Category:NFL Draft
Posted on: April 23, 2010 10:35 am
Edited on: April 23, 2010 1:49 pm

NFL Draft Report Card - Round 1

#1 St. Louis - Sam Bradford - QB - Oklahoma

Grade: A-

While everyone claims that this was an easy decision for the Rams, I can't believe that there wasn't at least a voice of concern about Bradford's injury history. He needs to learn to protect himself better during tackles. Besides that he has all the obvious physical tools & natural talent to be a solid and potentially great NFL QB.

#2 Detroit - Ndamukong Suh - DT - Nebraska

Grade: A

I don't get how 2 months ago this guy was the obvious top talent in the draft and now some people are doubting this pick. Yes the Lions did need offensive line help, and yes McCoy is another great talent, but you simply can't have it all in the first round. This guy in my mind was the clear top defender in college football, and an instant boost to a porous Detroit defense.

#3 Tampa Bay - Gerald McCoy - DT - Oklahoma

Grade: A

The Big 12 commish must be doing back-flips at this point. Another no-brainer pick, Tampa was in a no-lose situation with Suh or McCoy falling in their laps.

#4 Washington - Trent Williams - OT - Oklahoma

Grade: A

Anybody else feel like Oklahoma underachieved this college football season? Word on the street was that Williams was best suited for Shannahan's zone blocking o-line scheme. I say picking a top tackle in the first round is never a bad decision.

#5 Kansas City - Eric Berry - FS - Tennessee

Grade: C+

While no one can doubt Berry is talented, when it comes down to a decision between drafting the best player on the board and taking an offensive tackle like Okung when it is a position of need, you take the tackle.

#6 Seattle - Russell Okung - OT - Oklahoma State

Grade: A

Seattle is very fortunate to have Okung land in their lap. In many people's minds he was the best overall tackle in the draft and will fill the extra super massive hole left by Walter Jones after his retirement.

#7 Cleveland - Joe Haden - CB - Florida

Grade: A

I promise this is my last A grade for a bit. Cleveland really couldn't do better here. In 2007 Eric Mangini drafted Darelle Revis to be the cornerstone of the secondary, he hopes he found the same guy in Haden.

#8 Oakland - Rolando McClain - ILB - Alabama

Grade: C

This grade isn't a knock on McClain as a player, I think he will be a nice long-term linebacker for Oakland, but this pick is a reach in this spot. Trading down would've been smart if they were in love with McClain, but it might be too much to ask for Al Davis to make a smart move in the draft. With all the holes in the Black Hole, dealing with your middle linebacker can't be tops on your priority list.

#9 Buffalo - C.J. Spiller - RB - Clemson

Grade: B-

I am not really ever a fan of taking a running back early in the draft (unless your name is Sanders or Peterson) because there have been so so many busts. The Bills were in need of an offensive playmaker though after that T.O. thing really didn't work out. I thought this pick might have definitely been a QB, but I guess Spiller was higher on the Bills board than Clausen or Tebow.

#10 Jacksonville - Tyson Alualu - DE - California

Grade: D

Every once and a while a team like the Patriots will take a player that I don't know much about in the first. I will scratch my head, then say something like; 'I guess they know what they're doing'. However, the Jags haven't inspired such confidence in me to be able to take someone off the board this early that I have little idea about, see Matt Jones.

#11 San Francisco - Anthony Davis - OT - Rutgers

Grade: B

There are some whispers that Davis wasn't a slam dunk pick here, I read a lot of mock drafts that have Iowa's Bryan Bulaga ranked higher than the Rutgers tackle. However, a great area of need was filled for the 49ers, and worse comes to worse they will move Davis across the field to right tackle.

#12 San Diego - Ryan Mathews - RB - Fresno State

Grade: C-

Yea this is an area of need now that the Chargers let LT walk, but trading up this high for Mathews was a big reach. The Chargers could've waited a few more picks before pulling the trigger on a deal, if they even needed to at all, not to mention the whole taking RBs early thing. San Diego got Sproles in the 4th round of the draft and it worked out fine, I think the Chargers could've been a whole lot more patient.

#13 Philadelphia - Brandon Graham - OLB - Michigan

Grade: B

Lots of Eagles fans were confused by this pick, and I agree that this was a surprise, but I do like the pick. They believe that chasing down McNabb and disrupting him at the line is the way to go first, then they will start addressing the secondary.

#14 Seattle - Earl Thomas - S - Texas

Grade: A-

Two picks and two slam dunks for the Seahawks. They desperately needed secondary help and got the guy they had to hope would fall to them.

#15 New York Giants - Jason Pierre-Paul - DE - South Florida

Grade: B+

There were some love/hate feelings going on with Pierre-Paul and experts around the league. This isn't the safest pick in the world, but the Giants might have landed the best pass rusher in the draft. As their Super Bowl ring proves, pass rush is the way to beat the big boys of the NFL.

#16 Tennessee - Derrick Morgan - DE - Georgia Tech

Grade: A-

I imagine the Titans were jumping for joy when they saw either Morgan or Pierre-Paul would fall to them after the Eagles picked Graham. And they probably fell over when they saw it was going to be Morgan. He fills the biggest area of need for Tennessee and they didn't even have to move up to get him as some people thought Jeff Fisher might try to do.

#17 San Francisco - Mike Iupati - G - Idaho

Grade: A

Love this pick to complement Davis on the left side of the line. Iupati was clearly the best guard in the draft and looks like a beast on TV. 49ers fans are gonna love how much better the offense runs with that kind of protection.

#18 Pittsburgh- Maurkice Pouncey - C - Florida

Grade: B+

This wasn't a super glamorous pick, but Pouncey looks like an exceptional o-lineman who can also play guard. After such a tumultuous off-season this safe pick was nice.

#19 Atlanta - Sean Weatherspoon - OLB - Missouri

Grade: B

Weatherspoon had kind of a drop-off last season which would make me worry a little bit, but otherwise the kid had an excellent college career where he racked up the tackles.

#20 Houston - Kareem Jackson - CB - Alabama

Grade: B-

Jackson, McCourty, & Wilson make up the next tier of CB prospects after Haden, and you can't really go wrong with any of the three if you have a need at corner. Jackson is quick and played in a pro style offense. However, my personal preference would be Wilson out of the three.

#21 Cincinnati - Jermaine Gresham - TE - Oklahoma

Grade: C

Ugh so so many first round tight ends have been a bust in draft history I would avoid them like the plague. Cincy did need a strong middle of the field receiving threat, but why not take Dez Bryant is you really wanted to get a weapon for Palmer?

#22 Denver - Demaryius Thomas - WR - Georgia Tech

Grade: F
(Worst Pick In Draft)

Ok so Denver thinks Thomas is going to be a better WR than Bryant with less off the field issues. Fine. While not a popular opinion, Denver is entitled to it, but since everyone else is so high on Dez Bryant, especially Dallas, Denver could've easily traded down again and still would've gotten Thomas. Demaryius was likely a 2nd rounder if it wasn't for Denver and I don't see him filling the shoes of the departed Brandon Marshall.

#23 Green Bay - Bryan Bulaga - OT - Iowa

Grade: A

Winner winner chicken dinner. Green Bay hits big when Bulaga slips way way down to them. I saw some mock drafts where Bulaga was selected in the Top 5. More than any other area, the Packers needed o-line help and got it big time.

#24 Dallas - Dez Bryant - WR - Oklahoma State

Grade: A-

The only reason that this pick doesn't get an A is because WR wasn't really a strong position off need for Dallas, but how can you argue taking a weapon like Bryant this late in the draft. In the end you gotta like that Jerry Jones is going for the jugular and giving Tony Romo no excuse for failure anymore. The Cowboys WR core is starting to look scary.

#25 Denver - Tim Tebow - QB - Florida

Grade: B-

Far and away the most controversial pick in this years draft. Some absolutely hate Tebow and will ridicule this pick far and wide saying he won't make it as an NFL QB. I say at #25 why not take a shot and find out? The only problem was that with Clausen still on the board this pick carries a ton of potential regret, not to mention the fact that the Broncos could've waited a bit longer to make a move as Tebow was likely slipping to the 2nd round. In the end though what is their really not to like about Tebow as a player; he is tough as nails, a proven winner, and will bring a tremendous energy to practice & the field. Players have been drafted a whole lot higher with a whole lot less than Tebow has to offer. I like the pick overall.

#26 Arizona - Dan Williams - DT - Tennessee

Grade: B+

This pick must have officially put Jimmy Clausen on suicide watch. Williams is the smart pick here and brings immediate help to the middle of the Zona defense, but with Kurt Warner gone its interesting that with two marquee QBs left on the board, that the Cardinals pass on both. Don't expect it to happen in the 2nd round.

#27 New England - Devin McCourty - CB - Rutgers

Grade: B-

Not completely sold on this guy after watching him for a couple of years at Rutgers. He has come a long way since his underclassman days of shoddy coverage, but if he was determined the best CB for the Patriots scheme by Belichick, who am I to argue.

 #28 Miami - Jared Odrick - DT - Penn State

Grade: B

Hooray a Penn Stater coming off the board in the first. Miami got a perfect player for their scheme in Odrick. He won't be a flashy, high profile player, but will work the inside and grind away which is perfect for Parcells and the Dolphins.

#29 New York Jets - Kyle Wilson - CB - Boise State

Grade: A-

I was pulling for Jerry Hughes in this spot, but this pick makes a ton of sense, which is nice to see coming out of the Jets. After watching the AFC title game it was painfully obvious that Manning was having his way with the Jets secondary by targeting anyone not covered by Revis. This move was 100% focused on getting over the AFC title game hump and Wilson can definitely help them do that. Wilson will be on the Pierre Garcon's of the world next season, which is a nice task for a young CB while Revis covers the big boys. Considering that the Browns were seriously considering taking him at #7 overall, I'd say the Jets got a pretty damn good player.

#30 Detroit - Jahvid Best - RB - California

Grade: D

Swing and a miss by Detroit. I don't see why the Lions felt they needed to move up, or if Best was even worth moving up to get, or if he is even worth drafting with the Lions original second pick in the second round, but here he is. Best's injuries would scare me to take him any later than middle 2nd round, but he does have explosive playmaking capability. The thing is that Detroit can't afford to be taking stupid risks like this when they have so many areas of need.

#31 Indianapolis - Jerry Hughes - OLB - TCU

Grade: A
(Best Pick)

Love this pick. Indy didn't have any real areas of need considering they were in the Super Bowl last season, but when a tremendous player with a strong work ethic like Hughes falls to your pick, its hard not to feel like your team just got a whole lot better.

#32 New Orleans - Patrick Robinson - CB - Florida State

Grade: B-

Rather than take the best player on the board, the Saints went with an area of need, and got depth in the secondary. Good for them. Nothing shocking. Nothing risky. That's ok sometimes.



Category: NFL Draft
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