2018 NFL Draft: Grades and analysis for every pick in the first round

Pete Prisco analyzed each pick from Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft, grading each team on its draft-night selections. Refresh this page during the round for the latest grades.

Complete coverage: 2018 Draft Tracker

Grades: Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6Round 7

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Round 1

1. Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Grade: C

I just think there were better options and it's risky taking a 6-foot quarterback first overall.

2. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Grade: C+ 

I like the player and his skills, but value of position is a major concern in a deep draft of backs.

3. Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Grade: C 

it's a safe pick, but I have my doubts about his game. They had to take a quarterback, but why not Josh Allen or Josh Rosen?

4. Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Grade: B

I love the player and the way he covers, but why not Bradley Chubb?

5. Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

Grade: A+ 

Love this pick. With Von Miller on the other side, it's tough going for opposing quarterbacks.

6. Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

Grade: B

Might be the cleanest player in the draft, but this is high for a guard. I get it with the need to better protect Andrew Luck.

7. Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Grade: A+

They get the best QB in the draft and they had to go make the move to get him. Love the trade, love the pick. 

8. Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Grade: A 

They needed a playmaker at linebacker and this kid has Ray Lewis qualities. Like it.

9. Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

Grade: B-

He will be a backup next year, but then take over for Joe Staley. Solid future pick.

10. Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Grade: A 

They make the smart move to go up and get the guy who might be the most NFL-ready passer.

11. Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama

Grade: B+

They get a Malcolm Jenkins type of player. He can do so many things well, but where does he play?

12. Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Grade: B+

This is a more athletic Haloti Ngata. The Bucs had to get bigger up front and he certainly helps that.  

13. Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

Grade: B

They needed to get help up front and he joins former Alabama teammate Jonathan Allen on that line. Solid move.

14. Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

Grade: B- 

He is a a boom-or-bust player, but this move could pay off in a big way.

15. Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

Grade: B-

I think he's the best tackle in the draft, but they have so many defensive needs.

16. Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Grade: B+

At 19, he has a chance to grow into a special player. Bills having a good draft.

17. Derwin James, S, Florida State

Grade: A

Gus Bradley gets a safety who can do so many things. He's a steal in this spot.  

18. Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Grade: A

They get a smooth cover player who plays with a swagger. They wanted a corner and get a darn good one.

19. Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise St.

Grade: A 

This is a steal. He will be a big-time star in their defense.  

20. Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas

Grade: B+

He is the draft's best center and can also play guard. The Lions have to get better inside, and Ragnow will make that happen.

21. Billy Price, C, Ohio State

Grade: C+

He's coming off a pectoral injury at the combine, but will be ready for camp. They needed a center so it makes sense.  

22. Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Grade: B

They lost one of their top tacklers in Avery Williamson during free agency, so landing his replacement was smart. Evans is a three-down linebacker. 

23. Isaiah Wynn, OT, Georgia

Grade: B 

They needed an offensive tackle, so clearly they have an idea to keep him there. Their guards are good so moving him there might not make sense. 

24. D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland

Grade: A

The Panthers wanted to get faster and Moore does that. They needed to give Cam Newton help.  

25. Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

Grade: B+

They take the draft's best tight end to fill a major need. They also added picks trading down. Nice job. 

26. Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Grade: B

They land a player who some thought was the best receiver in the draft. They do need more speed.  

27. Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego St.

Grade: D

He's a nice runner, but they have so many other needs and there are better backs. Weird.

28. Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech

Grade: B

He was a guy who was really rising late in the process. The Steelers get a nice playmaking safety. 

29. Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Grade: B+

Love this pick even with their quality players up front. They can't pay them all, so a cheap option makes sense. Oh, he can play.

30. Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida

Grade: B

Hughes has outstanding cover skills and we know how much Mike Zimmer likes his corners. It's a quality pick.

31. Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

Grade: B

They get a nice player to take over for Dion Lewis. He is a perfect fit for their offense: an air back.

32. Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Grade: B

 As a developmental prospect to take over for Joe Flacco, this makes sense. Solid move by the Ravens.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

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