clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Broncos 2016 Draft: An initial Big Board

Week 6 of the 2015 NCAA football season is on slate this week with some big match-ups, but the focus of MHR writer Christopher Hart's Broncos Draft Dish in this article is his Top 32 Prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A quarter of the 2015 NCAA College Football season is in the books and I thought it was the right time to display my initial 2016 NFL Draft Big Board that includes my Top 32 prospects to look out for next April.

As you can see, the initial rankings are heavy on the defensive side of the ball, which I believe to be the strength of this years draft class.  A plethora of defensive and offensive lineman are found throughout the chart, which should be beneficial for the Broncos who will be looking to draft at those positions early given the quality of play of current players on the roster (offensive line) or due to the numerous free agents (defensive line) that will be hitting the market this coming offseason.

The team sports two of the best inside linebackers in the NFL with Brandon Marshall (RFA) and Danny Trevathan (UFA), but both are free agents at the end of the year. The Broncos may not have the cap space to sign both to long-term deals, though it is a virtual certainty Marshall will be retained cheaply on a restricted tender. That being said, it would not surprise me if the Broncos used an early selection on linebacker to give the team flexibility and longevity at the position.

It would not surprise me if the Broncos used an early selection on linebacker

My number one prospect is versatile defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche of Ole Miss, who was the highlight of my initial Draft Dish segment and continues to perform at an extraordinarily high level, despite being doubled teamed on a majority of his defensive snaps. He is followed by Joey Bosa of Ohio State, who has all-world potential at his position, but may slip down draft boards if he is unable to replicate the success he had in 2014 where he had 13.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss.

Another pair trio of "J's" in Jalyon Smith, Jalen Ramsey and Jared Goff round out the top five, who are each blue chip prospects at their positions and have Pro-Bowl and All-Pro qualities that will make them high end starters in the NFL for years to come. My surprise ranking for the initial board is Kenny Clark, nose tackle for UCLA who has absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage for the Bruins thus far and looks to offer promising potential for 3-4 teams in need of help on the interior of their defensive lines.

Without further adieu, here is my initial 2016 NFL Draft Big Board. . .

Hart's Top 32 Prospects

Rank Player School Position
1 Robert Nkemdiche
Ole Miss
2 Joey Bosa
Ohio State
3 Jaylon Smith Notre Dame OLB
4 Jalen Ramsey Florida State DB
5 Jared Goff California QB
6 Kenny Clark UCLA NT
7 Ronnie Stanley Notre Dame OT
8 Vernon Hargreaves III Florida CB
9 A'Shawn Robinson Alabama DL
10 Connor Cook Michigan State QB
11 Laremy Tunsil Ole Miss OT
12 Ezekiel Elliot Ohio State RB
13 Jordan Jenkins Georgia OLB
14 Laquon Treadwell Ole Mills WR
15 DeForest Buckner Oregon DL
16 Kendall Fuller Virginia Tech CB
17 Taylor Decker Ohio State OT
18 Su'a Cravens USC OLB/S
19 Michael Thomas Ohio State WR
20 Vadal Alexander LSU OG
21 Tyler Boyd Pittsburgh WR
22 Emmanuel Ogbah Oklahoma State DE
23 Germain Ifedi Texas A&M OT
24 Leonard Floyd Georgia OLB
25 Tre'Davious White LSU CB
26 Max Tuerk USC C
27 Shilique Calhoun Michigan State DE
28 Scooby Wright III Arizona LB
29 Shawn Oakman Baylor DE
30 Jack Conklin Michigan State OT
31 Reggie Ragland Alabama LB
32 Myles Jack UCLA LB

The big board will expand to over 150 names and will be accompanied by position by position boards as the year goes on. For future articles, I will also be doing features on under the radar and small school prospects as well — so be on the look out for those as well!

Feel free to sound off in the comments to discuss some of your top players in the 2016 NFL Draft class.  Have an issue with my rankings?  Is someone too high or too low?  Did I forget someone completely that I should be paying attention to?  Who do you think the Broncos should pick early next April?

Let's talk some Draft!  If you ever have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @topherhart as well.  Thanks for reading.