You guys asked for em by a pretty wide margin. After the jump, 32 grades, 32 chances to rip into me, but first, a note on post-draft grades:
In the immediate period after the draft, we saw less grades than we did repetitions of the refrain, "Grading a draft makes no sense until you've seen the class play out for three years." To a degree, that's absolutely true. But I'm going to do it again anyway for two reasons that deserve explanation:
1.) People want to read them - The fact that grades beat out a 2011 mock in the above poll prove that draft grades are popular. Maybe more important, they're popular despite the fact that the three-year caution everyone gives before throwing their grades out is pretty common knowledge. I'm not saying my intent is just to do what people want or that we at TST or SBN should constantly throw up polls just to determine what we should write about, but it should have some weight, especially when a poll is that lopsided.
2.) Grades are as subjective as anything else - How do grades really differ from any other perspective-driven analysis? The scale for grading can be very individual (as some of the SBN community grades affirm) and very subjective (as the disparity between different peoples grades affirms). How is this different from say a mock draft? And yet nobody's saying "we can't do a mock draft until after the draft to determine how viable these prospect rankings are," and for good reason. Some of my grades are bound to be way off; others may end up being on the mark. But this doesn't differ much from anyone elses grades, anyone elses mock drafts or, ironically, the actual draft itself and front offices' prospect evaluations. If Joe Haden becomes Tye Hill 2.0, hindsight will provide us with the wisdom we, and obviously people who get paid for stuff like this, lack right now. Should that stop us from assessing the moment? If so, what is the point of even having a place like Turf Show Times? And so what if we're all wrong? Isn't uncertainty an enjoyable facet of sport? C'mon, just enjoy it. Besides, I need company in 2013 when somebody looks for these in the search engine.
Useless, stupid, unnecessary, wrong, foolish grades after the jump.
The Cardinals ended up with a very needs-y draft, but one that didn't sacrifice talent to hit their needs. Getting Dan Williams at #26 made it an easy pick. Great value, huge need, great pick. I do have serious issues with every pick they made afterwards, especially in round three. I like Daryl Washington, and I think they got solid value for him; I do question his ability to play inside a 3-4, though. He's a great tackler. Taking Roberts in round three was a surprise to me. With their top three receivers set, this seems like a wasted pick to me. Now, he will need time to develop, so maybe this was a pick made with the idea that he won't be playing any time soon anyway. And taking the strong-armed Skelton in round 5 smells like another one of those picks that is built on hopes and not expectations. Those always fail.
Best pick for value: Dan Williams, DT
Worst pick for value: John Skelton, QB
Revenge of the Birds: B (Great format for grades)
I went through my thoughts & grades here, but to sum up, it was an unexpected draft class that seems to suggest a change in the team's overall approach. Is there potential? Sure. But I think a lot of us were hoping for more than high-potential draft picks.
Best pick for value: George Selvie, DE
Worst pick for value: Hall Davis, DE
My top draft of the division, yes, even over the Seahawks. Where the Hawks got more players with high-ceilings, the Niners got more immediate quality and could likely start their first four picks: Anthony Davis (OT), Mike Iupati (G), Taylor Mays (S), and Navorro Bowman (LB). Despite the turmoil in the front office leading up to the draft, the Niners absolutely smashed this one, IMO. (NOTE: I'm not saying Davis is going to come in and block like an All-Pro in year one. He's got plenty of work to do, but considering he came the pick after Tyson Alualu, the Niners had a chance to get a little wacky, and they didn't. Smart drafting.)
Best pick for value: Taylor Mays, S
Worst pick for value: Nate Byham, TE
Chalk this one up to bias if you want, but I'm really not that impressed with Seattle's draft after the first two picks. Okung and Thomas were smart picks that could you could apply in either a needs or BPA draft strategy. Golden Tate? I still think he was the most overrated WR in the first three rounds. Walter Thurmond's interesting, but the media is jumping all over him as if he was never injured. In what I saw from E.J. Wilson at ECU, he's all power and no skill. I don't get why everyone's citing Seattle as one of the top drafts, especially in comparison to the Niners. And Anthony McCoy? Not even his old coach would take him before the 185th pick. Cmon.
Best pick for value: Russell Okung
Worst pick for value: Golden Tate
Field Gulls: N/A
This was one of my least favorite drafts in the league. It started out well enough with Sean Weatherspoon, an OLB many were clamoring to see in a Rams uni. After that, it got a little ugly. Taking Corey Peters at 3-19 was a gift to everyone else left in the third round. I liked their next third round selection, Mike Johnson, the Alabama interior lineman, but following that up with another guard in Joseph Hawley seems like overkill, especially with so many other options in the middle of the 4th. Sure, they could move him to center, but that seems like a forced reality to me. And Dominique Franks has all the tools to be a solid corner, but his technique is garbage. And Kerry Meier? He was in my WR garbage bin with Ole Miss' Shay Hodge.
Best pick for value: Mike Johnson, G
Worst pick for value: Corey Peters, DT
A great draft filled with steals, upgrades, talent, potential - the complete package. And considering their first pick didn't come until 47 players had already been selected, this was a masterstroke. The Panthers were handed sliding prospects in Jimmy Clausen and Brandon LaFell. Eric Norwood and Greg Hardy are great value picks in rounds 4 and 6, respectively. And the Panthers got some interesting CB prospects at the back end of the draft (notably, Jordon Pugh) and a solid future backup to Clausen in Tony Pike.
Best pick for value: Greg Hardy, DE
Worst pick for value: Armanti Edwards, QB/WR
The Saints followed up a historic SB win with a solid draft, considering they were at the back of every round. Sure, they took a lot of high-risk, high-reward guys, but that's a solid approach after winning the flonking Super Bowl. Plus, they spread out their picks and hit the line. A nice showing for the feel-good team of the league, and a great statement made that the post-Super Bowl euphoria didn't affect the FO's sanity.
Best pick for value: Charles Brown, OT
Worst pick for value: Patrick Robinson, CB (although if I could allow myself to pick N/A, I would. Solid, solid draft)
Canal Street Chronicles: B- (Overall grade derived from averaging individual grades without weight)
Tampa ran the table through their first five picks; if their draft ended there, it would have been an A+ for me. They wasted their 6th and 7th round picks, though, so I debated giving them an A-, but those late rounds are gold mines, people! But adding a great pair of DTs and a good pair of WRs was as good a quartet as they could possible get out of their first five picks.
Best pick for value: Mike Williams, WR
Worst pick for value: Brent Bowden, P
The bears were hamstrung this year, not picking until 75th overall, but they made the most out of their late opportunities. Taking Major Wright was a nice fill at a huge need. And even though the Bears just signed Julius Peppers, Corey Wootton was a solid value pick in the 4th round. Josh Moore was also nice value in the 5th, and a sleeper TST favorite, Dan LeFevour, was picked in the 6th. Rounds 3+ looked a lot worse for many other teams.
Best pick for value: Corey Wootton, DE
Worst pick for value: Josh Moore, CB (Another team I could have put N/A here)
Windy City Gridiron: N/A (But here's Lester's "thoughts")
There are few teams in the NFC I would be happy to see have a good draft, but Detroit is one of them and they did. The Suh-Best combo was a great pair to snag out of the 1st, and Spievey plays like a BFB clone, who's also from Iowa. Taking Jason Fox gives them upside on the O-line, and getting Willie Young in the 7th is a wonderful value pick. Great draft, now go back to bust city next year.
Best pick for value: Willie Young, DE
Worst pick for value: Jason Fox
Yikes. The Pack were handed an easy pick when Bulaga fell to them. After that, their class was made up of reaches and leeches (I don't know what that means, but it rhymes, so fill in the blank), except for S Morgan Burnett who I like. Mike Neal in the second was one of the worst picks in the draft, IMO. Quarless never saw his athleticism mature at Penn St., and I have no reason to think it will do so very quickly at the NFL level. Marshall Newhouse in the 5th was a wasted pick - he's far too slow laterally from the TCU games I watched (about 20 over the last three years). The window is still open for GB for about 3 years, but this draft yielded them very little.
Best pick for value: Morgan Burnett, S
Worst pick for value: Michael Neal, DT
Sure, they were handicapped by picking late in round 1 and missing out on the elite talent, but there was plenty of quality available to the Vikes. Minnesota started out well enough by moving down and taking CB Chris Cook; great pick. Then they flipped it over and moved up to take Toby Gerhart. Sadly, no. Everson Griffen is another prospect who's got plenty of raw talent, but his mental game and maturity have handicapped him. The rest of their draft was filled with low-ceiling role players. Granted, the Vikings are a well-built who didn't need much help from the draft, but this was a missed opportunity regardless of how good they are.
Best pick for value: Everson Griffen, DE
Worst pick for value: Toby Gerhart, RB
Daily Norseman: incomplete (cop out like a mug!)
Dallas got one of the best value picks in the entire draft by snagging Dez Bryant at 24. Jerry Jones' face probably melted off as he was leaking his big board to the media. And Sean Lee was a solid ILB to fill that need, but after that, the only useful picks were Owusu-Ansah (who the Boys will likely move to S) and another late CB, Jamar Wall. I wonder how Dallas feels about their O-line right now, though. Personally, I don't see Romo making it through the first round this year as is. Time to leak that 2011 big board out and start working on getting a left tackle, Jerry. And put your face back on.
Best pick for value: Dez Bryant, WR
Worst pick for value: Sam Young, OT
A true middle of the road draft. The Giants took the flier on Jason Pierre-Paul who will either be an untethered beast or unleavened yeast (blame it on the background noise...). Linval Joseph was an appropriate pick for value, but at this point in the draft (sitting next to a Giants fan), I wondered aloud how long the Giants could go without getting a MLB. They landed a nice safety in Chad Jones who came at great value, but again put off the MLB until the next round when they reached for Phillip Dillard. Mitch Petrus was a nice interior line pick and good value, but at this point, I wondered if they had they took what was given to them instead of going after what they really wanted. If JPP pans out, though, Giants fans won't care.
Best pick for value: Chad Jones, S
Worst pick for value: Phillip Dillard, MLB
Big Blue View: B+ (from a fan shot)
Wow. You could damn near field a team from their draft class alone: 13 players at 10 different positions. It's a bit of a low ceiling class, but it gives quality depth at so many positions. Even though I don't expect many (if any) stars out of this class, I could see 6 or 7 of them featuring heavily in a NFC champion Eagles team in 2011 (after Kolb has a year to learn and burn). I won't go into the picks, but I think this is a solid class that is the kind of safe, reliable class Eagles fans should have been hoping for.
Best pick for value: Rickey Sapp, DE/OLB
Worst pick for value: Trevard Lindley, CB
Bleeding Green Nation: N/A (But here's a collection of some of the major draft names' grades)
Experts will tell you there's a huge difference in the quality of the Redskins' draft and the Eagles'; they're wrong. Sure, the Eagles filled a lot of posiitons and got the Redskins on quantity, but the Skins got solid quality for their few picks too. I'm not factoring in the value of "drafting" McNabb with the picks they sent, otherwise this would have to be in the 'A' range. While Williams isn't the overall tackle that Okung is, he is an immediate starter, and a huge addition for a team that needs to keep Donovan upright. They spent some late picks strangely, but I like the Perry Riley selection. I doubt Skins fans are upset at this class; as for the Joey Galloway signing...
Best pick for value: Perry Riley, OLB
Worst pick for value: Dennis Morris, TE
This is a tough one to grade. On one hand, the Broncos sent a trio of picks to reach up for Tebow, and depending on your evaluation of The Chosen One (and damn near everyone has one), that has the most impact on the grade here. Personally, I grade Tebow as a '?' because he's almost impossible to evaluate as an overall prospect. And yes, with Orton and Quinn, you can set the expectation bar very low, but to do that for a 1st round pick... Ultimately, I have to dock the Broncos for sending three picks away on a reach pick regardless of who it is. As for the rest of the class, I liked it a lot. Demaryius Thomas should help lessen the pain of losing a WR as talented as Brandon Marshall. The interior duo of Beadles and Walton is a low-glory, but high-utility pair of picks, and they look even more important with Ryan Clady going down. Eric Decker is a solid possession type who reminds me of Ed McCaffrey; I doubt Bronco fans would have a problem if that works out. Getting Perrish Cox and Syd'Quan Thompson in the late rounds adds talent (though also potential off-field issues) to a secondary that needed it.
Best pick for value: Perrish Cox, CB
Worst pick for value: Tim Tebow, QB
Mile High Report: B (community poll)
Eric Berry was the top player on my big board, but I wonder if they would have been better served taking Okung at #5. Dexter McCluster is an interesting prospect, but with Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles already on the roster, I wonder how much they'll be able to get him on the field. If the answer's "not much", then that's some wasted value for the #36 overall pick. Getting Asamoah late in the third saves this draft from being in the 'D' range - he should be a solid guard for years. And while Tony Moeaki is a solid blocking TE prospect, they took him over Dennis Pitta, Aaron Hernandez and Jimmy Graham who all have more receiving upside. Is this a Cassel-based passing offense or a Charles/McCluster running O?
Best pick for value: Jon Asamoah, G
Worst pick for value: Tony Moeaki, TE
It's hard to give the Raiders a good grade, because Al Davis jokes are fun (Next time you're at a bar, order an Al Davis; inform the bartender it's one part Old Grand Dad bourbon, one part formaldehyde), but I liked this draft. Somehow, the Raiders got through the first three rounds sanely, taking Rolando McClain, Lamarr Houston, and Edwin "No one on Earth saw me play last year" Veldheer. All three fit needs, and whereas McClain and Houston should be on the field for week 1, Veldheer has great upside. Davis was allowed out of his crypt for day 3, and the Raiders went after Bruce Campbell and Jacoby Ford in the 4th who were destined to be Raiders. The defensive depth in the last three rounds were decent picks. I would love to see the video of the war room on the first two days.
Best pick for value: Bruce Campbell, OT
Worst pick for value: Jacoby Ford, ? RB/WR/KR/PR/sprinter extraordinaire
Silver and Black Pride: A (community poll...this is getting old...)
I didn't understand this draft then, and I don't understand it now. The Chargers jumped way up to get Ryan Matthews - the right player at the wrong price. This is a classic example of a team with an glaring need identifying their top guy for that need and going over the top to land him (see: Joe Klopfenstein...). San Diego sat through the next 66 picks and then took an athelticism-first, technique-second ILB in Donald Butler. Boo. The Chargers' fourth round pick, Darrell Stuckey, plays as confused as any safety I've seen (he could learn a lot from Kevin Payne...just sayin...). And the my ugliest pick of the draft: Jonathan Crompton. My three most enfuriating college QBs in the last couple of years: Jonathan Crompton, Sean Glennon, Nate Longshore. In that order. And I don't even care about Tennesee, Va. Tech or Cal, but damn, do I feel for their fans...
Best pick for value: Cam Thomas, NT
Worst pick for value: Jonathan Crompton, semi-QB
Bolts from the Blue: B- (Overall grade derived from averaging individual grades without weight)
Texans fans didn't come out big on this draft for two reasons: they didn't get a nose tackle, and they took two TEs which become useless if Owen Daniels is still Owen Daniels. Those are fair criticisms, but I don't think they're rationale for panning their class. They got a great one-on-one corner in Kareem Jackson, and unlike San Diego who had to sacrifice value and picks for their RB, the Texans got Ben Tate without giving anything up (after Minnesota jumped ahead of them to take Toby Gerhart...). Earl Mitchell isn't the NT most Texans were hoping for, but for a 3rd rounder, I think they got a solid DT. I wouldn't have been disappointed if the Rams had taken him for value. And ILB Daryl Sharpton is the anti-Donald Butler - technique and persistence, but not a lot of tangibles. You could say the same for James Laurinaitis, and he is goodish. Dorin Dickerson could be the steal of the draft; I wouldn't be overly surprised if he becomes Marques Colston 2.0. And if he doesn't? It was a 7th round pick. Teams will bust out much higher. Have faith, Houston fans.
Best pick for value: Dorin Dickerson, TE
Worst pick for value: Sherrick McManis, CB
Battle Red Blog: B (funny stuff)
I hate giving this grade because I know it's going to come back and bite me. On its' face, though, there's just too many negatives. Jerry Hughes in the first is a nice land and keeps this class in the 'C' range, but the Colts reached for Pat Angerer (although I think he can be a nice foil to gary Brackett). I'm not high on Kevin Thomas (and he's been injured more often than not), but the Colts definitely needed a CB out of this draft. McClendon and Eldridge are decent blockers, but I see them more as guys your fill out a roster with to save you money, not guys you pay to give you something special. Still, Bill Polian is good at his job. I will be surprised if Hughes and Angerer are the only two who are contributing 3 years from now.
Best pick for value: Jacques McClendon, G (N/A candidate)
Worst pick for value: Pat Angerer, MLB
Good tests fit a curve. People who are good at whatever the test is testing test best. Unless their chest has less mess. Sorry. If I'm going to give out A's (no A+'s this year), someone has to get an F. Giving it to Jacksonville is pretty easy. The Jaguars had the most shocking pick of the draft IMO (yes, moreso than Tim Tebow) by taking Tyson Alualu at #10. I like Alualu. I think he can be a good DT. But to take him at #10 makes no sense even if there are reports that other teams had him "high on their boards". I had him in the same tier as Brian Price and Jared Odrick who went 35th and 28th, respectively. Onward and downward - the Jags followed up reaching for a DT in Alualu by picking reaching for another DT: D'Anthony Smith (a note of weird draftery: this makes three years in a row the Jaguars have spent their first two picks on the same position and all on either the offensive or defensive line, going after two DE's in '08, two OT's last year and two DT's this year). Smith has nice pass rush moves, but he is the Jags third DT taken in the first three rounds in their last two drafts. I thought Terrance Knighton wasn't bad for a rookie, but who knows. This is three young DTs the Jags will juggle for years. And to be fair, I've only seen one of their late picks - the other three played at Central Arkansas, Murray St. and James Madison. Maybe they'll get something out of these guys, but to take two of them in the 5th round only adds more unpredictability to a class that could've used more certainty.
Best pick for value: uhh, does Eugene Monroe still count?
Worst pick for value: Tyson Alualu, DT (by default)
Big Cat Country: B-/C+ (check the link - good grading)
I like this draft for the Titans. They filled the hole at DE with arguably the best candidate in the class with Derrick Morgan. The Titans waited and got second round value with third round pick Damian Williams, who should give their offense more balance. Rennie Curran is small, but he does everything right. He's one of the rookies I'll be pulling for in 2010. I like the Alterraun Verner and Myron Rolle picks on day 3, but not Rusty Smith. Still, this was a nice class; I won't be surprised if Jeff Fisher is leaning on a decent number of these guys by 2013.
Best pick for value: Damian Williams, WR
Worst pick for value: Rusty Smith, QB
Worst ESPN quote of the draft: "(Verner) and newly signed Tye Hill will have a chance to contribute." HAHHAHAHAHAHA
This was as good a draft as anyone this year, for me. I'm not entirely sold on Kindle's transition to the NFL and apparently, that sentiment is shared by NFL offices since he dropped well into the second round; nevertheless, Baltimore gets huge value by drafting him at #43 overall. Similarly, Terrence Cody is a huge NT that doesn't do much, but what he does do does, he do does do well. Do. Taking a pair of TEs is a bit of overkill (Rams fans should recognize that sentiment), but in Pitta and Dickson, the Ravens get great talent and should open the books for some 2-TE sets as Todd Heap closes out his career. And landing David Reed and Arthur Jones in the 5th round leaves me speechless.
Best pick for value: Arthur Jones (I got a jones for Jones)
Worst pick for value: Ramon Harewood? Honestly, though, N/A.
The Bengals went after their needs without some of the more impulsive moves that hurt other teams over draft weekend, and they should pay dividends for it. Jermaine Gresham is an elite talent, but his injury history is a legit one. I hope for them he stays healthy, because he can tear up a football field. And the Bengals honestly got top-5 talent at #54 in Carlos Dunlap; what kind of NFL player will he be? We've seen guys with issues turn them off when they leave college, and others turn them up a notch. I'll say this - if Marvin Lewis keeps his head on football, he could be a beast. If not, well, Hard Knocks might head back to Cincy. Shipley was a decent pick in the 3rd. I'm not big on him at all, but he's the kind of complementary receiver that could fill the holes left by TJ Housh (Rest in poo) and Chris Henry (Rest in peace). Their next two picks killed this class, though; Brandon Ghee is not going to see the field anytime soon if the Bengals stay healthy, especially if they re-sign Jonathan "Joe John" Joseph. And Geno Atkins in the 4th is a wasted pick. Atkins is inconsistent and plays slow (even though he's quick for a DT). If Dunlap dropped to the second (which is fair), Atkins should have dropped to the 6th. The Bengals got great value in Rod Muckelroy and Dez Briscoe in the 4th and 6th, and Reginald Stephens was a good 7th round look for interior O-line support.
Best pick for value: Dezmon Briscoe, WR
Worst pick for value: Geno Atkins, DT
Cincy Jungle: I dunno. Too many words, not enough grades.
Not a sexy draft, but it screams Cleveland to me. This is a no-nonsense draft that eschewed a lot of the bullshit that made Cleveland garbage for so long. Good for them. The Browns got nice secondary help in Joe Haden and TJ Ward (who has issues, but is a team leader from the back). I like the Hardesty pick; he's got good speed for his size and runs hard - sounds like a Brown to me. Of course the Browns got good value in Colt McCoy - glad to see they learned not to burn with Brady Quinn. I'm not incredibly high on Colt in the NFL, but I woudn't mind being wrong on that. Lauvao was a reach, but the Browns needed to address the interior line and without a 4th rounder, they had to jump for their guy. Not bad for being hamstrung. And I love the Larry Asante and Clifton Geathers picks late. Asante could be the next Atogwe.
Best pick for value: Colt McCoy, QB
Worst pick for value: Shawn Lauvao, G
Dawgs by Nature: N/A
I thought this was the most up-and-down draft in the league for me, but Pittsburgh has a knack for turning "downs" into "decents". I could see some of the prospects I'm down on turning into viable depth guys...but not all of them. The draft started off well enough, getting Markice Pouncey to help their interior line (BTW: I wouldn't be surprised at all if they take his brother next draft). Jason Worilds has injury issues, but he should get a while to rehab his body behind LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison. And just to give them a backup plan in case he does get hurt, they added Thaddeus Gibson in the 4th (who I mocked to the Rams in the 3rd at one point). In between, they got super-athlete Emmanuel Sanders from SMU. An interesting pick that should fit well in the Steelers' system after some tutelage. Now for the down - I hated all three of their round 5 picks: Chris Scott (G), Crezdon Butler (CB), and Stevenson Sylvester (OLB). I just don't see any of these guys as contributors and to take them in the 5th (especially after taking Pouncey and a pair of OLBs earlier). Getting Jonathan Dwyer at the top of the 6th was great value - Doug Worthington is, well, a 7th round prospect, I guess.
Best pick for value: Jonathan Dwyer, RB
Worst pick for value: Stevenson Sylvester, OLB
Strange draft here. I thought they made some decent picks, but at bad value. Even though I think CJ Spiller was WAY overhyped, he was taken at fair value. Torell Troup and Alex Carrington, though, lose some value points even though I like both picks and could help Buffalo up front sooner than later. Marcus Easley underwhelms me, because he plays weaker than his size. I thought they took an easy route out of the late rounds, but got some upside nevertheless. I think this was a decent draft, but Buffalo will need better, especially after avoiding the big name QBs at the top of the draft.
Best pick for value: Levi Brown, QB
Worst pick for value: Torrell Troup, NT
Buffalo Rumblings: C+ (but only for immediate impact. I don't get this scale. Shouldn't every 5th through seventh rounder be a D or lower and every 1st/2nd rounder be a B+ or higher? Me no likey.)
So confused. Outside of the draft, they add Incognito and Brandon Marshall - tons of talent, tons of baggage. In the draft, they grab Jared Odrick and Koa Misi in the first two rounds - sparkling resumes, no direct position to move to. Don't get me wrong, I like them as prospects, but I didn't think Miami was in the running for either of them. John Jerry will likely move positions as well going from OT at Ole Miss to G in Buffalo. (I hope Buffalo doesn't intend for Incognito to mentor him...) They countered their reach for OLB A.J. Edds with a huge steal in S Reshad Jones and added solid value picks late...although they were their 3rd and 4th OLBs of the draft. I'm just confused. Can someone have Bill Parcells' gut-pouch explain this too me?
Best pick for value: Reshad Jones, S
Worst pick for value: A.J. Edds, OLB
The Phinsider: Rounds 1-3, hopeful; rounds 4-7, cautiously optimistic (What the hell is this, grading by sentiment? Wait, did I say confused?)
How are these guys doing this every year? The Pats had 12 picks this year, and in the 2011 Draft (like this year) will pick four times in the first two rounds. Honestly, despite my anti-Boston/Patriot bias, this is getting old. The Pats opened up by moving back and snagging an interesting CB project in Devin McCourty. I don't expect him to be ready on day 1, but in this franchise, by the time his contract runs up, he could be a hot commodity. And yes, I think the Pats reached on Gronkowski and Cunningham in the second, but my money's on one of those two turning into fair value picks; on top of that, the Spikes pick was a huge value choice. Taylor Price needs to develop some game skills, but his size and speed are great, and those can't be coached up (yes, you can improve speed a bit, but you can't make me run as fast as Price, Coach). And while the Aaron Hernandez pick carries less value after taking Gronkowski, he reminds me of Kellen Winslow, Jr. Not bad for a 4th rounder. Zoltan Mesko was my top punter, but can you take a punter before the 6th without it being labeled a reach? And Thomas Welch and Brandon Deaderick in the 7th are great late moves.
Best pick for value: Brandon Spikes, ILB
Worst pick for value: Zoltan Mesko, P
Pats Pulpit: B (community poll)
The Jets had a nice draft, even though it was overshadowed by their offseason roster moves including Antonio "I have how many kids?!" Cromartie and Santonio "I like my iPod" Holmes. Still, they didn't reach in their four picks and they added some nice talents to their running game. Their draft started off at CB, oddly enough, considering they snagged Cromartie to pair with arugably the league's best CB last season in Darelle Revis. Still, Kyle Wilson plays physically strong and should fit with Rex's defense. After Wilson, though, it was all about shoring up the line and the run. The Jets pulled the trigger on Vladimir Ducasse, an interesting guard prospect who has the size and power needed of someone you expect to step in in week 1, but comes from a UMass program that isn't known for churning out NFL-ready prospects.(except for the Jaguars' Jeremy Cain. He was ready to be a long snapper straight out of college). They got a huge-upside RB in Joe McKnight (who already hasn't exactly helped his reputation by admitting in camp that he's "not in good shape") and added a nice FB in John Conner. The Jets are crafting an identity finally, and it's making a lot of sense.
Best pick for value: Joe McKnight, RB
Worst pick for value: Joe McKnight, RB (hehe)