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2016 NFL Draft Grades: Round 1

  1. Los Angeles Rams- B

Jared Goff, QB, California

Goff is a great pick, but the Rams gave up a fortune to get the pick. The wide receivers he will have to throw to may not be great, but the offensive line is improving and he will have Todd Gurley, which should make him better. Quarterback has been a position that the Rams have needed to address for years and now get a guy with some real talent.

2. Philadelphia Eagles- C-

Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota1 State

The Eagles also gave up a lot of picks to get into the second spot. They plan to bench him for the first full year behind Sam Bradford, if Bradford decides to stay in Philiadelphia. Wentz is a risky pick at number two, but has some upside. Ultimately the Eagles have a lot of holes to fill, and picking a quarterback who may not start for  a whole year, could set the team back even further.

3. San Diego Chargers- B

Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Bosa is a great player and pass rusher, but doesn’t really fit the Chargers’ 3-4 defense. He is versatile enough to adapt to it, but it may take some time.

Ezekiel Elliot pulled off the crop top on draft night. Photo courtesy

4. Dallas Cowboys- B-

Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State

Darren McFadden rushed for over 1,000 yards last season behind Dallas’ offensive line. This pick didn’t fill a desperate need like Jalen Ramsey would have. Elliot has a chance to make the Cowboys an elite offense, but they will be in a lot of shootouts next year.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars- A

Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State

Ramsey is the best secondary player in the class. He is a big, physical corner, just like Gus Bradley had when he was the Seattle defensive coordinator. The Jaguars’ offense is now clicking so they had to address their defense. With Dante Fowler Jr. coming off of injury and seeing his first action after being drafted last year, the defense will be a lot better for Jacksonville.

6. Baltimore Ravens- B

Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

The Ravens could have gotten Stanley a couple of picks later or taken a similar tackle. He had a lot of penalties last year, but is really good otherwise. Baltimore could have picked Laremy Tunsil or a defensive back to fill a big need, but elected to go with Stanley, who should be a solid player for the Ravens next season.

7. San Francisco 49ers- B

Deforest Buckner, DE/DT, Oregon

Buckner is a great talent, but didn’t produce much at Oregon. He has great potential, but likely won’t have a huge impact next season. The 49ers had a terrible offense last season, but chose not to address that with this pick.

8. Tennessee Titans- B+

Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

Conklin is a little bit short for a tackle, but has a lot of talent and grit. Ultimately the Titans got a player that will help their future in Marcus Mariota. He will start from day one.

9. Chicago Bears- A-

Leonard Floyd, DE/OLB, Georgia

Floyd is a great athlete who needs to work on his pass rushing. He is good in coverage, has great athleticism and good speed, which should help the Bears mold him into a good edge rusher.

10. New York Giants- B

Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

The Giants need help all over on defense so this pick makes sense. It may be a little high for Apple, but he shut down wide receivers in the Big Ten for two years.

Vernon Hargreaves is short, but a solid corner capable of shutting down receivers.

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- A

Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

Hargreaves is arguably the best corner in the class and the Bucs are desperate for secondary help.

12. New Orleans Saints- C

Sheldon Rankins, DE/DT, Louisville

Rankins had a great Senior Bowl and should be able to play for three downs, but he didn’t do enough at Louisville to prove he is the twelfth best player in the class. The Saints need all the defensive help they can get as their defense gave up a lot of yards.

13, Miami Dolphins- A

Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

The Dolphins haven’t had a great offensive line in a while and got Tunsil at a great value. There are some character concerns with Tunsil, especially after the video of him smoking marijuana that was posted on Twitter before the draft, but he is a very talented player nonetheless.

14. Oakland Raiders- C-

Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia

Joseph is a great safety, but the Raiders could’ve gotten him much later in this draft. If they didn’t think they could get him in the second round, they could’ve traded up to the end of the first to snag him there. He is also coming off of an injury, making this slightly risky. This does fill a need however, as Charles Woodson just retired and they need someone to start next to Reggie Nelson.

15. Cleveland Browns- F

Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

Coleman is the fourth best wide receiver on my board. He isn’t big, which leaves the Browns without a good outside receiver on their team. Brian Hartline and Andrew Hawkins aren’t great on the outside either. Coleman is a versatile receiver with explosiveness, but he could’ve been taken later in the draft by the Browns.

16. Detroit Lions- A-

Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

Detroit needs to protect Matt Stafford and get a running game going. They got Decker who is a great value at this point in the draft, but the Lions do have some defensive needs.

17. Atlanta Falcons- C-

Keanu Neal, S, Florida

Neal is a hard hitter and play-maker at safety, but there were still some great players on the board that could’ve helped the Falcons more.

Ryan Kelly will be tasked with protecting Andrew Luck and controlling the offensive line.

18. Indianapolis Colts- B-

Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama

Ryan  Kelly is the best center in the class, but centers don’t typically get drafted this high. The Colts need to protect Andrew Luck better, especially after his lacerated kidney last season. Kelly can be the center for the Colts for years, but it is a slight reach to take him here.

19. Buffalo Bills- A+

Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

Lawson could have been taken in the top fifteen and been a good value. The Bills only had 21 sacks last season, and Rex Ryan will love to mold Lawson into a great NFL pass rusher.

20. New York Jets- A-

Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State

Lee is a fast linebacker, who can stop the run, but can’t rush the passer. The Jets needed linebackers, but also need a quarterback and offensive linemen.

21. Houston Texans- A

Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

Fuller is a great deep threat, who can high point the football. He is also very fast and can compliment DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans could’ve gotten Laquon Treadwell here, who is a more solid overall receiver, but elected to go with more of a big play guy in Fuller.

22. Washington Redskins- B

Josh Doctson. WR, TCU

The Redskins didn’t need a wide receiver. They got a solid receiver at a great value and moved down a pick to get him. He will be a good target for Kirk Cousins because he can high point the football and is a good redzone target.

Laquon Treadwell is the most complete receiver in the draft. Photo courtesy

23. Minnesota Vikings- A

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

The Vikings need a target for Teddy Bridgewater across from Stefon Diggs. Bridgewater has a chance to have a great season with his young targets and good running game, in their new stadium.

24. Cincinnati Bengals- B-

William Jackson III, CB, Houston

Jackson is a great value here, but doesn’t fill a big need for the Bengals. He will provide good depth for now and grow into his NFL career.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers- B-

Artie Burns, CB, Miami

Pittsburgh is desperate for players in the secondary and filled a need, but reached for Burns here. They could’ve picked him later, but it seems like the Bengals may have taken their pick.

Paxton Lynch gets to play for the defending Super Bowl champions. Photo courtesy

26. Denver Broncos- B+

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

The Broncos could not go into the season with Mark Sanchez at quarterback. They traded up and got a quarterback who is worth it at pick number 27. He has a great deep ball and is mobile enough to evade tacklers.

27. Green Bay Packers- B-

Kenny Calrk, DT, UCLA

Kenny Clark can fit into the Packers’ 3-4 defense well at nose tackle. B.J. Raji is taking a year off from football so Clark can provide some depth for the Packers at the very least.

28. San Francisco 49ers- F

Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford

Garnett isn’t the greatest guard in the class, but the 49ers decided to trade up and take him anyways. Chip Kelly’s love of Pac-12 players may be his downfall in San Francisco as well.

29. Arizona Cardinals- A-

Robert Nkemdiche, DT/DE, Ole Miss

Nkemdiche has some character issues, but is a good player and fills a huge need for the Cardinals. If Arizona can get better in the trenches defensively next year, they can win the Super Bowl.

30. Carolina Panthers- B

Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech

Butler is a great value pick here, but the Panthers need a corner, especially with the departure of Josh Norman.

31. Seattle Seahawks- A-

Germain Ifedi, OG/OT, Texas A&M

The Seahawks need to protect Russell Wilson to make the offense dynamic without Marshawn Lynch. Ifedi is a decent value at this point in the draft.

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