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Insider

Programs returning the most 2016 NFL draft-eligible talent

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With the 2015 NFL draft (finally) here, it’s only a matter of time until 2016 mocks start popping up -- if they haven’t already.

With the '16 talent pool in mind, here are the college football programs returning the most draft-eligible talent for the next cycle. It’s no surprise that the reigning national champs lead the way.


1. Ohio State Buckeyes: The Buckeyes lost zero underclassmen to the 2015 draft pool, so it’s no wonder they’re hefty favorites to again reach and win the College Football Playoff. (Actually repeating is another thing, of course.)

NFL teams are already lining up for end Joey Bosa, hopeful he has some J.J. Watt in him. Bosa, who has 21 career sacks, would have done well in the ’15 draft if he were eligible; he would have been a top-10 pick, given the dearth of elite pass-rushers who haven’t failed drug tests since February.

Quarterback Cardale Jones will be a fascinating prospect to monitor. The size and arm strength have scouts salivating, but can he even hang onto the starting job?

“If he has a good year,” a coach in another league said, “he’ll be the No. 1 pick.”

Bonus: Whoever is playing quarterback will hand off to a Heisman favorite. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 696 of his 1,878 yards in his team’s three biggest games, the Big Ten title game and the two playoff games.

And then there’s that Braxton Miller fella, should he stick around Columbus.