2007 NFL Draft: Team Grades (Part II)  

Posted by Walter

AFC West

San Diego Chargers: D
Best Pick - Anthony Waters, 3rd Round
Worst Pick - Craig Davis, 1st Round

Some late round value is the only thing saving this train wreck of a draft. San Diego reached farther than any other team in Round 1, selecting Craig Davis (who had a third round grade from the323) even though supertalented wideouts like Sidney Rice and Dwayne Jarrett were still on the board. A puzzling pick to say the least. Eric Weddle in Round 2 wasn't bad, but they gave up a lot to move up to get him. Anthony Waters in Round 3 could be a steal if he regains his preinjury form, and the risks taken on Scott Chandler (4th Round) and Brandon Siler (7th Round) could prove to be wise. This is a team that was on the verge last year, but apparantly they are trying to maximize degree of difficulty points by hiring Norv Turner (a triple failure) and completely bombing the draft. Reaching in rounds 1 AND 2 is impressive, but Craig Davis never was.

Kansas City Chiefs: C-
Best Pick - Tank Tyler, 3rd Round
Worst Pick - Turk McBride, 2nd Round

While not a total disaster like some other teams, the Chiefs draft class was just overall very mediocre. Dwayne Bowe was a nice pickup in round one and should be a starter immediately, but there weren't many other impact players from there on. Turk McBride was a major reach for round 2, but Tank Tyler, if he behaves himself, could be a steal, not to mention a better player than McBride. Tyler is more than 30 lbs heavier than McBride, and still had more sacks, mostly because his size actually allowed him to move the line. The biggest problem with this draft class, though, is that KC failed to address either of its major needs, offensive line or the defensive backfield. Instead by using 2 AND 3 on defensive tackles, it's like they knew immediately they blew the McBride pick and totally overcompensated.

Denver Broncos: B-
Best Pick - Tim Crowder, 2nd Round
Worst Pick - Ryan Harris, 3rd Round

Interesting draft strategy by the Broncos. While we love Jarvis Moss and what he brings to a defense, did the Broncos really need to trade up in round 1 to get him? Moreover, isn't Moss the same type of one dimensional, undersized pass rusher that the Broncos already have in Elvis Dumervil? Tim Crowder was a steal in the second round, but the Broncos might have wasted their last two picks on Ryan Harris (he stinks) and Marcus Thomas (a complete dog). Overall, while Moss and Crowder will help, it's hard to get too excited about this four man draft class. It seems a little unreasonable to blame the total collapse of the Broncos defense last season on their defensive line play, but that's exactly what they are trying to sell us on.

Oakland Raiders: A-
Best Pick - Jamarcus Russell, 1st Round
Worst Pick - John Bowie, 4th Round

Oakland and new coach Lane Kiffin absolutely nailed this draft. Jamarcus Russell is a special player who will absolutely dominate the NFL, and will present unique challenges to defense for years to come. Aside from Russell (who in our mind was a layup as the #1 overall pick), you have to hand it to the Raiders for repeatedly grabbing talented players in late rounds. Despite his 40 time, Zach Miller is a potential impact TE from round 2. Oakland's most impressive round, however, was the third, where they grabbed Quentin Moses (a 323 whipping boy but still great value for the third round), Mario Henderson, and Johny Lee Higgins. The only knock on the Oakland draft was the selection of John Bowie. After giving up Randy Moss for that pick, they needed someone with a little more cache. Mike Bush with a 4th rounder is excellent value, since he was considered a top-2 back coming into the season, and his leg will eventually heal. Once healthy, he'll give Russell time to mature and grow.

NFC East

New York Giants: B+
Best Pick - Steve Smith, 2nd Round
Worst Pick - Aaron Ross, 1st Round

Very underrated draft by the Giants. The G-Men didn't have any apparent swings and misses, and the only reason we knock the Ross selection is because his upside is incredibly limited, especially when compared with potential shut down stud Chris Houston who was available. Still Ross should develop into an above average starter, as should Steve Smith who could push Amani Toomer to the bench sooner rather than later. Add in two superb second day selections in Zak DeOssie and Kevin Boss (the massive TE from Western Oregon who is a major draft sleeper) and the Giants collection of talent is quite impressive. The Giants were able to address their needs and still draft for value. Other teams should be paying attention.

Dallas Cowboys: A
Best Pick - Anthony Spencer, 1st Round
Worst Pick - Isaiah Stanbeck, 4th Round

The only thing that kept this grade from being an A+ was the puzzling selection of Stanbeck. Jerry Jones is often knocked for his lack of football knowledge, but he hit an absolute home run this year. Anthony Spencer was an inspired pick, and he looks even better considering that Dallas was able to trade back in the first round, pick up a 2008 first rounder (courtesy of the idiotic Cleveland management) and still get him. However, the most impressive part of the Dallas draft class, though, was their ability to restock the offensive line with talented players in the late rounds. Specifically, the Cowboys landed potential starting right tackle James Marten (a real mauler from Boston College) in Round 3, and Doug Free (an unreal athlete, who needs strength work) in Round 4. This is a team that drafted for both today, and tomorrow, which is necessary on a team with veteran leaders, and a crop of young talent. Well done.

Washington Redskins: C-
Best Pick - Dallas Sartz, 5th Round
Worst Pick - Laron Landry, 1st Round

Actually, the Skins didn't do half bad talent wise in this draft. 323 favorite Dallas Sartz will end up being a steal in round 5, as will HB Blades in round 6. Still, the Redskins only had one first day pick and they swung and missed big time choosing Landry. Again, Landry is going to be a great player, but he just doesn't fill enough of a need for Washington to justify spending that high a pick on him. You have to like most of Washington's picks, but it's not like they were one player away. They had too many holes to justify taking a safety with the #6 overall selection. When you have one first day selection DON'T FUCK UP! Well, they did, and it was a disaster.

Philadelphia Eagles: D+
Best Pick - Stewart Bradley, 3rd Round
Worst Pick - Kevin Kolb, 2nd Round

What the hell were the Iggles thinking? Who in that draft room said, "Well Merriweather is gone, what should we do? Oh, I know, let's trade our first round pick to our division rivals (Dallas) so they can get the impact pass rusher we also need, then use that extra second round pick to reach for a quarterback that will do nothing more than further fracture the fragile ego of our franchise QB." An Eagles fan friend of ours summarized things best, "Why did they do that?!" Now, Philly fans are notorious for their negativity, but it's like the Eagles were just goading them with some of their moves. You know what, even though they got some great late round value in Stewart Bradley, Tony Hunt, and Brent Celek, their botching of early round picks makes this an F.

NFC North

Chicago Bears: B-
Best Pick - Josh Beekman, 4th Round
Worst Pick - Kevin Payne, Corey Graham, 5th Round

Again, it's hard not to like the players the Bears brought in from this draft class. Greg Olsen in round 1 might have been a gimme, but he should add a dimension to the offense. Further, the Bears did a great job in the late rounds adding quality depth to need areas by selecting Mike Okwo (LB) in round 3, and Josh Beekman (OL) in round 4. Also, credit them for taking a flier on Wolfe. The kid is a gamer, and while undersized will run with tremendous heart. He may never be special, but guys like that will find a home on an NFL roster. However, the glaring hole in the Bears draft class was at the QB position. It should be very clear to them by now that Rex Grossman is not the answer. But the answer WAS there, staring them in the fact for five whole rounds. Troy Smith would have been an absolute PERFECT fit for the Bears. Smith is accurate, mobile, and a winner. Three things that Grossman, decidedly is not. And with the Bears deciding to stick with Grossman (who is barely 6'1'' himself) the Bears cannot use Smith's lack of size as an excuse for not drafting him. Passing on Smith for the likes of Payne and Graham will HAUNT this franchise for years.

Green Bay Packers: F
Best Pick - Aaron Rouse, 3rd Round
Worst Pick - Justin Harrell, 1st Round

Ugh, the disaster to end all disasters. What the hell were the Packers thinking? Justin Harrell in the first round? Brandon Jackson in the second? You can't whiff that badly on your first two picks and get anything other than an F. Harrell is a tough player, and a pretty decent run plugger, but he couldn't stay on the field for the Vols, and he isn't anything close to the impact player you need to get that high in round one. That was a shockingly bad pick. As for Jackson, what happened, were the Packers holding out for Chris Henry and had to settle for the second most overrated back? Again, Jackson couldn't even produce in college but the Packers think he will be an adequate replacement for Ahman Green. Apparently they believe that all Nebraska running backs are the same. Worst of all, the Packers could have traded either of these picks for Randy Moss. You think that would have been a better idea?

Minnesota Vikings: B-
Best Pick - Sidney Rice, 2nd Round
Worst Pick - Marcus McCauley, 3rd Round

The Vikes' draft grade will only be as good as Adrien Peterson. Peterson could turn into a huge steal at #7 overall, but with his body type, running style, and injury history he looks more like the second coming of Herschel Walker than Eric Dickerson. Dickerson led a charmed career, but Peterson has already proven that not only does he take a bruising, but he has incredibly bad luck (have you ever seen another player get injured tripping into the end zone like that? And it was the first game his father had ever been able to attend? I'm pretty sure Adrien must have picked up a black cat under a ladder and thrown it at a mirror). Sidney Rice was a GREAT pick in Round 2, not only because he should compliment Troy Williamson nicely, but because he is just an awesome talent who produced in college despite not having a lot to work with. Aundrae Allison (5) and Rufus Alexander (6) were great value, but Marcus McCauley will be an absolute waste of a 3rd round pick. Despite all his talent, the guy just doesn't care, and won't ever be a good player. This is one area where Frazier disagrees, because he's all about "taking a risk" on talented guys that fall. While he may have a point, when you take a risk, sometimes you get burned. McCauley may be that lit match.

Detroit Lions: B+
Best Pick - Calvin Johnson, 1st Round
Worst Pick - AJ Davis, 4th Round

You have to love what Detroit did in this draft. They didn't panic with the #2 pick. They chose the best player available. While it was an incredibly ballsy pick, and possibly career suicide, it's always good to pick the one player every single GM agrees on in the entire draft. Then they went and got their QB of the future in round 2 (Drew Stanton). In Drew Stanton, Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams, the Lions now have a trio of young skill players to build around for the next 6-8 seasons. Moreover, they were able to pick up underrated prospects like Alama-Francis Ikaika (DE, 3rd Round), and Manuel Ramirez (OG, 4th Round) who should content for starting spots very soon. The only major knock on the draft class is AJ Davis, who looked completely over matched at the senior bowl. If you're are taking a risk on a quarterback, often it's better to do it with someone like Stanton from Rd. 2 who won't have the pressure, and won't cripple your team if he doesn't work out. Guys like Couch, Harrington and potentially Quinn can hold your team hostage for years, but Stanton never will.


Clarett's Syndrome   says 3:52 PM

I don't know how you guys can give the Raiders an "A." The Randy Moss trade was terrible. Imagine a world where each team loses one player at random to the NFL amateur graft. If the Raiders's lost player was a 30 year-old Randy Moss, do you really think he'd be drafted in the fourth round? Behind 16 other receivers? You choose a franchise quarterback and then trade away one of his two weapons.

It was a "gots to go" situation with Moss. The Raiders undoubtedly handled the whole Moss situation terribly. That being said, he wasn't about to play there. So you have to get what you can for him.

Apparently the best offer was a 4th rounder. Meaning there are loads of stupid teams out there who weren't willing to take a shot with an elite prospect. It's not the Raider's fault that Green Bay was foolish enough to not offer a 3d rounder (or better).

Are the Raiders well-run? No. Did they draft well this time? Yep.

Frazier nailed it. The Moss situation was simple supply and demand. The best (read only) offer they had was a 4th round pick. Considering they were going to cut him anyways (no chance they were going to shell out $9 million for him) you absolutely cannot knock them for giving him away for whatever they could get for him.

That said, I still feel strongly that Lane Kiffin nailed this draft. Given the Raiders offensive and defensive systems, and the personnel already in place, in this draft class I count:

3 potential pro bowl players (Russell, Miller and Bush)

6 potential starters (those 3, Quentin Moses, Mario Henderson, and Johnny Lee Higgins)


2 additional players who can be solid members of a rotation (Jay Richardson and Eric Frampton)

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