18 April 2011

Grading the 2010 NFL Draft, One Year Later

Well the 2011 NFL Draft is almost here, so of course it is an excellent time to review the draft from the year prior. It's pretty obvious that the St. Louis Rams hit a home run when they selected Sam Bradford with the top pick, but how did the rest of the draft grade out one year later? Let's take a look.
My 2010 NFL Draft initial grades

1. St. Louis Rams ~ Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Grade: A+
As stated above, the Rams found their franchise quarterback for years to come.

2. Detroit Lions ~ Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Grade: A+
Suh turned out to be the stud that he was expected to be. He seemingly became an elite defensive tackle instantly and not only made the Pro Bowl, but won a boatload of rookie awards.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ~ Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Grade: B
McCoy struggled at times to stay healthy but showed a ton of promise that he, alongside with fellow rookie DT Brian Price, can be the cornerstones of a solid defense for years.

4. Washington Redskins ~ Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Grade: B+
Williams looks to be a really good bookend for the Redskins for years after a solid rookie season in 2010.

5. Kansas City Chiefs ~ Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Grade: A+
The Chiefs found a stud in Berry who was a terrific ballhawk and also made the Pro Bowl. He just may be the next Ed Reed.

6. Seattle Seahawks ~ Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Grade: B-
While I'm still optimistic that he can turn out to be a very good left tackle, he has his fair share of injury concerns. 

7. Cleveland Browns ~ Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Grade: A
Haden was awesome last year but it's a shame that Cleveland had nothing but trash opposite of him. Haden will have one side of the field all but shut down for a while. 

8. Oakland Raiders ~ Rolando McClain, MLB, Alabama
Grade: B-
The Raiders actually did kind of well for once. Well you can question whether McClain was worth a top 10 pick, he was solid in 2010 and looks to be a good middle linebacker who will anchor the Raiders' defense. 

9. Buffalo Bills ~ C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
Grade: D
I still do not understand why Spiller was chosen here. And the Bills did not utilize him as much as they should to justify this pick. Spiller only had 74 carries and returned 14 punts. 

10. Jacksonville Jaguars ~ Tyson Alualu, DT, California
Grade: A-
Well this looked like a colossal reach by the Jacksonville staff, Alualu actually turned out to be a great pick and he showed a lot of potential and skill last year. His success really made his grade of F- after the draft look really smart. 

11. San Francisco 49ers ~ Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Grade: C
Davis was very inconsistent in 2010, having some bright moments and some mediocre moments. The jury is still clearly out on him. 

12. San Diego Chargers ~ Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
Grade: C-
The Chargers paid a steep price to trade up for Mathews and he has not shown that he was worth the investment with an inconsistent and injury-riddle 2010 where he was largely overshadowed by fullback Mike Tolbert. 

13. Philadelphia Eagles ~ Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
Grade: C-
Graham did not see a lot of time in 2010 before getting injured late and he did not look worth of the steep price Andy Reid paid to move up to pick him. And his injuries leave him highly unlikely to return in time for the 2011 season, provided there is one. 

14. Seattle Seahawks ~ Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Grade: A
The Seahawks found their ballhawking safety they had desperatly needed by selecting Thomas, who showed a bright future with five picks in 2010. 

15. New York Giants ~ Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Grade: B-
Pierre-Paul was extremely raw coming out of college and was not expected to do much in 2010. That said, he did show a lot of promise on the special teams units. He should see more PT if there is a 2011 season. 

16. Tennessee Titans ~ Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Grade: C
Well to be fair, Morgan did have his season cut short by injury so the jury is still out. But he did not play a whole lot in the first month of the season. However, I'm optimistic. 

17. San Francisco 49ers ~ Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
Grade: A-
Iupati was a great addition to what was a very mediocre 49ers offensive line and was a terrible downfield blocker. Was a very important part in the running game. 

18. Pittsburgh Steelers ~ Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
Grade: A+
Pouncey was simply awesome in 2010. He started every regular season game at center and was voted to the Pro Bowl. He even made a serious case for being the top center in the NFL. Very impressive debut. 

19. Atlanta Falcons ~ Sean Witherspoon, OLB, Missouri
Grade: B
While not exactly a home run, the Falcons found a good playmaker at the outside linebacker position in Witherspoon. He looks to be a solid piece of the Falcons defense for the near future. 

20. Houston Texans ~ Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
Grade: C-
While it only was one season, Jackson was a key part of the atrocious pass defense of the Texans in 2010. He does have promise for the future, but the on-field product has not looked pretty. 

21. Cincinnati Bengals ~ Jermaine Greshem, TE, Oklahoma
Grade: B
The Bengals finally found a playmaker at tight end in Greshem, who set a franchise record for catches by a rookie tight end in 2010. 

22. Denver Broncos ~ DeMaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
Grade: D+
Thomas did not to disprove his rawness and inconsistentcy with his hands and his route-running ability. He struggled to make a significant space out of the aerial attack in Denver. 

23. Green Bay Packers ~ Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Grade: B+
The Packers were extremely fortunate to have Bulaga fall to them and he proved to be a vital cog of their offensive line as they ran to the Super Bowl championship. 

24. Dallas Cowboys ~ Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Grade: B
Well the behavioral issues of Bryant are troubling and something to be worth monitoring in the future, Bryant showed tremendous play-making ability in 2010. He has the talent to be a top-flight target for Tony Romo for years. 

25. Denver Broncos ~ Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
Grade: C
Well I thought this was an awful pick last year, and I still may be right as he does not have a starting spot guaranteed in 2011, Tebow did show some potential when he got a chance to start late in 2010. Still needs work on his throwing motion, but may develop into something. With this guy, who knows?

26. Arizona Cardinals ~ Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Grade: B
The Cardinals craved a solid nose tackle going into the 2010 Draft and Williams proved to be just that in 2010. He fell on draft day but he played like a high pick and looks to be one of the better nose tackles in football.

27. New England Patriots ~ Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
Grade: A
McCourty made Bill Belichick look smart when he made the Pro Bowl in 2010 after a stellar rookie season. He looks to be the best corner in New England since Ty Law in his prime. 

28. Miami Dolphins ~ Jared Odrick, DE, Penn State
Grade: D+
Odrick saw very little playing time before missing the rest of the season after breaking his foot in October. Odrick is going to show a lot more next season.

29. New York Jets ~ Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
Grade: F
I loved Wilson coming out of college but he was a disaster when he got the chance to play in 2010. Fortunately the Jets are well off at corner so not many noticed. 

30. Detroit Lions ~ Jahvid Best, RB, California
Grade: B-
Best showed a lot of play-making ability when he saw the playing field in 2010. However he did seem to disappear as the season wore on. 

31. Indianapolis Colts ~ Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
Grade: F
Hughes did practically nothing in his rookie season and was not at all worth this selection. He very rarely saw the playing field and was invisible when he was on it. He really has to step up next season. Meanwhile, Bill Polian greatly regrets not taking Rodger Safford with this pick. 

32. New Orleans Saints ~ Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
Grade: C-
Robinson was a luxury pick and while the Saints organization does have high hopes for him, he really did not see much PT in his rookie season. I do expect his to get more playing team in his second season but he has not exactly set the world on fire. 

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