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The Schein Nine

2016 NFL Draft: Cowboys up after Round 1; Rams, Browns down

The first round of the 2016 NFL Draft is in the books. It was wild and delicious. But of course, you never want to overreact ...

Oh, come on. Who are we kidding? You ALWAYS want to instantly react.

As we look forward to the rest of the draft, we're all over the good, the bad and the Browns from Round 1.

1) The winners of the night are ... the Cowboys.

I'd written it should happen. I'd been saying it should happen. And now, after Thursday night, it's no longer a hypothetical: The Dallas Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott are together at last.

Yes, the Cowboys won Round 1 by selecting the running back fourth overall. The Ohio State product is an instant-impact star who will provide immediate and needed balance for quarterback Tony Romo. Remember the 2014 season, when Dallas had a running back by the name of DeMarco Murray win the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award? That was also the most efficient year of Romo's career, with the QB notching personal highs in passer rating (113.2) and completion rate (69.9 percent). Elliott is a three-down star; running behind the Cowboys' strong offensive line, he becomes my way-too-early pick for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Coming from the high-profile Buckeyes program, Elliott won't be blinded by the bright lights of playing for America's Team. And as a bonus, he'll help the Dallas defense by keeping that unit off the field.

Dallas was in a unique situation, picking that high while having a realistic chance to win the NFC East and host a playoff game in 2016, with Romo and Dez Bryant coming back healthy after injury-marred seasons. That is now within sight. And on Day 2, the Cowboys can take their QB of the future and add to the defense.

2) Miami makes the right call on Laremy Tunsil.

Not too long ago, left tackle Laremy Tunsilseemed like the favorite to be the first overall player taken in this draft. He knew that likely wouldn't be the case after the Titans traded that selection to the quarterback-needy Rams.

But there was no way to predict the kind of fall he had Thursday night.

Shortly before the draft began, a video was posted to his Twitter account that showed him wearing a gas mask and smoking through a bong. Tunsil said later that it was years old and that his account was hacked, but the timing was awful. A rock of an offensive line prospect, Tunsil plummeted, with Aditi Kinkhabwala and Ian Rapoport reporting teams took Tunsil -- who served a multi-game suspension last season for accepting impermissible benefits -- off their boards.

But then the Dolphins stepped up at No. 13, stealing the best non-quarterback in the draft at a major area of need.

Miami desperately needed a franchise tackle to protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who's been sacked 149 times -- nearly 50 times per season -- over the past three years. New Dolphins coach Adam Gase has a history of getting the most out of guys in Denver and Chicago. The risk-reward calculation is in Miami's favor. The brain trust, including Mike Tannenbaum and general manager Chris Grier, hit a home run.

3) Chargers' folly is Jaguars' gain.

Joey Bosaat No. 3 overall? Did the Chargers miss the memo that says you're supposed to pick the best player available? Did they not remember they needed a left tackle -- heck, make that multiple offensive linemen -- to help both quarterback Philip Rivers and running back Melvin Gordon? Sure, Tunsil was enmeshed in controversy -- but if the Bolts felt he was too risky, they should've gone with eventual No. 6 pickRonnie Stanley. And if, despite that glaring need, they still wanted to pick a defensive player, the Chargers could have gone with, well, the best defensive player in the draft in DB Jalen Ramsey.

With San Diego taking Bosa and the Cowboys snagging Elliott, Ramsey was there for Jacksonville to pounce on at No. 5 overall. The Jags and coach Gus Bradley smartly capitalized with this pick, the home-run selection Bradley needed in a big year for him. The Florida State product is an ideal fit in Bradley's defense, which ranked 29th against the pass in 2015.

4) John Elway works his magic.

We blasted the otherwise-great John Elway when the Broncos GM let quarterback Brock Osweiler leave via free agency. We laughed when Denver traded for veteran retread Mark Sanchez. But on draft night, Elway nailed it, trading up from the 31st overall slot to No. 26 and drafting Paxton Lynch.

It's perfect. The Memphis product -- deemed by my CBS Sports colleagues Phil Simms and Steve Beuerlein the second-best quarterback in the draft, behind Carson Wentz -- is an ideal fit in Denver coach Gary Kubiak's offense. The 6-foot-7 Lynch has a strong arm and great mobility; in fact, he's pretty similar to Osweiler, who did, after all, record a 5-2 record in Denver last season.

5) Browns' wheeling and dealing falls flat.

The Browns need a franchise quarterback. They should've kept the second overall pick and drafted Carson Wentz. Instead, they traded down to No. 8 last week, giving the Eagles the chance to have one of the best days they've had in ages by nabbing the best signal caller. Then, on draft day, Cleveland traded back again, dealing with the Titans (more on them later) for No. 15, all to select ... project receiver Corey Coleman.

Browns football!

If this is how former MLB executive Paul DePodesta and the rest of the Browns front office are going to apply "Moneyball" principles to football -- ignoring an opportunity to solve a decades-long organizational need for the sake of accumulating more picks -- I don't get it. I don't like it.

Hey, at least they didn't pick "fat catcher" Jeremy Brown from Michael Lewis' book.

This should have been the Browns' "Carson Wentz draft." Instead, Cleveland is going to be dreadful.

6) Rams must be California dreaming ...

Jared Goff went 14-23 in his three-year Cal career. Rams coach Jeff Fisher, meanwhile, hasn't had a winning season in four years with the team.

Wentz could've been the Steve McNair of Fisher's Rams tenure, developing into a star for a team looking to make a splash in its return to Southern California. Instead, the coach passed on Wentz for a sub-.500 signal caller.

I feel for the people of Los Angeles ...

7) Raiders keep building something special.

I loved the Raiders' pick of safety Karl Joseph at No. 14 overall. He's a perfect fit for their defensive backfield, which lost a sure-fire Hall of Famer when Charles Woodson retired. The selection marks a wonderful exclamation point on what has been a fantastic offseason for this franchise, personnel-wise.

These Raiders are a playoff team. The big question is, which team will finish second in the AFC West?

8) Big Blue makes a big mistake.

The Giantsreportedly coveted linebacker Leonard Floyd and offensive tackle Jack Conklin at No. 10 overall. Tennessee smartly traded up to No. 8 to secure Conklin's help in protecting Marcus Mariota. Chicago, likely knowing the Giants wanted Floyd, jumped ahead of New York by trading from No. 11 to No. 9 in a deal with the Bucs, and got its guy.

And the Giants apparently panicked, selecting cornerback Eli Apple -- who was in no universe the 10th-best player in the draft -- with the 10th overall pick.

GM Jerry Reese was clearly flustered and failed. Vernon Hargreaves, who went to the Bucs one pick later, was the better corner. Tunsil would've been perfect.

The Giants' issue under Reese has been a lack of talent. They've missed the playoffs the last four seasons. How many more years can ownership allow Reese to be in charge and produce the same results?

9) Cardinals ace their choice -- as usual.

Yet again, the Cardinals cleaned up in the NFL draft, pilfering stud D-lineman Robert Nkemdiche with the 29th overall pick. Character concerns contributed to Nkemdiche's fall -- but Arizona GM Steve Keim isn't afraid. And he knows talent. The Mississippi product can make a great impact on a loaded team that is my favorite to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LI. Coach Bruce Arians has a history of getting guys to focus on football and dominate. Arizona clearly trusts its great personnel department, coaching staff and locker-room leadership.

I love it. Next stop? Super Sunday.

Follow Adam Schein on Twitter @AdamSchein.

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