As before, I want to stress that this is not a mock draft, nor does it take into account any team needs. This is the first edition of my top 50 NFL Big Board for the 2016 NFL Draft class based upon pure talent and position value. So lets check out what I believe are currently the top 15 prospects. Be sure to check back in in the next few days, as I take a look at my top 16-30 prospects.
Here we go.....
16. Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State, 6-4, 273 Lbs
Emmanuel Ogbah is the opposite of Dion Jordan; he's not particularly explosive, but he's a solid athlete that never stops. His motor is terrific. More of a power defensive end who plays physical football, his work ethic and love for the game will win him plaudits. However, keep in mind, Oklahoma State players don't have a decent track record as first round picks.
17. Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State, 6-6, 308 Lbs
Jack Conklin is your typical blue collar offensive lineman who won't jump off the stat sheet with his athleticism, but is a football player who just gets the game of football. Conklin has the smarts to react quickly and is very powerful. This definitely makes up for his lack of elite athleticism and could see him rise higher than advertised.
18. Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State, 6-1, 232 Lbs
Darron Lee reminds me very much of a young Ryan Shazier, with experience at blitzing, defending the run and dropping back into cover. He is also very durable and has value on special teams. He could stand to add bulk in the gym room, but he is a great competitor who will work to become a master at his craft. Dark horse for the Miami Dolphins at 13?
19. Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss, 6-3, 294 Lbs
Defensive tackle is absolutely stocked with talent, and Robert Nkemdiche may end up being the best of the bunch. While he doesn't have elite athleticism, Nkemdiche is a player who has great change of direction and light feet to evade those offensive lineman. He also offers the power to push through the pocket and is solid against the run. He'll have a long career in the NFL.
20. Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor, 6-1, 311 Lbs
Billings is strong and has the work ethic to be a great player, but really needs to refine his technique and discipline on the field. Also possessing a good motor, he's not a player that will ‘wow' with his athleticism, and that's why he'll land with some team as a nose tackle.
21. Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State, 6-1, 199 Lbs
Eli Apple has the size and athleticism that Mike Tannenbaum typically covets in his cornerbacks, but is still very much learning his craft and will draw flags at times early in his career. However, his good tackling and run defending skills and his aggressive mentality could see him develop into a very good man coverage cornerback in the NFL.
22. Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville, 6-1, 299 Lbs
Rankins is moving up boards due to his excellent play during the Senior Bowl at both practice and during the game. He has the hands to collapse the pocket and the athleticism to move down the field to make plays. Needs to improve his pass rush moves and does play too upright at times.
23. Eric Decker, OT, Ohio State, 6-7, 310 Lbs
Eric Deckers posses the nasty streak that teams will love at the next level. A very competitive player and also a leader in the locker room, he has great strength and strong hands to hold up well against pass rushers in the NFL. Could stand to improve his technique, but Deckers is a durable starter who can step in and be the starter straight away at either tackle positions.
24. Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis, 6-7, 244 Lbs
Several teams need quarterback help, meaning Paxton Lynch could end up being selected higher than this. Lynch sports a tall, lanky frame with the body to add more weight. For a man of his size, he is also surprisingly athletic to escape trouble in the pocket. Passed for 3,778 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2015, and makes good decisions. However, will he be able to maintain his performance in the NFL?
25. Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky, 6-2, 251 Lbs
There's no doubt that Noah Spence is an electric playmaker. He has terrific burst off the line, while is also adept at sealing off the edge against the run. The problem? He has a drug history with Ecstacy that led him from being banned from the Big Ten, and transferring to Eastern Kentucky. Without that drug history, he would be a top 10 pick in my mind.
26. Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama, 6-1, 232 Lbs
Reggie Ragland is built in the old-school mould of a typical run-stuff inside linebacker who has the size, tackling ability, instincts and nasty streak to play for a long time at the next level. However, there are question marks about his ability in coverage which could limit his value as a two-down linebacker in the NFL.
27. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor, 5-11, 194 Lbs
Corey Coleman doesn't possess ideal size for the wide receiver position, but does have value as a vertical threat who will make yards of the catch and possesses the elite footwork to weave his magic. He wasn't asked to run a full route tree, but Coleman is an explosive playmaker who can be a star with the right team.
28. Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida, 6-3, 285 Lbs
This guy has power, power and, well, more power. He is a typical blue collar football player, with his strength lying against the run. He does play too upright at times, and looks a little stiff, but his ability to play through the pain and his positional versatility could land him in the first round.
29. Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia, 6-6, 244 Lbs
Leonard Floyd is a typical 3-4 outside linebacker with speed to burn. While he has a tall and thin frame, he has a great motor and uses his hands very well to get past blockers. Injuries have been a problem (struggled with a shoulder injury in 2014), but he could be one of the next elite edge rushers in the NFL.
30. Kenny Clark, DT UCLA, 6-3, 314 Lbs
Kenny Clark is a really good run defender who plays with a nice and low to anchor against those offensive linemen. However, he doesn't have great size for the position and does not have the change of direction skills as a pass rusher. Nose tackle prospect.
Alex Parish is an Associate Editor at The Phinsider. Be sure to follow me on Twitter@AlexParish89.