2016 NFL Draft: The best and worst picks of Round 1

By Dane Brugler, The Sports Xchange
Cleveland Brows fans cheer as Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman is announced as the 15th overall pick by the Browns in the 2016 NFL Draft on April 28, 2016 in Chicago. Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
Cleveland Brows fans cheer as Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman is announced as the 15th overall pick by the Browns in the 2016 NFL Draft on April 28, 2016 in Chicago. Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

IRVING, Texas – The true grades from the 2016 NFL Draft won't be known until a few years down the road, after this year's prospects have shown what they can do on the field as professionals. But here is an initial look at five of the best picks from Thursday's first round ... and three selections that weren't my favorites.

Five best picks from Round One:

1. Los Angeles Rams - Jared Goff, QB, California (1st overall)

Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
We knew this was coming, but that doesn't lessen the impact of the selection. Although it cost a bevy of draft picks to trade up for Goff, the Rams drafted the best quarterback in this class and a passer who gives the franchise a fresh face for the transition to Los Angeles, along with a player who might be the missing ingredient to reach the playoffs.

With Case Keenum in place, Goff won't be pressed into action from Day One, but he will certainly have the opportunity to win the starting job in training camp. It is a great situation for the former Cal passer, who stays in his home state and will have the luxury of handing off to Todd Gurley, one of the best backs in the NFL. Time will tell if the Rams made the right move, but right now, the they are winners.

2. Dallas Cowboys - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State (4th overall)

Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
For Dallas, it came down to Elliott and Jalen Ramsey as the top two players on the draft board. Ramsey seemed to be the favorite leading up until draft day, but the voices for Elliott proved to be the loudest as he is the newest Cowboys running back.

Yes, Darren McFadden rushed for 1,089 yards in 2015 and the Cowboys signed Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar earlier this offseason. However, Elliott is a clear upgrade in that backfield and no player at the fourth pick will help score more points than Zeke.


3. Miami Dolphins - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss (13th overall)

Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
Arguably the most talented player in the 2016 class, Tunsil tumbled down the draft board due to character concerns, and Miami ended up getting a steal. In one of the most bizarre twists in NFL Draft history, a scathing video of Tunsil was leaked just minutes before the start of the first round. NFL teams had their concerns before the video leak, but who knows if the video played a part in 12 teams passing on the talented tackle.

Tunsil isn't viewed as a bad person necessarily, but his decision-making and situations with his family have been a question mark for NFL teams, which is why both Ronnie Stanley and Jack Conklin were drafted ahead of him. However, this could end up being a steal for the Dolphins, who probably didn't think Tunsil would be an option earlier in the day.

4. Cleveland Browns - Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor (15th overall)

Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
Aside from quarterback, the top need for the Browns' organization was a playmaking wide receiver who defenses have to account for on each play. And Coleman fits that description. When talking to NFL scouts about the Baylor receiver, the name Steve Smith would constantly come up, which is obviously a large compliment.

Coleman arrived at Baylor in 2012, just as Robert Griffin III was leaving Waco for the NFL. But now he will be catching touchdowns from the former Bear in Cleveland. The Browns desperately needed a playmaker and they now have one.

5. Minnesota Vikings - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss (23rd overall)

Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
The Vikings stayed put at the 23rd spot and were able to steal arguably the best wide receiver in the draft. Treadwell instantly upgrades the Vikings' offense and is the physical possession target that is ideal for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. And for offensive coordinator Norv Turner, he has his version of Michael Irvin, who he had as the offensive coordinator in Dallas two decades ago.

When this process started four months ago, few thought Treadwell would be the fourth receiver drafted, but lack of speed pushed him down the draft board. And the Vikings are just fine with that because he better fits what they need on offense.


RELATED PHOTOS: Highlights from the 2016 NFL Draft

Three worst picks from Round One:

1. Chicago Bears - Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia (9th overall)

The Bears deserve credit for trading up two spots, jumping the New York Giants at No. 10, to get their guy. However, drafting Floyd in the top 10 is a risky move. The Bears desperately need pass rush and the Georgia linebacker has the athletic traits that are very appealing with his edge speed, flexibility and length. However, Floyd isn't a power player and once blockers get their hands on him, they have been able to shut him down.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers - Artie Burns, CB, Miami (25th overall)

Many thought Houston cornerback William Jackson was the target for the Steelers at pick No. 25, but division foe Cincinnati plucked him off the board at pick No. 24. So Pittsburgh went with the next best option in Burns. There is no question that the Steelers need cornerback help, but Burns feels like a reach at this point in the draft. Yes, he was the next best corner on their board, but also graded as a second round player for most teams around the league.


3. San Francisco 49ers - Josh Garnett, OG, Stanford (28th overall)

The Niners doubled up on Pac-12 players in the first round with DeForest Buckner at No. 7 overall and then trading back into round one for Garnett at pick No. 28. San Francisco traded its second-, fourth- and sixth-round draft picks, which is a fair price to get back into round one. However, the 49ers' target was the head-scratcher here. Garnett is a solid player and projects as a starting NFL guard, but there is a good chance he would have still been on the board at pick No. 37. We'll never know for sure.

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