5 worst picks of Day 2 of the 2016 NFL draft

The Jets' choice of Christian Hackenberg and a second-round kicker rank among the worst draft decisions of Day 2.

| 6 months ago
(Joe Robbins, Getty Images)

(Joe Robbins, Getty Images)

5 worst picks of Day 2 of the 2016 NFL draft

We didn’t have to leave the second round in coming up with our list of the five worst picks made on Day 2 of the 2016 NFL draft — that’s how many selections there were early on Friday that we disagreed with based on our PFF grades and draft evaluations.

Here are the five worst picks of Day 2:

1. Buccaneers: Roberto Aguayo, K, Florida State (No. 59 overall)

Tampa Bay drafted a kicker in the second round. That might be understandable if Aguayo simply didn’t miss, but on kicks from 40-plus yards, Aguayo was only 14-for-22 over the past two seasons. That’s fine, but it’s nowhere near an elite NFL level, and there is nothing to suggest kickers are “safer” draft prospects than any other position. The Bucs could have added a player who would start right away on their defense, but instead they drafted someone who will be on the field fewer than 10 plays per game. Oh, and they gave up picks to trade up to do it.

2. Jets: Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State (No. 51 overall)

Hackenberg was the lowest-graded quarterback in our 2014 college stats, as a true sophomore. He improved a bit as a junior, but still had the second-lowest accuracy percentage in the FBS (64.0 percent). You can’t teach arm strength, but it’s also fairly difficult to teach accuracy, and it’s hard to see Hackenberg ever getting to an NFL level in that respect. Fellow PFF analyst Sam Monson broke down Hackenberg’s game leading up to the draft, and the results weren’t pretty. We had an undrafted free agent grade on him in our PFF draft rankings, and he wound up going.

3. Falcons: Deion Jones, LB, LSU (No. 52 overall)

If there is one position on defense where athleticism is far from a predictor of success, it’s linebacker. It seems like it’s a yearly tradition that a hyper-athletic linebacker with little production is drafted highly and then continues that low level of production in the NFL. Jones might run a blazing 40-yard dash, but it didn’t even translate to a positive coverage grade at the college level (or a positive run-defense grade, for that matter). His 40 total stops were the 88th-most of any linebacker in the FBS last year. That’s two straight reaches for Atlanta in this draft, after taking Florida safety Keanu Neal at No. 17 overall.

4. Raiders: Jihad Ward, DE, Illinois

The grading doesn’t support Ward being a second-round pick — at all. He posted a slightly negative pass-rushing grade last season. With as little experience as Ward has playing high-level football, however, and with the frame he has, we could have gotten on board with the pick if he was also a good athlete. But he’s actually a below-average athlete, after posting a 25-inch vertical and a 5.11-second 40-yard dash at 297 pounds. At that point it’s difficult to see the upside. At the Senior Bowl he only posted a 42 percent win percentage in the pass-rushing one-on-one drills, the third-worst rate of any defensive end there.

5. Steelers: Sean Davis, DB, Maryland

It may seem like we lean on our grades a lot at PFF when it comes to projecting players from college to the NFL, but it comes from a simple premise: If a player can’t produce at least at an above-average level against lesser college competition, what are the chances that he all of a sudden turns it around when every opponent is bigger, faster and stronger in the NFL? Davis may have freakish athletic traits, but that didn’t help him cover any better in college. The Maryland cornerback had a minus-6.7 coverage grade and allowed 50 of 81 targets to be completed, for 721 yards on the season, in only 12 games last year. That extrapolates to 961 yards over a 16-game season, and would have been the third worst total in the NFL last year.

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • Po Paul

    Once again, I’m amazed that a NOBODY like Mike Renner, who NOBODY knows or cares about, pretends he knows more than all the best and highest paid GMs and scouts in the league, when in reality he knows NOTHING!

    • NewGaySouth#Trashrap

      Agreed Renner is absolute trash

    • souldogdave .

      Did you notice the headline? Wrong year!

  • Lee

    They’ve got Davis pegged to play a Safety position. Does that change his grade in any way?

  • TruthSeeker

    The Bucs didn’t give up anything. They traded their 3rd rounder along with the 4th rounder they got for free yesterday (moving down 2 spots and still getting Hargreaves who they wanted). So they essentially drafted Aguayo with their 3rd round pick. Bucs kicker missed 4 FGs and 2 PATs in just the first 4 games last season. Poor kicking cost the Bucs many games. On top of that, the NFL is changing… PATs moved back to 33 yards – an average of 7.4 PATs were missed per season before last year and this change. In 2015, 71 PATs were missed! 10X the usual average. On top of that now touchbacks and moved to the 25. Aguayo hit 100% of FGs <40 yards in college. Incredible accuracy. He is also a specialist at the 'rainbow' kickoff with high hangtime and landing the ball around the goal line. FSU pinned many teams inside the 15 on kickoffs because of Aguayo's kickoff abilities. The Bucs will get the last laugh on this draft pick. Aguayo is worth extra wins per season.

    • bobulated

      As a Falcons fan, I think this a brilliant pick by the Bucs. Hoping they fill their punter and long snapper needs tomorrow. 😉

      • John Andrews

        Well done. I’m sure TruthSeeker thinks you are paying the Bucs a compliment.

      • gomer_rs

        Well, it could be worse. Jacksonville once took a punter in the 3rd round, ahead of … Russell Wilson.

        • Woodlickin

          Yeah and the bucs signed him this offseason. We are stacked at special teams.

    • Jay P

      The next Seabass!

    • BiggityBMitch

      Quit trying to justify taking a kicker in the 2nd round. Wheres Marge, Homer?

    • John Andrews

      Horrible pick. LOL at “essentially drafting Aguayo with their 3rd round pick.” That the Bucs got extra picks on Day One has nothing to do with wasting a 2nd rounder on Aguayo. They could have got an impact defender, and still got him in Round 3. NOBODY else was going to be as stupid as the Bucs and pick him anywhere near that high…. And, BTW, Aguayo is barely average at kicks over 40 yards. (14-for-22 for the last 2 seasons.) Completely boneheaded move.

    • Mike J.b

      Er, just because a pick is the result of a trade down doesn’t make it worthless. I fail to follow your logic. This was a stupid move, plain & simple; a Bobby Beatherd ”see how brilliant I am” imitation by Licht.

  • Merlin Veltman

    PFF gave a worse grade to the raider’s 2015 second round pick, Mario Edwards, than they gave this year’s second round pick, Jihad Ward. Maybe Reggie Mckenzie and JDR, two former pass rushers, know how to evaluate pass rushers

    • slewof damascus

      explain the conner cook selection? Theyshould have targeted Moritz Boehringer for Carr, that kid’s upside is monstrous. He went to Vikings in 6th.

      • Taylor Nelson

        Something Reggie picked up in Green bay. Always have a QB you can build up and then either use or trade to QB needy teams; they usually had 3 qbs over there.
        Hard to see them not picking him when he’s the 3rd or 4th ranked QB and still in the draft in the 4th round.
        Plus, Matt Mcgloin’s contract is up next season, Raiders could end up with Connor Cook as backup and let the loin walk.

    • codered5

      They were off-ball linebackers. That’s like calling Jalen Ramsey a pass rusher because he blitz on occasion.ward was a garbage pick. Mario was thought of poorly because of his effort but he was still the #1 high school player going into college. In the 2nd round you are looking for rookie started and by any measure ward is raw and not even an elite athlete. You can say look at his upside in a year or so but in the 2nd round you are supposed to find guys that can play soon that also have upside. Ward is more of a 4th or 5th rounder where it’s mostly upside and some unique talent (run defense in this case)

  • souldogdave .

    Do you know what year this is? Doesn’t look like it , doesn’t anyone proofread your post?

  • Core Key

    Did Mike Renner not get the memo that the Steelers drafted and are going to play Sean Davis as a safey and not a cornerback? Could someone at PFF have Renner re-evaluate the Davis pick based on his play as a safety prior to last year? How can a “Senior Analyst” analyze properly when the position of the player isn’t correct?
    It is quite possible Sean Davis would be considered a horrible pick as a safety, but at least get the position correct.

    • zinn21 zinn21

      Somebody ought to do an analysis of PFF’s prior years worst picks and see how they actually panned out.

  • Runner1967

    PFF Davis isn’t going to play CB. Seriously how can I anyone take you seriously when you “grade” someone based on the wrong projection for their actual position? Here PFF fans read this and tell me how “great” PFF is. They’re a joke: http://www.fieldgulls.com/2014/11/1/7141027/brandon-mebane-pro-football-focus-and-a-circle-of-handshakes

    • Evan Zinger

      Wow, a Seahawks website complaining about giving Brandon Mebane a negative grade. Nope, no bias in there at all.

  • Don Elretseo

    Like most Steeler fans in past drafts I cringed every time they picked a LB over DB’s on the board such as Verrett, Roby, Byron Jones, Damarious Randall, Darby, and Rollins. Now they seemed forced to pick need over their own “best available mantra”. Very frustrating and everyone just says, well its worked out because they are in the playoff hunt every year. Good coaching by Todd Haley, Tomlin, Munchak and staff has covered up very poor personnel decisions. Haven’t had a good draft “class” since 2010. Hitting on one pick every year since has left Colbert leaning on the teams playoff record. Thankful they got some new blood in that secondary but it’s time to shake some things up with that defensive scheme that was supposed to change last year. Ugh.

  • Ray

    What criteria do these sperm drinking evaluators use,besides their knee pads?.

  • slewof damascus

    Th Raiders were trying to pull another Mario edwards junior out of the hat in the 2nd round and I doubt this one will be nearly as successful, I thought their 3rd round selection, who admittedly is a true DE/OLB prospect (while Ward will play as a hybrid DT), showed far better athleticism. The Raiders could have solved their RB problem with Henry, but I believe they were targeting Drake in the 3rd round only to see Miami snipe him a few picks earlier. The Raiders are having an awful draft (except for RD 1 pick, who is going to be a stalwart playmaking safety), Conner Cook? How the hell does that help you?

    • codered5

      Im with you. Taking best player available is fine but to give up and extra pick in the same round for someone that if he plays major time next year the season is over is nuts. Think about it, a pick in the following round at a point in the draft where the 2 picks were of similar value. He gave the Browns a 5th out of thin air basically.

  • gsperson

    Following PFFs logic that makes Deion Jones a bad pick – one must look past athletically gifted college linebackers and focus on players who have actually been productive at that position – clearly the best pick of the 2016 NFL draft was made by the Pittsburgh Steelers. They picked the 2015 college football defensive player of the year, who also won the Nagurski Trophy for linebacker of the year, and they got him in the 7th round – Tyler Matakevich. Go Steelers!

  • Joe

    How can you grade a draft before they play?!