Hindsight NFL Draft Report: 2016

2016 NFL Draft was four years ago, which means the guys drafted outside the first round are mostly eligible for free agency for the first time. Guys like Yannick Ngakoue, Chris Jones, Dak Prescott, all of whom were franchise tagged.

As part of MIKEDROPSPORTS hindsight draft report series, we look back at the 2016 Draft and laugh at some of the awful decisions and remember some of the key trades.

Best Quarterback is…?

Let’s start with the most important position in the NFL – QB. Jared Goff was the #1 pick. Carson Wentz was the #2 pick. Dak Prescott was the #135 pick.

Titans and Browns were originally on the clock at 1 and 2, but both teams opted to move back and allow the Rams and Eagles, respectively, to jump up and snag their QBs of the future.

What was the price to move up? Well these two trades ultimately consisted of 16 trades, involving 15 teams and 47 players across four different drafts.

Goff helped lead the Rams to Super Bowl XLIII. Wentz was on pace to be the regular season MVP in 2017, before going down with a knee injury. He helped build such a strong team, that even without him, the Eagles made it to Super Bowl XLII, where they beat the Patriots.

Both QBs are very good, and in hindsight, you could make an argument that either one could have been the #1 pick. But you could also make an argument for Dak Prescott.

Jared GoffCarson WentzDak Prescott
Draft Pick12135
Pass Touchdowns 87 97 97
Rush Touchdowns6321
Interceptions423536
Passing Yards14,21914,19115,778
Completion %62.4%62.8%65.80%
Regular season record33-2132-2440-24
Playoff record2-20-11-2

Cowboys’ first choice at QB

You could argue that Dak is better than both Goff and Wentz. But you can’t argue that the Cowboys did bother than they planned.

The 2015 season was a debacle for the Cowboys. Tony Romo was injured and Dallas won just 4 games. The plan for 2016 and beyond was to get Romo healthy, add some weapons around him and run it back. But they did intend to draft a QB at some point during this draft so they could potentially groom Romo’s successor, or at least develop a backup better than Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, or Kellen Moore (who all made starts in place of Romo).

Cowboys reportedly wanted Paxton Lynch as their first choice. Connor Cook was second.

Lynch started 2 games in 2016 and 2 more in 2017 for the Broncos and is out of the NFL. Cook made one career start, a playoff game in 2016 where the Raiders lost to the Texans.

Wide Receiver Debacle

Four wide receivers were drafted in the first round – Corey Coleman (#15, Browns), Will Fuller (#21, Texans), Josh Doctson (#22, Redskins), Laquon Treadwell (#23, Vikings).

Those 4 have combined for 31 career TD catches.

Saints WR Michael Thomas was drafted in the second round (#47 overall) and has 32 career TD catches.

Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill also has 32 career TD catches. Hill was drafted in the fifth round (#165 overall).

Draft Regrets

In hindsight, these 7 teams should have drafted someone else at the position they drafted in the first round

  • Giants drafted Eli Apple #10, Bucs drafted Vernon Hargreaves #11 over Xavien Howard (#38 to Dolphins)
  • Saints drafted DT Sheldon Rankins #12 over Chris Jones (#37 to Chiefs)
  • Raiders draft S Karl Joseph #14 over Kevin Byard (#64 to Titans)
  • Browns draft Corey Coleman #15 over Michael Thomas (#47 to Saints)
  • Jets draft LB Darron Lee #20 over Jaylon Smith (#34 to Cowboys)
  • Texans drafted WR Will Fuller #21 over Tyreek Hill (#165 to Chiefs)
  • Broncos draft QB Paxton Lynch #27 over Dak Prescott (#135 to Cowboys)

2016 All-Draft Team

QB – Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz
RB – Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry
FB – Andy Janovich
WR – Michael Thomas, Tyreek Hill, Tyler Boyd, Will Fuller
TE – Hunter Henry, Austin Hooper

OT – Ronnie Stanley
OG – Joe Thuney
C – Ryan Kelly
OG – Cody Whitehair
OT – Laremy Tunsil

CB – Jalen Ramsey, Xavien Howard
S – Justin Simmons, Kevin Byard
DL – Joey Bosa, DeForest Buckner, Yannick Ngakoue, Chris Jones
LB – Jaylon Smith, LB – Myles Jack, Nick Kwiatkoski, Joe Schobert

Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

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