Biggest Post Draft Concerns For All NFL Teams

Written by Dan Graziano at ESPN.com

The NFL draft is over. Months and months of anticipation and hope and speculation culminated over the weekend in Philadelphia, and now it’s all done.

If you’re an NFL fan, this feels like the morning after graduation. It was all you could think about for the longest time, it happened, you had the party, and now you wake up the next day and your first thought is, “OK. Now what?”

We’re here for you.

As May dawns, minicamps draw near and 32 teams begin grinding their way through the four-plus months that remain before games start again, here’s a look at the biggest issue each team still has to address now that the draft is in the rearview mirror. For those experiencing withdrawal, we’ll do it in the order of where each team made its first pick:


Cleveland Browns

Figure out who the quarterback is.

I know, right??? Same exact problem as last week! You’ve really got to admire the teams that stay true to who they are, even in the season of upheaval. The Browns didn’t draft a quarterback until late in the second round, and when they did it was Notre Dame enigma DeShone Kizer. Kizer brings them marginally closer to an answer, at best, and joins a depth chart that includes Brock Osweiler (whom they don’t want), Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan. Their first round brought in three guys with whom they could throw a party like the one at the end of “Draft Day,” but Kessler’s still the Brian Drew of this whole thing, and it’d be a surprise if that turned out to be good enough.

 Chicago Bears

Coach up the defense.

The Bears used exactly one draft pick on a defensive player, and he has a broken leg. All the attention will be on Mitchell Trubisky and the questions about when he’s ready to start at quarterback, but I’m sitting here wondering if he can help out at safety. The Bears have a lot of young players on defense, and obviously the draft wouldn’t have made that any better. But if John Fox and this coaching staff is to survive another season in Chicago, it would do well to show progress on the defensive side of the ball. The guys they had this time last week didn’t get any fresh help. On the flip side, at least they have some job security.

San Francisco 49ers

The rookies in charge keep up their hot start.

It was a heck of a draft weekend for first-time general manager John Lynch and first-time head coach Kyle Shanahan, who started the proceedings by snookering the Bears out of three extra picks and used the first three rounds to bolster the heart of their defense. Now, I could have used the same line here we used for Cleveland, but how boring would that have been? And besides, Lynch and Shanahan have six-year contracts. Their long-term answer at quarterback might still be in high school. They can get by with Brian Hoyer and whatever this year, and build up the rest of this hollowed-out roster while they wait out Kirk Cousins if they want to. If they turn out to be as good as managing the team through the summer and fall as they were on the final weekend of April, there’s reason to trust them.

To continue reading this article, click here.

NFL Draft Grades

Written by Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com

If you are reading this, you know I like to pick things apart. Drafts, situational coaching and players — you name it.

But somehow, as I did the grades for this year’s NFL Draft, I had to stop for a second because I think many teams did a good job handling their board.

I didn’t give out one “F” this year. I handed out five “A” grades.

What is wrong with me? Call me Mr. Softy.

The five teams that earned “A” grades in my mind were the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and — surprise, surprise — the Cleveland Browns.

As chic as it has become to rip the Browns, there is no denying they did a great job with their draft. They had a lot of picks and made the most of those picks, with the only knock being a first-round move down to land Michigan safety/hybrid player Jabrill Peppers. That was a reach, but they did a nice job the rest of the way.

They ended up with three first-round picks, landing Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett with the first overall pick, Peppers with the 25th pick and Miami tight end David Njoku with the 29th pick. They moved up to get both Peppers and Njoku thanks to extra draft picks they acquired in recent years.

If second-round quarterback DeShone Kizer is a hit — and he is talented — the Browns will look back on this draft as the one that turned around the franchise. That’s how good their draft was this year.

Maybe all those analytics work after all. Or maybe they finally got somebody who can simply put on the tape and find good football players.

Now here are the rest of the grades.

Arizona Cardinals

They landed a future star in first-round pick Haason Reddick. He will add speed and versatility to their defense. I love second-round pick Budda Baker, the safety from Washington. He will help offset the loss of Tony Jefferson. Third-round pick Chad Williams, a receiver from Grambling, could be a steal where he was drafted, adding much-needed speed, and I love fourth-round pick Dorian Johnson. It was a really good draft.

Grade: A

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons wanted to get an edge rusher, and they got a good one in UCLA’s Takk McKinley in the first round, which was an outstanding pick. They came back and added a speed linebacker in LSU’s Duke Riley in the second round and a much-needed guard in Sean Harlow from Oregon State, who should be the starting right guard. They got faster on defense, which is not a good thing for NFC South quarterbacks.

Grade: B+

Baltimore Ravens

Did they really need a corner in the first round? I know they stuck to their board by taking Alabama corner Marlon Humphrey, but I thought they had bigger needs. They came back to make up for it by taking Houston edge rusher Tyus Bowser in the second round and Michigan defensive tackle Chris Wormley in the third. Fourth-round rusher Tim Williams could be a pass-rush star — if he can stay out of trouble.

Grade: B-

Buffalo Bills

I think they made really good picks with their first two, trading down in the first before taking LSU corner Tre’Davious White, then landing East Carolina receiver Zay Jonesin the second. Their other second-round pick, Dion Dawkins, will probably be the starting right tackle. Fifth-round quarterback Nathan Peterman could end up being a potential starter down the road.

Grade: B

Carolina Panthers

They were linked to Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey in the first round, and it played out that way. I think it’s too high to take him at No. 8, but he will help in a lot of ways. Second-round pick Curtis Samuel can do a lot of the same things, and will likely be their slot receiver. I love the pick of Texas A&M pass rusher Daeshon Hall in the fourth. He will develop into a quality pass rusher. Fifth-round corner Corn Elder will be a good nickel corner.

Grade: B-

Chicago Bears

They made a strange move to give up so much to move up a spot to No. 2 overall and draft North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. They could have stayed in their third spot and landed him, but gave up too much to move up a spot. If he’s a star, they will be laughing at all us. But why give Mike Glennon that contract if this was what you planned to do? Second-round tight end Adam Shaheen from Ashland is a big, physical tight end. But this is all about Trubisky and that trade.

Grade: D

Cincinnati Bengals

I thought the Bengals had as good draft as any team in the league. Taking receiver John Ross with the ninth pick is a bit of a risk, but you can’t coach speed. They took a different type of risk with Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon in the second round, but the kid is the best runner in the draft. They clearly looked past the assault video to take him. They then landed two good pass rushers in Kansas State Jordan Willis and Auburn’s Carl Lawson, two players who will compete to start at right end. Fourth-round receiver Josh Malone from Tennessee can fly. There are some risks here, but I think they will pay off big.

Grade: A

To continue reading this article, click here.

Tak McKinely Might Have Already Gotten Fined

Written by Vaughn McClure at ESPN.com

Atlanta Falcons first-round draft pick Takkarist McKinley poked fun at himself after using the F-word in a live draft night interview Thursday with NFL Network analyst and Falcons Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.

The Falcons traded with the Seattle Seahawks to move up from the 31st overall pick to select the UCLA pass-rusher with the 26th overall pick. Then the emotional McKinley took the stage in Philadelphia holding a picture of his late grandmother Myrtle Collins. She died in 2011 due to heart complications, 30 seconds after McKinley made a promise to her.

“It means everything, man … I made a promise to her,” McKinley told Sanders. “Like I said, I was going to go D-I. I was going to get out of Richmond [California]. I was going to get out of Oakland. I was going to live my dream to play in the NFL. And I’m here, man. I completed the promise. That means every f—ing thing to me.”

During a video conference with the Atlanta media, McKinley was asked about his choice of words in the moment.

“I probably went on stage and probably said a few curse words and kind of slipped up,” McKinley said. “Probably got fined already before I even got my contract.”

McKinley said Sanders offered advice on how to channel those emotions.

“He said it’s good for me to have that emotion, that fire; he said I just need to find a way to manage it,” McKinley said. “He just [told] me I’ve got to be able to control it but keep it as well because that’s who I am and that’s how I play.”

To continue reading this article, click here.

NFL Draft Grades

Written by Chad Reuter at NFL.com

Setting grades immediately after the draft has little to do with the long-term impact of the players. Instead, they examine the value of the pick in comparison to grades heading into the draft as well as whether the team met an anticipated short- or long-term need.

Why are these quick-snap grades important? When analyzing the success of this draft three or four years from now, there needs to be a snapshot of how the pick was received at the time.

If a player was considered a reach when picked, and he turns out, then the pick is given a huge grade. If a selection was lauded at the time, and a player doesn’t become what was expected, then the grading of the pick should be less harsh.

There weren’t many reaches in this draft, though. Most teams met a need with an excellent player, so the grades reflect that.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills
Draft picks: Tre’Davious White (No. 27 overall)
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: Instead of taking Patrick Mahomes as the quarterback of the future, they moved down 17 spots, allowing Kansas City to make the pick. They received a third-round pick this year and a future first-rounder for the move down. Buffalo selected a good corner in White with the 27th pick to take over for Stephon Gilmore, meeting a dire need. Well done.

Miami Dolphins
Draft picks: Charles Harris (No. 22 overall)
Day 1 grade: A-
The skinny: Miami definitely needed to get younger in its pass rush, so seeing Harris on the board was a god-send. He’ll need to improve against the rush to be an all-around player on the edge, but the pick will still be very good if he can make an impact attacking the quarterback sooner than later.

New England Patriots
Draft picks: None
Day 1 grade: C
The skinny: Brandin Cooks is as good of a player as any pick they’d find here. However, if they don’t re-sign him to a long-term deal, then giving up a first-round pick was not a wise investment.

New York Jets
Draft picks: Jamal Adams (No. 6 overall)
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: Jamal Adams is an excellent, hard-nosed stud who presents great leadership qualities. He was the best player available, and they made the right call.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens
Draft picks: Marlon Humphrey (No. 16 overall)
Day 1 grade: B+
The skinny: Ozzie Newsome once again went back to his old school, picking cornerback Marlon Humphrey. The corner’s physical play and better-than-expected long speed locked up a mid-first-round pick.

Cincinnati Bengals
Draft picks: John Ross (No. 9 overall)
Day 1 grade: B
The skinny: Ross is a talented, extremely fast receiver (4.22 40), but given Ross’ injury history, it’s tough not to consider that when making him a top 10 pick. Nonetheless, adding Ross to play alongside A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert makes quarterback Andy Dalton smile.

Cleveland Browns
Draft picks: Myles Garrett (No. 1 overall), Jabrill Peppers (No. 25 overall), David Njoku (No. 29 overall)
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: Picking Myles Garrett as the difference-maker on defense made a world of sense. When looking at the second first-round pick, however, one has to remember that the Browns passed on Carson Wentz to grab the pick. Then, they got an excellent safety in Jabrill Peppers. He’ll be a team leader for the Browns with the athleticism to handle nickel and safety. Then they moved back into the first round to land a playmaker, and they picked up a 2018 first-round pick in a trade. That’s a great night for Browns fans.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Draft picks: T.J. Watt (No. 30 overall)
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: The fact that T.J. Watt was available for the Steelers was amazing. He’s a war daddy, and Pittsburgh can play him inside or outside for years. This was one of those picks where everyone will wonder in four years how Watt dropped this far.

AFC South

Houston Texans
Draft picks: Deshaun Watson (No. 12 overall)
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: Deshaun Watson was an excellent college quarterback, and the Texans are hoping he becomes a great NFL quarterback. I’m with Bill O’Brien on this one, even though Houston parted with a 2018 first-round pick in trade up to get him. With Houston’s defense playing well, they needed a leader and playmaker to get the offense rolling.

Indianapolis Colts
Draft picks: Malik Hooker (No. 15 overall)
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: The Colts got the rangiest safety prospect since Earl Thomas. They got very good value at No. 15 at a major position of need. It’s a big win for the Colts’ defense.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Draft picks: Leonard Fournette (No. 4 overall)
Day 1 grade: B+
The skinny: Blake Bortles’ development will be aided by Fournette’s. Fournette’s injury history is a bit worrisome, but the same was said about Adrian Peterson — that turned out well. But will he be able to succeed like last year’s No. 4 pick, Ezekiel Elliott, without a similarly talented offensive line?

Tennessee Titans
Draft picks: Corey Davis (No. 5 overall), Adoree’ Jackson (No. 18 overall)
Day 1 grade: A-
The skinny: Corey Davis is a really good player who deserved to be picked early. However, anytime you pick a player with an injury (Davis is coming off ankle surgery) at No. 5, there is a slight concern (thus the A-minus). Still, I expect he’ll be a big-time receiver. Jackson has some work to do at cornerback, but he can learn and he’s explosive as a returner.

AFC West

Denver Broncos
Draft picks: Garett Bolles (No. 20 overall)
Day 1 grade: C
The skinny: Garett Bolles is an athletic, tough-minded player. He’s also an older prospect who has lived through a lot. Some teams have concerns about his ability to handle complex line adjustments. The team certainly needed a left tackle, but Ryan Ramczyk was also available here. It will be interesting to compare the careers of those two players.

Kansas City Chiefs
Draft picks: Patrick Mahomes (No. 10 overall)
Day 1 grade: B+
The skinny: Patrick Mahomes has all of the tools to be a great quarterback. Chiefs GM John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid saw Brett Favre in Green Bay, and they have to see some of that gunslinger attitude in Mahomes. There is a risk factor here given his penchant for throwing the ball anywhere and from any arm angle (which will turn into interceptions in the NFL), and they have up a future first-round pick to get him. But if anyone can get Mahomes to adjust and succeed, it’s Reid.

Los Angeles Chargers
Draft picks: Mike Williams (No. 7 overall)
Day 1 grade: A-
The skinny: Mike Williams is a physically dominating receiver who will make life easier for Philip Rivers. He has enough speed to make plays, as well. Keenan Allen’s injury forced the team’s hand, as well.

Oakland Raiders
Draft picks: Gareon Conley (No. 24 overall)
Day 1 grade: B+
The skinny: As long as Conley’s off-field issues are cleared up, the Raiders got the long, agile, ballhawk they needed. If he gets in trouble, then GM Reggie McKenzie will have to answer for the pick.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys
Draft picks: Taco Charlton (No. 28 overall)
Day 1 grade: A-
The skinny: Dallas had a choice between Charlton and T.J. Watt. Either could have fit their bill, and the need was certainly there. I had Watt with a higher grade, but Charlton’s length and agility are impressive. He’ll be a very good player for Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett.

New York Giants
Draft picks: Evan Engram (No. 23 overall)
Day 1 grade: A-
The skinny: Jerry Reese continued to add to Eli Manning’s arsenal with tight end Evan Engram. He’s a Jordan Reed clone who will make plays, but will he outshine another intriguing tight end, David Njoku? That will be the question going forward.

Philadelphia Eagles
Draft picks: Derek Barnett (No. 14 overall)
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: Even though the Eagles gave up their 2017 first-rounder for quarterback Carson Wentz, they were a beneficiary of Minnesota’s need for a quarterback, as they got back into the first round by trading Sam Bradford last eyar. The way Wentz played this year showed they didn’t really miss Bradford. They got the second-best pure edge rusher in the draft in Barnett at No. 14.

Washington Redskins
Draft picks: Jonathan Allen (No. 17 overall)
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: Allen’s shoulders might be an issue six or seven years from now, but the Redskins needed a big-time talent up front right now. Excellent value.

To continue reading this article, click here.

NFL Draft Round 1 Recap

Written by Kevin Seifert at ESPN.com

So yeah. Even the smartest NFL pundits were convinced that the 2017 NFL draft would open with a boring run of defensive players. Instead, it started with fireworks and was completely drunk by 12 picks in.

Three lopsided trades for quarterbacks, two rule-breaking selections of running backs and an unexpected run of receivers dominated what was a thrilling 90-minute scramble. Let’s unpack the action and run through the rest of the top takeaways from Day 1.

1. Felony — but necessary — robbery for QBs

The San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns all pulled massive heists on quarterback-desperate teams. Five years from now, someone will write a great book on who, what, how, when and, most importantly, WHY.

The 49ers stole two third-round picks and a fourth-rounder from the Chicago Bears, who wanted to move up one spot for North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The Bills pilfered extra first- and third-round picks from the Kansas City Chiefs, who just had to have Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes. And the Browns looted the Houston Texans for a 2018 first-round pick to ensure they could grab Clemson’s Deshaun Watson.

It’s easy to criticize the Bears, Chiefs and Texans for giving up so many extra assets, especially in a year when the quarterback class seemed particularly questionable. As ESPN senior analytics specialist Brian Burke noted, each of the trades weighed heavily against them in terms of fair-market value.

But if any position is worth overpaying, selling out, or getting robbed for, it’s quarterback. This year, the market was so furious that three teams traded up in the first round for a quarterback for the first time in history. In the long run, it will matter not how many assets were required to make the deal. The leverage point is not the trade itself, but two other factors: evaluation of the player and the franchise’s capacity to develop him.

In other words, if you like a quarterback, do whatever you can to get him. If you want to get cute — if you only want one at the exact price you establish and consider yourself disciplined when you shy away from aggressive bids — you become…

To continue reading this article, click here.

DeShone Kizer Criticized For Lack Of Motivation

Written by Ryan Wilson at CBSSports.com

You know the NFL Draft is nigh when the anonymous critics redouble their efforts. And here we are. With the offseason spectacle just days away, an unnamed scout has weighed in on one of the draft’s top quarterback prospects, former Notre Dame standout DeShone Kizer.

“He’s a pure millennial,” the scout told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel‘s Bob McGinn. “He’s caught up in being more of a quarterback image than being a quarterback. If he goes to the right spot with the right coach, he’ll ascend. They’re going to have to get him to focus on football. I honestly think this guy would do better in a small market. If he goes to a big market he’ll enjoy everything else that comes with the position. The one position in the building you don’t want to worry about whether he’s going to be focused on football is quarterback.”

To be fair, every draft-eligible player is a millennial because they were born in the mid-1990s. Semantics aside, the general on-field knock on Kizer is that he struggles with consistency and there are concerns on how that will translate to the NFL. CBSSports.com’s Rob Rang ranks Kizer No. 3 among quarterbacks, behind UNC’s Mitchell Trubisky and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, both of whom could be among the top-10 picks.

Who knows if Kizer, as the anonymous scout suggested, would indeed benefit from playing in a small market. You could probably make that argument for a lot of players. Either way, perhaps a small market is in his future. Several weeks ago, while talking about the quarterback class — and specifically how Trubisky’s one year as a starter in college was problematic — Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, without naming names, hinted that only one quarterback is ready to start as a rookie.

“All the rest, there are some really talented arms that need a year of learning how to play the position especially at this level,” he said. “If you’re plug-and-play then this draft is very small, but if you have time to bring them along, then this draft is large because the talent level is there.”

To continue reading this article, click here.

QB Prospects Still Jockeying For Positioning In NFL Draft

Written by Jeff Legwold at ESPN.com

The quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL draft class have heard the naysayers.

If teams are looking for a sure thing at the top of the draft — say a Terry Bradshaw, John Elway, Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck — it’s probably not happening this year.

But don’t tell that to the draftees.

“If you ask all the guys that are other quarterbacks in this draft class, they’ll probably say the same thing,” Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson said. “It’s just going to make the documentary and the story in five, 10 years even better whenever they start talking good about us. It’s a motivational tip and a humbling tip, and they can say what they want to say, but that’s just opinions, not facts — because we haven’t stepped foot on an NFL field yet, so they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

In most draft years, the pecking order at the top for quarterbacks is set by the time they report to Indianapolis in February for the scouting combine. This year’s class is different, as the opinions vary widely on the best available passers. As a result, those players might actually change their stock significantly between now and the draft’s opening night on April 27.

It also means every interview, clip of video, private workout and even offhanded comment could move one of the quarterbacks to the head of the class.

“All the guys are great, all the guys are very competitive,” Watson said. “All the guys have had success, are going have a successful career in the NFL. Everyone works hard, everyone is motivated to be the guy in that franchise.”

Watson, North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes II, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, Pitt’s Nathan Peterman and Cal’s Davis Webb are on many teams’ draft boards. But how they’re ranked differs widely around the league, as the beauty of this class of passers is truly in the eyes of the beholder.

The group has more riding on these last-look workouts and visits than many of its predecessors. In previous years, quarterback prospects were trying to move up a few picks in the weeks leading up to the draft. This group could move entire rounds as they leapfrog each other based on tryouts.

To continue reading this article, click here.

What If the Browns Trade For Another Top 10 Pick?

Written by Pat McManaman at ESPN.com

There’s a way for the Cleveland Browns to own the draft and take a giant step forward in 2017.

That would be to take a bunch of those extra draft picks they have now and use them to move up from the 12th spot to … oh … second.

That kind of trade could net the Browns two standout defensive players to transform a weak side of the ball. Imagine Gregg Williams using defensive tackle Jonathan Allen the way he used Aaron Donald for the Rams, with Myles Garrett also lining up to rush the passer.

Or it could net the Browns a quarterback and a defensive player. Two problems solved, assuming they get the picks right.

Not a bad way to depart a draft.

This all supposes that either San Francisco or Chicago would trade out of the second or third spot, respectively. Both teams have shaky quarterback situations, so both might prefer to stay where they are. The Browns’ analytics also might show that they can stay right where they are at 12 and wind up with an excellent defender. Donald, after all, was the 13th overall pick in 2014.

However, it’s also possible that the Browns could come up with some analytics to make a trade work.

The starting point, of course, would be the Browns’ 12th and 33rd picks this season. The Browns and Eagles set the price for this pick a year ago when Cleveland sent the second overall pick in the 2016 draft to Philadelphia, a pick that wound up being Carson Wentz.

That deal brought Cleveland five picks: first-, third- and fourth-round choices in 2016, and first- and second-round picks in this year’s draft.

The Eagles also got a fourth-round pick.

Let’s say the two fourth-round picks negate each other, and that the Browns might be able to get the second overall pick for four draft picks.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Winners and Losers from NFL Draft

Written by Andy Hutchins at SB Nation.com

The first three rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft have come and gone. This means we’re under 24 hours away from the raft of draft grades that flood the Internet after the conclusion of the seventh round, and purport to scry players’ entire careers at a moment when few have even seen the NFL jerseys they will don.

Obviously, that efforts a bit of a fool’s errand. Everyone’s just taking their best guesses at what’s going to shake out from each NFL Draft, including SB Nation’s Dan Kadar and hisDay 2 pick-by-pick grades. But what we can learn from the first couple days of the draft and the analysis of it, is how most feel about certain teams’ hauls and approaches.

And even if all the judgments are wrong, that means there are winners to be celebrated and losers to be scrutinized. Here are some of each after Day 2 of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Winners

Jacksonville Jaguars

As is usually the case when teams take universally well-regarded players in bunches, the Jaguars are being praised far and wide for a two-man haul that includes Florida State defensive dynamo Jalen Ramsey and UCLA stud Myles Jack. Ramsey is arguably the draft’s most talented player regardless of position, and Jack should have a claim to that same title if he recovers fully from a season-ending injury suffered last fall.

Dan Kadar gave the Jaguars a B+ for Day 2, saying they “came away from the draft with two of the three best defensive players” in it, while Yahoo’s Eric Edholm awarded the Jags his only A for a second-round pick for their selection of Jack. SI.com’s Doug Farrar was more skeptical, giving the Jack pick a C, but he’s out on an island here.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have quietly rebuilt themselves as NFC North contenders — they did win the division over Aaron Rodgers and the vaunted Packers in 2015 — and a lot of that has to do with savvy drafting. They appear to have pulled together another excellent draft class, nabbing Ole Miss playmaker Laquon Treadwell in the first round and Clemson corner Mackensie Alexander in the second.

Kadar awarded the Vikes an A for their selection of Alexander, saying he “fell too far,” and Pro Football Focus handed out an A for the pick, too, noting that Alexander was more than 30 spots higher than his draft position on their pre-draft big board. Farrar loved the pick, giving it an A+, and Walter Cherepinsky of Walter Football concurred with that grade, beginning his analysis with, simply, “What a steal.”

Noah Spence

The former Ohio State defensive end could have been part of the Buckeyes’ incredible draft, but drug abuse issues sent him packing from Columbus before his playing days were done. After a remarkable rehabilitation at Eastern Kentucky, Spence was thought of as a mild risk, but maybe too big a risk for the early second round.

Yet, that’s where he went, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the No. 39 pick, and everyone loves the fit. Kadar says Spence “can be a superstar,” and compares him to Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, while Farrar awards the pick an A+ and makes a comparison to the other side of the Broncos’ formidable pass rush, DeMarcus Ware. It’s impossible to find someone who doesn’t like the Bucs’ pick here, and that’s probably a good sign for Spence.

To continue reading this article, click here.

NFL Draft Day Two Review

Written by Dan Kadar at SBNation.com

The second day of the NFL Draft is all about value and risk. That showed up plenty during the second and third rounds. The second round featured plenty of steals after some top talents were pushed back. The third round featured a lot of risks that filled needs.

We decided all those picked required some way-too-early grades. The letters associated with each team were decided on a number of factors: Relative value, need, system fit, risk and potential.

Arizona Cardinals

The Carindals finally got to make a pick on Day 2 of the draft all the way at No. 92 overall. They used the pick on Texas A&M cornerback Brandon Williams after picking defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche in the first round. Williams is a developmental player who played just a season at cornerback after moving from running back. I thought he was a late Day 3 pick.

Overall grade: D-

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons wanted to add speed in the draft, and they certainly got it with LSU linebacker Deion Jones. He’s a speedy Telvin Smith-like linebacker who can make plays all over the field. The criticism is passing up a really good interior blocker like Cody Whitehair.

The selection of tight end Austin Hooper at No. 81 was a good move. The Falcons need talent at the position, and he provides it. Just a redshirt sophomore, Hooper runs good routes and knows where to sit in a zone. He can develop quickly into a starter for the Falcons.

Overall grade: B-

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens started the second round with pick No. 36 before dropping down twice before taking Kamalei Correa at No. 42. It’s clear the Ravens needed a pass rusher early in the draft, and they got one with the Boise State product. By getting multiple picks, that boosts the grade. Correa has some big highlights with 20 career sacks, and can play end or outside linebacker, so he’s a scheme fit. The Ravens will have to figure out a way to way to use him because he can struggle against the run and getting off blocks. The athleticism and hustle is there, though.

In the third round, the Ravens got another great system fit with BYU’s Bronson Kaufusi. He’s an athletic front seven player with a ton of length. He needs to get stronger, but he can really move. If he can get off blockers better, watch out.

Overall grade: B

Buffalo Bills

The Bills gave up a lot of draft capital to move up to the 41st overall pick to draft Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland, but it was a needed move. Ragland is the thumper between the tackles linebacker the Bills needed. He’s going to be an annual 100-tackle machine in Rex Ryan’s defense.

With the 80th overall pick, the Bills got more help on defense with Ohio State defensive tackle Adolphus Washington. At Ohio State, he was used over the nose but moved to more of a three-technique in 2015. Washington is NFL-ready as a pass rusher, but he has to get better versus the run. He’s a rotation player to start.

Overall grade: B+

Carolina Panthers

The “wow” NFL Network’s Mike Mayock let out with with the pick of Samford cornerback James Bradberry was warranted. Sure, he’s a long corner, but he needs some work. No. 62 overall was high for Bradberry. Maybe he’ll get used at safety.

In the third round, the Panthers moved up to the 77th pick to select another defensive back in West Virginia’s Daryl Worley. He has excellent ball skills, finishing his career with 37 passes defended. He’s a risk taker, but has talent.

Overall grade: D+

To continue reading this article, click here.