Thor Nystrom

Draft Decisions

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Nystrom’s Snap Draft Grades

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Note: My pre-Draft rankings are in parenthesis. These grades reflect my opinion of pick value and future draft equity acquired. I did not factor trades for players into the grades (i.e. Kansas City's grade is based in the vacuum of the picks it made, not weighted to reflect last year's Pat Mahomes trade; the Rams' grade doesn't factor in the acquisitions of Brandin Cooks, Marcus Peters, and Aqib Talib, etc.).

Arizona Cardinals | NFL Draft snap grade: A


1.10 (1) QB Josh Rosen (UCLA)

2.47 (47) WR Christian Kirk (Texas A&M)

3.97 (169) C Mason Cole (Michigan)

4.134 (155) RB Chase Edmonds (Fordham)

6.182 (99) CB Christian Campbell (Penn State)

7.254 (NR) Korey Cunningham (Cincinnati)


In one sentence: Getting Rosen at 1.10 is theft; adding Kirk in Round 2 was a nice touch.



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Atlanta Falcons | NFL Draft Snap grade: C


1.26 (39) WR Calvin Ridley (Alabama)

2.58 (33) CB Isaiah Oliver (Colorado)

3.90 (115) DT Deadrin Senat (South Florida)

4.126 (283) RB Ito Smith (Southern Mississippi)

6.194 (377) WR Russell Gage (LSU)

6.200 (NR) S Foyesade Oluokun (Yale)


In one sentence: Boring, workmanlike draft that filled holes in an unsexy way.


Baltimore Ravens | NFL Draft snap grade: B+


1.25 (54) TE Hayden Hurst (South Carolina)

1.32 (5) QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville)

3.83 (56) T Orlando Brown (Oklahoma)

3.86 (101) TE Mark Andrews (Oklahoma)

4.118 (126) CB Anthony Averett (Alabama)

4.122 (293) LB Kenny Young (UCLA)

4.132 (153) WR Jaleel Scott (New Mexico State)

5.162 (138) WR Jordan Lasley (UCLA)

6.190 (75) S Deshon Elliott (Texas)

6.212 (202) T Greg Senat (Wagner)

6.215 (271) C Bradley Bozeman (Alabama)

7.238 (NR) DE Zach Sieler (Ferris State)


*Gave up 2019 R2 to the Eagles


In one sentence: I didn't like popping Hurst at 1.25, but Lamar Jackson at 1.32 was my favorite pick of the draft.


Buffalo Bills | NFL Draft snap grade: D+


1.7 (32) QB Josh Allen (Wyoming)

1.16 (12) LB Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech)

3.96 (87) DT Harrison Phillips (Stanford)

4.121 (182) CB Taron Johnson (Weber State)

5.154 (213) S Siran Neal (Jacksonville State)

5.166 (102) G Wyatt Teller (Virginia Tech)

6.187 (347) WR Ray-Ray McCloud (Clemson)

7.255 (NR) Austin Proehl (UNC)


In one sentence: Hated trading a bunch of draft equity to move up and take Allen.


Carolina Panthers | NFL Draft snap grade: B-


1.24 (27) WR D.J. Moore (Maryland)

2.55 (46) CB Donte Jackson (LSU)

3.85 (154) S Rashaan Gaulden (Tennessee)

4.101 (72) TE Ian Thomas (Indiana)

4.136 (241) LB Marquis Haynes (Ole Miss)

5.161 (NR) LB Jermaine Carter (Maryland)

7.234 (306) LB Andre Smith (UNC)

7.242 (195) DT Kendrick Norton (Miami)


In one sentence: Liked what the Panthers did early; after that, they were a bit hit and miss.


Chicago Bears | NFL Draft snap grade: A


1.8 (3) LB Roquan Smith (Georgia)

2.39 (21) C James Daniels (Iowa)

2.51 (53) WR Anthony Miller (Memphis)

4.115 (288) LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe (Western Kentucky)

5.145 (240) DT Bilal Nichols (Delaware)

6.181 (172) LB Kylie Fitts (Utah)

7.224 (279) WR Javon Wims (Georgia)


*Traded 2019 R2 to the Pats


In one sentence: The first three picks were a thing of beauty.


Cincinnati Bengals | NFL Draft snap grade: B+


1.21 (35) C Billy Price (Ohio State)

2.54 (38) S Jessie Bates (Wake Forest)

3.77 (48) DE Sam Hubbard (Ohio State)

3.78 (43) LB Malik Jefferson (Texas)

4.112 (109) RB Mark Walton (Miami)

5.151 (187) CB Davontae Harris (Illinois State)

5.158 (170) DT Andrew Brown (Virginia)

5.170 (209) CB Darius Phillips (Western Michigan)

7.249 (313) QB Logan Woodside (Toledo)

7.252 (242) G Rod Taylor (Ole Miss)

7.253 (218) WR Auden Tate (FSU)


In one sentence: Thought they panicked a tad with Price in Round 1, but I liked most of the rest of their draft, particularly what they did in Rounds 2-5.


Cleveland Browns | NFL Draft snap grade: C+


1.1 (18) QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)

1.4 (15) CB Denzel Ward (Ohio State)

2.33 (65) G Austin Corbett (Nevada)

2.35 (69) RB Nick Chubb (Georgia)

3.67 (149) DE Chad Thomas (Miami)

4.105 (90) WR Antonio Callaway (Florida)

5.150 (93) LB Genard Avery (Memphis)

6.175 (NR) WR Damion Ratley (Texas A&M)

6.188 (NR) Simeon Thomas (UL-Lafayette)


In one sentence: The Browns added a ton of talent -- but they had a ludicrous amount of draft capital; I thought they could have done better.


Dallas Cowboys | NFL Draft snap grade: A


1.19 (25) LB Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State)

2.50 (28) G/T Connor Williams (Texas)

3.81 (52) WR Michael Gallup (Colorado State)

4.116 (107) LB Dorance Armstrong, Jr. (Kansas)

4.137 (110) TE Dalton Schultz (Stanford)

5.171 (100) QB Mike White (Western Kentucky)

6.193 (308) LB Chris Covington (Indiana)

6.208 (114) WR Cedrick Wilson (Boise State)

7.236 (178) RB Bo Scarbrough (Alabama)


In one sentence: Sensational job of filling needs while getting great value at most every pick.


Denver Broncos | NFL Draft snap grade: A+


1.5 (6) DE Bradley Chubb (NC State)

2.40 (22) WR Courtland Sutton (SMU)

3.71 (82) RB Royce Freeman (Oregon)

3.99 (60) CB Isaac Yiadom (Boston College)

4.106 (58) LB Josey Jewell (Iowa)

4.113 (84) WR DaeSean Hamilton (Penn State)

5.156 (168) TE Troy Fumagalli (Wisconsin)

6.183 (188) G Sam Jones (Arizona State)

6.217 (263) LB Keishawn Bierria (Washington)

7.226 (NR) RB David Williams (Arkansas)


In one sentence: This is how it's done, folks.


Detroit Lions | NFL Draft snap grade: B+


1.20 (37) C/G Frank Ragnow (Arkansas)

2.43 (61) RB Kerryon Johnson (Auburn)

3.82 (270) S Tracy Walker (UL-Lafayette)

4.114 (86) DE Da’shawn Hand (Alabama)

5.153 (40) T Tyrell Crosby (Oregon)

7.237 (267) FB Nick Bawden (San Diego State)


*Traded 2019 R3 to the Pats


In one sentence: Like what they did with their first two picks, and also the outstanding value on Hand and Crosby on Day 3.


Green Bay Packers | NFL Draft snap grade: A+


1.18 (17) CB Jaire Alexander (Louisville)

2.45 (13) CB Joshua Jackson (Iowa)

3.88 (146) LB Oren Burks (Vanderbilt)

4.133 (92) WR J’Mon Moore (Missouri)

5.138 (128) G Cole Madison (Washington State)

5.172 (228) P JK Scott (Alabama)

5.174 (256) WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (USF)

6.207 (49) WR Equanimeous St. Brown (Notre Dame)

7.232 (215) DT James Looney (Cal)

7.239 (NR) LS Hunter Bradley (Mississippi State)

7.248 (NR) LB Kendall Donnerson (Southeast Missouri State)


*Acquired 2019 R1 from Saints


In one sentence: They needed corner help and got two of my top three CBs... as if that wasn't enough, they pilfered New Orleans' first-rounder next year and absolutely stole St. Brown in Round 6 -- a perfect draft for Green Bay.


Houston Texans | NFL Draft snap grade: B


3.68 (30) S Justin Reid (Stanford)

3.80 (85) G Martinas Rankin (Mississippi State)

3.98 (220) H-back Jordan Akins (UCF)

3.103 (117) WR Keke Coutee (Texas Tech)

6.177 (79) DE Duke Ejiofor (Wake Forest)

6.211 (243) TE Jordan Thomas (Mississippi State)

6.214 (286) LB Peter Kalambayi (Stanford)

7.222 (NR) CB Jermaine Kelly (San Jose State)


In one sentence: The Texans had almost no draft equity, but I really liked what they did with the picks they had -- Reid is a first-round talent that they acquired in Round 3.


Indianapolis Colts | NFL Draft snap grade: B


1.6 (4) G Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame)

2.36 (105) LB Darius Leonard (South Carolina State)

2.37 (51) G Braden Smith (Auburn)

2.52 (80) LB Kemoko Turay (Rutgers)

2.64 (113) DE Tyquan Lewis (Ohio State)

4.104 (116) RB Nyheim Hines (NC State)

5.159 (231) WR Daurice Fountain (Northern Iowa)

5.169 (230) RB Jordan Wilkins (Ole Miss)

6.185 (77) WR Deon Cain (Clemson)

7.221 (NR) LB Matthew Adams (Houston)

7.235 (321) LB Zaire Franklin (Syracuse)


*Acquired 2019 R2 from the Jets


In one sentence: Indy just turned their offensive line into a strength while adding athleticism at the skill positons and on defense... plus, they added New York's second-rounder next year, likely to be equivalent to a late first-rounder.


Jacksonville Jaguars | NFL Draft snap grade: B


1.29 (16) DT Taven Bryan (Florida)

2.61 (71) WR DJ Chark (LSU)

3.93 (50) S Ronnie Harrison (Alabama)

4.129 (111) T Will Richardson (NC State)

6.203 (254) QB Tanner Lee (Nebraska)

7.230 (189) LB Leon Jacobs (Wisconsin)

7.247 (NR) P Logan Cooke (Mississippi State)


In one sentence: They found nice value in their first four picks.


Kansas City Chiefs | NFL Draft snap grade: F


2.46 (211) DT Breeland Speaks (Ole Miss)

3.75 (151) DT Derrick Nnadi (Florida State)

3.100 (166) LB Dorian O'Daniel (Clemson)

4.124 (175) S Armani Watts (Texas A&M)

6.196 (268) CB Tremon Smith (Central Arkansas)

6.198 (334) DT Kahlil McKenzie (Tennessee)


In one sentence: I'm not baking the partial cost of Pat Mahomes into this grade; if you're just looking at what they acquired with the picks they had, I thought they misfired.


Los Angeles Rams | NFL Draft snap grade: D+


3.89 (122) T Joseph Noteboom (TCU)

4.111 (252) C Brian Allen (Michigan State)

4.135 (190) DE John Franklin-Myers (Stephen F. Austin)

5.147 (171) LB Micah Kiser (Virginia)

5.160 (89) LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Oklahoma)

5.176 (136) RB John Kelly (Tennessee)

6.192 (194) G Jamil Demby (Maine)

6.195 (NR) DT Sebastian Joseph (Rutgers)

6.205 (257) DE Trevon Young (Louisville)

7.231 (NR) LB Travin Howard (TCU)

7.244 (244) DE Justin Lawler (SMU)


In one sentence: The Rams had no picks early and a bunch of picks late -- I just didn't love what they did with the picks they had.


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Thor Nystrom is a former associate reporter whose writing has been honored by Rolling Stone magazine and The Best American Essays series. Say hi to Rotoworld's college football writer on Twitter @thorku.
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