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PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Jared Goff #16 of the California Golden Bears in action against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on November 21, 2015 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Goff And Wentz Go No.1 And No. 2 In 2016 NFL Draft

The First Round of the 2016 NFL Draft took place last night in Chicago and it had it’s fair share of both surprises and expected picks.

First Round Of 2016 NFL Draft Complete

As expected, the Los Angeles Rams selected Jared Goff out of California with the top overall pick.  The Rams will need Goff to provide the stability at the quarterback position that Sam Bradford failed to do when he was drafted by the then St. Louis Rams first overall in 2010.  Los Angeles acquired the top pick from Tennessee on April 14 in exchange for the No. 15 overall pick, two second rounders (No. 43 and 45), third rounder (No. 76), and the Rams’ first and third round selections next year.

The Philadelphia Eagles, Bradford’s current team, held the second pick and followed suit by taking quarterback Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State.  The selection of Wentz means that Bradford’s time in the City of Brotherly Love has likely come to an end.

After the first two selections, the surprises started to happen.  Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil, widely regarded as the best player in the draft, slid all the way to No. 13 to the Miami Dolphins.  Tunsil was passed on by teams with a need for a tackle including San Diego, Baltimore, and Tennessee (ho traded back up from No. 15 to No. 8).

The reason for Tunsil’s draft slide is his Twitter account was supposedly hacked and a video of him smoking weed through a gas mask was leaked to the internet about 10 minutes before the draft began.  Two offensive tackles were taken ahead of him, Ronnie Stanley from Notre Dame was selected sixth by the Ravens, and Jack Conklin was selected eighth by the Titans.

The Chargers decided to go with Joey Bosa, a defensive end from Ohio State, instead of upgrading their injury ravaged offensive line.  Bosa will help San Diego’s defense immediately against both the run and pass.  However, by selecting a defensive player, the Chargers did not provide any help for quarterback Phillip Rivers, who is nearing the final seasons of his career at age 34.

At No. 4, the Dallas Cowboys threw a curveball by selecting Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliot.  The Cowboys don’t have an immediate need at running back with Darren McFadden running for 1,089 yards and averaging 4.6 yards per carry in 2015.  Dallas was widely expected to take cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who many see as the best player in the draft outside of Tunsil.

With Ramsey falling to No. 5, Jacksonville made the easy choice to upgrade their secondary.  At 6’1, 209 pounds, Ramsey has the athleticism and experience to play every position in the defensive backfield and will definitely help the Jaguars’ defense against the likes of DeAndre Hopkins and T.Y. Hilton.

With Stanley going sixth, the San Francisco 49ers selected DeForest Buckner, a behemoth of a man at 6’7, 291 pounds, out of Oregon.  In San Francisco, Buckner will be reunited with his collegiate teammate Arik Armstead and former coach at Oregon, Chip Kelly.

The Titans selected Conklin at No. 8.  After receiving the 15th pick as part of their trade with the Rams, the Titans sent No. 15 and No. 76 (also acquired in the LA trade) to the Cleveland Browns.

With the ninth pick, the Chicago Bears took outside linebacker Leonard Floyd,  Floyd has great athleticism and size at 6’6, 244, but struggled at Georgia to get to the quarterback as a pass rusher,  He only had 4.5 sacks with the Bulldogs last season.  Bears’ defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will look to coach up Floyd in a similar manner to when Fangio was in San Francisco when they drafted Aldon Smith in 2011.

The New York Giants rounded out the top 10 by selecting the player with the perfect name for the Big Apple.  Eli Apple will be looked upon to help the New York’s secondary along with Janoris Jenkins, who was acquired in free agency.  Apple is a big, strong corner at 6’1, 199 and with more experience, he could develop into a true number one corner, which helps when you have to see Dez Bryant twice a year.

The rest of the first round selections were:

No. 11 Tampa Bay selected Vernon Hargreaves III, 5’10, 204- cornerback, Florida

No. 12  New Orleans selected Sheldon Rankins, 6’1, 299- defensive tackle, Louisville

No. 13  Miami selected Laremy Tunsil, 6’5, 310- offensive tackle, Ole Miss

No. 14 Oakland selected Karl Joseph, 5’10, 205- safety, West Virginia

No. 15  Cleveland selected Corey Coleman, 5’11, 194- wide receiver, Baylor

No. 16  Detroit selected Taylor Decker, 6’7, 310-offensive tackle, Ohio State

No. 17  Atlanta selected Keanu Neal, 6’0, 211- strong safety, Florida

No. 18  Indianapolis selected Ryan Kelly, 6’4, 311- center, Alabama

No. 19  Buffalo selected Shaq Lawson, 6’3, 269-defensive end, Clemson

No. 20  New York Jets selected Darron Lee, 6’1, 232-linebacker, Ohio State

No. 21  Houston selected Will Fuller, 6’0, 186- wide receiver, Notre Dame

No. 22  Washington selected Josh Doctson, 6’2, 202- wide receiver, TCU

No. 23  Minnesota selected Laquon Treadwell, 6’2, 221- wide receiver, Ole Miss

No. 24  Cincinnati selected William Jackson III, 6’0, 189- cornerback, Houston

No. 25  Pittsburgh selected Arite Burns, 6’0, 193- cornerback, Miami (FL)

No. 26  Denver selected Paxton Lynch, 6’7, 244-quarterback, Memphis

No. 27  Green Bay selected Kenny Clark, 6’3, 314- defensive tackle, UCLA

No. 28  San Francisco selected Joshua Garnett, 6’4, 312- guard, Stanford

No. 29  Arizona selected Robert Nkemdiche, 6’3, 294- defensive tackle, Ole Miss

No. 30  Carolina selected Vernon Butler, 6’4, 323- defensive tackle, Louisiana Tech

No. 31  Seattle selected Germain Ifedi, 6’6, 324- offensive lineman, Texas A&M

New England forfeited their first round pick as punishment for Deflategate.

Rounds 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft will take place tonight starting at 7 PM EST.  It will be broadcast on ESPN from 7-8, then coverage will move to ESPN 2, and NFL Network will also broadcast the two rounds.

After the first round, linebacker Myles Jack is still available.  Jack was a projected Top-10 pick in the draft, but has injury concerns with his knee and he said in an interview that he might need degenerative surgery, scaring off a lot of teams.

Aside from Jack, there is still a number of talented players left on the draft board.  Other top players left on the board are defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, from Alabama, defensive end Noah Spence, from Eastern Kentucky, cornerback Mackensie Alexander from Clemson, Jaylon Smith, linebacker from Notre Dame,  and running back Derrick Henry from Alabama among others.

*All measurements taken from NFL.com

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Written by Nick Vigliotti