2022 NFL Draft Grades for Every Team

2022 NFL Draft Grades for Every Team

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    Noah K. Murray/Associated Press

    A true evaluation of how a team did in the NFL draft can’t start to happen until about two years from the event. But where’s the fun in that?

    Draft grades have a bad reputation. There are certainly examples of highly rated players who wind up being busts. There are also unheralded picks who become All-Pros.

    So it’s important to keep in mind what’s being evaluated in the practice of grading each team’s performance. Here were the criteria for these marks:

  • Perceived Value: How likely is it that the players selected will live up to their draft status? The Bleacher Report Scouting Department’s final big board was strongly considered for this component. 
  • Roster Building: Taking the “best player available” seems great in a vacuum. However, team needs have to be a factor. Teams should be looking to find players who address needs that appear in a two-year window. 
  • Asset Optimization: Trades that occurred before the draft are not being graded. These are about what the team did with what they had when the draft started. Earlier picks are weighted more heavily. That Day 3 prospect you love is more likely to be fighting for a roster spot come camp time than fighting for a Pro Bowl spot. 

With that framework established, here’s a look at how each team did. 

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

The Cardinals made eight picks, but it was a draft-day trade that will define their weekend. 

The Marquise Brown trade is obviously going to be their defining move of this draft. It’s a win for the Cardinals in that Brown is a slight upgrade over Christian Kirk, and the club probably improved its relationship with Kyler Murray by getting his college teammate. 

However, giving up a first-rounder for a player on the fourth year of his rookie contract downgrades the move. 

Once the Cardinals actually got on the clock, they continued to help Murray by snagging one of the best all-around tight ends in Trey McBride. 

Rebuilding the defensive front with Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders after losing Chandler Jones this offseason made a lot of sense. 

Grade: B-

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    John Locher/Associated Press

The Falcons should be applauded for not forcing a quarterback in the first round. Going into the season with Marcus Mariota isn’t all that exciting, but adding a jumbo receiver in Drake London will make his life easier. London was the top receiver among a talented class on the B/R big board. 

The Falcons’ patience at quarterback paid off in a big way by getting Desmond Ridder. He was the only quarterback to get a first-round grade from the B/R Scouting Department, and the Falcons got him in the third round. 

In addition to helping out their post-Matt Ryan passing attack, the Falcons got a lot more athletic on defense. Arnold Ebiketie is a bit undersized but has a great first step, and Troy Andersen has the second-highest relative athletic score since 1987, per Kent Lee Platte of Pro Football Network.  

Tyler Allgeier has an opportunity to be a Day 3 pick that brings back value. He’s the kind of tough between-the-tackles runner the Falcons need to pair with Cordarrelle Patterson in the backfield. 

Grade: A

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  • Round 1 (14) — S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
  • Round 1 (25) — IOL Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
  • Round 2 (45) — Edge David Ojabo, Michigan
  • Round 3 (76) — DI Travis Jones, Connecticut
  • Round 4 (110) — OT Daniel Faalele, Minnesota 
  • Round 4 (119) — CB Jalyn Armour-Davis, Alabama
  • Round 4 (128) — TE Charlie Kolar, Iowa State
  • Round 4 (130) — P Jordan Stout, Penn State
  • Round 4 (139) — TE Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina
  • Round 4 (141) — CB Damarion Williams, Houston
  • Round 6 (196) — RB Tyler Badie, Missouri

The Ravens had one of the best first rounds from a value perspective. They started by getting one of the best overall players (seventh overall on B/R big board) in Kyle Hamilton at 14. Then they traded Marquise Brown with one year left on his rookie contract to get the No. 12 player on the B/R big board with the 25th pick (originally the 23rd pick and traded for the 25th).

The good news just kept coming for Ravens fans. David Ojabo could have been a top-15 pick before tearing his Achilles, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network noted he could be ready to go by October.

The Ravens shouldn’t mind waiting. They grabbed another immediate-impact prospect in Travis Jones in the third round. Jones brings a huge frame with the athleticism to be a factor as a pass-rusher. 

All told, the Ravens likely walked away from this draft with four solid starters within the next two years. That’s not even factoring in a few Day 3 picks with high upside, including massive offensive lineman Daniel Faalele and a pair of tight ends in Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar. 

Grade: A+

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The Buffalo Bills are in contender mode, which means if there’s someone available who could make a difference in the playoffs, it makes sense to get aggressive. That’s exactly what they did in trading up for Kaiir Elam. With all the talented passers in the AFC, Elam could be a crucial addition to the secondary. 

James Cook adds another pass-catching dynamic option in the backfield to compete with Devin Singletary. That’s an important step toward taking off some of the burden on Josh Allen.  

Overall, the Day 2 picks weren’t all that inspiring, but they were boosted by taking Khalil Shakir in the fifth round. He was the 43rd player overall on the B/R big board, and he adds another young receiver to Josh Allen’s arsenal. 

Shakir could easily show a great return on investment as the heir apparent in the slot to the newly acquired Jamison Crowder. 

Grade: B

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    John Locher/Associated Press

Trades for Sam Darnold and C.J. Henderson left the Carolina Panthers with a light stockpile of picks. However, we aren’t here to grade those trades, so the focus is the sixth pick here. What they did there was add an absolute mauler of a left tackle to an offensive line that was 31st in PFF’s final offensive line rankings. 

That isn’t quite the same as finding a franchise quarterback, but it certainly makes it a more appealing landing spot for one. Ekwonu was the third player on the B/R big board, so the value at No. 6 was as good as it possibly could have been. 

Trading up for Matt Corral has to be seen as a win. The Ole Miss product got a Round 3 grade from the B/R Scouting Department, and the Panthers didn’t reach on him. Not a bad investment for a potential starter. 

Brandon Smith is the most notable of the Day 3 additions. He should compete to get in the linebacker rotation. 

Overall, the Panthers made two great choices for them with their top two picks. Since we are only grading what happened on draft weekend and forgiving them for the Sam Darnold trade, this is a good haul. 

Grade: A-

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  • Round 2 (39) — CB Kyler Gordon, Washington
  • Round 2 (48) — S Jaquan Brisker, Penn State
  • Round 3 (71) — WR Velus Jones Jr., Tennessee
  • Round 5 (168) — T Braxton Jones, Southern Utah State
  • Round 5 (174) — Edge Dominique Robinson, Miami (Ohio)
  • Round 6 (186) — OT Zach Thomas, San Diego State
  • Round 6 (203) — RB Trestan Ebner, Baylor
  • Round 6 (207) — C Doug Kramer, Illinois
  • Round 7 (226) — OT Ja’Tyre Carter, Southern University
  • Round 7 (254) — S Elijah Hicks, California
  • Round 7 (255) — P Trenton Gill, NC State

The Chicago Bears are apparently taking their reputation as a franchise that has fielded great defenses very seriously. After hiring a defensive-minded head coach in Matt Eberflus, they spent each of their second-round picks on the defensive side of the ball. 

Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker bring good value and are capable of being mainstays in the secondary. However, it’s hard to get past the fact the Bears did nothing to help Justin Fields with their best picks. 

The first attempt at helping out Fields was a curious one. Velus Jones Jr. has excellent speed, but that’s about it. He’ll be 25 before the season starts and has a lot of development to do before being considered a well-rounded receiver. 

Even in the best-case scenario this draft only serves as a major upgrade to the Bears secondary. It doesn’t do nearly enough to help out Fields, which should be the team’s top priority right now. 

Grade: C-

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The Cincinnati Bengals hadn’t used a first-round pick on defense since Williams Jackson III in 2016. So it makes some sense the Bengals targeted Daxton Hill.

His value will ultimately come down to defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo figuring out how to use him. He primarily played in the slot at Michigan but has the athleticism to play deep as well. 

The defensive investment continued in Day, 2 but the value was questionable. Both Cam Taylor-Britt and Zach Carter were taken more than 60 spots ahead of where the B/R big board had them ranked. 

After investing heavily in the offensive line in free agency the idea of utilizing the draft to build out the defense is fine. But it’s hard to get too excited about what the Bengals did from a value standpoint. 

Grade: B-

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General manager Andrew Berry channeled his inner Kevin Costner here working his way up and down the board. The Fitzgerald-Spielberger trade chart that Over the Cap uses to analyze draft trades loved Berry moving back in the second round to pick up two fourth-round picks. 

The Cleveland Browns did well to find Martin Emerson—a long and physical cornerback—in the back half of the second. He fits what they are looking for in a cornerback and could contribute at a premium position. 

Alex Wright and David Bell are opposite prospects. Wright’s athletic profile projects the ability to be better in the NFL than he was in college, while Bell will have to overcome a general lack of athleticism to find success in the league. 

This class was always going to be short on immediate impact players. That’s the cost of trading for a quarterback like the Browns did with Deshaun Watson. But trading back was an even bigger move toward quantity over quality in this class. 

Grade: C+

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Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach Joe Philbin will be the deciding factor as to how Tyler Smith pans out. The nasty demeanor and physicality are easy to love, but Smith has some technical things to work out in pass protection to maximize his value. He’s a bit of a project with the 24th pick. 

It’s hard to love the pick when Jermaine Johnson II or George Karlaftis would have immediately contributed as pass-rushers. 

Getting Sam Williams on Day 2 salvages the grade from that perspective. The Ole Miss product ran a 4.46 40-yard dash at the combine and had 12.5 sacks in his final season.

Value was hard to find at the quarterback position. Pass-catchers flew off the board early and often, but the Cowboys have to be happy with Jalen Tolbert dropping all the way to the third round. According to PFF, no receiver in college football had more receptions of 15 or more yards than Tolbert. 

Grade: B-

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The Denver Broncos didn’t have the capital to be too splashy, but they got solid value with what they had. 

Nik Bonitto is a bit of an undersized one-trick pony as an edge player. Fortunately, that one trick is chasing down quarterbacks. The 248-pounder ran a 4.54 40-yard dash, and it shows up in his speed rush on film. 

Greg Dulcich was a great pickup in the third round. He was named the “best receiver” of the class by the B/R Scouting Department and addresses a clear need after Noah Fant was traded away as part of the Russell Wilson trade. 

While the hit rate on Day 3 picks isn’t great, it helps when you have seven bites at the apple. Eyioma Uwazarike is the most interesting fo the bunch. He’s an older prospect after a six-year collegiate career, but at 6’6″ and 316 pounds with 12 tackles for loss and nine sacks in his final season, he’s an intriguing fit as a defensive tackle/defensive end hybrid. 

Grade: B

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The Detroit Lions front office had to be ecstatic the Jaguars were willing to take the gamble on Travon Walker at the top of the draft. It allowed them to take a prospect in Hutchinson that brings a high floor to the table while still carrying the potential to be a Pro Bowl-caliber pass-rusher. 

The news kept getting better for the Lions’ faithful in the first round. They moved back 12 spots in the second round and give up a third-rounder to move up 20 spots in the first and pick up Jameson Williams. Jared Goff might not have the arm to unlock his potential, but whoever the quarterback in 2023 is going to be grateful for the move. 

Doubling down on edge-rushers was a smart move. The Lions were 29th in pressure percentage last season, per Pro Football Reference. Hutchinson and Josh Paschal should help that number rise. 

Kerby Joseph was the first questionable pick for the Lions brass. He was ranked as B/R’s 177th overall prospect, so taking him with a top-100 selection was a reach. 

Grade: A

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  • Round 1 (22) — LB Quay Walker, Georgia
  • Round 1 (28) — DI Devonte Wyatt, Georgia
  • Round 2 (34) — WR Christian Watson, North Dakota State
  • Round 3 (92) — OT Sean Rhyan, UCLA
  • Round 4 (132) — WR Romeo Doubs, Nevada
  • Round 4 (140) — OT Zach Tom, Wake Forest
  • Round 5 (179) — Edge Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina
  • Round 7 (228) — S Tariq Carpenter, Georgia Tech
  • Round 7 (234) — DI Jonathan Ford, Miami (Florida)
  • Round 7 (249) — T Rasheed Walker, Penn State
  • Round 7 (258) — WR Samori Toure, Nebraska

If anything, general manager Brian Gutekunst has proved that he loves lighting mock drafts on fire. With most mocks featuring the Green Bay Packers taking a receiver, he opted for an off-ball linebacker after signing De’Vondre Campbell to a big extension this offseason. 

Devonte Wyatt’s age (24 years old) is a concern. He’ll be 29 by the time he’s negotiating a second contract. However, he has one of the best first steps in the class. 

The Packers have made it clear they aren’t fans of taking a receiver in the first round. They haven’t done it since 2002, but trading two second-round picks for one to move up and take Christian Watson seems like a price that was too steep. 

Watson’s size and speed combination is tantalizing (4.36 40 at 6’4″ and 208 pounds). However, he needs to develop as a route-runner and has questionable hands. He had 16 drops in his career at North Dakota State, per PFF.

Zach Tom and Kingsley Enagbare are the kind of high-potential Day 3 picks who could wind up saving this class, but relying on Day 3 picks to hit is not a great situation. 

Grade: C+

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It’s hard to love the Stingley pick at No. 3 when the team is banking on getting the 2019 version and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner has three years of lockdown play on film. That said, the version of Stingley we saw when he was a freshman has All-Pro potential. 

Kenyon Green was a bit of a reach at No. 15 even if the Houston Texans did trade back before taking him. He was No. 42 on the B/R big board, and with a relative athletic score of 5.98, he isn’t elite in that area. 

Jalen Pitre, Christian Harris and Dameon Pierce were all great value picks in the middle of the draft. Given the Texans roster, they should be immediate contributors.

The John Metchie III pick is the lone confusing one in that range. He’s still recovering from a torn ACL and was 94th on the B/R big board but went 50 spots higher. At least it was a reach on a position of need. 

Grade: B

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The Indianapolis Colts came into this draft with a need to improve the weaponry for Matt Ryan and hopefully land a starting tackle prospect. 

That was a tall ask given their draft capital, but general manager Chris Ballard ended up navigating it well. Alec Pierce gives Ryan another big-bodied receiver to work with opposite of Michael Pittman Jr., while Jelani Woods’ size and athleticism make him the most intriguing tight end prospect in the whole class. 

The true steal in this class is Bernhard Raimann, though. He was the fourth tackle and 28th overall prospect at a premium position, and the Colts stopped his slide with the 77th pick. 

The Colts easily had the most athletic draft class by Pro Football Network’s Kent Lee Platte’s relative athletic score. If this class is as successful as it could be, that’s going to be a metric that continues to get increased attention. 

Grade: A

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Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke really swung for the fences making Travon Walker the No. 1 pick. Walker’s freakish size and speed combination are tantalizing, but there’s a lot of projection to justify making him the top pick when there were more proven options available. 

The biggest story after Walker is Baalke’s apparent affinity for off-ball linebackers. They spent a Day 1 and Day 2 pick on Devin Lloyd and Chad Muma.

The move gives them flexibility in the middle of their defense, but it is a little odd given the contract they just handed Foyesade Oluokun.

Ultimately, Jacksonville got better through this draft, but that’s a pretty low bar. There are legitimate questions about whether the team got the best value out of the draft picks it had. 

Grade: B-

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  • Round 1 (21) — CB Trent McDuffie, Washington
  • Round 1 (30) — Edge George Karlaftis, Purdue
  • Round 2 (54) — WR Skyy Moore, Western Michigan
  • Round 2 (62) — S Bryan Cook, Cincinnati
  • Round 3 (103) — LB Leo Chenal, Wisconsin
  • Round 4 (135) — CB Joshua Williams, Fayetteville State
  • Round 5 (145) — T Darian Kinnard, Kentucky
  • Round 7 (243) — CB Jaylen Watson, Washington State
  • Round 7 (251) — RB Isaih Pacheco, Rutgers
  • Round 7 (259) — S Nazeeh Johnson, Marshall

The rich really got richer with this draft haul. 

Everyone in the AFC West now has the makings of an elite passing attack. So it makes sense the Kansas City Chiefs got aggressive in adding a corner who can fit their scheme. Trent McDuffie does not have prototypical size, but he played more press than anyone not named Sauce Gardner, per PFF

The pattern of taking high-effort players with atypical length continued with the George Karlaftis selection at No. 30. He was ranked as the eighth overall prospect on the B/R big board, so getting him at 30 is a potential steal that fills a need. 

The Chiefs kept finding the values in Day 2. Skyy Moore is set up to have early success. Patrick Mahomes is going to love his feel for getting open and route running. Leo Chenal is an uber-athletic linebacker with the potential to be an elite run defender and devastating blitzer. 

Kansas City is trusting Mahomes to elevate the offense. The team did a great job of investing in a defense that can hold up its end of the bargain. 

Grade: A

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This is one of those draft classes where it’s important to keep in mind that we are grading how well teams did with what they had. The Las Vegas Raiders didn’t pick until the third round and still managed to get good prospects who should compete to fill holes they have on the roster. 

Dylan Parham was No. 76 on the B/R big board and the No. 8 interior lineman. They got him with the 90th pick. He has the athleticism and ability to challenge for the starting right guard spot from Day 1, which would allow the team to move Alex Leatherwood back to tackle. 

The Zamir White pick makes a lot of sense after the team declined Josh Jacobs’ fifth-year option. He’ll give them a young complementary back. 

The under-the-radar picks that could be significant are Matthew Butler and Neil Farrell Jr. Both project to be assets against the run. The idea of doubling up in hopes that at least one of them becomes an early contributor is laudable.  

Grade: B+

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One of the biggest organizational priorities for the Los Angeles Chargers has to be protecting Justin Herbert at all costs.

They took a strong step toward that goal with Zion Johnson in the first round. His rise from a 0-star prospect at Davidson to a first-round draft pick out of Boston College embodies the kind of work ethic you want to add in the first round. 

After Johnson, it’s hard to get too excited about any one of their picks. JT Woods could end up being a serviceable starter, but there were higher-upside options available. 

Jamaree Salyer is the most intriguing of the Day 3 picks. The 6’3″, 321-pound lineman played all over the line at Georgia. That versatility could make him a career-long utility player at worst, with the potential to become a starting guard down the line. 

Grade: B+

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  • Round 3 (102) — LB Channing Tindall, Georgia
  • Round 4 (125) — WR Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech
  • Round 7 (224) — Edge Cameron Goode, Cal
  • Round 7 (247) — QB Skylar Thompson, Kansas State

The Miami Dolphins are seemingly trying to emulate the Los Angeles Rams’ approach to the draft by trading many of their picks for established veterans. 

The Dolphins pulled off a blockbuster trade this offseason, sending the No. 29 pick along with 2022 second- and fourth-rounders and 2023 fourth- and sixth-rounders to the Kansas City Chiefs for star wideout Tyreek Hill. That left Miami with only four picks to use this year.

Channing Tindall is the highlight of the class. His sideline-to-sideline speed should help him get on the field as a rookie. Part of that will be in sub-packages, but he should also be a factor on special teams. 

The Dolphins took wideout Erik Ezukanma in the fourth round, but he didn’t even make the top 200 on B/R’s final big board. Luckily, they won’t need him to make an immediate impact with all of the changes they’ve made to their receiver room this offseason. 

Grade: C-

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  • Round 1 (32) — S Lewis Cine, Georgia
  • Round 2 (42) —  CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson
  • Round 2 (59) — G Ed Ingram, LSU
  • Round 3 (66) — LB Brian Asamoah, Oklahoma
  • Round 4 (118) — CB Akayleb Evans, Missouri
  • Round 5 (165) — Edge Esezi Otomewo, Minnesota
  • Round 5 (169) — RB Ty Chandler, North Carolina
  • Round 6 (184) — OT Vederian Lowe, Illinois
  • Round 6 (191) — WR Jalen Nailor, Michigan State
  • Round 7 (227) — TE Nick Muse, South Carolina

New Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah showed he’s more than willing to wheel and deal during his first draft.

He traded the Nos. 12 and 46 picks to the Detroit Lions in exchange for the Nos. 32, 34 and 66 picks. In other words, the Vikings essentially moved down 20 spots in the first round to go up 12 spots in the second round and get an extra third-rounder.

It’s hard to love that trade given how many high-value prospects they missed out on between Nos. 12 to 32. Still, Lewis Cine’s athleticism and ability to play as a deep safety should pair well alongside Harrison Smith. 

However, Adofo-Mensah flipped the script on Day 2 by trading the 34th pick for the 53rd and 59th picks. He then traded up to get Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr., who could become a valuable starter. 

Cine and Booth have the ability to drastically improve the Vikings secondary, while Ed Ingram could become a valuable cog in the offensive line. 

Grade: B

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The New England Patriots clearly don’t care about any big board but their own. 

Cole Strange was 98th on the final B/R big board, which made him the biggest reach of the first round. (Rams head coach Sean McVay certainly seemed to agree.)

However, Strange does fill a need, and the Pats have previously hit on taking small-school prospects earlier than expected (namely Kyle Dugger). It’s also worth noting that his 9.95 relative athletic score compares favorably with Joe Thuney, per Pro Football Network’s Kent Lee Platte

The surprising picks didn’t stop there. In the second round, the Patriots took Tyquan Thornton at No. 50. He brings blazing speed to the table—he led all wideouts with a 4.28-second 40-yard dash at the combine—but not much else. He was the No. 130 prospect on the final B/R big board.

The Pats had an unorthodox draft, as five of their 10 picks came from outside of the Power Five conferences. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is an interesting trend to monitor as this class develops over time. 

Grade: C

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The New Orleans Saints set out to get two immediate contributors in the first round, and that’s exactly what they did.

Trevor Penning is reminiscent of Terron Armstead as a prospect. He’s an uber-athletic tackle coming from a small school. He’ll now replace Armstead, who started 93 games for the Saints over the past nine seasons before signing with the Dolphins this offseason.

Meanwhile, the B/R Scouting Department considered Chris Olave to be the best route-runner and most pro-ready wideout in this year’s class. His ability to find soft spots in coverage should make him a reliable target for quarterback Jameis Winston right away.

Taking Alontae Taylor in the third round was far from a slam dunk, but cornerback is an increasingly valuable position. We can’t fault the Saints for stocking up there even though the B/R Scouting Department gave Taylor a fourth-round grade.

The key to this draft was nailing the first two picks, and the Saints seem to have done that. 

Grade: B+

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In terms of adding top-end talent, it’s hard to beat what the New York Giants did on Day 1.

Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal were Nos. 1 and 2 on the final B/R big board, respectively. New Giants general manager Joe Schoen managed to get both with his pair of top-seven picks. 

However, it got harder to love what the Giants did on Day 2.

Kentucky wideout Wan’Dale Robinson is a unique prospect with a small frame, and he’s a slippery runner after the catch. But he’s a discount Kadarius Toney for a team that already has Toney on the roster. 

Joshua Ezeudu made sense in the third round as a versatile lineman who should compete to play guard sooner rather than later. Depth is vital on the offensive line to survive the rigors of the 17-game season. 

Darrian Beavers is an intriguing Day 3 pick. He was No. 58 on B/R’s big board and was one of the most agile linebackers at the combine. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will figure out how to make him an asset. 

Grade: A-

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The New York Jets needed a transformational draft class, and that’s exactly what this has the potential to be.

Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner has rare length for a cornerback and was dominant while being asked to play plenty of press coverage in college. He never allowed a touchdown reception during his time at Cincinnati, according to Pro Football Focus.

Garrett Wilson was the fifth receiver on the final B/R big board, but he was 19th overall, so it wasn’t an egregious reach. Trading back into the first round to select Jermaine Johnson II gives the Jets three immediate starters at impact positions. 

The Jets then turned their attention to helping second-year quarterback Zach Wilson on Day 2. Breece Hall has the makings of a superstar tailback, while Jeremy Ruckert was the top tight end in B/R’s rankings. 

The Jets had to nail this draft, and general manager Joe Douglas did just that.

Grade: A

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If you had to sum up the Philadelphia Eagles’ draft strategy in one word, it would be aggressive. 

The Eagles traded the Nos. 15, 124, 162 and 166 picks to the Texans to jump ahead of the Ravens to No. 13, where they took Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis. He was one of the standouts of the combine and had the highest relative athletic score of any defensive tackle since 1987, according to Kent Lee Platte of Pro Football Network. However, he played only 38 percent of the snaps at Georgia, which raises questions about whether he can be a three-down player.

While trades before the draft aren’t being considered in these grades, the Eagles’ trade for Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown does factor in. After whiffing on some early-round wideouts in recent years, they traded the Nos. 18 and 101 picks to land an established star.

With quarterback Jalen Hurts still on his rookie contract, the Eagles’ cap situation enabled them to hand Brown a four-year, $100 million extension. They’re now in a great position to find out whether Hurts can be their long-term answer under center.

Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon must be thrilled that they landed linebacker Nakobe Dean with their third-round pick. According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, Dean’s size, injury history and a current pectoral injury all caused him to slide further than expected. 

If he’s able to stay healthy, he could wind up being the biggest steal of the draft. 

Grade: A-

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Kenny Pickett going to the Pittsburgh Steelers is a great storyline from a narrative standpoint. They got their pick of quarterbacks at No. 20 and took advantage of the opportunity to take a local product in Pickett. 

Outside of that, though, it’s hard to get too excited about him.

Pickett put together a great final season at Pitt, but the coaching staff there may have already squeezed out all of his potential. He’ll be 24 by the time his rookie season starts, and he brings limited upside. 

Even if Pickett doesn’t bring sky-high potential, there’s still a lot to like about Pittsburgh’s draft class. The Steelers are no stranger to getting good value in the middle rounds, and they might have done it again. 

Georgia wide receiver George Pickens didn’t get play much in his final season after recovering from a torn ACL, but he has two seasons’ worth of film in the SEC that says he’s a pro-caliber wide receiver. 

Meanwhile, Texas A&M edge-rusher DeMarvin Leal was once a first-round-caliber prospect. Now he goes to a franchise known for developing defensive linemen with a chip on his shoulder. 

Grade: B+

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The San Francisco 49ers could have bolstered their secondary earlier in the draft, but it’s hard to fault them for taking pass-rusher Drake Jackson instead. He might have been selected much higher if not for a late-season injury that ultimately might have no effect on his NFL career. 

After watching what sixth-round running back Elijah Mitchell did in this offense last year as a rookie, it’s hard to feel good about the Niners spending a third-rounder on Ty Davis-Price. 

Danny Gray was a better use of resources. The speedy receiver provides more depth and could be elevated into a larger role than expected if the Niners do trade Deebo Samuel.

San Francisco also got a potential steal on Day 3 with Spencer Burford. The 6’4″, 304-pound blocker could eventually play tackle, but his movement skills could also make him a great guard in this system. 

Grade: B

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    John Locher/Associated Press

The Seattle Seahawks didn’t find their successor to longtime quarterback Russell Wilson in the first round. However, they did try to make life much easier for whomever that winds up being.

Charles Cross might be the best pure pass-protector in this year’s draft class. He gave up only two sacks and 14 hurries in Mike Leach’s pass-happy offense last season, per PFF.

It’s always a good idea to build a team through the trenches. That was a theme for the Seahawks in general. Following up the Cross pick with lightning-fast edge-rusher Boye Mafe and another offensive tackle in Abraham Lucas could pay off big down the line. 

Kenneth Walker III is fine in a vacuum. He’s a great prospect and is capable of being an every-down back. But with Rashaad Penny going off for 671 rushing yards in the final five games of last season season, taking Walker in the second round wasn’t the best use of resources for Seattle. 

Then again, with Drew Lock the current presumed starting quarterback, anything the Seahawks can do to build the run game is a plus. 

Grade: A-

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got off to a strong start by trading back and still getting a player that makes sense for them.

Logan Hall is a jumbo edge prospect who will likely start his career inside but could develop into an outside pass-rusher. Joining the veteran Bucs defensive front will allow him to evolve with their future needs. 

The Bucs got some other high-value targets later in the draft. The B/R Scouting Department pegged Luke Goedeke as the biggest sleeper among the interior offensive linemen in this class, and they named fourth-round pick Cade Otton as the best blocker among the tight ends.

Unless Hall reaches his ceiling, there might not be any All-Pro players in Tampa Bay’s draft class. That’s OK. This draft was about finding role players who can help extend the Bucs’ current Super Bowl window. 

Grade: B

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    Michael Woods/Associated Press

It’s never easy to trade away a talented player. However, it’s also easy to understand the Tennessee Titans’ hesitance to hand A.J. Brown a megadeal given the ballooning market for wide receivers and his injury history.

The Titans traded Brown to the Eagles on Thursday night for the Nos. 18 and 101 overall picks. They spent the former on his potential replacement, Arkansas wideout Treylon Burks. They just have to hope that trade works out like the deal that the Vikings made for Justin Jefferson and not like the one San Francisco made for Javon Kinlaw. 

The Titans’ draft class ultimately hinges on third-round pick Malik Willis. He got a second-round grade from the B/R Scouting Department, but some team figured to reach on him a round too early based on his enormous potential.

Instead, the Titans got him at a great value, and they’ll be a good situation for him. He’ll get to sit behind Ryan Tannehill while learning a pro offense and improving upon his ability to win inside the pocket. 

Grade: B

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

There isn’t a lot to get excited about with the Washington Commanders’ draft class. There isn’t a lot to get angry about, either. 

Jahan Dotson makes sense from a need standpoint. The Commanders need pass-catchers alongside Terry McLaurin to give new quarterback Carson Wentz a chance at success, and Dotson should find a role as a No. 2 receiver. There’s just little chance that he winds up as the best wideout in the class. 

Phidarian Mathis is a similar prospect as an interior defensive lineman. He will provide critical depth and likely become a starter down the road with Daron Payne entering the final year of his contract. 

The biggest qualm with Washington’s draft is not using either the second- or third-round pick on a cornerback. The Commanders don’t have much depth at that position, but depth is invaluable there.

Instead, they opted for a power runner in Brian Robinson Jr., whose role they could have filled through the constantly revolving door of free-agent running backs. 

Grade: C+


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