Buffalo Bills – B – The Bills recognized their D last year was terrible and went all in to fix it. The picks will help. Jones could be the long term post Taylor QB and the 5th round RB might be a good one come 2017. Coulda used a good O Lineman.
Miami Dolphins – B – That is solely for getting Tunsil at 13. The rest of the draft is slightly underwhelming and heavy on hope and need of work rather than solid prospect but at least they have a franchise LT for 15 years. Tunsil will simply change the ability of Miami to move the ball in a good way.
New York Jets – C – a draft that didn’t hit all their needs and when they grabbed for a need they seemed to grab low. If, and it’s a big if, Hackenberg becomes the next Joe Namath then this was a great draft. No breath holding here!
New England Patriots – B – another classic patient Pat draft. They didn’t draft any exciting prospects but built in pieces to help their needs and given the Pat ability to garner the most out of their players *by any means necessary* this could be a good draft for them.
Baltimore Ravens – A+ – In the running for the best draft of the year. They hit on all their picks, they filled every need and got talent, talent, talent. A strong LT, a great LB, A solid young WR, Excellent picks at DE and CB…the Ravens are a better team and if have of their picks work they could be winning their division this year.
Cincinnati Bengals – B – The Bengals spent most of their draft trying to take the player Pittsburgh wanted and while strategic it doesn’t really meet needs. They had to wait to round 2 to get their WR and they did get a good one. Decent if small CB in first round, a great run stuffer in the fourth. They didn’t hit homers but hope all these singles and doubles will score for them.
Cleveland Browns – A – I wait, like most, to see how Cleveland screws this up but they drafted players they needed. They had holes everywhere and they filled their holes with good young prospects. They have a depth of youth at WR that will be great if half work. They were terrible before the draft and are better now. Not playoff better but better.
Pittsburgh Steelers – C – They had their picks ‘stolen’ by Cincy over and over. They landed a CB in the first round who is like the girl on the hill. When he’s good he’s great and when he’s bad, he’s awful. They added some talent on D but they really didn’t land the oomph pick that they needed and will have to really get the most out of their picks to accomplish much.
Houston Texans – B – They did well with their 1st pick WR and 2nd pick center. If only those pan out it was a solid draft. Often success in drafts is in hitting the aces. They filled out depth ably with the other picks.
Indianapolis Colts – B – Had a plan to get Luck protection and followed through well. A good if not spectacular draft but if their O line additions give Luck time to work then their O just got a whole lot better.
Jacksonville Jaguars – A+ – The draft of drafts. Not since 1965 when the BEARS got the first 2 picks in the first round has a team gotten 2 of the top 3 talents. Jacksonville grabbed CB Jalen Ramsey and then in the second round got LB Myles Jack. Add to that bounty the fact that Dante Fowler is about to have his first year too and now Jacksonville has a D. They added talent after talent on D after this and even added a good young QB who can grow into a solid Bortles backup. Playoff bound in 2016.
Tennessee Titans – B+ – The Titans nailed 3 of their first 4 and those picks should be day 1 big play players. Adding Conklin to the line will give Mariota great protection, Kevin Dodd at DE gives them a high risk reward force on the D line while RB Derrick Henry could combine with Murray to give Tennessee a two headed monster to ease the pressure off Mariota from having to do it all himself. Solid draft.
Denver Broncos – B – They bravely traded to get their QB and if he pans out this draft will be an A, adding RB Booker may be a draft steal. Otherwise they seem to be banking on their team from last year being good enough. We will see how that works.
Kansas City Chiefs – C-/D – I am not sure what the plan was and whatever it was, it was poorly executed. No real solid prospects and they are hoping more than expecting. I can’t figure out why they drafted nearly any of these guys.
Oakland Raiders – B- – They grabbed a good S in the first round to provide youth and talent in the back end. They added some plus players in several areas and seemed to be counting on growing some draftees into NFL talent. Not a superb draft.
San Diego Chargers – A- – I tried to not like this draft but the Bolts really hit it out of the park. They got a great talent in 1, solid 2 and 3 and 4 and actually the punter in 6 might be the most used talent they nailed. They are a better team after this draft.
Dallas Cowboys – B – If Elliott is a leading RB who carries the Boys back to the playoffs then they did good. They added a Romo backup and a decent late round S but not much of the other picks seem to be much to write home about.
New York Giants – C – They seemed to draft need over talent and then didn’t take the best talent to meet their need. A team that seemed too dedicated to their plan and not flexible enough to take advantage of opportunities. I don’t think they are better after this.
Philadelphia Eagles – B – The Eagles were and are all in on getting their QB and if it pans out they have done amazing. The rest of the picks were just mostly filler in my view but it all rides with Wentz.
Washington Redskins – B+ – Best draft by a team in this laughable division. The Skins got a solid WR and seemed to do well in every round they picked in. They really grabbed players with upside and this team got better immediately.
Chicago BEARS – B – This grade is higher than I thought it would be after round 1. I was scratching my head with Leonard Floyd LB but it will be a wait and see thing. They did well in the 2nd round and 3rd round and grabbed a good RB in late stages. The Bears could get 4 starters from this draft which is a heck of a haul for this team. The immediate cutting of OG Slauson diminishes it a little for me too but in terms of draft, B.
Detroit Lions – B- – The Lions followed a plan to get players that fit their scheme. It is hard to fault a planned approach but with the exception of 1 really solid prospect in round 2 it is hard to see how skipping over better options to meet your plan is a plan. Grade will be reviewable if half this draft pans out.
Green Bay Packers – B – Another solid pack draft. They aided the hole that is their O line and brought inside help on D to allow them to better use Bloodline on the outside. They are a better team after this draft.
Minnesota Vikings – B- – They hit with the first 2 picks but the rest of the picks are a bit of a head scratcher. The Vikings are developing a history in the recent drafts of maybe hitting on 45% of their picks and if their first 2 are starters then this is a win but it’s not a great draft.
Atlanta Falcons – C- – They seemed to reach in round 1 and then it just continued in a bit of a reach fest. I think Atlanta might get something out of the TE and perhaps a bit of decent secondary play but not much of it will really help this year. A head scratcher.
Carolina Panthers – D – This grade takes into account they dumped a top corner for no reason then simply drafted as many a CB as they could, whether they are any good or not. They did ok with the first pick and are less, much less, than they were when they lost the Super Bowl.
New Orleans Saints – B+ – They only had 5 picks but they really hit on the first 3 and could have significant upgrades at DT, WR and S from this. Shows a team can do well with little if they do the right prep.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – A- – I really like this draft. They got the corner that everyone *including me* had mocked to them in the first round. That helps a need with a big time talent. Grabbing a first round talent pass rusher in the 2nd gives them a power rusher off the edge that will make that area much more dangerous. Critics question the 2nd round pick of a kicker but…6% of all PATs were missed last year, including some by TB, and Aguayo doesn’t miss 31 yard kicks…this move could solidify the scoreboard and give them an automatic 1 and auto 3 from 40 yards in. He might not hit 60 but everyone from inside 40 isn’t a bad thing. A really good draft.
Arizona Cardinals – B – This grade could go up or down depending on the play/dedication/off field behavior of their first rounder. He could be the steal of the draft or the next suspended rookie. They took ‘window’ and he is the enigma. They did add some good depth on O line and some special team help. All depends on the first pick.
Los Angeles Rams – A- – Got to give them credit for going for it and they got their guy. Goff is now the Rams. I give them high grades for grabbing a 4thround TE and 5th round WR who may be immediate weapons for their boy. Did a lot with a little and if Goff is the Goff he should be but if he goes splat this draft is a bust.
San Francisco 49ers – C – I like the first pick, he brings a much needed force on the D line (until he retires early) but then they traded up to get a G in round 1 who was at least a late 2 pick. The rest of the draft was not very exciting. San Fran is a long way from contending.
Seattle Seahawks – A – A superb draft. They grabbed superb players that met needs and seem to do this every year. Great O line additions, Super D line addition, excellent RB grab in round 3 and a good supplemental TE. They sealed the deal with a really excellent 7th round WR pick. The Seahawks are a lot better after this draft!
There it is!
That is my take on those fun days of the Draft!
I welcome thoughts!
MR N The BEARS Fan