One more piece from me today, in which I review every first-round pick teams made.
I don’t do draft grades, but I do evaluate which teams made moves I liked and which teams made moves I didn’t like. And I’ll toss him in my thoughts about some general draft-day talk that has taken place.
1. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles: Well, we knew it was coming. I understand that the Rams needed a quarterback but I still don’t like the move to trade up. They gave up quite a few picks to take a quarterback who has a lot of potential but doesn’t strike me as one who will transform a franchise.
2. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia: What I said regarding the Rams applies here, too.
3. Joey Bosa, DE, San Diego: It does address an area the Chargers needed to address. I imagine this is more about a player who will fit the defensive schemes the Chargers run. And given that there are still some offensive linemen available, it’s not like the Chargers can’t address their biggest need.
4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas: I like Elliott but this strikes me as a luxury pick. The Cowboys could get by with Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden for a year while finding somebody who could have helped improve the defense. The good news is that there are still such players available. The flipside is that the Cowboys trying to trade up for Paxton Lynch makes me wonder if they’ll be more concerned about drafting a quarterback instead.
5. Jalen Ramsey, CB, Jacksonville: I had pass rusher as a bigger need for the Jaguars and thought they could trade down and acquire additional picks from a team that liked Ramsey. With that said, the Jaguars taking Ramsey is still a good move. They should have plenty of pieces on defense in place to make a push for the AFC South title. They’ve been patient as they have rebuilt and we’ll see if they reap the rewards this season.
6. Ronnie Stanley, OT, Baltimore: You hear different reports about whether or not the Ravens pulled Laremy Tunsil from their draft board. Regardless of whether the Ravens had Stanley ranked ahead of Tunsil or not, I’m OK with the pick. I wouldn’t be too quick to cut Eugene Monroe, though, and let Stanley spend his first season on the right side or at guard so he can adjust to the NFL. They can always move him to left tackle in 2017 if Monroe isn’t up to par.
7. DeForest Buckner, DE, San Francisco: I really like the pick. The Niners get a player who should immediately help the defense. There’s no need to make Chip Kelly jokes; we just need to recognize this was a good move.
8. Jack Conklin, OT, Tennessee: I’m not a fan of the Titans’ decision to move up the board to get Conklin. The Titans did get a lot of picks in the move down the board, but the smart thing to do was keep as many of those picks as possible and build around Marcus Mariota. They still would have found good value in an offensive tackle if they had stayed at No. 15.
9. Leonard Floyd, OLB, Chicago: On the other hand, this was a good move up the board. The Bears didn’t give up that much to get a pass rusher they liked. As I’ve said earlier, it may take a while for Floyd to adjust, but I believe he will turn into an impact player.
10. Eli Apple, CB, New York Giants: Dropping the scout talk about how Apple has “no life skills, can’t cook” served no purpose at all. It’s pointless to talk about things like that, given that many college students are like that to begin with. With that said, while I believe Apple will be a good player, I’m not certain he’s worth the pick. But part of me does smile when the Giants basically told that anonymous scout to take a hike.
11. Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Tampa Bay: This is a case of a draft-day move working out well for both teams. The Bears moved up without giving up too much to get a player they want. And the Bucs move down and still get the player they were likely targeting while picking up an extra pick. As you can guess, I like this move by the Buccaneers.
12. Sheldon Rankins, DT, New Orleans: I understand what the Saints were doing here. They do need help on the defensive line, so I can’t argue with the pick. What I would do now is try trading down on day two to get an extra pick, given that the Saints have just five picks remaining and need to acquire more young talent.
13. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Miami: I’m not a fan of how the Dolphins manage their roster, but I love this pick. Sure, rules are rules but the whole Tunsil video thing was much ado about nothing. I saw Adam Schefter comparing Tunsil’s slide as if it was going to wind up like La’El Collins, which was ridiculous. (I do believe Collins got a raw deal, too, although he didn’t help matters by threatening to sit out a year if somebody drafted him in a round other than the first.) And while the talk is the Dolphins may put Tunsil at guard this year, that’s actually a good thing. Let Tunsil get adjusted to the NFL, then move him to left tackle when he’s ready. This can work out as long as the Dolphins are smart about it.
14. Karl Joseph, S, Oakland: One more reason for us to hate the Raiders – they took a guy I know some of you really wanted. I’m OK with the pick and definitely believe teams should stick to their draft board if they are unable to trade down. That appears to be the case here.
15. Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland: The Browns are doing an excellent job with draft day moves this year. They’re moving down and not being too quick to move back up. It’s true they need to get the picks right, but I think they did so here. More importantly, they acquired additional picks while still getting a player who topped their board.
16. Taylor Decker, OT, Detroit: While I would have addressed the defensive line, I like the pick. The good thing for the Lions was they didn’t have to move up the board to get Decker.
17. Keanu Neal, S, Atlanta: So the Broncos wanted to trade up but Atlanta’s asking price was too high. OK, fair enough. But I’m not sure why the Falcons passed up somebody who could help up front. I like Neal, but this doesn’t seem like the best pick to help the Falcons defense where it needs help the most.
18. Ryan Kelly, C, Indianapolis. How about that. Ryan Grigson gets the offensive line addressed. Given that most of the top offensive tackles were off the board, he made the right call to address the interior. I wonder if he could have traded down, though, but it’s possible the Broncos talked to Indy, too, and found the price too high.
19. Shaq Lawson, DE, Buffalo: What a great pick. I love what Lawson brings to the table and am a little surprised he slipped down the draft board so much. What’s more, the Bills didn’t reach for a right tackle, even though that was a bigger need.
20. Darron Lee, OLB, New York Jets: So the Jets pass on Paxton Lynch and take a defensive player instead. It does fill a need, though, and I think it’s a reasonable spot to take Lee. I now expect Brian Hoyer will sign with the Jets to be their starting quarterback this season.
21. Will Fuller, WR, Houston: I’m fine with the pick and the move up the board wasn’t costly. Still, it seems to me Washington may have been bluffing about which player it would pick or which teams were going to move up. There wasn’t really a consensus as to which receiver was the best in the draft. But I think Fuller will be a good fit for the Texans.
22. Josh Docston, WR, Washington: I’m fine with the pick, just a bit surprised Washington went with offense first. The defense was exposed in the playoffs last season and that’s where this team needs more help.
23. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Minnesota: I think Treadwell is the best receiver in the draft, so of course I like this pick by the Vikings.
24. William Jackson III, CB, Cincinnati: No wide receivers worth taking? No problem, the Bengals can fill another need. And they found the guy to replace Leon Hall and don’t have to rely on Dre Kirkpatrick as heavily.
25. Artie Burns, CB, Pittsburgh: I’m guessing that Burns is a better fit for the Steelers’ scheme than Mackensie Alexander. What I don’t get is why the Steelers didn’t trade down with the Broncos. Picking up that extra third-round pick would have been good. I can only assume the Steelers weren’t interested, because John Elway hasn’t shied away from talking trades with other AFC playoff contenders.
26. Paxton Lynch, QB, Denver: I’ve said my piece. I like the move up the board to get him and I think he’s going to have a good future.
27. Kenny Clark, DT, Green Bay: This is a Ted Thompson pick all the way. I’m not sure why he passed up on Reggie Ragland. Sure, there’s the medical issue, but it’s still worth taking a chance on him. As for Clark, time will tell if it works out but Thompson hasn’t exactly nailed his most recent first-round picks.
28. Joshua Garnett, OG, San Francisco: The only WTF pick of the first round. I don’t understand why the Niners believed they had to trade up for Garnett. It’s not like there wasn’t going to be any offensive linemen available when their pick in the second round came up. As for the Chiefs, they were wise to move down and gain additional picks with the way the draft board took shape, because they can still find a quality player early in the second round. And dare I say that the Chiefs could roll the dice on Myles Jack.
29. Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Arizona: People can say what they want, but this was a great pick and Nkemdiche will go into an environment in which people will keep him focused and out of trouble. All you have to do is look how much Tyrann Mathieu has excelled with the Cardinals. I’m betting Nkemdiche does the same.
30. Vernon Butler, DT, Carolina: Dave Gettlemen sticks with his usual mindset of not worrying about biggest need and going for the best player available. This would indicate he isn’t certain he can get Kawaan Short extended and would rather draft somebody who can eventually replace Short.
31. Germain Ifedi, OG, Seattle: Good for the Seahawks to address the offensive line. While I would have gone with Cody Whitehair, I don’t dislike the Ifedi selection. He should fit Seattle’s offensive scheme.