Cleveland Browns: B+ Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: All the talk is that the Browns want a quarterback. Charlie Campbell even broke a story in the NFL Draft Rumor Mill that Cleveland intended to move up from No. 12 for Mitchell Trubisky. The Browns have so many holes on their roster that doing something like that would be foolish. They need to fill the many holes on their roster and perhaps focus on finding a quarterback next offseason. They're not in any position to determine which signal-caller is the best right now.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The scuttlebutt entering the day of the draft was that the Browns were going to select Trubisky. The two ESPN draft analysts even mocked Trubisky to Cleveland in the wake of an Adam Schefter tweet. This would've been a truly idiotic move on Cleveland's part, as reaching for Trubisky and passing on Myles Garrett would've been extremely foolish.
The Browns did the right thing with the top pick, and they also continued to make smart decisions throughout the weekend, for the most part. They were blocked from moving up for Trubisky, but that was a blessing in disguise, as it allowed them to trade down and accumulate more selections. They were able to land some high-upside players like Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku as a result.
Cleveland still needed a quarterback, and it obtained one when DeShone Kizer fell into its lap at No. 52 overall. DeShone Kizer is not a great prospect, but he provided solid value in the middle of the second round. I doubt he's the solution, but the Browns will be able to find out soon enough.
The Browns did a very good job overall with their draft. It wasn't great, but I think a B+ suffices. The Browns getting a B+ grade for anything is like winning a Super Bowl, so congratulations, Cleveland! I look forward to the parade.
San Francisco 49ers: B+ Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The 49ers are a mess right now, but things will look a lot better if they're able to acquire Kirk Cousins somehow in one of the next two offseasons. Because Cousins is a strong possibility, it's important for San Francisco not to block that option by taking a quarterback early. The 49ers need to fill the many holes on their roster instead of reaching for a pedestrian quarterback prospect.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: As with the Browns, there was heavy speculation that the 49ers would target Mitchell Trubisky. With John Lynch entering his first draft, no one really knew what to expect, but everyone's best guess was that San Francisco was going to reach for a signal-caller.
Lynch ended up proving everyone wrong. Not only did he refrain from reaching for a mediocre quarterback prospect, he conned the Bears into doing so, making them believe that another team was going to trade up for Trubisky, when that clearly wasn't the case. Lynch then obtained the second-best edge rusher in the class, Solomon Thomas, and then moved up for the falling Reuben Foster, another top-10 talent.
Lynch did a very good job overall, but he made one glaring mistake when he traded up for C.J. Beathard at the end of the third round. That was one of his two poor selections (Joe Williams), but this one was especially bad because Lynch surrendered resources to acquire a late-round prospect with no upside. It reminded me of the Browns' pick of Cody Kessler last year, except the 49ers traded up to get Beathard.
That said, I'm giving the 49ers a B+ for their haul. It was much better than I expected from Lynch, especially when the Trubisky rumors were circulating. Oh, and if you're wondering, I've already issued a retraction for my poor grade of the Lynch hiring. I was clearly wrong about him.
Chicago Bears: F Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Bears spent a ton of money on Mike Glennon, so why would they spend a first-round on a pedestrian quarterback prospect? Glennon is not the answer, but neither is Mitchell Trubisky or Deshaun Watson. Chicago has to add talent to its secondary, receiving corps and offensive tackle group.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: This section is misleading because it says "2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments." The Bears didn't accomplish anything outside of setting their franchise back five years.
I can't believe how bad Chicago's draft was. Of the five picks the team made, three earned Millen grades. I can't say this for certain, but I'm almost confident that it's the highest percentage (60%) of Millen grades I've given to one team for any draft class. Thus, Chicago may have obtained the worst prospective NFL Draft class of all time.
The disaster began early when the Bears allowed the 49ers to con them into trading up to No. 2. They then made the mistake that numerous incompetent teams have made over the years, as they reached for a middling quarterback prospect over a superior talent. This has always backfired. Take a look at some examples from this decade alone:
- The Jaguars picked Blaine Gabbert over J.J. Watt
- The Titans picked Jake Locker over J.J. Watt and Tyron Smith
- The Vikings picked Christian Ponder over Robert Quinn
- The Dolphins picked Ryan Tannehill over Luke Kuechly
- The Bills picked E.J. Manuel over Tyler Eifert
- The Jaguars picked Blake Bortles over Khalil Mack
There are many more examples of this, so shame on the Bears for not learning from the mistakes that incompetent front offices have made over the years.
The rest of Chicago's picks were lackluster, save for the Eddie Jackson selection. What's worse is that the Bears failed to take care of their goals. They didn't pick up a tackle; they failed to find a receiver; and outside of Jackson, they didn't address the secondary, particularly the problematic cornerback position.
At any rate, I've said enough. This is the easiest "F" team grade I've ever given. I'm not even naming it a Millen. It's that bad.
Jacksonville Jaguars: A Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: Blake Bortles appears to be a sunk cost because he doesn't care enough about his career to put the required mental work into it. Jacksonville will be able to find an upgrade at quarterback next year. For now, the team needs to prepare the roster for Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen or Josh Allen by upgrading the offensive line and running back group. Adding another pass-rusher and non-nickel cornerback wouldn't hurt either.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Jaguars were one of the four teams linked to the "top" quarterbacks in this class, with many reporters and mock drafters projecting Deshaun Watson to them. Taking Watson would've been completely embarrassing, considering that the Jaguars already reached for two quarterbacks (Blaine Gabbert, Blake Bortles) this decade.
Jacksonville proved to be smarter than most people thought it was. In fact, the team had a more professional draft this year than what we're used to seeing from them, thanks to Tom Coughlin's decision-making.
Coughlin's blueprint was all over this draft. Coughlin loves to bolster the trenches and run the ball, and he focused on improving those areas early in the draft. He used the fourth-overall pick on Leonard Fournette, who was seen by some to be a better prospect than Ezekiel Elliott. Coughlin then moved up to catch a falling prospect in Cam Robinson. The Alabama tackle has his flaws, but he gives the Jaguars hope at tackle - something they haven't possessed since they discovered that Luke Joeckel was a bust. He could've gone as high as No. 16 overall, but he somehow fell into the second round.
Jacksonville's next pick was used on Dawuane Smoot, who will help the pass rush. The Jaguars had some third-round steals to close out the draft.
I love what the Jaguars did this year. I had an issue with only one of their picks (Dede Westbrook), so I think they're fully deserving of an "A" for what they managed to accomplish.
Tennessee Titans: B- Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Titans are ready to make a deep playoff run. Finding another weapon for Marcus Mariota as well as some help in their linebacking corps and secondary are the top priorities, but Tennessee is in a great position otherwise.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Some teams will just draft the best player available, regardless of need. The Titans took the opposite approach, purposely attacking the weakest parts of their roster. They had to find weapons for Marcus Mariota and upgrade the secondary, and they addressed both areas with all four of their first- and second-day selections.
That said, I'm not a huge fan of the actual prospects the Titans obtained. Corey Davis seemed like a major reach at No. 5 overall. One team that was actually set to target a receiver in the second round told us that they were going to pass on Davis because of durability concerns, so I can only imagine how shocked they were when Davis was made the fifth-overall pick. Elsewhere, Taywan Taylor was a bit of a reach as well.
It wasn't all bad for Tennessee, however. Adoree Jackson is a very talented cornerback who will be able to pump some juice into the return game. Jonnu Smith, meanwhile, is an athletic tight end who should be able to replace Delanie Walker in 2018 or 2019.
Overall, this wasn't a great class for the Titans, but I'd say it was slightly above average. I like that they focused on attacking their needs, but I would've liked their haul much better had they traded down and still obtained Davis, which almost certainly had to be a strong possibility.
New York Jets: A Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Jets happen to be in the worst shape of any team in the NFL. Like the 49ers and Browns, they are devoid of talent almost everywhere. However, they lack the cap space to do anything about it outside of the draft. With so many holes on the roster, the Jets need to trade down early and often to acquire as many rosterable players as possible.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Jets had to move down early and often, as suggested, and that's exactly what they managed to do. General manager Mike Maccagnan did a masterful job of wheeling and dealing throughout the weekend, acquiring resources on numerous occasions. This was absolutely imperative, as Daniel Jeremiah echoed what I wrote in the goal mock prior to the draft: The Jets, at least prior to the draft, had the worst roster in the NFL.
Not only did the Jets move down many times, but they also picked up some talented players in the process. They began the weekend by selecting two talented safeties, and yes, they needed two. Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye will automatically improve one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. Meanwhle, three offensive weapons were added in ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen and Jordan Leggett. They were quality selections, especially Leggett, who was a steal in the fifth round.
I'm sure some will consider this a failure of a draft for the Jets because they didn't acquire a quarterback. However, that was never the plan. Charlie Campbell reported back in January that quarterback was not in play for the Jets because they liked how Christian Hackenberg was progressing behind the scenes. And even if Hackenberg sucks, the 2018 NFL Draft is loaded with better quarterbacks - check out the 2018 NFL Mock Draft for more - so the Jets can just wait to acquire Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen or Josh Allen.
The Jets had a terrific draft overall, as Maccagnan did what he could to upgrade the talent on the roster as many ways as possible. There's still a long way to go, but this was a nice start.
Los Angeles Chargers: A- Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: Philip Rivers is entering the twilight of his career, so the Chargers need to make sure that he's finally protected adequately. Upgrades to the secondary and defensive line are also needed, but finding help for Rivers' pass protection is priority A, B and C. Unfortunately for the Chargers, this offensive line class sucks, so they have to wait until the second day to pick up blockers.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Chargers certainly agreed with my assessment that they needed to improve Rivers' pass protection. They spent three picks in this draft on blockers, including two of their initial three selections. They managed to obtain Forrest Lamp at No. 38 overall, and then followed that up with Dan Feeney at No. 71. Both players were steals. Lamp could've been chosen toward the end of the first round, while Feeney was regarded as a second-round prospect. Sam Tevi was also chosen later, but he's more of a project.
The Chargers didn't refrain from upgrading the talent around Rivers outside of adding blockers. In fact, their first selection was used on Mike Williams, though I thought that was a bit of a mistake. Superior talents like Malik Hooker and Jonathan Allen would've been better picks, though there's no denying that Rivers will be happy throwing to a big possession receiver like Williams, especially if Keenan Allen gets hurt again.
Beyond the first two days, the Chargers also fared well, especially when they scooped up Desmond King. This was a positive draft overall, and I'm willing to give Los Angeles' new team an A- for what they accomplished. This would've been an "A," or even an A+ had the seventh-overall pick would've been Hooker or Allen.
Carolina Panthers: B+ Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: How long can the Panthers go without upgrading the offensive line? Addressing this area of the roster is an absolute mess. The blockers in this particular class are not very good, unfortunately, so Carolina can focus instead of finding offensive play-makers for Cam Newton to work with.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Think the Panthers focused on upgrading the weapons around Cam Newton, or what? Both of their initial selections were used on offensive play-makers. Christian McCaffrey will serve as a dynamic weapon out of the backfield, decreasing the amount of punishment Newton will have to take on a weekly basis. Curtis Samuel will offer great speed in the slot, possibly upgrading what the departed Ted Ginn offered.
The Panthers didn't have much of an opportunity to improve their offensive line, as expected. They spent the final pick in the second round on Taylor Moton, but he's far from a guarantee to upgrade the situation. It just wasn't in the cards for Carolina, as this was a weak class for blockers.
Carolina made some positive and negative choices on the third day of the draft. I liked the Corn Elder pick, but they whiffed on the fullback they opted for. Overall, it was a positive haul for the Panthers, and I think it's worth a B+. Newton has to be happy for now, though the team's primary problems are far from solved.
Cincinnati Bengals: B+ Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Bengals couldn't do anything offensively last year when either A.J. Green or Tyler Eifert was out. Now, Cincinnati has lost two of its stud offensive linemen. The offense has to be retooled now, though the Bengals can't ignore some of their glaring needs on defense like defensive end and linebcker.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: If Cincinnati's goal was to cause lots of controversy during the draft, the team deserves an A+ for its effort. Joe Mixon was the biggest story on Day 2, as the Bengals selected the troubled running back after moving down seven spots in the second round. Mixon was filmed punching a woman and knocking her out, which was horrible to watch. However, this occurred several years ago, and there haven't been repeat incidents. If a team wanted to give Mixon a second chance, I can understand it, but the Bengals better make sure they cut him if he gets into similar trouble again. If Mixon remains clean, he'll offer a huge upgrade over Jeremy Hill, who has disappointed since his rookie campaign. He's a big risk, but the payoff is enormous.
There was also some controversy in the opening frame, as the Bengals picked John Ross No. 9 overall. Ross was reportedly off some teams' boards because of his durability issues, though he certainly has the physical skill set to be the ninth-overall selection in the draft. Cincinnati wanted Will Fuller or Corey Coleman last year, and Ross is a better version of them. He and Josh Malone will provide some much-needed juice in the receiving corps, so if either A.J. Green or Tyler Eifert gets hurt again, the offense won't collapse.
The Bengals also had to upgrade their pass rush, and they focused on that in the third and fourth rounds, acquiring Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson. I loved both picks, as the two players were steals. I had Willis going at the end of the first round, while Lawson would've had a chance at the opening frame had he not endured so many injuries in college.
There was nothing wrong with anything else Cincinnati did. It was a solid draft overall. I thought Ross was a bit of a reach, considering his injury, and Mixon is a big risk, but the Bengals did a very good job of addressing needs and selecting talented players while doing so.
Buffalo Bills: B- Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Bills could make a playoff run with Tyrod Taylor, as he certainly hasn't been the problem the past couple of years. They need to fix Taylor's receiving corps and blocking unit, all while finding a replacement for the New England-bound Stephon Gilmore.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Buffalo's draft class seemed like it was off to a great start until the ramifications were considered. Ever since the Bills selected Sammy Watkins in the first round, they've needed a No. 2 receiver to play across from him. It appeared as though that need was finally filled when the team moved up for Zay Jones in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. However, news broke shortly afterward that the Bills planned on declining Watkins' fifth-year option. If Watkins walks as a free agent, Buffalo will be back to square one.
Speaking of square one, the Bills selected Tre'Davious White rather than Marshon Lattimore, who fell into their laps at No. 10 overall. Moving down was perfectly fine, and White was a nice fallback option with the 27th-overall pick. However, White is just a replacement for Stephon Gilmore, and there's no guarantee that he'll be able to match Gilmore's play (excluding 2016).
The Bills continued to use some the resources they acquired in the White deal by trading up in the third round as well, acquiring Dion Dawkins. It's unclear how Dawkins will perform at right tackle, but Buffalo at least has some hope at the position. It was a huge hole prior to the Dawkins pick.
Overall, the Bills made some nice selections, but I think their fans had to come out of this weekend feeling somewhat underwhelmed. They didn't add a blue-chip prospect despite owning the 10th-overall pick, and when comparing the team to the 2016 roster, no real improvements were made outside of Dawkins (potentially) if Watkins ends up leaving. That's why I'm giving the Bills a B-. They didn't do a bad job, but it feels like they're just spinning their wheels and not really going anywhere.
New Orleans Saints: C Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: It's all about finding defensive help. The Saints' stop unit has been an abomination for years. They need to make sure that their defense is finally performing on a high level. Getting a replacement for Brandin Cooks is important, but it's far down the list of things New Orleans needs to address.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: It appeared as though the Saints were off to a great start when the top consensus cornerback in the class, Marshon Lattimore, fell into their laps at No. 11 overall. New Orleans was obviously thrilled about that, as the team snatched him up. He was a no-brainer selection.
And then, things took a turn for the worse. The Saints began neglecting their poor defense, spending two of their next three picks on offensive players. Their No. 32 overall selection was especially confusing, as they didn't need a right tackle at all. Despite this, they selected an injury-prone blocker who quit football once in Ryan Ramczyk. The following night, they gave up a 2018 second-round pick for Alvin Kamara. I like Kamara as a prospect, but why trade resources for a running back when it's not a need, and numerous defensive positions must be addressed?
Even the other defensive picks weren't great. Marcus Williams is athletic, but deemed soft by other teams. Alex Anzalone is injury-prone. Al-Quadin Muhammad is a trouble-maker. I liked the Trey Hendrickson selection, but that's about it.
Lattimore and Hendrickson save the Saints from having an atrocious grade for their draft, but their performance this weekend is worth either a "C" or a C-. I debated between the two grades, and I opted for the former because those two prospects should be able to help the defense, while Kamara could be a solid weapon down the road.
Arizona Cardinals: B+ Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The scuttlebutt is that the Cardinals plan on using this selection to find a replacement for Carson Palmer. The Cardinals are usually tight-lipped about their plans, so perhaps they'll wait on a signal-caller. That seems the better option, as Arizona needs to find some defensive answers to upgrade holes vacated by departed free agents. A receiver and a guard are needed on offense.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Take note that if you ever hear rumors leaking out from the Cardinals under this current regime, they're probably wrong. Arizona is tight-lipped, so speculation about a quarterback being chosen at No. 13 was false, as Haason Reddick was the preferred target with Marshon Lattimore off the board. Reddick, as well as second-rounder Budda Baker, will fill serious holes at inside linebacker and safety, respectively, helping a defense that lost some personnel this offseason.
The Cardinals couldn't fill all of their needs, however, as they failed to replace Calais Campbell or find a solid No. 2 cornerback to play across from Patrick Peterson. That's going to hurt next year, as their defense won't be as potent as it has been in the past, especially if Reddick or Baker take longer to develop than expected.
That said, Arizona made some nice choices on Day 3. Will Holden and T.J. Logan provided quality value in the fifth frame, while fourth-rounder Dorian Johnson will be a steal if his health holds up. Johnson has liver problems, but possesses second-round ability. He was a nice gamble on the third day of the draft.
I'm giving the Cardinals a B+ overall. I wish they could've addressed more of their needs, but they had a lot of them. They made quality selections throughout the draft, and I didn't give any of their individual picks anything lower than a "B."
Philadelphia Eagles: B+ Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Eagles have a great chance to make a deep playoff run in 2017, but they still have some needs to address. They have to find a new running back, replace Mychal Kendricks, obtain another pass-rusher, and acquire a couple of cornerbacks. Luckily for Philadelphia, this draft class is stocked at corner and defensive end, so the team needs to take advantage of that.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: I'll go out on a limb and say that Eagles fans hardly miss Chip Kelly and all of the blunders he was responsible for as Philadelphia's primary decision-maker. The Eagles have operated much more efficiently under Howie Roseman, and that continued to be the case in the 2017 NFL Draft.
When I re-grade all of the picks five years from now, Sidney Jones could be seen as the best selection in the entire draft. Jones had top-10 ability, yet fell to the second round because of a torn Achilles. It's unlikely he'll play in 2017, but he could be terrific for the Eagles in 2018 and beyond. He and Rasul Douglas were positive additions during the second day of the draft, as they'll potentially fill Philadelphia's greatest need.
Philadelphia's top pick, Derek Barnett, will provide a much-needed jolt to the edge rush, which struggled on Connor Barwin's side last year. Barnett had nearly the same testing numbers as Terrell Suggs coming out of Arizona State, and if his ability to break Reggie White's sack record at Tennessee is any indication, he'll pressure opposing quarterbacks quite frequently as an Eagle.
Overall, I gave the Eagles just one grade below a "B" throughout the weekend, as I thought Donnel Pumphey was a slight reach in the fourth round. However, the Eagles had a strong draft otherwise, though it was a bit disappointing that they failed to obtain a potential starting running back.
Indianapolis Colts: B Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: It goes without saying that the Colts must protect Andrew Luck. They have to spend a second-day selection on a blocker. Otherwise, Indianapolis must upgrade its pitiful defense, as help is needed at almost every position.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: I have to believe that the Colts never would've believed in a million years that Malik Hooker was going to fall to them at No. 15 overall. Hooker was a top-five prospect in this class, with one high-ranking personnel man even slotting him in his personal top three. He has Ed Reed-type play-making ability, and the Colts will enjoy that for the next dozen years. They can thank some of the incompetent teams drafting in front of them for passing on such a great talent.
Indianapolis focused entirely on its defense during the first two days. Quincy Wilson also provided solid value during the second round, while Tarell Basham was a quality choice in the next frame. Both potentially fill big needs at cornerback and outside linebacker, respectively, in one of the league's worst defenses.
The Colts made one other terrific choice when they snatched Marlon Mack toward the end of the fourth round. Mack could potentially replace Frank Gore as the team's starting running back in 2018. However, Indianapolis didn't do enough to improve Andrew Luck's pass protection. All it did was obtain Zach Banner in the fourth round, and Banner is a run-blocker who struggles in pass protection.
It's clear that Indianapolis is in better hands with Chris Ballard than Ryan Grigson. It's really night and day. Ballard did a solid job with this haul, though I imagine he'll regret not putting more focus into shielding Luck.
Baltimore Ravens: A Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Ravens keep losing key personnel each offseason, as the roster continues to regress as a result of Joe Flacco's albatross of a contract. It's imperative for Ozzie Newsome to hit almost every single selection to keep Baltimore in playoff contention. The Ravens have holes almost everywhere, so it's a matter of taking the best player available with each selection.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Ozzie Newsome is one of the top general managers in the NFL, and he once again proved that during the 2017 NFL Draft. Of the seven selections he made, five scored A- or higher, with the two outliers being a "B" and a "C."
Baltimore's initial selection was the "B." Marlon Humphrey was a decent choice, as the team had to fill a hole at cornerback. However, there were better players available, particularly from the same school. Jonathan Allen would've been a better option, as taking him would have addressed a big void on the defensive line. Newsome did look into that area, however, when he selected Chris Wormley in the third round.
Newsome focused on bolstering his poor edge rush more than anything, which was a smart decision because his team struggled to put consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks last year. Terrell Suggs is on his last legs, while Elvis Dumervil is gone. Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams will take their place soon enough. Both are first-round talents Newsome obtained on Day 2. Bowser was a fringe first-rounder, so he provided great value at No. 47 overall. Williams, meanwhile, would have been chosen on Thursday night if he didn't have off-the-field concerns. The risk was worth the reward at No. 78 though.
Baltimore's highest-graded pick was No. 122, Nico Siragusa. The San Diego State blocker was a second-round talent who somehow slipped into the fourth frame. He and Jermaine Eluemunor should help a middling offensive line.
The Ravens had a great draft overall. They still have a long way to go to fill their numerous needs, but this class will certainly provide a big boost. I think Baltimore deserves an "A."
Washington Redskins: B Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: It would be nice if the Redskins could figure out what they wanted to do with Kirk Cousins prior to the 2017 NFL Draft, whether that's extending him or trading him to the 49ers. I don't see that happening, however, as it takes Washington eons to do anything. In the meantime, the Redskins need to fix their troublesome defense and add some play-making talent around their quarterback.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: When I wrote that the Redskins had to fix their troublesome defense, I never would've imagined that they'd do so by selecting a top-two talent in this class with the No. 17 overall selection. Allen plummeted despite once being in consideration for the No. 2 pick, thanks to his troublesome shoulders. However, Allen was the best player in college football last year - he should have won the Heisman - so his shoulders didn't seem to affect him then. I have a feeling the concerns were overblown.
The Redskins addressed each level of their defense after that. They found an edge-rushing linebacker in Ryan Anderson in the second-rounder, so I'm sure Allen would be pleased to be paired with his Alabama teammate again. Anderson was a reach, however, though the same can't be said about third-rounder Fabian Moreau, who may have been chosen late Thursday night if he didn't have injury concerns. Still, he's someone who has great athleticism, as he might be able to run with Odell Beckham Jr.
Washington's third day was all over the place. There were some nice value selections like Samaje Perine and Montae Nicholson, but there were reaches as well, such as Jeremy Sprinkle and Chase Roullier. Inside linebacker should've been addressed earlier as well.
As a whole, the Redskins had a solid draft, especially considering that they were rudderless without a general manager. Bruce Allen deserves credit for steering his team in the right direction and improving the roster with this class.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: B+ Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Buccaneers are on the cusp of making the playoffs. They just have to fill out some of their glaring needs. These include running back, defensive end and safety. Otherwise, they should be taking the best players available.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Buccaneers obtained one of the greatest steals of the draft when O.J. Howard fell into their laps at No. 19 overall. Howard was a consensus top-10 prospect, with two teams even telling us that they believed the Jaguars would select him with the fourth-overall pick. Thanks to stupid teams doing stupid things, Tampa Bay was able to obtain the talented tight end to improve Jameis Winston's supporting cast.
Winston would end up being happier as the weekend progressed. The Buccaneers used a third-day selection on Chris Godwin, who was seen as a second-round prospect. He'll be a nice third receiver, joining Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. Jeremy McNichols, meanwhile, was a strong fifth-round choice to potentially take over as the team's starting running back at some point.
Tampa Bay had to upgrade its defense as well, so it used its second-rounder on Justin Evans. The athletic safety should offer an upgrade at the position, though the same probably can't be said about fourth-round linebacker Kendell Beckwith, who is coming off a torn ACL.
The Buccaneers did a great job of putting together a strong draft class. Of the six picks they made, only one scored worse than a "B." The front office obtained quality players, all while filling needs, so a high grade is in order.
Denver Broncos: B- Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Broncos were in the Super Bowl recently, yet they have so many issues with their roster. They don't have any play-makers beyond their two starting receivers, while their offensive line is in shambles. On the other side of the ball, their defensive line and linebacking corps need to replace key departed players.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: One of the narratives entering the 2017 NFL Draft was that the offensive line class was absolutely terrible. All but one of the teams picking between Nos. 1 and 31 agreed, but the Broncos were the single outlier. They selected Garett Bolles with the No. 20 overall selection. There are questions with Bolles' character, intelligence and age, but there's no denying his physical skill set. He has the potential to provide the Broncos with a much-needed upgrade at tackle, but he's also a risk.
John Elway addressed a couple of other needs after that. He selected DeMarcus Walker to replace Malik Jackson's spot on the defensive line in the second frame, though Walker was a bit of a reach. Third-rounder Carlos Henderson provided more value, and he'll be the much-needed third receiver to go along with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
Denver's highest-graded selection came atop the fifth round when Elway stole Jake Butt. The Michigan tight end would've gone early on Day 2 if he didn't tear his ACL in a bowl game. He won't play until 2018, in all likelihood, but he could potentially be great for the Broncos when he recovers from his injury.
The one criticism I have of the Broncos' class, outside of fifth-rounder Isaiah McKenzie, was that they didn't address a huge hole at inside linebacker. This could've been done at the end of the third round when Denver selected Brendan Langley. It won't completely ruin this grade, but the Broncos will continue to have problems covering tight ends and pass-catching running backs.
Detroit Lions: C Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Lions are in the top 10 of my NFL Power Rankings, but they have some major work to do on defense. They need to find two linemen, a couple of linebackers, a cornerback and a safety. Fortunately for them, they appear nearly set on offense, though another running back wouldn't hurt.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Detroit had nine selections in the 2017 NFL Draft. None of them scored higher than a B+, however. Outside of a late-round selection on Brad Kaaya, the closest the Lions came to an A- happened early when they picked Jarrad Davis and Jalen Tabor to bolster their back seven. Davis is a true team leader, and he'll provide a nice replacement for DeAndre Levy. Tabor, meanwhile, could be the team's No. 2 cornerback in the near future.
Most of Detroit's other selections, however, weren't very good. The team reached for some players, including Kenny Golladay, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Jamal Agnew, and it also failed to upgrade the defensive end, defensive tackle and safety positions. Failing to add an edge rusher until very late will hurt when trying to beat Aaron Rodgers, and this marked yet another year that the Lions whiffed on replacing Ndamukong Suh.
The Lions didn't put together a horrible draft, but it was far from a good one. For all the momentum they had heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, this result was disappointing, to say the least.
Miami Dolphins: B+ Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Dolphins are in a weird situation with Ryan Tannehill, where they have to decide if he's the answer for the long haul. They need to make sure he's protected well in 2017, unlike last year, so adding a guard makes sense. On the other side of the ball, a pass-rusher and a linebacker are desperately needed.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Miami was very focused on addressing its needs, though I can't say it reached for anyone while doing so. At least not with its first four picks.
Charles Harris was seen by some as a top-15 prospect. There were some teams in the top 20 that were targeting him, but were able to obtain superior falling prospects instead. The Dolphins capitalized, landing an edge rusher for the future. They then made two solid second-day selections in Raekwon McMillan and Cordrea Tankersley. The latter should see the field sooner and offer an upgrade at linebacker. Tankersley, a steal in the third, will also compete for playing time in a middling cornerback group.
The Dolphins had one more glaring need to address after that, and they managed to do so in the fifth round, acquiring Isaac Asiata. I thought Asiata could've easily been chosen on Day 2, so that was another major steal. He could start right away, taking Laremy Tunsil's spot, as Tunsil transitions to left tackle. Vincent Taylor and Isaiah Ford were quality late selections.
Miami came away from the 2017 NFL Draft with a nice group of prospects. The team filled most of its needs, all while obtaining talented players. I graded just one pick of theirs below a "B" (Davon Godchaux), so a high mark makes sense.
New York Giants: C- Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Giants could be without Eli Manning next year if the allegations about him in the memorabilia scandal are true. Regardless, Manning has regressed, so the Giants need to find a long-term solution soon. They also must bolster their offensive line and add some play-makers.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Someone on the Giants made some sort of snarky comment about offensive line being a "perceived" need for them, which was interesting because they wanted Jack Conklin last year and Garett Bolles in this draft. They failed to add either, so they once again missed out on upgrading their blocking unit. And that will once again cost them in 2017.
I understand passing on all of the blockers in the first round with Bolles off the board, but that didn't mean that they should pass on offensive linemen on Day 2 of the draft. In fact, the Giants selected just one blocker, waiting until the 200th pick of the draft to do so. The Giants will regret this inaction, and Manning, if he even suits up, will be punished for it.
It'd be one thing if the Giants obtained unbelievable values to compensate for their decision to pass on all of the offensive linemen, but only two of their individual grades scored higher than a B-. Their top two picks, Evan Engram and Dalvin Tomlinson, were both reaches. Davis Webb in the third wasn't, but he's not going to make an impact anytime soon unless Manning is suspended, and that's not even ideal because he's not anywhere close to being able to play.
This was a truly disappointing haul for New York. It wasn't an abysmal result, but it was a pretty poor effort from the front office.
Oakland Raiders: A or C Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Raiders have a prolific offense, though it needs a third receiver and a right tackle. Most of Oakland's greatest needs are on defense, so the team will spend most of its energy upgrading the stop unit.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: I wrote earlier that the Bengals seemingly were planning to have one of the most controversial draft classes this year. The Raiders apparently were attempting to do the same thing, as they shocked the world by selecting Gareon Conley No. 24 overall.
I didn't know how to grade the Conley pick. It was either an "A" or a Millen; nothing in between. If Conley is proven innocent from the rape allegations, the Raiders will have obtained a top-15 talent with the 24th-overall selection, which would've been quite the steal. However, Conley had yet to meet with police when Oakland made the pick. If Conley is found guilty, the Raiders will have made one of the worst decisions in NFL Draft history.
Conley aside, the Raiders put together a fantastic draft. Obi Melifonwu was a ridiculous steal at No. 56 overall, as he easily could've gone 30 picks earlier than that. It'll be interesting to see where Oakland uses him in its secondary. Eddie Vanderdoes was also a quality selection in the third round, as he was seen as a potential first-round prospect a couple of years ago, before he sustained numerous injuries. If he can recover in an NFL strength-and-conditioning program, he could be a solid interior presence on the defensive line.
Five of Oakland's initial six picks were used on defensive players, and understandably so. The lone exception was David Sharpe in the fourth round. Some teams viewed Sharpe as a second-round prospect, so this was another terrific bargain. Sharpe could fight for the starting right tackle job as early as his rookie campaign, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if he won the competition.
Overall, this grade depends entirely on Conley. If Conley is exonerated, the Raiders deserve an "A" for what they did in the 2017 NFL Draft. If the opposite occurs, however, I'll have no choice but to give Oakland something in the "C" range.
Houston Texans: B- Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Texans thought they would obtain Tony Romo. That's no longer a possibility, so they'll have to secure a quarterback early in the 2017 NFL Draft because relying on Tom Savage would be disastrous. Otherwise, Houston needs to fill some holes created by players who have departed via free agency. Cornerback, safety and right tackle are the three big holes.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Several teams we had spoken to had third-round grades on Deshaun Watson. One high-ranking personnel man on a team that already has a franchise quarterback told me that he had major issues with Watson's eyes, inability to go through progressions, and ball placement. However, it was not surprising to see Watson chosen No. 12 overall. In a league absolutely desperate for positive quarterback play, it was only inevitable that a team would select Watson in the top half of the opening round.
The Texans were particularly desperate. They thought they could obtain Patrick Mahomes, but the Chiefs beat them to the punch. Though the Texans surrendered too many resources to acquire Watson - 2018 is looking like a great class - they didn't really have a choice. They couldn't go into 2017 with just Tom Savage as the only possible quarterback. That would have been disastrous.
That said, I still gave the Texans a C- for making the move. If the analysis given to us by other teams is any indication, Watson will not succeed. And it's a shame for the Texans because they had a great class otherwise. Zach Cunningham was a ridiculous steal in the second round. D'Onta Foreman was a solid choice toward the end of Day 2. Julie'n Davenport was another great value in the fourth frame. Carlos Watkins was a great bargain a bit later.
If the trade were thrown out, and the Texans remained at No. 25 and chose a solid prospect there (Cam Robinson, Tre'Davious White, etc.), I'd give them an "A" for sure. However, giving up two first-rounders (this pick and the 2018 selection) for Watson is like a giant, ghastly zit on a beautiful person's face. However, once again, I understand why the Texans made the move.
Seattle Seahawks: B- Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: Seattle has two big areas of concern that must be addressed: the offensive line and the secondary. The former is a surprise to no one, given how poorly Russell Wilson has been protected the past couple of years. The secondary may shock some, but Richard Sherman appears to be on his way out, while Kam Chancellor is an impending free agent after 2017.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: There are major positive and negative aspects to Seattle's draft class. Beginning with the former, the Seahawks did a masterful job of trading down multiple times to acquire assets. For just sliding down nine spots, they picked up third-, fourth-, sixth- and seventh-round picks. That was quite the haul.
However, the negative aspect of their class was some of the players they picked. Malik McDowell was one of the least-motivated players in the draft, and the consensus was that he was one of the worst interviews at the combine. If Pete Carroll can get him to play hard, he'll be a miracle worker. I don't see it happening. Meanwhile, I had third-round selection Delano Hill as a late-round prospect. Hill could potentially fill a need at safety if Kam Chancellor departs via free agency next spring, but I didn't have him highly rated.
The Seahawks addressed some needs, picking up Ethan Pocic, Shaq Griffin and Justin Senior. I didn't understand the Pocic pick at the time, but perhaps Seattle is going to use him at center and slide Justin Britt back outside. Otherwise, it's not a very logical move, and I thought Pocic was a bit of a reach anyway. Griffin was a nice pick to help at cornerback, while Senior gives some hope at tackle, but not very much.
Seattle has one of the top front offices in the NFL, so this haul could look a lot better in a couple of years than it does now, but I'm not overly optimistic about it. The trading was great, but the execution wasn't as promising.
Kansas City Chiefs: B Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Chiefs need to find a new quarterback because Alex Smith clearly isn't the answer. He'll continue to come up short in the playoffs. A signal-caller could be obtained at the bottom of the first round. A new running back and a No. 2 receiver are needed as well. Fortunately for the Chiefs, their defense is in pretty good shape and doesn't need very much beyond a linebacker and a second cornerback.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Some former NFL players do a good job on TV, but the danger with having them as analysts is that they're too close to other players and will be biased as a result. That is why it seemed like everyone went out of their way to defend Alex Smith in the wake of the Patrick Mahomes selection. The argument is that the Chiefs are so close that they need only a couple more pieces to win the Super Bowl. That's true, but one of the needed pieces happens to be a quarterback. Smith has proven that he's incapable of winning more than one playoff game per run because of his limitations, and Andy Reid finally recognized that.
Mahomes is the complete opposite of Smith. He has a low floor because of the system he played in at Texas Tech, but he also has Brett Favre-type upside. If he takes to Reid's coaching - and I'm sure he will, given that he's hard-working and smart - he could develop into a Pro Bowl quarterback. It'll take some time, but it definitely can happen, and that's why Mahomes was the only quarterback in this entire class I would've spent a first-round pick on.
That said, the Chiefs gave up a lot to get him, so it could backfire if they sustain many injuries in 2017 and drop from a playoff contender to a bottom-10 team, much like the Bengals did last season. However, I commend Kansas City for realizing that something had to be done to move the team forward, since it was just spinning its wheels and not really going anywhere with Smith at the helm.
Moving on, Kansas City did well elsewhere. Tanoh Kpassagnon was a solid choice in the second round, and he has the athleticism and potential to be a force on the defensive line. Kareem Hunt is a perfect fit in Reid's system, and he could be the starting running back by the end of the year. Jehu Chesson was a bit of a reach, but the Chiefs moved down for him to acquire extra resources, and he could end up starting down the road anyway.
I'd say the Chiefs had a solid draft overall. I'll give it a "B," as I think the trade was risky, but it could really pay off. Aside from that, I gave the Chiefs just one grade worse than a "B" (Ukeme Eligwe - "D") so they did a quality job with the 2017 NFL Draft.
Dallas Cowboys: A- Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: Most of Dallas' top-30 visits were defensive linemen or defensive backs, as expected. The Cowboys are very weak in those areas, so they'll need to address those as quickly as possible. A second receiver and right tackle will also have to be acquired.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: It shouldn't surprise anyone that most of Dallas' selections were used on defensive players. In fact, six of the Cowboys' initial seven picks went on the defensive side of the ball. Given the problems Dallas had on its stop unit in 2016, that's completely understandable.
Not only did the Cowboys fill needs, but they also obtained talented prospects. Of all the defensive players they chose in the first six rounds, none scored below a "B" individually. Taco Charlton, taken 28th overall, will provide Dallas with a potential boost in the pass rush, which absolutely needed to be addressed. Three defensive backs - Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis and Xavier Woods - will help address the worst group on the Cowboys' roster. Lewis and Woods provided great value with where they were selected (92nd and 191st, respectively).
The lone offensive player the Cowboys picked in the first six rounds was Ryan Switzer, who operated like Cole Beasley in college football last year. However, Switzer is going to be used more on special teams in Dallas, which is fine. I thought he was chosen earlier than he should've gone, but it wasn't an awful pick.
The Cowboys put together a tremendous draft class, filling needs and selecting promising players. They've done a great job in recent years, and that appears to be the case once again.
Green Bay Packers: A Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Packers were completely incapable of containing the Falcons in the NFC Championship. Adding a pass-rusher, an inside linebacker and a couple of defensive backs is imperative. The offense, meanwhile, is mostly set, though a running back and a guard are needed.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: A team puts together a truly great draft class when it trades down and still obtains talented prospects throughout the weekend. That's exactly what Ted Thompson was able to do in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Packers moved out of the first round when the Browns wanted to move up for David Njoku. This gave them more ammunition, and Thompson took advantage of it. He began by selecting two talented defensive backs in the second round, Kevin King and Josh Jones. Both players could've gone earlier than they did, as they provided great value at Nos. 33 and 61, respectively.
Thompson turned to his front seven next, selecting Montravius Adams and Vince Biegel. These picks weren't as great as the first two, but they still earned a "B" and a B+, respectively. Adams will bolster the interior pass rush, while Biegel could earn playing time at inside linebacker in the near future.
Of the Packers' first seven picks, they scored three "A" grades, and they didn't get anything below a B-. There were some sketchy selections late in the draft, but even then, Green Bay obtained a tremendous value in Malachi Dupre. This was an awesome draft for Green Bay.
Pittsburgh Steelers: B+ Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Steelers struggled offensively when Le'Veon Bell was lost with an injury in the AFC Championship. More play-making talent is needed on offense. The defense doesn't need as much work, but an edge rusher, an inside linebacker and a cornerback should be acquired.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Steelers certainly focused on their needs, as their first four selections were used to fill obvious holes. They began by selecting T.J. Watt, who will help their pass rush. The highly athletic Watt projects as a capable replacement for James Harrison in the future, but for the time being, he'll be a solid rotational player to go along with Harrison and Bud Dupree.
Two picks were used on offense in the first three rounds. JuJu Smith-Schuster was chosen at the end of the second frame, which was a bit later than he could have been chosen. Smith-Schuster's selection actually sparked a Twitter war between Martavis Bryant and Sammie Coates, where the two disappointing receivers argued whom Smith-Schuster would replace. The answer would obviously be Coates, unless Bryant gets into trouble again. Meanwhile, James Conner was a solid choice at the end of the third round. Unless something devastating happens, he'll continue to get healthier and revert back to pre-cancer form. If so, he'll be a strong backup behind Le'Veon Bell.
Pittsburgh took care of other needs, such as finding a potential successor for Ben Roethlisberger in Joshua Dobbs (at the very least, a replacement for Landry Jones). The Steelers also chose two cornerbacks in Cameron Sutton and Brian Allen, and both provided good value with where they were chosen, especially Allen.
The Steelers did a very good job with their draft overall. Five of their initial six selections earned a B+ or A-, and the one exception was a "B."
Atlanta Falcons: B- Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Falcons don't have many needs, but the few holes on their roster are pretty glaring. They'll need to focus on upgrading their edge rush, one of the guard positions, and the interior of their defensive line.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: While three teams that moved up in the first round did so for quarterbacks, the Falcons had a different goal in mind. They had a specific pass-rusher they wanted, and so they shifted up five spots to select the emotional Takkarist McKinley.
I'm fine with McKinley as a prospect for the most part, but the trade didn't make much sense to me. There were lots of edge rushers still available for the Falcons, so they didn't have to panic by making a move. They could've remained patient and still snatched McKinely, or a player of his caliber. McKinley likely won't be able to play in the early portion of the 2017 campaign anyway. I do like him long-term if he can remain healthy, but not very much for 2017.
The Falcons had five more picks after that, and four produced grades of "B" or better. The lone exception was the C+ given to Sean Harlow. The Oregon State product potentially fills a need, but he was chosen too early. On the other end of the spectrum, Brian Hill was a steal in the fifth round, and he could be a solid replacement for Devonta Freeman if Freeman leaves via free agency after this season.
I think the Falcons did a decent job overall. The unnecessary trade for McKinley will hurt their grade because they surrendered a valuable resource for no reason, but it's not going to put them in the C/C+ range, or anything.
Los Angeles Rams: C- Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Rams have to make some major changes on offense to give Jared Goff any sort of chance. Unfortunately for them, they don't have a first-round pick, so they can't grab a blue-chip prospect. They'll need to obtain a No. 1 receiver and several offensive linemen in the second and third days, somehow. Meanwhile, personnel for their new 3-4 defense will have to be acquired as well.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Trading down is usually favorable, but sometimes it's not, such as when a perfect prospect falls to a team, and they decide to pass on him. That's exactly what happened to the Rams in the second round. They had Zay Jones fall into their lap. He was the best receiver available by far at that juncture, and the Rams would've done well to obtain him. Instead, they moved down, and all they had to show for it was a reach on a third-round tight end Gerald Everett.
If that wasn't bad enough, the Rams selected late-round prospect John Johnson in the third frame. The pick they made in between, Cooper Kupp, was a decent one, as was Josh Reynolds in the fourth round. So it's not like it was all bad for the Rams. It was just sub-par drafting. As someone with NFL contacts told me during the draft, "I think Les Snead was kidnapped after taking Donald and Gurley, this imposter is blowing the Rams' drafts."
I liked some of the Rams' late picks - especially fullback Sam Rogers - but they reached on the third day as well with Samson Ebukam. All in all, it was a bad draft for the Rams, and I think a C- is about right.
Minnesota Vikings: B Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Vikings signed two tackles in free agency, yet they still need a couple of offensive linemen to shore up their horrible pass protection. They also need some other offensive pieces, such as a running back and a receiver. Not much is required on defense, fortunately.
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Vikings didn't have a Thursday night pick, so they weren't able to partake in the first-round trading frenzy. That didn't stop them from making significant moves on Day 2, however. Minnesota started by moving up to No. 41, where it selected Dalvin Cook. This might go down as one of the best selections in the 2017 NFL Draft. Cook has top-10 talent, but fell because of a combination of questionable character concerns and poor testing at the combine. Cook has elite vision, however, and he was amazing at Florida State. It would be surprising if he failed to put together a terrific pro career, especially now that he has a giant chip on his shoulder.
The Vikings moved up for Pat Elflein in the third round as well. I wasn't as big of a fan because I didn't rate Elflein as a third-round prospect. However, given all of Minnesota's offensive line woes recently, I can understand why the team chose him. I just don't think the Vikings needed to surrender resources for Elflein.
Outside of the two receiver picks, I like what the Vikings did on Day 3. Some great value picks they obtained were Danny Isidora, who will provide more help on the offensive line, and Bucky Hodges, who has great athleticism and upside to perhaps one day be a productive tight end.
Despite not having a first-round pick, the Vikings did well in the 2017 NFL Draft. My one main gripe is the trade for Elflein, but they were still able to come away with a solid class.
New England Patriots: A Grade Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Patriots once again don't have a first-round selection. They actually don't pick until the beginning of the third frame, so it'll be difficult for them to acquire multiple starters. I imagine they'll focus on defensive end, linebacker and cornerback (if Malcolm Butler is dealt).
2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Patriots didn't have many picks to work with - they ended up making just four selections - but they made each of them count. Their grades for the four choices: A, A-, A, B+. Looks pretty good to me!
New England selected two defensive ends, Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise. I thought Rivers had an outside shot of being chosen in the first round, so obtaining him at No. 83 overall was an incredible steal. Wise, meanwhile, was also a great bargain. Rivers, Wise and Kony Ealy will make sure the Patriots put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks in 2017.
The other two picks were offensive tackles. Nate Solder will be a free agent after the 2017 campaign, so it'll be important to have a replacement for him if he leaves. We know of a team that was targeting Antonio Garcia in the second round before addressing its tackle need elsewhere, so getting him in the third frame was a nice move.
It's also important to factor in New England's first- and second-round picks. The team didn't have them because they used them on Brandin Cooks and Ealy, respectively. The jury is still out on Ealy, but obtaining Cooks for the No. 32 selection was a great move. The Patriots couldn't have gotten anyone better with the 32nd-overall pick, so that has to boost their already-positive grade.