NFL Draft 2016 – How a gas mask altered the first round

NFL Draft 2016 – How a gas mask altered the first round

Waking up the morning after the draft and the NFL world is still trying to wrap its head around what happened.

It wasn’t the first and second picks overall that surprised those in attendance in Chicago, it was the 10 minutes before the Los Angeles Rams were on the clock that blew people’s minds.

Laremy Tunsil, regarded by many scouts and pundits as the best player in the draft, was eagerly awaiting to find out where he would be drafted when a video of him smoking a bong through a gas mask appeared on his Twitter account 10 minutes before proceedings kicked off.

Though it was deleted minutes later, the damage had been done. Teams were put off by what they saw and the talk in Chi Town was that Tunsil may not be drafted that night.

The first two picks were not a surprise. The Rams took Jared Goff, as expected, which meant the Philadelphia Eagles had the easy option of scooping up Carson Wentz.

The draft started with the San Diego Chargers on the clock, given that that they had a number of different routes they could go down.

Do they draft Jalen Ramsey, the hybrid corner/safety or do they keep Phillip Rivers protected and draft a tackle?

As Roger Goodell approached the stand, no-one could imagine what he was about to say.

“With the third pick in the 2016 draft, the San Diego Chargers select Joey Bosa.” There were gasps. Mock boards around the world were blown up. This was not what the Chargers were meant to do and it changed the entire complexion of the draft.

With the Dallas Cowboys up next, the images from their war room told a picture of disappointment. Bosa would have helped Sean Garrett greatly. Instead, they had to go down a different path. Ramsey or running back Ezekiel Elliott?

Their choice, Elliott. While it doesn’t address the gaping holes on defence, it takes them back to the type of offence they had in 2014 when DeMarco Murray terrorised defences for fun.

Jacksonville snapped up Ramsey which would have been the dream scenario for Gus Bradley.

The Ravens were next up and the question was, would they take Tunsil or select Ronnie Stanley? Many argued that Stanley was on higher up on their board and it proved to be true.

Tunsil was still in the green room and no-one knew if he would be taken in the first round.

After the 49ers picked up DeForest Buckner, the first trade took place. The Titans traded up with the Browns with many believing that they would address the need at tackle and take Tunsil before someone else did.

Instead, Jack Conklin was the eighth player taken in the 2016 draft and Tunsil’s draft stock was in free fall.

The Bears traded with the Bucs at nine to draft linebacker Leonard Floyd, the Giants used their pick to take corner Eli Apple – a surprise to many – and the Bucs with their newly acquired pick at 11 chose corner Vernon Hargreaves, who many had as the best corner in the draft.

The Saints went with defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins and with the 13th pick, Miami shocked everyone and snapped up Tunsil.

The video allowed the Dolphins to grab a player they would not have pictured falling to them and it seems the off the field issue is something that new head coach Adam Gase can deal with.

Former scout Daniel Jeremiah released his final mock draft Thursday morning and correctly guessed that the Raiders would pick up safety Karl Joseph.

At 15, the Cleveland Browns selected wide receiver Corey Coleman. The next few picks were as expected though there was talk that the New York Jets were trying to move up from 20 to draft a QB, most likely Paxton Lynch.

Instead, they took linebacker Darron Lee. Washington and Houston traded to take receivers Will Fuller and Josh Doctson respectively.

With Lynch still on the board at 26, the Broncos made a deal with the Seahawks to move up and took the signal caller before they missed out on him.

The 49ers traded with the Chiefs at 28 to come back into the first round to take tackle Joshua Garnett, which was the last real shock of the first round.

Myles Jack stock had fallen to the point that no-one wanted to take a risk on him in the first but it wouldn’t be surprising to see someone gamble on him early on the second or third day.


NFL 2016 Draft – Round 1 full results


  1. Rams (traded from Titans) – Jared Goff, QB, California


  1. Eagles (traded from Browns) – Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State


  1. Chargers – Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State


  1. Cowboys – Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State


  1. Jaguars – Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State


  1. Ravens – Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame


  1. 49ers – DeForest Buckner, DT, Oregon


8. Titans (traded from Browns from Dolphins from Eagles) – Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State


  1. Bears (traded from Buccaneers) – Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia


  1. Giants – Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State


  1. Buccaneers (traded from Bears) – Vernon Hargreaves, III, CB, Florida


  1. Saints – Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville


  1. Dolphins (traded from Eagles) – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss


  1. Raiders – Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia


  1. Browns (traded from Titans from Rams) – Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor


  1. Lions – Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State


  1. Falcons – Keanu Neal, S, Florida


  1. Colts – Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama


  1. Bills – Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson


  1. Jets – Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State


  1. Texans (traded from Redskins) – Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame


  1. Redskins (traded from Texans) – Josh Doctson, WR, TCU


  1. Vikings – Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss


  1. Bengals – William Jackson III, CB, Houston


  1. Steelers – Artie Burns, CB, Miami


  1. Broncos (traded from Seahawks) – Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis


  1. Packers – Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA


  1. 49ers (traded from Chiefs) – Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford


  1. Patriots (forfeited)


  1. Cardinals – Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss


  1. Panthers – Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech


  1. Seahawks – Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M

Kadeem Simmonds

Kadeem joined the team in 2016 and is currently the AFC Conference Editor, covering the AFC West division, as well as writing about Madden for the Gaming section. Though quite new to the NFL, after becoming acquainted with it through Madden, Kadeem has written features and articles on the sport for the Morning Star newspaper, where he is the current sports editor. He can be followed on Twitter @KadeemSimmonds.

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