2011 NFL Draft Grades: Detroit Lions Making Out Like Bandits

With two days and three rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft in the books, the Detroit Lions stand alone as the team that has improved the most thus far.

With three full rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft now completed, there is now an established rhyme and reason to most teams' selections over the first two days of the league's annual selection meeting. The draft will wrap up on Saturday afternoon with Rounds 4-7, but before that happens, let's flesh out the preliminary 2011 NFL Draft Grades we handed each team after Round 1.

These grades will account for the players selected, as well as trades made. Remember: C is average.

Arizona Cardinals: B-
The Cardinals have added three very solid prospects with their first three selections. What they have failed to do to this point is address either of their glaring weaknesses at quarterback and outside linebacker. This has been a slightly above-average weekend for Arizona, but their crippling weaknesses remain.

Picks: CB Patrick Peterson, RB Ryan Williams, TE Rob Housler

Atlanta Falcons: B-
Their huge sacrifice of five picks - including a 2012 first-rounder - to move up to get a star receiver may pay off immediately, but it's going to hurt a bit down the line regardless. The Falcons have, however, added two very good football players to their team.

Picks: WR Julio Jones, LB Akeem Dent

Baltimore Ravens: A-
It should come as no surprise that Ozzie Newsome has expertly addressed needs with top-of-the-board talent with each of his first three picks. This is one of my favorite draft classes thus far.

Picks: CB Jimmy Smith, WR Torrey Smith, OT Jah Reid

Buffalo Bills: B
Owners of the league's worst run defense, the Bills have taken initiative in getting bigger and tougher at all levels of their defense, all the while addressing depth and getting solid talent and value.

Picks: DE Marcell Dareus, CB Aaron Williams, LB Kelvin Sheppard

Carolina Panthers: C+
They took a risk on a boom-or-bust franchise QB prospect, then used two third-round picks to address a glaring need at defensive tackle. Needs-wise, this fits, but there are some risks with the first two players.

Picks: QB Cam Newton, DT Terrell McClain, DT Sione Fua

Chicago Bears: B+
The Bears have done an outstanding job thus far, nabbing two immediate starters on their lines and then adding one of my favorite safety prospects in the third round.

Picks: OT Gabe Carimi, DT Stephen Paea, S Chris Conte

Cincinnati Bengals: B+
Cincinnati may have had to reach a touch from a talent perspective to do it, but getting their franchise QB without moving up to do so was a win.

Picks: WR A.J. Green, QB Andy Dalton, LB Dontay Moch

Cleveland Browns: B
It's probably not what Browns fans were expecting, but Cleveland has moved to acquire picks, and then added three very good fits - two of which help their new 4-3 defense immediately.

Picks: DT Phil Taylor, DE Jabaal Sheard, WR Greg Little

Dallas Cowboys: B+
This has been a nice haul thus far for the Cowboys, who have added two outstanding athletes and a solid running back to bring more clarity to a crowded, diminishing backfield.

Picks: OT Tyron Smith, LB Bruce Carter, RB DeMarco Murray

Denver Broncos: B-
Denver has so many needs that they wouldn't have addressed them all at this point anyway, but you'd figure that within four quality players, one of them would be a DT. That's a huge need.

Picks: LB Von Miller, S Rahim Moore, OT Orlando Franklin, LB Nate Irving

Detroit Lions: A
Continuing their recent tradition of outstanding drafting, the Lions have added three immediate contributors at spots where their talent far exceeded the value. Job well done.

Picks: DT Nick Fairley, WR Titus Young, RB Mikel Leshoure

Green Bay Packers: B
Their second-day picks may not have filled huge need areas, but the Packers have added three excellent fits for their team and their systems. Nice haul to this point.

Picks: OT Derek Sherrod, WR Randall Cobb, RB Alex Green

Houston Texans: A-
In desperate need of improving their defense, the Texans have gotten new coordinator Wade Phillips three starters - one for every level of the unit.

Picks: DE J.J. Watt, LB Brooks Reed, CB Brandon Harris

Indianapolis Colts: A
This has been great work from Bill Polian, who has re-tooled his offensive line and finally found an impact player at defensive tackle.

Picks: OT Anthony Castonzo, OT Ben Ijalana, DT Drake Nevis

Jacksonville Jaguars: B+
It's tough to argue with the idea of stashing a talented quarterback for a year or two, and adding a high-upside, small-school guard prospect is just icing on the cake.

Picks: QB Blaine Gabbert, OG Will Rackley

Kansas City Chiefs: B-
My goodness, there is talent in this group. There is also a ton of risk. If three of these players pan out, the Chiefs will have had a great weekend, regardless of what they do Saturday.

Picks: WR Jon Baldwin, C Rodney Hudson, LB Justin Houston, DE Allen Bailey

Miami Dolphins: B-
They still don't have a franchise quarterback - they're certainly not alone there - but the Dolphins have addressed their biggest weakness, running the football. Nice commitment with these picks.

Picks: C Mike Pouncey, RB Daniel Thomas

Minnesota Vikings: B-
With only two picks in hand, the Vikings haven't had an opportunity to change a ton. They've still landed their franchise QB of choice and one of my favorite prospects in this year's class.

Picks: QB Christian Ponder, TE Kyle Rudolph

New England Patriots: B+
The Pats are doing their usual thing, picking up draft picks left and right and adding great fits. Their two third-round picks were sufficiently strange to keep this grade out of A range for now.

Picks: OT Nate Solder, CB Ras-I Dowling, RB Shane Vereen, RB Stevan Ridley, QB Ryan Mallett

New Orleans Saints: A
Nothing has changed for the Saints: after sacrificing a bit for a great haul on day one, the team added two talented, athletic players from a depth standpoint for Gregg Williams' defense.

Picks: DE Cameron Jordan, RB Mark Ingram, LB Martez Wilson, CB Johnny Patrick

New York Giants: B+
With each of their three picks, the Giants have added excellent value, better talent, and a player that should be able to come in and contribute immediately.

Picks: CB Prince Amukamara, DT Marvin Austin, WR Jerrel Jernigan

New York Jets: B+
It's sort of unfair that the Jets had two supremely talented (albeit raw) defensive linemen fall right into Rex Ryan's lap. There is a ton of promise with this class so far.

Picks: DT Muhammad Wilkerson, DT Kenrick Ellis

Oakland Raiders: C
All three of Oakland's picks are solid prospects that make them better, but all three feel like poor value picks, as well.

Picks: C Stefen Wisniewski, CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, OT Joseph Barksdale

Philadelphia Eagles: B-
This isn't a sexy draft class, by any means, but the Eagles are addressing needs and depth with quality prospects. Both defensive backs have considerable upside.

Picks: OG Danny Watkins, S Jaiquawn Jarrett, CB Curtis Marsh

Pittsburgh Steelers: B+
Expert drafters for years, the Steelers have added three excellent fits. The Gilbert pick is especially great, as it not only adds talent, but somehow achieves continuity (he's a former teammate of Maurkice Pouncey).

Picks: DE Cameron Heyward, OT Marcus Gilbert, CB Curtis Brown

St. Louis Rams: A-
All the Rams have done is add a potentially elite pass rusher and two consistent, underrated receiving targets for Sam Bradford. They're flying under the radar, but the Rams are doing a great job.

Picks: DE Robert Quinn, TE Lance Kendricks, WR Austin Pettis

San Diego Chargers: C+
I'm not seeing what the Chargers are seeing, I suppose. The two corners and the linebacker seem like reaches, and I'm still not sold on the Liuget fit. The receiver is, however, a perfect fit.

Picks: DE Corey Liuget, CB Marcus Gilchrist, LB Jonas Mouton, WR Vincent Brown, CB Shareece Wright

San Francisco 49ers: B
The 49ers have drafted for need, adding a high-upside pass rusher, a high-upside quarterback, and a high-upside cornerback. Solid work.

Picks: LB Aldon Smith, QB Colin Kaepernick, CB Chris Culliver

Seattle Seahawks: C
Clear owners of the most boring draft this year, the Seahawks' philosophy is sound. They needed to get tougher up front. But both players feel like slight reaches.

Picks: OG James Carpenter, OG John Moffitt

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: B+
Tampa Bay had the big storyline on day two adding Bowers, and they've gotten three excellent prospects. Medical concerns on the two ends keep this out of the A range.

Picks: DE Adrian Clayborn, DE Da'Quan Bowers, LB Mason Foster

Tennessee Titans: B-
I still think the Titans are walking a fine line with Locker - he needs a vet in front of him - but adding two instant-impact defenders was great work on day two.

Picks: QB Jake Locker, LB Akeem Ayers, DT Jurrell Casey

Washington Redskins: B+
The Redskins have done a great job acquiring more picks and getting value with their selections, as they, too, have come up with three players that should play right away.

Picks: LB Ryan Kerrigan, DE Jarvis Jenkins, WR Leonard Hankerson

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