2016 NFL Draft: Live Fantasy Recap (Round 1)
The 2016 NFL Draft begins at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 28th with the first round. The second and third rounds will be held on Friday (beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET), while the remainder of the draft will finish up on Saturday (12 p.m. ET). Coverage is on ESPN and the NFL Network.
Throughout the first round, I'll be updating this page with player evaluation from our very own Brandon Niles, along with my take on the player's opportunity, potential fantasy impact in 2016. I'll also add athletic comparables from PlayerProfiler.com and Mockdraftable.com along with a highlight video, If I can find one. (Note: The music of the highlight videos is mostly terrible and sometimes offensive, so I highly recommend muting before watching.) Be sure to check back tomorrow for the second and third rounds. Brandon will be taking over on Saturday to summarize the mid- to late-round picks.
1.01 - Los Angeles Rams - QB Jared Goff, California
Goff is a tall quarterback with an above average arm who is deadly accurate and improved every year in college. While his statistics may have been inflated in Cal’s pass-heavy system, Goff’s 4,719 yards and 43 touchdowns last year are still impressive, and his 64.5 percent completion percentage and 8.9 YPA were impressive considering he was sixth in the nation with 529 attempts. Goff had a terrible game against Utah last year where he threw five interceptions, leading some critics to be concerned about his ability in big games. But he was dominant against Arizona State to close out the season and is arguably the most pro-ready quarterback in this draft.
Obviously, the the Rams are drafting Goff to start immediately, so the playing time will be there, but there is a glaring lack of weapons in the passing game. Kenny Britt, Jared Cook and Tavon Austin led the team in receiving yards, and now Cook is gone. The team has generated 31 passing touchdowns (total) over the last two seasons, and while Goff will be a big part of improving those numbers, it goes to show just how anemic the Rams' passing game has been in recent years. Given the depth at the quarterback position around the league, there is no reason to target Goff even as a QB2.
1.02 - Philadelphia Eagles - QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
This 6-foot-5 North Dakota native led the Bison to their fifth straight conference title last season, despite coming off a wrist injury. Wentz is lauded for his poise in the pocket, his arm talent, and his leadership and football acumen. He’s also one of the few quarterbacks along with Connor Cook to succeed in a pro-style offense, which may mitigate some of the concerns scouts have with his ability to make the jump from a small school to the NFL. Wentz looks the part in workouts, and his production speaks for itself. He’ll need to work on ball security and no one knows how quickly he’ll adjust to the speed of the NFL game, but he checks off all the boxes when evaluating the size and intelligence of a pro prospect at the position.
Wentz may not start immediately, but No. 2 overall picks don't usually have to wait too long to play. If he outplays Sam Bradford (assuming Bradford is still on the roster) he could start Week 1, but it's possible that Bradford is the starter for the first half of the season or longer. From a long-term perspective it's a pretty good situation, talent-wise, with WR Jordan Matthews and TE Zach Ertz to throw to. But just like Goff -- with all the talent at quarterback around the league, there's no reason to draft a rookie in 2016.
1.04 - Dallas Cowboys - RB Ezekiel Elliot, Ohio State
Elliott is an elite prospect and should be one of the rare every down backs at the next level. He has strong measurables, runs with speed and power, was wildly productive, and is versatile in the passing game, showing the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield as well as block at an above average level for a young player. Elliott has prototype size and speed, at 5-foot-11, 225 pounds, with a 4.47 second 40-yard dash at the combine. He runs hard, sees the field well, and was a monster in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Day, rushing for four touchdowns and nearly 150 yards in a blowout victory over Notre Dame. Elliot had back-to-back seasons with over 1,800 yards to finish his college career and he should be a Pro Bowler in no time at the NFL level.
Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris are already there, but Elliot should get an opportunity to start right away. The Cowboys have rushed for 4,242 yards over the past two seasons and have one of the league's best run-blocking offensive lines. Elliot has been going near the 2/3 turn in early PPR drafts, but this is his ideal landing spot, so I expect his ADP will be closer to the 1/2 turn by the end of the summer. He's a real threat to finish the season as a fantasy RB1.
1.15 - Cleveland Browns - WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
Coleman is a burner who can get downfield in a hurry and should help in the return game as a rookie. At only 5-foot-10, he outruns defenders rather than outmuscling them, but he runs crisp routes for a speedster and can cut on a dime. Coleman often looks up field too quickly before securing the ball, and sometimes hears footsteps when running over the middle, causing focus drops which will need to improve at the next level. However, he’s a tough player who has shown willingness to run a full route tree, and his homerun potential will make him an intriguing prospect at the NFL level.
From a playing time standpoint, his opportunity is great, but the offense has been a mess for a while now and the team is still searching for a quarterback. If he has a good offseason and the Browns find some stability at QB, Coleman's ADP could rise into the middle (8th-9th) rounds.
1.21 - Houston Texans - WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame
Fuller’s supersonic speed makes him easy to love as a prospect. He ran the second fastest 40-yard-dash at the combine, clocking 4.32 seconds. He had 29 touchdowns over the past two years and averaged 20.3 yards per catch last season for the Fighting Irish. The problem with Fuller is that he drops the ball at an alarming rate and his small hands make it unlikely that he can be coached out of that bad habit. He could end up being an elite playmaker at the next level, but is just as likely to be another Troy Williamson, a speedster who washes out of the league because of inconsistent hands.
There is plenty of opportunity for playing time in the Texans' receiving corps. Fuller will have to beat out Cecil Shorts and Jaelen Strong to start opposite DeAndre Hopkins, and as a 1st round pick, he's expected to do so. Quarterback is a concern with the largely unknown Brock Osweiler under center, and the Texans run a run-heavy scheme, so there aren't a ton of targets to go around. Still, as a probable real-world WR2, Fuller should be fantasy-relevant as a rookie and that means his 16th-round ADP is likely to rise.
1.22 - Washington Redskins - WR Josh Doctson, TCU
Doctson uses his 6-foot-2 frame well, winning 50/50 balls deep down the field, and helping to make up for his lack of elite straight-line speed. He attacks the ball with his hands, and is already an accomplished route runner, showing an ability to quickly diagnose coverage schemes and win the mental game with opposing corners. Doctson has elite hands, tracks the ball well downfield, and has just enough speed to develop into a WR1 at the next level. His physicality makes him a threat after the catch, and he should be able to thrive in virtually any offensive scheme, making him one of the best prospects in this draft, with arguably the highest floor of any receiving prospect available.
With DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon presumably still on the roster, Doctson will have some work to do to earn playing time in two-WR sets. Garcon's productivity has fallen off, so it's entirely possible that Doctson plays well this summer and wins a starting job. If that doesn't happen, his upside will be limited in 2016.
1.23 - Minnesota Vikings - Laquon Treadwell, Mississippi
Treadwell runs a 4.65 second 40-yard-dash and lacks the deep speed that NFL teams covet when looking for an elite receiver. What he lacks in speed though he more than makes up for in competitiveness and reliability. Treadwell is sure-handed and runs with intensity after the catch. He out-muscles defenders for the ball and uses technique rather than athleticism to find spaces in the defense. He uses his 6-foot-2 frame to wall off defenders when tracking the ball in the air and he attacks the ball, rather than letting passes come to him. His size, competitiveness, and playing style compare favorably to Alshon Jeffery as a prospect.
Treadwell joins a Minnesota receiving depth chart that features Stefon Diggs, Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright. It's likely that he comes in and immediately wins the WR1 job, though Diggs is no slouch. He'll have to lead the team in targets to be a dependable fantasy asset, as the Vikings' passing game has a lot of room for improvement. Treadwell has been going in the 8th round in early drafts and that sounds reasonable, especially if he wins the WR1 job.
1.26 - Denver Broncos - QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Lynch may be one of the more polarizing options in this draft. At 6-foot-7 Lynch is surprisingly athletic for his size, with excellent footwork and pocket mobility. He has sufficient arm strength to make all the throws at the next level, but an inconsistent technique can affect his accuracy, often leading him to use his arm more than his body. Lynch reads defenses at a pro level already and is careful with the football. He flashes an “it” factor and threw only four interceptions last season. If he can learn to be more disciplined under pressure and keep from letting his fundamentals break down, the sky is the limit for this talented player.
With only Mark Sanchez ahead of him, and two great receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to throw to, Lynch couldn't have landed in a better situation. The general consensus is that he's not ready to start in the NFL, so the team may be planning to let Sanchez sit in the driver's seat until Lynch is able to win the job. From a redraft perspective, unless he wins the job during the summer, there's no reason to draft Lynch in one-QB leagues in 2016.