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NFL Draft 2016: A look back


November 17, 2016

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The big haired, big personality draft ‘gurus’ love to do their yearly look back at the previous draft to do their annual re-drafts. While yes, it is a little too early to make decisions or predictions on draft classes that have had two months to play with their teams, it’s never too early to look back at some of the great picks, awful misses, hidden gems, and outstanding values. That’s why reviewing the tape is always a good thing before the draft. Never know where you’re going to make it big.

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Let’s take a look back at the 2016 NFL Draft and how teams fared based on how those drafted are playing for them.

“They are who we thought they were picks”

This category is designed to look at the early picks in the draft that the teams nailed.

Second Overall Pick – Carson Wentz

The one knock on him was that he wasn’t ‘ready’ to play early on. He’s proved exactly the opposite. He’s taken a team that no one thought had a chance this year and has made them respectable. His upside is only better. As he grows into the system, and the offensive playbook opens up more, this kids ceiling is through the roof.

Third Overall Pick – Joey Bosa

While yes, the hold out was awful, but since coming on the field, the guy has produced for San Diego’s defensive line. He’s been a breath of fresh air and an incredibly disruptive force. The future looks bright for San Diego’s defense between Bosa and Verrett.

Fourth Overall Pick – Ezekiel Elliott

He’s everything everyone knew he’d be. Explosive, dominant and an all-around back. Don’t think anyone expected he would lead the NFL in rushing his rookie year, though, and in line to set all kinds of records.

Fifth Overall Pick – Jalen Ramsey

He’s been outstanding for Jacksonville’s secondary and has given them hope and excitement for the future. Just needs to keep his temper in check.

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Awful Misses

 This category is designed to look at early picks in the draft where teams could have done so much better.

First Overall – Jared Goff

I feel awful piling on to Goff considering he hasn’t even played yet, but considering what Wentz and Prescott are doing, it’s hard not to feel somewhat like this might have been a bad pick.

22nd Overall Pick – Josh Doctson

Doctson was battling an injury issue ever since training camp, and in the limited snaps he did play this year, he looked very disappointing. Redskins put him on IR.

23rd Overall Pick – Laquon Treadwell

Has seen very limited snaps and has failed to impress the coaching staff.

30th Overall Pick – Robert Nkemdiche

There are reports of him having difficulty grasping the defense and the playbook. He has played very limited snaps throughout the year.

59th Overall – Roberto Aguayo

Drafting a kicker in the second round is worse in itself, but this kid has been very disappointing and has already missed a handful of big kicks for the Bucs.

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Hidden Gems

These guys were picked in the fifth through seventh rounds or priority free agents after the draft and have played a major role on their respective teams.

140th Overall Pick – Tajae Sharpe

He has been the # 1 receiver for the Titans. The small-school kid has been a home-run.

175th Overall Pick – Jatavis Brown – Has been making plays all over the field from the linebacker position for San Diego.

176th Overall Pick – Andy Janovich – Has done an outstanding job opening up holes for the Broncos run game. Janovich even has a couple of his own TD’s, which is rare for an FB these days.

189th Overall Pick – Anthony Brown

Brown has received significant snaps for Dallas defense and has been thoroughly impressive.

233rd Overall Pick – Jalen Mills

He fell in the draft due to off the field issues. He’s already one of the leaders for the Eagles secondary.

UDFA Michael Pierce

What a pickup Pierce has been for the Ravens. He has been starting at nose tackle for the Ravens and has been one of the best starting 3-4 tackles in the league. Even showing an ability to generate some pass rush from the position.

UDFA Roger Lewis

Coming from Bowling Green, he had some off the field issues that caused him to go undrafted. He’s been an outstanding deep threat for the Giants giving them one more solid receiver for the future.

Outstanding Values

These kids have far out produced their draft position. They were all taken between the second and fourth rounds.

45th Overall – Derrick Henry

Scouts thought the wear and tear on his body at Alabama would greatly affect his ability to be successful at the next level. He’s been outstanding in limited snaps backing up Murray. I don’t think it’ll be long before he becomes their full-time starter.

52nd Overall – Deion Jones

Jones has been an explosive outside linebacker that been making plays all over the field for Falcons defense.

53rd Overall – Su’a Cravens

Another hybrid athletic safety/linebacker that has been dominating for Redskins defense.

56th Overall – Cody Whitehair

One of the few bright spots for the Bears this year has been the play of Whitehair. Has been outstanding and one of the best interior lineman in the NFL.

69th Overall – Yannick Ngakoue

Incredible value for arguably the best rookie pass rusher in the draft. Most scouts thought he was a fourth or fifth round guy.

93rd Overall – Cody Kessler – Another supposed ‘reach’ by most draft gurus, Kessler has been thoroughly impressive in his starts. With more play this year, he might eventually be groomed as the franchise QB if he continues to impress.

135th Overall – Dak Prescott – Can you believe 134 guys were picked before him? Me either. Prescott has been a stud and the franchise QB for the foreseeable future for Dallas.

Obviously, I missed a TON of other guys, but here were some of the highlights of the 2016 NFL Draft. Just goes to show, watching the tape is important. There is plenty of value later on in the draft as well. Hey you never know, some of these fifth or sixth rounders could be year-one starters as we see all around the league.

In the coming articles, I’m going to start reviewing and telling you who these guys are going to be next year.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com