Matt Miller Re-Grades the 2011 NFL Draft

Matt MillerNFL Draft Lead WriterMay 29, 2014

Matt Miller Re-Grades the 2011 NFL Draft

0 of 32

    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    In the minutes after each NFL draft, writers and analysts are in a massive hurry to give rabid fans their take on a player. However you grade them—1-10 point scale, A-F letter grades or with five-stars—if you're an NFL draft writer, chances are you're grading the picks as they happen.

    But what happens after that? Right now, nothing. The draft comes and goes and those grades are never revisited. The fans never learn if the analyst was right, wrong or somewhere in the middle or if the team made the right moves on draft day. That's why we're re-grading the 2011 draft class.

    It wouldn't be fair to grade NFL teams without also grading myself, though, so I'm posting my original predraft ranking of each player along with their grade. In my predraft process, players are graded and ranked based on their predicted NFL success, not their draft order, so now three years later we can truly get a feel for if those grades were correct or not.

    So, how does the 2011 NFL draft look three years later?

Arizona Cardinals

1 of 32

    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The Arizona Cardinals hit a home run by selecting cornerback Patrick Peterson when he fell to them at pick No. 5 overall. From there, this draft was full of question marks and misses. 

    Second-round pick Ryan Williams hasn't been able to stay healthy, and third-rounder Rob Housler has just now cracked a very poor tight end depth chart. Sam Acho has some potential, but still isn't contributing big reps or production.

    Updated Team Grade: C

     

    2011 Arizona Cardinals draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/5Patrick PetersonLSUCB2S-ARZA
    2/38Ryan WilliamsVirginia TechRB37B-DALF
    3/69Rob Housler FAUTE121B-ARZC+
    4/103Sam Acho TexasOLB62B-ARZC
    5/136Anthony ShermanUConnFB224S-KCC
    6/171 Quan Sturdivant North CarolinaILB81OOLF
    6/184David CarterUCLA DT218OOLF
    7/249 DeMarco SampsonSDSUWR369OOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Atlanta Falcons

2 of 32

    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    The trade to move up and get wide receiver Julio Jones was brave, but it also left the Atlanta Falcons without many picks in subsequent rounds. Still, this was a solid draft class for them.

    Jones is a star, and Matt Bosher (sixth-round) is one of the NFL's better punters. Jacquizz Rodgers is a very good change-of-pace back and a good value in Round 5. Same goes for Cliff Matthews, who should see more play in a 3-4 hybrid defense.

    Updated Team Grade: C+

     

    2011 Atlanta Falcons draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchoolPos.Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/6Julio JonesAlabamaWR6S-ATLA
    3/91Akeem DentGeorgiaILB253B-ATLC
    5/145Jacquizz RodgersOregon St.RB159B-ATLB-
    6/192Matt BosherMiami (Fla.)P285S-ATLA
    7/210Andrew JacksonFresno StateOGNot RankedOOLF
    7/230Cliff MatthewsSouth CarolinaDE199B-ATLC

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Baltimore Ravens

3 of 32

    David Kohl/Associated Press

    The Baltimore Ravens had a ton of picks in the 2011 draft, and many of them are paying big dividends for general manager Ozzie Newsome.

    Jimmy Smith and Torrey Smith are both key players for the team's 2014 success, and even fifth-rounder Pernell McPhee will once again be leaned on heavily for pass-rush help. The biggest misses here—Tandon Doss and Chykie Brown—are at least providing depth. With just one player out of the league from an eight pick draft, it goes to show why the Ravens are one of the NFL's best-managed teams. 

    Updated Team Grade: A

     

    2011 Baltimore Ravens draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchoolPos.Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/27Jimmy SmithColoradoCB24S-BALA
    2/58Torrey SmithMarylandWR53S-BALA
    3/85Jah ReidCentral FloridaOT171B-BALC
    4/123Tandon DossIndianaWR113B-JAXC-
    5/164Chykie BrownTexasCB129B-BALB-
    5/165Pernell McPheeMiss. StateDE102S-BALA
    6/180Tyrod Taylor Virginia Tech QB 195 B-BAL 
    7/225Anthony Allen Georgia TechRB 241 OOL 

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Buffalo Bills

4 of 32

    Gary Wiepert/Associated Press

    The Buffalo Bills did very well to find four projected starters for the 2014 season in this draft class.

    Marcell Dareus is one of the best defensive tackles in football and allows the team to run a multiple, hybrid front. Add in Aaron Williams—who has excelled since moving to safety—and Da'Norris Searcy and the team has three starters from that class on defense alone.

    Chris Hairston will start at right tackle this season, but remains the only other pick from this draft still on the roster. Kelvin Sheppard was replaced by Kiko Alonso and Brandon Spikes, and later-round picks like Johnny White never materialized as NFL-caliber players.

    Updated Team Grade: B-

     

    2011 Buffalo Bills draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/3 Marcell Dareus AlabamaDT3S-BUFA
    2/34Aaron WilliamsTexasCB46S-BUFA
    3/68Kelvin SheppardLSUILB122B-INDD
    4/100 Da'Norris Searcy North CarolinaSS156S-BUFA
    4/122Chris Hairston ClemsonOT226S-BUFA
    5/133Johnny WhiteNorth CarolinaRB338OOLF
    6/169Chris WhiteMiss. StateLB228B-NEC
    7/206Justin RogersRichmondCB197OOLF
    7/245Michael JasperBethelOGNROOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Carolina Panthers

5 of 32

    Bob Leverone/Associated Press

    With the first pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the Carolina Panthers made what was—at the time—a hard decision and picked quarterback Cam Newton from Auburn. That move has paid off big for the team, but none of the other selections in this class have made an impact on the roster.

    Terrell McClain and Sione Fua were supposed to be the future of the defensive line—but were replaced in the 2013 draft by Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short. The overdrafting of Kealoha Pilares still haunts this team as it looks for wide receiver talent and depth.

    Newton is the saving grace of a very bad draft class for Carolina.

    Updated Team Grade: C-

     

    2011 Carolina Panthers draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/1Cam NewtonAuburnQB10S-CARA
    3/65Terrell McClainSouth FloridaDT145B-DALF
    3/97 Sione Fua StanfordDT172B-DEND+
    4/98Brandon HoganWest VirginiaCB139OOLF
    5/132 Kealoha Pilares HawaiiWR362B-CARD
    6/166Lawrence WilsonUConnLB138B-CHIF
    6/203Zack WilliamsWashington St.OC261OOLF
    7/244Lee Ziemba AuburnOT149OOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Chicago Bears

6 of 32

    Paul Connors/Associated Press

    The Chicago Bears and their fans would like to forget the 2011 draft ever happened. Or perhaps a do-over would be better?

    Gabe Carimi was supposed to be the future at left tackle, but that never happened, and now he's a backup in Atlanta. Stephen Paea and his amazing strength looked good on paper, but on the field he's starting but not yet an impact player. The same goes for Chris Conte, who could be replaced this season in the starting lineup.

    All in all, this draft proved that general manager Jerry Angelo was on his way out the door. 

    Updated Team Grade: D-

     

    2011 Chicago Bears draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchoolPos.Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/29Gabe CarimiWisconsinOT13B-ATLF
    2/53Stephen PaeaOregon StateDT49S-CHIB-
    3/93Chris ConteCaliforniaS98S-CHIB-
    5/160Nathan EnderleIdahoQB275OOLF
    6/195J.T. ThomasWest VirginiaLB231OOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Cincinnati Bengals

7 of 32

    Tom Uhlman/Associated Press

    The Cincinnati Bengals have made the playoffs every year since 2011, and this draft class is a big part of the reason why.

    Quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green are a formidable duo on offense, and guard Clint Boling has Pro Bowl potential protecting the passer. There were some misses, but those misses are still contributing in a backup role (Dontay Moch and Ryan Whalen). 

    With eight picks, Marvin Lewis found a playoff-caliber quarterback and one of the NFL's best receivers. Even if the rest of the class was terrible—and it's not—you have to give them credit for those moves.

    Updated Team Grade: A

     

    2011 Cincinnati Bengals draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/4A.J. GreenGeorgiaWR4S-CINA
    2/35Andy DaltonTCUQB9S-CINA
    3/66 Dontay Moch NevadaLB68B-CIND
    4/101Clint Boling GeorgiaOG74S-CINA
    5/134Robert SandsWest VirginiaS133OOLF
    6/167Ryan Whalen StanfordWR181B-CINC
    7/207Korey LindseySouthern IllinoisCB264OOLF
    7/246Jay FinleyBaylorRB410OOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Cleveland Browns

8 of 32

    Mark Duncan/Associated Press

    The Cleveland Browns have had many bad drafts in their history, but this was not one of them. In fact, the 2011 draft is arguably the team's best since they returned to the NFL in 1999. 

    Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard are mainstays on a stout defense, and finding Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron in Round 4 adds a nice steal to the eight picks in this very good group. Even with Greg Little released and Owen Marecic out of the league, this is a team-building draft.

    Updated Team Grade: A

     

    2011 Cleveland Browns draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchoolPos.Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/21Phil TaylorBaylorDT29S-CLVA
    2/37Jabaal SheardPittsburghDE36S-CLVA
    2/59Greg LittleNorth CarolinaWR66B-OAKD
    4/102Jordan CameronUSCTE107S-CLVA
    4/124Owen MarecicStanfordFB128OOLD
    5/137Buster SkrineChattanoogaCB108B-CLVA
    5/150Jason PinkstonPittsburghOG111S-CLVA
    7/248Eric HaggNebraskaCB201B-DEND

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Dallas Cowboys

9 of 32

    Tim Sharp/Associated Press

    In the 2011 draft the Dallas Cowboys addressed big areas of need, but also looked to the future. Jerry Jones was on top of his game with this group.

    Tyron Smith came into the NFL at right tackle, but the team knew he had left side potential. Now he's one of the NFL's best there. DeMarco Murray was injury prone at Oklahoma, but had the goods when on the field to be a starting back—and now he is one. 

    The middle and later rounds didn't provide the same impact or depth, but Jones can look back and be very proud of the haul he brought in in 2011.

    Updated Team Grade: B+

     

    2011 Dallas Cowboys draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/9 Tyron SmithUSCOT21S-DALA
    2/40Bruce CarterNorth CarolinaLB45S-DALB
    3/71 DeMarco MurrayOklahomaRB73S-DALA
    4/110David Arkin Missouri St.OG198B-MIAD
    5/143Josh ThomasBuffaloCB237B-CARC
    6/176Dwayne HarrisEast CarolinaWR186B-DALB
    7/220Shaun Chapas GeorgiaFB259B-DALD
    7/252Bill NagyWisconsinCNROOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Denver Broncos

10 of 32

    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    The decision to draft Von Miller seems like a slam-dunk now, but on draft day 2011, many were calling for Marcell Dareus. The move has worked out well for Denver, and the Broncos' Super Bowl run in 2013 was fueled by many of the players assembled in this draft.

    All-Pro Von Miller, Rahim Moore, Orlando Franklin and Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas were all big players in the team's success this past season—and will also be counted on heavily in 2014. From the entire 2011 draft, this is one of the better ones in terms of star power.

    Updated Team Grade: A

     

    2011 Denver Broncos draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/2Von MillerTexas A&MLB1S-DENA
    2/45 Rahim MooreUCLAS56S-DENA
    2/46Orlando FranklinMiami (Fla.)OT63S-DENA
    3/67Nate IrvingNorth Carolina St.LB143B-DENC-
    4/108Quinton CarterOklahomaS69B-DENC-
    4/129Julius ThomasPortland StateTE178S-DENA
    6/189Mike MohamedCaliforniaLB184B-HOUC
    7/204Virgil GreenNevadaTE126B-DENC
    7/247Jeremy Beal OklahomaLB167OOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Detroit Lions

11 of 32

    Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

    With just five picks in the 2011 NFL draft, the Detroit Lions needed to draft well and hit on every single pick. They didn't, unfortunately. 

    Nick Fairley is the lone pick from this draft that has made an impact on the team. Titus Young has left the NFL, Mikel Leshoure has battled injuries and depth-chart doghouse issues and both Doug Hogue and Johnny Culbreath are out of the NFL just three years later.

    Not the best you've ever had, Motor City.

    Updated Team Grade: D+

     

    2011 Detroit Lions draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/13Nick Fairley AuburnDT5S-DETA
    2/44Titus YoungBoise StateWR50OOLF
    2/57Mikel Leshoure IllinoisRB11B-DETD
    5/157Doug Hogue SyracuseLB225OOLF
    7/209Johnny Culbreath South Carolina St.OTNROOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Green Bay Packers

12 of 32

    Mike Roemer/Associated Press

    Coming off a Super Bowl victory, the Green Bay Packers were picking dead last in each round of the 2011 NFL draft. They had needs though, and with 10 picks, general manager Ted Thompson had the ammunition to do some serious damage.

    Of the team's 10 picks, Randall Cobb is the only to make a significant impact to date. Derek Sherrod has been a major disappointment, failing to log a start yet, Alex Green has seen his replacement drafted at least twice and the back end of the draft has seen the majority of the players shipped off to other rosters after just three seasons.

    Cobb is great, but the rest of this draft is very average.

    Updated Team Grade: C-

     

    2011 Green Bay Packers draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/32Derek Sherrod Miss. StateOT19B-GBF
    2/64Randall CobbKentuckyWR47S-GBA
    3/96Alex GreenHawaiiRB153B-NYJF
    4/131Davon HouseNew Mexico St.CB143B-GBB
    5/141D.J. WilliamsArkansasTE69B-NEC-
    6/179Caleb Schlauderaff UtahG178B-NYJC-
    6/186D.J. SmithAppalachian St.LB184B-CARC-
    6/197Ricky ElmoreArizonaDE126OOLF
    7/218Ryan TaylorNorth CarolinaTE167B-GBC
    7/233Lawrence GuyArizona StateDT97B-SDD

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Houston Texans

13 of 32

    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Picking up J.J. Watt with the No. 11 overall selection has worked out pretty well for the Houston Texans. But after Round 1, this draft is a mixed bag of results.

    Brooks Reed has been a solid starter, so you have to like that pick in Round 2. And getting starting right tackle Derek Newton in Round 7 as a developmental player has worked out great. Everything in between, though, is up for debate. 

    One takeaway from this draft? Every player is still in the NFL three years later.

    Updated Team Grade: A

     

    2011 Houston Texans draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/11J.J. WattWisconsinDE16S-HOUA
    2/42Brooks ReedArizonaDE39S-HOUA
    2/60Brandon HarrisMiami (Fla.)CB44B-HOUC
    4/127 Roc CarmichaelVirginia TechCB144B-PHIC-
    5/144Shiloh Keo IdahoS211B-HOUC-
    5/152T.J. YatesNorth CarolinaQB298B-HOUB
    7/214Derek NewtonArkansas StateOT174S-HOUA
    7/254 Cheta Ozougwu RiceDE295B-NOD+

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Indianapolis Colts

14 of 32

    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    In the 2011 draft, the Indianapolis Colts were attempting to load up a roster for Peyton Manning as he hit the stretch run of his career. Their focus on improving the offensive line points to this, especially. But Manning never took the field in 2011, and the team earned the right to draft Andrew Luck No. 1 overall in 2012.

    Hindsight is always perfect, and knowing what we know now the Colts would have gone in other directions here, but finding a starting left tackle late in Round 1 keeps this draft class from being a complete failure. With just five picks and only one player left on the roster, the grade isn't pretty.

    Updated Team Grade: D

     

    2011 Indianapolis Colts draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/22Anthony Castonzo Boston CollegeOT20S-INDA
    2/49Ben Ijalana VillanovaOG48B-NYJF
    3/87Drake NevisLSUDT67B-CARF
    4/119 Delone CarterSyracuseRB112OOLF
    6/188Chris Rucker Michigan StateCB175OOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Jacksonville Jaguars

15 of 32

    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Sorry, Jacksonville fans, but we have to talk about Blaine Gabbert again. And maybe this is the last time, but when putting a button on this draft you have to talk about the No. 10 overall pick in the draft.

    Gabbert failed to become the franchise quarterback many thought, hoped and needed him to become. Three years later, he's a backup in San Francisco valued at a sixth-round draft pick in trade. 

    This five-pick draft did bring in the team's best offensive weapon in Cecil Shorts, so it wasn't all bad. But with one starter, one reserve, two players off the team and one out of the league, it's easy to remember why Gene Smith was fired as general manager.

    Updated Team Grade: C-

     

    2011 Jacksonville Jaguars draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/10Blaine Gabbert MissouriQB17B-SFF
    3/76Will Rackley LehighG84B-BALD
    4/114Cecil ShortsMount UnionWR176S-JAXA
    4/121Chris Prosinski WyomingS281B-JAXC
    5/147Rod IsaacMiddle Tennessee StateCBNROOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Kansas City Chiefs

16 of 32

    Bill Wippert/Associated Press

    The 2011 NFL draft was, all in all, a very good one for the Kansas City Chiefs. Fans may not be able to look past the bust in Jonathan Baldwin, but focus on the rest of this class and you'll feel better about Scott Pioli's days as general manager.

    The gamble to draft Justin Houston—a predraft first-round-talent who failed a drug test before the April draft—was a wise one that's paid off big. With Allen Bailey stepping into the starting lineup this year, another playmaker could be found from this deep group.

    Updated Team Grade: B

     

    2011 Kansas City Chiefs draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/26Jonathan BaldwinPittsburghWR93B-SFF
    2/55Rodney HudsonFSUC41S-KCA
    3/70Justin HoustonGeorgiaDE92S-KCA
    3/86Allen BaileyMiami (Fla.)DE61S-KCB
    4/118 Jalil BrownColoradoCB124B-MIAD
    5/135Ricky Stanzi IowaQB99B-JAXD
    5/140Gabe MillerOregon StateLB388B-WASD
    6/199 Jerrell Powe Ole MissDT125B-HOUD
    7/223Shane Bannon YaleFBNROOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Miami Dolphins

17 of 32

    J Pat Carter/Associated Press

    With just six picks in the 2011 draft—and four of them coming in the later-rounds—the Miami Dolphins weren't expected to find many starters. But former general manager Jeff Ireland did a great job locating both top-tier talent and grabbing later-round developmental players with the long-term upside to start.

    Finding three starters from six picks is quality work, no matter what the perception of Ireland's total team-building skills in Miami.

    Updated Team Grade: A

     

    2011 Miami Dolphins draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/15Mike Pouncey FloridaC23S-MIAA
    2/62Daniel ThomasKansas StateRB82B-MIAD
    4/111Edmond GatesAbilene ChristianWR83B-NYJD
    6/174Charles ClayTulsaFB120S-MIAA
    7/231Frank Kearse Alabama A&MDT452B-WASD
    7/235Jimmy WilsonMontanaCBNRS-MIAA

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Minnesota Vikings

18 of 32

    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    The decision to draft Christian Ponder in the first round of this draft has shaped the fortunes of the franchise greatly. After spending a first-rounder on the quarterback in 2011, the Vikings also invested in Matt Cassel (2013 free agent), Josh Freeman (2013 free agent) and now another first-rounder in Teddy Bridgewater (2014 draft).

    Missing on the quarterback position definitely set this team back.

    Outside of Ponder, there's not much to love here. Kyle Rudolph is a Pro Bowl tight end and a solid pick in Round 2. The rest of this class—with a ton of picks—fails to inspire. The next-best pick was finding right guard Brandon Fusco in Round 6.  

    Updated Team Grade: D+

     

    2011 Minnesota Vikings draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/12Christian PonderFSUQB28B-MIND
    2/43Kyle RudolphNotre DameTE34S-MINA
    4/106Christian BallardIowaDE78OOLF
    5/139Brandon BurtonUtahCB59B-CINC-
    6/168DeMarcus LoveArkansasOT152B-JAXC-
    6/170Mistral RaymondSouth FloridaSNRB-MINC+
    6/172Brandon Fusco Slippery RockC177S-MINA
    6/200Ross Homan Ohio StateLB148OOLF
    7/215 D'Aundre ReedArizonaDE267OOLF
    7/236Stephen BurtonWest Texas A&MWR220OOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

New England Patriots

19 of 32

    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    With nine picks in the 2011 NFL draft, the New England Patriots addressed immediate needs (offensive tackle), future needs (quarterback) and reloaded at running back. Bill Belichick did so while adding three starters and two promising backups to an already-loaded roster.

    With each class there are hits and misses, and the 2011 Patriots' class is a great example of that. And it shows Belichick's struggle to draft and develop starting cornerbacks while hitting on positions like running back and left tackle.

    Updated Team Grade: B+

     

    2011 New England Patriots draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/17Nate SolderColoradoOT27S-NEA
    2/33 Ras-I Dowling VirginiaCB52B-NYJF
    2/56Shane Vereen CaliforniaRB77S-NEA
    3/73Stevan RidleyLSURB188S-NEA
    3/74Ryan MallettArkansasQB35B-NEB-
    5/138Marcus CannonTCUOT101B-NEB
    5/159Lee SmithMarshallTE238B-BUFD
    6/194 Markell CarterCentral ArkansasDE393OOLF
    7/219Malcolm WilliamsTCUCBNROOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

New Orleans Saints

20 of 32

    Dave Martin/Associated Press

    The New Orleans Saints had just six picks in the 2011 draft, and coming off another playoff appearance there were a few holes to fill. 

    With first-rounder Cameron Jordan becoming a legitimate Pro Bowler, this class is saved from cellar-dweller status. Mark Ingram is a fine running back, but nowhere near worth the No. 28 overall pick in the draft. The team's two third-rounders—Martez Wilson and Johnny Patrick—are both backups on other rosters.

    Thankfully this team has Drew Brees, otherwise poor drafting like this may have killed their playoff runs.

    Updated Team Grade: C

     

    2011 New Orleans Saints draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/24Cameron JordanCaliforniaLB18S-NOA
    1/28Mark IngramAlabamaRB26B-NOC
    3/72 Martez WilsonIllinoisLB33B-DALD
    3/88Johnny PatrickLouisvilleCB90B-NYJD
    7/226Greg Romeus PittsburghDE127OOLF
    7/243Nate Bussey IllinoisLB492OOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

New York Giants

21 of 32

    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    The 2011 NFL draft will not go down as Jerry Reese's best or worst draft. This solid collection of talent has surprised both good and bad. There are team-building players here in Prince Amukamara, and also colossal disappointments in Marvin Austin.

    The Giants went on to win a Super Bowl in 2012, without the help of this draft class largely. But Reese, head coach Tom Coughlin and both sides of the ball need more from everyone but Amukamara in 2014.

    Updated Team Grade: B-

     

    2011 New York Giants draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/19Prince Amukamara NebraskaCB7S-NYGA
    2/52Marvin AustinNorth CarolinaDT42B-DENF
    3/83 Jerrel Jernigan TroyWR60B-NYGC
    4/117James BrewerIndianaOT85B-NYGC
    6/185Greg JonesMichigan StateLB96OOLF
    6/198Tyler SashIowaS94OOLF
    6/202 Jacquian WilliamsSouth FloridaLBNRB-NYGB
    7/221 Da'Rel ScottMarylandRB170B-NYGA

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

New York Jets

22 of 32

    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    A defense-building pick kicked off the 2011 draft for the New York Jets. Muhammad Wilkerson has been an anchor on the defense since becoming Rex Ryan's pick at No. 30 overall. And while the team had bigger hopes for the other five picks in this class, there is solid depth from the next three picks.

    The downside here is that 1/3 of the class is out of the NFL just three years later. And that's why the Jets have a new general manager.

    Updated Team Grade: B+

     

    2011 New York Jets draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/30Muhammad Wilkerson TempleDE32S-NYJA
    3/94 Kenrick EllisHamptonDT65B-NYJC-
    4/126 Bilal PowellLouisvilleRB173B-NYJC+
    5/153Jeremy Kerley TCUWR166B-NYJA
    7/208Greg McElroy AlabamaQB30OOLF
    7/227 Scotty McKnightColoradoWR416OOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Oakland Raiders

23 of 32

    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Without a first-round pick, the Oakland Raiders were facing an uphill battle in the 2011 NFL draft. This was a team, once again, looking to re-load and rebuild, and needed draft picks to do it. Hitting on their early picks was a must, and in Round 2 the Raiders found the anchor of their offensive line.

    Round 3, with two picks, was much less fruitful and included one of the biggest reaches of the entire draft when DeMarcus Van Dyke came off the board. In typical Al Davis fashion, this draft was heavy on speed, skill players and head-scratching picks. But the Raiders also found key players still impacting the team today. Sadly, one of the best picks in the draft (Joseph Barksdale) is now a starter in St. Louis.

     

    Updated Team Grade: B-

     

    2011 Oakland Raiders draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    2/48 Stefen Wisniewski Penn StateC58S-OAKA
    3/81DeMarcus Van Dyke Miami (Fla.)CB272B-KCF
    3/92Joseph Barksdale LSUOT141S-STLD
    4/113 Chimdi Chekwa Ohio StateCB88B-OAKC
    4/125Taiwan JonesEastern WashingtonRB103B-OAKD
    5/148 Denarius MooreTennesseeWR162S-OAKA
    6/181Richard GordonMiami (Fla.)TE464B-KCD
    7/241David Ausberry USCWRNRB-OAKA

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Philadelphia Eagles

24 of 32

    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    The 2011 NFL draft was largely one to forget for the Philadelphia Eagles. As Andy Reid's regime came closer to the end, this draft class may be pointed at as one of the reasons a change at the top was needed.

    The Eagles missed badly with their first four picks before getting one right on a kicker in Round 4. Of the 11 picks, two have made an impact for the Eagles and neither was drafted before pick No. 120 overall. It's nice to find late-round gems, but you need early-round stars, too.

    Updated Team Grade: D

     

    2011 Philadelphia Eagles draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/23Danny WatkinsBaylorG31B-MIAF
    2/54 Jaiquawn JarrettTempeS119B-NYJF
    3/90Curtis MarshUtah StateCB110B-PHID
    4/116Casey MatthewsOregonLB118B-PHID
    4/120Alex Henery NebraskaK151S-PHIA
    5/149Dion LewisPittsburghRB240B-CLVC
    5/161Julian Vandervelde IowaG343B-PHIC
    6/191Jason Kelce CincinnatiC216S-PHIA
    6/193Brian RolleOhio StateLB180OOLF
    7/237Greg Lloyd, Jr.UConnLB273OOLF
    7/240Stanley Havili USCFB142S-INDB

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Pittsburgh Steelers

25 of 32

    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    The Pittsburgh Steelers were fresh off a Super Bowl loss when the 2011 draft came around, and their focus was on getting younger on both lines and at cornerback. Oddly enough, it seems like they're still doing that three years later.

    The 2011 draft saw Pittsburgh add key elements at right tackle and defensive end, but both players took a while to get up-to-speed in the NFL. with their remaining five picks the team needed to add talent at the bottom of the roster for depth and future starters, but to date they've failed to see those players realize their draft day potential and become starters.

    Updated Team Grade: B

     

    2011 Pittsburgh Steelers draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/31Cameron Heyward Ohio StateDE40S-PITB
    2/63Marcus GilbertFloridaOT105S-PITA
    3/95Curtis BrownTexasCB51OOLF
    4/128 Cortez AllenThe CitadelCB157B-PITB
    5/162Chris CarterFresno StateLB72B-PITB
    6/196Keith WilliamsNebraskaG179OOLF
    7/232Baron BatchTexas TechRB372OOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

San Diego Chargers

26 of 32

    Phil Long/Associated Press

    The 2011 NFL draft needed to be a good one in San Diego—and to date, it has been. With four starters and two back-ups added from eight picks, the Chargers are in good shape three years later.

    First-rounder Corey Liuget is one of the team's best players, which is exactly what you hope for from a first-rounder entering his fourth season. The same goes for Marcus Gilchrist (Round 2) and especially so for Vincent Brown (Round 3). Add in Shareece Wright, who started at cornerback in 2013 and could again in 2014, and you have a solid top-to-bottom draft. Even running back Jordan Todman, picked up in Round 6, could be starting in Jacksonville this year after leaving in free agency due to a loaded San Diego depth chart.

    Updated Team Grade: A

     

    2011 San Diego Chargers draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/18Corey Liuget IllinoisDT12S-SDA
    2/50Marcus GilchristClemsonCB87S-SDA
    2/61Jonas MoutonMichiganLB185B-SDD
    3/82Vincent BrownSan Diego StateWR165S-SDA
    3/89 Shareece WrightUSCCB76S-SDB
    6/183Jordan Todman UConnRB75B-JAXC-
    6/201Stephen SchillingMichiganG132B-SEAD
    7/234Andrew Gachkar MissouriLBNRB-SDC-

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

San Francisco 49ers

27 of 32

    Reinhold Matay/Associated Press

    Look at the San Francisco 49ers success since Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh took over the team and you can point back to the 2011 draft as the turning point.

    Adding Aldon Smith and Colin Kaepernick gave this team its identity, and also fueled runs to three-straight NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl. The first two picks were great, but the beauty of this draft class comes in the depth. Bruce Miller, Kendall Hunter, Chris Culliver and now Daniel Kilgore have all played pivotal roles on this team as non-marquee draft picks.

    Updated Team Grade: A

     

    2011 San Francisco 49ers draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/7Aldon SmithMissouriLB14S-SFA
    2/36Colin Kaepernick NevadaQB38S-SFA
    3/80Chris Culliver South CarolinaCB136S-SFB
    4/115Kendall HunterOklahoma StateRB64B-SFB-
    5/163Daniel Kilgore Appalachian StateC317S-SFB-
    6/182Ronald JohnsonUSCWR158OOLF
    6/190Colin JonesTCUS355B-CARD
    7/211Bruce MillerCentral FloridaFB313S-SFA
    7/239Mike PersonMontana StateOL256B-STLD
    7/250Curtis HolcombFlorida A&MCBNROOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Seattle Seahawks

28 of 32

    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Three years later, no one remembers that the Seattle Seahawks reached on their first two picks. No one cares, honestly, because when you look at the totality of this draft class, it's amazing.

    Sure, John Schneider and Pete Carroll went too early on James Carpenter and John Moffitt, but Rounds 4-7 netted four starters and the NFL's best cornerback. Not bad, right? In fact, Rounds 5 and 6 brought the team's two starting cornerbacks for 2014—a duo expected to be one of the best in the game. 

    Schneider also found his two starting outside linebackers on the last day of the draft, and a certain Super Bowl MVP (Malcolm Smith) was the team's final pick of the entire draft.

    Yeah...they're getting an A.

    Updated Team Grade: A+

     

    2011 Seattle Seahawks draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/25James CarpenterAlabamaOT80S-SEAC-
    3/75John Moffitt WisconsinG117OOLF
    4/99K.J. WrightMiss. StateLB106S-SEAA
    4/107Kris DurhamGeorgiaWR451B-DETC
    5/154Richard ShermanStanfordCB219S-SEAA
    5/156Mark LeGree Appalachian StateS245OOLF
    6/173Bryon MaxwellClemsonCB207S-SEAA
    7/205 Lazarius Levingston LSUDENROOLF
    7/242Malcolm SmithUSCLBNRS-SEAA

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

St. Louis Rams

29 of 32

    L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

    The 2011 NFL draft will be remembered in St. Louis for the selection of All-Pro defensive end Robert Quinn, and for good reason. But the goal here is to evaluate the entire draft, and outside of Round 2, things get ugly for the Rams.

    Lance Kendricks was replaced by Jared Cook in free agency, but could see more reps and targets this season. Austin Pettis is still listed as a starter, but hasn't produced like one yet. After those two picks, there is not one player left on the roster—and four of the remaining five picks are out of the league.

    Updated Team Grade: C-

     

    2011 St. Louis Rams draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/14Robert QuinnNorth CarolinaDE15S-STLA
    2/47Lance KendricksWisconsinTE89S-STLB-
    3/78Austin Pettis Boise StateWR95S-STLC+
    4/112Greg SalasHawaiiWR116B-NYJD
    5/158 Jermale HinesOhio StateS209OOLF
    7/216 Mikail BakerBaylorCBNROOLF
    7/228 Jabara WilliamsStephen F. AustinLB262OOLF
    7/229Jonathan NelsonOklahomaCB399OOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

30 of 32

    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers thought they were solving their defensive end rotation for the next decade when they added back-to-back pass-rushers in the first two rounds. Instead, they spent big money in free agency this year to add Michael Johnson and move Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers to the bench.

    The saving grace of this draft was Round 3 and the addition of middle linebacker Mason Foster. He'll be a centerpiece in Lovie Smith's defense, and has already established himself as a very good young linebacker.

    As for the rest of this class? No thanks.

    Updated Team Grade: D

     

    2011 Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/20Adrian ClaybornIowaDE22B-TBD
    2/51 Da'Quan BowersClemsonDE25B-TBD
    3/84Mason FosterWashingtonLB109S-TBA
    4/104Luke Stocker TennesseeTE57B-TBC-
    5/151Ahmad BlackFloridaS115OOLF
    6/187Allen BradfordUSCRB268B-JAXF
    7/222Anthony Gaitor Florida International CB212B-MIAD
    7/238Daniel HardyIdahoTE307OOLF

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Tennessee Titans

31 of 32

    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    When you look at the Tennessee Titans' 2011 draft class, most people go to Jake Locker and the No. 8 overall pick and stop. But this class was about Locker and much more. 

    Drafting a quarterback in the first round is asking for fans and pundits to focus too much on one pick, and in Tennessee—where Locker has struggled—that's a problem. Go deeper, though, and you see this class has Pro Bowl caliber defenders and four starters on defense from the nine picks added.

    Locker will ultimately make-or-break this class for many, but the key defenders added are already paying big dividends.

    Updated Team Grade: A

     

    2011 Tennessee Titans draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/8Jake LockerWashingtonQB43S-TENC
    2/39 Akeem AyersUCLALB30S-TENA
    3/77 Jurrell CaseyUSCDT79S-TENA
    4/109Colin McCarthyMiami (Fla.)LB91S-TENA
    4/130Jamie HarperClemsonRB114OOLF
    5/142Karl Klug IowaDE299S-TENA
    6/175Byron StingilyLouisvilleOT193B-TENC
    7/212Zach ClaytonAuburnDT420OOLF
    7/251Tommie CampbellCalifornia (PA)CB347B-TENB

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)

Washington

32 of 32

    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Before Mike Shanahan and Daniel Snyder pulled the trade to move up to No. 2 overall in the 2012 draft and select quarterback Robert Griffin III from Baylor, they had a very solid 2011 draft class.

    Anchored by Ryan Kerrigan in Round 1 and supported by a staggering 12 total picks, the team was able to add two starters, but seven players who are still back-ups or depth players on the active roster. You'd like to see more than two starters from 12 picks, especially given the status of this roster today, but the fans in Washington can look at their roster and see the impact of the 2011 draft.

    Updated Team Grade: B-

     

    2011 Washington draft
    Rd/Pick  PlayerSchool Pos. Pre-draft rankStatusGrade
    1/16Ryan Kerrigan PurdueDE8S-WASA
    2/41Jarvis JenkinsClemsonDT71S-WASB
    3/79Leonard Hankerson Miami (Fla.)WR55B-WASC
    4/105Roy Helu NebraskaRB135B-WASB
    5/146 Dejon Gomes NebraskaS270B-DETC
    5/155Niles PaulNebraskaWR100B-WASC
    6/177Evan Royster Penn StateRB205B-WASC
    6/178 Aldrick RobinsonSMUWR235B-WASB
    7/213Brandyn ThompsonBoise StateCB418OOLF
    7/217Maurice HurtFloridaOT373B-WASC
    7/224Markus WhiteFlorida StateDE204OOLF
    7/253Chris Neild West VirginiaDT203B-WASC

     

    KEY:

    S-ARZ (STARTER-TEAM)

    B-DAL (BACKUP-TEAM)

    OOL (OUT OF LEAGUE)