- Atlanta Falcons A+
The Falcons won this draft by consistently drafting for value throughout the draft. Their defensive front seven improved by drafting the Clemson pair in Vic Beasley and Grady Jarrett, both of which were good selections. Jalen Collins was a steal in the second round and could start at cornerback from day one. Justin Hardy and Tevin Coleman should be able to contribute immediately on the offensive side of the ball, while Jake Rodgers and Akeem King are both solid depth options. Great first draft for Dan Quinn!
2. Baltimore Ravens A+
Jim Harbaugh was correct when he said that need and value intersected for the Ravens. Breshad Perriman was a steal in the first round, and should be instrumental in replacing Torrey Smith, who bolted for San Francisco this offseason. Maxx Williams was the draft’s top tight end, who should be a solid long-term option at the position for the Ravens. They also got deeper at the position by drafting Nick Boyle as a reserve. Za’Darius Smith is a good option to replace Pernell McPhee at rush linebacker, while Carl Davis is another good option to replace Haloti Ngata along the defensive line. Robert Myers will provide depth along the offensive line, while Buck Allen and Darren Waller will likely stick around as special teamers.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars A
The Jaguars managed to get better by drafting for value, which they did throughout all seven rounds of the draft. Dante Fowler Jr. will be an immediate presence at outside linebacker, while T.J. Yeldon should be a valued member of their running back by-committee. Rashad Greene and Ben Koyack are likely to contribute next year in the pass game. They also got thicker in the trenches, adding A.J. Cann to their offensive line and adding a complete steal in Mike Bennett to their defensive line. James Sample is likely to stick on as a reserve safety and special teamer, while Neal Koyack will have to fight for a roster spot.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers A
Bud Dupree was a strong first round pick, as he was great value and will immediately improve the team’s pass rush with the retirement of Jason Worilds. They were smart to draft Senquez Golson and Doran Grant, as both will contribute early on at cornerback. Sammie Coates and Jesse James will be solid options in both the pass game and special teams. They also added depth along the defensive line by drafting Leterrius Walton and Anthony Chickillo, both of which were value selections. Gerod Holliman is likely to stick around as a reserve safety, as he was a steal in the seventh round.
5. New York Jets A
“Magic” Mike Maccagnan excelled on draft day, as he added the draft’s top player in Leonard Williams with the sixth overall selection. He also Brandon Marshall and Zac Stacy for the price of a late-round selection. That’s called stealth. Devin Smith is a first-round talent who should contribute early on at receiver, while Bryce Petty could compete for the starting job at quarterback in his rookie year if Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick don’t impress. Lorenzo Mauldin adds much-needed depth at outside linebacker and was a value pick in the third round. Jarvis Harrison could develop into a starting guard if he becomes more familiar with the game of football. Overall, solid job.
6. Cleveland Browns A-
Ray Farmer addressed the trenches in the first round, as Danny Shelton and Cameron Erving will both contribute in their rookie years, and the latter will be a bookend at center assuming Alex Mack departs next offseason. Duke Johnson might’ve been one of the best selections of the draft, as he stands a legitimate chance to win the starting job at running back next year. Vince Mayle and Randall Telfer could both contribute in the team’s pass game, while Malcolm Johnson adds depth at tight end and on special teams. Xavier Cooper was a value pick who will add depth at defensive tackle, while they added three strong presences at defensive back in Ibraheim Campell, Charles Gaines, and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, who was a complete steal in the seventh round. Hayes Pullard will have to fight for a roster spot at inside linebacker, where the Browns have better veteran options.
7. Minnesota Vikings A-
Rick Spielman’s job just got a lot safer, as they drafted for value players who can contribute early on in their careers. Trae Waynes should create a dynamic pairing with Xavier Rhodes at cornerback. Eric Kendricks was a steal in the second round, and could start from day one at inside linebacker. Danielle Hunter adds much-needed depth at defensive end, and will likely contribute in his rookie year. Stefon Diggs could emerge as a starting-caliber receiver if he returns to full health, while MyCole Pruitt is an interesting talent who can contribute on special teams at a minimum. T.J. Clemmings was a steal in the fourth round, and should compete for a starting job on the offensive line once he recovers from his foot injury. Tyrus Thompson and Austin Shepherd should stick around as offensive line reserves, as both are talents who need more development. B.J. Dubose and Edmond Robinson will both compete for roster spot(s) at defensive end, where the Vikings are very thin.
8. Tennessee Titans B+
Marcus Mariota will be their quarterback of the future, which makes the first round an automatic win. They gave him a potential star target in Dorial Green-Beckham, who has freakish size and athletic ability. They filled a need at right tackle by drafting Jeremiah Potousi, who could start by the time week one comes rolling around. Jalston Fowler, David Cobb and Tre McBride are intriguing offensive weapons who were both value selections. Andy Gallik gives the team depth at center, while Angelo Blackson is a solid trench option who is a solid fit as a nose tackle in their defensive scheme. Deiontrez Mount will have to compete for a roster spot as a special teamer and reserve outside linebacker.
9. Cincinnati Bengals B+
Cedric Ogbuehi could end up being one of the best selections in the first round. He won’t be forced to play from day one, which will allow him to fully recover from an injury and develop into a starting-caliber offensive tackle if/when Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith leave next season. Jake Fisher provides much-needed depth along the offensive line and was great value in the second round. Paul Dawson was a stealth selection in the third round, and provides much needed depth at inside linebacker. Josh Shaw and Derron Smith will both add depth at safety and are likely to stick around as special teamers. Mario Alford was a steal in the seventh round, as his game-changing speed will be a bolster to the offensive attack and special teams. Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah were confusing picks, as they already have depth at tight end. I’m surprised the team didn’t do more to address their needs along the defensive line, as Marcus Hardison was their only mid-round selection to add depth at defensive tackle.
10. Detroit Lions B+
The Lions were smart to trade down in the first round, as they fully addressed their offensive line concerns by drafting Laken Tomlinson and trading for Manny Ramirez, both of whom are starting-caliber linemen. They also addressed concerns along the secondary, as Quandre Diggs could contribute at nickel-back while Alex Carter could eventually start at safety if they ease him in slowly. I’m concerned they didn’t do enough to improve their defensive line, as Gabe Wright was their only selection and he’s likely a reserve defensive tackle. They should’ve drafted at least two defensive linemen given several departures during free agency. Corey Robinson will likely stick around at offensive tackle, as he has intriguing physical tools while Michael Burton is likely a camp body at fullback.
11. Green Bay Packers B+
Given the departures of Morgan Bennett, Davon House, and Tramon Williams at defensive back this offseason, Ted Thompson was smart to draft Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins as replacements. Both were value selections and will contribute at defense and on special teams. Jake Ryan will add a much needed presence at inside linebacker, and will allow Clay Matthews to move to his natural position at rush linebacker. Ty Montgomery is another strong special teamer who could see some action at receiver. Brett Hundley was a genius mid-round selection, as he can develop behind Aaron Rodgers and eventually be flipped for a higher selection. Aaron Ripkowski and Kennard Backman will have to compete for a roster spot at special teams, where the Packers have already gotten a lot stronger. I’m only disappointed they didn’t address their need at defensive end, where Christian Ringo was their only selection, and a mediocre one at best.
12. Arizona Cardinals B+
Once again, Steve Keim always seems knows what he is doing. He added much needed depth in the trenches, where D.J. Humphries will compete for a starting job at right tackle while Rodney Gunter and Shaq Riddick will add depth along the defensive line. Markus Golden will add a much-needed presence at outside linebacker where they lacked depth. David Johnson will contribute at running back early on in his career, and will allow Bruce Arians to use Andre Ellington more creatively. J.J. Nelson will likely stick on the roster as a special teamer with his insane speed, while Gerald Christian was a value pick in the seventh round at tight end.
13. Washington Redskins B+
Brandon Scherff was a baffling first round pick, but he should be a long-term option at right guard. Although they weren’t value picks, both Matt Jones and Jamison Crowder should contribute from day one as offensive weapons. Preston Smith and Martell Spaight were both value selections who will contribute at outside linebacker. Arie Kouandjio and Austin Reiter will likely stick around as reserve linemen, as both have intriguing characteristics and room for development. Kyshoen Jarrett, Tevin Mitchel, and Evan Spencer will have to make the team as special teamers, as they don’t have the talent to contribute early on. I’m surprised the team didn’t do more to address their needs at defensive back, which will continue to hurt them next season.
14. New Orleans Saints B
The Saints made a bunch of curious selections. Andrus Peat was a solid pick at thirteen, as he has the tools to play left tackle at the next level. Stephone Anthony, despite being a reach at the end of the first round, gives the team a signal-caller at inside linebacker which was desperately needed. Hau’oli Kikaha and Davis Hull were both solid value selections who will contribute immediately to the team’s pass rush. Garrett Grayson was another strong selection, as he can train behind Drew Brees and eventually become his successor or be flipped for a higher selection in a future draft. P.J. Williams was another value pick, as his off-the-field issues led to him falling from the first round to the third round. He also adds much-needed depth at cornerback. Tyeler Davison and Damian Swann were solid late-round picks who will add depth along the defensive line and safety, while Marcus Murphy faces an uphill battle to make the team as a running back. Their only big miss was the failure to draft a receiver in wake of trading Kenny Stills earlier this offseason.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers B
Jameis Winston is a franchise quarterback type, but I’m seriously concerned about his character issues and immaturity. Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith are solid options along the offensive line, and both will compete for a starting job during their rookie years. Kwon Alexander provides a much-needed presence at defensive end, while Kenny Bell adds depth at wide receiver. Kaelin Clay and Joey Iosefa were wastes in the last two rounds, and it will be surprising if they stick around for more than a year. With all factors considered, the Bucs could’ve done more considering they had the first overall pick.
16. New York Giants B
The Giants killed it in the first three rounds. Ereck Flowers completes their offensive line, and has the tools to become an efficient left tackle at the next level. Landon Collins will be an immediate starter at safety who has All-Pro potential, while Owamagbe Odighizuwa was a value pick in the third round who will add depth at defensive end. I’m less impressed with their day three, where they failed to add much-needed depth at defensive tackle. They instead drafted Geremy Davis, Mykkele Thompson, and Bobby Hart, all of whom could’ve been picked up in undrafted free agency and might not make the week one roster.
17. Houston Texans B
Similar to the Giants, the Texans killed it in the first three rounds. Kevin Johnson might be one of the most complete cornerbacks to enter the draft in years, while Benardrick McKinney and Jaelen Strong were both smart selections on day two. All three of those prospects could start in their rookie years. Their day three was also weak, where Christian Covington and Kenny Hilliard are the only prospects who stand a better than mediocre chance to make the opening day roster. It would be surprising if Reshard Cliett and Keith Mumphery are on the team’s roster after the end of preseason. They also could’ve done more to address their need at rush linebacker, where Jadeveon Clowney is their only starting-caliber option at the moment.
18. Kansas City Chiefs B
The Chiefs made a bold pick in Marcus Peters, who fills a need as a starting cornerback across from Sean Smith. They further addressed their depth concerns by drafting another cornerback in Steven Nelson, who has intriguing upside but needs development. Chris Conley was another interesting selection, as his speed will help immediately in special teams and he could become a factor in the passing game as a receiver if his technical skills become more refined. They also addressed a need at outside linebacker by drafting Ramik Wilson and D.J. Alexander at the start of day three. Rakeem Nunez-Roches was a steal at the end of the sixth round, and he adds solid depth to their defensive line. They could’ve done more to address their offensive line concerns, as Mitch Morse was a stretch in the second round who doesn’t have the tools to start in his rookie year. On top of that, James O’Shaughnessy and Da’Ron Brown are both long-shots to make the final roster.
19. Miami Dolphins B-
The Dolphins made two very solid picks at the start of the draft, as DeVante Parker and Jordan Phillips were both value picks and filled needs at the same time. With that said, I’m unimpressed by the rest of their draft. The only bright spots were Jay Ajayi, who could see some playing time at running back, and Tony Lippett, who could work his way into the playing rotation at wide receiver and perhaps some special teams action as well. With that said, Jamil Douglas was a huge stretch at the start of the fourth round, and he will need to develop before playing receiving time at offensive guard. Bobby McCain and Cedric Thompson were both uninspiring picks and will likely be reserves at defensive back next season. They also failed to draft an inside linebacker, which was one of their top needs heading into the draft.
20. Chicago Bears B-
Kevin White was a bold pick who should thrive as a red-zone target across from Alshon Jeffery. They also made a strong second round selection in Eddie Goldman, who projects to be a defensive end in their new defensive system. With that said, they fell of the latter for the rest of the draft. They failed to address their needs along their defensive front seven, and instead chose to draft projects at positions where they’re already strong. Hroniss Grasu could develop into a starting center, but was poor value in the third round. And while Jeremy Langford was decent value in the fourth round, he won’t see much action with Matt Forte in the fold. Adrian Amos provides depth at safety, but he won’t be much more than a special teamer next season unless someone goes down. Tayo Fabuluje provides depth along their offensive line, but not much else. Their draft grade is mostly reflective of why they didn’t add any linebacker and only one defensive lineman.
21. Philadelphia Eagles B-
Nelson Agholor was an intriguing first round selection, as he possesses game-changing speed and will be an immediate factor in Chip Kelly’s passing attack. He followed up with a strong second round selection in Eric Rowe, who could see some time at nickel cornerback next season and perhaps start at safety down the road. Jordan Hicks was also a decent selection, as he’ll contribute early on at inside linebacker despite being taken too early in the third round. The rest of the draft was uninspiring, as JaCorey Shepherd and Randall Evans merely add depth at cornerback while Brian Mihalik could’ve been added as a defensive lineman in undrafted free agency. They also failed to add pieces to their offensive line, which is part of the reason their run game will probably be a lot weaker next season.
22. Seattle Seahawks B-
Frank Clark was a massive reach in the second round, but he could end up finding his niche in Seattle’s defense and prove me wrong. Their only value pick was Tyler Lockett, who will likely contribute early on at wide receiver due to their lack of depth at the position. They took two project-types along the offensive line in Terry Poole and Mark Glowinski, both of whom will likely need to ‘redshirt’ a year before making any sort of impact. The same applies to defensive linemen Kristjan Sokoli and Obum Gwacham. Once again, they also made huge reaches in Tye Smith and Ryan Smith-Murphy, both of whom will provide special teams help and depth at defensive back.
23. Dallas Cowboys C+
Their first round selection in Byron Jones is basically compensating for the mistake that is Morris Claiborne, who has shown he doesn’t have the motor or drive to become a starting cornerback at the professional level. Randy Gregory was a phenomenal pick in the second round, assuming he will turn it around and contribute at defensive end. With that said, he is a huge character risk. Ryan Russell could also see some action at defensive end next season. The rest of their draft was characterized by stretches, as Chaz Green and Laurence Gibson are both projects along the offensive line. Damian Wilson and Mark Nzeocha will both need development at linebacker, while Geoff Swaim is likely a camp body. Their biggest failure in the draft was not taking a running back, which was pointless considering they exclusively took undrafted free agent-types on day three.
24. New England Patriots C+
The Patriots draft is characterized by two types of picks: “Great” picks and “Terrible” picks. I’ll start with the good picks. They ended the first round with a bang in Malcom Brown, who will contribute immediately at defensive tackle. Trey Flowers was another strong selection in the fourth round who could play immediately at defensive end. Tre Jackson and Shaq Mason are both starting-caliber offensive linemen who will benefit under tutelage from their new teammates. The rest of their draft however, was terrible. Jordan Richards was a pointless second round selection, as he would’ve been available two rounds later. He won’t make any impact at safety next season. Geneo Grissom was another huge reach in the third round, who will be dwarfed by the team’s depth along the defensive line. They took a long snapper at the start of the fifth round in Joe Cardona, who might not be able to play due to his military commitments. Matt Wells and Xzavier Dickson face an uphill battle to make the final roster as a defensive end, and they could’ve gotten A.J. Derby and Darryl Roberts in undrafted free agency.
25. Denver Broncos C+
This draft will be defined by the trade up to get Shane Ray, who cost himself millions of dollars when he was arrested the week before the draft. He is among the most talented outside linebackers in the draft, but he has serious character concerns and is rehabbing from a toe injury. I wouldn’t expect him to make much of an impact next season, which isn’t smart because their championship window is getting shorter. Ty Sambrailo and Max Garcia were solid depth additions to their offensive line, while Jeff Heuerman could make an impact at tight end next season. However, the rest of their draft was characterized by massive reaches. Darius Kilgo is a project who will need lots of time to develop as a defensive end. Lorenzo Doss, Taurean Nixon, and Josh Furman are all defensive backs who could’ve been available in undrafted free agency, and the same applies to Trevor Siemian at quarterback. They could’ve gotten much better value on day three. Their grade is further dampened by the fact they failed to draft an inside linebacker, where they will have serious depth concerns next season.
26. Buffalo Bills C+
The Bills poor grade is partly due to the lack of a first round pick, which they sent to Cleveland as part of the Sammy Watkins trade last season. They added two Florida State offensive weapons in Karlos Williams and Nick O’Leary. They added another Florida State prospect in cornerback Ronald Darby, who could see some playing time next season. Tony Steward wasn’t a bad pick at outside linebacker, and neither was John Miller at offensive guard. Both of those prospects could see action if they develop quickly. Dez Lewis was a strong seventh round pick in terms of value, and could see some playing time at wide receiver and on special teams. They clearly feel confident with their options at quarterback, as they didn’t draft one in this year’s draft.
27. San Francisco 49ers C
Trent Baalke once again made a bunch of intriguing selections, and is drafting based on potential rather than immediate impact. Arik Armstead isn’t a first round talent, but his measurables imply that he has the ability to become an impactful defensive lineman at the professional level. Jaquiski Tartt was a massive stretch in the second round primarily due to his lack of game tape, but there is a lot of potential there as a hard-hitting safety. Eli Harold was a solid value pick who could pave his way into the pass rush rotation as outside linebacker. On day three, they took a chance on Mike Davis running back and on DeAndre Smelter and Busta Anderson as receiving weapons. They also took a chance on Blake Bell, who is making the switch to tight end after playing quarterback in college. All three of these players will need time to develop before providing any sort of impact. Bradley Pinion could compete to start at punter, and Ian Silberman and Trent Brown provide much-needed depth along the offensive line. Despite drafting so many players, they brutally failed to address their needs at cornerback, inside linebacker, and wide receiver. They needed to find impact players at those positions and failed, which is why they have a low grade.
28. Indianapolis Colts C
Phillip Dorsett was a terrible first round pick, as he doesn’t fill a need and will likely be a backup to T.Y. Hilton as a slot receiver. With that said, Ryan Grigson compensated by taking intriguing prospects in rounds three through six. D’Joun (D.J.) Smith could develop and become a starting cornerback, and the same applies to Clayton Geathers at safety. Henry Anderson could play into the outside linebacker rotation, while teammate David Parry adds much-needed depth at defensive tackle. Josh Robinson could also find his way into the running back rotation, which is among the thinnest in the league right now. Amarlo Herrera and Denzelle Good were two stretches at the end of the draft who could’ve been picked up in undrafted free agency. Aside from the Dorsett pick, their poor grade is because of the failure to get better along the offensive line and at outside linebacker.
29. Oakland Raiders C
Amari Cooper is an accomplished receiver who will make an immediate impact in the team’s pass game. The same applies to Clive Walford, who could start at tight end next season and was also great value in the third round. The rest of their draft was uninspiring. Mario Edwards Jr. was a massive reach at the start of the second round, and there were many better edge rushers on the board. Jon Feliciano and Andrew Morris will need time before making any sort of impact on the offensive line, while Max Valles was their best choice of the three inside linebackers they took despite being taken last behind Neiron Ball and Ben Heeney. Andre Debose and Dexter McDonald are flashy picks who will only make the final roster if they make an impact on special teams. Their draft grade is further dampened by the fact they didn’t draft any defensive backs, and they are very thin at both cornerback and safety.
30. St. Louis Rams C
The Rams entire draft is characterized by question marks. They took their first round selection and drafted Todd Gurley, who could be a game-changing running back if he recovers from his torn ACL and will likely miss part of next season. They followed that pick by drafting three offensive tackle/guard types in Robert Havenstein, Jamon Brown, and Andrew Donnal, all of whom will need some development before contributing next season. They drafted Sean Mannion to back up Nick Foles, which is a solid selection if he goes down next season. The last two round is primarily defined by stretches, as Martin Ifedi, Cody Wichmann, and Bud Sasser are long-shots to make the final roster. The only pick I’m intrigued by is Bryce Hager, as he was great value in the seventh round and could make an impact at inside linebacker.
31. San Diego Chargers C-
Melvin Gordon III was a good selection who will propel the team’s run game along with Brandon Oliver next season. They also had two other solid selections: Denzel Perryman, who will get snaps at inside linebacker and Darius Philon, who could play his way into the defensive line rotation next season. They took two huge reaches on Craig Mager, a cornerback from Texas State and Kyle Manuel, an outside linebacker from North Dakota State. The main reason I’m bearish about their draft is that they failed to address their needs. They failed to draft any wide receiver, which is baffling. They also failed to add a premium defensive end or edge rusher, both of which were badly needed.
32. Carolina Panthers D
I’m truly baffled by how poor the Panthers draft was this year. Shaq Thompson was a third round prospect who doesn’t have a position, and yet the Panthers took him with their first round selection. They followed that pick by trading up for Devin Funchess, a receiver who many scouts felt was overrated due to lack of speed (if he plays receiver) or lack of strength (if he plays tight end). Daryl Williams wasn’t a terrible fourth round selection, but he might be forced to start due to how thin the team is along the offensive line. Cameron Artis-Payne will contribute on special teams next year, but needs a lot of refinement if he wants to take any snaps at running back next year. David Mayo was a reach as a fifth round pick, as he could’ve been available in undrafted free agency. Overall, they failed to get much better at their four main positions of need (OG, WR, CB, S) and took many reaches in the process, which earns them a “D”.