clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015 NFL Draft grades: Who is acing the draft?

We're through 99 picks in the draft and the early – maybe too early – grades are in.

NFL Draft live coverage

It's true, you should wait three years before judging a draft class. But what fun is that? In three years, no one will care about what happened in this year's draft.

We're through three rounds in the 2015 NFL Draft, and it's easy to like what a lot of teams are doing. Some teams have found starters with all of their picks, and those are the teams that are getting the highest early grades.

Want more grades? Sure you do. We'll have another round at the conclusion of the draft tomorrow.

Arizona Cardinals

1 (24). D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida

2 (58). Markus Golden, DE/OLB, Missouri

3 (86). David Johnson, RB, Northern Iowa

The Cardinals smartly targeted their needs early in the draft, but still need to get a middle linebacker at some point. The Johnson pick came a little early, especially considering some of the other running backs available. But he's a weapon who is as comfortable lining up out wide as a receiver as he is in the backfield.

Overall grade: B

Atlanta Falcons

1 (8). Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

2 (42). Jalen Collins, CB, LSU

3 (73). Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana

The Falcons are doing a rebuild under new head coach Dan Quinn the exact right way. With their first three picks, the Falcons added impact players who perfectly fit the scheme. They're getting good value too -- Coleman in the third round was a great get. He should be able to take over the starting job as a rookie.

Overall grade: A-

Baltimore Ravens

1 (26). Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida

2 (55). Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota

3 (90). Carl Davis, DT, Iowa

Go figure. The Ravens find great value in the second and third rounds and add two potential starting players in Williams and Davis. The Ravens needed to add pass catchers, and they did that. They could still use a running back, but there are some good ones left over.

Overall grade: A-

Buffalo Bills

2 (50). Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State

3 (81). John Miller, G, Louisville

It wasn't a surprise that the Bills used one of their first two picks on a guard. It's a position of need for Buffalo and the team got a physical blocker in Miller. Darby was a solid choice in the second round. He's an athletic cornerback with upside.

Overall grade: B-

Carolina Panthers

1 (25). Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington

2 (41). Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan

Who is going to block for Carolina? That is by far the Panthers' biggest need, and I completely understand taking your best player available, but the issues there are obvious. It's hard to see them finding the solution at tackle with their remaining picks.

Overall grade: C+

Chicago Bears

1 (7). Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

2 (39). Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State

3 (71). Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon

In his first draft as general manager of the Bears, Ryan Pace is doing a good job filling needs. Grasu is the draft's best pure center, Goldman can provide disruption at nose tackle and White is a dynamic playmaker.

Overall grade: B+

Cincinnati Bengals

1 (21). Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M

2 (53). Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon

3 (85). Tyler Kroft, TE, Rutgers

3 (99). Paul Dawson, LB, TCU

The first two picks for Cincinnati were necessities with Ogbuehi and Fisher. That gives the Bengals their starting tackles of the future. The selection of Kroft in the third round was an average one. He was solid at Rutgers but had limited production and never caught a touchdown.

Overall grade: B-

Cleveland Browns

1 (12). Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

1 (19). Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State

2 (51). Nate Orchard, OLB, Utah

3 (77). Duke Johnson, RB, Miami

3 (96). Xavier Cooper, DT, Washington State

The Browns made four solid choices to start the draft, with Shelton obviously being the stand out. Johnson was something of a curious choice considering Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West looked good as rookies last season, but he's a great fit in Cleveland's offense. Moving back into the third for Cooper was decent. He's a good player, but how many snaps does he get for the Browns? This team continues ignoring wide receiver and it's baffling.

Overall grade: B-

Dallas Cowboys

1 (27). Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut

2 (60). Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

3 (91). Chaz Green, OT, Florida

The Cowboys took a stab at Gregory and we'll see if it works out. Jones is a much better corner than most seem to think, and it was decent value in the first round. The third round was early for Green, who is likely a backup early in his career, but he fits schematically.

Overall grade: B+

Denver Broncos

1 (23). Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

2 (59). Ty Sambrailo, OT, Colorado State

3 (92). Jeff Heuerman, TE, Ohio State

My dislike of the Ray pick in the first round may not be popular, but not every pick can garner high grades. I don't like the Sambrailo pick that much either, unless he can add some functional strength. Heuerman is a solid player who was probably underutilized in the passing game at Ohio State.

Overall grade: C+

Detroit Lions

1 (28). Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke

2 (54). Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska

3 (80). Alex Carter, CB, Stanford

The Lions have added three pro-ready picks in Tomlinson, Abdullah and Carter. I had Carter as a solid second-round choice, so there was some value in finding him at No. 80. His future could be at safety for the Lions. Tomlinson and Abdullah should both assume starting jobs, something you should want with your first two picks.

Overall grade: B

Green Bay Packers

1 (30). Damarious Randall, CB/S, Arizona State

2 (62). Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (OH)

3 (94) . Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford

It's a surprise that the Packers totally ignored inside linebacker with their first three picks of the draft. Randall and Rollins both make sense because the Packers lost some pieces in the secondary. Montgomery is a decent gadget player, but the lack of a linebacker thus far is confusing.

Overall grade: B-

Houston Texans

1 (16). Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

2 (43). Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State

3 (70). Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

Getting Strong in the third round was a steal for the Texans. After not initially liking the pick of McKinney in the second round, Strong was a great pick in the third. Johnson is a complete corner who will come in and take over a starting corner spot.

Overall grade: B+

Indianapolis Colts

1 (29). Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami

3 (65). D'Joun Smith, CB, Florida Atlantic

3 (93). Henry Anderson, DE, Stanford

From a system fit, Anderson is a great pick. He may not be able to play over the nose, but he'll help the Colts' run defense at end. I'm fine with the choice of Smith, even though No. 65 was a little early for him. The issue thus far is Indianapolis ignoring the offensive line and outside linebacker spots.

Overall grade: C

SB Nation presents: The Colts may regret their first pick

Jacksonville Jaguars

1 (3). Dante Fowler, DE/LB, Florida

2 (36). T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama

3 (67). A.J. Cann, G, South Carolina

It's hard to dislike what the Jaguars are doing considering that they likely got three starters with their first three picks in the draft. I still think a different running back would have been a better choice than Yeldon, but it's something of an interchangeable position. Getting Cann in the third round was a total steal.

Overall grade: B+

Kansas City Chiefs

1 (18). Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

2 (49). Mitch Morse, OL, Missouri

3 (76). Chris Conley, WR, Georgia

3 (98). Steven Nelson, CB, Oregon State

I'm not a fan of the Morse pick – it feels like it could have happened a round or more later. But I like the other three selections. Nelson is an ideal slot corner and Peters is obviously a talented shutdown player on the outside. The Conley pick is intriguing. I didn't have him rated that high, but he's someone I started to like more and more as we got closer to the draft. His big-play potential is high.

Overall grade: B-

Miami Dolphins

1 (14). DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

2 (52). Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma

Don't forget when figuring out this grade to factor in Miami trading its third-round pick for Kenny Stills, a starting wide receiver. Parker and Phillips can both be impact players for Miami.

Overall grade: A-

Minnesota Vikings

1 (11). Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

2 (45). Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA

3 (88). Danielle Hunter, OLB, LSU

The third round was the right range to take Hunter, a long pass rusher who is raw. The big negative here is a lack of a wide receiver in the first three picks. Kendricks was as good of a choice as there was in the second round.

Overall grade: B-

New England Patriots

1 (32). Malcom Brown, DT, Texas

2 (64). Jordan Richards, S, Stanford

3 (97). Geneo Grissom, OLB/DE, Oklahoma

It's hard to get excited about New England's picks after the first round. Richards and Grissom are considered reaches by almost everyone. The Patriots have seven Day 3 picks, so don't be surprised if they turn this around.

Overall grade: C-

New Orleans Saints

1 (13). Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

1 (31). Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson

2 (44). Hau'oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington

3 (75). Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State

3 (78). P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State

The picks of Anthony, Kikaha and Grayson all seemed to come a tinge early. Anthony and Kikaha should both find playing time early, but Grayson is obviously a stash-and-pray selection. But when you factor in the Williams choice, this draft gets a boost. I thought Williams was a fringe first-round pick, so if you slide the three players in front of him down, it makes more sense.

Overall grade: B-

New York Giants

1 (9). Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami

2 (33). Landon Collins, S, Alabama

3 (74). Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA

The Giants rebounded nicely after a questionable first-round pick in Flowers. It was theft to get Collins in the second round and Odighizuwa in the third. Odighizuwa is a good system fit for the Giants and will be a player who can get after the passer and play the run.

Overall grade: B-

New York Jets

1 (6). Leonard Williams, DT, USC

2 (37). Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State

3 (82). Lorenzo Mauldin, DE/OLB, Louisville

Initially I didn't like the pick of Williams in the first round. He just doesn't fill a need at all for the Jets. Their next two picks were solid choices of value that fill needs. Mauldin is an end who just gets the job done. Smith is a speed option at wide receiver.

Overall grade: B+

Oakland Raiders

1 (4). Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

2 (35). Mario Edwards, DE, Florida State

3 (68). Clive Walford, TE, Miami

It was imperative the Raiders get help for quarterback Derek Carr, and that's what they did with two of their first three picks in the draft. Cooper is the big-play threat and Walford is a safety checkdown with better athleticism than you'd expect. The head scratcher is Edwards, an odd second-round pick when a bunch more highly rated defensive ends were available.

Overall grade: B

Philadelphia Eagles

1 (20). Nelson Agholor, WR, USC

2 (47). Eric Rowe, S/CB, Utah

3 (84). Jordan Hicks, LB, Texas

The Eagles may not have been able to make the blockbuster move at the top of the draft, but Chip Kelly played his first two picks smart. Rowe will be an impact player in the secondary. Agholor was a good choice in the first. Hicks, a blue-chip high school recruit, came off the board a little earlier than expected. His issue has been staying healthy.

Overall grade: B

Pittsburgh Steelers

1 (22). Alvin Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky

2 (56). Senquez Golson, CB, Ole Miss

3 (87). Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn

Coates is similar in a lot of ways to Martavis Bryant. He has everything physically but he'll have issues dropping the ball. Pick No. 56 was early for Golson, but it's understandable because he goes after the ball and will make plays. Dupree obviously was a crazy value pick in the first round.

Overall grade: B

San Diego Chargers

1 (15). Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

2 (48). Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami

3 (83). Craig Mager, CB, Texas State

Gordon and Perryman were both excellent picks for the Chargers. They'll be productive early in their careers and had good value where they were picked. Mager was drafted early at No. 83, but he has good tools.

Overall grade: B+

San Francisco 49ers

1 (17). Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon

2 (46). Jaquiski Tartt, S, Samford

3 (79). Eli Harold, DE/OLB, Virginia

The Niners needed to rebuild their defense, and that's what they're doing. The pick of Harold was a nice one in the third round. He looks like a lesser version of Aldon Smith, and should be a good player if he gets stronger. Armstead is still a project player and Tartt is solid second-round choice.

Overall grade: B-

Seattle Seahawks

2 (63). Frank Clark, DE, Michigan

3 (69). Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State

I love the Lockett pick, especially if there are long-term questions about Paul Richardson's health. Lockett can get it done on special teams, gets open with his speed and is generally one of the better people in the draft. Lockett is a perfect fit for Seattle. Clark is a good fit too, but from a character standpoint, taking him in the second round is concerning.

Overall grade: C

St. Louis Rams

1 (10). Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

2 (57). Rob Havenstein, OT, Wisconsin

3 (72). Jamon Brown, OT/G, Louisville

3 (89). Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State

The Rams are making a statement this offseason. Clearly they want to be built around running the football on offense, and they're doing that here. Havenstein and Brown are both power blockers who should make an impact. I just thought each of them could be found at least a round later. Gurley is obviously a star in the making.

Overall grade: C+

SB Nation presents: Top pick Todd Gurley is a bad fit for the Rams

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1 (1). Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

2 (34). Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State

2 (61). Ali Marpet, G, Hobart

After taking Winston first overall, the Buccaneers are making the right moves by fixing their offensive line. Although Smith and Marpet were picked higher than I graded them, their scheme fits are spot on. If they can find a pass rusher of some sort on Day 3, this will be one of the better drafts any team makes.

Overall grade: B+

Tennessee Titans

1 (2). Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

2 (40). Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri

3 (66). Jeremiah Poutasi, OT, Utah

It feels like in three years the Titans' grade will be truly determined by how well Green-Beckham turns out to be. Mariota is obviously a good pick at the top of the draft and Poutasi is a rock solid third-round choice. But it's DGB who is the swing player for this class.

Overall grade: B+


1 (5). Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

2 (38). Preston Smith, OLB/DE, Mississippi State

3 (95). Matt Jones, RB, Florida

Washington did well with its first two picks, and the choice of Smith is especially savvy. Jones looks like a solid backup, but taking a backup in the third round is puzzling. Washington needs to find some secondary pieces and thus far it has not.

Overall grade: B-