Afters weeks of anxious buildup, the 2016 NFL draft is now over, but we’ll still be discussing the fallout from the draft years down the line. Let’s take a look at some of that fallout right now, along with a couple of other notes:
- The draft has come and gone, and Colin Kaepernick is still a 49er. As Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle writes, the 49ers‘ actions during the draft–i.e. waiting until the sixth round to pick up raw signal-caller Jeff Driskel, instead of drafting a more pro-ready prospect in the early rounds as many pundits anticipated–suggest that one of Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert will be the team’s starter in 2016. And, since Kaepernick’s most likely suitors drafted quarterbacks of their own, it looks like we can finally put the Kaepernick rumors on ice for a little while.
- We learned last night that the Eagles have not had any contact with Sam Bradford since Bradford requested a trade, and head coach Doug Pederson–who is installing a new offense that projected backup quarterback Chase Daniel is very familiar with–admitted that Bradford is losing valuable time, as Kevin Patra of NFL.com writes. Philadelphia continues to insist that Bradford is the starter, but that could change if he misses significant offseason time. When Pederson was asked at what point Bradford loses the role of presumptive starter, Pederson said, “I think it depends on when he does come back and how fast we can catch him up and put him in that situation and see where he’s at, at that time.”
- Washington was widely lauded for its selection of TCU wideout Josh Doctson in the first round of the draft, but, as anticipated, his arrival probably means the end of Andre Roberts‘ tenure in the nation’s capital, as Mike Jones of The Washington Post writes. Likewise, Jones writes that the addition of Virginia Tech corner Kendall Fuller could allow the team to release Chris Culliver, whose health status is still uncertain after his ACL surgery and who is due an $8MM salary–with a $9.25MM cap number–in 2016.
- During his post-draft press conference Saturday night, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie declined to tip his hand as to whether the club will pick up D.J. Hayden‘s fifth-year option, but as Jimmy Durkin of The Bay Area News Group points out, the team will almost certainly decline the $8.03MM option, thereby allowing Hayden to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2016 season. Durkin admits it was somewhat surprising that Oakland did not draft a corner over the past couple of days, as the Raiders are still thin at the position even after signing Sean Smith. The Raiders’ approach suggests that they expect Hayden to provide quality depth as a fourth corner, but he will have to prove himself in a big way in 2016 to remain with the club (and to remain in the league, for that matter).
- Most GMs like to say that they do not reach for need during the draft and that they will select the best player available, regardless of position. As Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk writes, Panthers GM Dave Gettleman admitted last night that he adapted his strategy to make sure the team could adequately fill out its defensive back depth chart after the Josh Norman saga that ended when Norman signed with Washington. To that end, Carolina drafted three corners–James Bradberry, Daryl Worley, and Zack Sanchez–that looked like reaches to many fans. Gettleman insisted, though, that he did not reach, but he had to focus on corners to prevent a “position disaster.”
- Greg Auman of The Tampa Bay Times expected the Buccaneers to draft one defensive end and one tackle, and while Tampa Bay did draft a DE (Noah Spence), the team did not grab a DT. As such, Auman expects the club to sign a DT before training camp opens (Twitter link).
- Former Panthers offensive lineman Edmund Kugbila, whom Carolina selected in the fourth round of the 2013 draft but who has yet to play a single professional snap due to various injuries, has been medically cleared to play and has several visits lined up, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).