NFL Draft Grades 2018: Team-by-Team List of Scores and Overall Analysis

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 28, 2018

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26:  Saquon Barkley of Penn State poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #2 overall by the New York Giants during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The second day of the 2018 NFL draft is in the books. Interior linemen were popular early on, as four went within the first seven picks of the second round. 

Boston College edge-rusher Harold Landry, who amassed 16.5 sacks in 2016 and was projected by many to be a first-round pick, finally found a home with the Tennessee Titans. Other players ranked higher during the pre-draft process—such as Texas offensive lineman Connor Williams and LSU running back Derrius Guice—also landed in the second round.

Four rounds remain Saturday. Here's a look at the draft tracker, a grade for each team and some analysis focusing on the New York Giants' pick of Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and two of the best team drafts.

                

NFL Draft Tracker

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A Grades

Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins.

       

B Grades      

Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

       

C Grades

Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers.

       

D Grades

New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks.

            

The Saquon Barkley Debate

In the era of the hot take, it seems like there are two extreme stances in regard to running back Saquon Barkley's drafting by the New York Giants at second overall.

The first is that picking Barkley at No. 2 in a quarterback-driven league is too high, and with the Giants' Eli Manning now 37, Big Blue should have taken the opportunity to get a future franchise signal-caller, such as USC's Sam Darnold.

The second line of thought is that Barkley is so much better than anyone else in this draft and that taking the best player available to help the team win now at a position of need is the right approach.

Both arguments make sense. New Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, with media scrutiny surrounding his every move following a tumultuous 3-13 season, could easily have gone with Darnold and hope he wouldn't have to worry about quarterback until the mid-2030s.

But the bottom line is that Barkley is the best player in this draft, he instantly makes the team better and, from the reaction via Giants players on Twitter (e.g., wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.) and other team personnel, everyone in the building is on board. That's crucial for a locker room that dealt with much adversity and strife last year, which was the team's biggest problem last season.

Darnold is a New York Jet after Gang Green scooped him up at third overall, and their careers will forever be compared. The guess here is both shine in the Big Apple and that the picks work out for both sides. But the question is what the Giants do at quarterback when Manning is done.

            

The 2 Best Drafts Through 3 Rounds

The Indianapolis Colts came into the 2018 draft with a clear plan, and they have executed it to perfection. General manager Chris Ballard has restocked the trenches by picking up two fantastic guards (Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith) and taking two promising defensive linemen in Kemoko Turay and Tyquan Lewis.

South Carolina State linebacker Darius Leonard rounded out the Colts' top five, and he should help a defense that allowed 25.3 points per game last year, which ranked third-worst in the NFL.

The Colts still have four more picks, and it will be interesting to see which route they take Saturday. Presumably, they will be in the market for a running back and/or wide receiver with Frank Gore and Donte Moncrief heading to the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars, respectively. They could also continue to fortify the front seven, perhaps with another linebacker.

The other standout draft may well be the Cincinnati Bengals' efforts. They needed an offensive lineman early and got one of the best available in Ohio State's Billy Price. Then they worked to fortify a defense that faltered down the stretch last season, most notably in blowout losses to the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears.

With that, they took three players on defense. Safety Jessie Bates, linebacker Malik Jefferson and edge-rusher Sam Hubbard were all ranked in the top 53 of Matt Miller of Bleacher Report's big board (which you can view within the tracker above). Cincinnati ranked in the bottom half of the league in pass-defense and rush-defense efficiency, per Football Outsiders. Therefore, this trio will likely be counted upon to to make big contributions right away.

The Bengals aren't done yet, as they have seven more picks (including three in the fifth round). Keep an eye out for Cincinnati drafting a pass-catcher or two to complement star wideout A.J. Green.

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