Sacks, lies and videotape: The 2016 NFL Draft’s shocking first round


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Sacks, lies and videotape: The 2016 NFL Draft’s shocking first round

By Eddie Diaz

The first round of the NFL Draft came to a close April 28 with most of the day’s talk about leaked videotape footage.

Ole Miss Tackle Laremy Tunsil watched helplessly as a day about dreams quickly turned into a nightmare. Someone allegedly hacked his Twitter account and posted a video of Tunsil smoking marijuana through a gas mask. The video leaked moments before the draft began. Previously projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Tunsil slid out of the top 10 with many NFL general managers taking him off their draft boards in light of the video.

Tunsil was later drafted at No. 13 by the Miami Dolphins, a move that could be looked at as the steal of the night if Tunsil is able to put all of this behind him. Speaking with media at his post-draft press conference, Tunsil owned up to his mistakes.

“I made that mistake several years ago and somehow, somebody got into my photos and hacked my Twitter account,” Tunsil said. “I can’t control it, man. Whatever I can control, I’ll control.”

The controversy continued when Tunsil’s Instagram account was also allegedly hacked, where screenshots of supposed text messages between Tunsil and John Miller, assistant athletic director for football operations, were posted. In the aforementioned messages, Tunsil asks Miller for money to pay rent and his mother’s utility bill.

Tunsil did his best to focus on the positives when speaking to the media and reiterate that he was just happy to be drafted. However, when one Mississippi beat reporter pushed too hard, the press conference was cut short by Tunsil’s reps. Overcome with frustration, Tunsil sounded off on the reporter.

“You [are] from Mississippi and you [are] doing all that,” Tunsil said. “You [are] lame, bro.”

In addition to the Tunsil drama, the first round alone saw five trades, including the Chicago Bears moving up to the No. 9 spot to select Leonard Floyd, an outside linebacker fromtheUniversity ofGeorgia. The move has been dubbed risky by analysts and pundits alike as the 6-foot-6, 244-pounder registered just 4 1/2 sacks last season.

Floyd was not invited to the draft but expressed his gratitude to the Bears for trading up to draft him when he spoke to the Chicago Tribune.

“I can’t even tell you how good I feel about being a Bear,” Floyd told The Tribune.

The Bears’ move was far from the biggest surprise, though. The San Diego Chargers pick of Ohio State University Defensive End Joey Bosa shocked the auditorium and the player himself.

“I was already looking past [No.] 3,” Bosa said. “Not that I didn’t want to end up at the Chargers, I just didn’t think, I don’t know…. I talked to them a good amount but I didn’t take a visit there. Seemed like they had interest in me, but it kind of fell off. It was a huge surprise to me and the best surprise I’ve ever gotten.”

Bosa was the first of five Ohio State players to be taken this year. The Buckeyes produced three picks in the top 10 and five in the top 20. Bosa cried when he heard his name called, overcome with emotion. During his post-draft press conference, he took a stroll down memory lane recalling a photo of himself, Ezekiel Elliott (No. 4 pick), Darron Lee (No. 20 pick) and Eli Apple (No. 10 pick) from their first visit to Ohio State’s campus.

“We look at this picture of me, Zeke [Elliott], Darron [Lee] and Eli [Apple] all at our visit our senior year in high school and back then I’m sure we had no idea that we were all going to be here getting picked,” Bosa said.

Lee, who was selected by the New York Jets, echoed those sentiments.

“If you would have told us that we were going to be first round draft picks, we probably all would have laughed,” Lee said.

Reporters asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the Tunsil situation Friday. He said that is what makes the draft worth watching.

“It’s part of what makes the draft so exciting,” Goodell said. “Clubs make decisions. Sometimes they take risks. Sometimes they do the right things. Sometimes they don’t, and we’ll see. Hopefully, he is going to turn out to be a great young player.”

The biggest ovation from the crowd came when the Dallas Cowboys took Ohio State Running Back Ezekiel Elliott No. 4 overall. Elliott will pair with Tony Romo and Dez Bryant for what analysts are dubbing “The New Triplets,” a reincarnation of Michael Irvin, Dez Bryant and Emmitt Smith—the Cowboys Super Bowl winning trio in the ’90s.

Elliott expressed his excitement to be the newest member of “America’s team.”

“Dallas was definitely the place I wanted to go,” Elliott said. “Seeing that happen, it’s kind of like I got to make my college decision.”

Elliott also joked with reporters about getting to run the football behind the best offensive line in the NFL.

“I’m sure I’m going to have some pretty good dreams tonight,” Elliott said.