Grading NFL Draft Picks


1. Travon Walker, Georgia, Jacksonville Jags: C

Walker is a raw prospect with a bunch of upside, but I do not think Jacksonville is capable of successfully devolving him. Not a bad pick, but I think an Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodaux would have been the right pick.

2. Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan, Detroit Lions: A+

This was pretty much the perfect pick for Detroit. They needed at the position and Hutchinson is the best player available. He is also a Michigan native who went on to play for the Michigan Wolverines who led their defense to a College Football Playoff spot.

3. Derek Stingley, LSU, Houston Texans: B

Although Stingley was not one of the highest graded players in the draft, he does fill a significant hole on that Texans defense. Lovie Smith’s D is no doubt a better unit with Stingley on it. Not a sexy pick, but one that the Texans needed.

4. Sauce Gardner, Cincinnati, New York Jets: B+

This was a tad bit of a reach, but it’s okay. Sauce Gardner was the best option at the corner spot available, and New York swung on him. A player with great shutdown potential and size. He has a mad drip too.

5.Kayvon Thibidouex, Oregon, New York Giants: A

The Giants desperately needed another piece on that defensive line, and in my opinion Kayvon Thibidoex is the perfect fit. I think Kayvon has the potential to be a force on that defense under Ryan Daboll.

6. Ickem Ekwonu, NC State, Carolina Panthers: B-

This is still a decent pick for Carolina, but it’s a bit shallow in my opinion. They needed more important positions and even if they wanted to go linemen here, they should’ve gone for Evan Neal.

7. Evan Neal, Alabama, New York Giants: A

The Giants knocked the first round out of the park. Fixing the offensive line after years of botchery should be a key priority, adding Neal will certainly help that cause. The Giants have done a lot of work this offseason to rebuild that line, and Neal is a key contribution to that cause.

8. Drake London, USC, Atlanta Falcons: B

London is an extreme boom or bust prospect. I don’t like to label guys with that, but he most likely will work out as a star receiver. It’s a slight reach but on a player with phenomenal ability to go up and grab the ball.

9. Charles Cross, Mississippi State, Seattle Seahawks: B+

Cross, Neal, and Ekwonu are the three most prominent offensive linemen in the class. Grabbing Cross at nine is good value for Seattle. Cross had outstanding tape and showed great agility at the tackle spot. The Seahawks are no doubt a better team with Cross on it.

10. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State, New York Jets: A-

Wilson is the best receiver in this draft, source: myself. He fits the Jets scheme perfectly and emerges into a superstar caliber player with a young talented Zach Wilson. Once New York’s line settles down next season, the offense can flow better and with that comes big plays and touchdowns for Wilson(s).

11. Chris Olave, Ohio State, New Orleans Saints: C+

Back to back Ohio State Buckeye wide receivers go off the board after the Saints trade up with Washington and grab Olave. Although wide receiver was a major need for New Orleans, I think they slightly reached for the speedster. He is a nice shifty receiver, but there were other star players still on the board at eleven who arguably can make a bigger impact than Olave.

12. Jameson Williams, Alabama, Detroit Lions: A

The Lions are in desperate need of a playmaker and they got him with this pick. Williams is a dog who is hard to bring down and can take the top off the defense at any given moment. A true threat to a defense.

13. Jordan Davis, Georgia, Philadelphia Eagles : B

Philly got an athletic freak at the d-tackle spot. Davis is a monster, but was trading up the right decision? Only time will tell, but as of right now I like the pick.

14. Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame, Baltimore Ravens: B+

This is a good pick for the Ravens already lethal defense. They got a very solid overall playmaker on their defensive side. Hamilton is just a straight up weapon and covers all of the physical and mental checks as the clear cut best safety in this draft. Pairing him with Marcus Wlliams is lethal.

15. Kenyon Green, Texas A & M, Houston Texans: B-

Houston addresses their offensive line needs, but was Green the right pick? I think Zion Johnson is a slightly better player, but you can’t fault Texas for addressing a major need. Not a stunning pick, but a necessary one.

16. Jahan Dotson, Penn State, Washington Commanders: C+

This is an overall average pick. Dotson was a receiver with very good skills, tools and athleticism. However, was he meant to be drafted this high? Scouts did not see this outcome but Dotson is still a good player with sure hands regardless. Wentz gets a new weapon. No excuses for him this year.

17. Zion Johnson, Boston College, L.A. Chargers: A

Great pickup by the Chargers here at 17. Johnson was arguably the best lineman after the top tier guys (Cross, Ekwonu, Neal), and the Chargers grabbed him without much hesitation. After releasing veteran tackle Bryan Bulaga, the Chargers needed an immediate replacement, and Johnson is the perfect plug and play guy.

18. Treylon Burks, Arkansas, Tennessee Titans: C+

This is a good pick overall. It’s just the fact that the Titans needed to downgrade severely from AJ Brown in order to make this pick happen. They ultimately lost that trade and ended up having to waste a first rounder on a position they weren’t worried about a season ago.

19. Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa, New Orleans Saints: B-

Overall, I like this pick. The Saints have spent a number of first round draft picks on offensive linemen over the past decade, and it seems to have paid off. Their offensive line was ranked as the fourth best going into last season according to PFF. I understand they had to replace All-Pro tackle Terron Armstead, but there might have been better overall talent on the board at 19.

20. Kenny Pickett, Pitt, Pittsburgh Steelers: A

What a pick from the Steelers. They needed a franchise quarterback and I feel Pickett is the only quarterback in this draft that can make that kind of difference. He also went to college in the city of Pittsburgh, so that makes for a very easy transition.

21. Trent McDuffie, Washington, Kansas City Chiefs: B

McDuffie is a really good find here for the Chiefs who desperately needed help in the secondary. This pick could be one of the more under the radar and unnoticed in the whole draft, but if McDuffie develops he has the potential to be a lockdown back.

22. Quay Walker, Georgia, Green Bay Packers: B

Walker is a very solid athlete with great physical tools. He has the skills to fit what the Packers are looking for. Although the Packers had bigger needs, Walker was one of the best available linebackers and the Pack could not resist. Walker was a noticeable presence on that historic 2021 Georgia defense.

23. Kaiir Elam, Florida, Buffalo Bills: B-

This is a solid pick, but Buffalo probably was more suited to take the best player available. The Bills needed depth at corner and Elam would provide some much needed relief on the secondary. Although corners out of Florida have not developed well in the NFL, I feel Elam could break that occurrence if he is coached up well.

24. Tyler Smith, Tulsa, Dallas Cowboys: D

The Cowboys blew it on their first round pick. They actually reached for offensive linemen. They drafted a position they didn’t direly need, then reached in that position. A questionable pick for sure.

25. Tyler Linderbuam, Iowa, Baltimore Ravens: A-

Linderbuam was once projected to be a top ten player in the draft , but fell to 25. The Ravens (who have had a fantastic first round) will gladly accept his services.

26. Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State, New York Jets: A-

Johnson is a top tier talent in this draft and he is phenomenal coming off the edge. The guy works hard and keeps his nose glued to the ball. He’s tough and his workrate is what you want out of a talented defensive end. The Jets love that he fell to them.

27. Devin Lloyd, Utah, Jacksonville Jags: B

Lloyd is a really good linebacker. The only problem I have with this selection is that the Jags arguably have bigger holes (specifically on the offense). Still an above average pick for Doug Pederson and the Jags.

28. Devonte Wyatt, Georgia, Green Bay Packers: B+

Devonte Wyatt played alongside Quay Walker on that record-setting Georgia defense in 2021. He is a beast who just made plays along with his 1st round teammates. He was in the mix just as much as guys like Jordan Davis but doesn’t get the praise since there is only one ball carrier. A solid pickup for the Packers in the trenches.

29. Cole Strange, Chattanooga, New England Patriots: F

Huh? Umm.. I get they want to rebuild the offensive line, but Strange was a projected 3rd rounder. Just a really risky pick that could easily backfire for Bill Belichick. Strange does have decent run blocking abilities but his footwork and agility are just not first round caliber. Strange pick.

30. George Karlaftis, Purdue, Kansas City Chiefs: A-

This is a borderline great pick for Kansas City. They’re getting a specimen of a player who powers through blockers and disrupts the backfield. All this guy did was make plays in college. A beast of a motor and a good head on his shoulders should help Karlaftis succeed with a solid franchise in Kansas City.

31. Daxton Hill, Michigan, Cincinnati Bengals: A+

This was definitely one of the top selections in this entire draft. Bengal’s went best available, while simultaneously filling a need. Jessie Bates and Hill should bring panic to the opposing Quarterback. Home Run of a draft pick.

32. Lewis Cine, Georgia, Minnesota Vikings: B+

Cine is a solid option for Minnesota. He was arguably the best safety available up until this point and he fits the Vikings scheme. He’ll be one of those instant impact types of players on defense. He hits hard too.