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2016 NFL Draft Live Blog (1st Round)

April 28, 2016

Alright here we go. Make sure to refresh regularly.

The top of the draft will be quite boring as the first two picks are already known yet they still will likely take their entire alotted time before handing in the pick. While we wait I wanted to mention a few more items.

-The board is done and I was surprised how weak this RB class is. It easily could be viewed 3 years from now as 2 starters (Elliott and Henry) and then a bunch of backups and busts. What is interesting about that is certain teams (Dolphins, Cowboys, Browns) have been rumored to be seeking a RB in this draft. If you want one that you know can play as a rookie you likely need to move up to get one of these two guys so don’t be surprised if Elliott goes in the Top 5 and if Henry is taken in the late 1st round.

-Every year there are rumors that so and so is sliding. Well this year Myles Jack, Paxton Lynch, Robert Nkemdiche and Mackensie Alexander are all rumored to be sliding while Jack Conklin, Ryan Kelly, DeForest Buckner and Ronnie Stanley are all racing up draft boards. We will find out soon enough what is rumor and what is truth.

  1. Rams: Jared Goff-The Rams took the local kid from Cal who has a great arm, quick release and can really thread the needle. I’m a little surprised how few people initially loved Goff like I did (#3 Overall). More people slowly came around on him, often happens in this herd mentality league, but to me it wasn’t a hard evaluation. He’s a very talented player that just immediately pops out on film for me. Yes he has a thin build and small hands but Goff has a Jay Cutler type game, minus the lack of intangibles, and should be the starter in LA from Day 1. Also let’s keep in mind that Gurley had a thousand yard season despite missing 3 games and not being 100% so this offense will be run oriented and will allow the offensive coordinator to pick his spots in when Goff will be asked to throw the ball. That will be a luxury few rookie QBs have so it’s a good situation for Goff and a good pick by the Rams.
  2. Eagles: Carson Wentz-On one hand you have guys like Mayock who rate him as the best QB in the draft, Mayock even rates him as the best overall player in the draft. On the other hand he only started for 1 1/2 years, he didn’t play division 1 football and he didn’t have good accuracy on medium and deep throws. Wentz is a Blake Bortles type kid as you love the frame and athleticism and hope he has enough accuracy to be a good passer. We shall see how it all works out but if it is an abject failure then it couldn’t have happened to a better team. For the Eagles to trade so much to trade for a QB who then busts would be a huge benefit for the Cowboys and others in the NFC East.
  3. Chargers: Joey Bosa-And now the draft officially begins. With the Chargers taking Bosa they decided to skip the #1 OT to come out of college in years in Laremy Tunsil and the #1 DB to come out of college in years in Jalen Ramsey. It also sets up the Cowboys perfectly with Ramsey and Elliott all available at #4. I’m not a huge fan of Bosa this early but hey the kid has a great motor, elite hand fighting and is very good against the run. I made the argument that Bosa in the Top 5 is a solid double instead of going for a homerun but risking a strikeout. I still like that analogy because Bosa will be a 10 year starter at a valuable position but I’m exhaling right now knowing that Bosa won’t be a Cowboy.
  4. Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott (Pre-Pick) With the Cowboys on the clock at #4, four of my top 5 players are still available, which is odd, so the Cowboys have to be smiling. Tunsil, Ramsey and Elliott are my top 3 players available and it likely comes down to Ramsey vs. Elliott. Do you choose a Pro Bowl caliber RB and supercharge that running game or do you take a Pro Bowl caliber DB to join Byron Jones as another versatile CB/S combo player? I’d take Ramsey and not look back. (Pick) Elliott is the pick and while I’m a little disappointed in Ramsey not going here I do love the fit and think he becomes the favorite for rookie of the year. Also I had him as the #4 player on my board so it is hard to say he was a reach when he was taken at #4. Now with Tunsil and Ramsey still on the board you CAN make that “reach” argument but hey Elliott is a fun, sexy pick that will be very productive.
  5. Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey-Wow for the Jaguars you have to love that Ramsey fell to them. I don’t think anyone saw this occurring 3 weeks ago. With Dante Fowler coming back from injury and Malik Jackson signed this offseason, the Jaguars D could take another step and help their burgeoning offense now and then. This team looks playoff caliber.
  6. Ravens: Ronnie Stanley-Well I thought Ozzie Newsome would try and move up for Tunsil so for him to fall in Newsome’s lap is pretty ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is Ronnie Stanley being taken over Tunsil. I know Stanley has longer arms and is more squeaky clean but I think this will be something they regret for years to come. Tunsil is such a special player and just effortlessly handles edge rushers.
  7. 49ers: DeForest Buckner-He fits their scheme perfectly but I had Buckner as the #21 player on my board as I just don’t see Buckner being a double digit sack guy and that is what they need. Their defense hasn’t been elite ever since Aldon Smith got into trouble off the field and ruined his career. They need that stud rusher as otherwise their mediocre secondary gets exposed. Buckner isn’t that stud rusher so I’m not a huge fan of this pick.
  8. Browns: Trade with the Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin-What? I must be missing a failed drug test or something on Tunsil as I don’t understand how he’s not at least the 2nd OT taken. I like Conklin as a mid to late 1st rounder but he isn’t an elite talent and looks more like a very good RT than a potential All-Pro LT like Tunsil. This is the worst pick in the draft so far. I also am so confused at the move up. Were the Giants targeting him at #10?
  9. Bucs: Trade with Bears: Leonard Floyd-Wow this is the 4th trade in the Top 10 this year. How amazing is that! Floyd was the #27 player still available on my board so obviously I see this as a reach. He reminds me of Dion Jordan as this versatile linebacker without much pass rush production who everyone assumes will just “get it.” Well Jordan and Barkevious Mingo never got it and their lack of production in college in hindsight made them obvious busts. We shall see if Floyd can tap his immense potential or not.
  10. Giants: Eli Apple-(Pre Pick) Please do not take Laremy Tunsil. Ereck Flowers is a better fit as a RT than a LT so if Tunsil is taken they would have arguably the best duo of tackles in the league. (Pick) I love this pick because it is TERRIBLE and the Giants just blew a Top 10 pick! Apple was the #62 available player on my board and not even a top 5 CB so for him to go ahead of Hargreaves as the #1 CB is shocking. YES!!!
  11. Bucs: Vernon Hargreaves-Good pick. Hargreaves one pick after Apple will be a fun comparison and should embarrass the Giants for years. I’m confused why the Giants weren’t interested in him as his film is SO much better than Apple’s. Oh well, Giants loss. That being said this draft is already getting weird and lots of talent is falling. What team is brave and takes Tunsil or Jack. If the roll of the dice works you have an All-Pro.
  12. Saints: Sheldon Rankins (Pre-Pick) The more I think about it the more I think the Saints have to trade Drew Brees. He has dominated like normal the past two years and the Saints aren’t even in playoff contention due to their atrocious defense. If they trade Brees they’d get a decent haul and immediately would be one of the 3 worst teams in the league which is what they need to be for a year or two so they can upgrade their overall team talent. Hindsight being 20/20 but would the Rams have given a similar haul for Brees that they gave to move up for Goff? Their D is great and their running game is very good so I could see them make that trade so they go into the new LA market as an immediate playoff team and a contender for the title. Also would Brees take a paycut if he was trade to the Broncos? Brees has made +$140 mil in his career and might consider, having just seen Peyton pick up a ring late in his career despite an atrocious year statistically. Just a few thoughts. (Pick) I like Rankins but this is a bit high in my opinion. The Saints are terrible all over their defense so why not trade back and use the depth at DT in this draft to add a valuable pick in the 3rd round and still get a 1st round caliber DT 10 picks later. Rankins will be a good starter from Day 1 and the Saints will still be a terrible defense. Nothing changes short term with this pick.
  13. Dolphins: Laremy Tunsil-This is the best pick in the draft. I know teams are scared about the pot video but come on lots of players smoke weed in the NFL and the fact that he hasn’t failed any drug tests at Ole Miss or at the Combine show me that he smokes weed but he doesn’t have to do it all the time, Randy Gregory being the opposite case. Also this could motivate Tunsil. The two trades were expected to cost him millions and now this video has cost him even more. Tunsil has been a blue chip player since high school and is effortless in pass protection. Imagine what happens when he becomes even more motivated to dominate. I think the Dolphins just made Ryan Tannehill a better QB and Jay Ajai a better RB.
  14. Raiders: Karl Joseph-Wow. That is interesting. I love Joseph but had him as a prime target for the Cowboys at the top of the 2nd round. As a mid 1st guy he’s a bit of a reach. That being said the kid has great character, his teammates love him, he’s one of the biggest hitters in the draft and he has good agility in coverage. He is a complete safety and each year I’m surprised at how quickly the safeties go. It is probably time I stop being surprised as “surprise” 1st rounders like Deone Bucanon, Damarious Randall, etc. just shows me that there aren’t enough good safeties to fill rosters. Also the Raiders are taking the right guys now. Mack, Carr, Joseph, Cooper. These are football lifers who you don’t have to motivate. The Raiders have been such a disfunctional locker room for so long that I like their strategy of placing a big emphasis on work ethic and character. A bit of a reach but Joseph won’t be a bust, he just probably would have been there at #20 if they had traded down.
  15. Browns: Corey Coleman-He was the #3 WR on my board so to go #1 at the position is surprising. That being said he has a little Odell Beckham to him as he’s explosive and quick. He has the highest upside of the three wide receivers but also is the rawest, shortest and has the highest bust potential. It’s a roll of the dice but it makes some sense. If I were the Browns I would have taken Doctson or Treadwell, probably Doctson due to Treadwell having his own red flags.
  16. Lions: Taylor Decker-Remove injury red flag Myles Jack from my board and Decker was the #1 player available so I love this pick both in value and in fit. He’s more of a RT than a LT but reminds me of Taylor Lewan in that he has just enough athleticism to be able to handle LT if necessary. With Reiff already there he gets to go to his better fit at RT where he should be a ten year pro. One of the 3-4 best picks in the draft at this point.
  17. Falcons: Keanu Neal-Eli Apple is the worst pick in the 1st round and Neal is probably the 2nd. I had him as the 85th best available player and a 4th round grade but am not surprised by this “reach” as I will be saying the same thing when the Alabama defensive tackles go as well. I just didn’t like Neal’s film and thought he was nothing but a big hitter. In today’s NFL you need cover guys on your back end and he can’t cover anyone. Kam Chancellor can’t either and that is their new head coach (former Seattle DC) but Seattle’s D is run by Thomas, Sherman, Bennett, Wagner and then Chancellor in that order. Since Atlanta doesn’t have Pro Bowl caliber guys at those other spots adding a guy like Neal won’t work as well. This to me is a huge bust.
  18. Colts: Ryan Kelly-I like Kelly but had him in the 2nd round not the 1st. That being said no one graded out better in 2015 (0 sacks last year) and analytics is becoming a big deal on OL prospects, a reason I think Conklin moved up so much late in the process. Also Kelly is the only immediate starter in this center class and it is hard to fault a GM for trying to protect a franchise QB so this pick makes a lot of sense.
  19. Bills: Shaq Lawson-I like this pick, #6 available, as he has a high upside and could have gone in the 7-12 range with me having no problem with the pick. Some had Lawson higher than Bosa due to his better athleticism but obviously most did not agree with that sentiment. I didn’t either as Lawson was a 1 year starter and has some bust potential, as do all Clemson DL. That being said it’s a good pick, good value and good fit.
  20. Jets: Darron Lee-Well I knew someone would roll the dice on this kid’s greatness. I don’t love him as he’s a soft linebacker and I hate those types but he isn’t a reach here and some see him as a future star linebacker. Also the fit makes sense as coach Bowles loves to blitz his linebackers and safeties (think Bucannon, Mathieu, Dansby for the Cardinals under Bowles) and Lee’s best attribute is his speed. He ran a 4.4 40, faster than most running backs and wide receivers and will excel as a blitzer. I don’t love Lee but if I was to take him I’d want Bowles as his coach.
  21. Redskins: Trade to the Texans: Will Fuller -Will Fuller over Doctson? I question this. I know the Texans wanted speed to complement DeAndre Hopkins but watch the Clemson game where Mackensie Alexander shut him down and I question how a team would take Fuller ahead of Alexander. It isn’t a reach though here as he was the #12 guy on my board and this 1st round has had much worse reaches than this so I don’t even classify it as such, just a little surprising with Alexander still available despite thoroughly embarrassing him.
  22. Redskins: Josh Doctson– (Pre-Pick) The Cowboys just added a Pro Bowl caliber RB to the best OL in the league and the Giants and Eagles made what I consider questionable moves, right Joe? Let’s see if the Redskins make it 0-3 and screw up their pick. (Pick) I love this pick which SUCKS! Doctson was very very close to being my #1 WR as he has a lot of DeAndre Hopkins to his game with his great leaping ability and ability to highpoint the ball. He will be a very good fantasy WR as he will have some 10 TD seasons. He was the #4 player available on my board. Good value, great fit as he’s the big WR with DeSean Jackson being the smaller, speed guy.
  23. Vikings: Laquon Treadwell-He was the #3 player available so this is great value at #23 as at one time he looked like a future Top 5 or Top 10 pick. He isn’t fast so he fell a bit but his hands, strength and size are really top notch and he could really dominate smaller cornerbacks. He’s a poor man’s Dez Bryant so I like this pick, definitely more than Texans taking Fuller. This ends the run on receivers, the cornerback run probably comes next.
  24. Bengals: William Jackson III-Well the CB run has just begun, like I predicted. I really like Jackson as he’s tall and has great ball skills. If he was a little quicker and faster I would have made the Marcus Peters comparison but he just worries me a bit due to his lack of quick twitch. The Bengals love taking cornerbacks in the 1st round (Dennard, Kirkpatrick, Johnathan Joseph, etc.). It’s a smart trend as you can never have enough cornerbacks in this pass happy league so I agree with their strategy.
  25. Steelers: Artie Burns-I kind of want to go back and scout Burns as I had a late 3rd/early 4th grade on him so I didn’t have him this high but a lot of others did so maybe I missed something on him. He is tall and has the profile of a good press corner but to me he’s Mike Rumph as he’s very tight and I just didn’t love his tape. We shall see how Burns works out but at the very least you have to wonder why Mackensie is dropping since he had the highest upside of any CB in this draft in my opinion and is still on the board with 4 CBs taken.
  26. Broncos: Paxton Lynch-Well I made the comparison to Brock Osweiler so I’m surprised I didn’t ever make the connection, mainly because I saw the Broncos taking a QB more in the middle rounds. I think it makes some sense but of course I’m a Connor Cook guy so this isn’t my cup of tea. Lynch is raw with a strong arm, great build and has accuracy. I just didn’t see him reading defenses or threading the needle so I don’t see him starting as a rookie. It makes some sense though as Sanchez obviously isn’t the long term solution nor is Colin Kaepernick, Brian Hoyer or Ryan Fitzpatrick in my opinion.
  27. Packers: Kenny Clark-Wow this isn’t a horrible pick, a reach yes but not as bad as Apple, Neal or Burns per my board, but wow I’m surprised as Clark is a blue collar boring guy so to take him at #27 reminds me of Ziggy Hood in the late 1st round by the Steelers. Clark is a rotational, solid starter type. I don’t agree with this valuation by Ted Thompson.
  28. Chiefs: Joshua Garnett-Wow maybe this is the worst pick of the 1st Round and they moved up for him? He was the 82nd best player available and had a 4th round grade so there are so many reasons why I hate this maneuver. I didn’t see one draft site saying Garnett was the #1 OG in the class. I didn’t hear any 1st round chatter about him. I don’t see hm being a guy that wouldn’t have been there early in the 2nd round. This just doesn’t make sense. The 49ers have been a great drafting team the past few years but Buckner and Garnett on my board is 0-2 with Garnett being almost a negative 1 it’s so bad.
  29. Cardinals: Robert Nkemdiche-I love this pick, #5 available on my board, as it’s great value and he fits well in that locker room. I could see a Peterson and/or Mathieu mentoring him and giving him a talk about this being a huge opportunity for him and to make the most of it. I also think it is the time in the draft where you start rolling the dice on the high risk/high reward guys like Nkemdiche, Myles Jack and maybe even Jaylon Smith if the knee checks out long term and you’re only worried about losing him for 2016 and not beyond.
  30. Panthers: Vernon Butler-He was #27 available with a late 2nd round grade on my board so it’s a reach to me but the DT class was differently ranked on everyone’s board so it isn’t that big of a surprise. What is more of a surprise is that they went DT instead of DE or CB as DT and LB are the two biggest strengths of their team. It makes me wonder if they are already admitting that Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei BOTH won’t be re-signed. Maybe they looked at how difficult life has been for the Jets with Muhammad Wilkerson’s contract negotiations and are going to sign one, trade the other or just lose the other for a 3rd round compensatory pick and plug in Butler as if nothing bad even happened. It’s an interesting long view look at running a franchise but considering they just let their best DB go for nothing it shows again that the Panthers won’t be held hostage by a player no matter how talented they are.
  31. Seahawks: Germain Ifedi-I love the fit as the Seahawks have a terrible OL. I also think this could work out as Ifedi has a lot of talent and at one time had a 1st round grade on many boards but he dropped to an early 3rd round grade as he never developed from his earlier years and it seems like a bit of a reach. I don’t mind reaches as much when they fit a need so well and this one definitely does so it’s a solid pick for a franchise that really could use some good drafting as there past 3 drafts have been pretty atrocious.

Final Thoughts: I think the Jaguars (Ramsey), Rams (Goff), Cowboys (Elliott), Redskins (Doctson) and Dolphins (Tunsil) all made very good selections that should make their teams noticeably better in 2016. I think the Colts (Ryan Kelly), Cardinals (Nkemdiche), Bills (Lawson) and Vikings (Treadwell) all made selections that are good fits for what they are trying to accomplish and likely will work out well for those franchises, though on a lower expectation level than that first group of teams I mentioned. Finally I think that the 49ers (Buckner, Garrett), Giants (Apple), , Bears (Floyd), Falcons (Neal) and Steelers (Burns) all made very questionable moves that could be disastrous. I think we will look back at this draft and wonder why Myles Jack, Noah Spence, Mackensie Alexander and Emmanuel Ogbah weren’t 1st rounders. These four guys have high grades on my board and were in the 1st round mix. The other guy with a high grade on my board that is still available is Kendall Fuller but I was already prepared to have him still available long after he should be as most don’t value him like I do. The Cowboys are on the clock 2 selections from now so most likely all or all but one of those four guys will be available and three of them (Spence/Ogbah at DE, Alexander at CB) fill a need. The Cowboys draft was good with Elliott at #4 and it could become great if they grab one of those guys at #34. My final thought: Tyron Smith is 25 years old, Travis Frederick is 25, La’el Collins is 22 and Zack Martin is 25. Elliott is a baby at 20 years old and will be just entering his prime when this OL is in the middle of theirs. I preferred Dallas took Jalen Ramsey as I viewed him as a better pure talent but Dallas just paired one of the better RB prospects to come out of college in awhile with the best offensive line in the NFL AND we should expect them to play together for the next 5-7 years. Tony Romo is 36 years old and is injury prone. There are worse things than hitching your wagon to the league’s best rushing attack so that you can more comfortably maneuver around the eventual decline of your franchise QB. John Elway won his only Super Bowls late in his career when he relied on a dominant running game. Maybe Tony Romo will get to ride off in the sunset too as a Super Bowl winner who played second fiddle to an All-Pro running back that dominated the competition.

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7 Comments
  1. Joe permalink

    Ah Eli Apple Jon, gotta love what the Eagles and Giants are doing! haha

  2. Joe permalink

    I’m starting to come around on the Zeke pick, that’s for sure. Maybe I’ll trade up to #1 in our Dynasty draft and get him to compliment Gurley…

  3. Joe permalink

    Reports say the Cowboys were looking to trade up to get Lynch, curious as to what you would have thought about that move?

    • Not a fan but I heard the same rumor about Cowboys, Broncos and Browns all sniffing around moving up into the late 1st round.

  4. Ross permalink

    The Elway/Romo to TD/Zeke comp makes that pick easier to swallow for me. I would still have preferred Ramsey & Jack though!

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