The NFL Draft is over, and after months and months of speculating about which would be picked where and when, we can now speculate about who did a good job picking players. It's time for NFL Draft Grades!
SB Nation's staff went around the NFL and rounded up draft grades division-by-division to check out the winners and losers - here's a look at how teams did in the most important weekend of the NFL offseason.
The AFC East was sort of a mess: three days later, nobody has figured out why the Bills took E.J. Manuel, the Jets' late-round decisions went over poorly, and the Dolphins' choice to trade up for Dion Jordan was one of the most controversial in the entire draft. Maybe the Patriots are onto something by exclusively drafting Rutgers players? I don't know.
The Ravens followed up on a Super Bowl season with a draft where they picked up several nice defensive options - Matt Elam could fill in at safety with Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard moved on, and people had good vibes about the late-round selections of John Simon and Kapron Lewis-Moore. Meanwhile, nobody's really sure what's up with the Browns, who took a gamble on Barkevious Mingo early and reached a bunch late.
The Jaguars had a pretty intriguing draft, from top to bottom. Luke Joeckel might have been the best player in the draft, and they tabbed him at No. 2. And Denard Robinson and Ace Sanders were late-round playmakers that each earned praise. (Robinson also might be a better quarterback than Blaine Gabbert, but that's a story for another time.)
The Broncos, Raiders, and Chargers each nabbed late-round quarterbacks, while the Chiefs - now with Alex Smith in the fold - had a pretty middling draft after a well-received decision to select Eric Fisher with the No. 1 overall pick.
The NFC East had a pretty nice finish to the draft across the board: the Eagles intrigued with their decision to trade up to get Matt Barkley, not a guy who seems like a fit in a Chip Kelly offense, but after Kelly coached against him for four seasons, one imagines he's familiar. The Cowboys recovered from a confusing decision to trade up a center in the first round, the Redskins' late-round selection of a running back in Jawan Jamison went over well, and the Giants' decision to take Ryan Nassib as a backup quarterback turned heads, both in good ways and bad ones.
The Packers stayed winning by grabbing a pair of running backs who had successful college careers in Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, each of whom fell further than expected and will help out on a team that's typically depended on tons and tons of Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings and Lions each drafted punters in the fifth round, which, umm, okay, sure, I guess.
The Panthers had some hits - Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short should beef up their interior defensive line, and running back Kenjon Barner is a burner - and some misses - nobody, nobody had heard of guard Edmund Kugbila, even among draft experts, which generally isn't a good sign. Meanwhile, the Saints focused on their defensive line, but might have placed too much emphasis on it.
Did anybody not have an amazing draft in the NFC West? It seems every team had at least one player who should have gone much higher fall into their laps - for Seattle it was beastly defensive tackle Jesse Williams, for San Francisco it was injured superstar running back Marcus Lattimore, for St. Louis it was three-time national champion offensive lineman Barrett Jones, and for Arizona it was Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Swope.