Grading NFL drafts the same day the selection process ends is like saying you're a big Dixie Chicks fan.
It brings nothing but problems.
But grading is also fun to do, which is why we bring you a complete report card for every team, even though a draft can't be truly judged for three years.
|Terrell Suggs is a pass-rushing steal for the Ravens. (Getty Images)|
Baltimore got an impact pass rusher (Terrell Suggs), a franchise quarterback (Kyle Boller) and a terrific runner (Musa Smith) with its first three picks.
They did trade away next year's first-round pick to get the choice from New England to take Boller, but they believe he's worth that risk. They continued to get good players on the second day.
The Ravens know what it takes to build a good team, and they'll be competing for a division title this year and a Super Bowl next year. That's one heck of a rebound from the cap mess they were in two years ago.
The other team to get an "A" grade was the Bengals, who play in the same division with the Ravens. Yes, those Bengals.
Under new coach Marvin Lewis, they drafted a bunch of good players, including top pick Carson Palmer. They then got Eric Steinbach, a player many thought would go in the middle of the first round, at the top of the second and Kelley Washington in the third. All three players will be rookie contributors. Taking Dennis Weathersby at the top of the fourth round was also a good move.
These aren't the same old Bengals. An A grade on draft day is proof of that.
Best pick: Florida State receiver Anquan Boldin didn't run well during his workouts, but he plays faster than his 40 times. He will be a good slot receiver in the next few years.
Worst pick: Pittsburgh linebacker Gerald Hayes has some speed limitations, and that's not exactly what you want in this era with teams getting so fast on offense.
Reach: Wake Forest defensive end Calvin Pace has some pass-rush ability, but he went higher than he should have, taken at No. 18 in the first round.
Comment: They could have had the impact defensive end in Terrell Suggs had they stayed put at No. 6. That was the right thing to do. Getting Pace and receiver Bryant Johnson with those picks will be closely scrutinized for the next couple of years. They made a good choice in sixth-round pick Tony Gilbert, a linebacker from Georgia.
Best pick: Without a first-round pick, traded away to get Peerless Price, they had to wait until the second round to pick. So their best pick was getting Price.
Worst pick: They might have taken Penn State safety Bryan Scott too high in the second round, but he does fill a need.
Reach: Fifth-round pick Jon Olinger of Cincinnati has some skills, but there were more capable receivers still on the board when they took him.
Comment: Getting Price makes their draft in their eyes. After that, Scott is a need pick who will push for time as a rookie. Their grade is based on their picks, but counting Price, it would go up a letter grade or more.
Best pick: Getting Terrell Suggs with the 10th overall pick will be a steal for a team desperate for pass-rush help.
Worst pick: It's a little nit-picky since he has skills, but fifth-round pick Aubrayo Franklin is short for a defensive tackle at 6-feet-1 and was only a one-year starter at Tennessee.
Reach: Some will say giving up a first-round pick to get Boller is a reach, but franchise passers don't grow on trees, especially for teams that don't have one.
Comment: This is clearly the best draft of any of the 32 teams. Suggs will prove to be a major steal.
Worst pick: Taking injured Miami running back Willis McGahee in the first round was a luxury this team couldn't afford. They should have gone defense.
Reach: McGahee. He will ultimately decide the success of this draft.
Comment: General manager Tom Donahoe is one of the best in the business, but taking McGahee will be a decision that might haunt him. They regrouped nicely to take Kelsay in the second round to help the pass rush.
Worst pick: Iowa center Bruce Nelson was taken a little high with the 50th pick, especially since this team paid big money for Jeff Mitchell a few years back.
Comment: They drafted a lot of players who will be contributors right away, and taking Gross was the right way to go. Liked the third-round picks of tight end Mike Seidman and cornerback Ricky Manning. Seventh-round pick Casey Moore is a good fullback for their offense.
Best pick: Taking Florida quarterback Rex Grossman in the first round will give this team a starter for the future, maybe even this year.
Worst pick: They did a nice job, trading down to get two first-round picks. But they took Penn State defensive end Michael Haynes too high.
Comment: Grossman was a nice selection, but we really liked the picks of Todd Johnson (Florida safety) in the fourth round and Bobby Wade (Arizona receiver) in the fifth.
Best pick: Taking Tennessee wideout Kelley Washington in the third round will prove to be a steal. If he stays healthy, and that's a concern, he will be a 70-catch receiver.
Worst pick: Fourth-round pick Jeremi Johnson is a Pete Johnson-like back who played at 280 last year at Western Kentucky.
Comment: They needed to upgrade the defense, but it's hard to argue with what the Bengals did. They got a franchise passer in Carson Palmer and added a key weapon in Washington. Taking Oregon State cornerback Dennis Weathersby at the top of the fourth round was a nice pick.
Best pick: Jeff Faine will be this team's starting center for years to come. They made a good decision to solidify their offensive line.
Worst pick: Linebacker Chaun Thompson, the team's second-round pick, was a late riser up the board, but he went too high. He has ability, but he is making a huge jump from West Texas A&M.
Reach: Safety Chris Crocker was a bit of a reach in the third round. Some teams had him as a player they wouldn't draft.
Comment: Getting Faine was a nice move, but much of the rest of the draft was questionable. Virginia Tech running back Lee Suggs could prove to be nice value in the fourth round. Fifth-round pick Mike Lehan, a cornerback from Minnesota, has some skills.
Best pick: They needed a shutdown corner, and they got one in Terence Newman with the fifth overall pick. Newman and Derek Ross will make a nice duo outside.
Worst pick: Second-round pick Al Johnson, a center from Wisconsin, has some off-field problems that turned other teams off. He was taken too high.
Reach: Johnson. They would have been better off taking tight end Bennie Joppru in the second round.
Comment: The Cowboys had a good draft on Newman alone. Getting Tennessee's Jason Witten in the third round was a nice pick, too, after not getting Joppru. The Bill Parcells-Jerry Jones duo did a nice job.
Best pick: If George Foster's wrist is healthy, he will be an instant starter at left tackle for the Broncos.
Worst pick: Second-round pick Terry Pierce (Kansas State) is an overweight player who would seem to buck the trend of fast linebackers.
Reach: Oklahoma running back Quentin Grffin went too high in the fourth round. He is a smallish player who is nothing more than a third-down back.
Comment: If Foster is healthy, the Broncos got themselves a nice player. Another player who could help is fifth-round pick Adrian Madise, a fast receiver out of TCU. Seventh-round pick Clint Mitchell, a DE from Florida, will prove to be a steal.
Best pick: Fourth-round pick Artose Pinner of Kentucky didn't work out for teams because he had a cast on his leg, but if he's healthy, he can be a feature back.
Worst pick: They actually had a good draft, but third-round pick Cory Redding, a defensive end from Texas, might have been taken too high.
Reach: Redding. They could have taken Musa Smith with that pick.
Comment: The Lions did a nice job on draft day. They did the right thing taking Charles Rogers with the first pick, and then added a nice group of players after that. Matt Millen deserves praise for his draft.
Best pick: Getting Ohio State defensive end Kenny Peterson in the third round was a steal. They traded up to get him, and it will prove to be a good move.
Worst pick: Fifth-round pick James Lee (Oregon State defensive tackle) looks the part, but the production hasn't been there; he was a backup most of his college career.
Reach: Some will say they reached for first-round pick Nick Barnett, but the Oregon State linebacker is just what the defense needed.
Comment: They wanted to get faster on defense. By taking Barnett and Peterson, they did just that.
Best pick: Getting tight end Bennie Joppru in the second round was a steal. The guy will be a Pro Bowl pass catcher in three years.
Worst pick: They did a nice job, so it's tough picking the worst pick. Third-round pick Seth Wand, an offensive tackle Northwest Missouri State, was taken too high with so many good players left on the board.
Reach: Clearly, it was Wand.
Comment: Getting Andre Johnson in the first round and Joppru in the second will help liven up the passing game. Third-round pick Antwan Peek, an outside linebacker out of Cincinnati, will be a good 3-4 rusher.
Best pick: Fifth-round pick Robert Mathis has outstanding pass-rush skills and should fit in nicely as a weak-side linebacker.
Worst pick: They should not have taken Iowa's Dallas Clark in the first round. They need a blocking tight end, but they drafted a receiving tight end. They should have taken Bennie Joppru.
Reach: Third-round pick Donald Strickland doesn't run that well and he has some shoulder concerns. He went too high.
Comment: The first three selections are questionable, especially Clark and second-round pick Mike Doss, a safety who doesn't run that well.
Best pick: Taking Hawaii guard Vince Manuwai in the third round was an outstanding pick, and he will be an immediate starter. The Jags thought about taking him in the second round, so he was well worth it.
Worst pick: They didn't need to take a quarterback with Mark Brunell on the roster. It was a bad move taking Byron Leftwich seventh overall with other needs.
Reach: They might have taken Bethune-Cookman safety Rashean Mathis a bit high in the second round, but he is a player with the speed the new regime is looking to get on defense.
Comment: They got their franchise passer of the future, but they also filled some key holes as the draft went on. The pick of LSU running back LaBrandon Toefield in the fourth round will pay dividends.
Best pick: Florida State tackle Brett Williams slipped to the fourth round because he had some knee concerns, but if he is healthy enough to be on the field, he is a steal in this round.
Worst pick: They traded back and still got Larry Johnson, but even where they picked him in the first round was too high. He doesn't have the wiggle a running back needs in the NFL.
Reach: Johnson. They should have waited to take a back with so many other needs.
Comment: Aside from taking Johnson with the first pick, they had a nice draft. Second-round pick Kawika Mitchell, a linebacker from South Florida, has the ability to play right away, and third-round pick Julian Battle is a safety who can run.
Best pick: Memphis tackle Wade Smith is a versatile player who can play guard as well. He is a need pick.
Worst pick: Taking Tennessee linebacker Eddie Moore with their first pick (second round) wasn't a good move. He's a good player, but they have more pressing needs.
Reach: Moore. There were players on the board who would have been better value.
Comment: They traded away their first-round pick to get Ricky Williams. That pick turned out to be Penn State receiver Bryant Johnson, a pick made by Arizona after getting it in a trade with New Orleans. Moore is a curious choice. Seventh-round pick Davern Williams is a wide body defensive tackle who shows promise.
Best pick: Getting Oregon running back Onterrio Smith in the fourth round will prove to be a steal. He had some off-field issues, but he has first-round skills. Love the pick.
Worst pick: Second-round pick E.J. Henderson doesn't run well enough to stay on the field on all downs. He will learn behind Greg Biekert for a year.
Reach: Henderson went too high. They could have used the 40th overall pick on a cover corner.
Comment: They looked like fools on the first day, but they insist they got the right man in Kevin Williams when he passed two spots. Williams is a good choice, as is Smith.
Best pick: Defensive tackle/end Ty Warren is a player the Pats targeted all along. He will help the defense improve against the run.
Worst pick: Temple defensive tackle Dan Klecko, the team's fourth-round pick, is an effort player but undersized. He might make the team, but they had other needs to address.
Reach: Fourth-round pick Asante Samuel, a cornerback from Central Florida, has some skills, but he went too high.
Comment: The Patriots had versatility with 13 picks, and they did a great job making moves. Getting Warren is a good pick for a defense that needs his help, as is second-round pick Eugene Wilson, a corner out of Illinois.
Best pick: Ohio State's Cie Grant, their third-round pick, is a heck of a football player. He will push for time at weakside LB as a rookie.
Worst pick: It's hard to pick out a bad choice, but second-round pick Jon Stinchcomb, a tackle from Georgia, won't be an immediate starter and is a little soft. He has to get stronger.
Reach: Some will say trading two picks to get Johnathan Sullivan was a reach. But they had him as the third-rated player on their board. If he isn't an impact player in the next year, there will be questions about this trade.
Comment: The wanted an offensive lineman and a defensive lineman and they got both in the first two rounds in Sullivan and Georgia teammate Jon Stinchcomb. Fourth-round pick Montrae Holland, a guard from Florida State, will prove to be a steal. Nice value on the two receivers taken late.
Best pick: Cornerback Rod Babers, a fourth-round pick out of Texas, will be an impact player in the nickel. He has nice coverage skills, but he is a tad short.
Worst pick: With Jeremy Shockey on the roster and holes at other spots, how could they use a third-round pick on Morgan State tight end Vishante Shiancoe?
Reach: They think second-round pick Osi Umenyiora (Troy State) is a raw pass-rushing threat who will develop slowly but be an effective pass rusher down the road. They still took him too high.
Comment: The Giants needed defensive line help, getting it with first-round pick William Joseph and Umenyira. If Joseph can revert to his junior form, they got a nice pick. The rest of the draft was questionable. Sixth-round receiver Willie Ponder has some skills.
Worst pick: Third-round pick B.J. Askew (Michigan) is a fullback who doesn't have the bulk to be a lead blocker.
Reach: Askew clearly went too high in the third round.
Comment: They made the right move to get Robertson, and they also got a nice player in second-round pick Victor Hobson, a linebacker out of Michigan. Fifth-round pick Matt Walters, a defensive tackle out of Miami, will make this team.
Best pick: Getting USC running back Justin Fargas in the third round is a steal. He will be their back of the future.
Worst pick: Taking Cal cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha in the first round was a typical Raiders pick -- an outstanding athlete with a big upside. But he went too high.
Reach: Colorado defensive end Tyler Brayton, the Raiders' second first-round pick, is an effort player, and those guys usually boom or bust.
Comment: Their two first-round picks were both reaches that could come back to haunt them. Getting Fargas in the third round was a good move. Seventh-round pick Siddeeq Shabazz is a perfect Raiders safety -- a guy who can hit.
Worst pick: Virginia receiver Billy McMullen, who was taken in the third round, doesn't run that well. The Eagles needed a speed receiver.
Reach: McMullen. They should have taken Justin Fargas, who went one pick later.
Comment: Love the pick of McDougle, who will take over for Hugh Douglas. Second-round pick L.J. Smith, a tight end from Rutgers, is another nice pick who will play right away.
Best pick: Getting Southern California safety Troy Polamalu with their first-round pick was a great move.
Worst pick: Boston College quarterback Brian St. Pierre, the team's fifth-round pick, is nothing more than backup talent.
Reach: Second-round pick Alonzo Jackson, a defensive end from Florida State, is a decent player, but he was taken much too high.
Comment: Trading up to get Polamalu was a need pick. They had to upgrade their pass coverage. Fourth-round pick Ivan Taylor of Louisiana-Lafayette will also help that problem.
Best pick: Third-round pick Kevin Curtis of Utah State will end up being the team's slot receiver. He has explosive speed, which will help the offense.
Worst pick: A solid draft makes this tough to do, so we'll go with first-round pick Jimmy Kennedy, a Penn State defensive tackle who isn't as good as this high a pick.
Reach: Kennedy. They should have taken a top offensive lineman with that pick.
Comment: They had a nice draft, getting Kennedy with their first-round pick and they also got three corners in Rounds 4 and 5 who will help.
Best pick: Second-round safety Terrence Kiel has some off-field trouble, but he has starter's ability and will push for time as a rookie.
Worst pick: Using a fifth-round pick on a punter (Mike Scifres of Western Illinois) with Darren Bennett on the roster doesn't make a lot of sense.
Reach: Courtney Van Buren, the team's third-round pick, is a massive player at 6-6, 353, but he played at a lower level at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Some scouts do like him, though.
Comment: The Chargers got three outstanding players for their secondary in first-round pick Sammy Davis, second-round pick Drayton Florence and Kiel. General manager A.J. Smith had a good first draft.
Best pick: Penn State defensive tackle Anthony Adams, the team's second-round pick, made as many plays as Rams' first-round pick Jimmy Kennedy in college. Adams could be a rookie starter.
Worst pick: They need receiver help, but fourth-round pick Brandon Lloyd doesn't run that well.
Reach: Miami defensive end Andrew Williams, who was taken in the third round, has some pass-rush ability but he went a little too high.
Comment: They got important players in first-round pick Kwame Harris and Adams. Harris could start at left tackle as a rookie.
Best pick: The Seahawks were thrilled when corner Marcus Trufant fell to them in the first round. He has shutdown skills.
Worst pick: Taking quarterback Seneca Wallace in the fourth round was a wasted pick. There isn't much of a market for a 5-11 quarterback in the NFL. He will be a receiver some day.
Reach: Safety Ken Hamlin has second-round skills, but his off-field troubles make him a risk in Round 2.
Comment: Getting Trufant addresses a key need, but they made some mistakes later on in the draft.
Worst pick: Fourth-round pick Lance Nimmo plays a little stiff to be a left tackle. He might be better suited to playing guard.
Reach: Nimmo went a little higher than expected.
Comment: Without a first-round pick (traded away to get Jon Gruden), the Bucs were limited some. But getting Simms in the third round will make this draft in three years. Louisville defensive end Dewayne White, the team's second-round pick, is a perfect Tampa Bay player.
Best pick: They thought about Middle Tennessee State receiver Tyrone Calico in the first round and ended up with him in the second. That's value.
Worst pick: Fourth-round pick Rien Long had a lot of stats coming out of college, but he is a man without a position. Is he an end or a tackle?
Reach: They wanted corner help, so they used their first-round pick on Andre Woolfolk. He is raw, which is why he went too high.
Comment: The Titans are another of those teams that always seems to find good players in the draft, and this year is no exception. General manager Floyd Reese is one of the best evaluators, which is why this team wins football games.
Best pick: They had only three picks, so we'll go with second-round pick Taylor Jacobs, a receiver from Florida, even though he wasn't a real need.
Worst pick: Third-round pick Derrick Dockery is a guard coming to a team that signed four in free agency. It makes no sense.
Reach: Dockery. They'd have been better off taking safety Julian Battle.
Comment: They traded away their first-round pick for Laveranues Coles and then used a second-round pick on another receiver? That doesn't make sense. It's not like they don't need help at other spots.