The future of the National Football League will take center stage next week at the 2016 NFL Draft. The first round begins April 28 at 8 p.m., and every team will look to build for the future. (Except the New England Patriots — they were penalized a first-round pick this year because of Deflategate.)
Leading up to the start of the draft, everyone has an opinion on what team should draft which player. That includes Kid Reporter Dylan Goldman! Check out his mock draft now, then follow along with it when the draft gets rolling to see how well he did in predicting the first round.
1. Los Angeles Rams (7-9) — QB Jared Goff, California
The Rams have a solid roster, but they’re weak at QB. Goff is a high character player, who is probably the best pure passer in the draft. He also has a rocket for an arm, and great accuracy for a college air-raid signal caller.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (7-9) — QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
Current Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford has been plagued by injuries in the past. Philadelphia clearly wants a surer bet or they wouldn’t have traded up to No. 2. Wentz knows how to win — he collected four straight FCS championships at North Dakota State.
3. San Diego Chargers (4-12) — OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
While they need help on defense, San Diego’s first priority should be protecting their aging quarterback, Philip Rivers. Tunsil has great core strength, and he uses his strong arms to deny defensive linemen.
4. Dallas Cowboys (4-12) — DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
Bosa is an athletic freak — he can play linebacker or defensive end. Bosa had 51 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and five sacks last season. He would pair well with Dallas linebacker Sean Lee.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) — DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
Head coach Gus Bradley loves defense and he’d have a gem in Buckner. The defensive end had 83 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, and 10.5 sacks last season. Buckner would complete a terrorizing trio of Sen’Derrick Marks and Jared Odrick.
6. Baltimore Ravens (5-11) — FS Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
The Ravens have a chance to get arguably the best player in the draft, thanks to the Titans trading down. Baltimore is constantly looking to improve their D, and they could strike gold with this pick. Ramsey is a ball hawk, crazy athletic, and very versatile.
7. San Francisco 49ers (5-11) — WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
The Niners don't have a true No. 1 receiver, but they may find one in Coleman. He was a stats machine in college, and his fluid route running and smooth strides make him hard to stop.
8. Cleveland Browns (3-13) — OLB Myles Jack, UCLA
The Browns had many issues last year, but their most glaring was defense. Jack is a versatile, hard-hitting linebacker who was impossible to stop in college.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10) — OLB Shaq Lawson
The Buccaneers have had a solid defense for a while, but they lack that one explosive player. Lawson has great speed for his size, and it is very difficult to block him.
10. New York Giants (6-10) — CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
The Giants started revamping the league’s worst defense by adding cornerback Janoris Jenkins. But they need more help at the position. Hargreaves is only 6’ 0”, but he makes up for his height with his length and athleticism.
11. Chicago Bears (6-10) — DT A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama
Robinson is an athletic, versatile defensive lineman. Robinson has great footwork for someone his size, and he will help a weak Chicago defensive line.
12. New Orleans Saints (7-9) — ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
New Orleans allowed 129 rushing yards per game in 2016. Ragland can help turn that around. He is built like a tackle, but has all the skills and footwork of a good linebacker.
13. Miami Dolphins (6-10) — RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
The Dolphins need a new running back after Lamar Miller bolted for Houston. Elliott is a physical back, who can play in all situations and is hard to bring down.
14. Oakland Raiders (7-9) — OLB Leonard Floyd, Georgia
Oakland has had trouble defending the pass over the last three seasons. Floyd is not the quickest player, but his footwork and his ability to read passes make up for his lack of speed.
15. Tennessee Titans (2-14) — OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
The Titans need someone to protect franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota, and Stanley is their best option at 15. He is a raw talent, but could make a huge impact for Tennessee.
16. Detroit Lions (7-9) — OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State
The Lions allowed three sacks per game last season, the ninth-worst rate in the NFL. Decker could help improve that ranking. He has a large frame and he has a very strong core.
17. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) — DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson
Dodd is a raw talent that would make for a great pairing with defensive end Vic Beasley. His quick and strong hands allow him to bring down players easily.
18. Indianapolis Colts (8-8) — OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State
Conklin is well built and he has great core strength. He has a strong upper body to steer defenders as a run blocker.
19. Buffalo Bills (8-8) — DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
Despite his 300-pound frame, Rankins was able to play defensive end in 2015. He is nearly unblockable and he uses a variety of moves to swat jabs. He will fit very well in Rex Ryan’s defense.
20. New York Jets (9-7) — OLB Darron Lee, Ohio State
The Jets had one of the best defenses in the league last season, but they didn’t get consistent play from their linebackers. Lee could help. He has great speed and athleticism and is an explosive tackler.
21. Washington (9-7) — DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
Reed is a space eater who will help improve Washington’s run defense. He has great strength to fend off blockers, and he uses his quickness to get to quarterbacks.
22. Houston Texans (9-7) — CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
Houston is in need of a cornerback — Kevin Johnson, the team’s main corner, struggled last season. Apple has an eye for the ball and great footwork.
23. Minnesota Vikings (11-5) — Josh Doctson, TCU
With Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson both gone, the Vikings are desperate for a receiver. Doctson is a precise route runner and he has great speed.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) — Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
Cincinnati lost Marvin Jones to Detroit, and beyond A.J. Green the Bengals lack weapons. Treadwell is a great athlete who can make any catch.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) — CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
Alexander would be able to start immediately for the Steelers. He has an eye for the ball and is crazy athletic.
26. Seattle Seahawks (10-6) — DE Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky
Coming off an impressive Pro Day, Spence is gaining steam. He has great athleticism, and for a Seattle team that doesn’t need him to start right away he’s a perfect project player.
27. Green Bay Packers (10-6) — NT Andrew Billings, Baylor
With B.J. Raji retiring, the Packers will need a new nose tackle. Billings has a great build and core strength. He can shake off blockers with rare speed for the position.
28. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) — CB William Jackson III, Houston
Jackson is another riser thanks to the combine. He plays physically and boasts great length.
29. Arizona Cardinals (13-3) — WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame
Fuller had a great combine, too. He has the ability to catch any ball.
30. Carolina Panthers (15-1) — S Vonn Bell, Ohio State
Similar to Tyrann Mathieu of the Cardinals, Bell is very quick and he has great instincts.
31. Denver Broncos (12-4) — DE Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
The best defensive lineman left on the board, Ogbah replaces Malik Jackson for Denver.
Photos: Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images (draft), Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images (Goff), Don Juan Moore/Getty Images (Ramsey), Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images (Robinson), Jay LaPrete/AP (Decker), Christian Petersen/Getty Images (Reed), Michael Conroy/AP (Spence)