Draft: Impact of Free Agency

March 9 marked the official start of the 2016 season. Since then, free agency has reshaped many NFL rosters, and has subsequently reshaped many draft boards.

The Houston Texans’ signing of former Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler created a massive ripple effect. While the Broncos did trade for quarterback Mark Sanchez, they will definitely add another quarterback either in the early rounds of the draft or via a trade/free agency.  If the Broncos trade for San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernicks, then it’s the Niners who will likely be drafting a signal caller early.

Another move that shook up rosters was the Philadelphia Eagles-Miami Dolphins trade that sent cornerback Byron Maxwell, linebacker Kiko Alonso, and the 13th overall pick in the draft to South Beach in exchange for the eighth overall pick. The Eagles sent running back DeMarco Murray to the Tennessee Titans and moved up 13 spots in the fourth round. With needs across the board, the Eagles will likely pick the best available player eighth overall (if they don’t trade down) and will fill more specific needs in later rounds.

Teams like the Washington Redskins, who aren’t very flashy in free agency and stay true to the draft-and-develop model, focus their free agent transactions on re-signing players. Teams involved in free agency saw their rosters impacted for better or worse. All eyes are now on the draft, where teams can truly set the foundation of their rosters.

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