Although the Patriots did not have a pick in last night's first round of the 2016 NFL Draft because of Deflategate, there were still many surprising and impactful selections. Let's ask some questions to the BBS staff about last night's festivities....
Do you agree with taking Jared Goff over Carson Wentz?
Will: Absolutely. The Rams are too talented to keep getting dragged down by sub-par quarterbacks, and Goff is the most NFL-ready quarterback in the draft. Wentz may have more potential, but he'll need more time to develop—something that Los Angeles can't afford to give.
Pete: I agree with Will that Goff is the more NFL-ready QB. However, I am a huge Texas Longhorns fan and watched the Cal vs. Texas game from last season. At the time, Cal was ranked and struggling mightily against an inferior, albeit it good, Texas Longhorn team. Goff could not control his emotions and was flipping out on the sideline. Since then, I have been Wentz over Goff, and, if I was the Rams, I would have taken Wentz.
What was the most surprising selection of the night?
Will: Eli Apple to the Giants at No. 10. Something tells me that Leonard Floyd was their preference, but when Chicago jumped them to take Floyd they had to go with their Plan B. They already have Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins locked into expensive long-term deals, so why waste a pick this good on someone who will be your slot corner?
Pete: While there were many surprising picks, or lack thereof (look at you, Gas Mask boy), I think the most surprising pick was the Houston Texans trading up the 21st overall for Will Fuller. I had Fuller on my Patriots Big Board, solely because I thought there was no way in hell a receiver that can't catch the football could be taken so high. While his blazing speed is something that NFL teams should salivate over, Josh Doctson is the more (maybe most?) complete receiver in the draft.
Who will have the best career out of the players taken?
Will: Ezekiel Elliott. I think Dallas made a mistake by selecting him over Jalen Ramsey, but he's an incredibly talented running back behind an amazing offensive line. Plus, running backs always have the most appealing stats.
Pete: Jalen Ramsey. While being drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars would usually constitute a forgotten career, the Jags are secretly building a pretty good product, centered around Blake Bortles. As for Ramsey, the dude is a freak athlete and possibly the best player as is coming out of the draft. As a rather large individual (6'1", 209 lbs), Ramsey is big enough to cover top receivers in the league and jam them at the line of scrimmage, but also quick enough to keep up with the more versatile receiver (4.41 40-yard dash).
Who will be the biggest bust?
Will: Apple. Even in college, the guy was basically a walking pass-interference penalty. He'll underachieve as the forgotten man on an overpaid secondary, and never become the great cornerback that one would expect from a top-10 pick.
Pete: I am going to go out on a lim here and say Goff. I just can't stand the kid. Too arrogant, too full of himself. P.S: For all you Goff-lovers, the same was said about Aaron Rodgers.
Would you have selected Laremy Tunsil even with the weed allegations?
Will: Absolutely. His talent is simply too much to pass up.
Pete: Yup, no questions asked. While it is a bad look, and it could be talked about in regards to his overall mindset and maturity, in my opinion, Laremy Tunsil is the most talented player in the draft. He could be a franchise lineman, and there is no better team to take him than the Miami Dolphins. Have fun losing.
If the Patriots had a first round pick, who would you have taken?
Will: I would've gone with Myles Jack, but I don't think Belichick would've picked him after his knee problems (and the failed Easley experiment).
Pete: Robert Nkemdiche, Myles Jack, Derrick Henry, these are just some of the players that were available when the Pats would have picked this year. It still stings.
Which team had the best night?
Will: Would've gone with the Titans had they chosen Tunsil instead of Jack Conklin. Instead, I'll go with the Bills, as much as it pains me to say it. Shaq Lawson at No. 19 is nothing short of a steal; he's arguably the best defensive end in the draft besides Bosa.
Pete: The Cardinals picking Nkemdiche at the end of the first round is an absolute steal, even with him off-the-field issues. However, I am going to go with the Washington Redskins. They swapped their pick with the Houston Texans and were able to grab a 2017 sixth-rounds in the process as well. Additionally, I think they got one of the best receivers in the draft in Josh Doctson in the process.
What do you expect to see from the Patriots in the next couple of rounds?
Will: A specific emphasis on building the offensive line (tackles in particular) and on finding a third linebacker to play alongside Hightower and Collins (maybe Su'a Cravens if he falls?). I don't buy the running back hype in the middle rounds, but I like USC's Tre Madden as a late-round target for them. Expect Belichick to over-draft a cornerback like he usually does; the guy I look at is Harlan Miller from Southeast Lousiana, who has some Malcolm Butler-esque tendencies.
Pete: The only guarantee I have for the upcoming couple of days is that the Pats will be drafting Keenan Reynolds in the later rounds. Other than that, I think they could go for a running back, such as Devontae Booker or Jonathan Williams, and the previously mentioned positions that Will suggested. They do have a lot of trades in the later rounds, so we could also see a trade or two happen.