By: Josh Shippen
Last week we looked at 2017 and explored how that would be different if we knew then what we knew today, and let’s just say that trading up for Deshaun Watson looked a lot sexier than trading up for Mitch Trubisky. Today we’ll take a look at 2016 and see what would be different.
- Los Angeles Rams: Dak Prescott, QB (Original: Jared Goff, QB)
The Rams made a good move with Goff, and to be fair nobody was lauding Prescott as anybody’s quarterback of the future, but Prescott has shown that he has the highest upside of this group, especially over the last two years.
- Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB
2020 has been a huge outlier for Wentz, who has shown the ability in the past to lift up his whole team. I do not believe, even with 2020, that the Eagles would let Wentz pass at two.
- Los Angeles Chargers: Joey Bosa, DE
Bosa has had a great NFL career, with injuries being the only major concern. The Chargers could not have made a better choice for someone to play beside Melvin Ingram.
- Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliot, RB
Elliot has had a great NFL career, and has made a great replacement for DeMarco Murray. The Cowboys do not switch out of this pick.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Henry, RB (Original: Jalen Ramsey, CB)
The Jags would add an insane talent in Henry, a big physical entity who would not only solidify the lead back role, but would give their offense an identity. Something it has barely ever had.
- Baltimore Ravens: Jared Goff, QB (Original: Ronnie Stanley, OT)
Wait, the Ravens wouldn’t pick a quarterback at 6! Under normal circumstances no, but with Dak Prescott that frees up another great quarterback in the draft. If Goff was available at 6, you bet the Ravens would pick him up to back up the aging Joe Flacco, and possibly replace him within the next year or two.
- San Francisco 49ers: Jalen Ramsey, CB (Original: DeForest Buckner, DE)
Ramsey has had years where he looks like a top 2 corner in this league, and he would be an amazing piece to add to San Francisco, and maybe not necessitate the arrival of aging corner Richard Sherman in the years to come.
- Tennessee Titans: Ronnie Stanley, OT (Original: Jack Conklin, OT)
Same position, different player. Stanley is a decent upgrade over Conklin, and has been much more healthy. Conklin was by no means a bad choice at all, but if Stanley was available I believe he would be their first choice.
- Chicago Bears: DeForest Buckner, DE (Original: Leonard Floyd, LB)
Buckner is one of the best defensive lineman in the league, and was part of a stud core in San Francisco. Buckner would be a piece in the building that is the Bears D.
- New York Giants: Michael Thomas, WR (Original: Eli Apple, CB)
Imagine this. Michael Thomas and Odell Beckham pairing up to combine for the most insane duo we have ever seen. Forget Eli Apple, he was a bust. Michael Thomas and Beckham would be nuts and I would rather see that than almost any other receiver pairing.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavien Howard, CB (Original: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB)
The Bucs needed a cornerback very badly, and Howard is the only viable option for that position. Howard is a shutdown corner for the Dolphins who would have been great for the Bucs, and certainly better than Hargreaves who got cut in 2019.
- New Orleans Saints: Tyreek Hill, WR (Original: Sheldon Rankins, DT)
Brees has a new toy to play with, and not just any old toy. Tyreek Hill is a speedy electric runner who can make the offense do a 180 and then some. Rankins is a nice player for New Orleans, but Hill would be so fun!
- Miami Dolphins: Laremy Tunsil, OT
The Tunsil pick was a smart one for Miami whose offensive line looked awful leading up to 2016. I would not change this pick.
- Oakland Raiders: Chris Jones, DT (Original: Karl Joseph, S)
Jones has been massively popular with Kansas City as a dominant defensive player, and would be a great piece for a defense that had Dan Williams as their leading interior lineman.
- Cleveland Browns: Will Fuller, WR (Original: Corey Coleman, WR)
Honestly, the Browns needed just about everything around this time, but the wide receiver area really needed desperate help. Needless to say, Travis Benjamin, Dwayne Bowe, and Brian Hartline were not going to cut it. Enter Fuller who has the potential to be a game changer for Cleveland, and will provide a player for Cleveland to build around.
- Detroit Lions: Jack Conklin, OT (Original: Taylor Decker, OT)
Conklin is a good upgrade over Taylor Decker, who although he has been good was never at a Pro Bowl level. Although Conklin has never made a Pro Bowl, I believe that he is still at that level.
- Atlanta Falcons: Keanu Neal, S
Considering that the Falcons defense is awful year after year it makes sense that the Falcons would want to keep one of the actual good picks that they ever made at defense.
- Indianapolis Colts: Ryan Kelly, C
The Colts revolve their offense around their offensive line being incredible, and over the last couple years that has started with Kelly. No change to this great Colts pick.
- Buffalo Bills: Shaq Lawson, DE
Bad job by the Bills for letting this talented pass rusher go to the Dolphins. A great pick that the Bills should have held on to.
- New York Jets: Deion Jones, LB (Original: Darron Lee, LB)
To say that Jones is a massive upgrade over Darron Lee is the understatement of this article. Lee ended up getting traded away in 2018, and currently is not on an NFL roster, and Jones is considered one of the best linebackers in the NFL.
- Houston Texans: Tyler Boyd, WR (Original: Will Fuller, WR)
With Fuller gone to the Browns, the Texans will add Boyd to their WR core, staying away from draft busts Laquon Treadwell and Josh Doctson. Boyd would add a piece for Osweiler, and later Deshaun Watson, to play with.
- Washington Redskins: Jaylon Smith, LB (Original: Josh Doctson, WR)
Smith adds a level of speed and intrigue to a defense that is not able to do much to help out Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense. Smith is a great bargain at 22, and the Redskins would be sure to grab him.
- Minnesota Vikings: Sterling Shepard, WR (Original: Laquon Treadwell, WR)
YIKES, Treadwell was a terrible pick here, and I mean awful. As a Falcons fan, I was infinitely more upset about the Falcons signing Treadwell than literally any other offseason move. The Vikings make nothing short of a massive upgrade moving to Shepard, who has shown hints of being a number one receiver with time.
- Cincinnati Bengals: Cody Whitehair, G (Original: William Jackson, CB)
Rather than help the defense, I would rather save that offensive line before it ends up going straight to hell. Whitehair would be a great lineman that would be a 16 game starter for the Bengals, and help create some great lanes for Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Clark, DT (Original: Artie Burns, CB)
Clark has been great for Green Bay, in fact he is one of the single most underrated players on any roster. Clark would be a huge upgrade over interior lineman Steve McLendon.
- Denver Broncos: Joe Thuney, G (Original: Paxton Lynch, QB)
The battle for worst 2016 first round pick is a competition between Lynch and Laquon Treadwell. Thuney would replace Louis Vasquez or Evan Mathis, both of whom are aging and not as good.
- Green Bay Packers: Yannick Ngakoue, DE (Original: Kenny Clark, DT)
Clark was such a genius pick for Green Bay that it is hard to top it, but Ngakoue would certainly make an impact as a great pass rusher for a Green Bay defense that is consistently bad while the offense dominates.
- San Francisco 49ers: Joe Schobert, LB (Original: Joshua Garnett, G)
Schoebert has had great years with Cleveland, and would help a defense that has to fix all the mistakes that Blaine Gabbert makes for them.
- New England Patriots: FORFEITED
- Arizona Cardinals: Nick Kwiatkowski, LB (Original: Robert Nkemdiche, DT)
Nkemdiche was a swing and miss for the Cardinals, and never clicked with the Dolphins. Although Kwiatkowski does not play the same position, he has been sneaky great for the past two year on Las Vegas and Chicago.
- Carolina Panthers: Jarran Reed, DT (Original: Vernon Butler, DT)
Butler has not been the dominant player Carolina drafted him to be. Reed would not blow away Carolina with his play, but he would certainly be an upgrade from Butler.
- Seattle Seahawks: Cory Littleton, LB (Original: Germain Ifedi, G)
Littleton is the first undrafted player on this list, but do not be deceived, he is a great pickup. Littleton would be their special teams leader, and make an already strong linebacker core even stronger.