Buffalo Bills Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York jets Baltimore Ravens Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns Pittsburgh Steelers Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Tennessee Titans Denver Broncos Kansas City Cheifs Oakland Raiders San Diego Chargers Dallas Cowboys New York Giants Philadelphia Eagles Washington Redskins Chicago Bears Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings Atlanta Falcons Carolina Panthers New Orleans Saints Tampa Bay Buccaneers Arizona Cardinals St. Louis Rams San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks

Green Zone League Articles

2016 GZL Draft Grades, 1-10
By Keith Van Wagner
Special to gzl-football.com

Day One of the draft is barely done and it's already time to start evaluating the picks from the first round. There were several mocks that tried to predict how the initial frame would go, but of course once the draft started it was anybody's guess. Still, the first 10 picks held few surprises and all the selections were solid.

1.1 - QB Jonathan Higgins, Jets. In my mock draft I had Higgins falling to the Jets at 1.4. But a lot of things had to happen for that dream scenario to happen. Instead the Jets decided to go out and make their own destiny, by trading up from the fourth pick up to nab Higgins. The Jets had a ton of needs, but perhaps none more than QB. New York gets the complete package in Higgins, the only first round-worthy QB out there. Standing 6’6” Higgins is an imposing figure and has the attributes worthy of a first overall. Higgins has the football smarts (73 AWR) to be successful right away and has a powerful arm (94 STR). Though he’ll struggle early on, he’s destined to be a stud. GRADE: A

1.2 - OT Michael Millen, Falcons. The Falcons are fairly talented, despite their poor record. The Falcons needed help on the O-Line to keep Matt Ryan upright as he gets into his 30s. Millen is a homerun and may be the best player available in the draft. Without a doubt he’s the best offensive line prospect to ever come out. Ever. Millen is very strong (95 STR) and fast (72 SPD), but also brings to the table the best agility amongst the lineman. Not only that, he’s a polished blocker that is ready to start right away. GRADE: A+

1.3 - CB Tyrone Booker, Dolphins. In any other draft, Booker would have been the first player off the board. No one would have been surprised to see Booker go earlier. The Dolphins reap the rewards of his ‘slide’ to the third pick overall. Miami went CB in the last draft with Darius Slay and come back to the well in 2016. The Dolphins are poised to have the best corner tandem of 2020. Booker is tall at 6’2” but still has above average speed (92). However, his high awareness and acceleration make him truly special. GRADE: A+

1.4 - CB Blaine Hasty, Bengals. The Bengals controlled the board coming into the draft owning the first pick overall. Some think the smart choice may have been Millen, but the Bengals did right by themselves getting Hasty, plus a Herschel Walker-esque return on their trade. Hasty lacks ideal size (5’11”) but is perhaps the most complete corner in the draft in terms of his attributes. Possessing lightening speed (95 SPD) and off the charts acceleration, along with high football smarts, Hasty is hardly a consolation prize. GRADE: A

1.5 - DE/OLB Amos Houston, Jags. The Jaguars had their sites set on Houston long before the draft began. It’ll be interesting to see how Jacksonville deploys Houston, who comes out of Clemson as a Defensive End. GM Justin Herr has suggested Houston may be utilized more of an outside linebacker, but the team also drafted OLB Jermaine Newsome at the end of the first. This may give the Jags more flexibility to play with a defensive alignment that suits them. As an End, Houston has the needed speed (85 SPD) and strength (80 STR) to be effective. The biggest knock on him in this position is his size (6’1). He may be truly more suited to standing up, though OLB isn’t usually an impact position, warranting such a high selection. Still, he has beast attributes and will likely be a force. A minor injury concern exists here as well. GRADE: B

1.6 - HB Riddick Owen, Bills. Buffalo decided to move superstar HB Darren McFadden and his hefty contract and needed a replacement. The team found one in Riddick Owen who will be a workhorse back for years to come. Some had Gerard Campbell higher, but it’s hard to argue with Owen’s skill set. Owen has elite speed and is strong as an ox (77 STR). Though he’s not as agile as some speed backs, he likely won’t need agility with his great ability to break tackles (87 BTK). I had Owen ranked at 11th overall, but this is by no means a stretch. GRADE: A-

1.7 - CB Pete Nickerson, Browns. With the clear top two CBs off the board, Cleveland had to make a choice on which defensive back to select at seventh overall. There were many options to choose from, with none being a wrong pick. Nickerson is the smartest corner in the draft (75 AWR) and thus perhaps the most ready to start. He will take the field possessing great speed (94 SPD) and amazing jumping abilities (97 JMP). A quality he will need as he’s on the small size (5’10”, 173 lbs). Nickerson also is not a great tackler, but with his skills, hopefully he won’t have to be doing too much tackling. GRADE: B+

1.8 - DT Ron Green, Eagles. The Eagles had many different directions they could have gone with the eighth pick overall. The consensus seemed to be the team needed to focus on defense. Philly came up big with Green. While Defensive Tackles are almost never a sexy pick, it’s hard to argue with Green who was a near consensus Top 10 pick. Green has an amazing speed (68 SPD) to go along with his best in class strength (97 STR). He comes into the league as one of only three Tackles with such a combination. GRADE: A

1.9 - HB Gerard Campbell, Panthers. The Panthers have been trying to move current feature back LeSean McCoy who is coming off a 1,600+ season (or more accurately, his $7M salary). If the Panthers want a new workhorse back, they’ve found it in Campbell. Though he’s not everyone’s cup of tea in that he has slightly below average speed and is not very agile, Campbell is a physical steamroller. The Panthers will enjoy watching Campbell employ his near O-Line level strength (85 STR) and ability to break tackles (87 BTK) against the rest of the league. Campbell is reminiscent of last year’s Rookie of the Year, Bull Griggs which should bring a smile to Panther fans for years to come. GRADE: A

1.10 - WR CJ Washington, Patriots. There was great debate as to which WR was the top pick in one of the deepest WR classes in recent memory. Some said it was Billy Crockett, some said Donald Lake. I personally was partial to Mark Perez. The Patriots looked at CJ Washington and knew he was their man. It’s hard to question their judgment. Standing 6’2” and possessing nice speed (92 SPD) and solid attributes across the board, Washington will be a gamer. If WR strength is an important factor, Washington has to be considered one of the best as he comes in with 79 STR. GRADE: B+
Discuss this Article in our Forums Replies - 11 :: Views - 147

Green Zone League Articles

Powered by League Pulse.  League Pulse was written by Brad Mallett (btmlltt).