Another NFL draft is over. Who filled their needs, who made some savvy steals, and who veered off course? The Post’s Mark Maske grades the performance of every SFC team over three days and seven rounds of selections. See the NFC grades here.
Denver Broncos: A-
Analysis: The Broncos, thought to be in the QB market, reacted appropriately when Bradley Chubb fell to them at No. 5 overall. Pairing Chubb with Von Miller as a pass-rushing dynamic duo could move the Denver defense back toward dominant. Second-round WR Courtland Sutton and the two third-rounders, RB Royce Freeman and CB Isaac Yiadom, are capable of being solid contributors. The Broncos are left without a prized rookie QB to take over if Case Keenum falters, but the team around Keenum has been improved.
Buffalo Bills: B+
Analysis: The Bills’ first-round trade-ups for QB Josh Allen and LB Tremaine Edmunds come with risk. Allen has great talent but was only a 56 percent passer as a college starter, and the pre-draft report about his racially offensive comments on Twitter as a high schooler created additional concerns and led to an apology being issued by him. Edmunds is very young, at 19. Is he ready for the NFL? But these are promising players and this could turn out very well for the Bills. Third-round DT Harrison Phillips could contribute quickly.
Miami Dolphins: B+
Analysis: The Dolphins passed on a chance to add a QB capable of taking over if Ryan Tannehill’s return doesn’t go smoothly. But they did pretty well, particularly with first-round S Minkah Fitzpatrick and second-round TE Mike Gesicki. Both could be standouts. The only issue with Fitzpatrick is whether he’d be better at cornerback or safety in the NFL.
New York Jets: B+
Analysis: The Jets were the beneficiaries when Sam Darnold, the QB who probably should have gone first overall, fell to them at No. 3. That made the high cost — a trio of second-rounders — of their blockbuster pre-draft trade with the Colts to move up three spots well worth it. The Jets got the QB in this draft class who probably has the best chance to become very good to great. That alone makes this draft a success for them, even if the rest of what they did was less than overwhelming.
Baltimore Ravens: B+
Analysis: Ozzie Newsome’s final draft as GM of the Ravens went well. The Ravens traded down twice in the first round and still got an excellent fit for their offense in TE Hayden Hurst. Then they traded back up into the opening round and landed a QB of the future in Lamar Jackson. Getting T Orlando Brown in the third round was a good value. Newsome helped the Ravens in their bid to get back into the playoffs after a three-season absence.
New England Patriots: B
Analysis: The Patriots didn’t trade up in the first round to get a QB to eventually replace Tom Brady. Instead, they focused on helping Brady by using their two opening-round picks on G/T Isaiah Wynn and RB Sony Michel. Both should help, and Michel could be particularly effective as a replacement for Dion Lewis. Second-round CB Duke Dawson could be a contributor following the departure of Malcolm Butler.
Jacksonville Jaguars: B
Analysis: The Jaguars added to a strength by further bolstering their already formidable defensive front seven with the first-round choice of DT Taven Bryan. If he can get his production to match the promise of his eye-catching athleticism, this could be a great selection. Third-round S Ronnie Harrison also could help the defense, and the Jaguars gave some much-needed pass-catching help to QB Blake Bortles with second-round WR D.J. Chark.
Tennessee Titans: B
Analysis: There is much to like about this draft class for Tennessee. The Titans focused on their defense and helped it considerably by taking LB Rashaan Evans in the first round and pass rusher Harold Landry in Round 2. The issue is whether an early pick should have been used to address the offensive line.
Indianapolis Colts: B-
Analysis: The Colts ended up with five picks in the first two rounds, a sound approach by GM Chris Ballard as he attempts to restock a talent-deficient roster. He also was wise to spend early-round resources on fortifying the offensive line for the return of QB Andrew Luck. Taking G Quenton Nelson sixth overall was the right move. There is reason to wonder, however, if the Colts made the most of their four second-rounders.
San Diego Chargers: B-
Analysis: Getting S Derwin James at No. 17 overall was superb. He could be a difference-maker on the Chargers’ defense. It’s unclear if this class has other immediate contributors but the Chargers addressed a major need in the interior of their defensive line with third-round DT Justin Jones.
Pittsburgh Steelers: B-
Analysis: It probably was a bit of a stretch for the Steelers to use a first-round pick on S Terrell Edmunds. It was a nice story to have the Edmunds brothers both taken in the opening round (and an even better story that Ryan Shazier walked across the stage to announce the Steelers’ selection), but few had viewed Edmunds as a first-rounder. Getting QB Mason Rudolph in the third round may have made up for it, however. Ben Roethlisberger’s eventual successor could be in place.
Cincinnati Bengals: C
Analysis: Cincinnati obviously wanted to upgrade its offensive line, taking C Billy Price in the opening round after the pre-draft trade for T Cordy Glenn that cost the Bengals nine spots in the first-round order. Fourth-round RB Mark Walton could fill an immediate role after the departure of Jeremy Hill in free agency.
Houston Texans: C
Analysis: The Texans were non-participants until the third round, thanks in part to last year’s trade up to get Deshaun Watson. That worked out just fine but it leaves this year’s draft class a little thin. The Texans were fortunate, though, to be able to get S Justin Reid in Round 3.
Cleveland Browns: C-
Analysis: No one is saying the Browns aren’t better. They are. They are far closer to respectable than they were when this draft began. But this is about making the most of your draft-pick resources. It’s difficult to say that new GM John Dorsey, who inherited a terrible team but riches of draft choices from his predecessors, did that. The Browns went with QB Baker Mayfield and CB Denzel Ward with the Nos. 1 and 4 overall selections when they could have had Sam Darnold and Bradley Chubb. The Darnold-Chubb combination would have been the better way to go. At least the Browns came back and made a solid second-round pick in RB Nick Chubb.
Kansas City Chiefs: C-
Analysis: The Chiefs were without a first-round pick after last year’s trade up for QB Patrick Mahomes. They focused on their defense, and their trade up to get second-round DE Breeland Speaks signals that the Chiefs believe he has a chance to help immediately.
Oakland Raiders: C-
Analysis: Coach Jon Gruden already has been busy defending the Raiders’ picks. Addressing the offensive line wasn’t a bad idea but it’s not clear whether the Raiders’ offensive-line moves in this draft will work out. Taking T Kolton Miller 15th overall probably was too high for him. The Raiders’ best value pick probably was DT Maurice Hurst in Round 5.
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