Oratory NFL Draft Grades: AFC and NFC North
The NFL Draft is in the books and I thought it would be fun to write a Draft Grades article. I’m at least as qualified as half the people who do them anyway. And in three years I can go back and write an article mocking myself for how wrong I was.
I will not be grading each individual pick. I will grade the teams first round pick, the best day two pick, the best day three pick, and the worst pick of each team. Since the Oratory started as a wrestling website, I’m going to ditch letter grades and go with Star Ratings, just for funsies.
As I don’t know every player intimately, my grades will be based on my opinion, and also a consensus among different draft experts. I will not be including ESPN because I refuse to pay for articles that other sites give for free.
With all of that said, Lets get this underway with the AFC and NFC North Divisions
Best Day 2 Pick: Shon Coleman, Auburn OT ****: The Browns need everything including linemen. This kid faced Cancer and kicked it in the teeth. You can’t teach toughness like that. This kid is going to have a great career.
Best Day 3 Pick: Derrick Kindred, TCU SS ***: The Browns face quite a few good running backs in their division. This is a tough as nails run stuffer. He played his senior year with a broken collar bone. Tough.
Worst Pick: Cody Kessler, USC QB *: There were way better QBs on the board at the time QBs that the Browns didn’t need to reach for a project QB who has had 5 different head coaches in his college career. Then again, that might e good experience to have with the Browns. Why not Cook or Prescott?
Overall **: The Browns had a lot of needs to fill, they did admirably in some, but they wasted at least three picks on WRs and made a desperate reach for a QB when there were better options available. In a deep defensive draft, they drafted 5 WRs
1st Round Pick: William Jackson, Houston CB ****: The Bengals didn’t have a huge need at CB, but the team drafting right behind them did, and they knew this was the guy that they wanted. A great play maker. He’ll make the defense better. Dicks.
Best Day 2 Pick: Tyler Boyd, Pitt WR ****: I may be (read definitely am) biased, but Tyler Boyd is arguable the best WR in this draft. He might not have the measurables, but he has the film. He was Pitt’s only receiving threat and teams still couldn’t stop him. He’s going to give teams fits and make AJ Green even more dangerous.
Best Day 3 Pick: Andrew Billings, Baylor DT *****: Continuing the theme of screwing their rival and improving the team, Billings if he can stay healthy is going to be a run stopping nightmare. There are fans, and experts who though that the Steelers would take him in the first round. They got him in the 4th right before the Steelers would likely have taken him.
Worst Pick: Cody Core, Ole Miss WR **: Tall project WR, may never be anything more than a Roster Filler. But they didn’t take him til the 6th round, so its not a terrible pick.
Overall *****: The Bengals had one of the best drafts of any team. They added talent all over the place and will likely be better than last year. Maybe they finally win a playoff game.
1st Round Pick: Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame OT ***: He wasn’t the best OT on the board, in fact he was arguably the 3rd best. Some teams got scared off by the Tunsil video bs and it appears the Ravens were one of them. Good player, but the other OTs were better and the Ravens usually don’t get scared off.
Best Day 2 Pick: Bronson Kafusi, BYU DE ****: Big tough athlete. Just the kind the Ravens like. The Ravens rarely miss on front 7 picks and I think this one will give teams fits for years to come.
Best Day 3 Pick: Willie Henry, Michigan DT ***: The Ravens use a hybrid defense and need versatile DL players. This kid fits the bill, can line up as a DT in the 4-3 or a NT in the 3-4. I expect him to contribute sooner than later.
Worst Pick: Tavon Young, Temple CB ***: Eh, not a bad pick. I just think there were better available at the time. The fact that this kid is the worst pick they have is a testament to how good the Ravens draft.
Overall ***: The Ravens are the undisputed kings of drafts that dont wow you,but every player contributes in some way. No big swings for the fence picks, just solid if unexciting small ball here.
1st Round Pick: Artie Burns, Miami CB ***: There were better start now CBs available. The Steelers went with character and potential. This kid is raising his little siblings and his own son after his mother died last October. He’s going to motivated to do his best for them. Still, not a great pick for right now.
Best Day 2 Pick: Sean Davis, Maryland CB *****: Hes listed as a CB but he’s really a Free Safety. He can cover, he can hit, and he allows Mike Mitchell to move to SS where his coverage is less of a liability. I love this pick. I see him starting now.
Best Day 3 Pick: Demarcus Ayers, Houston WR ****: Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Late round WR who was among the all time leaders at his Mid Major school being drafted by Kevin Colbert. Dynamic player. He can run, catch, and return. Colbert hits on these late round guys more than he misses.
Worst Pick: Travis Feeny, Washington OLB **: The Steelers just cant go a draft without drafting a fast outside linebacker. Maybe he pans out, but how many fast outside linebacker does one team need. The Steelers seem to think all of them.
Overall ***: The Steelers didn’t do much for the right now, but the future looks very bright. They better hope that Gay and last years DB pick can hold it down because Burns isn’t ready to start.
Best Day 2 Pick: Jonathan Bullard, Florida DE ****: This is your classic first round talent but third round measurables guy. Hes going to be a beast. The fact that hes only 6’2” is a silly reason for him to drop this far but it happens every year.
Best Day 3 Pick: DeAndre Houston-Carson, William and Mary FS ****: Four year starter who has played CB and FS, a really high character guy. Gives them good versatility and has a high ceiling.
Worst Pick: Deon Bush, Miami FS **: The first of three safeties the Bears took and the biggest risk. Injury concerns andonly a two year starter meanshe needs time to develop, if he stays healthy. There were better safeties on the board and the Bears seemed to know it when they took one three picks later.
Overall ****: The bears had a great draft. Players on day two and three who I think will be absolute steals, and really only one bad pick who isn’t a dud, just a risk.
1st Round Pick: Taylor Decker, Ohio State OT ***: The Lions need to protect Stafford. Hes ending his prime and if they are going to win anything with him they need to do it now. This kid will help fill that goal.
Best Day 2 Pick: A’Shawn Robinson, Alabana DT ***: It fills a need, and hes a big strong player. Alabama had so many defensive players drafted for a reason. I like this pick
Best Day 3 Pick: Joe Dahl, Washington OG ****: The best pick of the Lions draft. Experienced guard who can play tackle in a pinch. He would have been a good Day 2 pick, hes a great Day 3 pick.
Worst Pick: Jimmy Landis, Baylor LS 1/4 *: He’s a long snapper. The final three picks of their draft were terrible. Two guys are clear practice squad guys. You don’t draft those intentionally. Still, drafting a long snapper is worse.
Overall **: Though I like some of the picks I don’t like the draft. They whiffed on their final three picks and did nothing to attempt to replace their best player. At least Matt Millen knew you gotta take a wide receiver.
1st Round Pick: Kenny Clark, UCLA DT ***1/2: If Miles Jack was the best defender on the Bruins, this guy is 1B. The packers needed to address their defense and this kid will help anchor it. He swallowed up blockers to free up Jack. You cant watch highlights of one without seeing the other.
Best Day 2 Pick: Jason Spriggs, Indiana OT ****: When you have a QB like Rodgers, you gotta protect him. Great Athlete, can play either tackle position, has experience playing good Big Ten defenses. I love this pick.
Best Day 3 Pick: Blake Martinez, Stanford MLB ***1/2: The 3-4 Defense needs MLBs that can tackle. This kid never gives up. He doesn’t have a fast 40 time, but he plays faster in real game time. I see a lot of James Farrior in him. Years of solid if a little unappreciated play ahead.
Worst Pick: Trevor Davis, California WR **: Fast and a solid kick returner, but not a good route runner. Will need to learn to do that better. A good prospect, and the fact that hes their worst pick shows why the Packers are perennial contenders.
Overall ***: Solid draft. Got good players or prospects with every pick. Pretty much exactly what you want. The Packers always do this.
1st Round Pick: Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss WR ****: They have their QB, they needed to get him a weapon so they don’t have to rely entirely on a RB who is getting up there in years. Considered by meany to be the best WR in the draft, hes an absolute steal at 23.
Best Day 2 Pick: Makensie Alexander, Clemson CB ***1/2: Considered in many mock drafts to be a first round talent, this kid is a steal in the second. He isn’t going to get a lot of picks because he has bad hands, but hes still going to be a good cover guy.
Best Day 3 Pick: David Morgan II, UTSA TE ****: I was torn here because Minny had two really good picks on day 3. I decided to go with a TE who if he played for UT instead of UTSA would be a 2nd day pick. He can catch, he can block, hes tall. Hes the kind of TE a young QB loves and needs.
Worst Pick: Willie Beavers, Western Michigan OT **: As humorous as his name is, he wasn’t close to the best OT available. He reads to me more like a career back up. Not bad for a day 3 pick, but there were still potential starters available when they took him.
Overall ***1/2: The Vikings had one major goal in mind with this draft. Give Bridgewater what he needs to succeed. The Vikings did that and still added a couple of good prospects on defense. The only thing keeping this draft from being a 4 star draft was for the four picks they really hit on, the also had four picks that were very eh. Still it was a great draft because when the picks were good, they were really good.
That wraps up the first Draft Grade Article. Ill be back in a day or two with the AFC and NFC South.