Evan Silva from over at Rotoworld.com broke down each NFC team’s draft and provided a letter grade – a daunting task that must have taken him hours … in fact, given the fact that he came out with these grades this morning it makes me wonder if he got any sleep this weekend.
He starts with the Arizona Cardinals and works his way all the way through the Washington Redskins, posting each pick with a link to each individual player, including an overview of the team’s picks, and then concludes it with a letter grade.
Leading the way in Silva’s picks were the San Francisco 49ers, who with their bazillion picks, had the opportunity to clean up – and did so.
Silva gives the 49ers an A. But right behind the Niners are their West Division foes the Seattle Seahawks who came in with an A-.
Most teams, including the Green Bay Packers, were in the C or B range, with the exception of the Dallas Cowboys who received a D from Silva and, for the most part, were killed by the experts for their draft weekend.
I have included the Packers review – a B+ – as well as the Niners, Seahawks, and Cowboys, just to give you a feel for how teams fared. Take a trip over to Silva’s column at rotoworld to see the others … and I suggest you do because by the time you get there he may also have the AFC reviews completed. Superior work on the part of Silva.
So here are the reviews he provided for the Packers, Cowboys, 49ers and Seahawks.
Green Bay Packers
26. Datone Jones, defensive end, UCLA.
61. Eddie Lacy, running back, Alabama.
109. David Bakhtiari, guard/tackle, Colorado.
122. J.C. Tretter, guard/center, Cornell.
125. Johnathan Franklin, running back, UCLA.
159. Micah Hyde, defensive back, Iowa.
167. Josh Boyd, defensive lineman, Mississippi State.
193. Nate Palmer, outside linebacker, Illinois State.
216. Charles Johnson, receiver, Grand Valley State.
224. Kevin Dorsey, receiver, Maryland.
232. Sam Barrington, linebacker, South Florida.
Overview: GM Ted Thompson annually dominates on draft day; it’s where he butters his bread. The Packers are not a free-agency team. Jones is a relentless, potentially special inside rusher who finally gives Green Bay a legitimate replacement for Cullen Jenkins. Lacy and Franklin can form a Thunder & Lightning backfield with the former as a light-footed wrecking ball and latter in the big-play, change-up role. Both rookies can pick up the blitz and play on all three downs. Bakhtiari is a heady, athletic mover and fit for the Packers’ zone scheme. Hyde, Palmer, and Barrington are core special teams guys. Johnson abused his competition at small-school Grand Valley State and has Julio Jones-like measurables. The value on Lacy, Franklin, and Johnson was sensational. Chalk up another draft-weekend “win” for arguably the top GM in the sport.
31. Travis Frederick, guard/center, Wisconsin.
47. Gavin Escobar, tight end, San Diego State.
74. Terrance Williams, receiver, Baylor.
80. J.J. Wilcox, safety, Georgia Southern.
114. B.W. Webb, defensive back, William & Mary.
151. Joseph Randle, running back, Oklahoma State.
185. DeVonte Holloman, linebacker, South Carolina.
Overview: Owner/GM Jerry Jones’ draft strategy seemed very needs- rather than value-based, spurning better players in favor of theoretical hole-fillers. The Cowboys were needy on the interior offensive line, but I’d be willing to wager they could’ve gotten Frederick with the 47th pick. Escobar can create passing-game mismatches, but offers zero as a blocker and isn’t necessarily an upgrade on incumbent No. 2 tight end James Hanna. Williams and Holloman were probably the only two true value picks in this group. Randle is a stiff, straight-linish runner with an awfully long way to go in pass protection. I watched tape on him before the draft and found him to be a whiffer in blitz pickup and thoroughly lacking in elusiveness. It would be difficult to say with any confidence that Dallas’ lineup improved with this draft. And they entered it with a mediocre roster.
San Francisco 49ers
18. Eric Reid, free safety, LSU.
40. Tank Carradine, outside linebacker, Florida State.
55. Vance McDonald, tight end, Rice.
88. Corey Lemonier, outside linebacker, Auburn.
128. Quinton Patton, receiver, Louisiana Tech.
131. Marcus Lattimore, running back, South Carolina.
157. Quinton Dial, defensive end, Alabama.
180. Nick Moody, linebacker, Florida State.
237. B.J. Daniels, quarterback, South Florida.
246. Carter Bykowski, tackle, Iowa State.
252. Marcus Cooper, cornerback, Rutgers.
Overview: The rich got richer. The 49ers entered Thursday with an NFL-most 13 picks. GM Trent Baalke turned them into very arguably the most impressive haul in the league, along the way picking up a 2014 third-rounder in Friday’s trade with the Titans. Only Reid and McDonald may be definite first-year contributors, but that’s far more a testament to Baalke’s roster building than his individual selections. Carradine is a to-the-whistle edge rusher who along with Lattimore could be “redshirted” as a rookie due to knee woes, before emerging as plus 2014 starters. Patton is a silky smooth route runner with ball skills and insurance on contract-year No. 1 wideout Michael Crabtree. Lemonier might have been a first-rounder had he not played on such a bad Auburn team. San Francisco is filthy rich with pass rush. Baalke is constructing a dynasty.
62. Christine Michael, running back, Texas A&M.
87. Jordan Hill, defensive tackle, Penn State.
123. Chris Harper, receiver, Kansas State.
137. Jesse Williams, nose tackle, Alabama.
138. Tharold Simon, cornerback, LSU.
158. Luke Willson, tight end, Rice.
194. Spencer Ware, fullback, LSU.
220. Ryan Seymour, guard, Vanderbilt.
231. Ty Powell, defensive end, Harding.
241. Jared Smith, defensive tackle, New Hampshire.
242. Michael Bowie, tackle, NE Oklahoma State.
Overview: Per GM John Schneider, the Seahawks spent Thursday night watching Percy Harvin‘s YouTube highlight reel after sacrificing the Nos. 25 and 214 picks, and next year’s third-rounder in exchange for the NFL’s premier slot receiver. Understandable. The Harvin acquisition is factored into Seattle’s grade. Schneider finally went on the clock Friday night and simply made picks straight off his board. Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin? Who cares. Michael is the best player. He’s ours. Harvin, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin? We’ll take Harper and his Boldinian skill set. Williams is an immovable beast who makes us better in the trenches. Pick him. Simon is a press-man corner. Perfect scheme fit. Draft him. Late picks were primarily reserved for small schoolers and test freaks. Upside players who don’t hurt you if they bust. The Seahawks have drafted just like this every year under Schneider and Pete Carroll. Seems like it’s working.