The first days of the draft are what matters the most, but it’s the steals that teams find on the final day of the draft that can be the finishing touch that puts a team over the edge. Plenty of talented players were selected today, so we’ll go to team-by-team, grading each of their picks!
Round 4, Pick 113: IDL Leki Fotu, Utah (Grade: C+)
After a few flashy picks with Isaiah Simmons and Josh Jones, the Cardinals have now bolstered their defensive line, drafting nose tackle Leki Fotu. At Utah, Fotu was an effective run-stopper, but he adds very little as a pass rusher. This is just too early for a player of his skill set.
Round 4, Pick 131: IDL Rashard Lawrence, LSU (Grade: C+)
Doubling-down on the interior defensive line, the Cardinals have selected LSU interior defender Rashard Lawrence. Lawrence never really developed at LSU, and doesn’t stand out in any particular way. He does have size and pass-rush potential, but it’s strange for the Cardinals to add multiple interior defenders in the fourth round.
Round 6, Pick 202: LB Evan Weaver, California (Grade: C+)
Athleticism is not a luxury, but a necessity at the linebacker position. Evan Weaver plays with a lot of effort, but he’ll get exposed if asked to be in space, so he’s as replaceable of a player as it gets. It’s the sixth round, but this isn’t the type of player I want the Cardinals to be adding to their defense.
Round 7, Pick 222: RB Eno Benjamin, Arizona State (Grade; A-)
This is why you can’t wait to take a running back! It’s very easy to produce as a running back in head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offensive scheme, which spreads out the defensive line, but two skills that are needed are receiving ability and talent in the open field. Eno Benjamin has both of those skills, and is thus a great fit in Arizona’s scheme, and will produce just like the running backs taken well ahead of him.
Round 4, Pick 119: LB Mychal Walker, Fresno State (Grade: C)
Sticking with the theme of improving the defense, the Falcons have added a much-needed linebacker to the mix in Fresno State’s Mychal Walker. An edge rusher at Fresno State, Walker is a project, and struggled when he was asked to play in coverage. This could work out for them, but it’s strange they didn’t just for an actual linebacker like Oregon’s Troy Dye.
Round 4, Pick 131: S Jaylinn Hawkins, California (Grade: D+)
With how thin of a roster the Falcons had, they needed to make the most of these picks. Considering that Jaylinn Hawkins is described as a special-teamer, taking him at this point of the draft isn’t ideal.
Round 7, Pick 228: P Sterling Hofrichter, Syracuse (Grade: C+)
Punter alert! Sterling Hofrichter figures to be Atlanta’s starting punter, though if Younghoe Koo is their kicker, they won’t need the Syracuse product’s kickoff ability.
Round 4, Pick 133: IOL Ben Bredeson, Michigan (Grade: A)
Even with positional value/draft value adjustments, which lowers guards, this is great value for a player of Ben Bredeson’s caliber, who is a perfect fit for Baltimore. He has plenty of limitations, but he is a powerful run-blocker, and will work well with the Ravens.
Round 5, Pick 170: IDL Broderick Washington, Texas Tech (Grade: C+)
The Ravens have been a team that always takes chances on “tweener” types, and at 305 pounds, Broderick Washington is probably going to be better on the interior than on the edge. He has a long way to go and wasn’t productive in college, but he’s a nice scheme fit for them, and is a decent developmental defensive lineman.
Round 6, Pick 201: WR James Proche, SMU (Grade: A+)
Can this draft can any better for the Ravens in terms of adding receivers who fit their scheme? Similar to Devin Duvernay, whom they selected in the third round, James Proche is a slot receiver with elite ball skills, and although he isn’t going to be much of a seperator, he’s the type of reliable receiver that Lamar Jackson could use. This is a superb selection.
Round 7, Pick 219: S Geno Stone, Iowa (Grade: A+)
The Ravens have already gotten multiple steals in this year’s draft, but how about one to cap off the draft? Geno Stone’s elite instincts and zone-coverage ability make him a future starting safety as a single-high zone safety, as you can’t teach players to be as refined as he is. Yet, he falls to the seventh round, where Baltimore may have found their future replacement for Earl Thomas, or a player who can play next to him. What a heist.
Round 4, Pick 128: WR Gabriel Davis, UCF (Grade: A)
It’s always a good idea to stock up on receivers, and the Bills needed a big-body target that they could develop for life without John Brown and Cole Beasley. Gabriel Davis is a project with an extremely limited route tree, but his size, production, and ball skills are impressive. He can be a Red-Zone threat that is groomed to be a potential starter for them in the future.
Round 5, Pick 167: QB Jake Fromm, Georgia (Grade: A+)
Wow. Even though I knew I was higher on Jake Fromm than most, I was surprised to see him get out of the second day of the draft, let alone the fifth round. His floor is that of a high-end backup, and that’s a role Buffalo needed. In fact, it’s not actually crazy to believe he’s better than Josh Allen; those two quarterbacks represent the fallacies in how teams evaluate quarterbacks.
Round 6, Pick 207: WR Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State (Grade: A+)
What a draft by the Bills! Buffalo needed size and youth at the receiver position, and honestly, Isaiah Hodgins is a better player than Gabriel Davis. He’s as sure-handed as it gets, and could have a much greater role than the average sixth-round pick.
Round 7, Pick 239: CB Dane Jackson, Pittsburgh (Grade: A+)
The Bills may not have had a lot of picks in this draft, but they are doing a fabulous job! Dane Jackson wasn’t going to be for everyone, but he has the skills to be a starting zone corner, perhaps in the nickel, and the Bills needed youth at the cornerback position. This is a player that I thought had a lot of value at the start of the third day, yet he falls to the seventh round; Buffalo has been able to take advantage of some teams’ poor drafting.
Round 4, Pick 113: CB Troy Pride Jr., Notre Dame (Grade: A)
The Panthers have gone all-in to improve their defense, and after addressing their front seven, they’ve now made moves to help their secondary. Troy Pride Jr. is an unrefined player, but he’s athletic with a lot of potential in man coverage, and he’s great value in the round four; teams should always take shots on cornerbacks.
Round 5, Pick 152: S Kenny Robinson Jr, West Virginia/XFL (Grade: A+)
As a rebuilding team, the Panthers can afford to take chances on players, especially in the fifth round. Kenny Robinson left West Virginia and thrived in the XFL, and if he pans out, can be a starting single-high safety. Teams should be allowed to take gambles on day three of the draft.
Round 6, Pick 184: IDL Bravvion Roy, Baylor (Grade: C+)
At some point, head coach Matt Rhule was clearly going to select one of his former players. Bravion Roy was a very productive nose tackle at Baylor, but after drafting Derrick Brown in the first round, why is run defense such a high priority? This actually perfectly shows why taking Brown in the first round is such a reach; Roy can stop the run as well, but a far lesser cost.
Round 7, Pick 221: CB Stanley Thomas-Oliver, FIU (Grade: B)
Making it a clean sweep in terms of drafting defensive players, the Panthers have made a very intriguing pick, selecting cornerback Stanley Thomas-Oliver. Thomas-Oliver is a converted receiver, but he’s lengthy and athletic, making him a nice project. For a rebuilding team, this is a very understandable use of a seventh-round pick.
Round 5, Pick 155: EDGE Trevis Gipson, Tulsa (Grade: A-)
They had to trade a future fourth-round pick for this pick, but even then, Trevis Gipson is good value. He has some work to do, but he has all the tools to thrive as an edge rusher, especially since he was productive at Tulsa. He’s a nice rotational edge rusher for Chicago.
Round 5, Pick 163: CB Kindle Vildor, Georgia Southern (Grade: A)
The Bears have a very thin secondary, so they’ve rightfully added another cornerback to the roster with Kindle Vildor in the 5th round. Vildor is a playmaker with great instincts, and although he has physical limitations, his strengths will be used well in Chicago’s zone/quarters scheme.
Round 5, Pick 173: WR Darnell Mooney, Tulane (Grade: A-)
After releasing Taylor Gabriel, the Bears definitely some more speed and playmaking ability with their receiving ability. Darnell Mooney’s drop concerns and physicality are red flags, but he’s as explosive as it gets, so the pay-off could be huge here for the Bears.
Round 7, Pick 226: IOL Arlington Hambright, Colorado (Grade: B)
Ironically, despite the fact that many expected the Bears to attack their offensive line early, they actually waited until the seventh round. Arlington Hambright is a good fit for them with his athleticism, but he’s probably more of a practice squad stash.
Round 7, Pick 227: IOL Lachavious Simmons, Tennessee (Grade: C+)
Clearly, the Bears wanted to add some bodies on the interior of the offensive line, as they selected Lachavious Simmons. However, he looks like a player that’s destined for the practice squad.
Round 4, Pick 107: LB Akeem Davis-Gaither, Appalachian State (Grade: A)
I was very surprised to see Davis-Gaither fall to the fourth round in this year’s draft. I actually had a higher grade on him than Kenneth Murray, as his athleticism, pass rush ability, and coverage potential are very enticing. The Bengals have fixed their linebacking core without investing substantial draft capital.
Round 5, Pick 147: EDGE Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame (Grade: A-)
The Bengals have planned for the future really well in this draft, and at some point, they’ll need to find a replacement for Carlos Dunlap, who is a bigger-body edge defender. Khalid Kareem’s power and versatility make him an ideal fit for them, and getting him in the fifth round is adequate value.
Round 6, Pick 180: OL Hakeem Adeniji, Kansas (Grade: A)
At some point in the draft, the Bengals were going to have to add an offensive lineman. Whether it’s as a guard or tackle, Hakeem Adeniji is an effective zone-blocker who is a nice developmental piece for them.
Round 7, Pick 215: LB Marcus Bailey, Purdue (Grade: A+)
In one draft, the Bengals have absolutely fixed their long-term hole at linebacker. Markus Bailey slipped in the draft due to injury concerns, but he has talent in pass coverage and could even be a starter at some point.
Round 4, Pick 115: TE Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic (Grade: A-)
Interestingly, the Browns have added another tight end to the roster along with Austin Hooper and David Njoku, bringing in Harrison Bryant in the fourth round. Bryant doesn’t “wow” in any way, but he’s a willing blocker and solid receiver, and also can be used in an H-back role- something head coach Kevin Stefanski will actually utilize. For a team that utilizes two tight ends, adding a third tight end was important.
Round 5, Pick 160: IOL Nick Harris, Washington (Grade: A+)
This draft was full of athletic interior offensive lineman who’d fit in a zone-blocking, and Nick Harris was at the top of that list. Yet, he slipped to the fifth round, where the Browns not only completed their offensive line, but added youth on the interior as well.
Round 6, Pick 187: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan (Grade: A+)
Since the Browns are paying a lot of money for their top two receivers, they not only need a cheap third option when they run 11 personnel, but a future potential replacement for Jarvis Landry. Donovan Peoples-Jones never really developed at Michigan, but he has a lot of potential, and if he can refine his route-running, he’ll be able to utilize his tools well. This is a great use of a sixth-round pick.
Round 4, Pick 123: CB Reggie Robinson II, Tulsa (Grade: B)
Even after drafting Trevon Diggs, cornerback depth is a major long-term need for the Cowboys, as Diggs and Anthony Brown are their only cornerbacks under contract after next season. Reggie Robinson II is a bit overhyped, as he didn’t produce in college, but he has the potential to be a solid press-man corner. Interestingly, he’s very similar in terms of play style to Trevon Diggs, so it’s clear what Dallas is covered in their corners- length and ball skills.
Round 4, Pick 146: IOL Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin (Grade: A+)
I’m lower on Tyler Biadasz than most, but I still see him as a potential future starter at center, and that’s exactly what the Cowboys need. This is another excellent pick by Jerry Jones.
Round 5, Pick 179: EDGE Bradlee Anae, Utah (Grade: A)
Should Jerry Jones just be in charge of every draft? Bradlee Anae was a player I feared would be overdrafted, but he’s a technically sound pass rusher with a high floor. In fact, he may be capable of starting for them as their #2 edge rusher. That’s incredible value with the last pick of the fifth round.
Round 7, Pick 231: QB Ben DiNucci, James Madison (Grade: B-)
The Cowboys needed a backup quarterback, and in the seventh round, they’ll hope Ben DiNucci can develop into that. However, with players like Mason Fine, Josh Love, and Nate Stanley on the board, they probably could’ve done better.
Round 4, Pick 118: TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri (Grade: B)
Heading into the season, Albert Okweuegbunam could’ve been a first-round pick, but he struggled without Drew Lock at Missouri, and was only the 93rd ranked tight end, per Pro Football Focus. Yet, he has all the athletic tools to succeed, and has a similar skill set to tight end Noah Fant, should he go down with an injury. Plus, he gets to be reunited with Lock in Denver!
Round 5, Pick 187: LB Justin Strnad, Wake Forest (Grade: A-)
The Broncos tried to trade back into the first round for Patrick Queen, but they’re still able to land an athletic linebacker in Justin Strnad. He has injury concerns and will turn 24-years-old before the season starts, but he’s been a productive player and is a nice depth linebacker for them.
Round 6, Pick 181: IOL Netane Muti, Fresno State (Grade: A+)
Had it not been for injury concerns, Netane Muti may have been a first-round pick in this year’s draft. He’s both an effective pass protector and a nasty run blocker, and is a much better player than Lloyd Cushenberry, the player Denver selected in the third round. What a tremendous pick this is by the Broncos.
Round 7, Pick 252: WR Tyrie Cleveland, Florida (Grade: B+)
The Broncos continue to be all-in on adding weapons around Drew Lock! I’m not sure Tyrie Cleveland sticks on the roster, but he’s a decent route runner.
Round 7, Pick 254: EDGE Derek Tuszka, North Dakota State (Grade: A-)
It’s always beneficial to take chances on players with athletic tools in the late rounds, but why not do the same with players who were productive in college? Derek Tuszka is an undersized rusher who doesn’t have much speed off the edge, but he was ultra-productive in college, and may be able to make Denver’s roster as a depth pass rusher.
Round 4, Pick 121: IOL Logan Stenberg, Kentucky (Grade: A-)
After drafting Jonah Jackson in the third round, the Lions have double-dipped on the interior offensive line by taking Kentucky’s Logan Stenberg. With holes at both interior spots, this was the right decision for Detroit, who is getting a player that certainly fits their scheme. I definitely see him as a solid starter, so that’s good value at this point of the draft.
Round 5, Pick 166: WR Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin (Grade: A-)
With no receiver under contract after the 2020 season, the Lions needed to bring in at least one receiver in this draft, making Quintez Cephus a logical selection. He struggles to seperate down the field, but he was productive at Wisconsin, and could even challenge for reps in the slot right away.
Round 5, Pick 172: RB Jason Huntley, New Mexico State (Grade: B-)
At this point of the draft, if teams are going to draft a running back, finding a “scat back” makes sense. With his receiving ability, Jason Huntley is a good fit, and also can be a kick/punt returner. However, the Lions have two running backs with adequate receiving ability on the roster, so Huntley is rather redundant with what they already have.
Round 6, Pick 197: IDL John Penisini, Utah (Grade: A-)
The main reason that teams shouldn’t address their run defense early is that they can find run-stuffers at the end of the day. John Penisini is an elite run defender, but he can be a clog at the middle of Detroit’s defensive line, which is what their scheme calls for from their interior defenders.
Round 7, Pick 235: IDL IDL Jashon Cornell, Ohio State (Grade: B)
Adding more depth on the defensive front, the Lions have drafted Ohio State interior defender Jashon Cornell in the seventh round. Cornell’s lack of development in college and middling play strength, but he’s athletic, and could be groomed to play on their defensive front in a Trey Flowers role.
Green Bay Packers
Round 5, Pick 175: LB Kamal Martin, Minnesota (Grade: B+)
Many were calling for the Packers to add a linebacker early in the draft, but they’re betting on Kamal Martin’s athletic tools in the fifth round. In Mike Pettine’s defensive scheme, there is a lot of pressure on a single linebacker to cover a lot of ground, and Martin’s athleticism is useful. He has some potential in pass coverage, though so far, it hasn’t translated to production.
Round 6, Pick 192: IOL Jon Runyan, Michigan (Grade: B+)
The son of a former Pro Bowl tackle, Michigan’s Jon Runyan has the athleticism to play in a zone-blocking scheme, and is an effective run blocker. He lacks any sort of physicality, though Green Bay likely picked him here in order for him to be a developmental depth piece.
Round 6, Pick 208: IOL Jake Hanson, Oregon (Grade: B+)
It’s clear to see the Packers’ strategy at this point in the draft, as Jake Hanson is a zone-blocker that fits head coach Matt LeFleur’s scheme and has experience at center. Yet, he didn’t improve in college, and Green Bay will hope to get the best out of him.
Round 6, Pick 209: IOL Simon Stepaniak, Indiana (Grade: C)
Whereas Jake Hanson fits with Green Bay’s zone-blocking scheme, how does Simon Stepaniak fit? His lack of athleticism makes him better fit for a gap/power scheme, and although he’s a solid developmental piece, this isn’t the right team for him.
Round 7, Pick 236: S Vernon Scott, TCU (Grade: B-)
Their first perimeter addition of the draft, Vernon Scott may have a chance to be a depth safety for the Packers, but he’s probably a special teams player. I still can’t believe the Packers didn’t draft one single receiver.
Round 7, Pick 242: EDGE Jonathan Garvin, Miami (Grade: A)
Adding some pass-rush depth with their last pick in the draft, the Packers have snagged edge rusher Jonathan Garvin. Still just 20-years-old, Garvin needs to develop more pass-rush moves, but he’s long and flexible, and is a nice value pick for Green Bay in the seventh round.
Round 4, Pick 126: OT Charlie Heck, North Carolina (Grade: B-)
Bill O’Brien loves trades! The head coach/general manager has moved up ten spots to add some tackle depth, bringing in North Carolina’s Charlie Heck. He has the size-length-athleticism combination that is needed to play tackle, and was productive in college, though Heck has some major technical issues he’ll need to refine. I’m against trading up, but I can see the logic with this pick.
Round 4, Pick 141: CB John Reid, Penn State (Grade: A-)
I’ve been calling for the Texans to add someone capable of defending the slot since the start of the offseason, and they’ve found their guy in John Reid. Reid, coming from Penn State, is going to be 24-years-old at the start of the season, but is an instant starter with great technique. This is a nice selection for Houston.
Round 5, Pick 171: WR Isaiah Coulter, Rhode Island (Grade: A-)
Isaiah Coulter is going to be a work in progress, so he needed to go to a team that didn’t need him to start right away. The Texans are currently fine at the receiver position, but have a future need. Therefore, spending a fifth-round pick to potentially develop a starting receiver is definitely worth it, even if it ultimately doesn’t pan out.
Round 4, Pick 122: QB Jacob Eason, Washington (Grade: B)
Jacob Eason has the arm talent to succeed, but with his struggles under pressure and lack of movement in the pocket, he’s probably a backup. Yet, that’s the exact type of quarterback that teams should be looking for at this stage in the draft, as a backup quarterback may provide more value than most non-quarterbacks. I’m against passing on Jake Fromm, but with Phillip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett on the roster, Eason will have time to be groomed into a backup.
Round 5, Pick 169: IOL Danny Pinter, Ball State (Grade: A-)
Smart teams are able to add offensive line depth, and though he’s had an uneven draft, grabbing Danny Pinter in the fifth round is a classic Chris Ballard move. His athleticism and production combination is intriguing, and though he’ll convert inside, does have guard-tackle flexibility.
Round 6, Pick 193: IDL Robert Windsor, Penn State (Grade: A-)
This wasn’t the deepest of classes on the interior defensive line, but one late-round option I liked was Robert Windsor from Penn State. He’s not a sound run defender, but he offers potential as an interior pass-rush specialist on passing downs, and is a nice future addition for a Colts team- he could eventually replace Denico Autry if developed properly.
Round 6, Pick 211: CB Isaiah Rodgers, Massachusetts (Grade: B)
Kenny Moore is one of the better slot corners in the NFL, but it’s nice for the Colts to have insurance in case he deals with an injury. With the pick that they got for trading Quincy Wilson, Isaiah Rodgers lacks size, but has slot corner potential, and I’m all for taking shots to help in the secondary.
Round 6, Pick 212: WR Dezmon Patmon, Washington State (Grade: B-)
The Colts have definitely made it a priority to add size to their receiving core, and Desmond Patmon will provide that for them. However, that’s about all he offers, which is why he’s a sixth-round pick.
Round 6, Pick 213: LB Jordan Glasgow, Michigan (Grade: C)
With their third straight pick in a row, the Colts have added linebacker Jordan Glasgow. He’s a high-effort player who’ll have a role on special teams, but he doesn’t have the tools necessary to have an easy time sticking at the next level.
Round 4, Pick 117: OT Ben Bartch, St.Johns (Minnesota) (Grade: A-)
It was surprising that the Jaguars didn’t add a tackle early in the draft, but they’ve made a very intriguing selection here; Ben Bartch played at St.John’s in Minnesota, but he dominated there, and showed out well at the Senior Bowl. He obviously isn’t a refined player, but he’s the perfect example of a developmental tackle that is worth a mid-round flyer.
Round 4, Pick 137: CB Josiah Scott, Michigan State (Grade: A-)
Slot cornerbacks are starters in today’s NFL, yet teams continue to let capable players at the position slip in the draft. Josiah Scott doesn’t have the size to play on the outside, but he’s a well-rounded player with athleticism and ball skills, and could seriously be an instant starter for Jacksonville.
Round 4, Pick 140: LB Shaquille Quarterman, Miami (Grade: C-)
The Jaguars have absolutely loaded up on defensive selections, and they continued that trend by selecting Shaquille Quarterman. The Miami linebacker works very effectively downhill, but his pass coverage and ability in space are major question marks. I don’t like the fit or the value here.
Round 5, Pick 157: S Daniel Thomas, Auburn (Grade: C+)
The Jaguars have a lot of picks, and they’ve continued to take players from the SEC on defense. Daniel Thomas is an intriguing athlete, though he’s probably more of a special teams player and not the best player available.
Round 5, Pick 165: WR Collin Johnson, Texas (Grade: B+)
Sticking with the theme of selecting players from well-known schools, the Jaguars have selected Texas receiver Collin Johnson in the fifth round. Johnson is a bigger-bodied receiver who won’t separate well, and he’s probably a tight end. Still, he’s at least a nice red zone threat, and it’s okay to gamble on his size at this point of the draft.
Round 6, Pick 189: QB Jake Luton, Oregon State (Grade: A-)
Is Jake Luton going to be anything more than a backup quarterback? Probably not, but backup quarterbacks are always valuable, and the Jaguars needed one. With so many picks, there’s no reason for them not to bring in a quarterback; it’s always a good idea to.
Round 6, Pick 206: TE Tyler Davis, Georgia Tech (Grade: C)
With their next pick, the Jaguars have drafted a developmental tight end in Tyler Davis. He didn’t produce much in college and is more a practice squad option, and is a surprising pick here.
Round 7, Pick 223: CB Chris Claybrooks, Marshall (Grade: B-)
The Jaguars have made some surprise picks and have targeted athletes and special teams contributors, which is what Chris Claybrooks is. He’s a great athlete that’ll contribute as a kick returner, but it’s unlikely he provides much of an impact as an actual cornerback.
Kansas City Chiefs
Round 4, Pick 138: CB/S L’Jarius Sneed, Louisiana Tech (Grade: A-)
The Chiefs opted not to add a defensive back on either of the first two days of the draft, but there’s a good chance that may not come back to bite them if this pick pans out the way it could. L’Jarius Sneed played safety at Louisiana Tech, but with 4.48 speed, he has the length-speed combination to start at outside cornerback in Kansas City’s press-heavy scheme, so the pay-off here could be huge based on where they drafted him.
Round 5, Pick 177: EDGE Mike Danna, Michigan (Grade: B+)
Mike Danna transferred from Central Michigan to Michigan with a lot of hype – he was an elite player at Central Michigan – but ultimately, he wasn’t the same in terms of production. The Chiefs just need some depth on the edge, and he’s a high floor player with power and pocket-collapsing ability. Yet, he doesn’t have much explosiveness and upside.
Round 7, Pick 237: CB Bopete Keyes, Tulane (Grade: B+)
The Chiefs clearly want their defensive backs to be lengthy and athletic, and that’s what Bopete Keyes is. He’ll likely be a developmental piece for them, but clearly he fits their mold
Las Vegas Raiders
Round 4, Pick 109: IOL John Simpson, Clemson (Grade: C-)
The Raiders needed to get younger on the interior of their offensive line, and Simpson is the type of the road-grader that they’ll like. Yet, he’s a reach considering some of the other players at the position that were available, and they traded up to select him.
Round 4, Pick 130: CB Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech (Grade: A+)
Going just one pick after his teammate L’Jarius Sneed, Amik Robertson is a dynamic slot cornerback with great instincts and zone-coverage ability, and is an absolute steal in the fourth round. Now, the Raiders have a slot cornerback that can allow them to move Lamarcus Joyner back to free safety.
Los Angeles Chargers
Round 4, Pick 112: RB Joshua Kelley, UCLA (Grade: D)
With their first pick after the first round, the Chargers have drafted a running back to complement Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson, bringing in Joshua Kelley. Kelley doesn’t have any standout tools, and is a massive reach in the fourth round, even without factoring in positional value. They should’ve been content with what they had in Ekeler and Jackson.
Round 5, Pick 151: WR Joe Reed, Virginia (Grade: B+)
Joe Reed was a popular sleeper pick in this draft with his run after catch ability, and the Chargers did a nice job adding a receiver later in the draft. They need a slot receiver now, and have a future need at the position.
Round 6, Pick 186: S Alohi Gillman, Notre Dame (Grade: A-)
The Chargers have a very versatile defense, and are the perfect place for Alohi Gillman to land. He’ll be able to fill into the box, be a dime linebacker, and work a little out of the nickel; he’s essentially a discount Derwin James, and it’s nice to get some insurance there in the sixth round.
Round 7, Pick 220: WR KJ Hill, Ohio State (Grade: A+)
I was lower on KJ Hill than most, but seriously, the seventh round? Joe Reed is more of a run-after-catch specialist, so you could argue slot receiver was still a need. KJ Hill won’t be able to win on the outside, but he has a high floor in the slot, and may start for them immediately.
Los Angeles Rams
Round 4, Pick 136: TE Brycen Hopkins, Purdue (Grade: B+)
After trading down, the Rams still landed a player that many projected to be taken much earlier. Brycen Hopkins is an athletic player with vertical ability, but his drops and blocking are issues. From a value perspective, this is a solid pick, though I’m still stunned the Rams have continued to ignore their offensive line with so many intriguing zone-blocking interior offensive linemen available.
Round 6, Pick 199: S Jordan Fuller, Ohio State (Grade: A-)
Ohio State defensive backs ruled the early stages of the draft, but here’s one that’s off the board in the sixth round. Jordan Fuller isn’t an overly exciting prospect, but he is a capable player both as a single-high safety and in the box.
Round 7, Pick 234: LB Clay Johnston, Baylor (Grade: B+)
Finally, a linebacker! Obviously, it’s not the most important position, but you’d ideally not be rolling with what Los Angeles currently has at the position. Clay Johnson will be an early-down run defender for the Rams on early downs, though with no athleticism whatsoever, he won’t be able to fill the Cory Littleton role.
Round 7, Pick 248: K Sam Sloman, Miami (Ohio) (Grade: C+)
After releasing Greg Zuerlin, the Rams needed a kicker. Sam Sloman will look to be that for them after a productive season in his senior year.
Round 7, Pick 250: IOL Tremayne Anchrum, Clemson (Grade: B+)
Don’t worry, the Rams have finally drafted an offensive lineman! Tremayne Anchrum’s lack of athleticism actually makes him a poor scheme fit in Sean McVay’s zone-blocking scheme, though I’m at least happy they are at least adding some depth.
Round 4, Pick 111: IOL Solomon Kindley, Georgia (Grade: B)
Interestingly, the Dolphins have focused much more on the interior of the offensive line than at tackle, now drafting Georgia lineman Solomon Kindley. Kindley’s lack of athleticism is a concern, but he’ll provide some depth for them.
Round 5, Pick 154: IDL Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina (Grade: C+)
Bolstering their defense further, the Dolphins have drafted interior defender Jason Strowbridge. A very similar player to Raekwon Davis, Strowbridge is an edge defender/interior defender hybrid, but that’s fine in Brian Flores’ defensive scheme; those types of players are coveted, similar to Trey Flowers. I’m not a huge fan of him as a player, but I do like the fit.
Round 5, Pick 164: EDGE Curtis Weaver, Boise State (Grade: A+)
It’s very rare to find a first-round caliber edge rusher in the fifth round, but that’s exactly what the Dolphins have gotten in Curtis Weaver. He doesn’t have the body type that teams are looking for, but despite that, he was as productive as one can be in college, and has the finesse and bend to be a high-end #2 edge rusher. He’s a major addition for Miami’s defense.
Round 6, Pick 185: LS Blake Ferguson, LSU (Grade: D)
A long-snapper, Dolphins, really? It’s not like this is a team that couldn’t use as much depth as possible, and I’m pretty certain the difference in quality of a long snapper isn’t exactly going to make a huge difference.
Round 7, Pick 246: WR Malcolm Perry, Navy (Grade: B+)
The Dolphins clearly are just having fun at this point of the draft, as after drafting a long-snapper, they’ve also selected an exciting gimmick player in Malcolm Perry. Perry is electric with the ball in his hands, making him worth a seventh-round flyer.
Round 4, Pick 117: EDGE DJ Wonnum, South Carolina (Grade: C-)
The Vikings rightfully have focused on adding talent on the perimeter, but they needed to add some pass rush depth, and they’ve done that by selecting DJ Wonnum. With the power in his hands and length, he’s a Mike Zimmer type of edge rusher. Yet, he wasn’t even productive in college, and definitely wasn’t the best pass rusher on the board.
Round 4, Pick 130: IDL James Lynch, Baylor (Grade: C+)
Adding to their defensive front, the Vikings have brought in interior defender James Lynch. He played edge defender at Baylor, but Lynch will need to convert inside, where he’s a projection. I’m not as high on him as others, though his lack of athletic tools could be ignored if he can succeed inside.
Round 4, Pick 132: LB Troy Dye, Oregon (Grade: A)
The Vikings are absolutely dominating this draft! They’ve found so many steals throughout the draft, and Oregon linebacker Troy Dye is another one. He’s not a good run defender, but his coverage ability is very intriguing, as he’s a perfect fit for the modern NFL- I compared him to Cory Littleton, who just signed for $12 million per year with the Raiders. He won’t play on early downs, but Minnesota needed better coverage from their linebackers, outside of Eric Kendricks, so Dye can come in on passing downs for their run defending linebackers. Regardless, this is just fantastic value.
Round 5, Pick 169: CB Harrison Hand, Temple (Grade: B)
Head coach Mike Zimmer’s love to draft cornerbacks, and Temple’s Harrison Hand fits his mold at the position. He isn’t someone you want lining up in man coverage, but he has some zone-coverage ability, and adds some depth to the secondary.
Round 5, Pick 178: WR KJ Osborn, Miami (Grade: C-)
I’m all for taking wide receivers, but KJ Osborn seems like more of a special teams player, and with legitimate receivers on the board, I’m surprised to see the Vikings take a player like him at this stage of the draft.
Round 6, Pick 203: IOL Blake Brandal, Oregon State (Grade: C+)
Most of the time, offensive linemen that are selected at this point of the draft have athletic tools, but that doesn’t describe lake Brandal. He’s 6’7”, but he’s not strong nor athletic, and faces an uphill climb to making an NFL roster.
Round 6, Pick 205: S Josh Metellus, Michigan (Grade: B+)
The Vikings run a lot of split safety sets, so it’ll be interesting to see how Josh Metellus fits into the mix. The Michigan product projects as a box safety, so I’m curious if they’re converting him to linebacker, but still, this is a fascinating selection by them.
Round 7, Pick 225: EDGE Kenny Willekes, Michigan State (Grade: B+)
Even after drafting DJ Wonnum, the Vikings need a lot of depth at edge rusher. Kenny Willekes actually complements Wonnum well, as he has athletic limitations, but was productive in college and could be a rotational piece for them.
Round 7, Pick 244: QB Nate Stanley, Iowa (Grade: A+)
The Vikings needed a backup quarterback, while Nate Stanley needed to end up in a play-action, “Shanahan/Kubiak” type of offense. Therefore, Minnesota selecting the Iowa quarterback is a win for all sides. He’ll be a high-end backup for them, and is far better than some of the other quarterbacks that have been selected before him.
Round 7, Pick 249: S Brian Cole II, Mississippi State (Grade: B+)
Between Brian Cole II and Josh Metellus, it’s clear the Vikings are coveting linebacker/safety hybrids to groom. I’d expect Cole II, similarly to Metellus, to move to an off-ball linebacker role to help improve their pass coverage over the middle of the field.
New England Patriots
Round 5, Pick 159: K Justin Rohrwasser, Marshall (Grade: D)
A kicker in the fifth round? It’s a classic Patriots move, but this is far too deep of a draft class to draft a kicker.
Round 6, Pick 182: IOL Michael Onwenu, Michigan (Grade: A-)
The Patriots probably are going to let Joe Thuney leave soon, whether it’s as a free agent or if they trade him. Michael Onwenu isn’t athletic whatsoever, but he’s a powerful player who could be a starter at some point.
Round 6, Pick 195: OT Justin Herron, Wake Forrest (Grade: A)
Part of the Patriots’ brilliance is their willingness to add reinforcements to their offensive line, and the willingness to do so in bunches in the middle rounds. Justin Herron isn’t a flawless player, but I like his potential as a pass protector, and he’s well worth a sixth-round pick.
Round 6, Pick 204: LB Caash Maluia, Wyoming (Grade: B)
Bill Belichick has a type with his linebackers, and it’s players who are near 250 pounds with tools that need to be developed. Cassh Maluia is a massive work in progress, but he has the movement skills that are needed to play the linebacker position.
Round 7, Pick 230: IOL Dustin Woodard, Memphis (Grade: B-)
More offensive line depth! Dustin Woodard may have a tough time making the roster given how much depth New England has added on the offensive trenches, but his ability to play center may help his case.
New Orleans Saints
Round 7, Pick 240: QB/Utility Tommy Stevens, Mississippi State (Grade: B)
Have the Saints found their next Taysom Hill? They traded a future sixth-round pick to get back in the draft to select Tommy Stevens, who is listed as a quarterback, but will play a utility role for them. It’s a fascinating pick, to say the least.
New York Giants
Round 4, Pick 110: CB Darnay Holmes, UCLA (Grade: A+)
The Giants have had a fantastic draft, and selecting cornerback Darnay Holmes just adds to it. Depending on how they use Julian Love, they needed a slot corner, and cornerback depth in general. Holmes has the athletic tools to succeed, and may even be able to be an outside corner.
Round 5, Pick 150: IOL Shane Lemieux, Oregon (Grade: C+)
Did the Giants go for overkill with the offensive line? Shane Lemieux was a steady player at Oregon, but he’s probably a future backup, and New York actually has depth on the interior of the offensive line.
Round 6, Pick 183: LB Cameron Brown, Penn State (Grade: A-)
The sixth round is the perfect area to take a chance on an athletic player, especially at a position where it is coveted, and Cameron Brown has plenty of potential as an athletic, cover linebacker. He’ll need time to develop, but the pay-off could be huge for a team that needs athleticism in the middle of their defense.
Round 7, Pick 218: EDGE/LB Carter Coughlin, Minnesota (Grade: A)
The Giants are going to be running a Belichick-style multiple scheme, which means they’ll need edge rusher/linebacker hybrids. Carter Coughlin needed to land in one of these schemes, but he’s the type of tweener that’ll thrive in that type of role; I really like this pick for New York.
Round 7, Pick 238: LB TJ Brunson, South Carolina (Grade: B)
The Giants are taking a lot of shots at the linebacker position. TJ Brunson’s lack of tackling, limited length, and awful processing skills will hurt his ability to make the team, but he does have athleticism and started for three years at South Carolina.
Round 7, Pick 247: CB Chris Williamson, Minnesota (Grade: C+)
When I first saw the Giants selected a cornerback, I assumed it’d be a developmental option to play in their man-heavy scheme. However, Chris Williamson won’t be able to do that, and looks like a special teams addition.
Round 7, Pick 255: LB Tae Crowder, Georgia (Grade: B)
This year’s “Mr.Irrelevant” is Georgia linebacker Tae Crowder? He’s probably a special teams player, but is a former running back with solid athleticism.
New York Jets
Round 4, Pick 120: RB La’Mical Perine, Florida (Grade: D)
The Jets didn’t have a #2 running back on the option to complement Le’Veon Bell, but drafting one in the fourth round? There’s nothing about La’Mical Perine’s game that stands out, as he’s simply just an average running back. That’s not a player I’m drafting at this point of the draft.
Round 4, Pick 125: QB James Morgan, FIU (Grade: C)
Adding a backup quarterback to the mix, the Jets have drafted FIU quarterback James Morgan. Morgan has the prototypical size and arm strength that teams always covet, but his lack of accuracy and polish are concerns, and although this is where teams should look for backup quarterbacks, he was far from the best option available.
Round 4, Pick 129: OL Cameron Clarke, Charlotte (Grade: B+)
The Jets have done a nice job adding depth across the offensive line this offseason, and they’ve done so again by selecting offensive tackle Cameron Clarke in the fourth round. Clarke is coming from a small school and will need some time, but he doesn’t have any major technical flaws. I’m confused why he was announced as a guard at just 294 pounds, but he adds depth and youth for New York’s offensive line.
Round 5, Pick 158: CB Bryce Hall, Virginia (Grade: A+)
In Denzel Mims, the Jets got one of the better value selections of the second day of the draft. Now, they’ve gotten one of the steals of the third day; Bryce Hall fell in the draft due to injuries, and in a press-heavy scheme, which he’ll be in with the Jets, he’s a potential first-round talent. What a pick for a team that needed cornerback help.
Round 6, Pick 191: P Braden Mann, Texas A&M (Grade: B)
I’m not in love with taking a punter in the draft, but by all indications, Braden Mann is an elite punter prospect. At least New York waited for a generational prospect to draft a player at this position.
Round 4, Pick 127: S K’Von Wallace, Clemson (Grade: A)
Between Terrell Burgess and K’Von Wallace, this draft was loaded with versatile safeties who could play in the slot. Still, it’s a surprise to see Wallace fall into the fourth round, where Philadelphia should be thrilled to snatch him up. Whether it’s in the box or in the slot, he’s a great fit for them as their starting strong safety, and will be able to compete with Jalen Mills. This is a great pick for them.
Round 4, Pick 145: OT Jack Driscoll, Auburn (Grade: A+)
As far as the fourth round is concerned, no team has drafted better than the Eagles. Not only do they land a slot corner/safety hybrid in K’Von Wallace, but they’ve added much-needed tackle depth in Jack Driscoll, who had the pass-blocking ability to be an early second-round pick. His athleticism will work well in Philadelphia’s scheme, and this is a home-run pick for them.
Round 5, Pick 168: WR John Hightower, Boise State (Grade: A+)
The Eagles have clearly made it a priority to add speed to the receiving core, and John Hightower will provide that for them. With 4.4 speed, size, and solid route-running ability, he projects really well as a Will Fuller type of deep threat, and should’ve gone far earlier than this.
Round 6, Pick 196: LB Shaun Bradley, Temple (Grade: B+)
If there was any indication of how the Eagles are looking towards the future of their linebacker position, not only did they select an athletic freak in Davion Taylor, but Shaun Bradley is a rangy player as well. He needs to improve his awareness and play recognition, but he’s a playmaker that is worth taking a chance on here.
Round 6, Pick 200: WR Quez Watkins, Southern Miss (Grade: B+)
Man, the Eagles are all-in about adding speed. Quez Watkins seriously doesn’t offer much as a receiver but speed and abilities at the catch point, but with those two skills, he can have a role in the NFL. I’m all for this approach by general manager Howie Roseman.
Round 6, Pick 210: OT Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn (Grade: A)
I don’t know why Prince Tega Wanogho fell to this point in the draft, but the Eagles usually do a good job at not overthinking picks, outside of the Jalen Hurts selection. Tega Wanogho won’t be ready to play right away, but he’s a developmental tackle that could’ve been taken as early as the third or fourth round, so this is a value pick for them.
Round 7, Pick 233: EDGE Casey Toohill, Stanford (Grade: B+)
The Eagles could use some depth on the edge, and although Casey Toohill is a bit of a tweener, he can perhaps provide that for him. I would’ve liked him in an edge/linebacker hybrid role, but his athletic tools make him worth a gamble here.
Round 4, Pick 124: RB Anthony McFarland, Maryland (Grade: B)
The Steelers did the right thing by not taking a running back with either of their top picks, as they’re able to land a player who is just as talented as the players who went off the board before him. Anthony McFarland’s explosiveness makes him the perfect complement to what Pittsburgh had on the roster, and actually was drafted around the range I thought was appropriate, even when factoring in positional value.
Round 4, Pick 135: IOL Kevin Dotson, Louisiana (Grade: B-)
The Steelers did need some depth on their offensive line, and Kevin Dotson fits their gap/power scheme. Yet, he needs some work in pass protection, is a project, and was drafted just a little too early for my liking.
Round 6, Pick 198: S Antoine Brooks Jr., Maryland (Grade: B-)
Their first defensive selection of the third day of the draft, the Steelers have selected Antoine Brooks Jr. from Maryland. Brooks Jr. is a box safety only who may be better at linebacker, so he’s essentially a lesser-version of Terrell Edmunds. That’s not exactly inspiring.
Round 7, Pick 232: IDL Carlos Davis, Nebraska (Grade: B)
At this point in the draft, it makes sense to take chances on athletic players. Carlos Davis is a former track star with a stellar get-off, but he has no pass rush skills at the moment, and at 24-years-old, is well behind the curve in terms of development. Still, Pittsburgh has generally done a nice job developing these types of players.
San Francisco 49ers
Round 5, Pick 153: OT Colton McKivitz, West Virginia (Grade: B)
After trading running back Matt Brieda to the Dolphins, the 49ers have added some offensive line depth, bringing in Colton McKivitz from West Virginia in the 5th round. He doesn’t have ideal play strength, but he has the type of agility that’ll make him a nice fit in Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme.
Round 6, Pick 190: TE Charlie Woerner, Georgia (Grade: B-)
The 49ers had been looking for a second tight end behind George Kittle, but will Georgia’s Charlie Woerner provide that for them? He only had 20 catches over the past two seasons in college, and is a blocking specialist. There’s nothing that makes him stand out, though it’s hard to not give Kyle Shanahan the benefit of the doubt.
Round 7, Pick 217: WR Jauan Jennings, Tennessee (Grade: A+)
Wow, what a perfect fit! Jauan Jennings is literally the prototype Kyle Shanahan receiver, as his run-after-catch ability is off the charts, but he’ll need to be schemed open. He wasn’t going to be for everyone, but he was meant to play in this offensive scheme.
Round 4, Pick 133: TE Colby Parkinson, Stanford (Grade: B)
Russell Wilson has always liked to target tight ends in the red zone, so in a way, Colby Parkinson may be the best tight end fit for the Seahawks. Now, he’s more a big-body receiver than an actual in-line tight end, and Seattle is loaded with tight ends on their roster, but the potential pay-off is there, so I’m okay with them taking him here.
Round 4, Pick 144: RB DeeJay Dallas, Miami (Grade: C+)
It wouldn’t be a Seahawks draft without them taking a running back! To be fair, DeeJay Dallas’ ability to break tackles and receiving skills made him one of the top players at the position available, but Seattle already has some depth at running back, so this is early for me- why not take a chance on Bryce Hall?
Round 5, Pick 158: EDGE Alton Robinson, Syracuse (Grade: B+)
Coming into the draft, you could make the case the Seahawks didn’t have a starting-caliber edge defender. Alton Robinson will need time to develop, but he has the tools that are worth taking a chance on at this point of the draft.
Round 6, Pick 214: WR Freddie Swain, Florida (Grade: B)
It’s a surprise to see the Seahawks wait until the sixth round, but they needed a slot receiver, and Freddie Swain fits that profile. He’s got the athleticism to stick at the next level, and honestly, may push for slot reps right away. He’s not too dissimilar from their pick of John Ursua last year.
Round 7, Pick 251: TE Stephen Sullivan, LSU (Grade: B+)
After adding a receiving tight end in Colby Parkinson, the Seahawks have essentially added the same player, albeit at a lower quality, in Stephen Sullivan. He offers some nice receiving skills, but Sullivan didn’t start at LSU, and isn’t a candidate to stick as an in-line tight end.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Round 5, Pick 161: WR Tyler Johnson, Minnesota (Grade: A+)
After adding a receiving tight end in Colby Parkinson, the Seahawks have essentially added the same player, albeit at a lower quality, in Stephen Sullivan. He offers some nice receiving skills, but Sullivan didn’t start at LSU, and isn’t a candidate to stick as an in-line tight end.
Round 6, Pick 194: IDL Khalil Davis, Nebraska (Grade: B)
Adding to the interior of their defensive line, the Bucs have added high-upside interior rusher Khalil Davis. He’s an athletic freak, and progressed in college, but Davis doesn’t have much to offer outside of his get-off. He’s a developmental piece, but also is 24-years-old.
Round 7, Pick 241: LB Chapelle Russell, Temple (Grade: B+)
The Bucs’ linebacking core is made up of athletic players who could almost get away with playing safety, so Chapelle Russell is a good fit. He’s not a physical player whatsoever, but he is athletic, and could develop faster than expected; his progression in college was slowed by two torn ACLs.
Round 7, Pick 245: RB Raymond Calais, Louisiana-Lafayette (Grade: B+)
Did the Bucs just find a better running back in the seventh round than what they got in the third round? Raymond Calais is everything you could want from a late-round running back, as he doesn’t provide much, but he’s a burner and will be a headache for opposing defenses.
Round 5, Pick 174: IDL Larrell Murchison, NC State (Grade: C+)
I was surprised to see the Titans wait until the fifth round to address their defensive line, knowing head coach Mike Vrabel’s tendencies, but it was the right move as they worked to improve their offense and secondary. Larrell Murchison is mostly a run-stopper at the moment, but he does have some athletic tools to potentially be a 3-4 end for Tennessee.
Round 7, Pick 224: QB Cole McDonald, Hawaii (Grade: B+)
The Titans were a really fun team to watch last season, as their offense was predicated on play-action and chunk passing plays. To that end, they may have gotten the perfect backup quarterback for them; Cole McDonald is a roller-coaster of a quarterback, but he does have big-play ability and is a fine flyer in the seventh round.
Round 7, Pick 243: S Chris Jackson, Marshall (Grade: B)
With their last pick, the Titans have added a nice athlete in Chris Jackson. He’ll probably be a special teams player for them, but Tennesee could use some extra depth in the secondary.
Round 4, Pick 108: OT Saahdiq Charles, LSU (Grade: B)
After trading Trent Williams, the Redskins needed a developmental tackle, and Saahdiq Charles provided that for him. I doubt he ever develops into a starter, but he is solid depth
Round 4, Pick 142: WR Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty (Grade: A-)
Finally, the Redskins have added a true receiver! Antonio Gandy-Golden is a raw player, but his catch radius is fantastic, complements Washington’s other receivers well, and could allow him to thrive if developed properly. This is a great use of a fourth-round pick.
Round 5, Pick 156: IOL Keith Ismael, San Diego State (Grade: B)
The Redskins have made it a priority to add to their offense, and they’ve added to the interior of their offensive line. He needs to add play strength, but Ismael adds some future depth, so there isn’t any real reason to criticize this pick.
Round 5, Pick 162: LB/S Khaleke Hudson, Michigan (Grade; A)
After addressing every level of the offense, the Redskins have used the pick they acquired for cornerback Quinton Dunbar to select linebacker/safety hybrid Khaleke Hudson. He’s a bit of a tweener, but Hudson has potential as a cover linebacker, and Washington could use a player like that on their defense.
Round 7, Pick 216: S Kamren Curl, Arkansas (Grade: A)
The Redskins needed a single-high safety to complement box safety Landon Collins, and had to add some depth. Kamren Curl isn’t a flashy player, but at this point of the draft, his versatility and coverage skills made him an easy pick.
Round 7, Pick 229: EDGE James Smith-Williams, NC State (Grade: B+)
Chase Young, Montez Sweat, and Ryan Kerrigan make out quite the edge rush group, but I have no problem with adding another player to the mix at this point. James Smith-Williams is a major work in progress, but he at least can be an early-down run defender with athletic potential.