The 2016 NFL draft has come and gone . We are in a new era of the NFL. The passing era. Receiving records will continue to fall. More passing records will fall and coaches will be forced to look for talent in the secondary because the game is played on both sides of the ball …. offense and defense. Defensive players are always safer picks in an NFL Draft. Offensive Linemen. Low risk … there were names in the first round of this draft on nobody’s list … the experts who compile and write their own NFL Mock Drafts. The trades, the unexpected run on safeties in the first round
1. It’s a social media world. And a quarterback world with two teams mortgaging the farm to take Jared Goff and Carson Wentz #1 and #2 … St. Louis giving away their first round pick in 2017, Tennessee will pick twice in the first round in next year’s 2017 draft, three times in the second round of this year’s draft, and owned five of the first 65 selections. They traded up in the first round to take a solid offensive lineman, Jack Conklin from Michigan State. When Tennessee owned the #1 pick in the draft, Laremy Tunsil from Ole Miss was widely expected to be the choice .. a franchise Left Tackle … 13 minutes before the draft, social media struck and teams opted for offensive linemen, extremely talented, Conklin, Ronnie Stanley from Notre Dame, over Tunsil who was rated by many as the best athlete available in the draft because in this era of social media, constant coverage, and the NFL rolling out a model disciplinary action for all sports leagues …. Sorry Tom Brady, you knew you’d have to serve this 4 game suspension and the Supreme Court cannot help you … teams did not want to take a risk on Tunsil who fell to #13, taken by the Dolphins who simply could not pass up his athleticism.
Philadelphia traded away 5 picks to select Wentz … a quarterback with less than 25 collegiate starts. The data isn’t favorable on success in the NFL with less than 25 collegiate starts. Cleveland and Tennessee are able to build foundations over the next 2 seasons with the advantage of having a franchise QB in Marcus Mariota. Cleveland, however, may have made the worst pick of the draft when they selected USC QB Cody Kessler in the third round, a guy on nobody’s list. The Browns could have easily signed him as an undrafted free agent and spent the third round pick on a LB or defensive linemen. The Browns added wide receivers, spending 4 fouth round draft choices on the position … it’s WR tryouts in Cleveland …pass rush, linebackers and offensive linemen. They have so many holes on their roster there was no point in them taking Carson Wentz … history has shown us, Derek Carr, Tim Couch, others would simply got annihilated their first few years because of poor pass protection, no receiving threat, the defense couldn’t get off the field forcing more passing situations, and there was no running game. Build a core then find your franchise QB. Goff and Wentz are so risky, the Browns are better off rolling the dice with RGIII, McCown too … bring in a rookie … Connor Cook would have inspired some Hope amongst Browns Nation. Kessler was the 6th QB taken over all and the 9 quarterbacks selected after him are all more exciting.
15 quarterbacks were selected in this draft and dozens more will be added as Undrafted Free Agents as NFL teams expand their rosters to 90.
2. It’s a Buckeye World. And a defensive back world. 12 players were selected in the 2016 NFL Draft from The Ohio State University … Clemson was second with 9 players selected , UCLA third with 8 selections …. 5 Buckeyes were taken in the first round, the biggest surprise being Eli Apple, selected 10th overall by the New York Football Giants, because the NFL is hungry for people who can play corner and safety position. We’re just seeing the beginning of safeties and corners being selected higher than expected in the NFL Draft because we’re in the new era of the NFL … been in it … and the trend of passing yards and scoring records will continue … 2 safeties and 5 corners were taken in the first round … Karl Joseph from West Virginia … devalued because of injury … Keanu Neal from Florida … Artie Burns from Miami … these defensive backs weren’t on many mock drafts as first round choices. In all, 31 corners and 21 safeties were selected in the 2016 NFL Draft. Corners were second to 33 wide receivers being selected … the New NFL. The NFL 2020.
3. It’s a high risk high reward world. And a pass rushing LB/DE world. Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack at the linebacker position, the NFL devaluing inside linebackers because they don’t rush the passer, and teams devaluing Jack and Smith because of injury, Smith being riskier because he’s expected to miss all of 2016. Jack is expected to fully participate in 2016 but may have degenerative knee problems. Dallas snatched up Smith in the second round, pick 34 while Jacksonville selected Jack on a trade with pick 36. Things are looking brighter in Jacksonville … franchise QB no question and they have talented wide receivers and backfield workhorse in TJ Yeldon. Jalen Ramsey, the other best available athlete in the 2016 draft depending on which expert you asked, fell to Jacksonville at #5 overall because San Diego couldn’t pass on Joey Bosa, their biggest need, getting to opposing QBs then Dallas couldn’t pass on Buckeye Ezekiel Elliott who went #4. There was no way Jacksonville could have ever thought Ramsey would fall to them. Buffalo getting Reggie Ragland at pick 41, Shaq Lawson at 19 overall, New Orleans grabbing Buckeye safety Vonn Bell at 61, interior lineman Jarran Reed from Alabama, selected by Seattle 49th, with fellow Alabama interior lineman A’Shawn Robinson being selected 46th overall by Detroit … these were real value picks on days 1 and 2 because all these players listed above had first round NFL talent.
A second round defensive linemen is a 50/50 bet to become a 3 year starter in the NFL. Safe picks.