Draft's Winners and Losers

Draft weekend is a blur for those focusing on one team, but after a chance to sit back and analyze what other teams did, we come away with our own winners-and-losers list.

During draft weekend, those of us covering the draft were scrambling back and forth to do interviews and didn't get a chance to follow what other teams were doing on draft weekend as closely as fans glued to televisions.

As the dust settled, however, we were able to see what teams did to address their needs in the draft. These are the Viking Update final draft grades for all 32 teams, as we pick the winners and losers of draft weekend 2008.

Arizona – The Cardinals had another very solid draft, landing a top CB in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a value pick for DE Calais Campbell and an offensive weapon in Early Doucet – all without trading up or down. Grade: A

Atlanta – They got a franchise quarterback, but reached for many of their other picks like OT Sam Baker and LB Curtis Lofton. Matt Ryan is the key to the draft, but it could have been much more productive. Grade: C-

Baltimore – When Ryan was gone, the Ravens dropped out of the No. 8 spot and, despite five picks in the first three rounds, didn't take a wide receiver to help the offense. Joe Flacco will be the key to the draft, and many believe he was a reach at No. 18. Grade: C

Buffalo – The team came away covering two of its most glaring needs with CB Leodis McKelvin and WR James Hardy. Also added decent depth at linebacker. Grade: B

Carolina – The Panthers gave up their first-round pick in 2009, but came away with two immediate impact players in RB Jonathan Stewart and OT Jeff Otah. Dan Connor was a good value at No. 74 overall. It was a good draft, but came with a price. Grade: B+

Chicago – With 12 picks, OT Chris Williams may be the only full-time starter. The team ignored running back on the first round and wide receiver on the first two, which may turn out to be a mistake. But, guys like WR Earl Bennett and DB Craig Steltz could be good mid-round value picks. Grade: C+

Cincinnati – Keith Rivers may be an impact LB and they took two wide receivers early – Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell. But they didn't address defensive line – not taking a DE until the seventh round and taking only underachieving DT Pat Sims in their first five picks. Grade: C-

Cleveland – Hamstrung due to numerous trades, they didn't have any picks until the fourth round. They got some nice prospects like LB Beau Bell, TE Martin Rucker and DT Athyba Rubin, but this draft was on life support long before it came and went. Grade: D

Dallas – The Cowboys avoided the temptation to jump up and were rewarded with RB Felix Jones and CB Mike Jenkins. TE Martellus Bennett and RB Tashard Choice were also value picks. The team did nothing to address wide receiver, which could hurt them later. Grade: B+

Denver – Ryan Clady was a solid choice and started the run on offensive tackles. But beyond that, their draft was nondescript. Taking Eddie Royal as a top WR choice seemed odd considering the team recently signed Darrell Jackson and Keary Colbert. That pick could have been put to much better use. Grade: D

Detroit – Matt Millen is an idiot. Reaching for OT Gosder Cherilus on the first round and LB Jordan Dizon on the second round had people shaking their heads when value could be had at running back early. Only some decent value picks on their three third-round picks kept this from being a failing grade. Grade: D

Green Bay – Trading out of the first round didn't make a lot of sense, but the team helped the offense by taking WR Jordy Nelson and QB Brian Brohm on the second round. However, Nelson isn't viewed by many as the top WR prospect and may have gone too high. Neither pick will likely contribute much immediately. Grade: C

Houston – Houston, you have a problem. The team traded down to No. 28 and reached for second-round prospect Duane Brown – caught in the OT drafting frenzy. With no second-round pick, the Texans addressed very few of their many needs. Grade: F

Indianapolis – The Colts didn't have a first-round pick, but they aren't complaining since they drafted Tony Ugoh last year. The team added a couple of good players in OL Mike Pollack and LB Phillip Wheeler to give the draft some immediate value. Grade: C

Jacksonville – What were they thinking? They traded their first-round pick, two thirds and a fourth-round pick to move up to No. 8 and reached for Derrick Harvey. Their only other pick was DE Quentin Groves. Neither come with a guarantee of success, making this as big a boom-or-bust draft as there is on the board. Grade: D+

Kansas City – The sting of losing Jared Allen was appeased by drafting as many as six starters/major contributors in the first three rounds – DT Glenn Dorsey, OL Branden Albert, CB Brandon Flowers, RB Jamaal Charles and S DaJuan Morgan. You can't ask for much more than that. Grade: A

Miami – The Dolphins had three picks in the first two rounds and may well have nabbed three starters in OT Jake Long, DE Phillip Merling and QB Chad Henne. Bill Parcells has made a lot of moves and could have had even more if Jacksonville had agreed to get stripped by the Jaguars for Jason Taylor instead of the Ravens. Grade: A-

Minnesota – Despite several big-name veteran players being the subject of trade rumors, the Vikings were the only team to land one in their trade for Jared Allen. He took away three draft picks, but may well be worth them all. Getting the top safety on a lot of boards, as well as solid backups at QB and center make this a draft based more on quality than quantity. Grade: B+

New England – May have reached to take Jerod Mayo as high as the Patriots did, but they may have believed Keith Rivers would last the three-position drop. A one-dimensional draft that included three linebackers among their seven picks. Grade: C+

New Orleans – A one-player draft in DT Sedrick Ellis, the Saints only had one other pick in the first four rounds. Dedicated draft to the trenches, but did little to address other glaring needs on defense. Grade: C+

New York Giants – The champs address the secondary with their first two picks (Kenny Phillips, Terrell Thomas) and still find a way to land WR Mario Manningham, a pair of linebackers and QB Andre Woodson. Not too shabby. Grade: B+

New York Jets – Got a great player in Vernon Gholston, but overspent for TE Dustin Keller. QB Erik Ainge could be a nice sleeper at QB, but did little to help bolster the RB or WR positions. Grade: C+

Oakland – The one position the Raiders have depth at is RB, making Darren McFadden a luxury pick the Raiders don't have the luxury to take. He couldn't have had a worse landing spot. The worst run defense in the lead did nothing to get a run-stuffing DT. Grade: D

Philadelphia – The Eagles traded out of the first round, added a first-round pick in 2009 and still got DeSean Jackson, a pair of defensive backs and solidified both lines. Grade: B

Pittsburgh – The Steelers didn't address offensive line, but got a pair of dynamic playmakers in Rashard Mendenhall and Limas Sweed with their first two picks – both relative steals from where they were taken. Grade: B+

St. Louis – Chris Long is a great pick, but the Rams reached making WR Donnie Avery the first wide receiver off the board and got in too late on the run on offensive tackles with John Greco. Grade: C

San Diego – Trades left the Chargers with just five picks and they used two each at running back and cornerback. They may not find a starter this year from any of their picks. Grade: D+

San Francisco – Addressed both lines with DT Kentwan Balmer and G Chilo Rachal and got a nice value pick in DB Reggie Smith and C Cody Wallace. Grade: B

Seattle – May have reached for DE Lawrence Jackson and definitely reached for TE John Carlson. Grade: D+

Tampa Bay – Got a solid corner in Aqib Talib, but he isn't a glove fit in a Tampa-2 defense. Got solid mid-round values in OL Jeremy Zuttah and DT Dre Moore. Grade: B-

Tennessee – Took yet another running back (Chris Johnson) high in the draft and never did anything to address their glaring need at wide receiver (again). Grade: F

Washington – Gave their offense a huge boost with WRs Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly – arguably the two best wide receivers in the draft – and TE Fred Davis. Grade: A-

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