Outside of reviewing how each prospect has done three years down the road, it’s only fair to see how I did evaluating each prospect. The 2016 Draft was interesting for me as it was the final draft rankings I did before adopting a grading system for my prospects and just arranged guys based on if I liked them better than than someone else. With that said, for a third year in a row I’ve gone back and looked at my final Top 32 rankings highlighting what I got right and what I got wrong providing my own 2016 NFL Draft Review.
2016 NFL Draft Review – How I Did
My Top 32 Prospects for the 2015 Draft
1. Laremy Tunsil OT Mississippi
2. Jalen Ramsey S Florida State
3. Myles Jack LB UCLA
4. DeForest Buckner DL Oregon
5. Joey Bosa Edge Ohio State
6. Jared Goff QB California
7. Ronnie Stanley OT Notre Dame
8. Noah Spence Edge Eastern Kentucky
9. Carson Wentz QB North Dakota State
10. Kevin Dodd Edge Clemson
11. Ezekiel Elliot RB Ohio State
12. Vernon Butler DL LaTech
13. Sheldon Rankins DL Louisville
14. Vernon Hargreaves CB Florida
15. William Jackson CB Houston
16. Leonard Floyd LB Georgia
17. Taylor Decker OT Ohio State
18. Josh Doctson WR TCU
19. Javon Hargrave DL South Carolina State
20. Mackensie Alexander CB Clemson
21. Eli Apple CB Ohio State
22. Jaylon Smith LB Notre Dame
23. Darren Lee LB Ohio State
24. Chris Jones DL Mississippi State
25. A’Shawn Robinson DL Alabama
26. Connor Cook QB Michigan State
27. Darian Thompson S Boise State
28. Laquon Treadwell WR Mississippi
29. Robert Nkemdiche DL Mississippi
30. Corey Coleman WR Baylor
31. Ryan Kelly C Alabama
32. Kamalei Correa Edge Boise State
Where I was Right
Hargrave was one player that as soon as I watched him I fell in love with the tape. He showed power, burst and closing speed completely taking over the game. Outside of good size there wasn’t a thing that I didn’t think he couldn’t do. I was a little surprised that he fell to the 3rd round (thought he’d be a second rounder) and that the Steelers were going to use him at NT. But he’s been good for the Steelers giving them one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.
Concerns about where to play Jones and his motor caused several analysts to be down on Jones, but in all the tape that I watched Jones dominated both inside and out and looked like a versatile weapon. Heck going back to my notes I’m surprised I didn’t have him higher.
Now I still had Coleman in my top 32 but I was a lot more down on him than the consensus. Yes I saw Coleman’s explosiveness getting downfield and with the ball in space but I really didn’t like how he only ran a few routes and couldn’t win contested catches. Coleman wasn’t able to adjust running routes and is now on his third team.
Where I was Wrong
Kevin Dodd and Noah Spence
Oh boy did I love myself some Kevin Dodd and his performance in the National Title Game where he had three sacks really jaded my perception on him. Dodd fell to the second round and then washed completely out of football in two years. Epic failure on my part. Noah Spence was another player who showed a lot of promise early in his career before being kicked out of Ohio State and dominating at the lower level. Once again I put too much stock in a limited film work.
It wasn’t that I didn’t like Elliott as a prospect but 11th overall was too low. Part of that was likely my belief that you can get good running backs throughout the draft an dropped him because of it.
This ranking had nothing to do with Smith’s injury and that does make it look worse. It seemed like everybody loved Smith before his injury and had him as a consensus top 5 prospect. I however got way too hung up on him getting hung up on blocks and ignored his nose for the ball and how fast he was to it. Smith has bounced back nicely from his knee injury and is one of the better young linebackers in the NFL. This is a learning moment for me.
Watching Connor Cook during his sophomore year when they went to the Rose Bowl he showed a lot of promise and I really liked what I had seen. But I think I put too much emphasis on that and made excuses about his accuracy because he didn’t have good receivers and had to put the ball into tight spots.