Thor’s AFC Draft Grades


My grades are based mostly closely on slot worth. Addressing wants and in-draft trades are additionally thought-about. Beneath, together with every group’s grade, you may word three further classes — draft capital, expertise acquired and worth — groups are ranked in.

Draft capital was calculated through Wealthy Hill’s commerce chart. Expertise acquired is predicated on scoring the prospects on my Thor500 board via the prism of Hill’s commerce chart in the identical manner. The one different factor that you must know is that I grade on a strict curve.

Away we go.

Here’s a hyperlink to the NFC Draft Grades.

Editor’s Be aware: John Daigle may also be weighing in together with his grades, with extra fantasy affect, Sunday and Monday.

BALTIMORE RAVENS | Snap grade: A

Draft capital: 18 | Expertise acquired: 13 | Worth: 6

The Ravens are so good at this. Standard clockwork effectivity in bargain-shopping steals the NFL handed alongside to them. Bateman, Oweh and Cleveland had been all nice values. I talked about Oweh’s match with Baltimore specifically over the past month — good pairing for a prospect a couple of Danielle Hunter-like tweaks away from turning into the person himself. Tylan Wallace was freeway theft in R4. Even Shaun Wade, a prospect I lampooned all course of, was juice definitely worth the squeeze on a position-change cube roll on athletic traits alone.

BUFFALO BILLS | Snap grade: B+

Draft capital: 27 | Expertise acquired: 19 | Worth: 5

Payments GM Brandon Beane and I see prospects equally — extra so than another present evaluator, I discover myself nodding together with nearly each draft choice he makes. Buffalo hasn’t had a ton of draft fairness lately, however they’ve a Ravens-lite like ethos of benefiting from perceptual errors the NFL had made on sure prospects to load up on bargains. Rousseau and Boogie Basham are each underrated edge rushers, and Brown is such a tantalizing thriller field to buy for the low-low value of the 93rd general choose.

CINCINNATI BENGALS | Snap grade: B+

Draft capital: 5 | Expertise acquired: 9 | Worth: 15

I leaned Sewell at 1.5 if I used to be the Bengals, however it will be obnoxious to penalize them for siding with Chase, the most effective receiver to enter the NFL over the previous few lessons. Burrow and Chase fashioned probably the most devastating quarterback-receiver tandems in historical past throughout LSU’s dominant run to the title in 2019, a season that ended with Chase profitable the Biletnikoff. Final yr, the WR2 on that group entered the NFL and had probably the most spectacular seasons for a rookie in league historical past — Justin Jefferson. There’s no threat right here — effectively, exterior of the offensive line… , by no means thoughts with that thought. The Bengals took Jackson Carman in R2 and clearly see him as an NFL OT. The explanation for my decrease rating is that I don’t. However the good factor is that Carman’s going to be a mauling guard if deal with doesn’t work out. The remainder of Cincy’s draft was a strong if unspectacular displaying, with one particularly-interesting flier in R6 on Chris Evans, who once-upon-a-time flashed at Michigan earlier than his face went on milk cartons for a couple of years. The previous high prospect reintroduced himself with a 98th-percentile athletic composite displaying at his professional day exercise. He could also be idiot’s gold, however solely a idiot would suppose it wasn’t value the price of 6.202 to seek out out. Two franchises used R6 picks on lengthy snappers! Once I advise utilizing R6 to let your hair down, I’m speaking extra Cincy’s course.

CLEVELAND BROWNS | Snap grade: A+

Draft capital: 21 | Expertise acquired: 11 | Worth: 2

We’re dwelling in a world the place the Browns have few roster holes, choose on the finish of R1, and crush pick-after-pick within the draft. I used to be decrease than a lot of the trade on CB Greg Newsome — and even I believe the Browns acquired good worth on him at 1.26. The true coup got here on Friday evening. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, a swiss-army knife of a defender with celebrity upside and a low shot of busting as a result of his confirmed slot protection chops alone, proved a fowl too shiny for the NFL mind belief to make heads or tails of. I used to be shocked Owusu-Koramoa fell out of R1, and lots of sharps in my trade are with me. Nevertheless, I knew the chance Cleveland ended up benefiting from might be in play once I wrote a Day 2 mock and realized that almost all groups selecting within the top-half of R2 had obvious wants elsewhere and had been set at off-ball. So Wu’s slide continued till 2.52, when Cleveland couldn’t assist itself in swapping its R3 for CAR’s R4 for the precise to maneuver up 9 slots and pilfer Owusu-Koramoah. The Panthers, one other group with wants elsewhere, got here out effective in that deal by snatching Terrace Marshall with its choose. Schwartz and Hudson had been strong worth picks too — on, respectively, legit world-class velocity and moldable dancing bear instruments alone. Not solely did Cincy use the Twenty first-most capital to go away the weekend with the Eleventh-most expertise acquired — No. 2 ROI within the NFL, by my rankings and numbers — but in addition added DET’s 2022 fourth-round choose to maneuver again 40 picks in Day 3. We’re on the precipice of coming into a golden age in Browns soccer.

DENVER BRONCOS | Snap grade: A+

Draft capital: 10 | Expertise acquired: 3 | Worth: 4

I often solely give out two A+’s in my draft grades. However I needed to make an exception this yr as a result of three groups stood to date forward of the NFL — with Denver becoming a member of Cleveland and Chicago. If I’m being sincere, I’m surprised I really like the Broncos draft. I ripped Denver’s commerce for Teddy Bridgewater and take away itself from quarterback consideration in R1 within the days main as much as the draft. If rumors of Houston’s curiosity in Drew Lock had been true I’d have let Houston be-clown themselves by negotiating in opposition to themselves as is their customized whereas saying no thanks on Teddy Ballgame and taking Justin Fields. I discovered it exhausting to quibble with Denver’s choose of Patrick Surtain nonetheless — a participant I’ve referred to as each a prodigy and the most effective defender within the class. I used to be nonetheless ready to criticize George Paton for kicking the can for one more yr of Lock, however then he proceeded to nock pitch-after-pitch out of the park. He acquired my RB1 Javonte Williams — the one again I had a R1 grade on — with the second choose of Friday evening. Then took benefit of the NFL’s hesitancy on Quinn Meinerz’s small-school profile to steal him in R3. The steals saved coming. If Owusu-Koramoa isn’t the steal of the draft, Jamar Johnson simply may be. Evening-stalking, ballhawking goblin simply starting to flower that the NFL discounted for restricted publicity (lower than 10 profession begins) and tackling inefficiency. His protection chops alone will greater than foot the invoice on his slot. After this grandmaster-class of a draft, one was left with no different recourse than to rethink preliminary reactions to Denver’s quarterback transactions… is the desk being set for a Peyton Manning-like run at Aaron Rodgers?

HOUSTON TEXANS | Snap grade: D+

Draft capital: 31 | Expertise acquired: 31 | Worth: 16

Houston walked slowly down the green over the three-day occasion with bullets in each ft, having squandered most of its draft capital upfront in flights-of-fancy trades. That it had to make use of its first choose on a quarterback — the one place on the roster it should not want — as a result of the franchise face demanded a commerce after which instantly tanked his commerce worth off the sector appeared like a becoming option to begin the unhappy march. Probably the most attention-grabbing factor about this class was the revelation that the NFL agreed with me about Brevin Jordan.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS | Snap grade: C-

Draft capital: 24 | Expertise acquired: 22 | Worth: 18

I felt Chris Ballard and crew acquired sturdy worth at a place want with Kwity Paye in R1, my EDGE1. I additionally preferred the Shawn Davis choose in R5. I didn’t perceive the remainder of the draft. I struggled with the pondering on the Dayo Odeyingbo and Kylen Granson picks — there have been so many interesting choices on the board, specific at OT and WR, two positions of want that weren’t actually addressed. Not a catastrophe or something, however Indianapolis didn’t achieve floor on the upper-echelon of the AFC over the weekend.

Editor’s Be aware: Don’t neglect to obtain the NBC Sports activities EDGE app to obtain real-time participant information and updates. Plus, it means that you can simply observe your favourite gamers. Get it right here!

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS | Snap grade: C

Draft capital: 1 | Expertise acquired:1 | Worth: 25

It might sound bizarre that I’m giving the Jags a league-average grade. I’m on report stating Trevor Lawrence is the most effective prospect of the previous decade, and you may see by my numbers above that I really feel that Jacksonville left the weekend with essentially the most expertise acquired of any group. However I rank on slot worth, and I am not bending my methodology to credit score Jacksonville for tanking itself right into a generational expertise (although they completely had been proper to do this). Exterior of being gifted Soccer Jesus, City Meyer and his bud Trent Baalke totally underwhelmed of their first three way partnership. Transferring Clemson’s backfield south is a enjoyable thought and story, however Etienne wasn’t good worth at 1.25. I’m certain aside of the pondering was Etienne would supply consolation for Lawrence throughout his transition to the professionals — who would have offered extra? Rashod Bateman, who went two picks later to these clever-devil Ravens. Etienne kicked off what turned out be the theme of Jacksonville’s draft, Meyer and Baalke grabbing at shiny objects when sure-thing prospects had been nonetheless on the board. Tyson Campbell, Walker Little and Andre Cisco are, mixed as a trio, a group of flash performs and recruiting headlines. The Jaguars are by definition one of many weekend’s winners for leaving the dance with the prettiest lady the city has ever seen. But when we’re speaking concerning the choices they made in slots that weren’t pre-determined for them, the Jags’ new mind belief underwhelmed.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS | Snap grade: A

Draft capital: 29 | Expertise acquired: 25 | Worth: 1

The Chiefs didn’t have a R1 choose as a result of they traded for Orlando Brown. Kansas Metropolis neatly realized that they had no probability for a top-3 OT on this three-OT Tier-1 class. Not wanting a repeat of final yr’s playoffs, a skinny offensive line ultimately giving option to undermine probably the most harmful offenses in NFL historical past, the Chiefs noticed Orlando Brown demand a commerce to a group that might make him a left deal with and thought: We will do this! Which in fact was good. The Chiefs additionally gave up a R3 in that deal, however crucially acquired again BAL’s R2. The Chiefs solely used the fourth-most draft capital within the league, however they acquired NFL-best worth again after they selected, with their two-biggest steals — as luck would have it — coming alongside the offensive line through Humphrey and Smith, the latter of whom solely fell due to a lung difficulty that hasn’t cropped up or prompted him to overlook time over the previous two seasons. The Chiefs are a talent-gobbling, efficiency-minded machine of a corporation.

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS | Snap grade: F

Draft capital: 13 | Expertise acquired: 26 | Worth: 31

Guess I’ve one other early week of Twitter vitriol from Raiders followers to sit up for. My guess are these of us will tire of capturing the messenger and escalate issues up a stage if Mayock doesn’t begin dwelling as much as his “draft professional” billing within the subsequent two years. Guru, he has not been, significantly in R1. Missing John Schneider in possession of a R1 choose, NFL followers had been relying on Mayock to supply the absurd out-of-left-field-R1-pick-that-still-manages-to-lack-upside choose he and Schneider have cornered the market on lately. And boy did Mayock come via, taking the one top-100 general offensive linemen on this class that prompted me to suppose to myself: Does he like contact? To make issues worse, it was Mayock himself who loaded the gun and pointed it at his personal head by blowing up a powerful offensive line over the offseason to create the necessity. Even with it — how do you watch Leatherwood and Christian Darrisaw play and go away with the impression Leatherwood has the brighter future? Trevon Moehrig was a powerful choose. However whereas Mayock often does attention-grabbing issues on Day 3, he and I disagreed on the trio of prospects he ended up zeroing in on.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS | Snap grade: B

Draft capital: 12 | Expertise acquired: 17 | Worth: 13

The NFL’s concern concerning the dimensions of Slater and Samuel Jr. offered a chance for the Chargers to get sticker-price reductions on each. And there’s minimal threat, right here: Slater dominated a procession of future NFL edge rushers and stymied Chase Younger in a manner we weren’t used to seeing as Northwestern’s left deal with. Samuel was a shut-down nook CB1 within the ACC who wasn’t hampered by his stature on the boundary in school and has the quilt chops, play model and athleticism to remain within the NFL, ala former Louisville CB Jaire Alexander. Nothing horny the remainder of the best way, however the Chargers drew contained in the traces. I like the chances of the primary seven guys not solely making the group, however sticking round for awhile.

MIAMI DOLPHINS | Snap grade: C+

Draft capital: 3 | Expertise acquired: 4 | Worth: 22

The Dolphins left the weekend with 4 rapid starters and a fifth that’ll be on his manner quickly in TE Hunter Lengthy. I’d have performed issues just a little totally different up high, taking Penei Sewell. However I additionally spent the final two months arguing which you can’t start judging Tua into you let him get totally wholesome and assemble a receiving corps of zippy receivers who can separate within the intermediate space (a minimum of). Waddle is a good first step in that course. Protecting Phillips in Miami is such a cool story — if that child’s concussions points are in his previous, he’ll be a star.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS | Snap grade: B+

Draft capital: 15 | Expertise acquired: 16 | Worth: 12

It feels bizarre to be giving the group that drafted Mac Jones a B+ — a B+ being an actual praise in these elements — after I spent the final two months trying to right false narratives about him that cropped up as a part of San Francisco’s ruse and the media’s gullibility. A portion of my trade’s willingness to credit score Shanahan’s genius for seeing in Mac — a quarterback Shanahan didn’t really need, seeing as if he might have had him and his subsequent two first-round picks again by merely staying put. The tweet beneath isn’t a sizzling take. It solely seems like one as a result of Shanahan and Lynch had been prepared to go to the lengths of tainting Adam Schefter’s reporting report by feeding dangerous info, after which a mythologizing interval started to justify the experiences. The 49ers smokescreen was the best in NFL Draft historical past — and I can say that definitively, as a result of it had the impact of turning Mac Jones — a superbly strong quarterback prospect with a beginning future forward of him — from a boring late-R1 prospect that everybody agrees on into essentially the most polarizing prospect of the category, with some evoking Phil Rivers and Tom Brady. This was a darkish interval certainly for my trade. However it’s no indictment of Mac himself. I fee him decrease, however I had no downside paying a slight premium for quarterback whenever you had a scenario like New England’s. This class went to the following stage for me, nonetheless, after that. Barmore was a mega-steal. Good worth on Oklahoma teammates Perkins and Stevenson. I could have been highest within the trade on Stevenson — rating him RB6 and No. 111 general — and it naturally piqued my curiosity that New England specifically was feeling the identical vibes, popping the bruiser with candy ft at 4.120. McGrone has upside and will blossom on this system. Actually preferred what New England did.

NEW YORK JETS | Snap grade: D

Draft capital: 2 | Expertise acquired: 2 | Worth: 24

I spent the method arguing in opposition to Zach Wilson’s candidacy for 1.2. I felt the Jets offered low on Sam Darnold earlier than giving him a official supporting solid, and I really feel they’re overpaying for to seek out out of Zach Wilson’s one season of star-level play — in opposition to the No. 89 SP+ schedule — is a mirage or not. I’ve by no means seen Zach Wilson dominate in opposition to protection. I can’t let you know what’s coming subsequent. Objectively, too excessive a value was paid — a entrance workplace is promoting what’s in fact a dice-roll as a banner day for the franchise. If it was me, and I used to be hell-bent on capturing the moon on upside, the choose would have been Trey Lance. And I do know a minimum of two folks — John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan — agree with me, or they wouldn’t have gone to these lengths to stop the Jets and previous buddy Robert Saleh from studying their shoot-the-moon quarterback choice and probably giving the Jets a brand new perspective on Lance. Lance is an especially uncommon and compelling prospect that I’d assure you the league’s sharper groups had been highest on (and by extension quietest about). I preferred the Elijah Moore choose a ton, and Hamsah Nasirildeen might show to be a steal from R6. However I query the Wilson choice, I assumed the Jets overpaid to trade-up for Vera-Tucker (it price three further picks, together with two R3) when guys like Teven Jenkins and Creed Humphrey ended up coming off the board a spherical later. If Wilson’s a star, the category is a grand slam in fact. He could also be. None of us really know. Actually have not seen it.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS | Snap grade: C-

Draft capital: 23 | Expertise acquired: 24 | Worth: 23

You’re gonna learn sufficient fist-shaking from the analytics crowd concerning the Harris choose that I’ll save the spiel. I’ll say — he brings Pittsburgh’s offense a move-TE like weapon within the passing recreation. Very easy receiver with an enormous catch radius. I preferred the worth on Freiermuth. Remainder of the category was a simple infrastructure train.

TENNESSEE TITANS | Snap grade: A-

Draft capital: 19 | Expertise acquired: 14 | Worth: 7

I’ve a fame of being a tough grader. However yearly, there’s one group that I randomly find yourself grading larger than anybody else. This yr my guess is it’ll be the Texans. I heard lots of people saying Farley was attain. I disagree. It’s important to embrace the chance to get the sticker value low cost. The Titans know a factor or two about that don’t they? This choose jogged my memory a lot of the Jeffery Simmons choice. Solely Simmons was seen as even riskier on the time, coming off an ACL harm and arriving with character issues. Steal of a choose if Farley’s again doesn’t derail his profession. I used to be shocked Tennessee took Radunz, an athletic deal with on the leaner facet, solely as a result of simply final yr they chose his polar-opposite with a decade-plan for him within the elephantine Isaiah Wilson. However I really like Radunz — had him simply exterior R1. Liked the worth on Elijah Molden in a while. I assume the Titans are going to get criticized for reaching on Rice; despite the fact that I rank him just a little decrease than he went, I used to be a giant fan of his recreation. I ranked Rice LB9 in my first crop of rankings — he would have ended up 10 or so slots beneath the place Tennessee picked him — earlier than dropping him to LB11 in my second and closing replace. However I’m a giant fan of his. I believe that’s a choose the place you had been making an attempt to hit a single and that’s what you’re going to get. I don’t suppose it’s going to take that child lengthy to crack the lineup. He brings his lunch pail.



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