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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Jack Parkman, Feb 11, 2019.
I’ll fight you
bring it on weenie
I’ll whip both your asses to rent him for a year to replace Rankins
Thought this was pretty cool
dan the man qb1 should start week 1
Someone post the pic of dan and Eli looking exactly alike to make my day worse
my phone background
my gf bought a giants hat for me for my birthday that she had custom made. finally got it in yesterday.
she told the guy she bought it from to stitch the signature of our first round draft pick on the side
i now have a dan the man qb1 jones giants hat. i'll take a picture when i get home.
I'm guessing Tampa was dead last
Revisiting the 2016 NFL Draft, with grades and analysis
By Dane Brugler
Spoiler: Very Long article
“Grades right after the draft are dumb!”
Grading the picks immediately after the NFL Draft is understandably ridiculed, considering the prospects have yet to take a snap in the league.
Instead, let’s revisit the 2016 draft.
The narrative on the players from the 2016 draft class will continue to change, but three full seasons in the NFL is enough of a sample size to judge the teams that drafted well and the teams that are reeling because of poor draft choices.
(Dane contributed the grade, best pick, best value and biggest miss. The beat writers added analysis of their team’s draft. Bold indicates the player is on the active roster.)
1 (4) Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
2 (34) Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
3 (67) Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska
4 (101) Charles Tapper, DL, Oklahoma (Free Agent)
4 (135) Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
6 (189) Anthony Brown, CB, Purdue
6 (212) Kavon Frazier, SS, Central Michigan
6 (216) Darius Jackson, RB, Eastern Michigan
6 (217) Rico Gathers, TE, Baylor
Best player: Ezekiel Elliott
The “value” of taking a running back in the top-five picks is certainly debatable, but it made sense for the Cowboys, who viewed Elliott as the missing piece who would put the Tony Romo-led offense over the hump. Due to Romo’s preseason injury, it didn’t materialize that way, but Elliott has been one of the best NFL running backs since entering the league, surpassing 2,000 yards of total offense last season.
Best value: Dak Prescott
After trading up for Paxton Lynch didn’t work out and Connor Cook was drafted one pick before they planned to draft him, the Cowboys settled for Prescott, who along with Tyreek Hill, has been the most impressive non-top 100 pick from the 2016 class. In three seasons as the starter in Dallas, Prescott has led the Cowboys to two NFC East titles, earning a pair of Pro Bowl nods.
Biggest miss: Charles Tapper
The only player from the Cowboys’ 2016 draft class not on the organization’s roster, Tapper is the answer to the trivia question: The Cowboys drafted two players in the fourth round in 2016, the second was Prescott, who was the first player? Tapper spent more time on the injured list than on the field during his stay in Dallas and is currently a free agent.
Beat writer’s take: This draft class is remembered for running back Ezekiel Elliott being selected fourth overall. He’s emerged as one of the best running backs in the NFL. In reality, the Cowboys selected six players who either start or get significant playing time from their nine-man draft class. The Cowboys gambled on second-round pick, linebacker Jaylon Smith, who was going to miss his rookie year recovering from a severe leg injury sustained in his last game at Notre Dame. Of course, few expected Dak Prescott, a fourth-round pick, to eventually become the starting quarterback and face of the franchise. Elliott, Prescott and Smith are expected to get second contracts and considered part of the core of this young team. The Cowboys did miss with fourth-round pick, defensive end Charles Tapper and sixth-rounder, tight end Rico Gathers. — Calvin Watkins
1 (17) Keanu Neal, SS, Florida
2 (52) Deion Jones, LB, LSU
3 (81) Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford
4 (115) De’Vondre Campbell, LB, Minnesota
6 (195) Wes Schweitzer, OG, San Jose State
7 (238) Devin Fuller, WR, UCLA (Free Agent)
Best player: Deion Jones
The Falcons are the only team with three players from the 2016 draft class to each make a Pro Bowl with Keanu Neal, Deion Jones and Austin Hooper. However, Jones has been the best of the group. He was one of the best rookies in 2016 and had a Pro Bowl season in 2017, recording 100-plus tackles and three interceptions in each season. He missed most of 2018 with a foot injury, but when on the field, Jones is a playmaker.
Best value: Jones
Starting 39 games the past three seasons and collecting 234 tackles, De’Vondre Campbell deserves mentioned here for his impact as a fourth-round pick. However, Jones was the best value for Atlanta in the 2016 class. Originally drafted outside the top 50, he would almost certainly be a top-20 pick in a redraft.
Biggest miss: Devin Fuller
The first five of the Falcons’ draft picks have been hits or solid contributors, leaving only Fuller as the albatross of Atlanta’s class. It’s impressive when your biggest miss didn’t happen until the seventh round.
Beat writer’s take: With the benefit of hindsight, the Falcons nailed their first four picks of the 2016 draft. Prior to 2018, Keanu Neal and Deion Jones were stars on the defense. With injuries derailing their seasons last year, it proved just how valuable Neal and Jones are to this team. Tight end Austin Hooper made his first Pro Bowl this past year, and linebacker De’Vondre Campbell has emerged as one of Atlanta’s defensive leaders. While some thought Neal’s selection in the first round was a reach three years ago, it has turned out quite well for the franchise. — Jason Butt
1 (5) Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
2 (36) Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
3 (69) Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE, Maryland
4 (103) Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame (49ers)
6 (181) Tyrone Holmes, EDGE, Montana (Dolphins)
6 (201) Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas (Rams)
7 (226) Jonathan Woodard, EDGE, Central Arkansas (Dolphins)
Best player: Jalen Ramsey
After he had a standout rookie campaign, Ramsey made the Pro Bowl each of the past two seasons and has been one of the best coverage players since entering the league. Some believe his boisterous act has worn thin in Jacksonville, but regardless, it will be a surprise if Ramsey isn’t the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL in the near future.
Best value: Yannick Ngakoue
In his final season at Maryland, Ngakoue set a single-season school record with 13.5 sacks so his NFL production (29.5 sacks over three seasons) shouldn’t be a complete shocker. But he was labeled a tweener due to his lack of size and point-of-attack power, and questions about positional fit dropped him to the third round, providing tremendous value for the Jags.
Biggest miss: Sheldon Day
Drafted just outside the top-100 picks, Day didn’t last two seasons in Jacksonville. He averaged only a handful of snaps over 22 games with the Jaguars before he was released midway through the 2017 season. Day was claimed by the 49ers but needs a strong training camp this summer to make the final roster in San Francisco.
Beat writer’s take: The 2016 draft was Dave Caldwell’s best as general manager of the Jaguars. The first-round pick was a no-brainer, with Jalen Ramsey falling to fifth overall. Ramsey, of course, has developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the league. But it was the second- and third-round selections that really distinguished this draft for Caldwell, who took over in 2013. Linebacker Myles Jack plummeted out of the first round because of concerns over a potentially degenerative knee condition. Caldwell took a gamble and traded up to take Jack with the 36th overall pick, and the former UCLA standout is now one of the most crucial pieces on the Jags’ talented defense, entering his second season as the Mike linebacker. The knee has never been an issue. In the third round, Caldwell snagged defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, and that has proven to be one of the steals of the draft. Ngakoue’s 29.5 sacks since 2016 rank 11th in the league. — Daniel Popper
1 (6) Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
2 (42) Kamalei Correa, EDGE, Boise State (Titans)
3 (70) Bronson Kaufusi, DL, BYU (Jets)
4 (104) Tavon Young, CB, Temple
4 (107) Chris Moore, WR, Cincinnati
4 (130) Alex Lewis, OT/G, Nebraska
4 (132) Willie Henry, DL, Michigan
4 (134) Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech
5 (146) Matt Judon, EDGE, Grand Valley State
6 (182) Keenan Reynolds, RB/WR, Navy (Seahawks)
6 (209) Maurice Canady, CB, Virginia
Best player: Ronnie Stanley
It was reported that Laremy Tunsil was the Ravens’ choice before the infamous gas mask/bong video was leaked (the Ravens deny that), but Stanley has been a promising young player for Baltimore. Starting 42 games at left tackle the past three seasons, he hasn’t hit dominant status but has shown steady progression and is an important part of the offense.
Best value: Matt Judon
Tavon Young certainly has a strong case for the “best value” superlative, but Judon receives the edge. Sharing the pass-rush duties in Baltimore, Judon has combined for 15 sacks the past two seasons and is entering an important contract year that could equate to a lucrative extension. From my 2016 scouting report on Judon: “He is still a work in progress as a run defender and faces a large jump in competition from Division II to the NFL, but he has intriguing pass-rush traits worth developing.”
Biggest miss: Kamalei Correa
The Ravens cleaned up in the fourth and fifth rounds in 2016 but whiffed on their Day 2 picks. Correa struggled to carve out a role in Baltimore’s scheme and managed only 19 tackles (and zero sacks) in his two seasons with the Ravens. Prior to the 2018 season, he was traded to the Titans for a sixth-round draft pick.
Beat writer’s take: Talk about a mixed bag. Day 1 was acceptable. Day 2 was a disaster. Day 3 exceeded expectations. The Ravens settled for left tackle Ronnie Stanley at six after the guys they coveted, Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott and Jalen Ramsey, were taken in the three slots ahead of them and they got cold feet on Laremy Tunsil after the bong video surfaced. Stanley hasn’t developed yet into a dominant Pro Bowl-caliber left tackle, as you’d hope from a sixth-overall pick. However, he’s been solid and he’s stabilized a position the Ravens struggled to fill since the days of Jonathan Ogden. Neither Day 2 pick, Correa nor Kaufusi, made it to the end of his rookie contract with the team, and the Kaufusi miss particularly stings because the Ravens took him with the third-round pick that they refused to include in trade talks with Dallas to jump Jacksonville and move into the four spot, so they could select Ramsey. Seven of their eight Day 3 picks are still on the roster three years later, and that includes Judon, the team’s best pass rusher; Young, a very good slot corner; and Moore, one of the team’s top special teams players. The draft didn’t produce any stars, but it did yield several key contributors. — Jeff Zrebiec
Kansas City Chiefs
2 (37) Chris Jones, DL, Mississippi State
3 (74) KeiVarae Russell, CB, Notre Dame (Bengals)
4 (105) Parker Ehinger, OG, Cincinnati (Free Agent)
4 (106) Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota (Browns)
4 (126) Demarcus Robinson, WR, Florida
5 (162) Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford (Broncos)
5 (165) Tyreek Hill, WR, Alabama State
6 (178) D.J. White, CB, Georgia Tech (Free Agent)
6 (203) Dadi Nicolas, EDGE, Virginia Tech (Free Agent)
Best player: Tyreek Hill/Chris Jones
If we’re judging strictly by what happens on the field then Hill is the correct answer and the main reason the Chiefs are rated so highly for their 2016 draft haul. His speed and offensive diversity make him one of the most dangerous players in the NFL. However, there is no denying his horrific decision-making off the field, making it tough to call him the “best player” from this class. With Hill suspended indefinitely, Jones vaults to the top of the class as the best player from the Chiefs’ 2016 draftees.
Best value: Hill/Jones
Biggest miss: KeiVarae Russell
Despite being a third-round pick, Russell lasted only a few months in Kansas City before he was released a few weeks into his first season. He struggled to find his footing in the Chiefs’ scheme and was the first player from the 2016 class to be cut (among players in the first four rounds).
Beat writer’s take: This draft class for the Chiefs will always be remembered most for their selection of Hill, the NFL’s fastest player who was indefinitely suspended by the team in late April. Hill is still under investigation from the Kansas district attorney’s office as to whether he abused his 3-year-old son by breaking his arm. Hill’s future with the franchise, despite his impressive on-field production, is uncertain. The Chiefs did well in selecting Jones, who has improved in each of his three seasons. He is expected to sign a long-term contract extension later this summer before training camp begins. The only other member of the class still on the roster is Robinson, who has become a reliable option for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the league’s reigning MVP. The disappointment for the Chiefs is that Russell was let go during his rookie season and that Ehinger and Murray were traded away for underperforming when they were given increased snaps. — Nate Taylor
New Orleans Saints
1 (12) Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
2 (47) Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
2 (61) Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State
4 (120) David Onyemata, DL, Manitoba
7 (237) Daniel Lasco, RB, California (Free Agent)
Best player: Michael Thomas
Through three seasons as a pro, Thomas has amassed a staggering 321 receptions, including an NFL-best 125 catches in 2018. His 1,405 receiving yards last season set a franchise record and earned him his second Pro Bowl invitation. Thomas was the sixth receiver drafted in 2016 but has undoubtedly been the best pass-catcher from that class and one of the top overall players.
Best value: Thomas
Thomas didn’t have gaudy production at Ohio State and ran a 4.57 40-yard dash, but it is still hard to believe he lasted until the 47th pick. He was a first-round-caliber prospect whom many NFL teams simply overthought. In a redraft, does Thomas get out of the top-10 picks? No chance.
Biggest miss: Daniel Lasco
The Saints had only five draft picks and none of the first four were misses. Lasco saw limited playing time as a rookie and suffered a spinal injury in 2017 that has derailed his career.
Beat writer’s take: This draft class actually kicked off the turnaround from mediocre-land for the Saints, even though the 2017 crop receives most of the credit. Rankins is still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in the NFC divisional round against the Eagles, but he easily played his best season in 2018. Michael Thomas is Michael Thomas. The Saints traded up for both Bell and Onyemata. The former Ohio State safety has been a starter for three years, and Onyemata continues to improve every year. Injuries derailed Lasco’s career yet still wasn’t a poor pick in the seventh round. — Larry Holder
1 (2) Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
3 (79) Isaac Seumalo, OG, Oregon State
5 (153) Wendell Smallwood, RB, West Virginia
5 (164) Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, TCU
6 (196) Blake Countess, CB, Auburn
7 (233) Jalen Mills, CB, LSU
7 (240) Alex McCalister, EDGE, Florida (Free Agent)
7 (251) Joe Walker, LB, Oregon (Cardinals)
Best player: Carson Wentz
Not much debate here. Injury-related issues have been troublesome the past two seasons, but Wentz is the Eagles’ most valuable player. It wouldn’t be shocking if we look back at the 2016 NFL Draft in 10 years and remember Wentz as the best player from the entire class.
Best value: Jalen Mills
Halapoulivaati Vaitai deserves an honorable mention for his play the past three seasons as a fifth-rounder. But Mills has been the best value and it hasn’t been overly surprising. He put together a strong career at LSU as a four-year starter, seeing time at both cornerback and free safety. Mills was a Day 2 talent on the field, but strong off-field concerns, including misdemeanor battery against a woman, dropped him off most draft boards completely. He has stayed out of trouble in Philly and has played an important role in the Eagles’ secondary.
Biggest miss: Alex McCalister
There weren’t many “misses” in the Eagles’ 2016 draft haul with the first six players drafted still on the active roster and contributing. In the seventh round, McCalister was seen as a flexible edge rusher with upside, but his issues (both on and off the field) kept him from ever suiting up in an NFL game.
Beat writer’s take: In looking back on the Eagles’ 2016 draft, it’s important to remember the context. Howie Roseman was back in charge of personnel after Chip Kelly’s unceremonious and deserved canning. Because Kelly had ravaged the scouting staff, Roseman was working with a bare-bones group that was headed by him and longtime adviser Tom Donahoe, along with Doug Pederson’s coaching staff. The result was probably Roseman’s best overall draft of the now nine over which he has presided.
Starting back to front, one of the Eagles’ two seventh-round picks was Jalen Mills, who has started 25 games over his first three seasons, the most of any seventh-rounder in the 2016 draft. Sixth-round pick Blake Countess turned into a useful special teams player with the Rams and is now back in Philadelphia. Fifth-round pick Halapoulivaati Vaitai is fighting for his spot on the depth chart now, but he has been a valuable swing tackle and started, and played well, at left tackle in the Super Bowl. He was a home-run selection. Wendell Smallwood is still on the roster and has outperformed his fifth-round status. And after a slow start to his career, third-round pick Isaac Seumalo has settled in as the starting left guard and was recently signed to an extension. Roseman also added a quarterback early, fulfilling his goal after a series of shrewd moves. That worked out well. — Bo Wulf
1 (24) William Jackson, CB, Houston
2 (55) Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
3 (87) Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State
4 (122) Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
5 (161) Christian Westerman, OG, Arizona State
6 (199) Cody Core, WR, Ole Miss
7 (245) Clayton Fejedelem, SS, Illinois
Best player: Tyler Boyd
After a disappointing sophomore season with the Bengals, Boyd emerged in 2018 with 76 catches for 1,028 receiving yards and seven scores. He has produced like one of the top slot targets in today’s NFL and certainly outplayed most of the receivers drafted ahead of him in the 2016 class. When healthy, William Jackson certainly has a case for this category.
Best value: Nick Vigil
Vigil isn’t a household name, but when healthy and on the field, he has performed well. He is swift to react vs. the run and quickly finds his landmarks in coverage – Vigil is underappreciated and has proven to be a solid value as a late third-rounder. Andrew Billings also deserves mention, carving out a starting role as a fourth-round pick.
Biggest miss: Christian Westerman
None of the Bengals’ first four picks qualifies as “misses,” which takes us to Westerman, who has struggled to find the field for a team with an underachieving offensive line. He was viewed as a possible top-100 pick and appeared to be a steal at No. 161 overall, but hasn’t lived up to that billing.
Beat writer’s take: Top to bottom, the 2016 Bengals draft is one of the team’s best during the past decade, with all seven players still on the roster. While void of any All-Pro — or even Pro Bowl — players, the first four selections that year (cornerback William Jackson, wide receiver Tyler Boyd, linebacker Nick Vigil and defensive tackle Andrew Billings) started last year and are expected to again in 2019. And seventh-round safety Clayton Fejedelem has developed into a Pro Bowl alternate on special teams the past two years. The Bengals didn’t know it at the time, but it’s evident now how much pressure was on them to draft well in 2016. Another bad draft on the heels of the 2015 debacle would have set the franchise back years. Jackson and Boyd are in line for huge pay raises next year (the team already picked up Jackson’s fifth-year option), and they probably won’t be the only members of the draft class to sign second contracts with the Bengals. — Jay Morrison
1 (9) Leonard Floyd, EDGE, Georgia
2 (56) Cody Whitehair, OG/C, Kansas State
3 (72) Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida
4 (113) Nick Kwiatkoski, LB, West Virginia
4 (124) Deon Bush, S, Miami (Fla.)
4 (127) Deiondre’ Hall, CB, Northern Iowa (Eagles)
5 (150) Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana (Eagles)
6 (185) DeAndre Houston-Carson, DB, William & Mary
7 (230) Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan (CFL)
Best player: Cody Whitehair
While Floyd has been a reliable contributor on defense, Whitehair was the best pick from the Bears’ 2016 haul, especially considering he wasn’t a top-50 draft pick. In three seasons, he has started all 49 games, primarily at center while also filling in at guard.
Best value: Jordan Howard
In three NFL seasons, Howard has produced 3,370 rushing yards and 25 total touchdowns, missing only one game. He wasn’t an ideal fit in Matt Nagy’s offense and averaged only 3.7 yards per carry in 2018, which is why he fetched just a conditional 2020 sixth-round pick when the Bears traded him to the Eagles this offseason. However, Howard has certainly outplayed his draft position.
Biggest miss: Jonathan Bullard
Bullard has been a solid rotational piece, seeing action in all but two games the past three seasons. However, he has only five career starts with minimal production, including just two sacks. Bullard has been solid, but you expect more out of a top-75 draft pick.
Beat writer’s take: The 2016 NFL Draft was the first time that the league experienced the aggressive, targeted approach of general manager Ryan Pace. He traded up from No. 11 to No. 9 to select outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. The Giants were believed to be high on Floyd, but the Bears leapfrogged them at No. 10. Instead, the Giants took cornerback Eli Apple, who was traded to the Saints in October of the 2018 season. Floyd might not be a top-tier rusher, but he still has value because of his athleticism and versatility. The acquisition of superstar Khalil Mack — and his massive contract — didn’t stop the Bears from picking up Floyd’s fifth-year option for 2020. The Bears’ best picks from 2016 are arguably center/guard Cody Whitehair (second round) and running back Jordan Howard (fifth). But Whitehair, who has started every game over his first three seasons, is the only one of the two who will be a long-term fixture for the Bears. Howard ran for 2,435 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first two seasons under former coach John Fox, but he didn’t fit coach Matt Nagy’s offense. After a 2018 season full of career lows, Howard was traded in March to the Eagles for a conditional sixth-round pick in 2020. Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski and safeties Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson are regulars on special teams. — Adam Jahns
1 (16) Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
2 (46) A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
3 (95) Graham Glasgow, OG/C, Michigan
4 (111) Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah
5 (151) Joe Dahl, OG, Washington State
5 (169) Antwione Williams, LB, Georgia Southern (Panthers)
6 (191) Jake Rudock, QB, Michigan (Dolphins)
6 (202) Anthony Zettel, DL, Penn State (Browns)
6 (210) Jimmy Landes, LS, Baylor (Free Agent)
7 (236) Dwayne Washington, RB, Washington (Saints)
Best player: Taylor Decker
After a standout rookie campaign during which he started all 16 games, Decker missed half of the 2017 season with a shoulder injury. He returned last season with mixed results, but he started all 16 games at left tackle and should be improved in 2019.
Best value: Graham Glasgow
After coming off the bench for the first five games as a rookie, Glasgow has started 43 straight games for the Lions, seeing playing time at center and both guard spots. He had off-field concerns at Michigan but turned things around and has been a reliable player for the Lions, certainly outplaying his draft spot.
Biggest miss: Miles Killebrew
After 66 total tackles his first two seasons, Killebrew managed only seven stops in 2018 as his role diminished from “some defense” to practically “no defense” and a special teams-only role. As a fourth-round pick, Killebrew isn’t a glaring miss from the 2016 Lions’ class, but Detroit envisioned more for him when they drafted him.
Beat writer’s take: Bob Quinn’s first draft class in Detroit produced three multi-year starters (Taylor Decker, A’Shawn Robinson and the wholly underrated Graham Glasgow), plus a fourth player, Miles Killebrew, who has been a special-teams mainstay. Pretty good return, and that’s without mentioning the contributions made by the other Day 3 guys — Joe Dahl is the only member of that group still on the roster. What keeps this from being a great class, though, is the lack of a superstar. Decker has been a decent left tackle but he’s not elite at that position, and the Lions really need him to be. Oh, and take a few points off for drafting a long snapper in Round 6. That was inexplicable. — Chris Burke
Green Bay Packers
1 (27) Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
2 (48) Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
3 (88) Kyler Fackrell, EDGE, Utah State
4 (131) Blake Martinez, LB, Stanford
4 (137) Dean Lowry, DL, Northwestern
5 (163) Trevor Davis, WR, California
6 (200) Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford (Free Agent)
Best player: Kenny Clark
At only 23 years old, Clark is entering Year 4 of his NFL career and is one of the best interior linemen in the NFL (despite no Pro Bowl appearances). He offers value as both a run defender and pass rusher and has yet to hit his prime.
Best value: Blake Martinez
In three seasons, Martinez has lit up the stat sheet with 357 tackles over 45 games played. With some of his missteps, he might not be a Pro Bowl-level performer, but he doesn’t need to be – Martinez has proved to be a productive NFL starter and a steal in the draft, considering 130 players were drafted ahead of him.
Biggest miss: Jason Spriggs
The Packers traded up nine spots in the second round to draft Spriggs No. 48 overall, which simply hasn’t panned out. He has started nine games over three seasons and has been more of a liability than a consistent performer. Spriggs enters 2019 as Green Bay’s backup left tackle, but his roster spot will be hanging by a thread unless he improves in training camp.
Beat writer’s take: This was an interesting class for former general manager Ted Thompson in his penultimate draft at the helm. His first-round pick, Kenny Clark, has the makings of a future All-Pro and has developed into the best defensive player on the team. His second-round pick, Jason Spriggs, remains a costly misfire. The Packers envisioned Spriggs as their potential right tackle of the future and traded up to select him with the 48th overall pick. But Spriggs has been wholly unreliable the past three seasons and will likely be on the roster bubble this summer. The middle rounds of the draft identified three serviceable starters in Kyler Fackrell, Blake Martinez and Dean Lowry, while the tail end of the draft featured additional misfires in wide receiver Trevor Davis, whose only contributions have come on special teams, and offensive tackle Kyle Murphy, who is no longer with the organization. In short, this was a decent class for Thompson. — Michael Cohen
1 (13) Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
2 (38) Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
3 (73) Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama
3 (86) Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers (Free Agent)
6 (186) Jakeem Grant, WR, Texas Tech
6 (204) Jordan Lucas, S, Penn State (Chiefs)
7 (223) Brandon Doughty, QB, Western Kentucky (Free Agent)
7 (231) Thomas Duarte, TE, UCLA (Free Agent)
Best player: Xavien Howard
Laremy Tunsil has been a very good player, but Howard is Miami’s best player from the 2016 class. Despite missing the final four games last season, Howard tied for the NFL lead with seven interceptions, showcasing outstanding ball skills in his three seasons as a pro. He won’t be showcased as the prototype for ideal fundamentals at the position, but he has an uncanny ability to find the ball in flight, relying on his natural instincts to make plays.
Best value: Howard
Jakeem Grant, who scored four touchdowns (two receiving, one punt return, one kickoff return) in 2018, has been terrific value for the Dolphins. But Howard, who is arguably a top-five cornerback in the league, was Miami’s best draft value in the 2016 class. The Dolphins recently made him the highest-paid corner in the league with a five-year, $76.5 million contract extension.
Biggest miss: Leonte Carroo
There were two receivers (Carroo and Braxton Miller) drafted in the third round in 2016 and neither has panned out. After 10 catches over his first two seasons, Carroo didn’t survive Miami’s final roster cuts prior to the 2018 season and was relegated to the practice squad. He had his opportunities but couldn’t move up the depth chart or secure the fourth receiver spot on the Dolphins’ roster. He is currently unsigned.
Beat writer’s take: Miami’s 2016 draft is regarded as somewhat of a cornerstone group. All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard, the second-round pick from Baylor, has already signed a five-year, $76.5 million extension. Left tackle Laremy Tunsil, the first-round pick who fell to the Dolphins after a scandalous draft-night video of him inhaling from a bong attached to a gas mask, is a keeper with Pro Bowl potential. He’ll be extended at some point. Running back Kenyan Drake, the third-round pick, could also be worth extending, and wide receiver Jakeem Grant, one of two sixth-round picks, has been electrifying as a returner and improving as a receiver. The big disappointment was wide receiver Leonte Carroo, the third-round pick from Rutgers whom Miami traded up to acquire. Overall, it’s a strong draft, one of the Dolphins’ best in years. — Chris Perkins
Los Angeles Chargers
1 (3) Joey Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
2 (35) Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
3 (66) Max Tuerk, OC, USC (Free Agent)
4 (102) Joshua Perry, LB, Ohio State (Retired)
5 (175) Jatavis Brown, LB, Akron
6 (179) Drew Kaser, P, Texas A&M (Free Agent)
6 (198) Derek Watt, FB, Wisconsin
7 (224) Donavon Clark, OG, Michigan State (Free Agent)
Best player: Joey Bosa
When healthy and on the field, Bosa is one of the best defensive players in the league, posting 28.5 sacks over 33 career NFL starts. He is able to generate pressure in a multitude of ways and gives blockers hell from snap to finish. Injuries are the only concern keeping Bosa from being one of the best players in the league.
Best value: Hunter Henry
After combining for 12 touchdown catches over his first two seasons, Henry was on pace for a breakout third season in the NFL. However, that trajectory was sidetracked by a torn ACL that kept him from playing in 2018. After almost a full year of rehab, Henry feels “confident” about his knee and should be a strong contender for Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2019.
Biggest miss: Max Tuerk
An early third-round pick, Tuerk is one of the highest drafted players from the 2016 class who is currently not on an NFL roster. After not seeing the field as a rookie, he was popped for PEDs and suspended for four games in 2017 before being released.
Beat writer’s take: Even going into Year 4, this class could go either way. That’s because it’s too early to say whether the first- and second-round picks, defensive end Joey Bosa and tight end Hunter Henry, have reached their full potential. Bosa appeared headed for stardom before he missed nine games last season with a foot injury, while Henry looked set to be the Chargers’ full-time tight end before he missed all of last season with a torn ACL. The rest of the class already is a bust. Of the other six players drafted in 2016, only two remain on the roster: fullback Derek Watt and backup linebacker Jatavis Brown. — Rich Hammond
Los Angeles Rams
1 (1) Jared Goff, QB, California
4 (110) Tyler Higbee, TE, Western Kentucky
4 (117) Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina (Cardinals)
6 (177) Temarrick Hemingway, WR/TE, South Carolina State (Panthers)
6 (190) Josh Forrest, LB, Kentucky (Free Agent)
6 (206) Mike Thomas, WR, Southern Miss
Best player: Jared Goff
Although most would argue that Sean McVay deserves a high percentage of the credit for the Rams’ Super Bowl appearance last season, Goff has shown impressive improvement the past two seasons and is in line for a lucrative extension at this current pace. There is still much undetermined in regard to Goff’s standing among the NFL’s top passers, but there is obviously no doubt that he was the best player among the Rams’ 2016 draft class.
Best value: Tyler Higbee
Despite meager statistics (49 total catches the past two years), Higbee has started all 16 games each of the past two seasons and has been reliable when targeted. He is a borderline NFL starter (and arguably the second-best tight end on the Rams’ roster behind Gerald Everett), but he wasn’t a top-100 draft pick, giving Los Angeles solid return on value.
Biggest miss: Josh Forrest
The Rams had only one selection in the top-100 picks in 2016 so they didn’t have many opportunities to miss on any high picks. Of the organization’s five Day 3 picks, Forrest had the shortest stay on the Rams’ roster and has been outplayed by several linebackers selected after him, such as New England’s Elandon Roberts.
Beat writer’s take: The Rams’ 2016 draft is all about Jared Goff, whom they invested heavily in by trading up from the 15th spot in the first round all the way to the top of the draft. It cost them their first-round pick, two second-rounders and their third-round pick in 2016, as well as their 2017 first- and third-round picks. But Goff has justified the hefty price tag by rebounding from a rocky rookie season to flourish under Sean McVay while leading the Rams to back-to-back division titles and a Super Bowl appearance last year. In doing so, he solidified himself as a franchise-caliber quarterback the Rams will build around over the next decade. From that draft, the Rams also came up with a starting tight end in Tyler Higbee and a wide receiver they still hope can add some production in Michael Thomas. — Vincent Bonsignore
1 (8) Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
2 (33) Kevin Dodd, EDGE, Clemson (Free Agent)
2 (43) Austin Johnson, DT, Penn State
2 (45) Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
3 (64) Kevin Byard, S, Middle Tennessee State
5 (140) Tajae Sharpe, WR, Massachusetts
5 (157) LeShaun Sims, CB, Southern Utah
6 (193) Sebastian Tretola, OG, Arkansas (Free Agent)
7 (222) Aaron Wallace, LB, UCLA (Broncos)
7 (253) Kalan Reed, CB, Southern Miss (Seahawks)
Best player: Kevin Byard
A perplexing combine snub, Byard had a productive career at Middle Tennessee with 19 interceptions as a four-year starter. He might not be a premier size/speed athlete, but his instincts make him a playmaker, which has translated to the pro game, including an All-Pro 2017 season when he led the NFL with eight interceptions.
Best value: Byard
A third-round pick, Byard has been a key piece to the Titans’ success on defense and an outstanding value compared to where he was drafted.
Biggest miss: Kevin Dodd
The second pick in the second round, Dodd is the highest-drafted player in the 2016 class currently not on a roster. He posted impressive production (23.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks) in his final season at Clemson, but was a one-year wonder with average athletic traits. The Titans released him last summer after he failed to report to training camp.
Beat writer’s take: Jon Robinson made a splash in his first draft as Tennessee’s GM, dealing the No. 1 pick (Jared Goff) to the Rams in a package that netted the Titans three additional picks in the 2016 and 2017 drafts. That 2016 haul for the Titans? Mixed bag. First-rounder Jack Conklin, whom the Titans traded up to select eighth overall, had a brilliant All-Pro rookie season at right tackle. But he was injured in 2017 and he had a down year in 2018, perhaps rushing back from the ACL tear — or perhaps a poor fit in the team’s new offense. That makes 2019 pivotal for Conklin; the Titans need him to find his rookie form again. The team’s second-round pick (No. 33), Clemson outside linebacker Kevin Dodd, has been Robinson’s biggest draft bust to this point. He started one game in two seasons and was cut last summer. Third-rounder Kevin Byard (No. 64) is trending toward becoming one of the league’s best safeties. Byard and 2017 fifth-rounder Jayon Brown have proven to be Robinson’s best picks, by far.
The trade with Los Angeles included two additional second-round picks in ’16. The No. 43 selection was Austin Johnson, a middling defensive lineman still hanging on for now. The other pick, at No. 45, was Alabama running back Derrick Henry. Something seemed to click with the Heisman winner last December when Henry rushed 87 times for 585 yards (6.7 yards per carry) down the stretch. The Titans certainly hope to see more of that Henry this fall. The team’s two fifth-rounders, receiver Tajae Sharpe and cornerback LeShaun Sims, are still contributing pieces. The addition of 2019 second-rounder A.J. Brown figures to cut into Sharpe’s snaps. Sims continues to be a rotational depth safety. Sixth-rounder Sebastian Tretola was an offensive guard project who didn’t pan out. Seventh-round outside linebacker Aaron Wallace was cut last summer after playing in 13 games. The team’s final pick, corner (and Mr. Irrelevant) Kalan Reed, has bounced on and off the roster and appeared in seven games.
Did Robinson get all the mileage he could out of the blockbuster deal and the 10 total picks in 2016? No, probably not. But Byard becoming a star and Henry’s upward trajectory have largely offset the misses with Dodd and Johnson. What Conklin ultimately becomes will dictate the overall success of this draft, really. — Travis Haney
1 (21) Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
2 (50) Nick Martin, OG/C, Notre Dame
3 (85) Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State (Eagles)
4 (119) Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose State (Ravens)
5 (159) K.J. Dillon, S, West Virginia (Free Agent)
5 (166) D.J. Reader, DT, Clemson
Best player: Will Fuller
This was a three-way race between Fuller, Nick Martin and D.J. Reader. Although his numbers don’t match expectations for a first-rounder, Fuller’s big-play potential and 13 career touchdowns give him the edge. He missed the second half of the 2018 season with a torn ACL but is expected to be fully healthy for the 2019 season opener.
Best value: D.J. Reader
As a prospect, Reader was criminally underrated and not much has changed after three seasons in the NFL as he doesn’t receive nearly the attention he should. Reader is a strong run defender with the brute power to uproot blockers and disrupt the offensive game plan. He has started 37 games over his first three seasons and extending him should be a priority for the Texans.
Biggest miss: Braxton Miller
A college quarterback, Miller struggled to carve out an offensive identity with Houston as he made the transition to wide receiver full time. He was cut prior to the 2018 season and signed to the Eagles’ practice squad.
Beat writer’s take: Houston general manager Rick Smith deserves praise for picking D.J. Reader in the fifth round, but that selection stands out partly because the rest of this draft class has provided the Texans with unsatisfying returns. Will Fuller, a very productive receiver when healthy, has played in just 31 games, including a career-low seven in 2018. The other receivers in this class — converted quarterback Braxton Miller (third round) and third-down back/slot receiver Tyler Ervin (fourth round) — were both cut last year. Houston’s 2016 second-round pick, center Nick Martin, played every offensive snap last season after battling ankle injuries during his first two years in the NFL, but he led one of the league’s worst offensive lines. — Aaron Reiss
New England Patriots
2 (60) Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama (Ravens)
3 (78) Joe Thuney, OG, NC State
3 (91) Jacoby Brissett, QB, NC State (Colts)
3 (96) Vincent Valentine, DT, Nebraska (Cardinals)
4 (112) Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia (Retired)
6 (208) Kamu Grugier-Hill, LB, Eastern Illinois (Eagles)
6 (214) Elandon Roberts, LB, Houston
6 (221) Ted Karras, OG, Illinois
7 (225) Devin Lucien, WR, Arizona State (Free Agent)
Best player: Joe Thuney
A three-year starter at guard, Thuney has started every game since entering the league, including playing every snap last season for the Super Bowl champions. Entering the final year of his deal, Thuney’s extension and continuity on the interior should be priorities for New England.
Best value: Elandon Roberts
Roberts isn’t the most athletic linebacker in the league, but he is a ball magnet with the intangibles and physicality that the coaches appreciate. He isn’t guaranteed a starting role in 2019, but for a sixth-round pick, Roberts has already outplayed what most expected.
Biggest miss: Cyrus Jones
The Patriots’ first pick in the 2016 class, Jones struggled to find the field on defense as a rookie and missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL. His lone NFL highlight came in 2018 for the Ravens on a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown, but his career has been a disappointment thus far.
Beat writer’s take: The Patriots lost their first-round pick due to Deflategate, which enhanced the spotlight on second-round cornerback Cyrus Jones, who had a disastrous rookie season with five fumbles as a returner then tore his ACL in 2017. They’ve still gotten a decent amount of production from that class, though. Left guard Joe Thuney didn’t miss a snap in 2018 and was the team’s most improved player last season. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett helped the Pats win a game in Week 3 of 2016 when Tom Brady was suspended and Jimmy Garoppolo had an injured shoulder. Malcolm Mitchell, whose career was cut short due to a chronic knee issue, had five catches for 63 yards during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI against the Falcons. Elandon Roberts has been an up-and-down role player, and Ted Karras has been their top backup interior lineman for a couple of years. The Pats probably wish they held onto Kamu Grugier-Hill, though. He was a victim of the numbers game and has carved out a nice career in Philly. — Jeff Howe
1 (31) Germain Ifedi, OT/G, Texas A&M
2 (49) Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
3 (90) C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame
3 (94) Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State
3 (97) Rees Odhiambo, OT/G, Boise State (Cardinals)
5 (147) Quinton Jefferson, DT, Maryland
5 (171) Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas (Free Agent)
6 (215) Joey Hunt, OG/C, TCU
7 (243) Kenny Lawler, WR, Cal (CFL)
7 (247) Zac Brooks, RB, Clemson (Retired)
Best player: Jarran Reed
Reed was my No. 16 overall player in the 2016 class so it was a surprise to see him fall as far as he did. Known more for his ability to stop the run, he had a breakout season in 2018 with 10.5 sacks and has developed into a well-rounded player.
Best value: Reed
As the eighth defensive tackle drafted in 2016, Reed was an outstanding value at No. 49 overall. Seattle made a wise move trading up seven spots in the second round to steal him. Alex Collins certainly outplayed his draft position with 973 yards in 2017 for the Ravens, but his NFL career might be cut short due to off-field concerns.
Biggest miss: Germain Ifedi
Despite improved play in 2018 under offensive line coach Mike Solari, Ifedi still hasn’t played up to his first-round status. It wasn’t surprising when Seattle opted not to pick up his fifth-year option.
Beat writer’s take: Among the fans, Germain Ifedi is probably the most hated player on the Seahawks roster. People play drinking games tied to his in-game penalty count, which would have led to quite the inebriation in 2017 when he led the league in penalties. Despite improving greatly and having his best season in 2018, the first under new offensive line coach Mike Solari, I’d be shocked if Seattle makes it a priority to re-sign Ifedi unless he takes another significant leap in Year 4 (his third at right tackle). Then there’s CJ Prosise, whose recurring health issues have limited him to just 16 out of a possible 48 regular-season games; he’s ended all three seasons of his career on the inactive list due to injury. Jarran Reed emerged as a stud in 2018, and Quinton Jefferson and Nick Vannett finally became starters that same season … and that’s about it for the positives in this class. In all, it was mediocre at best. There’s legitimately a chance none of the players from the 2016 draft class is on the roster in 2020, though it’s likely Reed will be the last man standing. —Michael-Shawn Dugar
1 (26) Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis (Seahawks)
2 (63) Adam Gotsis, DL, Georgia Tech
3 (98) Justin Simmons, S, Boston College
4 (136) Devontae Booker, RB, Utah
5 (144) Connor McGovern, OG/C, Missouri
6 (176) Andy Janovich, FB, Nebraska
6 (219) Will Parks, S, Arizona
7 (228) Riley Dixon, P, Syracuse (Giants)
Best player: Adam Gotsis
The stat-sheet production isn’t overly impressive (only 5.0 career sacks), but Gotsis has played an important role for Denver’s defensive front. The Broncos’ 2016 class will be most remembered as the “Paxton Lynch draft,” but the team’s non-first rounders have panned out well, led by Gotsis.
Best value: Justin Simmons
The Broncos’ starting free safety, Simmons has athletic range and ball-hawking skills (seven interceptions), although on-field discipline issues were all-too-frequent last season. Some Broncos fans believe him to be overrated while others think he is underrated, but regardless, Simmons was a terrific value at No. 98 overall. With his starting versatility at center and guard, Connor McGovern has a strong case for this spot.
Biggest miss: Paxton Lynch
With Peyton Manning’s retirement a month prior to the 2016 NFL Draft, the Broncos were in the market for a young quarterback to groom. John Elway surrendered a third-rounder to move up in the first round for Lynch, who was widely viewed as a first-round player and the third quarterback in the class behind Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. However, Lynch struggled to adapt to the speed of the NFL and was cut prior to the 2018 season, sitting out all of last year.
Beat writer’s take: The Paxton Lynch Experiment will go down as one of the greatest draft failures in Broncos history — and rightfully so after Denver traded up to get a quarterback that lost three offseason competitions, including one to Chad Kelly for the backup job. Beyond Lynch, the Broncos selected three players who morphed into starters (Adam Gotsis, Justin Simmons and Connor McGovern), a fullback/ace special-teamer they love (Andy Janovich) and a safety/dime backer (Will Parks) who has shown his potential but also his shortcomings. Devontae Booker never became the workhorse back they expected, and they traded punter Riley Dixon after two lackluster seasons. The result: A so-so class that is overshadowed by the disaster in the first round — a disaster that has stymied the entire franchise for the past three years. — Nicki Jhabvala
1 (25) Artie Burns, CB, Miami (Fla.)
2 (58) Sean Davis, SS, Maryland
3 (89) Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State
4 (123) Jerald Hawkins, OT, LSU
6 (220) Travis Feeney, LB, Washington (Free Agent)
7 (229) Demarcus Ayers, WR, Houston (Free Agent)
7 (246) Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple
Best player: Javon Hargrave
A two-time Defensive Player of the Year in the MEAC, Hargrave had a strong pre-draft process, catapulting him into the top-100 conversation. That positive momentum carried over to his NFL career where he has been a three-year starter and important piece of the Pittsburgh front.
Best value: Tyler Matakevich
Special teams might not be sexy but it keeps some players on NFL rosters, and Matakevich is a prime example. Over the past three seasons, his 29 tackles on special teams rank second-best in the NFL. Considering his impact, Hargrave is arguably the better value, but let’s give some love to the special teamers.
Biggest miss: Artie Burns
The Steelers were reportedly set to draft William Jackson at No. 25 before the Bengals pulled the rug out from underneath them and drafted the former Houston corner at No. 24. Desperate for cornerback help, Pittsburgh drafted Burns, who has shown flashes of first-round talent but very little consistency, taking a step back in Year 3 last season.
Beat writer’s take: Kevin Colbert routinely mentions how important it is to hit on their first-round picks because of their organizational philosophy of building through the draft, extending their homegrown players and then supplementing through free agency. Colbert hasn’t missed much over his 20 years but sure whiffed with Artie Burns with the 25th overall pick — the first time they drafted a corner in the first round in nearly 20 years. Burns’ fifth-year option wasn’t picked up, and he will be gone after the season, which is a major disappointment since he was penciled in as a starter last year at this time. Sean Davis has been erratic but positional changes have led to that. Javon Hargrave is easily their best pick as he is a unique talent in the middle. Other than that, the draft has been a major disappointment but that will happen when you miss on your first-rounder. — Mark Kaboly
1 (22) Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
2 (53) Su’a Cravens, LB/S, USC (Broncos)
3 (84) Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech (Chiefs)
5 (152) Matthew Ioannidis, DL, Temple
6 (187) Nate Sudfeld, QB, Indiana (Eagles)
7 (232) Steven Daniels, LB, Boston College (Free Agent)
7 (242) Keith Marshall, RB, Georgia (Free Agent)
Best player: Kendall Fuller
The final line of my Fuller scouting report sums up Fuller as a prospect: “A first-round player who could be a bargain on Day 2 because of his knee injury” (torn meniscus in 2015). He was part of the Alex Smith trade to Kansas City where he started 15 games last season.
Best value: Matthew Ioannidis
The Redskins have built an impressive defensive front and Ioannidis is a key member of that group. Not only was he the best value in the Redskins’ class, but he also has a strong case as the best player. Ioannidis set a career-high with 7.5 sacks in 2018 and was recently rewarded with a three-year extension worth $21.7 million.
Biggest miss: Josh Doctson
There was a transition period expected for Doctson, who ran a limited route tree at TCU and lacked technical polish at the position. But he is further behind in his development than expected after Year 3. While he set career-bests in 2018 with 44 catches for 532 yards, flashing his ability to expand his catch radius, Doctson hasn’t lived up to his first-round status.
Beat writer’s take: The Redskins’ 2016 draft class has been a mostly disappointing one. Josh Doctson hasn’t lived up to his first-round billing — 2018 was his most productive season with 44 catches for 532 yards, tied for 84th best — and the team recently declined to pick up his fifth-year option. Second-round selection Su’a Cravens pondered retiring after his rookie season and ended up on the reserve/left squad list in 2017, effectively ending his tumultuous tenure in Washington after just three starts. Third-rounder Kendall Fuller had a chance to be a difference-maker, but he was traded to Kansas City in Alex Smith blockbuster. As it turns out, GM Scot McCloughan’s best pick was Matt Ioannidis, a fifth-round defensive lineman out of Temple. Ioannidis is a rising star and was recently rewarded with three-year, $21.8 million extension that locks him up through 2022. The bottom line for this group: Three of the seven players drafted three years ago are starters (Doctson, Ioannidis and Fuller) but just Doctson and Ioannidis are still on the roster in D.C., and Doctson’s future in D.C. is anything but certain. — Tarik El-Bashir
1 (30) Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
2 (62) James Bradberry, CB, Samford
3 (77) Daryl Worley, CB, West Virginia (Raiders)
5 (141) Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma (Free Agent)
7 (252) Beau Sandland, TE, Montana State (Free Agent)
Best player: James Bradberry
It was a cornerback-heavy draft class for the Panthers, but only Bradberry is still on the roster. Over three NFL seasons, he has started 45 games and tallied double-digit passes defended each year. He doesn’t have the twitch to easily recover after a false step, but Bradberry has been a steady starter for Carolina.
Best value: Daryl Worley
Worley was more of a miss than a value in Carolina, which made him expendable. He was traded (for wide receiver Torrey Smith) to the Eagles prior to the 2018 season but lasted only one month in Philadelphia before an off-field arrest led to his release. Worley resurfaced with the Raiders and put together a solid 2018 season after serving his four-game suspension.
Biggest miss: Vernon Butler
Three seasons into his career and Butler has yet to start an NFL game – not ideal for a former first-round pick. He has shown flashes off the bench, but the consistency simply hasn’t been there.
Beat writer’s take: This was a forgettable group for former GM Dave Gettleman, who took Louisiana Tech DT Vernon Butler with the 31st pick. Butler was not a disruptive player in Conference USA, and he hasn’t been in the NFL, either. (The Panthers did not pick up his fifth-year option.) Complicating matters is Gettleman ignored his own advice about not drafting “hungry.” After pulling the franchise tag from Josh Norman, Gettleman selected three corners, only one of whom (James Bradberry) has worked out. — Joe Person
1 (18) Ryan Kelly, OC, Alabama
2 (57) T.J. Green, DB, Clemson (Retired)
3 (82) Le’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
4 (116) Hassan Ridgeway, DL, Texas (Eagles)
4 (125) Antonio Morrison, LB, Florida (Free Agent)
5 (155) Joe Haeg, OT/G, North Dakota State
7 (239) Trevor Bates, LB, Maine (Free Agent)
7 (248) Austin Blythe, OG/C, Iowa (Rams)
Best player: Ryan Kelly
Part of the Colts’ improved offensive line play in 2018 was the continued maturation of Kelly, who played really well when on the field. He has missed a combined 13 games the past two seasons due to injury, which made it even more obvious of his impact when he was out there and when he wasn’t.
Best value: Joe Haeg
Of the four offensive linemen the Colts drafted in the 2016 class, Haeg has played the most games (39) and started (35) just as many as Kelly. While he is better suited as a backup, his versatility to play tackle or guard makes him an ideal candidate to be a team’s sixth offensive lineman.
Biggest miss: T.J. Green
Green didn’t have the tape of a second-round pick, but his athletic traits (4.34 40-yard dash) and upside inflated his value on the Colts’ draft board. He started seven games in 2017 but was released prior to the 2018 season and chose to walk away from football shortly after the Seahawks signed him.
Beat writer’s take: The Colts didn’t net much from this draft when you consider their second-round pick (safety T.J. Green) was cut last year and is out of the league. Only first-rounder Ryan Kelly became a full-time starter and just three of the eight picks remain on the roster. Kelly, Le’Raven Clark and Joe Haeg are still in Indianapolis, but Clark’s status is a bit tenuous depending on training-camp competition. This draft was centered on fixing the Colts’ offensive line woes. They meant well, but it wasn’t until the 2018 draft that the Colts truly solidified the unit. — Stephen Holder
1 (23) Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
2 (54) Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
4 (121) Willie Beavers, OT/G, Western Michigan (49ers)
5 (160) Kentrell Brothers, LB, Missouri
6 (180) Moritz Boehringer, WR, Germany (Bengals)
6 (188) David Morgan, TE, UTSA
7 (227) Stephen Weatherly, EDGE, Vanderbilt
7 (244) Jayron Kearse, S, Clemson
Best player: Mackensie Alexander
After his first two pro seasons, Alexander looked like his roster spot would be in jeopardy. However, he took a leap forward in Year 3, playing primarily in the slot and showing vast improvement in coverage. With another positive step forward in 2019, Alexander will be due a decent payday next offseason.
Best value: Stephen Weatherly
Weatherly showed life last season, starting six games and filling in well when Everson Griffen was out. He hasn’t proven himself as anything more than a solid reserve and spot starter, but for a seventh-round pick, the Vikings will gladly take that.
Biggest miss: Laquon Treadwell
Wide receiver busts were a trend of 2016’s first round and Treadwell certainly qualifies. Despite career bests in 2018 (35 catches for 302 yards and his first NFL touchdown), he has been a disappointment, struggling to fully grasp the offense and leap the mental hurdles of being a professional. Personally, Treadwell will go down as one of my biggest “misses.”
Beat writer’s take: For seven straight years from 2009-2015, Rick Spielman’s drafts with the Vikings produced at least one Pro Bowler. But it appears the streak will snap with the 2016 class. For as bad as the Vikings’ 2016 draft class has seemed, it has actually produced some helpful players for the franchise, albeit ones who were late-round fliers. But the bulk of the frustration stems from where the Vikings could be if their first-round choice was better. Laquon Treadwell was the fourth wide receiver chosen in 2016 and has been arguably the biggest bust of Spielman’s time leading Minnesota. It took until Treadwell’s third season to nab his first touchdown reception and even though it was the best campaign of his career, he still finished with a meager 35 catches for 302 yards. Second-round pick Mackensie Alexander did take a big step forward last season after early struggles, and while fourth-round pick Willie Beavers is already on his sixth team, Spielman did hit on some late-round players. Sixth-round pick David Morgan is a good blocking tight end, seventh-round pick Stephen Weatherly filled in admirably last season for Everson Griffen and appears to have a bright future, and seventh-round pick Jayron Kearse was a valuable part of jumbo nickel sets in Mike Zimmer’s defense. — Chad Graff
New York Jets
1 (20) Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State (Chiefs)
2 (51) Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State (Free Agent)
3 (83) Jordan Jenkins, EDGE, Georgia
4 (118) Juston Burris, CB, NC State (Browns)
5 (158) Brandon Shell, OT/G, South Carolina
7 (235) Lachlan Edwards, P, Sam Houston State
7 (241) Charone Peake, WR, Clemson
Best player: Jordan Jenkins
Jenkins hasn’t stopped the Jets from searching for more pass-rush help, but he has been a solid contributor, especially for a third-round pick. He has started double-digit games each of his three pro seasons and is coming off a career year, posting a career-high seven sacks in 2018.
Best value: Brandon Shell
Although he is more of a borderline starter than an established starter, Shell has provided solid value as a fifth-rounder, starting 26 games the past two seasons. At worst, he is a solid backup and can play a valuable role coming off the bench, but he is the expected starter at right tackle again for New York in 2019.
Biggest miss: Christian Hackenberg
Not much debate here as Hackenberg never played a down in the NFL. He had a promising freshman season at Penn State, but his sophomore and junior seasons were disappointing and were more potential than production as a pro prospect.
Beat writer’s take: U-G-L-Y. You need not look much further than drafts such as this for the reason the Jets haven’t made the playoffs in nearly a decade. Now-ex general manager Mike Maccagnan colossally whiffed on both his first- and second-round selections. Hackenberg — stunningly — never played a regular-season snap for the Jets before the team traded him in 2018. Lee did, but failed to make much of a difference, and was then traded this offseason. The rest of the class was fine enough. Jenkins, Shell and Edwards are starters. Peake is a significant piece on special teams. It’s simply too hard to get past those first two picks. — Connor Hughes
1 (14) Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
2 (44) Jihad Ward, DL, Illinois (Colts)
3 (75) Shilique Calhoun, EDGE, Michigan State (Patriots)
4 (100) Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State (Lions)
5 (143) DeAndre Washington, RB, Texas Tech
6 (194) Cory James, LB, Colorado State (Free Agent)
7 (234) Vadal Alexander, OG, LSU (Free Agent)
Best player: Karl Joseph
After his first two seasons, Joseph looked more like a bust than a hit and he even was benched during the 2018 season due to inconsistent play. However, he showed improved confidence over the second half of last season and played his best football to date. While he still hasn’t lived up to being a top-15 pick, Joseph is trending in the right direction.
Best value: DeAndre Washington
This was a disappointing draft for Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders with only two of the seven draft picks still on the roster. Washington rushed for 5.4 yards per carry as a rookie, but has struggled to stay healthy and find his footing the past two years. Oakland’s running back depth chart is even more crowded entering 2019, but Washington has outplayed several of the backs drafted ahead of him.
Biggest miss: Jihad Ward
Ward, who is now on his third pro team, wasn’t widely viewed as a top-50 talent, ranking No. 96 overall on my draft board. Missing on a top-50 pick is a tough pill to swallow, but in the case of Ward, it doesn’t help to look at the players drafted right after him such as Derrick Henry, A’Shawn Robinson, Michael Thomas, Jarran Reed and Deion Jones.
Beat writer’s take: It doesn’t get much worse than this draft class. Karl Joseph is just too small to cover tight ends, and only at the end of last season did he flash a little of the big-hitting ability that he showed in college. That was too late for the Raiders, who added a bunch of safeties this offseason and declined to pick up Joseph’s fifth-year option. It is doubtful he is back in 2020. Worse is second-round pick Jihad Ward. The defensive tackle looked lost when here but then started playing well — for the Colts, after the Raiders gave up on him. Third-round pick Shilique Calhoun, whom Oakland tried at linebacker and defensive end, was also a bust and was cut. The Raiders stole quarterback Connor Cook in the fourth round from the Cowboys, and Dallas owner Jerry Jones should be in their debt forever. He settled for Dak Prescott. There were a lot of question marks about Cook’s leadership at Michigan State, but that wasn’t the problem — his arm was erratic and he has long been cut. Fifth-round pick DeAndre Washington is the lone survivor, but the running back is a longshot to make the roster again this season. — Vic Tafur
San Francisco 49ers
1 (7) DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon
1 (28) Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford
3 (68) Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State (Packers)
4 (133) Rashard Robinson, CB, LSU (Free Agent)
5 (142) Ronald Blair, EDGE, Appalachian State
5 (145) John Theus, OT, Georgia (Retired)
5 (174) Fahn Cooper, OT, Ole Miss (Free Agent)
6 (207) Jeff Driskel, QB, Louisiana Tech (Bengals)
6 (211) Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida (Free Agent)
6 (213) Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State (Broncos)
7 (249) Prince Charles Iworah, CB, Western Kentucky (Free Agent)
Best player: DeForest Buckner
Of the 11 players drafted by the 49ers in the 2016 class, only three remain on the roster and only Buckner has emerged as a legitimate NFL starter. After two respectable seasons, he put together a Pro Bowl 2018 campaign with 12.0 sacks, establishing him as the 49ers’ most valuable defender and one of the young stars in the league.
Best value: Ronald Blair
Blair was underrated as a prospect and he remains underrated as an NFL role player. His stats (10.5 sacks over three seasons) don’t jump off the page, but he is a reliable player off the bench with his diversity as both a rusher and run defender.
Biggest miss: Joshua Garnett
Garnett was overdrafted in the top-30 (my No. 73 overall prospect) and it isn’t a surprise that he hasn’t lived up to the status of being a first-round pick. He flashes power and smarts, but his lack of athleticism makes him very scheme dependent. It isn’t a surprise that he hasn’t fit in Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme.
Beat writer’s take: The 2016 draft is known for two things in the Bay Area: DeForest Buckner and the ACL patient who finally sunk Trent Baalke. By that point, the team’s former general manager was well-known — and often criticized — for selecting players coming off ACL surgeries, none of whom panned out. After taking Mississippi State cornerback Will Redmond in the third round, Baalke irritably insisted that Redmond, who had torn his ACL in October the previous year, would be ready for training camp. He wasn’t, and he never played a snap for the 49ers. Baalke took three cornerbacks that year — Redmond, Rashard Robinson and Prince Charles Iworah — none of whom worked out, a theme for the 49ers in the past decade. Buckner, of course, has flourished and might end up being Baalke’s best pick in his seven drafts. He’s been as durable as he is talented and is poised to sign a long-term extension in the next year. The other standout selection is fifth-rounder Ronald Blair, who can play just about anywhere on the defensive line and who will be one of the top backups this season. — Matt Barrows
1 (15) Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor (Giants)
2 (32) Emmanuel Ogbah, EDGE, Oklahoma State (Chiefs)
3 (65) Carl Nassib, EDGE, Penn State (Buccaneers)
3 (76) Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn (49ers)
3 (93) Cody Kessler, QB, USC (Eagles)
4 (99) Joe Schobert, LB, Wisconsin
4 (114) Ricardo Louis, WR, Auburn (Dolphins)
4 (129) Derrick Kindred, S, TCU (Colts)
4 (138) Seth Devalve, TE, Princeton
5 (154) Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA (Free Agent)
5 (168) Spencer Drango, OT/G, Baylor (Chargers)
5 (172) Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State
5 (173) Trey Caldwell, DB, Louisiana-Monroe (Free Agent)
7 (250) Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona (Free Agent)
Best player: Joe Schobert
The goal of drafting in the top-100 picks is to find starters or impact contributors. The Browns had six top-100 picks in the 2016 class, but only one has carved out a consistent starting role and that is Schobert, the final selection of the six. While he has his issues vs. the run, Schobert is a strong defender in coverage and is the best player from Cleveland’s 14-player draft haul in 2016.
Best value: Rashard Higgins
Despite early struggles, Higgins moved up the receiver depth chart in 2018 and set career bests with 39 catches for 572 yards and four scores, showing the potential he flashed at Colorado State. While I was likely too high on him out of college (No. 51 prospect overall), he was a much better prospect than No. 172, giving Cleveland excellent value.
Biggest miss: Corey Coleman
The first receiver drafted due to his athleticism and college production, Coleman started 10 games as a rookie, but it has been downhill from there. He was traded to Buffalo prior to the 2018 season but didn’t make the roster out of camp. He spent a few weeks on the Patriots practice squad before joining the Giants roster.
Beat writer’s take: The Browns tied an NFL record by selecting 14 players in the 2016 draft. Just three of them are still with the team, and only linebacker Joe Schobert is a starter. First-round pick Corey Coleman had one big game as a rookie then rarely made an impact before being traded last summer for a seventh-round pick. Emmanuel Ogbah had two strong years but was traded this spring after being replaced in the starting lineup. Schobert went to the Pro Bowl in 2017, the year the Browns went 0-16. The Browns have had some awful draft classes, and this is among the worst. — Zac Jackson
New York Giants
1 (10) Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State (Saints)
2 (40) Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
3 (71) Darian Thompson, S, Boise State (Cowboys)
4 (109) B.J. Goodson, LB, Clemson
5 (149) Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA
6 (184) Jerell Adams, TE, South Carolina (Texans)
Best player: Sterling Shepard
Shepard was productive as Baker Mayfield’s go-to target at Oklahoma and although he doesn’t have ideal size, he is a precise route-runner with sticky hands. One of the reasons the Giants felt comfortable moving on from Odell Beckham was the development of Shepard, who recently inked a $41 million extension.
Best value: Shepard
The No. 40 prospect on my 2016 draft board, Shepard was drafted No. 40 overall, but he has outplayed that spot and his best football is still in front of him.
Biggest miss: Eli Apple
Depending on which reports you believe, Apple landed in the Big Apple because the Bears jumped in front of the Giants to snag Leonard Floyd, New York’s top target. Apple had his fair share of issues on and off the field during his stay with the Giants before he was traded to the Saints in October last season. Why have the Giants finished last in the NFC East each of the past two seasons? One of the reasons is poor drafting in the top 10 in back-to-back years (Apple in 2016, Ereck Flowers in 2015).
Beat writer’s take: This was better than some of former general manager Jerry Reese’s other recent draft classes. Second-round pick Sterling Shepard has emerged as a quality No. 2 option and earned a four-year, $41 million extension from Dave Gettleman in April. Fourth-round pick B.J. Goodson has started 20 games over the past two seasons at inside linebacker and is penciled in to hold that job in 2019. Fifth-round pick Paul Perkins had a promising rookie season, but struggled in 2017 and missed all of last season with a torn pec. The glaring problem with this class was the miss with the 10th pick. Eli Apple was inconsistent on and off the field and was shipped to New Orleans last October for a pair of Day 3 picks. Safety Darian Thompson continued a trend of failed third-round picks. He underwhelmed as the starter in 2017, was cut before the 2018 season and is barely hanging onto an NFL job in Dallas. — Dan Duggan
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1 (11) Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
2 (39) Noah Spence, EDGE, Eastern Kentucky
2 (59) Roberto Aguayo, PK, Florida State (Free Agent)
4 (108) Ryan Smith, CB, NC Central
5 (148) Caleb Benenoch, OT, UCLA
6 (183) Devante Bond, LB, Oklahoma
6 (197) Dan Vitale, FB, Northwestern (Packers)
Best player: TBD
Let’s be clear, none of the Buccaneers’ seven draft selections deserve to be labeled “best pick.” Hargreaves has been a disappointment, but he has the most talent of the lot and the best chance to resurrect his career. However, it doesn’t appear Hargreaves is off to a great start under the new coaching staff.
Best value: Caleb Benenoch
Benenoch started all 16 games last season for Tampa, although he was an uneven performer and appeared to be the weakest link in most of the Bucs’ games last season. But considering he was a fifth-round pick, he has given Tampa solid value for where he was drafted.
Biggest miss: Roberto Aguayo
This draft class for the Bucs will be remembered as the Aguayo draft. Not only did Tampa draft a kicker in the second round, but they traded up for him. Aguayo lasted only one season with the Buccaneers and is now out of football after bouncing around the league the past two seasons.
Beat writer’s take: As great as the Bucs’ 2015 draft was, 2016 is running out of time to be anything but a bad draft class. Vernon Hargreaves and Noah Spence have missed significant time due to injuries — they each have one last chance to prove themselves as contributors this fall with new schemes and coaches. Roberto Aguayo — the kicker drafted in the second round — was gone after one season, so that’s a major ding on the class as a whole. Ryan Smith, Caleb Benenoch and Devante Bond are still around, but fighting for backup jobs in the last year of their rookie contracts, which is never a good sign. Short of a major turnaround from Hargreaves or Spence, the entire draft class could be off the Bucs’ roster a year from now. — Greg Auman
1 (29) Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
3 (92) Brandon Williams, CB, Texas A&M
4 (128) Evan Boehm, OC, Missouri (Colts)
5 (167) Marqui Christian, S, Midwestern State (Rams)
5 (170) Cole Toner, OT/G, Harvard (Chargers)
6 (205) Harlan Miller, DB, Southeast Louisiana (Free Agent)
Best player: Evan Boehm
This is bad news for the Cardinals on multiple fronts. First, it is never a good sign that the best player from a team’s draft class didn’t come until the fourth round. Second, Boehm is a borderline NFL starter at-best so “best player” is a loose term. And third, Boehm played his best football in 2018, but for the Colts, not the Cardinals.
Best value: Boehm
Despite losing his starting role and roster spot in Arizona, Boehm joined Indianapolis last October and saw action in 11 games (four starts), giving the Colts’ solid play while Ryan Kelly was injured.
Biggest miss: Robert Nkemdiche
A “buyer beware” prospect, Nkemdiche has immense talent, but it didn’t always show on the football field or translate to production, which was the case at Ole Miss and now with the Cardinals. Despite the reliability concerns on and off the field, general manager Steve Keim bet on the raw talent and made Nkemdiche a first-round pick, which hasn’t panned out.
Beat writer’s take: The 2016 draft looks like an absolute disaster for general manager Steve Keim. Of the six players drafted only two – defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche and cornerback Brandon Williams – remain with the team. And they might not be around for long. Nkemdiche has been a bust. He’s played in just 27 of 48 games his first three seasons and when he has been healthy his passion for the game and work ethic has disappointed the organization. Williams, selected in the third round, hasn’t started a single game the past two seasons, has no career interceptions and will have a hard time making the team this year. — Scott Bordow
1 (19) Shaq Lawson, EDGE, Clemson
2 (41) Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama (Chiefs)
3 (80) Adolphus Washington, DL, Ohio State (Dolphins)
4 (139) Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State (Chargers)
5 (156) Jonathan Williams, RB, Arkansas (Colts)
6 (192) Kolby Listenbee, WR, TCU (Free Agent)
6 (218) Kevon Seymour, CB, USC (Panthers)
Best player: Reggie Ragland
I was tempted to put “none” for this superlative because arguably none of the Bills’ seven draft choices from the 2016 class deserves the “best pick” moniker. Ragland missed his rookie season with a knee injury and fell out of favor in Buffalo, leading to his trade to Kansas City for a fourth-rounder. The past two seasons, he has combined for 130 tackles over 25 starts for the Chiefs.
Best value: Ragland
Again, I considered “none” here, but Ragland again gets the nod. The Bills traded a pair of fourth-rounders to move up in the second round to nab him. They received only a fourth-round pick a year later when they traded him, which was poor value for Buffalo, but great value for Kansas City.
Biggest miss: Shaq Lawson
A lot of people missed on Lawson, not just the Bills. He wasn’t a twitchy, long-armed rusher, but he was very efficient at Clemson, stressing edge blockers and creating backfield disruption. However, that just hasn’t translated to the NFL game for Lawson, who has been a part-time starter with only 10.0 sacks in 35 career games.
Beat writer’s take: Only one player remains from the Bills’ 2016 draft class, the last true class of the Doug Whaley-Rex Ryan era. First-round pick Shaq Lawson is entering a contract year after the team declined to pick up his fifth-year option. He’s had a solid-but-unspectacular career in Buffalo to this point. The other prominent draft picks, such as Reggie Ragland and Adolphus Washington, were sent packing not long after Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane took over Buffalo’s roster. While a few of these players have hung around in the league, it’s tough to call any of them stars and none outside of Lawson contributed much to the Bills. — Matthew Fairburn
#New Orleans Saints
well this changes everything
thanks for the tag
As I was scrolling I kept thinking "why are the Bucs not at least getting a C+?" until I realized this was the Aguayo class, not the OJ Howard/Chris Godwin class. My god what a colossal embarrasment of a class. Maybe VH3 and Spence can salvage something with the new defensive scheme, but they have to stay off IR for the first time ever.
The Cowboys got two top 5 talents and only had to actually take one of them in the first round. Dak was a much later pick than Jaylon Smith, but I’m dubious that a QB who won’t win the franchise a Super Bowl is actually a better value than Smith, who is probably a perennial pro bowl player now that he’s healthy.
oldberg here is this beaut #MYQuarterback
gonna look so good with the dan jersey Celemo is buying me
i'd pay good money to hang out and fish with moss and deion for the day
#Chicago Bears #New York Giants
man how cool would it be to have two of those guys on one team can you even imagine
not quite as cool as having saquon AND poopers, dexter lawrence and a odu defensive end. but pretty close
Imagine if Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara were on a team together..... I wouldnt even think that team could lose
some really zany hypotheticals being posted itt. damn shame we never got to experience them irl
you heard it here first folkz
without clicking on the link i am going to guess that his teammates and coaches are impressed by his willingness to switch positions to tight end or wide receiver
He actually put on 60 pounds and is trying out to be their practice squad swing tackle
love to see a guy who cares about the team and will switch positions to make them better
I would bet every dollar to my name that Josh Allen will not be a good NFL QB. I really don't get what other people ( not here) see in him..
he's very tall, very white, pretty athletic, looks good in shorts and also decidedly white and tall. the total package
Him being very tall and white is great point, hadn't considered that.
I'm actually not as down on him as most here. I wouldn't like to know I had money riding on his career in either direction. Dude aha's a cannon, he's athletic and he makes big plays. Stupid ones too, but the talent is there.
Now Dan the man QB1 Jones on the other hand, I'd wager a lot of money on him not getting a second contract in NY.
He also is extremely inaccurate and that’s never going to change
All of those things are true, but he is the least accurate QB I have ever seen, ever, and that doesnt change. It's not even about his decision making.
I know this is college, but watch this (click into the thread):