NFL Draft Grades

I apologize for the amount of time this took for me to write. It’s been more than two weeks since the NFL Draft, but I’ve just had a ton of work. Anyway, here’s how I think each team did when taking their talent of the future in the first three rounds. I included the team’s grade, the picks they made in rounds 1-3, and my reason for the grade. The teams are listed from best to worst in my opinion. On a side note, I talk about value a ton here because you can never say a guy is terrible. However, you can shame a front office for overvaluing a player and wasting a coveted asset on him.

Washington Redskins – A

1(15) Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio St.

1(26) Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi St.

3(12) Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio St.

Analysis: Bravo, Redskins, bravo. First, they somehow got Dwayne Haskins at number 15. It think he’ll be a star and Washington is a great situation for him. Then, they stole Montez Sweat all the way down at #26. His stock dropped due to a heart condition, but it doesn’t sound like anything that will keep him off the field. His speed is unparalleled for a man of his size, and it’ll show on the field. After netting two great players at relatively low values, they took Terry McLaurin who ran a 4.35 40 yard dash. The ‘Skins are receiver-needy, so his quickness could give him an early role on this offense. Overall, Washington had a great first 3 rounds in terms of value.


Indianapolis Colts – A

2(2) Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple

2(17) Ben Banogu, Edge, TCU

2(27) Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio St.

3(25) Bobby Okereke, ILB, Stanford

Analysis: After trading out of the first round, the Colts still ended up with 4 picks on Day 2. First of all, I salute GM Chris Ballard and the Colt’s front office for their roster-building over the past two years. They had a stupendous draft that included starters Quenton Nelson, Braden Smith, and Darius Leonard last year and they did it again this year. They took Rock Ya-Sin first. He’s a sturdy, physical corner who will make an immediate splash in Indy. Then, they selected Ben Banogu. In a draft full of talent on the D-Line, Banogu went under the radar. However, he fills a need for the Colts and he looks solid on tape. Parris Campbell was a great pick for them. He provides value in the return game and he’ll be a great slot receiver that complements Devin Funchess and T.Y. Hilton. Last, Okereke fills another need on the Colts front 7. This was a very productive draft for Indy.


Denver Broncos – A-

1(20) Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

2(9) Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas St.

2(10) Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

3(7) Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio St.

Analysis: I think the Broncos draft went underappreciated by many. They traded back and got more draft compensation, while solidifying a tight end core that has been shaky since the departure of Julius Thomas. Fant is an exceptional player and Denver will make good use of him. They also snagged Drew Lock at way under what his value should be. Even if Flacco starts this whole season the big, strong-armed Lock will succeed him at some point. Risner and Jones are also solid picks who have the potential to start soon. If this draft really does supply 4 future starters, then it’ll be looked at as a major success.


Jacksonville Jaguars – A-

1(7) Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky

2(3) Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

3(5) Josh Oliver, TE, San Jose St.

3(34) Quincy Williams, S, Murray St.

Analysis: The Jags also had an underrated draft. Josh Allen and Jawaan Taylor are great value picks. I had Taylor going in the top 10. He definitely should have gone higher than 35, but both Jacksonville and Taylor should be happy with the fit. Allen is easily a top 5 talent. The Giants made a big mistake by passing on him. Edge wasn’t necessarily a top need for the Jaguars, but Allen’s talent was too great to pass up on. This pick will hopefully rekindle a defensive front that was devastating in 2017, but was less so in 2018. Jacksonville’s next two picks filled two of their big needs. Josh Oliver was an underrated tight end out of a small school. He could be a solid starter in the right situation, which could certainly be the Jags. Then, they drafted Quincy Williams, brother of Quinnen Williams. He’s another small-school guy who is rangy and hard-hitting. You never really know how these underrated prospects will do until they play, though, but it’s safe to say this class has a ton of potential.


New York Jets – A-

1(3) Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

3(4) Jachai Polite, Edge, Florida

3(28) Chuma Edoga, OT, USC

Analysis: Despite the Jets’ lack of picks, I think they nailed this Draft. Quinnen Williams is a game-breaker. He’s arguably the best player in this class. Polite was rated as a first rounder in a lot of early mock drafts. However, he had a terrible Combine and his stock plummeted. I think the third round is still great value for him. He can be explosive and he forced a lot of fumbles last season. Edoga won’t be great, but it’s good depth on the Jet’s shaky O-Line. So, the Jets filled some holes this Draft, and they did that well.


Buffalo Bills – A-

1(9) Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

2(6) Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma

3(10) Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic

3(32) Dawson Knox, TE, Ole Miss

Analysis: The Bills needed help on their offensive and defensive lines and they were able to help their case through the Draft. Ed Oliver was speculated to be rising in stock, but he fell to the Bills anyway. Tom Brady and Josh Rosen now have to fear Oliver and Quinnen Williams on the inside for the Bills and Jets, respectively. Cody Ford was a first round prospect, but he also fell into Buffalo’s lap. He’s versatile and he should start right away. We all know the struggles of “Shady” McCoy over the past few years, so taking Singletary makes sense. Last, they took Knox, a solid tight end out of Ole Miss. Having just Tyler Kroft representing most of the Bill’s tight end depth didn’t seem appealing, so Knox is a good pick. So, the Bills found good value for their needs in this draft.


Miami Dolphins – B+

1(13) Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

3(14) Michael Deiter, OG, Wisconsin

Analysis: The reason I have Miami rated so high isn’t completely because of their picks. Sure, Wilkins is a great talent and Deiter fills a need. However, the acquisition of Josh Rosen from the Cards was the highlight of their draft. They coughed up just the 62nd overall pick and a fifth-rounder  in exchange for the last year’s number 10 selection. That’s a very low-risk deal for possibly their franchise quarterback. They can even trade Rosen again next year if they feel like drafting a quarterback with a top pick (that they’ll most likely have based on their current roster). So, they basically had two first round selections this Draft and they were both good ones.


Oakland Raiders – B+

1(4) Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson

1(24) Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

1(27) Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi St.

2(8) Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson

Analysis: Oakland has had one of the most eventful offseasons I’ve ever seen. They acquired Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, Lamarcus Joyner, and Trent Brown along with their 4 top 40 picks. First, they took ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Clelin Ferrell. Don’t get me wrong, Ferrell is really good and he proved it on the field. However, number 4 is way too high for him. I would’ve liked to have seen Josh Allen go here. However, the picks of Jacobs, Abram, and Mullen make more sense. Isaiah Crowell is out for the season, so Jacobs will get a ton of work this year. Now, their secondary is much more solid, too. Abram and Mullen join Lamarcus Joyner and Gareon Conley in a now formidable pass defense. Overall, the Raiders should be much better than last season and their future is bright.


Philadelphia Eagles – B+

1(22) Andre Dillard, OT, Washington St.

2(21) Miles Sanders, RB, Penn St.

2(25) JJ Arcega Whiteside, WR, Stanford

Analysis: Philly had a productive draft. Their offense is decent, but they don’t have many playmakers besides Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz. Hopefully, this class will change that. Dillard is very talented and he could eventually replace Jason Peters at tackle. Miles Sanders is an explosive back who could become their feature runner. Last, there’s Arcega, who will be a solid red zone target for Carson Wentz. The Eagles ignored their needs at linebacker and in the secondary, but I support their choice of helping Wentz come back strong.


Minnesota Vikings – B+

1(18)  Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State

2(18) Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama

3(38) Alexander Mattison, RB, Boise St.

Analysis: Minnesota went offense this Draft like the Eagles. They took the second best interior lineman (in my opinion) in Bradbury, which bolsters a weak O-Line. That’s obviously a solid pick. On top of that, they acquired Irv Smith Jr. at tight end. The middle of the second round was really good value for him. It wasn’t necessarily a position of need, but he can be their TE of the future if Kyle Rudolph is traded or decides to leave. Last, they selected Mattison, who was a prolific back at Boise St. If Dalvin Cook falter, which he has before, Mattison can step in like Latavius Murray used to. Overall, Minnesota made some offensive upgrades that will help them a lot in the coming seasons.


San Francisco 49ers – B+

1(2) Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio St.

2(4) Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

3(3) Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor

Analysis: Even though I feel like interior D-Line was more of a need for them, the Niners pick of Nick Bosa is undoubtedly great. His potential is sky-high and the 49ers’ front is absolutely monstrous now. Their receiving core, which was dismal before, is now much better as well. Samuel is an extremely talented slot receiver and Hurd is a running-back-turned-receiver out of Baylor. Both of their skill-sets will be valuable for Jimmy Garoppolo this season. So, they added to two positions of need in this Draft.


New England Patriots – B+

1(32) N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona St.

2(13) Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt

3(13) Chase Winovich, Edge, Michigan

3(23) Damien Harris, RB, Alabama

3(37) Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

Analysis: The reigning Super Bowl champs ended up with a ton of picks in the first three rounds. Adding N’Keal Harry was a smart move. Their receiving core is pretty depleted, so that move makes sense. I didn’t really think they needed a cornerback, but they took Williams anyway. Belichick must have seen something he likes from Williams, so keep an eye on him this season. Their third round selections were all solid, too. I really like Winovich, and he could start soon alongside Michael Bennett. The choice of Harris leads me to believe that the Pats are going to lean heavily on the run game this year. Then, they took Cajuste. If last year’s number 23 pick, Isaiah Wynn, isn’t ready to play right away after injury last season, then they can plug Cajuste into their offense. My only concern with this class is that they didn’t take a tight end to succeed Gronk. Besides that, though, this was a great draft for the Pats.


New Orleans Saints – B+

2(16) Erik McCoy, C, Mississippi St.

Analysis: Even though they only had one selection, I love this pick by the Saints. McCoy is smart and sturdy and this was incredibly good value for him. With the surprise retirement of Max Unger, this was a position of need for the Saints. They also brought in Nick Easton, but McCoy is obviously their center of the future.


Cleveland Browns – B+

2(14) Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

3(16) Sione Takitaki, LB, BYU

Analysis: Grabbing Williams at 46 was a great value pick for the Browns. Now they have two high-ceiling corners in Denzel Ward and Williams. I’ll admit, I didn’t know who Sione Takitaki was until his name was called in the third round, but from the tape I’ve watched, he looks solid. This draft class was pretty light on inside linebackers, so this may have been a little bit of a reach. However, the Browns need linebackers, so this isn’t a bad pick.


Pittsburgh Steelers – B+

1(10) Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan

3(2) Diontae Johnson, WR, Toledo

3(19) Justin Layne, CB, Michigan St.

Analysis: The Steelers finally found Ryan Shazier’s replacement. Bush is a talented player, but I won’t rave too much about him (check out one of my mocks to see that). Then, they took Diontae Johnson. The pick of a receiver was inevitable for Pittsburgh, but this was definitely a reach. I think Miles Boykin, Terry McLaurin, and Riley Ridley would’ve been better fits, but maybe the Steelers saw the same small-school flair that Antonio Brown boasted. Only time will tell if this pick was worth it. My favorite Steelers pick was Layne, though. This was great value for the lengthy corner out of MSU. I’d bet he’ll start by the end of the season.


Los Angeles Chargers – B

1(28) Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

2(28) Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

3(27) Trey Pipkins, OT, Sioux Falls

Analysis: Jerry Tillery is a good player, but I don’t know if he’s first round worthy. However, he was the best DT on the board and that was the Charger’s top need. Then, they took Nasir Adderley at 60, which was great value for him. He’s my second favorite safety in the class (after Johnathan Abram). He could start soon alongside Derwin James. Pipkins is a bit of a small-school wild card. He could never play a snap in the NFL or he could start at some point. You never really know with underrated prospects.


Seattle Seahawks – B

1(29) L.J. Collier, Edge, TCU

2(15) Marquise Blair, S, Utah

2(32) DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

3(24) Cody Barton, LB, Utah

Analysis: I’ll say the same thing about Collier that I said about about Jerry Tillery. He’s good, but first round value? Maybe not. He will probably start immediately, though as they needed depth on the edge. Then, they took a step towards resurrecting the Legion of Boom. Blair is a rangy, hard-hitting safety from Utah. He’s another guy that wasn’t on my radar, but he looks solid on tape. DK Metcalf is, in my humble opinion, the best receiver in the class. His floor is pretty low, but his ceiling is the highest. Russell Wilson will be happy to throw to the big man this season. Last, they selected Barton. They’ll hope that he makes a big impact in their run defense, which was uncharacteristically bad last season.


Arizona Cardinals – B

1(1) Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

2(1) Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

2(30) Andy Isabella, WR, UMass

3(1) Zach Allen, Edge, Boston College

Analysis: The Cards draft itself was very good. Murray should be a great QB for years to come in an offense that fits him. Byron Murphy will finally be a corner who can truly complement Patrick Peterson. Andy Isabella should be Murray’s trusty, safety-valve slot receiver. And Allen is a solid edge rusher who could start with Chandler Jones someday. However, the reason I graded the Cards so low is because they got such a meager return for Josh Rosen. They basically wasted the number 10 pick last year for the Andy Isabella and another late round pick. Unless Isabella is the next Julian Edelman, nobody can tell me that’s a fair trade. I have a hard time believing Rosen’s market was so small throughout the whole offseason. I think the Cards’ front office made a mistake by waiting until Draft Day to deal him. Besides that, Arizona added some key pieces to their squad this Draft.


Green Bay Packers – B-

1(12) Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan

1(21) Darnell Savage Jr., S, Maryland

2(12) Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi St.

3(11) Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M

Analysis: The Packers draft looks good on paper. Darnell Savage and Gary have a ton of potential and Green Bay’s D is looking better than it has in years. However, I think they should’ve done more to help Aaron Rodgers and the offense. Jenkins and Sternberger are solid picks, but they could’ve used one of those first rounders to give Rodgers some assistance. On the bright side, their defense should be sturdy for a while.


Cincinnati Bengals – B-

1(11) Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

2(20) Drew Sample, TE, Washington

3(8) Germaine Pratt, LB, NC State

Analysis: Jonah Williams is the best offensive lineman of this class. Period. So that’s a good choice with their first pick. However, their next two selections were, well, eh. Sample and Pratt fill needs, but I don’t think very well. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong, but I just think they could’ve done better than decent at their top positions of need.


Kansas City Chiefs – B-

2(24) Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia

2(31) Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia

3(20) Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois

Analysis: After the Frank Clark trade, KC had no picks in round 1. They took a second rounder for Dee Ford, but gave up a first rounder for Clark, so I wasn’t sure they negotiated this deal too well. They took Hardman to supposedly replace Tyreek Hill if he’s barred from the league. Hardman is small and quick like Hill, but I can’t help but think about the better receivers they could’ve taken. Imagine Patrick Mahomes chucking 70 yard dimes to DK Metcalf. Or, if you’re truly looking for a Tyreek prototype, take Parris Campbell, who’s faster than Hardman. I do like the pick of Juan Thornhill. He’s a versatile piece in the secondary. He could start with Tyrann Mathieu soon. Saunders also will fill a role on their D-Line. So, the reason I graded them down here is because of the Hardman pick and the somewhat questionable Frank Clark trade.


Baltimore Ravens – B-

1(25) Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

3(21) Jaylon Ferguson, Edge, Louisiana Tech

3(29) Miles Boykin, WR, Notre Dame

Analysis: Marquise Brown is undoubtedly nasty, but I don’t think they’ll use him right. Sure, they can set him up for screens and he can tear through defenses with his speed, but the deep threat is the best part of his game. I don’t think Lamar Jackson will not throw the ball to him down the field, so I fear his potential will go to waste in Baltimore. Ferguson and Boykin make more sense to me on the Ravens. Big Boykin could be Jackson’s favorite red zone target and Ferguson had a whopping 17.5 sacks last season. He’ll add to a weakened front 7.


Atlanta Falcons – B-

1(14) Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College

1(31) Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington

Analysis: To be honest, I support the Falcons’ decision to bolster their O-Line. Lindstrom is the best interior lineman of the class and McGary is a solid run-blocker. However, I think they overvalued McGary and probably should’ve added more to their defense. Unless Vic Beasley Jr. returns to his 2016 dominance, they’re very light on the edge and also in the secondary. Overall, though, it wasn’t a bad choice to improve their run blocking so they can keep Devonta Freeman healthy.


Carolina Panthers – C+

1(16) Brian Burns, Edge, Florida St.

2(5) Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

3(36) Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

Analysis: I had Brian Burns going here because the choice makes sense. He’s versatile, quick, and he fills their biggest need. Little is also a good pick, if he actually tries in the NFL. In college, he showed very little effort at time, which was frustrating because everyone knew he could be a top 10 talent. If he’s motivated, and money does tend to motivate people, then this is an outstanding selection. If he’s not, then this was a wasted asset. Grier is a very intriguing choice. This shows the Panthers don’t have confidence in Cam Newton’s health, long-term capability, or both. Grier will probably see the field very little, but if Newton has injury problems, then this will look like a smart backup plan.


Tennessee Titans – C+

1(19) Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi St.

2(19) A.J. Brown, WR, Oles Miss

3(18) Nate Davis, OG, Charlotte

Analysis: I don’t completely understand the Simmons pick. I know he’s very talented and the Titans need pass rushers, but his off-field concerns warrant a late first round choice to me. He won’t be ready for the first few weeks, too with an ACL injury. Brown was a more solid pick, though. Number 51 is good value for him. He should start alongside Adam Humphries and Corey Davis immediately. Nate Davis is also solid, but their O-Line is so weak and Marcus Mariota is so oft-injured I think they should’ve used an even earlier pick on a lineman. The question is; can Davis handle playing time from the start of the season?


Tampa Bay Buccaneers – C+

1(5) Devin White, ILB, LSU

2(7) Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan

3(30) Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn

3(35) Mike Edwards, S, Kentucky

Analysis: I’ll start by saying Devin White is my favorite defensive player of this Draft. He’s a great leader for this D and he’ll be a stud for years to come. Their next 3 picks weren’t as good, though. Bunting, Dean, and Edwards all address their biggest need in the secondary, but the Bucs could’ve done better. Greedy Williams, Trayvon Mullen, and Justin Layne were all higher-rated than Bunting in my book. Dean and Edwards are both pretty good, but not the type of star power Tampa needs in their terrible pass defense. Even though they beefed up their secondary, I think they could’ve done so better.


Los Angeles Rams – C

2(29) Taylor Rapp, S, Washington

3(6) Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis

3(15) David Long, CB, Michigan

3(33) Bobby Evans, OT, Oklahoma

Analysis: In a draft with many edge rushers and interior O-Linemen, the Rams never addressed either need. It wasn’t a bad choice to bolster their secondary with Rapp and Long, but their front 7 is weaker than their pass defense. Henderson was also a good idea with Todd Gurley’s injury history, but that’s not the way to instill confidence in your top runner. Bobby Evans was the pick that made the most sense to me because he could step in for Andrew Whitworth, who is 37 years old, if he retires.


Houston Texans – C

1(23) Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama St.

2(22) Lonnie Johnson Jr., CB, Kentucky

2(23) Max Scharping, OT, Northern Illinois

Analysis: Tytus Howard is certainly not a first round player. The next five offensive tackles would’ve been better choices for Houston in my opinion. Kaleb McGary, Jawaan Taylor, Greg Little, Cody Ford, and Dalton Risner were all better prospects, but Houston probably panicked after the Eagles stole Andre Dillard right from under their noses. Johnson and Scharping were both better value selections, but the overvaluing of Howard pushed me to give the Texans a C.


Dallas Cowboys – C

2(26) Trysten Hill, DT, UCF

3(26) Connor McGovern, OG, Penn St.

Analysis: With Nasir Adderley, Taylor Rapp, and Juan Thornhill still on the board, picking Trysten Hill over a safety baffles me. Not only did they overvalue him, but they overlooked their lackluster secondary. Then, they took McGovern. He’s a good guard, but after drafting Connor Williams in round 2 last year, that doesn’t seem like a position of need for them. They could’ve done much better here, but it won’t impact them too much, as they compete for another NFC East title.


Detroit Lions – C

1(8) T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

2(11) Jahlani Tavai, ILB, Hawai’i

3(17) Will Harris, S, Boston College

Analysis: Hockenson is a good pick for the Lions. Matt Patricia is looking to further draw comparisons to the Patriots, where he used to be the defensive coordinator. Hockenson will start immediately and he looks like the next Gronk. However, the pick of Tavai confuses me. 43rd is way too high for him. I could see them using their third rounder on him, but all the way up there is crazy. In fact, Will Harris looked better on tape to me. Tavai looked erratic while tackling, but Harris looked sturdy in the run game. Like the Texans, one, errant selection (Tavai) brought their grade down in my eyes.


New York Giants – C-

1(6) Daniel Jones Jr., QB, Duke

1(17) Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

1(30) Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

3(31) Oshane Ximines, Edge, Old Dominion

Analysis: With the greatest need to do well in this Draft, the Giants blew it. After taking Daniel Jones with the 6th pick, the faces of the Giants fans on site told the whole story. GM Dave Gettleman could’ve gotten Josh Allen on the edge or even a better QB (Dwayne Haskins). Next, N.Y. scrambled to upgrade their D-Line at 17 after passing on Allen. Lawrence can be a great player, but the Giants really need an edge man to anchor the D. 17th is also pretty lofty for Lawrence due to his injuries and PED suspension. Baker was my favorite pick by the “Gmen”. He’s my top-ranked corner in the class and 30th is good value for his services. Ximines also isn’t bad, but he’s not the fire power they need on the edge. I think their front office should’ve chosen Josh Allen and then settled for Drew Lock, traded for Josh Rosen, or waited until number 17 for Daniel Jones. I wouldn’t guarantee Jones would be available then, but the Giants had to have rated him way higher than any other team.  


Chicago Bears – No Grade

3(9) David Montgomery, RB, Iowa St.

Analysis: I wouldn’t feel right about giving the Bears a grade on one third round pick, but they had a productive draft nonetheless. Montgomery will complement Tarik Cohen straight away. They also took Riley Ridley in the fourth round. That was really good value for him. He’s a skilled route-runner and he could be their WR4 soon. Overall, the Bear’s didn’t bring in a lot of new talent this offseason, but they’re set to have another amazing season that hopefully won’t end on a missed field goal.

Grading drafts is tough, though. The guys you tear apart can surprise everyone. Daniel Jones Jr. could be the next Tom Brady, while Dwayne Haskins could be the next JaMarcus Russell. Every team did relatively well, though. There were no absolute train wrecks. Even the Giants had some success. Now, I’ll probably turn my attention to the NBA Draft Lottery, Conference Finals, and the NBA Draft after that. Stay tuned.



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