2016 NFL Redraft
2016 NFL Redraft
The 2016 NFL Draft was pivotal in changing the dynamic of the league for its upcoming season. Not only did new talent emerge, but teams also leap-frogged their way into the playoffs with last year’s selections. Fans were graced with Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa and many more. They dictate the future of the NFL, and their skill sets alone make it a promising one. Some franchises aced draft weekend in 2016, while others failed to capitalize on the plethora of available talent. Here’s how the first round of 2016 NFL Draft should have concluded, if each team picked the correct player.
1.) Los Angeles Rams (from Tennessee)
Original pick: QB Jared Goff
Redraft pick: QB Dak Prescott
Does this change even need to be explained? Prescott took the league by storm in 2016 and led the Dallas Cowboys to an NFC East division title and a playoff berth. Prescott committed very few turnovers and won the Offensive Rookie of the Year. His resume speaks for itself, something the Rams wished they could have predicted.
2.) Philadelphia Eagles (from Cleveland)
Original pick: QB Carson Wentz
Redraft pick: QB Carson Wentz
The Eagles found a winner in Wentz and he should be their franchise quarterback for years to come. While Wentz and the Eagles did not dominate the league, their continued progress and development throughout 2016 showed that the Eagles made the correct decision to trade for the No. 2 pick (and showed how the Browns still cannot evaluate franchise quarterbacks).
3.) San Diego (Los Angeles) Chargers
Original pick: DE Joey Bosa
Redraft pick: DE Joey Bosa
Bosa started out as a locker room problem with his contract hold out, but the former Buckeye blossomed into a force off the edge and gave the Chargers a much-needed pass rusher.
4.) Dallas Cowboys
Original pick: RB Ezekiel Elliott
Redraft pick: RB Ezekiel Elliott
Yet another pick that was so spot-on that it remains the same. The 2016 NFL rushing yards leader was not quite a draft need, but was the best player available. Elliott and Prescott are now one of the best tandems in the NFL just after one season.
5.) Jacksonville Jaguars
Original pick: CB Jalen Ramsey
Redraft pick: CB Jalen Ramsey
On a team that was weak at cornerback, Ramsey was both the best player available at No. 5 and a need for the Jags. He will be a lockdown corner for years to come.
6.) Baltimore Ravens
Original pick: OT Ronnie Stanley
Redraft pick: RB Jordan Howard
Head coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens live on a strong and effective running game. Some of the franchise’s best years came when Ray Rice was a member of the team before exiting in the league. The Ravens would be able to achieve their scheme of old with the addition of Howard as the main workhorse, and a check-down for quarterback Joe Flacco.
7.) San Francisco 49ers
Original pick: DE DeForest Buckner
Redraft pick: QB Jared Goff
The 49ers have needs on top of needs, but snagging the original top rated quarterback at No. 7 makes the most sense. Goff would fit nicely into then-head coach Chip Kelly’s offense and would not be asked carry the squad in his first few seasons in order to learn.
8.) Tennessee Titans (from Miami via Philadelphia and Cleveland)
Original pick: OT Jack Conklin
Redraft pick: WR Michael Thomas
Some fans and analysts believed that Thomas should have won offensive rookie of the year. The glaring need at wide receiver almost forces the Titans to draft the best rookie pass catcher of 2016 and give quarterback Marcus Mariota a stud target.
9.) Chicago Bears (from Tampa Bay)
Original pick: DE Leonard Floyd
Redraft pick: DE Leonard Floyd
Floyd proved that he could be an amazing pass rusher, even against the toughest offensive lines. He was one of the lone bright spots on a poor 2016 season for the Bears with seven sacks, and a positive pass coverage grade, according to Pro Football Focus.
10.) New York Giants
Original pick: CB Eli Apple
Redraft pick: LB Deion Jones
The LSU product was one of the most important pieces to the Falcons’ 2016 Super Bowl run, but the Giants take him at No. 10. For years, the Giants have been in dire need of a field general at middle linebacker. Jones answers the call of duty and then some.
11.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Chicago)
Original pick: CB Vernon Hargreaves
Redraft pick: OT Ronnie Stanley
While it is not the flashiest pick, it is the smartest pick in the Buccaneers’ situation. The Bucs’ offensive line ranked 23rd in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus. Stanley provides an instant plug and play option to shield quarterback Jameis Winston’s blind side, in addition to Pro Bowl caliber potential.
12.) New Orleans Saints
Original pick: DT Sheldon Rankins
Redraft pick: CB Eli Apple
Although Rankins was solid and helped improve the Saints’ front seven, the New Orleans secondary was ranked 32nd in 2015 and one of the worst in 2016. The Saints have neglected their corners for too long, but get a solid prospect in Apple at No. 12.
13.) Miami Dolphins
Original pick: OT Laremy Tunsil
Redraft pick: OT Laremy Tunsil
Tunsil was projected to go to the Ravens in No. 6 in most 2016 mock drafts, but fell to Miami due to some pictures on Twitter connecting him to marijuana use. Regardless, Tunsil and company helped pave the way for breakout running back Jay Ajayi. They were a very rusty group at first, but improved immensely as the season progressed.
14.) Oakland Raiders
Original pick: S Karl Joseph
Redraft pick: S Karl Joseph
The first year safety is was too good in 2016 for the Raiders to pass up in a redraft. At first thought, it looked like a reach, but Joseph and the Raiders proved the doubters wrong.
15.) Cleveland Browns (from Los Angeles via Tennessee)
Original pick: WR Corey Coleman
Redraft pick: CB Vernon Hargreaves
Hargreaves is too difficult to pass at No. 15 with their lack of depth at corner and his star potential.
16.) Detroit Lions
Original pick: OT Taylor Decker
Redraft pick: OT Taylor Decker
As much as the Lions needed a wide receiver heading into the 2016 season, it was a must to protect quarterback Matt Stafford, and their pick of Decker paid dividends during Stafford’s best year.
17.) Atlanta Falcons
Original pick: S Keanu Neal
Redraft pick: DT DeForest Buckner
Buckner has too much talent to make it past No. 17. Defensive tackle Jordan Babineaux is getting up there in age, and his new, eventual replacement could not be a better one.
18.) Indianapolis Colts
Original pick: C Ryan Kelly
Redraft pick: OT Jack Conklin
Kelly was a reach at No. 18, but was one of the top rookie centers at the conclusion of the 2016 season. Although his performance is respectable, it was not as good as Conklin’s, who helped anchor the best offensive line in the NFL, according to PFF. Conklin’s new home provides quarterback Andrew Luck with more blind-side insurance.
19.) Buffalo Bills
Original pick: DE Shaq Lawson
Redraft pick: DE Noah Spence
Spence flashed signs of unbelievable potential by accumulating 5.5 sacks in 2016, while Lawson struggled to find his groove after being sidelined with shoulder surgery for the first half of the season.
20.) New York Jets
Original pick: LB Darron Lee
Redraft pick: QB Paxton Lynch
The Jets knew they could not rely on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s inconsistent play forever, prompting them to take Lynch at No. 20 where he can sit and learn for a season like he did in Denver.
21.) Houston Texans (from Washington)
Original pick: WR Will Fuller
Redraft pick: WR Will Fuller
Fuller was electric when he was on the field, making noise right from the start of the 2016 campaign. His hands have room for improvement, but with such a stacked defense, the Texans could draft a quality second option to play along wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
22.) Washington Redskins (from Houston)
Original pick: WR Josh Doctson
Redraft pick: WR Sterling Shepherd
I agree with the pick of a wide receiver wholeheartedly, as both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon departed via free agency an offseason later like the Washington brass had predicted. But, Doctson’s season ending Achilles injury pushes Shepherd up to that spot, where he could produce as a rookie and take the starting reigns after a season of learning.
23.) Minnesota Vikings
Original pick: WR Laquon Treadwell
Redraft pick: RB Derrick Henry
A combination of Adrian Peterson’s age and uncertain future with the team and the lack of depth at running back, the acquisition of Henry could have helped preserve the Vikings 4-0 start. Henry, blocked by Murray on the depth chart in Tennessee, was a monster when he on the field in 2016.
24.) Cincinnati Bengals
Original pick: CB William Jackson III
Redraft pick: S Vonn Bell
With so many options at cornerback, the Bengals left people scratching their heads after the first round in 2016. While Bell does play in the secondary, he addresses a weakness at free safety that would have pushed the Bengals overall coverage ratings through the roof.
25.) Pittsburgh Steelers
Original pick: CB Artie Burns
Redraft pick: CB Artie Burns
I was tempted to draft Rankins here, but I stuck with Burns because I know how high of a priority that cornerback was, being a Steelers fan. After neglecting the position for a long time, head coach Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert finally pulled the trigger and took a corner.
26.) Denver Broncos (from Seattle)
Original pick: QB Paxton Lynch
Redraft pick: LB Jatavis Brown
Quarterback, running back, offensive line and middle linebacker: all of the Broncos’ primary needs in the 2016 draft. I would not want to be in John Elway’s drafting position coming off of their Super Bowl win. Regardless, I think the Broncos should take the best player that is available and fills a need, which is Brown.
27.) Green Bay Packers
Original pick: DT Kenny Clark
Redraft pick: DT Sheldon Rankins
15 picks later, and Rankins finally finds a new home. The Packers get a win in the first round by upgrading the position they originally chose.
28.) San Francisco 49ers (from Kansas City)
Original pick: OG Joshua Garnett
Redraft pick: DT Javon Hargrave
Garnett was a reach and not one of San Francisco’s better selections, especially considering that they traded up in the draft to take him. But in the redraft, the 49ers make the perfect choice and grab Hargrave. The South Carolina State graduate showed that small school players could hang with the big boys, dominating the trenches as a Steeler in 2016.
29.) Arizona Cardinals
Original pick: DT Robert Nkemdiche
Redraft pick: TE Hunter Henry
Nkemdiche looked like a steal at the time, but injuries derailed his first season. Henry was a phenomenal pass catcher in 2016 and could start immediately over tight end Jermaine Gresham in Arizona.
30.) Carolina Panthers
Original pick: DT Vernon Butler
Redraft pick: S Keanu Neal
Neal is a hard-hitting safety that the Panthers and head coach Ron Rivera would love to have roaming the field.
31.) Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)
Original pick: OG Germain Ifedi
Redraft pick: OG Cody Whitehair
Quarterback Russell Wilson was running for his life in 2016 with the league’s worst offensive line barely protecting him. Ifedi did not provide much help, but improving that position with the addition of Whitehair could have benefited the Seahawks offense down the stretch of the season.
Zach Seyko is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.