NFL Draft grades: Browns, 49ers top class; Raiders, Bengals get schooled

Team-by-team grades for the 2017 NFL Draft are in. Is your team a winner or a loser?

How did NFL teams fare with all their picks in the 2017 NFL Draft?

Although it will take a while to know how 253 drafted players will fare in the NFL, it’s never too early to grade a draft based on how well teams filled needs and how well they landed the best available talent.

Here we grade and analyze what all 32 teams did in Rounds 1-7, with the head of the class matching those who also picked at the top of the 2017 class.

2017 NFL DRAFT: Complete results

NFL Draft grades

Cleveland Browns: A

Draft picks: Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett, Michigan S Jabrill Peppers, Miami TE David Njoku, Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer, Charlotte DT Larry Ogunjobi, Houston CB Howard Wilson, Florida State T Roderick Johnson, Florida DT Caleb Brantley, Arizona State K Zane Gonzalez, NC State RB Matt Dayes

So far, with Sashi Brown in charge for two years, the plan has been about more volume and more patience. Forget “Moneyball." Odds are, there will be several personnel wins with this much athleticism and versatility.

That’s 24 picks in two years to overhaul a roster and go out with old. That also allows the Browns to take a late calculated character risk on a player such as Brantley. Gonzalez was a sneaky-good pick late in the draft.

San Francisco 49ers: A

Draft picks: Stanford DE Solomon Thomas, Alabama ILB Reuben Foster, Colorado CB Ahkello Witherspoon, Iowa QB C.J. Beathard, Utah RB Joe Williams, Iowa TE George Kitttle, Louisiana Tech WR Trent Taylor, Ole Miss DT D.J. Jones, Utah OLB Pita Taumoepenu, Miami DB Adrian Colbert

In his first draft, GM John Lynch was focused on stockpiling for this year and beyond, helped by that brilliant trade down with the Bears. Rebuilding the defense was a wise priority, with offensive depth next.

At quarterback, they clearly think Kirk Cousins is a done deal for 2018, as Beathard is more backup material.


Houston Texans: A

Draft picks: Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham, Texas RB D’Onta Foreman, Bucknell T Julie’n Davenport, Clemson DT Carlos Watkins, Oregon State CB/S Treston DeCoud, Baylor C Kyle Fuller

Credit GM Rick Smith in being aggressive to get the winning Watson likely to start right away over Tom Savage and lead a playoff team. Cunningham, Foreman and Watkins all fit other big needs with great values. Houston drafted like a contender, the way it should have.

MORE: Why Watson pick is a winning move

Philadelphia Eagles: A

Draft picks: Tennessee DE Derek Barnett, Washington CB Sidney Jones, West Virginia CB Rasul Douglas, UNC WR Mack Hollins, San Diego State RB Donnel Pumphrey, West Virginia WR Shelton Gibson, Nebraska S Nate Gerry. Washington DT Elijah Qualls

There should be few boobirds in Philadelphia after the draft when it comes to the home team. Every need was checked off with no reaches, and both Barnett and Jones are ideal defensive scheme fits. They padded the re-made wideout corps for Carson Wentz, too, and found their new change-up speed back in Humphrey.

Tennessee Titans: A

Draft picks: Western Michigan WR Corey Davis, USC CB Adoree’ Jackson, Western Kentucky WR Taywan Taylor, FIU TE Jonnu Smith, UCLA LB Jayon Brown, Tennessee-Chattanooga G/T Corey Levin, TCU OLB Josh Carraway, Villanova T Brad Seaton, California RB Khalfani Muhammad

The Titans needed to go wide receiver-secondary in some combination with those two first-rounders, and GM Jon Robinson didn’t disappoint with playmakers Davis and Jackson. Taylor and Smith provide additional receiving support to QB Marcus Mariota.

Washington Redskins: A-

Draft picks: Alabama DE Jonathan Allen, Alabama OLB Ryan Anderson, UCLA CB Fabian Moreau, Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine, Michigan State S Montae Nicholson, Arkansas TE Jeremy Sprinkle, Wyoming C/G Chase Roullier, Georgia State WR Robert Davis, Louisville S Josh Harvey-Clemons, Auburn DB Joshua Holsey

The Redskins thought defense first with their 10 picks and rolled with two front-seven steals from the Crimson Tide. Likewise, Moreau and Nicholson both are ideal fits for the secondary. Perine landed in a great spot to see a key role in their offense. Sprinkle is a good in-line backup. The only knock comes from no late QB project.

Miami Dolphins: A-

Draft picks: Missouri DE Charles Harris, Ohio State ILB Raekwon McMillan, Clemson CB Cordrea Tankersley, Utah G Isaac Asiata, LSU DT Davon Godchaux, Oklahoma State DT Vincent Taylor, Virginia Tech WR Isaiah Ford

What a splash for new GM Chris Grier. The Dolphins checked every need box, starting with an edge pass-rush boost and an inside speed upgrade for their front seven. Asiata was a fine run-blocking value, but Tankersley and the defensive tackles need some work to be active contributors.

Minnesota Vikings: A-

Draft picks: Florida State RB Dalvin Cook, Ohio State C Pat Elflein, Iowa DT Jaleel Johnson, Michigan ILB Ben Gedeon, South Florida WR Rodney Adams, Miami G Danny Isidora, Virginia Tech TE Bucky Hodges, Miami WR Stacy Coley, Northwestern DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, Kansas State OLB Elijah Lee, NC State CB Jack Tocho

GM Rick Spielman got his true three-down replacement for Adrian Peterson with a smart trade-up for Cook. It was important to get interior blocking help for him, too, with Elflein and Isidora. Gedeon is a classic Mike Zimmer depth defender. The Vikings would have been a little higher with a first-rounder and not reaching for either Adams or Hodges.

MORE: Cook among Day 2 winners

New York Jets: A-

Draft picks: LSU S Jamal Adams, Florida S Marcus Maye, Alabama WR ArDarius Stewart, Cal WR Chad Hanson, Clemson TE Jordan Leggett, West Georgia OLB Dylan Donahue, Louisiana-Lafayette RB Elijah McGuire, Michigan CB Jeremy Clark, Ole Miss CB Derrick Jones

The Jets may not have filled needs at quarterback and offensive line, but they made it up with two solid starting safeties. Stewart, Hanson and Leggett can work into specific roles in their receiving corps. McGuire will be a welcome young change of pace to one of their few veteran holdovers, Matt Forte. Clark and Jones were big corners they desperately needed for depth.


Pittsburgh Steelers: A-

Draft picks: Wisconsin OLB T.J. Watt, USC WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tennessee CB Cameron Sutton, Pittsburgh RB James Conner, Tennessee QB Josh Dobbs, Utah DB Brian Allen, Louisville S Colin Holba, Western Michigan OLB Keion Adams

Watt adds even more pass-rush pop to a loaded linebacker corps, and Sutton and Allen are keys for secondary depth. Offensively, Smith-Schuster and Conner serve as tough, physical reserves in the Mike Tomlin mold, too. Getting Dobbs in the fourth round to possibly succeed Ben Roethlisberger is a steal. The knock comes from not tapping into a good class of tight ends in the early-to-mid rounds.

MORE: Dobbs the next Dak Prescott?

New York Giants: A-

Draft picks: Ole Miss TE Evan Engram, Alabama DT Dalvin Thompson, Cal QB Davis Webb, Clemson RB Wayne Gallman, Youngstown State DE Avery Moss, Pittsburgh T Adam Bisnowaty

Jerry Reese has done it again. Offensively, New York got a little more support for Eli Manning with both Engram and Gallman, but also got a potential No. 1 QB to groom behind him in Webb. Defensively, Moss and Thompson are their typical brand of 4-3 linemen. Bisnowaty has left tackle upside. The only thing missing is some needed youthful speed and quickness at linebacker.

New England Patriots: B+

Draft picks: Youngstown State DE Derek Rivers, Troy T Antonio Garcia, Arkansas DE Deatrich Wise, UCLA T Conor McDermott

It’s unusual to see the Patriots having so few picks, but given their offseason of free-agent moves, trades and non-trades, they could have skipped picks in 2017 and been just fine. With those four picks, they were smart to use it on high-upside versatile lineman for both sides of the ball.

Dallas Cowboys: B+

Draft picks: Michigan DE Taco Charlton, Colorado CB Chidobe Awuzie, CB Michigan CB Jourdan Lewis, North Carolina WR Ryan Switzer, Louisiana Tech S Xavier Woods, Florida State DB Marquez White, Florida DT Joey Ivie, Ohio State WR Noah Brown, Colorado DT Jordan Carrell

There’s some high risk/high reward, boom or bust here, but that kind of comes with the territory under Jerry and Stephen Jones. The Cowboys had to address pass rush and coverage to build on their contender status, and they did just that with depth to booth across the secondary. Don’t be fooled by the little Switzer — he can be a big-time returner for them while also raising their wideout speed.

STEELE: Of course Cowboys drafted Lewis

Jacksonville Jaguars: B+

Draft picks: LSU RB Leonard Fournette, Alabama T Cam Robinson, Illinois DE Dawuane Smoot, Oklahoma WR Dede Westbrook, Ohio LB Blair Brown, Minnesota CB Jalen Myrick, Miami (Ohio) FB Marquez Williams

This grade weighs heavily on the solid 1-2 punch of Fournette and Robinson, as the later depth picks were a little less inspiring. Tom Coughlin wants to make the Jaguars more about power running than Blake Bortles, and an explosive pounder plus a nasty blocker are important means to that — and complementing the attitude of the defense. The flyer on Westbrook working out can push this class to “A” range.

Seattle Seahawks: B+

Draft picks: Michigan State DT Malik McDowell, LSU C Ethan Pacic, Central Florida CB Shaquill Griffin, Michigan S Delano Hill, North Carolina DT Nazair Jones, Michigan WR Amara Darboh, Colorado S Tedric Thompson, Cincinnati S Mike Tyson, Mississippi State T Justin Senior, East Central WR David Moore, Oklahoma State RB Christopher Carson

The Seahawks ended up with 11 selections and had a clear plan for them — an advance rebuild of their defensive strengths. They got plenty of extra pop for their front four rotation, enough secondary players to reload The Legion of Boom. Darboh is a tough inside receiver they needed, and both Pacic and Senior make sure offensive line wasn’t ignored. With all those picks, maybe a linebacker or potential backup QB would have been nice, too.

Arizona Cardinals: B

Draft picks: Temple LB Haason Reddick, Washington S Budda Baker, Grambling WR Chad Williams, Pittsburgh G Dorian Johnson, Vanderbilt T Will Holden, North Carolina RB T.J. Logan, Auburn S Rudy Ford

GM Steve Keim didn’t panic or throw off his draft plan to force a potential future franchise QB, scoring two exceptionally versatile playmakers in Reddick and Baker to boost the defensive front seven. Johnson and Holden are good line values, and Logan will serve nicely as the new change-of-pace speed back. The no QB along with no CB creates the slide to just above average.

Buffalo Bills: B

Draft picks: LSU CB Tre’Davious White, East Carolina WR Zay Jones, Temple G/T Dion Dawkins, Boston College LB Matt Milano, Pittsburgh QB Nathan Peterman, Boise State LB Tanner Vallejo

White, Jones and Dawkins will likely to step into starting roles right away at cornerback, wideout and right tackle, respectively. That’s the very good. The rest of the class is meh, led by backup material Peterman. Missing out on a talented tight end also hurts a bit.

Baltimore Ravens: B

Draft picks: Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey, Houston OLB Tyus Bowser, Michigan DE Chris Wormley, Alabama OLB Tim Williams, San Diego State G Nico Siragusa, Texas A&M G/T Jermaine Eluemunor, Virgnia Tech S Chuck Clark

GM Ozzie Newsome kept up the massive defensive overhaul theme from last year, especially on the edges for the Ravens’ pass rush and coverage. Baltimore’s defense is bound to trend back toward elite, with an upgrade in run blocking becoming the necessary offensive complement (Siragusa). Getting no wideout anywhere, however, was a bit of a whiff.

Denver Broncos: B-

Draft picks: Utah T Garett Bolles, Texas A&M DE DeMarcus Walker, Louisiana Tech WR Carlos Henderson, Lamar CB Brendan Langley, Michigan TE Jake Butt, Georgia WR Isaiah McKenzie, Coastal Carolina RB De’Angelo Henderson, Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly

Bolles and Butt stand out as the best picks for John Elway in this class, with immediate athletic left tackle help and an eventual starting inline tight end. The rest was a mixed bag of defensive depth and offensive change-of-pace. A linebacker would have been nice. Kelly, despite the name, is still an irrelevant flyer at the moment vs. their current young QBs.

Green Bay Packers: B-

Draft picks: Washington CB Kevin King, NC State S Josh Jones, Auburn DT Montravius Adams, Wisconsin OLB Vince Biegel, BYU RB Jamaal Williams, Purdue WR DeAngelo Yancey, UTEP RB Aaron Jones, South Florida C Kofi Amichia, Utah State RB Devante Mays, LSU WR Malachi Dupre

There’s no doubt, with 10 picks, Ted Thompson made sure the Packers took care of their weak spots in the secondary first. He also increased the depth of their defensive front seven and offensive backfield. They probably could have taken an interior offensive lineman much earlier, and other than King and Jones, none of the picks look in line to start anytime soon.


Indianapolis Colts: B-

Draft picks: Ohio State S Malik Hooker, Florida CB Quincy Wilson, Ohio DE/OLB Tarell Balsam, USC T Zach Banner, South Florida RB Marlon Mack, Albany State DT Grover Stewart, Temple CB Nate Hairston, Northwestern LB Anthony Walker Jr.

The Colts did pretty well with the first eight selections under GM Chris Ballard. The early picks of Hooker and Wilson for the secondary were great, and Mack may end up as a speedy steal for their other backfield. There’s some good upside there in the other picks, but it will require some development for them to be more than depth players.

Los Angeles Chargers: B-

Draft picks: Clemson WR Mike Williams, Western Kentucky T/G Forrest Lamp, Indiana G Dan Feeney, Miami S Rayshawn Jenkins, Iowa S Desmond King, Utah T Sam Tevi, Notre Dame DT Isaac Rochell

Tom Telesco got a whole bunch of picks to try to prop up the window with QB Philip Rivers, and he also passed on taking a potential replacement for him. Although Williams and the offensive linemen were nice, the emphasis to try to catch up fast should have been on the defensive value first.

Atlanta Falcons: C+

Draft picks: UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley, LSU ILB Duke Riley, Oregon State G Sean Harlow, San Diego State CB Damontae Kazee, Wyoming RB Brian Hill, Drake TE Eric Saubert

Getting Takk as a needed pass rusher to stack with Vic Beasley Jr. was critical early for Thomas Dimitroff. But Harlow looks like the only other early starter for the reigning NFC champions. The rest are more depth players who can provide only limited help at the moment.

Carolina Panthers: C

Draft picks: Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey, Ohio State WR Curtis Samuel, Western Michigan G/T Taylor Moton, Texas A&M DE Daeshon Hall, Miami CB Corn Elder, West Georgia FB Alex Armah, Georgia Tech K Harrison Butker

McCaffrey can be a dynamic, versatile playmaker in and out of the Panthers’ backfield if they use him right. That makes the follow-up of Samuel a little redundant. Moton is the most solid pick to fill the big offensive tackle need. Hall and Elder are their typical depth guys at those positions. Armah and Butler step into veteran replacements. Despite C-Mac and Samuel, it’s more average than true wow.

New Orleans Saints: C

Draft picks: Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore, Wisconsin T Ryan Ramczyk, Utah S Marcus Williams, Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara, Florida, LB Alex Anzalone, Florida Atlantic OLB Trey Hendrickson, Miami DE Al-Quadin Muhammad

This was tricky for Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton, as the defensive and offensive flow of the first round pushed the Saints into best player available. It worked great for a need in Lattimore; not so much with Ramcyzk. Kamara was a bit of luxury reach for offense, and it’s unclear how exactly the rest of their defensive picks will settle into their system. Between quarterback, wide receiver and tight end, at least one should have been addressed

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: C-

Draft picks: Alabama TE O.J. Howard, Texas A&M S Justin Evans, Penn State WR Chris Godwin, LSU ILB Kendell Beckwith, Boise State RB Jeremy McNichols, USC DT Stevie Tu’ikolovati

Yes, Howard was a terrific need, value and luxury pick at No. 19 with the good fortune of so many teams deciding not to take the uber-athletic tight end. Evans can be a good strong safety, but other than that, there were some questionable position picks and reaches. Good thing the Bucs are already set to push for a playoff spot.

Detroit Lions: C-

2017 NFL Draft picks: Florida ILB Jarrad Davis, Florida CB Teez Tabor, Northern Illinois WR Kenny Golladay, Tennessee LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Toledo TE Michael Roberts, San Diego CB Jamal Agnew, Arkansas DE Jeremiah Ledbetter, Miami QB Brad Kaaya, Eastern Michigan DE Pat O’Connor

Davis was a great start, and Reeves-Maybin was the next most solid pick. But Tabor and Golladay were physical trait reaches, and the rest is just positional depth for a playoff team. That includes the curious pick of Kaaya, just to compete for Jake Rudock for No. 2.

Kansas City Chiefs: C-

Draft picks: Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes, Villanova DE/OLB Tanoh Kpassagnon, Toledo RB Kareem Hunt, Michigan WR Jehu Chesson, Georgia Southern LB Ukeme Eligwe, USC S Leon McQuay III

Trading up for Mahomes, a big-armed gunslinger who really doesn’t mesh with the true mentality as Alex Smith’s successor, set up a bad tone in this draft. The best pick was Kpassagnon as an edge rusher. Hunt can help now, but Chesson is a project. Waiting too late for linebacker and not taking a cornerback really hurts for a team trying to win bigger now.


Los Angeles Rams: C-

Draft picks: South Alabama TE Gerald Everett, Eastern Washington WR Cooper Kupp, Boston College S John Johnson, Texas A&M Josh Reynolds, Eastern Washington OLB Samson Ebukam, Tulane DT Tanzel Smart, Virginia Tech FB Sam Rogers, Pittsburgh DE Ejuan Price

Keep in mind Les Snead remained GM as Sean McVay became head coach, and this looked a lot like previous Snead drafts, only without a first-rounder. There were small-school reaches and positional projects, nothing to push the dial forward around Jared Goff and Todd Gurley or to flank Aaron Donald wih anything aspiring. Kupp is the key to saving face.

Chicago Bears: D

Draft picks: North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky, Ashland TE Adam Shaheen, Alabama S Eddie Jackson, North Carolina A&T RB Tarik Cohen, Kutztown G Jordan Morgan

The Bears’ drafted started awful with the expensive and questionable trade-up for Trubisky, and with only four more picks to compensate, things didn’t get much better. Shaheen and Jackson fill needs, but more based on upside than solidity. Really, the diminutive dasher Cohen was the standout best pick. It’s atrocious the Bears didn’t take a corner or linebacker, and they didn’t get much-needed offensive line help until the end.

STEELE: Bears played by 49ers

Oakland Raiders: D-

Draft picks: Ohio State CB Gareon Conley, Connecticut S Obi Melifonwu, UCLA DT Eddie Vanderdoes, Florida G/T David Sharpe, Wake Forest LB Marquel Lee, Washington State S Shalom Luani, Alabama State T Jylan Ware, North Carolian RB Elijah Hood, Toledo DT Treyvon Hester

The Raiders had nine picks, but it was a struggle vs. previous much better draft and offseason hauls from Reggie McKenzie. Conley’s gambling style isn't worth the character risk, and Melifonwu and Vanderdoes were taken more because they look the part than anything else. Those early picks had an Al Davis feel to them. Between Sharpe and Hester late, there isn’t much front-line help for a rising young AFC title contending team.

Cincinnati Bengals D-

Draft picks: Washington WR John Ross, Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon, Kansas State DE Jordan Willis, Auburn DE Carl Lawson, Tennessee WR Josh Malone, Michigan DT Ryan Glasgow, Memphis K Jake Elliott, Utah C J.J. Dielman, Oklahoma LB Jordan Evans, Houston CB/RB Brandon Wilson, Buffalo TE Mason Schreck

The best thing to say about the rebuilding Bengals is that Glasgow is a good value ... out of 11 picks. Ross was a reach, and Lawson was a free-faller. Both come in with durability issues. Willis is better suited to be a 3-4 edge rusher. They didn’t need a second wideout in Malone, either, and Elliott was taken too early.

About Mixon: For a non-glaring need because of Jeremy Hill and a recovering Giovani Bernard, he’s not worth that kind of backfield risk in the second round. The backlash is bound to make that pick backfire. Between Mixon, Adam Jones and Vontaze Burfict, the Bengals are unrelenting in ignoring controversy.


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