USA TODAY Sports Weekly


Browns could be look­ing to choose QB again

- Nate Davis @ByNateDavi­s USA TO­DAY Sports

With 30 of the NFL’s 32 teams al­ready home for the win­ter, what bet­ter time than the present to start look­ing ahead to the 2016 draft?

Our first mock draft looks at how the top 10 could un­fold:

1. Ten­nessee Ti­tans — Laremy Tun­sil, OT, Mis­sis­sippi: At this early stage, Ohio State DE Joey Bosa is widely re­garded as the draft’s premier player. How­ever, his abil­ity to pen­e­trate would be wasted as a down line­man in co­or­di­na­tor Dick Le­Beau’s scheme, and it’s not clear if Bosa can han­dle a con­ver­sion to out­side linebacker. And all that aside, the Ti­tans’ top pri­or­ity re­ally should be tak­ing bet­ter care of QB Mar­cus Mar­i­ota, who, de­spite his mo­bil­ity, was sacked 38 times in 12 starts as a rookie. So en­ter Tun­sil, the type of body­guard you want on a team that faces J.J. Watt twice a year.

2. Cleve­land Browns — Jared Goff, QB, Cal­i­for­nia: It’s pretty clear Johnny Manziel is on his way out of Cleve­land, and that means the Browns will al­most surely pick a passer in the first round for the third time since 2012 (and fifth since the fran­chise’s re­boot in 1999). Goff isn’t the se­cond com­ing of fel­low Cal prod­uct Aaron Rodgers, but he has good size and ac­cu­racy and enough mo­bil­ity, and he had a touch­down-to-in­ter­cep­tion ra­tio that was bet­ter than 3-to-1 as a three-year starter in col­lege. And with will­ing tu­tor Josh McCown signed for two more years, coach Hue Jack­son wouldn’t have to rush Goff into the start­ing lineup.

3. San Diego Charg­ers — Jalen Ram­sey, CB, Florida State: It has be­come ap­par­ent what kind of im­pact a player such as Tyrann Mathieu can have in the pass-cen­tric NFL. Ram­sey will draw those kind of com­par­isons given his abil­ity to cover re­ceivers out­side and in the slot or even play safety. The Charg­ers, who are mov­ing on from FS Eric Wed­dle and face a slew of tal­ented pass catchers in the AFC West, cer­tainly look like an ideal home for Ram­sey.

He’d fit per­fectly in Rod Marinelli’s de­fense, which needs its front four to cre­ate pres­sure, would form a for­mi­da­ble young tan­dem op­po­site DeMar­cus Lawrence and would save the Cow­boys from re-sign­ing Greg Hardy.

5. Jack­sonville Jaguars — Myles Jack, LB, UCLA: An elite ath­lete who could find a role in any scheme, Jack played linebacker (in­side and out­side), slot cor­ner and safety, and he even moon­lighted as a run­ning back and re­turn man for the Bru­ins. He is ex­actly the kind of play­maker the Jags need af­ter al­low­ing the most points in the AFC in 2015. Jack’s var­ied skills could make him a com­bi­na­tion of Bobby Wag­ner, K.J. Wright and Bruce Irvin, the out­stand­ing lineback­ers Jack­sonville coach Gus Bradley en­joyed as de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor for the Seat­tle Sea­hawks, and al­low him to be a fac­tor as a pass rusher, run stop­per or pass de­fender. And with 2015 first-rounder Dante Fowler also set to de­but in 2016 — like Jack, he’s com­ing off a torn an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment — the Jaguars de­fense might ap­proach what Bradley has long en­vi­sioned.

6. Bal­ti­more Ravens — Laquon Tread­well, WR, Mis­sis­sippi: The Ravens could go in any num­ber of di­rec­tions, in­clud­ing tackle, cor­ner­back or edge rusher. But let’s give them Tread­well, who could be a long-term com­ple­ment to 2015 first-rounder Bre­shad Per­ri­man, a more ex­plo­sive re­ceiver than Tread­well but prob­a­bly not as pol­ished.

7. San Fran­cisco 49ers — De­For­est Buck­ner, DE, Ore­gon: No, Chip Kelly won’t be pick­ing the play­ers any­more, but this is a sce­nario in which a for­mer Duck would make sense. Buck­ner might be even bet­ter than the Nin­ers’ 2015 first-rounder, DE Arik Arm­stead, his for­mer team­mate in Eu­gene. Buck­ner’s abil­ity to solidly de­fend the run and pass would make him a wel­come ad­di­tion in a divi­sion with so many var­ied of­fenses.

8. Mi­ami Dol­phins — Ezekiel El­liott, RB, Ohio State: If a pass rusher wor­thy of the pick is there, it makes sense given Cameron Wake’s age and Achilles re­hab and Olivier Ver­non’s po­ten­tial de­par­ture in free agency. But the Dol­phins brought in a sharp of­fen­sive mind with the hir­ing of coach Adam Gase, who in­her­its an in­con­sis­tent rush­ing at­tack. El­liott looks like the whole pack­age, which Gase should ap­pre­ci­ate af­ter spend­ing last sea­son with Matt Forte on the Chicago Bears. And with Mi­ami’s lead­ing run­ner, La­mar Miller, headed to free agency, El­liott also would fill a need.

9. Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers — Ron­nie Stan­ley, OT, Notre Dame: The Bucs strug­gled with in­juries and in­ex­pe­ri­ence on the of­fen­sive line in 2015. Maybe Demar Dot­son re­turns to form in 2016, and maybe Dono­van Smith im­proves af­ter a rocky rookie year. But a strong case can be made that Stan­ley is a bet­ter op­tion than ei­ther of them. And does it re­ally make sense to take any risks with Jameis Win­ston’s well-be­ing?

10. New York Gi­ants — Ver­non Har­g­reaves III, CB, Florida: GM Jerry Reese knows he must fix a de­fense that al­lowed the most yards over­all and most through the air in 2015 if he wants to keep his job. Har­g­reaves is a sen­si­ble op­tion in a divi­sion in which the ball’s in the air so much.

Next week: Mock draft for the full first round.

 ?? DER­ICK E. HINGLE, USA TO­DAY SPORTS ?? The Ti­tans could take Mis­sis­sippi of­fen­sive line­man Laremy Tun­sil, right, No. 1 to pro­tect se­cond-year QB Mar­cus Mar­i­ota.
4. Dal­las Cow­boys — Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State:
DER­ICK E. HINGLE, USA TO­DAY SPORTS The Ti­tans could take Mis­sis­sippi of­fen­sive line­man Laremy Tun­sil, right, No. 1 to pro­tect se­cond-year QB Mar­cus Mar­i­ota. 4. Dal­las Cow­boys — Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State:

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