In today's NFL, the draft is the premier way to build a team.
The economics of the salary cap-based league, the crapshoot that is free agency and the lack of serious trading that we see in other leagues equates to a league built around drafting players and then finding ways to keep the draft picks around.
Yet, the draft is an inexact science.
At best, picks at the top of the draft are a 50/50 proposition. Even the safest-looking picks could turn out to be busts (thinking about you, Aaron Curry), and the prospects that dazzle us can be out of the league almost as fast as they entered it (sorry, JaMarcus Russell). Teams, fans, media—all of us can put in our best efforts and still be completely wrong.
Grading drafts, too, is an inexact science. I have my draft board. Other draft followers will have theirs. Yet, none of those is going to be anything like one of the teams' in the league—in terms of both accuracy and man-hours put in. More importantly, 32 teams across the league might have 32 different top-15 players, let alone when we get to the later rounds.
A reach for some teams might be value for others based on what they value in players or what sort of scheme they run. Maybe they have more information than another team and almost certainly have more than those of us without the same time and resources.
So, these grades are my opinion on the value or fit a team got in the player they just selected. History says I'll be right some of the time and that I'll be laughably wrong other times (make sure you bookmark!).
Disagree with my grades? Or, agree and think you know who your team should've taken instead? Leave your picks in the comments below.