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NFL Draft Grades

Silva's AFC Draft Grades

by Evan Silva

Baltimore Ravens

1 (25). Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown
3 (85). Louisiana Tech DE Jaylon Ferguson
3 (93). Notre Dame WR Miles Boykin
4 (113). Oklahoma State RB Justice Hill
4 (123). Oklahoma OG Ben Powers
4 (127). USC CB Iman Marshall
5 (160). Texas A&M DT Daylon Mack
6 (197). Penn State QB Trace McSorley

Overview: Speed was the theme of the Ravens’ 2019 draft, first trading back to land DeSean Jackson clone Brown while adding fourth- and sixth-round picks before plucking the draft’s most-athletic tester in Boykin near the bottom of day two, and 4.4-flat homerun hitter Hill near the top of day three. Hill has a chance to be an Alvin Kamara-lite complement to new Ravens lead runner Mark Ingram. Mixed in was Ferguson, who coincidentally broke ex-Raven Terrell Suggs’ all-time NCAA sack record and will now be tasked with replacing him. Ferguson might have been a first-rounder if not for an off-field incident that cost him a Combine invite. The Ravens expect Powers to push Alex Lewis for a starting job immediately, and Mack profiles as a one-dimensional if still-useful role player on early downs. Scouts projected Marshall to move to safety before the draft. Coach Jim Harbaugh suggested the Ravens see McSorley as their version of Taysom Hill. This was, technically, Eric DeCosta’s first full-control draft, and I think he nailed it in terms of players selected, needs addressed, and the beneficial day-one trade down.

Grade: B+

 

Buffalo Bills

1 (9). Houston DT Ed Oliver
2 (38). Oklahoma T/G Cody Ford
3 (74). Florida Atlantic RB Devin Singletary
3 (96). Ole Miss TE Dawson Knox
5 (147). Florida LB Vosean Joseph
6 (181). Miami S Jaquan Johnson
7 (225). North Carolina A&T DE Darryl Johnson
7 (228). Boston College TE Tommy Sweeney

Overview: Draft-day reports had Buffalo attempting to trade up for Oliver, so to have him fall directly into the Bills’ lap was nothing short of a coup. GM Brandon Beane took matters into his own hands early on day two, surrendering a fifth-rounder to leap the guard-needy Raiders for Ford, on whom Buffalo’s scouting department placed a first-round grade. Ford will likely be a day-one starter at right guard or right tackle for the Bills. The Singletary pick seemed like overkill considering all the bodies already in Buffalo’s backfield, although LeSean McCoy could be on his way out, and neither Frank Gore nor T.J. Yeldon is a likely 2019 lead back. Singletary was a workhorse and elite tackle breaker at FAU. Knox played in only 18 college games and never scored a touchdown, but the Bills see him as a high-ceiling project after Knox blocked well on Ole Miss tape and tested as the No. 4 SPARQ tight end in this class. Joseph plays with his hair on fire at off-ball linebacker, and Johnson was one of the best tackling safeties in college football. Neither Beane nor coach Sean McDermott should be dissatisfied with this haul.

Grade: B-

Cincinnati Bengals

1 (11). Alabama T/G Jonah Williams
2 (52). Washington TE Drew Sample
3 (72). NC State LB Germaine Pratt
4 (104). NC State QB Ryan Finley
4 (125). Arizona State DT Renell Wren
4 (136). Ohio State G/C Michael Jordan
6 (182). Texas A&M RB Trayveon Williams
6 (210). Auburn LB Deshaun Davis
6 (211). Oklahoma RB Rodney Anderson
7 (223). South Dakota State CB Jordan Brown

Overview: The Bengals went by the book with first-rounder Williams in a meeting of value and need, but this draft went downhill from there. Blocking TE Sample managed 46 career catches and averaged 10.6 yards per catch as a four-year starter, never earning higher than honorable mention in the Pac 12. Finley is almost 25 years old and at best projects as a long-term backup. Even as both running back picks are intriguing prospects, they seemed like overkill for a team that already rosters Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard at affordable costs. Taking one of them and signing another back in undrafted free agency would have made more sense. Pratt, Wren, and Jordan were quality third/fourth-round stabs and helped Cincinnati’s grade as potential eventual starters. Still, there were at least a dozen prospects that went after Sample who should’ve gone before him, and the same goes for Finley near the top of round four. I think it’s entirely possible the Bengals got only two first-year contributors from this ten-man haul.

Grade: C-

 

Cleveland Browns

2 (46). LSU CB Greedy Williams
3 (80). BYU Sione Takitaki
4 (119). Miami S Sheldrick Redwine
5 (155). Alabama LB Mack Wilson
5 (170). Oklahoma K Austin Seibert
6 (189). Southeast Missouri OG Drew Forbes
7 (221). Tulane CB Donnie Lewis

Overview: Cleveland’s stone-cold robbery of the Giants in the Odell Beckham trade gives this draft class’ grade a rocket booster after New York came away with only Jabrill Peppers, Dexter Lawrence, and Oshane Ximines in exchange for a Hall of Fame talent. Stopping Williams’ reportedly medical-related freefall is another feather in GM John Dorsey’s cap; there wasn’t a better press corner in this draft. Takitaki is an over-aged off-ball linebacker who had a tumultuous college career, and Redwine is a height-weight-speed project who may max out on special teams. Wilson gives the Browns a potential fallback option if they don’t extend MLB Joe Schobert’s deal, and Forbes is a plus athlete who dominated his FCS competition but is limited by short arms. All in all, I found this to be a boom-or-bust draft. When you factor in OBJ, of course, it becomes an exponentially more impressive haul.

Grade: A-

 

Denver Broncos

1 (20). Iowa TE Noah Fant
2 (41). Kansas State T/G Dalton Risner
2 (42). Missouri QB Drew Lock
3 (71). Ohio State Dre’Mont Jones
5 (156). Oregon DE Justin Hollins
6 (187). Colorado WR Juwann Winfree

Overview: Joe Flacco is included in this class after Denver acquired him for the No. 113 pick. GM John Elway executed a savvy day-one trade with the Steelers, netting the No. 52 pick and Pittsburgh’s 2020 third-rounder in exchange for a ten-slot first-round drop, there knocking out a need with the draft’s most-athletic tight end in Fant. Risner is the Broncos’ probable new starting right guard, Lock is their potential quarterback of the future, and Jones offers immediate-impact potential as a sub-package inside rusher. Hollins blends plus athleticism with plus college production and will help replace Shaq Barrett behind Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. I think Elway maximized his picks, pulled off a very plus-expected-value trade, gave himself monster upside if Lock becomes a hit, added a future day-two selection, and got three probable year-one impact players from this six-man class. That’s pretty good.

Grade: B+

 

Houston Texans

1 (23). Alabama OT Tytus Howard
2 (54). Kentucky CB Lonnie Johnson
2 (55). Northern Illinois T/G Max Scharping
3 (86). San Diego State TE Kahale Warring
5 (161). Texas DE Charles Omenihu
6 (195). Central Michigan CB Xavier Crawford
7 (220). Texas A&M RB Cullen Gillaspia

Overview: The Texans’ draft began in disastrous fashion, getting leapfrogged by Eagles wizard GM Howie Roseman to Andre Dillard, for whom Philadelphia traded up at No. 22. Texans GM Brian Gaine accepted the loss, simply looking directly down his offensive line board and settling for small-schooler Howard, who will frighteningly be counted on as a first-year starter straight out of the FCS. Gaine bounced back on day two for a plus-traits press corner in Johnson and 53-game college starter Scharping, who reminds of Saints LG Andrus Peat. Warring was a terrific in-line blocker at SDSU, but his passing-game projection is up in the air based on his limited receiving resume. Omenihu best projects as a five-technique end at 280 pounds with 36-inch arms. Crawford is too small to cover outside and not physical enough to man the slot. All in all, I thought this was a mixed-bag draft.

Grade: C-

 

Indianapolis Colts

2 (34). Temple CB Rock Ya-Sin
2 (49). TCU DE Ben Banogu
2 (59). Ohio State WR Parris Campbell
3 (89). Stanford LB Bobby Okereke
4 (109). Michigan State Khari Willis
5 (144). USC S Marvell Tell
5 (164). Tarleton State LB E.J. Speed
6 (199). Mississippi State DE Gerri Green
7 (240). Utah OT Jackson Barton
7 (246). Ole Miss C Javon Patterson

Overview: On-fire Colts GM Chris Ballard’s first move of the 2019 draft was to trade down and keep his future draft-capital cupboard stocked, accepting a 20-spot plunge from No. 26 to 46 but netting the Redskins’ 2020 second-round pick. Ballard also landed a near-free fifth-round dart by sliding from No. 46 to No. 49 in a deal with the Browns. Ballard crushed it on day two with Ya-Sin – the No. 1 corner on Indy’s board – Banogu, the most-athletic edge player in this year’s draft, speedy slot-receiver upgrade Campbell, and rangy off-ball LB Okereke, who reminds of a poor man’s K.J. Wright. Ballard executed a rare trade up for Willis on day three; the Michigan State alum offers plus versatility with experience at both safety spots and covering the slot. Tell, a freakshow athlete with a 42-inch vertical and 6.63 three-cone time, was viewed as a potential press-cornerback convert after playing safety for the Trojans. The Colts entered this draft with very few needs, addressed whatever weaknesses they did have, got lots better as a team, and netted a potential 2020 top-50 pick in the Redskins deal. Just Ballard being Ballard.

Grade: A

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

1 (7). Kentucky DE Josh Allen
2 (35). Florida OT Jawaan Taylor
3 (69). San Jose State TE Josh Oliver
3 (98). Murray State Quincy Williams
5 (140). Temple RB Ryquell Armstead
6 (178). Washington State QB Gardner Minshew|
7 (235). Auburn DT Dontavius Russell

Overview: Jacksonville was the top beneficiary of the Raiders’ Clelin Ferrell overdraft and Giants’ panic reach for Daniel Jones, as SEC sack machine Allen fell right into GM Dave Caldwell’s lap. A true edge bender, Allen finished second in the nation in sacks (17) last year and offers legitimate coverage skills as a cross between Von Miller and Anthony Barr. Taylor fell over knee concerns, but he was another easy by-the-board pick at No. 35 to round out an offensive line that should be among the best in the league if it gets better injury luck. Oliver is a possession-slot tight end prospect. Armstead posted one of the top Speed Scores in this year’s running back class with a 4.45 forty at 220 pounds, although the rest of his workout metrics disappointed, and Armstead was never much of a passing-game contributor at Temple. Minshew finished fifth in 2018 Heisman voting and was a worthwhile sixth-round dart. Williams was the most surprising pick with limited production at Murray State; his claims to fame are a 4.56 forty time and being Quinnen Williams’ brother. Overall, I saw this as a solid meat-and-potatoes draft, although I was disappointed the Jaguars didn’t add more to their pass-catcher corps.

Grade: B-

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