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2016 NFL Draft First Round Observations: Part 1

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Alas, the much anticipated first round of the NFL Draft is finished and despite it beginning the way everyone thought with a pair of quarterbacks selected by the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles respectively, there were some surprise picks and plenty of talented guys are still available.

We’re going to give some observations based on the first round.

  1. Los Angeles Rams- Jared Goff, QB, California- This was obviously no surprise, as everyone in the know, knew that the Rams would go with Goff.  I’m a Goff over Wentz guy, so I believe that the Rams went with the right guy, even if they spent a small fortune to get up to the No. 1 spot.
  2. Philadelphia Eagles- Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State- It’s obviously a mystery how this will pan out, but we do know that this is Sam Bradford’s least favorite pick in the draft.  Wentz will have the benefit of sitting behind either Bradford or Chase Daniel for at least one season to learn the position.
  3. San Diego Chargers- Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State- Very few had Bosa going this high, and to this team.  I’m not sure how great of a fit he is, as DeForest Buckner would have been a better scheme fit.  Still, if Bosa “only” becomes a 10-sack guy, he’s worth the No. 3 overall pick.
  4. Dallas Cowboys- Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State- Jerry Jones just couldn’t resist the temptation of a high profile, skill-position player at No. 4.  There’s nothing not to love about Elliot’s game and the only question with this pick is if it really fills a need and of course the value of the position.
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars- Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State- It’s difficult to believe that anyone won the top part of the draft more than the Jaguars.  Ramsey was the top player on a lot of boards, he fills a major need and the team didn’t have to trade up to get him.  Complete win-win for the Jags, as they spend a first-round pick on a state of Florida product for the third consecutive year.
  6. Baltimore Ravens- Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame- The Ravens had Stanley as the best offensive tackle on their board.  It’s likely based more on reliability than talent, and it is somewhat of a surprise that Laremy Tunsil dropped as far as he did.  Baltimore needed another tackle and this likely spells the end of Eugene Monroe’s tenure as a Raven.
  7. San Francisco 49ers- DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon- This is the second straight year that the 49ers used their first-round pick on an Oregon defensive end (Arik Armstead). Buckner is a better player than Armstead and San Fran is rebuilding their once fierce defensive line.
  8. Tennessee Titans- Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State- The Titans had a desperate need at offensive tackle and traded back up to get Conklin.  Again, he’s not the best available tackle, but he’s apparently a safer pick than Tunsil.
  9. Chicago Bears- Leonard Floyd, DE/OLB, Georgia- The Bears traded up to draft a guy that they likely could have had if they stayed at 11 (or possibly later).  Floyd is a late riser, potential type of pick, but it’s a tough one to like.
  10. New York Giants- Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State- The Giants continue their defensive renovation this offseason with Eli Apple.  The former Buckeye will be tested early and often playing opposite Janoris Jenkins.  This wasn’t a reach, and as we understand it he was on top of the Giants board now that Ezekiel Elliot was gone.
  11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida- The Bucs were able to move back and still get their guy in Hargreaves.  He’s a natural cover corner and he will flourish in Tampa.
  12. New Orleans Saints- Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville- The Saints grabbed the best available player in Rankins, who will team up with Cam Jordan to try and return New Orleans’ defense to respectability.
  13. Miami Dolphins- Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss- Tunsil dropped out of the Top 10 because of his extracurricular activities that are only legal in Colorado and Washington.  Miami gets a fantastic football player.
  14. Oakland Raiders- Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia- Joseph is a great athlete and a big hitter, and he will fit in well in the Oakland secondary.  With that said, they didn’t maximize value.
  15. Cleveland Browns- Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor- The Browns are desperate for playmakers and they get their third offensive skill player from Baylor in Coleman.  Cleveland began the draft with the second-overall pick, moved back twice and received the best receiver in the draft along with a slew of picks.  Very well done.
  16. Detroit Lions- Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State- The Lions need to protect Matt Stafford more than ever, and the run on tackles continued with Decker.  They didn’t maximize value, but they couldn’t wait if they wanted the position.

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.