Team draft grades? Sure why not.
Before diving into the Browns’ draft I was looking through what the other teams did and jotted some thoughts down. (After reading DBN’s superb breakdown on the Browns’ draft I hardly need to write one. Chris nails just about every point I will make.)
In no particular order, here they are.
Jets. Yuck. Pryor over Clinton-Dix? No I don’t buy that not at all. Dumb. Besides was defense a problem? Zara gave the Jets Cooks in the KRM and considering the Saints traded up to 20 to get him and considering Stephen Hill is a starting WR for them, the Pryor pick seems way off. Amaro is fine. Dozier might be good. Tajh Boyd might be their starting QB which says more about their incumbents. If I’m a Jets fan, I am not stoked. Another team who used twelve picks. D.
Pats. C. Knees Easley. Two blown ACLs goes in the first round? Maybe the surgery has evolved to be like Tommy John and maybe they didn’t think Easley would last until #62, but geez. Apparently the Kelly-Wilfork situation is not one Bill is comfy with.1 Of course I like Garoppolo but that seems a luxury pick on team that actually is not stacked and actually is thin and old at several positions. Good thing they got Brandon LaFell as a FA because I don’t think Gallon will help what really is a lackluster receiving corps. And they did tend to the line with sleeper types in Fleming (OT), Halapio (OG), and Stork (C). I take the Pats eschewing WRs as an indicator that this WR class was not, in fact, all that.
Dolphins. Everyone laughed at Travis Frederick last year with the Cowboys in the first round and he wound up one of the best o-linemen in the class. So I won’t kill the Dolphins for James even though it seems reachy from the outside. In fact, James has a good McGinn write-up and if it came down to James or Kouandijo, they made the right choice. Not a Landry fan. But I like Billy Turner and two of their top three picks were on the o-line, that makes sense. B.
Bills. I’d give them an F except I like Preston Brown and Ross Cockrell. Seantrel Henderson is an utter waste of a pick. Kouandijo is a do-not-draft player they took high in the second. But cripes, the trade with the Browns was inexcusable. Ask any Bills fan if they liked the way they fleeced the Rams for Tavon Austin last year. Be assured, they liked it. Well then how could their GM allow the same fleecing to happen to him. But but but SAMMY WATKINS IS A GREAT PLAYMAKER. Man where did we hear that sort of breathless hype for a WR most recently. Oh yeah. Tavon Austin. D-. Non-fail for Preston Brown.
Steelers. I know they’re getting high marks but they got an athletic non-tackling linebacker and an athletic specimen DE who slacks. I love Dri Archer, not worried that he’s not a need, that was smart. Like Zumwalt. McCullers is huge. Bryant has major upside. Give em a B.
Browns. A+. The only team with two (maybe three) starters, possible franchise QB, AND two first round picks going into 2015. But yet, NoWRGuy is not happy. I think NoWRGuy is also CantHaveTooManyPassRushers guy. Kirksey is the only one of the picks I’m not up to speed on and after reading this from Hawkeye SBNation, I’m in. We’ll drill into the elegant perfection of Farmer’s first draft soon (Tues/Wed).
Bengals. Table broke their way with Dennard matching up with a position of need. Newman is 35. Good on them for getting ready to bail on Kirkpatrick; make or break camp for him. Ok, I guess with a RB in the second but why would you take touches away from Gio Bernard. Just goes to show how stacked their roster is. If only they had a QB. This led to the twitter draft highlight of the weekend: the AJ McCarron pick. I like Bodine. C.
Ravens. This is pretty solid draft. B+. You got Mosley and Brooks who figure to start and Jernigan has fair chance to beat out Brandon Williams. Crockett Gillmore seems a waste as he’ll sit behind Pitta and Daniels… but hey maybe Ozzie really likes him. I suppose he knows tight end play better than me. Inevitably, Keith Wenning will make us pay for passing over him just as The Last QB Drafted From Northwest Ohio has. Campanero is a rock solid late round pick.
Titans. B. Love Lewan. Apparently the Browns had a deal to move up to 11 for Lewan and backed out. Still unclear on why. Potential three-stud o-line with Levitre, Warmack, and Lewan. Sankey has a chance to jump into the starting lineup. (If he can’t beat out Shonn Greene, I’ll be shocked.)
Jags. B+. This is the draft Cleveland sports media wanted. A QB in the top five and then two WRs. I like Farmer’s draft more. Much more. But back to the Jags, I for one think Bortles will be a good QB in the NFL for years. A good and bold pick to stick to their board in the face Sammy/Khalil mania. Haven’t liked some of what I’ve heard on Lee, but haven’t heard anything but goodness on Robinson. Considering they had Shorts and Sanders at WRs, the need at WR was definitely there. Linder is a sneaky strong prospect. Late pick of Storm Johnson is good both because he’s a good RB and also, through picking another UCF guy, the Jags are claiming Orlando for their market.
Indy. Leaving the Richardson trade out of it and just looking at their picks. Just two picks in first four and half rounds. Mewhort brings some depth to a thin o-line. Moncrief … I like Moncrief and I think finding him at the end of the third is a steal. B-.
Texans. Clowney better be everything he’s supposed to be because this team is going to war with Ryan Fitz and Case Keenum and TJ Yates and Tom Savage. I think they set their asking price too high and may regret it. Bortles was the better fit. Regardless, Clowney is quite amazing and could be devastating opposite JJ Watt. Su’a-Flio ought to start immediately. McGinn report on Fiedorowicz includes, “He’s not a starter. He’s just a guy.” C.
Chargers. Blah. C-. Jason Verrett at #25… you just know there were sad faces when the Bengals took Dennard with the pick before and Verrett smells panicky but he should start. Not an Attaochu fan, not a Grice fan, don’t know the rest.
Raiders. B+. Pete Franklin got the Mack pick right so it makes sense on some level. But Donald Penn shows as their left tackle after the draft and Mack sits behind Justin Tuck on the depth chart. Soooo. I like the Carr pick and of course I love Gabe Jackson in the third. If McGill becomes a bad-ass with the black jersey on, he could be great. Nice OU Bobcat selection of TJ Carrie; great snag of Jonathan Dowling with their last pick.
Chiefs. C-. Way too early on Dee Ford and not a need (he’s behind Tamba Hali on the depth chart). Like Gaines, hate DeAnthony Thomas, like/love Murray. Total mixed bag. Like the frenchman in the sixth.
Broncos. Roby figures to start as a rookie on a Super Bowl, so good pick. Really like Schofield in the third. Still don’t quite understand the big deal on Latimer, but they got him. For getting contributors on a strong team drafting late… gotta be a B, no?
Washington. Meh. C grade. Not a Morgan Moses fan but like him better in the third than the first where many projected him. They got cute with a second round trade-down and it cost them KRM pick, Stephon Tuitt (take one by ahead of them) and were forced to settle for Trent Murphy. Breeland seems good in the fourth, Seastrunk good in the sixth.
Eagles. C+. Marcus Smith is a pretty athletic guy; #26 seems high for him and he figures to backup Trent Cole so.. wtf. I like Jordan Matthews, but the follow up with Josh Huff? I suppose Chip would know best, but his measurables were very average, third round seems high. Two backups for Maclin-Cooper seems excessive.
Giants. B. I like the Richburg pick. I like it because Ozzie didn’t see it coming so the Ravens are looking squarely at another year of Gino Gradkowski. Beckham rose in my eyes after the McGinn write-up. Andre Williams I don’t get.
Cowboys. They were right to take Zack Martin. He’ll start and the mess that was the Cowboys’ line now sports Tyron Smith-Martin-Travis Frederick. Three first rounders and as we all know, that is the surest way to the playoffs and super bowl and dynasty. Will Romo be a turnover machine when he’s not running for his life? They owe to him to find out. Demarcus Lawrence, I like. Five seventh round picks reflect lethargy or spotty cell service. Gotta use those chips, gents. B.
Vikes. Don’t love the top of their draft. I soured on Barr over the last year and adding Bridgewater to the Cassel-Ponder mix just makes a hash out of their training camp. But I love the Crichton pick in the third and am a fan of McKinnon. Yankey in the fifth (with our pick) seems about right. Give Spielman a B.
Packers. Clinton-Dix an absolute steal. The top safety at a position of need. Went heavy WR: Adams, Abbrederis (how popular will he be?), Janis. They didn’t draft a tackle and Bakhtiari is a nightmare at LT … that seems a miss from here. I like Corey Linsley. B.
Lions. Ebron, Van Noy, and Swanson all could be starting the opener. That’s an A draft right there. But is Ebron’s upside that much higher than the surprising Joseph Fauria to the point where you bypass Dennard/Fuller and figure to start Slay/Houston? Because I love Ebron, but damn, CB is a huge need. B.
Bears. Kyle Fuller and then a bag of shit. KaDeem Carey? David Fales? Ego Ferguson in the second? Then followed up with another DT (Will Sutton)? Jordan Mills graded out -31 at RT and they addressed that need in the seventh round — wholly Banner-esque. But at least they took Kyle Fuller. B-.
Tampa. B+. Evans plus ASJ plus Vincent Jackson equals instant red-zone offense for McCown.
Saints. C+. Don’t like Cooks but on a carpet in a dome.,, maybe. I like Jean-Baptiste maybe he can learn from Champ Bailey and take his job by mid-season.
Panthers. Just not a Kelvin Benjamin fan. Wonderlic of seven? You’re investing a first round pick on a Wonderlic seven? I do like Kony Ealy. When you look at the holes on the line and supposed depth at WR, the smart move was prescribed by JPFTribe in the KRM — get Xavier Suo-Filo here, pick up a WR in the second (Allen Robinson was there.). Trai Turner might be good. D+… borderline fail.
Falcons. Matthews seems like the right pick at the right place. Hageman’s scouting report is not great but that’s why prototype 5tech DEs are available to you in the second round. Southward a great pick at a need position. (Still lol-ing that Lamarcus Joyner went before Southward.) Freeman looked good in every FSU game I saw (but so did Wilder). B.
Rams. B. How could they miss with #2 and #13? After Robinson and Donald they just started throwing shit at the wall though. Joyner in the second round? Garrett Gilbert? Lol. But Mason was a good pick and so was Christian Bryant. Kinda bit off a problem with Michael “Judge me as a football player but/Scuse me while I kiss this guy” Sam. Problem being how do you cut the first openly gay NFL draftee?
Seahawks. C. But who cares, their roster is still stacked. Open season on Doug Baldwin with the Richardson and Norwood picks. No projected starters from draft. Interested to see how workout warrior Kevin Pierre-Louis fares.
Niners. B-. If you’re in the NFC Championship and you select twelve players in the draft, you’re doing it wrong. I’m not on board with the Jimmie Ward fuss, so I don’t love their firstie. This _is_ actually a good place for Carlos Hyde to land and #57 is fair value. Some thought Martin was the best center and the Niners need a center, so that’s smart. They’re stacked so why not grab ACL-recoverer Brandon Thomas. Hate Ellington but at least they didn’t take another soft DeAnthony Thomas. Maybe Borland earns a spot and contributes, would be good story. People loving on the Niners’ draft way too hard.
Cardinals. I have a real hard time with Logan Thomas in the fourth unless they’re seriously looking at him for tight end. He’s just not a QB and it’s a waste of coaches’ time and Thomas’ development window to chase that. But I like Bucannon, he will start, and Niklas might win a starting role too. The WR taken in the third from Pittsburg State is, wait for it, EXPLOSIVE. Kareem Martin will have roughly five years to develop sitting behind Calais Campbell. Cards’ o-line is a disaster and the draft didn’t help it. Carson Palmer is old and the draft didn’t secure a developmental QB. C-.
Thems my quick and dirty takes. What say you?
- As correctly noted in Bluedog’s Jernigan pick in the KRM. [back]