NFL Draft Round One Recap: Who Went Where, and Why?

Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Jared Goff (California) is selected by the Los Angeles Rams as the number one overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Jared Goff (California) is selected by the Los Angeles Rams as the number one overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /

The NFL Draft’s first round is in the books, so who went where, and why?

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The first day of the draft has come and gone, and what a weird day it was. Twitter videos took over the place before things even got started, and things only got more interesting as time went on. 31 rookies have officially been drafted, so let’s review which players went to which teams for what reasons.

Pick One – Los Angeles Rams pick Jared Goff (quarterback, Cal)

For a more detailed look at this selection, check here.

Pick Two – Philadelphia Eagles pick Carson Wentz (quarterback, North Dakota State)

Like the Rams, the Eagles traded a host of draft picks to move up to the top of the draft order in an effort to pick a quarterback of the future. They got their man in Wentz, but he is stuck with a couple big money quarterbacks on the Eagles’ roster. Sam Bradford just signed a two-year, $36 million dollar deal, and his backup, Chase Daniel has a three-year contract worth $21 million. That’s a lot of cash for a trio of quarterbacks.

Pick Three – San Diego Chargers pick Joey Bosa (defensive end, Ohio State)

Wow, I never saw Bosa getting picked here. I thought he would drop a bit, but the Chargers must not have felt that great about taking a tackle at this spot. Either way, the Chargers boost a defensive line that was very poor in 2015. They still have to figure out a way to block for quarterback Philip Rivers.

Pick Four – Dallas Cowboys pick Ezekiel Elliott (running back, Ohio State)

The best running back in the draft paired with possibly the best offensive line in football? Good luck NFC East. Add in Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris, and Lance Dunbar, and the Dallas offense looks lethal next year, as long as they aren’t playing with garbage at quarterback like they did last year. Zeke is the highest-selected running back since 2012, when Alabama’s Trent Richardson (barf noises) was taken third by the Cleveland Browns.

Pick Five – Jacksonville Jaguars pick Jalen Ramsey (cornerback, Florida State)

The Jaguars had a very good offense last season, and with most of their core still very young (Blake Bortles and Allen Hurns are 24 and Allen Robinson is 22) they can turn their attention to the defense, which was not that good. They took Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey to sure up a secondary that was abused last year. Ramsey is versatile and has been coined a “once-in-a-generation” talent in the defensive backfield. From the onset, it looks like Jacksonville made a great pick here.

Pick Six – Baltimore Ravens pick Ronnie Stanley (offensive tackle, Notre Dame)

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With Kelechi Osemele heading to Oakland, the Ravens really needed to stabilize that offensive line. Quarterback Joe Flacco suffered a torn ACL last season, so protecting him and that surgically-repaired knee was made top priority coming into the season. Stanley was seen as one of the top-two tackles in this class, and his clean off-field record could have been what pushed him over the top.

Pick Seven – San Francisco 49ers pick DeForest Buckner (defensive lineman, Oregon)

For a more detailed look at this selection, check here.

Pick Eight – Tennessee Titans pick Jack Conklin (offensive tackle, Michigan State)

The Titans made another trade to get back into the early part of the first round, and picked Michigan State’s tackle Jack Conklin. Meanwhile, Laremy Tunsil is still waiting, probably wanting to hit the bong. Tunsil was the supposed number-one pick before the trade, but now the Titans don’t even take him at eight. One 20-second video really hurts.

Pick Nine – Chicago Bears pick Leonard Floyd (linebacker, Georgia)

The Bears traded up with the Buccaneers to get to ninth, up just two spots from their initial 11th spot. Floyd joins a solid group of linebackers, including newcomer Danny Trevathan. That defense can be really good again.

Pick 10 – New York Giants pick Eli Apple (cornerback, Ohio State)

This was a pretty surprising pick considering some of the other guys on the board, but when you break it down, it makes perfect sense. Eli Apple and Eli Manning. Eli Apple in the Big Apple. Okay so maybe it doesn’t make sense but it happened nevertheless.

Pick 11 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers pick Vernon Hargreaves (cornerback, Florida)

This was probably the guy that New York should have taken at 10, but the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, or something like that. Puns aside, Tampa Bay gets a really, really good player here, and in the future, experts might look back and wonder why Hargreaves wasn’t taken at number 10.

Pick 12 – New Orleans Saints pick Sheldon Rankins (defensive tackle, Louisville)

Rankins is a large, large man, and the Saint’s defense needed some help. Rankins should be a force on the defensive line.

Pick 13 – Miami Dolphins pick Laremy Tunsil (tackle, Ole Miss)

This about sums things up:

Pick 14 – Oakland Raiders pick Karl Joseph (safety, West Virginia)

For a more detailed look at this pick, check here.

Pick 15 – Cleveland Browns pick Corey Coleman (wide receiver, Baylor)

With a new quarterback (Robert Griffin III) in the mix for the Browns, they went out and got a playmaking wide receiver in Coleman. In three years at Baylor, the 2015 All-American caught 173 passes for 3,009 yards (17.4 per catch) and 33 touchdowns, including 20 touchdowns in 2015 to lead the nation and break the school record.

Pick 16 – Detroit Lions pick Taylor Decker (tackle, Ohio State)

Sheesh, another Buckeye? Will they even be able to field a team next year?

Pick 17 – Atlanta Falcons pick Keanu Neal (safety, Florida)

Neal was one of the more popular names in the draft, and became the second Florida defensive back taken in the first round. The Falcons needed to help their defense, and Neal definitely fits that bill.

Pick 18 – Indianapolis Colts pick Ryan Kelly (center, Alabama)

The Colts have got to find a way to protect their quarterback Andrew Luck, who has been injured a lot in his young career. Kelly was an All-American in his senior year at Alabama, and also won the Rimington Trophy. Kelly is a good first step towards keeping their quarterback upright.

Pick 19 – Buffalo Bills pick Shaq Lawson (defensive end, Clemson)

Lawson wasn’t necessarily the highest-rated pass rusher in the draft, but some issues regarding other players made him a little more desirable (sound familiar?). Lawson had a monster season in 2015 with Clemson, racking up 25.5 tackles for loss to lead the FBS, and 12.5 sacks.

Pick 20 – New York Jets pick Darron Lee (linebacker, Ohio State)

Oh hey, look, another guy from Ohio State. The fifth Buckeye in the top-20. Save some for the other schools, guys.

Pick 21 – Houston Texans pick Will Fuller (wide receiver, Notre Dame)

The Texans moved up one spot to 21, and used it to pick a wideout to play across from DeAndre Hopkins. Fuller is a speed demon, but there are some questions about his hands. Either way, the Texans needed to take pressure off Hopkins. Hopkins caught 111 passes last year, nearly one-third of the team’s total completions.

Pick 22 – Washington Redskins pick Josh Doctson (wide receiver, TCU)

Another wide receiver comes off the board, but Laquon Treadwell still waits. Bad mojo from Nkemdiche and Tunsil, mayhaps? But either way, Doctson is a baller and the Redskins get a really nice option for quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Pick 23 – Minnesota Vikings pick Laquon Treadwell (wide receiver, Ole Miss)

The third consecutive wide receiver taken in the first round marks the first time in the Super Bowl era that has happened. I didn’t think MegaQuon would be the third wideout taken out of this trio, but they’re all tremendous talents. Teddy Bridgewater, enjoy your new friend in the offense.

Pick 24 – Cincinnati Bengals pick William Jackson III (cornerback, Houston)

The Bengals have a history of taking corners in the first round, and easing them into the defense. They’ve done it with Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard. Jackson will likely follow a similar pattern for Cincinnati.

Pick 25 – Pittsburgh Steelers pick Artie Burns (cornerback, Miami)

The Steelers were probably going to pick Jackson III here, but the Bengals got there first. That’s kind of like revenge for getting bounced in the wildcard round by Pittsburgh last year, right? Right?

Pick 26 – Denver Broncos pick Paxton Lynch (quarterback, Memphis)

This was an all-around nice moment. Cancer survivor and Make-A-Wish recipient Daniel Hailpern announced the selection for his favorite team, and Lynch is crying into his t-shirt upon hearing the news. Lynch had sort of fallen off a cliff compared to Goff and Wentz, but the Broncos traded up to get him. With Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler both gone, Lynch can compete with Mark Sanchez for a starter job.

Pick 27 – Green Bay Packers pick Kenny Clark (defensive tackle, UCLA)

With B.J. Raji hanging up his cleats early, the Packers had to find someone to fill up the middle. Big man Kenny Clark will attempt to fill those shoes. Clark may not be the 337-pound behemoth that Raji was, but at 6’3″ and 314 pounds, Clark is by no means a small guy.

Pick 28 – San Francisco 49ers pick Joshua Garnett (guard, Stanford)

The 49ers swung a trade with the Chiefs to get back in the first round, and used the pick to address one of their big deficiencies, the offensive line. The local guy Garnett comes with a hefty resume, including being a consensus All-American last year while winning the Outland Trophy (college football’s best interior lineman) and the Morris Trophy (Pac-12’s best offensive or defensive lineman). 49ers’ general manager Trent Baalke gets, and deserves, a lot of flack, but he did pretty well with these first two picks.

Pick 29 – Arizona Cardinals pick Robert Nkemdiche (defensive lineman, Ole Miss)

The Cardinals can afford to roll the dice a bit here with Nkemdiche, given how sturdy their defense already is. If the pick doesn’t pan out, it’s not a huge deal. If it does, that defense gets another playmaker to wreak havoc in the NFC West.

Pick 30 – Carolina Panthers pick Vernon Butler (defensive end, Louisiana Tech)

Like the Cardinals, the rich get richer with this pick. The Panthers’ defense was one of the game’s best last year, and the addition of a man with 28.5 career tackles for loss adds another playmaker.

Pick 31 – Seattle Seahawks pick Germain Ifedi (tackle, Texas A&M)

Almost four hours after the Rams went on the clock for pick number-one, the Seahawks selected tackle Germain Ifedi. The offensive line was a big weakness for Seattle last year, and adding Ifedi is a big step forward.

Next: Raiders Give Bruce Irvin What He Wants

In case you forgot, the New England Patriots forfeited their first round pick this year because of the whole “Deflategate” thing, so there were only 31 selections this year. That 32nd pick may have pushed the process to four hours flat. And now we get to do it all over again!