Evan Silva

NFL Draft Grades

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Draft 2011: NFC Grades

Sunday, May 01, 2011




Grade: B+

New Orleans Saints

24. Cameron Jordan, defensive end, California.
28. Mark Ingram, running back, Alabama.
72. Martez Wilson, linebacker, Illinois.
88. Johnny Patrick, cornerback, Louisville.
226. Greg Romeus, defensive end, Pittsburgh.
243. Nate Bussey, linebacker, Illinois.

Overview: G.M. Mickey Loomis' draft has been praised in most circles. It won't get that treatment here. The Saints need pass rush up front, and while Jordan was a fine value at 24, that's not an area in which he excels. He's a run-stopping end. Trading up for Ingram cost Loomis his 56th pick this year and next year's first-rounder. That's a ton to surrender for any running back, let alone one with 4.62 speed at 5'9/212. Wilson is a workout freak, but he doesn't play to his athleticism. Patrick might be a playmaking nickel back. Romeus was worth a shot.

Grade: C

New York Giants

19. Prince Amukamara, cornerback, Nebraska.
52. Marvin Austin, defensive tackle, North Carolina.
83. Jerrel Jernigan, wide receiver, Troy.
117. James Brewer, tackle, Indiana.
185. Greg Jones, linebacker, Michigan State.
198. Tyler Sash, safety, Iowa.
202. Jacquian Williams, linebacker, South Florida.
221. Da'Rel Scott, running back, Maryland.

Overview: Before the draft, you probably couldn't have speculated on a haul littered with more big names. And that has its perks. There are quite a few dominant college players here -- Jernigan, Jones, and Sash most notably -- and a dominant talent who didn't play to his ability in Austin. May seem strange, but Amukamara was probably the pick we liked least. He's not special in terms of cover skills or playmaking ability, and may be no better than a dime back in his first year. The Giants let Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo slip right through their fingers.

Grade: B

Philadelphia Eagles

23. Danny Watkins, guard/tackle, Baylor.
54. Jaiquawn Jarrett, safety, Temple.
90. Curtis Marsh, cornerback, Utah State.
116. Casey Matthews, linebacker, Oregon.
120. Alex Henery, kicker/punter, Nebraska.
149. Dion Lewis, running back, Pittsburgh.
161. Julian Vandervelde, guard/center, Iowa.
191. Jason Kelce, center, Cincinnati.
193. Brian Rolle, linebacker, Ohio State.
237. Greg Lloyd, linebacker, UConn.
240. Stanley Havili, fullback, USC.

Overview: When you have 11 draft picks, you typically come out looking pretty good. The Eagles did a thorough job from top to bottom, using their top 2-3 selections on day-one starters. Watkins was the nastiest offensive lineman available for the 2011 draft, and Jarrett is a ballhawk with tremendous physicality. Marsh certainly has starting-caliber upside. Matthews is overrated because of his name, but could materialize as a two-down thumper at middle linebacker. The back end of the draft was used to address special teams. The only pick we didn't like was Lewis.

Grade: B

San Francisco 49ers

7. Aldon Smith, linebacker, Missouri.
36. Colin Kaepernick, quarterback, Nevada.
80. Chris Culliver, cornerback, South Carolina.
115. Kendall Hunter, running back, Oklahoma State.
163. Daniel Kilgore, guard, Appalachian State.
182. Ronald Johnson, wide receiver, USC.
190. Colin Jones, safety, TCU.
211. Bruce Miller, linebacker, Central Florida.
239. Mike Person, tackle/guard, Montana State.
250. Curtis Holcomb, cornerback, Florida A&M.

Overview: It's hard not to like Jim Harbaugh's first draft. Contrary to some belief, pass rush was San Francisco's most pressing need, and Smith draws DeMarcus Ware comparisons for explosive disruptiveness and a freakish wingspan. He gives the 49ers a legitimate double-digit sack threat in year one. Like the pick or not, Kaepernick is set up for success under quarterback guru Harbaugh. Hunter, Jones, Miller, and Person were all noticeable value choices. Culliver has medical and character flags. Johnson is also brittle. Holcomb was a throwaway pick.

Grade: B+

Seattle Seahawks

25. James Carpenter, tackle, Alabama.
75. John Moffitt, guard, Wisconsin.
99. K.J. Wright, linebacker, Mississippi State.
107. Kris Durham, wide receiver, Georgia.
154. Richard Sherman, defensive back, Stanford.
156. Mark LeGree, safety, Appalachian State.
173. Byron Maxwell, special teamer, Clemson.
205. Lazarius Levingston, defensive tackle, LSU.
242. Malcolm Smith, linebacker, USC.

Overview: Seattle made an effort to get more physical in the trenches, and came away successful. Carpenter and Moffitt are all-out brawlers and could both start in season one. Don't believe what you read elsewhere: Carpenter was NOT a reach. For some reason, Wright flew under the pre-draft radar. He is a high-impact player who, at the very least, will be an imposing special teamer. Maxwell was one of the top gunners in college football, while Durham, Sherman, and Smith all add impressive speed to the roster. LeGree was the premier ballhawk in the draft.

Grade: B+

St. Louis Rams

14. Robert Quinn, defensive end, North Carolina.
47. Lance Kendricks, tight end, Wisconsin.
78. Austin Pettis, wide receiver, Boise State.
112. Greg Salas, wide receiver, Hawaii.
158. Jermale Hines, safety, Ohio State.
216. Mikail Baker, returner, Baylor.
228. Jabara Williams, linebacker, Stephen F. Austin.
229. Jonathan Nelson, safety, Oklahoma.

Overview: It's disturbing that G.M. Billy Devaney yet again refused to draft a running back with Steven Jackson on the decline. The Rams went with positional need -- theoretically -- over value when they selected Kendricks instead of Mikel Leshoure at No. 47. Kendricks well may have been available at 78, and the same goes for Pettis at No. 112. While Quinn was one of the better picks in round one (he was a top-five player on at least one draft board), Devaney's way of addressing his weakest spots was seemingly to toss multiple uninspiring picks at the positions. The Rams got one good pass rusher in this draft. We're not sure they improved in any other area.

Grade: C-

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

20. Adrian Clayborn, defensive end, Iowa.
51. Da'Quan Bowers, defensive end, Clemson.
84. Mason Foster, linebacker, Washington.
104. Luke Stocker, tight end, Tennessee.
151. Ahmad Black, safety, Florida.
187. Allen Bradford, running back, USC.
222. Anthony Gaitor, cornerback, Florida International.
238. Daniel Hardy, tight end, Idaho.

Overview: Another draft heavy on big names. While Clayborn and Bowers both present medical concerns, they should form Tampa's starting defensive end duo in Week 1. Foster is a candidate to replace free agent Barrett Ruud at middle linebacker. Stocker and Hardy are insurance against Kellen Winslow's knees. Black is a ballhawk who fell in the draft only because he doesn't run fast on a track. But he plays fast and is extremely physical for his size. Bradford and Gaitor aren't NFL-caliber talents. Ultimately, this draft's grade will depend on the success of the pass rushers. If Clayborn's arm and Bowers' knee hold up, it receives an unquestioned "A+."

Grade: B

Washington Redskins

16. Ryan Kerrigan, linebacker, Purdue.
41. Jarvis Jenkins, defensive end, Clemson.
79. Leonard Hankerson, wide receiver, Miami.
105. Roy Helu, running back, Nebraska.
146. DeJon Gomes, safety, Nebraska.
155. Niles Paul, wide receiver, Nebraska.
177. Evan Royster, running back, Penn State.
178. Aldrick Robinson, wide receiver, SMU.
213. Brandyn Thompson, cornerback, Boise State.
217. Maurice Hurt, guard, Florida.
224. Markus White, linebacker, Florida State.
253. Chris Neild, nose tackle, West Virginia.

Overview: The name of the game for Washington was trading down to recoup picks lost during the forgettable Vinny Cerrato era. But it's not like the Redskins didn't come away with good players. Entering the draft with the NFL's worst-looking roster, the Skins emerged with upwards of seven rookie-year starters. That's exactly the kind of rebuilding movement Washington needs to undergo. Kerrigan, Hankerson, and Helu were extremely productive per-play collegiates. In the late rounds, White and Neild stand out as rock-solid picks. The only reason Mike Shanahan's club doesn't get a full "A" is because it didn't pick up a quarterback.

Grade: A-


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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva


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