2016 NFL Draft do-over: Dak Prescott goes No. 15 to Browns


There's an old football saying that you can't fairly judge a draft class until three seasons into the players' NFL careers. Well, for the class of 2016, we've reached that point. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at how that draft would play out if teams had the knowledge of how these players would perform in the NFL before making their picks on the night of April 28, 2016. Here's how I think the draft would go in a redo.

NOTE: The Patriots were stripped of their 2016 first-round draft pick for the team's role in Deflategate, so there were only 31 picks in Round 1.



Jared Goff, QB

School: Cal

The Rams knew whom they wanted when they traded up to this pick and there is no reason to think they wouldn't do it all over again.

Actual pick: Goff.



Carson Wentz, QB

School: North Dakota State

Here's another team that aggressively targeted their man in 2016. The Eagles just let Nick Foles walk. So, yeah, they would draft Wentz again.

Actual pick: Wentz.



Joey Bosa, edge

School: Ohio State

Bosa's 2018 was limited to nine games (including the postseason) due to injury, but his stellar production -- averages .81 sacks per game (28.5 through 35 regular season games) -- is just what the Chargers hoped for when they made this pick.

Actual pick: Bosa.



Ezekiel Elliott, RB

School: Ohio State

Drafting a running back this early was considered unusual, but Elliott's success shows the Cowboys knew exactly what they were doing.

Actual pick: Elliott.



Jalen Ramsey, CB

School: Florida State

Arguably the premier cover corner in the NFL, Ramsey can be a little extra in the attitude department, but he's a great player.

Actual pick: Ramsey.



Chris Jones, DL

School: Mississippi State

The actual pick here -- Ronnie Stanley -- has been solid for the Ravens, but Jones is a monster and fits perfectly in the Ravens' defensive front.

Actual pick: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame.



DeForest Buckner, DL

School: Oregon

I could have San Francisco take a receiver here, but Buckner has really come into his own and the 49ers were decimated up front at the time of this pick. Buckner stays put.

Actual pick: Buckner.



Xavien Howard, CB

School: Baylor

A big, physical, ballhawking cornerback is exactly what the Titans could have used in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Actual pick: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State.



Yannick Ngakoue, edge

School: Maryland

Chicago tried to fill this spot with Leonard Floyd, but the reality is that Ngakoue has been the type of edge rusher they hoped Floyd would become.

Actual pick: Leonard Floyd, edge, Georgia.



Tyreek Hill, WR

School: West Alabama

Sure, in this scenario, Odell Beckham Jr. is still on the Giants. However, New York took Sterling Shepard in the second round in '16, so it would have made sense to address that need with Hill in Round 1. There's currently some uncertainty about Hill, given that his status could be impacted by the outcome of an ongoing police investigation into alleged battery of a juvenile in which Hill may be involved, but his on-field performance to this point warrants this selection.

Actual pick: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State.



Sheldon Rankins, DT

School: Louisville

Rankins would give the Bucs another formidable interior defensive lineman, and he could be highly disruptive playing next to Gerald McCoy.

Actual pick: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida.



Michael Thomas, WR

School: Ohio State

This works out pretty well for the Saints. They still get Thomas, although it's 35 picks earlier than where they originally drafted him.

Actual pick: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville.



Jack Conklin, OT

School: Michigan State

The Dolphins grabbed Laremy Tunsil in this spot originally, so there's no reason not to give them the more consistent option at tackle here.

Actual pick: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi.



Deion Jones, LB

School: LSU

Oakland had (and still has) a need at inside linebacker. Jones would have been a great fit given his range as a playmaker.

Actual pick: Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia.



Dak Prescott, QB

School: Mississippi State

Prescott goes from the fourth round to Round 1 in this NFL draft do-over. He would have filled the Browns' biggest need as a high-character starting quarterback.

Actual pick: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor.



Jarran Reed, DT

School: Alabama

The Lions took Reed's 'Bama teammate, A'Shawn Robinson, in the second round in 2016, but they don't wait to address that need this time around. We'll give them Reed, who showed off impressive rush talent last season.

Actual pick: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State.



Keanu Neal, S

School: Florida

The Falcons stick with their enforcer on the backend. A knee injury suffered in the season opener ended his 2018 campaign, but he's delivered the goods for Atlanta when healthy.

Actual pick: Neal.



Ronnie Stanley, OT

School: Notre Dame

The Colts are able to take a quality tackle and move him to the right side to protect Andrew Luck.

Actual pick: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama.



Myles Jack, LB

School: UCLA

The Bills selected linebacker Reggie Ragland with the 41st pick of the 2016 draft, but they traded him for a fourth-rounder just a year later. Taking an even quicker, more versatile linebacker is the play this time.

Actual pick: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson.



Kevin Byard, S

School: Middle Tennessee State

They took a safety -- Jamal Adams -- sixth overall a year later, but the need was there in 2016. Let's give them one of the steals of the 2016 draft in Byard, who went in Round 3 (64th overall).

Actual pick: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State.



Cody Whitehair, OL

School: Kansas State

Whitehair would be the plug-and-play option at center instead of Nick Martin, whom they took in the second round of this draft.

Actual pick: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame.



Tyler Boyd, WR

School: Pittsburgh

In a draft that severely underperformed at the WR position, Boyd gives the Redskins a much-needed consistent option as a pass catcher.

Actual pick: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU.



Laremy Tunsil, OT

School: Mississippi

Tunsil can play guard or tackle, but he certainly would have provided immediate competition for Matt Kalil at left tackle.

Actual pick: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi.



Kendall Fuller, CB

School: Virginia Tech

We'll stick with a cornerback here for the Bengals and give them an upgrade over their actual pick.

Actual pick: William Jackson III, CB, Houston.



William Jackson III, CB

School: Houston

Jackson goes one pick later than he did in 2016. Pittsburgh needed DB help so badly that they addressed the position with their first two picks in 2016 ( Artie Burns and Sean Davis).

Actual pick: Artie Burns, CB, Miami.



Jordan Howard, RB

School: Indiana

Denver gets a big, zone-scheme running back from Indiana with the ability to handle a heavier workload in that QB-needy offense.

Actual pick: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis.



Kenny Clark, DT

School: UCLA

Clark has developed into the difference maker up front that the Packers hoped for when they made this pick.

Actual pick: Clark.



Joe Thuney, OG

School: N.C. State

We stay with the same position San Francisco addressed with this selection in 2016 but upgrade from Joshua Garnett to Thuney.

Actual pick: Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford.



Ryan Kelly, OL

School: Alabama

Kelly gives the Cardinals an option at guard or center.

Actual pick: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Mississippi.



Matt Judon, edge

School: Grand Valley State

The Panthers add another physical presence off the edge to help bolster their pass rush in the QB-rich NFC South.

Actual pick: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech.



Taylor Decker, OT

School: Ohio State

The Seahawks pick Decker to fill a glaring need at offensive tackle.

Actual pick: Germain Ifedi, OL, Texas A&M.

Follow Lance Zierlein on Twitter @LanceZierlein.



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