NFL Draft Grades for the 2017 NFL Draft
By Tyler Lurkins
1. Cleveland- A- The Browns managed to find three bona fide starters in Garrett, Peppers, and Njoku. Wilson and Johnson can push for starting jobs. Finally, Ogunjobi could be a sleeper, and Brantley, even with his number of problems, was considered a top 50 prospect.
2. Chicago-F-Personally, I thought this was a team trying to compete, but they drafted for next season, not this season. Trubisky is at least a year out, Shaheen is a year (or two) out, and Eddie Jackson is a backup for now. The team did NOTHING to get better for this season, including bolstering a very poor offensive line. Now, did the Bears get some highly rated athletes? Yes. However, none of these athletes, including Trubisky, are considered sure fire prospects.
3. San Francisco-A-The Niners are in a full rebuild mode and didn’t reach for any prospect. Thomas and Foster are scheme fits, and will be solid players. Witherspoon could be the star of this teams draft class, as he is a perfect corner for this scheme. Many are down on Beathard, but he is a very solid QB who makes few errors, and understands this offense to a tee. At the very least, he’s a valuable backup for years to come.
4. Jacksonville-B-Jacksonville walked out with a mixed batch. Sure they have an elite RB, but Robinson may need a year. Smoot and Westbrook are boom/bust prospects, and Jacksonville passed on steady contributors like Feeney and Willis. Brown and Myrick are excellent value picks that may find the field quickly.
5. Tennessee-B-Tennessee had a deep draft, full of prospects. Maybe trading back for Davis would have been better. On the outskirts, Tennessee seemed to blow a pick on Jackson. Yet Jackson is a stud, but he’s vastly undersized. In this division, he will match up well with nightmare WR’s like Houston’s Fuller and Indy’s Hilton/Dorsett. Then the Titans seemed to reach. Another undersized receiver, a TE that needs a ton of development, and then a ton of role players. They seemed to pass on several players that would have benefited them immediately on the O line, D line, and rush LB positions.
6. New York Jets-B-I really like the Jets draft. They picked the best prospects available to fill holes on a roster deprived of talent. Why not an A: The Marcus Maye pick was not only a reach, but he won’t be able to unseat Gilchrist for a starting spot. A guy like Bowser would have been uber productive in this aggressive defense, and the Jets may be sorry they passed on him for Maye.
7. LA Chargers-B-Another amazing draft blown by one pick. Feeney, Lamp, and King are all plug and play starters that the Chargers flat out stole. Williams is a great receiver, but is oft injured, must like Keenan Allen. Plus, the Chargers have Henry, Allen, Inman, and Benjamin ready to catch balls. They passed on an elite corner, elite safety, productive ends, and a productive defensive tackle. Though I should look past Williams, as the Bolts are in “win now” mode, and Williams certainly helps.
8. Carolina-A-The Panthers receive an A grade, even after selecting Harrison Butker. The Panthers picked up three immediate starters, two being impactful in McCaffrey and Samuel. Keep an eye on Hall, he will be a situational pass rusher, but has the tools to develop into a solid starter.
9. Cincinnati-C-I get what they’re trying to do. They’re bringing in the absolute best players they could find. Mixon, Ross, Willis, Lawson, and even Glasgow will be great players. However, they need to win now. The Bengals passed on elite pass rushers, elite safeties, and solid O and D lineman.
10. Buffalo-A-Many are down on the Bills draft. The got a future #1, a starting corner, a starting lineman, a starting receiver, and good depth at LB. This is a very solid draft for the Bills, though the fans aren’t star struck by it.
11. New Orleans-D-The only reason this pick isn’t an F is due to selecting Lattimore. They have too many holes to be picking another RB. Ramczyk doesn’t fit a huge need, nor was he the best player available. Everyone is a developmental player, including Williams.
12. Arizona-B-A very solid draft for the Cardinals. Reddick, Baker, and Williams will all see the field on day 1. Johnson and Holden will compete for a starting job. Ford and Logan are depth pieces that can be developed.
13. Philadelphia-C-Barnett took a chorus of boos, but he’s a very legit pick. However, the Eagles aren’t in dire need of DE. Jones is also a pick, but it will take a year for dividends. The Eagles needed to bolster the O line, which they didn’t. To really help Wentz develop, a three down back, who can stay healthy, would have been a huge asset. In my opinion, the Eagles are building, and the top priority should have been to surround Wentz with weapons to make him a comfortable starter.
14. Indianapolis-B-This is much better than the Colts draft of the past, but still lacked a stellar feel. Hooker may be a tremendous player, but I’m not sold on Wilson. Basham, Banner, and Mack will all see some time on the field. The Colts passed on high reward players for Banner, Stewart, and Hairston.
15. Baltimore-A-Newsome is the King of the draft again. Humphrey, Bowser, Wormley, Williams, and Siragusa may all see the field immediately. Even Eluemenor may push for a starting spot. Though Clark is nothing overly special, he should make the roster and see some special team action.
16. Washington-C-Washington didn’t have a good draft, they FELL in to a good draft. Allen, Moreau, Perine, and Sprinkle are all solid. The Ryan Anderson pick seems like a big reach. The back end was nice with Davis, Clemons, and Holsey. My concern is they didn’t even try for a QB. Either sign Cousins, or draft his replacement.
17. Tampa Bay-B-All of the picks the Bucs made were super solid, and I’m on the verge of giving them an A grade. Evans was a bit of a reach, and Beckwith probably won’t dress until 2018. I really wanted to see more of an impact on both lines.
18. Denver-A-It’s hard not to be high (no pun intended) on Denver’s draft. They found a talented O lineman, a starting DE, a starting WR, corner depth, a future stud TE, and a QB who is every bit the talent of Lynch, except he has character concerns.
19. Detroit-C-Look, Golloday and Maybin have a ton of talent, but were they really the best players on the board? At least Detroit walked away with two solid starters in Davis and Tabor with some developmental prospects in tow.
20. Miami-A-This is a solid A grade. Miami did very well finding Harris, McMillan, Tankersley, and Asiata to possibly start this season. Both Godchaux and Taylor will see decent playing time in a rotation.
21. New York Giants-B-It’s hard to argue with the Giants draft as they always find productive players. Is Engram better than Njoku? That’s up for debate. I think Tomlinson is a reach, but you can’t deny his talent. Gallman, Webb, and Bisnowaty seem to be very capable. I didn’t see Avery Moss as draftable, but I will never doubt a pass rusher in the Giants system.
22. Oakland/Las Vegas-A-McKenzie is going to build a dynasty if he’s not careful. Conley is a huge gamble, but for the moment he has a passed polygraph test. After the first round, the Raiders kept stealing talented players, though they passed on Myrick and Tu’ikolovatu to draft Shalom Luani.
23. Houston-D-Houston picked up so many great talents that will be contributors BUT that doesn’t excuse the Watson pick. This team is winning. Why trade next year’s first rounder for a developmental QB that will sit behind a developmental QB that never panned out. Savage is your starter. Find a vet to back him up, possibly take your lumps, and be ready to draft a QB in 2018. Not to mention, you also rattle Savage who has to look over his shoulder again.
24. Seattle-C-Any other team would have gotten a D grade, but the Seahawks get the most from their picks. Many are critical of the Pocic pick, but Pocic can play any position on the line. If he plays center, Britt can get kicked to the outside, improving the O line. Jones and Darboh are value picks, but what is the deal with drafting so many safeties?
25. Kansas City-D-Instead of bulking up for a playoff run, the Chiefs went into a rebuild mode. Any QB will light it up in Reid’s system, just take a look at Smith. Kpassagnon, Hunt, and Chesson may see some time, but are backups for now. Eligwe is a head scratcher also. Perhaps the biggest loss is a draft pick in 2018.
26. Dallas-A-I’m not a huge fan of Taco, but I understand the pick. He, Awuzie, Lewis, Switzer, White, and possibly Woods will all see considerable time on the field. Ivie, Brown, and Carrell possibly could have been passed over, but that late in the draft, it’s all a guess anyway.
27. Green Bay-D-This should be an F because the Pack again passed on talent to select corners and safeties. Meaning Randall and Rollins obviously aren’t the answer. Jones and King are great, but what about Burnett and Dix? This team KNOWS they need a primetime running back. They passed on Cook, Mixon, and Kamara. They passed on ELITE pass rushers. They passed on major upgrades at ILB. I am not a Green Bay Packers fan, but they are simply wasting the talent of Rodgers on squandered draft picks, and I think the hardcore fans agree.
28. Pittsburgh-B-Overall, a solid draft for the Steelers. Watt, JuJu, and Sutton are respectable selections. Connor will contribute and Dobbs can develop. Like the Packers, the Steelers will always select the absolute best player on the board, but I would have really liked to have seen them find a steady ILB.
29. Atlanta-C-McKinley has injury concerns, but maybe he projects better than I realize. Riley is a bit of a reach, but the Falcons have had success with LB’s. Harlow, Kazee, and Hill could all be sleeper picks. The Falcons were set up to make some very dramatic selections, but walked away with some decent chips instead.
30. Minnesota-B-Rodney Adams keeps this from being an A grade. This could can’t catch or hold on to the ball. I’m not a huge fan of Gedeon, but I get it, but Adams? Wow. All in all, the Vikings owned the draft. Cook, Elflein, Johnson, Gedeon, Isidora, and even Odenigbo and Lee will see valuable playing time….but Adams?
31. LA Rams-F-After seeing the Rams draft, I’m not so upset about them leaving St. Louis anymore. The only player selected that MIGHT make an impact is Kupp, and he’s a possession guy with very little separation. Everett and Reynolds may develop in a year or three. Rogers is a nice pickup, and Price may see a smidge of playing time.
32. New England-A-Of course the Pats get an A. They have no high picks that could possibly bust. Rivers will be a stud in this system. Garcia and McDermott will see the field. Wise may see the field too, but he’s a year away from being impactful. This team is loaded, the Patriots are simply drafting for the future, not the present.