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The Cowboys selected Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliot at number four overall.

The best and worst picks from the opening night of the NFL Draft

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After a dramatic night in Chicago filled with headlines and controversy, most of the nations top prospects knew where they would be playing their football next season. The Draft threw up various surprises as usual and left fanbases in celebratory and downbeat moods alike. 

Laremy Tunsil's sudden draft day slide forced teams to reconsider their selections, and with other top prospects sliding out of the first round due to injury concerns, there were some questionable picks made particularly at the bottom of the round. But, many teams got exactly who they were after by sticking to their guns, whilst others made a real splash by trading up. 

Without further ado here are some of best and worst picks of the first round based on team fit and player value:


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The Best Picks

1. Los Angeles Rams- Jared Goff (Number one overall)

The Rams traded up to get a quarterback and they picked the right one for their team here. Goff is ready to play day one and will excel in the run first offense that the Rams operate, with star running back Todd Gurley able to take a lot of pressure off the rookie signal caller. Goff will be the face of this franchise for years to come and gives them a real chance to win. 

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2. Denver Broncos- Paxton Lynch (Number 26 overall)

The Broncos traded with the Seahawks to get Lynch and this is a superb selection by John Elway. Lynch has as good an arm as anyone in the league, and he is essentially a better version of departed quarterback Brock Osweiler with more athletic ability and much more potential. 

Lynch will not start day one, as he is a developmental prospect, but with time on the sidelines to learn under Gary Kubiak he should become a franchise quarterback. There is no better spot for a quarterback to have landed and Lynch should be thrilled to be in Denver. 

Birmingham Bowl - Auburn v Memphis

3. Dallas Cowboys- Ezekiel Elliott (Number four overall)

The Cowboys just created a modern day version of the triplets. Step aside Aikman, Irvin and Smith, enter Romo, Bryant and Elliott. This selection gives the Cowboys a truly explosive three-pronged offense with an every down back who is durable, excellent in pass protection and can catch passes out of the backfield with great effect. 

Elliott is an outstanding all round back who will contribute in every facet of the offense from day one and take a lot of pressure off Tony Romo. Analysts may have urged the Cowboys to upgrade the defense with this pick but they can address that in round two, with a deep class of pass rushers available they will be able to find value there.

4. Indianapolis Colts- Ryan Kelly (Number 18 overall)

The Colts have whiffed on their last two first round picks and desperately needed to get Andrew Luck some protection in this draft. They hit it out of the park with the selection of Alabama centre/guard Ryan Kelly. 

With the top exterior linemen off the board, GM Ryan Grigson did the right thing here by not reaching for a tackle and taking the best interior lineman in the draft. Kelly will shore up the Colts leaky line and provide stability through the middle whether he starts at guard or centre. This pick gives the Colts a line that suddenly looks very stable and with solid protection it gives them a chance to win it all with Andrew Luck at quarterback. 

The worst picks

1. San Francisco 49ers- Joshua Garnett (Number 28 overall)

The 49ers traded back into round one to select Garnett, a guard out of Stanford. The reason this pick is not a good one is not down to Garnett's ability, he is one of the top guards in the draft, but they had a good chance of getting him in round two when they pick again at number 37. 

They gave up their second, fourth and sixth round picks to the Chiefs and that just seems like a lot to get a player who did not have a first round grade on him. 

The 102nd Rose Bowl Game - Iowa v Stanford

2. Atlanta Falcons- Keanu Neal (Number 17 overall) 

The Falcons were always going to take a defensive player and Dan Quinn wanted dynamic playmaker, I'm just not sure Neal is that guy. There were better players available even at the safety position with Karl Joseph and aside from that Darron Lee and Reggie Ragland were still on the board, players that they really could have used in their thin linebacker unit.

Neal just does not jump out as a game changer, he missed a whopping 16 tackles last year and the Falcons have reached on him at number 17. 

3. Pittsburgh Steelers- Artie Burns (Number 25 overall) 

With the top talent at cornerback long gone the Steelers left themselves in a position where they had to reach for a player here and Burns certainly represents a reach. He is certainly not a first round talent and Pittsburgh will go through some growing pains with him especially in zone coverage where is a serious liability. 

Mackenzie Alexander may have been a better selection here but even he would have been a reach at 25 as both players had second round grades on them. 

NFL Combine - Day 6

4. Chicago Bears- Leonard Floyd (Number 9 Overall) 

Floyd is an almighty risk. His speed off the edge is electric and along with his bend will allow him to get to the quarterback but there is no certainty how frequently. His thin build is a worry, however, he has virtually no power rush ability and better tackles in the league will be able to move with his speed and shut him down. 

The Bears needed pass rushers so desperately that they moved up to get Floyd but there is just no telling how productive he will become and there is serious bust potential in this pick. 

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