NFL Draft winners and losers: Jaguars, Browns and Texans got better! Patriots, Rams and Eagles have much to prove

The 2016 NFL Draft wrapped up on Saturday in Chicago. After the celeb sightings at Jenny McCarthy’s show, the red carpet fashion, and with a few days to digest and consider the moves and selections from the league’s 32 decision-makers/think tanks, SiriusXM has cobbled together our indisputable and 100% accurate selection of Draft winners and losers.

Winners

Jacksonville Jaguars: A franchise wholly unfamiliar with the concept of “winning” on the gridiron or off it since their last playoff appearance in the Bronze Age the 2007 post-season, Jacksonville hauled in a ton of Grade-A defensive talent in this draft. Starting with the selection of homegrown talent Jalen Ramsey from Florida State with the fifth overall selection and not finishing until their sixth-round pick of Tyrone Holmes, the Jags made upgrading their defense a priority. The Jags, even with that loaded offense led by Blake Bortles, are likely a season away from serious playoff contention, but this defense, especially if Myles Jack is up to form, will be making teams pay all season long. Grade: A

Houston Texans: The bizarro version of the Jaguars (read: a team with a dominant defense and listless offense), Houston made some serious upgrades at wideout to take the pressure off DeAndre Hopkins. Will Fuller from Notre Dame and Braxton Miller from Ohio State should both be able to contribute in their rookie seasons. With the additions of those two in the draft and signing Lamar Miller as a free agent, the Texans brass are making sure new QB Brock Osweiler has plenty of options. One other note on Houston? They got D.J. Reader at an absolute steal in the fifth round and the Vince Wilfork-sized hole (when Wilfork retires) has a sudden and obvious replacement now. Grade: A

Cleveland Browns: Through sheer volume alone Cleveland was able to address their many (many!!) needs on all sides. Notably the Browns made a concerted effort to pick up the right personnel to address the voids on their offensive and defensive lines. Shon Coleman from Auburn and Spencer Drango out of Baylor should make impacts, even as rotational players to start, on that o-line and will hopefully give Robert Griffin III time to connect with Corey Coleman. Cleveland gets dinged a little for drafting the unproven Ricardo Louis so early, but Hue Jackson has made the right choices for the right reasons and check out Cleveland exec Sashi Brown on the team’s future. Grade: B

New York Jets: Aside from the Christian Hackenberg pick, which was way, way, too early for him, the Jets made some very smart selections, particularly on the defensive side. Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins will immediately bolster the Jets’ linebacking corps. while also ensuring that the unit has a bright future. Charone Peake out of Clemson has the size and skills to be an asset at some point for whomever is quarterbacking the team. Grade: B 

 

Losers

New England Patriots: Given the unique circumstances of, y’know, #Deflategate, the Patriots and their legions of fans almost deserve a mulligan. Still, Cyrus Jones was a major reach. Will Bill Belichick probably coax the best out of him and have him as an All-Pro in a season or two? Probably. But for now, it’s a reach. The Malcom Mitchell selection makes almost too much sense and one should expect him and Tom Brady to be connecting on Welkerian levels once Touchdown Tom is done sitting out those first four games. Grade: C-

Los Angeles Rams: Considering all they gave up to get that Jared Goff pick, the Rams brass have to be pleased with how the rest of the Draft went for them. That being said, this is a Rams team that was nowhere near competitive for many of its losses last season. I fully understand the value of a franchise quarterback in the modern NFL, but with this lacking of a roster, the Rams better hope Goff is one helluva quarterback and soon. Grade: C

Philadelphia Eagles: See above and replace “Jared Goff” with Carson Wentz. Grade: C

 

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