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NFL Draft Grades

Silva's NFC Draft Grades

by Evan Silva
Updated On: April 30, 2019, 7:42 am ET

Minnesota Vikings

1 (18). NC State C Garrett Bradbury
2 (50). Alabama TE Irv Smith
3 (102). Boise State RB Alexander Mattison
4 (114). Oklahoma OG Dru Samia
5 (162). USC LB Cameron Smith
6 (190). Arkansas DT Armon Watts
6 (191). Wyoming S Marcus Epps
6 (193). Elon OT Oli Udoh
7 (217). Texas CB Kris Boyd
7 (239). Oregon WR Dillon Mitchell
7 (247). Colorado State WR Olabisi Johnson
7 (250). Air Force LS Austin Cutting

Overview: GM Rick Spielman entered the draft with one of the NFL’s best rosters but colossal offensive-line weaknesses. He did exactly what he needed to do; pour resources into that position group. An elite athlete and move blocker, Bradbury is a match made in heaven for Gary Kubiak’s offense. The Vikings traded up for Samia, who allowed zero sacks on 879 snaps last season. Udoh (6’6/323) is a massive individual with 35 3/8-inch arms and tested well above average after starting all four years at Elon. He is a high-ceiling project for OL coach Rick Dennison. One of the most-overrated players in the draft, Smith is a smallish H-back who won’t help in the run game and may struggle to earn early snaps. Mattison isn’t a better prospect than pre-draft No. 2 back Mike Boone. Of Spielman’s nine day-three picks, Udoh and Boyd stood out, the latter for his high-end combo of production and athleticism. Corner was a sneaky Vikings need amid Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes trade chatter with Mike Hughes coming off a torn ACL. Minnesota’s grade took a hit from the Smith and Mattison selections, but I think the offensive line situation improved considerably, and that was the No. 1 goal.

Grade: C

 

New Orleans Saints

2 (48). Texas A&M C Erik McCoy
4 (105). Florida S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
6 (177). Rutgers S Saquan Hampton
7 (231). Notre Dame TE Alize Mack
7 (244). Idaho LB Kaden Elliss

Overview: Teddy Bridgewater and Eli Apple are included in New Orleans’ grade after arriving for the Nos. 93 and 132 picks. They also traded this year’s first-rounder to move up for Marcus Davenport last year. The Saints went back on the offensive on Friday, sending Miami a 2020 second-rounder to climb 14 second-round slots for McCoy, then giving the Jets a fifth-rounder to jump 11 fourth-round slots for Gardner-Johnson. They maximized both picks; McCoy was firmly in the first-round mix and Gardner-Johnson was a field-flipping ballhawk in the SEC who fell over nebulous character concerns. He’s a top-50 talent on tape. One of the most-athletic tight ends in this draft, Mack’s college production underwhelmed largely due to poor quarterback play. Son of former Lions DT Luther Elliss, Kaden was a monster producer as a four-year starting linebacker for the Idaho Vandals and even dabbled at tight end, where he logged 176 yards and two touchdowns on ten career catches. Even as someone who generally isn’t a fan of trades up and trading future picks, I thought this was an impressive haul when you include Apple and Bridgewater. I’m not giving the class a super-high grade for process reasons, but I think there’s a good chance the Saints get at least two multi-year starters from their five draftees.

Grade: B-

 

New York Giants

1 (6). Duke QB Daniel Jones
1 (17). Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence
1 (30). Georgia CB Deandre Baker
3 (95). Old Dominion OLB Oshane Ximines
4 (108). Notre Dame CB Julian Love
5 (143). Wisconsin LB Ryan Connelly
5 (171). Auburn WR Darius Slayton
6 (180). Washburn CB Corey Ballentine
7 (232). Kentucky OT George Asafo-Adjei
7 (245). Syracuse DT Chris Slayton

Overview: Odell Beckham turned into Jabrill Peppers, a nose tackle in Lawrence, and a small-school long-shot pass rusher in Ximines. The Nos. 132 and 142 picks Dave Gettleman acquired for Eli Apple and Damon Harrison were used in Thursday’s trade up for Baker. Jones’ college production puts him in Kyle Boller-Jake Locker territory; he went 17-19 as a 36-game college starter and averaged 6.4 yards per attempt. Love was my favorite value pick as a Logan Ryan-type slot corner in the fourth round. Ballentine also has a shot with high-end athleticism, instincts, and playmaking ability. His name would be much bigger had he attended a bigger school. Lawrence and Baker are high-floor, likely rookie-year starters, and Ximines was worth the risk based on his production-athleticism profile as a probable situational pass rusher. Although Gettleman brought aboard several quality prospects, the laugh-track Jones pick combined with the immense amount of proven talent the Giants surrendered to amass their high volume of selections crushes New York’s draft grade. Gettleman has now gone seven drafts as an NFL general manager without a single trade down, in any round. That’s got to be a record.

Grade: D+

 

Philadelphia Eagles

1 (22). Washington State OT Andre Dillard
2 (53). Penn State RB Miles Sanders
2 (57). Stanford WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
4 (138). Penn State DE Shareef Miller
5 (167). Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson

Overview: Howie Roseman kicked off the Eagles’ draft with a bang, sending Baltimore fourth- and sixth-rounders to leapfrog the tackle-needy Texans for Dillard, easily the top pass protector in the draft. He is 37-year-old Jason Peters’ heir apparent at one of football’s most-valuable positions. Neck and neck with Josh Jacobs for this year’s top running back prospect, Sanders brings true feature back potential to Philly with a far more versatile game than two-down thumper Jordan Howard. I was not as impressed with Arcega-Whiteside’s tape as other observers, but he remains an intriguing size-speed-ball skills specimen after leading the nation in contested-catch conversion rate last year. Thorson threw way too many picks at Northwestern as a game-manager quarterback. Miller adds depth to a front-four rotation where the Eagles emphasize depth in waves. This class isn’t blowing anyone away with only five draftees, but its grade improves when you include pick-swap acquisitions WR DeSean Jackson and DT Hassan Ridgeway.

Grade: B

 

San Francisco 49ers

1 (2). Ohio State DE Nick Bosa
2 (36). South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel
3 (67). Baylor WR Jalen Hurd
4 (110). Utah P Mitch Wishnowsky
5 (148). Arkansas LB Dre Greenlaw
6 (176). Stanford TE Kaden Smith
6 (183). Vanderbilt OT Justin Skule
6 (198). Virginia CB Tim Harris

Overview: Bosa and Samuel were chalky and unsurprising but quality picks at positions of need. Bosa and Dee Ford have a chance to turn what was a weakness into a legitimate strength after San Francisco’s pass rush was among the weakest in football last year. Samuel is a high-energy, Golden Tate-style slot receiver who dusted Clemson’s National Championship defense for 210 yards in 2018. Kyle Shanahan should get creative with Hurd, a 6-foot-5, 228-pound “big slot” receiver who began his career starting over Alvin Kamara as a running back at Tennessee. Day three wasn’t as productive; the fourth round is awfully rich for 27-year-old punters, and San Francisco’s final four selections project as lifetime backups and/or throwaway picks. The Niners did next to nothing to address a secondary that last year allowed an NFC-high 35 touchdown passes and caught a league-low two interceptions.

Grade: C

 

Seattle Seahawks

1 (29). TCU DE L.J. Collier
2 (47). Utah S Marquise Blair
2 (64). Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf
3 (88). Utah LB Cody Barton
4 (120). West Virginia WR Gary Jennings
4 (124). Wake Forest OG Phil Haynes
4 (132). Oregon CB Ugo Amadi
5 (142). Washington LB Ben Burr-Kirven
6 (204). Miami RB Travis Homer
6 (209). Florida State OT Demarcus Christmas
7 (236). Hawaii WR John Ursua

Overview: Flipping 25-year-old top pass rusher Frank Clark straight up for the pick that became Collier – an 11th-percentile athlete who didn’t break out until his fifth-year senior season – was an horrifically suboptimal exchange. But GM John Schneider saved himself from a failing grade by putting on a clinic in trading down, all told turning the No. 21 pick into the Nos. 47, 77, 114, 118, 132, and 142 picks, drafting Blair at 47, and using Nos. 77 and 118 to move back up for Metcalf. Schneider landed No. 204 by flipping No. 114 for the 120th pick. A physical striker, Blair adds a tone-setting presence to Seattle’s secondary. At 6-foot-3, 228 with 4.33 wheels, Metcalf is going to be an impossible cover when Russell Wilson exits the pocket on off-script plays. Barton adds depth, promise, and athleticism as a Joe Schobert-style linebacker. Jennings always popped when watching West Virginia QB Will Grier's tape, and Haynes is toolsy enough to challenge Mike Iupati right away at left guard. 2018 Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year Burr-Kirven is an undersized overachiever with 4.56 speed. I was still disappointed Seattle didn’t add more pass rush after the Clark trade made it this team’s biggest need. A positive; LT Duane Brown should be included as part of this haul after the Seahawks acquired him for this year’s No. 54 pick.

Grade: B-

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1 (5). LSU LB Devin White
2 (39). Central Michigan CB Sean Bunting
3 (94). Auburn CB Jamel Dean
3 (99). Kentucky S Mike Edwards
4 (107). Iowa DE Anthony Nelson
5 (145). Utah K Matt Gay
6 (208). Bowling Green WR Scott Miller
7 (215). Missouri DT Terry Beckner

Overview: White was one of this year’s most-telegraphed first-round picks. Virtually everyone sent White to Tampa Bay in their mock drafts. Even as Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen slipped further than most anticipated, GM Jason Licht held strong to tab Kwon Alexander’s successor. Licht immediately began hammering the secondary thereafter, landing three straight plus athletes with starting potential. Nelson was a fourth-round steal as a long-armed pass rusher with a high floor. Miller is a 4.3 burner well worthy of a sixth-round flyer. My biggest quibble; Licht needs to lose his infatuation with kickers. Either way, I thought this was a nuts-and-bolts draft that made the roster better and the defense much faster.

Grade: B-

 

Washington Redskins

1 (15). Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins
1 (26). Mississippi State DE Montez Sweat
3 (76). Ohio State WR Terry McLaurin
4 (112). Stanford RB Bryce Love
4 (131). Indiana OG Wes Martin
5 (153). Alabama C Ross Pierschbacher
5 (173). North Carolina LB Cole Holcomb
6 (206). NC State WR Kelvin Harmon
7 (227). James Madison CB Jimmy Moreland
7 (253). Oklahoma State OLB Jordan Brailford

Overview: Standing firm even as owner Dan Snyder pushed for a trade up for Haskins and landing him anyway has to be considered a major win for Washington. Sweat at No. 26 was another monster addition, even if it cost the Skins their 2020 second-round pick to climb 20 slots. Not only is Sweat a freakshow athlete with dominant pass-rush potential, he was one of the SEC’s premier run defenders last year. The Redskins’ defensive personnel has quietly reached top-12 status across the league from a talent standpoint. McLaurin and Love had many pre-draft supporters, but I wasn’t a fan of either. McLaurin is likely to max out as a special teams gunner and situational deep threat, while Love’s ACL recovery has not been setback free, and he was rarely used in the passing game at Stanford. I thought there was a real chance Love might go undrafted. The middle-round offensive line picks both look like long-term backups. Holcomb’s college production and elite athleticism suggest he could outkick his draft slot at a position of need. Moreland was a takeaway-forcing machine at JMU, logging a school-record 18 career picks with six pick sixes. He’s a sleeper to develop into a playmaking slot corner. Harmon was publicly overrated in the pre-draft phase but well worthy of a flyer here. He may have the best hands in the draft. It’s probably just a tease because Washington will never win under Snyder’s ownership, but it would also be very difficult to not like this draft. About time for that Bruce Allen contract extension.

Grade: A-

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