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2016 NFL Draft UDFA reported signing:
Reported as of 8:15am ET (5/1/16)…
QB Vernon Adams, Oregon to Seattle Seahawks (tryout)
WR Geronimo Allison, Illinois to the Green Bay Packers
WR Robby Anderson, Temple to the NY Jets
RB Peyton Barber, Auburn to the Tampa Buccaneers
LB Akil Blount, Florida A&M to the Miami Dolphins
TE Ben Braunecker, Harvard to the Chicago Bears
QB Trevone Boykin, TCU to the Seattle Seahawks
RB Brandon Burks, Troy to the Green Bay Packers
WR Devon Cajuste, Stanford to the San Francisco 49ers
FS Jeremy Cash, Duke to Carolina Panthers
LB Brandon Chubb, Wake Forest to the LA Rams
QB Jake Coker, Alabama to the Arizona Cardinals
WR Reggie Diggs, Richmond to the Washington Redskins
WR Alex Erickson, Wisconsin to the Cincinnati Bengals
Farrow, Kenneth RB Houston (San Diego Chargers)
RB Josh Ferguson, Illinois to the Indianapolis Colts
WR/RB D.J. Foster, Arizona State to the New England Patriots
Friend, Kyle OC Temple (NY Jets)
WR Kayarris Garrett, Tulsa to the Carolina Panthers
RB Aaron Green, TCU to the LA Rams
TE Darion Griswold, Arkansas State to the Indianapolis Colts
DL Drew Iddings, South Dakota to the Oakland Raiders
RB Devon Johnson, Marshall to the Carolina Panthers
QB Matt Johnson, Bowling Green to the Cincinnati Bengals
WR Andy Jones, Jacksonville to the Dallas Cowboys
LB Antonio Longino, Arizona State
WR Jay Lee, Baylor to the Detroit Lions
LB Steve Longa, Rutgers to the Seattle Seahawks
FYI, our 2016 Fantasy Football Draft Guide starts full scale production next week, and is scheduled to be released the first week of June. Can you believe it’s that time already? The ever-evolving guide with commentary on 600+ players is coming soon…Fantasy Football Metrics.com
WR Jalin Marshall, Ohio State to the NY Jets
WR Mitch Mathews, BYU to the Kansas City Chiefs
WR Max McCaffrey, Duke to the Oakland Raiders
TE Jake McGee, Florida to the Carolina Panthers
WR Paul McRoberts, SE Missouri State to the LA Rams
WR Marquez North, Tennessee to the LA Rams
Ochi, Victor LB/DE Stony Brook (Baltimore Ravens)
RB Jhurell Pressley, New Mexico to the Minnesota Vikings
LB Will Ratelle, North Dakota State to the Atlanta Falcons
Robinson, Jamal WR UL-Lafayette (Jacksonville Jaguars)
LB/DE Mike Rose, N.C. State to the NY Giants
LB Shakeel Rashad, UNC to the Houston Texans
Smith, Tevaun WR Iowa (Indianapolis Colts)
TE Joe Sommers, Wisconsin-Oshkosh to the Chicago Bears
LB Eric Striker, Oklahoma to the Buffalo Bills
RB Brandon Wilds, South Carolina to the Atlanta Falcons
WR Dom Williams, Washington State to the San Diego Chargers
WR Jordan Williams, Ball State to the New Orleans Saints
QB Josh Woodrum, Liberty to the NY Giants
DL Justin Zimmer, Ferris State to Buffalo Bills
Dynasty Rookie Draft analysis begins immediately after the draft on College Football Metrics.com. The first of 10-15 Dynasty Rookie Draft top 100+ (with IDP) rankings will hit immediately after the 2016 NFL Draft.
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It’s a tricky thing just to judge this one round only, but as a writer in the football business, I am under federal mandate to do some sort of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ from each day of the draft.
I’m going to try to identify more unorthodox ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ here. I’m not going to argue the running back valuation of Dallas taking Ezekiel Elliott so highly — I’m going to comment on that situation in a separate piece. I’m also not going to celebrate that the Rams ‘got their man’ at quarterback, because it’s not the quarterback who’s the problem – it’s Jeff Fisher. I’m excited for Jared Goff…with his next coach in Los Angeles. I’m not going to rail against Chicago–Giants–Tampa Bay for making ridiculous picks at #9–11, because those teams are going nowhere in 2016 anyway…so ‘who cares’? I’m looking more to focus true shifts in the balance of NFL power, or at least interesting steps being made in that direction.
My top 3 after Thursday:
1) The Cleveland Browns
The absolute runaway story of the 2016 NFL Draft is how simple outsiders have come in and run circles around the establishment in short order. The media keeps saying the NFL Draft is a 50-50 crap shoot, but it’s really more that the teams are constantly scouting poorly and throwing bad darts. A team with the right data could mop up draft after draft. Just like with what Billy Beane set off in baseball, the Browns may be getting ready to set off in football…’Moneyball’ for the NFL.
If I were running the 2016 Cleveland Browns, I would do a lot of what their management has already done – I would let marginally talented, expensive players walk in free agency. I would refrain from spending/reaching on new players in free agency. I would then auction off my high draft pick to fall back in the draft, while acquiring a ton of draft picks to do so. When you know what you’re doing in the draft, these middle of the draft selections mean the world. When you’re throwing uneducated darts, these middle round pick are just another blind attempt to throw a dart… They don’t mean as much in the hands of most other teams. Every pick, even into the seventh round, has massive opportunity…and the Cleveland Browns new management looks like they figured that out in less than 100 days of study.
I will not go full-blown Browns’ hysteria yet…until they make their next couple of picks. But I am giddy wondering what they will do – wondering whether they will follow-through successfully. The pieces they have moved around on the chessboard so far have been brilliant. The drafting of Corey Coleman was visionary. With everyone proclaiming Treadwell–Doctson-Fuller-Michael Thomas for months, the Browns pissed all over the establishment group-think, and took the one true special WR prospect in this draft.
I am ready to board the bandwagon…after Friday night.
2: The Oakland Raiders
Yes, we now live in a world where the two smartest teams in the draft might be Cleveland and Oakland.
Cleveland was wise to stay out of free agency, because they are not ‘just 1-2 players away’ from anything. The Raiders, however, are close – and they mopped up in 2016 free agency. To continue that roll they are on, the Raiders did not butcher their first-round draft pick…instead taking a solid prospect at safety – Karl Joseph…and not getting suckered into taking any overrated Alabama or Ohio State prospects.
3: The Indianapolis Colts
I can’t even turn on the television and not see wall-to-wall coverage of what people think about Ezekiel Elliott to the Cowboys. I’m already sick of that story. We’re going to hear it for months. As much as the running back has been devalued in the NFL, it’s highly valued with the media and fans.
What the media and fans don’t care about — is a great center prospect. While other teams took flashy names people adore, the Colts took a ‘boring’ center…one of the best center prospects of the last few years/many years.
One of the knocks on the Colts has been their inability to get protection for Andrew Luck. Guess what? They just took a gigantic step into setting Luck up with a player who will work with him over the next decade…lasting much longer than Ezekiel Elliott or any running back on an NFL roster today.
My bottom 3 after Thursday:
1: The Houston Texans
Houston was on the precipice of being a perpetual playoff contender. They’re a step behind the Colts, when the Colts are at full Andrew Luck strength, but Houston was closing the gap. The Texans just needed a couple more things to add to the arsenal to make a run at taking down Andrew Luck over the next decade. However, I think they’ve absolutely blown it this year…like destroyed it, burned it to the ground.
The Texans radically overpaid for unproven, mediocre Brock Osweiler. They also radically overpaid for mediocre Lamar Miller. They lost their top offensive guard, Brandon Brooks, in free agency…while spending big on those other guys. Now, they take the Ted Ginn Jr. 2.0 in Will Fuller.
Enough already with teams in love with themselves because they grab a fast wide receiver who ‘can take the top off of defenses’. The Patriots don’t have a receiver like that. Carolina has Ted Ginn, but anyone in the league could’ve had Ginn for the last several years. The Patriots won the Super Bowl two years ago without ‘that guy’. The Pats beat Seattle in the title game two years ago, a Seattle team that won three years ago, and was also a team that didn’t have ‘that kind a guy’ at the time. Was Peyton Manning helped at all by Emmanuel Sanders going deep in 2016? Did you see Peyton Manning’s numbers last year? Taking the top off of defenses is incredibly overrated. Having a quarterback who can properly work downfield, and having wide receivers who can get open and catch the ball are much more desirable.
At least, when Ted Ginn flounders as a wide receiver, he gives an added dimension in the return game. Will Fuller never returned a kick or punt in college.
I have no earthly idea what the Houston Texans are doing. They had pieces of the puzzle, but it looks like it’s going to waste.
2: The Arizona Cardinals
You’re the Arizona Cardinals.
You’re arguably one step away, one more great move away from winning a Super Bowl.
So…drafting at #29 with several intriguing options, you select a player (Robert Nkemdiche) with overrated physical skills, who did almost nothing for production in college outside of one game against Alabama in 2015, and as an added bonus — he comes with a ton of off-field baggage.
People will talk about how Tyrann Mathieu was turned around by the Cardinals’ organizational structure. But Tyrann Mathieu was also a stud producer in college, but had other issues. Nkemdiche was not a stud in college. You barely noticed he was there in most SEC games. The fastest he’s ever moved in his whole college career was falling to earth from a forth story hotel window while he was ‘impaired’.
Arizona did not have to make this reach being so close to building something special. It’s almost like a wasted draft pick. It’s equal to the Patriots forfeiting their pick due to deflategate. Their arch rivals, Seattle, added a key, impressive offensive linemen…which helps Seattle close the gap another step on Arizona. It didn’t have to be this way.
3: The Denver Broncos
You earn a ‘pass’ when you’ve just won the Super Bowl, and rightfully so. However, their organizational plan for quarterback operations going forward is blowing up in their face.
I’m sure they thought they would re-sign Brock Osweiler. How could they know how loony the Houston Texans would be? With various interesting options floating around out there, Denver grasped for proven failure Mark Sanchez as a stopgap.
When all the various head case quarterbacks did not come available in trade – Kaepernick-Bradford, it forced Denver to panic, reaching for very suspect Paxton Lynch.
Again, I say – the NFL is beyond enamored with the way a quarterback ‘looks’. Their style/ability might be in the top 10 things they worry about, but if you’re tall and can move a little, NFL teams will go orgasmic. Lynch played in a spread offense, throwing a ton of screen/short passes, and when he threw it deep — it was premeditated/one-read and chuck it. Lynch is going to have to be taught how to play quarterback in the NFL. Is that a one-year project, or a two-year project…or how long is it before anyone knows if he actually can play quarterback at this level? His Wonderlic score foretells someone who is going to struggle. He is the new ‘Plan A’ for Denver…unbelievable.
*Tomorrow we will update our winners and losers list/commentary from the NFL draft through three rounds