I wasn’t sure I would do this again this year – a ‘tournament style’ look back at who I would have drafted given a choice of all the players taken in the first round. I enjoy doing this because it forces me to go back and take another look at what happened in last year’s draft to get ready for this year’s draft. When I looked over the first-round players from 2016, I realized something and it spurred me to go ahead and do it this year.
What spurred me? The thought of — what a mess this first round is. It’s a joke. NFL teams (except the holy Patriots) hold a first-round pick as the most coveted thing anyone could possess…and yet they butcher these picks almost every time. 2016 was abysmal in the first round overall. The best players were almost all in the later rounds.
The draft is supposed to be a socialistic system of rewarding bad teams with high picks to force-feed them into being good. Only it works in the reverse because these organizations are so miss-run by management. You really wanna a screw a bad team…give them a top 10 draft pick to butcher because they follow the prospects the media likes…and the media only like guys from Ohio State, Clemson, and holy Alabama…and then anyone from the SEC or Notre Dame. The same consensus picks made. The same disappointments a year later. And the snake eats its own…tail and the bad teams never get any better through the draft, typically. 2016 was a shining symbol of awful valuations in the draft. So much so, I am going to do something new/additional this year – a look back at the best and worst picks from each round of the 2016 NFL Draft. You’ll see that this week as well.
For this re-do of the first-round of 2016, I am going to look at one matchup each day, sometimes two, and choose between players with commentary until we get to the end – who would I pick based on performance, upside I see, and the sheer value of the position they play. I don’t know who the ultimate winner is going to be today because I am making the picks right around the day I publish it.
Today’s matchup: (13) Laremy Tunsil vs. (20) Darron Lee
I did not see Darron Lee as a decent inside linebacker in the NFL at all. I thought he’d be an OK outside guy, possibly a move to SS/LB hybrid, but a disinterested tackler regardless. Instead, Lee was moved inside and used his superior speed and sudden passion for tackling to succeed. I was wrong about Lee, for sure. I didn’t see the Jets rookie version of Lee on tape when he was at Ohio State. My bad.
Laremy Tunsil started a little slow, but became an impact OL in short order. Miami had as good an O-Line as there was in the NFL when everyone was healthy (and that was rare).
Tunsil is the better player at the more key position – so Tunsil is my pick here.
(1) Jared Goff vs. (32) Emmanuel Ogbah — My pick: Jared Goff
(16) Taylor Decker vs. (17) Keanu Neal — My pick: Taylor Decker
(8) Jack Conklin vs. (25) Artie Burns — My pick: Jack Conklin
(9) Leonard Floyd vs. (24) Will Jackson — My Pick: Leonard Floyd
(6) Ronnie Stanley vs. (27) Kenny Clark — My pick: Kenny Clark
(11) Vernon Hargreaves vs. (22) Josh Doctson — My pick: Josh Doctson
(14) Karl Joseph vs. (19) Shaq Lawson — My pick: Shaq Lawson
(3) Joey Bosa vs. (30) Vernon Butler — My pick: Joey Bosa
(4) Ezekiel Elliott vs. (29) Robert Nkemdiche — My Pick: Ezekiel Elliott
(13) Laremy Tunsil vs. (20) Darron Lee — My pick: Laremy Tunsil
(12) Sheldon Rankins vs. (21) Will Fuller
(5) Jalen Ramsey vs. (28) Josh Garnett
(7) DeForest Buckner vs. (26) Paxton Lynch
(10) Eli Apple vs. (23) Laquon Treadwell
(15) Corey Coleman vs. (18) Ryan Kelly
(2) Carson Wentz vs. (31) Germain Ifedi
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