Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

30 Apr 2016

Audibles: 2016 NFL Draft Day 2

compiled by Andrew Potter

For this special NFL Draft edition of Audibles, as with our regular Audibles feature, the FO staff sends around e-mail comments about the draft. We share information, ask questions, and keep everyone else informed as we watch. We then compile a digest of those e-mails and produce this feature. By its nature, it can be disjointed and dissimilar to the other articles on the site.

While these e-mails are written with Audibles in mind, they do not represent a standard review of the draft. That means we aren't going to discuss every pick, or every talking point. We watch the draft as fans as well as analysts, so the discussion may be colored by our rooting interests and aspects of the draft may not be covered to your fullest desires or even at all.

2016 NFL Draft Day Two

Aaron Schatz: I can see for Myles and Myles.

Tom Gower: I know you've deceived, so here's a surprise / I know that you have because there's magic in your eyes

Sorry, I tried to figure out a way to get "microfracture surgery" in there somewhere, but I couldn't get it while retaining any sense of rhythm whatsoever.

Rob Weintraub: Looks like Dallas has come to its senses and won't be giving Cleveland any more picks for No. 32.

Underrated element of the Browns draft thus far -- division rival disappointments:

  • Ravens wanted Ramsey or Elliott, took the less-talented offensive tackle.
  • Bengals wanted receiver, stuck with cornerback instead (albeit a good one).
  • Steelers wanted the cornerback the Bengals got.

Browns win just from others losing out.

Superficial but when you're a Browns fan you take what you can get.

Cian Fahey: Someone start the draft. Someone start the draft!!!!

Aaron Schatz: Late thought about last night's Cincinnati first-round pick: Wow, do the Bengals like cornerbacks high in the draft. This is the third time in five years that the Bengals have chosen a cornerback with their first pick.

Cian Fahey: Last three years they've taken players in the first round who didn't at the time project to help them at all during their rookie seasons. Is it any surprise they have plateaued in the playoffs?

Rob Weintraub: Not sure there's correlation between taking a top-ten talent that slipped due to injury and losing a playoff game in utterly bizarre fashion. Could hurt them this year, but forcing a receiver that isn't worth it at 24 doesn't win a playoff game for you, either.

Already scouting 2018 corners for Cincy. I think Jackson has a chance to avoid the redshirt the rookies usually get in BengalLand. He could be pushing Kirkpatrick for snaps by winter.

Vince Verhei: Two leftover thoughts from Round 1:

1) Entering free agency, the Cardinals' biggest weakness was a lack of individual pass rushers. They could get pressure with blitzing, but not so much with a four-man rush. However, as Cian pointed out on Twitter, they have added Chandler Jones and Robert Nkemdiche, plus Markus Golden likely to improve in his second year, and Calais Campbell bringing pressure up the middle. However, at corner, they lost Jerraud Powers (still unsigned), leaving Patrick Peterson, Justin Bethel, and sometimes-corner Tyrann Mathieu the only corners with any kind of pedigree on the roster.

So, with the pass rush so much better, but the secondary apparently weaker, will the Cardinals continue to blitz so much, and risk exposing a thin secondary? Or will they play more soft coverage and count on their edge rushers to win one-on-one matchups?

2) In the post-draft press conference, Seahawks GM John Schneider was asked to compare Germain Ifedi to James Carpenter, the lineman Seattle took in the first round in 2011. He gave a very political answer, but did admit that they liked Ifedi in part because he was a three-year starter in the SEC, while Carpenter only started two years at Alabama. In his words, that made Carpenter more of a "projection" than Ifedi -- in other words, the more tape you have of a guy against top-level competition, the more confident you can be in what you see. I know that's not shocking news, especially not to the people reading this, but I found it interesting to hear an NFL personnel man say that more playing time in college made it easier to evaluate a prospect.

Andrew Healy: Browns have five minutes left on the clock and I still think it's a 30 percent chance they eventually trade down. And get a 2017 first-round pick.

Aaron Schatz: The Browns didn't get the trade they wanted, I guess. They take Emmanuel Ogbah, who would have been the No. 1 player in SackSEER if SackSEER didn't incorporate expected draft position into its projections. Analytics!

Andrew Healy: Well, we have our first all-analytics team. SackSEER favorite Ogbah at 32 after Playmaker favorite Coleman yesterday. And the constant trading down. Looooove it.

Cian Fahey: Ogbah is not popular amongst the scouting community of draft Twitter.

Aaron Schatz: Why are the scouting folks not fans of his? He had two years of high college production and great combine numbers. What's the negative off his film?

Cian Fahey: Far as I can tell he's considered soft and not a creator but rather a clean-up guy. A project who needs to be developed from nothing. Justis Mosqueda wrote up on him for Bleacher Report.

Aaron Schatz: Kevin Dodd to Tennessee at 33. He had a SackSEER rating of 9.0%. That's absurdly low. Poor explosion index, no pass defenses in his entire college career, and no sacks in his first three seasons (the first of those an injury redshirt) before he had 12.5 as a junior.

Sterling Xie: Jerry Jones isn't exactly the most patient human being, which makes this Jaylon Smith pick all the more surprising. Dallas doesn't really need short-term linebacker help with a Lee-McClain-Hitchens starting trio for next year, but Sean Lee is pushing 30 with an extensive injury history, while the Cowboys don't seem to feel comfortable with ever giving Rolando McClain a multi-year deal. Still need edge rushing help in the worst way, but even at the top of the second round I like this value. The bottom-of-the-third-round projections we were seeing coming into the day would have been obscenely great value for Smith.

Cian Fahey: No idea what the Chargers are doing in this draft. Feels like they're just taking the top player on their board regardless of fit or need.

Cowboys going from a short-term pick in the top five to a long-term pick atop the second round is bizarre too. Really comes across as directionless.

Andrew Healy: Is Jerry Jones back to being the guy who seemingly seeks news with every action? It seemed he'd left that behind with Travis Frederick and Zack Martin, but La'el Collins and Randy Gregory and Elliott, now Jaylon Smith. The common theme with all of them seems to be that they're flashy. Not saying they're all bad, either. But Smith is a little strange for a team that's presumably win-now with Tony Romo's window at best very limited.

Sterling Xie: Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack? Jaguars are definitely the leader in the clubhouse to get the highest grades from all the snap reaction articles on Monday morning.

Tom Gower: It's not a surprise the Titans took Dodd, since it was Dick LeBeau's Steelers that drafted Jarvis Jones, the complete opposite of an athletic freak, in the first round two years ago. I'm almost tempted to come out of retirement from Titans blogging, just so I can quit in protest.

I can see Henry as a need pick for the Chargers, since Antonio Gates is old and Ladarius Green departed for Pittsburgh. I just wasn't the biggest fan of his.

Injury risks falling now. Jaylon Smith to the Cowboys at 34 is a great example of something I mentioned in discussing Tunsil's fall last night -- sometimes, the owner really needs to sign off on a particular pick, and not all owners would be willing to do that. Really good player, really big risk given that you know he's extremely unlikely to play in 2016 and regenerating nerves in his foot is something that could happen tomorrow or never. Jacksonville gets Jack, and well, good for them. I really hope both players are healthy, because they're really good if they are.

Vince Verhei: So, assuming everyone can come back healthy, the Jaguars are essentially adding first-rounders, and maybe top-five picks, at all three levels in Dante Fowler, Myles Jack, and Jalen Ramsey. All to a defense that was bad-but-not-terrible in 2015. Scary stuff.

Cian Fahey: Tannenbaum loves trading draft picks away as much as the Saints love spending money. The guy is un-freaking-believable.

Andrew Healy: And Tannenbaum has the money-spending bug, too, so he has problems on all levels.

Aaron Schatz: Baltimore just got a fifth-round pick and a fourth-round pick in two different trades that moved them down a whopping SIX SPOTS, because Ozzie Newsome is AWESOME.

Andrew Healy: I think that means the Ravens now have five fourth-round picks. Nobody does the compensatory picks better, and yes, he's fantastic. Seven straight years with at least three picks in Rounds 4-5.

Scott Kacsmar: Jacksonville just took the best defensive player on the board twice, and if you're a Dallas fan, you have to be wondering why the Cowboys didn't do that. For years they'll be studying Jalen Ramsey/Myles Jack vs. Ezekiel Elliott/Jaylon Smith. Again, I disliked the Elliott pick, but I don't hate it because the only other realistic option was Ramsey at four. This one, I cannot justify using the 34th pick on a guy who may never be able to play when you're in a win-now window given Tony Romo's age and durability. I'm stunned that Smith went ahead of Jack.

As for the Jaguars, if they can't get the defense turned around after adding this much talent and the money spent in free agency, then Gus Bradley has to go.

Cian Fahey: Sterling Shepard is a great pick for the Giants. Perfect fit in that quick passing game. Eli finally has a second receiver who can catch the ball too, which is useful.

Tom Gower: Very defensive start to the second round, as eight of the ten picks are on that side of the ball. A lot of people love Sterling Shephard, and he fits with the way Ben McAdoo wants his receivers to succeed and could give them the complement to Odell Beckham they needed last year. Why didn't he go in the first? Unless people think he can be Antonio Brown, which yeah, he may not have that much upside. But a good fit.

Assessing other picks is your value vs. the team's. Obviously DIck LeBeau isn't bothered by unathletic edge rushers. I think Mosqueda points out reasons Ogbah may be "fake athletic" instead of really, really athletic -- he should be a good test of Force Players vs. SackSEER. Xavien Howard, yeah -- Miami needed help so badly, but not everyone loved the player, and moving up for him? Unless the board really has cliffs, Ozzie Newsome moving back makes perfect sense.

Scott Kacsmar: Sterling Shepard should be what Rueben Randle never was for the Giants. I like that one.

Cian Fahey: Man I hate this Titans draft so far. Jon Robinson and Mike Mularkey want to build a team that can win in 1960.

I'd like to note, I wrote my previous Titans comment BEFORE they drafted Derrick Henry in the second round. Good grief.

Scott Kacsmar: If you trade for DeMarco Murray, you make him a workhorse and you've already wasted past draft capital on Bishop Sankey. Why in the world would they draft Henry?

Tom Gower: My favorite part of the DeMarco Murray trade was that it took Derrick Henry in the second round out of play. Or that's what I thought it did, at least. If I was attending the draft as a fan, I'd have been on TV booing, taking off my jersey, and trying to rip it up or at least turn it inside out.

Vince Verhei: You know... on the one hand I totally see Cian's point. But I also remember the Titans essay we ran in FOA in the past two or three years (sorry, I don't remember the author) about how the team seemed to have no real direction for years and years, just floating around the league aimless. But now you can at least see what they are TRYING to do: running as much as anyone else, counting on their front to keep games close, and relying on their mobile quarterback to make a handful of big plays each game. It may not be a good plan, but at least it IS a plan, and in Tennessee that's an improvement.

Cian Fahey: It's a plan that works away from their greatest strength, the extremely talented franchise quarterback.

Tom Gower: That was Rivers' essay. They had a little bit more of a plan than that -- a very clear one in 2013, really, to run the ball as well as possible and grind out games. It worked to the tune of 7-9, about where I thought it did. Facing the easiest schedule in the AFC (based on 2015 DVOA, and I didn't run NFC numbers so it might be easiest in the league), it has a real chance of working out the same way in 2016. The only difference will be, 7-9 in 2013 got Mike Munchak fired, whereas going 7-9 in 2016 will draw Mike Mularkey hosannahs from people who really should know better. But if it sells tickets, it'll be a success at St. Thomas Sports Park.

Aaron Schatz: Wow. The Packers traded up! I feel like I just saw a solar eclipse or something. They take Jason Spriggs, tackle from Indiana, which is a useful pick for them with four starting linemen set to be free agents in 2017. But can he sing a capella?

Rob Weintraub: And the Bengals didn't, and lose out on both Thomas and Shepard. But hey, they traded up for Bodine!

Vince Verhei: Interesting developments in the second round. Green Bay trades up for Spriggs. Seattle then trades up for the next pick, and I figure they're going for Whitehair, by far the highest-rated O-lineman left. Somebody on Twitter, though, says they're trying to steal a player from Atlanta, the team they just jumped in front of. Indeed, Seattle takes Jarran Reed, a monster defensive tackle who is a perfect replacement for Brandon Mebane in their scheme -- which of course is the same scheme Atlanta uses. And with Reed off their board, Atlanta promptly trades down.

Amobi Okoye is announcing picks? Is this the best retired Texans draftee they can find? (Thinks.) Well, maybe it was.

Tom Gower: Per Adam Schefter, Okoye is contemplating coming out of retirement. When they started with the "legends" picks last year, I want to say it was safety Eric Brown. At least non-Texans fans are familiar with Okoye, if only because he was drafted at 19.

Aaron Schatz: Christian Hackenberg to the Jets, because of course. That pick makes me so sad that the draft is not in New York this year.

Cian Fahey: Some self-centered plugs here:

When I wrote about Carson Wentz, I wrote about what we should look for in an NFL quarterback and what the NFL actually looks for.

I also wrote about how height is overvalued and explained why the evidence to back up the importance of height is warped.

Posting these links in response to the New York Jets taking Christian Hackenberg in the second round of the draft. If Hackenberg can go that high with his college tape, it proves that college tape isn't really that important to the NFL.

Sterling Xie: So the Jets pass on Paxton Lynch because they supposedly don't want to take another developmental quarterback after drafting Bryce Petty last year. And now they take Hackenberg? Can't imagine he's ready to play after the nightmare last two seasons he endured at Penn State. Ryan Fitzpatrick has to be wondering what he did to piss off everyone in Florham Park so much last year.

Tom Gower: Yes, that would've been something. Maybe the Bears can take Connor Cook. At least I have more company in misery, though. Schadenfreude is all I have left at this point, anyway.

Rob Weintraub: Falcons fans: "We're sick of you not drafting any SEC players!"

Falcons: "We'll show you!"

Aaron Schatz: Well, the Arizona Cardinals can't have ALL of them.

Rob Weintraub: Looks like Tyler Boyd and not Billings or Bullard for Cincy. I can see it -- really can't wait and there are more DL types to come later.

Tom Gower: Agent Mike McCartney tweeted a really good point earlier, that some NFL teams are really focused on physical tools and others are much more focused on collegiate production. The Titans are clearly a production team, as Dodd and Henry suggest. Cleveland, on the other hand, has taken some much more toolsy players in Playmaker Score and SackSEER's top players at their position.

Aaron Schatz: Bengals now lead the league in Tylers. Eifert, Kroft, Boyd. Taylor Mays is an honorary Tyler.

Rob Weintraub: Yes he returned the $50 to Vanna and dumped the "a." I understand Steven Tyler has been invited to sing the National Anthem at the home opener.

Tough to tell with this ESPN broadcast, but I think the Bucs just traded up to take Aguayo.

Vince Verhei: Yes, yes, yes they did. Gave up a third and a fourth for the rights to Aguayo, I believe. I don't even know what to say.

Aaron Schatz: Well, Mike Nugent was totally worth a second-round pick for the Jets back in 2005, right? Right? Uh... right?

Rob Weintraub: When Aguayo is your guy-o, you gotta trade up to get him.

Tom Gower: I really, really, REALLY thought Nugent would be the last kicker ever selected in the second round. The Buccaneers gave up third- and fourth-round picks to prove me wrong.

Aaron Schatz: I also want to know who the Bucs thought they were moving up in front of. The Patriots? The Panthers? The Broncos? Maybe the Panthers, I guess? Tennessee? Just... what the hell?

Vince Verhei: And EARLY third- and fourth-rounders, No. 74 and No. 106.

Rob Weintraub: My literary agent just told me one of his other clients is publishing a book about the expansion 0-26 Bucs. We now have an epilogue. Everything old is new again!

Sterling Xie: Second-round defensive backs have gone quite poorly for the Patriots during the Belichick era (Terrence Wheatley, Ras-I Dowling, Tavon Wilson, Darius Butler, etc.). The Pats had a lot of problems finding a slot corner last year, and Jones' size probably limits him to the inside. Don't necessarily dislike this -- I like small corners who play bigger than their size, and Butler and Ryan are both free agents after this season (though Butler is restricted). Think Billings or Bell would've been a better value; I'm expecting the Pats to add a lot of defensive depth here with all their free agents after 2016 on that side of the ball.

Aaron Schatz: Jones led all corners at the combine in 3-cone. Bill Belichick worships at the altar of the 3-cone. At least this time he didn't use a second-round pick on a player every other team had going in the seventh.

Vince Verhei: I thought that was Al Davis?

Aaron Schatz: The Saints take safety Vonn Bell, as the Patriots' trade the Arizona second-rounder for picks in the third and fourth rounds. That's two nice defensive additions for the Saints, along with a wide receiver. After setting the all-time record for worst defensive DVOA, I'm a little shocked the Saints are taking ANY offensive players tonight. I figured they would go all defense.

Rob Weintraub: Look for a shitload of Cyrus Jones/Isaiah Thomas comparisons in the Commonwealth...

Vince Verhei: Oh look, Jacksonville added another edge rusher. Just getting weapons all over the place.

Tom Gower: Jacksonville: improves secondary in need of talent in fusion with one of best players in draft, adds one of best players in draft (if healthy) at position of need, drafts badly-needed edge rusher. Really liking this draft.

Aaron Schatz: Ravens follow up a pass rusher SackSEER didn't like (Kamalei Correa) with a pass rusher SackSEER loved (Bronson Kaufusi).

Cian Fahey: Correa is more of an Upshaw guy I think.

Rob Weintraub: Main problem with Kaufusi is age (went on Mormon mission) and inconsistency.

Tom Gower: As a potential rusher, though, I like him more than Correa, who reminded me (and others) of Kyle Van Noy. Not really a rusher, maybe an edge-setter and drop linebacker. Like Van Noy, a second-rounder and I see it but I didn't see it.

Kenyan Drake to the Dolphins in the third round. That's an awful interesting RB3 for this draft, since I don't trust that he's more than a gadget-type and Miami got Jay Ajayi last year because his knees could go at any time.

Alex Flanagan and Michael Irvin are our between-picks entertainment/Not The Oscars hosts tonight again.

The biggest moment of last year's draft was when Jim Kelly was up on stage and got a standing ovation, including from media. Nothing's come close to that tonight. The loudest moment was the dueling "Go Pack Go" versus booing Bears fans when Green Bay was on the clock. Bears fans have been energetic at times, but I don't think there's enough of a critical mass, and they're not ... abrasive enough to make it a huge scene. With the Bears making their third-round pick and quite likely the final one of the night, the crowd is starting to really thin out. It's not as bad as it was last year, when by the end of the third round everybody in the upper balcony had been allowed to move down into the lower level to make the crowd there look decent for TV shots.

Rob Weintraub: Cleveland drafts its second Coleman, Shon, the leukemia survivor from Auburn. If there is a Tyler Coleman out there, the Battle of Ohio will take on a new intensity.

Aaron Schatz: I love Houston's decision to take Braxton Miller with pick 85. A lot of upside there, and they won't be depending on him right away because they took Fuller in the first round.

Tom Gower: The other thing about that is Houston badly, badly needed an element of explosive playmaking. Now they've added Fuller and Braxton in the draft, and previously added Lamar Miller in free agency. If Brock Osweiler is any good and Duane Brown is out there, that offense should be significantly improved in 2016. Going to be a really fun race for the top of the AFC South while the Titans try to keep it close and go 7-9.

Vince Verhei: Yeah, that's my biggest takeaway from this draft, most of the teams in the AFC South are getting a lot better. And the Titans play there too.

Ben Muth: Was at the Dallas Stars game so I'm catching up. Holy shit, did the Bucs trade up for a kicker?! They should fold the franchise and hang the GM.

Cian Fahey: Mike Tannenbaum can't be accused of deceiving anyone in Miami. He's doing exactly what he did in New York with the Jets.

Rob Weintraub: Meanwhile, Utah State has linebackers drafted back-to-back, Nick Vigil to the Bengals and Kyler Fackrell to the Packers. Who knew the Aggies were Linebacker U?

(Seems like a repeat/mea culpa of last year's Bengals No. 3, Paul Dawson)

Vince Verhei: The Seahawks and Bobby Wagner knew.

Rob Weintraub: Vigil's older brother is in the NFL too -- Miami, I think?

Tom Gower: I don't quite follow how the Browns' selection of Cody Kessler in the third round fits with their apparent philosophy, given drafting a quarterback after the third round is generally not expected to yield a starter and Kessler is, well, maybe not that talented.

Cian Fahey: If the Browns are smart they have deferred all quarterback decisions to Hue. Would presume that's the head coach making that pick.

Rob Weintraub: Hue still tight with the Trojans program. Surprised USC didn't name him Athletic Director.

Sterling Xie: Looks like Jacoby Brissett is the next Kevin O'Connell/Ryan Mallett/Jimmy Garoppolo. Not a terrible idea to take another quarterback with Brady probably suspended, but the Patriots tend to not get great return from these Day Two quarterbacks.

Aaron Schatz: Brissett didn't even complete 60 percent of his passes in college and started only two years. That does not seem very good to me, unless North Carolina State was somehow the only team in college that never ran wide receiver screens.

Vince Verhei: Don't forget the start of Brissett's career with Florida.

Seahawks' first three picks in the draft (OT Ifedi, DT Reed, RB Prosise) all make sense and fit needs, especially if Thomas Rawls was a half-season wonder. Nick Vannett is obviously not a need at tight end, but seems to be great value for where he was taken. And they wrap up with Odhiambo, who seems like the kind of mixed-bag offensive line prospect you'd expect at the end of the third round, but still could end up starting given Seattle's other options. I'd have liked another blocker, but that's a pretty impressive haul for a team that didn't have a lot of holes coming into the draft.

Tom Gower: I'm still depressed about what the Titans did, especially compared to what Houston and Jacksonville did. I didn't expect Day 2 to yield immediate starters, but nothing makes Marcus Mariota better, and nothing makes a defense that struggles to make game-changing plays more explosive.

Mike Tannenbaum as your general manager is still Mike Tannenbaum as your general manager.

I think a lot of the player/scheme/value fits are best left on Twitter, especially because I don't know as much and haven't studied these players nearly as closely as real draftniks have. But, yeah, Hackenberg in the second round stands out as unconventional, especially because, well, it's hard to see him as a 2016 starter and that was the Jets' big need. So, yay, re-signing Fitzmagic? How does that room shake out with Petty, whom they traded up to pick last year, and Geno Smith?

Looking over the list of picks, I think I like what Oakland did. Joseph I got into after Day 1, good player. Jihad Ward and Shilique Calhoun in the second and third is a good pair of defensive linemen and good values. Austin Hooper is Matt Waldman's TE1, and Atlanta has not yet found their Tony G replacement (even as just a starter, not suggesting Hooper will be what Tony G was).

Kudos to the Ohio State Buckeyes for having half their team picked in the first two rounds.

Scott Kacsmar: Wait, Tampa Bay did what? Even if kickers are a little more important now with the rules for touchbacks and extra points, what the hell? Connor Barth did fine last year, but this is the "stats are for losers" franchise.

Jimmy Garoppolo aside, Patriots have wasted way too many of these picks on quarterbacks over the years. I don't get that one, though it's probably not as absurd as Kevin O'Connell or Ryan Mallett. They should be adding someone who can help Tom Brady, not someone who will hold his tablet and never replace him.

I still don't know what to list as the Jets' top quarterback asset when you're talking about Geno Smith, Christian Hackenberg, and Bryce Petty. What a mess. If Paxton Lynch is a legit starter, the Jets are going to be a big loser in this one.

Very amusing that Connor Cook will be a fourth-round pick at best. I woke up Friday to read an odd comment from Mel Kiper that if Cook had Kirk Cousins' intangibles, he would have been a top 10 pick this year. I'm sorry, but what? Kirk Cousins had Kirk Cousins' intangibles, unless these non-measurable traits magically grew last year, and he was a fourth-round backup. He also had a better completion percentage and YPA than Cook. You can't tell me the physical differences between the two at Michigan State were that glaring, and NFL teams seemed to have agreed. Cook will be at best a fourth-round pick, and a backup. I don't see a "You like that!?" stretch of play in his future either.

I called Tyler Boyd to the Bengals about 10 picks before they were up. That's a good, and very necessary move. He's hardly Larry Fitzgerald, but should be the best non-A.J. Green receiver they have had in the Andy Dalton era. Unfortunately, rookie receivers hardly ever have an impact on a Super Bowl team, but the Bengals are just trying to get that elusive playoff win first. This pick is for the long-term.

Updated this chart I made before the night started. It's from our draft guide on Insider. Always a debate on best player available vs. need, but I think it's impossible not to merge the two together when making the pick. In the first round, it's even more important to hit on a player you actually have a role planned for. Can take more chances in the later rounds where the odds of hitting on a starter begin to tank. In the first round, 30 teams made a pick and 14 of them drafted what we deemed to be their biggest need, so like most things in draft analysis, it's about 50/50. Clearly the Tunsil slide had a few ramifications on the first half of the round. In the second round, 28 teams made a pick and seven went for their biggest need while six more picked up their quiet need.

Note: ARI/KC/LARM/NE/PHI only made one pick through two rounds, but the first third-round pick for KC (CB KeiVarae Russell), ARI (CB Brandon Williams), and NE (OG Joe Thuney) each satisfied a listed need.

Twenty teams used picks in the first two rounds to acquire their biggest need. Broncos and Saints followed us to a tee. Not to toot our own horns here, but it just shows that informed people can look at a team's roster and pinpoint the weakness, and teams do a considerable amount of need-based drafting to attack those spots with premium picks. I don't think we saw too many "BPA" choices this year. Tunsil was one for Miami for obvious reasons, Mackensie Alexander slid to the Vikings, and I think Carolina's selection of Butler was another luxury pick. Chicago's draft seems questionable to me, and obviously we talked a lot about Dallas already. I said I hate what the Eagles did more than any team, though Tennessee is pretty close at this point.

Posted by: Andrew Potter on 30 Apr 2016

35 comments, Last at 03 May 2016, 4:03pm by dmstorm22

Comments

1
by Dan :: Sat, 04/30/2016 - 10:59am

I liked the Bears' day 2. Whitehair was a plausible option at 41 (though he didn't fill a need), and the Bears managed to trade down twice, pick up 3 extra 4ths, and take him at 56. Bullard fills a need and was a nice value at 72. It's interesting that audibles mentioned both players as good options for other teams a good bit before the Bears took them.

7
by Steve in WI :: Sat, 04/30/2016 - 10:42pm

Yeah, I thought the Bears did okay with the draft as a whole. I don't know enough about the players to talk specifics but in terms of the positions there were no real head scratchers. Whitehead does surprise me a little because I thought with Kyle Long back at guard, tackle was a bigger need. Slauson is getting older though. I'm not surprised at them targeting O-line though because even with the free agent signings they are far from set.

I'm happy they stayed away from drafting a QB (being able to pick up Hoyer as a backup for a year was a nice bonus the way things shook out) and that they waited until today to take a running back.

8
by Dan :: Sat, 04/30/2016 - 11:14pm

I didn't like their day 1 (I wished they'd taken Tunsil, and didn't like the trade-up), but I really liked their day 2. Their day 3 seemed fine - hard for me to evaluate the players, but according to predraft boards their three 4th rounders were all slight reaches and their three 5-7th rounders were all good values.

QBs drafted outside the top 40 rarely amount to anything, so it would be weird to evaluate a draft based on whether or not a team drafted a midround QB prospect (unless an amazingly good prospect like Russell Wilson happens to fall, which was not the case this year). Looks like they landed Hoyer for $2M, which is a reasonable price for a backup.

11
by Karl Cuba :: Sun, 05/01/2016 - 12:42pm

I think the Bears did pretty well; NFL.com listed 37 players with a grade above 6.0 and the Bears got four of them (Floyd, Whitehair, Bullard and Howard).

20
by Dan :: Sun, 05/01/2016 - 11:05pm

Now they've cut Matt Slauson, which makes their day 2 look worse. Slauson was an above average guard on a reasonable salary ($2.9M per year for the next 2 seasons). If drafting Whitehair means cutting Slauson, then I would have rather seen them take someone like Mackensie Alexander or Jarran Reed at 49 rather than trading down to get Whitehair and a 4th minus Slauson.

21
by Steve in WI :: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 2:30am

I don't get cutting Slauson. It does make the Whitehair pick more understandable (when they made it, I thought "wait, Long is back at guard and they've got Slauson, so where's Whitehair going to play?") but it puts a lot more pressure on him. If he's not ready to start or if there are significant injuries on the line, they're going to miss Slauson I think. Seems like he was cheap enough to keep, too.

2
by jtr :: Sat, 04/30/2016 - 12:48pm

Third round DL Javon Hargrave (South Carolina St) represents an interesting philosophy shift for the Steelers. At 6'1" 309 lbs, he doesn't squarely fit into any of their traditional 3-4 lineman roles. They have traditionally liked their 5-tech ends to be around 6'5" and their nose tackles to be very beefy. He also doesn't look like on tape a two-gap clogger, instead he penetrates gaps to blow up the play in the backfield. I think the Steelers are finally realizing that they have a role for that kind of player; as play slants more and more toward nickel and sub packages, the Steelers are increasingly asking their linemen to attack gaps and rush the passer rather than clog up the line of scrimmage in the base package. They might have him play the nose in the base, since NT has been a weakness since Casey Hampton retired, but ultimately they took him to rotate with Heyward and Tuitt as interior pass rushers in the nickel. They've been slowly coming to a more modern defensive philosophy the past few years.

3
by mehllageman56 :: Sat, 04/30/2016 - 6:39pm

There is a pass rushing formula floating around on the internet, wherein players that score above 1.05 in a explosive power equation usually end up as 10 sack a year guys. I could link to a page on Footballs Future later that has it. I did the formulas for a couple of players, and the only one who passed the explosive power method was Hargrave. He had 29.5 sacks the last two years playing as a nose tackle.
He's going to do well in Pittsburgh.

By the way, Kamalei Correa and James Cowser succeeded on the other big formula, twitch. I sent all this info to the New York Jets email page. Of course they didn't act on it.

Sorry if the font is weird.

4
by mehllageman56 :: Sat, 04/30/2016 - 6:48pm

Also have to comment on the Jet's foolishness in this draft. Lee is fine, he'll be good behind those three behemoths, but then... The Jets have drafted two of the worst QB prospects according to this site in back to back years. They've drafted outside linebacker prospects who don't do well in Sackseer (granted, Sackseer isn't perfect). They traded a pick for next year to draft an offensive lineman (don't know much about him), and then drafted a punter. The only thing that could keep MacCagnan and Bowles in New York past 2017 is Geno Smith deciding he's Kirk Cousins. There's a saying that teams should draft a quarterback every year. But MacCagnan came from a team that hasn''t groomed a quarterback in the draft since... never.

I can see them handing the keys to Hackenberg, he gets in the car with them in the back, Eastwood's on the pier, saying, "A man's got to know his limitations" and then everything blows up.

5
by MilkmanDanimal :: Sat, 04/30/2016 - 9:10pm

I love the Bucs' pickup of Noah Spence; he's some some burst to him, and him or Ogbah is what I wanted in the second round.

There were no other Buccaneers picks in the second round.

None.

I refuse to accept a reality where a team would (A) be dumb enough to trade multiple picks to (B) take a kicker in the second when (C) a quality prospect like safety Vonn Bell was right there filling a need and (D) I AM GOING TO GO DRINK MORE SCOTCH NOW.

6
by Steve in WI :: Sat, 04/30/2016 - 10:37pm

My sympathies. I don't get it either. The most inexplicable thing is: the Bucs thought someone else was going to grab him before their next pick in the 3rd? And they were that worried about losing him that giving up the picks was worth it? To me even a fourth-round pick on a kicker is a lot, and that goes double if you're a team that has a long way to go to be in a Super Bow discussion.

10
by dbostedo :: Sun, 05/01/2016 - 10:18am

I hadn't been paying much attention and just heard about this. People like to throw around the phrase "defies belief", but I had to look at it a couple of times to make sure I wasn't missing something.

It's so strange that I feel like there must be additional information we don't know... like aliens exist, have mind-control capability, and are big FSU fans (or really hate the Bucs).

12
by Karl Cuba :: Sun, 05/01/2016 - 12:43pm

Spence reminds me of Aldon Smith in several ways.

9
by t.d. :: Sun, 05/01/2016 - 3:05am

Jags added Malik Jackson, Tayshaun Gipson, and Prince Amakamura to the D, too. Could be a whole different unit

13
by justanothersteve :: Sun, 05/01/2016 - 1:14pm

I don't understand how you had OL as the Packers biggest need. They did need OL depth, but all five starters are returning and they are all good. Their interior defense was their biggest need (DL and ILB) and they addressed that with their first pick. I'd have also had OL as their quiet need because of their need for depth there; Sitton, Lang, and Bakhtiari are all going into the last year of their contracts. Going by that standard, they did address their top two needs with their first two picks.

WR wasn't a quiet need. They were hit badly with injuries at the position last year. Nelson was out the entire year. 2015 #3 pick Montgomery was out most of the year. He's their other speed guy. Adams was battling injuries all year. Cobb was playing through injuries. They still drafted a WR because I don't know if TT can finish a draft without taking one. (He has twice, but he did draft a TE in 2010 and 2012 is usually considered his worst draft by Packers fans.) I was happy Trevor Davis is a sub-4.5 40 guy. They needed more speed at WR.

14
by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 05/01/2016 - 2:27pm

Just to signal-boost myself, I wrote a bit on Bucs Nation doing some simple statistical analysis as to why drafting a kicker is utterly stupid:

http://www.bucsnation.com/2016/5/1/11549506/what-does-the-best-kicker-ev...

15
by jtr :: Sun, 05/01/2016 - 2:49pm

It's gotta suck to be Connor Barth. You had a a couple bad breaks on long field goals in 2015, but overall you're a solid kicker and you're feeling pretty good about your job. Then Tampa goes and makes the stupidest draft move in years and you're out on your ass.

Also, I'd love to play in Jason Licht's fantasy football league. I'll happily snap up Adrian Peterson after Licht passes him up for Blair Walsh.

16
by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 05/01/2016 - 4:46pm

Blair Walsh is TERRIBLE. He's only 10th in NFL history in FG%. He missed one kick, so they should cut the guy.

Connor Barth is even worse. He's only 13th in NFL history.

17
by Dan :: Sun, 05/01/2016 - 4:53pm

0.35 points per game is probably worth a 2nd rounder. According to a Grantland post linked in the recent post on East Coast Scheduling Bias (which the spam filter does not want me to link to or describe), very few players are worth more than 0.5 points per game. They only consider 7 non-QBs to be worth more than 0.5 points (though they only give estimates in increments of 0.5 points).

(Note: I am not arguing that it was a good pick.)

18
by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 05/01/2016 - 5:08pm

I would argue that 0.35 points would be potentially worth a 2nd rounder, except, with kickers, there's no need to draft at all. That 0.35 points is based on using the undrafted Dan Bailey as the baseline. If you go through PFR's draft history and select just kickers, it's not like that's the notable highlights of NFL kicking history.

Drafting that high is stupid not because having the best kicker in the league wouldn't be great, it's stupid because having the best kicker in the league doesn't require a draft pick. It requires inviting a bunch of guys to a camp where they kick the ball, and then choosing one of them. There's no reason to think doing that would give you worse odds at selecting a good kicker than drafting one.

24
by RickD :: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:16am

I think it's worth using a draft pick for a kicker, but certainly not a high one. Gostkowski was taken in the 4th round, and that seems fine. Janikowski was taken in the first round, and that was certainly too early.

You can get a serviceable kicker by simply having free agents show up for tryouts, but to get a good kicker, I think you need to draft one. Or get lucky and find Adam Vinatieri as an UDFA.

27
by tuluse :: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:51am

Did you read the article? You can certainly get a good kicker as an UDFA.

(He did ignore kickoffs though)

29
by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:55am

Yeah, no. Just to briefly recap the writeup, 8 of the 10 most accurate kickers in 2015 and 7 of the most accurate kickers in NFL history were UDFAs. The Cowboys' Dan Bailey is by far the most accurate FG kicker ever, and wasn't drafted.

I was actually doing a bit more poking around this morning, and Roberto Aguayo is actually the third-most accurate kicker in college history. The second-most? Alex Henery, who got drafted, played three years, and is already out of the league. Gostowski is a great kicker (3rd in NFL history), but the fact he's a great kicker has nothing to do with the fact he was drafted, and using him to justify drafting a kicker over a UDFA would be like saying "You should only draft QBs in the 6th round, because that's where Tom Brady got drafted".

19
by justanothersteve :: Sun, 05/01/2016 - 10:53pm

Nicely done. I doubt most people will get that you paint the best case scenario and that anyone but that best case will not be worth it.

22
by Kyndynos :: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 9:30am

Apparently, the MMQB thinks that the Titans are following The Patriot Way. As a Patriots fan, I think that he needs to be sued for libel. http://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2016/04/30/nfl-titans-first-draft-under-jon-robi...

23
by Kaelik :: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 10:35am

They are following step 1 of the patriots way: Draft like a crazy drunken sailor and watch people make fun of you for constantly reaching while shuffling picks around like a magician with a deck of cards.

The main problem is that step 2 is coach and scheme all those drunken sailor reaches into high level talent. Something Belichick can do, and Mularkey can't.

Also step 0: Luck into a Hall of Fame Quarterback without knowing at all what you are doing is pretty important too.

25
by RickD :: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:20am

I think Belichick knew what he was doing when he drafted Brady. He kept him on the roster even that meant carrying four QBs his rookie season. Few teams keep more than three QBs - the Pats usually keep only two.

And people gloss over the fact that Brady didn't start his career as a Manning-level QB. He learned how to play the game from somebody.

26
by Will Allen :: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:30am

Belichik got Brady into practices, saw what the potential was, and thus decided to keep 4 qbs on the roster, and Belichik desrves credit for that. He also obviously deserves huge credit for aiding in Brady's development. If he had strongly suspected Brady's potential prior to the draft, however, he wouldn't have risked somebody else taking him prior to 199.

28
by tuluse :: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:53am

Also, if he really believed in Brady, he would have just kept 2 or 3 and he would have been one of them. The identification of Brady's talent and subsequent development is a huge credit to Bellichick and the Patriot's organization, but we don't have to re-write history to turn them into fortune tellers.

30
by Arkaein :: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:22pm

The fact that he kept 4 QBs seems to say more about what he thought of Brady after having him in camp than when he drafted him.

It's been said countless times, but anyone who has any inkling that Brady could become what he is, no one risks him slipping to the 6th, not matter what the general draft consensus says. It only takes one other team to ruin plans around getting a great sleeper pick.

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by Kaelik :: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 1:26pm

As others have already pointed out. Belichick and the Patriots were almost certainly higher on Brady than anyone else, and they certainly helped him develop into what he is. But if anyone in the Patriots organization actually thought they were getting a HoF QB, they wouldn't have risked losing him to someone else in the 5th and 6th rounds, even if it looked like most or all teams had no idea how good he was. No one sits on their 4th and 5th round picks not picking a HoF QB because they want to maximize their efficiency.

The patriots drafted Brady like the Cowboys drafted Dak Prescott, he's someone they think might turn into something, but is more likely to be worthless. And if Prescott is the next HoF QB, that will be a triumph of the Cowboys organization, but it will also mean they lucked into a HoF QB without having any idea what they were getting.

32
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 2:44pm

"No one sits on their 4th and 5th round picks not picking a HoF QB because they want to maximize their efficiency."

It's really, really rare, and usually requires exceptional circumstances. In the NHL, the Red Wings took Lidstrom in the 3rd round and Federov in the 4th, knowing no one else knew about Lidstrom (small Swedish team) and no one thought Federov could get over the Iron Curtain.

They spent the first two rounds on North Americans, knowing no one else would draft either in the early rounds.

33
by Kaelik :: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 5:57pm

While I don't know off the top of my head how many picks versus candidates there were in the NHL at that time versus the NFL, but my point stands.

I'm not saying that if they knew exactly what Brady would be, they have to spend a 1st round pick on him, or even a second, or even a third.

I'm saying you don't need take Dave Stachelski a TE, in the 5th round, before taking Brady. You don't take Marriott in the 5th and Antwan Harris in the 6th over Brady because you can't possibly be that sure that no one else in the entire league will have a slightly correct evaluation, and take a flier at pick 190.

You don't risk missing out on a hall of fame QB because you really need that 6th round CB to be efficient. Obviously the patriots had a better evaluation than anyone else, but it doesn't change that while everyone else's evaluation was 99% wrong, the Patriots evaluation was still 95% wrong.

35
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 05/03/2016 - 4:03pm

Same point holds for Lidstrom.

If they knew he was going to become a generational defenseman, they probably don't wait. It was strategic in a way, but even they, just like New England, probably didn't know what type of transformational talent they had.

34
by Will Allen :: Tue, 05/03/2016 - 1:34pm

As the inanity of grading a draft, that just occurred, proceeds, refelect on this, per PFT....

"As it turned out, players in the (1st round) 2013 draft had basically a 50-50 chance of working out: Of the 32 players taken in the first round, 17 had their fifth-year options picked up, 12 had their options declined, one has already been cut, one has already agreed to a new contract and one is currently suspended and has no option to pick up.

The Top 10 of the draft was a little worse than the next 22; five of the top 10 picks didn’t have their options picked up, and Dion Jordan, the third overall pick, is suspended."

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/category/rumor-mill/