Evan Silva

NFL Draft Grades

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Draft 2016: AFC Draft Grades

Monday, May 2, 2016

Bang it here for my NFC Draft Grades.

Baltimore Ravens

1 (6). Notre Dame LT Ronnie Stanley
2 (42). Boise State OLB Kamalei Correa
3 (70). BYU DE Bronson Kaufusi
4 (104). Temple CB Tavon Young
4 (107). Cincinnati WR Chris Moore
4 (130). Nebraska OT Alex Lewis
4 (132). Michigan DT Willie Henry
4 (134). Louisiana Tech RB Kenneth Dixon
5 (146). Grand Valley State DE Matt Judon
6 (182). Navy ATH Keenan Reynolds
6 (209). Virginia CB Maurice Canady

Overview: Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome executed back-to-back trades down early in round two, adding fourth- (107) and fifth-round picks (146) in exchange for just a six-slot drop, where Baltimore landed Correa. Not only did this draft bring quantity to a Ravens roster that has deteriorated over the past three years, it attacked virtually all of Baltimore's needs, often with multiple additions at each specific weakness. Newsome took two offensive linemen, one a certain Week 1 starter. He drafted three pass rushers. He selected two corners and couldn't resist the value offered by deep threat Moore, underrated DT/DE Henry, and all-purpose back Dixon in a dominant fourth round. Baltimore's roster has gotten old and stale and needed a major youth injection. This draft accomplished that and then some.

Grade: A

Buffalo Bills

1 (19). Clemson DE Shaq Lawson
2 (41). Alabama ILB Reggie Ragland
3 (80). Ohio State DT Adolphus Washington
4 (139). Ohio State QB Cardale Jones
5 (156). Arkansas RB Jonathan Williams
6 (192). TCU WR Kolby Listenbee
6 (218). USC CB Kevon Seymour

Overview: GM Doug Whaley started with one of the best picks of round one, landing ultra-productive and ultra-athletic Lawson to book end Jerry Hughes on a downright terrifying defensive line. Buffalo moved up for Ragland, sending Chicago a fourth-round pick (117) and a 2017 fourth-rounder in exchange for an eight-slot climb. A poor athlete for a supposed interior pass rusher, Washington is low-ceiling depth. Jones does offer upside, but he'll have to be coached up from scratch. A light-footed power back, Williams was good value in round five but is redundant in Buffalo behind LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams, and Mike Gillislee. Listenbee is a gunner/situational deep threat, while Seymour got benched as a senior at USC. Although I liked how Whaley solidified Rex Ryan's front seven, I think it would be surprising if the Bills got meaningful contributions from more than two or three players in this class.

Grade: B-

Cincinnati Bengals

1 (24). Houston CB William Jackson III
2 (55). Pittsburgh WR Tyler Boyd
3 (87). Utah State LB Nick Vigil
4 (122). Baylor DT Andrew Billings
5 (161). Arizona State C/G Christian Westerman
6 (199). Ole Miss WR Cody Core
7 (245). Illinois S Clayton Fejedelem

Overview: The Bengals surprised many by drafting a first-round cornerback for the third time in five years, but Dre Kirkpatrick and (to a greater extent) Darqueze Dennard have failed to meet expectations, while Adam Jones is getting long in the tooth. Cincinnati has moved on from Leon Hall. Jackson has elite ball skills -- he led the nation in pass breakups last season -- and runs 4.37 at 6-foot, 189. Boyd is a high-floor pick who can play in the slot and provide a possession-receiver presence following Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu's departures. My favorite Bengals picks came in rounds four and five; Billings could be the eventual replacement for NT Domata Peko, who turns 32 later this year. Westerman could be a rare fifth-round rookie starter, pushing disappointing C Russell Bodine for snaps. Cincinnati has become one of the league's better drafting teams. This was another rock-solid haul.

Grade: B

Cleveland Browns

1 (15). Baylor WR Corey Coleman
2 (32). Oklahoma State DE/OLB Emmanuel Ogbah
3 (65). Penn State DE Carl Nassib
3 (76). Auburn OT Shon Coleman
3 (93). USC QB Cody Kessler
4 (99). Wisconsin LB Joe Schobert
4 (114). Auburn WR Ricardo Louis
4 (129). TCU S Derrick Kindred
4 (138). Princeton TE Seth DeValve
5 (154). UCLA WR Jordan Payton
5 (168). Baylor T/G Spencer Drango
5 (172). Colorado State WR Rashard Higgins
5 (173). Louisiana-Monroe CB Trey Caldwell
7 (250). Arizona LB Scooby Wright

Overview: The Browns were extreme wheelers-and-dealers, emerging with these 14 players in addition to a 2017 first-round pick (Eagles), a 2017 second-round pick (Titans), and a 2018 second-rounder (Eagles). Included in this haul is ex-Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor, who was acquired on day three for very little. Early on, the analytics-minded Browns keyed in on prospects with high-level production and high-level athleticism. Not every player they picked met those criteria as the draft progressed, but college production was a recurring theme. In the scouting community, many of the players drafted here were considered underdeveloped "projects" (Ogbah, Nassib, Shon Coleman, Louis, Drango). Cleveland was criticized for drafting Kessler in the third round, but it sounds like he was handpicked by Hue Jackson. I loved the Corey Coleman, Schobert, and Higgins picks. I also like that the Browns came out of this draft with needed roster supply, while setting themselves up for future advancement with three additional picks in the top two rounds of the next two drafts.

Grade: B

Denver Broncos

1 (26). Memphis QB Paxton Lynch
2 (63). Georgia Tech DE Adam Gotsis
3 (98). Boston College S Justin Simmons
4 (136). Utah RB Devontae Booker
5 (144). Missouri OG Connor McGovern
6 (176). Nebraska FB Andy Janovich
6 (219). Arizona S Will Parks
7 (228). Syracuse P Riley Dixon

Overview: Quarterback-needy GM John Elway began this year's draft in attack mode, sending Seattle a third-round pick (94) in exchange for a five-spot first-round jump, landing toolsy project Lynch. Elway picked up an additional 2017 sixth-round pick in a day-three deal with Tennessee. I was a big fan of each of Elway's middle-round selections, Simmons for his playmaking ability and plus athleticism, Booker for his steadiness, versatility, and ability to make himself skinny through small cracks, and McGovern for his drive-blocking upside and zone-scheme fit. Gotsis could help replace Malik Jackson, though he is more of a two-gap end than interior disruptor. When we look back in three years, this draft will be judged almost entirely on Lynch's performance. A quarterback prospect you might create in Madden, Lynch stands 6-foot-7, 244 with basketball-player athleticism. I understand that Lynch isn't ready to play today, but I'm taking a glass-half-full view under Elway and Gary Kubiak's guidance.

Grade: B

Houston Texans

1 (21). Notre Dame WR Will Fuller
2 (50). Notre Dame C Nick Martin
3 (85). Ohio State WR Braxton Miller
4 (119). San Jose State RB/KR Tyler Ervin
5 (159). West Virginia S K.J. Dillon
5 (166). Clemson NT D.J. Reader

Overview: GM Rick Smith paid close attention to need, addressing roster deficiencies at wideout, center, return specialist, safety, and nose tackle. Martin will be a Week 1 starter ahead of Tony Bergstrom. Ex-quarterback Miller is something of a project, but lightning-quick feet and change-of-direction ability give Miller a chance to develop into a dynamic YAC threat in the slot. Ervin has 4.41 jets, effectively handled big college workloads, and could surprise if given a real chance at running back opportunities. The Texans needed another nose tackle to spell 34-year-old Vince Wilfork and got one in 327-pound run-plugger Reader. I think Smith made good picks here, but I can also envision scenarios where this draft looks rough in a couple of years. The Texans chose low-volume deep threat Fuller over more-talented Josh Doctson. Martin tested poorly at the Combine. Miller is making a daunting position switch, Dillon is a straight-linish box safety, and Ervin could max out as a scatback/return specialist. Even though Fuller is a superior stylistic fit opposite route technician DeAndre Hopkins, I think Houston would have done better for Brock Osweiler by going with Doctson at 21.

Grade: C+

Indianapolis Colts

1 (18). Alabama C Ryan Kelly
2 (57). Clemson S T.J. Green
3 (82). Texas Tech OT Le'Raven Clark
4 (116). Texas DT Hassan Ridgeway
4 (125). Florida ILB Antonio Morrison
5 (155). North Dakota State T/G Joe Haeg
7 (239). Maine LB Trevor Bates
7 (248). Iowa C Austin Blythe

Overview: Whereas Colts GM Ryan Grigson has often opted for flash over substance in past drafts, the NFL's most meat-headed general manager pulled no punches in this year's version. Finally getting Andrew Luck some protection, Grigson selected four offensive linemen, including the best interior player in the draft (Kelly) and an athletic, freakishly long-armed (36 1/4") tackle (Clark) with potential to grow into a starter at either tackle spot. Green is a safety with enough man-coverage skills that some teams viewed him as a press corner leading up to the draft. Ridgeway offers interior pocket push. Morrison is a medical concern after suffering a torn meniscus with cartilage damage as a junior, then running a painfully slow forty time (5.10) at Florida's Pro Day this March. (He did earn first-team All-SEC honors in between.) I like a lot of what Grigson did. I wish he would've come out of this draft with a mid- to late-round running back. And ignoring pass rush will continue to haunt the Colts.

Grade: C+

Jacksonville Jaguars

1 (5). Florida State CB Jalen Ramsey
2 (36). UCLA LB Myles Jack
3 (69). Maryland DE/OLB Yannick Ngakoue
4 (103). Notre Dame DT Sheldon Day
6 (181). Montana OLB Tyrone Holmes
6 (201). Arkansas QB Brandon Allen
7 (226). Central Arkansas DL Jonathan Woodard

Overview: The Jags had to be thrilled to land Ramsey, assuredly the No. 1 player on their board at a position of need after Jacksonville's 2015 pass-defense struggles. (They were 31st in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA.) By securing Jack at 36, Jacksonville arguably laid claim to the top-two overall prospects in this draft. Third-rounder Ngakoue set Maryland's single-season record for sacks (13.5) last year. Although undersized, Day was a highly disruptive gap shooter for the Irish and should eventually be able to give Jacksonville 15-25 quality snaps per game. Holmes led all of FCS in sacks (18) as a senior. Allen broke out last year (30:8 TD-to-INT ratio, 65.9% completions) and has a quick release with plus accuracy. Having cap flexibility to sign free agents has papered over some holes, but the Jaguars are turning things around because they're now drafting well. Another step in that direction.

Grade: A-

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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for He can be found on Twitter .
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