2017 NFL Draft Grades
Arizona Cardinals B
Haason Reddick and Bud Baker were great picks that will immediately strengthen this defense. Seventh round pick Rudy Ford was a good value who can also compete for playing time. Dorian Johnson and Will Holden offer the team some developmental linemen, which they desperately needed, but I’m not crazy about their picks at the skill positions.
Atlanta Falcons C+
Takkarist McKinley could be a very good player and was well worth the trade up. Duke Riley is an intriguing fit for Dan Quinn’s defense and Damontae Kazee is a player that will be fun to watch. The other players are pedestrian selections to me.
Baltimore Ravens B+
Marlon Humphrey was a good value at cornerback given the injury to Sydney Jones and the uncertainty surrounding Gareon Conley. I still question his ability to hold up in man coverage. Bowser is a solid pass rusher and Wormley will be a great player for the Ravens but Tim Williams is a perfect fit for this defense. SIragusa could develop, but this draft will really help the Ravens defense, which they need because their offense is going to be terrible.
Buffalo Bills B-
Tre’Davious White and Dio Dawkins should start immediately. Zay Jones is a nice prospect but not really worth what the Bills paid for him. McDermott also added a couple of linebacker prospects to shore up special teams late and Nathan Peterman is a god developmental player at quarterback. The real value of this draft is the first round pick they acquired in 2018.
Carolina Panthers B+
The Panthers finally decided to help focus on adding some weapons for Cam Newton to use. McCaffery works in the Panthers power running scheme and as a receiver. Curtis Samuel can stretch the field leaving Benjamin and Olsen free to move underneath. Moton can start at right tackle as a rookie, possibly, and Daeshon Hall is a decent developmental pass rusher, though there were many better players on the board when he was selected.
Chicago Bears C-
The Bears had a conviction about Trubisky so I am not going to knock them, yet. I also don’t think they overpaid because I believe at least 1 other team was speaking to San Francisco about moving up for him, and this is the first time I remember a team trading up to the #2 pick without giving up an extra first round selection. The rest of their draft is more puzzling to me, though I like Shaheen.
Cincinnati Bengals B
Ross and Mixon should both start, though neither should have been drafted where they were. Willis and Lawson should combine to stabilize the right end spot. I like Josh Malone in that spot and the rest of the Bengals selections strengthen their overall depth. All in all Mike Brown did well this year.
Cleveland Browns A-
Myles Garrett was the obvious choice at one overall. The trade down from 12 added a first round pick in 2018, and the Browns still added Jabrill Peppers. David Njoku is another immediate starter for the team. The Browns patience worked in their favor as Deshone Kizer fell to them. Late round additions like Roderick Johnson, Caleb Brantley, and Zane Gonzalez were also nice selections.
Dallas Cowboys B
Taco Charlton is a nice developmental player. Chidobe Awuzie is the best prospect the Cowboys got - and one of the best values in the entire draft. Lewis will be a nice depth player, as will Switzer.
Denver Broncos C-
Garett Bolles was a great choice. Jake Butt was a nice pickup in the 4th. Carlos Henderson might develop into a 3rd or 4th receiver in a year or two. The rest of their draft was not very good.
Detroit Lions B-
Jarrad Davis and Teez Tabor will start for a long time for the Lions. Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Michael Roberts were both nice pickups as well. The Lions got better this weekend, but i worry about their pass rush.
Green Bay Packers A-
King, Jones, Adams, and Biegel automatically transform a defense that needed some youth. King might start as a rookie, all 4 will play frequently. Using three second day selections to fill their primary need was a stroke of genius by Ted Thompson. Of the three Williams is the most likely to earn playing time. Malachi Dupre is going to be a surprise player now that he has some decent quarterback play. He was a great pickup in the 7th round.
Houston Texans C+
The move up for Watson was probably necessary. It was also quite costly for a team that wants to win now. Zach Cunningham was good value in the second round. D’Onta Foreman and Carlos Watkins can both compete immediately. Julien Davenport is a nice developmental prospect.
Indianapolis Colts A+
Malik Hooker was a top 5 talent in this draft. He was a great windfall. Quincey Wilson is overrated in my book, but will still be able to earn the nickel corner role. Bashem, Banner, Mack, and Stewart should each provide quality depth. Anthony Walker Jr., the team’s seventh round pick, might be an immediate starter and really solidifies perhaps the best draft, top to bottom, this year. The 2018 Colts could have 5 defensive starters from this draft.
Jacksonville Jaguars C
Leonard Fournette had more value for Jacksonville then any other player/team pairing in the entire draft. Cam Robinson will find a home at either RT or RG where he should open up plenty of space for Fournette to run through. The problems for Jacksonville came after that when they got no value from anyone other than Dede Westbrook, who shouldn’t have been drafted before the 7th round. He simply cannot be trusted. Blair Brown might make their roster as a special teams guy but no one else really has a chance to help this team win.
Kansas City Chiefs C+
Mahomes, should he develop, will make this class look great in the future. The Chiefs paid a fair price to take him. With one notable exception Kansas City selected all developmental prospects that are unlikely to help the team this year, but offer some hope for the future. Kareem Hunt was a great pick and should help this team immediately. I would expect him to get the lion’s share of the touches in Kansas City this year.
Los Angeles Chargers A+
The Chargers had what I consider to be the best draft. Mike Williams, Forrest Lamp, and Dan Feeney are all capable of starting immediately. Desmond King and Rayshawn Jenkins should compete for the starting free safety job, and the other should be the Chargers third safety and nickel back. Teyi is talented but needs a year. Isaac Rochell has the ability to push for playing time along the defensive line.
Los Angeles Rams D
Everett, Kupp, and Reynolds should help Jared Goff develop. The rest of their draft class will compete for a few roster spots that they wouldn’t win against different competition.
Miami Dolphins C
Harris and McMillan are good players but there were better players at those positions available. Tankersley, Asiata, Godchaux, and Ford were good value. I’m not convinced any of these guys become anything better than placeholders and backups.
Minnesota Vikings C
Cook is their day 1 starter if he stays out of trouble. Effein is a versatile option for them that should find a starting spot. The rest of their draft appears to have been focused on building up the bottom of their roster and they did so, across the board.
New England Patriots C-
Rivers and Garcia offer some developmental potential. McDermott and WIse do as well, though both might spend time on the practice squad. If the trades for Brandin Cooks and Kony Ealy are counted then the Patriots earn a B in this draft.
New Orleans Saints B
Lattimore is overrated and seems to get hurt a lot. Ramczyk will be a long timer starter who offers immediate depth. Williams, Kamara, and Anzalone could each start or play significant minutes this year. Hendrickson and Muhammad will compete with each other but seem unlikely to play much this year.
New York Giants D
Engram is a good tight end. He and Gallman should both start this year. Tomlinson will play in the rotation. Davis Webb was a good investment into the team’s future. Not taking a left tackle is curious, and dooms the Giants overall grade.
New York Jets D
Adams and Maye are good players and should start immediately, stabilizing the safety position for the future. Stewart, Leggett, and Hansen have some developmental potential, and the competition between Clark and Jones at cornerback should produce at least one starter in a year.
Oakland Raiders C
Conley was great value if he plays. Melifonwu was a great value if he gets better at football. Vanderdoes is a great value if he stays healthy. The rest of their picks are just bodies that they like. There’s a lot of risk in this draft.
Philadelphia Eagles B+
Barnett is great. Jones was one of the best players in the draft before his injury. Douglas has some potential. Pumphrey offers some intrigue due to his college production and small stature. Qualls should stick.
Pittsburgh Steelers C+
TJ Watt is a solid player and should be the next long term pass rushing Steeler linebacker. SMith-Schuster, Sutton, and Allen should contribute immediately. Dobbs is a project as is Conner.
San Francisco 49ers A
Thomas and Foster should be long term Pro Bowl caliber players. Witherspoon is underrated by many, in my opinion. Kittle could start in a year and Jones, Taylor, and WIlliams each offer some long term potential. Beathard was taken too high but he was the preferred quarterback of Kyle Shanahan.
Seattle Seahawks B
Watch out for McDowell, Pocic, Griffin and Thompson. Each of those players can be long term contributors rather quickly. The other players are all bottom of the roster guys competing for 3-4 roster spots with the veterans.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers A-
Howard was great value. Evans should start. Godwin will be a very good #2 receiver. Beckwith was a steal. Tampa got 4 potential starters, and 1 perennial Pro Bowler in my eyes.
Tennessee Titans D
Probably the worst draft given the picks they had. Davis is very good but he wasn’t top 5. Jackson is still a developmental corner who gives up far too many big plays. Smith Brown Levin and Seaton have some developmental potential. Taylor appears to be a hedge against Davis - which adds to the amount they overpaid.
Allen at 17 was great value as he was a top 5 guy. They reached on Anderson but he has a relatively high floor. Moreau will start when he heals up - one of the best value picks of the draft. Perine could factor this year and Nicholson and Holsey help solidify the secondary depth. Harvey-Clemons should probably move to linebacker behind Cravens. Roullier could surprise some people.