It was a fast paced exciting opening round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Not only did the NFL win with great viewer ratings on their first prime time draft broadcast, but most teams won passing marks with their draft strategy. Many got very high marks. In our humble opinion, here's where the grades fall.
Seahawks: A + (6) Russell Okung /OT (14) Earl Thomas /SS
Pete Carroll led the Seahawks to the best grade for day one. They get what many believe to be the best OT of the draft and a rare playmaking safety who can cover like a CB. How valuable are guys like that?
After missing out on Eric Berry with their first pick, the Seahawks were able to land safety Earl Thomas at 14. Thomas will make an excellent pro and is comparable to Berry. He can be a ball hawk for the Seattle secondary.
Lions: A (2) Ndamukong Suh /DT (30) Jahvid Best /RB
The Lions had the second best showing on Thursday night. This makes two very good drafts in a row for the Lions, who are quietly putting together a solid young squad. Suh was arguably the best player in the draft.
Jahvid Best would have been the first back off the board if not for that scary hit, where it seemed like he fell off a two story building. I absolutely love this pick for Detroit. You need two running backs in the NFL today, and Detroit is filling out their offense quite nicely.
Indianapolis: A (31) Jerry Hughes /DE
Give Polian credit; he knows what he's doing in the draft. Jerry Hughes fits exactly what the Colts want out of a defensive end. With explosiveness and a nose for finding the quarterback, this guy gives an immediate security blanket in case of any absence of Dwight Freeney. This guy was also mocked to be a middle round draft pick so the value is also excellent.
Atlanta: A (19) Sean Weatherspoon /LB
Sean Weatherspoon is a hard working, sure tackling, smart OLB who fills a hole in Atlanta’s defense. Weatherspoon will likely start right away and become a leader for the Falcons. He has his head in the right place and plenty of talent to play with the big boys.
Chiefs: A (5) Eric Berry /SS
A no-brainer pick; he's ready for the NFL and will be the eventual leader of the Chiefs secondary for the next 10 years. Berry has tremendous ball skills, vision, and range. You could say his only downside would be his "light" build (5'11" 200 lbs). He is arguably the safest pick in the draft, and has all the tools (speed, strength, smarts, hands) to become a perennial Pro Bowl player at the next level with KC.
Bucs: A (3) Gerald McCoy /DT
The Bucs pick provides one of the most emotional moments of the night, as McCoy dedicates his selection and jersey to his late mother. Every draft has to have a feel good story. McCoy has impressive size, athleticism, and explosiveness for a 296 lb defensive tackle. Practically a Warren Sapp clone, add to that his high motor and durability; the Bucs hit a home run with this pick.
San Francisco: A (11) Anthony Davis /OT (17) Mike Iupati /OG
They gave up the 113th overall pick to move up two spots and grab Anthony Davis. Davis, out of Rutgers, is one of the most talented blockers in this class and could become a huge hit for San Francisco as long as Mike Singletary is able to motivate him and keep his weight in check.
Their O-line gets another boost by taking Mike Iupati, the OG out of Idaho. Alex Smith must love this pick because not only did they not draft his replacement, but they also drafted a guy to protect him. The premier OG in the draft, Iupati will come in and start right away for the 49ers.
Dallas: A (24) Dez Bryant /WR
The Dallas Cowboys once again make a big splash in the draft by trading up to get a Top 10 talent at pick No. 24. Dez Bryant was probably a Top 5 pick before being suspended for the remainder of the 2009 college football season. The connections with Texas and Deion hopefully will help this young man mold into the person needed for this pick to be the steal of the 2010 draft.
Arizona: A- (26) Dan Williams /DT
Arizona must have lost their minds when Dan Williams was still on the board at 26. This guy will probably plug in from game one and be your anchor in the 3-4 for years to come. Another power DT from the University of Tennessee who should pay immediate dividends for their team.
Green Bay: A- (23) Bryan Bulaga /OT
Green Bay takes a solid offensive lineman that fell down the board. Some mocks had this guy in the Top 10, so in terms of value they got a steal. Bryan Bulaga is a whale of a man, but probably not suited for an outside tackle spot. RG will probably be his eventual landing spot but even then Green Bay is getting a 10 year starter.
Pittsburgh: B+ (18) Maurkice Pouncey /C
Not only do the Steelers NOT trade Big Ben, but they also get him some much needed protection by drafting C/G Maurkice Pouncey out of Florida. Pouncey has the smarts to come right in and fill any interior hole in Pittsburgh’s O-line while, I feel, eventually transferring to his natural center position.
Cincinnati: B+ (21) Jermaine Gresham /TE
Cincinnati picked Jermaine Gresham, a guy who would have graded in the Top 10 if not for a 2009 season ending knee injury. The guy looked fluid and solid at workouts and his pro day, so look for this to be a big pick for Carson Palmer and company down the road. Think Brent Celek.
New York Jets: B (29) Kyle Wilson /CB
The New York Jets got themselves a good football player, but it was a complete "best player available" pick for them. This guy plugs into the nickel corner spot on day one, gives you a returner on kicks, and eventually takes Cromartie's spot at the other CB position. Rex Ryan knows what he wants: press coverage corners and eight in the box. The league is on notice.
Rams: B (1) Sam Bradford /QB
Despite being the right pick there, I think that there were better NFL players they could have taken. They are also a victim of the high scrutiny that comes along with having the No. 1 overall pick. My grade is based more on the type of player I think Bradford will be rather than an indictment of the Rams.
New England: B (27) Devin McCourty /CB
I've learned not to question Bill Belichick, but this one surprised me. I'm not sure if Devin McCourtey will be able to play his first year. He will probably be used on special teams for a few years before earning a nickel corner spot. You do have to love the way the Patriots worked the board; grading in the picks they picked up in later rounds.
Redskins: B (4) Trent Williams /OT
Williams is the better fit for Shanny's zone blocking scheme, but he also carries a bigger risk with him than Okung or Berry would have had. Many have called Williams' physicality into question as he doesn't play with much of a mean streak. He has had some problems with looking stiff and other posture issues. However, he has the prototypical size you want in a tackle (6'5" 310 lbs) and is very athletic off the snap; including tremendous instincts and great blitz recognition. Donovan McNabb loves this pick, no doubt about it.
Oakland: B (8) Ronaldon McClain /LB
Considering how the past couple drafts went for Oakland, I would say that this was a very solid, but safe, pick. They could have traded down a few spots and they would have still landed McClain. However, many mocks had Oakland taking OT/Bruce Campbell out of Maryland. Notice that he's still on the board.
Buffalo: B (9) C.J. Spiller /RB
The only reason Buffalo doesn't get an A is because the Bills had greater needs. However, drafting the best playmaker and potential rookie of the year can't be all that bad. Spiller might be the final nail in the coffin for Lynch. Your tandem next season is Spiller and Jackson.
Philadelphia: B (13) Brandon Graham /DE
Yet another trade as Philadelphia traded the 24th, 70th, and 87th pick to move up from 24 and select DE Brandon Graham. Graham does not have the height or arms most coaches are looking for, but he does have a motor that won’t quit and knows how to produce. Graham will team with newly acquired Darryl Tapp and Trent Cole to harass the QB for the Eagles. I think they gave up a little too much to move up and take Graham. Earl Thomas would have been the better selection here.
New York Giants: B (15) Jason Pierre-Paul /DE
The Giants take Pierre-Paul from USF here to help boost their pass rush, as Rolando McClain was off the board. Considered a project by many, JPP can afford to learn the game and develop his talents on a Giants’ team that features a plethora of pass rushers. This move may not immediately pay off, but in the future we may look back on this pick and call it a steal.
Tennessee: B (16) Derrick Morgan /DE
The Titans selected one of the best overall defensive players in the draft in DE Derrick Morgan. The Titans got a steal here because Morgan has Top 10 potential. He's the 2009 ACC Defensive Player of the Year. A smart player, and applauded for his "professional approach to the game," which Jeff Fisher has to like. Morgan will replace Vanden Bosch nicely for the Titans.
Houston: B (20) Kareem Jackson /CB
The Houston Texans address the hole left by Dunta Robinson by drafting Kareem Jackson, the cornerback out of Alabama. I think Kyle Wilson would have been a better pick, but Jackson offers good support in the run game and can become a very good CB in the zone system. He has the experience necessary and is a solid pick for Houston.
Miami: C+ (28) Jared Odrick /DT
Jared Odrick is one solid football player. He isn't going to "wow" you, but he should settle in nicely into the 3-4 end spot. Think of him as possibly a slightly more talented version of Brett Keisel, and I think that's what Dolphins fans can expect. I don't grade this pick out higher because their won't be an immediate splash, but then again this is a solid pick for the organization.
San Diego: C+ (12) Ryan Matthews /RB
Another trade here as San Diego traded the 28th, 40th, and 126th picks to move up to No. 12 and choose Ryan Matthews out of Fresno St—they also received the 173rd pick. This is a hard pick to judge because San Diego gave up A LOT to move up. That being said, they were desperate to get Matthews. I still think they gave up too much to take Matthews at this spot, as they could have taken Jahvid Best, who is similar to Matthews, if they stayed put.
Cleveland: C (7) Joe Haden /CB
Cleveland was 28th in the league against the run and 29th against the pass. The best way to rectify that is to find someone who can rush the QB, or find a shut down CB who can take away one side of the field. According to most scouts, Haden wasn't the best cover corner in this draft. I thought Derrick Morgan made more sense.
Denver: C (22) Demaryius Thomas /WR (25) Tim Tebow /QB
Denver goes WR after trading up and down the draft board all night. They take probably the highest ceiling WR in the draft in Demaryius Thomas. This guy is a freakish athlete, but can someone polish his route running to allow for him to be an elite WR? That's the only question on this pick, however, they believe he will fill the spot opposite Eddie Royal nicely.
The Broncos trade up to get none other than Tim Tebow, which left a lot of us scratching our heads. Given the McDaniels offense in New England, how is Tim Tebow ever going to mold into that type of a pocket passer? I'm not going to write him off, but he is at least two years out from making more than a spot presence. This pick, however, drops a solid B for Denver down to a C.
New Orleans: C- (32) Patrick Robinson /CB
I really didn't see the Saints going with Patrick Robinson. Yes, he is a good athlete and corner, but not exactly first round talent in a draft of this caliber. I can promise some scout (who has probably been right quite a bit) jumped up and down in the war room for this guy. Whatever the case may be, I was a bit surprised with the pick.
Jacksonville: D (10) Tyson Alualu /DE
It's one thing to like a player, but to draft him about 25 picks too early when you have other needs that could have been served there makes no sense. It's fair to say Alualu might well have been on the board for their second pick. Not a smart move. Alualu might be a nice player for them but they could have gotten a lot more value at the No. 10 overall.
Thanks for reading. Let us know what you think! We'll be back on Monday with final grades.
Written by H2H Members Sideshow, Doody and SMGC