In most people's minds, the NFL Draft is over even though there are 4 rounds left. That being said, I am going to grade every NFL's picks through the first three rounds. I will be going through division by division down the line, starting with the AFC East all the way to the NFC West. See how your team did through Friday!
OT Nate Solder (Colorado)
CB Ras-I Dowling (Virginia)
RB Shane Vereen (Cal)
RB Stevan Ridley (LSU)
QB Ryan Mallett (Arkansas)
They adressed one serious need twice (RB), and Nate Solder will be a good player down the road, but why in the world would they draft Ryan Mallett when they have many other needs? The Patriots are in serious need of some help with the pass rush, and had the oppurtunity to draft a few pass rushers, but have passed on every single pick. That bothered me. I'm going to give them a C because I like the Solder pick as well as picking up Shane Vereen. Mallett could be a headcase though. I don't think he's going to be willing to sit around until Brady hangs up his cleats.
DT Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple)
DT Kendrick Ellis (Hampton)
The Jets also need to work on the pass rush, and have in some respects. Muhammad Wilkerson was a beast at Temple and he will hopefully contribute right off the bat. Kendrck Ellis will contribute his huge 6'5/346 frame to the nose guard position. There were other needs, but I like the Jets building depth on the D-Line. They've got to put pressure on Tom Brady if they ever want to win the conference outright.
OG/C Mike Pouncey (Florida)
RB Daniel Thomas (Kansas State)
I liked the picking of the hometown by in Mike Pouncey even though I thought they would go with Mark Ingram at RB. Daniel Thomas isn't a bad pick. The Dolphins are in a serious need of running backs, now that Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are splitting to free agency. Thomas won't be a starter right off the bat, but he will be a contributor in the backfield.
DT/DE Marcell Dareus (Alabama)
CB Aaron Williams (Texas)
LB Kelvin Sheppard (LSU)
I love where the Bills are going with these picks. DEFENSE! DEFENSE! DEFENSE! Marcell Dareus could become an All-Pro defensive linemen and Aaron Williams will slowly but surely work his way into a starting role. The Bills are faced with crappy weather and it's hard to throw the ball a) in the snow and b) with Ryan Fitzgerald as your quarterback. So if you're the Bills, you try and rebuild, starting with a defense.
OT Anthony Castonzo (Boston College)
OT Ben Ijalana (Villanova)
DL Drake Nevis (LSU)
Two guys to protect arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, and a guy who can help out an aging defensive line. I really like the Colts revamping the offensive line. It may not be pretty during their first season together, but they should be solid as a unit starting in 2012.
DE J.J. Watt (Wisconsin)
DE Brooks Reed (Arizona)
CB Brandon Harris (Miami)
Watt and/or Reed could play as stand-up backers in Wade Phillips's 3-4 scheme, so that could be interesting. Both are very good at rushing the passer. If they're gonna beat the Colts permanently, they've got to put some pressure on Mr. Manning over in Indianapolis.
QB Blaine Gabbert (Missouri)
OL William Rackley (Lehigh)
I absolutely love Blaine Gabbert, but I'm really sure I've ever heard of William Rackley before this draft. Something else that makes me wonder is if 6 teams that needed a quarterback passed up on Blaine Gabbert, they obviously have seen something that I have not. I think he'll be a starter in the NFL and he'll made 2-3 pro bowls, but the Panthers, Bills, Bengals, Cardinals, 49ers, and Titans thought differently.
QB Jake Locker (Washington)
LB Akeem Ayers (UCLA)
DL Jurrell Casey (USC
Not liking the Locker over Gabbert pick at all. I projected Locker to be a late 1st-early 2nd guy. Nowhere near Top 10. I thought the Titans would've learned their lesson with Vince Young on what it's like to draft a running quarterback. Now I'm not saying Jake Locker is going to start fights in strip clubs, I'm saying on the field, I don't think Jake Locker is the answer. Ayers was a very nice pick. Very athletic linebacker. Casey will be a role player on the Titans defense in upcoming years.
DE/DT Cameron Heyward (Ohio State)
OT Marcus Gilbert (Florida)
CB Curtis Brown (Texas)
The Steelers show why they are the most successful franchise in the NFL by drafting 3 needs from 3 Top BCS schools in college football. Reloading on defense with Heyward and Brown and protecting Big Ben with Marcus Gilbert, former teammate of Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey. Great picks for the Black & Yellow.
CB Jimmy Smith (Colorado)
WR Torrey Smith (Maryland)
OT Jah Reid (Central Florida)
Just like Pittsburgh, smart picks for Baltimore. Reloading on defense with Jimmy Smith helping an aging secondary. Torrey Smith will be another weapon for Joe Flacco and if the Ravens are going to beat that Steelers defense, they're going to need some add some protection with Jah Reid, a huge tackle out of Central Florida.
WR A.J. Green (Georgia)
QB Andy Dalton (TCU)
DE Dontay Moch (Nevada)
A.J. Green will be a stud right away and could be the reason Carson Palmer considers coming back to Cincinnati. But if he doesn't, no worries. They drafted a winning quarterback in Andy Dalton out of TCU. Don't know much about Moch. At 6'1/248 he looks a little undersized.
DT Phil Taylor (Baylor)
DL Jabaal Sheard (Pittsburgh)
WR Greg Little (North Carolina)
I did like the Phil Taylor selection, but the other two picks are sort of pedestrian. Trading away their Top 10 pick was a poor decision, in my opinion. Getting Colt McCoy a weapon like Julio Jones would have been extraordinary.
WR Johnathan Baldwin (Pittsburgh)
OL Rodney Hudson (Florida State)
LB Justin Houston (Georgia)
DL Allen Bailey (Miami)
Johnathan Baldwin could've waited a round, in my opinion. Drafting a lineman in the first round would've been a better selection. Rodney Hudson was a great get. Houston and Bailey will contribute to Kansas City's 3-4 defense.
DT Corey Liuget (Illinois)
CB Marcus Gilchrist (Clemson)
LB Jonas Mouton (Michigan)
WR Vincent Brown (San Diego State)
The San Diego Chargers had one of the best offensive units in the NFL last year, and didn't make it into the playoffs. So what do they do? They use their 3 top picks on defensive players. Corey Liuget should start right away. Gilchrist and Mouton will be solid players in a few years. Vincent Brown, the hometown kid, will work his way into the WR corps.
C Stefan Wisniewski (Penn State)
DB Demarcus Van Dyke (Miami)
OT Joey Barksdale (LSU)
Very pedestrian picks, in my opinion. Nothing really special with their first three picks. Granted, they are revamping the offensive line but that will take them a few years to work successfully as a unit. Demarcus Van Dyke is not going to fill the shoes of Nnamdi Osomugha any time soon...or at all.
LB Von Miller (Texas A&M)
S Rahim Moore (UCLA)
OG Orlando Franklin (Miami)
LB Nate Irving (NC State)
If they still ha a 3-4 scheme, I would LOVE the Von Miller pick, but the fact that John Fox is bringing the 4-3 to Denver, the Von Miller pick is confusing. Going into the draft, all we heard about was how Von Miller was going to be a double digit sack technician as soon as he got into the league. I don't think we should be expecting 10 sacks in his rookie year now that he's playing in a 4-3 scheme but that doesn't change the fact that Von Miller is a special, special player. Rahim Moore was also a good get, as was Orlando Franklin. As bad as the Broncos' offensive interior linemen are, it wouldn't shock me if Franklin has the oppurtunity to start right away.
OG Danny Watkins (Baylor)
DB JaiQuan Jarrett (Temple)
DB Curtis Marsh (Utah State)
Like the Danny Watkins pick, although he's 26 years old and needs to start and produce right away because of that exact reason. The Eagles needed some help in the secondary and they got it with their other two picks.
CB Prince Amukamara (Nebraska)
DT Marvin Austin (North Carolina)
WR Jerrel Jernigan (Troy)
They didn't need a cornerback but when Prince Amukamara falls into your lap, it's acceptable to take him. Marvin Austin will also produce right away on the Giants D-Line. Jerrel Jernigan will help through special teams first, but could ease his way into the receiving rotation.
OT Tyron Smith (USC)
LB Bruce Carter (North Carolina)
RB DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma)
Protecting Tony Romo is a must. Will Tyron Smith be ready to fill the void right away? We'll see. He is certainly athletic enough. Bruce Carter could be a starter in years to come and Demarco Murray would've been a higher draft pick, if only he could've stayed healthy in college.
DE Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue)
DL Jarnell Jenkins (Clemson)
WR Leonard Hankerson (Miami)
Kinda like the Ryan Kerrigan pick, but why would you pick Jenkins when you could've had his better teammate in DeQuan Bowers? That lowers the grade for me. Hankerson could be a gem down the road, though.
DE Cameron Jordan (Cal)
RB Mark Ingram (Alabama)
LB Martez Wilson (Illinois)
DL Johnny Patrick (Louisville)
Arguably the best draft picks for one team in the draft. Cameron Jordan should will be a pro-bowler down the road and Mark Ingram was a steal in my opinion. Should've gone earlier, in my opinion. Ingram will get some yards right away and has been compared by some to Emmitt Smith. That's a steal.
WR Julio Jones (Alabama)
LB Akeem Dent (Georgia)
This is a debatable grade. Some people don't like the fact that they trade 5 picks just for one man. But think about it this way. Matt Ryan can hand it off to Michael Turner, or throw it to Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, or Julio Jones. That is an offense for the ages, on paper.
DL Adrian Clayborn (Iowa)
DL DeQuan Bowers (Clemson)
LB Mason Foster (Washington)
The Bucs were so desperate for defensive linemen, that they drafted two of them. You know you've had a good draft when your second round pick has more talent than your 1st round pick. Both have something to prove. Clayborn had a suspect senior year at Iowa and how can Bowers not be motivated after being jipped for over 50 picks?
QB Cam Newton (Auburn)
DL Terrell McClain (South Florida)
DL Sione Fua (Stanford)
I'm usually a gambler, but Cam Newton's off-the-field problems bug me. He has to 'me first' attitude that I don't like in my quarterback, and he has his past issues. He has the most upside though. It's a gamble. The other two picks were suspect though. This grade shoots up to an A- if the Panthers take DeQuan Bowers.
OT Derek Sherrod (Mississippi State)
WR Randall Cobb (Kentucky)
RB Alex Green (Hawai'i)
Derek Sherrod will be a key player down the road, but I don't think he'll start right away like Bryan Baluga did. The Packers have drafted well with their WR's (Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson) so I'm not going to question them drafting Randall Cobb. Alex Green played in a similar system in Hawai'i.
OL Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin)
DT Stephen Paea (Oregon State)
DB Chris Conte (Cal)
Gabe Carimi was a great pick for Chicago. The Bears O-Line was god awful last year and Carimi could be a pro bowler as soon as 2013-2014. Paea will help replace Tommy Harris.
QB Christian Ponder (Florida State)
TE Kyle Rudolph (Notre Dame)
The only thing that saves the Vikings from getting an F is the fact that I think Kyle Rudolph will be a great receiving tight end when it's all said and done. But the fact that Minnesota took a quarterback that most scouts didn't have in the first three rounds is disgusting. Add onto the fact that Andy Dalton and Ryan Mallett were still on the board. It must suck to be a Vikings fan right about now. Terrible draft. Terrible pick.
DT Nick Fairley (Auburn)
WR Titus Young (Boise State)
RB Mikel Leshoure (Illinois)
Arguably the best group of draft picks out of all 32 teams. Being a fan of an NFC North team, I braced myself in my seat as Nick Fairley's name was called to play alongside Ndamukong Suh in Detroit. Who has an interior offensive line group that can block Suh let alone both Suh and Fairley. GREAT get for Detroit. Titus Young will be a role player for Matt Stafford in years to come. Leshoure will get his fair share of carries as a rookie. With these picks, the Detroit Lions look scary good for next year. Best defensive line in the NFL.
OL James Carpenter (Alabama)
OL John Moffitt (Wisconsin)
What is this, Pete? An offensive line overhaul? They drafted Russell Okung last year and now two offensive guards? The Seahawks needed a quarterback. They didn't get one.
LB Robert Quinn (North Carolina)
TE Lance Kendricks (Wisconsin)
WR Austin Pettis (Boise State)
The Rams picked up a few more weapons for Sam Bradford. Austin Pettis could be a gem in a few years and Lance Kendricks will be a good receiving tight end for Bradford to throw to. But Robert Quinn is a great pick for the Rams. Just the type of guy that Steve Spagnuolo likes playing on his defense.
DE Aldon Smith (Missouri)
QB Colin Kaeppernick (Nevada)
DB Chris Culliver (South Carolina)
Aldon Smith was a good pick but with Blaine Gabbert on the board, I put that 1st round pick in suspect. But Aldon Smith is no letdown though. He'll be a sack master. I don't see Kaeppernick being Harbaugh's quarterback for years to come but I could see him being a solid backup.
CB Patrick Peterson (LSU)
RB Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech)
TE Robert Housler (Florida Atlantic)
In my opinion, Patrick Peterson is the best player in the 2011 NFL Draft. He'll be a starter right away and he will be a multiple pro bowler. Ryan Williams will also help out the Cardinals' offense right away as a contributor in the backfield. That being said, the Cardinals still need a QB. So do the 49ers. The question is, who is going to get Kevin Kolb?