The 2016 NFL Draft has come and gone and with ever draft some teams frankly did better than others. The Draft always has serious ramifications on the following season and even more into the future. What kind of impact did the 2016 NFL Draft have on the future of the 2016 NFL season?
The Jacksonville Jaguars Are Postseason Bound; Book It!
A week before the draft I discussed how the Jaguars were the team to watch coming into the 2016 NFL Draft and boy did I hit the nail on the head. No team had a better draft then the Jacksonville Jaguars. Not only did the Jaguars have the best draft but they got the two best players in the draft in Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack. Both players have hall of fame potential and will wind up being the faces of the re-branded Jaguars defense. I always loved their 3rd and 4th round selections in Yannick Ngakoue and Sheldon Day. Ngakoue will be vital as a situational pass rusher and Sheldon Day will make a living as a interior lineman for years to come. Day is so athletic they asked him to drop in coverage as a 300 pound defesive tackle….. A young core gets a face lift of star studded talent combined with playing in a weak AFC South division puts the Jaguars in postseason play this upcoming season.
2. The Oakland Raiders Are Postseason Bound; Book It!
The Raiders didn’t have the luxury of a top 10 pick this year but they sure did capitalize. After a busy offseason filled with numerous free agent signings the Raiders hit big in the draft. In the first round Karl Joseph could wind up being a Earl Thomas comparable player and would have gone much higher if it weren’t for a knee injury in the final season of his collegiate career. All of the sudden this Raider secondary is awfully terrifying. In the 2nd and 3rd rounds the Raiders added pass rushers in Jahid Ward and Shalique Calhoun to boast and already dominant pass rush. Also don’t forget about 7th round pick Vadal Alexander who could fill the void at guard if need be. An AFC West title is in the Raiders future.
3. The Tear Jerking Selections:
In the 6th round the Baltimore Ravens selected Keenan Reynolds from Navy who is the all time leading rusher in NCAA history. Could he end up being the next Julian Edelman; Maybe? First he has to make the team where Baltimore is loaded with depth at both runningback and wide receiver. This pick was so emotional that multiple staff members on Baltimore broke down in tears.
Maybe more interestingly enough the Minnesota Vikings made NFL Draft history two picks earlier when they selected Moritz Boehringher from Europe! Boehringher is the first player to ever be selected from Europe. After running a 4.43, 40 yard dash why not pull the trigger on him in the 6th round. NFL Network color commentator Mike Mayock may have been the reason the European sensation may have found a home with the Vikings; his favorite childhood team. You can’t make this stuff up! Speaking of the Vikings this brings me to my next point.
4. Mike Zimmer Is Really Freaking Smart!
Some NFL coaches have little impact on the drafting process and some have a more drastic effect. If you look at Rick Spielman’s draft before Zimmer’s arrival and after Zimmer’s arrival the Vikings drafts are 100 times better. The Vikings got a receiver in Laquon Treadwell who probably puts up 1,000 yards this season, a corner who might end up being the best of the group in MacKensie Alexander and two late round steals in Kentrell Brothers and Willie Beavers. The Vikings have adopted the old Bill Parcells ways and I expect them to be postseason bound again in 2016.
5. Lots of Picks, Little Results:
The Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, and Cleveland Browns had a ton of picks and all three teams failed to deliver. Starting with the Ravens my perception is they basically bombed the draft from the 2nd round on. In round two the Ravens were in prime position to select Myles Jack or three of the studs from Alabama (Reggie Ragland, Jarran Reed, A’Shawn Robinson) and passed on all of them to take Kamalei Correa. So Ozzie Newsome you mean to tell me Correa turns out to be a better choice after he failed to even make the first team mountain west? Give me a break your losing it. In round three they selected Bronson Kafusi who’s already old due to his duties at BYU. The Ravens also had five 4th round picks and probably missed on every single one of them. The Titans started out the draft holding the number one pick and walked away with just a bunch of guys (Yes Derrick Henry is just a guy he comes into the NFL with way to many carries). The same can be said of Cleveland who oddly enough took multiple players who don’t even fit their scheme. The Browns also passed on every single quarterback to take Cody Kessler from USC who flat out a career back up at best case scenario. All three teams get an F and there is no way around it.
6. The Quarterbacks:
After the conclusion of the 2016 NFL Draft I am more convinced then ever the Denver Broncos snagged the best one in Paxton Lynch. Maybe it doesn’t happen this year but Paxton Lynch will lead them to multiple playoff appearances. I also like two other quarterback selections in Christian Hackenberg and Cardale Jones. Hackenberg could have been the first pick in the draft if it weren’t for James Franklin ruining him at Penn State. Cardale Jones may even wind up starting for Buffalo as for whatever reason the Bills are not in love with Tyrod Taylor. The first two selections Goff and Wentz probably fail to make the playoffs in year one. Others to note: The Patriots took Jacoby Brisset in round 3? Dear Bill Belichick why did you take an E.J. Manuel when you had so many other possibilities in round 3? The Browns took Cody Kessler in round 3? Dear Cleveland when will you ever just get it? Cody Kessler will stink just like Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkely, John David Booty, Matt Leinart and so on. PS: Call me when you get tired of losing, I’ll more then happily accept the general manager position.
7. First Round Busts & Teams That Hit Homers or Struck Out Completely:
I wrote a column on grading the first round picks and while most draft experts are nice and cute handing out generous draft grades realistically there are a lot of swings and misses on draft day. Some first round misses in my opinion include Joey Bosa, DeForest Buckner, Taylor Decker, Jack Conklin, Josh Doctson, Keanu Neal, and Jared Goff. Maybe I am right and maybe I am wrong but don’t kid yourself you’re team has a better chance of missing than succeeding regardless of who it is.
Teams That Got an A include Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets
Teams That Got an F include Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots (Yes the Patriots they essentially traded Chandler Jones for Jacoby Brissett…..Fail)
Quick Note: The award for most value in the first round goes to the Arizona Cardinals. Robert Nkemdiche turns into a pro bowl defensive lineman for them book it.
8. Finally, Kickers Are People Two!
Some people are going to rip the Buccaneers for taking a kicker in the 2nd round but I am going to do the opposite. Sure a kicker in round two is a little to rich for my blood but how many points is your favorite linebacker scoring next year? A heck of a lot less than Roberto Aguayo who is the most accurate kicker in NCAA history and is already on my fantasy team for next season. You do realize only about 1/3 of players taken in round two eventually pan out. Aguayo is a lock to do so trust me this dude can kick and if the Bucs win a couple of extra games it could be thanks to Aguayo.