The 2016 defense was good. You already knew that, of course. They were #1 in scoring defense, #1 in rushing defense, and tied for #1 in total defense. The #2 scoring defense allowed over 1 point per game more than Alabama did. The #2 rushing defense allowed a whopping 32 more rushing yards per game.
Over the course of the 2018 NFL Draft, we got even more evidence for just how great that defense was. Combined with the results of the 2017 NFL Draft, here’s what that defense looked like.
- DL: Jonathan Allen - 1st round
- DL: Da’Ron Payne - 1st round
- DL: Dalvin Tomlinson - 2nd round
- LB: Tim Williams - 3rd round
- LB: Reuben Foster - 1st round
- LB: Shaun Dion Hamilton - 6th round
- LB (replacing the injured Hamilton): Rashaan Evans, 1st round
- LB: Ryan Anderson - 2nd round
- DB: Marlon Humphrey - 1st round
- DB: Anthony Averett - 4th round
- DB: Minkah Fitzpatrick - 1st round
- DB: Eddie Jackson - 4th round
- DB: Ronnie Harrison - 3rd round
That’s six 1st rounders, eight taken in the first two rounds, and 10 taken in the first three rounds. Plus, Eddie Jackson and Shaun Dion Hamilton almost definitely would have been selected higher had they not suffered season-ending injures.
Not too shabby.
[ED. NOTE: Our DoctorWhosOnFirst was the first to notice this amazing feat and Tweeted it out. Instead of retweeting or giving him credit, others aped it and passed it off as their own insight. Kudos to DWOF. ~ CB969]