In case you are wondering what teams of interest means, it means the Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and New England Patriots. As I said earlier I’m only going to touch on what would be the highlights of their drafts.
The Raiders had seven picks in the 2016 draft one in each round. The only real pick of interest was in the fourth round. In the fourth round the Raiders had the 2nd pick of the round and the 100th pick overall. The Raiders received this pick from the Browns who held it via the Eagles from the Titans, as they traded up to take senior Michigan St. QB Connor Cook. Cook in 43 games for the Spartans compiled 673 completions on 1,170 attempts for 9,194, 71 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions. He also had a 57.5% completion percentage, averaging 27.2 attempts a game and 213.8 yards a game with a TID of 4.1. The thing that makes this pick interesting is the position that this puts Matt McGloin in. McGloin finds himself now in a similar position that Mike Glennon finds himself in. Both have played well enough to get a shot at the starting job but won’t ever find it with the team they are currently on. If Cook has a good enough pre-season don’t be surprised to find that a team like the San Fransisco 49ers or the Buffalo Bills make a trade for McGloin. Grade:B
The Dolphins had seven picks in the 2016 draft 1 pick in the first and second rounds and 2 picks in the third, sixth, and seventh rounds. The Dolphins drafted two wide receivers in this draft in the third round they drafted Leonte Carroo who if his scouting report is accurate at 6’0 as angry runner with the ball he should have the advantage for that 4th receiver spot over guys like Matt Hazel and Rashawn Scott. With that said he isn’t the interesting pick in this draft. The interesting pick in this draft was the second wide receiver. The Dolphins received from the Minnesota Vikings the 11th pick in the sixth round and the 186th pick overall, and with this pick the Dolphin selected senior Texas Tech WR Jakeem Grant. According to his scouting report he’s a good punt returner and gunner at 5’6 he’s on the short side for a receiver. The thing that makes this pick interesting is aside for Jarvis Landry who returns punts, the Dolphins signed Griff Whalen away from the Indianapolis Colts who was a return specialist for the Colts and Whalen has the added advantage of being 5’11. In 50 games for the Red Raiders Grant had 254 receptions, for 3,286 yards, for 27 touchdowns and an average of 12.9 yards a reception, 5.08 receptions a game, and 65.72 yards a game. If they have bigger plans for this kid then just as a returner, I question the signing of Griff Whalen and if not why waste a draft pick here when there other needs to address. Grade: C-
New York Jets:
The Jets had seven picks in the 2016 draft one pick in each of the first five rounds, and two in the seventh round.The Jets made two picks of interest lets start with the least interesting pick. With the the 14th pick in the seventh round the 235th pick overall received from St.Louis via Houston and Denver, the Jets selected Sam Houston St. punter Lac Edwards, with how poorly Ryan Quigley has done averaging a net of 36.2 yards a punt, Edwards has averaged 40+ net over his college career, expect Edwards to be the starting punter week 1. Grade: B+
The more interesting pick by far is their second round pick. With the 20th pick in the second round and the 51st pick overall the Jets selected junior Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg. In 38 games for the Nittany Lions, Hackenberg compiled 693 completions on 1,235 attempts for 8,457, 48 touchdowns, 31 interceptions, a 56.1 completion percentage, 32.5 attempts per game for 222.6 yards per game and a TID of 1.4. On the surface Hackenberg looks like a project with that worrisome TID of 1.4. Now with Ryan Fitzpatrick still unsigned, and no matter what the Jets GM and coaches are saying about Geno Smith, nobody believes that he has the tools to start in this league, and as a second round pick he’ll jump last year’s fourth round pick Bryce Petty on the depth chart, so unless Fitzpatrick resigns with the Jets, I think Hackenberg will be the Jets Week 1 starter. Grade:B-
New England Patriots:
The Patriots had nine picks in the 2016 draft. They had no picks in the first and fifth rounds, one pick in the second,fourth, and seventh rounds, and three picks in the third and sixth rounds. The most interesting pick the Patriots made was their second pick in the third at 29th in the round and 91st overall the Patriots selected senior N.C. State QB Jacoby Brissett. In 40 games for the Wolfpack Brissett had 499 completions on 839 attempts for 5,723 yards, 46 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Compiling a 59.5 completion percentage, 21 attempts a game, 143.1 yards a game and a TID of 3.7. His TID of 3.7 tells me he can take care of the ball and should give third year QB Jimmy Garoppolo a run for his money. I don’t expect Brissett to unseat Garoppolo but if he did I wouldn’t be surprised. Grade: B