NFL Draft 2016: Winners and Losers
With the end of every NFL draft comes the analysis of every NFL draft. The best thing about the draft is that no one actually knows who will win or who will lose for about three years, but here we are deciding the day after. When looking at who won and lost in the immediate future it should be looked at as where the player was selected, and how he can fit into that team’s role. While players can be made or broken, usually the fit and the coaching is the same so you can have some sort of idea whether team’s were reaching, whether they found value or whether they added a player who just does not fit. With that said let us get into it.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, Yannick Ngakoue, Sheldon Day, Tyrone Holmes, Brandon Allen, Jonathan Woodard)
If you had to ask me pre-draft who I thought would win the defensive rookie of the year I would point to Ramsey or Jack. For the Jaguars to walk away with both is theft. Both should be immediate starters and both should give them an immediate impact in a big way. In going defense with four of their five other picks the Jaguars had a clear plan and the stuck to it. Adding Ramsey early, and going with players who will line up in the front seven late is exactly how you would want the Jaguars to do it. Watch for Sheldon Day, a defensive tackle who will rotate in at first, but more than likely will be looking to take over playing time that Tyson Alualu has.
- Buffalo Bills (Shaq Lawson, Reggie Ragland, Adolphus Washington, Cardale Jones, Jonathan Williams, Kolby Listenbee, Kevon Seymour)
The Bills draft will come down to how you view Lawson, and I see him as a no brainer by pick 19. He has the size, speed and bull rush combination to be a strong outside linebacker and a pass rusher Rex Ryan has truly never had. Lawson can play off of the ball a bit too, and with his versatility, I personally did not see him much lower of a prospect than number three overall pick Joey Bosa. Lawson fell because of a potential shoulder injury that only one team did not clear, and Ragland fell potentialy due a heart issue right before the draft. It appears to not have his career in jeopardy, and if so Ragland is a steal and an immediate starter when selected. Ryan loved Bart Scott and coached him every step of his career, and Ragland reminds you of his type of player. Washington should also look to start right away and can fill in the multiple defense as 3-4 end or a tackle in the nickel. Jones is a project and can learn behind Tyrod Taylor who also has nice deep ball accuracy. Williams was a steal when selected and Listenbee should be looking for time in the slot immediately. To add immediate needs to the defense, have a potential future quarterack and add play makers around him on offense seems like a winner.
- Cincinnatti Bengals (William Jackson, Tyler Boyd, Nick Vigil, Andrew Billings, Christain Westerman, Cody Core, Clayton Fejedelman)
It was a little bizzare that the Bengals went back to the corner back well again for seemingly the 100th time in the first round, but Darqueze Dennard has not proven yet, and in losing Leon Hall this year there was actually still a need. He can be eased in, but by next year should be a starter with Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones. Boyd should be an immediate starter and the way he was used at Pitt should be a similar way to use Boyd here. Vigil will compete for playing time with aging veterans Rey Maualuga and Karlos Dansby, and the Bengals should hope he can replace one of them by this year. Billings is the perfect Domata Peko replacement, I mean you can not find a better player to take on that role, and while the Bengals line is a team strength, Westerman was ridiculous value to add to this bunch and it looks like the Bengals cleaned up from a value stand point this year. They tend to draft for the future and did it in a strong way this year.
- Baltimore Ravens (Ronnie Stanley, Kameli Correa, Bronson Kafusi, Tavon Young, Chris Moore, Alex Lewis, Willie Henry, Kenneth Dixon, Matt Judon, Keynan Reynolds, Maurice Canady)
You can say that it is hard to miss with that many picks, but wow did the Ravens knock this one out of the park. You thought they had made a major mistake taking Stanley of Laremy Tunsil for reasons we all know, but after the Stanley pick the Ravens put on a show. Correa can strictly play on passing downs as a rusher in the immediate futre. Kafusi will rotate and learn behind Terrell Suggs, which is a perfect role for his play. Tavon Young should be penned in as the starting slot corner this year. Kenneth Dixon is a guy I expect to take the starting running back job this year. Alex Lewis is a swing tackle, and Willie Henry can rotate early downs as a run stopper. Matt Judon, Chris Moore and Keenan Reynolds were highly productive and the thought would be if even one of those three saw time in the next couple of years this draft was a strong as you can get. There was no glitzy top pick, but the way they hit depth positions and hit them hard was as impressive as you can do.
- Minnesota Vikings- (Laquon Treadwell, Mackensie Alexander, Willie Beavers, Kentrell Brothers, Mortiz Boehringer, David Morgan, Stephen Weatherly, Jayron Kearse)
The Vikings did a good job of mixing future help with winning now. Treadwell and Alexander should get on the field immediately and should help them win now. Treadwell will lead the team in targets and more than likely be the most productive receiver next season. He is the best blocking prospect and to stick him in a run first offense as a possession receiver is like finding a match made in heaven. Alexander may be a better prospect than their first round pick Trae Wayans. He should play in the slot immediately, but do no count out Alexander getting a decent number of snaps on the outside. Beavers is a project and will look to be a swing tackle and potential replacement for Phil Loadholt in the next few years. Brothers should be looking to take Chad Greenways role by next year and has the talent to do it. Boehringer and Morgan are low risk picks with very high rewards. Morgan is a beast blocker and no joke in the pass game as a big fram tight end. Boehringer is a big frame wide out, and will battle for time as a raw rookie from Germany.
- Miami Dolphins (Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso, Laremy Tunsil, Xavien Howard, Kenyan Drake, Leone Carroo, Jakeem Grant, Jordan Lucas, Brandon Doughty, Thomas Duarte)
A lot of people look at them grabbing Tunsil after taking on Maxwell and Alonso to be a steal. However, they plan to move Tunsil, a generational left tackle to guard in the immediate future. Maxwell is on a bad contract, and they seem to think his poor play last year was an anamoly but I tend to doubt that. Howard can help a poor corner group, but this was a guy who just did not feel like tackling and a player I had personally saw as a fourth rounder if not later, who will need taught up before seeing the field. With a team with so many holes taking Drake, a complimentary back in the third, and trading two future picks for Carroo seemed goofy. Adding Carroo to a core of Devante Parker, Jarvis Landry, and Kenny Stills, all giys they invested in very recently, you just wonder if he was such a big need that they really had to trade multiple picks for him? When will he see the field or how much capital from previous moves are you just losing? They of course added Grant another receiver in the very next round, and tight end Thomas Duarte, a true pass catching, non blocking tight end in round seven. After paying Jordan Cameron a ton, Duarte just did not seem like a need. Doughty was a throw away pick with the upside of being a back up quarterback, and personally I thought this team is way too far away from competing to be makin luxury picks and to trade away future assets.
- Tennessee Titans (Jack Conklin, Kevin Dodd, Austin Johnson, Derrick Henry, Kevin Byard, Tajae Sharpe, LaShaun Simms, Sebastian Tretola, Karlan Reed)
I get it that Conklin was their guy all along. Still, to trade back only to trade up for a right tackle is goofy. Mitchell Schwartz was a free agent until about a month ago and could have given them similar production for the next five years. I do not think taking a guy whose role you can fill via free agency is worth a top ten pick. Dodd is a question as to where he fits in this defense. The original thought is a 3-4 outside linebacker but his kid never played off of the ball and doesn’t really have the edge speed and has more power to his game. Still, as a 3-4 he really doesn’t fit what Dick LeBeau typically wants so his usage should be watched. Derrick Henry appeared to be a luxury pick, and while he may have been value, and may see the field next to Demarco Murray, it seems weird that they would invest so much into Murray only to give him split carries and a thunder-lightning type of backfield. The rest of the picks were all kind of “meh” and while most of them will compete for playing time, you just wonder if they had not been so attached to Conklin if they could have added a few better pieces to the core.
- San Diego Chargers (Joey Bosa, Hunter Henry, Max Tuerk, Josh Perry, Jatavis Brown, Drew Kaser, Derek Watt, Donovan Clark)
The world was shocked that the Chargers took Joey Bosa. To me, it was not so much that it was a surprise they did not leak the pick early, it is a surprise because he does not fit their defensive scheme. They plan to stick him at the defensive end position of the 3-4 which really limits his production and his versatility which were two pieces that were really admired in Bosa. They reached for Henry to fill the hole of Ladarius Green. Josh Perry and Jatavis Brown are both inisde linebackers, but both play a completely different style. The Chargers already have Denzel Perryman and Manti Te’o so Te’o should be fearful of his job as the Chargers clearly saw this as a need. Brown maybe can play safety, but overall with their defensive selections you cannot picture what they plan to do with their defense right now. Drew Kaser is a punter and Watt is a fullback who once led the way for their 2015 first rounder Melvin Gordon. That makes sense, and gives Gordon, who was poor last year, familiarity, but Watt was not getting drafted if it were not for them, and you have to wonder if they wasted a pick or two this year.
New York Jets (Ryan Clady, Darron Lee, Christain Hackenburg, Jordan Jenkins, Justin Burris, Brandon Shell, Lac Edwards, Charon Peake)
Put me down as someone who saw Lee as a second round talent. It is a fit, and gives the Jets off ball speed, but Deion Jones could have been a pick for them in the second round instead of reaching for Lee and they could have added another potenital starter. Hackenburg is an obvious reach at this point, but given the round he was picked in, and given that the depth chart is Geno Smith and Bryce Petty, you have to wonder if he is the starer right now. Scary thought Jets fans, as a he does need ironing out. Clady could be a strong trade for a later draft pick, but he has hardly seen the field since 2013. Jenkins was solid value, but the rest of draft seemed to be hoping for a project or two to turn out. It just doesn’t seem like they added enough immediate impact.
- Cleveland Browns (Corey Coleman, Emmanuel Ogbah, Carl Nassib, Shon Coleman, Cody Kesslar, Joe Schobert, Ricardo Louis, Derrick Kindred, Seth DeValve, Jordan Payton, Spencer Drango, Rashard Higgins, Trey Caldwell, Scooby Wright)
Look, I get what the Browns are doing. Load up on the strengths they see in the class and hope that some of thes e guys stick. I especially liked the Coleman, Nassib and Higgins picks, but the rest just seemed like throwing names out there and hoping they stick. Ogbah was a guy who you felt that the environemnt he was drafted into would determine how commited he is to play 100%. Cleveland typically is not the environment you envision with a guy like him. Then you draft five wide receivers. Again, letting them compete and hoping one or two stick is fine, but they did just basically admit they are fine with wasting a couple picks every year. They drafted two projects at tackle and in the middle of it all reached for Cody Kesslar at quarterback. I wanted to belive the Browns would do it right, and when they traded back I was ready to give them respect. Not taking advantage of the picks and tossing a few away in the name of competition is not the way I would have gone.