Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Draft grades

Feeling humbled by the draft process this year, as the Eagles took me completely by surprise, and I missed on my projections of a few players by as many as four rounds.

There are three components to a team's grade, listed in the order of importance:
1) Did they get good football players? (This is by far the most important, as you can never have too many good players.)
2) Did they address team needs?
3) Did they get good value? (This is often highly overrated, and meaningless once the games start, but there's not much else to talk about after the draft.)

Also, C is average. It means that a team did pretty much what they should have, but nothing exceptional.

Arizona Cardinals Grade: A
Levi Brown wasn't really worth the #5 pick, but he's exactly what the Cardinals need. Alan Branch in round #2 is tremendous value, as is Buster Davis in round #3. I'm still trying to figure out how Ben Patrick dropped to round 7 - I had him as a potential target for the Eagles in round 3! Breaston has a chance to make the team as a kick returner, which means this entire draft could end up on the roster and contributing this year.

Atlanta Falcons Grade: A
With Anderson, Blalock, and Houston, the Falcons picked up three very good players who could have been drafted in the first round. I don't like the Robinson pick at all (he's more of a late-round flier, and better WRs were on the board at that time), but Nicholas, Irons, and Datish were solid second-day picks who should contribute.

Baltimore Ravens Grade: B-
Grubbs is a solid pick who will start 16 games as a rookie and play well. Late-round fliers on Troy Smith and Prescott Burgess could pay off big down the road.

Buffalo Bills Grade: C
Lynch is an ok pick - he could be very good or flame out completely, but he does fill an obvious need. I like that they traded up to get Posluszny, and Trent Edwards is good value in round #3, but they whiffed on two big needs in this draft - CB and a pass rusher.

Carolina Panthers Grade: A+
Pretty much a perfect draft. With Beason, Jarrett, Kalil, and Johnson, they landed four starters with their first four picks. The first three were worthy of being picked in the first round. Tim Shaw is a great selection in the fifth round - he's got the speed to contribute immediately on special teams and later develop into an edge rusher.

Chicago Bears Grade: D
For what it's worth, I think I gave them a D last year as well, because I didn't foresee the impact of Devin Hester or Daniel Manning (I did like the Mark Anderson pick, as I had him targeted for the Eagles in the fifth round.) Greg Olsen represents nice value in round 1, but he doesn't block well, so at this point he's a situational player. Bazuin and Wolfe were reaches - especially considering they could have drafted Charles Johnson and Michael Bush in those spots.

Cincinnati Bengals Grade: C
They had to be delighted when Leon Hall fell into their laps, but I don't understand the Kenny Irons pick in round #2. For a team with several pressing defensive needs, and missing their #3 WR for half the season, I would not have selected another RB in this spot. Still, he's a good player who was worthy of a second-round pick.

Cleveland Browns Grade: A
This is a real boom-or-bust type of draft...it will depend a lot on whether Brady Quinn develops into the kind of QB that Charlie Weis thinks he can. Still, they got three first-round talents with Thomas, Quinn, and Wright...and that is the type of gamble that a team as bad as the Browns should take.

Dallas Cowboys Grade: C (B+)
Based on the players selected, this is an average draft. Anthony Spencer was a very good selection, and I would not have been disappointed if the Eagles selected him in round #1, but after that it gets a little shaky. Marten isn't worth a third-round selection, although Doug Free is a nice pick-up in the fourth. And addressing positions like QB and K, while waiting on a CB until the seventh round, is just weird. The B+ grade is for stealing a top-ten pick from Cleveland next year.

Denver Broncos Grade: D
I continue to be about the only person who is not impressed by Denver's offseason moves. Jarvis Moss, whom Denver traded up to get, benched a mere 13 reps at the combine (compared to QB Brady Quinn's 17). When a guy who's going to face 330lb offensive tackles his whole career can't even be bothered to visit a weight room a few times before he gets drafted, it sends up a huge red flag, but Denver didn't seem to care. Frankly, the guy they drafted in round #2, Tim Crowder, has a better chance of developing into an impact DE. Fourth-round pick Marcus Thomas is a character gamble who could either be a Pro Bowl DT or out of the league in two years.

Detroit Lions Grade: A-
I thought Alexander was a reach in round #2, but Manny Ramirez in round #4 is tremendous value (remember Jarvis Moss' 13 reps? Manny had over 40.) Detroit probably nabbed 5 starters from this draft, and that's exactly what they needed.

Getting bored now, I might finish this tomorrow.


Post a Comment

<< Home