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Ranking NFL teams based on first-year impact of 2015 draft class

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Now that the NFL regular season has come to a close, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the impact of each team's 2015 draft class. I ranked every team based on the impact they received from their rookie draft picks, from most to least. For the sake of this project, I focused solely on the rookies that were drafted. In other words, impactful rookie free agents weren't a factor in this ranking. Keep this in mind: This ranking is based solely on the immediate return of the picks. Many of the players selected suffered injuries or were stuck behind talented veterans on the depth chart. The ultimate winners of this draft won't be determined for at least a couple of years.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jason Licht and Lovie Smith look to have hit a home run with first overall pick Jameis Winston, and Kwon Alexander was a legitimate Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate before he was suspended for the final four games.

2. Minnesota Vikings: Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter were major contributors on defense, and Stefon Diggs looks like a future No. 1 receiver.

3. Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota had an outstanding rookie campaign (even though his season ended prematurely due to injury) and Dorial Green-Beckham flashed his enormous upside.

4. Washington Redskins: Brandon Scherff and Preston Smith (leads all rookies in sacks) fortified the trenches, while Matt Jones and Jamison Crowder also had a big impact.

5. Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper more than lived up to the hype, and Mario Edwards, Jr., had moments where he dominated.

6. Kansas City Chiefs: Marcus Peters should be a lock to win Defensive Rookie of the Year and Mitch Morse has been a reliable starter for Andy Reid.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: T.J. Yeldon and A.J. Cann emerged as solid starters this season. Rashad Greene made a big impact on special teams.

8. Buffalo Bills: Ronald Darby played like a future No. 1 cornerback, while John Miller and Karlos Williams played very well on offense.

9. Arizona Cardinals: David Johnson has been a touchdown machine, and the defensive duo of Markus Golden/Rodney Gunter has been very disruptive.

10. St. Louis Rams: Todd Gurley has already emerged as one of the NFL's top runners. Rob Havenstein played at a high level.

11. Chicago Bears: Kevin White missed the season due to injury, but Eddie Goldman, Adrian Amos and Jeremy Langford impressed.

12. New Orleans Saints: Stephone Anthony and Hau'oli Kikaha were bright spots on a bad defense.

13. Green Bay Packers: Ted Thompson landed two excellent secondary players in Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins.

14. New England Patriots: Shaq Mason and Tre Jackson have started more than half of the Patriots' games this season. Malcom Brown has played at a high level.

15. Houston Texans: Kevin Johnson has shown all of the tools to be a No. 1 cornerback and Benardrick McKinney has been solid in 11 starts.

16. Atlanta Falcons: Vic Beasley started to make impact plays down the stretch, while Justin Hardy and Tevin Coleman flashed throughout the year.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter at @MoveTheSticks.

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