NFL

Who Missed In The Draft: Part 1

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The NFL Draft is completely unpredictable and we won’t know who actually won or lost, or received a certain grade for another 2-3 years.

With that in mind, we do know that the draft is a time when teams can try to fill their needs, although most will try to carry the narrative that they’re a “best player available” drafting squad.

We’re going to look at a few teams who missed out on their biggest needs.

New York Jets

The Jets entered the draft with a major need at left tackle after D’Brickashaw Ferguson retired and although they grabbed Ryan Clady, he hasn’t been healthy so there’s a major question mark.  There’s also an obvious need at quarterback, as Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t signed and the team doesn’t believe in Geno Smith.

New York had an opportunity to get Paxton Lynch in the first round, but decided to pass to take linebacker Darron Lee, who could become a very good player.  They drafted quarterback Christian Hackenberg, but he was a turnover machine at Penn State, and it’s unclear if he’ll project into a starting caliber signal caller in the NFL.

The Jets didn’t select an offensive tackle until the fifth round in South Carolina’s Brandon Snell, and there are major question marks on that line.

New England Patriots

The Patriots don’t need much, but the draft was an excellent opportunity for them to find a wide receiver to develop for the twilight of Tom Brady’s career.

After nine picks, they didn’t select a single pass catcher until the seventh round in Arizona State’s Devin Lucien.

Without a first round pick, the Pats were hamstrung in the wide receiver shopping spree, but they passed on players like Rutgers’ Leonte Caroo, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, Georgia’s Malcolm Mitchell and South Carolina’s Pharoh Cooper, among others.

Despite having the best quarterback of all time on the roster, as well as a capable backup that the team selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft in Jimmy Garoppolo, New England still took former N.C. State quarterback Jacoby Brissett in the third round.  Not the best allocation of their resources.

Dallas Cowboys

We get it, Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliot is a great prospect.  He’s as close to a can’t miss type of player as it gets, but what did the Cowboys pass on to take a running back with the fourth-overall pick?

Elliot will perform very well in Dallas, but so would a lot of running backs behind that offensive line.  They passed on numerous pass rushers, as the only defensive end they selected was Oklahoma’s Charles Tapper in Round 4.

Jerry Jones also passed on the opportunity to draft Tony Romo’s heir apparent, although they did select former Mississippi State legend Dak Prescott in the fifth round.

Dallas needed more help in the secondary, and they didn’t take any defensive backs until the sixth round when they doubled up with former Purdue cornerback Anthony Brown and former Central Michigan safety Kavon Frazier.

The Cowboys will likely have the NFL’s Rookie of the Year in 2016, but that doesn’t mean they addressed their top needs in the draft.


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.