Monday, April 27, 2009

NFL Draft - Grades by Team

Jacksonville: The Jaguars made it clear to the world that Davod Garrard is still their guy. For that, I commend them because he did not get a fair look last year. Not only did they get protection for Garrard (Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton), but they also got him playmakers on the outsde (Mike Thomas and Jarrett Dillard) and a bruising runner (Rashad Jennings) who will be the Thunder to Maurice Jones-Drew's Lightning. A great weekend for the franchise. Grade: A+

Buffalo: The Bills did well to address a number of need areas. Namely, they drafted a pass rusher (Aaron Maybin), pass-catching tight end (Shawn Nelson) and offensive lineman (Eric Wood and Andy Levitre) to help replace Jason Peters. I also really like the Harris duo (5th rounder Nic and 6th rounder Cary). Grade: A

New York Jets: The Jets went with quality over quantity. Obviously, their grade hinges on the success of Mark Sanchez. If he can turn out to be the franchise quarterback Rex Ryan imagines, Jets fans will be thrilled. I love his intangibles and think he'll live up to the billing. Shonn Greene, although not a need, is a solid third round pick as well. Grade: A-

Detroit: Obviosuly, the Lions, more than any other team, needed to nail this draft. Thankfully for them and the entire state, they did. Matthew Stafford is the new face of the franchise. Brandon Pettigrew and Derrick Williams are solid picks. Louis Delmas hits like a truck. Lydon Murtha will start on the offensive line. Zach Follett will contribute as well. Jim Schwartz and staff, nicely done. Grade: A-

New York Giants: I don't like the Hakeem Nicks selection because of the off the field issues, but their next six picks should make the roster. Another solid draft by the Giants. Grade: B+

Baltimore: Ozzie Newsome again proves to the league that he is a superior talent evaluator. I love the Oher pick and Paul Kruger was a great value pick. The Day Two picks were solid if unspectacular. Grade B+

Seattle: I really like what Jim Mora, Jr. did in this draft. Aaron Curry is a great player and an even better person which means something in today's NFL. Max Unger will start on Opening Day. Deon Butler is a speed demon that makes plays. Courtney Greene provides solid value in round seven. Grade: B+

Chicago: The Bears did about as well as possible with no Day One selections. Jarron Gilbert is a physical freak. Juaquin Igleasias is underrated, and D.J. Moore provides great value in the fourth round. And of course, they used some picks to acquire Jay Cutler. Grade: B+

Atlanta: I love the Peria Jerry and Lawrence Sidbury picks. I'm also factoring in the acquisition of Tony Gonzalez into this grade. Grade: B

Cincinnati: I love the Day Two selections as I detailed yesterday, but the character issues of Andre Smith worry me. Rey Maualuga was a solid value in round two. Grade: B

Green Bay: Defense was the focus going in and the Pack addressed the need in a big way. B.J. Raji ended up going where I expected at the beginning of this process (ninth overall), and Clay Matthews should help revamp the linebacking corps. Grade: B

Philadelphia: Like the Jets, the Eagles chose quality over quantity. Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy were solid picks. My only reservation is that Philadelphia already has a Maclin-type in DeSean Jackson. Grade: B

Arizona: Chris Wells is exactly what this offense needs to create a balanced attack. Best of all, they kept Anquan Boldin. Now, they have to figure out how to keep Anquan Boldin happy. If they can do that, this grade will be improved. Grade: B

Tennessee: Kenny Britt is a nice late first round selection. I also like Sen'Derrick Marks late in the second round and love the selection of the ultra-productive Gerald McRath in the fourth round. Grade: B-

San Francisco: The Michael Crabtree pick was spectacular. After that though? Not much. Grade: B-

Pittsburgh: Ho hum. Average draft. Average grade (Note: Average denotes average at Johns Hopkins University; yes, I'm still bitter). Grade: C+

Minnesota: The draft hinges on Percy Harvin. Luckily, I am a fan of his and think he can be the Reggie Bush-type playmaker the Vikings need. My only reservation is that Brad Childress seems like a pushover and not the drill sergeant that Harvin needs. I'm interested to see how this plays out. I like the Phil Loadholt and Asher Allen selections too. Grade: C+

New England: The Patriots did well to trade two of their 2009 third round picks for two 2010 second rounders. However, the payers they drafted this year do not excite me. Grade: C+

Washington: Brian Orakpo alone saves the 'Skins because they needed to address their pass rush concerns, and he does that for them. However, the rest of the draft is relatively boring. Grade: C+

Indianapolis: Many consider Donald Brown to be the best running back in this class. However, the Colts had more pressing needs. I did like the two defensive tackle selections (Fili Moala and Terrance Taylor) and the productive Austin Collie. Grade: C

Denver: An intersting set of moves by Josh McDaniels and his staff. They reached a bit for Knowshon Moreno, but I can't fault them for that since they got good value with their other first round pick, Robert Ayers. However, I really dislike the trade of their 2010 first rounder for Alphonso Smith because I think that will end up being a Top 10 pick. Grade: C

Houston: Brian Cushing and Connor Barwin will help put pressure on the quarterback but were two tight ends on Day Two necessary? I think James Casey would have been enough especially with Owen Daniels already on the roster. Grade: C-

Miami: Solid Day One. Terrible Day Two. Sean Smith saves this team from "D" territory. Grade: C-

St. Louis: Their first two picks will start for the next eight to ten years, but the team needs a lot more help and I don't think they addressed enough needs. Grade: C-

San Diego: The Chargers reached for first rounder Larry English, but I like the value they got on Day Two in Louis Vasquez and Kevin Ellison. Wasn't Demetrius Byrd just in a serious car accident? I hope and pray that Byrd makes a full recovery, but isn't it a wasted pick? Grade: D+

New Orleans: Malcolm Jenkins was a solid pick, but he's not enough to save an entire draft. The rest of the Saints' selections leave a lot to be desired. Grade: D+

Cleveland: As discussed on Saturday, the Browns were one of my Day One losers. They did not do nearly enough on Day Two to redeem themselves. Grade: D

Carolina: Everette Brown is a solid selection but it cost the Panthers a 2010 first rounder. The overall body of work just doesn't do it for me. Grade: D

Dallas: Jerry Jones is an incredible businessman, but his player evaluation skills come into question after this draft. Twelve picks and no impact players? Not doing it for me. Grade: D-

Kansas City: I cannot defend any selection the Chiefs made. To me, they did not make any significant improvements. Ironically, in every one of my mock drafts, I had the Chiefs taking OT Eugene Monroe because they could pair him with his former college teammate and their 2008 first rounder, Branden Albert. As it turns out, I had the correct idea, but it turned out they drafted their other 2008 first rounder's (Glenn Dorsey) college linemate, Tyson Jackson. Much like the Chiefs draft, good idea but poor execution. Grade: D-

Tampa Bay: The Bucs traded up for Josh Freeman, an unproven, raw quarterback that they reached for despite the fact that they just signed Byron Leftwich to a two-year deal. Just a terrible day for Tampa Bay. Grade: F

Oakland: I won't get into any more detail than I did over the last few days, but the lesson for all other teams should be "Do as the Raiders Don't." Just pitiful. Grade: F

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