NFL Draft Day One Recap — Analysis and Grades

NFL Draft Day One Recap — Analysis and Grades

1. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB, California

The west coast’s new team selects the California born signal-caller in Goff. The former Bear gives the Rams a new face of the franchise to pair with Pro-Bowl running back Todd Gurley. The fit is ideal considering the revolving door with Nick Foles, and Caase Keenum in 2015.

Grade: A

2. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

Everyone knew that the Eagles did not trade complete the trade with the Cleveland Browns to move up from no. 8 to no. 2 to do anything but select a quarterback.The franchise gets the former FCS standout in Wentz. At 6’5″, 240 pounds, Wentz is the prototypical NFL quarterback  With Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel already on the roster, slated to make $45 million in 2016, the former Bison star has no pressure to start from day one. 

Grade: B+

 3. San Diego Chargers: Joey Bosa, DL, Ohio State

The surprise of the top-five, Bosa gives the Chargers a pass rush that has sorely been lacking but offensive line seemed to be the way they were going. With Laremy Tunsil and Ronnie Stanley still on the board, protecting Philip Rivers would have been a better option.

Grade: C


 4. Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Jerry Jones could not resist the temptation of the modern-day version of the triplets, similar to Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith. Completing the trio of Elliot, along with Tony Romo and Dez Bryant is the spark and hollywood feel that Jerry Jones loves. The pick was a bit of a reach but Elliott was a top-five player in this draft class.

Grade: B+

 5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State

Getting my no.2 ranked player on the board at this point is a steal. After the free agent acquisition of Tashaun Gipson, pairing Ramsey with the former Pro-Bowl safety gives Gus Bradley a young and dependable back end to his improving defense.

Grade: A+

 6. Baltimore Ravens: OT, Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame

Another great pick for one of the best general managers in the NFL. After losing Kelechi Osemele and a questionable situation at left tackle, Stanley is a day-one starter, who can step in to protect Joe Flacco’s blindside.


Grade: B

 7. San Francisco 49ers: DL, DeForest Buckner, Oregon

Another top-five talent slips out of the first five selections of the draft. The 49ers elects to take an Oregon defensive lineman for the second consecutive year. Buckner provides an explosive and powerful five technique for Chip Kelly’s defense.

Grade: A

8. Tennessee Titans: OT, Jack Coklin, Michigan State

One of the biggest reaches of the first round, Conklin solidifies the right side of a franchise in search of protection for 2015 first-round pick Marcus Mariota. The former Spartan allows the team to keep Taylor Lewan at left tackle and swing Conklin to RT

Grade: B-

 9. Chicago Bears: DE, Leonard Floyd, Georgia

One of the most under-rated picks of the entire first-round, Floyd is the versatile piece that general manager Ryan Pace was in search of. The versatile edge rusher is full of potential and will thrive in defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s 3-4 scheme.

Grade: B+

 10. New York Giants: CB, Eli Apple, Ohio State

Another huge reach, Eli Apple was the  biggest topic of discussion leading up to the draft. With the anonymous scout saying “he can’t cook” story, and with the Giants reaching on the talented Ohio State corner, expectations will be high in the NFC East.

Grade: C

 11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB, Vernon Hargreaves, Florida

After trading out of the ninth-slot, the Bucs get tremendous value here with arguably the best cornerback in the draft. Hargreaves boost a secondary that lacks a headliner. After the failed free agency experiment Alterraun Verner, the former Florida defensive back is a great, young building block.

Grade: A


 12. New Orleans Saints: DT, Sheldon Rankins, Louisville

 If there was one pick everyone had pegged in their mock draft, this was it. Rankins is a perfect scheme fit for the Saints, who desperately needed interior defensive lineman. Rankins has the potential of Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle, Aaron Donald.

Grade: A

 13. Miami Dolphins: OT, Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss

One of the biggest question marks of the draft was the sudden fall of Laremy Tunsil. Reports surfaced of a disturbing video involving the former Ole Miss tackle. This is the best value pick of the first round. Despite all of the questions, the Dolphins opted to draft the former Ole Miss star.

Grade: A+

 14. Oakland Raiders: FS, Karl Joseph, West Virginia

One of my favorite players in this draft, Joseph is a true center fielder at safety. General manager Reggie McKenzie has had an impressive off-season and adding the star safety adds to his impressive resume. Joseph gives the Raiders that middle of the field safety help that they desperately need to pair with free agent acquisition Sean Smith and David Amerson.

Grade: B

 15. Cleveland Browns: WR, Corey Coleman, Baylor

Hue Jackson get’s the explosive play-maker he has been looking for in an offense that lacks threats on the perimeter. Coleman gets the chance to step in immediately and make an impact for a franchise that has been dreadful offensively.

Grade: B+

 16. Detroit Lions: OT, Taylor Decker, Ohio State

With Riley Reiff entering a contract year and seeming inevitable for him not to return following the 2016 season, the Lions addressed the issue a year in advance. Decker is a good pick for them here, as the Lions offensive line struggled throughout last season. Decker brings the nastiness and toughness that was absent from the Lions offensive line in 2015.

Grade: B+


 17. Atlanta Falcons: SS. Keanu Neal, Florida

Another reach was picking the former Florida safety in the middle of day-one. The Falcons could have easily traded down into the mid-20’s to Neal. Only having five draft picks, that would have been a better option. Neal fills a need but it would have been better to trade back, stockpile picks that you lost and still get your intended target in Neal.

Grade: B-

 18. Indianapolis Colts: C, Ryan Kelly, Alabama

General manager Ryan Grigson made a great pick here, fixing an offensive line that struggled to protect quarterback Andrew Luck last season. Kelly gives the Colts a new leader in the middle of an offense and one of the safest picks of the entire draft.

Grade: A

 19. Buffalo Bills: DE, Shaq Lawson, Clemson

Was there any doubt that Rex Ryan would take a player from Clemson? Despite that, the Bills filled a huge need. With the departure of Mario Williams, defensive end needed to be addressed. The Bills did not waste anytime, taking the talented defensive end out of Clemson.

Grade: B+

 20. New York Jets: LB, Darron Lee, Ohio State

With a defensive head coach in Todd Bowles, he is always trying to find new ways to give himself new toys along his stout defense. Darron Lee is the new present-day outside linebacker of the NFL. He will fit perfectly into Bowles scheme, flying all-around the field. 

Grade: B+

 21. Houston Texans: WR, Will Fuller, Notre Dame

The prospect that most fan bases did not want is the speedster out of Notre Dame. A bit of a reach but Bill O’Brien desperately wanted to get speed on the perimeter and a compliment for Pro-Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Brock Osweiler now has plenty of targets to help him succeed.

Grade: C

22. Washington Redskins: WR, Josh Doctson, TCU

The surprise of the first round was the Redskins taking a receiver. With needs along the defensive line and with A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed still on the board, Jay Gruden elected to give his Kirk Cousins another new target. The pick makes sense with Desean Jackson entering a contract year and Pierre Garcon turning 30.

Grade: B+

 23. Minnesota Vikings: WR, Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss

Once considered the consensus no. 1 receiver of this draft class, the Vikings had another pre-draft process top prospect fall right into their laps. Treadwell will be a dynamic 1-2 punch with 2015 fifth-round pick Stefon Diggs, giving quarterback Teddy Bridgewater another target.

Grade: A

 24. Cincinnati Bengals: CB, William Jackson III, Houston

Most mock drafts had the Bengals taking a wide receiver but with the top four options off the board, the Bengals stayed true to their board and continued to load up their secondary. The loss of Leon Hall left a small void for the Bengals.

Grade: B

 25. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB, Artie Burns, Miami

The biggest reach of the first round was taking Burns in the first round. The Steelers desperately needed help in their secondary but with their top better options off the board, the Steelers panicked and reached on the former Miami cornerback.

Grade: C-

26. Denver Broncos: QB, Paxton Lynch, Memphis

After the retirement of Peyton Manning and the outbidding of Brock Osweiler, the Broncos needed a quarterback. Everyone knew that Mark Sanchez was not the answer for the long-term future. John Elway was aggressive in his pursuit for a quarterback and he get his target in the big Memphis signal-caller.

Grade: B

 27. Green Bay Packers: DT, Kenny Clark, UCLA

He’s only 20 years-old. One of the factors that I love about Clark. Everyone pegged a inside linebacker for the Packers but general manager Ted Thompson has shown that he values interior lineman earlier in the draft. Clark is a perfect fit in Dom Capers scheme and gives him a defensive tackle for the foreseeable future.

Grade: B+

28. San Francisco 49ers: OG, Joshua Garnett, Stanford

The 49ers traded up to get one of the best interior offensive lineman of this class. Many draft media outlets criticized the pick but I liked it. If there is a prospect out there that you covet, then go get him. Chip Kelly was aggressive in his efforts to improve the void that Alex Boone left, with drafting Garnett. The former Stanford guard is a plug and play guard for Kelly’s offense.


Grade: B


 29. Arizona Cardinals: DE, Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss

After numerous off-the-field issues and concerns, Nkemdiche finally found a landing spot with a playoff contender. The former Ole Miss defensive tackle landed in a situation that benefits him as he will be surrounded with proper leadership in order to keep the rookie on the correct path. This was a tremendous value pick as Nkemdiche shows flashes of being a top-10 pick on the field.

Grade: A

 30. Carolina Panthers: DT, Vernon Butler, La. Tech

Dave Gettleman is the mastermind behind the “drafting for the future” theory. With Star Lotulelei and Kawaan Short entering contract years, Gettleman drafted Butler in case one of the standout defensive tackles decide to go elsewhere 

Grade: B+

31. Seattle Seahawks: OT, Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M

After the losses of Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy, the Seahawks desperately needed offensive line help. Ifedi is very raw, but his upside is off the charts. With patient, and proper coaching, the former Aggie offensive tackle landed in the perfect situation.

Grade: B

Print this entry

Related Articles

Prospect Watch: Tajae Sharpe

Every year there are a few players that prospect evaluators become especially fond of. Last year my favorite wide receiver

Barroom Big Board — 11-15

This is the third of a week-long series where we reveal the NFCN Barroom’s Big Board. Our top draft analysts

NFL Draft 2015 – Vikings Round 1 Options

The Minnesota Vikings have the fourth best collection of young talent in the NFL. That’s according to a recent ESPN

No comments

Write a comment
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*