Draft Report Cards: NFC

Here are the NFL Draft reports cards for the NFC teams. A few teams graded out high and my favorite draft was scored by the Minnesota Vikings.

Draft Report Cards: AFC

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

(OLB) Vic Beasley (Clemson) Round 1 (8)
(CB) Jalen Collins (LSU) Round 2 (42)
(RB) Tevin Coleman (Indiana) Round 3 (73)
(WR) Justin Hardy (East Carolina) Round 4 (108)
(NT) Grady Jarrett (Clemson) Round 5 (137)
(OT) Jake Rodgers (Eastern Washington) Round 7 (225)
(S) Akeem King (San Jose State) Round 7 (249)
This is a draft well done with the Falcons, especially their first five picks. First it’s a pass rusher in Vic Beasley. Then Atlanta goes and gets a first-round talent in the second in the big cornerback from LSU, Jalen Collins. Tevin Coleman was a highly productive running back from Indiana with some explosiveness. Justin Hardy was as productive as any college player over the past four years while Grady Jarrett is a nice find late who should be able to jump right in the defensive front rotation.

Carolina Panthers

(WLB) Shaq Thompson (Washington) Round 1 (25)
(WR/TE) Devin Funchess (Michigan) Round 2 (41)
(OT) Daryl Williams (Oklahoma) Round 4 (102)
(LB) David Mayo (Texas State) Round 5 (169)
(RB) Cameron Artis-Payne (Auburn) Round 5 (174)
Carolina found a great fit for their defense in Shaq Thompson and clearly went with who they feel was the best player on the board. They are going to love him. Then you have another big, wide receiver target in Funchess. Offensive tackle Daryl Williams will be expected to come in and play yesterday, as he could be the key for making or breaking this small Panthers draft class.

New Orleans Saints

(OT) Andrus Peat (Stanford) Round 1 (13)
(ILB) Stephone Anthony (Clemson) Round 1 (31)
(OLB) Hau’oli Kikaha (Washington) Round 2 (44)
(QB) Garrett Grayson (Colorado State) Round 3 (75)
(CB) P.J. Williams (FSU) Round 3 (78)
(OLB) Davis Tull (UTC) Round 5 (148)
(DT) Tyler Davison (Fresno State) Round 5 (158)
(CB) Damian Swann (Georgia) Round 5 (167)
(RB) Marcus Murphy (Missouri) Round 7 (230)
The only piece missing from this draft class is a wide receiver. The Saints bypassed that position all together and go immediate help for their defense with linebackers Anthony and Kihaha and cornerback P.J. Williams. Tyler Davison could be a fifth round steal. First round pick Andrus Peat has an incredibly bright future in the NFL. New Orleans may have their QB of the future in Garrett Grayson.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(QB) Jameis Winston (FSU) Round 1 (1)
(OT) Donovan Smith (Penn State) Round 2 (34)
(OG) Ali Marpet (Hobart) Round 2 (61)
(OLB) Kwon Alexander (LSU) Round 4 (124)
(WR) Kenny Bell (Nebraska) Round 5 (162)
(WR) Kaelin Clay (Utah) Round 6 (184)
(FB) Joey Iosefa (Hawaii) Round 7 (231)
I have to give it to the Bucs, they have stuck to filling needs on the offensive side of the ball once again. Tampa Bay scored huge drafting Jameis Winston, a player from FSU that they hope is their future and franchise quarterback. But Winston will do nothing if they first can’t protect him and second can’t develop a run game. Their OL was putrid in 2014 and the Bucs then went and got a tackle and guard/center in round two. Linebacker Kwon Alexander will add depth to their linebacking corps while the speedy Kenny Bell will do that same to Tampa’s wide receivers. Kaelin Clay will have a chance to be the Bucs' return specialists.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

(CB) Byron Jones (UConn) Round 1 (27)
(DE) Randy Gregory (Nebraska) Round 2 (60)
(OT) Chaz Green (Florida) Round 3 (91)
(ILB) Damien Wilson (Minnesota) Round 4 (127)
(DE) Ryan Russell (Purdue) Round 5 (163)
(OLB) Mark Nzeocha (Wyoming) Round 7 (236)
(OT) Laurence Gibson (Virginia Tech) Round 7 (243)
(TE) Geoff Swain (Texas) Round 7 (246)
The Cowboys opted to address their defense with the additions of the versatile cornerback in Jones and the free-falling pass rusher in Gregory. Green should bolster their offensive front at right tackle. Dallas failed to draft a running back. It’s a solid group, with Dallas really taking a chance with Gregory. He has boom or bust written all over him.

New York Giants

(OT) Ereck Flowers (Miami) Round 1 (9)
(S) Landon Collins (Alabama) Round 2 (33)
(DE) Owamagbe Odighizuwa (UCLA) Round 3 (74)
(S) Mykkele Thompson (Texas) Round 5 (144)
(WR) Geremy Davis (UConn) Round 6 (186)
(OG) Bobby Hart (FSU) Round 7 (226)
We could look back on this Giants draft and say, 'Wow.' New York scored three first rounders in Ereck Flowers, Landon Collins and Owa Odighizuwa. Flowers has enormous potential on the offensive front while Collins was this class top-rated safety. The question on Odighizuwa is the health of his surgically repaired hips.

Philadelphia Eagles

(WR) Nelson Agholor (USC) Round 1 (20)
(CB) Eric Rowe (Utah) Round 2 (47)
(LB) Jordan Hicks (Texas) Round 3 (84)
(CB) JaCorey Shepherd (Kansas) Round 6 (191)
(CB) Randall Evans (Kansas State) Round 6 (196)
(DE) Brian Mihalik (Boston College) Round 7 (237)
I love the first two Eagles picks in Agholor and Rowe. They fit their scheme and fill two big needs. Hicks is a good player that needs to stay healthy. Aside from Agholor, the rest of the draft was spent on defense. Hicks seems like a nice piece to their linebacker corps. If he can stay healthy that’s a good pick.

Washington Redskins

(OL) Brandon Scherff (Iowa) Round 1 (5)
(DE) Preston Smith (Mississippi State) Round 2 (38)
(RB) Matt Jones (Florida) Round 3 (95)
(WR) Jamison Crowder (Duke) Round 4 (105)
(OG) Arie Kouandijo (Alabama) Round 4 (112)
(OLB) Martrell Spaight (Arkansas) Round 5 (141)
(S) Kyshoen Jarrett (Virginia Tech) Round 6 (181)
(CB) Tevin Mitchell (Arkansas) Round 6 (182)
(WR) Evan Spencer (Ohio State) Round 6 (187)
(C) Austin Reiter (USF) Round 7 (222)
Interesting draft in Washington. Offensive lineman Brandon Scherff appears to be one of the safer picks. I wonder if Preston Smith is the ideal piece for their defense standing up as an outside ‘backer. Matt Jones is a big, tough runner who's had some durability issues in college. Jamison Crowder and Arie Kouandijo should impact the Washington offense.

NFC North

Chicago Bears

(WR) Kevin White (West Virginia) Round 1 (7)
(DT) Eddie Goldman (FSU) Round 2 (39)
(C) Hronnis Grasu (Oregon) Round 3 (71)
(RB) Jeremy Langford (Michigan State) Round 4 (106)
(S) Adrian Amos (Penn State) Round 5 (142)
(OT) Tayo Fabuluje (TCU) Round 6 (183)
Kevin White should develop into a huge home run threat in Chicago while Eddie Goldman will bring some versatility to the Bears new defensive front. Hronnis Grasu will be a nice upgrade on the other side of the ball and play alongside his college teammate, Kyle Long. Jeremy Langford could be a steal and a potential every down back because of his ability to catch the football. Amos is a nice find at safety in round five. I like this group by the Bears.

Detroit Lions

(OG) Laken Tomlinson (Duke) Round 1 (28)
(RB) Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska) Round 2 (54)
(CB) Alex Carter (Stanford) Round 3 (80)
(DT) Gabe Wright (Auburn) Round 4 (113)
(FB) Michael Burton (Rutgers) Round 5 (168)
(CB) Quandre Diggs (Texas) Round 6 (200)
(OT) Corey Robinson (South Carolina) 240)
The Lions surprised many, first drafting a guard in Laken Tomlinson. Abdullah is an outstanding fit into the Detroit offense while Carter will bolster their secondary at cornerback. Gabe Wright will be expected to make early contributions in the d-tackle rotation. I like Diggs at slot cornerback and Robinson could be a find with their final pick in the seventh round.

Green Bay Packers

(S) Damarious Randall (Arizona State) Round 1 (30)
(CB) Quinten Rollins (Miami-OH) Round 2 (62)
(WR) Ty Montgomery (Stanford) Round 3 (94)
(OLB) Jake Ryan (Michigan) Round 4 (129)
(QB) Brett Hundley (UCLA) Round 5 (147)
(FB) Aaron Ripkowski (Oklahoma) Round 6 (206)
(DE) Christian Ringo (Louisiana-Lafayette) Round 6 (210)
(TE) Kennard Backman (UAB) Round 6 (213)
The first two picks are all about the secondary, as the Packers find a safety and cornerback. Obviously Green Bay wants and needs to get better on the back end. Montgomery has size and length at wide receiver but his stock dropped off, as he showed inconsistent hands at receiver. Ryan could be a nice find in the middle rounds and I liked the drafting of QB Hundley.

Minnesota Vikings

(CB) Trae Waynes (Michigan State) Round 1 (11)
(ILB) Eric Kendricks (UCLA) Round 2 (45)
(DE) Danielle Hunter (LSU) Round 3 (88)
(OT) T.J. Clemmings (Pitt) Round 4 (110)
(TE) MyCole Pruitt (Southern Illinois) Round 5 (143)
(WR) Stefon Diggs (Maryland) Round 5 (146)
(OT) Tyrus Thompson (Oklahoma) Round 6 (185)
(DE) B.J. Dubose (Louisville) Round 6 (193)
(OT) Austin Shepherd (Alabama) Round 7 (228)
OLB) Edmond Robinson (Newberry) Round 7 (232)
The Vikings bolstered every level of their defense with the additions of this draft’s top cornerback in Waynes and inside ‘backer in Kendricks. Then Minnesota grabbed an athletic edge talent in Hunter from LSU. Clemmings could be a steal at tackle. The same can be said by Diggs, an explosive talent from Maryland. Pruitt, Shepherd and Thompson should have a great chance of making the team. I like this haul a lot by Minnesota, as they filled needs, grabbed some really good athletes and picked players with lots of upside.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

(OT) D.J. Humphries (Florida) Round 1 (24)
(OLB) Markus Golden (Missouri) Round 2 (58)
(RB) David Johnson (Northern Iowa) Round 3 (86)
(DT) Rodney Gunter (Delaware State) Round 4 (116)
(DE) Shaquille Riddick (West Virgina) Round 5 (158)
(TE) Gerald Christian (Louisville) Round 7 (256)
The Cardinals added some nice pieces to both sides of the ball in a tackle (Humphries), running back (Johnson) and pass rusher (Golden) with their first three picks. Humphries has all the tools and just needs time to develop. Running back David Johnson could be one of the steals of the draft. He’s an under-the-radar talent who has a chance to be the ideal complement to Andre Ellington.

San Francisco 49ers

(DE) Arik Armstead (Oregon) Round 1 (17)
(S) Jaquiski Tartt (Samford) Round 2 (46)
(OLB) Eli Harold (Virginia) Round 3 (79)
(TE) Blake Bell (Oklahoma) Round 4 (117)
(RB) Mike Davis (South Carolina) Round 4 (126)
(WR) DeAndre Smelter (Georgia Tech) Round 4 (132)
(P) Bradley Pinion (Clemson) Round 5 (165)
(OT) Ian Silberman (Boston College) Round 6 (190)
(OG) Trenton Brown (Florida) Round 7 (244)
(TE) Rory Anderson (South Carolina) Round 7 (254)
The 49ers addressed their defense early, getting help up front, finding a pass rusher in Armstead and a center fielder in Tartt, although they could have snagged him a little later. Harold is a third round steal. So too is Smelter from Georgia Tech and Brown from Florida. Running back Mike Davis is a good, tough runner.

St. Louis Rams

(RB) Todd Gurley (Georgia) Round 1 (10)
(OT) Robert Havenstein (Wisconsin) Round 2 (57)
(OT) Jamon Brown (Louisville) Round 3 (72)
(QB) Sean Mannion (Oregon State) Round 3 (89)
(OT) Andrew Donnal (Iowa) Round 4 (119)
(WR) Bud Sasser (Missouri) Round 6 (201)
(OG) Cody Wichmann (Freson State) Round 6 (215)
(ILB) Bryce Hager (Baylor) Round 7 (224)
(DE) Martin Ifedi (Memphis) Round 7 (227)
Gurley was a first-round surprise but the Rams scored a difference maker at running back. The OL is a mess but St. Louis spent two picks on a right tackle in Rob Havenstein and an interior guy in Jamon Brown. They can both move people off the line of scrimmage. The Rams drafted four OLs in all. The only thing missing from this draft class was a dangerous wide receiver threat.

Seattle Seahawks

(DE) Frank Clark(Michigan) Round 2 (63)
(WR) Tyler Lockett (Kansas State) Round 3 (69)
(OG) Tyler Poole (San Diego State) Round 4 (130)
(OG) Mark Glowinski (West Virginia) Round 4 (134)
(CB) Tye Smith (Townson) Round 5 (170)
(DE) Obum Gwacham (Oregon State) Round 6 (209)
(DE) Kristjan Sokoli (Buffalo) Round 6 (214)
(S) Ryan Murphy (Oregon State) Round 7 (248)
This looks like a Seahawks draft, rolling the dice on a former Wolverine with some upside who was thrown off the Michigan team for domestic violence and then trading up for a highly productive and versatile football player in wide receiver Tyler Lockett. Of course Seattle didn’t have a first round pick after trading for super tight end-Jimmy Graham. Pete Carroll and company were looking to create from DL depth with this group.

Draft Report Cards: AFC

Related stories: NFL Rosters Breakdown Series
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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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