2016 NFL Draft Grades: Full Results Listings and Final Team Marks

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2016

Dallas Cowboys Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones, left, and team owner Jerry Jones, right, listen as first-round draft pick Ezekiel Elliott, center, answers questions at a news conference at the NFL football team's facility, Friday, April 29, 2016, in Irving, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

The 2016 NFL draft is officially over, which means it's time to make all-to-early evaluations regarding how each NFL team performed.

Obviously, the true results of any given draft aren't known for at least a few years, and it could be a decade or so before the full story is revealed on this year's class. Some players hit the ground running but flame out after four or five years, while others don't find their footing until they've spent a few seasons in the league.

For the three teams below, making a proper assessment will take time. They each swung for the fences with at least one of their high picks, and it will be fun to see how those gambles play out in 2016 and beyond.

2016 NFL Draft Results

2016 NFL Draft Grades

2016 NFL Draft Grades
TeamGradeNotes
Arizona CardinalsB+There are obvious questions about Robert Nkemdiche, but head coach Bruce Arians and the competition in the Arizona front seven should bring out the best in him.
Atlanta FalconsB-The Falcons might look smart in a few years, but Keanu Neal looks like a major reach at No. 17. Atlanta did recover well with Deion Jones and Austin Hooper in the second and third rounds.
Baltimore RavensBNone of the Ravens' picks stand out from the crowd, but Baltimore did a good job of collecting a handful of solid players. Getting Bronson Kaufusi in the third round was a particularly good pull.
Buffalo BillsA-Shaq Lawson is the ready-made replacement for Mario Williams, and Reggie Ragland is a first-round talent Buffalo added in the second. 2016 is shaping up to be a pivotal season for head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Doug Whaley, and they did a great job in the draft.
Carolina PanthersCThe Panthers are obviously looking to the draft to replace Josh Norman, drafting James Bradberry and Daryl Worley in back-to-back rounds. The two obviously address needs, but they may not have been the best value picks.
Chicago BearsBLeonard Floyd will be a boom-or-bust prospect, and the Bears did well to cover for that risk by adding great value in Cody Whitehair and Jonathan Bullard.
Cincinnati BengalsB+The Bengals have consistently drafted well under head coach Marvin Lewis, and this year continued the trend. Cincinnati was smart to wait until the second round to grab a receiver (Tyler Boyd) after the best options were off the board in the first.
Cleveland BrownsB+Corey Coleman is the big-play receiver the Browns desperately need. The only major knock for Cleveland is taking Cody Kessler in the third round. If head coach Hue Jackson wanted to find a QB in the draft, surely there were better options.
Dallas CowboysC+Ezekiel Elliott is unquestionably the best running back in this draft, but No. 4 is a little too high. And as talented as Jaylon Smith is, the uncertainty about his health makes spending a second-rounder on him really risky.
Denver BroncosBIf the Broncos are willing to give him time to learn, Paxton Lynch will be a steal at 26th overall. At the least, he'll give them what Brock Osweiler would have at a much cheaper price.
Detroit LionsB-A’Shawn Robinson was a good selection in the second round, somewhat offsetting the reach for Taylor Decker at 16th overall.
Green Bay PackersBLike their NFC North rivals, the Packers didn't get much value in the first round with Kenny Clark. Green Bay made up for that, though, with Jason Spriggs and Kyler Fackrell in the next two rounds.
Houston TexansB+The Texans seemingly acknowledged the risk they took in signing Brock Osweiler. Houston already had DeAndre Hopkins and Jaelen Strong, and now Braxton Miller and Will Fuller are joining the fray.
Indianapolis ColtsB+Drafting a center isn't sexy, but it's exactly what the Colts needed to do in the first round. Indianapolis also hit a home run with Hassan Ridgeway in the fourth round.
Jacksonville JaguarsAJalen Ramsey fell into Jacksonville's lap, which was a massive stroke of good luck for the Jaguars. The same could be said of Myles Jack, even with the concerns over his health.
Kansas City ChiefsBChris Jones was a steal in the second round, and KeiVarae Russell provided nice value in the third. But the Chiefs didn't look to get much else with the rest of their draft.
Los Angeles RamsBJared Goff was the obvious pick, and anything else would've been crazy. With that said, Goff will have to perform extremely well to justify the price the Rams paid for him.
Miami DolphinsA-Miami got the best offensive tackle in the draft in Laremy Tunsil, though it's somewhat odd he might play at guard in 2016. Getting Leonte Carroo was also a worthwhile gamble for the team.
Minnesota VikingsA-Laquon Treadwell won't stretch the field, but that was probably never going to happen in Minnesota with Teddy Bridgewater under center anyway. Meanwhile, Mackensie Alexander is a first-round talent, offering great value to the Vikings at No. 54 overall.
New England PatriotsB-The lack of a first-rounder hurt the Patriots, but they did well to compensate as much as they could. New England will probably turn Cyrus Jones into a Pro Bowler in a few years.
New Orleans SaintsB+Sheldon Rankins is a good defensive tackle who will help the Saints out right away on the inside. Michael Thomas was New Orleans' best piece of business, giving the team one of the best WRs in this year's draft.
New York GiantsBVernon Hargreaves was right there, and the Giants took Eli Apple. New York made up for that by getting Sterling Shepard in the second round. Shepard should thrive with Odell Beckham Jr. demanding much of the defense's attention.
New York JetsC+On another team, Christian Hackenberg might have developed into an NFL quarterback, but the New York media will eat him alive just like Geno Smith. Every mistake Hackenberg makes—and there will be plenty—will be criticized to the nth degree.
Oakland RaidersBThe Raiders seemingly created an unnecessary problem for themselves by drafting Connor Cook. Why go with a QB at all when Derek Carr is clearly the future of the franchise?
Philadelphia EaglesB-Any time a team has two picks in the first four rounds, its overall grade is bound to suffer somewhat. This entire draft will hinge on Carson Wentz's performance in the NFL.
Pittsburgh SteelersC+Taking both Artie Burns and Sean Davis in back-to-back rounds is a little questionable. The Steelers had better options at both positions in the draft.
San Diego ChargersB-Joey Bosa is one of the best pass-rushers in the draft, but he'd operate better in a 4-3 scheme, not San Diego's 3-4 defense. Joshua Perry, on the other hand, should be a natural fit for the Chargers.
San Francisco 49ersBDeForest Buckner is a return to what made San Francisco so strong during the Jim Harbaugh era. Joshua Garnett was a bit of a reach in the first round, but it's easy to see the justification for the pick.
Seattle SeahawksB+The Seahawks' options were somewhat limited, so Germain Ifedi not only fills a massive need, he's also a good value pick near the end of the first round.
Tampa Bay BuccaneersC+Picking a kicker in the second round and trading up to do so is enough to drop the Buccaneers at least a letter grade. Tampa Bay did well otherwise, especially with Vernon Hargreaves and Noah Spence.
Tennessee TitansC-The Titans made a mistake opting for Jack Conklin over Laremy Tunsil. Spending a second-rounder on Derrick Henry, having already acquired DeMarco Murray, is quizzical at best.
Washington RedskinsB+Washington did well with the picks that truly counted. Starting out the draft with Josh Doctson, Su'a Cravens and Kendall Fuller ensured that everything that followed was icing on the cake.

Most Intriguing Draft Hauls

Los Angeles Rams

Everything about the Los Angeles Rams' 2016 draft will revolve around Jared Goff. The team paid a massive price to move up and grab the California Golden Bears quarterback, so he better deliver within a few years.

Some will accurately argue Robert Griffin III's rapid decline didn't set the Washington Redskins back all that far as a team. Strictly in terms of the draft, the comparison between Washington and Los Angeles doesn't necessarily work. Washington had more draft picks in 2012 (nine) than L.A. (six), and it also hedged its bets at quarterback by selecting Kirk Cousins:

Washington Redskins—2012 Draft
Round (Pick)PlayerPositionSchool
1st (2nd)Robert Griffin IIIQBBaylor
3rd (71st)Josh LeRibeusGSMU
4th (102nd)Kirk CousinsQBMichigan State
4th (119th)Keenan RobinsonOLBTexas
5th (141st)Adam GettisGIowa
6th (173rd)Alfred MorrisRBFlorida Atlantic
6th (193rd)Tom ComptonOTSouth Dakota
7th (213th)Richard CrawfordDBSMU
7th (217th)Jordan BernstineCBIowa
Source: NFL.com

The Rams, on the other hand, are banking on Goff. And as if the pressure to perform weren't high enough in L.A., his career will be inextricably linked to that of Carson Wentz, the QB selected immediately after him. ESPN's Todd McShay isn't so sure the Rams will be better off in the long term after overlooking Wentz:

Given the circumstances, the Rams did well to find a target for Goff by selecting Pharoh Cooper in the fourth round. The former South Carolina Gamecock is looking forward to the opportunity:

An offense with Goff, Cooper, Tavon Austin and Todd Gurley could spell long-term success for the Rams, as long as Goff becomes a franchise quarterback.

Jacksonville Jaguars

To a certain extent, the Jacksonville Jaguars were in the right place at the right time in this year's draft. The San Diego Chargers selection of Joey Bosa meant Jalen Ramsey slipped to them at No. 5. The Jags also lucked out in that they were in a position to move up to take Myles Jack in the second round.

As Bleacher Report's Matt Miller noted, Jacksonville entered the draft with a definite plan in mind:

The team signaled its intent earlier this offseason by signing Malik Jackson for five years and $85.5 million, per the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson. Add Ramsey to the mix in 2016, and the Jaguars will have a radically different defense than they did a year ago. Throw in a healthy Jack at some point in the future, and the unit becomes even stronger.

There's no question that spending even a second-round pick on Jack carries some risk. The UCLA Bruins linebacker admitted he has a degenerative knee problem that could require microfracture surgery down the road, per the New York Post's Bart Hubbuch.

That isn't a certainty, though, and grabbing one of the top talents 36th overall makes sense regardless of the question marks over Jack's health.

And drafting Yannick Ngakoue and Sheldon Day ensures the Jaguars will walk out of this year's draft with some major impact players on the defensive side of the ball no matter how Jack's NFL career unfolds.

Dallas Cowboys

This year's draft was another exercise in Jerry Jones going against convention and doing his own thing:

The Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager selected Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall. Drafting a running back that early in today's NFL landscape in general is a bit questionable, and the skepticism is somewhat magnified since Elliott didn't stand head and shoulders above his peers in this year's class.

If the Cowboys were desperately seeking a running back, they probably could've waited until the second or third round to find their man.

Of course, Elliott will more than repay Dallas' investment if he has an impact similar to Gurley in his rookie season with the Rams.

Jaylon Smith is the far more interesting of the Cowboys' early draft picks. His medical diagnosis may be even worse than Jack's. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Smith is likely to miss the entire 2016 season.

In an interview with USA Today's Tom Pelissero, Cowboys team physician Dr. Dan Cooper explained there's no way to speed up the recovery process, and the peroneal nerve will have to regrow in its own time:

He's had time for his nerve to regrow two inches, and the area of where his nerve was injured is six inches above the muscle that it innervates. I wouldn't really expect him to get much innervation back into that muscle for two or three more months. Then once it does—I've seen kids who are completely paralyzed like him on the lateral side and not able to pick their foot up at all (that) wind up being totally normal.

Pelissero added that there's a chance Smith's nerve might never fully recover.

Like Jack, Smith has more pure talent than all but a handful of players in this year's draft class, and he would've been a top pick if not for the questions about his knee.

Since they reached somewhat to grab Elliott, the Cowboys might have been better off going a safer route in the second round. However, if both Smith and Elliott fulfill their potential, then this draft will be a home run for Dallas.

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