Draft Grades - NFC

San Francisco, Arizona, and Minnesota are three teams that drafted very well.


Arizona Cardinals (B+)
Jonathan Cooper (OG) North Carolina
Kevin Minter (MLB) LSU
Tyran Mathieu (CB) LSU
Alex Okafor (DE) Texas
Earl Watford (OG) James Madison
Stepfan Taylor (RB) Stanford
Ryan Swope (WR) Texas A&M
Andre Ellington (RB) Clemson
D.C. Jefferson (TE) Rutgers
It may not be the best draft class but what Arizona pulled off this weekend is pretty darn close. They landed one of the elite offensive linemen in guard Jonathan Cooper and another later Earl Watford. Addressing the line of scrimmage was a huge need for this time. In rounds two, three and four the Cardinals also got some defensive help on all three levels with defensive end Alex Okafor, middle linebacker Kevin Minter and cornerback Tyran Mathieu. Mathieu could be a steal for the secondary if he stays on the right path off the field. He reunites with his former LSU teammate Patrick Peterson. Smart move. Arizona gets three good players late in Stepfan Taylor, Andre Ellington and Ryan Swope. Swope is a productive slot while Taylor is a productive every down back. Ellington can hit a few home runs from the running back position. This kid has some explosiveness. D.C. Jefferson is a developmental guy at tight end with upside.

Atlanta Falcons (B)
Desmond Trufant (CB) Washington
Robert Alford (CB) Southeastern Louisiana
Mallicah Goodman (DE) Clemson
Levine Toilolo (TE) Stanford
Stansly Maponga (DE) TCU
Kemal Ishmael (DB) Central Florida
Zeke Motta (S) Notre Dame
Sean Renfree (QB) Duke
The Falcons add two big needs at cornerback and defensive end. That's exactly what they went after. Their first two picks were corners Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford. Two of the next three picks were ends Mallicah Goodman and Stansly Maponga. The may have found their heir apparent to tight end Tony Gonzales in Levine Toilolo. Late in the draft they found a heady safety in Zeke Motta and a David Cutcliffe disciple at QB in Sean Renfree.

Carolina Panthers(C+)
Star Lotulelei (DT) Utah
Kawaan Short (DT) Purdue
Edmund Kugbila (OG) Valdosta State
A.J. Klein (LB) Iowa State
Kenjon Barner (RB) Oregon
It's not a nice sexy draft for Carolina because the Panthers addressed areas like defensive tackle. I think Star Lotulelei is an absolute steal because he's a top five talent. Kawaan Short shows something special on film but he needs to play hard on every down. Edmund Kugbila will come in at guard while they get A.J. Klein to shore up the outside linebacker position. Kenjon Barner is a speedster from Oregon than should be a real nice compliment to what they have there in Carolina.

Chicago Bears (C+)
Kyle Long (OG) Oregon
Jon Bostic (MLB) Florida
Khaseem Greene (OLB) Rutgers
Jordan Mills (OT) Louisiana Tech
Cornelius Washington (DE)
Marquess Wilson (WR) Washington State
The Bears needed to beef up their offensive front and land some linebackers and that's exactly what they did. Kyle Long was a surprise with their first round selection. He could play guard or tackle. Jordan Mills could be a nice late find on day three at offensive tackle. Jon Bostic is an active middle linebacker from Florida while Khaseem Greene is a big play linebacker from Rutgers that was very productive. Cornelius Washington tested off the charts and is a very athletic defensive end that needs to play with consistency. Marquess Wilson is a good 7th round find at wide receiver.

Dallas Cowboys (C)
Travis Frederick (C) Wisconsin
Gavin Escobar (TE) San Diego State
Terrence Williams (WR) Baylor
J.J. Wilcox (S) Georgia Southern
B.W. Webb (CB) William & Mary
Joseph Randle (RB) Oklahoma State
Devonte Holloman (LB) South Carolina
Dallas had the reach of the first round in taking Travis Frederick. While he's the top center in this draft and fills a glaring need for the Cowboys, he's also a guy Dallas could have drafted later on in the second or perhaps the third round. From there it appears the Cowboys did quite well, drafting some good players in need areas like tight end Gavin Escobar, wide receiver Terrence Williams, safety J J Wilcox, cornerback B W Webb , running back Joseph Randle and linebacker Devonte Holloman.

Detroit Lions (B-)
Ziggy Ansah (DE) BYU
Darius Slay (CB) Mississippi State
Larry Warford (OG) Kentucky
Devin Taylor (DE) South Carolina
Sam Martin (P) Appalachian State
Corey Fuller (WR) Virginia Tech
Theo Riddick (RB) Notre Dame
Michael Williams (TE) Alabama
Brandon Hepburn MLB) Florida A&M
The Lions are getting something special in defensive end Ziggy Ansah if he can develop the right way. He has a chance to be an elite and special player down the line. Darius Slay should provide immediate help in the secondary while Warford should provide some punch to their offensive front. Devin Taylor is a nice middle round find at a need area.

Green Bay Packers (B)
Datone Jones (DE) UCLA
Eddie Lacy (RB) Alabama
David Bakhtiari (OT) Colorado
J.C. Tretter (OG) Cornell
Johnathan Franklin (RB) UCLA
Micah Hyde (CB) Iowa
Josh Boyd (DT) Mississippi State
Nate Palmer (OLB) Illinois State
Charles Johnson (WR) Grand Valley State
Kevin Dorsey (WR) Maryland
Sam Barrington (LB) USF
I really like this Packer draft, especially the top half. Datone Jones should give Green Bay a big boost on the defensive front while running backs Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin could be a nice one-two punch. Offensive tackle David Bakhtiari and guard J.C. Tretter both have really good upside.

Minnesota Vikings (B+)
Shariff Floyd (DT) Florida
Xavier Rhodes (CB) FSU
Cordarrelle Patterson (WR) Tennessee
Gerald Hodges (LB) Penn State
Jeff Locke (P) UCLA
Jeff Baca (OG) UCLA
Mike Mauti (MLB) Penn State
Travis Bond (OG) North Carolina
Everett Dawkins (DT) FSU
I absolutely love what the Vikings did on Thursday. You caught two sliding players in Shariff Floyd and Cordarrelle Patterson and a really good cornerback in Xavier Rhodes. All three should be impact players for Minnesota. I also like the late addition of defensive tackle Everett Dawkins and drafting of the two guards. Linebacker was addressed with Mike Mauti and Gerald Hodges. If they can stay healthy this could turn out to be one heck of a draft for the Vikings.

New Orleans Saints (C+)
Kenny Vaccaro (S) Texas
Terron Armstead (OT) Arkansas Pine Bluff
John Jenkins (DT) Georgia
Kenny Stills (WR) Oklahoma
Rufus Johnson (DE) Tarleton State
The Saints only had five picks and I love four of them. Kenny Vaccaro was the draft's top safety while Terron Armstead could be the steal of this class at offensive tackle. John Jenkins is a perfect fit for their new scheme on defense while Kenny Stills could make some nice, early contributions to the Saints defense.

New York Giants (B)
Justin Pugh (OL) Syracuse
Johnathan Hankins (DT) Ohio State
Damontre Moore (DE) Texas A&M
Ryan Nassib (QB) Syracuse
Cooper Taylor (S) Richmond
Eric Herman (OG) Ohio
Michael Cox (RB) Massachusetts
When it comes to the draft the Giants do it as well as anyone. They address the line of scrimmage with their first three picks in offensive tackle Justin Pugh, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and defensive end Damontre Moore. Quarterback Ryan Nassib slid to New York in the fourth round.

Philadelphia Eagles (B)
Lane Johnson (OT) Oklahoma
Zach Ertz (TE) Stanford
Bennie Logan (DT) LSU
Matt Barkley (QB) USC
Earl Wolff (S) N.C. State
Joe Kruger (OLB) Utah
Tommy Bohanon (FB) Wake Forest
Jordan Poyer (CB) Oregon State
David King (DE) Oklahoma
It was an interesting draft for Chip Kelly. He had to take Lane Johnson to shore up his offensive line. Zach Ertz is a tight end that he saw kill him in college. Of course Matt Barkley is an another guy he played four times and he knows exactly what he can do as a quarterback. That could be a great match. In the back half of the draft the Eagles landed some nice pieces for their defense.

San Francisco 49ers (A)
Eric Reid (S) LSU
Tank Carradine (DE) FSU
Vance McDonald (TE) Rice
Corey Lemonier (OLB) Auburn
Quinton Patton (WR) Louisiana Tech
Marcus Lattimore (RB) San Francisco
Quinton Dial (DE) Alabama
Nick Moody (OLB) FSU
B.J. Daniels (QB) USF
Carter Bykowski (OT) Iowa State
It's funny how the Super Bowl champs and runner ups had arguably the top two drafts. The 49ers got aggressive in round one and traded up for safety Eric Ried. They got a first round talent in the second with Tank Carradine. Vance McDonald was considered one of the top five tight ends in this draft and wide receiver Quinton Patton fell to them in the fourth round. Corey Lemonier could develop into a great player in time as an outside linebacker. Of course they snatched up running back Marcus Lattimore, who in a year or two, could really be a factor in the San Francisco offense.

Seattle Seahawks (B)
Christine Michael (RB) Texas A&M
Jordan Hill (DT) Penn State
Chris Harper (WR) Kansas State
Jesse Williams (DT) Alabama
Tharold Simon (CB) LSU
Luke Wilson (TE) Ricce
Spencer Ware (RB) LSU
Ryan Seymour (OG) Vanderbilt
Ty Powell (DE) Harding
Jared Smith (DT) New Hampshire
Michael Bowie (OT) NE Oklahoma State
Hats off to Seattle. They didn't have a first round pick because they used it to get Percy Harvin. Regardless, this is a very good crop headed to the Seahawks. Running backs Christine Michael and Spencer Ware can be early contributors. And more defensive linemen are headed their way. They picked up defensive tackle Jesse Williams, Jared Smith and Jordan Hill and end Ty Powell.

St. Louis Rams (A-)
Tavon Austin (WR) West Virginia
Alec Ogletree (LB) Georgia
T.J. McDonald (S) USC
Stedman Bailey (WR) West Virginia
Barrett Jones (C) Alabama
Brandon McGee (CB) Miami
Zac Stacy (RB) Vanderbilt
The Rams hit a grand slam in the draft once again. Tavon Austin is a game changing slot receiver. Linebacker Alec Ogletree is a top 15 talent taken at the bottom of the first round. St. Louis addressed their safety need with the addition of TJ McDonald. Stedman Bailey is a wide receiver that could make significant contribution early and often. And Barrett Jones, Brandon McGee and Zac Stacy are all players that could make this team and be factors.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (B-)
Johnathan Banks (CB) Mississippi State
Mike Glennon (QB) N.C. State
Akeem Spence (DT) Illinois
William Gholston (DE) Michigan State
Steven Means (OLB) Buffalo
Mike James (RB) Miami

Tampa didn't have a first round pick because of the trade for Darrelle Revis. Of course, there was no player in this draft that compares to Revis, especially if he's healthy. But you can't factor that into grade. Still, they picked up another corner with their first pick in Johnathan Banks who has first round talent. Mike Glennon is a quarterback ideal for the Bucs system, especially in the vertical passing game. Tampa Bay needed help in the trenches and drafted a good defensive tackle and end.

Washington Redskins (C+)
David Amerson (CB) N.C. State
Jordan Reed (TE) Florida
Phillip Thomas (S) Fresno State
Chris Thompson (RB) FSU
Brandon Jenkins (DE) FSU
Bacarri Rambo (S) Georgia
Jawan Jamison (RB) Rutgers
The Redskins didn't have a first round pick because of the RG3 trade from last season. I love what they did in the secondary, drafting cornerback David Amerson and safeties Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo. Jordan reed could be a huge weapon at tight end for their franchise quarterback.

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