2016 NFL Draft Grades: Winners And Losers From The First Round

The first round of the NFL Draft is over, which means it's time to grade every first round selection and take a look at the winners and losers. Below, we have every pick in the first round in order of selection. The winners and losers are at the very end of the post. 

As for the grading, teams don't get a B just for showing up. A "B" is a good pick, while an "A" is a great pick. A "C" is not bad in my eyes, it's simply average. I'm a little harsher than some graders, with emphasis on value over filling need. Obviously there is a lot of opinion here, so hit me up on Twitter if you disagree. 


First Round Grades: 

1. Los Angeles Rams (via Titans)Jared Goff, QB, Cal
Grade: C

We're including the trade down up (for this and every move involving a trade), and the Rams gave up more than they got in this trade. This pick will ultimately be determined by how good Goff is. If he's a franchise QB, it's an A. If not, it's an F. 

2. Philadelphia Eagles (via Browns): Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Grade: C

See above. 

3. San Diego ChargersJoey Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Grade: C

No one had this pick right. It was a total surprise, and the first of several OSU picks. Bosa is worth of a Top 5 pick, but he's not a great fit in a 3-4 scheme. It's not a great pick, but it's not a terrible one either. 

4. Dallas CowboysEzekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Grade: D+

The good is that the Cowboys offense is going to be loaded now. But no RB is worth the No. 4 overall pick and this is a reach. I know the Cowboys love Elliott, but the defense is going to struggle, even with a great offense. Elliott should be a great RB and will be the favorite for rookie of the year, but defense is much more important. Taking Ramsey (the highest rated player on their board) and getting an RB later (or next) would have been a much better move. 

5. Jacksonville JaguarsJalen Ramsey, CB, FSU
Grade: A+

This is a home run pick. I love Ramsey and he'll be great for the Jaguars. Whether he plays CB or safety, this is a great selection for Jacksonville. It fills a need and is great value. You can't ask for anything more in the first round. 

6. Baltimore RavensRonnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame 
Grade: B-

It appears that the Stanley over Tunsil rumors weren't smoke, although Tunsil's video could have been an issue (more on that below). I was surprised the Ravens didn't go defense, but there will be players in Round 2. Stanley looks like a future LT, which might spell the end of Eugene Monroe in the near future with Baltimore. 

7. San Francisco 49ersDeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Grade: A

This is a strong pick by the 49ers. It's solid value for Buckner, and it fills a need. He'll be a great fit in the 49ers 3-4 scheme across from former teammate Arik Armstead. 

8. Tennessee Titans (from Browns via Dolphins and Eagles): Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Grade: B

I rarely like trading up, but the Titans are playing with house money thanks to moving down earlier this offseason. Conklin will start right away at RT and likely would have been a top 10 pick, especially with Tunsil's fall. I would have preferred Tunsil, but this is a safer pick. 

9. Chicago Bears (via Buccaneers): Leonard Floyd, DE, Georgia 
Grade: C+

Floyd could be Aldon Smith, or he could be Dion Jordan. He was going to be a Top 10 pick, but this is still a risky pick. He's a good fit with the Bears. Giving up a 4th is a fair trade, but it's still a steep price. That hurts the Bears' grade just a bit. 

10. New York GiantsEli Apple, CB, Ohio State
Grade: D

I really don't like this pick. Apple has potential, but he's raw and could be a major bust. He does fill a need, but there were better CBs on the board. This is just too early for Apple for me to approve of the pick. 

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Grade: A

The Bucs killed the first round. They picked up an extra 4th rounder and still got the many they wanted. He lacks size, but Hargreaves could be a true playmaker for the Bucs. This fills a need and is great value, especially in light of the Apple selection. 

12. New Orleans SaintsSheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville 
Grade: B

This was one of 10 picks I had correct in my mock draft, and I like the pick. It fills a need and it's solid value. It's not as great as some other picks, but this is the definition of a "B" grade on my scale. The Saints should be happy with this pick. 

13. Miami Dolphins (via Eagles)Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
Grade: A+

Tunsil fell, perhaps in part to an old video of him smoking weed being posted on his Twitter just before the start of the draft. Tunsil was generally considered the top tackle in this year's draft, although some teams did have Stanley higher. Still, this is great value and totally worth the risk that comes with taking Tunsil. The Dolphins could end up with one of the best picks of the NFL Draft. 

14. Oakland RaidersKarl Joseph, S, West Virginia 
Grade: C+

I'm high on Joseph and had he not been injured last season, this would have been a no-brainer pick. However, this is a bit early for Joseph and he's more of a Top 20 or 25 pick than a Top 15. But he's got immense talent and this could pay off big-time. The Raiders secondary is now loaded with Joseph. 

15. Cleveland Browns (via Titans from Rams)Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Grade: B+

I wasn't expecting Coleman to go in the Top 15, but he was a Top 25 pick. Coleman adds a real weapon for the Browns, something they need. He has game-breaking ability, but needs polish. This is a bit earlier for Coleman, but they're getting a boost to their grade for trading down and getting more picks. 

16. Detroit Lions: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
Grade: B

Much like Rankins and the Saints, this is a classic B grade. It fills a need and is good value. Decker will start right away at RT. It's a safe pick, as Decker will be a very good guard at worst. 

17. Atlanta FalconsKeanu Neal, S, Florida
Grade: C

I had Neal as a first rounder and head coach Dan Quinn loves him, but this is too early. I would have preferred Darron Lee here, but Neal does fill a need. This isn't a terrible pick, and teams are higher on Neal than media/fans, but this is still a reach. 

18. Indianapolis ColtsRyan Kelly, C, Alabama
Grade: B

Another solid pick. Kelly fills a need and this makes perfect sense for the Colts. It's the proper range, as Kelly was going to be a first round pick this year. Hopefully Kelly will help prevent QB Andrew Luck from getting destroyed next year. 

19. Buffalo BillsShaq Lawson, EDGE, Clemson
Grade: A

This is a great pick from Buffalo. Lawson could have been a Top 15 pick and he's one of the best pass rushers in this year's draft. The Bills are running a 4-3 right now, although they could move to a 3-4. Either way, Lawson will fit, even if he's better as 4-3 DE. Lawson will be a great replacement for Mario Williams. 

20. New York JetsDarron Lee, LB, Ohio State 
Grade: A-

The Jets really needed an ILB and they found a Ryan Shazier clone in Lee. He's crazy athletic and will be a great fit for Todd Bowles. It's solid value, as he could have gone Top 15. It's not quite an "A," but this is a good pick that Jets' fans should be happy with. 

21. Houston Texans (via Redskins): Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
Grade: B

Fuller can fly and he'll be a good partner for DeAndre Hopkins. They traded up for this pick, but only gave up a 2017 6th rounder. That's basically nothing, so they won't be docked. Josh Doctson and Laquon Treadwell might be better players, but they didn't fit what the Texans needed. This is solid value and a fills a need. 

22. Washington Redskins (via Texans)Josh Docston, WR, TCU
Grade: B-

The difference between the first round WRs is not a large one. So while Treadwell was viewed as the best WR by many, Docston is just as good. He's a bit faster and this could turn out very well for the Redskins. With Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson free agents next year, Doctson could be the No. 1 WR soon. I would have preferred Treadwell, but this is a good pick. 

23. Minnesota VikingsLaquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Grade: A-

Treadwell is a perfect fit for the Vikings. He gives them a big, possession WR that the team doesn't have. This is very good value for Treadwell and the Vikings should be happy they landed him. 

24. Cincinnati BengalsWilliam Jackson, CB, Houston
Grade: B+

I was surprised by this pick, but I like it. The Bengals likely wanted a WR, but Jackson is nice consolation prize. He has a very high ceiling and could have easily been gone before this. The Giants should have taken Jackson over Apple. This might spell the end of Dre Kirkpatrick in Cincy, as he'll be a free agent soon. This is good value for the Bengals, and they get a little boost for preventing the Steelers from taking him.   

25. Pittsburgh SteelersArtie Burns, CB, Miami (FL)
Grade: D

The Steelers would have gotten at least a B if they'd landed Jackson, Clemson's Mackensie Alexander or even Virginia Tech's Kendall Fuller. Instead, they reached for Burns, a second round prospect. Burns has a high ceiling, but this is just too early for him. He has size and speed, but is really raw. Normally the Steelers captialize on falling players. That wasn't the case this year. 

26. Denver Broncos (via Seahawks): Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Grade: B

I don't often give good grades when teams move up, but I am here. The Broncos had to find a QB, and they've found a young one who is much cheaper than the other options. Lynch makes perfect sense in Denver and this is one of the few places he could find success right away. Plus, the Broncos needs to move up for Lynch, as the Chiefs could have very well taken him. 

27. Green Bay PackersKenny Clark, DT, UCLA
Grade: D+

I like Clark, and this pick makes sense in a bubble. However, there were better DTs on the board and two great ILBs in Myles Jack and Reggie Ragland. Sure, there are concerns with both, but the Packers badly need an inside linebacker and they passed on the two of the best. Clark will be a good player for Green Bay, but this wasn't the right move. 

28. 49ers (via Kansas City Chiefs): Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford
Grade: F

I'm not afraid to give out Fs and have done so in the past. But this is the only F I'm giving this year. This is a horrible pick and ruins a strong first pick for the 49ers. Garnett wasn't even the best guard on the board (that's Cody Whitehair) and this is a massive reach. The 49ers love Garnett and I pegged them to take him on Day 2, but this is way, way too early. Trading up and giving up a 4th and a 6th makes it even worse. Garnett will start right away as a mauling OG, but that doesn't make this a good pick. He has athletic limitations, will need to get much better in pass protection and isn't even a good fit in Chip Kelly's scheme. 

29. Arizona CardinalsRobert Nkemdiche, DE, Ole Miss
Grade: B+

From a sheer potential perspective, this is an amazing pick. Nkemdiche could be an All-Pro, but there are serious concerns about his off-the-field actions and he could be a bust. But taking a boom-or-bust player of his talent is worth it at No. 29. Arizona is a great place for Nkemdiche, as the Cardinals proved themselves with Tyrann Mathieu. 

30. Carolina PanthersVernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
Grade: B+

The Panther often take the best player on their board, and that's the case with Butler. He's got great size and athletic ability and could have easily gone much earlier than this. This is the Panther drafting for need in a year, when they could lose Star Lotulelei or Kawann Short. Butler is a very good, although not exactly a sexy one. 

31. Seattle Seahawks (via Broncos): Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M
Grade: A-

I didn't have Ifedi going in Round 1, but this isn't really a reach. Plus, the Seahawks need offensive line help so badly that any lineman would have been a decent pick. Ifedi has potential and could thrive at guard or tackle in Seattle. The Seahawks get a grade boost for getting another third from Denver by moving down. 


Miami Dolphins 
They made one the best picks in the draft in Tunsil. 

Cleveland Browns
I know right? The Browns have all of the picks now, and although I don't love the Coleman pick, they're setting themselves up for a big draft this year and next. 

Jacksonville Jaguars
I love Jalen Ramsey. This is a wonderful pick and my favorite of the draft. The Jags should be stoked to have landed Ramsey. 

Ezekiel Elliott
I don't like the Elliott pick for the Cowboys, but Elliott should be crazy excited. He gets to run behind the best line in the NFL and will post massive numbers. He'll be a popular rookie of the year and fantasy football pick. 


Myles Jack
Jack went from a Top 10 lock to out of the first round because of his knee injury. He's a great talent, but teams are terrified out that knee injury. 

Laremy Tunsil
Tunsil is a still a first round pick, but it's clear someone has it out for Tunsil with the release of the Twitter and Instagram videos. He lost a lot of money tonight. 

San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers were in great position, before ruining it by taking Garnett. I really hate that pick. 

Defensive Tackles
There are several talented DTs that could have easily be first round picks still on the board (A'Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed and Andrew Billings) and a few borderline first rounders. But it's such a deep class that it resulted in players being pushed down. Expect a lot of DL in Round 2. 

Back to the NFL Newsfeed

Related Topics: NFL Draft Grades, First Round, NFL Draft Rumors, NFL Draft News, 2016 NFL Draft