Prisco’s NFL Draft Grades for all 32 teams: Five earn ‘A’s and two fall short with ‘D’s – CBSSports.com

If you are reading this, you know I like to pick things apart. Drafts, situational coaching and players — you name it.

But somehow, as I did the grades for this year’s NFL Draft, I had to stop for a second because I think many teams did a good job handling their board.

I didn’t give out one “F” this year. I handed out five “A” grades.

What is wrong with me? Call me Mr. Softy.

The five teams that earned “A” grades in my mind were the
Arizona Cardinals
,
Cincinnati Bengals
,
Green Bay Packers
,
San Francisco 49ers
and — surprise, surprise — the
Cleveland Browns
.

As chic as it has become to rip the Browns, there is no denying they did a great job with their draft. They had a lot of picks and made the most of those picks, with the only knock being a first-round move down to land 
Michigan Wolverines
safety/hybrid player Jabrill Peppers. That was a reach, but they did a nice job the rest of the way.

They ended up with three first-round picks, landing Texas A&M pass rusher
Myles Garrett
with the first overall pick, Peppers with the 25th pick and Miami tight end David Njoku with the 29th pick. They moved up to get both Peppers and Njoku thanks to extra draft picks they acquired in recent years.

If second-round quarterback
DeShone Kizer
is a hit — and he is talented — the Browns will look back on this draft as the one that turned around the franchise. That’s how good their draft was this year.

Maybe all those analytics work after all. Or maybe they finally got somebody who can simply put on the tape and find good football players.

Now here are the rest of the grades.

Arizona Cardinals

They landed a future star in first-round pick Haason Reddick. He will add speed and versatility to their defense. I love second-round pick
Budda Baker
, the safety from
Washington Huskies
. He will help offset the loss of
Tony Jefferson
. Third-round pick Chad Williams, a receiver from Grambling, could be a steal where he was drafted, adding much-needed speed, and I love fourth-round pick
Dorian Johnson
. It was a really good draft.

Grade: A

Atlanta Falcons

The
Atlanta Falcons
wanted to get an edge rusher, and they got a good one in
UCLA Bruins
‘s Takk McKinley in the first round, which was an outstanding pick. They came back and added a speed linebacker in
LSU Tigers
‘s
Duke Riley
in the second round and a much-needed guard in
Sean Harlow
from
Oregon State Beavers
, who should be the starting right guard. They got faster on defense, which is not a good thing for NFC South quarterbacks.

Grade: B+

Baltimore Ravens

Did they really need a corner in the first round? I know they stuck to their board by taking
Alabama Crimson Tide
corner
Marlon Humphrey
, but I thought they had bigger needs. They came back to make up for it by taking
Houston Cougars
edge rusher
Tyus Bowser
in the second round and Michigan defensive tackle
Chris Wormley
in the third. Fourth-round rusher
Tim Williams
could be a pass-rush star — if he can stay out of trouble.

Grade: B-

Buffalo Bills

I think they made really good picks with their first two, trading down in the first before taking LSU corner Tre’Davious White, then landing
East Carolina Pirates
receiver
Zay Jones
in the second. Their other second-round pick,
Dion Dawkins
, will probably be the starting right tackle. Fifth-round quarterback
Nathan Peterman
could end up being a potential starter down the road.

Grade: B

Carolina Panthers

They were linked to
Stanford Cardinal
running back
Christian McCaffrey
in the first round, and it played out that way. I think it’s too high to take him at No. 8, but he will help in a lot of ways. Second-round pick
Curtis Samuel
can do a lot of the same things, and will likely be their slot receiver. I love the pick of Texas A&M pass rusher Daeshon Hall in the fourth. He will develop into a quality pass rusher. Fifth-round corner Corn Elder will be a good nickel corner.

Grade: B-

Chicago Bears

They made a strange move to give up so much to move up a spot to No. 2 overall and draft
North Carolina Tar Heels
quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. They could have stayed in their third spot and landed him, but gave up too much to move up a spot. If he’s a star, they will be laughing at all us. But why give
Mike Glennon
that contract if this was what you planned to do? Second-round tight end Adam Shaheen from Ashland is a big, physical tight end. But this is all about Trubisky and that trade.

Grade: D

Cincinnati Bengals

I thought the Bengals had as good draft as any team in the league. Taking receiver
John Ross
with the ninth pick is a bit of a risk, but you can’t coach speed. They took a different type of risk with
Oklahoma Sooners
running back
Joe Mixon
in the second round, but the kid is the best runner in the draft. They clearly looked past the assault video to take him. They then landed two good pass rushers in
Kansas State Wildcats

Jordan Willis
and
Auburn Tigers
‘s
Carl Lawson
, two players who will compete to start at right end. Fourth-round receiver
Josh Malone
from
Tennessee Volunteers
can fly. There are some risks here, but I think they will pay off big.

Grade: A

john-ross-bengals.jpg


Ross tops a great draft class for the Bengals.
USATSI

Cleveland Browns

For all the criticism of the analytics crew in Cleveland, they had a heck of a draft. Aside from trading down to get Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers in the first round, they added a lot of really good players. They had a lot of picks and did some good things. They got the top player in the draft in Myles Garrett with the first pick, and then continued to do a nice job. Tight end David Njoku was a nice add with their third first-round pick. This draft, though, will be defined by how well second-round quarterback DeShone Kizer develops. If he is their starter for a long time, this will be a great draft. Right now, it’s a damn good one.

Grade: A

Dallas Cowboys

They needed help up front, so taking Michigan defensive end
Taco Charlton
makes sense, but I think there were better options at that point. I think they bounced back and got two good corners in the next two rounds in
Colorado Buffaloes
‘s
Chidobe Awuzie
and Michigan’s
Jourdan Lewis
, which help a position of need. Taking
Ryan Switzer
in the fourth round could mean
Cole Beasley
may be out next year when his contract is up.

Grade: B-

Denver Broncos

They needed help up front on the offensive line and landed a solid left tackle in
Utah Utes
‘s
Garett Bolles
. He is older at 25, and he is raw, but he plays with a nasty streak. Second-round defensive lineman
DeMarcus Walker
will be a nice addition up front. It’s clear they want receiver help, taking two in the first five rounds, and I like third-round receiver Carlos Henderson.

Grade: B

Detroit Lions

First-round pick
Jarrad Davis
is a nice three-down linebacker who will fill a major need, so that pick is solid. But this is a team that had major pass-rush issues last season, and they waited until the sixth round to take a defensive lineman. That’s not wise in a division with
Aaron Rodgers
. Second-round corner
Teez Tabor
was a reach at that spot. I just didn’t think it was a good haul for the
Detroit Lions
.

Grade: D

jarrad-davis.jpg


Davis wasn’t enough to save the Lions’ draft.
USATSI

Green Bay Packers

Some general managers seem to always do it right in the draft, and Green Bay’s Ted Thompson is one of those guys. He had another good draft, trading out of the first round and still landing a lot of good players. He took Washington corner
Kevin King
in the second round, and he will be a big-time player. Second-round safety
Josh Jones
is a nice player who helps offset the loss of
Micah Hyde
. I love third-round defensive tackle
Montravius Adams
. Fourth-round running back Jamaal Williams will be a 1,200-yard rusher in a season at some point in his career.

Grade: A

Houston Texans

They made the bold move to go up in the first round to No. 12 to get quarterback
Deshaun Watson
from
Clemson Tigers
, which is a smart move — but a risky one. How will he fit in Bill O’Brien’s offense? It’s smart to take the shot. Second-round linebacker
Zach Cunningham
was a nice hit after being a big-time player in the SEC. They added some line help later on both sides of the ball. This draft will be all about Watson. If he is what they think he can be, it’s a major hit. If not, it will be a big whiff.

Grade: C+

Indianapolis Colts

They needed to get defensive help, and they used their first three picks on that side of the ball. First-round safety
Malik Hooker
is a rangy player in the Ed Reed mold, which they needed. Second-round corner
Quincy Wilson
is a nice cover player who will start right away, and third-round defensive end Tarrell Basham should help the pass rush. I like fourth-round running back
Marlon Mack
a lot. He has big-play ability.

Grade: B

Jacksonville Jaguars


Leonard Fournette
, their first-round pick, is a nice player, but I just don’t think you take backs as high as No. 4. After that, they did a nice job trading up for tackle
Cam Robinson
in the second, and third-round pick
Dawuane Smoot
will be a steal. Fourth-round receiver
Dede Westbrook
will add speed to a pass-catching group that needs it, but he does have baggage.

Grade: B-

Kansas City Chiefs

I think
Texas Tech Red Raiders
quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be the best quarterback in this class, so from a talent standpoint making the move up in the first round to get him makes sense. Second-round defensive end
Tanoh Kpassagnon
from Villanova is a raw player, but they need down help. I really like third-round running back
Kareem Hunt
from
Toledo Rockets
. Fourth-round receiver
Jehu Chesson
will help the passing game. This is a draft that will be all about Mahomes, but we won’t know that answer until years in the future.

Grade: B-

patrick-mahomes-chiefs.jpg


The Chiefs’ draft success rests all on Mahomes.
USATSI

Los Angeles Chargers

I didn’t love taking receiver
Mike Williams
that high in the first round, but I think they had a really good draft in the next four rounds. Williams doesn’t separate enough for my liking. They upgraded their offensive line with Forrest Lamp and
Dan Feeney
and added two other weapons for
Philip Rivers
and two quality safeties. Nice job. Taking Williams too high drops it down from an A for me.

Grade: B+

Los Angeles Rams

They traded their first-round pick last year to get quarterback
Jared Goff
, so they had to wait until the second round to pick. When they did pick, they seemed to focus on helping Goff. Their second-round pick was tight end Gerald Everett, and they followed that up with Eastern Washington receiver Copper Kupp in the third and Texas A&M receiver Josh Reynolds in the fourth. They didn’t take an offensive lineman, which was strange.

Grade: C-

Miami Dolphins

The
Miami Dolphins
did a nice job with their draft, landing pass rusher
Charles Harris
in the first round. He fills a need, and he’s a productive player. Linebacker
Raekwon McMillan
brings some speed to a group that needs it. Adding corner
Cordrea Tankersley
in the third round and guard
Isaac Asiata
are also good picks and fill needs. It was a good draft.

Grade: B+

Minnesota Vikings

They didn’t have a first-round pick after trading it last year to get quarterback
Sam Bradford
, but they got a first-round talent in the second round in running back
Dalvin Cook
. If he can stay away from the issues that had many dropping him down, he will be a steal. Upgrading their offensive line with
Ohio State Buckeyes
center
Pat Elflein
in the third round was a good pick. They added some weapons with a chance to help the passing game in the later rounds, including fifth-round receiver
Rodney Adams
from
South Florida Bulls
.

Grade: C+

New England Patriots

They didn’t have a pick in the first or second round, since they traded them away to get receiver
Brandin Cooks
and pass rusher
Kony Ealy
. They are part of this class, which will bring up the grade. They got a solid pass rusher in Youngstown State’s Derek Rivers in the third and tackle
Antonio Garcia
will be the guy who takes over for
Nate Solder
next year when his contract is up. They also gave up a fifth-round pick to sign
Buffalo Bills
running back
Mike Gillislee
as restricted free agent. If Ealy can get them 8-10 sacks, this will be a good haul with their picks. If not, it will be just solid.

Grade: B

New Orleans Saints

They probably thought they had no chance to get Ohio State corner
Marshon Lattimore
when the draft started, but they end up getting him in the 11th spot. That was a nice pick of the top corner. I didn’t love the pick of
Wisconsin Badgers
tackle
Ryan Ramczyk
with the 32nd pick — he has some medical issues and is that really a major need? — but they added some nice players later in Utah safety
Marcus Williams
in the second and pass rusher Troy Hendrickson in third. I also think third-round linebacker
Alex Anzalone
from
Florida Gators
has a chance to a long-time starter if he stays healthy. That’s a big if, based on his career.

Grade: B

marshon-lattimore-saints.jpg


The Saints scored a touchdown with Lattimore.
USATSI

New York Giants

They used their first-round pick on tight end
Evan Engram
, a nice weapon for
Eli Manning
, but they needed help up front. I would have gone with an offensive lineman. I love second-round pick
Dalvin Tomlinson
, a defensive tackle from Alabama. I also like
Davis Webb
as a potential starter, but I think this team is built to win now with Manning’s years coming to an end. Why not take another player who can help now? Fifth-round pass rusher Avery Moss is intriguing and has a lot of ability.

Grade: C

New York Jets

They landed a gem in first-round LSU safety
Jamal Adams
, but why come back and take safety
Marcus Maye
in the second? There were other needs. They did get two receivers with their next two picks, and I really like Cal’s Chad Hansen in the fourth. Sixth-round runner
Elijah McGuire
could be a steal in that spot. I expected more out of this class.

Grade: C+

Oakland Raiders

There was some risk in them taking Ohio State corner
Gareon Conley
in the first round with his legal situation pending, but he is a top talent and could pay off big. The next three picks could also be big-time steals. Second-round safety Obi Melifonwu had first-round talent, and if UCLA defensive tackle
Eddie Vanderdoes
can keep his weight in check he will be a good player. They needed some help up front, so he made sense.

Grade: B-

Philadelphia Eagles

I really like the choice of pass rusher
Derek Barnett
in the first round. He might be the best pass rusher in this class. They took a risk with Washington corner
Sidney Jones
in the second, but it could be a big-time payoff if he comes off a torn Achilles tendon healthy. They added some young weapons for
Carson Wentz
in the later rounds. Fifth-round receiver Shelton Gibson can fly.

Grade: B+

Pittsburgh Steelers

First-round pick
T.J. Watt
is a player who is a perfect fit for the
Pittsburgh Steelers
‘ scheme. His best football is in front of him. I thought second-round pick
JuJu Smith-Schuster
went a little high, but third-round corner/safety Cam Sutton was a really nice pick. The best story of the draft is the pick of third-round runner
James Conner
out of
Pittsburgh Panthers
. This is a kid who overcame cancer. Love that.

Grade: B

San Francisco 49ers

First-year general manager John Lynch killed it in his first draft, trading down one spot with the
Chicago Bears
in the first round and picking up a bounty of picks. That was a fleecing. Then they took
Solomon Thomas
with the third overall pick, and he is a future star. They next traded back into the first to get linebacker
Reuben Foster
with the 31st pick, and he will be a steal. I thought taking quarterback C.J. Beathard in the third was too high, but it was good first draft for the 49ers. Watch out for sixth-round defensive tackle
D.J. Jones
from Mississippi. He could be a steal.

Grade: A

solomon-thomas.jpg


The 49ers made a great trade, then drafted a great player.
USATSI

Seattle Seahawks

They traded out of the first round and added picks, then general manager John Schneider did a really god job with the extra ones. They had a nice couple of days. Second-round pick
Malik McDowell
has first-round talent, and will be a nice addition. Second-round offensive lineman
Ethan Pocic
can play a bunch of spots, which they like up front. They then sent messages to the Legion of Boom by drafting a corner and three safeties. Schneider knows how to keep a handle on his roster by making moves like that. One knock: Maybe one more offensive lineman would have helped.

Grade: B+

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

They landed perhaps the cleanest player in the draft with their first pick in tight end
O.J. Howard
, giving
Jameis Winston
another top weapon. Second-round safety Justin Evans will push to start right away, and third-round receiver Chris Godwin can fly. Fifth-round running back
Jeremy McNichols
from
Boise State Broncos
is a good runner who could be a nice surprise.

Grade: B+

Tennessee Titans

The
Tennessee Titans
wanted to get a receiver and corner with their first two picks, and they did that. They got the best receiver in the draft in
Western Michigan Broncos
‘s
Corey Davis
with the fifth overall pick. They then came back and got
Southern California Trojans
corner Adoree Jackson with their second first-round pick. It was a nice one-two hit. They added another receiver (Taywan Taylor) and a tight end (Jonnu Smith) to give
Marcus Mariota
some more weapons.

Grade: B

Washington Redskins

Although they don’t have a true general manager, the
Washington Redskins
had a nice draft haul. With their first two picks, they picked two good Alabama players. They got lineman
Jonathan Allen
in the first and pass rusher
Ryan Anderson
in the second. Those were two need spots. Allen was really a steal at No. 17. They also got first-round talent in UCLA corner
Fabian Moreau
, who dropped because of a torn pectoral muscle. Fifth-round tight end
Jeremy Sprinkle
is an in-line tight end to go with
Vernon Davis
and
Jordan Reed
.

Grade: B

Comments

Write a Reply or Comment:

Your email address will not be published.*