How all 31 first-round picks have played this preseason

How have all 31 first-round draft picks played through two weeks of the preseason? Senior Analyst Sam Monson answers.

| 1 month ago
Rams QB Jared Goff

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

How all 31 first-round picks have played this preseason


Two weeks of the 2016 NFL preseason are in the books, and most of this year’s first-round draft picks have made their professional debuts. While injuries (and a contract dispute, in one circumstance) have kept some rookies sidelined, the first on-field performance for many of these players has given us a small glimpse into their transition from the college game.

While many—if not most—of these rookies will improve as the season progresses, it’s certainly worthwhile to take a look at their performance to date.

1. Jared Goff, QB, Rams (Cal)

Snaps: 46

Key stat: 36.1 passer rating under pressure

Running with: Second team

Despite being the No. 1 overall pick, Jared Goff has looked far from ready to play come Week 1. Against Kansas City, he fumbled the ball twice and essentially sacked himself, tripping on his own lineman on his way out of the pocket. We’ve seen flashes of his arm talent, but he has a long way to go to produce a successful rookie campaign.

2. Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles (North Dakota State)

Snaps: 38

Key stat: Completed just 25 percent of his passes under pressure (3 of 12)

Running with: Third team

Carson Wentz played 38 snaps during the Eagles’ first preseason game, completing 50 percent of his passes, but only one beyond 10 yards of the line of scrimmage before a hit to his ribs sidelined him and kept him out of any further preseason action to date.

3. Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers (Ohio State)

Snaps: N/A

Key stat: N/A

Running with: N/A

In an era of very few holdouts, Joey Bosa’s contract dispute with the San Diego Chargers continues to rumble, and he has yet to step onto the field.

4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys (Ohio State)

Snaps: N/A

Key stat: N/A

Running with: First team

A hamstring injury has kept Ezekiel Elliott on the sideline through two preseason games.

5. Jalen Ramsey, CB, Jaguars (Florida State)

Snaps: 16

Key stat: Average tackle depth against Tampa Bay was -0.3 yards behind the line of scrimmage

Running with: First team

Ramsey saw his first preseason action this past week, playing sixteen snaps against the Buccaneers and showing the kind of monstrous run defense that saw him top PFF’s cornerback grades a year ago at Florida State. He notched two defensive stops in the game, including a tackle for a loss of 6 yards on the play.

6. Ronnie Stanley, OT, Ravens (Notre Dame)

Snaps: 48

Key stat: 0 pressures surrendered

Running with: First team

So far in the preseason, Stanley has lived up to his billing, standing as the top-graded rookie tackle through two games, and has yet to surrender a single pressure in pass protection.

7. DeForest Buckner, DE, 49ers (Oregon)

Snaps: 19

Key stat: Has yet to record a pressure on 10 pass-rushing snaps.

Running with: First team

DeForest Buckner played 19 snaps in his first preseason action, lining up at left end with the 49ers’ starters, but suffered a soft tissue injury—not believed to be serious—that has kept him out of action since.

8. Jack Conklin, OT, Titans (Michigan State)

Snaps: 58

Key stat: No sacks, one hit, and three hurries surrendered

Running with: First team

After a poor first game against San Diego, Conklin followed up with a much stronger outing in his second preseason action against the Carolina Panthers, where he kept a clean-sheet in pass protection and flashed the crushing power he possesses in the run game, at one point driving Pro-Bowl DT Kawann Short well off the line at the point of attack.

9. Leonard Floyd, OLB, Bears (Georgia)

Snaps: 66

Key stat: Five total pressures from 38 pass-rushing snaps

Running with: Second team

Floyd has seen a few snaps at other positions, but has lined up at left outside linebacker in Chicago’s 3-4 defense on almost all of his snaps (56 of 66). However, he has yet to distinguish himself with his play, positively or negatively.

10. Eli Apple, CB, Giants (Ohio State)

Snaps: 19

Key stat: Allowed three catches on four targets, but only for 17 total yards

Running with: Second team

Apple played 19 snaps in New York’s first preseason game against Miami, but suffered a lower-leg strain that has kept him out of action since.


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11. Vernon Hargreaves III, CB Buccaneers (Florida)

Snaps: 40

Key stat: 0.0 passer rating allowed when targeted

Running with: Second team

So far so good for Vernon Hargreaves III, who has seen two outings this preseason and performed well in both. He has been largely playing in the slot, and has the kind of quick-twitch movement skills and the ability to change direction that makes him perfect for that role.

12. Sheldon Rankins, DT, Saints (Louisville)

Snaps: 22

Key stat: One hit, one hurry, and one defensive stop

Running with: First team

Another player struck by injury, Sheldon Rankins played 22 snaps in his first preseason game before suffering a broken fibula in practice that will sideline him for six to eight weeks.

13. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Dolphins (Ole Miss)

Snaps: 90

Key stat: No QB pressures surrendered

Running with: First team

The long-term plan is for Tunsil to be the left tackle in Miami, but the short-term goal is to get him on the field at left guard. He began the preseason behind Dallas Thomas at that spot, but has since moved into the starting role. His first action was not good, but he was far better when surrounded by the starters against the Cowboys.

14. Karl Joseph, S, Raiders (West Virginia)

Snaps: 30

Key stat: Five solo tackles and one defensive stop

Running with: First team

In his first preseason game, Joseph played just nine snaps with the starters, but in his second outing, they were out there longer, and he saw 21 snaps of action. The former Mountaineer has yet to make any big-impact plays, but he has been solid and looked comfortable, avoiding any major mistakes.

15. Corey Coleman, WR, Browns (Baylor)

Snaps: N/A

Key stat: N/A

Running with: First team

A hamstring injury has kept Corey Coleman out of both preseason games so far, but he has been lined up with the starters throughout camp.

16. Taylor Decker, OT, Lions (Ohio State)

Snaps: 45

Key stat: One sack surrendered, as well as one penalty

Running with: First team

Starting both games for the Lions at left tackle, Taylor Decker has seen at least 20 snaps in both preseason games, and while he was beaten for an ugly sack in his first outing, he hasn’t given up any pressure since, though his run blocking took a turn for the worse in the second preseason game.

17. Keanu Neal, S, Falcons (Florida)

Snaps: 18

Key stat: Targeted just once as the primary defender in coverage (resulted in a touchdown)

Running with: First team

Neal saw his first preseason action against Cleveland, having missed the first game against Washington, and didn’t have the best debut possible. He got pancaked in the run game and coughed up a touchdown on a double-move in coverage.

18. Ryan Kelly, C, Colts (Alabama)

Snaps: 40

Key stat: Has not earned a negative grade for a play yet

Running with: First team

Ryan Kelly has looked assured and capable from day one for the Colts, and has earned positive grades in both preseason games so far. In fact, he has yet to earn a negative grade on a single play in 40 snaps.

19. Shaq Lawson, DE, Bills (Clemson)

Snaps: N/A

Key stat: N/A

Running with: N/A

Shaq Lawson didn’t make it past May before being shut down by shoulder surgery, which will put him out of commission until at least Week 6 of the season.

20. Darron Lee, OLB, Jets (Ohio State)

Snaps: 65

Key stat: Two missed tackles in each game

Running with: Second team

Lee has played extensive snaps in both preseason games; so far, his grading profile matches his college marks, with a positive coverage grade but below-average run defense grade. He has a sack and hurry on seven pass-rushing snaps, but has also missed two tackles in each game.

21. Will Fuller, WR, Texans (Notre Dame)

Snaps: 62

Key stat: Average depth of target of 14.7 yards—4 yards higher than any other Houston wide receiver

Running with: First team

In his first preseason action, Will Fuller wasn’t called upon much. He saw just one target—which he caught for 4 yards—but his workload ramped up in a big way in the second game. In the meeting with the Saints, he saw eight passes sent his way, catching four of them for 73 yards and a touchdown. He will start for the Texans, and they will be relying on him to take the top off opposing defenses.

22. Josh Doctson, WR, Redskins (TCU)

Snaps: N/A

Key stat: N/A

Running with: N/A

Another victim of an early injury, Doctson has been sidelined with an Achilles injury since spring, and there is still no timetable for his return.

23. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Vikings (Ole Miss)

Snaps: 58

Key stat: Has receptions on just 44 percent of the targets thrown his way

Running with: Second team

The Vikings will be relying on Laquon Treadwell to make a major impact in his first year, but thus far, he has been kept to the second team behind Charles Johnson. Treadwell has caught four passes this preseason, but they all came in the opening game, and he caught none of the four thrown his way in the Vikings’ second outing.

24. William Jackson III, CB, Bengals (Houston)

Snaps: N/A

Key stat: N/A

Running with: N/A

A torn pectoral muscle suffered in the first padded practice will limit Jackson’s rookie impact, and the team is still not sure if he will return for any of his first pro season.

25. Artie Burns, CB, Steelers (University of Miami)

Snaps: N/A

Key stat: N/A

Running with: Second team

A leg injury has kept Burns out of preseason action so far, but at camp he was running with the second-team defense before it occurred, and is now back at practice, so the former Hurricane should see his first live action soon.

26. Paxton Lynch, QB, Broncos (Memphis)

Snaps: 74

Key stat: Completed 71.4 percent of his passes when kept clean in the pocket

Running with: Third team

The QB competition in Denver is wide open, but in reality, it’s a two-horse race between Trevor Siemian and Mark Sanchez to start on opening day. Paxton Lynch’s role is to get on the field and take over as soon as he can, because he is obviously the team’s future at the position. He has graded well through two games and made a couple of spectacular throws, but there are still clearly flaws to his game that need work.

27. Kenny Clark, DT, Packers (UCLA)

Snaps: 38

Key stat: One hurry and one defensive stop

Running with: Second team

UCLA’s late graduation has seen Clark behind the eight-ball when it comes to his preseason, and he’s currently behind fellow rookie Dean Lowry at defensive end on the Packers’ depth chart. Clark has outplayed Lowry so far through two preseason games, though, and will likely assume a starting spot before long.

28. Joshua Garnett, G, 49ers (Stanford)

Snaps: 67

Key stat: Has yet to be penalized

Running with: Second team

Currently behind Zane Beadles on the depth chart at left guard, Garnett has played 67 snaps across the two preseason games so far, but has done little to suggest he needs to be starting instead. He has only surrendered one pressure, but has been beaten another couple of times by pass rushers without those plays becoming a pressure because of circumstances outside of Garnett’s control (for example, the ball getting out too soon, another lineman tidying up his block, etc.).

29. Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Cardinals (Ole Miss)

Snaps: N/A

Key stat: N/A

Running with: N/A

A high-ankle sprain has meant that Robert Nkemdiche did not even practice in camp with the team until this past Monday, so he has yet to see the field.

30. Vernon Butler, DT, Panthers (Louisiana Tech)

Snaps: 40

Key stat: Has made two tackles, but missed one.

Running with: Second team

Given how strong the Panthers are inside, it’s not a huge shock to see Vernon Butler running with the second team so far. In 4o snaps, Butler has been underwhelming, though he was facing first-team players for much of that time, as the Titans left their starters in far longer than the Panthers.

31. Germain Ifedi, OT, Seahawks (Texas A&M)

Snaps: 51

Key stat: Surrendered a penalty and hurry in his first game, but was perfect in pass protection in his second

Running with: First team

Germain Ifedi has been lining up as the team’s starting right guard, and while he had a tough time in pass protection against the Chiefs in his first outing, he was far more solid against the Vikings the next week, surrendering no pressure at all that game over his 29 snaps.

| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN.

  • crosseyedlemon

    It looks like this will be another typical first round class with about half the players not really making much of an impact due to injuries or other factors. I still think the 49ers got the best of the round by getting Buckner at 7 but we will have to see how that plays out.

    • Anthony

      Agreed

    • Joe Doe

      In my opinion, his drop in the first round just felt like Mack falling to the Raiders a couple years ago.

  • David A. Holmes

    Why show negative stat of 1st two QBs, then show clean pocket stat of Paxton Lynch?

    • Brutus

      PFF is citing the stat that they feel best reflects the performance of each player so far. Lynch has been better than expected, while the other two qbs taken higher have struggled within this very limited sample – it is only Week 2 of their rookie preseason.

  • MD_in_MD

    I’m a little biased, but I really think Karl Joseph (OAK) will be in the running for DROY all year long. I watched him stuff Eddie Lacy right on the goal line the other day and play solid against the pass as well.

    • crosseyedlemon

      The poor kid has Raider fans expecting him to be the next Charles Woodson so let’s not place any added pressure on him.

      • Joe Doe

        At least his expectations aren’t that high if they are thinking about Woodson as a Raider.

        • Mike Riley

          You obviously didn’t see any of Woodson’s games last year then. He was brilliant. In fact, last year was pff’s highest graded coverage safety. He also had 5 ints & 9 passes defended. His Pro Bowl starter status wasn’t just a lifetime achievement award. He earned it. By the way no one is expecting Joseph to match his play this year. Reggie Nelson was brought in to take over Woodson’s position with Joseph getting acclimated to the pro game as a SS.

    • Brandon Chester

      Chiefs fan, I have to agree. Karl Joseph is a stud. If he didn’t get injured he could of been drafted as high as Eric Berry. I think the pass rush for Oakland could make or break his season. If the pressures result in poor throws then that’s a plus for Joseph. If it ends in sacks Joseph will disappear.

      • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

        sometimes as a safety not being in the news is a good thing, kinda like an O-lineman

        • Brandon Chester

          This is true but as a chiefs fan that seen Marcus Peters take home the award last year, I know it was only possible because he was the number one targeted corner in football last year.

          • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

            and because the AP doesn’t know the game of football and just reads stats, lol, peters also gave up 8 TDs and almost a 1,000 yards. granted all those Tds came in the first half of 2015 and he vastly improved in the 2nd half. he wasn’t even the best rookie at his position last year, the kid on the bills was

          • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

            that said peters looks legit

          • Brandon Chester

            I’m aware of that. This is where PFF fails in a sense. From a yardage stand point yes the Bills CB was better. As an impact player for a playoff team. Marcus Peter’s wins that. What people don’t know is most if those yards are in garbage time. Some of those TD’s as well. 2 to Hopkins with a 28-7 lead versus the Texans week one. 1 Golden Tate in a 45-10 blowout. Marcus Peter’s helped a team accomplish success with wins, pick sixes, game deciding picks. This kid left a lot of picks on the field as well. I’m not exaggerating when I say he could of 12. What people also aren’t aware that Marcus Peters came into the NFL rusty. He sat on the couch after being kicked off of Washington. I’ll take Marcus Peters over Darby. He actually matters when it comes to winning.

          • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

            most well put comment from a fan i’ve heard on here, kudos, sir. def true about him dropping more picks than he had too

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      as a broncos fan i was crushed to see him go to oakland, such a stud

  • Jeff Cook

    As of right now Dak Prescott has been the best QB out of this draft and he wasn’t drafted till the 4th round and he has been playing against 1st team defenses

    • crosseyedlemon

      In another 2 weeks he will probably look like the backup the Cowboys thought they were drafting….which is fine….they won’t have to rush his development if Romo rebounds and has a productive year.

  • ElwayIsGod7

    How’s New England’s first round pick doing? Oh, that’s right…

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    • Shoutout to all the guest

      LMAO

    • crosseyedlemon

      Not having a first round pick is not the end of the world. George Allen had a Hall of Fame career as coach of the Redskins and they had no first round pick from 1969-79.

      • Maaaaaarriooo

        Football has changed a lot since then

      • Seth Rollin’s KneePad

        Also had at least 12 rounds or more back then as well.

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      about as good as san diego’s

    • Zartan

      Still had a couple of good picks. Lineman and CB. They take 2 guys I like each year.

  • Shoutout to all the guest

    ifedi might be our best olineman already

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      low bar there, lol

      • Shoutout to all the guest

        what does that tell you about our entire oline

    • Ben Peterson

      Glowinski has been playing better in my eyes, and Britt isn’t playing poorly at all. Those three in the middle are gonna be solid this year.

      • Shoutout to all the guest

        let’s hope

  • Jeff Clyburn

    gotta disagree on Tunsil… besides one snap, where he pulled and ran into a teammate, he looked very, very solid in the first game, and even better in the 2nd. … he’s already their best pass protector, and is being wasted on the interior. …. Albert is cooked, and James is soft. Both are fragile, and offer no pop in the run game…. Get Tunsil at LT, don’t stunt his growth.