2017 NFL draft grades: How'd each team do? Analysis of every first-round pick

2:22 | NFL
Did 49ers get steal of draft by trading up for Reuben Foster?
Thursday April 27th, 2017

The first round of the NFL draft is in the books, and the first pick of the draft—Myles Garrett to the Cleveland Browns—was no surprise. But practically every pick after that was, beginning with the Bears’ trade up to No. 2 to draft QB Mitchell Trubisky.

Our draft expert Chris Burke handed out grades as the picks happened on Thursday night in Philadelphia. How did your favorite team do?

  • 1
    Myles Garrett, edge, Texas A&M
    GRADE: A
    There were a good 24 hours or so leading into Thursday when people started buying into the idea that Cleveland would take QB Mitchell Trubisky over Garrett. Wisely, the Browns stuck to the program and nabbed the top available prospect. With Garrett and Jamie Collins, the rebuilding Browns finally can start formulating something of a defensive identity. Garrett’s exceptional upside as an edge rusher also should allow Collins to play more of a free-flowing role—he’s best utilized as a movable part, not necessarily as a pass rusher. That the Browns even considered Trubisky so late in the process says a lot about their current situation at quarterback, but they could not risk leaving Garrett on the table.

  • 2
    mitchell trubisky, qb, unc (via SF)
    grade: D
    Pick 2 and the first massive surprise of the night. The Bears sent picks 3, 67, 111 and a 2018 third-rounder to the 49ers to move up one spot for Trubisky. That’s a pretty strong indication that a) the Bears believe Trubisky is destined to be a star, and b) multiple teams were lining up for Trubisky (or San Francisco at least made Chicago believe that). It is a massive commitment that comes right after the Bears signed Mike Glennon in free agency. Is Trubisky here to take the job in 2017 or to sit and watch? Given the price, it almost has to be the former. This is a huge gamble by the Bears on a quarterback who drew mixed reviews throughout the draft process.

  • 3
    Solomon Thomas, Edge, Stanford
    GRADE: A
    Rookie GMs aren’t supposed to pull off coups like the one John Lynch delivered in Round 1. In dealing the No. 2 pick to Chicago, Lynch added three extra picks (two this year, one next) plus still landed Thomas, a player linked to the 49ers for weeks. With the 49ers expected to shift to a 4-3 scheme, Thomas best fits as a three-tech, but he can work inside or out. His presence alongside DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead will allow San Francisco to be very flexible up front. The 49ers also have five more picks within the top 111 this year, thanks to the Bears’ generosity.

  • 4
    4leonard fournette, rb, lsu
    Grade: b
    The Jaguars’ brass spoke all off-season about the need to improve the run game, and this is a pretty clear attempt to do so. Fournette immediately leaps to the top of the depth chart, skipping past Chris Ivory (whose contract now looks rather expendable post-June 1) and T.J. Yeldon. The Jaguars may have to tweak their offense some to mesh Fournette with Blake Bortles—the former is a downhill power back, the latter has been at his best out of the gun. The expectation will be that Fournette can bring Jacksonville magic like Ezekiel Elliott did in Dallas last year. Reality may paint a bleaker picture given the roster around Fournette, but he’s definitely a special talent. The Jaguars did leave a lot of defensive talent on the board here, so this has to pay off.

  • 5
    Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
    GRADE: A
    A prime example of how the pre-draft build can be misleading. Davis had to sit out the combine and Western Michigan’s pro day because of an ankle injury, so many predicted a draft-night slide. But nothing ever changed the fact that Davis is an outstanding talent and the most pro-ready receiver in this class. The Titans managed to find some production last season in guys like Rishard Matthews, but no one on their roster can match Davis’s all-around game. Assuming his ankle is back to 100% sometime this summer, he can be the No. 1 receiver on the Titans’ roster in short order.

  • 6
    6jamal adams, s, lsu
    grade: a
    The start of the draft worked out like a dream for the Jets (unless they secretly had their sights set on Trubisky)—a QB and a RB went in the top five, meaning they had their choice of Adams and O.J. Howard, among others. Adams is the right pick. Only the NFL’s aversion to taking safeties in the top five kept Adams from being a lock in a spot higher than this. He has all the makings of a defensive centerpiece at the next level. His arrival in New York might signal that Calvin Pryor’s days are numbered, because Adams should spend most of his time in the box and over the slot. Regardless, Jets coach Todd Bowles will max out the ways in which Adams can be useful.

  • 7
    Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
    GRADE: B-
    The Chargers always looked like a potential sleeper landing spot for a wide receiver—Keenan Allen has had a hard time staying healthy, and they relied on players outperforming expectations last year. Williams gives QB Philip Rivers a big, physical receiver, something with which Rivers always has had great success. The cost of this for the Chargers is that they had to pass on safety Malik Hooker and defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, both of whom could have upgraded a defense that’s still shy on talent. Hooker, in particular, set up as a natural fit. Williams will make plays downfield, on slants and in the red zone. Will he make enough to help make up for any defensive issues L.A. has?

  • 8
    8christian mccaffrey, rb, stanford
    grade: a-
    Remember all that talk about how McCaffrey didn’t have a “natural position fit” in the NFL and how teams would have to tweak their offenses to fit him? Forget it. It was ridiculous all along. McCaffrey ran between the tackles with great effectiveness in college, and he has the pass-catching chops to smoke defenses from the slot. He brings a completely different element to the Panthers’ offense, one that QB Cam Newton should benefit greatly from having. McCaffrey is a better fit for this scheme than Fournette, who was rumored to be in the Panthers’ sights as well. Carolina’s secondary and lines still need addressing at some point, but McCaffrey is as clean a prospect as there is in this draft.

  • 9
    John Ross, WR, Washington
    GRADE: B+
    What was viewed as an elite draft for defensive talent sees six offensive players off the board in the first nine picks. Go figure. As was the case with Davis at No. 5, Ross’s health issues did not hold him back at all come Round 1. Heading into this draft, the Bengals needed to find help for A.J. Green, who was surrounded on the depth chart before Thursday by names like Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd. Ross is the explosive game-changer that was missing—the question is if he can stay on the field.

  • 10
    10patrick mahomes, qb, texas tech (via buffalo) 
    grade: B+ 
    How ‘bout that? As rumor had it all day long, the Chiefs swung for the fences, moving up a whopping 17 spots in Round 1 at the cost of picks 27, 91 and a 2018 first-rounder. But with Cleveland and Arizona lurking at picks 12 and 13, respectively, Kansas City had little choice if it wanted to guarantee itself Mahomes. The gunslinger from Texas Tech lands in a perfect situation, with a QB-friendly coach in Andy Reid, a veteran in Alex Smith to hold down the fort and an opportunity to take over the starting job soon. The rub: The Chiefs paid a huge price for a developmental quarterback, choosing Mahomes over Deshaun Watson. This is the type of move that can make or break a front office.

  • 11
    11Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
    GRADE: A
    Teams chasing defensive players have to be giddy at the offense-heavy top 10. Without having to move up the board at all, the Saints managed to land the top prospect at a position of extreme need. Lattimore could have landed in the top five (as many predicted he would, with Tennessee) and no one would have batted an eye. He’s a physical cornerback who can live on an island but who also will step up and help against the run. The Saints try to fix their secondary seemingly every season. This might finally get them there.

  • 12
    12deshaun watson, qb, clemson (via cleveland)
    grade: A-
    Three quarterbacks in the top 12, three pricey trades up for the teams that took them. For the Texans to get from No. 25 to here, the cost was that 25th pick plus a 2018 first-rounder. Remember, the Browns already own Houston’s 2018 second-rounder, as part of the Brock Osweiler salary dump. But the Texans could not carry a playoff-ready roster into next season with Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden manning the QB depth chart. Watson threw too many interceptions in college and he’ll need time to transition into Bill O’Brien’s offense, but he is the most talented quarterback there by a wide margin. This has to work, because the Texans mortgaged their ‘18 draft to solve a mess of their own creation.

  • 13
    13Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
    GRADE: A-
    Of course. Thanks to their uses of guys like Tyrann Mathieu and Deonne Bucannon, the Cardinals have been as creative as any team in the league at finding spots for talented players. Now, they’ll do it again with Reddick, the college DE-turned-NFL linebacker (probably). The Cardinals’ linebacking corps now includes Reddick, Bucannon and Chandler Jones, meaning that that it will be as dynamic and athletic as just about any group in the league. There are some concerns about Reddick’s transition, but this is a good fit. Were the Cardinals caught off guard, though, by the early QB run? They certainly could have considered a quarterback or TE O.J. Howard here, to ensure their future on that side of the ball.

  • 14
    14derek barnett, de, tennessee
    grade: b
    This is a good pick. It’s a relatively safe pick. It does not address the Eagles’ biggest need, which is at cornerback, and it also ignores a couple players who slipped down the board. The real positive is in pairing Barnett’s skill off the edge with Jim Schwartz’s scheme. Barnett can line up wide and worry about little else beyond penetrating into the backfield, which is exactly the type of role that should play to his strengths as a pass rusher. Brandon Graham, Chris Long and Barnett make for a talented DE trio from which Schwartz should be able to find a lot of sacks.

  • 15
    15Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
    GRADE: A
    Again, with teams crawling over themselves to land offensive weapons in the early picks, there were defensive players available mid-Round 1 that no one thought would be there: Reuben Foster, Jonathan Allen and, of course, Hooker. The Ohio State safety should slot right in as the Colts’ free safety, which prevents Indianapolis from having to piece together that spot—Darius Butler was a possible CB-to-S mover. Hooker’s past health issues probably didn’t hurt him as much in Round 1 as his lack of physicality did (and the huge run on skill positions). The Colts don’t need him to be a thumper, just to keep doing what he did for Ohio State vs. the pass.

  • 16
    16marlon humphrey, cb, alabama
    grade: c
    Cornerback was a need for the Ravens, even after they signed Brandon Carr this off-season. Was it more of a need than other spots on the field, like offensive tackle or pass rusher? Was Humprey a better value than, say, a tumbling O.J. Howard? It doesn’t feel like it right away. Humphrey fits the physical prototype at cornerback, but he has a lot of technique clean-up to do before he can be trusted by his lonesome vs. premier NFL receivers. The ceiling is high, without question, but how long will it take him to get there? Ozzie Newsome has been known as a staunch best-player-available GM come draft time. Not sure he hit that mark here.

  • 17
    17Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
    GRADE: A
    Headed into the draft, this was a difficult pick to peg because the Redskins’ needs up front did not seem to match with the value expected to be here. Even with Allen’s spotty medicals at the combine (arthritic shoulders), Washington could not have imagined he would slip to the back half of Round 1. So, when he did, this was an obvious selection. Allen’s presence will make Washington’s previously porous front much more difficult to run against, and it will ratchet up the pass rush—either via Allen himself bringing heat, or by Allen drawing attention from his teammates.

  • 18
    18adoree' jackson, cb, usc
    grade: B-
    Cornerback and wide receiver always was the clearest path for Tennessee in Round 1. Mission accomplished in Corey Davis and now Jackson. The combination of Jackson’s playmaking skills on defense, explosive talents as a return man and out-of-this-world athleticism put him in the first-round mix. How successful this pick turns out to be depends on whether or not Jackson can make up for his deficiencies on defense. He has the speed, obviously, but not the size or obvious strength. It’s a bit high for my tastes, but there aren’t a lot of athletes like Jackson.

  • 19
    O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
    GRADE: A
    Jameis Winston likely hoped the Buccaneers would draft Dalvin Cook, because he and Cook played together for a season at Florida State. The Tampa Bay QB should not have any complaints about how this played out, though. Howard has the type of mismatch-creating abilities as a receiver that’s perfect for the modern NFL, and he’s a blocker with an advanced skill set. The run game still is a bit unsettled, but Tampa Bay now has Howard and Cameron Brate to pair in two-TE sets, with Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson outside. Look for Winston to have a huge 2017 season.

  • 20
    20garett bolles, ot, utah
    grade: b+
    Howard would have been tough to turn down had he made it one more spot. This, however, is where the Broncos always appeared to be headed in Round 1. The only real mystery was which tackle they would choose here in an attempt to fix their O-line. Bolles will be old for a rookie, but he also should be penciled in as Denver’s Day One starter on the left side, with Donald Stephenson and Menelik Watson battling it out on the right. Bolles’s ability on the move will give him a chance to be an elite run blocker within the Denver scheme.

  • 21
    Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
    GRADE: B
    The Lions had arguably the worst linebacking group in the league during the 2016 season, and they were not in much better shape headed into Thursday. Enter Davis, a three-down defender who just needs to stay healthy. He was unable to do so at Florida, but Detroit obviously feels comfortable enough with him after all the headaches caused by DeAndre Levy’s injury issues in recent seasons. Davis shouldn’t leave the field much—his coverage skills will keep him out there in sub-packages. Davis’s career always will be compared with that of Reuben Foster, still on the board here.

  • 22
    22charles harris, de, missouri
    grade: b
    When one thinks of the “ideal” size for a 4-3 defensive end, a guy like Cameron Wake doesn’t necessarily fit the bill. Neither does Harris, but that did not keep the Missouri product from creating havoc off the edge as a college star. Outside of Wake, there simply was not enough meaningful depth at defensive end on the Dolphins’ roster, so Harris should find himself with an ample shot at playing time. Of note is that Miami also passed on Reuben Foster, as well as on Forrest Lamp, who could have slotted in as a starting guard for them out of the gate.

  • 23
    Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
    GRADE: A-
    If you happened to follow the SI draft rankings, it was Engram and not David Njoku who slotted in as this class’s No. 2 TE, behind O.J. Howard. In that context alone, this is a sneakily strong pick by GM Jerry Reese. It’s also a classic Giants pick, as it bypasses the team’s glaring need at linebacker despite Reuben Foster’s fall and Zach Cunningham’s availability. Offensive tackle could have been in the cards, too, but this pick will continue to push the Giants toward a throw-first-ask-questions-later offense. Engram, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard … how does a defense defend this attack?

  • 24
    gareon conley, cb, ohio state
    GRADE: Incomplete
    Well, file this one as TBD. Conley was a sure-fire first-rounder for the last several weeks, until a rape allegation against him came to light. Teams spent the past 48 hours digging into that situation, so the Raiders must feel like Conley has been honest in claiming the allegation is false. (Conley has not been charged.) From a talent perspective, Conley had an argument to be the second cornerback off the board. He is a potential shut-down guy for an Oakland defense that had few answers on the outside last season. How long will his off-field situation drag out, and what will be the outcome?

  • 25
    Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
    GRADE: B
    The Browns stayed the course at No. 1, grabbing Myles Garrett. And then … well, things got weird. After trading away the 12th pick and a shot at Deshaun Watson, the Browns dropped back 13 spots and nabbed one of the more divisive members of this draft class. Peppers is a freaky athlete, one who can contribute on special teams and even offense. But what will he be for the Browns beyond that? Probably a slot CB/safety hybrid with extreme upside, but this still came out of nowhere given the team making the pick. Keep in mind: Cleveland has three second-round picks, plus the extra 2018 first it added earlier Thursday.

  • 26
    26takkarist mckinley, de, ucla (via seattle)
    grade: B+
    The defending NFC champions only had six picks to begin with in this draft. They just gave up two of them (95 and 249) to move up five spots for McKinley. That’s the type of risk a team can take when it feels like it’s one guy away from a championship—the Falcons obviously were about as close as it gets to reaching the mountaintop last season. McKinley’s status for the start of 2017 is in doubt because of his post-combine shoulder surgery, but he should make an impact opposite Vic Beasley once he does get on the field. He thrived last season after UCLA transitioned from a 3-4 to a 4-3.

  • 27
    Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU (via Kansas City)
    GRADE: A
    A long wait for the Bills after trading away pick No. 10, but it would have been hard to screw this up too badly at No. 27, with Buffalo now holding Kansas City’s picks at 91 and in the first round next year. And this definitely is not a miss. White may not wholly replace the departed Stephon Gilmore, but without question he should help the Bills navigate past that difficult free-agent loss. White’s a rangy corner who can match up with receivers both outside and in the slot—a nice piece for new coach Sean McDermott.

  • 28
    28taco charlton, de, michigan
    grade: A-
    The hype on Charlton peaked around pick No. 9 (Cincinnati). This is a far more appropriate range for him, considering that he has shown flashes of brilliance but is still very much a work in progress. And if that’s your scouting report as a defensive lineman, there are few coaches better to help mold your development than Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. While Charlton is steady enough against the run that he can be trusted on early downs, Marinelli figures to unleash him most often bending the edge vs. the pass. This fills a need for Dallas, and at a good value.

  • 29
    David Njoku, Te, Miami (via green bay)
    grade: B
    The Browns traded back into Round 1, coughing up picks 33 and 108. Surely, this had to be for the quarterback, right? Or not… The Browns chose a different direction, opting to snag Njoku to pair with Gary Barnidge at the tight end spot. That’s a potentially lethal 1-2 punch—Njoku is very raw, but he could be a dominant pass-catching TE down the road. There is, of course, the lingering question of who exactly is throwing the football to Njoku, Barnidge and the Browns’ receivers. Right now, it would be either Cody Kessler or Brock Osweiler. Cleveland had multiple chances to add another name to that mix Thursday and declined.

  • 30
    30t.j. watt, lb, wisconsin
    grade: B+
    The Steelers will try again to find a pass-rushing complement for James Harrison, whom one would assume at some point in his 50s or 60s will have to stop playing football. Watt has a chance to finally end the search. He tested extremely well at the combine, and he plugs in much better in the Steelers’ 3-4 attack than he would have with a 4-3 scheme. The coaching staff in Pittsburgh won’t have to worry about effort here, either—he’s at full speed, all the time. He may never be an All-Pro, but this is a solid find at pick 30.

  • 31
    Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama (via Seattle)
    GRADE: A
    Seattle dropped back again, this time out of the first round in exchange for San Francisco’s picks at 34 and 111. And while the 49ers certainly could have rolled the dice on a quarterback here, adding Foster to earlier pick Solomon Thomas has the makings of an all-time steal. Take away Foster’s hospital incident in Indianapolis and his diluted-sample drug test, and he had a case to be the pick at No. 2 overall. He and NaVorro Bowman together—assuming Bowman stays on track in rehabbing his Achilles injury—could bring back memories of the Bowman-Patrick Willis tandem.

  • 32
    32ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
    grade: B
    An interesting conclusion to a wild night. This is the pick that the Saints acquired for trading Brandin Cooks to New England, but there weren’t many (any?) folks predicting they’d use it on a tackle. That’s not to say it is a nonsensical selection. Andrus Peat, the Saints’ 2015 first-rounder, has settled in at guard, and veteran Zach Strief turns 34 in September. So, the Saints got a jump on any potential future headaches by bringing in Ramczyk. The knock: It probably does not make New Orleans any better in 2017 unless Strief is headed out the door early. The defense could have used another body here.

2017 NFL draft grades: Breaking down every second- and third-round pick

Friday April 28th, 2017

Cam Robinson, Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon and Davis Webb were just a few of the big names that came off the board on Day 2 in Philadelphia. Which teams found solid fits and added great depth and which ones stumbled? Our draft expert Chris Burke examines and analyzes every single pick from the second and third rounds of the 2017 NFL draft. 


  • 33
    Kevin King, CB, Washington
    GRADE: B+
    An early reminder that Day 2 will be loaded with talent. King is not as complete a cornerback as his former Washington teammate, the injured Sidney Jones, but he checks off the size-speed combo at cornerback. He gives the Packers a potential top-two outside cornerback.

  • 34
    cam robinson, ot, alabama
    grade: A
    This is the Seahawks’ third trade down already—this one (for picks 35 and 187), plus two on Thursday. Jacksonville made the move to ensure it could nab Robinson, the potential first-round lineman who, along with Forrest Lamp, made it to Day 2. It remains to be seen if Robinson will be a guard or tackle for the Jaguars in 2017, but his future should be as a potential franchise LT.

  • 35
    Malik McDowell, DE, Michigan State
    GRADE: B
    Seattle finally decides to use its pick, and with it nabs the prospect in this class with perhaps the most room between his ceiling and floor. Make no mistake about it: McDowell is immensely gifted physically; this is a great scheme for him, too. The Seahawks just have to keep him motivated. Don’t forget, they passed on Forrest Lamp and multiple available CBs here.

  • 36
    4budda baker, s, washington
    Grade: B+
    Love the player. Curious about the aggressive move up the board to get him, given the cost—Arizona shipped picks 45, 119, 197 and a 2018 fourth-rounder to Chicago for this selection and 221. It seemed on the surface like a leap up for a QB, but the Cardinals seem content to keep putting that off. Baker and Tyrann Mathieu together at safety provides even more versatility to a defense loaded with it.

  • 37
    Zay Jones, WR, ECU
    GRADE: B+
    Buffalo traded down in Round 1, then goes up in Round 2—picks 44 and 91 to the Rams for 37 and 149. The Bills did so because they needed a wide receiver and missed out on the top three guys Thursday night. Jones should be their No. 2 guy opposite Sammy Watkins right away.

  • 38
    forrest lamp, g, western kentucky
    grade: a
    There is a very real chance Lamp develops into this draft’s top lineman, so count it as a win for the Chargers that he fell into their laps at No. 38. They’ll have to use later picks on defense, but this is a clear best player available-meets-need scenario. Lamp’s arrival is great news for both RB Melvin Gordon and QB Philip Rivers.

  • 39
    Marcus Maye, S, Florida
    GRADE: B-
    Two picks, two safeties for the Jets, who just remade the back end of their secondary by adding Jamal Adams and Maye. That’s a lot of physicality and versatility paired together, and it’s obvious Todd Bowles helped drive those picks. But back-to-back safeties when there are so many other needs here?

  • 40
    8Curtis Samuel, rb/wr, Ohio State
    grade: C+
    Hoo boy, that Carolina offense is going to be fun to watch. Both Samuel and first-round pick Christian McCaffrey are uber-athletic running backs with potential out of the slot. It's fair to wonder, though, if this was overkill. If McCaffrey’s getting touches all over the field, how is Samuel getting involved? The Panthers still have needs at CB, DE and OT.

  • 41
    dalvin cook, rb, florida state
    grade: A
    Both Cook and Joe Mixon were still sitting on the board at 41, so the Vikings made a move up to address their RB situation (48 and 128 to Cincinnati). Cook isn’t a “clean” prospect, necessarily, but he was our top-ranked back. He’s a dynamic playmaker that will bolster that offense.

  • 42
    marcus williams, S, Utah 
    grade: B
    This is a minor upset. The Saints used one of their two first-rounders on their secondary (CB Marshon Lattimore), and they have both Jairus Byrd and Vonn Bell at safety. Williams is an excellent ballhawking, center-fielder type safety—the Round 2 version of Malik Hooker—but this is another team that seemed primed to address other needs.

  • 43
    sidney jones, cb, washington
    grade: A
    Sidney Jones’s Achilles injury would have made him a significant gamble in the first round. In Round 2, though, he’s a value pick. He was considered to be a potential top-10 pick before that setback at his pro day. He’s a tall, physical cornerback who can lock down on the outside. When he gets healthy again, the Eagles could have a star.

  • 44
    gerald everett, TE, South Alabama
    grade: d+
    The Rams throw a curve ball with their first pick of the 2017 draft, taking Everett, a player cut from the same TE/slot receiver mold as Evan Engram. This comes one year after L.A. nabbed TE Tyler Higbee in the fourth round. Everett has upside as a pass catcher, but this is early for him and there were a lot of defensive options on the board.

  • 45
    adam shaheen, te, ashland
    grade: c
    Just like that, we have a tight end run on our hands. The Bears needed depth at the position—Zach Miller’s been banged up a lot, Dion Sims has never had 300 yards receiving in a season and the rest of the depth chart is thin. Shaheen’s solid pass catching, suspect blocking combo actually will fit well with those other options. But there were a lot of other directions Chicago could have gone here.

  • 46
    quincy wilson, cb, florida
    grade: A
    This is a steal. Not everyone charged with evaluating the draft was on board with Wilson as a first-rounder, but he landed as our No. 2 cornerback. He plays an aggressive and physical game outside—desired traits in general, but even more so since the Colts took a less physical safety in Malik Hooker. Wilson and Vontae Davis together will be a handful.

  • 47
    Tyus Bowser, LB, Houston
    grade: A-
    The Ravens had the chance to nab a pass rusher in Round 1, but went with CB Marlon Humphrey instead. They addressed their edge situation well here, as Bowser has the potential to be an explosive OLB in Baltimore’s system. He only just now appears to be starting to unlock his capabilities, so the future should be very bright.

  • 48
    Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
    grade: B
    The Bengals have never shied away from players with red flags, so they always shaped up as a possible match for Mixon. That’s also true because of their need at running back. Cincinnati’s current backfield bruiser, Jeremy Hill, has proven ineffective. Even at his best, he never had the upside of Mixon, who might have pushed into the top 10 without that horrible off-field incident while he was at Oklahoma. The talent is not a question, at all. There are a lot of other questions, though. He has been under a microscope from NFL evaluators after he punched a woman in 2014. Can the Bengals trust him?

  • 49
    ryan anderson
    grade: B+
    Recreating as much of the Alabama defense as possible through this draft is not the worst strategy ever. After swiping Jonathan Allen for their line in Round 1, the Redskins now can drop Anderson in at OLB. The latter doesn’t appear to have upside as a premier pass-rushing linebacker, but he’s solid and experienced across the board.

  • 50
    18justin evans, s, texas A&M
    grade: B
    Evans slid a little bit under the radar within a deep and talented safety class, but he is not out of line here. Because of the way he clobbers people, he’s better playing closer to the line. He can drop back and play deep, though, so Tampa Bay can mix and match him with new addition J.J. Wilcox and incumbents like Chris Conte.

  • 51
    Demarcus walker
    grade: B
    The Broncos were not good enough up front on offense last year, so they took Garett Bolles in Round 1. And they were pushed around too much on defense, too, which makes Walker’s presence a strong addition. He can play end in a 3–4, and he’d also help the transition should Denver utilize more 4–3 post-Wade Phillips.

  • 52
    deshone kizer, qb, notre dame
    grade: a
    Unable to find the right pairing in Round 1, the Browns finally added to their QB competition with the 52nd pick. Kizer was far better in 2015 than he was in 2016, but either version could wind up bumping Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler down the depth chart. There’s not as much of a gap between Kizer and, say, Mitchell Trubisky as their respective selection spots would indicate.

  • 53
    teez Tabor, cb, florida
    grade: B+
    Once a first-round contender, Tabor’s stock tumbled quite a bit after he topped 4.6 seconds in his combine 40. So, the straight-line speed may not be there, but Tabor is quick enough to succeed as an NFL cornerback and he has the alpha-dog mentality required for such a task. We had him ranked No. 52; he went No. 53, so that’s pretty spot on.

  • 54
    raekwon mcmillan, lb, ohio state
    grade: B+
    Applaud the thinking here by the Dolphins, who knew they still needed an infusion of athleticism at linebacker despite how satisfied they seem to be with Kiko Alonso. McMillan is a three-down guy, whether Miami opts to use him in the middle or on the outside. The surprise, if there is one: Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham’s still available.

  • 55
    dalvin tomlinson, dt, alabama
    grade: B
    By taking Evan Engram in Round 1 (a pick that drew an A-minus grade here), the Giants sort of pushed themselves out of the early O-line market. This was a good range for the D-line, however, and the Giants needed help there after losing Johnathan Hankins. Tomlinson is a big, difficult-to-move body for the middle.

  • 56
    obi melifonwu, s, uconn
    grade: A-
    It’s obvious from how these last few drafts have gone down that teams are placing a high priority on having not just one, but two standout safeties. In Melifonwu and Karl Joseph, the Raiders are there. Melifonwu’s post-combine hype outpaced his still-developing game, but he’s a unique physical specimen capable of handling a variety of roles.

  • 57
    zach cunningham, lb, vanderbilt
    grade: A
    Finally. Cunningham should not have made it this far, plain and simple. The knock on him has been his ability to wrap, which will have to be more consistent at the next level for him to remain a 100-tackle defender. The Texans already have Brian Cushing and Bernardick McKinney inside, where Cunningham will have to play in their 3-4. Does this pick signal an impending end of the line for Cushing’s Texans career?

  • 58
    ethan pocic, C, LSU
    Grade: B  
    On the surface, the plan with this pick would have to be that Pocic will play guard—he was a center for LSU—and Germain Ifedi will kick out to right tackle. Granted, figuring out the Seahawks’ plans up front is a football Rubik’s Cube. Pocic is a solid player. We’ll see how Seattle unscrambles its pieces.

  • 59
    Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova 
    grade: B+ 
    When Kpassagnon was walking through the halls at the combine, fans headed for the NFL Experience at the same building peeled off and just started watching him. At 6' 7", 289 pounds, he is a massive, freakish specimen. He’ll probably be a DE in the Chiefs’ 3-4 front; he can slide further outside and add pass rush, as well. Kansas City will have to coach him up, but the baseline is fascinating.

  • 60
    chidobe awuzie, CB, Colorado 
    Grade: A-
    Awuzie is a very good football player. He belonged in the second round—despite a little Round 1 hype—and he doesn’t bring the natural gifts of others in this class, but he gets the job done. The Cowboys absolutely had to have an upgrade at the cornerback spot, and Awuzie gives them a player they can count on without hesitation. He’ll be helpful outside and in the slot.

  • 61
    josh jones, s, n.c. state
    grade: B 
    The Packers keep stockpiling players in the secondary—Jones on top of earlier pick Kevin King. That loss to the Falcons in the NFC title game clearly stuck in their minds, as their banged-up secondary could not match up. Jones doesn’t necessarily have a clear path to playing time right away, but Morgan Burnett’s a soon-to-be free agent.

  • 62
    juju smith-schuster, wr, usc
    grade: C+
    Man, how many wide receivers do the Steelers need? If they’re all on the field together, this offense is going to be borderline unstoppable. But Pittsburgh, perhaps wisely, does not want to put all its eggs in the Martavis Bryant basket, and it has yet to see Sammie Coates take off as hoped. Smith-Schuster is a big-bodied guy who will win the one-on-one matchups he will be handed in that offense.

  • 63
    dion dawkins
    grade: B+
    Buffalo sent picks 75, 149 and 156 to Atlanta for this spot, which is a decent price to pay for a 12-spot boost. However, Dawkins is one of the last O-linemen with obvious starter potential as a rookie, be it at guard or tackle. The Bills could let him compete either spot—Jordan Mills is hardly a lock at right tackle.

  • 64
    32taylor moton, t, western michigan
    grade: A
    And there’s the other Day 2 offensive tackle capable of stepping in as a rookie starter. The Panthers overpaid for Matt Kalil to play LT, so this is probably a safety net on the right side for Michael Oher, whose concussion issues have put his future in jeopardy. Moton is a mauler—a plug-and-play option for the Panthers’ revamped offense.


  • 65
    larry ogunjobi, DT, charlotte
    Grade: A-
    Mentioned Ogunjobi in a “draft crushes” post the other day—he’s legit. There may be sexier, higher-upside picks still out there, but he’s going to make an impact for however many snaps Cleveland can find for him. He can play nose or DE in a three-man front, and his addition as a three-tech alongside Myles Garrett’s selection at 1 certainly equips the Browns to trot out a lot of maneuverability along the line.

  • 66
    ahkello witherspoon, cb, colorado
    Grade: B-
    Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster and now Witherspoon. That’s a potential impact playmaker at all three levels of the defense. Witherspoon can be an antidote against teams with big receivers, because of his height and ability to go up for the ball. Whether or not he can be more than that remains to be seen.

  • 67
    alvin kamara, rb, tennessee
    grade: C
    This makes sense if one believes that Christian McCaffrey was a candidate for the Saints in Round 1—Kamara’s a three-down back who’s dangerous in the open field. But New Orleans coughed up a 2018 second-rounder (and 2017 seventh) to get him, already has Mark Ingram, and still needs a pass rusher. The value for Kamara here is good. The fit? Eh.

  • 68
    4Jacksonville Jaguars
    grade: D+
    Here’s the defensive-line depth that the Jaguars had to find, after spending their first two picks on the offensive side of the football. Smoot doesn’t really threaten the status quo above him on the depth chart—he’s a rotational piece on this roster, and there arguably were higher-upside DEs still available. This is way early based on our board.

  • 69
    cooper kupp, wr, eastern washington
    grade: b-
    This is another good one in terms of value, but confusing in terms of team fit. Kupp is a polished receiver capable of handling a heavy workload. He’ll have to prove he can live outside, though, and the Rams just used a Round 2 pick on a slot-type TE in Gerald Everett.

  • 70
    pat elflein
    grade: a
    A doozy of a find in Round 3, and well worth trading up from No. 79 to get him. Elflein was the best center in this draft—he can be Minnesota’s man in the middle for years to come, assuming he wins that job out of camp. If he doesn’t, he can start at guard.

  • 71
    dan feeney,
    Grade: A-
    The Chargers will exit Friday with an offensive line that looks remarkably more put together than it was when the night began. Feeney and Round 2 selection Forrest Lamp both can be starters next season, perhaps paired together at the guard spots—the former definitely will be there; Lamp could push for a tackle job.

  • 72
    8taywan taylor, wr, western kentucky
    grade: B+
    A bit of a curious one, if only because the Titans sent picks 83 and 124 to New England for this selection and No. 200. The Titans also already brought in Corey Davis, so they should be set at the receiver spots now. If Davis is the high-volume guy, Taylor can be their big-play, speed option.

  • 73
    jordan willis, de, kansas state 
    Grade: B+
    No knock intended on Willis, who tore up the combine, but his actual tape suggested more of a late-Round 2/early-Round 3 value. It’s a good find for the Bengals where they got him, because they needed someone else capable of pressuring the QB off the edge.

  • 74
    10chris wormley, de, michigan 
    Grade: A-
    There are times when players just look like they belong on a certain roster. That’s the case here with Wormley, a hard-nosed defender who can make noise inside or outside. Maybe not necessarily a steal here, but certainly a strong value—Wormley is a top-50 player in this class.

  • 75
    duke riley, lb, lsu
    grade: b
    The Deion Jones pick last year worked out like gangbusters, so the Falcons went back to the well to pick up Jones’s former teammate—a player not entirely dissimilar from Jones himself. Nothing wrong with adding depth at linebacker, but Atlanta had much more of a hole at guard.

  • 76
    alex anzalone, lb, florida
    grade: B
    Anzalone is an ultra-athletic linebacker who just could not stay healthy at Florida. If he does, he easily could be the best playmaker in the Saints’ linebacking corps—and that’s as of 2017, not beyond. It’s a risk, but also addresses a need for New Orleans as it tries hard to fix its defense.

  • 77
    daeshon hall, de, texas A&M
    grade: B+
    Three straight picks on the offensive side of things to open the draft, so the Panthers could load up defensively from here out. Hall slots in as a rotational pass rusher, behind the Julius Peppers/Charles Johnson tandem. Learning from those players will give Hall the best chance to unlock a more complete game.

  • 78
    tim williams, olb, alabama 
    Grade: A-
    Four picks, four defensive players for Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome. Certainly can’t blame him for doubling down at OLB—Terrell Suggs is nearing the end of his career and Elvis Dumervil’s contract ran out after the ‘16 season. Williams was a pass rush-only player for much of his Alabama career and might be again, but he’s exceptional in that role.

  • 79
    ardarius stewart, wr, alabama
    grade: C 
    Stewart is a lightning bolt with the ball in his hands—a raw receiver in his technique, but an exciting playmaker who can be used in myriad ways. He’s also something of a luxury pick, for a team with no room for one. There’s already speed in the Jets’ receiving corps.

  • 80
    16tarell basham, de, ohio
    grade: A
    With a safety and cornerback under their belts already, the Colts found themselves a pass rusher at 80. He played a lot of hand-in-the-dirt DE for Ohio, but he really looks the part of a 3-4 edge rusher, which is where he’ll be with the Colts. Very good value at this spot in Round 3.

  • 81
    fabian moreau, cb, ucla
    grade: B+
    We’re at pick 81, and this is another player who had Round 1 buzz not that long ago—there was not a huge gap in talent between what was there late-Day 1 and what was here late-Day 2. The torn pec at his pro day no doubt hurt Moreau’s stock a bit, but he’s an aggressive playmaker outside.

  • 82
    18carlos henderson, wr, louisiana tech
    grade: A
    Denver wanted to add a playmaker in this draft, it was just a matter of when the move would come. Here, the Broncos may have outdone themselves, if Henderson is as shifty an NFL receiver as he was in college. At minimum, he’s a TD threat every time he returns a kick or punt.

  • 83
    derek rivers, DE, Youngstown state
    grade: A-
    The wait through 82 picks (including a trade down Friday) was a long one for the Patriots. Landing Rivers could make it worthwhile. He’s a hard-working edge rusher who will provide the defending champs some depth on passing downs. There were some folks who thought he could sneak into Round 1, so mid-Round 3 is a decent spot to find him.

  • 84
    chris godwin
    grade: B+
    Jameis Winston might not have to do anything other than drop back and heave it deep this season. Godwin is a go-and-get-it receiver on the outside, joining a pass-catching corps that already included Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and first-round pick O.J. Howard.

  • 85
    antonia garcia, OT, Troy
    grade: B
    Guess the Patriots were bored after all. After waiting all the way until No. 83 to make their first pick of the draft, they turned around and dealt picks 96 and 124 to Detroit for this spot. Garcia is a developmental talent at tackle, and the Patriots have the pieces in place to buy him some time.

  • 86
    kareem hunt, rb, toledo
    grade: A
    You’ll likely hear a lot about Hunt being “underrated,” but … well, if everyone thinks that, is he really underrated? No matter the label, Hunt is a talented, almost Dalvin Cook-like back who can help on all three downs. The Chiefs traded up for this selection.

  • 87
    davis webb, qb, cal
    Grade: B
    The Eli Manning succession plan is in place. That's at least in theory what was happening with this pick. The first-round hype on Webb earlier this week was hard to figure, but as a sit-and-wait QB in this round, it’s a fit. If he turns out to be that Round 1-caliber player, the Giants will have their answer whenever Manning calls it a career.

  • 88
    eddie vanderdoes, DT, UCLA
    grade: b+
    Here’s the thing about Vanderdoes: If the Raiders get the healthy, 2014 version of him, he’s a guy they can pencil in as a potential starter up front. Oakland did not have a lot of meaningful depth inside on defense, so Vanderdoes restocks the pile.

  • 89
    d'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas
    grade: B+
    Bill O’Brien has said he wants to lighten Lamar Miller’s workload some this season, and Foreman absolutely will help do that. He’s a big back who runs like a small back—the cutting ability and speed could help him churn out yards in that Houston scheme.

  • 90
    shaquill griffin, cb, ucf
    grade: B
    There’s the cornerback—everyone figured Seattle had to take at least one in this draft. Griffin fits the Seahawks’ mold, for sure. He’s a big cornerback who loves to stick his nose in on the action. The scheme out west also should help cover up any flaws in his game.

  • 91
    john johnson, S, Boston College
    grade: B+
    Kind of a perfect mid-to-late Round 3 pick. Johnson has obvious bright spots in his game, including his ability to mix and match coverages. He’s also got a long way to go before he’s a complete product. Wade Phillips is a great defensive coordinator if a player needs development, though, and Johnson’s movable skills will give Phillips some options.

  • 92
    60jourdan lewis, cb, michigan
    grade: incomplete
    Lewis is undersized and doesn’t have great speed, but he still might have been a top-50 pick were it not for his pending trial on a domestic violence charge. Like Awuzie, the Cowboys’ pick at 60, Lewis can handle himself outside but might be a better fit in the slot—those two together might be interchangeable. It’s an “A” range pick with a dark cloud hanging over it.

  • 93
    montravius adams, DT, auburn
    grade: B
    Can the Packers get Adams to keep the light flipped on? The Auburn product flashed dominance at times, and he can bring it from several spots in the 3-4 alignment, but the glimpses of brilliance only made his long quiet stretches more frustrating. With Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels already in place, Adams could be eased into action.

  • 94
    30 cam sutton, cb, tennessee
    grade: B
    The highlight reel for Sutton is loaded with plays where he shows incredible instincts and makes plays on the football. He didn't show that talent all the time, in large part because of injury issues, hence his Round 3 landing spot. He should get some chances as a return man.

  • 95
    delano hill, s, michigan 
    grade: B+
    The Seahawks’ earlier third-round pick, Shaq Griffin, already plays with the type of physical mentality this franchise loves. Ditto Hill, who provides needed depth behind Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas at safety. He’ll be around the ball whenever he’s on the field.

  • 96
    32kenny golladay, wr, northern illinois
    grade: c+
    It's not hard to see why the Lions looked this way: They don’t have much at receiver behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, and they really could use a physical weapon outside. Golladay could be that, in time. Right now, he’s a big body in need of a lot of refinement.

  • 97
    cordrea tankersley, cb, clemson
    grade: B-
    Another in-your-face cornerback with size joins a secondary that's suddenly chock full of them. Tankersly might remind Dolphins fans of veteran Byron Maxwell or 2016 draft pick Xavien Howard—he has that same physical (to a fault) approach. He could be a very good cornerback, or he could be a guy teams attack.

  • 98
    chad williams, wr, grambling
    grade: B
    Williams is not going to replace Larry Fitzgerald, ever. He could learn quite a bit from the potential future Hall of Famer, though. Williams uses his body well in positioning and with the ball in his hands, and he has just enough speed to take the top off a defense. Keep an eye on him in 2018 or ‘19.

  • 99
    rasul douglas, cb, west virginia
    Grade: A- 
    Definitely do not mind the Eagles doubling down on cornerback Friday night—it was a trouble spot on their depth chart, and Sidney Jones (their Round 2 pick) likely won’t be available until at least October. Douglas doesn’t have a ton of speed, but he has size, length and a knack for getting in front of receivers.

  • 100
    jonnu smitH, TE, FIU
    grade: B
    Is that enough weapons for Marcus Mariota yet? Add Smith to the Titans’ earlier haul at wide receiver: Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor. Smith is similar in game to Delanie Walker, so it’s interesting that the Titans did not go find a completely different type at the position.

  • 101
    brendan langley, CB, lamar 
    grade: c
    A 4.4 speed guy with 6-foot height, Langley checks off those important NFL cornerback boxes. Beyond that, this might have been a round early for Langley considering how raw he is—the Broncos have enough DBs to afford him development time, but it could be a while before he’s ready to contribute on a regular basis.

  • 102
    nazair jones, dt, north carolina
    grade: A- 
    Malik McDowell, the Seahawks’ second-round selection, is a player the Seahawks can move around and ask to get after the quarterback. Jones is more of a space-eater and likely an early-down defender, so that makes for a strong pairing of D-line picks Friday.

  • 103
    60trey hendrickson, de, florida atlantic
    grade: B+
    The Saints entered the draft needing a DE to line up opposite Cameron Jordan, and they might have found an under-the-radar answer in Hendrickson. He’s not a clear-cut, overnight starter in the NFL—a lot of what he does comes from pure effort, as opposed to elite skills—but he’s at least a rotational defender.

  • 104
    c.j. beathard, QB, Iowa
    grade: D
    Rookie GM John Lynch killed it through the early rounds in this draft, but trading up (109 and 219 to Minnesota) for Beathard is a little ugly. The price tag wasn’t that high; the expectations probably won’t be, either. Beathard has a future in the NFL, because of what he can do as a pro-style passer. It’s just not as a starter.

  • 105
    30 james conner, rb, pitt
    grade: B+
    Not only do the Steelers land a hometown favorite with this pick, they get a physical option who can take a few carries off LeVeon Bell’s tally. He’s more than just a great story—he can hammer defenses between the tackles, and he showed some surprising pass-catching ability in 2016.

  • 106
    amara darboh, WR, Michigan
    grade: B+
    The arrow started pointing way up last year, so if Darboh can keep that momentum going the Seahawks will have something here. He brings size and sub-4.5 speed to the outside, with great body control along the sideline. Seattle might be able to slip him into the slot at times, too. He's not a No. 1 receiver, but he's a decent option in a complementary role.

  • 107
    32kendell beckwith, lb, lsu
    grade: C
    The Bucs closed the night by sending picks 125 and 204 to the Jets for Beckwith, a former teammate of Kwon Alexander at LSU. It might be a redshirt pick, because a.) Beckwith tore his ACL in November, and b.) there’s not an obvious spot for him in the rotation, aside from adding depth.

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