Thumbs up, thumbs down for 2016 first-round NFL draft picks

NFL Nation reporters assess every first-round pick.

1. Los Angeles Rams*

Jared Goff, QB, California | Highlights

The pairing of a spread quarterback who spent 99 percent of his college career taking snaps in the shotgun with the team that was in that formation the least in 2015, leaves a lot of questions about how quickly Goff can transition to the NFL and a pro-style offense. But Goff's feet and ability to maneuver in the pocket is enough to make him a worthwhile pick for the long term. The Rams gave up a ton to get Goff but they absolutely had to find a potential franchise passer. Now it's up to them to put him position to succeed. Thumbs up. -- Nick Wagoner

*Acquired in trade with Titans

2. Philadelphia Eagles*

Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State | Highlights

To be clear, the Eagles deserve credit for taking chances here, trading away draft picks and players to move up for a chance at a franchise quarterback. There was nothing safe about it. Will Wentz be The Man in Philadelphia? We’ll find out. Thumbs up. -- Phil Sheridan

*Acquired in trade with Browns

3. San Diego Chargers

Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State | Highlights

The Chargers significantly upgraded the team’s run defense with the addition of Bosa. At 6-foot-5, 269 pounds, not only is Bosa stout against the run, but he’ll add juice to an ailing San Diego pass rush that hasn’t finished in the top 10 in the NFL in sacks since 2010. Thumbs up. -- Eric D. Williams

4. Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State | Highlights

You can quibble with taking a running back this high, but clearly the Cowboys think Elliott will be special and be even more special behind their offensive line. The Cowboys had eight rushing touchdowns last season and were led by Joseph Randle’s four. He played in only four games. Elliott had 44 touchdowns in three seasons at Ohio State. This move is an attempt to recapture the magic of 2014 with DeMarco Murray. Thumbs up. -- Todd Archer

5. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State | Highlights

Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell had to be turning cartwheels after San Diego took Bosa and Dallas took Elliott because he landed the best defensive player in the draft in Ramsey. He can play safety and corner, though it appears from comments coach Gus Bradley made last week that they plan to play Ramsey as a corner. Ramsey is an elite athlete who has safety size (6-foot-1, 209 pounds) with cornerback coverage skills. He’s a perfect fit for Bradley’s defense. Thumbs up. -- Mike DiRocco

6. Baltimore Ravens

Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame | Highlights

The Ravens go with the safe pick at offensive tackle by choosing Stanley over Ole Miss' Laremy Tunsil. This was time for Baltimore to draft a franchise left tackle with Joe Flacco coming off season-ending knee surgery and Eugene Monroe proving unreliable at protecting Flacco's blind side. Stanley is experienced enough to start immediately. Thumbs up. -- Jamison Hensley

7. San Francisco 49ers

DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon | Highlights

A physical freak for the Ducks at 6-foot-7, 291 pounds, Buckner is more than familiar with new Niners coach Chip Kelly, who recruited Buckner to Oregon. That gives the 49ers a pair of former Ducks at either end in their 3-4 defense, which gave up more than 2,020 rushing yards ago, and needs fresh blood in the trenches. Buckner had 10.5 sacks for the Ducks last season, including one of Goff. Thumbs up. -- Paul Gutierrez

8. Tennessee Titans*

Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State | Highlights

Conklin is a bit of a self-made man as a college walk-on who turned himself into a first-round pick. By selecting him after a trade up to No. 8, the Titans are saying he can start at right tackle from the outset of his rookie year. He will bring an attitude they need to be contagious, and can maul in the run game with more to prove in pass protection. I’m a bit wary of the possibility of drafting a persona as much as traits. But he’s going to help. Thumbs up. -- Paul Kuharsky

*Acquired in trade with Rams and Browns

9. Chicago Bears

Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia | Highlights

The Bears moved up two spots to draft a player who had 4.5 sacks in 2015. Floyd never dominated at Georgia. He is an incredible athlete, but the pick is risky. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will have to coach up Floyd, who needs to put on weight. The Bears did need another pass-rusher, but to surrender a fourth-round choice for Floyd is odd. Thumbs down. -- Jeff Dickerson

*Acquired in trade with Buccaneers

10. New York Giants

Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State | Highlights

The first hour of the draft couldn’t have gone worse for the Giants. Conklin and Floyd, two guys they liked, went off the board right before them. Tunsil, a guy they liked even better than Conklin, slid down the board due to an unfortunate Twitter video. But given the unfortunate circumstances, the Giants did well to react and take a big New Jersey cornerback who fills a short-term and long-term need. And my goodness, the name! Eli Apple! Big Apple! Born to be a Giant, no? Thumbs up. -- Dan Graziano

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida | Highlights

The Bucs upgraded at cornerback with their pick of Hargreaves, a Tampa native. The Bucs had focused on the 5-foot-10, 204-pound cornerback for a while, and they gained a fourth-round pick from the Bears (No. 106) in trading down from No. 9 to No. 11. After general manager Jason Licht hit on last year’s draft, he follows it up with a savvy first round this time around. Thumbs up. -- Andrew Astleford

12. New Orleans Saints

Sheldon Rankins, DE, Louisville | Highlights

Rankins made so much sense for the Saints at No. 12 that all four of our ESPN mock drafts had him projected to New Orleans. He’s an athletic 3-technique tackle who can be an asset against the run and pass -- for a defense that greatly needs to improve in both areas. Thumbs up. -- Mike Triplett

13. Miami Dolphins*

Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss | Highlights

Despite character concerns due to a video that surfaced online Thursday, the Dolphins took a major risk by selecting Tunsil at No. 13. Ryan Tannehill is the most sacked quarterback (184) in the NFL since being drafted in 2012, and Tunsil should be an immediate starter who will help with pass protection. But there will be plenty of temptations in South Florida and South Beach, and Tunsil must first prove to the Dolphins that he can stay out of trouble. Thumbs down. -- James Walker

*Acquired in trade with Eagles

14. Oakland Raiders

Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia | Highlights

There was no doubt the Raiders liked Joseph as a potential second-round pick. Turns out, they loved him as their first-rounder. The hard-hitting safety might remind some fans of Mike Mitchell but Joseph may have better hands with his five interceptions last season for the Mountaineers. He is coming back from a knee injury, though, having played only four games. Still, he addresses a need in the Raiders’ secondary. Thumbs up. -- Paul Gutierrez

15. Cleveland Browns*

Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor | Highlights

The Browns chose speed over size when they took Coleman. He ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the combine, but is short of 5-foot-11. The Browns are badly in need of playmakers and guys who score touchdowns, though, and Coleman had 20 TDs last season. That is at least a good place to start. Thumbs up. -- Pat McManamon

*Acquired in trade with Eagles and Titans

16. Detroit Lions

Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State | Highlights

Bob Quinn’s first pick as the general manager of the Lions is a safe one and a smart one. Matthew Stafford was sacked 89 times the past two seasons and taking Decker at No. 16 was a good decision by Quinn. Decker can come in and play right tackle immediately, improving the running game and giving Stafford more protection. Long term, he could end up as Stafford’s blindside protector. Thumbs up. -- Michael Rothstein

17. Atlanta Falcons

Keanu Neal, S, Florida | Highlights

The Falcons took a player they knew could step in and help improve the defensive immediately. Neal is an in-the-box safety who hits like a linebacker. He brings toughness and attitude, and he can play that Kam Chancellor role coach Dan Quinn had in Seattle as the defensive coordinator. Quinn recruited Neal to Florida, so there’s familiarity. Thumbs up. -- Vaughn McClure

18. Indianapolis Colts

Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama | Highlights

The Colts are finally showing their commitment to protecting franchise quarterback Andrew Luck with the pick of Kelly. Kelly hopefully stops the revolving door at that position for the Colts. They’ve started five different players at center since selecting Luck with the No. 1 overall pick in 2012. Thumbs up. -- Mike Wells

19. Buffalo Bills

Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson | Highlights

The surprise selections of Corey Coleman and Keanu Neal helped Lawson fall to the Bills, who weren’t expected to have a shot at one of the draft’s best edge defenders. Many expected the Bills to address their front seven and they did better than expected on this one. Thumbs up. -- Mike Rodak

20. New York Jets

Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State | Highlights

The Jets wisely passed on QB Paxton Lynch, a major project. They went defense for the seventh consecutive year in the first round, taking a new-age linebacker in Lee. At 6-foot-1, 232 pounds, he’s undersized to play inside backer in Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme, but he’s crazy fast -- a 4.47 in the 40 at the scouting combine. He can be a three-down player and will help in pass coverage. The Jets’ goal was to improve their team speed on defense. Mission accomplished. Thumbs up. -- Rich Cimini

21. Houston Texans*

Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame | Highlights

The Texans needed speed and get it with this pick. Will Fuller ran a 4.32 40-yard dash, but he isn’t just a track star. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Fuller led the Power 5 conferences in receptions and touchdowns on passes thrown longer than 20 yards. Thumbs up. -- Tania Ganguli

*Acquired in trade with Redskins

22. Washington Redskins

Josh Doctson, WR, TCU | Highlights

The Redskins did not have an immediate need at receiver at all. They need defensive help. However, they know this is a deep defensive draft and absolutely must focus on it after the first round. But, and it’s a big but, I like that the Redskins stuck with a best-player-available theory in taking Doctson. He’s a player they loved, but they did not anticipate taking him. However, after the draft changed in terms of players selected, the Redskins opted for Doctson. He’ll be a good red zone target for a team that needs guys in that area. Another key: Receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon both are free agents after next season. Thumbs up. -- John Keim

23. Minnesota Vikings

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss | Highlights

The Vikings wanted a true split end and in Treadwell they got one. He doesn’t turn 21 until this summer, has the size to handle press coverage (and block for Adrian Peterson) and he should give Teddy Bridgewater a much-needed target in an offense that ranked 31st in the league in passing last season. Thumbs up. -- Ben Goessling

24. Cincinnati Bengals

William Jackson III, CB, Houston | Highlights

The Bengals grabbed a cornerback who will help them absorb the potential loss of Dre Kirkpatrick, a veteran corner who will be available for free agency next offseason. The Bengals’ pick came after two pivotal receiver picks from a pair of their former coordinators (Jay Gruden, Washington; Mike Zimmer, Minnesota). Previously, a receiver had been the expectation at No. 24. Jackson led the nation in passes defensed last season with 28. His pick also takes him away from the rival Steelers, who appeared to be interested in him. Thumbs up. -- Coley Harvey

25. Pittsburgh Steelers

Artie Burns, CB, Miami | Highlights

The Steelers desperately needed corner help, so they made it happen with a long, athletic player many evaluators considered a top-three corner in the draft. His technique is an issue at times, and he’ll face questions about whether he can handle the Steelers’ zone-heavy coverage, but he had six interceptions last season in the ACC. The Steelers can utilize a deep defensive tackle class later in the second round. Thumbs up. -- Jeremy Fowler

26. Denver Broncos*

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis | Highlights

Lynch is a project, a player with a second-round grade from many teams, but the Broncos have the ability to give Lynch the time he needs to develop. Mark Sanchez certainly could serve as the team’s starter until they believe Lynch is ready. Perhaps Lynch wasn’t the best player on the board at the moment they selected him, but he is exactly the kind of big-framed, strong-armed prospect the Broncos want at the position. Thumbs up. -- Jeff Legwold

*Acquired in trade with Seahawks

27. Green Bay Packers

Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA | Highlights

The Packers allowed 4.5 yards per rush last season, the fourth-worst average in the NFL. And they lost their best run-stopping defensive lineman, B.J. Raji, who unexpectedly decided to walk away from football. So getting an interior lineman with excellent size (6-foot-2½, 314 pounds) and strength (29 reps on the bench press at the combine) should help even with his UCLA teammate Myles Jack on the board. Plus, Clark had six sacks last season for UCLA as a junior and he’s only 20 years old. Thumbs up. -- Rob Demovsky

28. San Francisco 49ers*

Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford | Highlights

The Niners traded up, surrendering picks in the second, fourth and sixth rounds to the Chiefs for the No. 28 pick and their seventh-rounder to draft … a guard? Sure, Garnett was the Outland Trophy winner but he is a left guard and the Niners’ big free-agent acquisition is … left guard Zane Beadles. Strange pick, indeed, considering the bigger need is at right tackle. Thumbs down. -- Paul Gutierrez

*Acquired in trade with Chiefs

29. Arizona Cardinals

Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss | Highlights

The Cardinals got a steal here with Nkemdiche, the risky defensive tackle from Ole Miss. He’s talented and makes the Cardinals’ defense (fifth in the NFL in 2015) even scarier with another pass-rusher. Arizona has taken on players who have dealt with off-field issues before, as Nkemdiche did in college. Thumbs up. -- Josh Weinfuss

30. Carolina Panthers

Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech | Highlights

Love this pick as much as general manager Dave Gettleman loves "hog mollies," his name for big men. Put Butler in the middle of a rotation with Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short, Carolina’s first- and second-round picks of the 2013 draft, and quarterbacks beware. The best way to take pressure off the secondary minus Josh Norman is to pressure the quarterback. This crew should be able to do that. Thumbs up. -- David Newton

31. Seattle Seahawks

Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M | Highlights

Judging based solely on his film, he's probably not a first-rounder. But Ifedi (6-foot-6, 324 pounds with 36-inch arms) has rare physical attributes and tested out well. The Seahawks believe in drafting prospects like Ifedi and letting offensive line coach Tom Cable work with them. Ifedi has experience playing right guard and right tackle. He could compete for a starting spot right away but is more of an upside pick with an eye toward the future. Given that the Seahawks have defined strengths and weaknesses, this pick makes sense. And the Seahawks were able to pick up an extra third-round pick in the process by trading back with the Broncos. Thumbs up. -- Sheil Kapadia

*There were only 31 picks in the first round, with New England's first-round pick forfeited.