26 April 2013

2013 NFL Draft: 2nd & 3rd Round Grades

The NFL Draft rolls on tonight at Radio City with the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Here are my grades for these selections.

Preview
Big Board

2nd Round
33. Jacksonville Jaguars - Johnathan Cyprien, S, FIU
The Jaguars had a lot of needs going into tonight on defense after going offense with their first pick, particularly at safety, and Cyprien is a very good value. After all, many including myself thought he was a first round pick. But one does have to wonder if the Jaguars are seriously planning on going forward with Blaine Gabbert as their quarterback going forward. The top quarterback prospects were available for them with this pick.
Grade: B

34. Tennessee Titans (from Kansas City via San Francisco) - Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
The Titans really did not have to give up a whole lot here to San Francisco to move up, and I consider myself to be a big Justin Hunter fan. He should have gone in the previous round. He is very athletic, has great size, good speed and has solid hands. If he stays healthy, he will be a very good one, and I like how the Titans are building up a quality receiving corps.
Grade: A

35. Philadelphia Eagles - Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Really did not see this coming for the Eagles, I did not consider a tight end to be a big need for them. But just like with the Bengals, that does not make this a bad selection at all. In fact, Ertz was one of the top prospects on the board, and there are teams that preferred Ertz to Tyler Eifert. He runs solid routes and was a key weapon for Stanford. Now Philadelphia has an intriguing tight end crew for whoever their quarterback will be.
Grade: A-

36. Detroit Lions - Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State
Why in the world was Slay invited to the draft? I have no idea why that was, and while the Lions are addressing a big need at corner, even with Chris Houston re-signing, I do not love this pick. Slay really needs to work on his run defense game as he is pretty awful in that category, he does not have a lot of experience and he did not take advantage that much of playing opposite Jonathan Banks.
Grade: C

37. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) - Gio Bernard, RB, North Carolina
I love this selection, as I actually considered Bernard to be the top running back in the draft. Yes, he is undersized but he is an excellent weapon not just in the running game, but in the passing game as well in the return game. For years the Bengals have had plodders in the running game, now they have a guy that has some juice. Excellent pick.
Grade: A

38. San Diego Chargers (from Arizona) - Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
Finally, Te'o goes and the joint exploded. San Diego clearly liked the Hawaiian that they moved up for him, and I think this is a good selection considering that the team cut the aging Takeo Spikes. Yes, Te'o was awful against Alabama and had the hoax nonsense, but the guy can play football. He is a rock solid linebacker and has brilliant instincts. He has a very good nose for the football and while he does struggle with shedding blockers, he will be a good NFL linebacker.
Grade: B+

39. New York Jets - Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Remember when the Jets used to make bad picks? They are shoving that notion in the face and I really liked this selection. The Jets did not have the answer at quarterback, Mark Sanchez is a joke, Tim Tebow was never given a chance and Greg McElroy doesn't appear to be much. They get the best quarterback in the draft, even if he is not ready right away, at a great value. Well done.
Grade: A+

40. San Francisco 49ers (from Tennessee) - Tank Carradine, DE/OLB, Florida State
I said he was the best player on the board at the start of the day, and this is a tremendous pick for a team whose first pick I did not love. In the passing league of today, you can never have enough pass rushers and Carradine has the skills to be a really good one. Yes he tore his ACL in November but a loaded club like San Francisco can afford to take the risk.
Grade: A+

41. Buffalo Bills - Robert Woods, WR, USC
Yes their first selection was a disaster, we all know that, but they made up a little bit with a very good selection here. The Bills were really lacking at receiver opposite S. Johnson and Woods is a rock solid wideout with very good hands and runs quality routes. This is a very good value to boot.
Grade: A-

42. Oakland Raiders (from Miami) - Menelik Watson, T, Florida State
I did not love the Raiders' first pick but I do like this one. After all, they had a need at right tackle, hence those tackle rumors at 3 had they stayed put. I did not love Watson like others did, particularly going in the first round, because he is raw and inexperienced, but this is quality value here midway in the 2nd round.
Grade: B+

43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Personally, I am not as sold as others with Banks falling, shows that sometimes too much stock is put into a 40 yard dash time. Very early on, I had Banks going to the Buccaneers in the first round. This is tremendous value because it allows them to not have to play Eric Wright, who sucks, and it gives them cover if Darrelle Revis has a setback in his recovery.
Grade: A

44. Carolina Panthers - Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
I didn't give this a higher grade because I do not entirely love the move to double dip at tackle, even with how big the need was. That said, this is a tremendous value. Short should complement Star Lotulelei really well with how well he rushes the passer from the interior of the defensive line.
Grade: A-

45. Arizona Cardinals (from San Diego) - Kevin Minter, MLB, LSU
Minter is excellent value here, he could have gone late in the 1st. Arizona had a need for another inside linebacker, and thus this is a strong selection.
Grade: A

46. Buffalo Bills (from St. Louis) - Kiko Alonso, MLB, Oregon
This was a big reach for a guy who was far from the best linebacker on the board
Grade: D

47. Dallas Cowboys - Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State
I think Escobar is a solid prospect, but this is too early for him. Dallas has reach once again.
Grade: C+

48. Pittsburgh Steelers - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State
He is a solid fit for the Steelers, but there were much better running back available. Bell looks like just another Big Ten plodder.
Grade: C

49. New York Giants - Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Giants love having a deep defensive line and Hankins is quality value here. He should help improve their running game immediately.
Grade: B+

50. Chicago Bears - Jon BosticMLB, Florida
Definitely not the best linebacker on the board, although I think he is a solid prospect. Does fill a need as well.
Grade: B-

51. Washington Redskins - David Amerson, CB, N.C. State
Would have been a great pick a year ago, but Amerson was a disaster in 2012. Does fill a big need as Washington was in trouble at corner.
Grade: B-

52. New England Patriots (from Minnesota) - Jamie Collins, DE/OLB, Southern Miss
I think Collins is an underrated prospect and you can never have too many pass rushers in this day and age.
Grade: B

53. Cincinnati Bengals - Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
On one end, I fail to see the need here. The Bengals are set at defensive end with a pair of good ones. Then again, thus they can afford to take a flier on a project like Hunt
Grade: B

54. Miami Dolphins (from Indianapolis) - Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
How was Taylor available at this juncture? Helps out a defense that desperately needs corner help, and takes out a guy New England was looking at potentially.
Grade: A

55. San Francisco 49ers (from Green Bay) - Vance McDonald, TE, Rice
I like the fit to replace Delanie Walker, but did they really have to move up for him?
Grade: B-

56. Baltimore Ravens (from Seattle) - Arthur Brown, MLB, Kansas State
This is fantastic value for a guy I thought should have gone in the first. He has blazing speed and makes tackles everywhere. Fits in really well.
Grade: A+

57. Houston Texans - D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina
Boy, does this kid hit. For a team that is now relying on Ed Reed, to get a kid who can play both safety spots is a sound decision.
Grade: B+

58. Denver Broncos - Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
Ball may have an awesome nose for the end zone, and he is a good fit for the Broncos, but again, not quite the best running back on the board.
Grade: C

59. New England Patriots - Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall
I like Dobson a decent amount and while the Patriots often miss on wideouts in the draft, I think Dobson can be a good one. He's a big, physical wideout Tom Brady will like.
Grade: B+

60. Atlanta Falcons - Robert Alford, CB, SE Louisiana
Atlanta has made some strong selections to build their cornerback, which got depleted in free agency. This is really good value.
Grade: A-

61. Green Bay Packers - Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Unlike most, I am not a big Lacy fan. I think he was a product of the incredible offensive line at Alabama and I am not seeing that high of a ceiling at the next level where he will not always have such a dominant surrounding cast. That said, this is a very good value for a team that has struggled for years to find any sort of consistent running game, and he complements the passing game well.
Grade: B

62. Seattle Seahawks - Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M
This was not a need here, so I don't give why they spent their first selection here. Also, not the best running back on the board either.
Grade: C

3rd Round
63. Kansas City Chiefs - Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
Not really much of a need here but Kelce is the most well-rounded tight end in the draft. Should be a good weapon for Alex Smith.
Grade: A-

64. Jacksonville Jaguars - Dwayne Gratz, CB, UConn
A few things. Yes corner is a need, but Gratz was not even the best cornerback on his club, I prefer Blidi Wreh-Wilson. And when will they take a quarterback?
Grade: D

65. Detroit Lions - Larry Warford, G, Kentucky
Now this is a glorious pick. How in the world was Warford available with the 65th selection? This kid is a very good guard prospect and the Lions need to upgrade their line.
Grade: A+

66. Oakland Raiders (from Detroit) - Sio Moore, OLB, UConn
Oakland needs more talent on their defense and their linebackers are a disaster right now. Really good value to boot.
Grade: A

67. Philadelphia Eagles - Bennie Logan, DT, LSU
Do not love the fit for the 3-4, but Logan is a good player and I like him.
Grade: B

68. Cleveland Browns - Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego State
Cleveland needs a quality corner opposite Joe Haden and McFadden looked good at the Senior Bowl and is good in run support for a small corner.
Grade: B+

69. Arizona Cardinals - Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
As I have said, I do not particularly love Mathieu. That said, this is really good value for him and he helps to fill a need at cornerback, where Arizona lacked for depth outside of fellow LSU corner Patrick Peterson. If his head is on straight, he can work out well.
Grade: A-

70. Tennessee Titans - Blidi Wreh Wilson, CB, UConn
As I mentioned, I prefer him to Gratz and this is really good value. He should start right away.
Grade: A-

71. St. Louis Rams (from Buffalo) - T.J. McDonald, S, USC
The Rams had a really big need at safety, but a little too early for McDonald.
Grade: B-

72. New York Jets - Brian Winters, G, Kent State
I would have gone receiver here and while Winters does fill a need, I don't love him in the 3rd round.
Grade: C

73. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Mike Glennon, QB, N.C. State
Um, what? Is Josh Freeman on the hot seat? Glennon isn't even the best quarterback on the board either. Very bizarre.
Grade: D-

74. Dallas Cowboys (from Carolina via San Francisco) - Terrence Williams, WR, Baylor
Not a need whatsoever, but quality value and you can never have too many receivers.
Grade: B

75. New Orleans Saints - Terron Armstead, T, Ark Pine Bluff
To get Armstead here is good stuff for New Orleans, who need tackle depth. He is a developmental guy but he has the talent to be a quality left tackle. Athletic like a mother.
Grade: A

76. San Diego Chargers - Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
Man, this took a while, but that knee must be a real concern. Regardless, this guy is a really good wideout that got burned by garbage quarterback play. Should have gone in the first, and this may be the best pick of the night.
Grade: A+

77. Miami Dolphins - Dallas Thomas, T, Tennessee
I guess the Brandon Albert deal is dead. Thomas can play tackle or guard well, should be a good one.
Grade: B+

78. Buffalo Bills (from St. Louis) - Marquise Goodwin, WR, Texas
Don't like the pick, where was his production in college?
Grade: C-

79. Pittsburgh Steelers - Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State
This is a steal, he's very underrated.
Grade: A

80. Dallas Cowboys - J.J. Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern
Dallas finally get a safety and Wilcox is very versatile, which Monte Kiffin will like. Very good value to boot, definitely the best pick of the draft for the faux America's team.
Grade: B+

81. New York Giants - Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Remember when he was going to be a top five or ten pick? He had a disastrous Combine, ran slow and had few reps, and has some character issues. But at this point with his production, tremendous pick for New York.
Grade: A

82. New Orleans Saints (from Chicago via Miami) - John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
For a club that really needs a 3-4 nose tackle, this is a tremendous fit and really good value. I love this pick.
Grade: A+

83. New England Patriots (from Minnesota) - Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
Do not like this pick. Personally not a big Ryan guy and this feels like a reach. Is a big need though.
Grade: C-

84. Cincinnati Bengals - Shawn Williams, S, Georgia
Not a huge fan of this guy either, even if this is a big need as well.
Grade: C-

85. Washington Redskins - Jordan Reed, TE, Florida
Didn't fill a need but I don't care. I am fully on board with the multi-tight end set craze and Robert Griffin will love to utilize this guy. Solid value as well.
Grade: A

86. Indianapolis Colts - Hugh Thornton, G, Illinois
Indianapolis really needs help in their interior of their offensive line, and I think Thornton is underrated.
Grade: B

87. Seattle Seahawks - Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State
Hill fell under the radar in a deep tackle class and will help build a stout run defense in the interior with Brandon Mebane.
Grade: A-

88. San Francisco 49ers (from Green Bay) - Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn
Not a terrible player and is a good fit for the 3-4. Do like the 49ers loading up on edge rushers as well.
Grade: B

89. Houston Texans - Brennan Williams, T, North Carolina
Williams is long and is talented, but he is strictly a right tackle. He also is not that typical mean lineman either, which I don't care about, but some line coaches do.
Grade: B-

90. Denver Broncos - Kayvon Webster, CB, South Florida
This is a guy that was all but off the radar. Was solid at the East-West Game. Denver had a need for a corner, but this is way too early.
Grade: D

91. New England Patriots - Duron Harmon, S, Rutgers
This guy was thought to be a late draft pick, if not an undrafted free agent. So yes, too early.
Grade: D

92. St. Louis Rams (from Atlanta) - Steadman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
Yes, West Virginia had another quality wideout on their club in Bailey, and now he will join Austin in St. Louis. This is a tremendous pick, quality value, and Sam Bradford needs the weapons. Bailey is a very good possession guy.
Grade: A

93. Miami Dolphins (from Green Bay via San Francisco) - Will Davis, CB, Utah State
You can never have too many corners either and Davis is an underrated prospect that can be a solid player if he eases up on his aggressiveness.
Grade: B

94. Baltimore Ravens - Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern St. 
I have never head of this school but Williams is a 3-time All American, which is pretty badass. He should a solid rotation nose guy.
Grade: B

95. Houston Texans (compensation) - Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Forgot this guy was on the board, and this is a very good value pick here. Yes it is a bit of a luxury selection but depth at rushing linebacker .
Grade: A-

96. Kansas City Chiefs (compensation) - Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
I liked Davis a lot, before all his injury issues. He does not fill Kansas City's need for a physical back, helped himself with a fast 40-yard time and has bad injury issues. I don't get it.
Grade: C-

97. Tennessee Titans (compensation) - Zaviar Gooden, OLB, Missouri
Needed depth at linebacker and Gooden is an underrated speedy 'backer who is a solid tackler as well.
Grade: B+

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