By: Brandon Blake
I am not a big fan of the whole who “won” or “lost” any draft because we never know how these players may turn out. Ideally, you give it about two to three years before you can say which team won or lost a draft. Nevertheless, here I am letting you know who I thought won and lost the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Cleveland Browns– The Browns are a team that needs a talent infusion in the worst way and what better way to accomplish this is to acquire numerous draft picks. In two trades, the Browns flipped the No.2 overall pick, a conditional fifth round pick and a sixth round pick into the 15th overall pick, two third round picks, a fourth round pick in 2016 and a first and second round pick in 2017 to go along with a 2018 second round pick. I like these moves for the Browns because their roster is depleted and going the direction of rebuilding this team via the draft is the wise move. If Cleveland hits on some of these picks then this draft haul will be worth it.
Tennessee Titans– I believed that the Titans when they had the No.1 overall pick, should have taken Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil so they can protect their franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota. But when the Titans traded out of that pick, I was left to wonder “who does the Titans pick?” Well, they ended up taking an offensive line at No.8 when they select Michigan State tackle Jack Conklin. The Titans, like other teams wanted no part of Tunsil and his “baggage” so they drafted the second best tackle in the draft. Which to me ends up being a solid pick for the Titans because they end up getting the offensive lineman needed to protect Mariota for years to come possibly.
Jacksonville Jaguars– Full Disclosure: I am a Jaguars fan so I am a little biased when I say they are one of the winners of the first night of the draft. However, they took the best defensive player in the draft in my opinion in Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey. He is a talent player that can play cornerback or safety and he fills a need for the Jags who were one of the worst defenses in the NFL last year. Combine him along with former first round pick Dante Fowler who is coming off a season ending injury last year, the Jags have the makings of a defense that looks to improve in 2016.
San Francisco- I think Stanford guard Joshua Garrett has the makings of being a fine NFL guard but the Forty-Niners trading a second, fourth and a sixth round pick to move up to 28th to pick a guard THAT high is a very steep price to pay for a Niners team that needs all the picks it can get to replenish their roster.
Media members who wanted to make an example out of Larmey Tunsil– Did Tunsil make a mistake by having a video of him smoking weed and taking money from Ole Miss boosters? Yes. However, he did acknowledge those mistakes and was upfront and honest about it. So I have a big problem with some in the media who criticize him for being honest. So instead of appreciating the honesty of this young man, some in the media wanted to criticize him for being honest? What?! That line of thinking makes zero sense to me going after him for being upfront about his transgressions. When will some in the media and the NFL focus our energy and efforts on more important items like “Why is a kid like Tunsil who made millions for the school he played for has to beg a coach for $300 to help his mother pay a light bill”. When will they start focusing on that?
Roger Goodell– Once again, Goodell reveals himself as being a tone-deaf, attention hound by saying that Tunsil incident last night was “exciting” I’m sorry Roger but I do not share your sentiments that seeing a kid be embarrassed in front of millions watching at home is “exciting”. If anything, this matter is a reminder that there are a lot of problems with the NCAA and NFL when it comes to what they deem important matters to them and recreational (non-PED) drug use is not one of them.