Friday, May 10, 2013

3 comments 2013 NFL Draft Grades

Grading an NFL Draft immediately after that draft is probably stupid. I think it is more stupid to give out a bunch of "B's" and "C's" so that you show you aren't afraid to be wrong or right (I'm talking to you Mel Kiper). I usually do draft grades so I can look back in a few years and say how stupid/smart I was in giving out these draft grades. I enjoy giving them out, but I've done a lot of thinking and as much fun as I believe draft grades are to give out I think I am not going to do them this year. This year I am going to be reviewing the draft grades has handed out, the ones Yahoo has handed out, and the grades the Sporting News handed out. That way we can compare what different "experts" thought about each team's draft and I will of course include my thoughts about their thoughts. You will find most of these "experts" give teams very similar grades. It seems they all love or hate the same drafts...except for Mel Kiper, who just gives every draft a "B" or a "C."

Arizona Cardinals (SI: B+, Yahoo: A, Sporting News: A-)

Either the Cardinals draft will be excellent in a few years or we have some major groupthink going on here. I wish the Cardinals had gone after Chance Warmack since I think he will be the best offensive lineman in this draft (fine, I think he's the best player in this draft). Jonathan Cooper is very versatile, so maybe that's why they passed up Warmack.

The headliner here is CB Tyrann Mathieu, but it’s actually what Arizona did elsewhere that made this a very solid draft.

This was an excellent draft in my opinion. I would lean closer to the A- than an A, because I prefer Warmack to Cooper. I'm still not sure what the Cardinals are going to do long-term at quarterback, but I like this team a lot more after the draft. I really like the two running backs they chose. I know running backs are overrated, blah, blah, blah, but I think Ellington/Taylor are two good picks. 

Atlanta Falcons (SI: B, Yahoo: A-, Sporting News: B)

Again, it seems we have some groupthink here. I have a feeling we will see this a lot. It seems like all of the draft grades are similar, but how can it be that each "expert" likes each team's draft the exact same? It's weird to me.

If GM Thomas Dimitroff is one thing above all else, it’s realistic. He saw how the Falcons' defense got torched in the playoffs and dumped his aging cornerbacks and defensive end. He then used four of his top five picks on critical positions. He traded up to get Trufant, followed that with another corner and then picked up two defensive ends with projectable pass-rush ability.

The move for Trufant did cost them a third-rounder, which left them taking a shot on DE Malliciah Goodman in Round 4.

The Falcons did a good job of drafting cornerbacks to replace Grimes and Robinson. I don't want to be too hard on them, but I thought they needed a pass-rusher and I'm not sure taking on two defensive ends who are both inconsistent is the way to fill their pass rush needs. They did get a tight end in the late rounds, which is nice given the fact Tony Gonzalez is probably (who knows) going to retire after this year. I firmly believe the pass rush helps out the corners, so I am not sure I would double-down on cornerbacks and have gotten a pass-rusher in the second round. I think a "B" is a bit of a high grade. 

Baltimore Ravens (SI: A-, Yahoo: B, Sporting News: B+)

If you have read one set of draft grades then you have read them all, huh? The comments differ, but the grades don't. The Ravens were able to re-load on defense. I thought the Ravens could draft Arthur Brown in the first round instead of taking Matt Elam, so I like that pick in the second round. Because I am me though, I don't know if I like that the Ravens didn't address the offensive line or receiving position until later in the draft. I realize the Ravens feel good about their offensive line, but I thought they should have taken a player earlier than they did. Plus, with Boldin gone I wish they had addressed the passing game a little earlier. It's a tough situation for them, as they needed to rebuild the defense but also provide their new franchise quarterback with protection and weapons on offense.

Buffalo Bills (SI: B-, Yahoo: B+, Sporting News: C)

Well, we have a little more diverging in the grades given for the Bills.

The Bills were all about going back to the drawing board with their passing game. The centerpiece is Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel, but coach Doug Marrone and his staff have their work cut out to turn him into a polished, athletic passer.

It's almost like the coaching staff of the Bills has to coach the players and work with them to be better football players. Who would have thought this could ever occur? How shocking to hear that Manuel will need coaching.

Offensively, there's a lot of potential but more shaky unknown.

These are quotes from the "C" grade given. So the Bills were knocked down because of the "unknown" aspect of the Bills draft. I'm guessing other teams drafted players who were more sure-fire stars? It's not as if there aren't 200 others players in this draft who are unknowns. The Bills got the quarterback they wanted, got an extra pick out of it, and drafted a guy I really, really like in Marquise Goodwin (he could thrive in the slot). Not to mention, I think Robert Woods was a victim of the USC disaster this year. I still like him. I don't care if it is a bunch of unknowns, the Bills drafted for their needs. Will it work out? Nobody knows. This isn't a "C" draft though.

Carolina Panthers (SI: C, Yahoo: C+, Sporting News: B-)

Again, very similar grades given. It seems these "experts" all have the same feelings on every draft. It was a boring draft for Carolina. Boring isn't always bad, especially with only having five picks and quite a few holes.

From there, it was a pretty nondescript effort, save for the head-scratcher pick of G Edmund Kugbila in Round 4. Also not sure how RB Kenjon Barner fits in a crowded backfield.

Let's think how would a running back who ran well in Oregon's offense would fit in well with a team that has some read-option plays in their playbook? Boy, that is tough to figure out. Not to mention Carolina's salary cap issues are well-known, so Barner being drafted could mean the Carolina backfield will be getting less crowded in the next year or two. DeAngelo Williams is probably going to be exiting stage-right soon. Anyone who saw Carolina play last year saw the terrible play at the defensive tackle position. Carolina had Star Lotulelei fall to them (players fall for a reason sometimes, so this may not be good news) but they also filled a huge need. I can accept a "B" grade for this draft. It wasn't great, but with five picks and a lot of holes it's hard to be great.

Chicago Bears (SI: B-, Yahoo: C+, Sporting News: C)

Grades guys...those grades.

The problem is that Long took awhile to get back to football after a dalliance with baseball. Where some people see a guy who is stiff, others see a guy who is learning to react and project that once he gets it, he could even become a left tackle. Likewise, some people don’t see Bostic as very athletic, while others see him as way more explosive and talented than more highly regarded players such as Manti Te’o.

The Bears addressed a couple of needs, but did they get enough done here?

The Bears did go after needed offensive line help, but ended up with a couple of projects there, including their first-rounder, Oregon's Kyle Long. Long, however, might need to start out inside as he's still growing as a tackle.

I guess it is only acceptable to draft guys who are projects or are somewhat risky picks if the team that is selecting these players is already a contender. It's funny how an opinion changes regarding a team's draft depending on which team selected that draft. Projects are great if you are the 49ers or Falcons, but if you are the Bears then these projects aren't the right pick for your team. I attribute this to blinders on the eyes of these experts which make them believe a non-playoff team can't make risky picks with high reward, but a playoff team should be able to make risky picks because that team just made the playoffs. That playoff team doesn't "need" immediate contributors. 

Cincinnati Bengals (SI: B+, Yahoo: B-, Sporting News: A-)

I'm not an offensive coordinator, but the double tight end set seems like a really good idea for the Bengals to further help control the middle of the field. It wasn't a need, but choosing the best player available isn't a terrible strategy. I don't really like Gio Bernard as much as everyone else does. I see him as a change-of-pace type back and not a guy who can carry the Bengals offense. Maybe they don't want him carrying the Bengals offense, but they did draft him in the second round, so it would be nice if he was a starting-caliber back. Plus, he has fumbles issues. Margus Hunt is a great example of experts liking a developmental pick if the team that makes the pick is a playoff team. I did enjoy the run on offensive linemen late in the draft, but I don't think I am as high on the rest of the draft. It's not a "B" draft to me.

Cleveland Browns (SI: D-, Yahoo: C, Sporting News: D)

Finally, some separation in these grades. It seems the Browns Chuded up this draft a little bit (I tend to use Rob Chudzinski's name in various ways just for fun). I thought the Browns would be a team that would try to collect more picks not trade away picks for next year, but building a good team is a process I guess. The Browns only had five picks, which didn't leave much room for an impact.

The biggest head-scratcher was the fact Browns officials, not all in on Brandon Weeden, didn't at least take a chance on one of the quarterback prospects after most of them slid.

So if Browns officials aren't all-in on Brandon Weeden then does that mean they should have used one of their five picks to grab a quarterback they also weren't all-in on? Would that make sense to follow up a bad pick with another bad pick? The quarterbacks slid for a reason and the Browns figure they can build a team around Weeden and choose a quarterback in a more quarterback-friendly draft. I don't like Barkevious Mingo. I watched a lot of LSU games this year and I think he was drafted for his potential more than anything I saw and liked about him. I'm a hater, but am not even sure I would give this draft a "D." 

Dallas Cowboys (SI: C+, Yahoo: F, Sporting News: C)

Three of their first four picks are guys who might not play significantly this year. The consensus around the league is that Frederick was a reach.

Wow, "the consensus around the league" is that Frederick was a reach. What was the consensus around the league on Alfred Morris last year, Tom Brady in 2000, and Rob Gronkowski a few years ago? What was the league's consensus on Tony Romo coming out of college? I'm just wondering since the league's consensus means very little as to what a player can actually do. I don't like the value the Cowboys got for trading back, but they got a guy they obviously wanted at a position of need.

although San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar and Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams have bright futures, it was a case of the Cowboys adding to what they already had.

Notice how the Bengals get high marks for drafting what they already have in getting Tyler Eifert, but the Cowboys are just duplicating needlessly when they draft another tight end. Apparently only certain teams can choose to use the double tight-end set on offense and it be seen as acceptable. I also have no issue with the Cowboys choosing Terrance Williams after the rash of injuries that hit their receiving group last year. Not to mention, I think Joseph Randle could be a very good late round running back choice. I don't know if I like the specific move back the Cowboys made, but they had guys who they thought were at the top of their board and they chose these players. I'm not about to criticize them for drafting a wide receiver after Dallas struggled with injuries last year and Jason Witten can't play forever. This is a very solid "B" draft in my opinion.

Denver Broncos (SI: C+, Yahoo: C+, Sporting News: C-)

It seems all of these sites were pretty lukewarm on the Broncos draft. I like Sylvester Williams, don't like Montee Ball really at all (I didn't mean to rhyme), and honestly don't know much about most of the other guys the Broncos had drafted. I know some scouts (specifically Josh Norris) love Zac Dysert, but this draft has a couple guys who are going to be developed while the Broncos make another run at a Super Bowl. Right now I would probably give this draft a low grade, but (like most drafts) this could change in three years if Smith comes back healthy and Montee Ball proves me wrong.

Detroit Lions (SI: B-, Yahoo: B, Sporting News: B)

I think it is very funny how these grades are so similar.

My favorite pick of Detroit’s draft: G Larry Warford in Round 3. He’s a monster and the Lions badly need a player like him up front. TE Michael Williams (Round 7) also will fit in nicely. The picks of DEs Ziggy Ansah and Devin Taylor and of CB Darius Slay could help, too, but all three have warts.

You mean there are college athletes who have warts and don't have a perfect game yet? Why didn't the Lions pick the more perfect draft choices available? The Lions had needs in this draft and they addressed them fairly well. Their grade got knocked down a bit by SI for drafting a punter, though if that was a need I don't see the problem. This could be a great haul for the Lions. Devin Taylor has been wrongly overshadowed by Clowney at USC-East and I know Larry Warford had a Round 2-grade on him from most teams. This could be an A+ draft in a few years.

Green Bay Packers (SI: A-, Yahoo: B, Sporting News: A)

The Packers are one of those teams who are contenders so the draft experts tend to like due to the fact they are a playoff team. They have some "classic Ted Thompson picks," whatever exactly that means.

DE Datone Jones also has a perfect look for the Packers’ front. G/T David Bakhtiari gives the Packers another option along the O-line (as does J.C. Tretter),

Bakhitari gives the Packers "another option" along the offensive line. Wouldn't any offensive lineman drafted by the Packers give the Packers another option on the offensive line? What does "another option" even mean?

The real key to this draft could be the two offensive linemen Green Bay picked up in round 4 (Bakhtiari and Tretter). Both are classic Ted Thompson picks.

Classic Ted Thompson.

Jones is an interesting player who some people feel is going to be a great pass rusher. 

It's always beneficial when the first round pass rusher a team chooses turns out to be a great pass rusher. I say the Packers did a great job. Classic Ted Thompson draft. 

Houston Texans (SI: B, Yahoo: C, Sporting News: A-)

WR DeAndre Hopkins is just what the doctor ordered for this offense. Same goes for S D.J. Swearinger on the other side of the ball. Beyond that, we’ll see. Offensive linemen Brennan Williams and David Quessenberry and defensive ends Sam Montgomery and Trevardo Williams have potential, but they’ll have to work to crack the lineup.

Two good picks out of nine picks, that's a "B" class apparently. Yahoo thought something similar,

The rest of the draft wasn't anything too splashy, but GM Rick Smith is very good about drafting valuable players who can contribute even if they're not stars.

Not that the draft opinion of a team's draft is subjective or anything, but SI gave the draft a "B" while Yahoo gave it a "C." I probably lean more towards the "C" territory since I am of the opinion they should have doubled up on wide receiver or gotten a tight end. That's just my opinion though. I feel like they should have given Schaub almost too many options in the passing game.

Indianapolis Colts (SI: C, Yahoo: C+, Sporting News: B+)

The Colts probably either (a) didn't care to or (b) didn't have enough ammunition to trade up and get one of the top tackles on the board, but that would have been nice for Andrew Luck to have.

If you've watched GM Ryan Grigson over the span of his two drafts and two rounds of free agency, you see the pattern of a guy who understands the big picture. The Colts picked up really good value players who have strong work ethics and understated egos.

It's probably my fault, but I don't entirely love this draft. It seems Werner was a better 4-3 defensive end and they drafted Boyett based entirely on his 2011 season (he was injured last year). Khaled Holmes was a strong link in the weak USC offensive line, but I'm not sure how I feel about the Colts went about protecting Andrew Luck and they drafted a nose tackle who has had drug issues. I don't get this draft, so if you don't have anything nice to say...

Jacksonville Jaguars (SI: A, Yahoo: B-, Sporting News: A)

Let's see what Yahoo didn't like about this draft,

There's nothing at all wrong with this draft,

There's nothing wrong with the draft, it's just the Jaguars have historically not drafted well so we will just assume that continues and that's why the draft got a "B-" grade?

While some people would have liked to see first-year GM David Caldwell take a quarterback, Caldwell is going to let Gabbert get a full chance of regaining the starting job. Fact is, that's probably smart considering the depth at quarterback in next year's draft. It also allowed the Jags to get Cyprien, who should be a significant upgrade. 

So there was nothing wrong with the draft and the author even thinks it was smart to not draft a quarterback...and yet the grade is a "B-." The Jaguars at least got some athletic playmakers in Sanders and Denard Robinson to help out Gabbert. I don't know what the Jaguars would have had to do get an "A" from all three experts. Perhaps if the Jaguars had made the playoffs last year they would have gotten a higher grade from Yahoo. 

Kansas City Chiefs (SI: B, Yahoo: B-, Sporting News: C-) 

Quite the variety of grades here. I don't know if I love this draft either. Every write-up about the Chiefs mentioned the pick of Knile Davis in the third round as being a bad one or the ultimate determination of how good the Chiefs draft is. That seems a bit dramatic considering the Chiefs had the #1 overall pick. They seemed to draft a few guys with personality or injury concerns, which I found odd considering I believe the Chiefs would want guys who had fewer red flags. It's an interesting draft and Nico Johnson may end up being the second best player in this draft. I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing. 

Miami Dolphin: (SI: B+, Yahoo: A, Sporting News: B+)

What do you know? All three experts liked this draft for the Dolphins.

I’m very much on the Dion Jordan bandwagon, but he told me himself that he fit better on a 3-4 defense than at 4-3 end. So, either Miami needs to adjust or Jordan has to prove himself wrong to avoid the Dolphins busting out on their big Round 1 trade.

Well, that's not good news that Jordan thinks he is a better fit in a 3-4 than a 4-3. Maybe he will be proven wrong...about himself. I'm interested to see how the Dolphins use Mike Gillislee. If they don't use him in the right way, I think he will be sort of worthless to them. They have to get him in space.

They didn't find their left tackle, either, whether drafting him or trading for Kansas City's Branden Albert. But the Dolphins get a break for how much they upgraded their pass defense.

Oh, so the pass defense is going to help the Dolphins protect their starting quarterback better. That's an interesting way to go about building a team. I think the Dolphins did okay, but I am also a big fan of a team protecting their quarterback. Jordan is a bit of a risk and I would like to have seen the Dolphins grab a tackle (I am reading Dallas Thomas is more of a guard), but when Tannehill is under pressure from the blind side the Dolphins can always brag about their awesome pass rush and good cover corners. I'm thinking an "A" is too high. 

Minnesota Vikings (SI: A-, Yahoo: A-, Sporting News: A-)

Boy, this is awkward. It's like three actresses wearing the same dress to an awards event.

They used them on three great examples of the "falling value" concept. Starting with Floyd, who was projected as a possible top-four pick, all three were guys who have star ability to go with some factor that drags them down the draft board.

Players fall for a reason though. It's not like all other NFL teams are morons and just let three guys fall in the first round because they don't know what the hell they are doing. Patterson is pretty damn raw, Floyd has short arms (I know, who cares?), and Xavier Rhodes may not be able to read because he went to Florida State. I kid...but my point is the Vikings did a seemingly great job filling their needs so they deserve the high grade, but let's wait a few weeks before we talk about how many will be superstars...which is what this evaluation followed this last sentence up by doing.

Also, picking a punter in the fifth round when you have Chris Kluwe around is a bit odd.

The media loves Chris Kluwe.

"He's a good writer and so outspoken on social issues!"

I have no problem with the Vikings picking a punter since Kluwe wasn't all that great last year. The bottom line for the Vikings is Patterson is considered raw, Floyd is somewhat in the same boat, and again, it's entirely possible Xavier Rhodes thinks Minnesota is in Canada and is worried because quite frankly he doesn't have a passport. Jokes aside, I like Rhodes the best. It's a good draft to meet the Vikings needs, but let's calm down a bit. They didn't draft guys without flaws.

New England Patriots (SI: C+, Yahoo: D, Sporting News: B-)

What is with all these low grades? Doesn't Yahoo know who Bill Belichick is? Haven't you seen his movies?

The Patriots need WR Aaron Dobson to be a weapon.

You mean the Patriots need a player they drafted to play well for them? No way.

The Patriots typically traded down to get quantity over quality and they seem to do okay to fit their needs. I don't know if the Patriots are a better team in April than they were in March, but that's probably not what Belichick was going for. If he wanted to get better now, then he wouldn't have traded out of the first round.

New Orleans Saints (SI: C, Yahoo: B+, Sporting News: B)

It's hard to do well in a draft with only five selections and I would have tempted to go all-defense in this draft, which the Saints didn't do. They don't really need defensive players with Rob Ryan as their defensive coordinator now. His genius will rub off on the Saints defense and they should be a Top 5 defense for the next decade.

The best of the rest might be DT John Jenkins, who’s faster than he looks.

He's faster than he looks because he looks like he weighs almost 350 pounds, which is about what he does weigh. I do like the Saints draft. I'm not sure given the lack of picks it will be a deeply impactful draft, but Jenkins is a real nose tackle for the 3-4, Kenny Stills is underrated, and if Kenny Vaccaro ends up not being able to tackle then no one will notice because the rest of the Saints defense can't either. I know it isn't popular, but this is close to an "A" draft for me. They met needs well with a few amount of picks. 

New York Giants (SI: B, Yahoo: C+, Sporting News: B)

Syracuse first-rounder Justin Pugh is too smooth not to win a job at guard or tackle in '13. 

Pugh is just like malt liquor, just too smooth not to have an impact on you in some way.

I feel like I am being too nice here, but I like what the Giants did. Ryan Nassib in the worst case scenario is better than David Carr (my respect for David Carr's QB abilities is non-existent) and I mocked Damontre Moore in the first round. I think he can/will be that good. I'm sort of "eh" about Pugh and Hankins, but I think the grades given above are probably about right. Who cares about the New York team that wins games and Super Bowls though, let's talk about the Jets.

New York Jets (SI: C, Yahoo: B, Sporting News: D)

Quite a variety in grades here.

DT Sheldon Richardson is kind of miscast in the Jets’ current defense, and CB Dee Milliner broke the rule that you don’t try to replace a player you just traded away by drafting someone at the same position.

I'm pretty sure that's not a rule and was just made up by the author. Besides, isn't Milliner considered the best corner in the draft? Rex Ryan (for better or worse) likes corners.

Their entire draft will ride on just how good West Virginia's Geno Smith will be as their starting quarterback, and there's reason to believe the pairing will be quite bumpy.

This is kind of silly. So if Sheldon Richardson and Dee Milliner are both stars, while Geno Smith busts then the Jets draft won't be considered having been very good? That doesn't make sense to me. The Jets need a quarterback, so they drafted one. If they had not touched a quarterback in the draft then these experts would be pointing out how the Jets passed over a need. 

Oakland Raiders (SI: B-, Yahoo: B, Sporting News: C-)

Then there’s the swing for the fences in Round 4: QB Tyler Wilson, who may put the heat on Matt Flynn.

I'm very confused how drafting a quarterback in the fourth round is "swinging for the fences." It sounds like the Raiders are looking to develop a backup and couldn't pass on Wilson's skill set. It's a smart pick, even if it doesn't work out.

I know these are the "new" Raiders, but their first two picks do have some risk about them. So maybe the "old" Raiders can still be found in the "new" Raiders. They probably should have addressed their need for defensive linemen before drafting a corner, but different strokes for different folks I guess.

Philadelphia Eagles (SI: B+, Yahoo: B, Sporting News: A)

Chip Kelly is a genius. I'm not exactly sure how he is a genius yet, but let's just start from there.

Until we know more about Chip Kelly’s plans, let’s just chalk the Matt Barkley pickup to finding a potential first-round QB at No. 98.

Barkley's reputation puts him in the first round, not his production and the results of his workouts. The IDEA of Matt Barkley seems to be very much more attractive than the actual player. They basically re-drafted Nick Foles in some ways. I'm not a big Lane Johnson fan (at least from what I have watched from him), but I am sure Chip Kelly has a plan for him. Zach Ertz seems to be a good pick, mostly because of the assumptions being made about what Kelly's offense will consist of. Now if only the Eagles could do something about that turnover-prone quarterback of theirs.

Pittsburgh Steelers (SI: B+, Yahoo: C+, Sporting News: A)

More variety in grades here. Here is part of the review from Yahoo:

Just like Baltimore, the Steelers never panic, even if their fans sometimes go off the deep end. There was a story out of Steeltown recently decrying the fall of the team this offseason. Oh please. In this draft, the Steelers came up with a proven pass rusher in Jones and two nice parts for the offense in Bell and Wheaton.

Then he gave the draft a "C+." Yeah, I can't figure it out either. I got no need for Le'Veon Bell personally. There are three or four other running backs I probably would have drafted first. The Steelers are pretty good drafters so I may be wrong about this one pick, but I lean towards hating Bell. I think Jarvis Jones was a fantastic pick and Marcus Wheaton is going to be another solid wide receiver for the Steelers. It was a pretty good draft. I don't know how it can get a C+.

St. Louis Rams (SI: A, Yahoo: B, Sporting News: B+)

Here I go hating again. I really don't mean to hate on the Rams.

It’s very unusual for such a small wide receiver (Austin is all of 5-foot-8) to go in the top 10 of a draft, but the Rams were selecting as much for need as for value. St. Louis jumped eight spots to get the speedy Austin, who has a chance to turn the Rams into the second coming of the Greatest Show on Turf. Yeah, I said it,

Austin and Bailey both played in a very wide-receiver friendly system at West Virginia. They were very productive, don't get me wrong, and I think Austin is going to be a slot receiver. It's just I don't think he is worth the #8 overall pick. I've been wrong before and I could be wrong again.

Jeff Fisher also got a speedy linebacker who can cover (Georgia's Alec Ogletree) and the slobber-knocking safety (USC's T.J. McDonald) he covets.

McDonald is overrated to me. He's another guy who I think has a bigger reputation than talent-level. Ogletree is talented, but he has personal issues and I think the whole "the locker room will take care of him" angle is overplayed. Sometimes a troublemaker is just that and can't be fixed. Maybe the Rams can have someone control his entire life like they did with Janoris Jenkins. I don't hate this draft, I just give it closer to a low "B-" rather than rave about it. 

San Diego Chargers (SI: B, Yahoo: C+, Sporting News: B)

In OT D.J. Fluker, LB Manti Te’o and WR Keenan Allen, the Chargers added three starters.

Is that more a product of the lack of depth at each position or these players' talents? I think Fluker is just okay. He's be a slightly above average right tackle, I still can't get past Te'o's performance against the pro-style Alabama offensive line...but I do think Keenan Allen was a steal.

Playing next to rangy, big playmaker Donald Butler in their 3-4, there's less pressure on Te'o, who can focus on his strength as an instinctual upfield tackler. 

I don't draft a guy in the second round who needs to have pressure taken off him and I still question whether he can survive in the NFL while seeming as naive as he comes off. Yeah, that has nothing to do with on-the-field play, but it does have something to do with how good this draft was for the Chargers. The Chargers are a better team now, so I think the "C+" is about right. 

San Francisco 49ers (SI: A, Yahoo: A+, Sporting News: A)

Trent Baalke has the entire NFL salivating at his genius and demanding he immediately start dating their daughters. I tried to poke holes in this draft and I probably could criticize the trade-up for Eric Reid, but I would be nit-picking. I like the Marcus Lattimore pick a lot. He'll be back. I'm not sure why they drafted B.J. Daniels other than to give the practice squad a mobile quarterback to prepare against. I don't know if these picks will all pan out, but it was a pretty good effort.

Seattle Seahawks (SI: B-, Yahoo: B, Sporting News: B-)

Actually, the Seahawks’ best decisions came at 137 (DT Jesse Williams) and 138 (CB Tharold Simon). The Seahawks had a roster built to roll the dice a bit in the draft, and that’s just what they did with their first three picks.

These draft graders only like it when teams who are already successful take a risk with their picks. If the Jaguars had drafted Simon you could be sure it would get them criticized.

The Seahawks do have a pretty good team right now, so they were drafting to provide depth or replace guys who may leave for free agency in a year or two. I'm not sure I can rave about any of these picks, but not having a first round pick can do that to you. I'm not sure any of the guys drafted after the fifth round will even stick with the team, but that's a testament to how deep the Seahawks feel they are.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (SI: C, Yahoo: A-, Sporting News: C-)

A variety of grades for the Bucs draft.

While Glennon is a questionable pick in the third round, 

Is Glennon a questionable pick in the third round though? Has anyone seen Josh Freeman's performance at times last year? The Bucs need to get some pressure on him to perform to his potential. Glennon could do that. This draft should be at least a "B" for no other reason than they drafted Jonathan Banks, which means Eric Wright won't be on the field much for them. Eric Wright is terrible. William Gholston was a somewhat underachiever at times at Michigan State, so it's hard to see this as an "A" draft. Either way, Freeman and Wright got competition, which is a wonderful thing.

Tennessee Titans (SI: A-, Yahoo: B, Sporting News: C-)

I love this draft for the Titans. Chance Warmack was the best player in this draft in my opinion. He is going to be an All-Pro at least 6-7 times. I feel about him as others feel about Trent Baalke.

Let's start with the good. The Titans kept up their interior offensive line upgrade theme, adding Alabama guard Chance Warmack and California center Brian Schwenke to join free-agent addition Andy Levitre. But getting wide receiver Justin Hunter from Tennessee is a boom-bust proposition,

I think combining Justin Hunter with Britt and Kendall Wright was a great move. The Sporting News gave the Vikings an "A-" for drafting an even bigger risk in Cordarrelle Patterson during the first round, but in the second round Justin Hunter is just too big of a risk? I don't get it.

both Connecticut cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Missouri linebacker Zaviar Gooden need more polish to be impact players.

So their two third round picks aren't immediate starters and may have holes in their game? Fascinating.

Brian Schwenke may have a terrible picture, but he's a great pick in the fourth round. I like Lavar Edwards a lot for where they drafted him. I think this is an "A" draft.

Washington Redskins (SI: C+, Yahoo: B+, Sporting News: D)

The Redskins went into this draft without a first round pick, which put them behind the 8-ball.

Amerson is a guy who suffers from DeAngelo Hall Disease, which is the inordinate tendency to get beat deep despite having good speed.

There is another name for this, called "He looks like he should be better than he is" syndrome. Amerson was supposed to be great, but he never really was. I don't think Jordan Reed was a reach because he just needs to not have an average quarterback throwing him the football. He and Robert Griffin are going to be good friends and work well together. I predict great things for Reed. Otherwise, I'm not terribly motivated to get excited about this draft, though Chris Thompson may end up rushing for 2000 yards this year because Mike Shanahan knows how to pick running backs. The most exciting part of Bacarri Rambo for me might be his name.


ivn said...

What was the consensus around the league on Alfred Morris last year, Tom Brady in 2000, and Rob Gronkowski a few years ago? What was the league's consensus on Tony Romo coming out of college? I'm just wondering since the league's consensus means very little as to what a player can actually do.

to be fair, comparing Frederick to a sixth rounder, a second rounder, and two undrafted players kind of proves the point that he was a reach.

Players fall for a reason though

sometimes for silly reasons though. there were "character issues" that bumped Randy Moss, Warren Sapp, and Vince Wilfork down. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were considered undersized. Aaron Rodgers had the stigma of being a Tedford QB. Percy Harvin tested positive for pot.

Eric C said...

Ivn - people fail due to character reasons in the league all the time. It is the one thing a team cannot measure and is guessing on.

Charles Rogers, Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell, James Hardy, Lawrence Phillips...there are plenty of players who have the physical skills to be superstars, but have character concerns. Just like any other job, you have an employee with all the skills, but they have depression issues, or a drinking problem, or whatever. It must be considered. Sometimes they get over their issues, sometimes they do not.

For what it is worth, there was a study saying players with "character issues" provided some of the best values in the drafts, because you can get a Moss or Sapp much lower than you should.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, that's a good point actually. My larger point was that I don't think NFL teams should always care about the league consensus. When evaluating a team's grade I think the grader should rely on his own opinion.

There are silly reasons a player falls, then there are not silly reasons. I think Matt Barkley and Jimmy Clausen fell for a good reason (at least I think). There are silly reasons for why a player should fall and a guy like Star Lotulelei fell (I guess) because of a heart condition. We'll find out if that was a good reason or not.

Eric, then there are guys like Titus Young who gets in some trouble in college and it turns out to be worse in the NFL. It's just one of those things NFL teams are guessing on. These guys are greater values, but the guys with "personnel issues" are much more well-remembered than a guy who had "personnel issues" and it turned out to be nothing. Few people probably remember about Sapp's positive drug test at this point or why Rodgers suddenly started falling.

Failing generates bigger headlines than succeeding it seems.