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NFL draft first round values and reaches

Every year, teams make surprising picks by reaching for players. Other teams let gifted talents fall to them unexpectedly.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The picks are in and the first round is done.  And that was just the easy part.  Now, we get on with the rounds where General Managers actually earn their money - the deeper rounds.

Daniel Jeremiah, former Ravens scout, once said that Newsome advised his scouts that he didn't need a homerun in the first round - just hit a solid double.

Mosley is at least that - but a top 10 value?  That's the Ozzie Newsome we know.

Finding value like CJ Mosley is how you craft a team with the same $133 million as every other team, and yet come out with vastly superior talent. Reaching into the depths of the draft for need is how you spend $133 million and wind up with four wins to show for it.

We don't know the board of each team, but we have some very good boards from neutral, reputable sources.

Mike Mayock for instance released his top 100 on Monday.  Let's see how the NFL did on his board


In order:

Oakland, 5th pick: Khalil Mack (OLB), 1st prospect

Khalil Mack was Mayock's top overall prospect at No. 5, a value differential of four which is enormous at this early juncture.

Tennesse, 11th pick: Taylor Lewan (OT), 6th prospect

A value differential of five given his ranking as the sixth best prospect. Major value.

Dallas, 16th pick: Zack Martin (OT), 9th prospect

Zack Martin was Mayock's ninth best prospect, giving him a value differential of seven. I believe that had Martin not been chosen here, he was the pick for Baltimore.

Baltimore, 17th pick: C.J. Mosley (ILB), 11th prospect

CJ Mosley came in as the 11th best prospect. Nolan Nawrocki has him as the eighth best player in the draft. Getting him at 17 is value through and through and if you ever doubted whether we follow BPA, I think you've got your answer.

Green Bay, 21st pick: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S), 16th prospect

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was Mayock's 16th best prospect, a VD of 5. Fits a dire need for Green Bay and will fit in nicely with former teammate Eddie Lacy.  I suspect GB was even a little surprised Clinton-Dix made it to 21.

Cleveland, 22nd pick: Johnny Manziel (QB), 10th prospect

We'll see how Manziel pans out but right now, he's the 10th best prospect on the board, giving him a value differential of 12.  Cleveland's draft will be judged exclusively on the ultimate future of Manziel. Right now, the value looks very good.

Now for the fun stuff - the Reaches.  Some teams reached hard to fill needs and the results aren't pretty.

Jacksonville, 3rd pick: Blake Bortles (QB), 15th prospect

Quarterbacks deserve a bit of a pass because of their sheer importance but there's little doubt that JAX needs a QB and was willing to draft him way earlier than necessary to secure the one they want.

Cleveland, 8th pick: Justin Gilbert (CB), 23rd prospect

This ranking might surprise some but not everyone is as high on Gilbert it seems. Cleveland extracted great value for their trouble (2015 first rounder) but depending on the board you buy into, Gilbert was a major reach.

Miami, 19th pick: Ja'Wuan James (OT), 60th prospect

Wow. This is without a doubt the most shocking selection up until that pick. James fills a need but represents a huge reach, a value differential of -41.

Kansas City, 23rd pick: Dee Ford (DE), 37th Prospect

Another shocker.  Kansas City is loaded at pass rusher with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. Why reach for a pass rusher here?  With a value differential of -14, KC's pick was questionable.

Philadelphia, 26th pick: Marcus Smith (LB), 53rd prospect

Wow - just when we thought the stunners were done, the Eagles make an incredibly large reach of Marcus Smith.  Mayock said flatly that he was a 2nd round guy.

Arizona, 27th pick:  Deone Bucannon (S), 43rd Prospect

Bucannon was widely believed to be a clear cut second prospect. But Arizona is desperate for a safety and had no problem getting one before they are tapped out

New England, 29th pick: Dominique Easley (DT), 64th best prospect

Easley's problem is not ability, its two torn ACLs. If not for those, many have said they believe he's a top 15 prospect. The Patriots elected to go with him anyway.

San Francisco, 30th pick: Jimmie Ward (FS)

Per this board Ward was just the 54th best prospect. Some have him higher and one of those must be San Francisco for taking another safety.

Minnesota, 32nd pick: Teddy Bridgewater (QB), 42nd prospect

Can't hate this too much, the Vikings needed a QB desperately and 32 is not so high to make it crazy.