Houston:
1st– J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin 9.0
2nd– Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona 8.5
2nd– Brandon Harris, CB, Miami 9.0
4th– Rashad Carmichael, CB, Virginia Tech 8.5
5th– Shiloh Keo, SS, Idaho 7.0
5th– T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina 7.0
7th– Derek Newton, OT, Arkansas State 7.0
7th– Cheta Ozougwu, OLB, Rice 7.5

Overall Grade: A

Analysis: I thought Houston had a great draft. I am a big fan of J.J. Watt and honestly I am high on the first four selections they bagged in this draft. I think J.J. Watt is a perfect fit for a 3-4 scheme as a DE and the Houston really needed a 3-4 DE, so getting a great player that fills a huge need is about as good as it gets. Brooks Reed gives them a pass rusher off the edge and he is a very good fit for the 3-4 scheme as an OLB. I thought Brandon Harris was a top 25 lock but getting him and then Carmichael in the 4th improves their entire defense. They got better on the defensive line, at the linebacker level and they drastically improved their group of cornerbacks. Between Kareem Jackson, Brandon Harris and Rashad Carmichael they have a lot of young talent at that position now. Keo is more of a back-up/special teams type, and Yates is a career back-up in my opinion, but I think Ozougwu has the potential to be a solid back-up in a 3-4 scheme.

Minnesota:
1st– Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State 8.0
2nd– Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame 8.0
4th– Christian Ballard, DT, Iowa 8.0
5th– Brandon Burton, CB, Utah 7.5
6th– DeMarcus Love, OT, Arkansas 7.5
6th– Mistral Raymond, S, South Florida 7.0
6th– Brandon Fusco, C, Slippery Rock 7.0
6th– Ross Homan, OLB, Ohio State 7.0
7th– D’Aundre Reed, DE, Arizona 8.0
7th– Stephen Burton, WR, West Texas A&M 7.0

Overall Grade: C+

Analysis: Ponder was a significant reach at #12 but if he is their quarterback and he pans out as a solid starter then it might be worth the pick, though it may never end up being a good value pick. Ponder has potential and I liked him as a late 1st round pick, but I was surprised by this selection. Rudolph was largely considered the #1 TE in the class but he had first round potential before his injury. It may not have been a huge need but it was still a good value pick. I personally would have picked Rahim Moore here considering their huge need for a safety, but that’s just me. Ballard is a pretty good value in round four. I’m not a big fan of Brandon Burton or DeMarcus Love, but in the 5th and 6th rounds they are merely depth additions with some upside. I like D’Aundre Reed though and he has upside, so grabbing him in the 7th round has the potential to be a steal.

Detroit:
1st– Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn 9.0

2nd– Titus Young, WR, Boise State 8.0
2nd– Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois 8.0
5th- Doug Hogue,LB, Syracuse 7.0
7th- Johnny Culbreath, OT, South Carolina State 7.0

Overall Grade: B+

Analysis: Detroit may not have had a lot of picks, but they made the most of them. Fairley was a terrific value at #13 overall and should help team with Ndamukong Suh to create a dynamic duo at defensive tackle for the Lions. Titus Young has a lot of speed to threaten down the seam for the Lions and might help draw some attention away from Calvin Johnson eventually. Mikel LeShoure has ability and in the late 2nd round area he was a solid value and should help provide more consistent production than Jahvid Best, allowing him to be a complementary 3rd down back.

St. Louis:
1 – Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina 8.5
2 – Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin 8.5
3 – Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State 6.0
4 – Greg Salas, WR, Hawaii 7.5
5 – Jermale Hines, S, Ohio State 7.5
7 – Mikail Baker, CB, Baylor 7.0
7 – Jabara Williams, LB, Stephen F. Austin 7.0
7 – Jonathon Nelson, S, Oklahoma 7.0

Overall Grade: B

Analysis: Quinn has a lot of potential as a RE, and Kendricks was my favorite TE in the draft. He was a great pick in the 2nd round, and should help give Bradford another reliable target to throw to. I don’t think Pettis has much upside at all but that’s just me. He also will struggle to separate in the NFL, so I question that pick. Salas strikes me as a reliable slot receiver, and the rest of their picks should be solid depth and special teamers at worst.

Miami:
1 – Mike Pouncey, OG,  Florida 6.5

2 – Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State 6.5
4 – Edmond Gates, WR, Abilene-Christian 7.5
6 – Charles Clay, FB, Tulsa 7.5
7 – Frank Kearse, NT, Alabama A&M 7.5
7 – Jimmy Wilson, CB, Montana 7.0

Overall Grade: C

Analysis: I thought the Dolphins had a pretty bad draft. Selecting Mike Pouncey #15 overall, even higher than Maurkice was selected last year (#17 overall) is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion, especially considering the fact that he is a poor drive blocker and his intangibles aren’t as impressive as Maurkice’s. I also don’t like Thomas much, he runs upright and is not nearly as physical as you might think considering his size. He is a finesse runner in a power back’s body. Gates has a lot of explosiveness because of his elite speed and might be able to provide them with some of what they were looking for from Ted Ginn years ago. Clay should be a pretty good FB for them, and Kearse is a big body that might pan out as a 3-4 NT.

Jacksonville:

1 – Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri 8.5
3 – Will Rackley, OG, Lehigh 8.5
4 – Cecil Shorts III, WR, Mount Union 8.0
4 – Chris Prosinski, S, Wyoming 7.0
5 – Rod Issac, S, Middle Tennessee State 7.0

Overall Grade: B

Analysis: Gabbert has a lot of upside and he landed in a very good situation in Jacksonville. With David Garrard still entrenched at quarterback he has time to get comfortable in the NFL, and he will need a year or two before he is ready to start. So landing on a team with a quarterback ready to start for another year or two is an ideal situation for him. I am very high on Will Rackley as well, and I think he will be a good addition to their offensive line. Cecil Shorts III has some potential as a slot receiver also.

Oakland:
2 – Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State 8.0
3 – DeMarcus Van Dyke, CB, Miami 5.0
3 – Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU 7.0
4 – Chimdi Chekwa, CB, Ohio State 7.5
4 – Taiwan Jones, RB, Eastern Washington 7.0
5 – Denarius Moore, WR, Tennessee 7.5
6 – Richard Godron, TE, Miami 7.0
7 – David Ausberry, RB, USC 7.0

Overall Grade: C+

Analysis: Oakland again had a sub-par draft in my opinion. Wisniewski has good potential as a C, but Van Dyke was severely overdrafted just because of his speed. I could not believe he went in the 3rd round. I would have had a hard time justifying selecting him in the 7th. Barksdale is a solid OT but he will have to play RT. Chekwa is another speed demon, same with Taiwan Jones and Denarius Moore, but I wonder how significant their impact will be.

New England:
1 – Nate Solder, OT, Colorado 7.0

2 – Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia 8.0
2 – Shane Vereen, RB, California 8.5
3 – Stevan Ridley, RB, LSU 8.5
3 – Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas 8.0
5 – Marcus Cannon, OG, TCU 8.5
5 – Lee Smith, TE, Marshall 7.5
6 – Markell Carter, OLB, Central Arkansas 7.0
7 – Malcolm Williams, S, TCU 7.0

Overall Grade: B+

Analysis: I thought Solder was overdrafted at #17 overall so it will be interesting to see if that pick pans out for the Patriots. I thought Dowling at #33 might be a bit high, but I really like Vereen and Ridley and they are bringing a lot of talent to the Patriots backfield. Mallett in round 3 was a very interesting pick in round 3 but he obviously has a ton of upside with limited risk. Cannon in round 5 is a great pick-up despite some of his health concerns as well.

San Diego:
1 – Corey Liuget, DE, Illinois 8.
2 – Marcus Gilchrist, CB, Clemson 7.5
2 – Jonas Mouton, LB, Michigan 8.0
3 – Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego State 8.5
3 – Shareece Wright, CB, USC 7.5
6 – Jordan Todman, RB, Connecticut 7.5
6 – Steve Schilling, OG, Michigan 7.5
7 – Andrew Gachkar, OLB, Missouri 7.0

Overall Grade: B

Analysis: Liuget should be a good pick at 3-4 DE and he definitely has upside. I’m not a big Gilchrist fan but he definitely has a nice combination of size and speed. Vincent Brown is one of my favorite picks in the 3rd round and I think he will have a more significant impact than people expect. He’s a very good route runner with great hands, so I really liked that pick. I was surprised Todman fell to the 6th, but with his speed and potential that could be a nice upside pick in the future.

New York Giants:
1 – Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska 8.5

2 – Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina 8.0
3 – Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy 8.5
4 – James Brewer, OT, Indiana 8.0
6 – Greg Jones, LB, Michigan State 8.0
6 – Tyler Sash, S, Iowa 7.5
6 – Jacquian Williams, LB, South Florida 7.0
7 – Da’Rel Scott, RB, Maryland 7.0

Overall Grade: B+

Analysis: The Giants stayed patient and ended up with a significant upgrade to the cornerback position with Amukamara, and they got a very talented defensive tackle in Marvin Austin in round two. He has a ton of potential but I am not sure he will ever reach it because of his attitude and work ethic. Jernigan is going to be a very dynamic slot receiver for the Giants in my opinion. Brewer has potential as a RT, Jones was a great value in round six. The rest are solid depth, though Sash has some upside.

Tampa Bay:
1 – Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa 8.0
2 – Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson 8.0
3 – Mason Foster, LB, Washington 8.5
4 – Luke Stocker, TE, Tennessee 8.5
5 – Ahmad Black, S, Florida 8.5
6 – Allen Bradford, RB, USC 7.5
7 – Anthony Gaitor, CB, Florida International 7.0
7 – Daniel Hardy, TE, Idaho 7.0

Overall Grade: B

Analysis: Clayborn and Bowers were two interesting additions to a defensive line with a couple of very talented defensive tackles. Foster has a lot of potential as well and getting him in round three was a great value in my opinion. Stocker has good potential too and he is a well-rounded TE. Black has great intangibles and while he doesn’t have elite size and athleticism he could very well plug the hole the Bucs have had at safety.

Thanks for reading! One more round of draft grades will be up in the next day or two and then I’ll have some names to look out for next year in two posts!

–Tom