This draft this year was full of high value picks but it also had it's fair share of big time reaches. Some teams did quite well, some middle of the road, and others not too good. That is what we will be looking at below.
The first round had it's fair share of surprises. The biggest surprise happened quite early when the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Tyson Alualu, Defensive End from The University of California. The 49ers kicked off what would turn out to be a whirlwind of trades by moving up two spots to get Offensive Tackle Anthony Davis. Immediately after, the Chargers jumped up to grab Running Back Ryan Mathews. The Eagles followed suit and jumped up to select Defensive End from the University of Michigan Brandon Graham who had quite the offseason leading up to the draft. The Broncos probably had the biggest shocking first round selections with Demaryius Thomas and then a couple picks afterward former Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow.
Other rounds had some pretty shocking results and there were some players that fell completely out of the draft as undrafted free agents for one reason or another.
It's time to look at the teams...
San Francisco 49ers - As we saw in my 49ers Draft Grades Post, the 49ers did relatively good compared to the rest of the league. They set out to get a couple of iron head offensive linemen and did just that in getting two of them in the first round. The biggest shocker to most, was the falling of Taylor Mays out of the first round all the way to the 49th overall pick. The second part of the draft was a little disappointing for some fans, and others were just so happy with the first four selections, that the mediocre picks later on did not matter much. GRADE: B+
St. Louis Rams - The Rams put together a fairly solid draft. They went out and got themselves a franchise quarterback in Oklahoma's Sam Bradford. It is a concern by some of the fans that his shoulder still may be fragile. I guess we will see when he takes that first NFL hit. The rest of the draft went fairly well, but outside of getting Mardy Gilyard, they didn't do much in the way of getting a bunch of weapons to surround Bradford with. Rodger Saffold could start for the on the right side. The Rams are very youthful and will be looking to rebound from a 1-15 record. GRADE: B+
Seattle Seahawks - Arguably the best draft and offseason of any other team in the NFL. The Hawks were lucky enough to get a top five pick with the 6th overall pick and another very highly rated player at the 14th selection in this years draft. Then they added on of the top five wide receivers in Golden Tate at high value as well. They made a couple trades to enhance their running back situation in LenDale White and Leon Washington which potentially leaves former Cal Running Back Justin Forsett's job in jeopardy. The great selections did not stop at Tate and went on throughout te course of the entire draft. GRADE: A+
Arizona Cardinals - With the very first pick, Nose Tackle Dan Williams was available. This was a no-brainer for the Cards. Putting a dynamic defensive linemen like this next to Darnell Dockett is going to open it up for the entire front seven. Some of the fans were happy about the Citadel Andre Roberts, and others thought that a cornerback was a big need that was left unaddressed. Overall, I am not so sure that the Cards had a great draft. Good draft maybe, but the results of their draft will be left on the field after the final cuts are made. The Cards also added a couple more quarterbacks to compete with Derek Anderson and Matt Leinart. GRADE: C+
Carolina Panthers - Without a first round selection, the Panthers landed a first round graded guy in Jimmy Clausen. Clausen will compete for the starting job against current starter Matt Moore. They added a couple wide receivers as per Steve Smith's request. I don't know if what he said before the draft had any influence or not, but it certainly seemed that way when the Panthers drafted back to back receivers in Brandon LaFell and Armanti Edwards. They added a linebacker and a defensive end... Oh and they even landed Tony Pike as insurance. GRADE: A-
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The Bucs drafted so well, that they may be able to climb out of the cellar, if not this season, possibly the next. Landing Gerald McCoy and Brian Price in back to back rounds may prove to be leathal for opposing teams quarterbacks. They picked up a few weapons to surround second year quarterback Josh Freeman. The draft was geared more towards the defensive side of the ball, but it seems they are taking a page out of the 49ers playbook and building their defense strongly first before anything else. GRADE: B+
New Orleans Saints - The Saints may have been the only team that really didn't need to have a stellar draft. They did a good job overall but I think that some of the picks were just a bit mediocre. They failed to upgrade their defensive line which most felt like was an area of concern. There were a lot of depth selections and that is the way I viewed their draft. Outside of the first round selection on Patrick Robinson, I did not think this draft was great or horrible. GRADE: C
Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons really only had three major areas of concern in their offensive line, defensive line, and linebackers. They addressed all three in the first four rounds. The pick of Sean Weatherspoon is where I thought they would go almost the entire time. And pick him they did. Outside of the first four picks, there was nothing too flashy. They were able to get Dominique Franks at a fairly high value in the 5th Round though. GRADE: B
Chicago Bears - The Bears had to wait quite a while to pick. Once they finally did, they addressed arguably one of the more critical needs they had. Major Wright may have been the best safety left on the board when they finally had a chance to select. The Bears made several offseason moves in free agency, so this draft for them was all icing on the cake basically. They were able to land a potential back up quarterback in Dan LeFevour but they failed to address the wide receiver position in the draft. However, they were able to land Freddie Barnes in the undrafted free agency pool. GRADE: C+
Green Bay Packers - The Packers were much like the 49ers heading in to the 2010 Draft. They needed offensive line quite badly and they got one of them who was rated fairly high in Bryan Bulaga. The draft for them was spread out quite well position wise and I think they addressed everything but cornerback. It was a decent draft, but it wasn't mind blowing. GRADE: B
Minnesota Vikings - The Vikings certainly were one of the better drafting teams. In the first four rounds, they managed to address all of their major needs. The secondary needs were all addressed after that. With a draft as good as this one, it is hard to imagine Brett Favre not wanting to return for one more year in the sun... or dome for home games. The loss of Chester Taylor was a bit worrisome for some fans, but the addition of Toby Gerhart corrected that quickly. I don't consider Joe Webb a quarterback although that is what he was listed as. So in short, the Vikings did not get a quarterback. I believe that is a good indicator that we will see #4 in the NFL one more year. GRADE: B+
Detroit Lions - If the Lions had anywhere to go, the only way to go was up. I don't think that they could have done much worse than they did last year. In such a competitive division, the Lions in the last couple of years have seemingly been making all the right moves. They got arguably the best player in this years draft in Ndamukong Suh, and moved their second round pick up to get Running Back Jahvid Best. The rest of the draft was so-so for them, but overall, they did well in the first couple rounds. GRADE: B
Dallas Cowboys - The Cowboys set out to upgrade their offense, and upgrade they did. Some people think that Dez Bryant will bust, and others think he will be the next best thing since sliced bread. Which ever side of the fence your on is irrelevant. What is relevant, is that the Cowboys had a decent draft even if you don't like the Bryant pick. Rounds 2-6 were all very high value picks. Everyone of those guys could be potential starters in the NFL. However, the Cowboys did not address the safety position which was a major area that they should have targeted. It was majorly exploited in the playoffs last year. GRADE: B+
New York Giants - Jason Pierre-Paul was their first selections, which tells me that one of the current defensive ends could be on the way out. Comparison's have been drawn to Jevon Kearse, but it is an unfair comparison... to Kearse. The rest of the draft sure wasn't shiny or flashy for the G-men though. They didn't address some of the needs and most of the picks weren't great. GRADE: C-
Washington Redskins - Trent Williams over Russell Okung was this years biggest head scratcher. I don't think putting him on McNabb's blindside is going to be the best policy but it's probably going to be the policy. Good luck McNabb, you'll need it. With that said, the Redskins bombed in most of all the other picks. Selvish Capers with their last pick may have been the Redskins biggest shinning moment in the 2010 Draft. GRADE: D
Philadelphia Eagles - I think that the only trade-up scenario in the first round that made sense in this years draft, was the one here. The move-up for Brandon Graham was an excellent move. Graham has the potential to be a Freeney or Mathis type of player and the gamble on moving up would be well worth it if it pans out to that. However, there was a lot of flash and shine while the Eagles forgot to address the offensive line. That probably isn't sitting too well with newly appointed quarterback Kevin Kolb. GRADE: B
San Diego Chargers - In dramatic fashion, the Chargers water-rocketed up the board to get Ryan Mathews who may have been there when they selected. Other than that overreaction of a move, The Chargers failed to address the cornerback position as well as the offensive line. They did get a great value pick in Cam Thomas in the 5th Round though. Phillip Rivers will have to score a lot of points to keep up with the teams they face due to a flimsy secondary. GRADE: C+
Oakland Raiders - This may have been the best draft in the last 30 years for the Raiders. I believe that this draft will put them in contention for the AFC West potentially. When I look at the Raiders draft scanning for flaws, I just cannot find one. The acquisition of Jason Campbell via trade was an excellent move as well. I have a feeling that Al Davis was tied up in a closet somewhere at Raiders headquarters. The draft here was an absolute success. GRADE: A
Denver Broncos - I am not even sure how to grade this team here. This draft is going to go one way or another. And Josh McDaniels will either have a job or he won't at the end of the year. Either way, preseason will interesting once Tim Tebow hits the field. Outside of both controversial first rounders, the Broncos got some good value players in their respective rounds. I am just going to throw this out there and see what kind of response it get's, but I feel it is a fair grade with all things considered. GRADE: B-
Kansas City Chiefs - This one certainly didn't have the hand prints of Scott Pioli. I think that the coaches were more vocal in the 2010 Draft for the Chiefs. Haley, Crommell, and Weis may have influenced this draft more than we know. The Chiefs went with the best safety in this years draft and their dafeties were horrible. When you already have a guy like Jamaal Charles, it's hard to understand the Dexter McCluster pick; although if he is drafted to solely play wide receiver, that makes a bit more sense. The Chiefs are leaving this draft still very thin at the linebacker position but they overall did a decent job at addressing everything else. GRADE: B
Houston Texans - I think that the Texans were one of the better drafting teams in the draft this year. The seemingly addressed every team need, and coupled that with the best player available. When you can do both, in almost every single round, there is only one verdict; success. They replaced Dante Robinson. They got a running back who has the potential to be a true feature back and they added a very high value pick to address the interior of the line. The safety position was the only one that was a zero for them. GRADE: A-
Indianapolis Colts - I honestly thought that the Colts would try to get an offensive linemen relatively high but they didn't. I am uncertain if that means that Peyton Manning will spend more time on his back this year or not, but it doesn't look too promising. With already having Mathis and Freeney, drafting Jerry Hughes makes some sense in regards to keeping those guys fresh but it wasn't the best way to go in my personal opinion. Outside of Hughes, I really think the rest was a huge fail. GRADE: D
Jacksonville Jaguars - I have no idea what this organization is doing. I am beginning to look at Wayne Weaver as the Rachel Phelps (Major League, the movie reference) of the NFL. Alualu with the 10th overall... and the rest of their draft left me tilting my head like a confused 4 month old puppy. I am not even sure where to begin the rip down of all of these horrible decisions. GRADE: F
Tennessee Titans - An ultimate draft for needs draft for the Titans in 2010. They went out and got arguably the best pass rusher in the draft. They added another viable weapon for Vince Young in the second. A solid linebacker in the 3rd. Another corner that had a nice year at UCLA. Myron Rolle in the 6th... I have to score this draft somewhat high, The Titans could be a potential front runner in this division this year. GRADE: B+
Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens are looking to put themselves in contention as a front runner to reach the Superbowl. As Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are getting closer and closer to retirement, the Ravens are running short on time. They needed to have an excellent draft, and that they did. Cornerback was something they could have stood to draft instead of one of the two tight ends, but overall, there wasn't much else that I didn't see as a very good pick up. GRADE: A-
Pittsburgh Steelers - The Steelers have so many off the field things going on with their franchise quarterback and needed to have a successful draft to smooth out some of the negativity they have been receiving in recent days. I wouldn't say that they knocked it out of the park, but they didn't do too bad. The Steelers love their linebackers and Worlids whould be a nice insert for them. GRADE: C+
Cleveland Browns - I suppose that Mike Holmgren was telling the truth in that he didn't like Jimmy Clausen for a high round, or even low round selection. He waited and waited and ended up with his favorite quarterback in Colt McCoy. The rest of the draft went well up to that point and afterward. The Browns addressed a lot of needs, but still may have more to fill. They were starting from ground zero, and basically did as well as they possibly could. GRADE: A-
Cincinnati Bengals - Well Ochocinco may have got his way. The Bengals drafted a couple wide receivers, and a tight end that will be lethal in the middle of the field. I think this will open things up a lot more for Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco should be happy. There was value all over the board for them when their selections came up and they took full advantage. They took the last guy out of the green room in Brandon Ghee who's game resembles a lot like that of current Bengal cornerback Jonathan Joesph. They also picked up Carlos Dunlap at a fairly high value. GRADE: B+
Buffalo Bills - C.J. Spiller is going to be a stud in the NFL. However, I was a little bit baffled by the pick here. The Bills already currently had Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson. With quarterback and offensive line the most pressing needs, it's a mystery as to why the Bills went there with their first round pick. Levi Brown is not going to be the answer. The rest of the draft went okay, but the picks were not spicy enough for me. Pretty bland draft overall and I think the grade fits. GRADE: D
Miami Dolphins - There were a couple of decent picks in this draft, but overall it wasn't what I expected from the man behind the curtain in Bill Parcell's. I think they went 4 for 8 in this draft. Jared Odrick, Koa Misi, John Jerry, and Reshad Jones all have great potential, but the rest of the draft didn't go very well. At least the way I saw it. GRADE: B
New England Patriots - The jumping bean of the draft. The Patriots bounced around the draft board like roulette ball. They targeted players, and they got their guys. I don't expect the five picks after the sixth round to make the team. But they are all good enough to push the other competition. There may be one surprise in there for them. However, the previous rounds to that were an absolute success. The Pats remain one of the better drafting teams after this one. Brandon Spikes and Jermaine Cunningham were brought in on the buddy system as they both were brought in, in the second round. McCourty is one of the better corners entering the league. And if they can keep Gronkowski settled down and off the juice, he should be a good addition as well. GRADE: B+
New York Jets - BoooOOOOooOOOOOOOOooo!!!! Was not a common reaction to any of the four picks here. I have to say I was a little disappointed in the lack of Boo's this year. It just wasn't the same without 'em. Kyle Wilson was a bit of a question mark for me considering they just went out and got Cromartie and already had Revis. Wilson will add flare to special teams though and be a real legit nickel corner. If teams can't run on the Jets early on, they will have trouble going over the top. They let Alan Faneca go and drafted Vald Duccasse. They let Leon Washington go and got a healthier Joe McKnight. And finally they got the Terminator killer John Connor to lead the way for Shonn Greene and Ladanian Tomlinson. I think the direction is clear for the Jets and no doubt about their identity and what they want to accomplish. GRADE: B+
Now that the draft is over, when I get a little more time, I will probably be coming out with a very premature big board and top NCAA players to watch for in the upcoming season. So stay tuned... and thanks to everyone for your participation at Niners Nation.