Denver Broncos 2013 Draft: Aggregating Report Card Grades from Around the Web
The Denver Broncos added 23 new players to their roster over the weekend, coming by way of the draft, undrafted free-agent signings and the Shaun Phillips signing.
Going into the draft, defensive end, defensive tackle, running back and cornerback were arguably the team's biggest needs, and each was addressed over the weekend.
Reactions from the fans have been mixed, but the general consensus seems to be around a "B" from the fanbase. A MileHighReport.com poll reports 59 percent of voters gave the team a "B" grade as of Sunday evening.
The grades from the mainstream media haven't been as generous.
Let's take a look.
Sporting News: C-
Sporting News gave the team a "C-" with the following observations:
They started with a bang, North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, but the rest of their haul included plenty of reaches. Wisconsin's Montee Ball is a good runner, but he wasn't worthy of a second-rounder based on what they had.
They also threw darts at South Florida cornerback Kayvon Webster and Western Kentucky defensive end Quanterus Smith. It's good they can win a Super Bowl with their established veteran core."
This analysis is a little harsh. With the exception of Webster, most of Denver's picks were made at just the right spot, and Quanterus Smith actually turned out to be a steal.
And the term "reach" is really overrated.
Who cares that a website had "Prospect A" graded as a fourth-round pick. All that matters is where the team has him ranked on its board.
Every year, there are a few players who "surprisingly" fall on draft day while others are proclaimed reach picks. Do teams sometimes pick players higher than the player should be? Sure.
But in many cases, the teams know more than we do. Let's at least see them play before casting too many judgements.
CBS Sports: B, C, C
Here are CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco's take on Denver's first three picks:
Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina. Grade: "B"
"The pick of Sylvester Williams fills a huge need. He was a power player inside for UNC. I like this move by the Broncos."
Broncos select: Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin. Grade: "C"
"I know Denver needs a back, but there were better options. Don't like it much."
Broncos select: Kayvon Webster, CB, South Florida. Grade: "C"
"Corner is an issue in terms of age. He's a solid player, but this was a little high. They hit on Chris Harris as an undrafted though, so who knows?"
Again, I agree that Kayvon Webster seems to have been taken a little early, but Montee Ball is a back who scored 83 touchdowns in college. His grade should be nowhere near a "C." In Prisco's opinion, there were "better backs," but time will tell which RB turns out to be the best.
"Sylvester Williams was one of the better values of the first round. I could have seen him go as high as No. 14 to Carolina, and Denver got him all the way down at No. 28."
Go check out Sylvester Williams' spot on ESPN's Sport Science. He looks to have been a fantastic pick.
Rotoworld.com's Evan Silva gave the team a "B" and made the following analysis:
The early rounds of VP of Player Personnel John Elway's third Broncos draft were largely by the book. Perhaps only Webster could be considered a reach, but he was a late third-rounder and adds quality secondary depth. Elway found potential late-round gems.
Silva had plenty more to say; be sure to read the rest of his well-rounded analysis here. As he noted, John Elway found a few potential late-round sleepers in Quanterus Smith and Tavarres King.
The national media seems to think the Denver Broncos made one too many reach selections, giving them an average grade of a "B" at best. As noted earlier, the consensus among the fans also seems to be a "B."
I personally think the Broncos aced the draft. Denver addressed their biggest positions of need with their first four selections and added more depth to the roster in the later rounds.
It's hard to really grade a draft until about three years later, but my gut reaction would be at least a "B+."
How would you grade Denver's draft? Share your thoughts in the comments below!