This was an interesting draft, and a lot of teams made out with a lot of good players. The “risks” on this report are players that were:
1. Taken over players higher on the big board
2. Players that are unlikely to pan out
3. Teams traded a lot of picks to get that player
4. Players that were considered “reaches”
5. Players who have off the field risks.
Let’s grade every team’s draft:
Arizona Cardinals– Solid draft, the Cards have drafted well over the past couple years, so i’m not one to question their methods. Robert Nkemdiche was a total steal at 29.
Best Pick- DT/DE Robert Nkemdiche
Biggest Risk- None
Atlanta Falcons– Falcons did what they usually did on draft day; went away with a lot of players that THEY like. My only question was selecting Wes Schweitzer when Vadal Alexander of LSU was available
Best Pick- OLB Deion Jones
Biggest Risk- OG Wes Schweitzer
Baltimore Ravens– Great draft for the Ravens, I fully expect them to be competing for the AFC North next season. My only knock on them is passing on Laremy Tunsil for Ronnie Stanley. Stanley is still a good pick, but what is more important is that they got better in the secondary, and at running back.
Best Pick- RB Kenneth Dixon
Biggest Risk- OT Ronnie Stanley
Buffalo Bills– The Bills got way better on defense, and they picked up a QB project in Cardale Jones. They got steals in Reggie Ragland, Adolphus Washington, and Jonathan Williams.
Best Pick- LB Reggie Ragland
Biggest Risk- CB Kevin Seymour
Carolina Panthers– Carolina had a very unimpressive draft, and took a lot of chances on a lot of small school defensive backs. They’re hard to grade at the moment, but they lack a lot of “safe” picks.
Best Pick- CB Zack Sanchez
Biggest Risk- TE Beau Sandland
Chicago Bears– Not a fan of the Leonard Floyd pick with Karl Joseph on the board. I understand the need at Linebacker, but Darron Lee would have been a better pick at this spot. Time will tell.
Best Pick- DT Jonathan Bullard
Biggest Risk- OLB Leonard Floyd
Cincinnati Bengals– Cincy has learned from their mistakes, and they’re looking to replace the idiots they have at linebacker and corner. They also got AJ Green some help. I really like the Bengals’ draft. They got a steal in Andrew Billings.
Best Pick- WR Tyler Boyd, CB William Jackson III
Biggest Risk- None
Cleveland Browns– Never thought I’d say this, but the Browns had a GREAT draft. They did a good job of moving down and getting quality players. They had a lot of picks, and did a good job of replacing Josh Gordon and Travis Benjamin. This new Cleveland front office may finally have a grasp on how to play football. My only complaint is that they took FIVE Wideouts.
Best Pick- WR Rashard Higgins, DE Carl Nassib, DE Emmanuel Ogbah
Biggest Risk- WR Ricardo Louis
Dallas Cowboys– The boys in big D look to find the production they got out of DeMarco Murray in 2014 with Ezekiel Elliott, and they did a good job of securing players for the needs that they have. They also snagged up Jaylon Smith, who Dallas’ team physician did surgery on. Smith is expected to make a full recovery, and Dallas can get a top 3 pick next year without doing anything when Smith returns. Great draft by Jerry & Stephen Jones. They also picked up Rico Gathers, a basketball player turned tight end (see; Jimmy Graham), who lead the NCAA in blocks for 4 years.
Best Pick- RB Ezekiel Elliott, DE Charles Tapper
Biggest Risk- TE Rico Gathers, OLB Jaylon Smith
Denver Broncos– The Broncos traded up to get Paxton Lynch, a big risk, but worth it for the Super Bowl champs. They have shown that they can win without elite QB play, and Devontae Booker will provide an upgrade at RB.
Best Pick- RB Devontae Booker
Biggest Risk- QB Paxton Lynch
Detroit Lions– The Lions got a steal in R2 snatching A’Shawn Robinson, and got an elite tackle in Taylor Decker. The Lions improved their anemic offensive line, and picked up a QB to back up Matt Stafford.
Best Pick- OT Taylor Decker, DT A’Shawn Robinson
Biggest Risk- QB Jake Rudock
Green Bay Packers– The Pack chose Kenny Clark to replace BJ Raji, and left Reggie Ragland, Jarran Reed, and Robert Nkemdiche on the board to take him. That’s a big risk, but Green Bay got they guy that THEY like, and he may end up being the best on that list.
Best Pick- LB Blake Martinez
Biggest Risk- DT Kenny Clark
Houston Texans– Wow, what a draft for Houston. The Texans better hope Brock Osweiler works out, because he is now loaded with weapons, not including DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller. Excellent draft for Houston.
Best Pick- WR Will Fuller, WR Braxton Miller
Biggest Risk- RB Tyler Ervin
Indianapolis Colts– Good draft for the Colts, they fixed their offensive line and got some help with their pass rush. They should be much improved this year.
Best Pick- C Ryan Kelly, DT Hassan Ridgeway
Biggest Risk- OLB Antonio Morrison
Jacksonville Jaguars– Another usually bad team with an excellent draft. Jacksonville’s offense is finally clicking, and with Dante Fowler returning, their defense should be much improved. Jack is a big risk with his current knee issues, but great draft for the Jags.
Best Pick- CB/S Jalen Ramsey
Biggest Risk- LB Myles Jack
Kansas City Chiefs– KC traded out of the first round, but they got a good defensive lineman with Chris Jones in R2. Demarcus Robinson was also a good pickup in the later part of the draft. Typical Kansas City draft, solid and stout. Tyreek Hill was arrested for choking his pregnant girlfriend, so he’s a pretty big risk.
Best Pick- DT Chris Jones, QB Kevin Hogan
Biggest Risk- WR Tyreek Hill
Los Angeles Rams– It’s pretty obvious who the biggest risk in this draft is. Pharoh Cooper was an excellent pickup, a receiver with a lot of flexibility and talent. He and Tavon Austin will be excellent weapons for Jared Goff
Best Pick- WR Pharoh Cooper
Biggest Risk- QB Jared Goff
Miami Dolphins– The Phins got a HUGE steal in Laremy Tunsil, and followed that up by grabbing speedsters Jakeem Grant and Kenyan Drake. I like the direction Miami is going, they got Ryan Tannehill a lot of help.
Best Pick- RB Kenyan Drake
Biggest Risk- OT Laremy Tunsil
Minnesota Vikings– Teddy Ballgame got some weapons with Laquon Treadwell and German standout Moritz Bohringer, and also picked up defensive help with the best zone corner prospect in the draft; Mackensie Alexander.
Best Pick: Mackensie Alexander
Biggest Risk- Moritz Bohringer
New England Patriots– The Pats lost their 1st round pick, but did their usual Patriots thing and picked up system players to support Tom Brady.
Best Pick: CB Cyrus Jones
Biggest Risk: WR Malcolm Mitchell
New Orleans Saints– A Rebuilding team with not many draft picks; a recipe for disaster. The Saints made the most of what they had, but Drew Brees isn’t getting any younger.
Best Pick- WR Mike Thomas, S Vonn Bell
Biggest Risk- DT Sheldon Rankins
New York Giants– The Giants really reached on Eli Apple, and didn’t make any other impressive moves outside of Oklahoma standout Sterling Shepard.
Best Pick- WR Sterling Shepard
Biggest Risk- CB Eli Apple
New York Jets– Jets made a safe first round pick in Darron Lee, and took a gamble on Christian Hackenberg. Good strategy, don’t be surprised if the Jets see the playoffs this year.
Best Pick- OLB Darron Lee
Biggest Risk- QB Christian Hackenberg
Oakland Raiders– One of my favorite drafts this year, Oakland made a big splash and improved their defense greatly. Only move I don’t like is the one to get Connor Cook. If Derek Carr and Amari Cooper can click like they did last year, Oakland will be in the playoffs.
Best Pick- S Karl Joseph, LB Cory James
Biggest Risk- QB Connor Cook
Pittsburgh Steelers– The Steelers finally beefed up their awful secondary, and a healthy Big Ben should lead the Steelers back to the postseason with the help of the best receiving corps in football.
Best Pick- S Sean Davis
Biggest Risk- None
Philadelphia Eagles– The worst draft of any team that I saw. They drafted a back who was convicted of intimidating witnesses in a murder case, a community college all-star QB, and a couple of role players. Philly is doomed for a while.
Best Pick- None
Biggest Risk- QB Carson Wentz
San Diego Chargers– Hunter Henry was a good pickup, and Joey Bosa was a smart pick with their 3rd selection. Good draft for the Chargers, who finally stuck with safe picks for once.
Best Pick- DE Joey Bosa, TE Hunter Henry
Biggest Risk- P Drew Kaser
San Francisco 49ers– Niners did a decent job, Buckner got destroyed by every good team he played, but he has a lot of intangibles. Rashard Robinson was also a troubled young man who is a huge risk, it’s obvious that Chip Kelly is all in, this is his last rodeo.
Best Pick- CB Will Redmond
Biggest Risk- DE DeForest Buckner, CB Rashard Robinson
Seattle Seahawks– Pete Carroll got some help on the OL, and picked up a very underrated RB in Alex Collins. Great draft for Seattle.
Best Pick- RB Alex Collins, DT Jarran Reed
Biggest Risk- None
Tampa Bay Buccaneers– Tampa got some nice pieces, but also went all in on some risky players like Spence and Hargreaves. Regardless, Tampa should break their streak of 6 last place finishes in the NFC South. They may have also reached on Aguayo, UNLESS he was going to be taken by round 3.
Best Pick- OLB Noah Spence
Biggest Risk- CB Vernon Hargreaves, K Roberto Aguayo.
Tennessee Titans– Excellent draft by the Titans, excellent work by the front office to acquire help for Mariota. They also picked up another Heisman trophy winner, but I also think they made a mistake passing on Tunsil. A lot of picks, and they reaped the rewards.
Best Pick- OLB Kevin Dodd, RB Derrick Henry, G Sebastian Tretola
Biggest Risk- OT Jack Conklin
Washington Redskins– The Skins had a great first 3 picks, and then fell off after that, regardless they filled their needs and they got a lot of talent in Doctson, Cravens, and Fuller.
Best Pick- CB Kendall Fuller
Biggest Risk- OLB/S Su’a Cravens