Hacksaw’s-Pro Football Notebook

Pro Football Notebook-NFL Draft Grades

NFL Draft Report Card
via NFL.com

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AFC East

Buffalo Bills
Draft picks: Wyoming QB Josh Allen (No. 7 overall), Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds(No. 16 overall), Stanford DT Harrison Phillips (No. 96 overall), Weber State DB Taron Johnson (No. 121 overall), Jacksonville State DB Siran Neal (No. 154 overall), Virginia Tech OG Wyatt Teller (No. 166 overall), Clemson WR Ray-Ray McCloud (No. 187 overall), North Carolina WR Austin Proehl (No. 255 overall).
Day 1 grade: B+
Day 2 grade: B+
Day 3 grade: A-
Overall grade: B+
The skinny: Tackle Cordy Glenn was shipped to Cincinnati in a swap of picks, setting Buffalo into a position to move up again to pick Allen. Giving up two second-round picks without trading the No. 22 pick this year or next year’s first-round pick is fine. Allen’s inaccuracy as a thrower against marginal competition makes him a risk that many teams wouldn’t want to take. He showed improvement through the draft process, though, so it’s possible this will turn out. The Bills also moved down in last year’s draft to get a second first-rounder this year via Kansas City, and then moved back up when the exceptional Edmunds was available at 16. A good trade, especially since they only moved from the third to the fifth round in the deal. Trading to land Allen made Friday night quiet for the Bills, and we’ll have to see if he was worth it. But picking up Phillips late in the third round was a great deal, as he could be a perfect replacement for nose tackle Kyle Williams whenever he retires. The guy led Stanford in tackles last year as a nose tackle. Think about that. Buffalo was looking for interior O-line depth coming into the draft, and found a future starter in Teller, one of the strongest players in the draft. Their secondary needed bodies, as well, and two small-school players (Johnson and Neal) will more than just fill roster spots. McCloud and Proehl provide very good depth as inside receivers.

Miami Dolphins
Draft picks: Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 11 overall), Penn State TE Mike Gesicki(No. 42 overall), Ohio State LB Jerome Baker (No. 73 overall), Notre Dame TE Durham Smythe (No. 123 overall), Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage (No. 131 overall), Southern Mississippi S Cornell Armstrong (No. 209 overall), Ohio LB Quentin Polling (No. 227 overall), New Mexico K Jason Sanders (No. 229 overall).
Day 1 grade: B+
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: B
Overall grade: B+
The skinny: The Dolphins didn’t go get a top-notch quarterback, instead waiting to see if Ryan Tannehillreturns healthy and productive. We’ll see if they pick a QB later as a backup plan. I can’t blame them for taking Fitzpatrick, though, as he will push Miami’s defense — not just secondary — to another level. With Julius Thomas no longer on the team, the Dolphins needed to find a tight end. Gesicki is a phenomenal athlete, like Thomas, but scouts were concerned about his long strides preventing him from winning against veteran defenders. He’ll be tough to defend against on jump balls, though. Miami needed a linebacker, and Baker can move. They met their top defensive need with that pick. Miami got another tight end in the fourth round, landing a solid blocker/receiver in Smythe. Ballage was a steal in the fourth round, as well, for a team that needed a good, young player at the position behind Frank Gore. They decided not to address the QB position, which may or may not be a good strategy given Ryan Tannehill’s injury history. Offensive and defensive tackle should be high on the priority list when signing undrafted free agents.

New England Patriots
Draft picks: Georgia OT Isaiah Wynn (No. 23 overall), Georgia RB Sony Michel (No. 31 overall), Florida CB Duke Dawson (No. 56 overall), Purdue LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (No. 143 overall), Arizona State LB Christian Sam (No. 178 overall), Miami WR Braxton Berrios (No. 210 overall), LSU QB Danny Etling (No. 219 overall), Western Carolina DB Keion Crossen (No. 243 overall), Florida State TE Ryan Izzo (No. 250 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A
The skinny: There’s not many sub-6-foot-3 tackles in the NFL. But Wynn’s length and athleticism allowed him to excel at the position with the Bulldogs, and there’s no reason to think he can’t be a solid player there in the NFL. He also plays with a nasty streak. Just another four-year, high-character player for Bill Belichick. His college teammate, running back Michel, will join him in Foxboro. Michel has the versatility to be a star in the Patriots’ system, working as a receiver and slashing through defenses as a runner. On Day 2, the Patriots made only one pick, but moved down a couple of times to get fourth-round picks and Chicago’s 2019 second-round pick. They also swapped third- and fifth-round picks for 49ersright tackle Trenton Brown. They did select Dawson, a slot corner and trouble-maker for receivers, trading away a fourth-round pick to Tampa Bay to select him. He’ll contribute right away. New England traded out of the fourth round to pick up a 2019 third-round pick. Bentley and Sam were picks the Patriots needed to make to aid the second level of their defense. Berrios was the perfect New England pick on Day 3. He’s a quick slot receiver who will fight for passes from Tom Brady. Picking Etling in the seventh round based on his physical traits made sense, though his college resume was not spectacular.

New York Jets
Draft picks: USC QB Sam Darnold (No. 3 overall), Fort Hays State DT Nathan Shepherd(No. 72 overall), Miami TE Christopher Herndon (No. 107 overall), Tulane CB Parry Nickerson (No. 179 overall), Connecticut DT Folorunso Fatukasi (No. 180 overall), Virginia State RB Trenton Cannon (No. 204 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: B
Day 3 grade: B
Overall grade: B+
The skinny: The Jets gave up three second-round picks to move up three spots to find a quarterback. They might have gotten the top quarterback on their board with Darnold sitting there (though they wouldn’t admit it if he wasn’t their top QB). They paid a pretty high price to get him, but it’s not franchise-killing if it doesn’t work out. It was a good move that could become a great move. The Darnold trade limited their selections on Day 2. Shepherd will take over the nose tackle spot for the Jets, using his power and leverage to keep the line of scrimmage right where it is. The Jets found value to add to their tight end group with the tough and athletic Herndon. Trading a sixth-round pick to the Colts for Henry Anderson (who didn’t fit the Colts’ shift to a 4-3 defense) was a great move for the Jets, as was picking potential future starters in Nickerson and Fatukasi. The team failed to find a pass rusher or help at offensive tackle, though, which puts pressure on the team to find the top undrafted free agents at those positions.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens
Draft picks: South Carolina TE Hayden Hurst (No. 25 overall), Louisville QB Lamar Jackson(No. 32 overall), Oklahoma OT Orlando Brown (No. 83 overall), Oklahoma TE Mark Andrews(No. 86 overall), Alabama CB Anthony Averett (No. 118 overall), UCLA LB Kenny Young (No. 122 overall), New Mexico State WR Jaleel Scott (No. 132 overall), UCLA WR Jordan Lasley (No. 162 overall), Texas S DeShon Elliott (No. 190 overall), Wagner OT Greg Senat (No. 212 overall), Alabama C Bradley Bozeman (No. 215 overall), Ferris State DE Zach Sieler (No. 238 overall).
Day 1 grade: A-
Day 2 grade: B+
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A-
The skinny: The Ravens picked up a slew of picks in two trade-downs and still got a talent at a need position (tight end). That’s a great way for Ozzie Newsome to start off his final draft as the Ravens’ GM. Hurst is a smooth, sure-handed receiver who will provide toughness inside and stretch the field. I think fellow tight end Dallas Goedert has a potentially great future, though, so I would have gone that direction instead. Giving up a second-round pick in 2019 to get Jackson is not an overly risky play. I’m a believer in Jackson’s playmaking ability and he’s under no pressure to play in 2018. Jackson is a worthy selection. Brown was a strong legacy pick for the Ravens. The son of the late former Ravens OT Orlando Brown will likely outperform his much-maligned workout numbers at left or right tackle, especially if he shows teams those poor results were not because of a problem with his work ethic. Andrews joined Hurst as tight ends picked in this draft by the Ravens. Andrews will test the middle of defenses much like Hurst. Joe Flacco and Jackson will love throwing to these guys. Newsome grabbed Averett, a feisty corner, in the fourth round. He also picked a coverage linebacker in Young and a big, agile receiver in Scott. Lasley has immaturity red flags, but a fair amount of talent as a downfield threat. Elliott was a value pick as a future starting free safety in the sixth round, and Newsome got one last member of the Tide in Bozeman, who could start this year.

Cincinnati Bengals
Draft picks: Ohio State C/OG Billy Price (No. 21 overall), Wake Forest S Jessie Bates (No. 54 overall), Ohio State DE Sam Hubbard (No. 77 overall), Texas LB Malik Jefferson (No. 78 overall), Miami RB Mark Walton (No. 112 overall), Illinois State DB Davontae Harris (No. 151 overall), Virginia DT Andrew Brown (No. 158 overall), Western Michigan CB Darius Phillips (No. 170 overall), Toledo QB Logan Woodside (No. 249 overall), Mississippi OG Rod Taylor (No. 252 overall), Florida State WR Auden Tate (No. 253 overall).
Day 1 grade: B
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: B+
The skinny: Picking up Cordy Glenn from the Bills for a move down of 10 spots in the first round will help their offensive line, so that needs to be considered here. Selecting Price, a center/guard, continues the Bengals’ effort to get stronger up front, though I think there could have been more of a difference-maker selected here. The Bengals could have waited and landed a very good interior offensive lineman in the second or third round. The Bengals picked up an extra third-round pick by moving down a few spots in Round 2. Their back-to-back third-rounders — Hubbard and Jefferson — beef up their front seven. The games of both guys weren’t loved by scouts, but in the third round, these picks make sense. Jefferson could be a particularly good value if everything comes together as he matures. Walton is a well-rounded offensive weapon, presenting good value in the fourth round. I’ve been a fan of Harris since the fall. I suspect he’ll be a very good reserve corner in time. Brown met a need to improve the depth on the defensive line, and could be a steal if he consistently applies his quickness and strength. Woodside, Taylor, and Tate were all excellent picks late in the draft, though I thought they might pick a tight end since Tyler Eifert has had injury issues.

Cleveland Browns
Draft picks: Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield (No. 1 overall), Ohio State CB Denzel Ward (No. 4 overall), Nevada OG Austin Corbett (No. 33 overall), Georgia RB Nick Chubb (No. 35 overall), Miami DE Chad Thomas (No. 67 overall), Florida WR Antonio Callaway (No. 105 overall), Memphis LB Genard Avery (No. 150 overall), Texas A&M WR Damion Ratley (No. 175 overall), Louisiana-Lafayette CB Simeon Thomas (No. 188 overall).
Day 1 grade: B
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: B+
Overall grade: B+
The skinny: Browns GM John Dorsey benefited from his predecessors’ bounty. They picked up a first-round pick in this draft by trading down and passing on Deshaun Watson last April. Now, they have Mayfield, a fiery leader with passing skills that they believe can take the team’s mojo to the next level. They had to pick a QB at No. 1, and they did. The only red flag here is that Mayfield needs to make plays from the pocket to succeed. If Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen excel and Mayfield doesn’t, then their process was flawed. Picking Ward No. 4 overall, ahead of Bradley Chubb, was a bit of a reach. If he ends up being a Terence Newman clone, though, it could turn out to be a good pick. On Day 2, the Browns used a pick they received in Brock Osweiler trade to solidify their offensive line with Corbett, who can play inside or outside. Will he replace Joe Thomas? Chubb was an excellent choice, as well, because he will pound the ball between the tackles and create space for himself. Thomas is an athletic, explosive defensive end who can make an impact as a rotational player right away. Keep in mind that the Browns also used a third-round pick to get a solid veteran starter in Tyrod Taylor, who will be a bridge to Mayfield. One of the Browns’ fourth-round picks went to Miami for receiver Jarvis Landry. Then they traded up in Round 4 to select another receiver in Callaway, who had many off-field issues but could be a steal down the road if he can stay out of trouble. Avery would have been a top-75 pick without a knee injury, so Dorsey stole a future starter in the fifth round. Getting a defensive tackle to replace Danny Shelton is the only pressing need left for after the draft.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Draft picks: Virginia Tech S Terrell Edmunds (No. 28 overall), Oklahoma State WR James Washington (No. 60 overall), Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph (No. 76 overall), Western Michigan OT Chukwuma Okorafor (No. 92 overall), Penn State S Marcus Allen (No. 148 overall), N.C. State RB Jaylen Samuels (No. 165 overall), Alabama DT Joshua Frazier (No. 246 overall).
Day 1 grade: B+
Day 2 grade: B+
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: B+
The skinny: The Steelers went safety, as expected, but picked Edmunds, the brother of fellow first-round pick Tremaine, instead of Stanford’s Justin Reid and others. This was a surprise pick to most, and probably a round early — but given his strength and NFL bloodlines (father, Ferrell, played tight end in the league), but maybe it shouldn’t have been. He’ll be a welcomed addition to the team, either way. Trading Martavis Bryant to Oakland for a third-round pick meant they needed to find another big-play receiver. Washington isn’t tall or an elite speedster, but his super-long arms and ability to win the jump ball make him a solid find late in the second round. He was paired with his former teammate, Rudolph, in the third round. They could make for an interesting duo in a couple of years. Rudolph was a good third-round value. Okorafor could become a starter, but needs to work harder and faster on the field or he’ll be out of the league fast. Allen adds another tough-minded safety to the Steelers’ defensive back trove, though I believe he could be used in a linebacker-type role to take advantage of his toughness and agility. Samuels fits the Steelers’ usage of fullback/H-backs quite well, and will add another wrinkle to their offense. Frazier is a perfect fit for a team in need of a hardworking nose tackle.

AFC South

Houston Texans
Draft picks: Stanford S Justin Reid (No. 68 overall), Mississippi State OT Martinas Rankin(No. 80 overall), UCF TE Jordan Akins (No. 98 overall), Texas Tech WR Keke Coutee (No. 103 overall), Wake Forest LB Duke Ejiofor (No. 177 overall), Mississippi State TE Jordan Thomas (No. 211 overall), Stanford LB Peter Kalambayi (No. 214 overall), San Jose State CB Jermaine Kelly (No. 222 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A-
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A
The skinny: If the Texans had the fourth pick in this draft, instead of trading up to pick Deshaun Watsonlast April, would they be better off? It seems unlikely, so I’ll stick with the “A” grade I gave them last year. But we’ll know more when Watson is healthy again. When Houston finally made a pick early in the third round, they found a great value in Reid. He’s a bit tight in the hips, but he’s also a smart, downhill player who will start for many years. They also got great value in Rankin, a tackle from Mississippi State who could play multiple spots. The dude just doesn’t get beat, and will be a solid starter. Picking Akins over other tight ends like Ian Thomas and Troy Fumagalli is a move that’s worth questioning. The Texansneeded to improve their slot receiver talent, and did with Coutee. They also needed depth in the front seven, so picking Ejiofor made sense; he could play with his hand down or standing up. Thomas is a massive college wide receiver who needs to move inside.

Indianapolis Colts
Draft picks: Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson (No. 6 overall), South Carolina State LB Darius Leonard (No. 36 overall), Auburn OG Braden Smith (No. 37 overall), Rutgers DE Kemoko Turay (No. 52 overall), Ohio State DE Tyquan Lewis (No. 64 overall), N.C. State RB Nyheim Hines (No. 104 overall), Northern Iowa WR Daurice Fountain (No. 159 overall), Mississippi RB Jordan Wilkins (No. 169 overall), Clemson WR Deon Cain (No. 185 overall), Houston LB Matthew Adams (No. 221 overall), Syracuse LB Zaire Franklin (No. 235 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: B
Day 3 grade: B+
Overall grade: A-
The skinny: GM Chris Ballard hauled in three second-round picks from the Jets to move down just three slots. They still got Quenton Nelson, one of the top three players in the draft. He’ll be a difference maker up front for an organization that needs to protect its franchise player. Ballard converted three second-round picks (two from their aforementioned pre-draft trade-down) into good players. I thought there were better players on the board when they picked Leonard and Smith early in the second round, however. Lewis didn’t have great production last year, but he had a great junior season. The Colts finally found receivers in Rounds 5-6 (Fountain and Cain). Both are tremendous athletes. Fountain has to prove he can battle at the top level, and Cain has to become more consistent as a pass catcher to reach his potential. The team could have used cornerback help earlier in this draft, though.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Draft picks: Florida DT Taven Bryan (No. 29 overall), LSU WR D.J. Chark (No. 61 overall), Alabama S Ronnie Harrison (No. 93 overall), N.C. State OT Will Richardson (No. 129 overall), Nebraska QB Tanner Lee (No. 203 overall), Wisconsin LB Leon Jacobs (No. 230 overall), Mississippi State P Logan Cooke (No. 247 overall).
Day 1 grade: A-
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: B+
Overall grade: A-
The skinny: The Jaguars selected Bryan, even though they already have a load of talent on defensive line. But Philadelphia did win a Super Bowl with a strong rotation, and Bryan has some real potential that the Jags’ coaches could tap into. They have a need for an inside linebacker, but the players of value at the position in the first round were already gone. Jacksonville got a good vertical threat in Chark late in the second round, and they hope he’s as good a value as Allen Robinson was a few years ago. If he can be physical as well as win downfield, Blake Bortles could have something special. Landing Harrison in the late third round was a no-brainer in terms of value. He will punish ball carriers with impunity. Richardson has the length and strength to be a starting right tackle, if he has cleaned up the off-field issues. Lee has accuracy and consistency issues, but the tools are there if Jags coaches can harness it as he develops behind Blake Bortles.

Tennessee Titans
Draft picks: Alabama LB Rashaan Evans (No. 22 overall), Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry (No. 41 overall), Arizona S Dane Cruikshank (No. 152 overall), Washington State QB Luke Falk (No. 199 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A
The skinny: The Titans really needed an inside linebacker after the departure of Avery Williamson, so trading up for Evans made sense. They had to move down two rounds (giving up a fourth-rounder and picking up a sixth-rounder) to get ahead of the Patriots to secure Evans, but that’s reasonable for an instant starter who can do a lot on the field. I can’t knock the Titans for sending the Raiders a third-round pick to go get Landry. He will take over for Derrick Morgan or Brian Orakpo sooner than later. They’ll find depth at other positions on Saturday and after the draft. Cruikshank has the length and agility play as a press corner or safety, so he’s a good value in the fifth round. With Blaine Gabbert as the current backup, finding Falk available in the sixth round was a major bonus.

AFC West

Denver Broncos
Draft picks: N.C. State edge rusher Bradley Chubb (No. 5 overall), SMU WR Courtland Sutton (No. 40 overall), Oregon RB Royce Freeman (No. 71 overall), Boston College DB Isaac Yiadom (No. 99 overall), Iowa LB Josey Jewell (No. 106 overall), Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton (No. 113 overall), Wisconsin TE Troy Fumagalli (No. 156 overall), Arizona State OG Sam Jones(No. 183 overall), Washington LB Keishawn Bierria (No. 217 overall), Arkansas RB David Williams (No. 226 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A
The skinny: Chubb was the best value on the board for this team. Putting him and Von Miller on the same defense makes them dangerous again, like when DeMarcus Ware and Miller were doing their thing. Case Keenum’s two-year deal took QB out of the equation here, and Paxton Lynch still has an opportunity to grow into a starter. Sutton’s going to be a playmaker at the next level because of his quick feet and size. The Broncos also needed a running back after letting C.J. Anderson go, and found one in Freeman, who looked more explosive later in the 2017 season. He might be getting back to his former self after struggling through injury; if he returns to form, the team got a steal. Trading Aqib Talib meant the Broncos were in need of a corner with length. Yiadom is a good fit. Jewell was a fine fourth-round pick at inside linebacker for the Broncos. He’s solid and able to cover space due to his instincts. Adding Hamilton a day after picking Sutton should make Keenum very happy. Fumagalli and Jones should have been picked a round or two earlier; both fill huge needs for the Broncos.

Kansas City Chiefs
Draft picks: Mississippi LB Breeland Speaks (No. 46 overall), Florida State DT Derrick Nnadi (No. 75 overall), Clemson LB Dorian O’Daniel (No. 100 overall), Texas A&M S Armani Watts (No. 124 overall), Central Arkansas CB Tremon Smith (No. 196 overall), Tennessee OG Kahlil McKenzie (No. 198 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: B-
Day 3 grade: B-
Overall grade: B
The skinny: The Chiefs had no first-round selection this year because they traded up 17 spots in 2017 to bring in Patrick Mahomes. The young gunslinger played well enough last season that the team unloaded veteran Alex Smith this off-season. The Chiefs wanted a versatile defender in the second round, and they gave up a third-round pick to go get Speaks, who fits the bill. Speaks has potential, and he’ll have to meet it to make the trade-up worthwhile. Nnadi will be a good nose tackle, but can he affect the passing game enough to justify the team’s decision to give up a fourth-round pick to move up 11 spots to get him? With the final pick in the third round, the Chiefs added O’Daniel, who will play a safety/linebacker hybrid role. The value was about right, and it will be an interesting fit. Kansas City received pick 124 for cornerback Marcus Peters in their trade with the Rams this off-season, and they used the pick to meet their need for a safety in Watts. Smith could make the team because of its need to replace Peters. Interestingly, they’re moving McKenzie from the defensive line to guard to take advantage of his size and athleticism.

Los Angeles Chargers
Draft picks: Florida State S Derwin James (No. 17 overall), USC LB Uchenna Nwosu (No. 48 overall), N.C. State DT Justin Jones (No. 84 overall), West Virginia S/LB Kyzir White (No. 119 overall), UCLA C Scott Quessenberry (No. 155 overall), Texas Tech WR Dylan Cantrell (No. 191 overall), Northwestern RB Justin Jackson (No. 251 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: C
Day 3 grade: C
Overall grade: B
The skinny: The Chargers let the draft come to them in the first round, and they got a great player at a need position. Doesn’t get much better than that for a mid-first-round selection. James is fluid, tough, and fast. I don’t understand why he was still available at 17. The team was looking to improve its linebacker situation, and it deemed Nwosu the best option available in the middle of the second round. Will Texas’ Malik Jefferson or Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter — who were both still on the board — prove to be better players? Time will tell. They found their nose tackle in the third round, picking Jones. This might have been a little early for him, but we’ll see if he can put it all together to be more than a rotational player. White is a physical player with ball skills. Even after signing Mike Pouncey, the Chargers picked Quessenberry, a sturdy pivot who will start in the future. They did not find any depth at guard or tackle, though, nor a quarterback to compete with Geno Smith and Cardale Jones for a backup spot.

Oakland Raiders
Draft picks: UCLA OT Kolton Miller (No. 15 overall), Sam Houston State DT P.J. Hall (No. 57 overall), North Carolina A&T OT Brandon Parker (No. 65 overall), LSU DE Arden Key (No. 87 overall), Wisconsin CB Nick Nelson (No. 110 overall), Michigan DT Maurice Hurst (No. 140 overall), Florida P Johnny Townsend (No. 173 overall), Washington LB Azeem Victor (No. 216 overall), Oklahoma State WR Marcell Ateman (No. 228 overall).
Day 1 grade: C
Day 2 grade: C-
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: C
The skinny: With many top-notch defenders on the board, the Raiders took an athletic but inconsistent tackle in Miller. His tape did not put him in the mid-first round. The team did get a third- and fifth-round pick in the trade to with Arizona to move five picks down (from 10 to 15), so that’s a plus. Hall was one of my favorite non-FBS players in this draft, but his ascension to the second round was astounding. I believe his quickness and tenacious nature will translate to the NFL. Parker is raw and a bit of a reach in the early third, especially for a team that already picked an offensive tackle in Round 1. The Raiders took a chance on Key, who struggled with issues and injuries during his college career. If he can straighten things out, maybe he’ll use his length to become a potent pass rusher. The Raiders traded for a couple veteran receivers — Martavis Bryant and Ryan Switzer — over the course of the draft. Ateman is another pass catcher who could make the team with his strong hands and physicality. Nelson adds much-needed competition to the team’s cornerback group. Oakland doctors signed off on Hurst, a first-round talent who was diagnosed with a heart condition at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’s going to be a star. Townsend was picked in an appropriate place in the draft, and will replace Marquette King.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys
Draft picks: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch (No. 19 overall), Texas OG Connor Williams (No. 50 overall), Colorado State WR Michael Gallup (No. 81 overall), Kansas DE Dorance Armstrong (No. 116 overall), Stanford TE Dalton Schultz (No. 137 overall), Western Kentucky QB Mike White (No. 171 overall), Indiana LB Chris Covington (No. 193 overall), Boise State WR Cedrick Wilson (No. 208 overall), Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough (No. 236 overall).
Day 1 grade: A-
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A-
The skinny: Vander Esch is a talented off-the-ball linebacker who can move on the outside and slip tackles inside to find the ball. The Cowboys needed to bolster the position, but should they have found a pass-catcher here instead given their dire need at the position and having their pick of the best? It’s a good pick — if his neck truly is not a problem. Williams will likely play guard for the Cowboys. He’ll join a nasty group up front and has the talent to make Pro Bowls. They found a future starter at receiver with Gallup. His progress as a rookie will have a large effect on how the passing offense performs in 2018. Jason Witten’s expected retirement forced the team to find a tight end, and Schultz should be a move-the-chains guy for years to come. White was picked up in the fifth round to be a strong backup to Dak Prescott, but he has starter qualities. Covington is another coverage linebacker with great potential as a special-teamer, as well. Scarbrough struggled to become “the man” at Alabama, but he’ll be a worthwhile seventh-round pick if he can lower his pads and run hard consistently. The trade with the Raiders to acquire Jihad Ward at defensive tackle met the only need left on their board.

New York Giants
Draft picks: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (No. 2 overall), UTEP OG Will Hernandez (No. 34 overall), Georgia LB Lorenzo Carter (No. 66 overall), N.C. State DT B.J. Hill (No. 69 overall), Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta (No. 108 overall), Miami DT R.J. McIntosh (No. 139 overall).
Day 1 grade: A-
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A-
Overall grade: A-
The skinny: Saquon Barkley was the No. 1 prospect on many teams’ boards. Pass rusher Bradley Chubb, taken by Denver three spots later, could prove to be a better investment with this pick because of the attrition at running back, but there’s no blaming them for taking Barkley. Hernandez is a brute of a left guard who will lead the way for Barkley. They had signed a couple of veterans inside, but Hernandez was good value near the top of the second round. Carter can play off the ball in coverage and against the run. He’ll need to show the Giants he is committed football. Hill will disrupt things for offenses from his defensive tackle position. He ended up being the return from the Jason Pierre-Paul trade. The acquisition of linebacker Alec Ogletree took two picks from their Day 3 collection (fourth- and sixth- rounder), but that seems to be a worthwhile move for a team needing improvement at that position. The selection of Lauletta in the fourth round could prove to be a valuable pick in the next few years if the team is ready to move on from Eli Manning. McIntosh builds depth on the defensive line, but the team will need to find additional talent at wide receiver and cornerback after the draft to bolster those positions.

Philadelphia Eagles
Draft picks: South Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert (No. 49 overall), Pittsburgh CB Avonte Maddox (No. 125 overall), Florida State DE Josh Sweat (No. 130 overall), TCU OT Matt Pryor (No. 206 overall), OT Jordan Mailata (No. 233 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A
The skinny: General Manager Howie Roseman took advantage of other teams ignoring Lamar Jacksonby trading out of the first round so Baltimore could select him. He grabbed the Ravens’ 2019 second-round pick and moved up in the second round on Friday night to select a tight end they could have taken in the first round: Dallas Goedert. He’ll be an outstanding player in the Jimmy Graham mold. The Eagleshad given up their second-round pick to the Browns to get Carson Wentz two years ago and traded away their third-rounder to Buffalo, giving them just two picks in the first three rounds. The feisty and small Maddox can help replace Daryl Worley. Roseman reeled in Sweat, a first-round talent, in the fourth round, only because of medical concerns. Mailata’s potential as a 6-foot-8, 350-pound offensive tackle without football experience (he’s a former rugby player) was worth a flyer in the seventh round. They could have used a little more linebacker depth, but they might find it on the undrafted free agent market.

Washington Redskins
Draft picks: Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne (No. 13 overall), LSU RB Derrius Guice (No. 59 overall), Louisville OT Geron Christian (No. 74 overall), Penn State S Troy Apke (No. 109 overall), Virginia Tech DT Tim Settle (No. 163 overall), Alabama LB Shaun Dion Hamilton(No. 197 overall), Virginia Tech CB Greg Stroman (No. 241 overall), SMU WR Trey Quinn(No. 256 overall).
Day 1 grade: B
Day 2 grade: A-
Day 3 grade: B+
Overall grade: B+
The skinny: Payne wasn’t overly productive in college, but his ability to stop the run was desperately needed for the league’s worst run defense. If he continues to improve, he and former Tide teammate Jonathan Allen could be a great one-two punch. The Redskins took a chance on running back Derrius Guice, who was tough to tackle at the college level. They needed a true bellcow back in Washington, and now they have one who runs angry and will no doubt carry a large chip on his shoulder for dropping in the draft. Christian played both sides of the line in Bobby Petrino’s offense at Louisville, and his athleticism made fans of scouts across the league. He’ll have to up his game to handle the strength of pro defensive ends. Keep in mind that Washington included its third-round pick as part of the deal to acquire quarterback Alex Smith this off-season. Apke provides special-teams help and could become a starter in the back half in time. Settle bolsters that run defense with Payne. Stroman’s a lean corner, but competitive. Quinn is not irrelevant in any way, even though he was the draft’s final pick, and could be a factor in 2018.

NFC North

Chicago Bears
Draft picks: Georgia LB Roquan Smith (No. 8 overall), Iowa C James Daniels (No. 39 overall), Memphis WR Anthony Miller (No. 51 overall), Western Kentucky LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe (No. 115 overall), Delaware DE Bilal Nichols (No. 145 overall), Utah LB Kylie Fitts (No. 181 overall), Georgia WR Javon Wims (No. 224 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: B+
Overall grade: A
The skinny: The Bears found much-needed speed and talent for their defense with the addition of Smith. He is not a physical specimen in the Brian Urlacher mold but still a force to be reckoned with. The Georgia star was the best player on the board at the eighth pick. Daniels will fit into the Bears’ offensive line wherever coaches can stick him. If his knees are fine, he’ll start in the league for a long time. They paid a 2019 second-round and 2018 fourth-round pick to get an outstanding receiver in Miller. He’ll take over Cam Meredith’s spot and could be a long-time starter due to his competitive nature. Iyiegbuniwe will be an active linebacker for the Bears, who might have gone a bit early. Nichols is an athletic big man that will fit into their rotation right away, and Fitts fits well as an edge rusher in the 3-4 scheme; only injuries have limited his success in college. A riser as a senior, Wims can win downfield for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

Detroit Lions
Draft picks: Arkansas C/OG Frank Ragnow (No. 20 overall), Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson(No. 43 overall), Louisiana-Lafayette DB Tracy Walker (No. 82 overall), Alabama DT Da’Shawn Hand (No. 114 overall), Oregon OT Tyrell Crosby (No. 153 overall), San Diego State RB Nick Bawden (No. 237 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: C
Day 3 grade: B
Overall grade: B
The skinny: Detroit got stronger in the middle by picking Ragnow, who could play guard for now, or move to center if needed. Either way, he’ll move the line of scrimmage. Matthew Stafford feels better already. The Lions were so interested in Johnson that they gave up a fourth-round pick to move up eight spots. That’s marginal value, though I expect Johnson will be a good back. Walker was picked two rounds earlier than expected, but he has the skills to become a starter in the league. Hand could end up a pretty good interior player, but he’ll need to contribute right away to be worth giving up a 2019 third-rounder. Great value in Crosby, who should be a starter at guard or tackle very soon because of his strength. He has quick enough feet to handle pass protection duties.

Green Bay Packers
Draft picks: Louisville CB Jaire Alexander (No. 18 overall), Iowa CB Josh Jackson (No. 45 overall), Vanderbilt LB Oren Burks (No. 88 overall), Missouri WR J’Mon Moore (No. 133 overall), Washington State OG Cole Madison (No. 138 overall), Alabama P J.K. Scott (No. 172 overall), South Florida WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (No. 174 overall), Notre Dame WR Equanimeous St. Brown(No. 207 overall), Cal DT James Looney (No. 232 overall), Mississippi State LS Hunter Bradley (No. 239 overall), Southeast Missouri LB Kendall Donnerson (No. 248 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: B+
Overall grade: A
The skinny: Even with talented safety Derwin James on the board, the Saints gave the Packers a deal too rich to give up. Getting a 2019 first-round pick was a steal. Alexander was the second-best corner in the draft on most team boards, despite being a shade over 5-foot-10. They did give up a third-round pick to move up but the net effect of the two trades is still a positive, and they met their biggest position need with a player who can be an above-average starter. The team continued to bolster its secondary with Jackson in the second round. The question is, should they have picked two corners right away, ignoring other needs? With aging free agent veteran Tramon Williams planned as a starter this year, it was probably a good move. Moving up for Burks cost them a fourth-rounder, but he adds athleticism, strength, versatility and intelligence. He’ll be a good starter for them at a spot they desperately needed to upgrade. Green Bay went with Moore, Valdes-Scantling, and St. Brown at receiver to re-build that position. All of those guys could make a case for a roster spot. Madison could be a long-time starter at guard. Scott meets a big need for a team that’s lacked an above-average punter for some time. The Packers’ troubles with the kicking game forced them to pick a long snapper, and Bradley’s a good one (though he has an injury history). Depth at offensive tackle and tight end must be addressed after the draft.

Minnesota Vikings
Draft picks: UCF CB Mike Hughes (No. 30 overall), Pittsburgh OT Brian O’Neill (No. 62 overall), Ohio State DE Jalyn Holmes (No. 102 overall), Central Michigan TE Tyler Conklin (No. 157 overall), Auburn K Daniel Carlson (No. 167 overall), Appalachian State OG Colby Gossett(No. 213 overall), Tulane DE Ade Aruna (No. 218 overall), Cal LB Devante Downs (No. 225 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: B+
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A-
The skinny: Terence Newman is no longer with the team, and Mackensie Alexander needed competition in the slot, so the Vikings ignored the offensive line need to pick Hughes. He’s a great athlete with some off-field concerns and only average size. He should excel inside for the Vikings. O’Neill needs to get stronger in the lower body to prevent losing leverage, but could end up a good investment in time. GM Rick Spielman moved out of the third round, but only down eight spots, and gained a sixth-round pick in the process. Holmes will bring strength, quickness, and versatility to the Vikings’ defense. Conklin’s an underrated prospect who is fluid and sure-handed. Minnesota also needed competition at guard, and grabbing Gossett in the sixth round was absolutely a steal. Aruna is raw, but long and athletic, and has huge upside as a pass rusher.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons
Draft picks: Alabama WR Calvin Ridley (No. 26 overall), Colorado CB Isaiah Oliver (No. 58 overall), South Florida DT Deadrin Senat (No. 90 overall), Southern Mississippi RB Ito Smith(No. 126 overall), LSU WR Russell Gage (No. 194 overall), Yale LB Foyesade Oluokun (No. 200 overall).
Day 1 grade: B+
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: B
Overall grade: B+
The skinny: Even though the team had needs on defense that Taven Bryan and others could have met, it’s tough to blame Thomas Dimitroff for taking a good value in Ridley. Ridley’s quickness will complement Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu quite well, especially with Andre Roberts and Taylor Gabriel no longer with the team. The Falcons got more good value in the second round, picking Oliver, who is long and can adjust to the ball down the sideline quite well. They addressed the nose tackle position in the third round, taking Senat, who presents strength and quickness off the ball that could be a real issue for offensive lines, much like current Falcon Grady Jarrett. Smith was picked a bit higher than expected in the fourth round but is a good back with all-around skills, and has very good size. Gage will be a special-teams ace for the Falcons.

Carolina Panthers
Draft picks: Maryland WR D.J. Moore (No. 24 overall), LSU CB Donte Jackson (No. 55 overall), Tennessee DB Rashaan Gaulden (No. 85 overall), Indiana TE Ian Thomas (No. 101 overall), Mississippi LB Marquis Haynes (No. 136 overall), Maryland LB Jermaine Carter (No. 161 overall), North Carolina LB Andre Smith (No. 234 overall), Miami DT Kendrick Norton (No. 242 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A
The skinny: Moore was the best receiver in the draft. He’s fast, quick, elusive, and tough. Get him the ball and l