The 2018 NFL Draft is officially a wrap. We won’t know what all this means for several years, but that’s not going to stop us from offering up instant reactions on how everything went down. Draft grades are hit or miss even just a year later, but it is fun to see how the league approached the event, and what it means moving forward.
Greg, Josh, and Alex each have their take on the 49ers picks, and then split up the league to offer their opinions on the other draft classes. Feel free to bookmark for future entertainment!
San Francisco 49ers
Draft Picks: Notre Dame OT Mike McGinchey (No. 9), Washington WR Dante Pettis (No. 44), BYU LB Fred Warner (No. 70), Southern Mississippi S Tarvarius Moore (No. 95), N.C. State DE Kentavius Street (No. 142), Kansas State DB D.J. Reed (No. 142), Florida DB Marcell Harris (No. 184), Temple DT Jullian Taylor (No. 223), Middle Tennessee WR Richie James (No. 240)
If I knew the 49ers were going to trade Trent Brown, then I wouldn’t have been as surprised (just a bit) as I was when they drafted offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey on Day One. Although it is not a splashy pick, it is a smart pick for continued success. In the second-round, the 49ers maneuvered their way up to pick wide receiver Dante Pettis. I love the prospect, but was not a fan of giving up a third-round (albeit we received a fifth-round in return) for Pettis, especially when Colorado’s cornerback Isaiah Oliver was available, as well as a few other notable wide receiver prospects. Nevertheless, I know Kyle Shanahan got his guy, with a cost.
Going into round three, the 49ers selected one of my favorite linebacker prospects in Fred Warner. Warner brings the speed and violent tendencies Robert Saleh yearns for and is a nice added back-up plan to the Reuben Foster ordeal. Huge fan of this pick. With the 49ers’ final third-round pick, the team selected Tarvarius Moore. The explosive Moore brings excellent length, elite speed, and outstanding athleticism, but the key will be how he adapts to playing corner. He shows the skill set to make the move, and if he succeeds, give raises to the scouts.
The rest of the 49ers draft picks were sound choices adding depth to the team; however, two draft selections worth mentioning are defensive end Kentavius Street and defensive tackle Jullian Taylor. When Street was selected, I could just imagine the collective eye roll within the fan base and the shouts of “ohhh gawwd, not again!” Was this the reincarnation of Trent Baalke? Are we being trolled? I thought my extensive knowledge of torn ACL draft picks was suppressed enough to become figments of my imagination. Oh well, each new regime gets a pass, and I am hopeful to see the recovery of Street, because pre-injury Street was a powerful stud. As for Taylor, of course I would like the pick, as well as the Fred Warner pick, because I picked both prospects in the third and seventh-round in my mock draft posted on the front page prior to the start of the NFL Draft. It’s just two, but I’ll take it! — Greg
Josh: C+ (or an A+ if you factor in Jimmy Garoppolo)
The Niners surprised many when they selected offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey with the 9th overall pick - offloading Trent Brown to New England helped the pick make more sense, though. I think fans will grow to like Dante Pettis - he has playmaking ability that should translate well in Shanahan’s offense. A lot of depth was added to the secondary - DJ Reed may surprise some people down the road - but the additions of two players who have struggled with ACL and achilles injuries (Kentavius Street and Marcell Harris, respectively) and the inability contribute to the grade of this draft class being just below a B-minus.
I thought the 49ers had a good draft throughout the three days. I happened to really like the Mike McGlinchey pick and if he proves to be a capable tackle for the next 10 plus years then this pick will be well worth it. Dante Pettis is going to be used a lot... Both in the offense and on special teams. He sparks value and production. I am concerned about his size, and if he can stay healthy, he should be a great addition to the offense. My favorite pick of the draft was Fred Warner who is going to be a great contributor in the 49ers defense. Tarvarius Moore has the speed and hard hitting ability to make a presence in the defense. We will have to wait and see how he translates to cornerback.
Kentavius Street is a thumping defensive end. However we will not see Street in action until the 2019 season. I trust John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. They know the players they need to see their vision come to life. However, it is still difficult to get behind this pick. The team has had a troubling history drafting players with these injuries...with little to no positive results to show. I hope Street makes me eat my words next year and is a sack machine for the defense who plays with the same intensity we saw at N.C. State.
D.J. Reed was a good selection with great value in the fifth round. He isn’t the tallest corner and he doesn’t quite measure to what the team seeks at the position. However, the defense is getting two strong qualities out of him. One, he will be able to defend the slot, and two he will be potential dangerous kickoff return specialist. In fact, between Pettis and Reed the 49ers might end up with one of the most dangerous specialteams units in the league. Marcell Harris was another question mark in my opinion, but unlike Street we will hopefully see him in action this year. Achilles injuries are no picnic to come back from, and we will see how Harris transitions to the next level. I know it’s the seventh round, but I liked both picks in defensive lineman Julian Taylor and wide receiver Richie James. Taylor provides additional depth along the defensive line and the 49ers need all the receiving options they can get. This was a good, not great draft for the 49ers. We will have an honest assessment about this class after a season or two. — Alex
Picks: QB Josh Rosen (1); WR Christian Kirk (2); Center Mason Cole (3); RB Chase Edmonds (4); CB Christian Campbell (6); OT Korey Cunningham (7)
Analysis: I thought Arizona did what they had to do in this draft and that was obtain their future franchise quarterback. In fact, the Cardinals might have selected the most talented quarterback in this draft...Josh Rosen. Once the quarterback was addressed their next two picks went towards supporting their future passer. Christian Kirk was one of my highest rated receivers in this draft class. Mason Cole is a big bodied center who will offer protection for Rosen. The Cardinals also addressed depth behind David Johnson in the Chase Edmonds selection and might have found a late round gem in cornerback Christian Campbell. The Cardinals may be a team in transition, but they escalated that process with an effective draft class. — Alex
Atlanta Falcons: A-
Picks: WR Calvin Ridley (1); CB Isaiah Oliver (2); DT Deadrin Senat (3); RB Ito Smith (4); WR Russell Gage (6); LB Foye Oluokun (6)
Analysis: I am a huge fan of what Atlanta did in this year’s draft. Calvin Ridley fell to them and he will have plenty of looks on offense since his new teammate and fellow Crimson Tide alum Julio Jones will be the main focus of opposing defenses. Isaiah Oliver is a really great value pick and projects as a solid cover-corner. Defensive tackle Deadrin Senat addresses the Falcons’ need for help along the d-line. The NFC Champs from two years improved their odds of remaining players in the conference for the next few years or so.
Draft picks: South Carolina TE Hayden Hurst (No. 25), Louisville QB Lamar Jackson (No. 32), Oklahoma OT Orlando Brown (No. 83), Oklahoma TE Mark Andrews (No. 86), Alabama CB Anthony Averett (No. 118), UCLA LB Kenny Young (No. 122), New Mexico State WR Jaleel Scott (No. 132), UCLA WR Jordan Lasley (No. 162), Texas S DeShon Elliott (No. 190), Wagner OT Greg Senat (No. 212) Alabama C Bradley Bozeman (No. 215), Ferris State DE Zach Sieler.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome made his final draft a memorable one. Walking away with 12 draft picks in total, the pick that was an intriguing eyebrow raiser was the selection of dynamic quarterback Lamar Jackson at the end of the first-round. No doubt Jackson was clearly irritated he slipped down the draft, but he landed in a great situation in Baltimore. The team has coaches familiar with Jackson’s thrilling play-style and an offense that is geared towards a run-first scheme. The Ravens first pick in tight end Hayden Hurst fills a big positional need with the departure of veteran Benjamin Watson, and it’s never an Ozzie Newsome draft without selecting a player from Alabama. Ozzie snagged two in cornerback Anthony Averett and center Bradley Bozeman - Roll Tide, Ozzie. Roll Tide. — Greg
Buffalo Bills: B+
Draft picks: Wyoming QB Josh Allen (No. 7), Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds (No. 16), Stanford DT Harrison Phillips (No. 96), Weber State DB Taron Johnson (No. 121), Jacksonville State DB Siran Neal (No. 154), Virginia Tech OG Wyatt Teller (No. 166), Clemson WR Ray-Ray McCloud (No. 187), North Carolina WR Austin Proehl (No. 255).
General Manager Brandon Beane’s adventure in dealings paid off for the Bills landing their quarterback of the future in Wyoming’s Josh Allen and the explosive and athletically gifted linebacker from Virginia tech, Tremaine Edmunds. Both of their first-round picks filled huge needs for the team, and the drafting of Stanford’s defensive tackle Harrison Phillips should bolster a defensive line unit that recently added Star Lotulelei and Trent Murphy. The rest of the draft for the Bills added much needed depth for the team, and an opportunity for fourth-round pick Taron Johnson to step up in case recently signed veteran cornerback Vontae Davis doesn’t work out. — Greg
Picks: WR D.J. Moore (1); CB Donte Jackson (2); CB Rashaan Gaulden (3); TE Ian Thomas (4); OLB Marquis Haynes (4); LB Jermaine Carter Jr. (5); LB Andre Smith (7); DT Kendrick Norton (7)
Analysis: Cam Newton needed some help in having receivers to throw to and DJ Moore is a good get as Carolina made him the first one off the board in the first round. Tight end Ian Thomas provides good value in the fourth round and could absolutely serve as Greg Olsen’s eventual replacement. The Panthers also addressed their need in the secondary by adding the likes of cornerback Donte Jackson and safety Rashaan Gaulden.
Chicago Bears: A -
Picks: LB Raquam Smith (1); Center James Daniels (2); WR Anthony Miller (2); LB Joel Lyiegbuniwe (4); DL Bilal Nichols (5); DE Kylie Fitts (6); WR Javon Wims (7)
Analysis: After Bradley Chubb, Raquam Smith was my next highest rated defensive player in this draft class. Smith is a seamless fit in Vic Fangio’s defense. The next two selections were all about supporting Mitchell Trubisky. Anthony Miller was one of my highest graded receivers in this draft class and Daniels provides protection along the line. The Bears also added depth along their defensive line, specifically in the pass rushing department. The Bears tooks care of their top two priorities...supporting Trubisky and improving the defense. All of the Bears picks made sense and addressed team needs. I thought Ryan Pace had a great weekend and gave new head coach Matt Nagy and his coaching staff a lot to work with this season. — Alex
Draft picks: Ohio State C/OG Billy Price (No. 21), Wake Forest S Jessie Bates (No. 54), Ohio State DE Sam Hubbard (No. 77), Texas LB Malik Jefferson (No. 78), Miami RB Mark Walton (No. 112), Illinois State DB Davontae Harris (No. 151), Virginia DT Andrew Brown (No. 158), Western Michigan CB Darius Phillips (No. 170), Toledo QB Logan Woodside (No. 249), Mississippi OG Rod Taylor (No. 252), Florida State WR Auden Tate (No. 253).
After drafting several impact players in the top half of their draft, I was very impressed with the Bengals’ choices. Right away the team filled a big need in drafting a plug and play center in Billy Price (easily a 10 year staple strengthening the middle), a versatile safety in Jessie Bates, a stud pass rusher in Sam Hubbard, and probably the most athletically gifted linebacker in the draft in Malik Jefferson. The front seven has been fortified, and with the addition of Bates and cornerbacks Davonte Harris and Darius Phillips (both fifth-round selections) the backend has found some needed depth. I also loved the Mark Walton selection, where he will definitely be a welcomed addition to the run-by-committee of running backs creating a great mix of Giovani Bernard, Joe Mixon, and now Walton. — Greg
Cleveland Browns: B-
Draft picks: Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield (No. 1), Ohio State CB Denzel Ward (No. 4), Nevada OG Austin Corbett (No. 33), Georgia RB Nick Chubb (No. 35), Miami DE Chad Thomas (No. 67), Florida WR Antonio Callaway (No. 105) Memphis LB Genard Avery (No. 150), Texas A&M WR Damion Ratley (No. 175), Louisiana-Lafayette CB Simeon Thomas (No. 188).
The Browns’ first round selections are bringing much needed joy in the Factory of Sadness. Walking away with their franchise quarterback of the future (hopefully) in Baker Mayfield and one of the best cornerbacks in the draft in Denzel Ward, would make any fan don a grin from ear-to-ear. However, I was not a fan of the Nick Chubb selection early in the second-round. I love Chubb, but with Carlos Hyde recently signed, I feel the value of the pick could have been utilized elsewhere. I also was not a fan of fourth-round selection wide receiver Antonio Callaway. A top tier talent for sure, Callaway on the field is a no brainer, but off-field concerns are evident and you would think the Browns had enough with the Josh Gordon fiasco, but the Browns will be Browning. — Greg
Dallas Cowboys: C+
Picks: LB Leighton Vander Esch (1); OT Connor Williams (2); WR Michael Gallup (3); DE Dorance Armstrong (4); TE Dalton Shultz (4); QB Mike White (5); LB Chris Covington (6); RB Bo Scarbrough (7);
Analysis: The Cowboys cut Dez Bryant in free agency and I was almost certain they were going to address receiver early in this draft. Connor Williams stock dipped throughout the offseason and it will be interesting to see how quickly he translates to the next level. Shultz was a good pick, especially since Witten will be retiring. Armstrong was a good value pick as well in the fourth and the Kansas product could provide contribution in the pass rushing department. Overall, it was a draft that left a little to be desired for the Cowboys. I just don’t think they gave Dak Prescott enough help. I like Michael Gallup and he will be a first year contributor, however at the moment I don’t see him as a WR1. as a WR1. — Alex
Denver Broncos: B+
Picks: DE Bradley Chubb (1); WR Courtland Sutton (2); RB Royce Freeman (3); CB Isaac Yiadom (3); LB Josey Jewell (4); WR DaeSean Hamilton (4); TE Troy Fumagalli; C Sam Jones (6); LB Keishawn Bierria (6); RB David Williams (7)
Analysis: The Broncos, who won a Super Bowl with defense, look to continue that trend - even if they weren’t looking to do so, the decision was made easy for them when Bradley Chubb fell to the fifth pick for them. Courtland Sutton could potentially turn into a number-one receiver for whoever ends up being the long-term answer at quarter (Paxton Lynch is hanging on by a thread, if at all). Running back Royce Freeman could produce in his first year; receiver DaeSean Hamilton, tight end Troy Fumagalli, and linebacker Josey Jewell all give Denver some depth and could develop into starters down the line.
Picks: Center Frank Ragnow (1); RB Kerryon Johnson (2); S Tracy Walker (3); DL DeShawn Hand (4); OT Tyrell Crosby Jr. (5); FB Nick Bawden (7);
Detroit had a good draft throughout the weekend. Adding Johnson was a must. Detroit had one of the worst ground attacks last season, and Johnson should provide great value at the position and take some pressure off of Matthew Stafford. I would have liked to have seen them address the defensive line earlier than day three, however DeShawn Hand out of Alabama was a great value pick in the fourth round. Crosby was also a good value pick in the fifth and offers Stafford protection. Overall, it was a good and balanced draft for the Lions as they look to compete in a competitive NFC North Division. — Alex
Picks: CB Jaire Alexander (1); CB Josh Jackson (2); LB Oren Burks (3); WR J’Mon Moore (4); OT Cole Madison (5); Punter JK Scott (5); WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (5); WR Equanimeous St. Brown (6); DL James Looney (7); LS Hunter Bradley (7); LB Kendall Donnerson (7)
Analysis: The Packers made eleven selections in this draft...eleven. All in all, it was a successful draft for Green Bay and first year GM Brian Gutekunst. The Packers needed to address the secondary and walked away with two of the top three corners in the draft with Alexander and Jackson. Even after losing Jordy Nelson, Aaron Rogers gets more weapons in Moore and St. Brown who I thought was a great value selection in the sixth round. I am predicting, even in this large draft class, many first year contributors, especially in the early premium rounds. — Alex
Draft picks: Stanford S Justin Reid (No. 68), Mississippi State OT Martinas Rankin (No. 80), UCF TE Jordan Akins (No. 98), Texas Tech WR KeKe Coutee (No. 103), Wake Forest Duke Ejiofor (No. 177), Mississippi State TE Jordan Thomas (No. 211), Stanford LB Peter Kalambayi (No. 214), San Jose State CB Jermaine Kelly (No. 222).
There was nothing that really stood out with the Texans’ draft picks. The selection of safety Justin Reid (Eric Reid’s younger brother) adds to a safety room championed by recently signed Tyrann Mathieu and the talented Andre Hal. The offensive line unit was a big need and the addition of Martinas Rankin in the third-round should help the unit and he will likely need to hit the ground running in order to provide viable protection for Deshaun Watson. I am a big fan of the selection of wide receiver Keke Coutee. A menace in open space, Coutee bursts with elite speed, fluid movement, and the suddenness to be extremely elusive. He is a true explosive playmaker capable of hitting a home run whenever he touches the ball. Sounds like a perfect weapon for Watson in an already talented wide receiving corps consisting of DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Bruce Ellington. — Greg
Draft picks: Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson (No. 6), South Carolina State LB Darius Leonard (No. 36), Auburn OG Braden Smith (No. 37), Rutgers DE Kemoko Turay (No. 52), Ohio State DE Tyquan Lewis (No. 64), N.C. State RB Nyheim Hines (No. 104), Northern Iowa WR Daurice Fountain (No. 159), Mississippi EB Jordan Wilkins (No. 169), Clemson WR Deon Cain (No. 185), Houston LB Matthew Adams (No. 221), Syracuse LB Zaire Franklin (No. 235).
Kudus goes to General Manager Chris Ballard for trading back in the first-round and hauling in three second-round picks. It is a bit similar to the trade the 49ers made last year in moving back in still selecting their top choice in Solomon Thomas. In Indianapolis’ case, they got their guy in arguably one of the best prospects in the draft, Quenton Nelson. Looking to strengthen the trenches to protect the Colts star quarterback, they added another offensive guard in Braden Smith (second-round). Although linebacker Darius Leonard (second-round) was a bit of a reach, I love his explosive speed and range. The Colts continued selecting players throughout the draft filling needs on a roster in desperate need of upgraded talent. Bottom line for this draft, protect Andrew Luck. — Greg
Draft picks: Florida DT Taven Bryan (No. 29), LSU WR D.J. Chark (No. 61), Alabama S Ronnie Harrison (No. 93), N.C. State OT Will Richardson (No. 129), Nebraska QB Tanner Lee (No. 203), Wisconsin LB Leon Jacobs (No. 230), Mississippi State P Logan Cooke (No. 247).
I think the best addition to the Jacksonville Jaguars has been Tom Coughlin. The team has legit improved and I am looking forward to see the Coughlin magic in year two. Although there were really no holes on the defensive line, the Jags had a luxury pick in selecting the athletically talented and perfect scheme fit in defensive tackle Taven Brown. Brown will be a valued addition to a stout defensive line unit learning the ropes from a group of standout players. In the second-round the Jags found themselves a deep threat in wide receiver D.J. Chark. With ideal size, Chark is a large target big-play lanky receiver showcasing elite speed, nice body control, great ball skills, impressive leaping ability, strong hands, and the over the shoulder tracking awareness to be a dynamic vertical threat downfield. He displays amazing burst off the line of scrimmage and has the quick-twitch quickness and impressive speed to blow past defenders and quickly get on top of them in a hurry, as well as a keen ability to sell deep routes. The rest of the teams’ picks are added depth to an already talented team. — Greg
Picks: DT Breeland Speaks (2); DT Derrick Nnadi (3); OLB Dorian O’Daniel (3); S Armani Watts (4); CB Tremon Smith (6); G Kahlil McKenzie (6)
Analysis: The Chiefs’ first round pick in this year’s draft was one of the picks used in the deal which brought them Patrick Mahomes III, so their efforts of adding some help on defense took a hit before the draft even began. Defensive tackle Breeland Speaks was their first selection but it came in the second round - again, it’s hard to find solidified value when you don’t have a first rounder. They followed up that selection with another defensive tackle in the third who did not test well during the draft process (Derrick Nnadi). All in all this group has a lot of development to go through before they become regular contributors on the team.
Picks: SS Derwin James (1); Uchenna Nwosu (2); DT Justin Jones (3); S Kyzir White (4); C Scott Quessenberry (5); WR Dylan Cantrell (6); RB Justin Jackson (7)
Analysis: Don’t look now but the Chargers have a sneaky-good defense; they were ranked 3rd last season and the additions of players like Derwin James and Uchenna Nwosu early only make that unit stronger. Derwin James, in the eyes of many evaluators, was a top-10 pick in this year’s draft and the fact that he fell all the way to the Chargers at the 17th selection should really have the team (and fans) elated; they have struggled to replace Eric Weddle since his departure so James provides a lot of relief in the secondary. It would’ve been nice to see Los Angeles address the future vacancy of the quarterback position since Phillip Rivers actually cannot play forever, but it was a solid draft for LA’s AFC team nonetheless.
Picks: OT Joseph Noteboom (3); Center Brian Allen (4); DL John Franklin-Myers (4); LB Micha Kiser (5); RB John Kelly (6); OT Jamil Demby (6); DT Sebastian Jospeh (6); LB Travin Howard (7)DE Justin Lawler (7)
Analysis: I will give the Rams credit. They had a quietly good draft, even without a first or second round pick. I suppose you can say they used their first round selection on Brandin Cooks. What I liked about their draft was a commitment to protecting quarterback Jared Goff and providing depth and support for Todd Gurley in John Kelly who had excellent value in the sixth round. Kiser was also someone I had my eye on throughout the draft process and he could prove to be a steal in the fifth round. This draft class didn’t have a blue chip prospect, but it still provided value, especially around the team’s two most important players. — Alex
Draft picks: Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 11), Penn State TE Mike Gesicki (No. 42), Ohio State LB Jerome Baker (No. 73), Notre Dame TE Durham Smythe (No. 123), Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage (No. 131), Southern Mississippi S Cornell Armstrong (No. 209), Ohio LB Quentin Polling (No. 227), New Mexico K Jason Sanders (No. 229).
The Miami Dolphins are in the re-tooling phase, especially after a few of their notable players are no longer with the team. With the addition of first-round draft pick Minkah Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins get a top-tier talent with tremendous instincts, ball skills, and the versatility to win in several situations. Fitzpatrick’s work ethic and high character, mixing in with his passion for football and the conviction to succeed, will be a much needed asset for the team looking for leadership during the re-tooling. Miami also filled a big need at tight end drafting the athletically gifted receiving tight end in Mike Gesicki and a classic inline blocker in Durham Smythe. Although I would never give overly praise to a team drafting a kicker, as a huge fan of the New Mexico Lobos, I was ecstatic to see a Lobo get drafted (Jason Sanders), even if it is a kicker. I got you Miami. — Greg
Picks: CB Mike Hughes (1); Center Brian O’Neill (2); DE Jaylen Holmes (4); TE Tyler Conklin (5); K Daniel Carlson (5); OT Colby Gossett (6); DE Ade Aruna (6); LB Devante Downs (7);
Analysis: The Vikings have a talented roster and so it will be interesting to see just how much contribution we will see out of this draft class. I like the Hughes pick in the first round as well as the O’Neil pick in the second round as it provides protection for Kirk Cousins. Conklin was one of my highest graded tight ends and was great value in the fifth round on day three. Overall, the Vikings had a good draft. I would have liked to see a running back selected to provide support and more depth behind Delvin Cook who will be returning from and ACL injury. Still, it was a good weekend for a Super Bowl contending team. — Alex
Draft picks: Georgia OT Isaiah Wynn (No. 23), Georgia RB Sony Michel (No. 31), Florida CB Duke Dawson (No. 56), Purdue LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (No. 143), Arizona State LB Christian Sam (No. 178), Miami WR Braxton Berrios (No. 210), LSU QB Danny Etling (No. 219), Western Carolina DB Keion Crossen (No. 243), Florida State TE Ryan Izzy (No. 250).
In a shocking development, the New England Patriots made no trades during the draft - well at least on the first day. Staying put in the first-round, the Patriots looked to fill the vacancy of departed tackle Nate Solder in drafting Isaiah Wynn, an undersized tackle prospect who offers impressive talent for his size and the versatility to line up all over the offensive line. Wynn could also get kicked inside with the new addition of former 49ers’ tackle Trent Brown in a Day Two pre-draft trade. The Patriots also filled the vacancy of Dion Lewis by drafting the explosive running back in Sony Michel. The trade happy Bill Belichick emerged from his scuffed hoodie on Day Two trading away the Patriots additional second, third, and fourth-round picks for extra draft capital in later rounds, and what I believe was Belichick’s mission to continuously trade the Jimmy Garoppolo pick for years to come until everyone forgets. Nevertheless, like always, the Patriots did a good job finding players to build around Tom Brady. Besides, who needs an heir apparent to Brady when he’s clearly going to play for the next 10 years - insert sarcasm font. — Greg
Picks: DE Marcus Davenport (1); WR Tre’Quan Smith (3); OT Rick Leonard (4); S Natrell Jamerson (5); CB Kamrin Moore (6); RB Boston Scott; C Will Clapp (7)
Analysis: This grade would definitely be higher if it weren’t for the fact that the Saints gave up an extra pick in next year’s draft (a first rounder, at that) to move up and select Marcus Davenport who, while may have some inside, is too raw of a prospect to warrant such spending. New Orleans did fine in terms of the rest of their draft - Tra’Quan Smith is a receiver who will (obviously) benefit from playing in the Saints offense with the likes of Drew Brees, but it’s the ransom paid for Davenport that really kills their draft grade this year.
Picks: RB Saquon Barkley (1); (2) Guard Will Hernandez (2); DE Lorenzo Carter (3); DL B.J. Hill (3); QB Kyle Lauletta Jr. (4); DL RJ Mclntosh (5);
Analysis: Yes, the Giants were winners the moment they selected Saquon Barkley. Some may think this was too risky of a pick and too rich to select a running back. However, Barkley is going to instantly make the Giants a better team and prolong Eli Manning’s career. That alone is a win for the Giants. Hernandez is great value in the second and the Giants addressed their pass rushing needs with high flying defensive end Lorenzo Carter. Oh, and let’s not forget about Kyle Lauletta who has been compared to Jimmy Garoppolo. Lauletta could be the future franchise quarterback for the Giants. This was a strong first draft for GM Dave Gettleman. — Alex
Draft picks: USC QB Sam Darnold (No. 3), Fort Hays State DT Nathan Shepherd (No. 72), Miami TE Christopher Herndon (No. 107), Tulane CB Parry Nickerson (No. 179), Connecticut DT Foley Fatukasi (No. 180), Virginia State RB Trenton Cannon (No. 204).
After giving up three second-round picks to move up three spots, the Jets were finally able to land their quarterback of the future in Sam Darnold. Despite losing draft capital in the money rounds of Day Two, I give props to the Jets for going after their guy in Darnold. With a Roster in desperate need of a lot of quality players, the rest of the Jets’ draft class offers slim pickings in finding high quality starters, although the raw Nathan Shepherd should develop nicely with a bright future ahead. Nevertheless, the team has their franchise quarterback to build around. — Greg
Oakland Raiders: C-
Picks: OT Kolton Miller (1); DT P.J. Hall (2); OT Brandon Parker (3); DE Arden Key (3); CB Nick Nelson (4); DT Maurice Hurst (5); P Johnny Townsend (5); LB Azeem Victor (6); WR Marcell Ateman (7)
Analysis: It’s been 10 years since head coach Jon Gruden took part in an NFL draft and, well, let’s just say it was an interesting one. If you like “boom-or-bust” prospects then look no further because it seems like the Raiders swooped in on just about all of them in this year’s class. Kolton Miller, to many, seemed like quite the reach in the first round. Arden Key, while talented, needs to stay out of trouble off the field. Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst fell all the way to the fifth round because of a heart condition - if he remains healthy he could be the steal of this draft class. Oakland traded for receiver Martavis Bryant with one of the extra picks received when they traded back in the first round; aside from Bryant, it’s hard to envision any of these rookies making a large impact in 2018.
Picks: TE Dallas Goedert (1); CB Avonte Maddox (4); DE Josh Sweat (4); OG Matt Pryor (6); Center Jordan Mailata (7);
The Eagles didn’t have a lot of picks to begin with. However, they still didn’t address one of their most glaring needs at running back. I was also confused with the Dallas Goedert selection, especially since the Eagles have one of the best tight ends in Zach Ertz. With limited draft capital and some questionable picks the Eagles left a little to be desired with this draft class. However, they are the defending Super Bowl champions, and the roster is pretty stacked to begin with. — Alex
Draft picks: Virginia Tech S Terrell Edmunds (No. 28), Oklahoma State WR James Washington (No. 60), Oklahoma State QB Rudolph (No. 76), Western Michigan OT Chukwuma Okorafor (No. 92), Penn State S Marcus Allen (No. 148), N.C. State RB Jaylen Samuels (No. 165), Alabama DT Joshua Frazier (No. 246).
Watching Ryan Shazier walk on stage to announce the Steelers’ first-round pick was an emotional tearjerker for any football fan. It was a great moment. Unfortunately, the selection of the pick in safety Terrell Edmunds was a reach. Day Two was a different story, where the focus was replacing recently traded Martavis Bryant in selecting wide receiver James Washington. Adding Washington to an already explosive receiving corps in Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, makes the Steelers’ offense excitingly more impressive. However, the Steelers were not done and moved up to draft quarterback Mason Rudolph. Rudolph, considered by some as an early second-round selection, dropped before the Steelers swooped him to select him. Rudolph finds himself in an ideal position learning behind Ben Roethlisberger and surrounded by a talented offensive, not to mention the camaraderie he already shares with fellow Oklahoma State teammate James Washington. — Greg
Picks: RB Rashaad Penny (1); DE Rasheem Green (3); TE Will Dissly (4); LB Shaquem Griffin (5); S Tre Flowers (5); P Michael Dickson (5); OT Jamarco Jones (5); LB Jake Martin (6); QB Alex McGough (7)
Analysis: It’s probably closer to being a D+ but sometimes it’s just fun to give your rivals lower grades. Rashaad Penny was probably a reach towards the end of the 1st round and Rasheem Green is still a couple of years away from regularly contributing. For all the needs they have on defense, it didn’t seem like a lot of them were addressed effectively. Punter Michael Dickson is a good one but it’s one of many head-scratching selections made by the Seahawks - and I am totally fine with that.
Picks: DT Vita Vea (1); RB Ronald Jones (2); CB M.J. Stewart (2); CB Carlton Davis (2); G Alex Cappa (3); S Jordan Whitehead (4); WR Justin Watson (5); LB Jack Cichy (7)
Analysis: I’m not really sure what to make of what the Bucs did with their draft. Vita Vea is a very strong human being and he joins an up-and-coming defense that should create problems for NFC teams. USC running back Ronald Jones is interesting - he did show some instances of being a high-volume back in college but there are still questions about whether or not he can carry an entire offense’s running game on his back. MJ Stewart and Carlton Davis should be able to contribute right away at cornerback and Alex Cappa could be a starter on the offense live in a couple of seasons. There just seem to be a lot of “ifs” with this draft class - but I guess that could be said about any draft class at any given time.
Tennessee Titans: B+
Picks: ILB Rashaan Evans (1); DE Harold Landry (2); S Dane Cruikshank (5); QB Luke Falk (6)
Analysis: The Titans only had a total of four draft picks this year so that makes it easier (but also harder?) to grade them. Linebacker Rahsaan Evans will replace Avery Williamson. Defensive end Harold Landry, if healthy, is an absolute steal in the second round and could contribute right away if given the opportunity to do so. Safety Dane Cruikshank (round 5) provides depth in the secondary and will contribute on special teams. What I really like, though, is the selection of quarterback Luke Falk in the sixth round. He has the real potential to develop into a starter down the road, which means that the Titans dangle him out for trade offers when the time comes.
Picks: DL DaRone Payne (1); RB Derrius Guice (2); OT Geron Christian (3); S Troy Apke (4); DL Tim Settle (5); LB Shaun Dion Hamilton (6); CB Greg Stroman (7); WR Trey Quinn (7);
7 rounds and 8 picks for Washington in this draft class, including this year’s Mr. Irrelevant, Trey Quinn. Washington needed to address the defensive line and the running game. They accomplished both tasks within the first two rounds. Guice comes with some concerns off the field, and that will have to be monitored. Geron Christian provides Alex Smith with more protection on the line. Tim Settle was great value in the fifth round. I would have liked to have seen Washington select a quarterback to develop. Alex Smith isn’t the long term answer in DC. A wide receiver at some point would have been nice to see as well. I liked Washington’s draft class, however I didn’t love it. — Alex