I’m too old to still be complaining about draft grades and the lack of real world purpose they serve. But I like easy-to-read charts, especially ones that sort of expose the very nature of draft grades.
Every so often, Reddit does something good, and on Sunday a user posted a consensus round-up of draft grades from 18 different sources and then assigned a “GPA” to every team. What I do like about draft grades is that you can go back in two or three years and admire how confidently people praised or loathed a particular class, then weighing that against the what really happened.
Update: Original source was not Reddit, but René Bugner:
2021 NFL Draft Team Grades— René Bugner (@RNBWCV) May 2, 2021
I combined 18 evaluations for GPA incl:
Doug Farrar & Mark Schofield
Mel Kiper Jr
Thanks guys pic.twitter.com/vM6OnVl4aK
But these are veteran, experienced, talented writers and they know that these aren’t predictions that are meant to “come true.” It is their job to share their opinions and then the fun is seeing what does come true and also what doesn’t. I’m only sharing the consensus because we can see how varied those opinions are — as well as how different the grading curves are.
For example: The Rams only got one “A” and that was from Chad Reuter at NFL.com. It seems like that means Reuter loves the Rams draft, but when you compare it to 17 other websites, we can see without reading the original post that Reuter isn’t exactly playing into the “draft grades” concept either.
Reuter gave out more As than any other site, while the rest were Bs, and understandably one C for the Texans.
Overall, Les Snead’s grade came out to the third-lowest in the NFL when averaged out over these 18 sites. The only three writers to go B- or higher other than Reuter were Nate Davis at USAToday, Chad Orr at SI, and Mel Kiper, Jr for ESPN.
“B+” from each.
I can’t stress enough that this doesn’t mean anything as it pertains to the future of the LA Rams. It’s just 18 opinions that show how other people felt about the draft and maybe what they would have done, but similar to what I wrote about the overrating of draft capital, these grades are also heavily impacted by draft order.
Higher picks = Better draft!
Lower picks = Worse draft!
The bottom three grades went to teams (Rams, Seahawks, Texans) without first round picks, and Seattle only had three picks in total, while Houston didn’t pick until round three. And while the averages suggest that Houston must be the team that got all the worst grades, keep this in mind: Yes, Houston is 32nd in average, but they had more grades better than a C+ (six in total) as compared to the Rams, who only had four.
I’m with Reuter mostly. Everybody gets an A, except the Texans!
The 2021 Houston Texans: Say what ya want about ‘em.