NFL Draft 2016: Top prospects & performers from Week 1

According to Mel Kiper’s 2016 NFL mock draft and Big Board, there are plenty of members from the defending national champion Ohio State Buckeyes that we should keep an eye on. Cardale Jones, who returned to Columbus rather than entering the 2015 draft, tops Kiper’s quarterback watch list.

And aside from the highly-scouted men on defense, Kiper attends to the field generals, pointing to Christian Hackenberg (6-foot-4, 228 pounds; 103 yards, INT vs. Temple), Connor Cook (6-foot-4, 220 pounds; 256 pass yards, 2 TD vs. Western Michigan) and Jared Goff (6-foot-4, 215 pounds; 309 pass yards, 3 TD, INT vs. Grambling State) as late first-rounders in 2016.

Moving onwards from Kiper’s who-to-watch list, SB Nation also filed its own mock draft with a fair portion of first-round picks residing in the SEC or along the Atlantic Ocean coastline, rounding out with Oregon’s defensive end DeForest Buckner going to Green Bay at a projected 32 spot.

Below is a list of juniors and seniors that have huge upside potential in next year’s draft or, if one wishes, to return for their senior years.

QB Cardale Jones, Ohio State

6-foot-5, 250 pounds

vs. Virginia Tech: 9-of-18, 186 pass yards, TD; 13 rushes, 99 yards, TD

Next opponent: Hawaii

RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State

6-foot-1, 225 pounds

vs. Virginia Tech: 11 rushes, 122 yards, TD

Ezekiel Elliott goes 80 yards to the house. https://t.co/7F1l7vJiuf

— Athlon Sports (@AthlonSports) September 8, 2015

Next opponent: Hawaii

WR Braxton Miller, Ohio State

6-foot-2, 215 pounds

vs. Virginia Tech: 6 rushes, 62 yards, TD; 2 receptions, 78 yards, TD

Next opponent: Hawaii

DT Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss

6-foot-4, 296 pounds

vs. Tennessee-Martin: 3 tackles, OFF TD

Next opponent: Fresno State

Atheist, if God doesn't exist then how do you explain Robert Nkemdiche? http://t.co/iahWbczFyu

— Kyle Cole (@ColeMissSports) September 7, 2015

WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss

2014 – suffered season-ending leg injury against Auburn

6-foot-2, 210 pounds

vs. Tennessee-Martin: 4 receptions, 44 yards

Next opponent: Fresno State

QB Treyvon Boykin, TCU

6-foot-2, 205 pounds

vs. Minnesota: 26-of-42, 246 yards, TD, INT

Trevone Boykin already creating that Heisman highlight reel. TCU 17, Minn. 3. https://t.co/u4FUBq8BJc

— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) September 4, 2015

Next opponent: Stephen F. Austin

RB Derrick Henry, Alabama

6-foot-3, 242 pounds

vs. Wisconsin: 13 rushes, 147 yards, 3 TD

Next opponent: Middle Tennessee

S Jalen Ramsey, Florida State

6-foot-1, 201 pounds

vs. Texas State: 4 tackles, pass defended

Next opponent: South Florida

QB Taysom Hill, BYU

Out for season – fractured foot against Nebraska

6-foot-2, 234 pounds

vs. Nebraska: 268 pass yards, pass TD; 2 rush TD

This is where the season-ending injury occurred for Taysom Hill. https://t.co/ZJ2gFyX85u

— Dave Noriega (@davenoriega) September 6, 2015

Next opponent: Boise State

RB James Conner, Pitt

Out for season – MCL injury against Youngstown State

6-foot-2, 240 pounds

vs. Youngstown State: 8 rushes, 77 yards, 2 TD

https://twitter.com/JoshNorris/status/640981955790655488

Next opponent: Akron

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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