Thumbs up, thumbs down for each team's 2016 NFL draft class

Rams 2016 draft hinges on how Jared Goff progresses (1:14)

After trading six premium picks to the Tennessee Titans, the success of the Los Angeles Rams' 2016 draft class comes down to how quarterback Jared Goff fares in transitioning to the NFL. (1:14)

Our NFL Nation reporters assess each team's 2016 NFL draft class.


Dallas Cowboys

Thumbs up. Giving this a thumbs up is solely about the future and Jaylon Smith. When you can get two players that are among the top five -- Ezekiel Elliott and Smith -- on your draft board, that has to be viewed successfully, but this carries a huge question. There is no guarantee Smith will regain the form he had at Notre Dame because of a serious knee injury. After the 2017 season, however, this draft might look transcendent if Elliott is among the best runners and Smith is among the best linebackers. This is a great reminder that a draft isn’t only about present-year production, but the future. And that’s where Dak Prescott fits in as a potential developmental quarterback behind Tony Romo. The Cowboys, however, need present-day production from Maliek Collins and Charles Tapper to help a defensive line that will rely on depth if not top-end ability, especially in the first four games of the season. -- Todd Archer | Grading the Cowboys

New York Giants

Thumbs up. They got caught flat-footed in the first round when Tennessee and Chicago jumped them to take the guys they wanted, but they did the best they could with that pick, and cornerback Eli Apple should develop into a starter. They got a pair of likely immediate contributors in the second and third rounds with WR Sterling Shepard and safety Darian Thompson. And they spent Saturday adding to depth at positions where they have question marks -- linebacker, running back and tight end. In particular, fifth-round RB Paul Perkins looks as though he offers something the rest of the guys at his position group don’t, and could come quickly. All in all, a Giants team that needs depth everywhere and needs to develop players better got a promising-looking crew. The only negative is that they didn’t find an offensive lineman. -- Dan Graziano | Grading the Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Thumbs up. Time will tell, of course, whether the Eagles got a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback in Carson Wentz, the North Dakota State product they traded up to draft. But we’re not about to evaluate this draft based on third-round pick Isaac Seumalo or anyone else. For now, all we can look at is what the Eagles did and why. They made three trades to move up from No. 13 to No. 8 and finally to No. 2. They identified and acquired a quarterback. It is the only way to compete for a Super Bowl, and the Eagles took their shot. -- Phil Sheridan | Grading the Eagles

Washington Redskins

Thumbs up. The Redskins did not necessarily find any impact, Day 1 starters, but they did add players who will help right away in receiver Josh Doctson and linebacker/safety Su'a Cravens -- and some who will help down the road such as linebacker Steven Daniels. The Redskins stuck by their board and even acquired three picks for next season. A solid three days. -- John Keim | Grading the Redskins


Chicago Bears

Thumbs up. Top pick Leonard Floyd is a roll of the dice. That makes me nervous. In general, the Bears played it safe but still created competition at left guard, defensive end, safety and running back. Not a bad haul. Floyd has to play. That’s a no-brainer. But there is a legitimate chance that Cody Whitehair, Jonathan Bullard, Jordan Howard and Deon Bush contribute in 2016. On top of that, defensive backs Deiondre' Hall and DeAndre Houston-Carson are athletic prospects who have the potential to one day help the secondary. I don’t expect guys from Northern Iowa and William & Mary to make an immediate impact, but the secondary is fluid. Who knows? Overall, Chicago prioritized athleticism and character. That’s usually a pretty good recipe for success. -- Jeff Dickerson | Grading the Bears

Detroit Lions

Thumbs up. It’s tough to grade Detroit too harshly despite some of its third-day questions -- long-snapper? Really? But the majority of Detroit’s draft picks were sound and filled needs. The Lions had a phenomenal first two days, solidifying the offensive line with tackle Taylor Decker, center Graham Glasgow and defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson. Those are three potential immediate starters and can provide great value. Detroit was always going to take a backup quarterback and Jake Rudock understands how to run a pro-style system and can provide support to starter Matthew Stafford. Safety Miles Killebrew could be an early starter as well, so he could be a great value pick. The totality of that surpasses the bizarre decision to draft Jimmy Landes, the long-snapper from Baylor. -- Michael Rothstein | Grading the Lions

Green Bay Packers

Thumbs up. Boring doesn’t always mean bad. General manager Ted Thompson didn’t draft a skill-position player until the fifth round (Cal receiver Trevor Davis) and he used four of his first five picks on defensive players -- all in the front seven. The only offensive player he picked in that stretch was a tackle in the second round (Indiana’s Jason Spriggs). First-round pick Kenny Clark of UCLA has a chance to be a difference-maker on the defensive line, and it never hurts to add linebackers who can run (third-rounder Kyler Fackrell of Utah State and fourth-rounder Blake Martinez of Stanford). If Thompson truly picked the best player available at the position of greatest need, then he did his job. -- Rob Demovsky | Grading the Packers

Minnesota Vikings

Thumbs up. As their trade out of the third round on Friday indicated, the Vikings know roster spots could be at a premium for them in 2016. And as they usually do, they took some players who will need some time to develop. Sixth-rounder Moritz Boehringer is one of the feel-good stories of the draft, but he’ll have plenty to learn going from Germany to the NFL. So will fourth-round offensive lineman Willie Beavers, seventh-round pass-rusher Stephen Weatherly and seventh-round safety Jayron Kearse. But the Vikings addressed their biggest need in the first round with Mississippi receiver Laquon Treadwell, and they identified some players who could contribute in the future. It’s a good problem to have when you’re picking players you don’t necessarily need to take on major roles right away, and outside of Treadwell, the Vikings should have the luxury of time with many of their picks. They’ll once again trust their coaching staff to coax production out of an intriguing group. -- Ben Goessling | Grading the Vikings


Atlanta Falcons

Thumbs up. No matter how you dissect the Falcons’ draft, the bottom line is they needed to find players with more speed and more physicality than what’s on the current roster. The Falcons accomplished that goal in the first two picks alone with hard-hitting safety Keanu Neal and speedy linebacker Deion Jones. The wild card could be fourth-round pick De'Vondre Campbell, a player who is versatile enough to play all three linebacker spots and fast and long enough to evolve into a pass-rusher. Stanford tight end Austin Hooper should be a tremendous asset in the red zone, and it always helps to have more offensive line help in the highly intelligent Wes Schweitzer. Are the Falcons playoff contenders? Not sure. Did they get better with their draft picks? Absolutely. -- Vaughn McClure | Grading the Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Thumbs up. This class was all about filling the hole left by Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman. It began in the first round with a huge defensive tackle (Vernon Butler) to create havoc on quarterbacks and take pressure off the secondary. It continued with cornerbacks James Bradberry, Daryl Worley and Zack Sanchez in the second, third and fifth rounds. The key here is Carolina has a philosophy and stuck with it. It filled needs. The formula got the Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2015, so it’s hard to argue with it. -- David Newton | Grading the Panthers

New Orleans Saints

Thumbs up. This was awfully close to a thumbs down, since I don’t like the price the Saints paid by trading up twice and finishing with just five picks. It's a thin class for a team that still has a lot of needs. But I like the picks themselves -- especially the top three of DT Sheldon Rankins, big WR Michael Thomas and safety Vonn Bell. All three were ranked among ESPN/Scouts Inc.’s top 37 players, all three fill needs, and all have the chance to make an early impact. -- Mike Triplett | Grading the Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Thumbs up. As expected, the Bucs placed a heavy emphasis on defense in this draft by adding intriguing talent. It’s hard to argue with the selections of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and defensive end Noah Spence in the first two rounds. Kicker Roberto Aguayo's addition in the second round leaves room for debate. Still, if he becomes dependable, few will remember that the Bucs traded their third-round pick (No. 74) and one of their two fourth-round selections (No. 106) to the Kansas City Chiefs to move up and take him at No. 59 overall. Dan Vitale is the only fullback on roster after Saturday. Cornerback Ryan Smith, linebacker Devante Bond and offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch will have chances to provide depth. -- Andrew Astleford


Arizona Cardinals

Thumbs up. The Arizona Cardinals filled significant needs at pass-rusher, defensive back and offensive line, and they were able to add depth at a couple of those positions. Arizona got a steal in the first round when defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche dropped to the Cards at No. 29, and drafted potential starters Brandon Williams at cornerback and Evan Boehm at center. -- Josh Weinfuss | Grading the Cardinals

San Francisco 49ers

Thumbs down. A curious draft for a rebuilding team, to be sure. The Niners drafted three cornerbacks but no inside linebackers. They traded up to select a player at a position that was already addressed in free agency. And they fortified the right side of the offensive line with late picks and Anthony Davis making noise about returning from retirement. Oh, and they drafted a QB in the sixth round. Curious? More like strange. -- Paul Gutierrez | Grading the 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Thumbs up. The Seahawks’ top priority going into the draft was to address the offensive line, and they did that. For the second consecutive year, they selected three offensive linemen: Texas A&M’s Germain Ifedi in the first, Boise State’s Rees Odhiambo in the third and TCU’s Joey Hunt in the sixth. On the defensive side of the ball, they filled needs with run-stuffing defensive tackle Jarran Reed out of Alabama and interior pass-rusher Quinton Jefferson out of Maryland. Taking three running backs was a bit puzzling, but the Seahawks gave themselves options to join Thomas Rawls in the backfield. Overall, they filled their major needs and have assembled a roster capable of competing for another Super Bowl. -- Sheil Kapadia | Grading the Seahawks

Los Angeles Rams

Thumbs up. The trade to move up for Jared Goff puts the weight of this draft on his shoulders and if he becomes the franchise quarterback the Rams hope he can be, this draft is a win. But the reason they get positive reviews here is because, for the second year in a row, they had a clear plan and executed it. They drafted Goff, then proceeded to spend the next three picks and four of their five other choices to get him some weapons in the passing game. It remains to be seen if the plan will work out but at least what they did made sense, which is more than can be said for many Rams drafts over the past decade or so. -- Nick Wagoner


Buffalo Bills

Thumbs up. The Bills hit on both value and need with their first-round selection of Shaq Lawson (No. 19 overall) and their second-round selection of Reggie Ragland (No. 41 overall). In fact, neither Lawson nor Ragland were on the board when I made the Bills’ pick at No. 19 in our NFL Nation mock draft earlier this week. Rex Ryan told me Friday he was thrilled with the selection of Lawson and picking up Ragland must have only put a bigger smile on his face. His defense needed reinforcements. -- Mike Rodak | Grading the Bills

Miami Dolphins

Thumbs up. The Dolphins landed arguably the best player in the draft at No. 13 overall in offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. Despite his baggage, Tunsil should make an immediate impact and has the potential to become a future Pro Bowler if he stays clear of trouble. Second-round pick Xavien Howard should start at cornerback in Week 1, and running back Kenyan Drake and receiver Leonte Carroo also have a chance to contribute right away on offense. -- James Walker | Grading the Dolphins

New England Patriots

Thumbs up. The things I liked about the Patriots’ draft (CB Cyrus Jones, WR Malcolm Mitchell, replenishing a 2017 fourth-round pick) outnumbered the things that fell on the opposite side of the ledger (passing on RB Devontae Booker and the entire RB position). This was a draft where the Patriots had to make their opportunities count because they were without a first-round draft choice (stripped as part of Deflategate), and I thought they did well with the opportunities they had. -- Mike Reiss | Grading the Patriots

New York Jets

Thumbs up. The Jets made a big splash with QB Christian Hackenberg in the second round, a boom-or-bust pick that could shake up the quarterback depth chart. They overvalued his positive traits (size, arm strength), ignoring two straight mediocre seasons. Desperation influenced their decision making. They helped the defense with first-round LB Darron Lee and third-round OLB Jordan Jenkins, both of whom should contribute immediately. Lee’s sub-4.5 speed adds a new dimension to the front seven. With seven picks, the Jets hit their main needs, including punter. They picked Lachlan Edwards in the seventh. -- Rich Cimini | Grading the Jets


Baltimore Ravens

Thumbs up. This was a solid but not spectacular draft. The Ravens checked a lot of boxes with pass-rushers, offensive playmakers and even a returner in Navy's Keenan Reynolds. There just wasn't a lot of flash. The Ravens failed to trade up for Jalen Ramsey and passed on Myles Jack and Noah Spence. It was a safe draft with good upside. -- Jamison Hensley | Grading the Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Thumbs up. OK, it’s broken-record time. Once again the Cincinnati Bengals are going to receive widespread praise for the way they put together a draft class. It’s been happening since 2011, when they landed both A.J. Green and Andy Dalton in Rounds 1 and 2. This time around, the Bengals targeted speed and strength in an effort to bolster an already deep roster with younger talent. William Jackson III’s selection as a first-round corner was a little stunning, given the necessity for a talented receiver, but Tyler Boyd took care of the gap in the pass-catching corps. Both players have been lauded for their quickness, just like third-round linebacker Nick Vigil. Andrew Billings and his 605-pound bench press made the Bengals stronger. While some of these players might play this season, the real testament of their value will be seen a couple of years. -- Coley Harvey | Grading the Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Thumbs up. It's tough to gush over the Browns' draft picks, but they did have a ton of them -- and they added players at many different positions. A team with many needs made five trades and ended up with 14 picks and a cornerback acquired via trade (Jamar Taylor). That's a serious infusion of players to a roster that needs them. The marquee pick obviously is Corey Coleman, but WRs Jordan Payton and Rashard Higgins were very productive at UCLA and Colorado State, respectively. College production was a theme, as was quality of character. It's tough to say the Browns are appreciably better than they were three days ago, but they do have 15 new players to throw in the mix. For that alone, the draft turned out to be a "thumbs up" -- but just barely. -- Pat McManamon | Grading the Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

Thumbs up. This thumb almost trended downward, but the Steelers’ preference for speed and athleticism defensively prevailed here. For Pittsburgh, this draft includes a first-round pick in Artie Burns that some teams considered a second-round talent, and a lack of offensive weaponry (no skill players in the first six rounds). But the Steelers were dedicated to improving the secondary with Burns and Maryland safety Sean Davis in the top two rounds. Both are long and fast. This pass defense needs that. For that, the Steelers remain in the B range for draft grades. Plus, third-round tackle Javon Hargrave has a chance to contribute in a hurry. -- Jeremy Fowler | Grading the Steelers


Houston Texans

Thumbs up. After signing quarterback Brock Osweiler, the Texans’ biggest remaining need was offensive speed. They started with Will Fuller, the fastest receiver at the combine. Third-round pick Braxton Miller didn’t blow anyone away with his combine 40-yard dash, but his functional speed on the field can’t be denied. Fourth-round pick Tyler Ervin is fast, too, with a 4.41 40-yard dash and quick times in other agility drills. A lack of speed hurt the Texans offense last season, and that shouldn’t happen again with additions from this draft class and free agency. -- Tania Ganguli | Grading the Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Thumbs up. The Colts were far from flashy in the draft. That’s actually fine because they have enough flash on their roster in the form of players such as Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton. The Colts needed to fix their offensive line after four years of having Luck get hit over and over again because of poor blocking. They didn’t take just one offensive lineman. They didn’t take two offensive linemen. They didn’t take just three offensive linemen. They took four offensive linemen out of eight picks. Alabama’s Ryan Kelly became just the eighth center selected in the first round since 2000, when Indianapolis picked him at No. 18. Kelly is expected to start from Day 1 and hopefully end the revolving door at center -- five different players have started there since 2012 -- for the Colts. -- Mike Wells | Grading the Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Thumbs up. This draft was all about improving one of the league’s worst defenses and GM Dave Caldwell nailed it. He landed the draft’s top two defensive players (Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack) and they filled huge needs. He picked a player that’s a prototypical leo (pass-rushing end) in the third round (DE Yannick Ngakoue). These moves complemented the free-agent signings of DT Malik Jackson and FS Tashaun Gipson. The defense -- which has given up the most, second-most and fourth-most points in a single season over the past three seasons -- is now significantly better on paper. After this draft, there are enough pieces in place to meet what owner Shad Khan said was a reasonable expectation in 2016: a winning record. -- Michael DiRocco | Grading the Jaguars

Tennessee Titans

Thumbs up. It took the Titans time to get as bad as they’ve been over the past two seasons. It’s going to take them time to get good. But the first draft class for GM Jon Robinson included a theme tied to an identity, something the previous GM and coach were never able to articulate, better yet put into practice. In Jack Conklin, Kevin Dodd, Austin Johnson, Derrick Henry and Sebastian Tretola, they got big, strong, nasty players who can help forge a team personality. Safety Kevin Byard, receiver Tajae Sharpe and cornerback LeShaun Sims look like players with better ball skills than the Titans have at those positions. -- Paul Kuharsky | Grading the Titans


Denver Broncos

Thumbs up. The Broncos secured the guy they hope is the quarterback of the future in Paxton Lynch -- they traded up five spots in the first round to do it after they believed the Dallas Cowboys and the Cleveland Browns were trying to move in front of them to take Lynch. Second-round pick Adam Gotsis, a former Australian rules football player, was a bit of a reach, but has enormous potential. But the Broncos found top-shelf value on the third day with Utah running back Devontae Booker in the fourth round, who will push to play immediately, and Missouri guard Connor McGovern in the fifth round. A punter -- Syracuse’s Riley Dixon -- in the seventh might have been a reach. -- Jeff Legwold | Grading the Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs

Thumbs up. The Chiefs deserve credit for accumulating some extra draft picks. They entered the draft with seven picks, including two in the top 125. They parlayed that into nine picks and five of the top 126 choices. The draft is a percentages game and they increased their chances of finding more good players. They also addressed a shortage at cornerback by drafting three. -- Adam Teicher | Grading the Chiefs

Oakland Raiders

Thumbs down. Early on, it seemed the Raiders were bent on drafting players with knee issues, though they did address needs at safety and pass-rushing. Still, they did not draft a pure middle linebacker and, instead of finding a serviceable backup quarterback late in the draft, they took the fourth-ranked QB in Michigan State’s Connor Cook, even though they already have a franchise starter in Derek Carr. Looking at it through the prism of having to fill immediate needs with players who can contribute immediately, it’s a head-scratcher of a draft. -- Paul Gutierrez | Grading the Raiders

San Diego Chargers

Thumbs up. Once again, GM Tom Telesco stayed true to his nature by making solid and sensible selections that filled team needs throughout the draft. But he missed a good opportunity to swing for the fences in passing on Myles Jack. The UCLA product’s knee issues have been well documented, but Telesco had a chance to have first-round pick Joey Bosa and Jack on the same defense. Instead, he took the top tight end on the board in Hunter Henry in the second round, and the Jacksonville Jaguars moved up to select Jack a pick later at No. 36. There’s no shame in taking Henry, a complete tight end who could serve as the eventual replacement for Gates. However, Telesco had a chance to hit home run by securing an explosive playmaker like Jack. Instead, he settled for a solid base hit. -- Eric D. Williams | Grading the Chargers