X

2016 NFL Draft Grades: Team-by-Team Letter Marks After Rounds 1-3 Results

Danny Webster@@DannyWebster21Analyst IIIApril 30, 2016

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2015, file photo, Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith (9) is shown during an NCAA college football game against Wake Forest in South Bend, Ind. Football fans see the NFL’s annual scouting combine as merely a numbers game that comes down to the times, jumps and drills they see on television. NFL executives are more interested in getting behind-the-scenes answers through medical checks and personal interviews. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Day 2 of the 2016 NFL draft featured plenty of big names not yet called, but that would change on Friday in Chicago. Much like Thursday, there were bound to be some surprises

Scroll down to check out how the draft has played out and who's left on the big board.

Three rounds down, four to go. Here are some grades and teams that made the biggest storylines after Day 2.

2016 NFL Draft Grades - Rounds 1-3
TeamGradeNotes
Arizona CardinalsB+Robert Nkemdiche was the best-value pick in the first round. Pairing him with Chandler Jones is going to be fun to watch.
Atlanta FalconsB+Atlanta addressed defense quick with Keanu Neal and Deion Jones. Also high on tight end Austin Hooper, who could be a reliable red-zone target for Matt Ryan.
Baltimore RavensARonnie Stanley could be an All-Pro in Baltimore, and the Ravens improved their pass rush with Kamalei Correa and Bronson Kaufusi
Buffalo BillsA-All defense for the Bills. Shaq Lawson is a great pick, but getting Reggie Ragland at No. 41 is a steal. Adolphus Washington should provide much-needed depth inside for Buffalo.
Carolina PanthersC+Vernon Butler is a great pick, but there are questions on those two corners. Bradberry is raw and Worley isn't quick enough.
Chicago BearsB+Need to see more of Leonard Floyd, but he has good size to be a great pass-rusher. Cody Whitehair is a great pick on the offensive line, and Jonathan Bullard will be an X-factor on defense.
Cincinnati BengalsA-William Jackson III is great value at No. 24, and Tyler Boyd is going to be great opposite of A.J. Green. Looks like Keenan Allen.
Cleveland BrownsB-Didn't grab QB Cody Kessler until later on but got two solid ends in Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib. Not sure on Corey Coleman, though.
Dallas CowboysBLove Ezekiel Elliott, but Dallas missed an immediate need with Jalen Ramsey. Also cautious about Jaylon Smith, but if he plays in 2016 like he promises, it'd change everything.
Denver BroncosBDenver got its quarterback. Now it's a matter of grooming Paxton Lynch. Other two picks seem like fillers.
Detroit LionsB+Taylor Decker is great, but the Lions' draft revolves around A'Shawn Robinson. To get him at No. 46 is absurd. He'll be great under Jim Caldwell.
Green Bay PackersC+A ho-hum draft in Green Bay. Not sure whether Kenny Clark should've gone ahead of other DTs, but I like Jason Spriggs. Good protection plan for Aaron Rodgers.
Houston TexansA-Brock Osweiler is getting all the help. Will Fuller and Braxton Miller give Houston much-needed speed, and the Texans will be hoping Nick Martin is like his brother, Zach.
Indianapolis ColtsBIt was all about getting Andrew Luck some help, and the Colts did that with Ryan Kelly and Le'Raven Clark.
Jacksonville JaguarsA+Jalen Ramsey. Myles Jack. Winners of the draft. That is all.
Kansas City ChiefsBDontari Poe is in the last year of his rookie deal, so getting Chris Jones in the second round is a great backup plan.
Los Angeles RamsA-The Rams invested their entire draft on Jared Goff. He's the best proven passer in this draft, and L.A. needed a QB badly.
Miami DolphinsB+Social media hacking aside, Laremy Tunsil fell to No. 13, and the Dolphins could move him to guard if they'd like to. Kenyan Drake is also finally out of Derrick Henry's shadow.
Minnesota VikingsALaquon Treadwell is the next Dez Bryant. That alone is a win. For the Vikings to steal Mackensie Alexander at No. 54 is highway robbery.
New England PatriotsCNot having that first-round pick hurt New England. I like Cyrus Jones, and that fills a need. Everything else is just there, including NC State QB Jacoby Brissett.
New Orleans SaintsB+The Saints needed speed up front, and Sheldon Rankins fills that need. Also, Drew Brees has to be jumping for joy with the selection of Michael Thomas.
New York GiantsBThe Giants made up for the Eli Apple pick by getting Victor Cruz's replacement (Sterling Shepard) and the most underrated safety in this class (Darian Thompson).
New York JetsC+The Jets started out well with Darron Lee, then decided to draft Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Jets fans are begging for Ryan Fitzpatrick to come back soon.
Oakland RaidersB+Really like the Karl Joseph pick, and the Raiders got a bargain at No. 75 with Shilique Calhoun. Jihad Ward is a project Oakland needs to develop.
Philadelphia EaglesA-Much like the Rams, the Eagles bet the farm on a quarterback and got Carson Wentz. Now the question is, will he be better than Jared Goff?
Pittsburgh SteelersC-Not a fan of Pittsburgh's draft. Missed a chance at William Jackson III, but they reached with Artie Burns. Sean Davis is a pick based on upside.
San Diego ChargersA-Shocked they took Joey Bosa, but it's been years since the Chargers had such a force up front. Hunter Henry is a safe pick while Max Tuerk gives Philip Rivers some help.
San Francisco 49ersBChip Kelly got his guy in DeForest Buckner, but to trade up for Joshua Garnett is a stretch. He could be this year's Travis Frederick, but who knows?
Seattle SeahawksA-Seattle is one of the few teams that addressed every single need: protection for Russell Wilson, a backup running back and a swift defensive tackle.
Tampa Bay BuccaneersC+Tampa Bay did so well with Vernon Hargreaves III and Noah Spence. I don't care how great a kicker Robert Aguayo is. You don't take a kicker in the second round.
Tennessee TitansAThe Titans got Jack Conklin, which is a win in itself. They followed with Kevin Dodd, Austin Johnson and Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. A lot to like in Tennessee.
Washington RedskinsA-Josh Doctson is great. But the Redskins got two good under-the-radar picks in Su'a Cravens and Kendall Fuller. Once again, needs were filled in Washington.

Top Storylines

Let's Talk About Jaylon Smith

Here's your feelgood story of the NFL draft: The Dallas Cowboys drafted Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith early in the second round.

Smith, once projected to be a top-10 pick, tore his ACL and LCL in the Fiesta Bowl back in January and wasn't expected to go until the third or fourth round. That didn't matter to the Cowboys, who took Smith with the 34th overall pick.

This is a terrific story, and you could tell as much by the emotion on Smith's face when he got the call from Jerry Jones. Even he must have had a feeling he would drop, but it says a lot about his potential and upside for a team to take a chance on him this early. He's a terrific player and will be great for the Cowboys when healthy.

Now the elephant in the room: This is beyond risky. The New England Patriots would've taken Smith had the Cowboys not, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. But the Cowboys already passed up on Jalen Ramsey to take Ezekiel Elliott in the first round and then used their second-round pick on a player who may not be available in 2016.

But if you talk to Jones and Smith, they feel it's possible, per David Helman of the Cowboys' official site:

David Helman @HelmanDC

Jerry Jones says he doesn't want to speak for the doctors, but he wouldn't completely rule out Jaylon Smith's availability for 2016.

“Absolutely," Smith said when asked if there's a chance he'd play this year, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. "Never doubt God.”

One thing for certain, though, is there's a lot of support for Smith to do well with the Cowboys:

Ed Werder @EdwerderRFA

#Cowboys DC Rod Marinelli said year from now @thejaylonsmith will prove 1 of best players in draft. "Inner strength of this man is special."

Jay Glazer @JayGlazer

Love that Jaylon Smith went this high. Amazing amazing kid and competitor and type of guy They should build around

trey wingo @wingoz

This is so much fun. So happy for Jaylon Smith

Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora

Love the Cowboys taking Jaylon Smith here. Go big or go home. Tremendous upside but have to wait a while for it. The kid deserves it ...

The Cowboys are familiar with Smith. Team doctor Dan Cooper is the one who performed the surgery on Smith, per Ed Werder of ESPN, so Dallas knows what its getting. It's a great story and could turn out to be a great pick. But it's risky, and the Cowboys have to understand that.

The Jaguars Won the Draft; Is the AFC South Next?

These words may have never been said before: The Jacksonville Jaguars won the NFL draft.

Not only did the Jaguars address defense, but they did so by taking arguably the two best defensive players in the draft in Jalen Ramsey at No. 5 and UCLA linebacker Myles Jack at No. 36 (acquiring that pick from the Baltimore Ravens).

Ramsey and Jack are the perfect players for head coach Gus Bradley's system. Bradley prides himself on a zone-blitz setup while sprinkling in some man-to-man schemes. Ramsey is probably the best man-to-man corner to come out of the draft in years, while Jack is a terrific linebacker who can play well in coverage and get to the quarterback/ball-carrier.

Make no mistake, the Jaguars needed to improve their ability to rush the quarterback, and Jack should help that, per ESPN Stats & Info:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

The Jaguars pressured opposing quarterbacks 23.1 percent of the time last season. That ranked 31st in NFL https://t.co/jFQQnm0RKT

Much like Smith, Jack is a major risk for the Jaguars while recovering from a knee injury. Bucky Brooks of NFL Media thinks both made bold moves but that both have upside:

Bucky Brooks @BuckyBrooks

Hats off to the @dallascowboys and @Jaguars for snagging a pair of Top 5 talents w/their first two selections. Some risk, but big rewards

And now the question becomes, is it too early to label Jacksonville as the AFC South favorite in 2016? Adam Beasley from the Miami Herald doesn't think so?

Adam Beasley @AdamHBeasley

Jaguars win the AFC South in 2016. Book it.

Something to keep in mind is that along with adding Ramsey and Jack, the Jaguars will be getting more firepower with last year's No. 3 overall pick, defensive end Dante Fowler, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL. If he's back and healthy, all pass-rushing issues in Jacksonville will be a thing of the past.

The Houston Texans added firepower to their offense, and the Indianapolis Colts are trying to get more protection for Andrew Luck. Jacksonville's offense enters Year 3 of Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns with a talented defense. This will be the year the Jaguars make a charge to the top of the AFC South.

The Ravens Are Back

Ronnie Stanley was the first target on the list. Then, the Baltimore Ravens got back to what made them great: defense. 

Kamalei Correa and Bronson Kaufusi are two completely different defensive ends, but both can create huge problems for opposing offensive lines. Correa has a quick first step and is relentless while chasing the ball-carrier. Head coach John Harbaugh could line him up at outside linebacker and make him the next Justin Houston.

Kaufusi is a 6'6" defensive end who can be moved to outside linebacker or stay on the defensive line. His height is a component Baltimore hasn't had in its front seven in recent years.

In two days, Baltimore completed everything it needed to do but draft a wide receiver. Giving Joe Flacco one more target will complete the offense. Stanley will give Flacco time to throw, but Baltimore needs another weapon in the passing game.

The Ravens will be far from done on Saturday in the final four rounds, per ESPN.com's Adam Schefter:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Beware of Baltimore and Browns on Saturday: Ravens scheduled to have 5 fourth-round picks, Browns scheduled to have 4 fourth-round picks.

Each year, there's one team that flies under the radar with their draft selections. Baltimore not only addressed needs, but the Ravens bolstered their options in a huge way after three rounds. Expect them to grab a wide receiver in Day 3 to complete this impressive draft.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.