By Wayne B. Jones for TonySoftli.com
I dislike picking winners and losers after a National Football League Draft; because I have always believed that you cannot fairly evaluate a draft class until you are at least two or three years out. What I like to look for is whether or not a team filled holes or needs with their selections.
The best way to build a Super Bowl champion is thru the draft. Each team has its own way of selecting prospects. But in general, most teams in rounds 1-3 draft based on the best available player on their board. This strategy makes sense when you factor in the amount of time, money and labor costs that are spent scouting and evaluating prospects. The later rounds 4-7 are primarily need based selections.
The Ravens drafted for both talent and need. Their poor 2015 season was the result of injuries and a difficult schedule. If they can remain healthy, this infusion of talent will help bolster their roster and get them back into the playoff picture.
Tavon Young CB 5’9” 183 Temple (Quick feet, excellent foot speed)
Ronnie Stanley OT 6’5” 312 Notre Dame (Efficient second and third level blocker)
Bronson Kaufusi DE 6’6” 285 BYU (Has exceptional quickness and agility)
Chris Moore WR 6’1” 206 Cincinnati (Tracks the deep ball well, good straight-line speed)
Kenneth Dixon RB 5’10” 215 Louisiana Tech (Good balance, short area burst)
The Titans selected prospects based on need and scheme fit. The dismissal of former Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt; for not building an offensive line and adding skill players to protect Marcus Mariota, has been corrected. Look for a new smash offense from the Titans this season.
Jack Conklin OL 6’5” 308 Michigan State (Good athlete with natural knee bend)
Derrick Henry RB 6’2” 247 Alabama (Tackle to tackle runner with good football speed)
Kevin Byard S 5’11” 216 Middle Tennessee State (Attacks the ball in the air, high football IQ)
Tajae Sharpe WR 6’2” 194 Massachusetts (Good hands, excellent route runner)
Defense wins championships and the Jaguars picks reflect their need to strengthen a weak secondary and ineffective pass rush. Gus Bradley’s pass defense was ranked 29th in the league last season. The Jaguars Cover-3 scheme needs at least one lock down corner to be effective. Look for Jalen Ramsey to anchor this group.
Jalen Ramsey CB 6’1” 209 Florida State (Good size with very long arms, excellent movement skills)
Yannick Ngakoue DE 6’2” 252 Maryland (Fundamentally sound, excellent technique, high motor)
Myles Jack OLB 6’1” 245 UCLA (Excellent athlete, explosive on contact, wrap and squeeze tackler)
The signing of Brock Osweiler has secured the quarterback position for the Texans. The days of quarterback by committee are over. The focus of this team should be to improve the leagues 28th rank rushing attack. Their championship caliber defense needs a little help from the offense.
Tyler Ervin RB 5’9” 192 San Jose State (Quick twitch, explosive first step. Elusive, stop and go skills)
Nick Martin OG 6’4” 299 Notre Dame (Excellent size and strength. Versatile, can play any interior position)
Kimlon “K.J.” Dillon S 6’0” 210 West Virginia (Good ball skills, can play both man and zone coverage)
The Redskins were an average team in the NFL’s weakest division. They made the playoffs without beating a team with a winning record. Their offense was explosive but inconsistent. Their 28th rank total defense was poor against the run and pass.
Kendall Fuller DB 5’11” 187 Virginia Tech (Good ball skills and footwork. Can play both man and zone coverage)
Steven Daniels ILB 5’11” 243 Boston College (Sheds blocks well; aggressive tackler, high motor)
Josh Doctson WR 6’2” 202 Texas Christian (Excellent route runner, good hands and body control, tracks the ball well)