The first round of the 2015 NFL Draft is over, and the grades can't be decided fast enough. Some teams -- notably many at the top of the draft -- aced their selections while a few teams made questionable picks late in the first round.
These grades were decided on a number of factors: Relative value, need, system fit, risk and potential were the chief factors that went into the grades. Some of the grades were made dependent on teams making picks later in the draft that better fill needs, relative of course to value.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
The obvious choice happened, and it's what the Buccaneers needed to do. The team has never had a franchise quarterback, and Winston has a chance to be that player. He's a classic pocket passer with size and arm strength. From a football intelligence standpoint, he's ready to go. But there is some risk because he'll throw the ball into double coverage or fail to recognize defensive backs underneath. You also can't totally ignore Winston's off-field transgressions.
2. Tennessee Titans - Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
There's no reason that the Titans should have passed on Mariota in favor of Zach Mettenberger, a sixth-round pick in last year's draft. The issue for the Titans is having to adjust their offense for Mariota's skill set. Is that something head coach Ken Whisenhunt is willing to do? If not, how long will it take for Mariota to get on the field? And will Mariota be able to fix the fumbling issue he had at Oregon? Obviously Mariota is a highly talented player, but those are lot of questions for the No. 2 pick in the draft.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida
There was some thought late that the Jaguars would go after a player who wasn't a pass rusher, but that turned out not to be the case. The Jaguars' biggest need in the draft was someone to play Leo and that's what they get in Fowler. He's a player who can be moved around and someone head coach Gus Bradley will know how to utilize. Fowler is the type of pick who will help all areas of Jacksonville's defense.
4. Oakland Raiders - Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Throughout the entire process, it was apparent that the Raiders needed to add a No. 1 wide receiver to go along with blossoming quarterback Derek Carr. Cooper is the best wide out in the draft, so it absolutely makes sense to grab him at No. 4. Cooper is a wide receiver who can do it all. Why not an "A" then? Leonard Williams fills another big need for Oakland and is the top player in the draft.
5. Washington - Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
Scherff is one of the biggest and meanest players in this year's draft. Putting him on a line with Trent Williams is scary, whether Scherff is playing guard or offensive tackle. But do you take a guard with the fifth overall pick in the draft? If Scherff can't stick on the outside, it's hard to be totally enamored with this selection. Still, it's hard to knock a player who will help keep Robert Griffin III upright.
6. New York Jets - Leonard Williams, DT, Southern California
With this pick the Jets now have an unstoppable defensive line that will strike fear in the hearts of quarterbacks. This could have been copied and pasted from when the Jets picked Sheldon Richardson in the first round of the 2013 draft. Look, Williams is the best player in the draft and it was a surprise he was available at No. 6. But even if Muhammad Wilkerson is traded, how much better is Williams making New York?
7. Chicago Bears - Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
When the Bears dumped Brandon Marshall, it was obvious they needed to upgrade at the wide receiver position. White is the right direction to take with the seventh pick in the draft, though there are some issues with his game. His route running needs improved and he enters the NFL with just one season of good play in college.
SB Nation presents: Why did the Bears pick Kevin White
8. Atlanta Falcons - Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
Beasley was a sensation at Clemson, totaling 33 sacks and 52.5 tackles for loss in four seasons, and he'll be one in Dan Quinn's defense in Atlanta. The Falcons desperately needed to improve their pass rush and Beasley was the best edge player available. Beasley will make an impact even if he starts his career as a pass rush specialist. Still, the knock on Beasley is his play against the run. Will he be a detriment in that area in the NFL? That's why this pick gets downgraded slightly.
9. New York Giants - Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
The only reason this grade is this high is because Flowers is a perfect scheme fit in New York. He's a power blocker who could stick at left tackle or even work at right tackle for the Giants. Still, this is really high for a player who has struggled at times in pass protection and is raw in his technique. Giants general manager Jerry Reese always hammers home the best player available point, and it's hard to see Flowers being that at pick No. 9.
10. St. Louis Rams - Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
There are two things the Rams are assuming in taking Gurley with the No. 10 pick in the draft. The first is that they're not concerned about Gurley's torn ACL. They also assume their offensive line can actually open holes for Gurley. I'll feel much better about this choice if the Rams add talent to that unit over the next few days. If they do they'll be able to see why Gurley is worth a top 10 pick. On a talent standpoint, Gurley is worth a pick this high, but only if he's utilized properly.
11. Minnesota Vikings - Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
Waynes is regarded by some as the draft's top cornerback, but does he make the Vikings better than a wide receiver like DeVante Parker would? I don't think so. Waynes is a pro-ready choice, and this isn't really a reach. His tackling, however, needs to be improved, and you wonder how well he was coached up at Michigan State if his ceiling is low. Regardless, he's a Day 1 starter.
12. Cleveland Browns - Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
The Browns fielded one of the worst run defenses in the NFL last season and got the player they've coveted throughout the entire draft process. Obviously Shelton will help the run defense, but don't discount his ability as a pass rusher. And even at 340 pounds, Shelton is still a pass rushing threat. While at Washington he was rarely taken off the field.
13. New Orleans Saints - Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
With pass rusher Bud Dupree available this was something of a surprise choice. Peat is most likely going to be used at right tackle early in his career and Zach Strief could move inside to guard. The complication is that Strief just signed a five-year deal with New Orleans. After trading Ben Grubbs, it does make some sense, though. This pick may not be a sexy choice like a pass rusher or wide receiver, but being safe when you have holes is smart.
14. Miami Dolphins - DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
The Dolphins were fortunate that Parker slipped a little bit in the draft and that he was available at No. 14. Parker is a perfect fit for the Dolphins. Miami brought in Kenny Stills and Jordan Cameron in the offseason and the addition of Parker gives them one of the better receiving groups in the NFL. Now the onus is on quarterback Ryan Tannehill to take Miami to the next level.
15. San Diego Chargers - Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Is it a risk trading up in the first round for a running back? Yes. Should Gordon be considered the frontrunner for Offensive Rookie of the Year? Also yes. He's going to immediately take over the starting running back job for the Chargers and produce. Maybe this will help entice Philip Rivers to stay with the Chargers.
16. Houston Texans - Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
It's hard to find too many faults in Johnson's game, which is saying something about a cornerback. He's a solid man cover corner, does well in zone and gives the Texans a player to pair with Kareem Jackson for years. Having two shutdown corners on the roster will allow defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel to do some unique things up front. Johnson's issue is his size. He'll need to bulk up in the NFL.
17. San Francisco 49ers - Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
This is a gamble. Stats can be overrated, but you can't ignore the fact that Armstead had just four sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss in three seasons. Flatly stated, he was invisible in a lot of games for Oregon. Armstead can look dominant at times but the 49ers are rolling with a big project here.
18. Kansas City Chiefs - Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Kansas City needed to find a defensive back in this draft who could create turnovers and they might have found him in Peters. Sure, he had plenty of issues at Washington, but Andy Reid is the right coach for him. If Peters can work on his bump-and-run coverage a little bit, watch out.
19. Cleveland Browns - Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State
What do the Browns do with Erving? He played left tackle for Florida State before moving to center. At the draft he was announced as a guard. Obviously the idea is that he'll push John Greco for the starting right guard job, but is that something you want in a first round pick? Or are the Browns assuming right tackle Michell Schwartz or center Alex Mack leaves after this season? Schematically, Erving makes sense. But will he crack the lineup in 2015? And can Erving catch the ball?
20. Philadelphia Eagles - Nelson Agholor, WR, Southern California
The versatile and speedy Agholor is a good foil for second-year wide out Jordan Matthews. If Agholor develops as expected, he could be this generation's version of Reggie Wayne. But is he a legit No. 1 wide receiver who will scare defenses?
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M
Had Ogbuehi not gotten injured in Texas A&M's bowl game, how high would he have gone in the draft? While he struggled some when playing left tackle for the Aggies last year, he excelled on the right side in 2013. He could eventually overtake Andre Smith for that job, assuming he adds some strength and bulk to his frame. The grade would be higher if I thought he'd be a factor earlier in his career.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers - Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
Hey look, the Steelers got a steal in the first round of the draft. Dupree was arguably the best defensive player left on the board, and fills one of Pittsburgh's biggest needs. Dupree's game needs refining, but his athleticism is great and he should be a nice fit in the 3-4. The knock is that Pittsburgh needs to fix its secondary and there were options at No. 22.
23. Denver Broncos - Shane Ray, OLB/DE, Missouri
A lot of people thought Shane Ray would slide into the second round, and with good reason. He just had a run in with the law, has a foot injury and his fit in a 3-4 defense is a big projection. Ray's burst is good but his lateral agility isn't. When you add in Denver trading away two picks, a starting offensive lineman while failing to address their own O-line, this one ends up being a head scratcher. This grade will bump up some if Denver adds a starting-caliber offensive lineman or two later in the draft.
24. Arizona Cardinals - D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
The Cardinals were hot after an offensive tackle in the first round, and they got what could potentially be a good one in Humphries. The Florida product has a lot of perceived upside because of his athleticism and foot quickness in pass protection. Humphries has had injury issues, though, and needs to refine his technique to become a more efficient pass blocker.
25. Carolina Panthers - Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington
What is Thompson in the NFL? A safety? A linebacker? On a team like Carolina, where Thomas Davis has been a stalwart, I'm still not sure. You wonder if Panthers had their eyes on offensive tackles and went Thompson after six tackles were picked ahead of them. From that standpoint, it's understandable. Instead of getting the seventh tackle, they get Thompson, the draft's top pure weak-side linebacker, assuming he plays there.
26. Baltimore Ravens - Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida
The Ravens lost wide receiver Torrey Smith in free agency and replaced him with a player who is basically his double. Perriman is going to be the big vertical threat Baltimore needs. He'll drop some easy passes, but when he catches the ball, watch out.
27. Dallas Cowboys - Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
Morris Claiborne has been a bust for the Cowboys and Brandon Carr has disappointed as well. Jones is a physical outside corner with freaky athleticism. He was productive at Connecticut and should develop into a top-flight player for the Cowboys.
28. Detroit Lions - Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke
Trading for Manny Ramirez and drafting Tomlinson clearly shows the direction the Lions are going on offense. Tomlinson gained first-round momentum late in the process following a good showing at the Senior Bowl. The issue with the pick is that defensive tackle Malcom Brown was still available.
Unless I'm messing up the projection, Dorsett won't be able to keep Andrew Luck upright. Dorsett has the chance to be a great player. But with T.Y. Hilton and Andre Johnson on the roster, how many targets is Dorsett going to get? General manager Ryan Grigson has put a lot of assets into offensive skill positions, but at some point he'll have to fill holes in the trenches.
SB Nation presents: The Colts could regret not picking Malcom Brown
Randall was a safety at Arizona State, but it won't be a surprise if he eventually moves to cornerback for the Packers. He could stick next to Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for years, but he could be a star at cornerback for Green Bay.
31. New Orleans Saints - Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson
After offensive line, which the Saints addressed with the 13th pick, pass rusher and middle linebacker were New Orleans' top needs. Anthony is a highly athletic player in the middle, but I have a few players at the position rated higher.
Many thought the Patriots would be trading out of the first round, but they smartly stayed at No. 32 and got a replacement for Vince Wilfork. Most thought Brown would be gone, so to get him here is a steal.