Here are my 2010 draft grades:

2010 Draft Grades

Below are my grades for all 32 teams in the NFL for this year’s draft. Some teams did really well while others left us scratching our heads. Grading the draft is difficult and should not really happen until the three years after the draft. That being said I still analyze the picks.

1. St. Louis Rams: With the first overall pick the Rams selected what they think will be a franchise qb. This draft will come down to Sam Bradford. The Rams would be smart not to start him immediately. Without a great line throwing Bradford in could cost him confidence and progression as a qb. The Rams did take Rodger Saffold to help protect Bradford as well as a blocking tight end and a vertical tight end to help with the offense. Add in wide receiver Mardy Gilliard and help at the corner position and defensive line the Rams added depth and competition at every position. Saffold should start right away and help this team along with their tight end and Gillyard selections. The Rams will be improved with their draft but will probably be picking at the top of the draft again next year. B

2. Detroit Lions: The selection of Ndamukong Suh and Jahvid Best in the first round will help this team immediately. Suh will be a presence in the middle of the defense for years to come and Best gives the Lions an explosive threat out of the backfield they so desperately need. After Best the Lions added a cb who can have an impact this year and an OL and a DL that can add depth and could help. With the Mr. Irrelevant selection the Lions took Tim Toone who many feel can contribute on special teams and quite possibly be an all purpose threat in the offense for the Lions. Overall the Lions added players who can help immediately as well as some depth. It would have been nice if they could have traded for a proven NFL (which they still may do) and this draft would have been a total success. Much like the Rams the Lions will be much better this year especially with second year pro Matt Stafford. A-

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Just looking up and down this draft board I love what Raheem Morris and his staff did. The Bucs needed help in every position and added players that can contribute right away. With the defense when the Bucs won the Super Bowl their focal point was the nose tackle position. With their first two picks they got two players who will give offensive lines fits. McCoy is a beast and Price is another big body that will clog the middle and allow for the defensive ends to get to the qb. With the loss of Antonio Bryant the Bucs only had Kellen Winslow as an option to throw the ball to. Josh Freeman needed receivers and the Bucs got two that have the potential to be stars in this league. Arrelious Benn has the speed and the hands to be a great receiver. He exploded onto the college scene a few years ago but injuries and not having a qb who could get him the ball hurt him. If healthy he will be a threat. The other receiver the Bucs added is Mike Williams from Syracuse. Williams has all the potential in the world but there are character questions with him. If he can keep his nose clean he maybe the steal of this draft. Myron Lewis should be able to help in the nickel situations and Brent Bowden will be the punter for them (he was the best punter coming out this year). The LBers and defensive ends they added will help with depth as well. Overall a strong draft for the Bucs. A

4. Washington Redskins: The Skins as usual did not have many picks in the draft. They needed help along the offensive line and addressed that with the number 4 overall pick. Though many feel Russell Okung was the best tackle in the draft Trent “Silverback” Williams fit their needs much better. He is better suited for the zone blocking scheme Mike Shanahan runs. He is a big athletic guy who will add stability to the Skins line for many years. They also picked up a LB who can add depth to the LBing core and he is familiar with the 3-4 the Skins will run next year. The Skins added depth along the offensive line as well and with how week the line was last year both players may push for a starting job. They also added a tight end who will be used as a lead blocker (fullback) when running the ball. They also added a receiver who should help as well. The Skins need to keep their picks and start building through the draft. The team seemed to address every area they needed but they could use more help at receiver. C

5. Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs drafted instant impact players. Eric Berry is the best athlete this year to come out and if he lives up to expectations he can be the next Ed Reed/Troy Polamalu. With the next pick they got Dexter McCluster who will be a nice addition to Thomas Jones and Jamal Charles. He will be a good 3rd down back who can help in the return game. In the third round they picked a cb who can help in the nickel defense and possibly push for a starting job. They also selected a guard who may push for a starting job and a tight end who can help in the running game. Overall a nice job by Pioli with all of the instant contributors. A-

6. Seattle Seahawks: Talk about a team that got instant impact players via picks and trades. First lets look at the picks. They got a tackle to replace Walter Jones who will be there for a long time. They also got a playmaking safety who will run that defense for a long time. In the 2nd round they got a quick receiver who will help in the return game and will be a nice slot receiver and one Matt Hasselback will learn to rely on. They added depth in the in the secondary and along the defensive line. Plus they got McCoy the tight end from USC. He is a real good player and if he stays out of trouble has the potential to be a great pro. Now onto the trades the Seahawks made. They traded draft picks for three players that can help them immediately. Lendale White is reunited with his college coach where he had a lot of success. You add Vickerson a solid defensive lineman and it is a good trade. The Leon Washington trade is another great deal. If Leon is healthy he is one of the best game changers when he has the ball. If healthy he will improve the special teams and run game for the Seahawks. A+

7. Cleveland Browns: The Browns did not have an NFL secondary last year and they really needed to address that. With the pick of Joe Haden and the trade for Sheldon Brown the Browns now have a backfield. The 2nd round pick of TJ Ward be a little of a reach but he will contribute in the safety position. Montario Hardesty is a big back for the running back position who will help the quick Jerome Harrison. Hardesty does run high at times but should be able to make the transition to the NFL well. In the 3rd round the Browns felt it was the right spot to draft Colt McCoy. He fell to them at the 85th pick. Mike Holgrem has already said he will have McCoy sit this year and learn how to be an NFL qb. This will be perfect for him learning under veteran Jake Delhomme and qb guru Holgrem. They also drafted an OL that will add depth and a wr with potential to be a good player. B+

8. Oakland Raiders: Maybe with the primetime start Al Davis went to bed early because the Raiders had an excellent draft. They didn’t reach for anyone and filled needs. Rolando McClain with the first round selection was an excellent pick and a player that will come in and play every snap on defense and someone they can build around. They then went with Lamar Houston a big defensive tackle that will help the Raiders line. They then went OL with the addition of Jared Veldheer (an athletic talent from a small school Hillsdale) and Bruce Campbell. Both of them may be projects but may come in and solidify the line for years. On Saturday after the Raiders took an Al Davis workout warrior in Campbell they then went and got the fastest guy in the draft in wideout Jacoby Ford who can help in returns and as a burner. They then added depth in the secondary and the LB position. The Raiders also traded a 6th round pick for Jason Campbell. The trade for Campbell and the one year extension on his contract is an acknowledgement by the Raiders that Jamarcus Russell was a mistake (since he weighs 290 maybe they can try him out at defensive tackle). The Raiders played well when Russell did not play last year. Campbell will battle Bruce Gradkowski for the starter’s job. With the additions the Raiders made they may be able to be a 500 team this year. A-

9. Buffalo Bills: The Bills went into the draft with needs at the QB and OL positions. With the 9th pick overall they took the electrifying CJ Spiller. Spiller will be a special player but will he be as good as he can be without an OL? They did address the DT position by taking Terrell Troupe in the 2nd round. Troupe is a nice player but some people think it maybe a little too early for him. They then took three defensive ends who are quick and have potential in the 3-4 defense they are going to run. They also selected a receiver who should give them another option in the offense and a QB who has potential but is a project. The Bills got good players but did not address a true area of need for them along the offensive line. B-

10. Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars were thrown when Rolando McClain and CJ Spiller were both picked ahead of them. The Jaguars thought one or both of them would be there for them. Instead of grabbing Dan Williams they reached for Tyson Aluala. From what I hear about Aluala he is a good player with a late first to second round grade. Not a top 10 pick. Time will tell if the Jaguars were right with this pick. The Jags continued to add depth on the defensive line in the next three rounds. They then took a running back in the 6th round. The Jags needed a RB in this draft and did not address that until late in the draft. The Jags got some nice players but not getting a RB in this draft may hurt them. C

11. Denver Broncos: I think the Broncos just made another trade. Josh McDaniels goes to Denver and in year one trades a franchise QB and in year two trades a great receiver with a bad attitude. The Broncos traded back in the 1st round and was able to get Demaryius Thomas. A promising young WR who has the potential to be a big time receiver. They then trade back into the 1st round and grab Tim Tebow. Tebow has everything to be a great NFL player but many question is mechanics as a QB. If he can correct them with his work ethic he can be a great NFL QB. The Broncos then added depth to the OL and secondary with their additional picks. They also added another receiver who should help instantly. Overall the Broncos had a strong draft but this draft will be graded on Tebow as well as Josh McDaniels as a HC. B

12. Miami Dolphins: It is fun to see Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells draft. They both love to trade back and trade up. Parcells in this draft traded back and got a 2nd round pick for the one they lost in the Brandon Marshall trade. With the trade down the Dolphins got a steady defensive lineman in Jared Odrick. He will be able to play all three positions in the 3-4 and will be a solid pro. They then got Koa Misi who will be a nice rush end for the Fins. John Jerry is a big OT who will move to guard and start right away for the Fins. The Fins then added depth for the secondary and DL. Overall another solid draft by Parcells. He always seems to get solid NFL players and the 2010 draft class will be that.


13. San Francisco 49ers: The 9ers took a note from the Jets a few years ago and solidified their offensive line for the next few years. Anthony Davis has all the potential to be a great player. He is a little raw and needs some coaching up but once he gets it his athleticism should carry him to greatness. Mike Iupati will be a very good guard who will bring a nasty attitude to the 9ers line. I wonder if Jimmy Claussen fell to 49 if the 9ers would have taken him. Instead they selected Taylor Mays who Mike Singletary loves and will try to prove that Pete Carroll made a mistake not taking him. They added depth on the defensive side of the ball and LBer Navarro Bowman of Penn State that will contribute. They also selected a RB who will be a bruising back after a team has had to deal with Frank Gore all day. They also got a tight end and receiver who will push for playing time as well. A

14. Carolina Panthers: The Panthers were the ones who were thrilled to come out with Jimmy Claussen out of this draft. They waited 47 picks before they selected and got a top 10 value. Claussen is NFL ready and he will compete for the starting job with Matt Moore. He is going to a place that has a great offensive line and running game so if he does start he does not have to do that much. He is going into a similar situation like Mark Sanchez went into last year and that should help him. With their 3rd round pick they got a 2nd round talent in Brandon LaFell. He will be a nice compliment to Steve Smith. Adding Eric Norwood in the 4th round is another great value pick. The rest of the draft they added depth on both offense and defense. It will be interesting to see how Tony Pike develops too. B+

15. New York Giants: The Giants came into the draft needing a middle linebacker. With Rolando McClain drafted the Giants had a choice between Sean Weatherspoon or Jason Pierre-Paul. The Giants went with Pierre-Paul. A rush defensive end who is quick and has a ton of potential. If he develops the way people think he will he will be another Jevon Kearse. In the 2nd round the Giants went with mammoth defensive lineman Linval Joseph. He will clog holes in the middle of the defense. Many thought they would go with Sean Lee to fill the middle linebacker position but they did not. In the 3rd they went with Chad Jones a nice solid safety (by making this selection it tells me that the Giants are concerned about Kenny Phillips after his knee surgery). They then selected middle linebacker Phillip Dillard to compete for that position and then added some help along the offensive and defensive line. In the 7th round they selected a punter in case Jeff Feagles retires. If the Giants had addressed the middle linebacker position earlier they would get a better grade. C+

16. Tennessee Titans: The Titans needed to address a number of positions in the draft and they accomplished that. With their first pick they took a pass rushing defensive end which they needed. In the second round they addressed their need for receiver by taking Damien Williams. They also addressed the need for depth in the secondary and linebacker position. With the trade of Lendale White they still need a running back who can back up Chris Johnson but they should have someone competent on their roster or will be able to sign someone at some point. B

17. Chicago Bears: The Bears had a lot of needs to fill but did not have a first or second round pick due to trades for Jay Cutler and Gaines Adams. Their first two picks were Julius Peppers and Chester Taylor. In the third round the Bears took Major Wright a FS from Florida. Wright will be a nice addition to the Bears defense. He is quick and athletic and will be a nice player for them. Corey Wooten should be an impact player for them coming from the end and Dan LeFevour is an interesting prospect to keep an eye on. The Bears did not get Jay Cutler any help at the receiver position which will hurt them. C

18. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers needed help at the offensive line to protect whoever is there QB this year. Maurkice Pouncey is the perfect guy for that. Justin Hartwig as their center Pouncey will play guard and eventually move over to center. He is an athletic player and he will make the Steelers line better. After Pouncey the Steelers took a number of linebackers. The Steelers are real good at developing line backers and with a few of them getting up there in age they took some players who can add depth for now and the future. They did not really address their need for CB but did trade for Bryant McFadden which will help. They also selected a few WRs who can help as well. C+

19. Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons had no glaring holes to fill. A pass rushing end or linebacker would help but was not a necessity. They did take a linebacker in the first pick who is a sideline to sideline player who will help in the front seven. They also selected a big defensive tackle who will help up front. They added depth on the OL as well as at receiver and safety. B

20. Houston Texans: The Texans first two picks will make or break this draft. At 20 they selected Kareem Jackson. Jackson was considered one of the top CBs coming out in this draft. Many felt that Kyle Wilson was the number 2 behind Joe Haden then Devin McCourty. McCourty and Wilson will be closely watched to see how they develop. If they are better than the Texans made the wrong selection. The Texans also needed help at the RB position. They traded down in the 2nd round and gave up on the chance of Toby Gearhardt and selected Ben Tate later on. If both Tate and Jackson are not as good as Wilson or Gearhardt this draft may set the Texans back for years. The rest of the draft they selected guys that will give them depth just about everywhere and a few players who have an very good upside. B-

21. Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals took two first round talents with their first pick. The only concern about these players are injuries. If Gresham and Dunlap stay healthy they have added a great tight end and a pass rush defensive end. They also added a good slot receiver in Jordan Shipley as well as a good nose tackle in Geno Atkins and a nickel corner in Brandon Ghee. They also added depth along the offensive line and another receiver who has the potential to be good. A-

22. Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens traded out of the first round when Jerome Gresham and Dez Bryant were both taken. They added more picks in the 2nd and other rounds. In the 2nd round they selected both Sergio Kindle (slipped because of knee concerns) and Terrence Mount Codey (slipped because he ran a slow 40 and concerns about staying in shape). If these two can stay healthy the Ravens just added two pieces an already good defense. They also added two very good tight ends in Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta. Both can catch and will help in the run game. They also added a receiver and players who can help on the defensive and offensive line. The Ravens as they have in years passed added players who can help immediately and are difference makers. This is why the Ravens keep making the playoffs. A

23. Dallas Cowboys: Jerry Jones is still upset for passing on Randy Moss for character concerns. He corrects his wrong and selects Dez Bryant. Bryant should mesh nicely with Austin Miles and Tony Romo. As long as he does not let his ego get in his way Bryant has the skills to be a great receiver. They also added middle linebacker Sean Lee who if injury free can be a good middle linebacker for years. They also selected players that can help along the offensive and defensive line as well as two CBs one of which Ansah is one to keep an eye on with his speed. B+

24. New England Patriots: Like Josh McDaniels and Bill Parcells I think the Patriots just made another trade. The Patriots had a ton of picks and selected players that will compete for starting jobs right away. Their first pick Devin McCourty is a good corner who will help in the nickel package as well as on special teams. They also took two tight ends who will make the team. Rob Gronkowski is a talented tight end who can catch the ball. If he stays healthy he can be an impact player. Aaron Hernandez is another tight end who has the same skills. Both tight ends will make the Patriots better. Besides these three potential starters the Patriots drafted a rush linebacker who can pair with Tully Banta Cain as well as middle linebacker Brandon Spikes. If Spikes is not too slow he will make a nice pairing with Tully Banta Cain. They also drafted a receiver from Ohio University who has a lot of upside as well as a punter and an offensive lineman.

25. Green Bay Packers: The Packers went into this draft needing help along the offensive line and were lucky enough to have Brian Bulaga fall to them. Bulaga is a big man who has good athleticism. It will be nice for him to learn for part of the season and develop his game and then be ready to contribute at some point this year or next year. The rest of the draft they added depth on offense and defense. Mike Neal looks to be a good pickup in the 2nd round and James Starks is a prospect to keep his eye on as well as Andrew Quarless. B

26. Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals came into the draft having to address their defense and add depth on the offensive line as well as help at the receiver position. Dan Williams maybe a steal at pick 26. He is a big body that will clog the middle. They then added Daryl Washington a fast and athletic linebacker from TCU. He should be able to step into Karlos Dansby’s vacated spot and have an instant impact for this team. The Cards added a small school receiver in Andre Roberts who has a huge upside and his game should translate well into the pro game. They then went for O’Brien Schofield who probably was a 3rd round pick had he not got injured at the Senior Bowl. They also addressed the need for help in the secondary as well as depth at tight end. I still question why they traded Bryant McFadden but I guess we will see about that. The one draft choice that interests me is John Skelton. He was drafted in the 5th round when the Cards traded up for him. He is a QB from Fordham and he is 6’5”. He has a strong arm and a quick release. If the Cards fine tune him he could be a late round steal (like Tom Brady). With the Skelton selection I question the faith the Arizona coaching staff has in Matt Leinhart. It will be an interesting thing to follow. B+

27. San Diego Chargers: The Chargers had a major hole to fill at the running back spot and they traded up for Ryan Matthews. This was not a top heavy draft for running backs. It was a deep class but next to CJ Spiller and Matthews no one else had a 1st round grade. Because of that the Chargers traded up to secure their biggest need on draft day. Some might say it was a bit of a reach at 12 for Matthews but there were a few teams from 12-20 who would have traded to allow another team a shot at Matthews or draft him themselves. So where the Chargers got him it was not that much of a reach. The Chargers also picked a few players to add depth on the defensive and offensive side of the ball. This draft was about getting Matthews and they did. B-

28. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings traded out of their 1st round pick after the Jets took Kyle Wilson. They were on the phone with Wilson when the Jets selected him. They then were hoping that Patrick Robinson would fall to them at 34 but then saw him taken at 32 by the New Orleans Saints. They then selected DB Chris Cook from Virginia. The fact that the Vikings did not have luck getting the corner they wanted hurt them. Cook is a good player and he will help improve the Vikings secondary. In the 2nd round the Vikings traded up for Toby Gearhart. With the loss of Chester Taylor the Vikings needed another back to spell Adrian Peterson. Gearhart will be a nice complement to Peterson. The Vikings will like for him to be able to catch the ball out of the backfield and Gearhart will work on that but he will contribute right away. In the 4th round the Vikings selected Everson Griffen. A very talented player who fell to the 4th round because of off the field concerns and motivation. If he keeps his head on straight he will be a steal for the Vikes. The rest of the draft the Vikings added depth. One name that people maybe familiar with is Mickey Shuler Jr. He is a tight end from Penn State and his father was an NFL tight end for the Jets. A-

29. New York Jets: The Jets draft includes moves they made draft weekend. Lets first look at the draft picks then the moves. In the first round they may have selected the second best corner in the draft after Joe Haden. Kyle Wilson is a fast corner who loves contact. Sounds exactly like a Rex Ryan type of player. He will step in and play the nickel position and help on kick and punt returns. If Wilson develops the way he should Darrelle Revis and him could give QBs nightmares for years to come. In the 2nd round the Jets selected Vlad Ducasse (rumor has it the Jets were ready to take Ducasse in the 1st round until Wilson fell to them). Ducasse is a monster of a man at 330 pounds. He is a big athletic player with a ton of potential. He will need coaching up to help with the transition. In the 4th round the Jets traded up for Joe McKnight. A RB who looks to be a third down pass catching back. Then in the 5th round they traded Leon Washington to the Seahawks to draft John Connor a fullback. The four picks the Jets had will contribute right away.

Now onto the other part of the draft. With the addition of Ducasse the Jets released guard Alan Faneca. Faneca is a 9 time Pro Bowler who is about to turn 33. The Jets saw Faneca’s play decline the last few years and feel with Ducasse and players they have on the roster they can get younger and better by releasing Faneca. It was a tough decision for the Jets whose line is considered the best in the NFL and has been together for 35 games straight. Also with the selection of Joe McKnight the Jets traded Leon Washington. Leon a fan favorite is coming off a gruesome injury and people question if he could return to form. Also add in the number of players the Jets have to resign in the next few years (Nick Mangold, DBrickishaw Ferguson, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Brayland Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Antonio Cromartie) and they felt with the addition of McKnight they could get younger and sign a player to a contract and not break the bank and risk losing other players doing it. Both decisions were tough ones by the Jets but ones the team feels will make them better and help them to their eventual goal the Super Bowl. Time will tell with the draft picks and the moves. If these four players turn out the way they can this may be the best draft class. But if they falter and the Jets suffer because of these losses many will look back on this weekend as a bad one. B

30. Philadelphia Eagles: I look at the Eagles draft class and think it is a great class. In the first round they traded up for a pass rush defensive end that they needed. Brandon Graham the Eagles get a high motor guy who seems to make big plays behind the line of scrimmage. In the second round (Donovan McNabb pick) the Eagles selected Nate Allen a safety. When the Eagles traded up in the first round many thought it was for Earl Thomas because safety is a need for them. Allen is known for his ballhawking skills and will help the Eagles secondary instantly. The Eagles then selected their next Te’o. Te’o Neshiam another high motor defensive end that will add depth. The rest of the draft they added a few more pieces in the secondary as well as help at the LB and DL positions and a tight end as well. The Eagles also added four other players that are of interest to me. The first one is Mike Kafka. He is a good thrower with athleticism. He will have time to learn how to play behind Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick but he will be a nice addition and someone to keep an eye on of his development. In round 5 the Eagles added Ricky Sapp a defensive end who was rated as a second or third round pick. It will be interesting to see if he is a steal for the Eagles in the 5th round. In round 5 the Eagles also add in a steady receiver with good hands in Riley Cooper. He could be a nice third down option for Kevin Kolb and the final guy to watch on the Eagles is Charles Scott. With the loss of Brian Westbrook the Eagles will look to get another running back involved and Scott could be the perfect pounder the Eagles are looking for. A

31. Indianapolis Colts: The Colts got another pass rush defensive end in the first round that will add depth behind Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Jerry Hughes is a fast defensive end that can cause havoc in the backfield. With his addition it will keep Freeney and Mathis healthier in the long haul and give the Colts a third option at the end. In the second round they added Pat Angerer a LB who will add depth. Angerer does not seem to be the quickest linebacker but he plays faster than his combine numbers show. He will be a solid player for the Colts. The Colts then added help in the secondary, DL, OL, TE, and LB. It looks like the Colts got two guys that will contribute right away and a few others that will add depth and competition. B-

32. New Orleans Saints: If the Saints continue to draft like this they may win a few Super Bowls. In the first round they selected Patrick Robinson a DB from FSU. Robinson is a quick player who will add depth and allow for the Saints defense to show different coverages. In the second round the Saints took Charles Brown an OT who has good skills and could push for a starting job this year. They then added an athletic tight end in Jimmy Graham who can develop behind Jeremy Shockey and utilize his size in the red zone. In the fourth round they got a third round talent in Al Woods who will help with depth on the DL. They then selected Matt Tennant a center from BC who will add depth along the line and may compete for the starting job. In the last round they added a developmental QB who will benefit from learning from Drew Brees and Sean Payton. Overall good depth here who can contribute immediately. A-