2018 NFL Draft Grades: Team-by-Team Letter Marks After Rounds 1-3 Results

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 28, 2018

Commissioner Roger Goodell, left, presents Louisville's Lamar Jackson with his Baltimore Ravens jersey during the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The immediate reaction to the selections by the 32 franchises in the 2018 NFL draft could be completely different from the actual evaluations done in the future.

All we know after the first three rounds is what positional needs the teams filled and the potential of the 100 players drafted so far in Arlington, Texas.

While perspective is key when breaking down the draft picks hours and days after they occur, there are a few teams who appeared to win the first three rounds.

On the other side of the coin, some franchises didn't have a great Thursday and Friday, but our opinions could change on that once the season begins.


NFL Draft Tracker


Team-by-Team Letter Marks

Arizona Cardinals: A- 

Atlanta Falcons: B-

Baltimore Ravens: A+

Buffalo Bills: A-

Carolina Panthers: B

Chicago Bears: A-

Cincinnati Bengals: B-

Cleveland Browns: A

Dallas Cowboys: B

Denver Broncos: B+

Detroit Lions: B-

Green Bay Packers: A-

Houston Texans: C

Indianapolis Colts: B

Jacksonville Jaguars: B+

Kansas City Chiefs: C

Los Angeles Chargers: B-

Los Angeles Rams: C-

Miami Dolphins: B+

Minnesota Vikings: B-

New England Patriots: B+

New Orleans Saints: B-

New York Giants: A-

New York Jets: B+

Oakland Raiders: C-

Philadelphia Eagles: B

Pittsburgh Steelers: A

Seattle Seahawks: C+

San Francisco 49ers: B+

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: B+

Tennessee Titans: A-

Washington Redskins: B+



Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome is going to walk away proud of his final draft in charge of the franchise.

Newsome added a pair of weapons at tight end in first-round pick Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews in the third round.

The most impressive move from the Ravens front office was the maneuver to trade back into the first round to select quarterback Lamar Jackson at No. 32.

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 30: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Louisville Cardinals looks to pass while under pressure from Willie Gay Jr. #6 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the TaxSlayer Bowl at EverBank Field on December 30, 2017 in Jacksonville, Flor
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Jackson might not start right away, but he puts pressure on starting quarterback Joe Flacco and receives an opportunity to hone his skills before taking over in two or three years.

The Ravens also got a steal at No. 83 in offensive tackle Orlando Brown, who dropped on many draft boards after a poor combine.

Despite the rough performance in Indianapolis, Brown has the skill set to be a difference-maker on the offensive line for years to come.

Although taking a pair of tight ends in the first three rounds is odd, the picks help the Ravens offensively, and they have plenty of selections left to add a wide receiver with seven picks on Day 3, including a trio in the fourth round.


Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers made it clear what their draft strategy was from the start by taking cornerback Jaire Alexander at No. 18.

New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine added two more pieces to his unit with cornerback Josh Jackson at No. 45 and linebacker Owen Burks at No. 88.

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Although it may not be ideal in the eyes of some to take two players at the same position with a first-and-second pick, the Packers brought in two defensive backs with first-round talent.

With the addition of Alexander and Jackson through the draft and Tramon Williams through free agency, the Packers shored up a weakness from a year ago.

Now that the defensive needs are filled, the Packers have picks at their disposal to bring in more weapons for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

With eight selections over four rounds on Day 3, the Packers could package some together in an attempt to go after someone like Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton, or a running back like Arizona State's Kalen Ballage who could play a role similar to the one Ty Montgomery occupies.


New York Giants

There's a decent chance the New York Giants don't pick at the top of each round in 2019 given the improvements they made to their roster.

Running back Saquon Barkley is going to be a Rookie of the Year candidate as a complement to quarterback Eli Manning and the passing game.

Guard Will Hernandez should provide more protection for Manning to hit wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard, as well as tight end Evan Engram.

Linebacker Lorenzo Carter got overshadowed by Roquan Smith at Georgia, but he was as important of a piece to the Bulldogs reaching the National Championship as the No. 8 overall pick.

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

B.J. Hill might have suffered from the same at NC State with No. 5 overall selection Bradley Chubb on the same defensive line, but he should be another value pick worth praising.

Bringing in four quality contributors over the first two days of the draft was crucial for the Giants, who will be largely inactive with two picks on Day 3.


Oakland Raiders

The first draft of the new Jon Gruden era in Oakland wasn't exactly welcomed with praise.

Oakland selected a pair of offensive linemen, a defensive tackle and a troublesome defensive end with its first four selections.

Kolton Miller felt like a reach at No. 15 with offensive linemen Frank Ragnow, Billy Price, Isaiah Wynn and Austin Corbett still on the board.

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The Raiders could've filled another need and waited to take an offensive tackle in the second round, but instead, Gruden left the first three rounds with two potential anchors to his line with Miller and third-round selection Brandon Parker.

Taking P.J. Hall in the second round felt a bit odd as well given his profile from an FCS school in Sam Houston State.

Linebacker Arden Key fell in the draft due to character concerns, but that didn't stop the Raiders from selecting the LSU product.

Gruden provided a stern response to all the criticism at the end of Friday's action, per Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Michael Gehlken @GehlkenNFL

Don't like the Raiders' draft? Jon Gruden has 217 words for you. First round: UCLA OT Kolton Miller Second: Sam Houston St. DT P.J. Hall Third: North Carolina A&T OT Brandon Parker; LSU DE Arden Key; Steelers WR Martavis Bryant https://t.co/tnf5BRNzHs

When we're able to properly evaluate Oakland's draft class in a year or two, our opinion could change, but right now, the best move made by the team will most likely be the trade that brought in wide receiver Martavis Bryant from Pittsburgh. 


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