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AFC Draft Grades

By: Robert Davis

Click here for 2012 NFC Draft Grades

Baltimore Ravens B
The Ravens traded out of the first round, and still landed a first round talent, in Alabama DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw. Iowa St OL Kelechi Osemele was a reach in the second round. He is talented, but needs to play with more fire. 3rd round RB, Bernard Pierce of Temple, is a tremendous selection. He will help keep Ray Rice fresh, but also step up if something happens to Rice.

Buffalo Bills A
South Carolina CB Stephen Gilmore will help the secondary immediately, and 2nd round OL Cordy Glenn was a steal. NC State WR TJ Graham has speed to burn and could help take pressure off Steve Johnson. The 5th round provided the Bills with excellent value and potential: TCU LB Tank Carder and Florida State OT Zebrie Sanders.

Cincinnati Bengals A
If its possible to connect on every pick, the Bengals may have done so. They not only addressed major needs, but did so with excellent value. Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick will help the secondary from day one. Wisconsin OG Kevin Zeitler will bring toughness to the interior line, and second round DT Devon Still from Penn State was great value. The third round brought two more value picks in Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu and Clemson DT Brandon Thompson. The 4th round brought Georgia TE Orson Charles, giving Andy Dalton another weapon in the passing game. In the 5th round, the Bengals landed three prospects that should have gone earlier in Iowa CB Shaun Prater, Cal WR Marvin Jones, and Boise State S George Iloka. Upgrading both lines, the secondary, and adding weapons to take pressure off AJ Green is about as good a draft as you could hope for.

Cleveland Browns C
Trent Richardson was a great selection, but the Browns panicked in moving up from #4 to #3 to ensure it. With their second first rounder, the Browns reached on Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden. He will be a 29 year old rookie and has to learn a pro style offense, with limited weapons in the passing game. The Browns should have looked to the WR position to give Colt McCoy more help instead of looking to move on. Cal OT Mitchell Schwartz was a stretch in the early second round, but should help out at the RT position early on.

Denver Broncos D+
The Broncos moved out of the first round to pick up extra picks, but did not seem to make the most of the selections. Cincinnati DT Derek Wolfe is talented, but a reach in the early second. Arizona State QB Brock Osweiler will be a great understudy for Peyton Manning, but may not see the field for four or five years. San Diego State RB Ronnie Hillman is a big play threat, but is not much of a threat between the tackles, has durability concerns, and isn't much of a threat as a receiver. Arizona State CB Omar Bolden was a potential second rounder after last season, but tore his ACL(second ACL injury) last spring, and missed the entire season. The Broncos seemingly reached at each spot for players and has a rather large boom or bust possibilities. They could have done much better building around Peyton Manning.

Houston Texans C
Illinois DE/OLB Whitney Mercilus was a solid selection in the first, and should help replace Mario Williams in their front seven. 3rd round WR DeVier Posey was a reach. Their next two picks could help solidify the interior OL, with 3rd round OG Brandon Brooks from Miami(OH) and C Ben Jones of Georgia. Nebraska DL Jared Crick could be a steal in the 4th round.

Indianapolis Colts A
It's hard to not have a great draft when you landed the best player overall, which the Colts did at the top with Andrew Luck. They also did a great job in giving him some dependable weapons. He will be re-united with 2nd round TE Coby Fleener from Stanford. Their experience together should allow both to have rather large impacts from the first snap. The Colts also selected the drafts #2 TE in Dwayne Allen, giving him two big targets over the middle of the field to depend on. They then went with a vertical threat in Florida International WR T.Y. Hilton. They finally addressed the defense in the fourth, with a value selection in Alabama DT Josh Chapman.

Jacksonville Jaguars C-
The draft started off so well for the Jags. They moved up to get Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon. While he may not be a physical freak, he is a legitimate #1 WR option and will give Blaine Gabbert a much needed go to option. Clemson DE Andre Branch was another solid selection. With needs still at the DE spot and in the secondary, the Jags then selected . A punter in the third round. Cal P Bryan Anger was the drafts top punter, but the team had much larger needs and had talented options available. Day three didn't provide the team with much hope either.

Kansas City Chiefs C+
Some are surprised at the Dontari Poe selection at 11, but every 3-4 defense needs an anchor on the nose. Poe has skills rarely seen at the position and fills a major need. The next two selections went towards upgrading the offensive line, with Illinois OL Jeff Allen in the 2nd and Oklahoma OT Donald Stephenson in the 3rd.

Miami Dolphins B
Ryan Tannehill was the obvious choice for the Dolphins at 8 with their need at the QB spot, but that still was a reach. Landing Stanford OT Jonathan Martin in the second round could have made up for it though. The next two picks addressed needs in Miami DE Olivier Vernon and Missouri TE Michael Egnew. Miami RB Lamar Miller was the second best back in the draft, and they landed him in the fourth. Tremendous value with that selection.

New England Patriots B
The Patriots rarely trade up, but did so for Syracuse DE Chandler Jones and Alabama LB Dont'a Hightower. Belichick must love these two kids, but there is some question about where Hightower fits. He brings some versatility, but probably lacks the speed and athleticism to be a difference maker on the outside, and they already have Brandon Spikes inside. Illinois DB Tavon Wilson was the head scratcher of the draft. The Patriots are usually all about value, but that one came out of left field, with Wilson carrying at mid day three grade at best. 3rd round DE Jake Bequette of Arkansas is a typical Belichick lineman strong, tough, and nasty. 7th round DB Alfonxo Dennard of Nebraska was a steal. He slid because of bar fight with a police officer, but had the talent to be taken in the top 100. For a team in dire need of defensive help, the Patriots did an excellent job of filling holes.

New York Jets B
The Jets landed two big time talents in the first two rounds, but there are concerns about both. In the 1st, they selected North Carolina DE Quinton Coples. He is as talented as any end in the draft, but there are questions about his motor on the field. Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill was projected to go higher, but is as raw as they come at the position. He has immense potential though, and potentially gives the Jets the big play threat they have been lacking. With two picks that definitely fall in the boom or bust category, the Jets are really counting on these two to develop to call this draft a success.

Oakland Raiders C-
Like the Saints, the Raiders didn't select until the third round. They gave up their 1st rounder for Carson Palmer, and gave up their 2nd rounder in a draft day trade last year. The Supplemental draft saw them lose another pick, when they selected Terrelle Pryor with a third rounder. They didn't add much in this draft aside from some toughness and depth, but Arizona WR Juron Criner could help at the WR position.

Pittsburgh Steelers A
The Steelers have needed to upgrade their line for a couple years now. They may not need much help in the near future. Stanford OG David DeCastro was a steal at 24. Ohio State OT Mike Adams was a steal in the 2nd. These are two players that can start as rookies, and have the potential to be standouts. In the third round, the Steelers landing a speedy but undersized tackling machine in Miami LB Sean Spence, and landed another steal in 4th round NT Alameda Ta'amu.

San Diego Chargers A
The Chargers landed the player many felt was the drafts top DE in South Carolina Melvin Ingram with the 18th selection. He will play standing up, but his ability to apply pressure off the edge will be a definite boost to the front seven. They stayed in the front seven with their second rounder, selecting UConn DT Kendall Reyes. He was a potential first rounder, and will definitely have an impact next year on the DL. 4th round TE LaDarius Green of Lousiana-Lafayette could be a steal. He needs to bulk up, but he has the type of athleticism and receiving skills to step in for Antonio Gates as he continues to age.

Tennessee Titans B
Many feel the Titans stole the Browns top target with the #22 pick by selecting Baylor WR Kendall Wright at #20. His speed and playmaking ability will definitely help open up the offense. North Carolina LB Zach Brown is a playmaker, and could give the Titans one of the more athletic linebacker units in the league. Oklahoma State S Markelle Martin in the 6th round is a flat out steal, and he could provide an impact early on.

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