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2018 NFL Draft grades

This post will be updated after every day of the 2018 NFL Draft.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills: B-

Picks: Josh Allen QB, Tremaine Edmunds LB, Harrison Phillips DT, Taron Johnson CB, Siran Neal S, Wyatt Teller OG/C, Ray-ray McCloud WR, Austin Proehl WR

The Bills pulled the trigger to move up and select Josh Allen with the seventh overall pick. He will get the chance to sit behind A.J. McCarron and learn from him. It doesn’t get the greatest grade though, as Josh Rosen was on the board still and he is a significantly better quarterback. Buffalo was also able to select Tremaine Edmunds at pick number 16 due to a trade with the Bills. Edmunds fills a need and is a physical freak. He will make an impact immediately.

With the third round pick, the Bills got a highly productive, but not very athletic Phillips. He should be in the rotation early in his career.

Day three netted Wyat Teller, who may be able to compete for a starting job on an offensive line that needs help.

Miami Dolphins: B

Picks: Minkah Fitzpatrick S/CB, Mike Gesicki TE, Jerome Baker LB, Durham Smythe TE, Kalen Ballage RB, Cornell Armstrong DB, Quenton Polling LB, Jason Sanders K

Fitzpatrick fell to number 11 and the Dolphins scooped him up. He likely is a safety, but could also play corner which is a huge area of need. Mike Gesicki is a great receiving tight end who will be used early and often in his career.

The linebackers should be much better next season with Raekwon McMillan returning from injuries and the Jerome Baker selection.

Smythe will be a good blocking tight end, while Ballage can develop into a productive running back.

New England Patriots: D+

Picks: Isaiah Wynn OG/C, Sony Michel RB, Duke Dawson CB, Ja’Whaun Bentley LB, Christian Sam LB, Braxton Berrios WR, Danny Etling QB, Kelon Crossen DB, Ryan Izzo TE

Wynn was a tackle in college, which would fill a need for the Patriots, but he projects to be more of an interior offensive lineman in the NFL. Michel is a good running back prospect, but he doesn’t fill a huge need. He will likely be utilized by the Patriots well.

The Patriots filled a need with the Dawson pick.

New England seemingly didn’t get much value on day three either.

New York Jets: B+

Picks: Sam Darnold QB, Nathan Shepherd DT, Chris Herndon TE, Parry Nickerson CB, Foley Fatukasi LB, Trenton Cannon RB 

The player the Jets wanted all along fell to them at number three. Darnold can compete for the starting job with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater and if they deem fit, he can sit and learn behind the two veterans.

Shepherd and Nickerson are value picks who can contribute early.

 

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens: B+

Picks: Hayden Hurst TE, Lamar Jackson QB, Orlando Brown OT, Mark Andrews TE, Anthony Averett CB, Kenny Young LB, Jaleel Scott WR, Jordan Lasley WR, DeShon Elliot S, Greg Senat OT, Bradley Bozeman OT, Zach Seiler DE

The Ravens made several trades in the first round. Their first pick, Hayden Hurst, will be 25 when the season starts. He likely won’t get much better than he currently is. Trading up to the last pick of the first round gave the Ravens a replacement for Joe Flacco, at some point in the future. He was a good value pick and will now have a fifth-year option for the Ravens.

On day two the Ravens got value in Brown and Andrews. Brown filled a need, while Andrews was a puzzling pick because they already selected Hurst.

Baltimore got some good value on day three with just about every pick and should have a few players who contribute from those rounds.

Cincinnati Bengals: B

Picks: Billy Price OG/C, Jessie Bates S, Sam Hubbard EDGE, Malik Jefferson LB, Mark Walton RB, Davontae Harris CB, Andrew Brown DT, Darius Phillips CB, Logan Woodside QB, Rod Taylor OG, Auden Tate WR

Cincinnati had a terrible offensive line last year and got one of the best offensive linemen in the class. They traded down with the Bills to get pick 21 and netted Cordy Glenn in return. With Glenn and Price, their offensive line should be improved.

The second round netted the Bengals Bates, who was a little bit of a reach but filled a need. Hubbard and Jefferson both provided great value in the third, while Jefferson will also help fill in during Vontaze Burfict’s suspension for PED usage.

The Bengals continued their solid draft on day three. They filled positions of need and got value.

Cleveland Browns: C

Picks: Baker Mayfield QB, Denzel Ward CB, Austin Corbett OG/C, Nick Chubb RB, Chad Thomas DE, Antonio Callaway WR, Genard Avery LB, Damion Ratley WR, Simeon Thomas DB

Mayfield was a late rumor to be the number one overall pick and the Browns ended up taking the most accurate quarterback in the class. He is the best quarterback in the class, but the better strategy may have been to wait to select him at pick number four, as he would likely still be there. They then selected Denzel Ward, which fills a need, but they could have gotten Bradley Chubb with the pick.

The offensive tackle position was not addressed yet, as Austin Corbett will slide inside in the NFL. Nick Chubb will provide a nice change of pace back to Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde. Chad Thomas will provide good defensive end depth.

Antonio Callaway is talented but has character concerns. Genard Avery was a solid pick and could help out or provide depth.

Pittsburgh Steelers: C

Picks: Terrell Edmunds S, James Washington WR, Mason Rudolph QB, Chukwuma Okorafor OT, Marcus Allen S, Jaylen Samuels TE, Joshua Frazier DT

This was a head-scratching pick but fits what the Steelers usually do. Edmunds wasn’t the best safety available, but the Steelers can now replace Mike Mitchell. The linebackers were off the board, so going safety wasn’t the problem, but reaching for him was.

Pittsburgh was able to replace Martavis Bryant, who they traded to the Raiders, by selecting James Washington. He likely shouldn’t have gone that high, but can be a solid number three behind Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Mason Rudolph is a legitimate quarterback to replace Ben Roethlisberger after he retires. Okorafor provides depth at tackle.

The third round got them some backups on the offensive line, safety and tight end positions.

AFC South

Houston Texans: B

Picks: Justin Reid S, Martinas Rankin OT, Jordan Akins TE, Keke Coutee WR, Duke Ejiofor DE, Jordan Thomas TE, Peter Kalambyi DE, Jermaine Kelley DB

Reid was a steal of a pick in the third round for the Texans. He was a first-round value and should make an impact immediately. Martinas Ranking will also likely start early in his career as a solid player on a very thin Texans’ offensive line. Jordan Akins was a reach and will be 26 by the time the season starts after playing Minor League Baseball.

Day three got the Texans solid players in Coutee and Ejiofor, who can be rotational guys.

Indianapolis Colts: B-

Picks: Quenton Nelson OG, Darius Leonard LB, Braden Smith OG, Kemoko Turay DE, Tyquan Lewis DE, Nyheim Hines RB, Daurice Fountain WR, Jordan Wilkins RB, Deon Cain WR, Matthew Adams LB, Zaire Franklin LB 

Nelson is the best player in the class and the Colts can protect Andrew Luck when he comes back. This was a need, but now they will have to address the defensive side of the ball in the next few rounds.

The Colts were active on day two, but got players that weren’t of great value. The offensive line and pass rushers should both be vastly improved next year, as they double-downed on each position.

Hines can contribute on special teams and Cain can develop into a good wide receiver.

Jacksonville Jaguars: B

Picks: Taven Bryan DT, D.J. Chark WR, Ronnie Harrison S, Will Richardson OT, Tanner Lee QB, Leon Jacobs DE, Logan Cooke P

Jacksonville is so good that they can afford to take the best player on their boards regardless of position. Bryan is very athletic and will be in the rotation of good defensive linemen.

The Jaguars didn’t have many needs to fill and took the best players available. With Chark they got a receiver to help fill in for the loss of Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson. Ronnie Harrison won’t start, but was a tremendous selection in the third round.

Lee shouldn’t have been drafted, while Richardson may have been selected to help a below average offensive line.

Tennessee Titans: A-

Picks: Rashaan Evans LB, Harold Landry DE, Dane Cruikshank DB, Luke Falk QB

The Titans traded up, even though they may not have needed to, in order to select Evans. He fills a huge need and should be an instant impact player for their defense.

Landry was a day one prospect that fell into the second round. Landry and Evans together should help collectively to improve the defense a lot for next season.

Cruikshank and Falk were selected in good spots, but likely won’t see much field time.

AFC West

Denver Broncos: A-

Picks: Bradley Chubb DE/OLB, Courtland Sutton WR, Royce Freeman RB, Isaac Yiadom CB, Josey Jewell LB, Daesean Hamilton WR, Troy Fumagalli TE, Sam Jones C, Keishawn Bierria LB, David Williams RB

Chubb is the best defensive player in the class and the Broncos made a good unit better. It isn’t the biggest area of need, but it is still a good pick for Denver.

The Broncos have needed a third receiver to step up next to Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas and got a talented, big receiver in Sutton to help out new quarterback Case Keenum. C.J. Anderson was recently cut, so Freeman can help fill that void, but will not be able to do it alone. Yiadom will provide the secondary with some depth.

Denver’s third day started off strong, as Jewell Hamilton and Fumagalli were all solid picks.

Kansas City Chiefs: D

Picks: Breeland Speaks DE, Derrick Nnadi DT, Dorian O’Daniel LB, Armani Watts S, Tremon Smith CB, Reginald McKenzie DT

Kansas City did not have a first-round selection and their selections on day two involved a lot of reaches. They were able to draft defensive players who can help take over for the aging veterans.

Watts is a player who can start out on special teams before taking on a bigger role.

Los Angeles Chargers: A

Picks: Derwin James S, Uchenna Nwosu EDGE, Justin Jones DT, Kyzir White S, Scott Quessenberry OC/G, Dylan Cantrell WR, Justin Jackson RB 

James fell to the Chargers at number 17 and got a player that will start right away. They were a good young defense last year but improved with this pick.

Day two saw more additions to an already good defense with Nwosu and Jones. The Chargers now have talent and depth to spare, even if they selected Jones too early.

The Chargers’ defense should be one of the best in the league next season. They got running back depth in Jackson, who should be able to spell Melvin Gordon.

Oakland Raiders: C-

Picks: Kolton Miller OT, P.J. Hall DT, Brandon Parker OT, Arden Key EDGE, Nick Nelson CB, Maurice Hurst DT, Johnny Townsend P, Azeem Victor LB, Marcell Ateman WR

The Raiders get some credit here for trading down, but they reached for Miller. Their plan going in was likely to select Mike McGlinchey, who was selected a pick earlier. Their defense still needs a lot of improvement.

P.J. Hall and Brandon Parker were both reaches, but at least Hall fills a position of need. Parker will likely struggle to find the field early. Arden Key is a great talent who fell due to character concerns. If he can stay on the field, he will take some blockers off of Khalil Mack and could be a star.

The last several picks were great for the Raiders and saved their grade a little bit. Key and Hurst can be impact players next season.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: C+

Picks: Leighton Vander Esch LB, Connor Williams OT, Michael Gallup WR, Dorance Armstrong EDGE, Dalton Schultz TE, Mike White QB, Chris Covington LB, Cedrick Wilson WR, Bo Scarbrough RB

While it wasn’t a reach, Rashaan Evans and Calvin Ridley were still on the board which would have been home run picks.

The Cowboys made a great selection in the second round when Connor William’s name was announced. He will either play tackle or guard, depending on what the coaches want to do with La’el Collins. Gallup will help a lackluster receiving core, but there were better wide receivers on the board.

There were some good value picks that also filled needs and depth out in the Cowboys with the selections of Armstrong, Schultz, Wilson and Scarbrough.

New York Giants: A+

Picks: Saquon Barkley RB, Will Hernandez OG, Lorenzo Carter EDGE, B.J. Hill DT, Kyle Lauletta QB, R.J. McIntosh DT

The Giants got one of the best players in the class and a player of need. The Barkley pick indicates that the Giants are trying to win now and are still in need of a developmental quarterback.

New York City can’t wait to see Barkley, but the Giants had a great day two as well. Hernandez is the best run blocker in the class and helps a bad offensive line get a little better. Carter can play on the edge or linebacker and can do anything asked of him on the football field. B.J. Hill can be a good rotational player on the defensive line.

Day three gave the Giants the opportunity to select Lauletta who could be Eli Manning’s replacement.

Philadelphia Eagles: C

Picks: Dallas Goedert TE, Avonte Maddox CB, Josh Sweat DE, Matt Pryor OT, Jordan Mailata OT

Philadelphia isn’t hurting for talent and traded down from the first round. Goedert is a decent tight end prospect, but better tight ends were available. This likely signals more two tight end sets coming for the Eagles.

Sweat was a great pick if he can stay healthy. Other than him, this is a lackluster rookie class.

Washington Redskins: A

Picks: Da’Ron Payne DT, Derrius Guice RB, Geron Christian OT, Troy Apke S, Tim Settle DT, Shaun Dion Hamilton LB, Greg Stroman CB, Trey Quinn

Washington needed to improve the interior of their defense to stop the run and got the perfect player to help them do so.

On day two, the Redskns traded up to get Guice, who has character issues, but also is very talented. The offensive line will also be solid next year, as Christian can aid in protecting Alex Smith and blocking for Guice.

Settle and Hamilton will both be great bakcups for Washington and could develop into more.

NFC North

Chicago Bears: B+

Picks: Roquan Smith LB, James Daniels C, Antohny Miller WR, Joel Iylegbunlwe LB, Bilal Nichols DT, Kyle Fitts DE, Javon Wims WR

Smith does it all on defense and can play all three downs. The pick didn’t fill a huge need, but Smith will start next to Danny Trevathan.

The Bears kept their good draft going with the picks of Daniels and Miller, who filled needs and were taken in good spots. Daniels will help keep Trubisky clean. Miller struggled with some drops at Memphis, but makes acrobatic plays that fans of the Bears will come to love.

Day three didn’t provide much for the Bears draft, but the first two days were great.

Detroit Lions: D+

Picks: Frank Ragnow C, Kerryon Johnson RB, Tracy Walker S, Da’Shawn Hand DT, Tyrell Crosby OT, Nick Bawden RB

Ragnow was a late riser and was selected with the 20th pick. He fills a need and should play better now that he is healthy.

The pick of Johnson fills a need, but Guice was still on the board. Walker was a huge reach and shouldn’t have been selected anywhere near where the Lions chose him.

Hand and Crosby were great day three picks.

Green Bay Packers: A+

Picks: Jaire Alexander CB, Joshua Jackson CB, Oren Burks LB, J’Mon Moore WR, Cole Madison OT, JK Scott P, Marquez Valdez-Scantling WR, Equanimeous St. Brown WR, James Looney DE, Huntre Bradley LS, Kendall Donnerson DE

The Packers moved down and then moved up to get Alexander. He fills a definite need and presented good value for Green Bay.

Green Bay attacked their needs hard and got great value with the pick of Jackson. Jackson and Alexander could be a good corner pair for years to come. Burks was a welcomed selection, as the Packers don’t have too much talent at the position.

Wide receivers were picked at good value in day three and at least one should be able to develop into a great receiver for Aaron Rodgers. St. Brown is a player to watch out for with his size and speed.

Minnesota Vikings: B

Picks: Mike Hughes CB, Brian O’Neill OT, Jalyn Holmes DE, Tyler Conklin TE, Daniel Carlson K, Colby Gossett OG, Ade Aruna DE, Devante Downs LB

Hughes is a physical corner that Mike Zimmer will love. He can provide good depth and step in on sub packages for the time being.

The offensive line was a position that improved last year, but O’Neill can make it better, even if there were better players available at the position.

None of the picks on day three were great, but they weren’t terrible either.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons: A

Picks: Calvin Ridley WR, Isaiah Oliver CB, Deadrin Senat DT, Ito Smith RB, Russell Gage WR, Foye Oluokun LB

Ridley will join a good receiving group in Atlanta. They weren’t desperate for a wide receiver but made a good unit better.

The Falcons wanted a corner to go across from Desmond Trufant and got him in round two in Oliver. He is a physical corner that should fill in nicely on the defense. They didn’t get value with the Senat pick, but he can at least provide a breather to the starters at the very least.

Smith can make the roster as a day three pick, but the other selections will likely not make the cut.

Carolina Panthers: D+

Picks: D.J. Moore WR, Donte Jackson CB, Rashaan Gaulden CB, Ian Thomas TE, Marquis Haynes DE, Jermaine Carter LB, Andre Smith LB, Kendrick Norton

The Panthers don’t have many good receivers so it fills a needs, but Moore excels at short routes with good run after the catch. Carolina already has that in Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel. Moore was a reach even though some have him as the best player available. Calvin Ridley was still available making the pick worse.

Carolina doubled-up on corners in this round. Jackson was a good pick and can play in the slot or outside. Gaulden, on the other hand, should’ve been selected closer to the end of the draft.

Thomas is a player that could eventually take over for Greg Olsen.

New Orleans Saints: F

Picks: Marcus Davenport DE/OLB, Tre’Quan Smith WR, Rick Leonard OT, Natrell Jamerson S, Kamrin Moore CB, Boston Scott RB, Will Clapp OC

New Orleans gave up a lot to move up to pick 14 and selected Davenport. It fits his range, but there were no other edge rushers selected after him in the first round, so the Saints likely could have gotten a better player at their original pick.

The Saints didn’t improve their 2018 draft with their pick of Smith. He’s a solid player, but will not be a superstar unless Drew Brees makes it happen.

The third day of the draft wasn’t much better for the Saints, but Will Clapp was a decent pick in the seventh round.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: B+

Picks: Vita Vea DT, Ronald Jones RB, M.J. Stewart CB, Carlton Davis CB, Alex Cappa OT, Jordan Whitehead S, Justin Watson WR, Jack Cichy LB

Vea is huge and has light feet. He will fit in next to Gerald McCoy and be a great player from day one.

Tampa Bay was active on day two and filled some more needs. Jameis will love having Ronald Jones to hand off to and throw to out of the backfield. Carlton Davis was a great pick and M.J. Stewart will give them a lot of young corners to develop. Cappa may not be able to start but can be a decent backup.

Whitehead was a great pick who can compete for a job.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals: B+

Picks: Josh Rosen QB, Christian Kirk WR, Mason Cole C, Chase Edmunds RB, Chris Campbell CB, Korey Cunningham OT

Arizona traded up to get Rosen after he fell. He will be needed for when Sam Bradford inevitably gets injured.

The Cardinals need a wide receiver with Larry Fitzgerald again and John Brown leaving and Kirk can be the next playmaker in the desert. Mason Cole was selected to high but can play either tackle or center.

The last few rounds didn’t give the Cardinals much.

Los Angeles Rams: C-

Picks: Joe Noteboom OT, Brian Allen OG/C, John Franklin-Myers DT, Micah Kiser LB, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo LB, John Kelley RB, Jamil Demby OG/C, Sebastian Joseph DT, Trevon Young DE, Travin Howard LB, Justin Lawler DE

The Rams keep trading picks but finally selected late in the third round. They turned some of the picks into good players, but Noteboom will need some time to develop.

They had a lot of picks, but only a few of the players were good quality: Kiser, Okoronkwo and Kelley.

San Francisco 49ers: C

Picks: Mike McGlinchey OT, Dante Pettis WR, Fred Warner LB, Tarvarius Moore S, Kentavius Street DT, D.J. Reed CB, Marcell Harris S, Jullian Taylor DT, Richie James WR

This was a reach for McGlinchey and also doesn’t fill the biggest need. McGlinchey will be a solid player for the 49ers from day one though.

The 49ers took Pettis too soon, but he provides a great return specialist as well. Warner fills a dire need and can cover well for a linebacker. Moore can take over if one of their current safeties leave in free agency soon.

More reaches occurred on day three for the 49ers.

Seattle Seahawks: F

Picks: Rashaad Penny RB, Rasheem Green DE, Will Dissly TE, Shaquem Griffin LB, Tre Flowers S, Michael Dickson P, Jamarco Jones OT, Jake Martin DE, Alex McGough QB

Penny is a solid running back but likely wouldn’t have been selected until round three. This fills a need but was a tremendous reach.

Green was a really good pick, but not even the solid pick in Green can make up for the craziness of the Penny pick.

The Seahawks neglected the offenisive line until the selection of Jones, but this isn’t a draft that will be remembered for the quality players they got.

 

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