Miami Dolphins draft grade

Miami Dolphins draft grade:

2017 draft picks:

Round 1(22nd overall) – Charles Harris – Defensive End – Missouri

Round 2(54th overall) – Raekwon McMillan – Linebacker – Ohio State

Round 3(97th overall) – Cordrea Tankersley – Cornerback – Clemson

Round 5(164th overall) – Isaac Asiata – Guard – Utah

Round 5(178th overall) – Davon Godchaux – Defensive Tackle – LSU

Round 6(194th overall) – Vincent Taylor – Defensive Tackle – Oklahoma State

Round 7(237th overall) – Isaiah Ford – Wide Receiver – Virginia Tech

Analysis:

The Dolphins have been lacking a 2nd pass rusher to go along with Cameron Wake for awhile now and Wake is getting old which means he’ll likely be replaced soon anyway. Charles Harris gives the Dolphins a very talented pass rusher that should be able to have at least 10+ sacks per season. Harris struggles against the run at times, but he should be able to make a solid career out of being a very good pass rushing specialist. Raekwon McMillan is a linebacker that should start for the Dolphins right away at weakside linebacker. The Dolphins got a really good cover cornerback in the 3rd round when they drafted Cordrea Tankersley. He is really fast and he probably fits best as a starting slot cornerback for Miami as he isn’t a good tackler at all. I really like the selection of guard Isaac Asiata in the 5th round because he is a very good run blocker that provides solid depth for the Dolphins at guard and he could even start very soon. Miami did a good job of addressing their needs and they had a solid draft overall.

Grade: B+

charles harris

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Buffalo Bills draft grade

Buffalo Bills draft grade:

2017 draft picks:

Round 1(27th overall) – Tre’Davious White – Cornerback – LSU

Round 2(37th overall) – Zay Jones – Wide Receiver – East Carolina

Round 2(63rd overall) – Dion Dawkins – Right Tackle – Temple

Round 5(163rd overall) – Matt Milano – Linebacker – Boston College

Round 5(171st overall) – Nathan Peterman – Quarterback – Pittsburgh

Round 6(195th overall) – Tanner Vallejo – Linebacker – Boise State

Analysis:

The Buffalo Bills did a good job early on of filling some needs starting with the selection of cornerback Tre’Davious White in the 1st round. White is a physical cornerback that the Bills are hoping can make an immediate impact in 2017. He might not be as good as Stephon Gilmore who left the Bills in free agency, but White at least gives the Bills a proven starting cornerback. Buffalo also lost number 2 receiver Robert Woods in free agency and they replaced him in the draft by selecting East Carolina wide receiver Zay Jones. He isn’t a very fast receiver, but he does catch the ball very effectively and he is the possession receiver that the Bills desperately needed. The Bills also had a huge hole at right tackle which they addressed in the 2nd round by drafting Dion Dawkins out of Temple. Dawkins has the versatility to play either inside or outside, but he will likely start right away at right tackle for Buffalo since they don’t have any better options at that position. I was really shocked that the Bills took a quarterback in the 5th round as they selected Nathan Peterman out of Boston College. The Bills already have two young quarterbacks on their roster with Tyrod Taylor and Cardale Jones, so I’m not quite sure why they would want to draft a 3rd-string quarterback. Peterman has some potential to be a good NFL backup quarterback, but he is likely just a develepmental project for the Bills. Overall, the Bills filled some big needs on their roster, although I would have liked to have seen them add some more depth to their team.

Grade: B

tre'davious white

New York Jets Draft Grade

New York Jets draft grade:

2017 draft picks:

Round 1(6th overall) – Jamal Adams – Safety – LSU

Round 2(39th overall) – Marcus Maye – Safety – Florida

Round 3(79th overall) – ArDarius Stewart – Wide Receiver – Alabama

Round 4(141st overall) – Chad Hansen – Wide Receiver – California

Round 5(150th overall) – Jordan Leggett – Tight End – Clemson

Round 5(181st overall) – Dylan Donahue – Defensive End – West Georgia

Round 6(188th overall) – Elijah McGuire – Running Back – Louisiana-Lafayette

Round 6(197th overall) – Jeremy Clark – Cornerback – Michigan

Round 6(204th overall) – Derrick Jones – Cornerback – Ole Miss

Analysis:

The Jets came into the draft with tons of areas of need which is why it was kind of surprising that they drafted two safeties with their 1st and 2nd round pick. I really like the Jamal Adams pick and I was kind of surprised that he was available with the 6th overall pick for the Jets. Adams is an elite safety that will be a big upgrade over former 1st round pick Calvin Pryor. However, I was absolutely shocked that the Jets drafted yet another safety in the 2nd round with Marcus Maye. New York already had Marcus Gilchrist, so they didn’t really need another starting safety. Maye is a good safety, but they should have addressed another need like at the cornerback position. I really like the pick of wide receiver Aradrius Stewart in the 3rd round. Stewart gives the Jets a much needed explosive receiver on offense and he gives the team a major threat for several years to come. Chad Hansen is another receiver that should help the terrible Jets passing game. Hansen is more of a possession receiver that might not see much of a role right away, but he could be a decent starter a couple of years from now. Also, I really like the selection of tight end Jordan Leggett in the 5th round. The Jets have been struggling to find a tight end that can catch the ball for many years and Leggett provides them with a reliable pass catcher that can make plays after the catch. New York didn’t address the cornerback position until the 6th round when they drafted Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones. Neither are going to be starters, but they at least provide some much needed depth to the position and they could at least see some defensive snaps considering the Jets weakness at cornerback. Overall, I like the additions of Adams, Stewart, and Leggett a lot and I thought the Jets improved their roster in the draft. However, the drafting of safety Marcus Maye in the 2nd round is a puzzling move that lowers their grade to a B-.

Grade: B-

jamal adams

New England Patriots draft grade

New England Patriots Draft Grade:

2017 Draft Picks:

Round 3(83rd overall) – Derek Rivers – Defensive End – Youngstown State

Round 3(85th overall) – Antonio Garcia – Offensive Tackle – Troy

Round 4(131st overall) – Deatrich Wise – Defensive End – Arkansas

Round 6(211th overall) – Conor McDermott – Offensive Tackle – UCLA

Draft Analysis:

The Patriots didn’t have a pick until the 3rd round after they traded their 1st round pick to the Saints for Brandin Cooks and they traded their 2nd round pick to the Panthers for Kony Ealy. New England didn’t get a full-time immediate starter for 2017 with their draft picks, but they certainly added some quality depth. Derek Rivers is a defensive end/outside linebacker who is really good at getting after the quarterback. Rivers won’t start right away, but he could be valuable as a rotational pass rusher for the Patriots. My favorite pick for the Patriots was when they drafted offensive tackle Antonio Garcia out of Troy in the 3rd round. Garcia adds some very good depth to the offensive tackle position right away and he could be a good fill-in if needed. However, he is a player that could be a good starting left tackle or right tackle for the Patriots in a few years. Deatrich Wise provides some much needed depth at defensive end and he could see a limited role early on for the Patriots. Also, they drafted Conor McDermott in the 6th round who will probably just battle for a roster spot as a backup offensive tackle. Overall, the Patriots didn’t draft any immediate starters for 2017, but they are getting Rivers and Garcia who could be starters in a couple of years.

Grade: C+

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Pittsburgh Steelers free agency grade

Notable additions:

Tyson Alualu – Defensive Tackle – From: Jacksonville Jaguars

Coty Sensabaugh – Cornerback – From: Buffalo Bills

Notable subtractions:

Lawrence Timmons – Inside Linebacker – To: Miami Dolphins

Markus Wheaton – Wide Receiver – To: Chicago Bears

Jarvis Jones – Outside Linebacker – To: Arizona Cardinals

 

Analysis:

The strategy for the Pittsburgh Steelers recently has been to build their team mostly through the draft rather than being active during free agency and they stuck to that strategy once again this offseason. Pittsburgh only made a few low-level signings as they signed defensive tackle Tyson Alualu and cornerback Coty Sensabaugh. Alualu provides some defensive line depth as he will likely be a rotational player at defensive tackle and possibly even defensive end. Alualu never lived up to the expectations of being a 1st round pick with the Jaguars. However, he could be a really good bargain signing for the Steelers even if he is just a depth piece. Meanwhile, the team also signed Coty Sensabaugh to a 2-year deal as he will likely just be a depth addition as a 4th cornerback for the Steelers. Sensabaugh could possibly play as a nickel cornerback for Pittsburgh, but ultimately his biggest contributions will probably be on special teams coverage. The Steelers didn’t add any players that will make much of an impact next season, but they certainly did lose some impact players in free agency. For example, starting inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons left to sign with the Dolphins. Timmons was a very productive player for Pittsburgh for many years, but now they will have to address that position in the draft at some point. The Steelers also lost former 1st round pick Jarvis Jones who never lived up to expectations as a starting outside linebacker for the team. However, Jones was still important to the Steelers as he provided solid depth at linebacker. Also, the Steelers lost some wide receiver depth with the departure of Markus Wheaton. He never made much of an impact at wide receiver and Pittsburgh is so deep at the position that his departure doesn’t impact them much. Pittsburgh still has a great roster because of how well that they have drafted recently, but they still have several holes on their roster that they didn’t fill. The Steelers didn’t get much worse in free agency, although they certainly aren’t any better than they were last season.

Grade: C-

tyson alualu

Baltimore Ravens free agency grade

Notable additions:

Tony Jefferson – Strong Safety – From: Arizona Cardinals

Brandon Carr – Cornerback – From: Dallas Cowboys

Danny Woodhead – Running Back – From: Los Angeles Chargers

Notable subtractions:

Ricky Wagner – Right Tackle – To:┬áDetroit Lions

Kyle Juszczyk – Fullback – To: San Francisco 49ers

Lawrence Guy – Defensive End – To: New England Patriots

Kamar Aiken – Wide Receiver – To: Indianapolis Colts

 

Analysis:

The Baltimore Ravens made some major improvements to their team in free agency especially in their secondary as they signed Brandon Carr and Tony Jefferson to 4-year deals. Carr was inconsistent for the Cowboys, but he still is an above average starting cornerback. Carr is able to match up with good wide receivers and he is versatile enough to be a slot cornerback as well. Baltimore had a big weakness for a 2nd cornerback and by bringing in Carr they now have a good cornerback duo with Carr and Jimmy Smith. Also, the team paid a large contract in order to sign strong safety Tony Jefferson away from the Cardinals. Jefferson is a physical safety that tackles well, although he doesn’t cause many turnovers as he only has 2 career interceptions. Jefferson was the best safety in free agency and his signing turns the Ravens secondary from a weakness into a strength as he will be paired with pro-bowler Eric Weddle at the safety position. Baltimore also made somewhat of an impact on offense as they signed running back Danny Woodhead to a 3-year deal. Woodhead is coming off of a major knee injury last season, yet he is another threat that the Ravens will have in their offense. Woodhead isn’t going to carry the load in the running game, but he is a tremendous pass catcher which makes him a really good 3rd-down back for the Ravens. He can also be used as a slot receiver at times for Baltimore and he is a very dangerous player in open space. Woodhead will be the type of weapon that will be used in many ways for Baltimore just like Kyle Juszczyk was used in a variety of ways last season. Juszczyk is now with the 49ers, but bringing in Woodhead gives the team a versatile player in order to replace him. However, the one big loss for the Ravens this offseason was starting right tackle Ricky Wagner leaving for Detroit. Wagner was a very good player for the Ravens last season and Baltimore’s offensive line will be very weak heading into next season without him. The issue is that the Ravens don’t have much depth at right tackle and their starting right tackle right now would be James Hurst who has struggled as a starter before. Baltimore has needs at a few offensive line positions, but right tackle is now a major void that they must fill after the departure of Ricky Wagner in free agency. Overall, I give credit to Baltimore for really improving their secondary with the additions of Jefferson and Carr. However, the loss of right tackle Ricky Wagner hurts their free agency grade a little bit as that is now a position that they must address in the draft.

Grade: B-

tony jefferson

Cleveland Browns free agency grade

Notable additions:

Kevin Zeitler – Guard – From: Cincinnati Bengals

Kenny Britt – Wide Receiver – From: Los Angeles Rams

J.C. Tretter – Center – From: Green Bay Packers

Notable subtractions:

Jordan Poyer – Free Safety – To: Buffalo Bills

Josh McCown – Quarterback – To: New York Jets

Terrelle Pryor – Wide Receiver – To: Washington Redskins

Stephen Paea – Defensive Tackle – To: Dallas Cowboys

 

Analysis:

The Browns came into this offseason with a ton of money to spend and they certainly didn’t hold back as they made three big money signings in free agency. Cleveland especially made major improvements along their offensive line as they signed guard Kevin Zeitler and center J.C. Tretter to long-term deals. Zeitler is one of the top guards in free agency and he is only 27 years old, so he still has several years of quality play likely left in him. It is very difficult to find quality starting guards these days and give credit to the Browns for signing one of the top guards in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Browns also signed Tretter to a 3-year deal to fill their vacant center position after the departure of Alex Mack last offseason. Tretter isn’t nearly as good as Mack is, but Tretter is still a very good center and he is only 26 years old. The Browns offensive line was already really good with Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio, and Cameron Erving. However, the Browns now can legitimately say that their offensive line is one of the best in the entire NFL as they don’t have any weakness along the offensive line. The team continued to improve their offense as they signed former Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt to a 4-year/$32.5 million deal. Cleveland now has Britt and 2016 1st round pick Corey Coleman as their top wide receivers as they now have a decent wide receiver duo. Britt is a big possesion receiver that had his first 1,000 yard receiving season in 2016 for the Rams despite poor quarterback play. The starting quarterback for Cleveland is a major unknown right now, but Britt will give the Browns quarterback a really good option to throw to. I don’t know if Britt is worth $8 million per year since he had never had more than 48 receptions in a season prior to 2016. Britt isn’t an elite receiver, but he at least improves the Browns receiving group by giving them a reliable option in the passing game. Free agency was also good for the Browns since they didn’t lose much as their biggest loss was wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. However, it was probably good that they let Pryor go despite his success last season as last season was only his first full season playing wide receiver after transitioning from quarterback. The Browns have a lot of work left before they are a competitive team and they will need to find a good starting quarterback soon. However, the Browns improved their offense substantially by making their offensive line one of the best in the NFL as well as making their wide receiver group more respectable. Cleveland has tons of draft picks to continue to improve this team, but I give credit to them by making some big signings to at least show that they aren’t just going to try and tank next season.

Grade: A+

kevin zeitler.jpg