2011 NFL Draft logo2011 NFL Draft

2011 NFL Draft Grades: Mel the Moron? Comparing Draft Grades with Mel Kiper

Brandon GalvinFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Grades: Mel the Moron? Comparing Draft Grades with Mel Kiper

1 of 33

    NEW YORK - APRIL 28:  Mel Kiper, Chris Mortensen and Keyshawn Johnson broadcast for ESPN during the 2007 NFL Draft on April 28, 2007 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    ESPN’s NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper is the single most respected analyst when it comes to the NFL draft. Every year we flock to his mock to see which prospect he is penciling in for which team. He lives and breathes the NFL draft.

    Arguably the most entertaining aspect of draft coverage is to hear the analysis “The Draft Guru” Mel Kiper has to offer on each and every prospect. He is simply a plethora of knowledge, and although he doesn’t accurately predict every player’s future correctly, he knows more than just about every other analyst about each prospect.

    Following the draft, when every analyst is working diligently to analyze each organization’s picks to give out a letter grade, we know the one person we want to read and hear from is “The Hair” Kiper himself. His reports cards have been handed out.

    Which team will be the valedictorian?

    Which teams are on the high honor roll?

    Which teams were average?

    And who is wearing the dunce cap for the rest of the offseason?

    We’re going to address each and every report card, from worst to best, handed out by Mel Kiper, which he based primarily on needs and value this year, to see if he is truly the draft day guru I say he is.

32. Seattle Seahawks

2 of 33

    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 16:  Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during pregame warmups before the Seahawks take on the Chicago Bears in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (P
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: James Carpenter, Alabama OT

    Round 3: John Moffitt, Wisconsin OG

    Round 4: K.J. Wright, Mississippi State OLB; Kris Durham, Georgia WR

    Round 5: Richard Sherman, Stanford DB; Mark LeGree, Appalachian State FS

    Round 6: Byron Maxwell, Clemson CB

    Round 7: Lazarius Levingston, LSU DL; Malcolm Smith, LSU LB

     

    I’m much higher on Seattle’s draft than other analysts—especially Mel Kiper, who gives them the dunce cap.

    Passing on Gabe Carimi for Carpenter is unforgivable, though. Pete Carroll wants a dominating rushing attack and he passes on the best run-blocker in the draft. It also would have been a great story if he was able to pair Carimi and Moffitt for their careers.

    Moffitt is a great pick, though. He is not a great athlete, but he is your typical tough-nosed offensive lineman who is very good at run blocking.

    Wright and LeGree are underrated prospects and will both make an impact as rookies. I believe Maxwell, Levingston and Smith could all play roles as well.

    “They did nothing really to help the defensive line and their sense of value was questionable. The positive might be that this is a very young team, and you suspect Pete Carroll expects improvement. I just don't know if he added much this weekend,” according to Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: D+

    My Grade: C+

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

3 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Blaine Gabbert, #11 overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, holds up a jersey during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Blaine Gabbert, Missouri QB

    Round 3: William Rackley, Lehigh OG

    Round 4: Cecil Shorts, Mount Union WR; Chris Prosinski, Wyoming CB

    Round 5: Rod Isaac, Middle Tennessee State DB

     

    I’m not a fan of the Jaguars' draft. I’ve never been sold on Gabbert, though I concede he has fine arm strength and accuracy and very good mobility and athleticism. The good news for Blaine and the Jaguars is that David Garrard is still available to start in 2011.

    Rackley is a top-10 offensive guard and should help Maurice Jones-Drew in the running game.

    Shorts is a fine, underrated receiving prospect from the same school as Indianapolis’ Pierre Garcon. Prosinksi could be a bust after impressing at the Pro Day but not even getting an invite to the combine.

    “Bottom line: This draft will be viewed through the prism of Gabbert and whether he succeeds. I think he has a shot but he needs time to develop, and after this draft I see a team that didn't really improve much in the near term, but believes it has its franchise quarterback of the future,” says Mel.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: C-

    My Grade: D+

30. Carolina Panthers

4 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Cam Newton, #1 overall pick by the Carolina Panthers holds up a jersey on stage after he was picked during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Cam Newton, Auburn QB

    Round 3: Terrell McClain, South Florida DT; Sione Fua, Stanford DT

    Round 4: Brandon Hogan, West Virginia CB

    Round 5: Kealoha Pilares, Hawaii WR; Lawrence Wilson, Connecticut

    Round 6: Zachary Williams, Washington State OL

    Round 7: Lee Zimeba, Auburn OT

     

    The Panthers made the right selection with Cam Newton. He is the franchise superstar savior they have been seeking for a long time. He will sell tickets, jerseys and hope to all Carolina fans. “Carolina Cam” will also have everyone believing the Panthers have an opportunity to win every game each week.

    It’s great to see the Panthers select Ziemba, Newton’s Auburn teammate, to take the ride with Cam. That’s a great story right there. More importantly he is a steal, as I had him rated inside my top 10 of all offensive tackles.

    Fua will be a destructive force in the NFL. He could turn out to become one of the better defensive tackles in this class.

    The Panthers missed out on opportunities when they selected the other four players; they could have done a better job bolstering the defense with them.

    It’s a start, though, for Ron Rivera.

    “No player in the draft has such an array of physical gifts, and Newton is drafted at No. 1 because the Panthers know he has an extremely high ceiling. So it might be tempting to say it all comes down to Newton, but you can't, because the Panthers really did address a few needs once they got their man,” says Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: C

    My Grade: C+

29. Tennessee Titans

5 of 33

    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27:  Quarterback Jake Locker of Washington runs a passing drill during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Jake Locker, Washington QB

    Round 2: Akeem Ayers, UCLA OLB

    Round 3: Jurrell Casey, USC DT

    Round 4: Colin McCarthy, Miami (FL) LB; Jamie Harper, Clemson RB

    Round 5: Karl Klug, Iowa DL

    Round 6: Byron Stingily, Louisville OT

    Round 7: Zach Clayton, Auburn DT; Tommie Campbell, California (PA) DB

     

    I know what you’re thinking—Auburn had another defensive tackle beside Nick Fairley?

    I’m not high on Locker at all—never was—so I don’t like the pick there. At least try to trade down.

    I like Ayers and Casey but they have work ethic concerns. They both have first-round talent, so hopefully they apply themselves in the NFL, as I like both a lot. McCarthy is an underrated linebacker who I had pegged with a third-round grade.

    Klug and Caltyon add depth to a defensive line that definitely needs it.

    “After Locker, I do like the Ayers pick. He has Round 1 tape and was taken at No. 39. Casey is also a talented kid who needs to mature,” according to Mel.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: C

    My Grade: C+

28. Minnesota Vikings

6 of 33

    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Quarterback Christian Ponder of Florida State looks on during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Christian Ponder, Florida State QB

    Round 2: Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame TE

    Round 4: Christian Ballard, Iowa DT/DE

    Round 5: Brandon Burton, Utah CB;

    Round 6: DeMarcus Love, Arkansas OT; Mistral Raymond, South Florida DB; Brandon Fusco, Slippery Rock C; Ross Homan, Ohio State OLB

    Round 7: D’Aundre Reed, Arizona DE; Stephen Burton, West Texas A&M WR

     

    I’m much higher on the Vikings’ draft than others. I predicted in a few mocks that Ponder would land with the Vikings, but that’s not why I like the pick. He is the game manager with solid leadership, experience and accuracy Minnesota is looking for at the position.

    I don’t like the Rudolph pick, but a quality receiving tight end is generally a young QB’s best friend—right Mark Sanchez?

    The Vikings received excellent value in the mid and late rounds. Ballard is a potential first-round talent and Burton should have been drafted on day two. Love, Fusco and Homan were all steals in the sixth round. I’m higher on Reed than others, he will at least provide depth for this solid defensive line.

    “Minnesota reached for a quarterback, in my opinion, and like Tennessee, still doesn't know who will start the season at quarterback. However, the Vikings rebounded nicely on Days 2 and 3,” states Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: C+

    My Grade: B

27. San Francisco 49ers

7 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Aldon Smith, #7 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Aldon Smith, Missouri DE/OLB

    Round 2: Colin Kaepernick, Nevada QB

    Round 3: Chris Culliver, South Carolina DB

    Round 4: Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State RB

    Round 5: Daniel Kilgore, Appalachian State OL

    Round 6: Ronald Johnson, USC WR; Colin Jones, TCU DB

    Round 7: Bruce Miller, Central Florida DL; Michael Person, Montana State OL; Curtis Holcomb, Florida A&M DB

     

    Jim Harbaugh did a better job than people are giving him credit for. No, not the greatest draft in the history of first-year head coaches, but still a solid one.

    Smith and Patrick Willis could create the NFC version of Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, who are coached by Harbaugh’s brother, John, in Baltimore.

    Kaepernick is a stud at the quarterback position with his athleticism, speed, accuracy and arm strength.

    Hunter was a steal at the running back position and will be an excellent backup to Frank Gore.

    Ronald Johnson could be the late-round gem everyone talks about at wide receiver, which the 49ers desperately needed.

    “It's all about what happens at quarterback in terms of how we judge the success of the 2011 49ers, but I judge this weekend as a relative success. It's just a small worry when your first two picks both have development requirements,” states Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: C+

    My Grade: B-

26. Washington Redskins

8 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Ryan Kerrigan, #16 overall pick by the Washington Redskins, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue DE

    Round 2: Jarvis Jenkins, Clemson DT

    Round 3: Leonard Hankerson, Miami (FL) WR

    Round 4: Roy Helu Jr., Nebraska RB

    Round 5: DeJon Gomes, Nebraska S; Niles Paul, Nebraska WR

    Round 6: Evan Royster, Penn State RB; Aldrick Robinson, SMU WR

    Round 7: Brandyn Thompson, Boise State DB; Maurice Hurt, Florida OL; Markus White, Florida State DL; Chris Neild, West Virginia DT

     

    The Redskins put together a better draft than I expected them to, especially without a single quarterback being selected. They had the opportunity to grab solid late-round QB prospects but passed.

    I like the three Nebraska teammates and Evan Royster. I think Royster and Helu will be fine rookies in Shanahan’s offense. Hankerson was a steal at WR in the third.

    Kerrigan is an awesome football player—much better on the field than in individual drills. He has a knack for getting to the QB.

    “The Skins added players at pretty much every need outside of quarterback, where they clearly have other ideas in mind. Fair enough. I just don't think impact will be significant,” according to Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: C+

    My Grade: C+

25. Oakland Raiders

9 of 33

    ALAMEDA, CA - JANUARY 18:  Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis speaks during a press conference on January 18, 2011 in Alameda, California. Hue Jackson was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing the fired Tom Cable.  (Photo by Justin Sul
    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 2: Stefen Wisniewski, Penn State OG/C

    Round 3: DeMarcus Van Dyke, Miami (FL) CB; Joseph Barksdale, LSU OT

    Round 4: Chimdi Chekwa, Ohio State CB; Taiwan Jones, Eastern Washington RB

    Round 5: Demarius Moore, Tennessee WR

    Round 6: Richard Gordon, Miami (FL) TE

    Round 7: David Ausberry, USC WR

     

    Wisniewski, Barksdale and Chekwa were all great picks. I don’t think they needed to grab the wide receivers they did, as there were better defensive players to be had.

    Jones and Van Dyke are your typical Raiders selections—they have blazing speed but will probably be busts.

    Still, I expect Wisniewski, Barksdale and Chekwa to make an impact as rookies.

    “Bottom line: It's not always about value with the Raiders, it's about getting their guy,” states Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: C+

    My Grade: C+

24. New England Patriots

10 of 33

    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots stands on the field during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Nate Solder, Colorado OT

    Round 2: Ras-I Dowling, Virginia DB; Shane Vereen, California RB

    Round 3: Stevan Ridley, LSU RB; Ryan Mallett, Arkansas QB

    Round 5: Marcus Cannon, TCU OT; Lee Smith, Marshall TE

    Round 6: Markell Carter, Central Arkansas LB

    Round 7: Malcolm Williams, TCU DB

     

    All offseason I praised Bill Belichick for being a mastermind during the draft. He made me look stupid. He completely messed this draft up after having an opportunity to build an elite defense while still grabbing top-level offensive needs.

    Solder is a fine prospect and one of the most athletic offensive tackles in the class. Dowling is a solid all-around defensive back who can play corner or safety. Vereen and Ridley were reaches. They will fill their roles, but they were reaches nonetheless.

    I’m not sold on Mallett and would not have touched him. He is a strong arm and not much else.

    I’m glad Cannon was drafted and he could turn into a steal—but he could also not even play.

    “This was a mixed bag for me, a usual tour de force in terms of adding a mountain of roster spackle with the acquisition of draft picks—the Patriots now have a pair of Round 1 and Round 2 picks to use (and trade) in 2012—but also with a few puzzlers mixed in with the usual smart picks…as always, the Patriots will have plenty of chances to plug holes again next year. I just think for a team in line for another Super Bowl run, that was a need worth targeting,” according to Mel.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: C+

    My Grade: C-

23. Atlanta Falcons

11 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Julio Jones, #6 overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Julio Jones, Alabama WR

    Round 3: Akeem Dent, Georgia LB

    Round 5: Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State RB

    Round 6: Matt Bosher, Miami (FL) K

    Round 7: Andrew Jackson, Fresno State OL; Cliff Matthews, South Carolina DL

    A lot of people are ripping the Falcons for their draft and decision to trade up to No. 6 for Jones—I’m not one of them. The Falcons completed their offense in this year’s draft and will now boast one of the elite offenses in the entire league.

    Jones and Roddy White create one of the strongest receiver duos in the league. They both complement each other very well. Jones and Ryan will form a connection that will dominate for the next decade.

    Rodgers is the perfect lightning to Michael Turner’s thunder.

    Dent is one of the better inside linebackers in the draft.

    “I like Jones, and love Rodgers, but this grade also reflects extraordinary value given up.”

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: C+

    My Grade: A

22. Philadelphia Eagles

12 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Danny Watkins, #22 overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Danny Watkins, Baylor OG

    Round 2: Jaiquawn Jarrett, Temple S

    Round 3: Curtis Marsh, Utah State CB

    Round 4: Casey Matthews, Oregon LB; Alex Henery, Nebraska K

    Round 5: Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh RB; Julian Vandervelde, Iowa OL

    Round 6: Jason Kelce, Cincinnati OL; Brian Rolle, Ohio State OLB

    Round 7: Greg Lloyd, Connecticut LB; Stanley Havili, USC RB

     

    I’m not a fan of the Eagles’ draft at all. They should have selected Jimmy Smith over Watkins and waited for a guard in the second round and then Jarrett in the third.

    Instead, they reach on Jarrett in the second after taking an offensive lineman who wasn’t as dominant as he should have been in college. Reid then grabs a cornerback in Marsh who wasn’t even better than Curtis Brown or Jalil Brown, who were selected after him.

    I like the second half of the draft with Matthews, Lewis, Rolle and Havili. All four should make an impact as rookies. Matthews was a steal in the fourth and Reid grabs the best kicker in the draft there as well.

    Lewis reminds me of another LeSean McCoy and perfectly fits Reid’s offense. Rolle is an underrated athletic linebacker, which fits Philly’s defense.

    “This feels like last year. I look at the Philly board and think, 'Well, they got a lot of guys,'" says Kiper.

    Report Grade

    Mel’s Grade: C+

    My Grade: C

21. Kansas City Chiefs

13 of 33

    PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 05:  Jonathan Baldwin #82 of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers catches a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bearcats on December 5, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh WR

    Round 2: Rodney Hudson, Florida State OG/C

    Round 3: Justin Houston, Georgia OLB; Allen Bailey, Miami (FL) DE

    Round 4: Jalil Brown, Colorado CB

    Round 5: Ricky Stanzi, Iowa QB; Gabe Miller, Oregon State OLB

    Round 6: Jerrell Powe, Mississippi State DE

    Round 7: Shane Bannon, Florida State DE

     

    The Chiefs had an interesting draft as they selected three prospects with character concerns in the first three rounds. If Baldwin, Houston and Bailey all apply themselves and keep their heads on straight, they will be steals because they all have first-round talent.

    Hudson is a very good, versatile prospect to bolster the interior of the offensive line. Brown was a steal in the fourth and will be a great nickel corner to start out. Stanzi is a very good backup to have for Cassel and Powe could be a late-round steal as part of this D-line rotation.

    “Scott Pioli certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt after the way he got such early dividends from last year's class. This year he again went after guys I think the Chiefs want to see on the field really early,” states Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: C+

    My Grade: B-

20. Dallas Cowboys

14 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Tyron Smith, #9 overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Tyron Smith, USC OT

    Round 2: Bruce Carter, North Carolina OLB

    Round 3: DeMarco Murray, Okalahoma RB

    Round 4: David Arkin, Missouri State OT

    Round 5: Josh Thomas, Buffalo DB

    Round 6: Dwayne Harris, East Carolina WR

    Round 7: Shaun Chapas, Georgia RB; Bill Nagy, Wisconsin C

     

    Jerry Jones had a stellar draft this year as he picked safe, versatile players.

    Tyron Smith is the best pass-blocker in the draft and should stick to playing right tackle like he did in college. Arkin could be a steal in the fourth round and could play left tackle for the ‘Boys. Teams that grabbed a Wisconsin offensive lineman—Chicago, Seattle—greatly improved their line.

    Carter is one of my favorite linebackers in this draft, and Dallas fans will love him. Murray is a great talent, and although I didn’t see running back as a need, he will help this offense.

    “Dallas got good value later, but never took a player that seemed like a steal at the position,” says Mel.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B-

    My Grade: B+

19. Miami Dolphins

15 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Mike Pouncey, #15 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Mike Pouncey, Florida OG/C

    Round 2: Daniel Thomas, Kansas State RB

    Round 4: Edmond Gates, Abilene Christian WR

    Round 6: Charles Clay, Tulsa RB/TE

    Round 7: Frank Kearse, Alabama A&M DT; Jimmy Wilson, Montana DB


    The Dolphins grabbed two players I suggested they select in Pouncey and Thomas. Both will greatly improve this offense. Chad Henne will be thrilled to have both join him on offense.

    Gates is a receiver who gained momentum heading into the draft. He will allow Davone Bess to enter the slot, where he can excel. Clay is an underrated power runner who also can also be an excellent receiver out of the backfield.

    Tony Sparano completely rebuilt this offense in one weekend.

    “Miami went after needs and got some immediate help in key spots, including guard and running back, getting pretty even value overall… Solid, unspectacular weekend for Miami,” according to Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B-

    My Grade: A

18. New York Giants

16 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Prince Amukamara, #19 overall pick by the New York Giants, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Prince Amukamara, Nebraska CB

    Round 2: Marvin Austin, North Carolina DT

    Round 3: Jerrel Jernigan, Troy WR

    Round 4: James Brewer, Alabama OT

    Round 6: Greg Jones, Michigan St. LB; Tyler Sash, Iowa S

    Round 7: Jacquain Williams, South Florida LB; Da’Rel Scott, Maryland RB


    General manager Jerry Reese once again puts together a masterful draft. He let top-level players fall to him throughout the draft and never once reached for a prospect.

    Amukamara was my No. 7 overall prospect, so he is a steal at No. 19. Austin has first-round ability and will thrive on this talented defensive line.

    Jernigan offers insurance for Steve Smith and Brewer is an upgrade for this O-line.

    Reese grabs two of my favorite players in this entire draft in Jones and Sash. These two were already scrutinized for being undersized—they will have successful careers with the monstrous chips now on their shoulders after unjustly falling to the sixth round. Scott also offers insurance for Ahmad Bradshaw.

    “Give the Giants credit—they got some serious value with their first two picks,” says Mel.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B-

    My Grade: A

17. Arizona Cardinals

17 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Patrick Peterson, #5 overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals, holds up his jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Patrick Peterson, LSU CB

    Round 2: Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech RB

    Round 3: Robert Housler, Florida Atlantic TE

    Round 4: Sam Acho, Texas DE/OLB

    Round 5: Anthony Sherman, Connecticut RB

    Round 6: David Carter, UCLA DT

    Round 7: DeMarco Sampson, San Diego State WR

    Peterson was my No. 1 overall prospect and a no-brainer first-round selection. That pick right there deserves an "A+".

    I was not a fan of the Williams or Housler selections at all. Not only was Leshoure still on the board in the second round, I don’t view running back as a major need. Still, they’ll have a fantastic three-headed monster next season.

    When you see where Julius Thomas and Virgil Green went in the draft, you understand why I’m not high on a tight end in the third round with other needs.

    The Acho pick is where the Cardinals stand out. He is a fantastic football player on the field and an even better person off the field. He will become an instant fan favorite. The Peterson and Acho selections just about solidify this defense.

    “The Cardinals were a case study in maximizing value, but needs definitely were sacrificed in a couple of spots. They do add impact, however, which is worth something,” says Mel.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B-

    My Grade: B-

16. New Orleans Saints

18 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Mark Ingram, #28 overall pick by the New Orleans Saints, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Cameron Jordan, California DE; Mark Ingram, Alabama RB

    Round 3: Martez Wilson, Illinois LB; Johnny Patrick, Louisville CB

    Round 7: Greg Romeus, Pittsburgh DL; Nate Bussey, Illinois LB

     

    The Saints had a remarkable first round. They desperately needed an upgrade at defensive end and they grab a top-10 talent who may be the most NFL-ready player in this draft.

    They trade up for former Heisman winner Mark Ingram, who will add a new dimension to the run game and become an incredible complement to Drew Brees.

    Wilson has first-round talent with the ability to drop back in coverage and rush the passer with his athleticism. Patrick is an underrated tackling cornerback with skills to start in a year.

    “Saints fans should have been thrilled headed into Saturday. In Round 1, the team got a great value with Jordan at No. 24, then got the best running back in the draft by trading into the No. 28 pick to get Ingram. On Friday, somehow Wilson fell in the Saints' laps at No. 72. He could have gone far higher,” according to Mel.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B

    My Grade: A

15. St. Louis Rams

19 of 33

    CHAPEL HILL, NC - SEPTEMBER 19:  Robert Quinn #42 of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrates after a sack with teammate Marvin Austin #9 against the East Carolina Pirates at Kenan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by St
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Robert Quinn, North Carolina DE/OLB

    Round 2: Lance Kendricks, Wisconsin TE

    Round 3: Austin Pettis, Boise State WR

    Round 4: Greg Salas, Hawaii WR

    Round 5: Jermaile Hines, Ohio State S

    Round 7: Mikail Baker, Baylor DB; Jabara Williams, Stephen F. Austin OLB; Jonathan Nelson, Oklahoma DB

     

    I’m not as high on the Rams’ draft as others, but they did a solid job. Quinn is my top-rated defensive end and No. 5 overall prospect.

    I thought the Kendricks selection was a reach in the second round. Pettis should not have been drafted above Leonhard Hankerson, but he and fourth-round selection Greg Salas will be solid receivers for Sam Bradford.

    Hines is a fine safety and will be an upgrade for the team.

    “St. Louis got a lot done, and now unquestionably looks like a franchise ready to take that next step. Nobody got better immediate dividends from the draft than the Rams in 2010 with fantastic rookie seasons from Sam Bradford and Rodger Saffold, and they could have the early-impact player in this draft with the addition of Quinn,” according to Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B

    My Grade: B

14. Houston Texans

20 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, poses for a photo with J.J. Watt, #11 overall pick by the Houston Texans, on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Ge
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: J.J. Watt, Wisconsin DE

    Round 2: Brooks Reed, Arizona DE/OLB; Brandon Harris, Miami (FL) CB

    Round 4: Rashad Carmichael, Virginia Tech DB

    Round 5: Shiloh Keo, Idaho S; T.J. Yates, North Carolina QB

    Round 7: Derek Newton, Arkansas State OL; Cheta Ozougwu, Rice DE/OLB

     

    The Texans put together one of the most remarkable drafts of the entire weekend. This team consistently put an atrocious defense on the field each week last year. They needed to bolster the entire unit and grabbed three first-round talents with their first three selections.

    Watt and Mario Williams will create one of the best defensive end duos in the league. Reed is a fantastic pass rusher with elite work ethic. He will create a dominant linebacker trio with DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing.

    Keo is a great safety in run support and pass coverage. Keo and Harris are already better players than the players that currently make up the Texans secondary.

    Yates is a raw talent who could be molded into a starting quarterback—he’ll have a solid mentor in Matt Schaub.

    “It's the prospects who get the red carpet treatment here in New York, but it's Wade Phillips who got the carpet laid out for him in this draft. The new defensive coordinator for the Texans got a lot of new toys to work with, and I think Houston did a solid job in terms of value in addressing what was simply a bad defense in 2010,” states Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B

    My Grade: A+

13. New York Jets

21 of 33

    Selections

    Round 1: Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple DE/DT

    Round 3: Kenrick Ellis, Hampton DT

    Round 4: Bilal Powell, Louisville RB

    Round 5: Jeremy Kerley, TCU WR

    Round 7: Greg McElroy, Alabama QB; Scotty McKnight, Colorado WR

     

    New York landed two gems for their defense who had no right to fall to them in the first and third rounds. Wilkerson and Ellis will greatly improve this defense with their supreme athleticism on the defensive line.

    The draft tapers off after that. Running back was not a need, and Powell was a poor selection there. They needed a return man, which is exactly what Kerley represents with his agility and quickness.

    McElroy was a fantastic pick to backup Mark Sanchez with his intelligence. McKnight is a great story as he and Sanchez are childhood buddies reunited in the NFL.

    For further analysis for the Jets’ draft, check out their full in-depth report card.

    “The Jets needed help at both defensive end spots up front in their 3-4, and did a great job adding talent with their first two picks. Wilkerson could be one of the bigger steals of the first round, a player I maintain is a 2012 top-10 pick who was a really good value in 2011,” according to Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B

    My Grade: B

12. Chicago Bears

22 of 33

    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi #68 of the Wisconsin Badgers warms up prior to playing the TCU Horned Frogs in the 97th Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin OT

    Round 2: Stephen Paea, Oregon State DT

    Round 3: Chris Conte, California S

    Round 5: Nathan Enderle, Idaho QB

    Round 6: J.T. Thomas, West Virginia LB

     

    I’m not high on the Enderle selection, but the rest of the players were quality selections who will make an impact in 2011.

    Carimi is my No. 1 rated offensive tackle and is the clear-cut best run-blocking OT in the class—he was an absolute gem at No. 29 overall and had no business dropping there.

    Paea has some injury concerns but he could be a dominant defensive tackle. I would have chosen a different safety, but Conte is a tackling machine at safety.

    “Solid draft for the Bears, who got to get back in the early mix this year,” says Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B

    My Grade: B

11. Denver Broncos

23 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Von Miller, #2 overall pick by the Denver Broncos holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Von Miller, Texas A&M OLB

    Round 2: Rahim Moore, UCLA S; Orlando Franklin, Miami (FL) OG

    Round 3: Nate Irving, North Carolina State LB

    Round 4: Quinton Carter, Oklahoma S; Julius Thomas, Portland State TE

    Round 6: Mike Mohamed, California LB

    Round 7: Virgil Green, Nevada TE; Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma OLB

     

    John Fox and John Elway finished the weekend with one of my favorite drafts. They grab a potential Hall of Fame talent in Von Miller, then select the top-rated safety in Moore and another starting-caliber safety in Carter.

    They also land one of the best offensive guards in the class. They select two of the best receiving tight ends in the draft in Thomas and Green—Green had no business being selected in the last round as he has third-round talent.

    Irving is a starting linebacker in this league and Beal offers versatility and depth.

    “Denver got the player who could very well have the biggest impact of any rookie when it grabbed Miller with the No. 2 overall pick… they added impact, and that counts,” says Mel.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B

    My Grade: A

10. Buffalo Bills

24 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses for a photo with Marcell Dareus, #3 overall pick by the Buffalo Bills, as Dareus holds up a jersey during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Phot
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Marcell Dareus, Alabama DT

    Round 2: Aaron Williams, Texas DB

    Round 3: Kelvin Sheppard, LSU LB

    Round 4: Da’Norris Searcy, North Carolina DB; Chris Hairston, Clemson OT

    Round 5: Johnny White, North Carolina RB

    Round 6: Chris White, Mississippi State LB

    Round 7: Justin Rogers, Richmond DB; Michael Jasper, Bethel (TN) DT

     

    Buffalo put together a great draft. Dareus will be the anchor of this defense. Williams offers versatility as a cornerback or safety. Sheppard was one of my top-rated inside linebackers—although I would have selected other linebackers at his slot, he is a very good player.

    The Hairston pick was big for this team as they needed to bolster the offensive line and I had him pegged as a top-10 offensive tackle. Johnny White was too good to pass up to some scouts in the fifth, he will provide the Bills with a three-headed rushing attack.

    “Buffalo drafted some really good football players and clearly put the emphasis on defense,” states Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B

    My Grade: B+

9. Baltimore Ravens

25 of 33

    BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 07:  Wide receiver Jeff Fuller #8 of the Texas A&M Aggies makes a reception against the defense of Jimmy Smith #3 of the Colorado Buffaloes during NCAA college football action at Folsom Field on November 7, 2009 in Boulder, Colorado
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Jimmy Smith, Colorado CB

    Round 2: Torrey Smith, Maryland WR

    Round 3: Jah Reid, UCF OT

    Round 4: Tandon Doss, Indiana WR

    Round 5: Chykie Brown, Texas CB; Pernell McPhee, Mississippi State DE

    Round 6: Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech QB

    Round 7: Anthony Allen, Georgia RB

     

    John Harbaugh puts together a fantastic draft with seven impact players in the 49ers' first seven selections.

    They needed to upgrade at corner and landed an elite option in Jimmy Smith. Brown is also one of the more underrated corners in this draft. Jimmy will already be the best corner on the roster and Brown will develop into a solid No. 2 opposite him.

    They needed to get younger at WR and added a depth threat in Torrey Smith and a great possession receiver in Doss. Torrey is one of the best stories in the draft as he gets to continue playing ball in Maryland.

    McPhee is an underrated talent I thought would be drafted in the fourth round. Taylor is an excellent playmaker and a fantastic backup to Flacco. He will have an impact on special teams, in the backfield and taking snaps in certain packages.

    Jah Reid offers insurance in case Jared Gaither leaves via free agency. He is a potential top-10 OT in this draft.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B+

    My Grade: A-

8. Green Bay Packers

26 of 33

    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 15:  J.C. Brignone #70 and Derek Sherrod #79of the Mississippi State Bulldogs get ready on the line of scrimmage during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 15, 2008 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Round 1: Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State OT

    Round 2: Randall Cobb, Kentucky WR

    Round 3: Alex Green, Hawaii RB

    Round 4: Davon House, New Mexico State CB

    Round 5: D.J. Williams, Arkansas TE

    Round 6: Caleb Schlauderaff, Utah OL; D.J. Smith, Appalachian State LB; Ricky Elmore, Arizona DE

    Round 7: Ryan Taylor, North Carolina TE; Lawrence Guy, Arizona State DT

     

    Ted Thompson puts together another masterpiece. He addressed needs across the board and added NFL-ready talent and players who can make an immediate impact as they look to repeat as Super Bowl champs.

    They waited longer than I expected to improve the pass rush, but they land a steal with Elmore, who has great instincts and work ethic. He will be a great addition to this defense.

    Sherrod will protect Aaron Rodgers as he is my No. 5 offensive tackle. Williams is the best blocking tight end and great insurance to Jermichael Finley. Cobb can do it all—receiver, running back and special teams.

    “The upshot is this is a team that essentially 'drafts' a number of players relegated to the disabled list last year. All in all, not half bad.”

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B+

    My Grade: B+

7. Indianapolis Colts

27 of 33

    CHESTNUT HILL, MA - OCTOBER 03:  Anthony Castonzo #74 of the Boston College Eagles congratulates teammate Montel Harris #2 after Harris scored a touchdown in the first quarter against the Florida State Seminoles on October 3, 2009 at Alumni Stadium in Che
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Anthony Castonzo, Boston College OT

    Round 2: Benjamin Ijalana, Villanova OT

    Round 3: Drake Nevis, LSU DT

    Round 4: Delone Carter, Syracuse RB

    Round 6: Chris Rucker, Michigan State DB

     

    I made note after note all offseason how the Colts needed to find a way to protect Peyton Manning. The Colts went full force in the draft with two top-10 tackles with their first two selections—an ideal way to start the draft.

    Manning can now feel comfortable heading back to Indianapolis behind this offensive line. Nevis could be a great selection if he applies himself, as he has first-round talent.

    They needed a running back to account for the potential loss of Joseph Addai. Overall, a solid draft by the Colts.

    “The Colts started springing leaks on the offensive line in 2010, as Peyton Manning faced more pressure and the running game all but stalled. Bill Polian clearly had his priorities in order, adding immediate help on the offensive line with his first two picks,” state Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B+

    My Grade: B

6. Pittsburgh Steelers

28 of 33

    COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 13:  Cameron Heyward #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes chases after quarterback Matt McGloin #11 of the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Selection

    Round 1: Cameron Heyward, Ohio State DE

    Round 2: Marcus Gilbert, Florida OT

    Round 3: Curtis Brown, Texas CB

    Round 4: Cortez Allen, Citadel CB

    Round 5: Chris Carter, Fresno State OLB

    Round 6: Keith Williams, Nebraska OL

    Round 7: Baron Batch, Texas Tech RB

     

    The Steelers stand their ground and put together a fantastic draft. They addressed needs in every round, and all of their first five selections could have been drafted in the first three rounds.

    Brown and Allen are steals for the Steelers as both could be starting corners in a year or two.

    They missed out on Maurkice Pouncey’s brother, Mike, but they land a former Florida teammate nonetheless in Gilbert.

    Heyward is a fantastic selection to begin the draft. Although I did not view defensive end as a major need for the Steelers, you can never have enough linemen, and he is a great 3-4 defensive end who can start immediately.

    “This was a typically unflashy draft, but what I consider an effective one for Pittsburgh. (And it's hard to be flashy when you always pick late.)… Solid weekend for Pittsburgh,” says Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B+

    My Grade: A-

5. Cleveland Browns

29 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Phil Taylor, #21 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Phil Taylor, Baylor DT

    Round 2: Jabaal Sheard, Pittsburgh DE; Greg Little, North Carolina WR

    Round 4: Jordan Cameron, USC TE; Owen Marecic, Stanford FB

    Round 5: Buster Skrine, Tennessee-Chattanooga DB; Jason Pinkston, Pittsburgh OL

    Round 7: Eric Hagg, Nebraska S

     

    I thought the selection of Taylor was odd considering the switch from a 3-4 to 4-3 defense in Cleveland. He is a very good defensive tackle nonetheless, and they added a great defense end in Sheard to solidify the pick.

    They heavily upgraded the run-blocking with Marecic and Pinkston. Holmgren also lands two great receiving prospects in Little and Cameron.

    Cameron is a former basketball player, so he clearly has the athleticism to play. Little could develop into the next Terrell Owens. Expect both to make an impact as rookies for Colt McCoy.

    “You would think Cleveland trading down and piling up picks for this year and into the next two years would be good enough, but once the picks started, Browns fans should have been even more pleased… given what they did in terms of adding future picks, the grade in this draft is also something that will truly extend to later drafts,” states Mel.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B+

    My Grade: B+

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

30 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Adrian Clayborn, #20 overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, holds up a jersey on  stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Adrian Clayborn, Iowa DE

    Round 2: Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson DE

    Round 3: Mason Foster, Washington LB

    Round 4: Luke Stocker, Tennessee TE

    Round 5: Ahmad Black, Florida S

    Round 6: Allen Bradford, USC RB

    Round 7: Anthony Gaitor, Florida International DB; Daniel Hardy, Idaho TE


    The Bucs put together an amazing weekend, filling needs and improving the entire team. It all rests on the health of Bowers, essentially, but Raheem Morris put together a fantastic draft surrounding him.

    They did not target a corner, but they improved the pass rush with Clayborn, Bowers and Foster, who will all greatly assist the unit. They needed a safety and grabbed a solid one in Black. Stocker will be a great backup to the often-injured Kellen Winslow.

    “Last year, the Bucs made it clear that the defensive line was a key, drafting defensive tackles with their first two picks. Problem was, they didn't get any production from the defensive end position in 2010. Well, Clayborn will help in 2011, and Bowers could be an all-timer as a steal if he's healthy,” according to Mel.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B+

    My Grade: A

3. San Diego Chargers

31 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Corey Liuget, #18 overall pick by the San Diego Chargers, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Corey Liuget, Illinois DT

    Round 2: Marcus Gilchrist, Clemson DB; Jonas Mouton, Michigan LB

    Round 3: Vincent Brown, San Diego State WR; Shareece Wright, USC CB

    Round 6: Jordan Todman, Connecticut RB; Steve Schilling, Michigan OL

    Round 7: Andrew Gachkar, Missouri OLB


    The Chargers landed a potential top-10 player in the draft in Liuget. He has a great work ethic and non-stop motor, so he will be beloved in San Diego.

    The draft tapers off in my eyes following the Liuget pick in the second and third rounds, but picks back up later. Gilchrist is a solid, versatile defensive back who can play corner or safety and is a solid tackler—same goes for Wright.

    I was not a fan of the Mouton or Brown selections—they could have drafted a better wide receiver in the second and a better linebacker in the third.

    Todman is a steal in the sixth round. He will be a great backup for Ryan Mathews, last year’s first-round selection. They needed to bolster the offensive line and grab an outside linebacker in this draft, and they addressed that need to end the weekend.

    “San Diego had a really quietly effective three days…I might have preferred an offensive tackle taken where Mouton was picked in the third round, but the Chargers targeted needs pretty effectively otherwise,” according to Mel.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: B+

    My Grade: B-

2. Cincinnati Bengals

32 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  A.J. Green, #4 overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals, holds up a jersey after he was drafted during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: A.J. Green, Georgia WR

    Round 2: Andy Dalton, TCU QB

    Round 3: Dontay Moch, Nevada OLB

    Round 4: Clint Boling, Georgia OG

    Round 5: Robert Sands, West Virginia S

    Round 6: Ryan Whalen, Stanford WR

    Round 7: Korey Lindsey, Southern Illinois DB; Jay Finley, Baylor RB

     

    The Bengals put together one of my favorite drafts of the entire weekend. They completely revamped the franchise in one weekend and can now feel comfortable getting rid of the cancers that are Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco.

    They land five players with their first five picks who will make major contributions to the franchise throughout their careers. Even Whalen in the sixth was a great selection.

    This was a draft the Bengals desperately needed to have as they were on the verge of crumbling as an organization. The franchise is in good hands with these selections, I can’t stress enough how fantastic of a draft this truly was.

    “They've received their fair share of negativity over the years, but you have to give the Bengals a lot of credit for what they accomplished in 2011. They can see the big roster voids on the horizon at quarterback and wide receiver, and they didn't wait…A great three days for the Bengals,” states Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: A-

    My Grade: A+

1. Detroit Lions

33 of 33

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Nick Fairley, #13 overall pick by the Detriot Lions, holds up a jersey during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Selections

    Round 1: Nick Fairley, Auburn DT

    Round 2: Titus Young, Boise State WR; Mike Leshoure, Illinois RB

    Round 5: Douglas Hogue, Syracuse OLB

    Round 7: Johnny Culbreath, South Carolina State OT

     

    The Lions had the best draft of any team, according to Kiper.

    They have created what could be the most dominant defensive tackle duo in the history of the game with Fairley and last year’s No. 2 overall selection, Ndamukong Suh. They made two fantastic picks with Young and Leshoure to complete their extremely dangerous offense.

    Hogue was a need pick at outside linebacker. He has the ability to drop back in coverage and attack the passer with his athleticism.

    The Culbreath pick is the only one I highly disagree with. Auburn’s Lee Ziemba was still on the board, a player I ranked in my top 10 out of all the offensive tackles in the class.

    The Lions failed to address two needs during the draft.

    “Detroit hit home runs all over in terms of value, but the question is whether the Lions did enough to help the talent level in a way that can further conceal weaknesses…Is it possible to love a Detroit draft when the Lions didn't add major help at cornerback or offensive tackle? Ask me after free agency, I guess,” states Kiper.

    Report Card

    Mel’s Grade: A-

    My Grade: A

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices