I tend to regrade Mel Kiper's draft grades on occasion. I do this for a couple reasons. It is fun to do this in order to see what an "expert" like Kiper ends up saying about draft prospects as they are drafted as compared to what their playing career ends up looking like. Mel Kiper has made his career out of evaluating college players and then giving his analysis of these players on draft day. ESPN has now included Todd McShay as another "expert" on the NFL Draft to create arguments between the two experts about certain players. It makes for good television, but it really seems sort of pointless since if Mel or Todd are wrong about a player ESPN never mentions it again. I think Kiper deserves to be regraded to see if he was right or wrong about a team's draft and to analyze what he had to say at the time of the NFL Draft about certain players.
My conclusion usually is that Kiper probably knows a little bit more than most people about the NFL Draft, but regardless of how much research Kiper does, the NFL Draft is still somewhat of a crapshoot. Kiper does get a fair amount of his analysis correct, but I don't think you can be an expert on the NFL Draft. It just doesn't seem like something you can be an expert on. I'm not sure whether to dislike Mel Kiper for making a living off the idea he is a draft expert or like him for getting paid by ESPN for being an expert when giving that title really doesn't mean much.
I realize that link is behind a pay wall, but you can easily find a link to what Kiper says about the draft at a site like this one. I would encourage you to buy an ESPN Insider subscription, so ESPN doesn't go out of business. God knows you should have to pay for draft grades that are seven years old. If we steal ESPN Insider information then ESPN may no longer be able to provide vital content like seven year old draft grades.
By the way, the biggest bullshit part about Kiper's analysis (as usual) are his grades. The lowest grade he gives a team is a "C." That's right. Kiper thinks every team did average to above average in this draft. Other than the fact this is nearly impossible, it continues a trend in Kiper's draft grades to rarely openly bash a team's draft. If Kiper bashes a team's draft and the players in that team's draft end up being really good in the NFL, then Kiper looks like he missed on a player or wasn't knowledgeable. If Kiper gives the teams mostly good grades and a team has a bad draft, well, we all know certain players bust in the NFL and we don't know why. Blaming Kiper for missing a certain player doesn't seem entirely fair since players bust in the NFL for a variety of reasons. Kiper errs to the side of protecting his reputation rather than giving honest grades. No one calls Kiper on being wrong when Troy Williamson busts and Kiper liked the pick, but if Williamson becomes a star and Kiper predicted Williamson would bust then this will be thrown in his face. So that's why I think teams don't get low draft grades from Mel. No grade lower than a "C" is pathetic draft grading and I can't believe ESPN expects people to pay for this content.
Arizona Cardinals: A
Big miss out of the gate. Antrel Rolle, JJ Arrington, Eric Green, Elton Brown, Lance Mitchell, Leron McCoy and Darryl Blackstock. Sound like an "A" draft to you?
The Cardinals had to have a corner and a running back in this draft and they got both in the first two rounds. Antrel Rolle was maybe the best defensive player on the board
He maybe really wasn't unless you like Rolle more than Demarcus Ware, Justin Tuck or Trent Cole. I like how Kiper says "maybe" Rolle is the best defensive player. If only there was someone who got paid to tell us this information with more certainty...like maybe a draft expert.
Overall, not terrible. Definitely not an "A" draft though. Maybe a "B-" or so.
Atlanta Falcons: C+
Wide receiver Roddy White was a great pick in the first round for a team that needs to give quarterback Michael Vick more help
Good call by Kiper. White was a small college wide receiver, so it would have been easy to bash this pick.
Linebacker Jordan Beck might have been taken a bit early and end Chauncey Davis was a reach in the fourth round, while linebacker Michael Boley was a good selection in the fifth round.
Davis wasn't a reach in the fourth round. He's a rotation-type guy and Boley was a great pick. I'd have to say Boley was better than a good selection in the fifth round. This is a "B+" draft in my opinion.
Baltimore Ravens: A
Receiver Mark Clayton is a perfect fit and defensive end Dan Cody is a nice pass rusher who could be effective off the edge.
Jason Brown was the best pick in the fourth round and Clayton is the best pick after that. This isn't even close to an "A" draft. Probably a "D" draft.
Buffalo Bills: C+
How about a "D"?
The Bills traded their 2005 first-round pick in the JP Losman deal but got a steal in the second round when receiver Roscoe Parrish fell to the late second round. Parrish will be a nice addition to the passing game and is also an effective returner, and his college teammate Kevin Everett could turn into a nice tight end.
Roscoe Parrish did have some success in the NFL and we all know tragically what happened with Kevin Everett. The other players in this draft made little to no impact.
Carolina Panthers: B-
Thomas Davis is a hard hitter and it will be interesting to see whether the Panthers leave him at safety, where he played in college, or to outside linebacker, where many project him at the next level. Running back Eric Shelton is an okay pick in the second round but is purely a straight ahead, bruising runner. Guard Evan Mathis was quite a steal in the third round
Almost half of this draft was out of the league three years later. I give Kiper credit because Mathis was a steal in the third round, but he missed Hangartner who was also a steal in the 5th round. Otherwise, this is a pretty bad draft. You can't miss on your 2nd and 3rd round pick pick and expect a "B-" in retrospect. Even Kiper didn't seem to like the draft, yet he gave it a "B-." Probably a "C-" draft.
Chicago Bears: A-
Cedric Benson has all the makings of a star running back
For the Bengals.
and Mark Bradley fills a need at wide receiver while also bringing excellent special team skills to the table. Getting Kyle Orton gives the Bears a nice backup who will fill in capably should quarterback Rex Grossman go down again. Receiver Airese Curry made sense in the fifth round and the late-round safeties could become contributors as well.
Can't be overly critical on this draft. Not sure it was an "A-" draft, but Chris Harris was a contributor for the Bears and has had a nice NFL career. I do have to wonder why Kiper said "safeties" considering the Bears only drafted one safety, but I guess he is so busy giving out high draft grades and scribbling a quick analysis he doesn't have time to pay attention to what position a player drafted actually plays.
Cincinnati Bengals: A-
Defensive end David Pollack and linebacker Odell Thurman were teammates at Georgia and are immediate upgrades for the front seven on Marvin Lewis' defense.
and thanks to his great physical attributes receiver Chris Henry is a good gamble in the third round despite some character questions.
I'm guessing this is a pretty depressing draft for Bengals fans. Thurman and Pollack weren't big contributors for different reasons and Chris Henry should probably get credit for helping the NFL overhaul its conduct code for players. I'm not sure we should increase the draft grade because of this though, so I won't be nice. Another big miss by Kiper. I'd give the Bengals points since Henry and Pollack's failures weren't their fault, but I'm not in a good mood today. This is a "C-" draft at best.
Cleveland Browns: B
You can't argue with the Browns taking the best player available at No. 3 in Braylon Edwards even though they have other needs. If safety Brodney Pool gets back to the stellar form he showed as a sophomore he will pan out nicely,
This wasn't a "B" draft for the Browns, though sadly Braylon Edwards ended up being one of the better receivers. Take a look at the list of wide receivers drafted in the 2005 draft through the first three rounds.
Not a stellar set of receivers.
quarterback Charlie Frye has the skills you want in a quarterback despite the fact that he throws a wobbly ball on occasion.
By "skills you want in a quarterback" I think Kiper meant "he visually looks like he would be a good quarterback."
Dallas Cowboys: A
One of the best hauls for any team thanks to a significant upgrade on the defensive front seven. Demarcus Ware is a terrific attack linebacker, end Marcus Spears is a great fit in a 3-4 scheme and linebacker Kevin Burnett is a solid, steady player. Running back Marion Barber III is bigger than current Dallas back Julius Jones and is a nice complement. Safety Justin Beriault was a steal in the sixth round and defensive tackle Jay Ratliff is versatile enough to play in a 3-4 or 4-3,
Agreed. This was an "A" draft for the Cowboys. Kiper didn't even mention Chris Canty as part of the Cowboys haul. I'd probably give this draft an "A+" or somewhere close.
Denver Broncos: C
A team that did a lot of reaching for cornerbacks.
It's part of the Mike Shanahan code of drafting for this year called "draft a bunch of players at one position and surely one of them will be a quality NFL player."
I'll be kind and give this a "C" draft since Darrent Williams died and Foxworth was quality for a while.
Detroit Lions: C+
Give the Lions credit for going away from their biggest needs to take receiver Mike Williams,
Yes, the Lions deserve credit for ignoring the team's needs to draft another wide receiver...because the Lions were set at quite a few other positions and all. I'm all about Best Player Available, but wide receiver wasn't even one of the Lions main or secondary needs. To make matters worse, any of the next five picks would have been better picks. The Lions could have picked any of the next five picks and done a better job of drafting. Shaun Cody is the main haul, so this isn't a "C+" draft. More like a "C-" or "D."
Green Bay Packers: C
The Packers had to take quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the first round. You just can't pass on the opportunity to get Brett Favre's heir apparent and give him some time to learn from one of the best passers ever, even though he won't help them win this year. Corner Nick Collins is a good athlete but very raw and was a reach in the second round, and while receiver Terrence Murphy is a nice player Green Bay didn't need a receiver. Safety Marviel Underwood was a solid pickup in the fourth round but linebacker Brady Poppinga might not be a good fit in the Packers' scheme. I like receiver Craig Bragg in the sixth round but there is just not enough defensive help in this class.
So after reading that wall of text, how the hell can Kiper rate this a "C" draft? He says the picks are either reaches, not a good pick, raw, and he didn't like the overall draft strategy of the Packers. So how the hell can he rate this a "C" draft when he clearly hates this draft? This is an "A-" draft just based on the Nick Collins and Aaron Rodgers selections, but Kiper's grade doesn't match this words.
Houston Texans: C
Another "C"? You don't say? This is the fourth "C" in a string of seven straight "C's" that Kiper gives. Why do people have to pay for this content again?
Kiper is lukewarm to the draft, gives the Texans a "C" and calls it a day.
Indianapolis Colts: C+
Marlin Jackson is a nice upgrade at cornerback but second-rounder Kelvin Hayden moved to corner just last year and is still very raw.
Defensive tackle Vincent Burns came off the board a bit early while guard Dylan Gandy will lend some versatility to the offensive line and defensive end Jonathan Welsh did not always play to the level of his physical talents. Running back Anthony Davis could be a nice find in the seventh round if he stays healthy enough to remain in the mix.
And this is an above average draft? Does this sound like an above average draft from Mel's description? I give this draft a "C" at the most.
Jacksonville Jaguars: C+
The Jaguars took wide receiver Matt Jones off the board much earlier than most expected him to go, and the former college quarterback is a projection and slight risk despite his amazing athleticism...Running back Alvin Pearman will be a nice backup to Fred Taylor and safety Gerald Sensabaugh is a good value in the fifth round.
Sensabaugh wasn't bad at all and Khalif Barnes started for a while. You get the sense Kiper is bored with grading these drafts. This was a pretty below average draft. I'd give it a "C-."
Kansas City Chiefs: C
Punter Dustin Colquitt was a reach in the third round because of his inconsistency
Colquitt is still punting for the Chiefs. Every other player, except for Derrick Johnson, is not on the roster currently. Kiper liked the Johnson pick, had something negative to say about every other pick. Yet Kiper gave the draft a "C."
Craphonso Thorpe needs to regain the form he showed before suffering a leg injury late in his career. James Grigsby should be okay as a backup linebacker but the Chiefs did not do enough to help the defense and took two questionable offensive players in the seventh round.
So one good pick (in the opinion of Kiper) gets a team a "C" grade? What is a "D?" If none of the players are very good? I guess a team has to completely forget to make any draft picks to get an "F." Even then Mel Kiper would probably give the team a "D-," just in case.
Miami Dolphins: B-
Running back Ronnie Brown is a complete prospect and you also have to like the intensity and toughness end Matt Roth will bring to the table. The biggest question is whether linebacker Channing Crowder will remain healthy enough long enough to be an impact pro,
This is a tough draft to grade. I think overall Kiper did a good job and his grade is correct.
Minnesota Vikings: B+
This draft was a straight "F" or "D-." The best player was Marcus Johnson and the Vikings missed on their two first round draft choices.
The Vikings targeted speed on their board and they definitely got it with wide receiver Troy Williamson, who wowed Minnesota enough that the Vikings passed on Mike Williams.
Maybe the Vikings should have just passed on drafting any players. It worked for them in 2003 when they didn't make their first round pick and still landed Kevin Williams.
New England Patriots: C
Guard Logan Mankins was a reach in the first round but the Patriots obviously like his size and nastiness,
Four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams later...not so much of a reach.
Tackle Nick Kaczur could play guard as well but came off the board a little early
He was a 3rd round pick and started 62 out of 68 possible games with the Patriots. Again, not a reach.
and Matt Cassel is a big project at quarterback.
Well, that is true. You can almost say that about any quarterback drafted in the 7th round though. Throwing Ellis Hobbs and James Sanders into the equation and this is a solid "B" draft for the Patriots.
New Orleans Saints: C
Kiper didn't have many exciting comments on the Saints draft. He sort of talked in generalities. The Saints didn't get much out of this draft, so let's just stick with the "C" since Brown and Bullocks were fairly decent for a while.
New York Giants: C
The Giants only had four picks. They drafted Eric Moore and the other three guys helped them to two Super Bowls. I'd say that is worth at least an "A-," maybe even an "A+."
Justin Tuck is an okay end in the third round but should have gone back to Notre Dame, Brandon Jacobs should carve a niche as a power back and end Eric Moore is also an okay pick.
Other than being wrong about Tuck needing to stay at Notre Dame one more year, because going to the NFL seemed to work out for Tuck, Mel seems to be on-point.
The Giants just did not have enough selections to make a big impact on their football team.
This simply isn't true. This teaches the lesson that a team can be impacted even when having just a few draft choices.
New York Jets: C
What a shock! A "C" grade. After a brief interlude earlier, Mel hits us with five straight more "C" grades.
Cornerback Justin Miller made sense later in the round because of his big-play ability and awesome return abilities, but most of the rest of the draft is made up of reaches (Sione Puha and Kery Rhodes)
Big fail. The two best players from this draft were these two reaches. So Mel is probably right about the "C" grade, but for the wrong reasons.
Oakland Raiders: C
The Raiders went with speed at cornerback with Fabian Washington and Stanford Routt but sacrificed in terms of ball skills.
End Ryan Riddle and offensive tackle Pete McMahon were good pickups in the sixth round and, all things considered, I like those last two picks better than Oakland's first two.
So a draft where the team misses on their first and second round picks is a "C" draft? Interesting theory. Mel must have really liked McMahon and Riddle. Washington and Routt just happened to have been the two best picks from this draft. I think a "C+" or "B-" would be a appropriate.
Philadelphia Eagles: A
A large class with no real downside.
The only downside being four of the players didn't have an impact in the NFL, but they were last round picks, and McCoy/Brown didn't live up to expectations. The Eagles did get Trent Cole, Mike Patterson, and Todd Herremans out of this draft. Add in Sean Considine/Moats and Mel actually got this draft grade correct.
The Eagles draft had 12 players. If that class had no downside it would have been one of the greatest draft classes ever.
Pittsburgh Steelers: C+
The Steelers had eight picks in this draft and drafted four guys who started a significant amount of games for them (Heath Miller, Chris Kemoeatu, Bryant McFadden and Trai Essex). That's a pretty good draft and even though there aren't any superstars in the group this draft deserves an "A-." Definitely not a "C." Maybe Mel's keyboard was just stuck when he wrote these draft grades and the only letter he could type was "C."
San Diego Chargers: C
I like end/linebacker Shawne Merriman as an addition to the pass rush, but the rest of the players the Chargers selected were taken a little early. Defensive tackle Luis Castillo did not have a first-round grade and receiver Vincent Jackson was a reach in the second round as the Chargers were desperate to add a receiver.
Another miss by Kiper. Ignoring Merriman's regression, the Chargers got two starters and an excellent situational back out of this draft. Castillo and Jackson proved Kiper was wrong that they were drafted too early. This draft should be a "B+" at the least.
San Francisco 49ers: B
A good first day but an average second day. There were no trade opportunities compelling enough that San Francisco wanted to give up the No. 1 overall pick, but quarterback Alex Smith is a player who's easy to like. Center David Bass will help the interior of the offensive line and Frank Gore could help take some pressure off Smith as they mature together, while guard Adam Snyder will lend a hand to Baas.
Kiper got this one right. It is David Baas not "Bass," but I guess that is beside the point. Smith, Baas, Snyder and Gore make this a "B" or "B+" draft.
Seattle Seahawks: B
Chris Spencer is able to play center and both guard positions and is a big help, but linebacker Lofa Tatupu, quarterback David Greene and linebacker Leroy Hill were all reaches.
Tatupu and Hill may have been reaches, but they were also the the 2nd and 3rd most productive players coming from this draft. I'm not sure they were actually reaches. I'm tempted to give this draft lower than a "B," but I think Kiper got his third grade in a row correct.
St. Louis Rams: C
The next three picks were all reaches (corner Ronald Bartell Jr., safety Oshiomogho Atogwe and center Richie Incognito), but Dante Ridgeway made sense at receiver in the sixth round and I like quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick as a developmental project.
Of course these three "reaches" are among the four players who made the biggest positive impact for the Rams. Alex Barron doesn't count since he is a penalty machine. Two of these players are still on the Rams team and Madison Hedgecock made a positive impact before he was inexplicably released in 2007. This is a "B-" draft in my opinion, so Kiper wasn't far off.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: C+
No player from this draft is still on the Buccaneers team. Barrett Ruud, Donte Nicholson, Alex Smith, and Cadillac Williams were the big contributors. This is a "D" draft in my opinion.
Tennessee Titans: B
Another tough draft to grade. The Titans got Michael Roos and David Stewart from this draft. Both are currently cornerstones of the Titans offensive line.
Michael Roos is a very good tackle for Tennessee to add in the second round. Courtney Roby is an average receiver and Brandon Jones is okay, but I actually like fourth-round wideout Roydell Williams more than either Roby or Jones.
This is the draft where the Titans got Pacman Jones. They also got Bo Scaife and Brandon Jones, so overall this looks like an "B+" draft to me. Maybe that grade is a bit high, but Kiper wasn't terribly far off.
Washington Redskins: C
The Redskins had a lot of picks but still ended up with an average draft.
According to Mel Kiper, the entire NFL either had an average or above average draft. So for these draft grades being average is the equivalent of getting a "D" or an "F." Unfortunately, in reality this wasn't even an average draft. It was below average. The Redskins got Jason Campbell, Carlos Rogers and a bunch of shit with the other four picks.
Cornerback Carlos Rogers fills a big need but taking quarterback Jason Campbell with their second first-round pick is a head-scratcher. Campbell is a very good player and a very solid pro prospect thanks to his extreme accuracy, but coach Joe Gibbs wants to win right now and Campbell doesn't help him do that.
That seems to be the story of Jason Campbell's career in my opinion. He's a decent quarterback and pretty accurate, but he just doesn't fit what his coach wants. Overall, even with the Rogers and Campbell pick, this is a "D" draft in my opinion.
So overall Mel Kiper gave out 19 "C" grades, with the lowest grade he gave as a "C." Hey, at least he didn't say anything extremely negative about a prospect that came back to bite him in the ass though. That counts for something. Don't say anything controversial that ended up being wrong and you can still be considered an expert.