Oakland traded up for a career backup here in Brandon Parker. I once felt like he had the upside to be a future starter at left tackle. I don't feel that way anymore. The fact that the Raiders got multiple offensive tackles shows me they are uncertain if Kolton Miller reaches his massive ceiling. THe Raiders taking Parker over Chukwuma Okorafor, Orlando Brown, Alex Cappa, and Martinas Rankin is completely irresponsible and it warrants an D- grade.
I had the Patriots taking Lorenzo Carter at 31. Carter has 4.4 speed and can play outside linebacker in either the 4-3 or the 3-4 defense. Superb pick by the New York Giants. New York got Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, and Lorenzo Carter securing three first round talents. They have been the huge winner in this draft.
Houston needed a safety to pair with Tyrann Mathieu. DeShon Elliott, Ronnie Harrison, and Justin Reid all fell to this pick. All three of those safeties were in my top 40. Reid is the most sound of those three on tape and you can argue he's got the best floor after Derwin James.
New York grabs B.J. Hill for defensive tackle depth here. New York already has Damon Harrison and Dalvin Tomlinson their second round pick. Hill can start out as a rotational player even though I really do believe he's got the talent to be a future starter.
I have a fourth round grade on Oregon running back Royce Freeman. That doesn't change the fact that this is a nice pickup for Denver here.
Royce Freeman dominated his first two seasons at Oregon before injuries caught up with him in both 2016 and 2017. He's got the vision, pass protection, and pass catching out of the backfield when healthy. Royce Freeman had 244 carries, 1,475 rushing yards, and 16 rushing touchdowns in 2017. Freeman has multiple seasons with 23 or more receptions. I still feel like he's a borderline starter if he can stay healthy.
I had a second round grade on Nathan Shepherd and I do believe he's go the upside to a Pro Bowl player at 6-4 310 lbs. I'm not sure how he adapts from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense though. Shepherd dominated the 2018 NFL Combine and his Pro Day despite getting injured in the 2018 Senior Bowl.
Even though I got Harrison Philips and Maurice Hurst graded higher, Shpeherd may be a better scheme fit for the Jets. That and the value here makes this an A grade for the Jets.
Gerod Christian wasn't even in my top 350 players. This guy had no business getting picked at all. In fact giving Washington an F grade is not enough considering how many times Christian missed an assignment for Lamar Jackson. Instead we're giving Washington a Heath Shuler grade to remind them that Christian will be their biggest disappointment since Heath Shuler.
Pittsburgh finally gets a backup they can groom behind Ben Roethlisberger in the third round. I mocked Mason Rudolph to Pittsburgh at 92 which is pretty ironic that this is the guy they traded up for while only giving up 79 and 220.
The 6-4 229 lb Mason Rudolph did not play in the 2018 Senior Bowl due to an injury. Rudolph struggled with throwing short passes to Trey Quin. He's got the arm strength to throw it deep, but lacks the trajectory or consistent accuracy when you watch a quarterback on tape and also has small hands. Rudolph went 57/63 at Oklahoma State's Pro Day. Limited to reading 3-4 progressions instead of the 5 or 6 that Ben Roethlisberger has, yet he's got way more upside then Landry Jones or Joshua Dobbs.
Mason Rudolph had 4,904 passing yards, 37 passing touchdowns, and 9 interceptions in 2017. He's a third round talent who underthrew and overthrew a lot of passes on tape. Reminds me of Joe Flacco. He's a durable backup who can be a borderline starter. That's his ceiling as a quarterback who is limited to 4 progressions, he's not a 6 progression guy like Darnold, Rosen, and Mayfield. He can't sit from the pocket and read up to 6 progressions from the pocket like the other first round quarterbacks in this class. That's the peak of Mason Rudolph. He's not all that the media is making him out to be, but he has the tools to be effective in the right system like Pittsburgh where he will have Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Oklahoma State teammate James Washington in the slot.
I just posted a Mason Rudolph film session up. His trajectory on tape just flat out sucks. I have Logan Woodside and Kyle Lauletta graded higher than Mason Rudolph, but Rudolph balled out at Heinz Field versus Pittsburgh so you can certainly argue that Mason is a better scheme fit for a vertical offense like Pittsburgh which is why this pick gets a B grade.
I had a sixth round grade on Sam Hubbard. He's a reach, but Cincinnati has Michael Johnson, Carlos Dunlap, Jordan Willis, and Carl Lawson. Hubbard has the size of a 4-3 defensive end, but he's a backup rather then a starter and since Cincinnati is drafting him in a depth role like where Margus Hunt is this may be a good fit for him.
The 6-2 236 lb Malik Jefferson has the potential to be great, but will never be elite. He's also a huge project. Cincinnati gets premium value with a guy who has trouble wrapping up tackles. Jefferson can be a steal if he fixes that, and he's my favorite pick so far considering I don't see Billy Price as someone who will be as good as his predecessor Pat Elflein.
Michael Gallup dominated the 2018 Senior Bowl. He fell because scouts have questions with his work ethic. Gallup struggled at his Pro Day despite an okay NFL Combine.
Replacing Dez Bryant with Michael Gallup does not seem like a smart idea. Dallas could be in the market for both a wide receiver and defensive tackle in 2019 despite hitting on the Connor Williams pick in the second round.
This is the second F grade I gave the Detroit Lions even though you can make a compelling case to give the Lions a Millen grade here. They also passed on Guice for Kerryon Johnson in the second round after I gave Detroit an F grade for Ragnow.
Orlando Brown is an absolute steal for the Ravens. It's scary to think how good this offense will beome when he's the starting right tackle next to Ronnie Stanley. Excellent pick by Baltimore as Joe Flacco has bookend offensive tackles as does their 2018 first round pick Lamar Jackson. Brown was once considered a late first round pick before his awful 2018 NFL Combine so this is an excellent pick in the third round.
Justin Jones was a massive reach at 84 when you consider that two defensive tackles that I have first rund grades on in Harrison Phillips and Maurice Hurst are still on the board. I also have a fifth round grade on Justin Jones. The Chargers are lucky I spared them with a C grade due to a need at defensive tackle because you can certainly argue they deserve a worse grade than this.
If the Ravens were so hell bent on taking a tight end in the first round, they should have taken Mike Gesicki or Mark Andrews over Hayden Hurst who looks like a borderline starter at best. This is easily another A+ grade for the Ravens here.
I did a film session of Mark Andrews. Andrews isn't the blue chip tight end I hyped him up to be, but he still has tremendous value for a team like Baltimore here in the third round.
Arden Key ran a 4.85 40-time at LSU's Pro Day after not running the 40-time in the 2018 NFL Combine while weighing in at 6-3 238 lbs. Key was someone I dropped to round 3 based on bad tape, but he rebounded at the 2018 NFL Combine. He struggled at his Pro Day though and I now have a fifth round grade on him because he was expected to have 4.4 speed.
Arden Key also got injured and had some off the field problems. This is a reach, but it may work out if Gruden gets through to Arden Key.
Green Bay is another team that continues to dominate this draft. Even though I had Josey Jewell, Genard Avery, and Mike McCray graded higher, Oren Burks had an awesome 2018 NFL Combine and followed that up at Vanderbilt's Pro Day with a terrific showing.
Green Bay has Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez. Ryan enters a contract year and with Oren Burks on the roster, Green Bay reloaded at 3-4 middle linebacker now without having to worry about this position when the 2019 NFL Draft rolls around. Speaking of the 2019 NFL Draft, Green Bay has two first round picks, and like the New York Giants they are absolutely killing this draft.
TCU left tackle Joseph Noteboom showed the versatility to play left tackle or right tackle during the 2018 Senior Bowl. He also impressed at the 2018 NFL Combine before dominating TCU's Pro Day. Noteboom has been so consistent throughout the draft process that some scouts have a day 2 grade on him.
The Rams got a swing tackle to develop behind Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein. I don't think Noteboom is talented enough to start right away, but he provides a very good depth player for the Rams to stash at offensive tackle.
Chukwuma Okorafor to Pittsburgh was my fifth best player on the board and my top graded second rounder, when Pittsburgh made this pick. Okorafor is capable of starting at offensive tackle on either side right now and has the upside of a Pro Bowl player. If Marcus Gilbert gets injured in 2018, Okorafor is taking his job at right tackle and will not look back once he gets the right tackle job since Okorafor is a huge upgrade over the ineffective Chris Hubbard.
This is Jacksonville's third consecutive A grade pick or higher here after taking Taven Bryan and D.J. Chark as well as Jacksonville's first A+ grade. Jacksonville already has Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson, but they get a first round talent at safety for depth here in the third round who can sit for a year and develop by improving his ability to take proper angles by watching everyone on this dominant secondary by learning how to take the right angles.
Barry Church has no dead cap penalty on his contract in 2019 despite being 30-years-old now. Jacksonville can save $6,250,000 in 2019 if they cut Church and can just reload at safety by putting Ronnie Harrison on this secondary with Ramsey, Bouye, and Gipson.
J.R. Sweezy isn't healthy. Alex Cappa can play left tackle, left guard, right guard, and right tackle. Tampa Bay needs offensive line help and this is easily an A+ grade after watching Cappa dominate the 2018 Senior Bowl and the 2018 NFL Combine. I can even see Cappa sitting this year and replacing Ali Marpet if Tampa Bay is too cheap and incompetent to re-sign Marpet.
The 6-3 307 lb Harrison Phillips dominated the 2018 NFL Combine to the point where he moved up my board a lot. Harrison Phillips dominated Mobile and came in with 10 1/2 inch hands. Phillips also had 37 solo tackles, 65 assisted tackles, 102 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss, and 7.5 sacks as one of Stanford's captains in 2017.
I had a first round grade on Phillips. Buffalo is getting premium value as well as a successor to Kyle Williams down the road with this pick. A run defense with Tremaine Edmunds and Harrison Phillips to compliment what Tre'Davious White has done at cornerback will keep Buffalo in games.
Arizona got this compensation pick at 97 thanks to Calias Campbell signing with Jacksonville. Mason Cole is capable of starting at center right now, but he gets to learn under AQ Shipley and is one of two centers left in this draft with the potential to start down the road. He's not the best center, but Arizona getting that kind of value in the third round is why this pick is an A grade.
Houston got this compensation pick at 98 thanks to A.J. Bouye signing with Jacksonville. The Texans needed a tight end, but Jordan Akins wasn't in my top 300 and someone like Tyler Conklin out of Central Michigan would have been a much better option.
Denver got this compensation pick at 99 thanks to Russell Okung signing with Los Angeles. Isaac Yiadom is an absolute steal at this point. This is easily Denver's best selection so far and it's not even close.