The 2014 NFL draft is officially in the books, which means it's time to peg grades on the performances of all 32 teams from the seven-round fiasco at Radio City Music Hall.
Addressing roster needs is arguably the most vital aspect of constructing a draft for teams, and some did better than others in that regard. While some organizations reached for the right fit in their system, others stuck to the board and drafted the best player available.
A couple of poor decisions in the heat of the draft won't doom some franchises, but a few struggling teams rolled the dice in ways that could undermine their abilities to rebuild moving forward. Just as well, there were also one or two already stacked squads further bolstering their Super Bowl chances with bold moves.
Let's break down the final marks for each team, taking into account every draft choice with a special emphasis on high-impact early decisions.
|Arizona Cardinals||SS Deone Bucannon (27), TE Troy Niklas (52), DE Kareem Martin (84), WR John Brown (91), QB Logan Thomas (120), DE Ed Stinson (160), WR Walt Powell (196)||B|
|Atlanta Falcons||OT Jake Matthews (6), DL Ra'Shede Hageman (37), S Dez Southward (68), RB Devonta Freeman (103), LB Prince Shembo (139), CB Ricardo Allen (147), LB Marquis Spruill (168), LB Yawin Smallwood (253), LB Tyler Starr (255)||B+|
|Baltimore Ravens||ILB C.J. Mosley (17), DT Tim Jernigan (48), S Terrence Brooks (79), TE Crockett Gilmore (99), DT Brent Urban (134), RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (138), G John Urschel (175), QB Keith Wenning (194), WR Michael Campanaro (218)||A-|
|Buffalo Bills||WR Sammy Watkins (4), OT Cyrus Kouandjio (44), LB Preston Brown (73), CB Ross Cockrell (109), G Cyril Richardson (153), LB Randell Johnson (221), T Seantrel Henderson (237)||C-|
|Carolina Panthers||WR Kelvin Benjamin (28), DL Kony Ealy (60), G Trai Turner (92), S Tre Boston (128), CB Bene Benwikere (148), RB Tyler Gaffney (204)||B|
|Chicago Bears||CB Kyle Fuller (14), DT Ego Ferguson (51), DT Will Sutton (82), RB Ka'Deem Carey (117), S Brock Vereen (131), QB David Fales (183), P Pat O'Donnell (191), T Charles Leno (246)||B-|
|Cincinnati Bengals||CB Darqueze Dennard (24), RB Jeremy Hill (55), DE William Clarke (88), C Russell Bodine (111), QB A.J. McCarron (164), LB Marquis Flowers (212), WR James Wright (239), CB Lavelle Westbrooks (252)||B-|
|Cleveland Browns||CB Justin Gilbert (8), QB Johnny Manziel (22), OL Joel Bitonio (35), LB Charles Kirksey (71), RB Terrance West (94), CB Pierre Desir (127)||B+|
|Dallas Cowboys||OT Zack Martin (16), DE Demarcus Lawrence (34), LB Anthony Hitchens (119), WR Devin Street (146), DE Ben Gardner (231), LB Will Smith (238), S Ahmad Dixon (248), DT Ken Bishop (251), CB Terrance Mitchell (254)||B-|
|Denver Broncos||CB Bradley Roby (31), WR Cody Latimer (56), T Michael Schofield (95), LB Lamin Barrow (156), C Matt Paradis (207), LB Corey Nelson (242)||C+|
|Detroit Lions||TE Eric Ebron (10), OLB Kyle Van Noy (40), C Travis Swanson (76), CB Nevin Lawson (133), DE Larry Webster (136), DT Caraun Reid (158), WR T.J. Jones (189), K Nate Freese (229)||C+|
|Green Bay Packers||FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21), WR Davante Adams (53), DT Khyri Thornton (85), TE Richard Rogers (98), LB Carl Bradford (121), C Corey Lindsey (161), WR Jared Abbrederis (176), CB Demetri Goodson (197), WR Jeff Janis (236)||B+|
|Houston Texans||DE Jadeveon Clowney (1), OG Xavier Su'a-Filo (33), TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (65), DT Louis Nix (83), QB Tom Savage (135), DE Jeoffrey Pagan (177), RB Alfred Blue (181), RB Jay Prosch (211), CB Dre Hal (216), S Lonnie Ballentine (256)||A-|
|Indianapolis Colts||OL Jack Mewhort (59), WR Donte Moncrief (90), DE Jonathan Newsome (166), LB Andrew Jackson (203), T Ulrick John (232)||C|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||QB Blake Bortles (3), WR Marqise Lee (39), WR Allen Robinson (61), G Brandon Linder (93), CB Aaron Colvin (114), LB Telvin Smith (144), DE Chris Smith (159), C Luke Bowanko (205), RB Storm Johnson (222)||A-|
|Kansas City Chiefs||DE Dee Ford (23), CB Phillip Gaines (87), RB De'Anthony Thomas (124), QB Aaron Murray (163), G Zach Fulton (193), T Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (200)||C|
|Miami Dolphins||OT Ja'Wuan James (19), WR Jarvis Landry (63), T Billy Turner (67), CB Walt Aikens (125), TE Arthur Lynch (155), LB Jordie Tripp (171), WR Matt Hazel (190), DE Terrance Fede (234)||B-|
|Minnesota Vikings||OLB Anthony Barr (9), QB Teddy Bridgewater (32), DE Scott Crichton (72), RB Jerick McKinnon (96), G David Yankey (145), CB Antone Exum (182), CB Kendall James (184), DT Shamar Stephen (220), LB Brandon Watts (223), CB Jabari Price (225)||B+|
|New England Patriots||DT Dominique Easley (29), QB Jimmy Garoppolo (62), C Bryan Stork (105), RB James White (130), T Cameron Fleming (140), G Jon Halapio (179), DE Zach Moore (198), S Jemea Thomas (206), WR Jeremy Gallon (244)||C-|
|New Orleans Saints||WR Brandin Cooks (20), CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste (58), LB Khairi Fortt (126), S Vinnie Sunseri (167), LB Ronald Powell (169), T Tavon Rooks (202)||B+|
|New York Giants||WR Odell Beckham (12), C Weston Richburg (43), DT Jay Bromley (74), RB Andre Williams (113), S Nat Berhe (152), LB Devon Kennard (174), CB Bennett Jackson (187)||B|
|New York Jets||FS Calvin Pryor (18), TE Jace Amaro (49), CB Dex McDougle (80), WR Jalen Saunders (104), WR Shaq Evans (115), T Dakota Dozier (137), LB Jeremiah George (154), CB Brandon Dixon (195), WR Quincy Enunwa (209), DE IK Enemkpali (210), QB Tajh Boyd (213), LB Trevor Reilly (233)||B+|
|Oakland Raiders||OLB Khalil Mack (5), QB Derek Carr (36), OG Gabe Jackson (81), DT Justin Ellis (107), CB Keith McGill (116), CB T.J. Carrie (219), DE Shelby Harris (235), S Jonathan Dowling (247)||A-|
|Philadelphia Eagles||DE Marcus Smith (26), WR Jordan Matthews (42), WR Josh Huff (86), CB Jaylen Watkins (101), DE Taylor Hart (141), S Ed Reynolds (162), DT Beau Allen (224)||C|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||OLB Ryan Shazier (15), DL Stephon Tuitt (46), WR Dri Archer (97), WR Martavis Bryant (118), CB Shaquille Richardson (157), C Wesley Johnson (173), LB Jordan Zumwait (192), DT Dan McCullers (215), TE Rob Blanchflower (230)||B+|
|San Diego Chargers||CB Jason Verrett (25), OLB Jeremy Attaochu (50), G Chris Watt (89), DT Ryan Carrethers (165), RB Marlon Grice (201), WR Tevin Reese (240)||B+|
|San Francisco 49ers||SS Jimmie Ward (30), RB Carlos Hyde (57), OG Marcus Martin (70), ILB Chris Borland (77), G Brandon Thomas (100), WR Bruce Ellington (106), CB Dontae Johnson (129), DE Aaron Lynch (150), CB Keith Reaser (170), CB Kenneth Acker (180), DT Kaleb Ramsey (243), FB Trey Millard (245)||A-|
|Seattle Seahawks||WR Paul Richardson (45), OL Justin Britt (64), DE Cassius Marsh (108), WR Kevin Norwood (123), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (132), DT Jimmy Staten (172), T Garrett Scott (199), S Eric Pinkins (208), FB Kiero Smal (227)||D+|
|St. Louis Rams||OT Greg Robinson (2), DT Aaron Donald (13), CB Lamarcus Joyner (41), RB Tre Mason (75), S Maurice Alexander (110), CB E.J. Gaines (188), QB Garrett Gilbert (214), T Mitchell Van Dyk (226), S C.B. Bryant (241), DE Michael Sam (249), C Demetrius Rhaney (250)||A-|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||WR Mike Evans (7), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (38), RB Charles Sims (69), G Kadeem Edwards (143), T Kevin Pamphile (149), WR Robert Herron (185)||B|
|Tennessee Titans||OT Taylor Lewan (11), RB Bishop Sankey (54), DT DaQuan Jones (112), CB Marqueston Huff (122), LB Avery Williamson (151), QB Zach Mettenberger (178)||A-|
|Washington Redskins||LB Trent Murphy (47), OT Morgan Moses (66), G Spencer Long (78), CB Bashaud Breeland (102), WR Ryan Grant (142), RB Lache Seastrunk (186), TE Ted Bolser (217), K Zach Hocker (228)||C|
NFL.com/Steven Cook's grades
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: B
The Bucs needed to add aerial weapons over the weekend for either Mike Glennon or Josh McCown to be successful in Tampa Bay. And, well, they got them.
Tampa Bay was ecstatic to see wide receiver Mike Evans still available at pick No. 7. The massive Texas A&M wideout stands at 6'5" and has the size, ball skills, intangibles and route-running abilities to immediately make an impact as a rookie.
But they weren't done there.
Next, the Bucs grabbed tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins with the 38th pick—another huge target who can go up and get it. For good measure, they added Robert Herron from Wyoming on Day 3 to fill in at the slot.
The Bucs already have a stud running back in Doug Martin, which they leaned upon heavily the last few years. But there's no doubt that the bread and butter will be in the air now for the Bucs' offense, as Tampa Bay Times' Greg Auman indicated:
Bucs' passing game now has Vincent Jackson (6-5) and Mike Evans (6-5) at WR, Austin Seferian-Jenkins (6-5) & Tim Wright (6-4) at tight end.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) May 9, 2014
Whether it's McCown or Glennon who ultimately wins the starting job, both will benefit from having such huge targets available. McCown thrived with the Bears when Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall were catching his passes, and the same should be suggested of his potential with these big wideouts.
Tampa Bay reached on running back Charles Sims, bringing down its score a bit, but he could still develop into a solid backup for Martin. The Bucs also beefed up their depth on the offensive line with guard Kadeem Edwards and tackle Kevin Pamphile in Round 5.
San Francisco 49ers: A-
The norm in the NFL is to get smaller and faster, but the big, bad 49ers keep on getting bigger.
The Niners landed hard-nosed safety Jimmie Ward to compete in the secondary on Thursday, but it was Friday when they really started making noise and continued beefing up their roster.
After making a billion trades, San Francisco settled into top back Carlos Hyde at pick No. 57. The Ohio State running back runs downhill, has the wheels to hit the hole hard and great vision, as shown by his huge senior year with the Buckeyes.
As Bleacher Report's Matt Bowen alluded to, that means even more large fronts on offense for San Fran:
RB Carlos Hyde to the #49ers means more 2/3 TE sets + Power O, Lead, Counter OF, etc. Line up & run downhill.— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) May 10, 2014
Blowing those holes open for Hyde in the coming years will be Marcus Martin, the best center in the class, whom San Francisco grabbed at No. 70 after trading down nine spots to get more picks.
On the other side of the ball, they got a young stud. Chris Borland is an inside linebacker that fits the tough mold of the NFC West and will bring plenty to an already daunting defense.
The Niners picked up seven more prospects on Saturday, including South Carolina standout receiver Bruce Ellington and a pair of corners in Keith Reaser and Kenneth Acker.
With so many picks for Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke over the weekend, it's apparent that they had themselves a big haul for an already stacked roster entering 2014.
Buffalo Bills: C-
Some teams have their ambition in the NFL draft scrutinized and eventually see it pay off, and perhaps the Bills will be one of those teams a few years down the road.
But on the surface, their trade up to the fourth pick for Sammy Watkins smelled of an extreme deal.
Not only did Buffalo fork over its ninth overall pick from Thursday to the Browns for pick No. 4, but it also surrendered its first round pick and a fourth-rounder in the 2015 draft.
At least new Bills general manager Doug Whaley is making his mark on the franchise, as ESPN's Adam Schefter noted:
New GMs doing their thing. Bills GM Doug Whaley has traded for WR Sammy Watkins and RB Bryce Brown. Browns GM Ray Farmer dealing.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 10, 2014
Whaley certainly deserves his chance to make a splash, but giving up next year's first-rounder is quite the price. Add on a fourth-round pick to that and Watkins has some living up to do in order for his steep price to be validated.
The Bills figure to be a work in progress next year with one of the NFL's worst rushing defenses in 2013 and second-year starting quarterback E.J. Manuel throwing to an inexperienced receiving corps. If Buffalo struggles in 2014, this deal will only get better for the Browns and thus worse for the Bills.
Watkins was the top playmaker in the draft and could turn into a star, but he'll have to develop into quite the NFL player for that deal to make sense.
The Bills were able to save their grade quite a bit by stealing Cyrus Kouandjio in the second round, but all in all it was a poor draft showing for Buffalo.