2016 NFL Draft: Review and Rankings

The 2016 Draft is in the books. It is very hard, and pointless, to judge drafts as soon as they happen. The truth is nobody knows which of these players will be busts or stars. It is easy to say "So and so reached for a player at pick 12 who was 23 on my board. They should have traded down!" It takes two to make a trade, and with only ten minutes to make a pick, you cannot get a hold of all 31 teams.

I did not assign draft grades, I simply ranked the drafts and offered my opinions.

Enough rambling. This marks the end of my 2016 draft coverage. Next up, 2017.



1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Round 1, Pick 5 - CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
Round 2, Pick 36 - OLB Myles Jack, UCLA
Round 3, Pick 69 - DE Yannick Ngakoue, Maryland
Round 4, Pick 103 - DT Sheldon Day, Notre Dame
Round 6, Pick 181 - OLB Tyrone Holmes, Montana
Round 6, Pick 201 - QB Brandon Allen, Arkansas
Round 7, Pick 226 - DE Jonathan Woodard, Central Arkansas

What a draft for the Jaguars. Jalen Ramsey's production at Florida State never quite matched his out of this world athleticism, but cornerbacks drafted in the top five usually turn into superstars. Ramsey has Patrick Peterson-like ability. Myles Jack would have been the pick for Jacksonville at 5 if he hadn't been hurt, so to get him in the second round is tremendous value. Even if his career is cut short by a degenerative condition, he will give the Jaguars all out ahtleticism and production throughout his rookie contract. He is the LEO linebacker Gus Bradley has been looking for. Yannick Ngakoue and Tyrone Holmes are raw pass rushers in the Bruce Irvin mold. Holmes had 18 sacks, tops in all of FCS. Sheldon Day is undersized, but offers even more pass rushing ability from the interior. After investing so heavily to build a competent offense, Jacksonville went all in on defense, and the results look promising.


2. Baltimore Ravens

Round 1, Pick 6 - OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
Round 2, Pick 42 - DE/OLB Kamalei Correa, Boise State
Round 3, Pick 70 - DE Bronson Kaufusi, BYU
Round 4, Pick 104 - CB Tavon Young, Temple
Round 4, Pick 107 - WR Chris Moore, Cincinnati
Round 4, Pick 130 - OT Alex Lewis, Nebraska
Round 4, Pick 132 - DT Willie Henry, Michigan
Round 4, Pick 134 - RB Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech
Round 5, Pick 146 - DE Matt Judon, Grand Valley State
Round 6, Pick 182 - RB Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Round 6, Pick 209 - CB Maurice Canady, Virginia

As usual, the Ravens had a plethora of draft picks thanks to compensatory selections. And as usual, Ozzie Newsome made the best of them, addressing a number of needs. Time will tell if Ronnie Stanley will be better than Laremy Tunsil, but Baltimore values character, which made Stanley the clear choice. He is pro ready and could push Eugene Monroe off the roster all together. Kamali Correa and Broncon Kaufusi are both ideal 3-4 defenders; Correa can really get after the quarterback and Kaufusi has the size to hold up at end. Willie Henry and Matt Judon could both make it as rotational pieces on a shallow defensive line. Judon led all of college football with 20 sacks this past year. Keenan Reynolds, the record setting Navy quarterback, could steal a few snaps per game. Maurice Canady passes the eyeball test, and if coached up, has starting ability. Once again, a deep, solid if unspectacular draft in Baltimore.


3. Minnesota Vikings

Round 1, Pick 23 - WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole' Miss
Round 2 Pick 54 - CB Mackenzie Alexander, So, Clemson
Round 4, Pick 121 - OT Willie Beavers, Western Michigan
Round 5, Pick 160 - OLB Kentrell Brothers, Missouri
Round 6, Pick 180 - WR Moritz Boehringer, Germany
Round 6, Pick 188 - TE David Morgan, Texas-San Antonio
Round 7, Pick 227 - OLB Stephen Weatherly, Vanderbilt
Round 7, Pick 244 - S Jayron Kearse, Clemson

The Vikings have been one of the better drafting teams in recent memory, and that trend continues here. Despite his 40 time, I think Laquon Treadwell will emerge as the best receiver in this class. He is extremely tough and could form a nice compliment with Stephon Diggs. I never thought Mackenzie Alexander was a first rounder, but he has confidence and could make a fine slot corner. Kentrell Brothers is not the most talented, but is very productive and aggressive, and could be a top backup for all three positions for one of the best linebacking groups in the NFL. Willie Beavers is another developmental type who could grow into a starter for Minnesota's weakest unit. Moritz Boehringer's story was well documented, and Norv Turner has to be intrigued with his size and ability. Stephen Weatherly and Jayron Kearse are two of the more talented seventh round prospects drafted, and could be key special teams contributors with a chance for more. Another solid draft by the Vikings.


4. Seattle Seahawks

Round 1, Pick 31 - OG Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M
Round 2, Pick 49 - DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
Round 3, Pick 90 - RB CJ Prosise, Notre Dame
Round 3, Pick 94 - TE Nick Vannett, Ohio State
Round 3, Pick 97 - OG Rees Odhiambo, Boise State
Round 5, Pick 147 - DT Quinton Jefferson, Maryland
Round 5, Pick 171 - RB Alex Collins, Arkansas
Round 6, Pick 215 - C Joey Hunt, TCU
Round 7, Pick 243 - WR Kenny Lawler, California
Round 7, Pick 247 - RB Zac Brooks, Clemson

For a team that had to pick at the end of every round, Seattle had a tremendous draft. Tom Cable is one of the best offensive line coaches in the league, and Seattle drafted a few players for him to work with. Germain Ifedi and Rees Odhiambo could be the guard tandem of the future, and Joey Hunt has underrated ability. His size was what knocked him down the rankings. I mocked Jarran Reed to the Seahawks on more than one occasion. He offers nothing as a pass rusher but should be a starter for the first two downs of a series. Great value at the end of the second round. Seattle drafted CJ Prosise and Alex Collins, which proves they are not confident that Thomas Rawls can stay healthy. I think CJ Prosise will be the second best running back in this draft, after Ezekiel Elliott. Nick Vannett looks the part but underwhelmed in college. He is a project that could pay off. I see up to five starters from this draft, which makes it a success.


5. Washington Redskins

Round 1, Pick 22 - WR Josh Doctson, TCU
Round 2, Pick 53 - OLB Su'a Cravens, USC
Round 3, Pick 84 - CB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
Ruond 5, Pick 152 - DT Matthew Ioannidis, Temple
Round 6, Pick 187 - QB Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Round 7, Pick 232 - MLB Steven Daniels, Boston College
Round 7, Pick 242 - RB Keith Marshall, Georgia

The Redskins had a simple, but very effective draft. I love the Josh Doctson pick. If you are going to evaluate Kirk Cousins, surround him with weapons. Doctson will be an immediate third receiver, and will take over for Pierre Garcon in 2017. Su'a Cravens might not have a position, but he is a football player. In today's NFL, teams like those Deone Bucannon types that you can line up all over the field. Kendall Fuller cuold have been a first round pick if it wasn't for a serious injury. He is a future starter. Temple produced quite a few draft picks, but none as talented as Matthew Ioannidis. He should really help solidify Washington's leaky run defense. Nate Sudfeld looks the part and should eventually knock Colt McCoy from the backup position. Steven Daniels is limited in pass coverage, but could make his living as a two down thumper. Keith Marshall was a sneaky pickup late. He showed flashes of brilliance at Georgia but was buried behind first round picks and struggled with injuries. There is not much depth behind Matt Jones, so Marshall could earn some snaps. Very good draft for Washington.


6. Chicago Bears

Round 1, Pick 9 - OLB Leonard Floyd, Georgia
Round 2, Pick - OG Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
Round 3, Pick 72 - DE/DT Jonathan Bullard, Florida
Round 4, Pick 113 - MLB Nick Kwiatkoski, West Virginia
Round 4, Pick 124 - S Deon Bush, Miami
Round 4, Pick 127 - CB Deiondre' Hall, Northern Iowa
Round 5, Pick 150 - RB Jordan Howard, Indiana
Round 6, Pick 185 - S DeAndre Houston-Carson, William & Mary
Round 7, Pick 230 - WR Daniel Braverman, Western Michigan

The Bears came into this draft needing defense, and nearly every pick was devoted to that side of the ball. Leonard Floyd fits the bill as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He is thin and raw, and Bears fans will hope he becomes more Aldon Smith and less Barkevious Mingo. Jonathan Bullard is strong enough to hold up as end in a 3-4 defense. He offers better size than the current out of position defensive ends on Chicago's roster. The Bears drafted three secondary prospects. The safety group in Chicago is so bad taht Deon Smith and DeAndre Houston-Carson could get meaningful snaps as the year progresses. Chicago drafted three intriguing prospects that could all play key roles on offense. Cody Whitehair is technically sound and experienced, and should start at guard relatively quickly. Jordan Howard has great size, and could eventually emerge as the leader of an unproven back field. Daniel Braverman is undersized, but fits that Cole Beasley, Wes Welker role as a tough, gritty underneath receiver. There are snaps to be had behind Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White. The Bears had more holes than draft picks, but I could realistically see every player from this class as a key contributor during the next two seasons. Very good draft.


7. Green Bay Packers

Round 1, Pick 27 - DE/DT Kenny Clark, UCLA
Round 2, Pick 48 - OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana
Round 3, Pick 88 - OLB Kyler Fackrell, Utah State
Round 4, Pick 131 - MLB Blake Martinez, Stanford
Round 4, Pick 137 - DE Dean Lowry, Northwestern
Round 5, Pick 163 - WR Trevor Davis, California
Round 6, Pick 200 - OT Kyle Murphy, Stanford

Once again General Manager Ted Thompson finds value late in every round. Kenny Clark was my favorite of the glut of defensive tackles available at the spot. He is stout against the run, can occupy blockers and even get after the quarterback on occasion. Jason Spriggs has the size for left tackle, and with nearly every Packer offensive lineman on the last year of his deal, will be a likely 2017 starter. Kyler Fackrell and Blake Martinez both produce over their talent level. Fackrell, in particular, has a non stop motor that could make him a solid pass rushing specialist. Dean Lowry has great size for a 3-4 end and has sneaky starter potential. Kyle Murphy's lack of athleticism pushed him down to the sixth round, but he could have a future at guard. Other than Trevor Davis, every player drafted could be a starter down the line. That is how the Packers build their roster and remain competitive.


8. Cleveland Browns

Round 1, Pick 15 - WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
Round 2, Pick 32 - DE/OLB Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
Round 3, Pick 65 - DE Carl Nassib, Penn State
Round 3, Pick 76 - OT Shon Coleman, Auburn
Round 3, Pick 93 - QB Cody Kessler, USC
Round 4, Pick 99 - OLB Joe Schobert, Wisconsin
Round 4, Pick 116 - WR Ricardo Louis, Auburn
Round 4, Pick 129 - S Derrick Kindred, TCU
Round 4, Pick 138 - TE Seth Devalve, Princeton
Round 5, Pick 154 - WR Jordan Payton, UCLA
Round 5, Pick 168 - OG Spender Drango, Baylor
Round 5, Pick 172 - WR Rashard Higgins, Colorado State
Round 5, Pick 173 - CB Trey Caldwell, Louisiana-Monroe
Round 7, Pick 250 - MLB Scooby Wright III, Arizona

The Browns ended up selecting 14 players, so the law of averages says they should have some future starters. Corey Coleman is a speedster who's talent might go to waste without a rocket arm to get him the ball. He is not much of a route runner. I still like Josh Doctson and Laquon Treadwell better. Emmanuel Ogbah can rush the passer right now. He will fit best as a rotational piece. Same with Carl Nassib, who was a sack monster. He is a bit of a 3-4 end/outside linebacker tweener. He will have to be developed. Shon Coleman has starting ability, but injuries derailed his draft stock. Cody Kessler had a very productive college career but was pushed down the board due to the typical size/arm strength concern. He could be a long term backup. The Browns drafted four additional pass catchers. Of the group, I think Rashard Higgins has the highest upside. He has experience in a pro style offense and could contribute right away. Scooby Wright III was a fun flier. A hyper productive linebacker as a sophomore, injuries and a lack of athleticism nearly pushed him out of the draft. He could be a special teams demon with the ability for more. Cleveland clearly wanted to address both lines and the receiver position, as they will probably be in the running for Deshaun Watson in 2016.


9. Detroit Lions

Round 1, Pick 16 - OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State
Round 2, Pick 46 - DT A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama
Round 3, Pick 95 - C Graham Glasgow, Michigan
Round 4, Pick 111 - S Miles Killebrew, Southern Utah
Round 5, Pick 151 - OG Joe Dahl, Washington State
Round 5, Pick 169 - OLB Antwione Williams, Georgia Southern
Round 6, Pick 191 - QB Jake Rudock, Michigan
Round 6, Pick 202 - DT ANthony Zettel, Penn State
Round 6, Pick 210 - LS Jimmy Landes, Baylor
Round 7, Pick 236 - RB Dwayne Washington, Washington

New General Manager Bob Quinn had the goal of beefing up both lines, and succeeded for the most part. The Lions drafted three offensive lineman in the first five rounds, and all could be future starters. Taylor Decker is a better run blocker than pass blocker, but has a future at left tackle. Graham Glasgow is athletic and could start at any interior position. Joe Dahl is a nasty run blocker that could further help Detroit's ground game. On defense, A'Shawn Robinson, Miles Killebrew and Antoine Williams could all excel against the run, though none of the three is likely to be on the field during passing downs. Anthony Zettel is an overachiever with limited talent who could make the defensive line rotation. Detroit failed to address receiver, defensive end or cornerback, but will be much better in the trenches.


10. San Diego Chargers

Round 1, Pick 3 - DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
Round 2, Pick 35 - TE Hunter Henry, Arkansas
Round 3, Pick 66 - C Max Tuerk, USC
Round 4, Pick 102 - MLB Joshua Perry, Ohio State
Round 5, Pick 175 - OLB Jatavis Brown, Akron
Round 6, Pick 179 - P Drew Kaser, Texas A&M
Round 6, Pick 198 - FB Derek Watt, Wisconsin
Round 7, Pick 224 - OG Donavon Clark, Michigan State

The Chargers stood pat and drafted the player that most thought was the best prospect in the draft during the college football season. Joey Bosa reminds some of Justin Smith, who was a very successful 3-4 end for the 49ers. Bosa is not a pass rushing demon, but is a very well rounded end who can stop the run and get after the quarterback. Hunter Henry was the best tight end in a weak class. Antonio Gates is on his last legs, and with how slowly tight ends develop in the NFL, it was wise to draft his replacement now. Max Tuerk could have been a first round pick had he not gotten hurt. He is athletic and should start at center or guard immediately. Joshua Perry and Jatavis Brown were both very productive college linebackers who will add depth to a pretty strong unit. Brown was among the NCAA leaders in sacks. Derek Watt is the younger brother of JJ. Very solid draft for the Chargers.


11. Cincinnati Bengals

Round 1, Pick 24 - CB William Jackson III, Houston
Round 2, Pick 55 - WR Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh
Round 3, Pick 87 - MLB Nick Vigil, Utah State
Round 4, Pick 122 - DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
Round 5, Pick 161 - OG Christian Westerman, Arizona State
Round 6, Pick 199 - WR Cody Core, Ole' Miss
Round 7, Pick 245 - S Clayton Fejedelem, Illinois

As usual, the Bengals had a solid draft, adding players at a position of need with the ability to start down the line. Cincinnati was on the wrong end of a receiver run late in the first round, so they had to go with William Jackson. He has the size to form an intimidating duo with Dre Kirkpatrick. Perhaps just as importantly, Cincinnati drafted the best available cornerback so the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers could not. Tyler Boyd has the look of a quality slot receiver, who could grow into more ala Jarvis Landry. Not the ideal compliment for AJ Green, but he will help. Nick Vigil was a tackling machine at Utah State and could start sooner rather than later in the Bengals mess of a linebacking core. Andrew Billings had first or second round ability, but falls due to the fact that teams are not on the lookout for undersized nose tackles. He looks like an ideal replacement for Dometa Peko. This draft class might not pay immediate dividends, but protects Cincinnati against more future free agent losses.


12. Indianapolis Colts

Round 1, Pick 18 - C Ryan Kelly, Alabama
Round 2, Pick 57 - S TJ Green, Clemson
Round 3, Pick 82 - OT Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech
Round 4, Pick 116 - DT Hassan Ridgeway, Texas
Round 4, Pick 125 - MLB Antonio Morrison, Florida
Round 5, Pick 155 - OT Joe Haeg, North Dakota State
Round 7, Pick 239 - OLB Trevor Bates, Maine
Round 7, Pick 248 - C Austin Blythe, Iowa

I usually strongly dislike the Colts drafts, but I have to say this one was solid. The front office identified that protecting the future highest paid player in NFL history is the key to success. Four offensive lineman were drafted. Ryan Kelly is this year's "plug and play" interior offensive lineman. He should start at center from day one. Le'Raven Clark offers unique talent in the third round. He could develop into a nice right tackle or guard. Joe Haeg blocked for Carson Wentz and should make it as a swing tackle. Kirk Ferentz offensive linemen usually succeed in the NFL, which makes Austin Blythe a late pick with sneaky upside. On the defensive side of the ball, TJ Green shot up draft boards thanks to his size/agility combination. He could play either safety or cornerback. Hassan Ridgeway and Antonio Morrison fit the scheme, and could work their way into the rotation on a shallow defense.


13. Buffalo Bills

Round 1, Pick 19 - DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson
Round 2, Pick 41 - MLB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
Round 3, Pick 80 - DT Adolphus Washington, Ohio State
Round 4, Pick 139 - QB Cardale Jones, Ohio State
Round 5, Pick 156 - RB Jonathan Williams, Arkansas
Round 6, Pick 192 - WR Kolby Listenbee, TCU
Round 6, Pick 218 - CB Kevon Seymour, USC

The Bills drafted four players that, at one point during the evaluation process, were talked about as potential first rounders. Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland hope to bring toughness back to a Bills defense that fell apart in 2015. Lawson should slide in opposite Jerry Hughes immediately. Ragland is a bit of a throwback middle linebacker. Big and strong, he may have to come out on passing downs. Adolphus Washington brings run stopping ability and could be Kyle Williams long term replacement. He fell in the draft due to off the field issues. Cardale Jones could have been a first round pick had he declared for the 2015 draft. His junior year was very uneven, but the talent is there to develop into something useful. Jonathan Williams has starter abilities, if he could just stay healthy. With these picks, the Bills will hope to lean on the running game and defense once again in 2016.


14. Pittsburgh Steelers

Round 1, Pick 25 - CB Artie Burns, Miami
Round 2, Pick 58 - CB Sean Davis, Maryland
Round 3, Pick 89 - DT Javon Hargrave, South Carolina State
Round 4, Pick 25 - OT Jerald Hawkins, LSU
Round 6, Pick 220 - OLB Travis Feeney, Washington
Round 7, Pick 229 - WR DeMarcus Ayers, Houston
Round 7, Pick 246 - OLB Tyler Matakevich, Temple

The Steelers are a Super Bowl contender, so they came into this draft with a clear plan. Most notably, upgrade a porous secondary. Artie Burns might have been a reach because he is a project but he has the size the Steelers love out of their corners. Cincinnati drafting William Jackson one pick before might have forced Pittsburgh's hand. The Steelers doubled up on a 6 foot cornerback with converted safety Sean Davis in the second round. Javon Hargrave has starter potential at nose tackle. He is raw, like the rest of Pittsburgh's picks, but he is strong and a stout run defender. Jerald Hawkins needs to put on weight but he could eventually work his way into a starter. Travis Feeney and Tyler Matakevich provide depth at linebacker. Nobody is better at developing linebackers than the Steelers. None of Pittsburgh's picks are sure things, but this draft could produce four future starters.


15. Atlanta Falcons

Round 1, Pick 17 - S Keanu Neal, Florida
Round 2, Pick 52 - OLB Deion Jones, LSU
Round 3, Pick 81 - TE Austin Hooper, Stanford
Round 4, Pick 17 - OLB De'Vondre Campbell, Minnesota
Round 6, Pick 20 - OG Wes Schweitzer, San Jose State
Round 7, Pick 238 - WR Devin Fuller, UCLA

The Falcons came into this draft looking to speed up the defense, and somewhat succeeded in that goal. Keanu Neal is a project at 17 overall, but is a hard hitter and could become the captain of the secondary in time. Deion Jones is undersized, but fits what Dan Quinn looks for in a weakside linebacker. De'Vondre Campbell is another solid athlete who could contribute in time. Atlanta has really struggled to replace Tony Gonzalez at tight end. Austin Hooper is a good athlete and could make a dent at the position. Atlanta failed to address the pass rush, so it will be up to Vic Beasley to step up during his sophomore year.


16. Carolina Panthers

Round 1, Pick 30 - DT Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech
Round 2, Pick 62 - CB James Bradberry, Samford
Round 3, Pick 77 - CB Daryl Worley, West Virginia
Round 5, Pick 141 - CB Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma
Round 7, Pick 252 - TE Beau Sandland, Montana State

I do not see a 2016 starter in this group, and that is disconcerting since the Panthers had so many holes. Vernon Butler was the best player on Carolina's board, but it is hard to see him getting meaningful snaps playing behind Kawaan Short and Star Lotulelei. Butler will most likely take over for one of the two players in 2017. Carolina drafted three straight cornerbacks, in hopes that one or two will break out and become a starter. James Bradberry has great size, but faces a monster upgrade in competition. Daryl Worley also has good size. Zack Sanchez will most likely be a better college than NFL cornerback, but he could stick as a nickel or dime back. Carolina failed to address the pass rush or offensive line.


17. Dallas Cowboys

Round 1, Pick 4 - RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
Round 2, Pick 34 - OLB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame
Round 3, Pick 67 - DT Maliek Collins, Nebraska
Round 4, Pick 101 - DE Charles Tapper, Oklahoma
Round 4, Pick 135 - QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Round 6, Pick 189 - CB Antohny Brown, Purdue
Round 6, Pick 212 - S Kavno Frazier, Central Michigan
Round 6, Pick 216 - RB Darius Jackson, Eastern Michigan
Round 6, Pick 217 - TE Rico Gathers, Baylor

Make no mistake, I think Ezekiel Elliott will be extremely productive running behind the NFL's best offensive line. However, the fact that Dallas passed on Jalen Ramsey is a hard pill to swallow. He would have done wonders for that anemic Dallas secondary. The hope is that the Cowboys can duplicate their 2014 success by controlling the clock. Maliek Collins and Charles Tapper are low upside lineman who could become rotation regulars. Dak Prescott has the abilities to develop into a fan favorite backup, but it will take a lot of coaching. Rico Gathers was one of the better players in college basketball in 2015-2016, and will hope to parlay his talent into a college football career as a few tight ends before him have. He might have been worth a very late flier, but not the sixth round. That brings us to Jaylon Smith. The early second round is too rich for my blood for a player who may never play again, at a position that is the least important position on defense. With so many immediate defensive needs, it was a gamble that was unneccessary at this point of the draft in my opinion. I am a Jaylon Smith fan however, and I hope he can make a complete recovery. If so, Dallas has a legit defensive playmaker. Dallas came into the draft with major defensive needs, and exited the draft with those needs still intact.


18. Kansas City Chiefs

Round 2 ,Pick 37 - DT Chris Jones, Mississippi State
Round 3, Pick 74 - CB KeiVarae Russell, Notre Dame
Round 4, PIck 105 - OG Parker Ehinger, Cincinnati
Round 4, Pick 106 - CB Eric Murray, Minnesota
Round 4, Pick 126 - WR Demarcus Robinson, Florida
Round 5, PIck 162 - QB Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Round 5, Pick 165 - WR Tyreek Hill, West Alabama
Round 6, Pick 178 - CB DJ White, Georgia Tech
Round 6, Pick 203 - DE Dadi Nicolas, Virginia Tech

The Chiefs followed their 2015 plan by investing heavily on defense. Chris Jones is very inconsistent, but could be a future starter at end or inside if Dontari Poe departs via free agency. KeiVarae Russell, Eric Murray and DJ White will all compete for snaps at cornerback. I actually think White will emerge from the three. One thing is for certain; there is little opposite Marcus Peters in the secondary. Parker Ehinger could be a passable guard, but Kansas City did not do enough to address a porous offensive line. Demarcus Robinson is a gadget player who's skills will be wasted on the noodle arm of Alex Smith.


19. Houston Texans

Round 1, Pick 21 - WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame
Round 2, Pick 50 - OG Nick Martin, Notre Dame
Round 3, Pick 85 - WR Braxton Miller, Ohio State
Round 4, Pick 119 - RB Tyler Ervin, San Jose State
Round 5, Ick 159 - S KJ Dillon, West Virginia
Round 5, Pick 166 - DT DJ Reader, Clemson

The Texans off season plan has been to go all in on offense, and that trend continued during the draft. Receiver was a need area that was addressed, but I have a hard time picturing Will Fuller over Josh Doctson and Laquon Treadwell. His field stretching ability will be a welcome compliment to DeAndre Hopkins, but Fuller struggles with route running and drops. He could be a bit of a one trick pony on offense. Nick Martin is not his brother Zack, but should settle in nicely at center and have a productive career. Braxton Miller and Tyler Ervin are athletes, who are more of gadget players at this stage of their careers. Neither will get many snaps in 2016. DJ Reader was a solid pick who could be the heir apparent to Vince Wilfork. The Texans attacked need areas, I just disagree with the players they decided on.


20. Los Angeles Rams

Round 1, Pick 1 - QB Jared Goff, California
Round 4, Pick 110 - TE Tyler Higbee, Western Kentucky
Round 4, Pick 117 - WR Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina
Round 6, Pick 177 - TE Temarrick Hemingway, South Carolina State
Round 6, Pick 190 - MLB Josh Forrest, Kentucky
Round 6, Pick 206 - WR Mike Thomas, Southern Mississippi

As expected, this draft class will be judged off of one player. Jared Goff ahs some Matt Ryan traits, and could develop into a solid starter. Though not a Pro Bowl level talent, he could stabalize a position that has been a revolving door for the Rams. This offense will continue to be built around Todd GUrley. With mid round pick, Los Angeles gambled for upside with skill position players Tyler Higbee, Pharoh Cooper and Temmarick Hemingway. Lance Kendricks has been an utter disappointment, and both Higbee and Hemingway offer intrigue as pass catchers. Pharoh Cooper had to be manufactured touches in South Carolina's offense, but could make a tough slot receiver in the pro's. The Rams ignored needs on the offensive line and defense in order to take some fliers on help for new franchise quarterback Goff.


21. San Francisco 49ers

Round 1, Pick 7 - DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
Round 1, Pick 28 - OG Joshua Garnett, Stanford
Round 3, Pick 68 - CB Will Redmond, Mississippi State
Round 4, Pick 133 - CB Rashard Robinson, LSU
Round 5, Pick 142 - DE Ronald Blair, Appalachian State
Round 5, Pick 145 - OT John Theus, Georgia
Round 5, Pick 174 - OT Fahn Cooper, Ole' Miss
Round 6, Pick 207 - QB Jeff Driskel, Louisiana Tech
Round 6, Pick 211 - RB Kelvin Taylor, Florida
Round 6, Pick 213 - WR Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State
Round 7, Pick 249 - CB Prince Charles Iworah, Western Kentucky

The San Francisco 49ers had a ton of picks, but I am not sure they got tremendous value. We will start with DeForest Buckner, who might be the safest prospect in the draft. He should slide right in at end and play his familiar five technique. Joshua Garnett is a beast of a guard who is another day one starter, and will really help the run game. Will Redmond and Rashard Robinson are two of the more talented cornerbacks in this draft, who fell for various reasons. If Redmond can stay healthy and Robinson can keep his head on straight, both could be future starters. John Theus and Fahn Cooper are limited offensive lineman who will most likely max out as backups. Jeff Driskel is the former Florida Gator flameout. He has the talent but will need to be coached up. Kelvin Taylor is the son of former Florida great Fred Taylor. The 49ers backfield is thin, so he has a chance to stick.


22. New York Giants

Round 1, Pick 10 - CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
Round 2, Pick 40 - WR Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma
Round 3, Pick 71 - S Darian Thompson, Boise State
Round 4, Pick 109 - OLB BJ Goodson, Clemson
Round 5, Pick 149 - RB Paul Perkins, UCLA
Round 6, Pick 184 - TE Jerell Adams, South Carolina

As usual, GM Jerry Reese stuck to his board, and drafted Eli Apple over bigger need areas. Laremy Tunsil would have been a tremendous addition, but New York was one of the teams that was scared away. Apple has good size and should take over for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie before long. Sterling Shepard was the best slot receiver in this class. There are receptions to be had behing Odell Beckham Jr. Darian Thompson and BJ Goodson are low upside defenders who can crack the lineup on a porous defense. Thompson needs to improve his tackling, but is a nice compliment to the hard hitting Landon Collins at safety. Paul Perkins and Jerell Adams are very talented, and could steal some snaps as change of pace players. Even though the Giants failed to address the offensive line, they had a decent draft.


23. Oakland Raiders

Round 1, Pick 14 - S Karl Joseph, West Virginia
Round 2, Pick 44 - DE Jihad Ward, Illinois
Round 3, Pick 75 - DE Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State
Round 4, Pick 100 - QB Connor Cook, Michigan State
Round 5, Pick 143 - RB DeAndre Washington, Texas Tech
Round 6, PIck 194 - OLB Cory James, Colorado State
Round 7, Pick 234 - OG Vadal Alexander, LSU

From how well the Raiders have drafted in recent years, this crop seems like a letdown. Karl Joseph rose quickly the days before the draft. His style lends itself to injuries, and he has already dealt with his fair share, but he should be a hard hitting presence in Oakland's secondary. Jihad Ward and Shilique Calhoun provide defensive line reinforcements, though both are extremely limited as what they are able to do and are unlikely to develop into starters. Connor Cook has first or second round talent, but questionable leadership ability knocked him down to round four. He has the ability to become, at the least, a very good backup quarterback. The Raiders are as deep as they have been in years, so it's not neccessarily a bad thing that there is only one sure fire starter from this group. I would have liked to see some players with upside.


24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Round 1, Pick 11 - CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
Round 2, Pick 39 - DE Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky
Round 2, Pick 59 - K Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
Round 4, Pick 108 - CB Ryan Smith, North Carolina Central
Round 5, Pick 148 - OT Caleb Benenoch, UCLA
Round 6, Pick 183 - OLB Devante Bond, Oklahoma
Round 6, Pick 197 - FB Dan Vitale, Northwestern

First, the good. I like the Vernon Hargreaves pick. He was an obvious choice, as a local kid who fills Tampa Bay's biggest need. He is not the most atheltic but is very technically sound and a ball hawk. Ryan Smith needs to adjust to the jump in competition, but offers even more depth for a trouble area. Caleb Benenoch should settle in quite nicely as a reserve offensive lineman. Dan Vitale tested like Mike Alstott, so it makes sense that he wound up on the Buccaneers. Now, the second round. Noah Spence was the best pass rusher available and definitely fills a need, but he wil likely top out as a situational pass rusher, who is unable to hold up against the run. Roberto Aguayo. I knew he would go in the second or third round, but it is still very difficult to fathom a team with so many needs drafting a kicker in the second round. If he hangs around Tampa for 15 years ala Sebastian Janikowski, then consider it a success.


25. New Orleans Saints

Round 1, Pick 12 - DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
Round 2, Pick 47 - WR Michael Thomas, Ohio State
Round 2, Pick 61 - S Vonn Bell, Ohio State
Round 4, Pick 22 - DT David Onyemata, Manitoba
Round 7, Pick 237 - RB Daniel Lasco, California

The Saints only had five selections, so there was no chance of addressing every need. Sheldon Rankins was the best defensive player available for a unit that has been historically bad in recent seasons. He is not Aaron Donald, but could bring pass rushing heat from the interior. Vonn Bell could be converted to cornerback, a huge need area since the days of Jason David getting burned on a regular basis. Michael Thomas could be the eventual Marques Colston replacement. He was not heavily utilized in college, and there will be a learning curve. David Onyemata is more of a late round flier who went in round four. He is extremely raw but put on a show during Shrine week. I do not see much immediate contribution from this class, but the top three picks could develop into starters.


26. Arizona Cardinals

Round 1, Pick 29 - DE/DT Robert Nkemdiche, Ole' Miss
Round 3, Pick 92 - CB Brandon Williams, Texas A&M
Round 4, Pick 128 - C Evan Boehm, Missouri
Round 5, Pick 167 - S Marqui Christian, Midwestern State
Round 5, Pick 170 - OT Cole Toner, Stanford
Round 6, Pick 205 - CB Harlan Miller, Southeastern Louisiana

The Cardinals are one of the strongest organizations in football, so Robert Nkemdiche cuold not have landed in a better situation. He coudl provide the Cardinals with a much needed pass rushing presence. Evan Boehm should turn into a quality starter. He is not tremendously athletic, but has the mean streak neccessary to play center. Cole Toner is another ofensive lineman who is not the biggest or strongest, but, coming from Harvard, obviously has the smarts to play the position. He will provide depth along the line. The Cardinals drafted three defensive backs to fortify a weak area of the defense. Brandon Williams was a bit of a reach, but has the raw tools to make an impact if successsfully coached up. The Cardinals failed to find additional pass rushing help to go along with newcomer Chandler Jones.


27. Miami Dolphins

Round 1, Pick 13 - OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole' Miss
Round 2, Pick 38 - CB Xavien Howard, Baylor
Round 3, Pick 73 - RB Kenyan Drake, Alabama
Round 3, Pick 86 - WR Leonte Carroo, Rutgers
Round 6, Pick 11 - WR Jakeem Grant, Texas Tech
Round 6, Pick 29 - S Jordan Lucas, Penn State
Round 7, Pick 223 - QB Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky
Round 7, Pik 231 - TE Thomas Duarte, UCLA

The Dolphins were lucky that Laremy Tunsil fell to them, because the rest of their draft leaves a lot to be desired. Tunsil made for good TV, but is more of a lesson on the pressures these kids have to go through, and how easy it is for bad influences to bring you down. On the field, he is a ready made offensive lineman who could start at guard or tackle immediately. He is an ideal long term left tackle. Other than that, the Dolphins traded precious picks to move up and take Xavien Howard and Leonte Carroo. Howard is a phsyical presence, who did not put it all together at Baylor. Carroo is a strong possession type that will be fourth on the depth chart. Miami had to trade three picks, including a third and fourth rounder in 2017, to get him. That type of narrow minded thinking is why bad teams remain bad. Kenyan Drake will steal carries from Jay Ajayi, but not threaten his starting job. He and Jakeem Grant will likely have to make their livings on special teams. Other than Tunsil, the Dolphins are no better than they were entering the draft. Only now they have fewer 2017 picks to show for it.


28. Tennessee Titans

Round 1, Pick 8 - OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State
Round 2, Pick 33 - DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson
Round 2, PIck 43 - DT Austin Johnson, Penn State
Round 2, Pick 45 - RB Derrick Henry, Alabama
Round 3, Pick 64 - S Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee State
Round 5, Pick 140 - WR Tajae Sharpe, Massachusetts
Round 5, Pick 157 - CB LeShaun Sims, Southern Utah
Round 6, Pick 193 - OG Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas
Round 7, Pick 222 - OLB Aaron Wallace, UCLA
Round 7, Pick 253 - CB Kalan Reed, Southern Miss

For a team that once owned the top overall pick, I do not think Tennessee came out of this draft with enough. I think Jack Conklin's long term future is at guard, but he will be tried at center. I will be shocked if he has a better career than Laremy Tunsil. Kevin Dodd was a bit of a one year wonder. He is a talented pass rusher but I am not sure where he fits in a 3-4 defense. Austin Johnson should settle in quite nicely at nose tackle. He is your prototypical run stuffer. Derrick Henry, I will be surprised if he amounts to much. The Titans are committed to building a powerful run game and he could be a decent change of pace back behind DeMarco Murray. Kevin Byard was a reach in the third round. He is a ball hawking safety that struggles in coverage and run support. Of the late round picks, Sebastian Tretola has a chance to emerge as a starter if he can refine his technique.


29. New York Jets

Round 1, Pick 20 - OLB Darron Lee, Ohio State
Round 2, Pick 51 - QB Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
Round 3, Pick 83 - OLB Jordan Jenkins, Georgia
Round 4, Pick 118 - CB Juston Burris, North Carolina State
Round 5, Pick 158 - OT Brandon Shell, South Carolina
Round 7, Pick 235 - P Lac Edwards, Sam Houston State
Round 7, Pick 241 - WR Charone Peake, Clemson

With their first round pick, New York's needs did not coincide with the draft board, so they went with Darron Lee, somewhat of a luxury pick. Lee will have to gain strength, but has the sideline to sideline range teams look for in today's linebackers. Jordan Jenkins has prototypical 3-4 linebacker size, but is not much of a pass rusher, so he does not really solve the Jets needs. Christian Hackenberg was once, a long time ago, considered a first round talent, but it will be hard to instill confidence in a player who was broken by bad mechanics and an even worse offensive line. I do not see him as an upgrade over Geno Smith or Bryce Petty, and New York passed on some good players to take him. Ultimately, the Jets could come out of this draft with one long term starter in Darron Lee. That is not good enough.


30. Denver Broncos

Round 1, Pick 26 - QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Round 2, Pick 63 - DT Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech
Round 3, Pick 98 - S Justin Simmons, Boston College
Round 4, Pick 136 - RB Devontae Booker, Utah
Round 5, Pick 144 - OG Connor McGovern, Missouri
Round 6, Pick 176 - FB Andy Janovich, Nebraska
Round 6, Pick 219 - S Will Parks, Arizona
Round 7, Pick 228 - P Riley Dixon, Syracuse

The Broncos quarterback situation is a mess, and Paxton Lynch was the best available talent available. But I do not see any way he is ready to play in the NFL, even if he is a glorified handoff specialist in Denver's run first scheme. Gary Kubiak does work well with quarterbacks, and could develop him, but it will take time. The rest of the players Denver drafted will most likely max out as backups. Adam Gotsis is undersized and injury prone. Justin Simmons is an instinctive, smart player, but lacks athleticism. Connor McGovern was a workout warrior who could develop into a backup at all five positions. Not John Elway's best effort.


31. Philadelphia Eagles

Round 1, Pick 2 - QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
Round 3, Pick 79 - OG Isaac Seumalo, Oregon State
Round 5, Pick 153 - RB Wendell Smallwood, West Virginia
Round 5, PIck 27 - OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, TCU
Round 6, Pick 21 - CB Blake Countess, Auburn
Round 7, Pick 233 - S Jalen Mills, LSU
Round 7, Pick 240 - DE Alex McCalister, Florida
Round 7, Pick 251 - MLB Joe Walker, Oregon

Like the Rams, this class will be judged on one player. Unlike the Rams, Philadelphia is not one or two players away. The Eagles are just now beginning the stages of a rebuild, so trading a potential top ten pick in a loaded 2017 draft for a questionable quarterback seems like a gamble I would not take. On top of that, the pick has created discord amongst Sam Bradford and the coaching staff, a recipe for a long 2016 season. Other than Carson Wentz, Philadelphia used late picks to attempt to beef up a weak offensive line and add depth to the secondary. Isaac Seumalo should grow into a starter, and Jalen Mills offers potential late in the draft, but this is a one person draft, and the ramifications of losing a top pick next year could be huge.


32. New England Patriots

Round 2, Pick 60 - CB Cyrus Jones, Alabama
Round 3, Pick 78 - OG Joe Thuney, North Carolina State
Round 3, Pick 91 - QB Jacoby Brissett, North Carolina State
Round 3, Pick 96 - DT Vincent Valentine, Nebraska
Round 4, Pick 112 - WR Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia
Round 6, Pick 208 - OLB Kamu Grugier-Hill, Eastern Illinois
Round 6, Pick 214 - MLB Elandon Roberts, Houston
Round 6, Pick 221 - OG Ted Karras, Illinois
Round 7, PIck 225 - WR Devin Lucien, Arizona State

A typical Patriots draft; Trade downs and names the draft community is not familar with. New England needed to try to draft offensive line help, but with mid round picks, they were only able to come out with guard Joe Thuney. Thuney could pass as a right tackle but will more likely compete with a handfull of youngsters for the two guard spots. Jacoby Brissett seems like a waste of a pick. New England has drafted a few quarterbacks in the top few rounds, with no success. Vincent Valentine was lazy and unmotivated during his time at Nebraska, and is more of a late round guy. Cyrus Jones might be the only player from this class to develop into a starter, though he is more of a nickel back type. Playing for Nick Saban, he has smarts for the position. I do not see a future starter in this draft, and the Patriots desperately needed to find a few of those.

Jonathan Carrano

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