NFL Draft First Round Grades
posted Apr 26 2013, 03:23PM
posted in NFL, Analysis

Here are my grades for last night's first round. How did your team grade out? Check out the results below!

  1. Kansas City: Eric Fisher, T, Central Michigan

GRADE: A-

The only reason I am a little apprehensive about this pick is because the Chiefs supposedly wanted Joeckel all along, but changed their decision about a week ago. A sudden change that late into the drafting process is a slight cause of concern, but the Chiefs got a hell of a player in Fisher.

  1. Jacksonville: Luke Joeckel, T, Texas A&M

GRADE: A

The Jaguars have solidified the tackle position for the foreseeable future with addition of Joeckle who will play opposite Eugene Monroe. Now the only question is: who will they be protecting?

  1. Miami (TRADED from Oakland): Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon

GRADE: C+

It’s not like I don’t like the selection of the Jason Taylor clone, I just think the Dolphins gave up too much to move up and grab the Oregon product.

  1. Philadelphia: Lane Johnson, T, Oklahoma

GRADE: A

Johnson is the perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s offense. Kelly needs mobile and athletic lineman just as much as he needs his skilled position players to be fast. Great fit for the Eagles.

  1. Detroit: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

GRADE: B-

Given the Lions recent draft strategy of drafting this best player available the selection of Ansah is surprising. Upside is the key with Ziggy, but can a team confidently select a player in the top 5 strictly because of potential? Looks like the Lions did just that, but I can’t say I agree with the move.

  1. Cleveland: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, Cleveland

GRADE: B-

Mingo was very inconsistent in college and is very lean. He needs to bulk up to be able to handle the grind of an NFL season, but his speed off the edge will be tough for opposing linemen to contain.

  1. Arizona: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina

GRADE: A+

Great pick for a team that desperately needed help across the offensive line.

  1. St. Louis (TRADED from Buffalo): Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

GRADE: B+

The Rams moved up and got their guy. I have concerns about his durability due to his stature (Austin stands about 5’8”). He reminds of a cross between Philadelphia’s Desean Jackson and former Lions running back Javid Best. Austin needs to limit the fumbles though, if he wants to have any success in the league.

  1. New York Jets: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

GRADE: B-

Arguably the best corner in the draft, Milliner will be asked to replace Darrelle Revis. Milliner is obviously cheaper and younger than Revis, but corner was not a need for the Jets, and if they wanted a CB they could have waited later in the draft due to the depth at the position in this year’s class. Not to mention they already have Antonio Cromartie and former first round pick Kyle Wilson to start at corner. The Jets’ offense needed to be the focus with this pick. Warmack would have been their best pick.  

  1. Tennessee: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

GRADE: A+

Warmack has got to be ecstatic to go to the team he wanted and the Titans got arguably the top rated player in the draft. Great fit for both sides; however, the Titans would have probably hoped to have landed Cooper here, but Warmack is a hell of a consolation prize.

  1. San Diego: D.J. Fluker, OL, Alabama

GRADE: B-

The offensive line was clearly in need of an infusion of talent. Fluker appears to be best suited to play right tackle or may have to slide to guard, which makes Fluker somewhat of a reach at 11.

  1. Oakland (TRADED from Miami): D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston

GRADE: B

Hayden has risen up draft boards over the past few weeks at an astronomical rate. His ball skills and game tape are very impressive, but the Raiders have so many holes and CB is such a deep position in this draft I think focusing on another need such as a pass rusher like Jarvis Jones may have been a better pick here.

  1. New York Jets (TRADED from Tampa Bay): Sheldon Richardson, DE/DT, Missouri

GRADE: B-

Rex Ryan got both his guys, but similar to my assessment of the Milliner pick, I did not feel the defensive line was a position that needed to be addressed this early. The Jets need to improve their hapless offense, not continue drafting defensive players. How many first round busts on defense will it take for the Jets to realize this?

  1. Carolina: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

GRADE: A

Great value pick for the Panthers. Lotulelei is a disruptive force in the middle and will clog up lanes for linebackers Luke Kuechly and Jon Beason to roam and rack up tackles.

  1. New Orleans: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

GRADE: A

The Saints have so many holes on defense they could have went in several directions with this pick, but rolling with the best overall safety and a playmaker is a good move.

  1. Buffalo (TRADED from St. Louis): E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State

GRADE: D-

What?! No Nassib? No Geno? No Barkley? But rather the Bills though E.J. Manual was the best option at quarterback? Manual has always been an underachiever in my book, so I cannot endorse this pick.

  1. Pittsburgh: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

GRADE: A+

Best case scenario for the Steelers. They needed a replacement to James Harrison and they got one quickly. Great fit for both sides.

  1. San Francisco (TRADED From Dallas): Eric Reid, S, LSU

GRADE: A

 I am a fan of Reid’s game and would have loved to have seen the Cowboys keep their pick to select him, but instead the Niners grabbed him, and got the best center fielder in the draft, which was their most pressing need. Great move.

  1. New York Giants: Justin Pugh, OL, Syracuse

GRADE: B+

I like the pick and it is a position of need for the Boys in Blue, but I just felt Pugh could have been a little later in the draft. Pugh will be a staple on the Giants line for years to come.

  1. Chicago: Kyle Long, OL, Oregon

GRADE: B+

See Giants comments. Long is a much better athlete than Pugh and has the potential to play guard or tackle in the NFL. That versatility is vital for a team with so many holes on their offensive line. Long’s NFL bloodlines must also be reassuring for Bears fans.

  1. Cincinnati: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

GRADE: A

This wasn’t a position of need for the Bengals, but Eifert was arguably the best player available at this spot. He also has the talent to elevate the Bengal offense to new heights. A.J. Green, Jermaine Gresham, Mohamed Sanu, Andrew Hawkins and Eifert will combine to give the Bengals one of the most potent air attacks in the league. I like the move. Now they just need to add a safety and running back, which shouldn’t be a problem with the depth at both positions in this draft.

  1. Atlanta (TRADED from St. Louis): Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

GRADE: B

The Falcons wanted Trufant for a while now. They got their guy, but had to move up a few spots to get him.

  1. Minnesota: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

GRADE: A+

Best value in the first round. A consensus top 5 pick drops to pick 23, and it fills a position of need? The Vikings could have never dreamed this scenario. My only concern with Floyd was his motivation, or lack thereof, which was likely the main reason he dropped so far on Thursday. But his draft day free fall was likely the best thing that could happen to the Pennsylvania native, and will provide the biggest chip on his shoulder that anyone could imagine.

  1. Indianapolis: Bjoern Werner, OLB, Florida State

GRADE: A

Werner will have to convert to play OLB in Indy after playing DE at Florida State, but the transition should be relatively seamless for the German.

  1. Minnesota: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

GRADE: A

Another steal by the Vikings. Rhodes was one of the top ranked corners in the draft, and a projected top 15 pick who dropped. The Vikings were able to fill another position of need with this pick.

  1. Green Bay: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

GRADE: B

Jones is versatile and a handful to contain. He filled a position of need for the Pack and I expect him to be a great asset for years to come. Florida State’s Tank Carradine would have also been a great pick at this spot.

  1. Houston: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

GRADE: A

I am a big fan of Hopkins and his abilities. He was one of my highest rated wide receivers in this class, and will compliment Andre Johnson nicely in Houston.

  1. Denver: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

GRADE: A

Another great value. DTs fell due to the sheer number of quality prospects available. The interior of the Broncos defense needed to be improved and Williams will help solidify the defensive line, but the Broncos still need to add a safety, mike linebacker and some help on the offensive line.

  1. Minnesota (TRADED from New England): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

GRADE: A-

Arguably the top receiver in the draft, but his lack of production in college concerns me, as does his lack of consistent effort. Teaming up with Greg Jennings and Adrian Peterson should rectify those flaws, and turn this dynamic receiver into a star.

  1. St. Louis (TRADED from Atlanta): Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

GRADE: A+

Great value. Ogletree is one of the most talented linebackers in this class, and fell not because of lack of talent, but simply because of some off the field red flags. The Rams took a risk last year on cornerback Janoris Jenkins, which turned out to be a brilliant move, and are willing to take that risk again this year with Ogleetree.

  1. Dallas (TRADED from San Francisco): Travis Frederick, OL, Wisconsin

GRADE: C-

Reach. Big reach. I had the Cowboys taking Frederick in my last mock draft... in the third round. In the Cowboys’ defense Frederick was their highest rated player at pick #31, and the Boys have had a very high success rate in the first couple rounds of the draft since 2010, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt. Frederick also fills a position of need and was the consensus top center, but how did the Cowboys not get more picks for trading back with the Niners, a team loaded with draft picks?

  1. Baltimore: Matt Elam, S, Florida

GRADE: A-

Elam fills a position of need and was the best safety available. Plus, any pick made by Ozzie Newsome is a good pick in my book. Just check his track record.

Kayvon Padidar
I am 24 years old and a military veteran. I recently graduated from The Ohio State University and was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I am a sports...





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