Favorite pick: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Overall grade: B-
The Falcons got incredible value on Calvin Ridley, who had nearly a 1,000 receiving yards last season with Jalen Hurts throwing to him. Ridley landed in the perfect spot as he won’t be pressured to be the number one receiver out of the gate, and he has a good mentor in Julio Jones to learn from.
The Isaiah Oliver pick was a steal as well. I thought he could have been their first-round pick and they got him in the late second round. The cornerback combination of Desmond Trufant, Oliver and Robert Alford should be very successful next season.
Favorite pick: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
Overall grade: C-
The Panthers’ draft was a little weird and confusing. First of all, they picked D.J. Moore over Calvin Ridley (Ridley is a far better talent). They failed to find a guard that could be a serviceable replacement to Andrew Norwell or Ryan Kalil, who will be retiring after this season.
The one positive that Carolina had in this draft was they vastly improved their secondary with the Donte Jackson and Rashaan Gaulden picks, but I think they kicked too many needs into future offseasons.
New Orleans Saints
Favorite pick: Tre’Quan Smith, WR, UCF
Overall grade: D
This is by far the worst draft. The Saints sent their 2019 first-round pick to Green Bay for Marcus Davenport, who I think was the third best edge rusher in the class. They could have had Harold Landry at No. 27, and I think he is a better player than Davenport.
The pick they gave up will most likely be in the 20s, but if Drew Brees were to get hurt or suddenly regressed, which is possible (he is 39) they would be in position to have a top pick, which could be used on a quarterback of the future such as Drew Lock or Justin Hebert in next year’s draft.
I would never give up multiple first-round picks for someone that is a non-quarterback, and especially someone that is a developmental prospect like Davenport when they have a 39-year-old quarterback. I like the Tre’Quan Smith pick and he should be a good complementary piece to Michael Thomas, but they are really setting themselves up bad for the future.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Favorite pick: Ronald Jones, RB, USC
Overall grade: B+
The Buccaneers had a good draft, and they definitely improved their team on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
The Vita Vea pick was good, but I think selecting Derwin James would have been a smarter pick as he has a lot more upside. They are much better along the defensive line than at safety.
Getting Ronald Jones in the second round was a steal, and I think he will be a difference maker for their rushing offense from day one. He will also be able to help Jameis Winston in the passing game.
Don’t forget about the Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart picks either. It was smart of them to build up their cornerback corps, especially with an aging Brett Grimes. The Jack Cichy pick has a lot of upside for a seventh-round pick as well.