The draft brought plenty of storylines. After 14 hours and five minutes of teams being on the clock over three days, two quarterbacks – Jared Goff and Carson Wentz – went first and second overall, as expected. In all, 15 quarterbacks were selected.
Tackle Laremy Tunsil tumbled down to No. 13 overall after a video appeared on his own Twitter timeline and showed him smoking marijuana with a gas mask on. No doubt that caught every team off-guard when it appeared shortly before the draft started, even if teams knew of some of his other potential character concerns.
Before the Tennessee Titans traded away the top overall pick to the Los Angeles Rams, Tunsil was thought to be in line for becoming the first selection. Instead, he went to Miami – a playground for the young, rich and famous that will tempt him at nearly every turn – and he lost millions of dollars in process.
The Titans did end up with an offensive tackle at No. 8 overall, but it was Jack Conklin of Michigan State, as they elected to pass over Tunsil, who was still available. Two days later, the Titans ended the draft with Mr. Irrelevant, Southern Mississippi defensive back Kalan Reed, at 5:39 p.m. Central on Saturday.
A cool, rainy weekend in Chicago provided anxious moments for teams, nerves rubbed to a nub for prospects, and 253 picks.
The Cleveland Browns, whose analytics-based front office became one of the storylines, ended up with 14 selections over seven rounds after trading away the second overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles, who took Wentz. The Browns instead ended up with USC QB Cody Kessler in third round. With a taste for trading, they ended up with five picks in the first three rounds, from WR Corey Coleman in the first round to T Shon Coleman, DE Carl Nassib and Kessler in the third round, before ending their selection weekend by making Scooby – Arizona LB Scooby Wright – cry.
Navy had a selection when WR Keenan Reynolds went to Baltimore in the sixth round. Germany had a selection when the Minnesota Vikings selected WR Moritz Boehringer, the only prospect listed without a college. Middle Tennessee had a selection when DB Kevin Byard went to the Tennessee Titans in the third round, but the University of Tennessee had no selections.
At every turn, there was drama of some sort, but here is what the numbers say about the 2016 draft:
DRAFT BY THE NUMBERS
- With 253 selections, 77 underclassmen were chosen, leaving 30 undrafted underclassmen who declared their eligibility. Of those 77, 11 were selected in the seventh and final round while 21 were selected in the first round.
- Those 77 underclassmen were composed of 14 defensive backs, 11 wide receivers, 11 running backs, 10 defensive tackles, nine linebackers, seven defensive ends, six offensive tackles, four quarterbacks, three tight ends, one kicker and one center. There were no underclassmen drafted at guard, punter and long snapper.
- The final countdown on which positions were selected the most: On offense, 32 wide receivers, 22 running backs, 22 offensive tackles, 15 quarterbacks, 11 tight ends, 11 guards, eight centers. On defense, 52 defensive backs, 36 linebackers, 20 defensive tackles, 19 defensive ends. On special teams, three punters, one kicker and one long snapper were drafted.
- In all, 33 trades were made involving 96 picks in the 2016 draft. Those ranged from the top two overall picks all the way down to Mr. Irrelevant at No. 253. There were also 14 picks in the 2017 draft that changed hands within those trades.
- The final tally for draft picks by conference: American Athletic Conference 10, Atlantic Coast Conference 26, Big Sky 4, Big Ten 47, Big 12 26, Canada West Universities 1, Colonial Athletic Association 2, Conference USA 10, Great Lakes 1, Gulf South 1, Independent 8, Ivy League 2, Lone Star 1, Mid-American 6, Mid-Eastern 3, Missouri Valley 3, Mountain West 9, Ohio Valley 2, Pac-12 32, Southeastern 51, Southern 1, Southland 3, Sun Belt 3.