I have more fun grading drafts than I do making mock drafts…even though both are futile endeavors. I like the unexpected possibilites and matches I had not thought about before, which is why I’m taking the time to grade every team in the Mockingthedraft live draft that occured this past weekend. I’m breaking it into four separate posts because otherwise it would approach 5,000 words.
I’m not bias to any teams. I took a look at our big board to create values for each pick.
Here’s the general rule for grading each pick.
An A+ pick is terrific value, fills a need, and comes with minimum risks (ie no red-flag or “character concerns”
An A pick is terrific value but maybe does not fill a need.
A B is good value pick and fills a need.
A B- is solid value but doesn’t fill a need.
Anything in the C range is average to below average value and does not fill a need.
I didn’t really go below a C-, no one doing this is a professional and has all the information and team of scouts to make a pick, so I’m not going to berate too many picks.
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1) QB Andrew Luck
2) WR Mohamed Sanu
3) WR Brian Quick
4) ILB Audie Cole
5) TE Brian Linthicum
7) DT Hebron Fangupo
7) CB Asa Jackson
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it this time as well. This draft grade is almost irrelevant outside of what Andrew Luck Does. Unless the players drafted after Luck are Hall of Famers, if Luck busts it will set the franchise back a few years. If the players are all out of the league in four or five years, but Luck is a top 10 QB this is a very good draft. With that being said I’ll still break it down. I’m in the camp of taking Luck over Griffin is the right call. Griffin is tantalizing, but Griffin has a history injuries in college (missed almost and entire season), concussions, etc, and his coming from a spread offense. He’s a fantastic athlete and I love his ability, but he’s not better than Luck to me. A pick for Luck. Grabbing a player like Mohamed Sanu will be good for Luck. Sanu is a good football player, who is better in pads than shorts. Sanu is a guy who won’t be afraid to go over the middle and make plays. A little reminiscent of Hakeem Nicks (but less talented I think) and good solid value at 34th overall (33rd on my board). B. I think the Colts should spend a lot of picks on defense, but it’s not like they have a roster full of talented WRs anymore. Brian Quick is a big target with athleticism. Solid value (about 75th on my board) and I’m sure high on the Colts rep board, otherwise it doesnt’ make a ton of sense to double dip on WR.B-
I’m a big fan of Audie Cole and actually have him rated higher than Brian Quick, but with that being said. I don’t love Cole in a 34 defense. I think he’s an ideal 43 Strong side linebacker. I really like the player and value don’t love the fit. C+. TE Brian Litchicum is just a meh player to me. C. I like both of the 7th round picks. I think on these team both picks will make the roster and see snaps in 2012. That’s all you can ask for in late round picks–guys you think can make the roster. B+
Question: Who else did the Giants and Steelerdraft in 2004? Answer. Who cares? 5 Superbowl appearances, 4 superbowl wins, and 3 Superbowl MVPs is all that matters for these two teams. (Max Starks and Chris Snee were drafted by the Steelers and Giants respectively if you’re curious) I dinged the Redskins a bit because of how much they had to give up to move up and get Griffin III but all the Colts had to do was suck for a year. Grade A because I believe Luck pans out. It doesn’t hurt that they got some pretty good other players as well. The two worst picks to me were the fourth (the system not the player) and fifth round picks (the player, not the system).
1. Ryan Tannehill QB
1. Kendall Wright WR
2. Zack Brown LB
3. LeMicheal James RB
3. Brandon Mosley OT
4. Mike Martin DT
4. Ronnie Hillman RB
5. Janzen Jackson FS
5. Devier Posey WR
Junior Hemingway WR
Good draft. Seriously I like almost all of these picks, especially after the first round.
The Tannehill pick bothers me less than most people because I don’t believe in McCoy and I think Tanehill can be a top 15 QB in the N.F.L. That’s not what you’re looking for in a 4th overall pick, but you can consistently make the playoffs with a top 15 QB. Right now I have Tannehill as a fringe first round prospect.
The Tannehill pick I’d grade as a B-/C+.
Likewise I think most fans would be delighted to get Wright in the first round. I think Wright is a fringe first round prospect so this is a bit of a reach for me, though not for most people. B-/C+
After the first round I like what they did a lot
Adding the explosive James in the third round is good value. Few players in this draft offer the type of homerun potential that James does. James is a better inside runner than given credit for, but not at the level of a Warrick Dunn. A-
Zach Brown. I’m still a fan of Zach Brown even though I’m on an island here. I like this pick. The Browns need to improve their Linebacker corps and Brown is a better player than people realize. Better instincts than he gets credit for and the rare ability to cover TEs in the NFL. A-
Brandon Mosley is a developmental tackle prospect and solid value at this juncture. I don’t have him rated this high on my board, but I get the pick. B
Mike Martin is a 2nd round on my board. Terrific pick. Much better player than he gets credit for. A
Ronnie Hillman is one of my favorite small school players and is higher than a fourth round player on my board. B+ pick. The Browns definitely need to improve their running back group, maybe they could have gone with a powerback to complement James later. Still like the pick though.
Janzen Jackson’s value is tough to gauge. People who are pretty accurate have him as a 7th rounder and others think he was a potential day two pick. B- pick. The Browns with this mock have suddenly become a team that takes a lot of chance on character risks after last year.
I like the Devier Posey pick. Good value here. If not for the Ohio State scandal I think Posey would go much higher than a fifth rounder and we have him higher than that on our board. With Massaquoi, Little, Cribbs, Wright, and Posey the team should be able to find enough talent at the WR corps. Good pick. B+
Overall: Grade B
I like this mock. Good work. Improved the offensive weapons. I’m not in love with the first round though I think it’s very possible and makes sense. Outside the first round this is an A draft. In his mock the Browns improved their offensive weapons (a must) and added two great additions of defense, I think the Browns will be fine to come away with a draft like that.
7th round-Justin Francis, DE, Rutgers
2013 1st and 4th round picks
I can’t be reading this right? Did the Jaguars get a 2013 1st round pick or give it up? Must have given it up right?
Well anyway let’s break it down. I think if the Jaguars came out of the draft with Blackmon and Coples they’d be jumping for joy. I really like that. Although I’m not a huge proponent of trading away future first round picks (imagine if the Jaguars are even worse next year…) it makes some sense to me because whether or not the G.M. is on the hot seat–he should be. He’s in win-now mode. They also address their two biggest needs with potentially the two best players in the draft at those positions. Gave up a lot, but I’m okay with it. A-.
I don’t like the Juron Criner pick in the second round at all. After trading away a future first rounder and drafting the best WR in the draft, why come back and take another one second round–especially one who would most likely be available later. D+ pick. One of my least favorite picks in the entire 7 rounds. They could have had Rueben Randle or Marvin Jones, who are both (a lot) higher on my board.
Dwight Bentley feels like a Jaguars, but one I actually like. I think their secondary played well last year, but are not extremely talented. An upgrade/added depth at Cornerback wouldn’t hurt. B+
Tom Compton a solid late round offensive linemen addition. B
Justin Francis is fine pick. I have him the UDFA range, but it’s a fine line between 6th/7th round and priority UDFA. B-
B-. I’m okay with the trade to get Coples and Blackmon which is actually quite good for the Jaguars and timely, but I really dislike the Criner pick. Grade would be much higher if not for that early gaffe.
1–#8–Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
2–#42–Brandon Weeden, QB, OK. ST.
3–#73–Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
3–#74–Shea McClellin, DE/LB
4–#104–Malik Jackson, DE/OLB, Tenn.
5–#135–Devon Wylie, WR, Fresno ST.
6–#189–Coty Sensbaugh, DB, Clemson
7–#200–Jaye Howard, DT, Florida
The Dolphins gave us one of the most interesting drafts. I didn’t have Fleener as a first round prospect before his proday and I’ve decided not to over-react and move him on my board after the combine. I agree the Dolphins need to upgrade TE and maybe he was thrown for a loop when Tannehill was selected at 4 and Blackmon then made it past the Rams but was taken by the Jaguars. I’m not sure. The biggest reach in the first round, but an interesting pick. I don’t hate it, but there’s an outside chance he could fall to you in the second round. C
This pick is tough to grade. I think Brandon Weeden has more faults than “only his age” as it’s been lead to believe elsewhere. I understand taking Weeden here, but I personally wouldn’t. Grade C
Marvin Mcnutt seems to be a favorite among draftniks more so than NFL personnel men, but I still like him. That’s solid value for him there and fills a need. B
Shea McClelin is the opposite. Scouts love the guy and I’m lukewarm on him. The buzz is that McClelin goes in the top 60 picks. But where he’s drafted here is the right value to me and he also fills a need B.
Malike Jackson is a guy some media types love Josh Norris and Wes Bunting are two I can think of and they would love this pick. I think of him more as a 43 DE so I don’t love this fit. But solid value. B-
This Dolphins representative must read Wes Bunting. Wylie is Bunting’s 6th overall WR and 54th best player on his board. Basically in Bunting’s grades this would be the steal of the draft. I have Wylie about a 100 slots lower than Bunting so this is just solid value to me. B-
Sensabaugh and Jaye Howard are solid late round picks. B-
Overall C+. This is personally not my favorite draft. There are people (Bunting for one) who might really like facets of this draft, but the players drafted are just not my cup of tea. Fleener is a reach, but if they like him more than the top WRs maybe it is possible. My favorite pick was Marvin Mcnutt. Again I think there are people out there that would think this draft presented loads of value (with McClellin too) these players just fall into players I don’t love area.