By HAYES RULE (@Rule0021)
Photo credit goes to sportingnews.com.
Forget All My Children. The best soap opera on television is the NFL draft. We'll be here all night updating this post, offering grades and reactions for each pick.
1. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB, California:
Consider the C+ grade more of an indictment against the Rams' trading up to No. 1, trading so many picks to draft a risky prospect at quarterback. Yes, Los Angeles needed a spark as it made its transition to a new city. Yes, Los Angeles is probably a quarterback away from being a playoff stalwart.
But risking so many future picks on Jared Goff? The Cal product offers upside, but he's not an elite prospect like Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Cam Newton or Andrew Luck. And you only trade that many picks for an elite prospect.
This is a make-or-break selection for the Rams. Either Goff takes them to the Promised Land, or the trade for him incites the beginning of a disastrous five-plus years for the Rams.
2. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Jared Goff may be the slightly "safer" prospect than Carson Wentz, but Philadelphia gave up much less in order to move up to No. 2. Unlike the Rams, I don't see this as a franchise-defining pick. The Eagles can recover from the trade if Wentz doesn't pan out.
The Rams and Eagles deserve the same grade. I'm not a fan of trading so many current and future picks for unknown quarterbacks, but you have to at least give both teams credit for being aggressive enough to make a trade that could change their franchise's future in a brilliant way.
As of now, they're slightly above average selections.
3. San Diego Chargers: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Joey "Love Sosa" Bosa?? He's not even the best defensive player available. I could understand the Chargers selecting an offensive tackle in Laremy Tunsil to protect Philip Rivers, but Jalen Ramsey deserves to be the first defensive player off the board.
San Diego's been listening to too much Chief Keef. This is what happens when you listen to too much Chief Keef.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Take a running back over the best defensive player at No. 4? Jerry Jones logic. Is Ezekiel Elliott one of the best prospects at running back to come out in recent years? Yes, but the Cowboys just acquired Alfred Morris, and it has been proven time and time again that running-back-by-committee works most effectively, and it's an easy position to find value late in the draft.
You screwed up, Jerry. I started to gain respect for you for recent drafts (such as not taking Johnny Manziel and grabbing Zach Martin), but you pulled another Jerry: go for the flash. But that's OK. Now the Dolphins won't trade up for him.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
I don't think I've ever given the Jaguars an A+. I guess there's a first time for everything, huh? David Caldwell has to be literally losing his mind in excitement. Ramsey fits the versatile model Caldwell dreams about and will make a major impact for the Jaguars' defense. The former Seminole may play corner to start his career, as Jacksonville has two solid safeties in Jonathan Cyprien and Tashaun Gipson.
But the Jags couldn't pass on Jalen Ramsey.
6. Baltimore Raves: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Boy, Laremy Tunsil has fallen hard. But I can understand. Laremy Tunsil is the more talented offensive tackle but comes with character concerns. Just before the draft, this picture of him surfaced:
Ronnie Stanley has risen in recent weeks and will fill a need for the Ravens on the offensive line.
7. San Francisco 49ers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
The Chip Kelly era in San Francisco begins in a strong way. Some believed Buckner could go as high as No. 3 to San Diego, so the 49ers get some value. San Francisco needs help LITERALLY everywhere, and Buckner is arguably the best player available at this point.
8. Tennessee Titans (from Cleveland Browns): Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
THE RAPTURE IS OCCURRING!! The Browns made ANOTHER smart move?? Maybe Paul DePodesta, Cleveland's new analytics manager, can change this franchise. As for the Titans, it's a bit surprising to see them trade back up, but Conklin may not have made it to No. 15. You can't fault Tennessee for moving up for an elite tackle, someone who can protect the franchise's major investment, Marcus Mariota.
Browns receive No. 15, 2016 3rd and 2017 2nd
Titans receive No. 8, 2016 6th
9. Chicago Bears (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Leonard Floyd, DE/OLB, UGA
TRADE BARRAGE! Chicago moves up two picks for the slight cost of a fourth-round selection in order to nab Leonard Floyd. The former Bulldog is a versatile, hybrid pass-rusher who can really improve the Bears' defense. Let him stand up in Chicago's 3-4 defense and wreak havoc in the backfield.
Bucs receive No. 11 and 2016 4th
Bears receive No. 9
10. New York Giants: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
An apple a day keeps the losses away. The Giants are receiving the memo that the NFL is a passing league, as this offseason they have added Janoris Jenkins and now the draft's second best corner, Eli Apple. The former Buckeye boasts the length (6-foot-1) and speed (4.40) all general managers strive to add. He may be overly physical with receivers at time, but Apple will be a great addition to a vastly improving secondary.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
The Bucs trade back, receive an extra fourth round pick and *probably* still draft the prospect they wanted at the beginning. Hargreaves was a true lock-down corner at Florida, arguably the best in the country the last two years. He's slightly undersized at 5-foot-10 and some have their concerns about him, but Tampa Bay needed to add talent to the defensive backfield; it will do that with Hargreaves, who is similar to Brent Grimes, whom they just added this offseason.
12. New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins, DE/DT, Louisville
The Saints' pick isn't quite rank, but it isn't great, either. Maybe it's just me, but I prefer Shaq Lawson over Sheldon Rankins. New Orleans needs help all over the front seven, and it will receive such help with Rankins. The Saints receive better than an average grade just based on the fact that they selected a front-seven prospect.
13. Miami Dolphins: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
Obviously, the character concerns surrounding Laremy Tunsil are surfacing but still uncertain. Once expected to be the No. 1 pick, Tunsil slid after the Titans traded the selection and teams started to question his off-field character.
But this is huge for Miami. The Dolphins' offensive line has been abysmal, at best, the past few seasons. I don't care where you plug him... Just bring him onto the team and give Ryan Tannehill some FREAKING PROTECTION!
14. Oakland Raiders: Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
Coming off an injury, most said Karl Joseph was a late first or early second-round prospect. Sure, the Raiders needed a safety after the retirement of Charles Woodson, but this feels like a Raiders-esque reach of the past -- not the best player available strategy they have utilized in order to become relevant again. Joseph can be a game-changer, if healthy, but that remains a question.
15. Cleveland Browns: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Leave it to the Browns to make the first stupid pick of the draft. I knew the string of good moves was too good to be true. Cleveland needs help all over the field, so instead of selecting an elite defensive end in Shaq Lawson, it went with... not even the best wide receiver in the draft.
He doesn't boast great speed or height and benefited from Baylor's offensive system. Just keep doing you, Browns. You entertain me.
16. Detroit Lions: Taylor Decker, OT/G, Ohio State
The Lions probably should have taken a defensive lineman, but I can't fault them for improving the offensive line with a solid prospect in Decker. Detroit has to run the ball at some point, and that begins with an actual run-blocking line.
17. Atlanta Falcons: Keanu Neal, S, Florida
The Falcons desperately needed a safety, but No. 17 is WAAAYYY too early for Keanu Neal. Reach central, especially when Shaq Lawson and other defensive line talents were still on the board.
18. Indianapolis Colts: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
If you saw my mock draft, you saw how I picked an offensive lineman to the Colts with a nice mock episode of how Andrew Luck would ask Ryan Grigson to draft one. After selecting a wide receiver in the first round last year, the Colts finally invested an early pick in someone who can protect Luck. Kelly is the best interior lineman in the draft.
19. Buffalo Bills: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
FINALLY! Rex Ryan's son plays for Clemson, so he -- more than anyone -- should know about Shaq Lawson. After losing Mario Williams this offseason, the Bills upgrade at defensive end by drafting Lawson. Buffalo's defense, though...
20. New York Jets: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
Speaking of defenses... The Jets continue to stockpile defense talent by adding Darron Lee, the fifth Buckeye to be drafted so far. Plug him into the left side next David Harris and watch him thrive.
21. Houston Texans (from Washington Redskins): Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
The Texans must have believed the Vikings or Bengals wanted to trade ahead of them in order to grab Fuller, so they moved up one pick in order to secure the speedster. All the Texans had to give was a 2017 sixth. I had Fuller mocked to Houston at No. 22, as he is a natural fit in the Texans' offense across from DeAndre Hopkins and Brock Osweiler. Just imagine Osweiler throwing to Fuller...
22. Washington Redskins (from Houston Texans): Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
THANK YOU, WASHINGTON! Josh Doctson is the best wide receiver in this draft, and even though the Redskins' may have had a more pressing need at defensive tackle, you can't blame Washington for grabbing a talent like Doctson for Kirk Cousins. At 6-foot-3, Doctson's body control rivals that of DeAndre Hopkins; I don't think it's unfair to expect him to become a Pro Bowl player.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
This wide receiver run surprises no one. Going into the process, Treadwell was widely-viewed as the top wide receiver in the class, but his stock dropped after his "slow" 40 time of 4.60. I still like Doctson better, but Treadwell will fit well in Minnesota with Stefon Diggs and Teddy Bridgewater. Wide receiver was the pick all along for Minnesota.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
The Bengals' draft room after all of the wide receivers went off the board:
But I must say, they handled it well. Cincinnati improved its secondary (which is NEVER a bad thing). Adam Jones needs to just be kicked out of the league, and maybe that will come into fruition when Jackson overtakes him. The Cougar was a key in shutting down Florida State's offense in the Peach Bowl.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Artie Burns, CB, Miami
The Steelers finally got the memo that cornerback is a position in the NFL. Pittsburgh has needed to invest in the position for years, and even though I like William Jackson more than Artie Burns, I credit the Steelers for actually acquiring a talented corner.
26. Denver Broncos (from Seattle Seahawks): Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
If you want an example of why the Broncos won the Super Bowl last year, look to this move: They traded up five spots in order to grab the PERFECT quarterback for the franchise. Lynch may or may not start this year over Mark Sanchez, but his upside is reminiscent of Cam Newton or Colin Kaepernick. I love it. I absolutely love it.
And that's not just because I own him in a dynasty fantasy football league.
27. Green Bay Packers: Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
Myles Jack, A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed are still available . That's my main issue with the Packers' selection. Jack obviously has health concerns that are driving teams away, but both Robinson and Reed are better prospects than Kenny Clark.
But I suppose the Packers disagree. Green Bay deserves a slightly better than average grade because, at the very least, they addressed a need.
28. San Francisco 49ers (from Kansas City Chiefs): Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford
Did anyone have Garnett as a first-round pick? And the 49ers traded a second, fourth and sixth round pick to move up in order to draft him? All while there's still much better talent on the board, all of which San Francisco could use?
Trent Baalke strikes again.
29. Arizona Cardinals: Richard Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss
Best pick of the draft to this point. Nkemdiche goes to a no-nonsense team (trust me when it comes to Bruce Arians) who has been able to help transform Tyrann Mathieu. The former Rebel will have veteran leadership on the defensive line -- Calais Campbell, Chandler Jones and Red Bryant -- and the opportunity to make an impact early on a great defense.
I think he'll be fine -- off the field -- in the NFL, especially in Arizona. When you think about the difference between the 49ers' last pick and this Arizona pick... All you can do is laugh.
30. Carolina Panthers: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
Both of the Alabama defensive tackles are still available (Jarran Reed and A'Shawn Robinson), and it's not a major need for the Panthers. I would have much rather seen Carolina draft a cornerback (Mackensie Alexander) or offensive lineman. You would have to suspect the Panthers will draft a corner in round two; otherwise... yikes.
31. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos): Germain Ifedi, OT/G, Texas A&M
Win-win for the Seahawks. Seattle moves back five spots and still grabs the offensive tackle it wanted at No. 26. Ifedi will be a valuable piece for a Seattle line that must improve in order to give Russell Wilson some more time in the pocket.
But when you think about it, Wilson makes some of his best plays while on the run. Maybe Seattle should continue to roll out bad offensive lines...
The real story with this pick, though: What is up with that white guy in the background? Let us know in the comments section.