Teddy Bridewater a reliable red zone weapon.

24.) Cincinnati Bengals – DT Jarran Reed, Alabama

The d-line used to be a strength for the Bengals, but outside of Geno Atkins they didn’t have an effective d-line last season. Reed is coming off a dominant season and Senior Bowl where he excelled against the run and was able to generate an interior pass rush against the best linemen in Mobile. Reed’s ability to handle double teams and clog running lanes would be a perfect compliment to Atkins disruptive pass rush.

25.) Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Eli Apple, Ohio St

Big corner (6’1 | 200) who is understandably raw after only two seasons on the field for the Buckeyes, but has all the tools necessary to develop into a shut-down corner. The addition of Apple and return of last year’s 2nd round pick Senquez Golson should give Pittsburgh two contributors outside and in the slot for a secondary that needs help everywhere.