A 2016 NFL Draft Review and Look at Results

The 2016 NFL Draft has came and went, and right now, most teams and its fans are all convinced that they are primed for a playoff run. Even those fans who know their team isn’t quite ready yet are flying high from the new additions and are excited to see the direction they go in. Inevitably, some of the picks made over the past weekend will fail, but many will go on to do good, or maybe even great, things in the NFL. There’s no real way to predict which players will go in which directions, but it’s fair to look at who landed where, and which teams got good value and which players went to teams that will put them in position to succeed.(For reference, my own grades will be in parentheses where applicable)



Buffalo Bills

First pick: With Mario Williams gone, help was needed up front and when Shaw Lawson (top 15 grade) fell to them, it likely wasn’t too hard a pick to make. He makes a ton of plays behind the line of scrimmage, and not just sacks. He plays the run well, and could have gone several picks higher.

Potential Steal: The pre-draft grades on Cardale Jones varied quite a bit (fourth round grade), but many saw him as a strong day two pick with his potential. The Bills selected him in round four, and with an unsettled quarterback situation, he could become the starter before long.

Risky Move: Reggie Ragland (Second round grade)was a terrific college football player and seems certain to do some things very well at any level. However, he may struggle to stay on the field with his deficiencies in the passing game.

Overall: It’s hard to knock what the Bills did. The front seven needed an influx of talent, and they used their first three picks to do just that. They also got a potential starting quarterback and used day three picks to get depth on offense. Jonathan Williams and Kolby Listenbee both could contribute fairly early on.


Miami Dolphins

First Pick: Miami’s first pick was their most controversial, and possibly their best pick. Laremy Tunsil (top five grade) was the favorite to be the first overall pick at one point, but fell to 13th because of some pre-draft Twitter hacking. He could be great if he stays out of trouble.

Potential Steal: Their last pick, Thomas Duarte (sixth round grade), is an athletic tight end with tons of receiving upside. He’s not much of a blocker, but could certainly develop into a lethal red zone threat early on.

Risky Move: Xavien Howard (third round grade) is a solid player, but he will need some work on his technique. He wasn’t a huge reach, but the Dolphins traded up to get him, when they might not have needed to do so.

Overall: Tunsil will a steal, and outside of that, they got a lot faster. Players like Kenyan Drake and Jakeem Grant bring pure speed to the offense. Brandon Doughty will be a developmental quarterback. Leonte Carroo will likely get playing time soon enough.


New England Patriots

First Pick: The Patriots didn’t have a first round pick, so their first selection, Cyrus Jones (third round grade), didn’t come until the end of round two. He’ll contribute on special teams as well as potentially being a very good slot corner.

Potential Steal: Devin Lucien was considered one of the draft’s sleepers by many analysts, and he’ll get a chance to break into the rotation in New England, where they still have a need for talent at the receiver position.

Risky Move: There are plenty of things to like about Jacoby Brissett (5th round grade), but the Patriots aren’t a quarterback needy team right now, and taking one in round three, especially when they didn’t have a first round pick, might prove to be pointless.

Overall: With no first round pick, the Patriots’ draft haul has to be graded on a curve. They added some receiver talent with Lucien and Malcolm MitchellVincent Valentine is a defensive lineman who can come in and play early on as well. If nothing else, they drafted some guys who will add depth to the roster.


New York Jets

First Pick: Darron Lee (top 15 grade) will have a few things to improve on, but he’s a talented athlete at linebacker. He flies around the field making tackles, and is also a good blitzer. There are concerns about him in coverage, but he’s as talented a player as is in this draft.

Potential Steal: Seventh round picks aren’t successful often, but Charone Peake (5th round grade) is a receiver with tons of speed, and who could stick on the roster. He was also a great pick in terms of value at this point.

Risky Move: It was not a shock that the Jets took a quarterback in this draft, but few expected it to be Christian Hackenberg (4th round grade) in round two. He has NFL measurables, but he has not lived up to his billing. He’s a huge risk here.

Overall: Punters aren’t going to get fans excited, but they did add a potential upgrade there, and Jordan Jenkins has a lot of pass rushing upside for a third round pick as well. Otherwise, it looks like they mostly got depth at several positions.



Baltimore Ravens

First Pick: The Ravens certainly nabbed a position of need in tackle Ronnie Stanley (top 20 grade). He’s a very good pass blocker, but needs to be stronger in the run game. Taking him over Tunsil was the safe move, but Tunsil was the better prospect.

Potential Steal: If Matt Judon (3rd round grade) was a major conference player, he would have gone much earlier. He has NFL size and speed, and knows how to get around the edge and after opposing quarterbacks.

Risky Move: Baltimore’s riskiest pick was one they didn’t make. Their secondary was abysmal in 2015, and though they signed Eric Weddle in free agency, they didn’t address it via the draft until the fourth round, where they drafted 5’9″ Tavon Young (4th round grade).

Overall: The Ravens had 11 picks in this draft, and added solid players throughout. Judon, Kamalei Correa, and Bronson Kaufusi should all make the front seven stronger, and Maurice Canady is a great value in round seven.


Cincinnati Bengals

First Pick: When all of the top receivers came off the board in front of them, the Bengals didn’t panic, instead opting to select the best available player in William Jackson III (top 15 grade). He’s long and instinctive, with tremendous ball skills.

Potential Steal: There were many analysts who had Andrew Billings (1st round grade) going to Cincinnati with their first pick. So when they grabbed him in round four, it became one of the biggest steals of the entire draft, if he hits his potential.

Risky Move: Tyler Boyd (3rd round grade) was a terrific college player, and should be a solid player in his own right, but there is still a need for a threat on the outside as a replacement for Marvin Jones, who left via free agency.

Overall: It looks like the Bengals had another fantastic draft. They added huge talent and got amazing value in Billings and fifth round pick Christian WestermanNick Vigil could also work his way into the rotation at linebacker.


Cleveland Browns

First Pick: If the Browns want to give Robert Griffin any chance of success, they need to give him some weapons. Enter Corey Coleman. He’s an explosive receiver who wins down the field, and with the ball in his hands.

Potential Steal: The Browns picked Joe Schobert (4th round grade) about where he was projected, but that doesn’t mean he can’t turn out to be a steal. He plays hard, and can contribute in a lot of ways. He could be a fixture in Cleveland’s unit for years.

Risky Move: Anyone can see that the Browns have a ton of needs on both sides of the ball, which is why picking five wide receivers seems like overkill. They had too many positions of worry to concentrate on just one so much.

Overall: With 14 picks, there’s some positive buzz that the team is moving in the right direction. They used too many picks on the receiver spot, but did add some talent. Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib should play really early. Scooby Wright could be solid depth.


Pittsburgh Steelers

First Pick: There’s no doubt that the Steelers needed to upgrade their secondary. Artie Burns (2nd round grade) will need refinement on his technique, but has more upside than some of the other options available at this point.

Potential Steal: Tyler Matakevich isn’t the kind of player that gets scouts drooling, but he could be the kind of player that fans will appreciate. He’s a tackle machine that might have his action limited, but will give everything he has when he’s on the field.

Risky Move: The Steelers used both of their first two picks on the secondary, which was the right move, but there’s risk with both guys. Both are raw players who will need to be coached up to get the secondary back on track.

Overall: Potential is the best word to describe Pittsburgh’s draft. Burns and Sean Davis could be terrific, while mid-round picks Javon Hargrave and Jerald Hawkins are both talented players who could be really good as well. There’s a lot of risk with this draft haul, though.



Houston Texans

First Pick: The Texans wanted to add speed to the receiving corps, and did so with the selection of Will Fuller (3rd round grade). He can fly, but he has small hands and it showed with the number of drops he’s had.

Potential Steal: There is some need up front for the Texans, especially in the middle, so DJ Reader (4th round grade) makes positional sense, and he has enough talent that he could be Vince Wilfork’s eventual replacement.

Risky Move: Fuller may have been the biggest single risk, but there may be some discussion about the mid-round picks as well. They selected a project receiver in Braxton Miller (3rd round grade) and an undersized running back in Tyler Ervin (5th round grade).

Overall: Houston only had six picks, but did get some nice players. KJ Dillon was a solid late round pick, and center Nick Martin was a good value pick as well. Martin, in particular, may take the starting spot right away.


Indianapolis Colts

First Pick: It’s hard to imagine the Colts making a better pick than Ryan Kelly (1st round grade). He should start right from the start, and is an upgrade over the guys they’ve been running out there. Andrew Luck had to love this pick.

Potential Steal: The defense still needs to be better in Indianapolis, so adding defensive line talent was a must. Hassan Ridgeway (4th round grade) has the potential to play and contribute early on.

Risky Move: There is no doubt that TJ Green (3rd round grade) is a superb athlete and has a sky-high upside. However, the bust potential is high, and his impending move to cornerback adds to the risk factor.

Overall: It looks like the Colts had a really good draft, having added more than one potential impact player. They especially addressed the biggest concern, protecting Luck, adding Kelly, Le’Raven ClarkJoe Haeg, and Austin Blythe. They still need pass rushers.


Jacksonville Jaguars

First Pick: When the Rams and Eagles traded up to take the top two quarterbacks, it left the Jaguars in position to get a great player, and they did in Jalen Ramsey (top 5 grade). He has the length, instincts, and toughness teams covet, and might be the best player in the draft.

Potential Steal: The player most often mocked to Jacksonville pre-draft was Myles Jack (top 10 grade). Injury red flags pushed him out of the first round, but he’s an elite talent, and the Jaguars took him at the top of round two. If he stays healthy, this could be an amazing value pick.

Risky Move: While Jack could be the biggest steal of the draft, there’s still the chance that his injury will keep him from ever realizing his unlimited potential. There could also be extra surgeries needed, which may limit his ability to stay on the field.

Overall: The Jaguars had a fantastic draft, adding elite talent at the top, and solid potential throughout. Sheldon Day could be an impact player, while guys like Tyrone Holmes and Yannick Ngakoue add depth to an already nice defense.


Tennessee Titans

First Pick: As the draft approached, Jack Conklin (2nd round grade) became a fast riser up teams’ boards. He’s got NFL size and a mean streak in the run game, but it’s a passing league, and his pass blocking is in need of a lot of work.

Potential Steal: This year’s Mr Irrelevant, Kalan Reed (5th round grade), is a talented, athletic corner who could, and should, make the roster and compete for playing time. He made a lot of plays in college.

Risky Move: The Titans moved around a few times in the first round, and ended up taking Conklin with the eighth pick, but might have been better served to have skipped that last trade up and either seeing of Conklin fell, or taking the next option.

Overall: Tennessee took some risks early, using day two picks on Kevin Dodd and Derrick Henry (3rd round grade). They also selected some athletic players with upside in day three. Ultimately, they reached a few times, and will need it to pay off for this draft to be considered a success.



Denver Broncos

First Pick: The Broncos are in the unique position of being a Super Bowl champ that lost both of its top two quarterbacks, so it was no surprise that they moved up for Paxton Lynch (2nd round grade). He’s going to need time to develop, though, so he won’t see playing time in 2016.

Potential Steal: With a highly questionable quarterback situation, the Broncos are going to have to run the ball effectively. Connor McGovern (4th round grade) is a big, powerful run blocker who has a good chance at starting right away.

Risky Move: Aside from the quarterback, which is always risky, Denver used its second round pick on Adam Gotsis (5th round grade). They needed some bodies up front, but it seems as though there were better options available here.

Overall: This will be remembered as the Paxton Lynch draft, and hinges on his success or failure. They did add some talent with Devontae Booker and Justin Simmons, but the champs might not have impacted 2016 too much.


Kansas City Chiefs

First Pick: The Chiefs traded back out of round one, but still got a first round talent in Chris Jones (1st round grade). His motor was inconsistent, but when motivated, he can dominate. They just need to keep him motivated.

Potential Steal: Pass rushers are always needed in the NFL, and the Chiefs were probably thinking about that when they drafted Dadi Nicolas (5th round grade) in round six. He’ll likely be a situational player, but he was good value at this point.

Risky Move: Nobody would have faulted the Chiefs if they had used an earlier pick to add another weapon for Alex Smith. After Jeremy Maclin, who has had injury issues, they have a lot of unknowns. If Maclin goes down, they might wish they had taken a receiver earlier.

Overall: There are a lot of “ifs” with this class. If Jones stays hungry, he’ll be great. If Kevin Hogan fixes his mechanics, he’ll be a potential starter. If Demarcus Robinson stays out of trouble, he’ll contribute. There may just be too many “ifs”.


Oakland Raiders

First Pick: As the Raiders continue to build a team capable of contending, they looked to add speed and toughness to the secondary, and did just that with Karl Joseph (1st round grade). He’s a heat seeking missile from the secondary. He hits hard and plays hard.

Potential Steal: Early in the draft process, Vadal Alexander (3rd round grade) was a day two pick at worst. He’s a big mauler in the run game, but will likely struggle in the NFL in the passing game.

Risky Move: Derek Carr has revitalized the Raiders offense, and it certainly never hurts to have a good backup, but adding Connor Cook (2nd round grade) doesn’t seem like a great pick. He’ll likely be trade bait in a few years.

Overall: The Raiders strengthened the defense, which was the goal. Shilique Calhoun and Jihad Ward give them more pass rushing ability, while DeAndre Washington is another weapon on offense.


San Diego Chargers

First Pick: The Chargers had their pick of every position player in the draft, so it was mildly surprising they the took Joey Bosa (top 5 grade). Bosa’s best fit seems to be as a 4-3 defensive end, and with a huge need in the secondary, Ramsey might have made more sense.

Potential Steal: As the NFL continues to evolve, certain positions suffer, and that includes the run stuffing linebacker. Now, they’re simply seen as guys who only play a percentage of the time. Joshua Perry (2nd round grade) might not fit the current mold, but he was tremendous value in round four.

Risky Move: The secondary was horrible last season, yet they chose not to address it until day three. There was a lot of first and second day talent available, and if they get torched like they did in 2015, fans will remember passing on Ramsey.

Overall: The Chargers’ draft wasn’t necessarily a bad one, but it was a curious one. They drafted Bosa over the seemingly more needed Ramsey, who was also a better fit, and all but ignored the secondary. They did get Hunter Henry, who will probably eventually replace Antonio Gates, and some depth along the interior of the offensive line with Max Tuerk.



Dallas Cowboys

First Pick: Sure, Dallas had bigger needs that running back, but Ezekiel Elliott (top 5 grade) behind that offensive line isn’t even fair. He brings speed, power, and determination to the backfield, and could be the best running back in the league in a few years.

Potential Steal: Like Jacksonville, the Cowboys were able to get a potential generational talent at linebacker in round two due to injury. Jaylon Smith (top 10 grade) was going to be a very high pick until the serious leg injury. If he gets close to where he was, watch out.

Risky Move: Also like Myles Jack, Smith comes with a pretty big risk. He won’t play in 2016 for sure, and may not every play like he did pre-injury. If not, they passed on some much needed secondary help during a Super Bowl push for no reason.

Overall: The Cowboys drafted Dak Prescott in round four, and they hope he’ll be the quarterback of the future. If he is, this could be a home run draft. Maliek Collins and Charles Tapper are potential difference makers on the front four, and they got some really good value on day three as well.


New York Giants

First Pick: Eli Apple (2nd round grade) is a picture of the modern cornerback, with length and physicality to go with raw speed. However, he struggles with technique and could draw a lot of flags. He does have upside.

Potential Steal: With the hoopla surrounding Ezekiel Elliott and Derrick Henry, other running backs sort of got lost in the shuffle. Paul Perkins (3rd round grade) fell to round five, but has the ability to play a lot, and early on. He’s shifty, quick up the field, and has excellent vision and balance.

Risky Move: There was plenty of reasons to take an offensive lineman early on in this draft. The Giants, however, didn’t address it at all. If Eli Manning spends a lot of time on his back this season, they will regret not getting some help.

Overall: The Giants had a great second day of the draft, getting Sterling Shepard and Darian Thompson with their two picks. Their first pick was a reach, but they did a much better job of getting value after that.


Philadelphia Eagles

First Pick: The Eagles traded a lot of picks to move up and select quarterback Carson Wentz (1st round grade). There are many reasons to love the pick, but he’s not foolproof, and needs to be quicker with his reads and progressions to keep from blowing up in their face.

Potential Steal: Most analysts were shocked when Jalen Mills (3rd round grade) fell all the way to round seven, but Philadelphia stands to gain from it. He’s a great athlete with potential, but needs to work on his fundamentals if he’s moving to cornerback.

Risky Move: When a team trades away a bunch of picks to select a quarterback, it automatically comes with plenty of risk. Grades on Wentz were by no means unanimous, and if he busts, he will set the franchise back in a big way.

Overall: The Eagles got their quarterback, but were otherwise forced to look for value with mostly later round picks. They got a few guys with athletic upside in Mills and Alex McCallister, but probably didn’t draft anybody that will impact 2016 much.


Washington Redskins

First Pick: Josh Doctson (top 20 grade) was the best receiver in the draft, and though it wasn’t the biggest need right now, it was a pick that will definitely help in the long run. As Kirk Cousins plays for a contract, he’ll appreciate Doctson’s ability to go up after balls, and his ability to catch everything.

Potential Steal: A serious knee injury derailed Kendall Fuller (2nd round grade) and certainly cost him some draft positions. He has good ball skills and solid instincts, and he could be starting soon enough in Washington.

Risky Move: Fuller is coming off of a major injury, so there’s always some risk associated with that. The good news is, with Josh Norman’s signing, Fuller will feel less pressure to play and contribute right away.

Overall: The Redskins had a tremendous draft. They got value all over the board, and added more than one potential starter. Su’a Cravens is a nice second round pick, and Matt Ioannidis will likely play early. Nate Sudfeld (undrafted grade) is the only real reach.


Chicago Bears

First Pick: The Bears wanted to improve the defense, and to that end, moved up to select Leonard Floyd (1st round grade). Floyd is a terrific athlete who may struggle at first, but has a huge pass rushing upside.

Potential Steal: Jonathan Bullard (2nd round grade) isn’t as flashy as some of the other defensive line prospects, but he can play in multiple spots and contribute. He might have fit better in a 4-3, where he can move around more, but he was great value in round three.

Risky Move: Trading up is always a risk, and Floyd is by no means a sure thing. They felt the needed to move up in front of the Giants to get him, so it makes sense, but if he busts, it will look like an even worse decision.

Overall: The fans in Chicago should be happy. The Bears definitely got better. Their second day was especially productive, adding Bullard and Cody Whitehair, who could have gone in round one. DeAndre Houston-Carson was a terrific late-round value. Jordan Howard should play early on as well.


Detroit Lions

First Pick: Taylor Decker (top 20 grade) wasn’t the kind of pick that gets casual fans excited, but Matthew Stafford was probably pretty fired up. He’ll probably start at right tackle right away and is an upgrade in pass protection.

Potential Steal: Nobody knows exactly where Anthony Zettel (5th round grade) fits in the NFL, but he’s a high-motor guy who will play hard wherever he’s at. He’ll likely move around based on the down. He was good value at this spot.

Risky Move: The Lions drafted a lot of players who may have to adust their positions in the NFL. Aside from Zettel, Miles Killebrew (4th round grade) and Graham Glasgow (4th round grade) will also potentially move.

Overall: The Lions certainly put a priority on improving the two lines. Decker, Glasgow and Joe Dahl were added to the offense, and A’Shawn Robinson looks to strengthen the other side. They had some questionable picks late, and it wasn’t an exciting draft, but it wasn’t bad either.


Green Bay Packers

First Pick: First round pick Kenny Clark (2nd round grade) figures to start sooner rather than later. He plays hard every down and is strong enough to eat up blockers. He could be a monster as a run defender.

Potential Steal: The Packers selected tackle Kyle Murphy (4th round grade) in round six, so value is certainly there. He has NFL size, and is a smart, strong player who could develop into a starter at some point.

Risky Move: Clay Matthews has been playing out of position, so the Packers drafted a linebacker to allow him to move back outside. However, they waited until round four to do so. They really need Matthews back outside to maximize his talent.

Overall: They got some good football players in Green Bay. Jason Spriggs was a terrific value pick in round two, and they strengthened both the offensive and defensive lines with talented guys without reaching. This was a solid, but not spectacular draft.


Minnesota Vikings

First Pick: The Vikings are built to be yearly playoff contenders, but really needed some weapons for Teddy Bridgewater. With that in mind, the watched Laquon Treadwell (top 20 grade), a top talent at a position of perhaps their biggest need, fall to them in round one. He’s big, strong, and has great hands.

Potential Steal: Kentrell Brothers (3rd round grade) could have been taken in day two and wouldn’t have caused a stir. He is an aggressive run-stuffing linebacker, and probably fell due to concerns about him in coverage.

Risky Move: Safety might have been a bigger need than cornerback, but the Vikings didn’t address that position until round seven. Teams certainly can’t have too many good corners, but they might wish they had grabbed a safety a bit earlier.

Overall: The Vikings didn’t make any big reaches, but didn’t really make any big splashes either. Treadwell will certainly make an impact early on, and Mackensie Alexander will probably get some time in 2016 as well.



Atlanta Falcons

First Pick: It was obvious that the Falcons were going to address the defense in the early part of this draft. They needed help at all three levels, but it was a little surprising that they took Keanu Neal (2nd round grade), a huge hitting safety, but one who misses some plays as well.

Potential Steal: The Falcons have been looking to replace Tony Gonzalez at tight end since his retirement. Austin Hooper (3rd round grade) shouldn’t be saddled with that kind of expectations, but he’s an athlete with plenty of upside.

Risky Move: Pass rushers are needed for a defense to succeed, but the Falcons passed on that to take Neal in the first round, and never really addressed it. The defense still might not be good enough to put them in playoff contention.

Overall: Neal was a first round reach, and Deion Jones in round two was as well, but both could play and they bring much needed speed to the defense. Both also have some holes in their games, however. This class might take some time to bear fruit, and may ultimately be looked on as a weak one.


Carolina Panthers

First Pick: The Panthers have two terrific defensive tackles already on the roster, but there are questions about whether or not they’ll keep both. By drafting Vernon Butler (2nd round grade), they give themselves some insurance, or depth if both starters stay.

Potential Steal: Butler isn’t a polished player, but he has plenty of raw talent. He’s big, versatile, and light on his feet. He plays hard, and is good in finding and getting to ball carriers, and just needs some work with his pass rush.

Risky Move: Carolina only had five picks in this entire draft, and used three of them on cornerbacks after letting Josh Norman walk. This does increase the odds of finding a replacement starter, but if not, this was a mostly wasted draft.

Overall: With limited picks, they weren’t going to be able to do a lot, but they also didn’t getting much value with the ones they had. James Bradberry and Daryl Worley could both wind up being solid players.


New Orleans Saints

First Pick: The defense of the Saints has been trying to catch up with their offense for years, and they continue to work at it with Sheldon Rankins (top 15 grade). He’s already a solid all-around player, but could become a terrific pass rushing threat.

Potential Steal: There are analysts who had Michael Thomas (2nd round grade) as the top receiver in the entire draft. He has NFL size, runs good routes, and has excellent hands. They continue to stock good talent for Drew Brees.

Risky Move: The Saints are another team that wound up with a minimal number of selections. They traded up into round two to select Vonn Bell (2nd round grade), giving up some much needed picks. Bell is inconsistent, but could be moved to cornerback, where he can use his athleticism and ball skills.

Overall: Like Atlanta, the Saints are playing catch-up with Carolina, and need to hit on some of these picks. Luckily, they drafted solid players who should contribute early on. Daniel Lasco is a late-round pick to keep an eye on, as he is a great athlete.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

First Pick: The Buccaneers traded back and got the player that many had mocked to them anyway in Vernon Hargreaves (top 10 grade). He doesn’t have ideal size, but he has top-notch instincts and reaction speed. He also tackles well.

Potential Steal: Getting a player like Dan Vitale (4th round grade) in round six is amazing value. He’s an athlete and he can contribute in multiple ways. He will absolutely work himself onto the field early in his career.

Risky Move: Robert Aguayo (5th round grade) may turn out to be an excellent NFL kicker, and may be around for many years in Tampa. However, trading up to pick him in round two is a reach, plain and simple.

Overall: Aguayo pick aside, they Bucs had a great three days. Hargreaves will likely start right away, but second round pick Noah Spence should also see the field early on in a rotations on the defensive line. Caleb Benenoch was another solid day three find.



Arizona Cardinals

First Pick: Robert Nkemdiche might be the most interesting prospect taken in this draft. He has all the athletic ability a team could possibly want, but his motor is inconsistent, he sometimes, randomly, plays below average, and has off the field red flags.

Potential Steal: The Cardinals used a sixth round pick on cornerback Harlan Miller (4th round grade). He has good length for an NFL corner, and uses it well, but he’s thin, and needs to refine his technique.

Risky Move: Nkemdiche could harness all of his talents and become a force on the defensive line for the Cardinals, but it’s just as likely that he falls into bad habits, either on or off the field, and never lives up to his billing. It should be noted that Arizona has some strong role models in the locker room.

Overall: Grading the Cardinals draft is largely dependent on how Nkemdiche is viewed. Center Evan Boehm is a good value pick in round four, and he might end up the starter when all is said and done.


Los Angeles Rams

First Pick: The Rams gave up a lot to move up to get their choice of quarterbacks at the top of the draft. Jared Goff (1st round grade) was the choice. He has an NFL arm and they had to appreciate his ability to read defenses and go through progressions.

Potential Steal: Ohio State’s Michael Thomas got more attention, but Mike Thomas (3rd round grade) of Southern Miss is pretty good in his own right. He’s a bit of a projection, but has all the tangible skills an NFL team could want in a receiver.

Risky Move: Goff is more of a safe quarterback pick than Carson Wentz, but they gave up a lot to get him. His small hands have to at least be noted, and some accuracy issues showed up in his tape, so he’s no sure thing either.

Overall: Aside from the big move for a quarterback, the Rams took a chance on Tyler Higbee in round four, even though he’s facing some pretty serious legal issues. Pharoh Cooper will compete for time at receiver. They might have taken a few too many chances.


San Francisco 49ers

First Pick: A year after picking Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead, the 49ers go back to the well with DeForest Buckner (top 10 grade). Buckner is an elite prospect, and uses his size well to get off blocks and make plays.

Potential Steal: Aaron Burbridge (4th round grade) isn’t an explosive athlete, or a big-time homerun threat, but what jumps off the tape is how many times he made plays when they needed to be. He could be a terrific find late in the draft.

Risky Move: The 49ers added some cornerback talent in the middle rounds, but both selections come with risks. Will Redmond (3rd round grade) is coming off a serious knee injury, and Rashard Robinson (5th round grade) was suspended for the 2015 season. Both are really talented, and could succeed, but have hurdles.

Overall: With a boatload of picks, they should get some solid players to replace the large number of losses the have had to deal with lately. Joshua Garnett will start right away, and many of their other picks will contribute in some way.


Seattle Seahawks

First Pick: The Seahawks traded back in round one and addressed the offensive line, a position of need, with Germain Ifedi (2nd round grade). He’s huge, and has long arms and light feet, and though he needs some technical work, he could be huge for Russell Wilson.

Potential Steal: Receiver Kenny Lawler (4th round grade) could be a terrific find in round seven. He’s not a human highlight reel athletically, but he plays the ball well in the air, and was highly productive in college.

Risky Move: Brandon Browner was brought back, but has not been very good for a few years now. Seattle did not draft a single player for the secondary, so they’ll either need a revival from Browner, or somebody else to step up in a big way.

Overall: The Seahawks addressed their biggest needs early in the draft, and second round pick Jarran Reed could be a steal. CJ Prosise and Nick Vannett are third round picks that could figure into the offense in 2016 too. It looks like a solid draft that might not produce stars, but could have several starters.

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