Trading future draft picks can help owners win a title in 2015 by getting that last supporting player. But what are you giving up? Did you undervalue that pick? It’s difficult to place a value on future draft picks because each draft class is unique. This article is going to be giving you a snapshot of the top draft eligible players for the 2016 NFL Draft. Keep in mind that not all of these players will declare and could go back to school like Melvin Gordon did following his junior season. They are also not completely ranked, only categorized.
1.) Cardale Jones, Ohio State (6’5”, 250)
Jones has great arm strength and very good touch on deep passes. He needs to work on consistency, but has great potential.
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2.) Jared Goff, California (6’4” 210)
Goff is the opposite of Jones in most regards. He’s skinny and doesn’t have great arm strength, but is very technically sound. He is a high floor type of quarterback that has a limited NFL ceiling.
3.) Trevone Boykin, TCU (6’2” 205)
Boykin is a converted wide receiver who reminds me of a mini-Cam Newton. He’s a good runner that can beat defenses for yardage down the field or make defensive lineman look silly.
4.) Christian Hackenberg, Penn State (6’4” 234)
Hackenberg has prototypical size and an arm that will have NFL teams excited. However, he makes questionable decisions and isn’t the most accurate with the football. He regressed in 2014.
Others to keep an eye on: Connor Cook from Michigan State, JT Barrett from Ohio State, Jeremy Johnson from Auburn, Dak Prescott from Mississippi State, Cody Kessler from USC, Brandon Doughty from Western Kentucky.
This quarterback class isn’t as good as the 2015 class of Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. However, it will be better than the 2014 class of Blake Bortles/Johnny Manziel/Teddy Bridgewater and the 2013 class of EJ Manuel.
1.) Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State (6’0” 225)
Elliot is a big, physical runner who has very good feet for his size and solid speed. I question his vision and that Ohio State offensive line created massive holes for him to run through.
2.) Corey Clement, Wisconsin (5’11” 210)
Clement is good at all things on the football field (size, speed, agility, toughness, vision) and now just needs the starting job. Watch out for him during the 2015 season.
3.) Derrick Henry, Alabama (6’3” 241)
The most polarizing prospect of the 2016 class is Henry because of his unique size and athletic gifts. I believe he’s overrated because he doesn’t play up to his size and plays more like a 6’0” 205 pound back.
4.) James Conner, PITT (6’2” 250)
Conner was recruited by most as a defensive lineman out of high school and he plays running back like a defender by punishing the defense. Good feet for his size, but he could stand to lose a few pounds to improve quickness (think Le’Veon Bell).
5.) Elijah McGuire, Louisiana Lafayette (5’11” 198)
The best pass catching running back of the 2016 class, McGuire is the best back you haven’t heard of yet. Silky smooth in the open field, he leaves defenders in the dust.
6.) Devon Johnson, Marshall (6’1” 243)
Johnson is similar to Conner, but more explosive and less refined as a running back. He doesn’t look natural (2014 was his first season at the position), but hopefully he will evolve.
Others to keep an eye on: Jhurell Pressley from New Mexico , Jonathan Williams from Arkansas, Alex Collins from Arkansas, Thomas Tyner from Oregon, Alvin Kamara from Tennessee, Jovon Robinson from Auburn, Matt Breida from Georgia Southern, and Kenyan Drake from Alabama.
The 2015 running back class was the cream of the crop and I think most fantasy owners knew it. The 2016 class isn’t going to be close to it, but I would take it over the 2014 class of Bishop Sankey/Jeremy Hill/Carlos Hyde/Charles Sims.
1.) Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss (6’2” 229)
Treadwell has been hyped since he was the number one wide receiver recruit and he hasn’t disappointed. He’s a big, physical receiver that has good quickness and the ball skills to be a WR1 in fantasy football.
2.) Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh (6’2” 190)
Boyd is a playmaker and Pittsburgh gets him the football in a variety of ways. He’s lacks explosiveness and is skinny though, which makes him a WR2 in fantasy football and recently had an off the field concern.
3.) Corey Davis, Western Michigan (6’2” 205)
My favorite wide receiver from this class, Davis is the best route runner I’ve ever seen in college football. Good athletic ability, size, ball skills and YAC potential give him a low end WR1 to WR2 potential in fantasy.
4.) De’Runnya Wilson, Mississippi State (6’5” 215)
Possessing surprisingly good feet for a tall wide receiver, Wilson has quickness to his game. He’s not as physical as you would like for his size and beware of off the field concerns.
5.) Duke Williams, Auburn (6’2” 216)
A JUCO transfer, Williams played well his first season at Auburn. Williams is another big, physical receiver with good ball skills, however he is not very explosive. He was also injured and suspended his only year at Auburn as well.
6.) Josh Doctson, TCU (6’4” 190)
A big receiver who is very good at jump ball situations due to an impressive vertical. Solid athleticism makes him a threat after the catch as well.
7.) Mike Williams, Clemson (6’3” 205)
An underrated athlete who is a very natural receiver, Williams is a smooth player that has good size and ball skills.
Other players to keep an eye on: Tajae Sharpe from UMass, Quinshad Davis from North Carolina, Leonte Carroo from Rutgers, Rashard Higgins from Colorado State, Bug Howard from North Carolina, Jalin Marshall from Ohio State, Jordan Villamin from Oregon State, Robert Foster from Alabama, Travin Dural from LSU, Ricardo Louis from Auburn, Tony Stevens from Auburn, Stacey Coley from Miami, Cayleb Jones from Arizona, Marquez North from Tennessee, Kenny Lawler from California.
The 2016 class of wide receiver is the tallest I can recall in recent memory. The only elite prospect is Treadwell, but it offers up a very deep tier two and tier three group for those receiver-starved teams. It isn’t as good as the 2014 class, but it’s on par with the 2015 class and better than the 2013 class.
1.) Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech (6’6” 244)
A converted quarterback, Hodges is still learning the position but is an athletic freak. He lined up some at wide receiver this spring and may end up converting there. However, Hodges has Jimmy Graham type of athleticism, but does he have the ball skills to match?
2.) Evan Engram, Ole Miss (6’3” 217)
Engram is a good athlete with quickness in and out of his breaks. While he could also convert to wide receiver, he is a good tight end prospect as well.
Others to keep an eye on: OJ Howard from Alabama, Pharaoh Brown from Oregon, Hunter Henry from Arkansas, Durham Smythe from Notre Dame.
If Hodges and Engram stay at tight end, this could be the best class in recent memory.
Overall, the 2016 draft class offers up only four players with the potential for elite NFL fantasy football ceilings – Treadwell, Elliott, Jones and Hodges. I think it’s a deep class, but features fewer top end players.