2012 NFL Draft Grades
NFL, NFL Draft

Grading Each NFL Team's Draft

5/1/12 in NFL   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

21. New York Giants
January 3, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA;  Virginia Tech Hokies running back David Wilson (4) carries the ball into the secondary against the Michigan Wolverines during the second quarter in the Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE
Draft Picks

Round 1: David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech

Round 2: Rueben Randle, WR, LSU

Round 3: Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

Round 4: Adrien Robinson, TE, Cincinnati and Brandon Mosley, OT, Auburn

Round 5: None

Round 6: Matt McCants, OT, UAB

Round 7: Markus Kuhn, DT, North Carolina State

Grade: C

Summary


The defending champions of the world could have fared better in Radio City last weekend. With Trent Richardson and Doug Martin off the board at No. 32, I thought the Giants would have opted to get a premier offensive tackle or linebacker. Instead, it took the fifth-best running back on my board. Reubon Randle was the last remaining in the green room for a reason, and Adrien Robinson is a project at best.


22. New York Jets

Draft Picks

Round 1: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

Round 2: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

Round 3: Demario Davis, OLB, Arkansas State

Round 4: None

Round 5: None

Round 6: Josh Bush, S, Wake Forest and Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor and Robert Griffin, OG, Baylor

Round 7: Antonio Allen, S, South Carolina and Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan

Grade: B-

Summary


Selecting Coples over Melvin Ingram was an interesting call for Rex Ryan and co., especially when they could have taken him and focused on other needs, intead of drafting Davis in the third round. Still, it was a solid outing for the Jets overall and I expect them to be somewhat improved come September.


23. Oakland Raiders

Draft Picks

Round 1: None

Round 2: None

Round 3: Tony Bergstrom, OT, Utah

Round 4: Miles Burris, OLB, San Diego State

Round 5: Jack Crawford, DE, Penn State and Juron Criner, WR, Arizona

Round 6: Christo Bilukidl, DT, Georgia State

Round 7: Nathan Stupar, OLB, Penn State

Grade: B+

Summary


Like the Saints, Oakland was limited in terms of draft picks. However, I believe it was more efficient and made the best of what it had. Bergstrom should immediately contend for right tackle, Crawford is a underrated defensive end and Criner could make some noise through the air.


24. Philadelphia Eagles

Draft Picks
Apr 27, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles first round draft pick defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (Mississippi State) poses for photos with former college teammate Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney (L) after a press conference at the Philadelphia Eagles NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Round 1: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

Round 2: Mychal Kendricks, LB, California and Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall

Round 3: Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

Round 4: Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia

Round 5: Dennis Kelly, OT, Purdue

Round 6: Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa and Brandon Washington, OG, Miami (Fla.)

Round 7: Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas State

Grade: A+

Summary


There's no questioning what the Eagles did with their draft. They seemingly have already fixed their problem with stopping the run by taking Cox, Kendricks and Curry. Philly took its potential Michael Vick replacement with Nick Foles in the third round, upgraded the secondary with a second-round talent with Boykin, and grabbed a potential starting contender for guard with Washington.


25. Pittsburgh Steelers

Draft Picks

Round 1: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

Round 2: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

Round 3: Sean Spence, ILB, Miami (Fla.)

Round 4: Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington

Round 5: Chris Rainey, RB, Florida

Round 6: None

Round 7: Toney Clemons, WR, Colorado and David Paulson, TE, Oregon and Terrence Frederick, CB, Texas A&M and Kelvin Beachum, OT, SMU

Grade: A+

Summary


Once again, the Steelers proved why they are always in the mix for Super Bowl contention and are now my favorites to win the AFC North. Again.


26. San Diego Chargers

Draft Picks

Round 1: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

Round 2: Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut

Round 3: Brandon Taylor, S, LSU

Round 4: Ladarius Green, TE, La.-Lafayette

Round 5: Johnnie Troutman, OG, Penn State

Round 6: None

Round 7: David Molk, C, Michigan and Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State

Grade: A

Summary


Ingram, Reyes and Taylor are all big-time playmakers on defense and will significantly increase the Chargers' overall sack numbers. Green is a tall, athletic tight end that complements Antonio Gates well and should replace him upon retirement.


27. San Francisco 49ers

Draft Picks

Round 1: A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois

Round 2: LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

Round 3: None

Round 4: Joe Looney, OG, Wake Forest

Round 5: Darius Fleming, OLB, Notre Dame

Round 6: Trent Robinson, S, Michigan State and Jason Slowey, C, Western Oregon

Round 7: Cam Johnson, DE, Virginia

Grade: C

Summary


It must be nice to not have any major needs heading into the draft. The 49ers didn't really improve their roster, but by no means does it reflect how I think they'll do in 2012—which is another deep playoff run.


28. Seattle Seahawks

Draft Picks

Round 1: Bruce Irvin, DE/OLB, West VirginiaDec 3, 2011; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Russell Wilson (16) prepares to hand off the football during the first half against the Michigan State Spartans at the Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Round 2: Bobby Wagner, ILB, Utah State

Round 3: Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin

Round 4: Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State and Jaye Howard, DT, Florida

Round 5: Korey Toomer, ILB, Idaho

Round 6: Jeremy Lane, CB, Northwestern State and Winston Guy, CB, Kentucky

Round 7: J.R. Sweezy, DE, North Carolina State and Greg Scruggs, DE, Louisville

Grade: F

Summary

My jaw dropped when I saw the Seahawks take Irvin in the first round. And Wager in the second. And Russell Wilson in the third. And, well, I think you get the picture. I'd like to know what Pete Carroll was drinking last weekend, and if he'd recommend it.


29. St. Louis Rams

Draft Picks

Round 1: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

Round 2: Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State and Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama and Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati

Round 3: Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana

Round 4: Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest

Round 5: Rokevious Watkins, OT, South Carolina

Round 6: Greg Zuerlein, K, Missouri Western

Round 7: Aaron Brown, OLB, Hawaii and Daryl Richardson, RB, Abilene Christian

Grade: A

Summary


For as many picks as the Rams had (along with great positioning), it would have been pretty difficult for them to have a bad draft. Jeff Fisher left New York very content in his draft debut with St. Louis, having bolstered his defense while adding weapons for Sam Bradford. The only reason he does not get an "A+" is for the fact that an offensive tackle was not taken until the fifth round, and I thought that was a high priority going in.


30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Draft Picks

Round 1: Mark Barron, S, Alabama and Doug Martin, RB, Boise State

Round 2: Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska

Round 3: None

Round 4: None

Round 5: Najee Goode, ILB, West Virginia

Round 6: Keith Tandy, CB, West Virginia

Round 7: Michael Smith, RB, Utah State and Drake Dunsmore, TE, Northwestern

Grade: B+

Summary


Tampa Bay screwed itself out of drafting Morris Claiborne by trading down, but still got nice consolation prizes with Barron and Martin. Lavonte David isn't a half bad pick for value in the second round, either.


31. Tennessee Titans

Draft Picks

Round 1: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

Round 2: Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina

Round 3: Mike Martin, DT, Michigan

Round 4: Coty Sensabaugh, CB, Clemson

Round 5: Taylor Thompson, DE/TE, SMU

Round 6: Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State

Round 7: Scott Solomon, DE, Rice

Grade: B

Summary


Every player drafted by the Titans were heavy contributors to their respective college teams, which means there is no lack of experience involved with this class. Wright, Brown, and Martin are all immediate impact players that should make signficant differences on the field for Tennessee.


32. Washington Redskins

Draft Picks

Round 1: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Round 2: None

Round 3: Josh Leribeus, OG, SMU

Round 4: Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State and Keenan Robinson, OLB, Texas

Round 5: Adam Gettis, OG, Iowa

Round 6: Alfred Morris, RB, Florida Atlantic and Tom Compton, OT, South Dakota

Round 7: Richard Crawford, CB, SMU and Jordan Bernstine, CB, Iowa

Grade: C+

Summary


They may have taken their quarterback of the future, but the Redskins ruined their draft by selecting Kirk Cousins in the fourth round. They don't have a first-round pick again until 2015 (via trade with St. Louis FOR RGIII), and could have added a quality offensive tackle or wide receiver. Instead, Washington has created a controversy and a confusion among the Cousins family. Not a fan of this draft.

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5/4/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

The Steelers have had offensive line issues as long as Big Ben has been a starter.  With the first 2 picks this year, they've rebuilt a group of guys I hope they can keep together for a long time.  That's now 4 out of 5, and considering they've been lucky to have ONE of five since Alan Faneca left town, I'd say mission accomplished!  It also doesn't hurt to draft a linebacker, the team has always been built on that.  Running backs and wide receivers come a dime a dozen in the draft, it never hurts to pick one up.  They addressed their needs and I'm happy with their draft overall.

5/2/12   |   beerstudk   |   1538 respect

Tyler_Waddell wrote:
You're right, all the blame shouldn't be on Carroll. Schneider deserves half the load, too. Right now, the Seahawks' draft looks awful. Bruce Irvin couldn't do anything but get to the QB (a required trait in the NFL, yes) and was a third- to fourth-rounder on most boards. Also, I think selecting a quarterback was absurd after signing Matt Flynn to a "starter" contract, especially when a quality player to fit needs could have been done.

Draft grades are premature and usually completely inaccurate, but it also sparks controversy and a lot of reads!

I agree with Irvin being a reach at 15, but most boards I saw had him as a high to mid 2nd round pick and really if the guy can come in and get 12 sacks this year (a la Aldon Smith) it will end up being a great pick.  A legit pass rush with Seattle's secondary will be scary for ANY team!!

Wagner is a beast and was undervalued as a 3rd round pick.  You can make an argument for him being the 2nd best ILB available in the entire draft.

I like Russel Wilson a lot more than most people for whatever reason.  He mastered 2 completely different offenses in college, that shows the dude is pretty smart whereas Oswieler struggled to master a simple QB friendly offense at ASU.  Plus Wilson has a ton of athletisism to go with a strong arm.  I think that he'll be looked at as the steal of this draft in a few years.  As for picking a QB that high, Flynn has potential but really hasn't been tested.  Tavaris Jackson is terrible, he was the worst starting QB in the NFL last year IMO, and if Josh Portis was any good he'd have gotten some playing time last season.

I do think they should have gone another way in the 1st round, but I have to agree with Jess and trust that Pete knows what he's doing, he's done really well in the draft so far.

5/1/12   |   Jess   |   34634 respect

Tyler_Waddell wrote:
You're right, all the blame shouldn't be on Carroll. Schneider deserves half the load, too. Right now, the Seahawks' draft looks awful. Bruce Irvin couldn't do anything but get to the QB (a required trait in the NFL, yes) and was a third- to fourth-rounder on most boards. Also, I think selecting a quarterback was absurd after signing Matt Flynn to a "starter" contract, especially when a quality player to fit needs could have been done.

Draft grades are premature and usually completely inaccurate, but it also sparks controversy and a lot of reads!

Oh just to clarify - it seems to be a web-wide epidemic blaming Carroll and crediting Schneider...it wasn't something I was calling you out on laugh

As for Irvin, I think that that was ALL they were looking for - someone who could get to the quarterback to play opposite Clemons. And yea I have no idea what they were doing with Wilson; either Portis hasn't improved as much as Carroll claims, or Jackson isn't as trusted by them as Carroll tries to convince us. Pete's all about "competition", and he's saying that drafting a QB creates just that at that position, but doesn't having 2 so-called "starters" under contract cover that? Whatever. They baffle me but they usually end up making sense in the long run.

And I definitely agree with you re: draft grades! I just can't agree or disagree just yet with my team's grade anywhere I see it.

5/1/12   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

Jess wrote:
I think that mainly what PCJS (it's funny that Pete gets the blame when it's bad but Schneider gets the credit when it's good) is thinking is that while they had some holes in the O-line and DB, which they filled, they've got a VERY young team as-is and this draft was more for depth than anything else. They know they're in a rebuild phase and they're in no hurry to overpay what could very easily be a bust. I shake my head sometimes and wonder wtf, but if PCJS have shown me anything over the past 2 years, it's that they obviously are on the right track, they know what they're doing, and to have faith. 

I personally think draft grades at this stage are premature. We have no idea how a team drafted because we don't know what those picks are going to do, and every year we're surprised. Sometimes bad, sometimes good, but it happens all the time. I like to reserve my draft grading for mid-season at the earliest.

You're right, all the blame shouldn't be on Carroll. Schneider deserves half the load, too. Right now, the Seahawks' draft looks awful. Bruce Irvin couldn't do anything but get to the QB (a required trait in the NFL, yes) and was a third- to fourth-rounder on most boards. Also, I think selecting a quarterback was absurd after signing Matt Flynn to a "starter" contract, especially when a quality player to fit needs could have been done.

Draft grades are premature and usually completely inaccurate, but it also sparks controversy and a lot of reads!

5/1/12   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

Dan_B wrote:
A few thoughts:
--I'm happy to see the Chiefs get a B. A lot of people knocked the Poe pick, but they NEED a presence at nose tackle to free up Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali to make plays. And if anyone can coach Poe up it is Romeo Crennel.
--As I've said before, I don't like the Trent Richardson pick. No. 3 is just too high to take a running back.
--With all the holes the Jaguars have, how on earth do they take a PUNTER in the 3rd round. I guess with the state of their offense, they plan on punting a lot...

I'm one of those few guys that think the Chiefs are a playoff team this year. Pending on Poe's performance, they could be a dangerous team moving forward.

It may be a high pick for a running back, but Richardson does everything you want/need a RB to do at the next level: run with power, run with speed, run with agility, awareness and field vision ... he's a factor through the air (HUGE for the way the NFL is transitioning) and he's an elite blocker. Most RBs only possess a few of these traits, and he has all of them--that's why he was drafted No. 3.

I don't see the Jags averaging more than 14 points per game this year. Not as bad as last year's Rams, but pretty freakin' close.

5/1/12   |   Jess   |   34634 respect

Dan_B wrote:
But draft grades are FUN. It's the same reason people enjoy mock drafts, etc. 

True, I suppose it's all in the spirit of prediction. We shall see! cheeky

5/1/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Jess wrote:
I think that mainly what PCJS (it's funny that Pete gets the blame when it's bad but Schneider gets the credit when it's good) is thinking is that while they had some holes in the O-line and DB, which they filled, they've got a VERY young team as-is and this draft was more for depth than anything else. They know they're in a rebuild phase and they're in no hurry to overpay what could very easily be a bust. I shake my head sometimes and wonder wtf, but if PCJS have shown me anything over the past 2 years, it's that they obviously are on the right track, they know what they're doing, and to have faith. 

I personally think draft grades at this stage are premature. We have no idea how a team drafted because we don't know what those picks are going to do, and every year we're surprised. Sometimes bad, sometimes good, but it happens all the time. I like to reserve my draft grading for mid-season at the earliest.

But draft grades are FUN. It's the same reason people enjoy mock drafts, etc. 

5/1/12   |   Jess   |   34634 respect

I think that mainly what PCJS (it's funny that Pete gets the blame when it's bad but Schneider gets the credit when it's good) is thinking is that while they had some holes in the O-line and DB, which they filled, they've got a VERY young team as-is and this draft was more for depth than anything else. They know they're in a rebuild phase and they're in no hurry to overpay what could very easily be a bust. I shake my head sometimes and wonder wtf, but if PCJS have shown me anything over the past 2 years, it's that they obviously are on the right track, they know what they're doing, and to have faith. 

I personally think draft grades at this stage are premature. We have no idea how a team drafted because we don't know what those picks are going to do, and every year we're surprised. Sometimes bad, sometimes good, but it happens all the time. I like to reserve my draft grading for mid-season at the earliest.

5/1/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

A few thoughts:
--I'm happy to see the Chiefs get a B. A lot of people knocked the Poe pick, but they NEED a presence at nose tackle to free up Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali to make plays. And if anyone can coach Poe up it is Romeo Crennel.
--As I've said before, I don't like the Trent Richardson pick. No. 3 is just too high to take a running back.
--With all the holes the Jaguars have, how on earth do they take a PUNTER in the 3rd round. I guess with the state of their offense, they plan on punting a lot...