The 2016 draft brought forth its fair share of surprises, however some, if not all of them shouldn’t have been. The value of a player is specific to the team that takes him, so overall there shouldn’t be any surprises. With that being said, the draft is a shocking place, and here are the 5 biggest surprises from day three.
5 – The Navy and Purple
In the sixth round the Ravens drafted the Quarterback from the Navy, Keenan Reynolds. He will make a move to Running Back in the NFL, and his production speaks for itself with 88 touchdowns in college. The surprise here is the question of his military service. If he stays on the Ravens squad, he may need to work out when he does his 5 years military service. This however may not be his choice, and the Ravens may have wasted a pick.
4 – The Not So Special Specialists
In round two, to the surprise of the football world, a Kicker was taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This felt like it could be a turning point, to a stage where teams are finally beginning to realise the value of the specialist. Then reality set in, and it wasn’t until round 6 that another specialist was taken. A Specialist is a group of players who either play Kicker, Punter or Long Snapper, a vital position in the NFL. Having a good one can win you games, just as much as a bad one can be the reason you lose. With the NFL getting more competitive with each passing year, it is criminal that this position is still completely undervalued.
3 – The Raid of Round Four
Connor Cook, the Quarterback from Michigan State, had a relative free fall in the draft. At the beginning he was seen as the 4th best QB in the draft, with an ability, if pushed, to start this year. Then at the end of day 2, six QBs had been taken, none of which were Cook. Into day 3, there were still teams that needed help, so optimism could be had. That optimism paid off when he was selected, with the 100th pick, in round 4 – this wasn’t surprising, his destination was. He was selected by the Oakland Raiders, who be all accounts are set at both starter and backup. Many speculate this was a case of too good to pass up, or alternatively maybe he will be used as trade bait in a year or so. The opinions vary, but as we wait and see, this pick sure made for a surprise.
2 – The European Invasion
For the first time in the history of the NFL, a player have been selected in the draft, straight from Europe. This is huge for the entire outlook of football. This shows that with talent and ambition, the NFL dream is not above anyone. This is where the surprise should stop though. Newly minted Minnesota Viking Moritz Boehringer is big, strong and very fast, so his athletic ability is fantastic – had he played College Football, this would be no surprise at his drafting. however coming from another country where the competition is practically non-existent he is extremely raw and has everything to prove.
1 – The Hoop Dream
The NFL and Basketball players, have a very successful history, with ex basketball players such as Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham all having extremely successful careers. One all these 3 have in common though is that they played Football at some point in either high school or college. So when Dallas selected Rico Gethers, a Basketball player from Baylor in the 6th round, most people thought it was just the continuation of this tradition. The huge surprise here though is that Gethers has not played Football at either the High School or College levels, and only began training at the end of his Baylor Basketball season in March. By all accounts he is a freakish athlete, however with little over a month of training under his belt, describing him as raw would be extremely generous. The fact they picked him isn’t that surprising, it is the complete lack of any sort of Football experience that is the surprise.