Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Hughes was a great pick and great value. Pat Angerer will compete for a starting spot right away, and will make an impact regardless – he was the leader of a very good defense for Iowa. Kevin Thomas was a perfect fit for the Colts – and his selection and Indy’s success has me realizing how beneficial it is to be one of the few teams that plays a certain defensive scheme. They always get great value in every draft because they get guys that only fit perfectly in their system. Freaking brilliant. Outside of those three picks, I see a bunch of reaches that will probably turn out to be great future players for the Colts. That being said I can only grade them on what I see now, a very good start to the draft and a questionable finish. But what a pick with Hughes! B Back to the 2010 NFL Draft grading team list.
New York Jets: What an off-season for the Jets. Kyle Wilson was my top rated corner, and they picked him up with the 29th overall pick. He should team with Revis and Cromartie to make the best corner trio I’ve seen in a long time. Vladimir Ducasse gives the Jets a big huge man to play guard, and allowed them to dump Alan Faneca’s 8 million dollar salary. They traded a 5th round pick for Santonio Holmes and added Joe McKnight’s big play ability in the draft, as well as LT’s talents (though less than they used to be, still solid in my opinion) through Free Agency. They sure added a lot of assets by giving up late round draft picks, but still made the most out of their few selections over the weekend. The draft alone might not look amazing, but judging on their entire off-season, I’m plenty impressed. A Back to the 2010 NFL Draft grading team list.
Miami Dolphins: Jared Odrick was a great pick at 28. Not only is it tough to find a kid that can play the DE spot in a 3-4, but it’s even tougher to find a guy with Odrick’s strength, ability, and motor. I was a little taken aback by Koa Misi’s spot at the top of Round 2, but he does have some big time potential, just a bit too much of a reach for me. John Jerry is a solid OL prospect with starter potential at multiple spots. He’s a solid pick for the Fins. In Round 5 the Dolphins got another solid value in Reshad Jones. Jones can bring some hat but also gives up some big plays. Make a big play, give up a big play, not quite the toss of a coin but you get the picture. Still, he shows the talent to be a solid starter at the next level. Overall, not an amazing draft, but a big time help right off the bat. That probably gives them a C. But then you have to factor in Mr. Brandon Marshall, a very intelligent and elite receiver that will likely be playing with a chip. If all parties stay level headed, this could be a pretty impressive grade. Given Brandon’s history, I’ll wait and see. B- Back to the 2010 NFL Draft grading team list.
New England Patriots: He wasn’t rated as a top corner or a first rounder on my board, but Devin McCourty seems like a solid pick for a Patriots team that always drafts well and always on their own value chart. He has solid size and was very good for Rutgers. Rob Gronkowski is just the type of TE the Patriots love, and he’s very highly rated. He’s big and athletic and most importantly, is a very good blocker as well as a talented receiver. Yes, he’s a complete player – something New England always loves at the position. In fact, the Patriots picked a very good defensive end prospect in Jermaine Cunningham out of Florida, and his defensive partner in crime Brandon Spikes as well. Talk about 3 great picks in Round 3. Apparently Spikes’ 5 second 40-time didn’t scare away the Patriots, as his elite football ability ended up counting for more than a stopwatch. Weird. The guy is a big time player. Taylor Price was another good value pick in Round 3, but not as good of a value as Aaron Hernandez in Round 4. The two TE’s picked in Rounds 2 and 4 should give Tom Brady plenty of tools at the position. New England continued in the late rounds by adding a punter and a handful of offensive and defensive line value picks. They know how to do it. Even without being in love with their first pick, what a solid draft for the Hoody. A Back to the 2010 NFL Draft grading team list.
Arizona Cardinals: This is going to be easy. At least early. Dan Williams, absolute steal and a perfect fit for their system. Daryl Washington, steal and a fast playmaking linebacker that should fit perfectly in their system. Andre Roberts, not a steal, but a very good and underrated player that looks good enough to become a #2 or slot receiver in the pros. He’s not real big, but big enough and gets the ball well. O’Brien Schofield would have been gone had he not injured himself during the Senior Bowl – so quick the NFL teams forget. I like John Skelton. I don’t think he’ll be ready to roll quick, but when Arizona is finally through with the pretty boy from USC, this guy might just become one of the steals in the 2010 Draft. Overall, a couple good values early, immediate help defensively, and some decent upside late. B- Back to the 2010 NFL Draft grading team list.
Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas was a kid that was climbing draft boards with the greatest of ease – but still, ahead of Dez Bryant? He’ll be compared to him forever, him and Brandon Marshall – seems like a tough group to beat out. But I like Thomas, a very good player in a run-first system, and that’s probably why he started climbing late – teams started to realize his talent. Tim Tebow was a reach, and while I think he has a chance to become a solid starting quarterback in this league, I’m not sure how soon that will be and if McDaniels will be there for that entire ride. I’m rooting for him, shoot, I’m rooting for both of them. I like coaches that make a point and teach lessons, I just don’t know if Pro Football is the place for that. Zane Beadles is an underrated OL, and will likely become a guard. He uses his hands very well and works very hard. Eric Decker was a very good college wide receiver, and I think his game translates to the next level. I don’t think he’s a great value pick in Round 3, but solid. In Round 5, a kid like Perrish Cox is a steal. He’s a guy with “character concerns” so he’ll either turn out to be great pick or McD and the Broncos will trade him for 50 cents on the dollar. Syd’quan Thompson is another good (small) corner the Broncos picked up very late. Not great value for Denver, didn’t help fix all their needs, but I’m very intrigued to see how this all works out. C Back to the 2010 NFL Draft grading team list.
Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals have wanted a Jermaine Gresham for years – and looky here, they got him, finally. But is it too late? They have turned into a run-first team, a kind of power game club – and Gresham leaves a lot to be desired as a blocker. I think he was worth the risk, being one of the very best receiving threats in the draft. Carlos Dunlap was thievery at pick #54. His upside is limitless, and while he may be an ideal Bengal (hint: character concerns), he certainly looks like a great chance to take here. Shipley has good understanding, quickness, and hands – he should help as a slot receiver for the Bengals. Brandon Ghee was one of the fastest corners at the combine, and had some great game last season. He also struggled at times, which probable had him slipping. Still, what a great deal with a compensatory pick in Round 3. Roddrick Muckelroy not only has a great name, but the kid can play football. He didn’t test out well, but what a dumb way to judge a football player. Late, the Bengals grabbed Dezmon Briscoe, a kid that could very well turn into a starter at this level. Good value in Round 6. B+ Back to the 2010 NFL Draft grading team list.
Houston Texans: The Texans needed a corner and they got a pretty darn good one in Kareem Jackson. He wasn’t a great value pick, but that hasn’t been Houston’s MO over the years. He does fill big need, and should start right out of the gates. In Ben Tate, the Texans didn’t get great value but they got the big one cut back they have wanted for some time. I expect Kubiak to give Tate plenty of opportunities to be the guy for Houston next season – and he’ll completely ignore the great year Slaton had a couple years back. Dude’s trained by Splinter, what else can you expect? Early Mitchel is a solid prospect, but was a huge reach in Round 3 with plenty of solid DTs on the board. Could have traded down and got him. Bottom line, the Texans probably didn’t get a great value pick until Round 7 when they nabbed Dorin Dickerson, the TE from Pitt. He’s a touchdown scoring machine and a big, tall mismatch at the position. That being said, I’m probably wrong about him considering the rest of Houston’s draft value. I do like Jackson and think Tate could be a tough nosed runner in the league. D+ Back to the 2010 NFL Draft grading team list.
Atlanta Falcons: I like Sean Weatherspoon, obviously, I’ve rated him 319 overall on my board and he was picked at 19 – but that doesn’t mean he was good value. A great help to a defense that needs lots of it? You bet – he’s instinctive, fast, and a sure tackler – and best of all, he’s an every down linebacker, and a good one. But he could have been had by trading down 6-10 spots, and the Falcons could have used the extra picks. Corey Peters is a solid player, a very big tackles with a good feel for the game, but not the elite tools or consistency that could make him an All-Pro, then again, he was a 3rd round pick. The picked up a solid interior lineman in the 3rd round in Mike Johnson – a solid (but not huge) guard that paved the way for one of the best rushing attacks in all of college football last season. Dom Franks was a steal in Round 5, as his feel for zone coverages should help the Falcons right away. A couple solid players, a couple good value picks, but nothing amazing. B- Back to the 2010 NFL Draft grading team list.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh wasn’t the talent stacked team shooting for the best talent available this year, nope, they actually needed to improve at some spots. They did well to grab four very talented players in the first 4 rounds of the draft, and none was a bigger need and talent pick that Maurkice Pouncey. It was a high place to grab a center, but the Steelers see this kid as a great player anywhere on the interior line, and I agree – he should start for them somewhere immediately. Jason Worlds and Thaddeus Gibson (2nd and 4th round picks respectively) are two guys that have the tools to become elite pass rushers, pressure players with big ability for a high octane defense. Emmanuel Sanders was an underrated prospect, and he should add something right away to the suddenly questionable Steel-City receiving corps. Chris Scott is a nice upside pick late, but I don’t know how soon he’ll help. Antonio Brown was a nice sleeper pick late, another guy that excelled in college, just not on the highest level. But no sleeper is bigger than Jonathan Dwyer, a kid that some see as the product of his system in college – but he has talent. He runs hard down hill and is strong with the ball. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get carries for the Steelers as soon as this year. In Round 6, he’s a bargain. B+ Back to the 2010 NFL Draft grading team list.