The first round of the 2016 NFL draft unfolded pretty much as everyone expected.
The reconstituted Los Angeles Rams selected QB Jared Goff first and the Eagles picked QB Carson Wentz second. The remainder of the first round yielded few surprises, other than that pot-smoking video brouhaha involving 13th overall selection Laremy Tunsil, an offensive tackle at Ole Miss.
He was the highest rated player in the draft, with a 7.6 mark (Future All-Pro, according to NFL.com system), yet fell all the way to Lucky 13 and the Miami Dolphins. Good for them, all things considered.
There were a few trade ups and trade downs, including the Texans and Redskins inexplicably flipping 21 and 22, with both Houston and Washington picking wide receivers (Will Fuller of Notre Dame and Josh Doctson of TCU, respectively). A head-scratcher, for sure.
Once all the hype of the first round settled down, there were some sneaky good and astute picks in later rounds.
Here are 10 teams we think got it right with near “Mr. Irrelevants.” (With NFL draft grade, round and pick in brackets).
The Giants had one pick in the first round, scooping CB Eli Apple from Ohio State, who had a 6.0 rating (chance to become a NFL starter), even though CB Vernon Hargreaves III of Florida (6.6) was still available. We think they may have whiffed there, but they obviously saw something in Apple’s combine scores they liked. Where the Giants plucked a gem was with their second pick, at 40th when they got Sooners’ wideout Shepard, who many consider “Pro Ready.” He’s just one inch shorter than Odell Beckham Jr. (5’10” to 5’11”) and has what scouts say are soft hands and outstanding straight line speed that will complement Beckham’s game. As a senior with the Sooners, Shepard elevated his game from his first three seasons, playing in all 14 games and hauling in 86 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 TDs.