Round 1 Recap:

NFL Draft

1. St. Louis Rams- QB Sam Bradford- The Rams got their ‘franchise’ quarterback, and while I think there are some questions regarding Bradford, he does make sense in St. Louis. The Rams desperately needed a quarterback and now have a top prospect to groom. Grade: B+

2. Detroit Lions- DT Ndamukong Suh- I think the Lions got an exceptional player in Suh. He is a stout run defender and can still get after the quarterback. He will make everyone else on the Lions defense better, just by his presence on the interior. Grade: A+

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- DT Gerald McCoy- McCoy and the Bucs were pretty much made for each other, he is a pass rushing defensive tackle and the Bucs need all the help they can get in that department. Grade A+

4. Washington Redskins- OT Trent Williams- The Redskins did address their biggest need which for them is quite surprising, but they also might have reached a little bit for Williams. The Redskins weren’t able to trade back and stockpile picks in this deep draft, which I think is going to hurt them down the line. For more in depth analysis about why the Redskins need to trade down, check out my blog on the subject. Grade B

5. Kansas City Chiefs- S Eric Berry- Berry might be the best overall player in this draft, and looks like an instant star. Not only that, Kansas City filled one of their biggest needs. Grade A+

6. Seattle Seahawks- OT Russell Okung- Seattle stays right where they are and land quite possibly the top offensive tackle in the draft. They still have serious questions at QB and RB, but answered the call as to who will protect them. He might not be at that elite level as say Walter Jones, but Okung is a very good tackle. Grade A

7. Cleveland Browns- CB Joe Haden- The Browns get the top corner available in this draft, but did just watch their biggest need free safety (Berry) go off the board two picks ahead of them. Haden should develop quickly into a frontline starter, and has the tools to be a Pro Bowl caliber corner. Grade A-

8. Oakland Raiders- MLB Rolando McClain- The Raiders probably jumped the gun on McClain a bit early, but he is a very productive middle linebacker. The biggest issue with him is he doesn’t fill an immediate need. Considering the Raiders recent draft history this pick should be an A++, but I will say a solid Grade B

9. Buffalo Bills- RB C.J. SpillerDefinitely a big surprise here, Buffalo had one of the better running games last year, led by Fred Jackson. And while Spiller can be a weapon out of the backfield, I don’t know if taking away too many touches from Jackson to give to Spiller is a good thing.  Spiller can replace Jackson in the return game, but the 9th overall pick is a high price to pay for a return man/3rd down back. The Bills ignored much bigger needs along the offensive line, on defense, and at the quarterback position. Grade C

10. Jacksonville Jaguars- DT/DE Tyson Alualu- If Spiller was a big surprise, Alualu in the top 10 is HUGE. While I like him as a player and say that he has a borderline first round grade, I would never agree with him being a top 10 pick. For me there is nothing he does exceptionally, and defensive end was a much bigger need for the Jags. Grade D+

11. San Francisco 49ers (from Denver)- OT Anthony Davis- I’m not sure the 49ers really had to move up, but they secured their man here and shouldn’t be disappointed. Davis could develop into a stud blocker and should help make the entire offense better. Grade A

12. San Diego Chargers (from Miami)- RB Ryan Mathews The Chargers paid a big price to move up, but I believe it was worth it for Mathews. He is the best running back in this class, and should help the Chargers offense tremendously. San Diego will have to find another way to fill their needs, but took care of their biggest one. Grade B+

13. Philadelphia Eagles (from Denver)- DE Brandon Graham- Graham is a relentless pass rusher, who gives the Eagles excellent book end, defensive ends. It seems a bit odd they took him before Morgan, but Graham is a great player in his own right. Grade B+

14. Seattle Seahawks- S Earl Thomas- Seattle should be ecstatic with this pick, they filled another top need and got a player that no one would have questioned had they taken at number 6. Thomas is a top notch free safety prospect and should develop into an elite ball hawking FS for the Seahawks. Grade A

15. New York Giants- DE Jason Pierre-Paul- Pierre-Paul is a high boom or bust prospect. He does make a lot of sense in New York, because with their depth, they won’t have to rush him in the line-up. Still surprising they took him over the more complete Derrick Morgan, but Pierre-Paul was well worth the 15th pick. Grade A-

16. Tennessee Titans- DE Derrick Morgan- For me Morgan was the best overall defensive player not named Berry, Suh or McCoy, making him a complete steal for the Titans at 16. Morgan should be a huge boost to their pass rush, and just an all-around great defensive end. Grade A+

17. San Francisco 49ers- G Mike Iupati- While San Francisco could have gone for a bigger need at OLB or CB, but I think they made the right pick with Iupati, who should be a stud. Now with Davis and Iupati, the 49ers should have one of the best offensive lines, and consequently one of the best running games. Grade A

18. Pittsburgh Steelers- C/G Maurkice Pouncey- The Steelers had one of the worst offensive lines in the league last season, so any help was needed. Pouncey might be a big of an over draft and it will be interesting to see what the Steelers do with incumbent center Justin Hartwig, whom is under contract for 3 more years. One of the two will need to kick to guard, which isn’t their best position. Overall, it is still an upgrade for Pittsburgh, one that should really help their offense. Grade B

19. Atlanta Falcons- OLB Sean Weatherspoon- Weatherspoon is a great pick up by Falcons as he is one of the most underrated players in this entire draft class. He is an excellent leader and should start from day one for the Falcons. Atlanta filled a big need here, and did so with a great player. Grade A

20. Houston Texans- CB Kareem Jackson- The Texans needed a running back, but smartly filled their 2nd biggest need at CB with this spot. Jackson should be a very good starting corner for Houston this year. Grade B

21. Cincinnati Bengals- TE Jermaine GreshamThe Bengals added another elite weapon to their arsenal, which should make Carson Palmer very happy. He fills a big need for Cincinnati and has the upside to be an elite tight end in the league. Grade B+

22. Denver Broncos (from New England)- WR Demaryius ThomasDenver traded up a few slots to ensure they got Thomas, who in my opinion is the best receiver in this draft. He has the upside to easily replace Brandon Marshall, and should be a top receiver by his sophomore season. Grade B+

23. Green Bay Packers- OT Bryan Bulaga- The Packers lucked out here, they got quite possibly the 2nd best tackle in the draft with the 23rd overall pick. Green Bay needs to keep Aaron Rodgers upright if they hope to win, and Bulaga should quickly develop into his blindside protector. Rodgers and the Packers have to be very happy with this selection. Grade A

24. Dallas Cowboys (from New England)- WR Dez Bryant And the world makes sense again, the Cowboys end up with Dez Bryant, the talented, but questionable receiving prospect. Overall I think this is a solid spot for him, he doesn’t have to be a number one in Dallas, and has a very good quarterback throwing the ball to him. I would expect Bryant to reach his potential as a top number 2 receiver in big-D. Grade B-

25. Denver Broncos (from Baltimore)- QB Tim Tebow- Overall Tebow isn’t a first round prospect, so this trade is a head scratcher, but Denver made a bold move here. It is likely that another team might have grabbed Tebow early in the 2nd round, so the Broncos got their man, but I’m not sure this is the best situation for Tebow. I actually am a believer in Tebow as a quarterback, I just believe that he will need 2-3 years (at least) to reach his full potential. For me he shouldn’t have been a 1st round pick, with that long of a gestation period. I don’t like him in Denver, because Kyle Orton is only under contract for next season, and I just don’t see Tebow being ready. Denver will either rush Tebow, which will hurt his development or need to sign another quarterback to hold down the fort. Neither scenario makes sense for the Broncos or Tebow. Grade C

26. Arizona Cardinals- DT Dan Williams- Despite all the 3-4 teams ahead of them in need of a nose tackle, the Cardinals end up with the best one in the bunch. Williams should make that entire defense better, which it will need to be considering the off-season losses the Cards have had. Arizona filled a big need here and got a very talented player. Grade A-

27. New England Patriots- CB Devin McCourty- McCourty is a pretty good corner and while he doesn’t fill a huge need, he does make them a better unit. Grade B-

28. Miami Dolphins- DE Jared Odrick- Odrick is a classic 3-4 defensive end and should help the Dolphins in the trenches next year. He gets solid pressure from his end spot and is a stout run defender. Grade B

29. New York Jets- CB Kyle Wilson- Wilson doesn’t fill a top need for the Jets, but he was way too talented to pass up. Wilson could have gone off the board as early as the teens, so getting him at 29 for the Jets is a steal. I thought he was the 2nd best corner in this entire class. The Jets now have the best corners in the league, and should shut down opposing passing attacks. Grade A

30. Detroit Lions- RB Javid Best- A little surprising the Lions traded up for Best, but he is a talented runner. He offers almost as much upside as C.J. Spiller and Detroit got him 21 picks later. The Lions now have the makings of a decent offense, if Matt Stafford can show that he is a quality quarterback. Grade B

31. Indianapolis Colts- OLB/DE Jerry Hughes- Not really sure I understand this pick, I love Hughes as a player, but for me he is solely a rush linebacker. I think he is too small to play with his hand down, and won’t be nearly as effective. I think the Colts had bigger needs along the interior of the line or along the offensive line. Hughes is a good player, but a bad fit as an every down guy in Indy. Grade C+

32. New Orleans Saints- CB Patrick Robinson- Robinson is a good solid corner and gives the Saints good value with the 32nd pick. His presence will likely mean the end of Darren Sharper in the Big Easy, as I believe Malcolm Jenkins will shift over to FS. Grade B


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