NFL Draft 2011: Grading Team Drafts Right After the Draft Is Pretty Useless

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NFL Draft 2011: Grading Team Drafts Right After the Draft Is Pretty Useless
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Early Sunday morning I looked in on my Twitter feed before I began my long day of building a deck in my backyard.

I was amazed by two things. The first thing was that so many analysts were ranking the Redskins' draft pretty low, and the second was how offended and angry Skins fans were.

I'll admit that love seeing writers of SI.com and ESPN.com write good things about the Redskins, while at the same time I loathe seeing the team spurred by the same writers, but I'm not going to let draft grades get me down or rile me up.

Why?

Because the 12 men that the Redskins drafted haven't played a single down in the NFL, nor has any single one of the 253 players drafted over the weekend.

All the draft grades are simply on projected NFL production. Honestly, I think you can only grade a draft five years down the road.

For example, I was reading SI.com's Peter King's "Monday Morning Quarterback," and shockingly enough he and I actually agree on something. Below is an excerpt from today's column:

"I looked back Sunday night to the 2006 draft, and the grades handed out in the days after the draft. I always considered two writers to be the best, and the toughest, at this: our own Paul Zimmerman and Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. And after the 2006 draft, Dr. Z and Goose gave A grades to Arizona, praising the drafting of Matt Leinart, Deuce Lutui, Gabe Watson and Leonard Pope. It's five years later. Leinart was a disaster, Pope barely passable for three seasons, Watson a part-time starter. The only player sure to be on the Cards now, five seasons later, is starting guard Lutui."

What is a better way to grade the draft?

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Matt Leinart seemed like a can't-miss guy, and the rest of the Cardinals' draft seemed solid as well. However, only one of these players actually lived up to his NFL potential.

Honestly, I think the only way to truly grade a draft (if you are so inclined to do so) is to grade it on a team filling needs.

It's easy to go chase that sexy pick—the Redskins seem to attempt it enough—but it's quite another to go after things you need.

The thing the Skins needed more than anything was depth. At the start of the 2010 season they were the oldest team in the league.

However, after this weekend's festivities the Redskins got young and got depth really quickly.

As far as doing the smart thing and setting up some good building blocks for the future, I give the Skins an "A." As far the playing ability of the men they drafted, I give it an incomplete.

After all, no matter how studly a guy looks coming out of college, it means nothing until he actually plays several downs in the NFL.

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