Some of you will growl at the mere mention of knee-jerk grades, and they really are tough to do, but we do these because it’s fun and it puts me smack-dab in the crosshairs. I usually go back in three years from each draft to re-grade it, which means this is something that I will need in 2018.
You need three years to truly grade a draft, but when the boss says grade it now, that’s what I do.
I gave out four “A” grades. They went to Jacksonville, Miami, Baltimore and Arizona. There were no “Fs” given out, but there were a few below-average grades, which I am sure will lead to outrage from the fans of those teams.
Just remember as you read this: It’s quick-twitch movement, which means in three years a lot of it will make me look foolish — sort of like my grade for the 2012 Seattle Seahawks class has done.
Best Pick: Linebacker Jake Ryan, who can play both outside and inside, will have a chance to play early at a position of need.
Questionable move: Taking two corners with their first two picks who are projections.
First-round pick Damarious Randall was a safety at Arizona State, while second-round corner Quinten Rollins was a basketball player before moving to football.
Third-day gem: Quarterback Brett Hundley needs some seasoning, but in the fifth round he’s worth a look. Hundley can spend a few years learning from Aaron Rodgers.
Analysis: The Packers must really like the versatility that the two young corners/safeties will give them. They need corners with the loss of two in free agency, but Randall looked more like a safety to me. Then again, Ted Thompson usually knows what he’s doing.
Best Pick: I love the choice of Eric Kendricks in the second round. He is a speed linebacker who will add to the already young defense. Nice pick.
Questionable move: I like third-round defensive end Danielle Hunter, but while he has talent he needs to flash it more. He could be a big-time hit or a bust.
Third-day gem: Getting tackle T.J. Clemmings in the fourth round is a major steal. I know he has some injury concerns, but this kid has a ton of raw talent. He has a chance to be a good starter down the road if healthy.
Analysis: General manager Rick Spielman had another good draft. He has done so the past couple of years and has a good, young team on the rise. This draft is littered with a lot of productive college players. First-round corner Trae Waynes will be a starter right away.
Best Pick: I loved the pick of guard Laken Tomlinson in the first round. He gives them a great pair of guards with Larry Warford. They will be able to run the football now with those two power players.
Questionable move: I like running back Ameer Abdullah, but they needed to get more of a power runner and the second round was a little high for him. He also has to cut down on his fumbling.
Third-day gem: CB Quandre Diggs was a four-year starter at Texas, but he is short at 5-9. That would likely make him an ideal slot corner, but in the sixth round that is a nice pick.
Analysis: Over the course of the three days, the Lions did a solid job. It’s clear they want to help their run game. They also traded to get Denver center Manny Ramirez, who should start. Tomlinson isn’t a sexy pick, but he is a good player.
Questionable move: Not addressing edge rusher in the first three rounds. They are going to a 3-4 and they lack big-time players on the outside other than Pernell McPhee.
Third-day gem: Fifth-round safety Adrian Amos will bring some range to a position that badly needs it. That’s good value.
Analysis: Three of their first picks were on the offensive side, which might seem surprising considering they had so many troubles on the defensive side last season. But they got two starters in White and third-round center Hroniss Grasu.
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