The true winners and losers of the NFL Draft

The first round of the 2016 NFL Draft kicked off on April 28 in the windy city of Chicago. All the months of planning by teams and speculation by analysts comes down to those three nights. Players hoping to become overnight millionaires and fans alike gathered in the Radio City Music Hall where their futures were changed forever. 

The NFL Draft is about getting what you need, whether that’s a franchise quarterback or a defensive end, and the possibilities are endless. The draft is a gamble though, which means there’s guaranteed to be some winners and losers.

Winners

Prior to the draft, the Los Angeles Rams traded the Tennessee Titans for the number one overall pick in the draft. With this pick the Rams drafted Jared Goff out of Cal Berkeley, choosing the California native over North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz. The Rams are getting the top-rated quarterback in the 2016 draft class who the team can look to in the future to be the face of their new Los Angeles franchise.

The Broncos traded up during the draft in order to get quarterback Paxton Lynch out of Memphis. While the Broncos were smart to trade up for this pick, the true winner here is Lynch. Lynch comes to the Broncos right after their Super Bowl win and Peyton Manning retiring with only Mark Sanchez to beat out for the starting job.

Losers

The first round of the draft had only 31 picks as opposed to its accustomed 32. The New England Patriots found themselves missing out of the first round due to one of the punishments following “Deflategate”. The controversy that rocked the Patriots after its AFC Championship win against the Indianapolis Colts will be felt in the first four games of the season as well when the team is without their star quarterback Tom Brady. Is this why the team went ahead and drafted a quarterback late in the draft, even though they have a backup in Jimmy Garappolo? Who knows.

Ryan Fitzpatrick of the New York Jets said this past week that he would rather quit football than accept the money the Jets were offering him for his new contract. With this on their minds, the Jets went and drafted quarterback Christian Hackenberg from Penn State. The idea to address their quarterback need was right, their pick in Hackenberg was wrong. His play the last two seasons has been average at best and, according to Sports Illustrated, the problems that need to be fixed in his play are going to take more than a season. If the Jets were planning on Hackenberg if Fitzpatrick doesn’t work out, then they are going to have a rough season.

Surprises

The San Diego Chargers had the third overall pick in the draft and surprised most analysts and teams alike with their pick of Joey Bosa. Bosa was one of the top rated defensive players in the draft despite drawing questions in the Combine for his subpar fitness. With the Chargers stereotypically running a 3-4 defense, the surprise comes in the fact that they would pick a defensive player not used to the scheme.

According to Sports Illustrated, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers surprised most around the league when they traded up in the draft to get the 59th pick. With many prominent players left on the board, the Bucs went ahead and drafted Roberto Aguayo, a kicker from Florida State. While kickers are needed, it’s very strange to draft one so high in the draft when you need to fill other positions on your team.

Disappointments

One of the biggest disappointments of the first round is Laremy Tunsil. Tunsil was rated as one of the top prospects in the 2016 draft but found himself slipping to the Miami Dolphins at the 13th pick due to a tweet and instagram photo that were posted during the draft.  The tweet shows Tunsil apparently smoking marijuana out of a gas mask while the Instagram post is a screenshot of a text message exchange between Tunsil and his coach about money for rent and other expenses. While both Tunsil and his agent said that the accounts were hacked, this case of cyberbullying wasn’t a good enough excuse for teams.

Coral Hasley
Staff Writer
Published May 4th, 2016