Evan Silva

NFL Draft Grades

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Draft 2013: AFC Draft Grades

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Bang it here for 2013 NFC Draft Grades.

Baltimore Ravens

32. Matt Elam, strong safety, Florida.
56. Arthur Brown, inside linebacker, Kansas State.
94. Brandon Williams, nose tackle, Missouri Southern.
129. John Simon, outside linebacker, Ohio State.
130. Kyle Juszczyk, fullback, Harvard.
168. Ricky Wagner, tackle, Wisconsin.
200. Kapron Lewis-Moore, defensive end, Notre Dame.
203. Ryan Jensen, guard, Colorado State-Pueblo.
238. Aaron Mellette, receiver, Elon.
247. Marc Anthony, cornerback, California.

Overview: The Ravens entered Thursday with an AFC-high 12 picks. They proceeded to replenish a defense picked apart in free agency with first- and second-day value grabs that address immediate needs. Elam and Brown are plug-and-play starters who add physicality up the middle. Experienced covering slot receivers, Elam is an upgrade on outgoing Bernard Pollard, while Brown's game tape was arguably indicative of a top-20 overall player. Williams is a quick-footed 340-pound nose tackle with pocket-pushing ability. Simon draws comparisons to James Harrison as a stubby, if stout rush linebacker prospect with a deceptively explosive first step. Juszczyk, Wagner, Lewis-Moore, and Anthony look like future role players. Mellette was another terrific late-round value pick. Once GM Ozzie Newsome gets left tackle Bryant McKinnie re-signed, the Ravens' 2013 lineups will near completion. And I think the product can be better than what Baltimore put on the field in 2012.

Grade: B+

Buffalo Bills

16. E.J. Manuel, quarterback, Florida State.
41. Robert Woods, receiver, USC.
46. Kiko Alonso, linebacker, Oregon.
78. Marquise Goodwin, receiver, Texas.
105. Duke Williams, safety, Nevada.
143. Jonathan Meeks, safety, Clemson.
177. Dustin Hopkins, kicker, Florida State.
222. Chris Gragg, tight end, Arkansas.

Overview: A high-risk, potentially high-reward draft. Top Bills personnel men Buddy Nix and Doug Whaley deserve kudos for pre-draft misdirection that convinced everyone Ryan Nassib or even perhaps Matt Barkley would be the No. 8 pick. Instead, they traded down to acquire more valuable choices and still came away with real franchise quarterback target Manuel. I'm admittedly skeptical of Manuel's NFL future, but Buffalo's execution was impressive. Woods, Alonso, Williams, and Gragg were solid value selections. The former two can help right away. The jury is out on whether Goodwin upgrades on in-house speedster T.J. Graham. Meeks and Hopkins were suspect picks.

Grade: C+

Cincinnati Bengals

21. Tyler Eifert, tight end, Notre Dame.
37. Giovani Bernard, running back, North Carolina.
53. Margus Hunt, defensive end, SMU.
84. Shawn Williams, safety, Georgia.
118. Sean Porter, outside linebacker, Texas A&M.
156. Tanner Hawkinson, tackle, Kansas.
190. Rex Burkhead, running back, Nebraska.
197. Cobi Hamilton, receiver, Arkansas.
240. Reid Fragel, tackle, Ohio State.
251. T.J. Johnson, center/guard, South Carolina.

Overview: The Bengals have done a great job of value drafting in recent years, and I don't think that changed here. Eifert was an obvious best-available selection and gives Cincy the athletic movement tight end Jermaine Gresham was supposed to be. Bernard should run circles around plodder BenJarvus Green-Ellis in camp, adding sorely needed playmaking ability to the backfield. Hunt is a Combine freak with unimpressive college tape and turns 26 years old before the season, but he couldn't have landed in a better spot. He'll receive Mike Zimmer and Marvin Lewis' tutelage as a developmental project while riding the bench initially behind one of the NFL's top front fours. Williams, Porter, Burkhead, Hamilton, and Fragel could all be contributors within the next year or two. Quarterback remains an issue in Cincinnati, but the rest of the roster is becoming awfully good.

Grade: B

Cleveland Browns

6. Barkevious Mingo, outside linebacker, LSU.
68. Leon McFadden, cornerback, San Diego State.
175. Jamoris Slaughter, strong safety, Notre Dame.
217. Armonty Bryant, defensive end, East Central (OK).
227. Garrett Gilkey, tackle, Chadron State.

Overview: I contemplated factoring Josh Gordon into this grade -- he was a 2012 second-round Supplemental Pick and cost Cleveland its 2013 second-round choice -- but decided against it because the pick was made by a prior regime. New GM Mike Lombardi does deserve credit for the Davone Bess trade, which netted Cleveland a reliable chain-moving slot receiver and all told cost very little. Along the way, the Browns invested in the 2014 draft, acquiring third- and fourth-round picks next year via trades with Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. Mingo was the most naturally explosive edge presence in this draft. McFadden may be stretched covering outside receivers in the NFL, but projects as an upgrade on Buster Skrine at nickel back. Bryant has some upside as a small-school project. Slaughter can be a core special teamer if his Achilles' is right. Lombardi's first draft haul underwhelms on paper, but the Browns can capitalize on his forward-minded thinking next year.

Grade: C

Denver Broncos

28. Sylvester Williams, defensive tackle, North Carolina.
58. Montee Ball, running back, Wisconsin.
90. Kayvon Webster, cornerback, South Florida.
146. Quanterus Smith, defensive end, Western Kentucky.
161. Tavarres King, receiver, Georgia.
173. Vinston Painter, tackle, Virginia Tech.
234. Zac Dysert, quarterback, Miami of Ohio.

Overview: The early rounds of VP of Player Personnel John Elway's third Broncos draft were largely by the book. Perhaps only Webster could be considered a reach, but he was a late third-rounder and adds quality secondary depth. Elway found potential late-round gems. Speed rusher Smith was leading the nation in sacks last year -- including three against Alabama's offensive line -- before tearing his left ACL in mid-November. King won't play right away, but offers starting-caliber potential down the line with 4.47 jets and separation skills. Although inexperienced, Painter is long armed and highly athletic with upside to develop into a starter at tackle or left guard. Dysert was a favorite of Rotoworld draft guru Josh Norris, whom I trust. Norris encourages not being surprised if Dysert eventually overtakes shaky 2012 second-round pick Brock Osweiler behind Peyton Manning.

Grade: B

Houston Texans

27. DeAndre Hopkins, receiver, Clemson.
57. D.J. Swearinger, safety, South Carolina.
89. Brennan Williams, tackle, North Carolina.
95. Sam Montgomery, outside linebacker, LSU.
124. Trevardo Williams, outside linebacker, Connecticut.
176. David Quessenberry, tackle/guard, San Jose State.
195. Alan Bonner, receiver, Jacksonville State.
198. Chris Jones, defensive tackle, Bowling Green.
201. Ryan Griffin, tight end, Connecticut.

Overview: Perhaps no AFC team found a better first-round fit than Hopkins in Houston. A Roddy White-type talent, Hopkins is a pro-ready bookend for X receiver Andre Johnson, playing Z and in the slot. Hard-hitting, trash-talking Swearinger will be a third safety as a rookie, but adds special teams value and could grow into the Texans' next Glover Quin. Williams is an athletic, finesse right tackle prospect capable of putting immediate pressure on inconsistent starter Derek Newton. An LSU base 4-3 end, Montgomery is a questionable schematic fit for Houston's 3-4 but was a value pick. Williams is undersized but wildly explosive off the age. Quessenberry is another zone-blocking prospect. I liked the late-round stab at Jones, who dominated the MAC last season.

Grade: B

Indianapolis Colts

24. Bjoern Werner, outside linebacker, Florida State.
86. Hugh Thornton, guard, Illinois.
121. Khaled Holmes, center, USC.
139. Montori Hughes, defensive tackle, Tennessee-Martin.
192. John Boyett, safety, Oregon.
230. Kerwynn Williams, running back, Utah State.
254. Justice Cunningham, tight end, South Carolina.

Overview: Keep in mind Colts GM Ryan Grigson also surrendered a 2014 fourth-round pick in the trade up for Hughes early in round five. I'm surprised Grigson mortgaged part of his future for a small-schooler with a checkered character background. Not only is Werner an odd fit for Chuck Pagano's 3-4 defense, but his tendency to give up on plays after initially being blocked was disconcerting on game film. Contrary to popular belief – which may be racially driven -- the player's motor is an issue. I liked the Thornton pick, but not Holmes. I didn't love many of Grigson's free-agency moves or his draft as a whole, and this grade will be low. But the 2012 NFL Executive of the Year has earned every ounce of the benefit of the doubt. The Colts have a top-15 roster a year after going 2-14, thanks in large part to Grigson's scouting. He knows more than me.

Grade: C-

Jacksonville Jaguars

2. Luke Joeckel, right tackle, Texas A&M.
33. Johnathan Cyprien, strong safety, FIU.
64. Dwayne Gratz, cornerback, Connecticut.
101. Ace Sanders, receiver, South Carolina.
135. Denard Robinson, running back, Michigan.
169. Josh Evans, free safety, Florida.
208. Jeremy Harris, cornerback, New Mexico State.
210. Demetrius McCray, cornerback, Appalachian State.

Overview: Rookie GM Dave Caldwell inherited one of the league's most talent-starved rosters from annual draft-misser Gene Smith. Caldwell's approach was to simply land good football players, which makes sense because Jacksonville doesn't have many of them. Joeckel and Cyprien were widely considered first-round locks before the draft, and I thought press-corner Gratz was a sleeper for the top 32. The Robinson pick may be laughed at in some circles, but he has a genuine chance to be the Jaguars' running back of the future. Maurice Jones-Drew is coming off major foot surgery and entering a contract year. Evans was a solid late value pick; he has centerfielder range and was an excellent player overshadowed by Matt Elam at UF. The Jags still have a laundry list of needs -- pass rusher and quarterback most glaring among them -- but from all indications Caldwell is off to a strong start. Jacksonville still has a long way to go before becoming a competitive team.

Grade: B-


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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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