Draft Report Cards: AFC

Here are the NFL Draft reports cards for the AFC. The New York Jets lead the way.

Draft Report Cards: NFC

AFC East


Buffalo


GRADE: C-
(CB) Ronald Darby (FSU) Round 2 (50)
(OG) John Miller (Louisville) Round 3 (81)
(RB) Karlos Williams (FSU) Round 5 (155)
(OLB) Tony Steward (Clemson) Round 6 (188)
(TE) Nick O’Leary (FSU) Round 6 (194)
(WR) Dezmin Lewis (Central Arkansas) Round 7 (234)
The Bills surprised with their first pick in drafting a speedy corner from Tallahassee in Darby. Miller should help bolster the Buffalo run game from the guard position. Williams has a chance to be a good role player in the running back rotation. Nick O’Leary lacks ideal size and speed but he just makes plays and is a good football player. I think he’s the steal of this lackluster group for the Bills. Buffalo traded away their first round pick a year ago to move up and select wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

Miami Dolphins


GRADE: C+
(WR) DeVante Parker (Louisville) Round 1 (14)
(DT) Jordan Phillips (Oklahoma) Round 2 (52)
(OG) Jamil Douglas (Arizona State) Round 4 (114)
(CB) Bobby McCain (Memphis) Round 5 (145)
(RB) Jay Ajayi (Boise State) Round 5 (149)
(FS) Cedric Thompson (Minnesota) Round 5 (150)
(WR) Tony Lippett (Michigan State) Round 5 (156)
Parker is a super pick with a chance to shine in South Beach with Ryan Tannehill throwing him the ball. Phillips has to realize his superior talent and play with consistency. Their next three picks – guard Jamil Douglas, cornerback Bobby McCain and running back Jay Ajayi are good players that fill needs.

New England Patriots


GRADE: C
(DT) Malcom Brown (Texas) Round 1 (32)
(S) Jordan Richards (Stanford) Round 2 (64)
(DE) Geneo Grissom (Oklahoma) Round 3 (97)
(DE) Trey Flowers (Arkansas) Round 4 (101)
(OG) Tre Jackson (FSU) Round 4 (111)
(C) Shaq Mason (Georgia Tech) Round 4 (131)
(LS) Joe Cardona (Navy) Round 5 (166)
(LB) Matthew Wells (Mississippi State) Round 6 (178)
(TE) A.J. Derby (Arkansas) Round 6 (202)
(CB) Darryl Roberts (Marshall) Round 7 (247)
(DE) Xzavier Dickson (Alabama) Round 7 (253)
For New England, I love the addition of defensive tackle Malcom Brown. He’s a steal and fills a major need. Grissom and Flowers will also help bolster from defensive front. Jackson and Mason are two dominant run blockers.

New York Jets


GRADE: A-
(DT) Leonard Williams (USC) Round 1 (6)
(WR) Devin Smith (Ohio State) Round 2 (37)
(OLB) Lorenzo Mauldin (Louisville) Round 3 (82)
(QB) Bryce Petty (Baylor) Round 4 (103)
(OG) Jarvis Harrison (Texas A&M) Round 5 (152)
(NT) Deon Simon (NW State) Round 7 (223)
I absolutely love what the Jets did with their first three picks. The draft’s top prospect in Leonard Williams falls to them at No. 6, adding his talents to an already deep rotation. Devin Smith was one of college football’s most productive players while outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin is a supreme talent on the edge. It’s the only team I gave an A.


AFC South


Houston Texans


GRADE: C
(CB) Kevin Johnson (Wake Forest) Round 1 (16)
(LB) Benardrick McKinney (Mississippi State) Round 2 (43)
(WR) Jaelen Strong (Arizona State) Round 3 (70)
(WR) Keith Mumphrey (Michigan State) Round 5 (175)
(OLB) Reshard Cliett (USF) Round 6 (211)
(DT) Christian Covington (Rice) Round 6 (216)
(RB) Kenny Hilliard (LSU) Round 7 (235)
The Texans did a nice job of showing patience and being aggressive within each round. All the while they filled needs with some outstanding players, especially with their first three picks. Strong was a third-round steal. McKinney is just the linebacker that they covet because he’s big and athletic. Johnson should be plug-and-play at cornerback.

Indianapolis Colts


GRADE: C+
(WR) Phillip Dorsett (Miami) Round 1 (29)
(CB) D’Joun Smith (FAU) Round 3 (65)
(DE) Henry Anderson (Stanford) Round 3 (93)
(S) Clayton Geathers (UCF) Round 4 (109)
(NT) David Parry (Stanford) Round 5 (151)
(RB) Josh Robinson (Mississippi State) Round 6 (205)
(ILB) Amarlo Herrera (Georgia) Round 6 (207)
(OT) Denzell Goode (Mars Hill) Round 7 (255)
I like this draft by the Colts – first adding the speedy Dorsett and then getting two pieces that really fit their defense well in Smith and Anderson. These two will turn into steals. Geathers is a nice looking safety while Robinson is a bowling ball of a running back. Herrera is a good round-six find. This class would have graded out higher if Indy would have drafted a true pass rusher.

Jacksonville Jaguars


GRADE: B+
(OLB) Dante Fowler (Florida) Round 1 (3)
(RB) T.J. Yeldon (Alabama) Round 2 (36)
(OG) A.J. Cann (South Carolina) Round 3 (67)
(S) James Sample (Louisville) Round 4 (104)
(WR) Rashad Greene (FSU) Round 5 (139)
(DT) Michael Bennett (Ohio State) Round 6 (180)
(WR) Neal Sterling (Monmouth-NJ) Round 7 (220)
(TE) Ben Koyack (Notre Dame) Round 7 (229)
The Jags helped both sides of the ball with their first three picks. Dante Fowler is the best pass rusher in this draft while guard A.J. Cann should develop into a quality guard/center. T.J. Yeldon is a potential every down back for Jacksonville, taking the load off of Denard Robinson. I love the two mid-round picks of wide receiver Rashad Greene and defensive tackle Michael Bennett.

Tennessee Titans


GRADE: B
(QB) Marcus Mariota (Oregon) Round 1 (2)
(WR) Dorial Green-Beckham (Oklahoma) Round 2 (40)
(OT) Jeremiah Poutasi (Utah) Round 3 (66)
(DT) Angelo Blackson (Auburn) Round 4 (100)
(FB) Jalston Fowler (Alabama) Round 4 (108)
(RB) David Cobb (Minnesota) Round 4 (138)
(OLB) Deontrez Mount (Louisville) Round 6 (177)
(C) Andy Galik (Boston College) Round 6 (208)
(WR) Tre McBride (William & Mary) Round 7 (245) There’s no way Tennessee could have walked away from a franchise signal caller even if Marcus Mariota is truly not the right fit in Nashville. It’s Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt’s job to cater his system and style around the talents of his new quarterback. I love trading down in the second and still securing an outside weapon in wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and then drafting an OL in Jeremiah Poutasi. Fullback Jalston Fowler and slot receiver Tre McBride could make impacts on the Titans offense as well.


AFC North


Baltimore Ravens


GRADE: C+
(WR) Breshad Perriman (UCF) Round 1 (26)
(TE) Maxx Williams (Minnesota) Round 2 (55)
(DT) Carl Davis (Iowa) Round 3 (90)
(DE) Za’Darius Smith (Kentucky) Round 4 (122)
(RB) Javorius Allen (USC) Round 5 (125)
(CB) Tray Walker (CB) Texas Southern Round 4 (136)
(TE) Nick Boyle (Delaware) Round 5 (171)
(OG) Robert Myers (Tennessee State) Round 5 (176)
(WR) Darren Waller (Georgia Tech) Round 6 (204)
I think Perrimann will be a feast or famine wide receiver. He has outstanding size and speed but has dropped too many balls and needs to become more consistent. I didn’t think there was a tight end in the draft that warranted round-two status, though Williams was the best of an adequate crop. I love what Baltimore did with their next three picks in defensive end Za’Darius Smith, defensive tackle Carl Davis and running back Buck Allen.

Cincinnati Bengals


GRADE: B
(OT) Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M) Round 1 (21)
(OT) Jake Fisher (Oregon) Round 2 (53)
(TE) Tyler Croft (Rutgers) Round 3 (85)
(LB) Paul Dawson (TCU) Round 3 (99)
(CB) Josh Shaw (USC) Round 4 (120)
(DE) Marcus Hardison (Arizona State) Round 4 (135)
(TE) C.J. Uzomah (Auburn) Round 5 (157)
(S) Derron Smith (Fresno State) Round 6 (197)
(WR) Mario Alford (West Virginia) Round 7 (238)
The Bengals reached a bit to grab their first pick in Ogbuehi because of his injury and then grabbed another very talented tackle in Fisher. Croft is an underrated tight end while Dawson is as productive as any linebacker in this draft. Safety Derron Smith, defensive end Marcus Hardison, cornerback Josh Shaw, and wide receiver Mario Alford are nice mid-to-late round finds. This is as deep of a draft class as you will find. If those two O-tackles work out then WOW!

Cleveland Browns


GRADE: B+
(NT) Danny Shelton (Washington) Round 1 (12)
(OL) Cameron Erving (FSU) Round 1 (19)
(OLB) Nate Orchard (Utah) Round 2 (51)
(RB) Duke Johnson (Miami) Round 3 (77)
(DT) Xavier Cooper (Washington State) Round 3 (96)
(SS) Ibraheim Campbell (Northwestern) Round 4 (115)
(WR) Vince Mayle (Washington State) Round 4 (123)
(CB) Charles Gaines (Louisville) Round 6 (189)
(TE) Malcolm Johnson (Mississippi State) Round 6 (195)
(TE) Randall Telfer (USC) Round 6 (198)
(ILB) Hayes Pullard (USC) Round 7 (219)
(CB) Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (Oregon) Round 7 (241)
The Browns had a strong first two days. It’s not sexy but Cleveland drafted guys working from the inside-out. Danny Shelton will be an immediate anchor in the middle of the defense, joined by two other pieces for their defense in end Xavier Cooper and pass rusher Nate Orchard. Then you add an offensive line piece in Cameron Erving who can play anywhere on the line and one of the draft’s most explosive players in running back Duke Johnson. Linebacker Hayes Pullard and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu are two good rolls of the dice in round seven.

Pittsburgh Steelers


GRADE: B
(OLB) Alvin Dupree (Kentucky) Round 1 (22)
(CB) Sequez Golson (Ole Miss) Round 2 (56)
(WR) Sammie Coates (Auburn) Round 3 (87)
(CB) Doran Grant (Ohio State) Round 4 (121)
(TE) Jesse James (Penn State) Round 5 (160)
(DT) Leterrius Walton (Central Michigan) Round 6 (199)
(DE) Anthony Chickillo (Miami) Round 6 (212)
(S) Gerod Holliman (Louisville) Round 7 (239)
Dupree is a freak and could develop into a big time talent as a pass rusher in the Pitt defense. Golson lacks ideal size but the kid from Ole Miss makes plays. Coates has size and speed but needs to develop better consistency. Cornerback Doran Grant is a great pick in round five while defensive end Chickillo has the playing mentality of a Steeler. Don’t sleep on safety Gerod Holliman.


AFC West

Denver Broncos


GRADE: C
(DE) Shane Ray (Missouri) Round 1 (23)
(OT) Ty Sambrailo (Colorado State) Round 2 (59)
(TE) Jeff Heuerman (Ohio State) Round 3 (92)
(C) Max Garcia (Florida) Round 4 (133)
(CB) Lorenzo Doss (Tulane) Round 5 (164)
(NT) Darius Kilgo (Maryland) Round 6 (203)
(QB) Trevor Siemian (Northwestern) Round 7 (250)
(DB) Taurean Nixon (Tulane) Round 7 (251)
(S) Josh Furman (Oklahoma State) Round 7 (252)
Good picks here for Denver that fill needs. Ray is one of the top pass rushers in this draft, as Denver made an aggressive move to go up and get him. Sambrailo has upside as a tackle and Heuerman should bring the Broncos offense versatility. Quarterback Trevor Siemian could be a sneaky good player that can sit and develop in the Mile High city.

Kansas City Chiefs


GRADE: C
(CB) Marcus Peters (Washington) Round 1 (18)
(C) Mitch Morse (Missouri) Round 2 (49)
(WR) Chris Conley (Georgia) Round 3 (76)
(CB) Steven Nelson (Oregon State) Round 3 (98)
(ILB) Ramik Wilson (Georgia) Round 4 (118)
(OLB) D.J. Alexander (Oregon State) Round 5 (172)
(TE) James O’Shaughnessy (Illinois State) Round 5 (173)
(DT) Rakeem Nunez-Roches (Southern Miss) Round 6 (217)
(WR) Da’Ron Brown (Northern Illinois) Round 7 (233)
Peters could be a secondary steal for KC with that first pick while Morse will need to transition to the inside as a center. Conley is a terrific athlete that needs to show he can make more plays. Nelson is a versatile defensive back and Wilson could be a great get in round four at linebacker. The one thing missing is a ready-to-go wide receiver in this class.

Oakland Raiders


GRADE: B-
(WR) Amari Cooper (Alabama) Round 1 (4)
(DE) Mario Edwards, Jr. (FSU) Round 2 (35)
(TE) Clive Walford (Miami) Round 3 (68)
(OG) John Feliciano (Miami) Round 4 (128)
(ILB) Ben Heeney (Kansas) Round 5 (140)
(OLB) Neiron Ball (Florida) Round 5 (161)
(OLB) Max Valles (Virginia) Round 6 (179)
(OL) Anthony Morris (Tennessee State) Round 7 (218)
(WR) Andre Debose (Florida) Round 7 (221)
(CB) Dexter McDonald (Kansas) Round 7 (242)
The Raiders got some immediate offensive help for their young and promising quarterback in wide receiver Amari Cooper and tight end Clive Walford. Defensive end Mario Edwards was taken a tad high, but if he can keep his weight down he can be a very productive player on the edge. Ball and Valles are two good outside ‘backers with some talent.

San Diego Chargers


GRADE: C+
(RB) Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) Round 1 (15)
(ILB) Denzel Perryman (Miami) Round 2 (48)
(CB) Craig Mager (Texas State) Round 3 (83)
(OLB) Kyle Emanuel (North Dakota State) Round 5 (153)
(DT) Darius Philon (Arkansas) Round 6 (192)
The Chargers landed three play makers. San Diego moved up in the first to make sure they secured running back Melvin Gordon. Perryman is a physical player who excels versus the run while Mager is a small school corner with promise. I love the additions of their first two selections. Philon will have a real good chance to make the team. He’s a good player.


Draft Report Cards: NFC

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Part 2- Where do student-athletes major in the NFL?
Part 3 - Drafted vs Undrafted Players
Part 4 – Positional Breakdowns of the NFL: Where are they from?
Part 5 - NFL Veterans: Where are they from?
Part 6 – Top NFL Producing High Schools


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