Noah Spence Takes #1 Spot On 2016 TOJ Big Board

Connor Rogers with an updated 2016 NFL Draft Big Board, with pass rusher Noah Spence in the top spot

Our lead NFL draft analyst Connor Rogers has rounded out his top 32 for the 2016 NFL Draft. A surprise name headlines the list, let’s take a look…

  1. Noah Spence, EDGE, Eastern Kentucky
  2. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
  3. Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
  4. Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
  5. Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
  6. Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
  7. Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
  8. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
  9. Jared Goff, QB, Cal
  10. Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
  11. Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
  12. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
  13. Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
  14. Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
  15. Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
  16. Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida
  17. Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
  18. Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
  19. Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
  20. Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss
  21. DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon
  22. Vernon Butler, DT, La Tech
  23. Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
  24. Mike Thomas, WR, Ohio State
  25. Shaq Lawson, EDGE, Clemson
  26. Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
  27. Darian Thompson, S, Boise State
  28. A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
  29. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
  30. Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA
  31. Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State
  32. Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma

Number One Overall: Noah Spence

The first thing that probably jumps out at you is obviously the number one spot. I most likely stand alone right now in draft media having Noah Spence number one overall and you are probably wondering ‘why?’

There are layers to this answer, but to be clear I’ve been a fan of the Eastern Kentucky edge rusher back to his short but impressive campaign (2013) at Ohio State. He was a highly touted recruit with all the talent in the world, he just made mistakes that he has put behind him.

While I’ve had him as a top 10 talent all year, attending Senior Bowl week (and even talking to him a bit) solidified the top ranking. I fully believe his troubles are behind him and that his ceiling on the edge is limitless.

Throughout the combine process, I fully expect Spence to have a Khalil Mack-esque rise. While it is doubtful he’ll be the top selection, he might have a few teams at the top wondering how they passed him a few years down the line.

Loaded Front Seven Class

17 prospects that will play in an NFL front seven made the cut. This class is loaded, especially at defensive tackle.

I fully expect a run on athletic linebackers that can cover in this draft as well – it’s hard to imagine Myles Jack, Jaylon Smith, and Darron Lee making it out of the top 20.

Jared Goff vs. Carson Wentz

While they are only one spot away from each other in the rankings, I would be much more ‘comfortable’ drafting Jared Goff right now.

While Wentz is bigger and has much more arm talent, Goff has rounded out his game quite a bit more. His pocket presence and diagnosing of pressure (90.6 qb rating vs pressure in ’15) will be way ahead of Wentz when training camp begins, two vital traits in developing a quarterback.

On the flip side, a team that can essentially take the Packers/Aaron Rodgers style of development (unheard of these days) could hit a home run with Wentz. The raw skill set is undeniable, he just needs the time (at least a year) and coaching to make it happen.

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  • Nick Evans

    I will say I thought spence was good but I didn’t realize how good until the senior bowl. He’s a monster but unfortunately I think he played himself into the top 15 during his week in mobile. Right now ld take wentz. I feel wentz has the higher ceiling and you’re right we have that kind sit and learn oppurtunity right now with fitz which is unheard of these days. And for that reason I believe this is the year to make a move for a future franchise QB. Excited to see how Mac does during this draft process.

  • JetOrange

    What I find astonishing is the number of quality Defensive Lineman in this list. The question is how does this plethora of Defensive Lineman effect the Wilkerson conundrum ? A’shawn Robinson at 28 ?. Draft in a heart beat as Jet Fans boo drafting another Defensive Lineman, MacCagnen is a value guy.

  • Andrew Pape

    I love Spence as well but how is Bullard a better prospect than Shaq Lawson. What am I missing, Connor? I know they play different positions but I just don’t see why Bullard is such a popular prospect. His tape puts me to sleep. As for Shaq, when he pulls his spin move I get a little aroused. Your thoughts?

  • CPL593H

    Rob Rang actually has us taking Leonard Floyd–with Paxton Lynch still on the board. Almost as insane, he and Dane Brugler both have the Giants taking Ezekiel Elliot at 10.

  • Geronimo

    Let’s make a new list. From #16 to #23, 7 of 8 players are D Line.