Editor’s Note: This article will start our massive post-draft coverage that will include over 100 different articles covering veteran value changes, rookie profiles, divisional breakdowns, team reviews, mock drafts and more.
It’s all over. Seven rounds and 253 picks later, the 2016 NFL Draft is in the books. Now starts the fight for depth chart supremacy. Aging and underperforming vets are threatened and put on notice by the selection of younger players with the goal of stealing their jobs. We’re going to look at each division’s IDP winners and losers this Spring and Summer and focus on the AFC North today.
Kamalei Correa, OLB BAL
Correa was a solid edge rusher for Boise State and forecasts as a three down outside linebacker for the Ravens. He is an instinctual player who plays the run very well and has the speed and explosiveness to get around the edge. Getting to play with Terrell Suggs is going to be great for Correa as he learns the NFL ropes.
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Shawn Williams, SS CIN
Williams was a name to watch when the Bengals selected him in the third round of the 2013 Draft but has failed to make an NFL impact while playing behind Reggie Nelson and George Iloka. Nelson is now a Raider and Williams has the faith of defensive coordinator Paul Guenther who expects “big things” from the fourth year in the box safety. The fact the Bengals didn’t add a safety until pick 245 in round seven backs it up. He’ll be a name to watch in IDP leagues.
Emmanuel Ogbah, OLB CLE
The Browns entered the draft needing to add talent at every single position on the team. The selection of Ogbah should address a Ray Horton defense that registered just 29 sacks as a team in 2015. Ogbah is a 6’4”, 273 pound freak of an athlete. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds and finished in the top three in both the vertical and broad jumps at the combine. Landing in Cleveland may be a blessing for Ogbah, he could use some coaching when it comes to shedding blocks and playing a little more technically sound. He often relied a bit too much on his freaking athleticism.
Tyler Matakevich, ILB PIT
This is more of really deep stash in IDP leagues. Matakevich is an undersized do-gooder who makes a locker room better. He has strong awareness and seems to always have himself in position to make a tackle. The Steelers are always moving Lawrence Timmons around to fill their biggest void and Ryan Shazier struggles to keep himself on the field. The addition of Matakevich will give the defense more scheme versatility – he’s a name to watch if the Steelers start to get banged up at the linebacker spot.
Scooby Wright, ILB CLE
Slipping to the seventh round probably didn’t please Wright but his landing spot could be a blessing in disguise. Ray Horton knows how to use linebackers and put them in a position to succeed. Wright was a monster in 2014 for the Arizona Wildcats, racking up 164 tackles on the way to winning the Bronco Nagurski Award for the best defensive player in the country. He missed the majority of 2015 with a torn lateral meniscus and failed to light up the combine. He’ll start the season on special teams behind Christian Kirksey and Demario Davis but could see playing time increase as the season goes. He’ll definitely be a stash and hold inside linebacker in deeper IDP leagues.
James Harrison/Bud Dupree, OLB PIT
For better or worse, the Steelers did not directly address their pass rush in the draft. They did add to their secondary in the first two rounds with the selection of Artie Burns and Sean Davis, though. They aren’t Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu but they will make the Steelers secondary better, giving the edge rushers time to get to the quarterback.
Rey Maualuga, MLB CIN
Maualuga was already the weak link in the Bengals linebacker group and deserved to be cut two seasons ago. The selection of Utah State linebacker Nick Vigil should ultimately seal his fate. His IDP value went from minimal to practically non-existent.
Domato Peko, DT CIN
Peko isn’t a big time IDP asset except in very deep IDP leagues requiring weekly defensive tackle starters, but he was put on notice on Friday night. He is entering the final year of his contract and the selection of Andrew Billings of Baylor is a strong signal they don’t plan on re-signing him. Billings does a lot of the same things Peko does and he has youth and value on his side.
Barkevious Mingo, OLB CLE
Mingo has been a big time bust in Cleveland. He has failed to make any sort of an impact since being selected 16th overall in the 2013 draft. He has seen his sack numbers drop from five to two to zero in his three year career. Now his goal has been to add weight by bulking up to 251 pounds this off-season. The selection of Emmanuel Ogbah should be a very strong statement in the Browns’ belief in Mingo.
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