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2016 NFL Draft First Round Analysis

1. Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff, QB, California
It’s risky to trade that much to take a quarterback with so many question marks but he’s NFL ready, has proven he can play at a high level under pressure and will have the benefit of leaning on Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley early in his career.

2. Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Wentz has the physical skills to turn into a franchise quarterback. It is a risk to trade as much as they did to get him, but he won’t be thrown to the wolves at least with Sam Bradford (at least for the time being) and Chase Daniels in town for him to learn behind.

3. San Diego Chargers – Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
The Chargers in a way had the No. 1 pick in this draft and took the best edge defender. Bosa is a defensive monster and has tremendous versatility to help the Chargers defense in many ways.

4. Dallas Cowboys – Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
He’s incredibly explosive and can make big plays. Dallas had a lot of success two years ago when they could lean on a running back. Giving Tony Tomo somebody to hand the ball off to consistently will make the Cowboys a lot better.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
Jalen Ramsey is an explosive player with great coverage ability. Leave it to Gus Bradley to beef up his defense and his secondary. We saw how much success he had in Seattle with the Legion of Boom.

6. Baltimore Ravens – Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
With quarterback Joe Flacco coming off a major knee injury, improving the offensive line was a top priority for the Ravens. Stanley isn’t far behind Laremy Tunsil and his clean record made him the much safer pick.

7. San Francisco 49ers – DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
The 49ers are still trying to rebuild their front seven that lost so many great players in a short amount of time. Buckner is a huge playmaker on the edge with power and versatility. He’s a big threat to swat down balls at the line with his 11 3/4-inch hands.

8. Tennessee Titans – Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
The Titans got a boat load of picks to move down and didn’t pay nearly as much to move back up to get an elite player at the position they needed the most. Once again, Laremy Tunsil was passed on, but Jack Conlkin is a powerful blocker who should help protect Marcus Mariota and improve the worst line in the league.

9. Chicago Bears – Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Of course John Fox was going to look to improve the Bears terrible defense. He’s the best stand-up edge defender and a great athlete. He’s a very good pass rusher.

10. New York Giants – Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
Great athlete, good in man coverage and more than capable in zone coverage. The Giants didn’t necessarily need a cornerback but the Giants will definitely have a deep secondary.

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
It’s interesting to see Hargreaves go after Eli Apple, but he’s a perfect fit for the Buccaneers and their cover-two system. He’s a bit undersized but he’s a natural cover corner with great anticipation and awareness.

12. New Orleans Saints – Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Sheldon Rankins is a disruptive interior defender. Though he’s a bit undersized he an really help a very bad Saints defense.

13. Miami Dolphins – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
On pure talent, the Miami Dolphins may have gotten the steal of the draft. Tunsil might be the best overall player in this draft and he’s a tremendous blocker that should really benefit Ryan Tannehill. The off-the-field issues and his durability are concerns, but it’s a high-risk, very high-reward pick.

14. Oakland Raiders – Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
Though Joseph is coming off a season-ending knee injury, he’s a proven playmakers with great range when in coverage. The Raiders defense has been really improving over the past few years and Joseph can provide move big-play ability on that side of the ball, but only if he ends up rebounding from his injury.

15. Cleveland Browns – Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
With the loss of Travis Benjamin in free agency and doubts about Josh Gordon’s future, the Browns bring in another explosive playmaker to run down the sidelines in the passing game. They did a great job adding pick by trading down and still getting a difference-maker.

16. Detroit Lions – Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
The Lions has the worst run game in the league last year so adding a powerful run-blocker made a ton of sense. Decker isn’t an elite athlete but he’s steady and technically sound. He can play either tackle position, adding versatility to the offensive line.

17. Atlanta Falcons – Keanu Neal, S, Florida
The Falcons defense needs some physicality and no defensive back is as physical as Keanu Neal. He’s like an extra linebacker and a very hard-hitter. With the departure of William Moore in free agency, safety was a top need for the Falcons too.

18. Indianapolis Colts – Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
The offensive line for the Colts was atrocious last year and cost them the playoffs. Ryan Kelly is the best interior offensive lineman in the draft who should be a starter from Day One.

19. Buffalo Bills – Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
He’s a great run defender, but really improved last season as an edge rusher. He’s a physical player who puts his hand on the ground and gets a strong push on the lineman. Rex Ryan likes physical edge defenders and it will help after the loss of Mario Williams.

20. New York Jets – Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
The Buckeyes had a great first round with Lee being the fifth first round pick from THE Ohio State University. Lee is a great value pick who should fill right in for Demario Davis, who left in free agency. He’s a plus coverage outside linebacker with good blitzing ability.

21. Houston Texans – Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
With DeAndre Hopkins providing the physical presence on the other side, Will Fuller will give an explosive second option. Improving that offensive was top priority for the Texans, especially after signing Brock Osweiler to a big deal. Fuller has elite top-end speed who will be nearly impossible to over-throw.

22. Washington – Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
This might be a future pick with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon both in their final years of their contracts. Doctson may have played in a spread offense that helped his numbers, but he’s very good at attacking the ball in the air and has very good speed to get down the field.

23. Minnesota Vikings – Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi
With the emergence of 2015 5th round pick Stefon Diggs as an explosive weapon, Laquon Treadwell will be the physical route-runner opposite him. That makes for a very good duo for Teddy Bridgewater. Treadwell isn’t a very fast guy but he’s strong and physical and will pick up the tough yards.

24. Cincinnati Bengals – William Jackson III, CB, Houston
The Cincinnati Bengals continue to focus on their secondary in drafted, with Jackson being the third they have taken in the first round in their past five drafts. Jackson led the nation with 23 pass breakups last year and should fit right in as the Bengals continue to develop one of the best secondaries in the league.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers – Artie Burns, CB, Miami
The Steelers’ secondary is always a concern and especially after allowing the most passing yards in the AFC last year it was a top priority. Burns needs some work, but he has a lot of upside and seems like a guy drafted to combat a the size of Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green.

26. Denver Broncos – Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Moving back up to grab Paxton Lynch is a very good and interesting move by the Broncos. Don’t expect him to start from day one, but he’ll take over for Mark Sanchez before too long. Lynch is a perfect fit to work in Gary Kubiak’s offense, has great athleticism and will be in a great situation to grow in.

27. Green Bay Packers – Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
With the retirement of NT B.J. Raji, the Packers choose to beef up the interior of their defensive line, which needed work anyway since it ranked 21st against the run last year.

28. San Francisco 49ers – Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford
The 49ers jumped back into the end of the first round to address their offense. Last year their offense was the worst in the league, but with the loss of Alex Boone in free agency they had a giant hole on the offensive line. Garnett is a better run-blocker that should help the team commit to giving Carlos Hyde the ball.

29. Arizona Cardinals – Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Mississippi
Talent wise, Robert Nkemdiche is one of the very best players in this draft, but he has some off-the-field issues that raised some red flags. Bruce Arians is the perfect guys to take Nkemdiche under his case (Look at the turnaround Tyrann Mathieu has made). Nkemdiche is a perfect fit next to another big and long defensive lineman, Calais Campbell. Add in Chandler Jones to the mix and the Cardinals have a great defensive line and pass rush next year.

30. Carolina Panthers – Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
Certainly with Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei, defensive tackle was the furthest thing from a need for the Panthers, but Butler is a huge plug that will also provide extra insurance if the team is unable to retain either Short or Lotuleli, both of whom require new contracts soon.

31. Seattle Seahawks – Germain Ifedi, OG, Texas A&M
This is Seattle’s first 1st round pick since 2012 and the clear move for them was to re-build their offensive line. They lost all five-starters from there 2013 championship team.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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