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Where To Pick What Positions In The 2016 NFL Draft: Part 2

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Every NFL draft isn’t created equally. Each year, there are differing amounts of depth and talent at each position. One year there may be a ton of talent at defensive tackle while there are slim pickings at cornerback. The next year the opposite may be true; therefore, a lot of a team’s success while drafting is luck. While everyone likes to say the best way to pick in the NFL draft is by selecting the best player available; yet, the reality of the situation is that need plays a huge role into who a team picks. That means that if a team needs a cornerback and there isn’t a lot of talent at that position in that draft class, there is a high probability that team reaches for a cornerback who’s talent isn’t on the same plane to where he is getting picked.

In the 2016 NFL draft, there are a couple of positions that have a lot of depth throughout the draft. If teams that have needs at these positions remain patient, they will have a great opportunity to get a great value for their team.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at where teams should pick which positions throughout the draft.

Edge Defenders – Day Two

Joey Bosa and Shaq Lawson will get the majority of attention from now until draft time, but they aren’t the only talented edge defenders who will make an impact in the NFL. In fact, there are a number of edge defenders who will likely go on day two who will prove to be great value selections.

Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence has the potential to be the steal of the draft. if not for his off-field concerns that led to his dismissal from Ohio State, Spence would be a lock to go with the first 20 picks of the draft. He has the explosiveness and bend that you look for in a defensive end to go along with the nuanced hand technique that will allow him to be successful on Sundays.

Oklahoma State’s Emmanuel Ogbah is billed by many as a first-round player as of now, but that will likely change as the process plays out. Instead, he could be a great value in the second round. The Oklahoma State defensive end isn’t an explosive player, but is technically sound and he plays every play to his fullest potential.

Michigan State’s Shilique Calhoun is another player who was once viewed as a first-round lock, but his stock has taken a hit after a less than stellar year. In spite of that, Calhoun is a technically sound defensive end who will step in and be a very good run defender in the NFL.

After those three, there are a few other players who could be found on day two for a team in need of an edge defender. Georgia’s Jordan Jenkins is a versatile playmaker who is always around the ball. Boise State’s Kamalei Correa is another explosive rusher who could be a great find if he decides to declare.

Don’t fret if your team loses out on the Bosa or Lawson sweepstakes in round one because there are a ton of options on day two.

Interior Defensive Linemen – Day Two

Quite possibly the deepest position in this draft is the interior defensive line as there is a wealth of talent throughout the draft for the big boys in the middle. The majority of those talented defenders look like they will be found on day two of the draft.

Ohio State’s Adolphus Washington is a strong and stout defensive tackle who has the ability to be a 5-technique in a 3-4 defense or a 3-technique in a 4-3 defense. He plays with great hip snap and explosiveness and he understands how to use his hands to defeat blockers.

The biggest rise as of late has been Penn State’s Austin Johnson. He has the size of a nose tackle, but his quickness could allow him to slide to the under tackle spot if need be. He eats up blocks on a consistent basis and he provides some pass rush that you don’t normally see in a man of his stature.

Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins may be the best pass-rushing interior defensive linemen in this draft. He quickly attacks his gap and he’d be a great fit in an aggressive defensive scheme like the Detroit Lions have. Notre Dame’s Sheldon Day is a versatile defensive lineman who looks like a defensive end with the way he rushes the passer. He is a gap splitting defensive tackle who has some injury concerns that may push him lower than his talent says he should go.

That is only the tip of the iceberg as talent players like Auburn’s Montravius Adams and Louisiana Tech’s Vernon Butler weren’t even mentioned. If your team is in need of an interior defensive lineman, then you’re in luck.

Wide Receiver- Day Two to Early Day Three

It seems like the NFL draft has been littered with great depth at the wide receiver position as of late. The last two drafts have been filled with quality receivers all the way through day three. While this draft may not be as talented at the top as the other two, they have just as much depth. The sweet spot appears to be in rounds two through four as there are a ton of great options that will be available in between that time.

Oklahoma’s Sterling Sheppard may be the best route-runner in the draft and his diminutive size is the only thing holding him back. He wins at every level of the field and he just toys with collegiate defensive backs. Sheppard may be the next wide receiver who we look back and wonder how he wasn’t a first-round pick.

South Carolina Pharoah Cooper is another small receiver who could be a star at the next level. Cooper isn’t the best route runner, but he is fantastic with the ball in his hands. Furthermore, Cooper brings the added special teams value as he may be the most dynamic return man in this draft.

Pittsburgh’s Tyler Boyd is a bigger, possession type of receiver who will win in the intermediate part of the field. He consistently runs good routes and he eats up off coverage. He needs to get better getting off of press, but his size and soft hands make him a great value somewhere on day two.

After those three, there is a litany of other receivers who will be productive in the NFL. Rutgers’ Leonte Carroo is a big play waiting to happen. Ohio State’s Braxton Miller may be the most dynamic athlete in the draft and Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins has big-time potential.


About John Owning

John Owning

John Owning is a NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has years of experience covering the NFL, NFL draft and NCAA football. John's work has been featured on the Bleacher Report and DraftBreakdown.com