2016 NFL Draft Wrap-Up

By Walt – @walterfootball
May 2, 2016

2016 NFL Draft Wrap-Up: Best Picks in Each Round

Picks 1-16: Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State
Picks 17-31: Robert Nkemdiche, DE/DT, Ole Miss
Round 2: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Round 3: Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Round 4: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Round 5: Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
Round 6: Harlan Miller, CB, SE Louisiana
Round 7: Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple

I was deciding between Jalen Ramsey and Laremy Tunsil as the best pick in the 1-16 segment. I ultimately chose Ramsey because he’s actually clean off the field, and I’ll be more surprised if he busts compared to Tunsil.

Robert Nkemdiche won the best selection in the 17-31 portion, as I just love the fit with him in Arizona. Just look at how Tyrann Mathieu has thrived.

Myles Jack might have been the best pick in the entire 2016 NFL Draft. Jack is a top-five talent who dropped because teams were scared of his knee. However, Dr. James Andrews said Jack won’t need microfracture knee surgery, so the new Jaguar linebacker could definitely be fine, long term.

I won’t delve into all of these – check out my NFL Draft Grades for more – but Kendall Fuller and Andrew Billings were other first-round prospects who fell to the middle of the draft. The Redskins and Bengals did a great job to snatch them up.

2016 NFL Draft Wrap-Up: Worst Picks in Each Round

Picks 1-16: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Picks 17-31: Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford
Round 2: Roberto Aguyao, K, Florida State
Round 3: Vincent Valentine, DT, Nebraska
Round 4: Seth DeValve, TE, Princeton
Round 5: Tyreek Hill, WR, West Alabama
Round 6: Wes Schweitzer, G, San Jose State
Round 7: Zac Brooks, RB, Clemson

Casual observers might be confused about why Ezekiel Elliott is listed here, especially after listening to clueless, failed former coaches and general managers gush about him. However, this is not 1995; running backs are no longer prevalent in this current era. Also, they effectively grow on trees. Good running backs are obtained all the time in the middle rounds. The Cowboys actually know this, as they selected DeMarco Murray in the third frame. I guess, in his old age, Jerry Jones must have forgotten.

Both the Joshua Garnett and Roberto Aguayo picks featured teams trading up recklessly. The 49ers took Garnett, a third-round prospect, at No. 28. The Aguayo selection, meanwhile, was an utter embarrassment. I laughed when I saw a quote by a scout who called it the “worst pick of all time.”

The rest of the list is comprised of overdrafted players who probably shouldn’t have even been selected. It’s also cool to learn that Bill Belichick is a Final Fantasy VII fan. I would’ve gone with Cid Highwind over Vincent Valentine though.

2016 NFL Draft Wrap-Up: Laremy Tunsil Impact

The day after the first round of the draft, I wrote that Ozzie Newsome was lying about having Ronnie Stanley ranked ahead of Laremy Tunsil on his big board. We knew for a fact that Tunsil was Baltimore’s top priority heading into the draft, and that was effectively confirmed when Adam Schefter reported that the Ravens would’ve chosen Tunsil at No. 6 if it wasn’t for the Bong-gate video. The Ravens did like Stanley, and they considered him a Plan B to Tunsil, but to rate him over the Ole Miss tackle is insane.

As it turns out, Tunsil dropped to No. 13 because of the video, but what would the first round have looked like if that never transpired? Here’s a guess:

6. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
7. DeForest Buckner, DE/DT, Oregon
8. Jack Conklin, OT/G, Michigan State (trade)
9. Leonard Floyd, DE/OLB, Georgia (trade)
10. Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
11. Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
12. Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
13. Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

As you can see, only three picks were impacted by Bong-gate. The Titans still would’ve traded up for Jack Conklin instead of Stanley, as he was the preferred blocker there, thanks to Stanley’s lacking toughness and passion for football. Stanley, however, almost certainly would’ve been taken by the Giants, allowing Eli Apple to fall to the Dolphins, who coveted the Ohio State corner.

2016 NFL Draft Wrap-Up: ESPN or NFL Network?

I’m always asked whether ESPN or NFL Network provides the better coverage. It’s NFL Network, and it’s not even close.

I watched both telecasts. I tuned into ESPN live, out of nostalgia, but NFL Network re-aired the first round later that night, and I had it on while I was typing stuff up. NFL Network was so much better that I had it on the rest of the weekend.

First and foremost, Rich Eisen is miles ahead of Chris Berman. I used to love Berman, but the difference between him and Eisen is like night and day. I also find it ridiculous that Berman is around for just one day. Trey Wingo commands the ESPN telecast during Days 2 and 3, which just seems like an insult to the viewers. What, we’re not good enough for Berman to grace us with his presence on Friday and Saturday? Why can’t Berman stick around for all three days? Eisen does it. And he was absolutely great on Saturday.

Second, maybe it’s just me, but NFL Network seemed like it had fewer commercials. I could be wrong, but ESPN seemed to cut to break every three minutes. Also, the fact that ESPN moves its telecast to ESPN2 during the draft’s second hour on Friday is ridiculous. It’s typical ESPN bulls*** where they just seem like they don’t care about the user experience. What if someone’s working and wants to DVR the draft? They have to record both channels? It’s just dumb. ESPN sucks.

And finally, the analysis on NFL Network is just far superior. Mike Mayock and Daniel Jeremiah seem far more knowledgeable than Mel Kiper and Todd McShay. I also like how NFL Network breaks down almost every single pick. ESPN, meanwhile, cuts to Suzy Kolber, who asks Ron Jaworski which quarterback he likes the most, and Jaws tells us that everyone’s going to be a Pro Bowler.

The one criticism I have of NFL Network is that I think it made a mistake by having college coaches David Shaw and Urban Meyer as guests. Shaw being on created this awkward moment at the end of the first round when it seemed like Mayock wanted to criticize the Joshua Garnett selection, but couldn’t because Shaw was sitting right next to him. All Mayock said was, “He’s tough.” That’s it. So, apparently, you trade up into the back end of the first round for someone because “he’s tough.”

Despite this, NFL Network is much better. I still might try ESPN on Thursday during the 2017 NFL Draft – again, for nostalgia – but I’ll be quicker to switch to NFL Network.

2016 NFL Draft Wrap-Up: How to Improve the NFL Draft

The NFL Draft is awesome, but it needs some work. The first day seems perfect – though I’d prefer 12 minutes per pick over 10 minutes – but the second and third days need to be upgraded in terms of how they’re presented on television.

The same thing happens every year: The television coverage falls WAY behind in the second round. At one point, a pick was being reported on Twitter FIVE selections after the one currently being shown on TV. It’s horrible, and it happens all the time.

Here’s what I would do: Make the NFL Draft a four-day event:

Thursday – Round 1
Friday – Round 2
Saturday – Rounds 3, 4
Sunday – Rounds 5-7

This may seem like too much, but it’s only one weekend out of the year. It’ll also allow ESPN and NFL Network to showcase the second-round selections live, like they do for Round 1. The second round is extremely important, so falling behind in coverage just seems horrible, especially in the wake of how prominent Twitter has become. It’s almost useless to watch the draft live after the first round. Why not just hang out on Twitter and find out who’s picked that way?

Saturday would cover the third and fourth rounds, and because it’s a weekend, it could start earlier than the penultimate day does now – perhaps at 3 p.m. or so. Each team would be given eight minutes in between selections so that, once again, TV coverage can report each pick live. Because, let’s face it, who’s watching the NFL Draft after the first round? NFL Draft geeks like you and me, that’s who. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see every selection analyzed. How about we give the people on TV some time so they can do that?

Rounds 5-7 would be on Sunday, and it would be a lot like the current Saturday version. However, with one fewer round on the final day, we can give the teams a bit more extra time to allow for better coverage and more trades.

Anyway, that’s what I would do. Sure, the NFL Draft would be longer, but who cares? We all wait for this weekend the entire year. Why not enjoy it a bit more?

2016 NFL Draft Wrap-Up: Best Players Not Drafted

As usual, there were a handful of players expected to be chosen who weren’t taken off the board. Here are the top-rated players who did not hear their name called:

Jeremy Cash, S, Duke
Briean Boddy-Calhoun, CB, Minnesota
Jack Allen, C, Michigan State Tyvis Powell, S, Ohio State
James Cowser, DE/OLB, Southern Utah
Ben Braunecker, TE, Harvard
Jason Fanaika, DE, Utah
Keyarris Garrett, WR, Tulsa
Victor Ochi, DE/OLB, Stony Brook
Jonathan Jones, CB, Auburn
Devon Cajuste, TE, Stanford
Darius Latham, DT, Indiana
Landon Turner, G, North Carolina
Marquez North, WR, Tennessee
Bryce Williams, TE, East Carolina

Check out the UDFA Signings page to see where they went.

2016 NFL Draft Wrap-Up: 2017 NFL Draft Coverage

The 2017 NFL Draft class looks to be superior to the 2016 group, which is exciting. Here are some quick links:

My 2017 NFL Mock Draft – Live update Tuesday

2017 NFL Mock Draft by Charlie Campbell – Updated 5/2

2017 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings

NFL Draft Team Grades

2016 NFL Draft Grades

2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 12

Fantasy Football Rankings - May 9

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

NFL Picks - Feb. 12