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AFC Draft Grades

By: Robert Davis

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Baltimore Ravens - A
Best Pick: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame(1st Round)
Stanley has the ability to be a standout left tackle in the NFL. Any time you add a player like that, consider yourself lucky.
Keep an eye on: Kamalei Correa, OLB, Boise St(2nd Round)
Upgrading the pass rush with some talent off the edge was a priority for the Ravens in this draft. Correa is aggressive and relentless off the edge. They filled a need with a gifted player off the edge.
Overall: The Ravens are one of the better drafting teams in the league and they were on top of it again this year. Stanley and Correa are immediate impact guys at need positions. The fourth round was kind to them, as they hauled in CB Tavon Young, OT Alex Lewis, DT Willie Henry, and RB Kenneth Dixon.

Buffalo Bills - B
Best Pick: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama(2nd Round)
Ragland is a physical presence in the middle of the defense that can really set the tone for the entire unit. The Bills needed that type of player, and nabbing a first round talent in the middle of the second is great value.
Keep an eye on: Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio St(3rd Round)
He's a 300lber that can really move. He needs to gain some consistency but could really wreak some havoc under Rex Ryan.
Overall: Is it really a surprise that Rex Ryan added three front seven defenders with his first three picks? Adding a pass rusher(1st Round, Shaq Lawson), a thumper in Ragland, and an athletic linemen in Washington gives the team a lot of depth and flexibility up front. You have to worry about the lack of attention to the offense, however. A talent upgrade on the OL and at WR was needed as well. Landing developmental QB Cardale Jones in the fourth could prove to be a steal.

Cincinnati Bengals- B+
Best Pick: Tyler Boyd, WR, Pitt(2nd Round)
Boyd is one of the more polished receivers in this class. He has good size, knows how to get open, and can go get the football. He will make an early impact opposite AJ Green.
Keep an eye on: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor(4th Round)
He might have fallen because he doesn't offer much pass rush ability, but he's a flat out steal in the fourth. He is one of the best run stoppers in this draft and will make an impact in the NFL.
Overall: The Bengals did a great job hitting value and need positions. They will get an impact from Tyler Boyd right away, and William Jackson(1st Round), Lb Nick Vigil(3rd Round), OG Christian Westerman(5th Round) and DT Billings could play as rookies.

Cleveland Browns - A
Best Pick: While not a single pick or move, the two trades they made moving down were fantastic. They picked up multiple picks this year and next, as well as adding a 2nd rounder in 2018.
Keep an eye on: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE/OLB, Oklahoma St(2nd Round)
Ogbah is a bit raw, but his blend of size, athleticism, and strength is top notch. He was a difference maker in college and is just scratching the surface of his potential.
Overall: The amount of future picks compiled is huge for a team in dire need of talent everywhere on its roster. The players added with their picks this year will make an impact too. WR was a huge need and they landed the explosive Corey Coleman in the first. Ogbah addresses the pass rush. They got bigger and more physical on both lines with DE Carl Nassib and OT Shon Coleman in the third. The one disappointment might be that the QB they opted to go with was Cody Kessler(3rd Round), who profiles as nothing more than a backup at the pro level. OL Spencer Drango and WR Rashard Higgins in the fifth have the ability to surprise.

Denver Broncos - B
Best Pick: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis(1st Round)
With the surprising departure of Brock Osweiler in free agency, the Broncos had to find a long term answer at QB. Lynch is as gifted as any QB in this draft, but will require some patience. If given enough time to work on his game, Lynch has all the tools to be a star at the next level.
Keep an eye on: Justin Simmons, S, Boston College(3rd Round)
The Broncos needed to replenish some depth on defense and they may have selected an impact player with Simmons. His length, ball skills, and toughness will get him on the field early.
Overall: Trading up to get Lynch made sense, but hes a project. DT Adam Gotsis(2nd Round) and S Simmons will help with some of the depth the Broncos lost in free agency. RB Devontae Booker(4th Round) could be a major steal. If not for an injury during the season, he could've been a second round pick.

Houston Texans - C+
Best Pick: Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame(2nd Round)
In need of a starting center, the Texans waited until the second round and got a quality player with solid value. Martin in the second is better than Ryan Kelly in the first. He should be a starter for a long time.
Keep an eye on: Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio St(3rd Round)
Miller has always been a wild card because of his upside. He's a gifted playmaker with the ball in his hands, but only spent one season as a wide receiver. This is a good spot for him to develop, because he will not be required to make an impact right away. His all around explosiveness could make him a better player than the WR the Texans selected in the first round, Will Fuller.
Overall: The Texans wanted to add speed at WR, and they did that in a big way. They landed the draft's top vertical threat in Will Fuller(1st Round), and then added Miller in the third. Martin should step in on day one as the teams starting center. RB Tyler Ervin(4th Round) could provide a playmaking element to the offense with his big play ability.

Indianapolis Colts - C+
Best Pick: Le'Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech(3rd Round)
Clark has the athleticism to stick at left tackle, and the experience in a pass happy attack to protect Andrew Luck one day. He may need a little time working in a more traditional offense and getting stronger, but his talent level is real.
Keep an eye on: TJ Green, S, Clemson(2nd Round)
Green was a rising name because he killed it at the combine and in workouts. He's only spent two years as a safety, and that's obvious on the field. He's got great size, speed, athleticism and a natural feel in coverage, but he needs to be more disciplined and consistent on the field. In a year or two, he could be a big time safety in the NFL.
Overall: Ryan Kelly filled a need and is a solid player, but is a reach in the top twenty. Green and Clark are gifted players that need some time to develop. DT Hassan Ridgeway(4th round) adds depth up front right away, and OT Joe Haeg(5th) has upside. The Colts had to get protection for Andrew Luck and they did.

Jacksonville Jaguars - A
Best Pick: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida St.(1st Round)
Ramsey is one of the top two players in the draft, and the Jags landed him fifth overall. He's a stud who could be a superstar for the Jags.
Keep an eye on: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA(2nd Round)
Jack could also go under the best pick category, as he could be highway robbery in the second round. The questions about his knee are obviously real, but it is also possible that teams were being too cautious. Even if Jack only plays five years in the league, it should be five years at a high level. The Jags hit it out of the park with their first two picks.
Overall: Landing Ramsey and Jack is amazing, and puts them at the top of the draft, no matter what else they do the rest of the day. Yannick Ngakoue(3rd round) was a reach because he's a one trick pony, but if he's allowed to tee off on the QB on passing downs, he could make an impact. DT Sheldon Day(4th Round) is another intriguing defensive player with his ability to apply pressure. It was a great weekend for the Jags.

Kansas City Chiefs - C
Best Pick: Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi St(2nd Round)
The Chiefs traded out of the first round and still nabbed a first round talent in Jones. While he's inconsistent and needs some refinement, his physical gifts are tremendous. With the right motivation, he can be a star.
Keep an eye on: Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford(5th Round)
Hogan is tough, smart, and a leader. He will be a good backup QB for a long time, but there could be some starter potential down the road.
Overall: DT Jones is the one potential impact player early on, and he has some motor issues. DB KeiVarae Russell(3rd Round) could play corner or safety. On day three, they added some upside on the offense with WR's Demarcus Robinson and Tyreek Hill, as well as QB Hogan. There isn't much in the way of immediate impact but there are some developmental pieces.

Miami Dolphins - B
Best Pick: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss(1st Round)
Getting the draft's top talent at 13th overall is a steal. There was obviously some off the field drama that affected his stock right before the draft kicked off, but he can move past that. Tunsil is a franchise caliber left tackle that went to a team needing help on the offensive line, and they landed him outside of the top ten. Tremendous player and even better value.
Keep an eye on: Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers(3rd Round)
Carroo has good size, athleticism, and ball skills. He knows how to get open and make plays. While there is talent at WR on the Dolphins, nobody has established themselves and Carroo could come in and take reps away.
Overall: Tunsil was a steal and gives the team a big boost on the offensive line, no matter where they end up playing him. CB Xavien Howard(2nd Round) gives them some potential in the secondary, and the third round gave them two playmakers on offense with RB Kenyan Drake and WR Carroo. Other than adding some depth on the defensive line early, the Phins did a good job adding talent and depth at need positions on the team.

New England Patriots - D
Best Pick: Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama(2nd Round)
Jones has intriguing upside. He has great quickness and athleticism, as well as showing the toughness to get physical and support the run. He's spent three years in the secondary after beginning his career as a wideout, so there may be even more upside to his game. He's also a difference maker as a punt returner.
Keep an eye on: Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia(4th Round)
Mitchell isn't a game breaker, but he fits the Partiots system well. He's quick, tough, and willing to work the middle of the field. The team needed some youth at the position, and Mitchell could be a sleeper.
Overall: The Patriots draft is a bit confusing. They were robbed of their first round pick, but still had four day two picks to work with. Jones fills an obvious need at corner as well as on punt returns, giving them a playmaker in that role. The rest of day two was a little questionable. Unless the Patriots are sold on OL Joe Thuney(3rd Round) as a tackle, he really doesn't fit. Most have him pegged as an interior linemen, and the Patriots already have good, young depth at each spot along the interior. A third QB is need with the possible Tom Brady suspension, but a third round pick on Jacoby Brissett to be third string behind Brady and 3rd year man Jimmy Garoppolo? Their last third rounder, Vincent Valentine, was an early entry that has been plagued by injuries and being out of shape. There is upside, but is a reach in the third round and doesn't provide an early impact. Out of four picks on day two, only one looks like a potential contributor as a rookie.

New York Jets - B
Best Pick: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio St.(1st Round)
For a team needing speed at linebacker, you couldn't ask for a better fit. Lee can cover ground with the best of them and has a knack for making plays.
Keep an eye on: Charone Peake, WR, Clemson(7th Round)
Clemson has done a great job producing wide receivers lately, and Peake could be the next one. He has been buried behind big time talent, so an opportunity to play might be all he needs.
Overall: Lee will make the Jets defense even stronger. QB Christian Hackenburg(2nd Round) is a project but could pay off huge. OLB Jordan Jenkins(3rd round) may not be a stand out athlete, but he is a very good football player and is now on a team that needs edge talent badly. WR Peake brings intriguing upside for a seventh rounder.

Oakland Raiders - B
Best Pick: Jihad Ward, DL, Illinois(2nd Round)
More talent and depth was needed up front for the Raiders. Ward brings athleticism and versatility to the unit, which is exactly what they needed.
Keep an eye on: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan St(4th Round)
Cook was a possible first round pick just three months ago. There may be some attitude concerns but the kid has the skills and on field ability to be a starter in the NFL. Falling on draft day and hearing the criticism in his game could be the wake up call needed to help him reach his potential.
Overall: 1st round S Karl Joseph is a playmaker, but was a reach at 14. DL Ward will play immediately, and DE Shilique Calhoun(3rd round) provides more depth along the defensive front. Cook was great value on day three, and 7th round OG Vadal Alexander has real talent as well.

Pittsburgh Steelers - B+
Best Pick: Artie Burns, CB, Miami(1st Round)
Burns has elite physical ability, he just needs to put it together. The Steelers need talent at corner, and they upgraded that in a major with this pick.
Keep an eye on: Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina St(3rd Round)
Hargrave has the power and quickness to be a force, but will need to get in better shape and handle the jump in competition. T
Overall: Landing Burns and the versatile Sean Davis in the second adds much needed talent to the secondary. Hargrave gives them depth and upside on the DL, and 4th Round OT gives them depth and upside on the OL. LB Travis Feeney(6th round) needs to get stronger, but he is very athletic off the edge.

San Diego Chargers B
Best Pick: Joey Bosa, DL, Ohio St(1st Round)
Bosa was kind of overlooked as an option for the Chargers because of questions about his fit in a 34 defense. He's a great football player that can fit in any defense, and the Chargers did a good job recognizing that.
Keep an eye on: Max Tuerk, OL, USC(3rd Round)
Before injuring his knee last season, Tuerk was a potential first round pick. His ability to play tackle, guard, and center will give the Chargers much needed depth and versatility along the offensive line.
Overall: Bosa, TE Hunter Henry(2nd Round), and Tuerk fill immediate needs and provide depth. Day three brought talent and depth the linebacking corp with Josh Perry and Jatavis Brown.

Tennessee Titans - B-
Best Pick: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan St(1st Round)
Upgrading the offensive line was a priority and they got a good one in Conklin. His toughness and physicality is a tone setter at RT.
Keep an eye on: Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama(2nd Round)
Demarco Murray will be the work horse, but he has had durability issues in his career. If Murray ever sits out, they won't lose a beat.
Overall: Much like the Browns, obtaining extra picks for trading down was a big get. It gave them the chance to add a lot of talent and depth throughout the roster. Some of the picks were questionable, though. Kevin Dodd is a great player, but a questionable fit in a 34. They picked DT Austin Johnson over some more talented lineman. 3rd round S Kevin Byard was a bit of a reach as well. The Titans improved the talent and depth on the team, but you can't help but think they could've done better.

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