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The hot 100: Ranking the best of the 2016 NFL Draft

This isn't how I expect the draft to go, but if a gun was put to my head and I was told, "Rank the top 100 prospects -- NOW!" this is how they would fall.

Your list -- and those of scouts and coaches throughout the league -- will certainly differ.

The draft is like Christmas morning. Now it's time to unwrap the gifts and see what each team received. Enjoy!

1. OT Laremy Tunsil, Mississippi
Weight: 310

Despite recent examples to the contrary such as Kansas City's Eric Fisher, over the long haul, left tackles have the highest success rate with top-five selections. Tunsil has all the tools to be an effective blindside protector for the next decade.


  1. DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State**
    Weight: 269
    40:4.86 seconds
    Three-cone:6.89 seconds
    Short shuttle:4.21 seconds

Outstanding quickness and athleticism for a player his size. The only Combine D-lineman with a better short-shuttle time, Florida's Alex McCallister, weighs 30 pounds less. His sack total dropped last year as blocking schemes keyed on trying to stop him, but if he's in a 3-4 scheme with a dominant outside linebacker on the edge, he should have one-on-one matchups that he will be able to exploit.

3. LB Myles Jack, UCLA
Weight: 245

Medical concerns mean that his draft slot might not reflect his talent, but he has all the tools -- size, speed, versatility and instincts -- to be one of the league's best linebackers in the next few years.

4. CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
Weight: 209
40:4.41 seconds
Three-cone:6.94 seconds
Short shuttle:4.18 seconds

The measurables say cornerback; the instincts scream, "safety." He could be in line for a Ronnie Lott-type career trajectory, where he becomes elite on the outside but eventually defines his legacy as a safety


  1. RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State**
    Weight: 225
    40:4.47 seconds

Elliott has all the tools. Speed, quickness, ability to read holes as they develop, pass-catching and a willingness to stay home and protect the quarterback. If he gets with the right team, he is the early favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

6. DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
Weight: 291
40:5.05 seconds
Three-cone:7.51 seconds
Short shuttle:4.47 seconds

He needs to learn how to play a bit lower; when he does, he will be a complete player. He can get outside the blocker, and also should be effective at using his size (including 34 3/8-inch arms) to disrupt and deflect passes at the line of scrimmage.

7. DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
Weight: 299
40:5.03 seconds
Three-cone:7.44 seconds
Short shuttle:4.59 seconds

Dominant at the Senior Bowl, Rankins isest suited to be in a 4-3 alignment; he is not an ideal fit for the nose or a 3-4 three-technique end.

8. CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
Weight: 204
40:4.50 seconds
Short shuttle:3.98 seconds

I watch his film, and I think of Chris Harris Jr. He can go inside and outside with equal effectiveness; his technique is the best among this year's cornerbacks, and he clearly studies well; he seems to know what route is coming before the snap more often than not.

9. QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
Weight: 237
40:4.77 seconds
Hand size:10 inches

Wentz or Jared Goff? Wentz gets the nod because of his smooth transition to a pro-style offense during Senior Bowl week, his outstanding ability to place the ball on sideline routes and his hand size.

10. OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
Weight: 312
40:5.20 seconds
Three-cone:8.03 seconds
Short shuttle:4.90 seconds

One of the rare tackles who will enter the league with his pass protection development ahead of his work as a run blocker. His quick feet, power and intelligence ensure he will eventually flourish as an all-around tackle.

11. C Ryan Kelly, Alabama
Weight: 311
40:5.03 seconds
Three-cone:7.58 seconds
Short shuttle:4.59 seconds

Quick for his size and technically sound, Kelly will be a quick study, knows how to get low and into position and rarely makes mistakes. He's the kind of prospect who should be able to settle in and anchor an offensive line for at least a decade.

12. OLB Leonard Floyd, Georgia
Weight: 244
40:4.60 seconds
Three-cone:7.18 seconds (Pro Day)
Short shuttle:4.32 seconds (Pro Day)

A combination of 6-6 height and 33 1/8-inch arms makes Floyd the longest outside linebacker in the draft, and enhances the speed he possesses off the edge. He might need to add 5 to 10 pounds; if he can keep his speed with extra bulk, he should be a force. A 4-3 team could use him like the Broncos did with Von Miller from 2011-14, as a standup strong-side linebacker on base downs and a defensive end in sub packages.


  1. S Karl Joseph, West Virginia**
    Weight: 205

Teams could focus too tightly on his torn anterior cruciate ligament and overlook the body of work before it. There are no weaknesses in his game; he is as adept in coverage as he is in the box. He is a fearsome tackler who takes proper angles and is rarely out of position. If he slips to the second round, he will be a massive steal.

14. QB Jared Goff, California
Weight: 215
40:4.82 seconds
Hand size:9 inches

Small hands for an NFL quarterback might have been enough to convince the Browns to trade down and seek other quarterbacking options, since head coach Hue Jackson spoke about hand size being a key metric at the Scouting Combine. He will also have to learn how to operate under center. But his release is quick, he can throw to all areas of the field and he knows how to get a defender to bite and create open receivers downfield.

15. G Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
Weight: 301
40:5.08 seconds
Three-cone:7.32 seconds (Pro Day)
Short shuttle:4.58 seconds (Pro Day)

He made the transition to guard at the Senior Bowl with ease. His arms aren't as long as many other prospects, but he is a master technician who plays two steps ahead of his opposition. An immediate starter.

16. OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State
Weight: 308
40:5.00 seconds
Three-cone:7.63 seconds
Short shuttle:4.57 seconds

Conklin's best work came against the best defensive ends he faced the last two years -- especially against Bosa. Other tackles are more athletic, but Conklin might be the best at using film study to force an opposing pass rusher away from his strengths.


  1. QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis**
    Weight: 244
    40:4.86 seconds
    Hand size:10 1/4 inches

Although he will have a steep hill to climb as he adjusts to seeing some more work under center and relaying play calls in a more traditional manner, Lynch is the most accurate quarterback under pressure in this draft class and has an innate feel for the rush, knowing how and when to escape to buy his receivers time downfield. He has steadily improved his accuracy and has become an outstanding deep passer; that should continue at the next level.

18. DE/OLB Shaq Lawson, Clemson
Weight: 269
40:4.70 seconds
Three-cone:7.16 seconds
Short shuttle:4.21 seconds

As effective against the run as on the pass rush, Lawson had 25.5 tackles for losses and 12.5 sacks last year. He is one of the best in recent classes at reading run plays as they develop and pursuing backs when they try to get outside.

19. DE Robert Nkemdiche, Mississippi
Weight: 294
40:4.87 seconds
Three-cone:7.16 seconds
Short shuttle:4.21 seconds

If it were only a question of talent, Nkemdiche would be in the top five. Consistency of motor and off-field issues drop his stock. He needs to be in the right locker room with disciplined leaders and under the right coaches. Only a few teams can maximize Nkemdiche's talents; Denver is one of them.

20. OLB Darron Lee, Ohio State
Weight: 232
40:4.47 seconds
Three-cone:7.12 seconds
Short shuttle:4.20 seconds

An every-down linebacker who is fast enough to handle coverage and a strong enough tackler to make plays against the run, Lee's all-around strength will make him indispensable once he adjusts to the speed of the pro game.

21. DE/DT A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama
Weight: 307
40:5.20 seconds
Three-cone:7.80 seconds
Short shuttle:4.74 seconds

Perhaps the best interior run defender in the draft, Robinson can clog gaps and will be effective on two downs right away. The question is whether he can develop into an elite interior pass rusher. His lower body is strong, but 22 bench-press repetitions at the Combine was a bit of a disappointment.


  1. ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama**
    Weight: 247
    40:4.72 seconds
    Three-cone:7.80 seconds
    Short shuttle:4.28 seconds

An outstanding and instinctive run defender, Ragland shows quickness coming back for the football on short routes, and can also provide an explosive threat on A-gap blitzes.

23. CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
Weight: 190
40:4.47 seconds (Pro day)
Three-cone:7.18 seconds (Pro day)
Short shuttle:4.21 seconds (Pro day)

Alexander has quickness and coverage ability; he might be the best cornerback in this year's draft at breaking back to the ball and, if he can't prevent the catch, limiting the yardage after it. But with no interceptions in his two seasons on the field at Clemson, he needs to learn how to complete the play and create the occasional takeaway.

24. OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State
Weight: 310
40:5.23 seconds
Three-cone:7.70 seconds
Short shuttle:4.76 seconds

Decker does not project to left tackle, but at right tackle could be an immediate and long-term starter. He doesn't get low very well, but he's outstanding at exploding off the snap and gets his hands in the right spot.

25. WR Laquon Treadwell, Mississippi
Weight: 221
40:4.63 seconds
Three-cone:7.05 seconds
Short shuttle:4.63 seconds

Treadwell doesn't get much separation, and his timed speed -- or lack thereof -- will scare off some teams -- even though it is likely to improve as he further distances himself from a 2014 fractured fibula. But he's the best receiver in this draft at adjusting to the football in flight and making catches in traffic. He's the sort of receiver that Peyton Manning -- famed for his ability to throw into tight windows -- would have loved. Treadwell's success may depend on the the quarterback throwing him the football. With 33 3/8-inch arms, he can reach out and pluck footballs out of the air.

26. DE/DT Chris Jones, Mississippi State
Weight: 310
40:5.03 seconds
Three-cone:7.44 seconds
Short shuttle:4.62 seconds

Jones is athletic and has a quick burst off the snap. He can also play every down; last year he was credited with 34 quarterback pressures and 11.5 run stuffs. What he needs to do better is finish -- and stay out of trouble; he was charged with driving with a suspended license in March.

27. CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
Weight: 199
40:4.40 seconds

Apple became more of a lock-down coverage cornerback in the 2015 season after specializing in timely interceptions and big plays in 2014 -- including a national-championship game interception of Marcus Mariota. He's outstanding in coverage and if he can improve as a tackler and in avoiding penalties, should provide good value late in the first round.


  1. DE/DT Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech**
    Weight: 323
    40:5.33 seconds
    Three-cone:7.82 seconds
    Short shuttle:4.76 seconds

He plays with quick feet and explodes off the snap, which could allow him to work as more than just a tackle; he can create some matchup problems by working as a three-technique end.

29. WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
Weight: 194
40:4.37 seconds (Pro day)

There is no question about his speed, but at his size, there are questions over whether he is more ideally suited to playing inside -- where he would need quickness and sharp cuts more than straight-line speed -- or outside, where targets are usually bigger than Coleman. Drops are also a concern. In one-on-one battles, he plays bigger than his size.

30. TE Hunter Henry, Arkansas
Weight: 250
40:4.66 seconds (Pro day)
Three-cone:7.16 seconds (Pro day)
Short shuttle:4.41 seconds (Pro day)

The best of a shaky tight end crop, last year's John Mackey Award winner amassed 739 yards on 51 catches last year and finished his three years at Arkansas with 116 receptions for 1,661 yards and nine touchdowns. Henry is a capable blocker who can win most of his duels with linebackers.

31. OT Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M
Weight: 324
40:5.27 seconds
Short shuttle:4.75 seconds Athleticism and power aren't in question for Ifedi, but he remains raw, and there are questions about whether his terrific measurables can translate to the left side.

32. WR Josh Doctson, TCU
Weight: 202
40:4.50 seconds
Three-cone:6.84 seconds
Short shuttle:4.08 seconds

Quick and prolific, Doctson had 1,337 yards last year despite playing just 11 games because of a wrist injury. He has excellent ability to adjust to the football in flight -- and can make catches in traffic by winning jump balls. His routes need to be crisper, but he is coachable and should improve there.

33. DE/OLB Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky
Weight: 251
40:4.80 seconds
Three-cone:7.21 seconds
Short shuttle:4.35 seconds

Two failed drug tests and an Ecstasy addiction sent him out of Ohio State and on to Eastern Kentucky to finish his college career. He dominated FCS last year, but most importantly, appeared to clean up his life. He needs to strengthen at the point of attack against the run, but he already has multiple pass-rush moves at his disposal.

34. DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
Weight: 311
40:5.05 seconds (4.96 at his Pro day)
Three-cone:8.02 seconds
Short shuttle:4.82 seconds

The massive former weightlifter has potential as a bull-rushing nose tackle, and his upper body allows him to win most of his hand-to-hand battles. He will need to develop additional moves to succeed in the long term.


  1. DE/DT Jarran Reed, Alabama**
    Weight: 307
    40:5.21 seconds
    Three-cone:7.77 seconds
    Short shuttle:4.75 seconds

As with Crimson Tide teammate A'Shawn Robinson, Reed will be better against the run than in the pass rush. He'll be helpful in the base package right away; long-term success will depend on how explosive he can become in pass-rushing situations.

36. CB William Jackson III, Houston
Weight: 189
40:4.37 seconds

A blistering 40-yard dash that was better than all but three defensive backs among the cornerbacks that ran at the NFL Scouting Combine helped his stock. There are questions about his ability to cover bigger receivers, but his speed will prevent them from getting much separation.

37. LB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame
Weight: 223

Teams in the second and third round will ask themselves a simple question: Is it worth using a pick on an immensely talented player who may not be as explosive as he was before his knee injury -- and who will likely only have three years on the field under contract before he becomes a free agent?

38. DT/NT Kenny Clark, UCLA
Weight: 314
40:5.06 seconds
Three-cone:7.73 seconds (Pro day)
Short shuttle:4.62 seconds

Of the 63 defensive linemen at the Combine, only five had shorter arms than Clark (32 1/8 inches). But he makes up for it with excellent quickness for his size, multiple pass-rush moves and the ability to play every down given his adeptness at bursting through blockers against the run and multiple pass-rush moves, complemented by a strong bull rush.

39. DT/DE Jonathan Bullard, Florida
Weight: 285
40:4.93 seconds
Three-cone:7.31 seconds
Short shuttle:4.56 seconds

Bullard's quickness, length (33 5/8-inch arms) and size make him an ideal fit of a three-technique role. His quickness allows him to win matchups against guards, and he knows how to make the most of a pass rush in which he doesn't get to the quarterback, quickly getting his hands up to try and deflect a pass.

40. OLB/DE Kamalei Correa, Boise State
Weight: 243
40:4.69 seconds
Three-cone:6.96 seconds (Pro day)
Short shuttle:4.18 seconds (Pro day)

The workout at the Combine was better than his film -- especially from last year, when his sack tally dropped from 12 to seven and his tackles-for-loss count fell from 19 to 12. But he has the speed to explode off the edge; if he can develop more inside moves, he will be difficult to block.

41. S Vonn Bell, Ohio State
Weight: 199
40:4.51 seconds (Pro day)
Short shuttle:4.18 seconds (Pro day)

At 199 pounds, he's not the stoutest safety against the run, but he's outstanding in coverage and takes excellent angles, allowing him to break up 23 passes in the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

42. CB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
Weight: 187

A knee injury will likely keep him out of the first round, but his play in man coverage for the Hokies means he could offer first-round value for a second- or third-round price. Fuller intercepted eight passes in the 2013 and 2014 seasons combined, and often was left in an island in coverage.

43. DE/DT Jihad Ward, Illinois
Weight: 297
40:5.11 seconds
Three-cone:7.38 seconds
Short shuttle:4.63 seconds

A good week of work at the Senior Bowl helped Ward open some eyes. Lean and athletic for his size, Ward's production was off last year, but with long arms on a 6-foot-5 frame, he is effective against the run and in disrupting pass plays.


  1. S Keanu Neal, Florida**
    Weight: 211
    40:4.62 seconds
    Three-cone:7.09 seconds
    Short shuttle:4.38 seconds

A classic thumper in the secondary, Neal is capable of lining up in the box in sub packages, similar to how T.J. Ward was used. Neal is also an asset in intermediate coverage, and can intimidate receivers across the middle.

45. DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson
Weight: 277 40-yard dash: 4.86 seconds
Three-cone:7.18 seconds (Pro day)
Short shuttle:4.44 seconds (Pro day)

Dominated in the national championship game, notching three sacks and five tackles for losses. He played well off of the attention given to Shaq Lawson and generated consistent havoc on opposing quarterbacks, with 46 pressures last season.

46. OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana
Weight: 301
40:4.94 seconds
Three-cone:7.70 seconds
Short shuttle:4.4 seconds

A good fit for teams that emphasize zone-blocking principles, Spriggs doesn't have the power of the offensive tackles listed above him, but is excellent in space and is the most athletic offensive lineman in this year's draft.


  1. RB Derrick Henry, Alabama**
    Weight: 247 40-yard dash: 4.54 seconds
    Three-cone:7.20 seconds
    Short shuttle:4.38 seconds

When the Heisman Trophy winner gets going, he's difficult to stop. But what places him well below Elliott is an upright style and relatively slow cuts compared to others, including Alabama teammate Kenyan Drake.

48. DT Austin Johnson, Penn State
Weight: 314 40-yard dash: 5.32 seconds
Three-cone:7.84 seconds
Short shuttle:4.75 seconds

Another interior force who is effective against the run and in the pass rush, Johnson had six sacks and 15 tackles for losses last year. His arms aren't as long as you might hope they'd be for a 6-foot-4 defensive lineman, but he plays with good instincts.

49. RB Devontae Booker, Utah
Weight: 219

An outstanding size/speed blend, Booker can make plays in space and could be lethal on wheel routes. His quick cuts make him a good fit for a zone-blocking-based scheme.

50. QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Weight: 226
40:4.79 seconds
Hand size:10 7/8 inches

A polarizing prospect even before his March DUI arrest, Prescott has a quick delivery that compensates for his slightly-below-average (for a quarterback) stature and off-the-charts on-field intangibles. He is a potent running threat, although he must learn to move away from contact and must trust his arm. He has the necessary accuracy; his completion percentage improved from 58.4 in 2013 to 61.6 in 2014 and 66.2 last year. His touchdown-to-interception ratio saw similar improvement; last year he threw just five interceptions against 29 touchdowns. Prescott must learn to operate under center, but in terms of on-field skills, he has everything you can't coach.

  1. WR Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma
    1. QB Connor Cook, Michigan State
    2. DE/OLB Yannick Ngakoue, Maryland
    3. DE/OLB Tyrone Holmes, Montana
    4. CB Artie Burns, Miami (Fla.)
    5. DE Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
    6. DE/DT Adolphus Washington, Ohio State
    7. S/LB Su'a Cravens, USC
    8. G Joshua Garnett, Stanford
    9. RB Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech
    10. DE Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State
    11. S Jeremy Cash, Duke
    12. TE Jerell Adams, South Carolina
    13. DT Sheldon Day, Notre Dame
    14. RB Paul Perkins, UCLA
    15. WR Michael Thomas, Ohio State
    16. C Nick Martin, Notre Dame
    17. OT/G Joe Thuney, N.C. State
    18. OLB/DE Kyler Fackrell, Utah State
    19. DE Carl Nassib, Penn State
    20. WR Braxton Miller, Ohio State
    21. OLB Jordan Jenkins, Georgia
    22. C Connor McGovern, Missouri
    23. DT Javon Hargrave, South Carolina State
    24. WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame
    25. RB Alex Collins, Arkansas
    26. G Christian Westerman, Arizona State
    27. WR Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh
    28. ILB Joe Schobert, Wisconsin
    29. DT/DE Bronson Kafusi, BYU
    30. WR Keyarris Garrett, Tulsa
    31. WR Leonte Carroo, Rutgers
    32. OT Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech
    33. RB C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame
    34. ILB Scooby Wright, Arizona
    35. OT/G Joe Haeg, North Dakota State
    36. DE Ronald Blair, Appalachian State
    37. CB Xavien Howard, Baylor
    38. CB/S Jalen Mills, LSU
    39. TE Austin Hooper, Stanford
    40. DT Maliek Collins, Nebraska
    41. TE Nick Vannett, Ohio State
    42. LB Deion Jones, LSU
    43. RB Jordan Howard, Indiana
    44. QB Kevin Hogan, Stanford
    45. G Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas
    46. ILB Kentrell Brothers, Missouri
    47. CB Rashard Robinson, LSU
    48. QB Cardale Jones, Ohio State
    49. ILB Tyler Matakevich, Temple

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