Arizona Cardinals Grade B +
Haason Reddick (#13) is an athletic linebacker from Temple who is a perfect addition to an already strong defense. He’s a speedy pass rusher who has the hips to cover downfield. Another versatile athlete, S Budda Baker (#36), will wreak havoc in the secondary.
Atlanta Falcons Grade B
The pass rushing specialist Takkarist McKinley out of UCLA will be a perfect complement to Vic Beasley. He has great speed and even better effort. Grabbing Sean Harlow (OG from Oregon State) at #136 was a fortuitous pick. Harlow will likely be a starter this year.
Baltimore Ravens Grade B +
As always, the Ravens shine during the draft. Alabama legacy CB Marlon Humphrey fits the mold of a Ravens defensive back. The Ravens landed multiple future contributors, including another former member of the Crimson Tide, Tim Williams. The fourth rounder out of San Diego St, Nico Siragusa, is a powerful run blocker who may be a starter this year.
Buffalo Bills Grade A –
The Bills probably added three immediate starters with their first three picks, CB Tre’Davious White (#27 LSU), WR Zay Jones (#37 East Carolina), and versatile offensive lineman Dion Dawkins (#63 Temple). Nathan Peterman (QB Pittsburgh) will likely win a backup spot and could eventually challenge to be a starter.
Carolina Panthers Grade B
Christian McCaffrey (#8) has tremendous upside. He’ll not only play running back, but he can split out wide as a receiver and is a dangerous returner. The question is whether the Panthers will capitalize on his versatility. Grabbing the hard-hitting cornerback Corn Elder from Miami in the fifth round was a fantastic value.
Chicago Bears Grade C
To move up one spot, the Bears traded two third round picks and a fourth round pick. Obviously, there’s a premium on quarterbacks, but drafting Mitch Trubisky this early seems like a reach. Trubisky is walking into a tough situation without much new talent walking through the door. This draft lies solely on Trubisky’s shoulders.
Cincinnati Bengals Grade A
This was arguably the most talented collection of draftees by any team. However, the blazing speedster, WR John Ross (#9), seems like a reach. His 40 time (4.22) may have artificially boosted his stock. No one questions the talent of Joe Mixon (#48); it’s his history that scared off other teams. The Bengals also drafted two supremely talented players, DE Carl Lawson (#119) and WR Josh Malone (#128), whose production didn’t match their potential.
Cleveland Browns Grade A
Believe it or not, the Browns had one of the best drafts and didn’t reach for a quarterback in the first round. Myles Garrett was a no-brainer. The Browns, however, did reach with Peppers (see above). They picked up a legit quarterback prospect in the second round, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer. In fact, this draft was loaded with great value picks for the Browns, such as defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi and Roderick Johnson in the third and fifth rounds. Both of those players have fantastic upside and look like potential starters. And drafting the former Gator, DT Caleb Brantley, in the sixth round could end up as the steal of the draft.
Dallas Cowboys Grade A –
America’s team needed some pass rushing assistance, and their first pick, DE Taco Charlton (#28 Michigan), fits the bill. He has good length, athleticism, and he plays with aggression. In fact, the Cowboys did a masterful job of filling needs in this draft with CBs Chidobe Awuzie (#60) and Jourdan Lewis (#92). Also, the shifty slot receiver from North Carolina, Ryan Switzer (#133), has great hands and tremendous upside.
Denver Broncos Grade A
The first round pick, Garett Bolles, is an extremely talented left tackle from Utah. He’s a 25-year-old rookie due to a lengthy history of off-the-field problems. If he can keep it together, Bolles looks like a future Pro Bowler. The Broncos second rounder, DeMarcus Walker, doesn’t have great measurables. Instead, the former DE from Florida State relied upon great technique and hustle to register a combined 27.5 sacks in his final two seasons. Getting WR Carlos Henderson in the third round adds to an impressive haul that included Jake Butt and Chad Kelly.
Detroit Lions Grade B –
Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis (#21) seems like a can’t-miss prospect. The Lions added another excellent linebacker with Jalen Reeves-Maybin (#124 Tennessee). However, their second pick, CB Teez Tabor (#53 Florida), did himself no favors with his 40 time and the Lions could have drafted him later.
Green Bay Packers Grade A –
CB Kevin King (#33) out of Washington has tremendous upside. Watch out for the Packers’ third round pick Montravius Adams. He’s a versatile DT who will make an instant impact in both pass and run defense. As mentioned earlier, the Packers organization is the perfect organization to bring out the talent of their last pick, WR Malachi Dupre (#247 LSU).
Houston Texans Grade B
Houston traded next year’s first round pick to move up to #12 from #25. Typically, teams reach on a QB when they need several other pieces. However, the Texans are a quality QB away from contending for the Super Bowl, and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson may be that missing piece. Also, picking DT Carlos Watkins at #142 was a very fortunate decision.
Indianapolis Colts Grade A
This was a very successful draft from top to bottom. Every one of these players has a great shot to make the roster. The Colts landed a star in Ohio State S Malik Hooker (#15). He is part of deep group of quality defenders drafted by the Colts—CB Quincy Wilson, DE Tarell Basham, and LB Anthony Walker Jr. Also, landing South Florida RB Marlon Mack was a great value pick.
Jacksonville Jaguars Grade B +
What’s the best remedy for a struggling quarterback? A solid power run game. RB Leonard Fournette and the powerful OT Cam Robinson (#34) are exactly what Jacksonville needed. The Jags may have found a quality CB with their seventh round pick, Jalen Myrick from Minnesota.
Kansas City Chiefs Grade C
This whole draft will center around Patrick Mahomes. This seems like a bad fit (see above), but the kid is loaded with talent. Until he shows success on the field, this draft will have to be viewed as a lost opportunity for the Chiefs. The second round pick, DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (#59 Villanova), likely could have been picked in the next round.
Los Angeles Chargers Grade B –
That name still looks strange, right? The Chargers picked a baller in the first round with WR Mike Williams (#7). When Clemson’s offense sputtered, it seems that the plan shifted to throwing the ball anywhere near Mike Williams. His catch radius is simply ridiculous. The Chargers also added two quality offensive lineman, Forrest Lamp (#38 Western Kentucky) and Dan Feeney (#71 Indiana), but their team needed help on defense.
Los Angeles Rams Grade C –
Ok, the “Los Angeles Rams” is starting to feel more normal. However, the Rams are still feeling the pain for trading up for Jared Goff. This team needs to take the pressure off Goff by building around Todd Gurley. Instead, their first pick was an undersized TE, Gerald Everett (#44), who could have been drafted later.
Miami Dolphins Grade A
The Dolphins not only addressed needs, but they did so without reaching. First rounder Charles Harris will help immediately by getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The second rounder LB Raekwon McMillan is a tackling machine. The Dolphins grabbed an underrated player in the third round, CB Cordrea Tankersley. And OG Isaac Asiata (#164) from Utah is a powerful run blocker who might start by game one.
Minnesota Vikings Grade B +
As mentioned earlier, Dalvin Cook has the potential to be star, but he needs to be on the right roster for his talent to shine. Long story short, this isn’t the one. However, the Vikings began addressing their weak offensive line with excellent value picks: C Pat Elfein (#70 Ohio State), who may be a day one starter, and G Danny Isidora (#180 Miami), who should compete for a starting spot.
New England Patriots Grade B –
It’s tough to grade a team’s draft when they only used four picks. However, it looks like the Patriots have found some future contributors from small schools, i.e., Derek Rivers (#83 Youngstown State) and Antonio Garcia (#85 Troy). Not to mention, there’s a diamond in the rough, Conor McDermott (OT – UCLA).
New Orleans Saints Grade A
The Saints landed one of the best draft classes. Their defense will immediately improve via CB Marshon Lattimore (#11 Ohio State), S Marcus Williams (#42 Utah), and LB Alex Anzalone (#76 Florida). And grabbing the pass rushing DE Al-Quadin Muhammad out of Miami in the sixth round was a nice pick. Also, OT Ryan Ramczyk (#32 Wisconsin) looks like a future starter and RB Alvin Kamara (#67 Tennessee) will provide quality depth.
New York Giants Grade C
Their first pick, Evan Engram (#23), is listed as a TE, but he plays more like a WR. He’s very talented, but the Giants should have filled needs, particularly offensive line. Case in point, their best value pick was RB Wayne Gallman (#140 Clemson). He’s a solid player, but he lacks the shiftiness that is necessary behind a bad offensive line.
New York Jets Grade C
The Jets top pick, S Jamal Adams (#6 LSU), was a no-brainer and looks like a future star. However, the Jets’ roster was begging a makeover that didn’t happen with the draft. Worst of all, the Jets didn’t pick a QB even though there were legit options available in the later rounds.
Oakland Raiders Grade B –
The Raiders took a chance with their first pick, CB Gareon Conley (#24 Ohio State). He has been accused of rape and the investigation is pending. The Raiders landed a super-talented DT out of UCLA, Eddie Vanderdoes (#88). He’s battled a knee injury in the past, but he would be an absolute steal if he can return to prior form. Also, RB Elijah Hood (see above) will be a nice addition.
Philadelphia Eagles Grade B +
The Eagles did more with less. They traded away this year’s first rounder to acquire Carson Wentz. They started off with a great pass rusher from Tennessee, Derek Barnett (#14). The Eagles added two quality cornerbacks, Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones, along with two very good receivers, Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson.
Pittsburgh Steelers Grade B
Their first pick, LB T.J. Watt, is an excellent pass rusher. The Steelers also drafted a notable running back, James Conner (#105), who overcame cancer. He has unbelievable character and is a powerful runner. Fourth rounder QB Joshua Dobbs could be a quality backup for Roethlisberger.
San Francisco 49ers Grade A
The 49ers landed quality and quantity. Solomon Thomas seems like a can’t-miss defensive lineman. Drafting the heat-seeking missile LB Reuben Foster at #31 was a great pickup. Furthermore, they also grabbed Ahkello Witherspoon (#66), who is a highly-talented CB. This would have been an A+ grade for the 49ers if the team had not drafted Iowa QB C.J. Beathard in the third round. He could have been drafted later.
Seattle Seahawks Grade B +
As mentioned earlier, DT Malik McDowell was one of the best value picks in the draft, if not a steal. They followed that up with a versatile lineman, C Ethan Pocic (#58 LSU). Time will tell on this draft class. It looks like the Seahawks took the best players available instead of addressing needs. They added a lot of depth to an already terrifying defense.
Tampa Bay Grade B –
That’s a low overall grade considering that the Bucs landed the steal of the draft, O.J. Howard. The reason is that Tampa Bay continues to put offensive talent around Jameis Winston, but in the wrong places. They picked up a quality RB from Boise State, Jeremy McNichols, in the fifth round. However, Tampa’s porous offensive line hasn’t been addressed.
Tennessee Titans Grade A –
Unlike the Tampa Bay Bucs, the Titans built their offense from the inside out. Tennessee has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. That’s why they could draft three very talented receiving targets this year—WR Corey Davis (#5 Western Michigan), WR Taywan Taylor (#72 Western Kentucky), and TE Jonnu Smith (#100 FIU). Versatile CB and returner Adoree’ Jackson from USC has the potential to shine in this league.
Washington Redskins Grade A –
One of the steals of the draft, Jonathan Allen, fell into their lap. The Redskins landed an underrated CB from UCLA, Fabian Moreau, in the third round due to an injury. They also grabbed the very productive RB from Oklahoma, Samaje Perine, in the fourth round. Their seventh round pick, Josh Harvey-Clemons, looks like he will be a solid nickelback in this league.