The 2016 NFL Draft kicked off on Thursday night in Chicago and it was a memorable one, to say the least. Let’s recap the highlights of the 31 first-round picks and start out with some actual football/draft talk before we get into the Laremy Tunsil debacle.
1.) Rams Select Jared Goff At No. 1
— NFL (@NFL) April 29, 2016
After the Rams made a blockbuster trade with the Tennessee Titans to grab the No. 1 overall pick, there wasn’t much of a question as to what position the Rams would be selecting, but rather, whom? The Rams decision came down to two people: Jared Goff out of Cal or Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State (FCS). The Rams ultimately went with the California kid, Goff, and are hoping that he can be the piece that this franchise can build a team around as they start off a new era in Los Angeles. The Rams needed a quarterback desperately after the insufficient play of both Case Keenum and Nick Foles in 2015, and Goff should supply them with a bright future if he is given the right pieces to utilize at wideout and an offensive line that can protect him.
2.) Eagles Grab Carson Wentz At No. 2
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 29, 2016
In a bizarre turn of events, the Eagles elected to trade up to the No. 2 pick (originally from the Cleveland Browns) to draft a quarterback even though they already have two quarterbacks signed to big money contracts in Sam Bradford (two years, $35 mil) and Chase Daniel (three years, $10 mil). As soon as it was reported that the Eagles were trading up to draft a quarterback, Sam Bradford made it known that he wants out of Philly. And now, the Eagles have added a third quarterback to their roster who they hope will be the future of their franchise in Carson Wentz. This move better pay off for the Birds seeing how they gave up so much in order to acquire the No. 2 pick (no more picks in 2016 until the fourth round) or else this will be an all-time draft blunder, especially when you consider how much the Eagles are already paying for two other quarterbacks.
3.) Laremy Tunsil Drops Out Of Top-10 To Miami At No. 13 Following Hack
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past 24 hours, you know that top OT prospect Laremy Tunsil had his verified Twitter and Instagram accounts hacked just minutes before and during the 2016 NFL Draft. The hacker posted pictures of Laremy talking to coaches about accepting money and benefits, as well as a video of a person who appears to be Tunsil smoking marijuana out of a gas mask. Because of the hacking, Tunsil dropped out of the top-10 (lost approximately $8 million dollars in signing bonuses) and was eventually scooped up by Miami at No. 13. Click here to read more about the hacking. Following Laremy’s selection, he held a press conference to address his draft selection and just what the hell happened that caused him to drop down the board. In the press conference, Tunsil foolishly admitted to accepting money from coaches and was then pulled off stage. The Dolphins may have been able to steal Laremy Tunsil at No. 13 thanks to this hacker, and Tunsil will still be making millions in the NFL despite this hacker’s efforts, but this incident may have brought even more issues to the Ole Miss football program, which is currently under investigation for multiple NCAA violations.
4.) San Diego Takes Risk On Joey Bosa At No. 3
— theScore (@theScore) April 29, 2016
With the loss of Eric Weddle to free agency, many assumed that the San Diego Chargers may try to go after a safety such as Karl Joseph (selected by Oakland at No. 14) or a cornerback like Jalen Ramsey (selected by Jacksonville at No. 4). However, the Chargers instead decided to draft DE Joey Bosa out of Ohio State at No. 3, who was widely regarded as the best quarterback chaser in the entire draft. It never hurts to add a solid pass rusher to your team, however, it could hurt a team like the Chargers to not address your biggest need right now which is in the secondary. Bosa may turn out to be a premiere pass rusher in the NFL, but if not, the Chargers missed a great chance to improve their secondary for the long haul by not selecting either Ramsey or Joseph.
5.) Cowboys Take Ezekiel Elliott At No. 4
— NFL (@NFL) April 29, 2016
The Cowboys already have one of the best offensive lines in the entire NFL. Their biggest need in this draft was either a premiere pass rusher or a stout running back. Dallas decided to go with running back Ezekiel Elliott out of Ohio State, hoping that he can return the team’s running game to the success that it had in 2014 when Dallas went 12-4 and won a playoff game behind the legs of DeMarco Murray. People are always going to be skeptical about taking a running back high in the draft, but ‘Zeke Elliott is the full package with his size, speed, and ability to block. This was the right move for the Cowboys and it could be one that allows their offense to become extremely versatile if Elliott is able to stay healthy.
6.) Browns Trade Out And Select Corey Coleman At No.15
Welcome to the #DawgPound, Corey Coleman!
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 29, 2016
After the Cleveland Browns traded out of the No. 2 spot to No. 8 with Philly and then after they again selected to move down to No. 15 in a trade with the Tennessee Titans, the average NFL fan almost had to admire the Browns strategy of “well, we can’t possibly screw up our pick if we never pick!” But, the Browns eventually decided to stop trading down and ended up selecting wideout Corey Coleman out of Baylor at No. 15. Coleman has been regarded as one of, if not the, most versatile receiver in this year’s draft. The Browns are hoping that Coleman’s skill set will be equivalent to that of Josh Gordon’s, but hopefully, Coleman will not follow the same path as Gordon did off the field.
7.) Broncos Trade Up And Grab Paxton Lynch At No. 26
All of the feels.
— NFL (@NFL) April 29, 2016
The defending Super Bowl champs have had a pretty tumultuous offseason on the free agent front (Malik Jackson, Danny Trevathan, Brock Osweiler all left). After Denver decided to trade for Mark Sanchez earlier this offseason, it was clear that John Elway and company were going to have to make another move whether in free agency or at the draft so that they can put somebody under center who gives them a realistic chance of making another deep playoff run either this year or in the near future. The Broncos decided to trade up to the No. 26 spot with the Seattle Seahawks and select Paxton Lynch out of Memphis. While it may take some time to develop Lynch into the quarterback that the Broncos want him to be, his skill set, height, and arm are similar to that of Brock Osweiler. The Broncos are hoping that Lynch will turn into Osweiler 2.0 and give them solid quarterback stability for the future. 2016 may be a development year for Lynch, but Denver’s elite defense and wide receiver core of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders should hopefully make for a smooth transition into the NFL for their new quarterback.
8.) Myles Jack Drops Out Of The First Round
Linebacker @MylesJack tops this list of best players available after Day 1 of the draft
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 29, 2016
Myles Jack has been widely regarded as one of the best linebackers in this year’s draft class. However, a knee injury that has been deemed as a “ticking time bomb” by several health experts was something that had many worried about Jack’s NFL potential. And, low and behold, the scare of a possible knee implosion and waste of a first round pick was enough to scare away all 31 teams picking in the first round on Thursday night, and Jack still remains undrafted. If Jack’s knee is able to stay out of the operating room, he could pan out to be a steal for whoever grabs him in the second/third round. But, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the No. 5 overall prospect is still available on the second day of the draft.
9.) Giants Add Eli Apple To Secondary At No. 10
— New York Giants (@Giants) April 29, 2016
The New York Giants added CB Janoris Jenkins to their roster during offseason free agency back in March. On Thursday, the Giants elected to add another CB to their roster by drafting Ohio State’s Eli Apple at No. 10. Many people considered the selection of Eli Apple a surprise due to the fact that former Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves was still available. The Giants clearly see something in Apple that they did not see in Hargreaves, and it’s likely Apple’s ability to rush the pass and play in both a tight zone defense as well as man on man, compared to Hargreaves who is mainly a lockdown man defense type of corner. Apple’s versatility is likely the reason why Big Blue decided to draft him over Hargreaves, now he has to go out there and show it on Sundays.
10.) Texans, Redskins, Vikings All Take Hopeful Future Star Wideouts
— NFL (@NFL) April 29, 2016
For the first time in the history of the NFL Draft, three wide receivers came off the board in consecutive order with Will Fuller (ND) going to Houston, Josh Doctson (TCU) going to Washington, and Laquan Treadwell (Ole Miss) going to Minnesota. Maybe the best move out of these three is Josh Doctson to the Redskins with Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson, and Pierre Garcon all heading into contract years. If Doctson can become the wide receiver that the Redskins are hoping that he can be, it may save the Redskins from being without an offensive weapon after Reed, Jackson, and Garcon all become UFA’s next March.