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Ranking NFL teams based on first-year impact of '16 rookie class

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Now that the regular season has concluded, it's time to take a look at which rookie classes provided their teams with the biggest impact in 2016. Here are my team rankings based on the performances of their rookies this season.

1. Dallas Cowboys

» Round 1: (No. 4 overall) Ezekiel Elliott, RB.
» Round 2: (34) Jaylon Smith, OLB.
» Round 3: (67) Maliek Collins, DT.
» Round 4: (101) Charles Tapper, DE; (135) Dak Prescott, QB.
» Round 6: (189) Anthony Brown, CB; (212) Kavon Frazier, SS; (216) Darius Jackson, RB; (217) Rico Gathers, TE.

Whenever a team has a pair of Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates and Most Valuable Player contenders in the same class, the coaching staff and scouting department deserve props for their work. Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott have done more than exceed expectations as first-year starters -- they have catapulted the Cowboys into Super Bowl contention.

2. San Diego Chargers

» Round 1: (No. 3 overall) Joey Bosa, DE.
» Round 2: (35) Hunter Henry, TE.
» Round 3: (66) Max Tuerk, C.
» Round 4: (102) Joshua Perry, ILB.
» Round 5: (175) Jatavis Brown, OLB.
» Round 6: (179) Drew Kaser, P; (198) Derek Watt, FB.
» Round 7: (224) Donavon Clark, OG.

Imagine if Joey Bosa had been signed and sealed before camp. The rookie standout notched 10.5 sacks without significant preseason work. Jatavis Brown also looks like a keeper at linebacker, and Hunter Henry is a standout playmaker at tight end.

3. Atlanta Falcons

» Round 1: (No. 17 overall) Keanu Neal, SS.
» Round 2: (52) Deion Jones, OLB.
» Round 3: (81) Austin Hooper, TE.
» Round 4: (115) De'Vondre Campbell, OLB.
» Round 6: (195) Wes Schweitzer, OG.
» Round 7: (238) Devin Fuller, WR.

Keanu Neal and Deion Jones have helped the Falcons' D generate enough stops to complement the NFL's most explosive offense.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

» Round 1: (No. 5 overall) Jalen Ramsey, DB.
» Round 2: (36) Myles Jack, OLB.
» Round 3: (69) Yannick Ngakoue, DE.
» Round 4: (103) Sheldon Day, DT.
» Round 6: (181) Tyrone Holmes, OLB; (201) Brandon Allen, QB.
» Round 7: (226) Jonathan Woodard, DE.

The additions of Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue helped the Jaguars' D quietly emerge as a top unit.

5. Kansas City Chiefs

» Round 2: (No. 37 overall) Chris Jones, DT.
» Round 3: (74) KeiVarae Russell, CB.
» Round 4: (105) Parker Ehinger, OG; (106) Eric Murray, CB; (126) Demarcus Robinson, WR.
» Round 5: (162) Kevin Hogan, QB; (165) Tyreek Hill, WR.
» Round 6: (178) D.J. White, CB; (203) Dadi Nicolas, DE.

Tyreek Hill has single-handedly transformed the Chiefs into a scoring machine as a do-it-all playmaker.

6. Tennessee Titans

» Round 1: (No. 8 overall) Jack Conklin, OT.
» Round 2: (33) Kevin Dodd, DE; (43) Austin Johnson, NT; (45) Derrick Henry, RB.
» Round 3: (64) Kevin Byard, S.
» Round 5: (140) Tajae Sharpe, WR; (157) LeShaun Sims, CB.
» Round 6: (193) Sebastian Tretola, OG.
» Round 7: (222) Aaron Wallace, OLB; (253) Kalan Reed, CB.

Jack Conklin solidified the Titans' O-line as a rugged edge blocker. With Derrick Henry making key contributions as a complementary runner, the Titans fielded the NFL's third-best rushing attack behind their impact rookies.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

» Round 1: (No. 11 overall) Vernon Hargreaves, CB.
» Round 2: (39) Noah Spence, DE; (59) Roberto Aguayo, K.
» Round 4: (108) Ryan Smith, CB.
» Round 5: (148) Caleb Benenoch, OT.
» Round 6: (183) Devante Bond, OLB; (197) Dan Vitale, FB.

Vernon Hargreaves and Noah Spence are foundation players on a defense that could spearhead a deep postseason run in the near future.

8. Chicago Bears

» Round 1: (No. 9 overall) Leonard Floyd, OLB.
» Round 2: (56) Cody Whitehair, OG.
» Round 3: (72) Jonathan Bullard, DT.
» Round 4: (113) Nick Kwiatkoski, ILB; (124) Deon Bush, S; (127) Deiondre' Hall, CB.
» Round 5: (150) Jordan Howard, RB.
» Round 6: (185) DeAndre Houston-Carson, FS.
» Round 7: (230) Daniel Braverman, WR.

Jordan Howard and Leonard Floyd showed the football world that they have the potential to thrive as future stars for a Bears team that's close to turning it around.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers

» Round 1: (No. 25 overall) Artie Burns, CB.
» Round 2: (58) Sean Davis, CB.
» Round 3: (89) Javon Hargrave, DT.
» Round 4: (123) Jerald Hawkins, OT.
» Round 6: (220) Travis Feeney, OLB.
» Round 7: (229) DeMarcus Ayers, WR; (246) Tyler Matakevich, OLB.

The Steelers' young pups (Sean Davis and Artie Burns) have energized the secondary and Javon Hargrave has become a bedrock along the front line.

10. Miami Dolphins

» Round 1: (No. 13 overall) Laremy Tunsil, OT.
» Round 2: (38) Xavien Howard, CB.
» Round 3: (73) Kenyan Drake, RB; (86) Leonte Carroo, WR.
» Round 6: (186) Jakeem Grant, WR; (204) Jordan Lucas, SS.
» Round 7: (223) Brandon Doughty, QB; (231) Thomas Duarte, TE.

Laremy Tunsil has helped the Dolphins find an offensive identity as a punishing blocker at the point of attack. Kenyan Drake and Jakeem Grant added some sizzle to the return game.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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