We're through three rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft, and while the names weren't quite as big on Day 2, the takes weren't any less scorching. Teams were in turn praised and torched for their selections in Rounds 2 and 3, and we've compiled the draft grades of several major outlets so you can know exactly which players will be superstars and which will be epic busts. This is guaranteed to hold true over the next four or five years. No doubt about it.
The Raiders aren't screwing things up
Don't look now, but the Oakland Raiders are putting together one of the best drafts of the weekend. After grabbing linebacker Khalil Mack in the first round, they added quarterback Derek Carr and offensive guard Gabe Jackson on Day 2, filling key areas of need with value picks. Both SB Nation and NFL.com have the Raiders as one of the top winners from Friday.
Reaction to Picks
Jimmy Garoppolo is a great/awful pick
You are required to either love the New England Patriots using a second round pick on a quarterback or hate it -- there simply is no middle ground. Some are lauding former Eastern Illinois passer Jimmy Garoppolo as the heir apparent to Tom Brady, who will be 41 by the time Garoppolo's rookie contract is out. The critics, whose number includes SBN's Matthew Fairburn, point to a pair of problems: Garoppolo was a reach at No. 62 overall, and the Pats already have 2011 third-round selection Ryan Mallett on the roster. Not that Garoppolo minds; he just walked into one of the easiest gigs in the league.
SB Nation: C
CBS Sports: C-
NFL.com: "Good job, good effort"
ESPN: "Thumbs up"
Pete Prisco thinks running backs are the devil
Through 53 picks, not a single running back was taken -- then the flood gates opened. Eight rushers were drafted in the second and third rounds, and Pete Prisco of CBS Sports was NOT happy about it.
Prisco gave no higher than a C+ to any of the backs chosen. That didn't seem to be a knock against the ability of any of the individual players, but a menacing hatred of the position at large. His analysis of the Tennessee Titans picking Bishop Sankey about sums it up: "They get a replacement for Chris Johnson, and he's a versatile back who can factor in the passing game. But, he is a back."
SB Nation: B average for teams that drafted a RB
CBS Sports: C average
NFL.com: 2 "passed with flying colors," 5 "GM gets a sticker," 1 "good job, good effort"
ESPN: All eight teams that took a RB got "thumbs up"
Panthers get a steal in Kony Ealy
Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy was a guy many believed was a first round prospect, so the Carolina Panthers scooping him up with the 28th pick of the second round has been looked at as one of best value picks of the draft so far. The only knock against Carolina here is that they already have two strong edge rushers in Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson, an issue that Prisco deemed serious enough to grade the pick a D. But with Hardy under a franchise tag, there's no guarantee that he'll be back in 2015, and in today's NFL you can't have too many edge rushers anyway.
SB Nation: Panthers get B- for overall draft
CBS Sports: D
NFL.com: "Good fit, good pick"
ESPN: "Thumbs up"
The worst of the worst
SB Nation: Patriots selecting DT Dom Easley and QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Grade: C
The Easley pick was a good one at the end of the first round, but drafting Jimmy Garoppolo seems like a mistake. It was too early for a player with as many flaws as he has.
CBS Sports: Tie between Panthers selecting DE Kony Ealey and New York Jets selecting CB Dexter McDougle. Grades: D
This is a strange pick for a team that has two good edge rushers with so many needs. Dave Gettleman is following the Giants way, but come on.
The Jets need corner help, but this is high for McDougle. He is a smaller corner at 5-foot-10, but this seems like a reach.
On Buffalo (drafted WR Sammy Watkins, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, LB Preston Brown):
Again, the Bills paid way too much to move up in the first round for Watkins, but they're out of the basement with the addition of Kouandjio. The Alabama tackle fell because of injury concerns, but Buffalo doesn't mind with a great value at No. 44. Basically, the draft got stronger for the team as it went on, and the Bills also got a nice pickup in Brown.
On Washington (drafted LB Trent Murphy, OT Morgan Moses, OG Spencer Long):
Well, Washington did move back and fleeced the Cowboys out of a third-round pick, but it was a reach to get Murphy, especially with an offensive lineman like Cyrus Kouandjio available. They did get a steal in Moses in the third round, however, and he could slide in at right tackle. Long had an up-and-down season last year but adds even more depth.
On Green Bay (drafted WR Davante Adams, DT Khyri Thornton, TE Richard Rodgers):
While the pick of Adams in the second round could be another in a long line of Ted Thompson success stories with second-round receivers, he appeared to reach for Thornton and Rodgers in the third round. Both may have been available on Day 3.
On Houston (drafted OG Xavier Su'a-Filo, TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, DT Louis Nix III):
This thumbs down is under protest as it has nothing to do with the three players the Texans drafted today. They all are good players who could have important roles in the Texans' future. But ... THEY STILL NEED A QUARTERBACK.