Draft Grades - AFC

Baltimore and Cincinnati are two AFC teams that had grade A drafts. Here is a breakdown of each team.


Baltimore Ravens (A)
Matt Elam (S) Florida
Arthur Brown (MLB) Kansas State
Brandon Williams (DT) Missouri Southern State
John Simon (OLB) Ohio State
Kyle Juszczyk (FB) Harvard
Ricky Wagner (OT) Wisconsin
Kapron Lewis-Moore (DE) Notre Dame
Ryan Jensen (OG) Colorado State – Pueblo
Aaron Mellette (WR) Elon
Marc Anthony (CB) Cal
It's a draft like this as to why the Ravens are always considered an elite franchise. They just get it and evaluate and draft players that look like ideal fits. Their first four picks should all be starters or major contributors this fall, especially with some of their personnel losses since they won the Super Bowl. Safety Matt Elam is a ball hawking play maker that plays with the same type of instincts that made Ed Reed so great. Linebacker Arthur Brown can play sideline to sideline just like the now retired Ray Lewis did back in the day. Brandon Williams is a D2 nose tackle that seems like a great piece for that Baltimore defensive front while John Simon is a guy with not the greatest measurable but who has a great passion for the game and plays with his hair on fire. Kyle Juszczyk will be a good addition to their offense as a blocker while Ricky Wagner is a solid offensive tackle from Wisconsin. I love what they got in the 6th round in offensive guard Ryan Jensen and in the 7th with wide receiver Aaron Mellette and corner Marc Anthony.

Buffalo Bills (B)
E.J. Manuel (QB) FSU
Robert Woods (WR) USC
Kiko Alonso (MLB) Oregon
Marquise Goodwin (WR) Texas
Duke Williams (S) Nevada
Jonathan Meeks (S) Clemson
Dustin Hopkins (K) FSU
Chris Gragg (TE) Arkansas
The Bills traded out of their original spot and then selected quarterback E.J. Manuel. That could have been a reach there but GM Buddy Nix and coach Doug Marrone are obviously sky high on him. He has great physical tools and size but he played with no consistency at Florida State. Buffalo knocked it out of the park with the rest of the draft. Robert Woods is the most polished receiver in this draft and he should come in and start immediately while Marquise Goodwin will bring world class speed to the slot position. Middle linebacker Kiko Alonso and safety Duke Williams are both active and productive and should find their way into the lineup quickly. Kicker Dustin Hopkins has a big and accurate leg. The Bills got a good tight end late in Chris Gragg.

Cincinnati Bengals(A-)
Tyler Eifert (TE) Notre Dame
Gionavi Bernard (RB) North Carolina
Margus Hunt (DE) SMU
Shawn Williams (S) Georgia
Sean Porter (OLB) Texas A&M
Tanner Hawkinson (OT) Kansas
Rex Burkhead (RB) Nebraska
Cobi Hamilton (WR) Arkansas
Reid Fragel (OT) Ohio State
T.J. Johnson (C) South Carolina
Cincinnati quietly put together a really good group for this draft class led by their top choice, tight end Tyler Eifert. Pairing him with their current tight end Jermaine Gresham and wide receiver A.J. Green is brilliant and they will be tough to defend. The Bengals loved Gionavi Bernard and drafted him first. He's a good change up to Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis. Margus Hunt is a freak athlete with enormous size and athleticism. Safety Shawn Williams and outside linebacker Sean Porter were two very good players from the SEC. Offensive tackle Tanner Hawkinson is a nice developmental player as is Reid Fragel who they picked up a little later. Cincinnati gets great value with the pick of Cobi Hamilton while running back Rex Burkhead could be a surprise.

Cleveland Browns(C)
Barkevious Mingo (DE) LSU
Leon McFadden (CB) San Diego State
Jamoris Slaughter (S) Notre Dame
Armonty Bryant (DE) East Central (OK)
Garrett Gilkey (OG) Chardon State
The Brown didn't have many selections and what they used pretty much all went to their defense. Barkevious Mingo was their first overall selection. He's an athletic and versatile talent that many have compared to Jevan Kearse. Leon McFadden is a very good cornerback with nice upside and promise. If Jamaris Slaughter can keep his knee healthy he could be a real bargain for Cleveland. They get a defensive end with serious upside late in Armonty Bryant. He's a very small school guy. Their lone offensive draftee is another small school guy in Garrett Gilkey from Chardon State.

Denver Broncos (C)
Sylvester Williams (DT) North Carolina
Montee Ball (RB) Wisconsin
Kayvon Webster (CB) USF Quanterus Smith (DE) Western Kentucky
Tavarres King (WR) Georgia
Vinston Painter (OT) Virginia Tech
Zack Dysert (QB) Miami (Ohio)
The Broncos picked Sylvester Williams early and he will be a great addition to defensive front. Meanwhile, Denver is hoping Montee Ball can be just as productive for the Broncos as he was for the Badgers. Quanterus Smith could be a super mid-round find if his knee is healthy. Tavarres King is a receiver that could really blossom with Peyton Manning.

Houston Texans (B)
DeAndre Hopkins (WR) Clemson
D.J. Swearinger (S) South Carolina
Brennan Williams (OT) North Carolina
Sam Montgomery (DE) LSU
Trevardo Williams (LB) UConn
David Quessenberry (OT) San Jose State
Chris Jones (DT) Bowling Green
Ryan Griffin (TE) UConn
The Texans are hoping that wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins can be the compliment opposite Andre Johnson. Safety D.J. Swearinger and defensive ends Sam Montgomery and Trevardo Williams look like nice fits in that Texans defense. Chris Jones is a nice late round find at defensive tackle. Their two offensive tackles, Brennan Williams and David Quessenberry both have a chance to make big contributions with this team.

Indianapolis Colts (C+)
Bjoern Werner (DE) FSU
Hugh Thornton (OG) Illinois
Khaled Holmes (C) USC
Montori Hughes (DT) Tennessee-Martin
John Boyett (S) Oregon
Kerwynn Williams (RB) Utah State
Justice Cunningham (TE) South Carolina
I love Bjoern Werner but wonder if he's the right fit with what the Colts do defensively. Indy addressed their offensive line needs with the additions of guard Hugh Thornton and center Khaled Holmes. Montori Hughes will be a good plugger in the middle of the Indy defense while Kerwynn Williams could be the steal of the draft for the Colts.

Jacksonville Jaguars (B-)
Luke Joeckel (OT) Texas A&M
Jonathan Cyprien (S) Florida International
Dwayne Gratz (CB) UConn
Ace Sanders (WR) South Carolina
Denard Robinson (RB) Michigan
Josh Evans (S) Florida
Jeremy Harris (CB) New Mexico State
Demetrius McCray (CB) Appalachian State
It's interesting how the Jaguars addressed their pass rush needs by drafting five defensive backs – safeties Jonathan Cyprien and Josh Evans and cornerbacks Dwayne Gratz, Jeremy Harris and Demetrius McCray. Of course they land perhaps the safest player in the entire draft in Luke Joeckel. Ace Sanders and Denard Robinson should provide some sparks for Jacksonville when they have the ball in their hands.

Kansas City Chiefs (C+)
Eric Fisher (OT) Central Michigan
Travis Kelce (TE) Cincinnati
Knile Davis (RB) Arkansas
Nico Johnson (LB) Alabama
Sanders Commings (CB) Georgia
Eric Kush (C) California (Pa.)
Braden Wilson (RB) Kansas State
Mike Catapona (DE) Princeton
The Chiefs found some more pieces to their offense. Of course they picked Eric Fisher with the No. 1 overall selection. Travis Kelce could turn into a beast of a tight end under Andy Reid and in his system. Knile Davis could be one of the steals of the draft if he hangs on to the football. Mike Catapona could be a super late round find as a defensive end.

Miami Dolphins (B-)
Dion Jordan (DE) Oregon
Jamar Taylor (CB) Boise State
Dallas Thomas (OG) Tennessee
Will Davis (CB) Utah State
Jelani Jenkins (OLB) Florida
Dion Sims (TE) Michigan State
Mike Gillislee (RB) Florida
Caleb Sturgis (K) Florida
Don Jones (S) Arkansas State
The Dolphins traded up in the first round and stunned many by taking defensive end Dion Jordan. They also picked up two cornerbacks and a safety. Dallas Thomas is a lineman that can play guard or tackle. They also picked up three Gators in running back Mike Gillislee, linebacker Jelani Jenkins and kicker Caleb Sturgis.

New England Patriots (B-)
Jamie Collins (OLB) Southern Miss
Aaron Dobson (WR) Marshall
Logan Ryan (CB) Rutgers
Duron Harmon (S) Rutgers
Josh Boyce (WR) TCU
Michael Buchanan
Steve Beauharnais (LB) Rutgers
The Patriots traded out of the first round to get more picks. They finished with another nice draft. Outside linebacker Jamie Collins has incredible measurable and production to match. Aaron Dobson should flourish with Tom Brady. If Josh Boyce is healthy he can do that same. Logan Ryan is a guy that should help out the secondary pretty quickly while Steve Beauharnais and Michael Buchanan are two nice 7th round finds.

New York Jets (B)
Dee Milliner (CB) Alabama
Sheldon Richardson (DT) Missouri
Geno Smith (QB) West Virginia
Brian Winters (OG) Kent State
Oday Oboushi (OL) Virginia
William Campbell (DT) Michigan State
I am going to give the Jets the benefit of the doubt here. Drafting Dee Milliner was a no brainer after the trade of Darrelle Revis. The selection of Sheldon Richardson was a head scratcher but he is a better pass rusher than Star Lotulelei so it makes sense. New York then takes Geno Smith and he will make or break this class and perhaps this regime. Brian Winters and Oday Oboushi are nice offensive linemen added in the middle of their draft.

Oakland Raiders (B)
D.J. Hayden (CB) Houston
Menelik Watson (OT) FSU
Sio Moore (LB) UConn
Tyler Wilson (QB) Arkansas
Nick Kasa (TE) Colorado
Mychal Riveria (TE) Tennessee
Stacey McGee (DT) Oklahoma
Brice Butler (WR) San Diego State
David Bass (DE) Missouri Western
For the first time in a very long time I would say that the Raiders had a really nice draft. They addressed needs almost everywhere. Cornerback D.J. Hayden, if healthy, is as good as any defensive back in this draft class. Offensive tackle Menelik Watson is raw but he has every bit the athletic ability of an offensive tackle in this class. Sio Moore is a very productive and just makes plays while in time Tyler Wilson could be developed into the Raiders QB of the future. I also like the upside of tight end Nick Kasa and defensive end David Bass is a nice 7th round find.

Pittsburgh Steelers (B)
Jarvis Jones (OLB) Georgia
Le'Veon Bell (RB) Michigan State
Markus Wheaton (WR) Oregon State
Shamarko Thomas (S) Syracuse
Landry Jones (QB) Oklahoma
Terry Hawthorne (CB) Illinois
Justin Brown (WR) Oklahoma
Vince Williams (MLB) FSU
Nick Williams (DT) Samford
The Steelers caught a huge break as outside linebacker Jarvis Jones fell right into their lap. What a great player in the perfect system for Jones. I thought Le'Veon Bell was the second best back in this draft. Markus Wheaton and Shamarko Thomas should be good players for Pittsburgh. Big Ben can't play forever and Landry Jones looks like a guy that can be developed over time.

San Diego Chargers (B+)
D.J. Fluker (OT) Alabama
Manti Te'o (MLB) Notre Dame
Keenan Allen (WR) Cal
Steve Williams (CB) Cal
Tourek Williams (DE) Florida International
Brad Sorenson (QB) Southern Utah
Over the first three rounds the Chargers basically drafted three players with three first round grades in offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, linebacker Manti Te'o and wide receiver Keenan Allen. That's just awesome. Steve Williams is a good cornerback find in the middle of the draft and defensive end Tourek Williams could make this team.

Tennessee Titans (A-)
Chance Warmack (OG) Alabama
Justin Hunter (WR) Tennessee
Blidi Wreh-Wilson (CB) UConn
Zavier Gooden (LB) Missouri
Brian Schwenke (C) Cal
Lavar Edwards (DE) LSU
Khalid Wooten (S) Nevada
Damion Stafford (S) Nebraska
I love the Tennessee class. Chance Warmack is a beast at guard and Brian Schwenke is a nasty center. Wide receiver Justin Hunter has first round talent while Blidi Wreh-Wilson is a big corner that can make big plays. Zavier Gooden is one of the most athletic linebackers in this draft while Lavar Edwards was one of LSU's better players. Like I said, I love what the Titans did from top to bottom.

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