Mel Kiper: Regrading the 2011 NFL Draft

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 6 years ago '11        #1
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Mel Kiper: Regrading the 2011 NFL Draft
 

 
Atlanta Falcons
1 - 6 - Julio Jones
3 - 91 - Akeem Dent
5 - 145 - Jacquizz Rodgers
6 - 192 - Matt Bosher
7 - 210 - Andrew Jackson
7 - 230 - Cliff Matthews
Post-draft grade: C+

Summary: Give the Falcons some credit -- Thomas Dimitroff took a major gamble in giving up picks, including the Falcons' first pick in the 2012 draft, to move up and take Julio Jones. They took a shot because they desperately needed a vertical threat outside of Roddy White. That risk on Jones wasn't because of ability, because Jones has big-time talent, but because taking wide receivers so high has been a 50-50 proposition. Jones looked the part of a current and future star, though, with nearly 1,000 yards receiving this season and numerous big plays. They went for a home run, and I think you'd have to say they hit it. I was concerned that the defensive end need wasn't addressed, but the signing of Ray Edwards mitigated that. Jacquizz Rodgers became a bigger part of the offense down the stretch and could play an even bigger role in 2012. Matt Bosher was OK, at 19th in the NFL in net average per punt. A good draft overall, given the gamble, but not among the best considering the steep cost.
New grade: B

Arizona Cardinals
1 - 5 - Patrick Peterson
2 - 38 - Ryan Williams
3 - 69 - Rob Housler
4 - 103 - Sam Acho
5 - 136 - Anthony Sherman
6 - 171 - Quan Sturdivant
6 - 184 - David Carter
7 -249 - Demarco Sampson
Post-draft grade: B-

Summary: Even before the draft, there was a suspicion that if Patrick Peterson was there for the taking, the Cardinals would grab him and become active in the trade market for a quarterback. At the time I graded the draft, before trades and free agency, I had to point out that Arizona didn't do very well when it came to targeting needs. I had quarterback, outside linebacker and offensive tackle among its top three needs, and it went cornerback, running back and tight end with the top three picks. Despite the deal for Kevin Kolb, is the QB situation solved? That's debatable. What isn't debatable, however, is that that Peterson is the real deal. I gave the Cards an A-minus for value because Peterson was No. 1 on my Big Board going into the season. He needed refinement at corner, but his improvement was steady from Week 1 through Week 17, and he's right there with Devin Hester already as one of the most dangerous return men in the league. Ryan Williams was lost in the preseason, and Rob Housler was a non-entity, but Sam Acho was a nice fourth-round find (at a need spot). He had seven sacks and became a starter. David Carter added a little depth in the sixth. This draft class could be better, but it has a couple of good stories to fall back on.
New grade: B

Baltimore Ravens
1 - 27 - Jimmy Smith
2 - 58 - Torrey Smith
3 - 85 - Jah Reid
4 - 123 - Tandon Doss
5 - 164 - Chykie Brown
5 - 165 - Pernell McPhee
6 - 180 - Tyrod Taylor
7 - 225 - Anthony Allen
Post-draft grade: B+

Summary: Given what we saw of Jimmy Smith when he finally got healthy, plus one big-time steal, this draft is looking better than I had graded it. Torrey Smith was a guy I thought might be gone in the first round, and the Ravens got a lot of value when they got him late in Round 2. In terms of value and early production, he's one of the steals of the draft so far, with 841 yards receiving as a rookie. His speed has really added a dimension to that offense that it desperately needed. But Smith isn't even the biggest steal here -- that would be Pernell McPhee. The Ravens got the 3-4 defensive end with the No. 165 overall pick, and while he split reps, when he was on the field, he often played at a Pro Bowl level. If Jimmy Smith hadn't gotten healthy and picked off two passes in his three starts, I'd have more hesitation. But you're talking about three potential big-time players (and early returns) out of a draft in which the Ravens didn't pick until No. 27, and they became a playoff team. That's pretty solid.
New grade: A-

Buffalo Bills
Round - Pick - Player
1 - 3 - Marcell Dareus
2 - 34 - Aaron Williams
3 - 68 - Kelvin Sheppard
4 - 100 - Da'Norris Searcy
4 - 122 - Chris Hairston
5 - 133 - Johnny White
6 - 169 - Chris White
7 - 206 - Justin Rogers
7 - 245 - Michael Jasper
Post-draft grade: B

Summary: Leading up to the draft, there were many questions about whether the Bills would take a quarterback. After all, Ryan Fitzpatrick had no real security, and if Cam Newton had fallen to Buffalo at No. 3, I suspected Buddy Nix would pull the trigger. Newton didn't fall, the Bills went for defense and I wrote then that Fitzpatrick should "feel good about this draft" because he was "clearly the preferred starter." Fitzpatrick got off to a good start, and the Bills doubled down in giving him a contract extension. As for the picks, I'd say Buffalo confirmed the grade. Great value, so-so on need. Marcell Dareus gave them 15 starts and looks every bit like a versatile, disruptive defensive lineman who could be productive in almost any system. I'm not yet ready to say he's a Pro Bowl lock, but the ceiling is there, no question. I said third-round pick Kelvin Sheppard should be ready to help early, and he played in every game, giving the Bills nine starts. Second-rounder Aaron Williams has some growing to do, but he should start in 2012. Da'Norris Searcy has a chance to develop after a switch to safety. Chris Hairston also gave Buffalo some starts as an injury replacement. This grade rises if Dareus reaches a Pro Bowl level.
New grade: B+

Carolina Panthers
1 - 1 - Cam Newton
3 - 65 - Terrell McClain
3 - 97 - Sione Fua
4 - 98 - Brandon Hogan
5 - 132 - Kealoha Pilares
6 - 166 - Lawrence Wilson
6 - 203 - Zack Williams
7 - 244 - Lee Ziemba
Post-draft grade: C

Summary: For me, the story of the Panthers' draft happened before the draft ever started. The work Cam Newton did preparing to be an NFL quarterback between his final game at Auburn and Week 1 in 2011 was significant and maybe unprecedented, and it makes saying it was a risk to take him No. 1 overall look silly now. But at the time, I think we all considered it a risk, and I think the Panthers were in that camp. We simply hadn't yet seen the kind of player we saw in 2011. As a pure talent, Newton is the greatest quarterback I've ever graded. As a talent. As a quarterback ready to make reads, accurate throws and smart decisions under pressure at the NFL level, he was still raw when he finished his college career. Newton eliminating the value question at the league's most vital position significantly pushes up this grade a year out, but the Panthers also got some promising play out of defensive tackles Terrell McClain and Sione Fua after some early injuries cut into the depth. Newton, who must continue to develop -- which I'm confident he will -- makes this a successful draft. But the Panthers got more than just him.
New grade: A-

Chicago Bears
1 - 29 - Gabe Carimi
2 - 53 - Stephen Paea
3 - 93 - Christopher Conte
5 - 160 - Nathan Enderle
6 - 195 - J.T. Thomas
Post-draft grade: B

Summary: Health is a big factor, but this draft class really hasn't done much thus far. Gabe Carimi could pan out at right tackle and had the job coming out of camp, but he was lost after the second game. There's no telling whether he'll be able to move to the left side. Stephen Paea is a player who should continue to develop under Rod Marinelli, but he was a part-timer this season for an improved defensive line. Chris Conte was able to work his way into the first team at safety, but that was a clear weakness for Chicago, and it accounts for the best production out of this class to this point. Some good need picks, but it's pretty fair to say the ceiling isn't high right now.
New grade: C

Cincinnati Bengals
1 - 4 - A.J. Green
2 - 35 - Andy Dalton
3 - 66 - Dontay Moch
4 - 101 - Clint Boling
5 - 134 - Robert Sands
6 - 167 - Ryan Whalen
7 - 207 - Korey Lindsey
7 - 246 - Jay Finley
Post-draft grade: A-

Summary: All right, throw me a bone here. I get a lot of stuff wrong, but this tied for the best draft grade, and honestly, could it have turned out much better? The Bengals got A.J. Green at No. 4, stayed out of the mad rush for quarterbacks that Tennessee, Jacksonville and Minnesota all got involved in, then got Andy Dalton 23 picks after the Vikings got Christian Ponder. So you get 16 starts out of Dalton and Pro Bowl-caliber play out of Green (even as he fought through a shoulder injury), and Dalton's presence allows you to ship Carson Palmer to Oakland for what will end up as a No. 1 and a No. 2 pick. That's a pretty massive haul, and we didn't even mention a playoff run yet. No wonder Mike Brown was pegged as the executive of the year. That said, there isn't a ton of production after the top two picks. Dontay Moch could be a very good pass-rusher but got hurt; Clint Boling gave the Bengals some starts at guard but also was dinged up. Still, when you factor in the added value of future picks, this was a home run. Again, we don't know what Dalton's ceiling is, but we're grading on where this draft class is now, just as we graded it on potential and value back in April.
New grade: A+

Dallas Cowboys
1 - 9 - Tyron Smith
2 - 40 - Bruce Carter
3 - 71 - DeMarco Murray
4 - 110 - David Arkin
5 - 143 - Josh Thomas
6 - 176 - Dwayne Harris
7 - 220 - Shaun Chapas
7 - 252 - Bill Nagy
Post-draft grade: B-

Summary: I said then that I liked the conviction Dallas had to get younger on the offensive line, stay at No. 9 and take Tyron Smith, even though that was no home run in terms of value. Still, that pick turned into a win for the Cowboys. Smith, who started all season as a 20-year-old, played on the right side, but all indications are he could develop into a blindside tackle if they find it necessary to move him there. The grade rises if he can. Right now, a right tackle isn't your goal with a lineman taken at No. 9 overall. Bruce Carter's NFL script is still unwritten, but DeMarco Murray obviously was a great value in the third before he went down for the year. Murray's injury, incidentally, is why it's hard to ever say a great running back out of the third round is a "steal" -- RBs land in the third because you expect them to get hurt. It's just reality. There isn't much else here so far. Dwayne Harris flashed in the preseason but wasn't a factor. Aside from Smith, the best rookie was kicker Dan Bailey, but alas, he wasn't drafted and can't be factored in here.
New grade: C+

Denver Broncos
1 - 2 - Von Miller
2 - 45 - Rahim Moore
2 - 46 - Orlando Franklin
3 - 67 - Nate Irving
4 - 108 - Quinton Carter
4 - 129 - Julius Thomas
6 - 189 - Mike Mohamed
7 - 204 - Virgil Green
7 - 247 - Jeremy Beal
Post-draft grade: B

Summary: I said on draft day that "Denver got the player who could very well have the biggest impact of any rookie" with Von Miller. Technically, that prediction wasn't true, with the way Cam Newton broke so many rookie passing records. But if you think the win-loss record tells the tale and believe the Broncos were more than their quarterback this season, you certainly could make a case for Miller. He was exceptional this season, with 11.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and 54 total tackles. Elsewhere, however, there isn't yet much here. Orlando Franklin slotted in at guard and has played pretty well, but Rahim Moore hasn't been quite the player I thought he could be back when he led the nation in INTs as a sophomore at UCLA. Miller makes this a good draft by himself, and there's still development left for several of these picks. I didn't think it was a great draft for Denver in terms of targeting needs, but Miller is the kind of player who transcends a need pick.
New grade: B

Detroit Lions
1 - 13 - Nick Fairley
2 - 44 - Titus Young
2 - 57 - Mikel Leshoure
5 - 157 - Douglas Hogue
7 - 209 - Johnny Culbreath
Post-draft grade: A-

Summary: The Lions did incredibly well when it came to drafting value based on my rankings, but I had them at only a C-plus for need. At the time, I wondered whether the fact that they didn't get a cornerback, an offensive lineman or a linebacker would be an issue. The amazing thing is that even though everybody significant in the class got hurt, this draft comes out looking not too bad, even in the short term. Nick Fairley had surgery in August but showed late in the season that he could become an impact player. Titus Young also was dinged early but managed 48 catches and more than 600 yards. Young has a really bright future. Mikel Leshoure's injury was really a shame, and you hope he can come back strong in 2012. And that's really it for the Lions. They can't live up to the post-draft grade, but at least there is plenty of promise, as it looks like they'll get two impact players out of it, despite the bad luck early.
New grade: B

Green Bay Packers
1 - 32 - Derek Sherrod
2 - 64 - Randall Cobb
3 - 96 - Alex Green
4 - 131 - Davon House
5 - 141 - D.J. Williams
6 - 179 - Caleb Schlauderaff
6 - 186 - D.J. Smith
6 - 197 - Ricky Elmore
7 - 218 - Ryan Taylor
7 - 233 - Lawrence Guy
Post-draft grade: B+

Summary: When you look at contributions from the rookie class, Green Bay's really had to be graded on a curve. Consider the context. Here was a team coming off a Super Bowl win with more than a dozen players on injured reserve. The team wasn't headed into the draft looking for players to fill major roles. And even then, the Packers found contributors. Derek Sherrod couldn't win a starting role but should get there at some point. Randall Cobb worked his way into a deep group of wide receivers and was a major threat in the return game. That said, I was a little surprised the Packers didn't target a high-ceiling outside linebacker, and the pass rush has fallen off some this season. That was my No. 1 listed need. They added Davon House to the secondary, and he was at least able to see some reps. One good find on defense was D.J. Smith, a sixth-rounder who played in all 16 games, and looks like a keeper and potential long-term starter. Considering what they already had in place, not a bad draft.
New grade: B

26 comments for "Mel Kiper: Regrading the 2011 NFL Draft"

 6 years ago '11        #2
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Houston Texans
1 - 11 - J.J. Watt
2 - 42 - Brooks Reed
2 - 60 - Brandon Harris
4 - 127 - Rashad Carmichael
5 - 144 - Shiloh Keo
5 - 152 - Taylor Yates
7 - 214 - Derek Newton
7 - 254 - Cheta Ozougwu
Post-draft grade: B

Summary: In April I wrote that Wade Phillips "got a lot of new toys to work with, and I think Houston did a solid job of addressing what was simply a bad defense in 2010." I probably didn't make a strong enough case, because the first two picks, J.J. Watt and Brooks Reed, have played huge roles this season. Watt is arguably one of the top rookies in football, and Reed really came on, particularly after Mario Williams was lost for the year. If you consider that Houston got 11 sacks out of a combo of Williams and Reed, the injury to Super Mario doesn't seem so terrible. Of course, the big steal here was to find T.J. Yates in the fifth round after he wasn't even invited to the combine. After the draft, I wrote, "Yates could be a good one if give time to develop." I wouldn't exactly call his current experience a nice incubation period, but he's made what was already a good draft look somewhere closer to exceptional, at least in the short term. Good draft for Houston right now and for the future, which deserves a bump.
New grade: A-

Indianapolis Colts
1 - 22 - Anthony Castonzo
2 - 49 - Benjamin Ijalana
3 - 87 - Drake Nevis
4 - 119 - Delone Carter
6 - 188 - Chris Rucker
Post-draft grade: B+

Summary: The utter disaster that was the Colts' season takes some shine off this class, but let's consider what they got. Anthony Castonzo was supposed to be the future blindside protector for Peyton Manning. He hasn't been spectacular, but at least he has made it to the left side and looks like the future there. What can he be? Well, if he does a good job of protecting Andrew Luck, the grade certainly will get a bump. But we don't know yet. Ben Ijalana hasn't shown a lot. Drake Nevis has had moments but mostly got good reps for a bad defense. Delone Carter got 101 carries but didn't show a lot as a rookie. Chris Rucker got some time in the secondary but needs to develop. All in all, Castonzo is what we thought he might be, but there isn't a lot to like here at this stage, especially considering how bad this team was. It's fair to say I liked this class better in April.
New grade: C

Jacksonville Jaguars
1 - 10 - Blaine Gabbert
3 - 76 - William Rackley
4 - 114 - Cecil Shorts
4 - 121 - Chris Prosinski
5 - 147 - Rod Issac
Post-draft grade: C-

Miami Dolphins
1 - 15 - Mike Pouncey
2 - 62 - Daniel Thomas
4 - 111 - Edmond Gates
6 - 174 - Charles Clay
7 - 231 - Frank Kearse
7 - 235 - Jimmy Wilson
Post-draft grade: B-

Summary: You can't get less s3xy on draft day than taking an interior offensive lineman at No. 15 overall, but the Dolphins were clearly targeting their run game. They got Mike Pouncey and then went for running back Daniel Thomas in Round 2. Even without scaring a lot of defenders away from the line of scrimmage with the passing game, the draft paid dividends. Reggie Bush was a key component, but Pouncey helped the run game immensely, and the Dolphins went from 22nd in 2010 to 11th in 2011 in rushing yards per game. Fullback Charles Clay, a steal in the sixth round, was also part of that. Clyde Gates (formerly Edmond) still has a ways to go, but overall, you have to say Miami did OK given the first-year production. It wasn't a great value draft, but the dividends were tangible and -- I'll harp on this again -- it looks better given that this team was far closer to a .500-plus record than many realize.
New grade: B

Minnesota Vikings
1 - 12 - Christian Ponder
2 - 43 - Kyle Rudolph
4 - 106 - Christian Ballard
5 - 139 - Brandon Burton
6 - 168 - Demarcus Love
6 - 170 - Mistral Raymond
6 - 172 - Brandon Fusco
6 - 200 - Ross Homan
7 - 215 - D'Aundre Reed
7 - 236 - Stephen Burton
Post-draft grade: C+

Summary: When you think you're drafting the quarterback of the future for the franchise, you take your shot. That's what the Vikings did at No. 12 when they drafted Christian Ponder. I had that as a reach on my board, but Ponder showed some things in 2011. Still, it was for a team that was far less competitive than we thought it would be, and as the season finished, I even heard questions about whether the team should give Joe Webb a shot. Are the Vikings confident they can compete in 2012 with Ponder at the helm? Kyle Rudolph is a talented player and should be a weapon in that offense; he's certainly mastered the one-handed catch. After that, it's pretty quiet. Christian Ballard got reps, but I don't see him as an impact player. Overall, this is still an incomplete for me as we wait on Ponder. But hopefully we see some development from the other picks, too.
New grade: C-

New England Patriots
1 - 17 - Nate Solder
2 - 33 - Ras-I Dowling
2 - 56 - Shane Vereen
3 - 73 - Stevan Ridley
3 - 74 - Ryan Mallett
5 - 138 - Marcus Cannon
5 - 159 - Lee Smith
6 - 194 - Markell Carter
7 - 219 - Malcolm Williams
Post-draft grade: C+

Summary: After the draft, I called this a mixed bag, because while the Patriots acquired more picks and were able to get some decent value in at least one spot with Ryan Mallett, I also thought they might have been outsmarting themselves by not getting any useful defensive help outside of Ras-I Dowling. At the time, I wondered, "Where is the pass-rush help? Why not try to maximize this window of brilliance from Tom Brady and get better now?" Well, Dowling went into the draft with injury concerns, and those have continued. All in all, I see a draft in which I saw outside linebacker, wide receiver and defensive end as big needs, and the Patriots got nothing to speak of in any of those spots. The pass rush hasn't been a disaster this season, but the Patriots really could have used some young talent there. And while Stevan Ridley came on, I'm not sure his presence on the team changed anything for 2011. After all, Danny Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis (both undrafted) were doing a decent job. I gave the Patriots a C for needs and a B-minus for value last year because I can see value as they continued to stock picks. Nate Solder is a keeper, and Belichick's work to keep that offensive line in good shape has been outstanding, but I still wonder whether the Patriots could have done more on defense. Again, there's always future help to consider, but this is what we know now.
New grade: C+
 6 years ago '11        #3
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New Orleans Saints
1 - 24 - Cameron Jordan
1 - 28 - Mark Ingram
3 - 72 - Martez Wilson
3 - 88 - Johnny Patrick
7 - 226 - Greg Romeus
7 - 243 - Nathan Bussey
Post-draft grade: B

Summary: Remember that by dealing up for New England's first-round pick, the Saints don't have one of their own in 2012, so the value hit there has to be factored in. I liked this draft a little more back in April. No. 24 overall pick Cameron Jordan was a really dynamic player at Cal, but he faces ceiling questions now after a rookie season in which he wasn't able to deliver much as a pass-rusher. And while the deal to move up and draft Mark Ingram made the Saints' backfield a very impressive and versatile group given the presence of Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas, since Sean Payton employs a steady mix at running back, was getting another one really worth a first-round pick? The cost looks pretty significant, even though Ingram had a pretty decent rookie year. Martez Wilson didn't see much time, and Johnny Patrick didn't, either. Some of the questions I had for the Saints' O-line were solved post-draft in free agency, but even then, Cameron and Ingram need to show a lot more (and stay healthy) to justify the cost.
New grade: C+

New York Giants
1 - 19 - Prince Amukamara
2 - 52 - Marvin Austin
3 - 83 - Jerrel Jernigan
4 - 117 - James Brewer
6 - 185 - Greg Jones
6 - 198 - Tyler Sash
6 - 202 - Jacquian Williams
7 - 221 - Da'Rel Scott
Post-draft grade: B-

Summary: The Giants graded out at a B-minus overall after the draft because they got great value but really didn't do much in terms of attacking needs early. While the Giants have had a very good season based on where they are, it's fair to say the draft hasn't really played a role. Prince Amukamara is seeing significant time now but was out early after a broken foot. He's played a bit better in recent weeks, but it's hard to say at this point whether he projects as more than a solid regular. Marvin Austin was a good value based on talent, but the defensive tackle out of North Carolina got hurt early and hasn't factored in. Jerrel Jernigan hasn't really worked his way into the offense. Greg Jones was a nice value, but he's seen only spot duty thus far. One promising rookie year has come from Henry Hynoski -- but he was an undrafted free agent. There's talent here, but for this class, it's still early, and this class hasn't really had a noticeable effect on the season.
New grade: C

New York Jets
1 - 30 - Muhammad Wilkerson
3 - 94 - Kenrick Ellis
4 - 126 - Bilal Powell
5 - 153 - Jeremy Kerley
7 - 208 - Greg McElroy
7 - 227 - Scotty McKnight
Post-draft grade: B

Summary: I called Muhammad Wilkerson one of the best values in Round 1 after the Jets got him at No. 30. If he'd stayed another year at Temple, I think we'd be talking about him as a likely top-10 pick for 2012. And while he got 16 starts, he's still developing for a defense that took a step back in 2011. Given the jump in competition from Temple's slate to the AFC East, I'd say Wilkerson held up pretty well, but is he a star in the making? Not sure. After that, both Kenrick Ellis and Bilal Powell saw at least some of the field, but we can't draw any conclusions on those two yet. Jeremy Kerley got a lot of reps, caught 29 passes and looks like he has a future in the slot. Not bad, but it's too early to say there might be a star in here. The Jets got some utility but had few picks and look a little light on ceiling for this draft unless Wilkerson jumps.
New grade: C+

Oakland Raiders
2 - 48 - Stefen Wisniewski
3 - 81 - DeMarcus Van Dyke
3 - 92 - Joseph Barksdale
4 - 113 - Chimdi Chekwa
4 - 125 - Taiwan Jones
5 - 148 - Denarius Moore
6 - 181 - Richard Gordon
7 - 241 - David Ausberry
Post-draft grade: C+

Summary: Al Davis' last draft is a good prism to the way he often drafted. He loaded up on speed, and he got a guy who not only looks like a Raider, but actually comes from the family. Oakland didn't have a pick until No. 48 overall and got Stefen Wisniewski there. He stepped in at guard and has proved to be a reliable starter on a young O-line that is a strength. Elsewhere, the Raiders went the speed route with rising corner DeMarcus Van Dyke in the third round and then Denarius Moore in the fifth. Moore looks like a potential star and got to flash his speed on a number of big plays this season. I had wide receiver as a top need for the Raiders, and eight months later, they might have aced that need pick in the fifth round, a huge score. Guard Joseph Barksdale could develop into a starter, and Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa will both start a lot of games. Taiwan Jones is an exciting player and got to see the field a lot. Given that the Raiders didn't have a pick until the mid-second round, context says Oakland did pretty well once again here, and for a team that improved a little more on the field.
New grade: B+

Pittsburgh Steelers
1 - 31 - Cameron Heyward
2 - 63 - Marcus Gilbert
3 - 95 - Curtis Brown
4 - 128 - Cortez Allen
5 - 162 - Christopher Carter
6 - 196 - Keith Williams
7 - 232 - Baron Batch
Post-draft grade: B+

Summary: I really liked this draft back in April. I think it can be hard to judge the Steelers in particular on face value, because in so many cases they draft guys, especially on defense, and develop them. Look at LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons -- big-time players who didn't produce much as rookies. In the past two years, however, they've taken offensive linemen and gotten some immediate dividends. Marcus Gilbert followed Maurkice Pouncey (from Florida) from the previous draft and gave them a great year as a starter on the right side of the offensive line. After that, however, it's a little shakier. Cameron Heyward is a good player, but we don't know whether he'll be very good just yet. Same goes for Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen, who both got time, but not a lot of buzz. Outside of Gilbert, this is more in the "we'll see" camp. That's nothing new for the Steelers, but it's hard to give a better grade a year out.
New grade: B-

San Diego Chargers
1 - 18 - Corey Liuget
2 - 50 - Marcus Gilchrist
2 - 61 - Jonas Mouton
3 - 82 - Vincent Brown
3 - 89 - Shareece Wright
6 - 183 - Jordan Todman
6 - 201 - Stephen Schilling
7 - 234 - Andrew Gachkar
Post-draft grade: B+

Summary: The prize of this class was Corey Liuget early, but while he had his moments this season, I expected a little more from him in terms of overall production. He jumped off the tape in preseason. Marcus Gilchrist, a second-rounder out of Clemson, played in 14 games and finished the season atop the depth chart. Elsewhere, it's pretty quiet, however, and the grade looks a little inflated after the season. Vincent Brown had some moments but isn't ready to start. Jonas Mouton landed on injured reserve, Shareece Wright is down the depth chart, and Jordan Todman got waived and then signed by the Vikings. If Liuget develops -- and he has a lot of talent -- this class will look better.
New grade: C+

San Fransisco 49ers
1 - 7 - Aldon Smith
2 - 36 - Colin Kaepernick
3 - 80 - Chris Culliver
4 - 115 - Kendall Hunter
5 - 163 - Daniel Kilgore
6 - 182 - Ronald Johnson
6 - 190 - Colin Jones
7 - 211 - Bruce Miller
7 - 239 - Michael Person
7 - 250 - Curtis Holcomb
Post-draft grade: C+

Summary: This one deserves a big jump. I said then that Aldon Smith wasn't as much of a reach at No. 7 as some thought because he had so much momentum going into the draft, but my goodness, I don't think anybody thought he'd be this good this early. I saw him as a bit of a project -- which sounds like a shot, but I meant something closer to Jason Pierre-Paul, a major talent who could see his production pick up later in his rookie year as he learned the craft. Then he'd become a great player in his second year. Well, it's safe to say Smith's overall ability has outweighed technique questions. He was good early, he was good late and he will be a star. But he wasn't the only good pick. Chris Culliver will become a steady starter in the secondary and is a great value in the third round. Kendall Hunter was good spelling Frank Gore and could become the No. 1 back as soon as next season. Daniel Kilgore made the roster as guard depth. Colin Kaepernick is obviously a wild card here, but if Alex Smith re-signs for a number of years, Kaepernick's development becomes more of a moot point. And after the run on quarterbacks early, at least the Niners didn't target one early only to have him sit behind Smith. Their strategy paid off. Given the progress on the field this season and the help this draft provided, the Niners deserve a big bump. Kudos to them.
New grade: A

Seattle Seahawks
1 - 25 - James Carpenter
3 - 75 - John Moffitt
4 - 99 - K.J. Wright
4 - 107 - Kris Durham
5 - 154 - Richard Sherman
5 - 156 - Mark LeGree
6 - 173 - Byron Maxwell
7 - 205 - Lazarius Levingston
7 - 242 - Malcolm Smith
Post-draft grade: D+

Summary: In the grades file, I wrote: "By passing on Andy Dalton, the clear impression is that Seattle has other plans at quarterback. … I hope the Seahawks have better plans at quarterback than they did in terms of adding value here." Look, Tarvaris Jackson could be the answer, but I don't think anybody is ready to say he or she is 100 percent sold on that idea after a 7-9 season. And while James Carpenter became the starter on the right side, I just wasn't in love with the value. He got injured after Week 9. John Moffitt also started but also was injured. So early on, I still see questions. However, the draft actually gains momentum from there. The emergence of No. 99 overall pick K.J. Wright was big, and allowed the Seahawks to move Aaron Curry to Oakland and recoup at least an ounce of value. In a loaded fifth round, Richard Sherman has emerged as a total steal and, along with former CFL star Brandon Browner and a pair of fantastic safeties, has made the Seattle secondary one of the best in the NFL in a really short period. It gets pretty quiet after that, mostly because I'm not allowed to factor in fabulous UFA signing Doug Baldwin. Regardless, a D-plus draft in terms of value got a lot better, although if Carpenter and Moffitt don't become a solid right side, the Hawks have nothing to show for the early rounds. And the quarterback question is perhaps even bigger now, because there's enough talent elsewhere to compete.
New grade: B-

St. Louis Rams
1 - 14 - Robert Quinn
2 - 47 - Lance Kendricks
3 - 78 - Austin Pettis
4 - 112 - Gregory Salas
5 - 158 - Jermale Hines
7 - 228 - Jabara Williams
7 - 229 - Jonathan Nelson
Post-draft grade: B

Summary: The selection of Robert Quinn deserves a little context. While I had wide receiver as the top need on the St. Louis board, this really wasn't a team in position to forego future draft choices to trade up and get the likes of Julio Jones. So when Atlanta moved up and got Jones at No. 6, St. Louis was stuck at No. 14 with no obvious wideout help available in that value range. I didn't have defensive end as a top need, but Quinn represented an exceptional value at No. 14, and I think we started to see why late in 2011. Remember, this is a guy who sat out all of 2010. Had he played, I think we're looking at a certain top-five overall pick. With Quinn and Chris Long on the edges for the future, the Rams have a pass rush in place for years to come. After that, however, the draft got a lot spottier in terms of production than I would have guessed. Lance Kendricks should become a pretty good player but didn't exactly explode in 2010. Same goes for Austin Pettis and Greg Salas, who put up almost identical stat lines in 2011. However, both came on late and couldn't crack a wide receiving corps that really wasn't that good. After that, there isn't much to speak of, although Jabara Williams saw the field. All in all, while I love Quinn's future, it was a pretty weak class given that the Rams needed immediate help for their big holes and didn't get much. It could get better, but it's a little weaker than it looked eight months ago.
New grade: C+

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1 - 20 - Adrian Clayborn
2 - 51 - Da'Quan Bowers
3 - 84 - Mason Foster
4 - 104 - Luke Stocker
5 - 151 - Ahmad Black
6 - 187 - Allen Bradford
7 - 222 - Anthony Gaitor
7 - 238 - Daniel Hardy
Post-draft grade: B+

Summary: After a 2010 draft in which the interior of the defensive line was the target, the Bucs looked for defensive ends early in the 2011 draft. For the most part, despite the regression of the team in terms of overall record, I think the Bucs did pretty well. Adrian Clayborn started slow but began to show the kind of talent and pass-rushing ability that could have him in the Pro Bowl conversation, and finished with 7.5 sacks. Da'Quan Bowers was a health risk, and Tampa took him with the thought of bringing him along slowly and making 2011 something of a redshirt season. He saw mostly spot duty but played in all 16 games and could have a solid future. Third-round pick Mason Foster started immediately and was second on the team in tackles, and fourth-rounder Luke Stocker could become the starter in 2012 at tight end. The draft becomes pretty good if Clayborn and Bowers continue to develop. I drop it only a bit because the team struggled so much in 2011; it's hard to imagine the same total of reps on a better squad for a couple of these guys.
New grade: B
 6 years ago '05        #4
44Caliber 18 heat pts18
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$4,576 | Props total: 22 22
The Bengals deserve an A or A+. That was an awesome draft for them.
 01-13-2012, 06:37 PM         #5
@RG3 
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yo where the fu*king redskins b...
 6 years ago '06        #6
Blah 17 heat pts17
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good look i was looking for this
not one F? or D?
wtf


Last edited by Blah; 01-13-2012 at 06:53 PM..
 01-13-2012, 06:46 PM         #7
@RG3 
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bi*ch i will k!ll you if you do not post the redskins draft...
 01-13-2012, 06:46 PM         #8
Ca$h Out 
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Christian Ponder and Kyle Rudolph are the only one's from our draft that are worth something. The other guys haven't even heard of them all year. Nor remembered them, exception of ballard.
 6 years ago '06        #9
titanreese 13 heat pts13
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Yea...This is pretty interesting...You need to finish it
 01-13-2012, 06:48 PM         #10
Ca$h Out 
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 Dro889 said:
yo where the fu*king redskins b...
Found it.

Post-draft grade: C+


Summary: This felt like a novelty -- a Redskins draft with a ton of picks. The story of this draft was the fact that Washington didn't see a quarterback it wanted. Given the returns in the range in which the Redskins would have picked, it looks like a good calculation, at least in the short term. Only moving way down the board and ending up with Dalton could have looked better. Instead, the Redskins traded down, got Ryan Kerrigan at No. 16 and really aced the pick. Kerrigan picked up 7.5 sacks and played exactly as his draft projection had him pegged. Round 2 pick Jarvis Jenkins never saw the field because of injury, but both running back picks, Roy Helu and Evan Royster, played well when given the time, and I still think Leonard Hankerson has a chance to develop. Maurice Hurt looks like a seventh-round keeper. Having a lot of picks can help; it certainly helped this grade rise over the course of the season.
New grade: B
 6 years ago '09        #11
2nd2none 
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you missing like 5 teams brah brah
 6 years ago '09        #12
TriniSoldier 64 heat pts64
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so nobody basically had a below average draft? no F's?
 6 years ago '06        #13
titanreese 13 heat pts13
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 antoniob 321 said:
Found it.

Post-draft grade: C+


Summary: This felt like a novelty -- a Redskins draft with a ton of picks. The story of this draft was the fact that Washington didn't see a quarterback it wanted. Given the returns in the range in which the Redskins would have picked, it looks like a good calculation, at least in the short term. Only moving way down the board and ending up with Dalton could have looked better. Instead, the Redskins traded down, got Ryan Kerrigan at No. 16 and really aced the pick. Kerrigan picked up 7.5 sacks and played exactly as his draft projection had him pegged. Round 2 pick Jarvis Jenkins never saw the field because of injury, but both running back picks, Roy Helu and Evan Royster, played well when given the time, and I still think Leonard Hankerson has a chance to develop. Maurice Hurt looks like a seventh-round keeper. Having a lot of picks can help; it certainly helped this grade rise over the course of the season.
New grade: B
Tennessee Titans plz
 6 years ago '08        #14
Eagles All Day 87 heat pts87
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Found it.
The Eagles earned a “C” for bringing in the likes of Jaiquawn Jarrett, Casey Matthews, Danny Watkins, Brian Rolle and Alex Henery, among others.
“Summary: The Eagles targeted needs, but I didn’t think the value was great. Danny Watkins looks like a solid guard after really struggling early in the season, but again, this is a guy you drafted to play guard at No. 22 overall — there’s an expectation that he can be successful early. Jaiquawn Jarrett saw action in 12 games, but I thought he might be the clear starter by this point. Casey Matthews was a reach and saw some time, but he has a ways to go and probably isn’t a starting linebacker for a competitive team. Dion Lewis looks like a player who will help this team, but you expect running back value late. The sixth round provided some obvious value. Elsewhere, Alex Henery proved to be a good pick — he went 24-of-27 on field goals after Philly showed a lot of faith by taking him at No. 120 overall and letting David Akers walk. Not a terrible draft, as some of these guys got experience, but a little light on impact right now.”


Last edited by Eagles All Day; 01-13-2012 at 06:52 PM..
 01-13-2012, 06:51 PM         #15
Ca$h Out 
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Titans.

Post draft grade: C

The pick of Jake Locker was one I described then as the first true shock of the draft, even more so than the deal that got Atlanta in position to take Julio Jones. Remember, Locker has an immense skill set but still faces big questions about how accurate he'll be, and I thought he easily could have fallen into the 20s. On that front, although I couldn't fault the Titans for targeting a need, the value proposition wasn't in their favor. However, their plan for Locker has been superb; adding Matt Hasselbeck as a starter and mentor was a great idea. Elsewhere, the Titans got some really good early returns and value. Jurrell Casey and Karl Klug, picked in the third and fifth rounds, respectively, have been very good (Klug really got after quarterbacks), as has Akeem Ayers, which wasn't much of a surprise. It's hard to raise the grade too much until we know whether Locker is indeed the future, but, a year out, it looks as if the Titans planned and scouted well overall.
New Grade: B
 01-13-2012, 06:54 PM         #16
Ca$h Out 
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Looking at all these other drafts we missed on a lot of players that we could have used. Gotta do a better job at scouting...
 6 years ago '06        #17
titanreese 13 heat pts13
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ty sir
 01-13-2012, 07:05 PM         #18
Ca$h Out 
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@Dro

Really would like to trade that 3rd pick, but it not i don't see the front offense passing on kalil. So maybe in the 2nd we approach a db and then a receiver in the 3rd.

Kalil
Gilmore
Jones
 01-13-2012, 07:12 PM         #19
@RG3 
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 antoniob 321 said:
@Dro

Really would like to trade that 3rd pick, but it not i don't see the front offense passing on kalil. So maybe in the 2nd we approach a db and then a receiver in the 3rd.

Kalil
Gilmore
Jones
wow that offense would look very very good..


pretty sure if RG3 still on the board at 3 you guys will get a nice little phone call from us.
 6 years ago '04        #20
HotBYoungTurk 13 heat pts13
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$11,720 | Props total: 2018 2018
so u really gon' not post my team on here?
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