2013 NFL AFC Draft First Round Grades.
The AFC North. C+
The Baltimore Ravens- C+
With the last pick in the first round, the Ravens grabbed Florida safety Matt Elam. I understand but do not like this pick. When it comes to the draft there are two schools of thought. You draft your needs, or you draft the best player available. Ozzie Newsome, while a great GM, has dropped the ball when it comes to first round picks. Guys like Michael Oher, Kyle Boller, and Michael Clayton haven't really worked out. I think the Ravens drafted to fill a need with a guy who might not fit their scheme. He's a decent prospect, but certainly wasn't the BPA.
The Cincinnati Bengals- A-
The Bengals grabbed tight end Tyler Eifert, which is a pick I really, really like. Why? Well... Firstly, he's a great player, easily the best tight end in the draft. And secondly? He's gonna complete this offense. A.J. Green can spread the field, and Andy Dalton can pick apart the middle of the field with Eifert and Gresham, the other tight end in Cleveland. Don't think that can work? Do the names Gronkowski and Hernandez mean anything to you?
The Pittsburgh Steelers- D-
The Steelers are one of the most celebrated franchises in NFL history. The 6 rings speak for themselves. However... They haven't drafted well. Other than their center, Maurkice Pouncy, and their star linebacker, Lawrence Timmons, the Steelers haven't had a great first round pick since Santonio Holmes... Who is no longer on the team. Their pick of Jarvis Jones? Figures to be yet another bust. The film on this guy is hideous, and I'm not sure where he'll actually fit in on this team.
The Cleveland Browns- C+
Browns... Kind of the same story as the Steelers. Barkevious Mingo, despite having an incredible name, has some ugly film, and disappears against superior linemen. He certainly wasn't the BPA, and this squad has way too many needs on offense for them to blow a pick like this. He showed a little more promise than Jones on film, and might be able to bulk up and prove me wrong... But I hate this pick.
The AFC South. A+
The Houston Texans- A+
The Texans made my favorite pick in the draft so far. I've said a lot of bad things about Houston this off-season, but drafting DeAndre Hopkins from Clemson might be changing my mind. He was the BPA on many draft boards and he filled a huge need. They finally got a number two receiver. He gives Matt Schaub a number two target, and takes some pressure off of Andre Johnson. Great pick.
The Indianapolis Colts- A-
The Colts got the pass rusher, BJ Werner from FSU in the later rounds. This is a good pick. He isn't very experienced, but he's extremely gifted and committed and should complement Cory Redding and Robert Mathis nicely.
The Tennessee Titans- B+
This is simple, they got the guard, Chance Warmack, from 'Bama. He's going to be welcomed with open arms by RB Chris Johnson and should make an immediate impact.
The Jacksonville Jaguars- A+
They didn't take Geno Smith, which... Phew, was a brilliant move. They grabbed an offensive lineman, Mr. Luke (inhales and wildly guesses) Joeckel, who is probably the safest pick in the draft. They look brilliant now because with the first pick in the second round, all of the players that they were rumored to be interested in are still available, especially the quarterbacks.
The AFC West. B+
The Denver Broncos- B+
Denver grabbed the D-tackle, Sylvester Williams from UNC. He isn't a "jump off the paper" talent, but he's definitely somebody who will help the brilliant Denver defense. He'll cause some disruption in the middle of the line and make Von Miller's job a little easier.
The San Diego Chargers- D+
The Chargers needed to help Philip Rivers... And they kindof did. They grabbed OT D.J. Fluker... This was a bad choice. While he is a big boy... His footwork is atrocious. He struggles mightily vs. speed rushers outside. It's a good thing he doesn't share a division with Tamba Hali, Von Miller, and Lamaar Housto... oh... Wait. If he moves inside to guard, then I'll change my opinion on this pick, but there's no way that he will succeed on the outside.
The Oakland Raiders- A+
Reggie McKenzie wanted D.J. Hayden with the 3rd overall pick, but he also knew that what the Raiders really needed were more picks, so he traded the 3rd overall pick to the Dolphins for the 12th spot overall and a second round spot. Well, 9 picks later, Hayden was still available and the Raiders snatched him up. He is the best corner in this years draft, and fills the Raiders biggest need. The Raiders made orange juice out of lemons last night.
The Kansas City Chiefs- B+
I like Eric Fischer as player. His film is good, and he has the right size. The only thing I don't like about the Chiefs taking him first overall is that he is from a small school and didn't really play against superior talent. Jumping from MAC players to Von Miller and Lamaar Houston (see Chargers fans, it goes both ways) should be tough. If he transitions well, then this pick is an A+. Especially since KC will probably part ways with incumbent starter, Brandon Albert.
The AFC East. D+
The New England Patriots- A+
The Patriots drafted... Nobody. They didn't draft a soul. Why didn't I post a "Did Not Draft??" because... They got the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th round picks from the Vikings for a late round spot... That they really didn't have any plans for. Best move in the draft last night.
The Miami Dolphins- C+
The Dolphins traded up to grab Dion Jordan. It's a good pick, they can use him to pass rush Mr. Brady and try and create some turnovers... But... The trade up? Not a very good call. The Phins already had a decent defense, and there are some serious holes on offense. Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace both have huge holes in their game, and they still need a replacement for Jake Long. Lane Johnson was right there for them... Good player, decent pick, but the Phins just keep spending money on toys they don't need instead of putting bread on the table.
The New York Jets- F
I have never seen a draft with so much promise for a franchise, collapse like the New York Jets.
Lets be honest, their hopes aren't high for the 2013 season, in fact, many people have speculated that management only kept Rex Ryan around to use as a scapegoat to take the fall while they clean up the roster. I don't believe that Rex Ryan watched any film before making his selections at 9 and 13 last night. Dee Millner makes anyone familiar with the position cringe watching him attempt to backpedal, and his complete lack of ball skills are atrocious. And how does Rex explain taking Sheldon Richardson while Shariff Floyd and Star Lotulelei were still available? Worst first round I've ever seen, and yes, I'm aware of Al Davis' decisions
The Buffalo Bills- D-
E.J. Manuel? Seriously. The fifth ranked QB in the draft??? With the 16th overall pick? Ridiculous. And way too soon. They pick again at 41 and so far are the only team to have taken a QB. They could have taken a new receiver? A tight end? A corner? And STILL been able to grab Manuel at 41. I'm embarrassed for them.