What we learned: 2016 is year of the draft slide

The 2016 NFL Draft will be remembered as the year of the slide.

Linebackers Myles Jack and Jaylon Smith, viewed as perhaps the top two talents available, plummeted due to knee injuries which could have long-lasting effects on their NFL careers.

Expected to be a top-12 pick at one point in the draft process, Shaq Lawson fell to Rex Ryan's Bills at No. 19 overall after the Clemson pass rusher was red-flagged for a shoulder injury that will eventually require surgery.

Billed by many analysts as the draft's premier wideout, Ole Miss star Laquon Treadwell was the fourth wide receiver off the board, falling in the lap of Vikings general manager Rick Spielman.

It was Treadwell's college teammate, however, who quickly emerged as the story of the night.

The consensus No. 1 pick in mock drafts prior to the Titans-Ramsmid-April blockbuster, offensive tackle Laremy Tunsilslid past Tennessee at No. 8 to Miami with the draft's 13th pick.

It wasn't so much Tunsil's slide as the reason behind it that caused such a stir.

Just minutes prior to the draft's kickoff, an unauthorized video -- showing Tunsil wearing a gas mask and smoking through a bong -- was posted to the player's Twitter account.

Forced to make a decision on the fly, multiple teams removed Tunsil from their draft boards.

Interviewed by NFL Network's Deion Sanders, Tunsil revealed that his account was hacked, leaking a video that was taped "years ago."

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport backed Tunsil's account, adding that the Ole Miss standout passed all of his pre-draft drug tests.

If the pre-draft assessments of Tunsil's talent level are accurate, the Dolphins lucked into a bargain thanks to one of the most bizarre stories in recent draft history.

While the surprise slides dominated the first half of the opening round, the second half featured more than a half-dozen intriguing fits. Here's a look at our favorites:

  1. Paxton Lynch to the Broncos: After spending the past six weeks slow-playing the quarterback market, John Elway traded up to grab the strongest arm in the draft. Elway walks away with a more talented version of Brock Osweiler at a quarter of the salary while 31 teams await Colin Kaepernick's potential release in San Francisco.

Lynch might not be an immediate NFL starter, but that's exactly what we heard about Marcus Mariota at this time a year ago. Mariota went on to become the first quarterback since at least 1960 to generate a perfect passer rating in his NFL debut.

  1. Ryan Kelly to the Colts: Indianapolis finally lands the Jeff Saturday to Andrew Luck's Peyton Manning. Athletic, tough and smart, Kelly offers Pro Bowl potential as the draft's top interior lineman and a potential solution to ongoing pass protection woes that have led to more hits on Luck (375) than any other quarterback since 2012.
  1. Karl Joseph to the Raiders: Reggie McKenzie's impressive free-agent haul left us wondering if the Raiders were an impact safety away from contending for the AFC West title. When a safety is drawing comparisons to Earl Thomas, Brian Dawkins and former Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders, he immediately grabs our attention.
  1. Will Fuller to the Texans: Since the start of the offseason, Houston has picked up two of the fastest players at their respective positions in speedy tailback Lamar Miller and game-breaking wideout Fuller. The Notre Dame flyer might not be the draft's most reliable receiver, but he adds a game-breaking element to an offense that too often relied on smoke 'n' mirrors when DeAndre Hopkins was double covered.
  1. Laquon Treadwell to the Vikings: The Vikes believe Treadwell will only pick up speed now that he's a year removed from a gruesome college leg injury. More importantly, he adds physicality and playmaking ability to a Stefon Diggs-led wide receiver corps that was too often pushed around last season.
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