Grading the MTD community mock draft picks

Al Bello

Over the course of more than 2,000 comments, the fine readers of SB Nation's NFL Draft coverage slogged their way through three rounds of a community mock draft last Saturday.

Thanks to everyone who joined either as a team representative or was just there to follow along. Special thanks to TheDUCKin'Noles10 who ran a third round after I had to leave. If you want to see that third round, click here. Unfortunately, this is the last community mock draft I'll be doing this year. There's just not enough time to do one more.

However! If you missed out or just want to take part in another community mock draft, I urge you to sign up for the one over at Turf Show Times. It takes place April 23 and 24. Click here for all the details.

Now, onto the action. If there's anything worse than grading actual NFL Draft choices, it's grading mock draft choices. And that's what I did. Don't get too offended and don't look too much into things. If you're offended by the grade I gave your team or the picks that were made, grow up. It's just a mock draft. I did the grading as fast as possible.

(Wondering why a picture of Shea McClellin? Why not?)

Buffalo Bills

8. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
41. Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
71. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
Grade: B-
Explanation: I wasn't incredibly high on the Austin choice with the eighth overall pick in the draft. He's somewhat of a one-dimensional speed receiver with a small catch radius. Nassib was a good choice for a developmental quarterback, and Mathieu is a boom or bust choice. How wise it for a non-playoff team to risk a third-round pick?

Miami Dolphins

12. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
42. Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas Pine-Bluff
54. Kyle Long, G/OT, Oregon
77. Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State
82. Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
Grade: A
Explanation: The Dolphins rep got lucky when Floyd dropped down the first round. By the 12th pick, it was a no-brainer despite it not filling a big need for Miami. The offensive line pieces are solid, Slay could be a good No. 2 cornerback and Kelce is an intriguing tight end, as long as he can stay healthy.

New England Patriots

29. Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
59. Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
91. Jodan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
Grade: A
Explanation: This draft filled the Patriots' three biggest needs, and did so with a trio of talented players. To get a cornerback of Poyer's talent deep in the third round is downright criminal.

New York Jets

9. Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
39. Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
72. Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
Grade: B+
Explanation: The Warmack choice was a smart one, as was Lacy. Both would be starters. Ryan was a solid third-round choice, but the Jets would still need a pass rusher.

Baltimore Ravens

32. Manti Te'o, MLB, Notre Dame
62. Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
94. Duke Williams, S, Nevada
Grade: C+

Explanation: Bailey and Williams were slight reaches were they were taken. Te'o is the player that would make the biggest impact out of these three picks.

Cincinnati Bengals

21. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
37. Gio Bernard, RB, North Carolina
53. Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers
84. Jonathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
Grade: B
Explanation: Doubling up on running backs was a little strange, but Bernard and Franklin are good ones. Hopkins would be a fine addition as AJ Green's foil and Greene could push for playing time. This doesn't get a higher grade because there is still a hole at safety.

Cleveland Browns

6. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
68. Vance McDonald, TE, Rice
Grade: C
Explanation: For the sake of posterity, I made the first choice, but not the second. Milliner would be a rookie starter. McDonald is a little bit of a project coming out of Rice's triple-option offense. It's a need, certainly, but how big of an impact would he make as a rookie?

Pittsburgh Steelers

17. Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
48. Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall
79. Shawn Williams, S, Georgia
Grade: B
Explanation: Brown and Dobson are exciting playmakers, which the Steelers need on both sides of the ball. How they'd fit in Pittsburgh schemes is a little unclear. Pittsburgh often prefers more physical linebacker and Brown is more athletic. Just they opposite, they prefer athletic receivers and Dobson is more physical.

Houston Texans

27. Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
57. Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech
89. Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse

95. Sio Moore, OLB, Connecticut
Grade: B
Explanation: Jones opposite JJ Watt would be scary, but what happens to the very capable Antonio Smith? Rogers is a risk, but could pay off big. Thomas is a solid coverage safety. But where is the middle linebacker? Moore isn't it.

Indianapolis Colts

24. Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
86. Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M
Grade: A-
Explanation: This draft gets an A solely for stealing Mingo with the 24th overall pick. Seriously, everyone, how did he fall that far? Swope probably wouldn't be anything more than a third wide receiver behind Reggie Wayne and TY Hilton.

Jacksonville Jaguars

2. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
33. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
64. Zac Dysert, QB, Miami (OH)
Grade: C+
Explanation: Ansah with the second overall pick in the draft was a real head scratcher. Good enough player, but not good enough for the second pick in the draft. Fluker was a nice pickup at the top of the second and Dysert is decent. The idea of him going to Jacksonville being the gospel is getting a little annoying.

Tennessee Titans

10. Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
40. Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
70. Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, Connecticut
97. Jon Bostic, ILB, Florida
Grade: A
Explanation: The first three picks would immediately be starters for the Titans. Bostic could come along, though he may be more of a backup in the NFL.

Denver Broncos

28 Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
58. John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
90. David Quessenberry, OT, San Jose State
Grade: B
Explanation: Moore would be a replacement for Elvis Dumervil, Jenkins could get worked into the line rotation and Quessenberry provides nice depth. Still, why no middle linebacker?

Kansas City Chiefs

1. Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
63. EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State
96. Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin
Grade: B+
Explanation: Joeckel was the obvious choice. Manuel is a solid developmental quarterback and Frederick should push for playing time as a rookie.

Oakland Raiders

3. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
66. Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State
Grade: B
Explanation: I'm starting to warm to Lotulelei over Sharrif Floyd for the Raiders. Al Davis would have loved Mike Glennon's arm, so at least there's that.

San Diego Chargers

11. Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
45. Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
76. Justin Pugh, G/T, Syracuse
Grade: A
Explanation: Despite it not being a "sexy" draft, I like these choices for the Chargers. Johnson and Pugh could probably both start on that offensive line and Taylor would quickly become a good No. 2 cornerback.

Dallas Cowboys

18. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
47. Larry Warford, G, Kentucky
80. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State
Grade: A-
Explanation: If the Cowboys miss out on Jonathan Cooper and Chance Warmack, there's nothing wrong with "settling" on Warford. Richardson would speed up the team's transition to a 4-3 and Bell could be a solid big back.

New York Giants

19. Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
49. Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
81. Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State
Grade: B+
Explanation: These picks certainly fill some needs, though I'm unsure of how Williams fits on a 4-3 team. Wheaton would provide nice depth and speed at wide receiver.

Philadelphia Eagles

4. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
35. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
67. Barrett Jones, C/G, Alabama
Grade: A-
Explanation: When Ansah went second overall, I figured this would be the landing spot for Smith. Sitting for a year could be good for him. Hankins has the size Chip Kelly likes on defense. Jones is the kind of smart lineman the interior line.

Washington Redskins

51. DJ Swearinger, S, South Carolina
85. Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State
Grade: B
Explanation: Well, this certainly fills Washington's biggest need. Swearinger could even play some corner for them, if needed.

Chicago Bears

20. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
50. Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
Grade: B-
Explanation: Werner would pair fine with Shea McClellin and Watson would continue to help bolster the offensive line. Not addressing middle linebacker or tight end, though, is risky.

Detroit Lions

5. Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
36. Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
65. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Grade: A
Explanation: Remember when Sam Montgomery was a top-15 pick? So obviously this has good value, as long as he's giving up on the field. Fisher obviously fills the hole left by Jeff Backus. Banks could help the secondary straight away.

Green Bay Packers

26. Matt Elam, S, Packers
55. Kevin Minter, MLB, LSU
88. TJ McDonald, S, Southern California
Grade: F+
Explanation: Ugh. Here's the problem with community mock drafts. You have to ask people to sign up and hope they do. Then hope they bother to show up. It can be hard to be picky because you might not be able to fill out all 32 teams otherwise. We don't happen to get a lot of Packers fans in these parts, so they're often hard to fill. But boy do they like ripping the picks after the fact. (I see you Acme Packing Co.) Maybe the ripping was done justly. The Elam pick was done off a big board the Packers rep sent. It's decent but a reach with the 26th pick. Minter is probably the best choice of the three. Drafting a second safety was just foolish.

Minnesota Vikings

23. Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
25. Alec Ogletree, MLB, Georgia
52. Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
83. Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
Grade: A+
Explanation: From a pure talent standpoint, no one did better in this community mock draft than the Vikings. They get two starting-caliber wide receivers if Greg Jennings flops, youth and athleticism at linebacker and a starting cornerback. Not bad.

Atlanta Falcons

30. Alex Okafor, OLB, Texas
60. Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Miss
92. Bennie Logan, DT, LSU
Grade: B
Explanation: I assume Okafor would play defensive end. This is a little early for him, but it's a need. This was a smart way to add talent to the defensive front seven – the Falcons' biggest need.

Carolina Panthers

14. Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
44. Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Grade: C
Explanation: Cyprien going this early was a little bizarre. His value starts more in the pick 18 range. Short is solid, but runs hot and cold.

New Orleans Saints

15. Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
75. Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern
Grade: B-
Explanation: If the Saints add a player like Vaccaro, what happens to Malcolm Jenkins? Williams is a decent enough player, but it's always tough to tell which small schoolers will make an impact in the NFL.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

13. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
43. Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
73. Corey Lemonier, DE/OLB, Auburn
Grade: A-
Explanation: Rhodes and Ertz were stellar choices. Both were good value and big needs. Lemonier was a nice pickup in the third round, but I don't think he can play end in a 4-3 in the NFL.

Arizona Cardinals

7. Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon
38. Matt Barkley, QB, Southern California
69. Dallas Thomas, G, Tennessee
Grade: B
Explanation: I know I made the Barkley choice, but don't recall if I did Jordan. This was done before the Carson Palmer deal. I still like Barkley's fit there. The amount of vertical throws in Bruce Arians' offense is a little overblown. Presumably the gang running the mock gave them Thomas, who is a good need fit.

St. Louis Rams

16. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
22. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
46. Robert Woods, WR, Southern California
78. Baccari Rambo, S, Georgia
Grade: B+
Explanation: Patterson obviously is a great choice and Jones was a solid value selection at 22. Doubling up on wide receivers was a little odd, only because the Rams did that last year. Woods, though, has great hands and runs clean routes. Rambo would be a serviceable safety in the deep middle.

San Francisco 49ers

31. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
34. Eric Reid, S, LSU
61. David Amereson, CB, North Carolina State
74. Brandon Jenkins, OLB, Florida State
93. Maliciah Goodman, DE, Clemson
Grade: B
Explanation: Eifert and Vernon Davis would give the 49ers arguably the best tight end combo in the NFL, right up there with the Patriots. Reid and Amerson were good pieces for an average secondary. Jenkins is a talented player that could be stashed away for a year on IR. Goodman could be worked into an end role because of his length. Solid choices, though maybe not big impact players.

Seattle Seahawks

56. Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
87. Alvin Bailey, G, Arkansas
Grade: C
Explanation: Just how many defensive linemen does one team need? That's good value for Williams, but I doubt he'd get a lot of playing time. Bailey is a decent player, but nothing great.

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