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NFL draft 2017: Grades for every pick in the first three rounds

Which team will end up with the best player and best value in the 2017 draft? Here’s an early look.

Curtis Samuel Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 NFL draft is almost halfway over with the second and third rounds happening Friday night. The Packers kicked off the action with a very good pick, getting Kevin King. The Jaguars got an A for their second-round pick, Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson.

Unfortunately for everyone except Patriots fans, New England may have gotten the best pick of the third round. They took Derek Rivers, a defensive end from Youngstown State. Rivers who a lot of experts thought had enough talent for the first round.

Tampa Bay added another weapon for the offense, getting Chris Goodwin the wide receiver out of Penn State.

As the picks trickle in, the questions begin to shift from where players will be selected to how impactful they’ll be in 2017 and beyond.

We’re taking a look at each of the 32 picks, evaluating where the player was selected and how effective he can be for his new team. Here are our live grades:

Round 3

65: Cleveland Browns: Larry Ogunjobi, DL, Charlotte

Grade: B

66: San Francisco 49ers: Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado

Grade: A

67: New Orleans Saints: Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee

Grade: B

68: Jacksonville Jaguars: Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois

Grade: B

69: Los Angeles Rams: Connor Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington

Grade: D

70. Minnesota Vikings: Pat Elflein, OL, Ohio State

Grade: A

71. Los Angeles Chargers: Dan Feeney, OL, Indiana

Grade: A

72. Tennessee Titans: Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky

Grade: B-

73: Cincinnati Bengals: Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State

Grade: B-

74: Baltimore Ravens: Chris Wormley, DL, Michigan

Grade: B

75: Atlanta Falcons: Duke Riley, LB, LSU

Grade: C+

76: New Orleans Saints: Alex Anzalone, LB, Florida

Grade: B

77. Carolina Panthers: Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M

Grade: C+

78. Baltimore Ravens: Tim Williams, LB, Alabama

Grade: B

79. New York Jets: ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama

Grade: A

80. Indianapolis Colts: Tarell Basham, DE, Ohio

Grade: B

81. Washington: Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA

Grade: B+

82. Denver Broncos: Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech

Grade: B-

83. New England Patriots: Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State

Grade: A+

84. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State

Grade: A-

85. New England Patriots: Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy

Grade: B

86. Kansas City Chiefs: Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo

Grade: A

87. New York Giants: Davis Webb, QB, Cal

Grade: B+

88. Oakland Raiders: Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, UCLA

Grade: A

89. Houston Texans: D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas

Grade: A

90. Seattle Seahawks: Shaquill Griffin, CB, Central Florida

Grade: B-

91. Los Angeles Rams: John Johnson, S, Boston College

Grade: D

92. Dallas Cowboys: Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan

Grade: B

93. Green Bay Packers: Montravius Adams, DL, Auburn

Grade: A

94. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee

Grade: B

95. Seattle Seahawks: Delano Hill, S, Michigan

Grade: A

96. Detroit Lions: Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois

Grade: B

97. Miami Dolphins: Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson

Grade: B

98. Arizona Cardinals: Chad Williams, WR, Grambling State

Grade: C

99. Philadelphia Eagles: Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia

Grade: A

100. Tennessee Titans: Jonnu Smith, TE, Florida International

Grade: B

101. Denver Broncos: Brendan Langley, CB, Lamar

Grade: B

102. Seattle Seahawks: Nazair Jones, DL, North Carolina

Grade: B

103. New Orleans Saints: Trey Hendrickson, DE, Florida Atlantic

Grade: C-

104. San Francisco 49ers: C.J. Beathard, QB, Iowa

Grade: C-

105. Pittsburgh Steelers: James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh

Grade: A+

106. Seattle Seahawks: Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan

Grade: C

107. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kendell Beckwith, LB, LSU

Grade: B+

Round 2 picks

33. Green Bay Packers (via Browns): Kevin King, CB, Washington — B

King was one of the only players remaining in the Green Room on Day 2, and he does fill a need for the Packers. King is unusually tall, 6’3, and he’s physical. He’s not fast, and he has an injury history. Green Bay needs a cornerback and he’s the best one on the board at this point.

34. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Seahawks): Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama — A

The Jaguars saw former first rounder Luke Joeckel walk in free agency after Jacksonville declined to pick up his option. They got a lineman with first-round talent in Robinson. He’s a great value in the second and his run-blocking prowess will pair nicely with first rounder Leonard Fournette.

35. Seattle Seahawks (via Jaguars): Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State — B

There’s no denying McDowell’s talent. Character concerns caused him to fall into the second round, and one team said their interview with him was “the worst they’d ever had” at the combine. His effort is inconsistent and his technique needs a lot of work, but if Pete Carroll can get him up to speed, he’ll be a great addition.

36. Arizona Cardinals (via Bears): Budda Baker, S, Washington — B

Baker is undersized, but it hasn’t stopped him from dominating. He’s got the range to succeed as a free safety at the next level, and the versatility to bounce to nickel if needed. Being undersized at the college level is one thing, but there is a risk involved in his transition to the NFL.

37. Buffalo Bills (via Los Angeles Rams): Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina — A

Jones has great size at 6’2 and 201 pounds, and speed, with a 4.45-second 40-yard dash. He’s the all-time FBS receptions leader, and he has quite the NFL pedigree. His dad, Robert, was a linebacker with the Cowboys during their Super Bowl runs in the 1990s, and his uncle, Jeff Blake, was an NFL quarterback.

38. Los Angeles Chargers: Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky — A

The biggest knock on Lamp is that he has relatively short arms. Still, he was impressive in college, holding his own against Alabama’s aggressive defense. His athleticism, displayed at the combine, stood out to teams, and he should be a good addition for the Chargers.

39. New York Jets: Marcus Maye, S, Florida — B

The Jets’ secondary struggled last season, and Maye’s a well-rounded addition. He has the range to play free safety and he can play in the box, too. He’s intelligent, and he played some nickel in college, too, so he has the versatility to be an impact on the field in multiple roles for the Jets.

40. Carolina Panthers: Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State — A

The Panthers offense wasn’t dynamic last season, but it should be this year with the additions of Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel. With the addition of Samuel, a playmaker who’s dangerous when he gets into space, the Panthers offense is suddenly a whole lot harder to defend.

41. Minnesota Vikings: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State — A

Cook has first-round talent and fell to the Vikings in the second because of some off-field concerns. Minnesota did add Latavius Murray in free agency, but Mixon should be a long-term answer to the void left by Adrian Peterson.

42. New Orleans Saints: Marcus Williams, S, Utah — A

The Saints’ defense has been consistently bad over the last few seasons, and the need for improved secondary play was pressing. Williams is a ball hawk with great instincts, and he’s well-rounded. He’s solid against the run, too.

43. Philadelphia Eagles: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington -- A

Jones might have been the first cornerback off the board if he hadn’t torn his Achilles at his pro day. The injury is a concern, but his talent isn’t. Once he’s healthy, he should be a force in the Eagles’ secondary.

44. Los Angeles Rams (via Bills): Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama — B

You may not have heard of Everett. He’s a small school tight end, and a converted basketball player who has the potential to become a quality contributor at the next level. It’s just a matter of putting it all together.

45. Chicago Bears (via Cardinals): Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland — B

Here’s another small school tight end off the board. Shaheen stood out at the combine because of his athleticism, and his ceiling is high. He’s massive at 6’6 and 278 pounds, and still agile and fast for his size.

46. Indianapolis Colts: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida — A

The Colts needed to rebuild the defense, and that’s been the focus of free agency and the draft so far. Indianapolis adds another quality player out of this deep cornerback class in Wilson, whose size, fluidity and physical play should benefit the Colts.

47. Baltimore Ravens: Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston — A

Bowser is an interesting prospect. He’s got size at 6’3, 247 pounds, and he was a pass-rushing force for Houston. Bowser put up 22.5 sacks over his time with the Cougars, and he was the top performer in a number of drills for his position group at the combine. He’s a prospect who could have gone in the first round in a year with fewer dominant pass rushers, so he’s a good value for the Ravens.

48. Cincinnati Bengals (via Vikings): Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma — B

No matter where Mixon landed, he was going to be a controversial pick. Mixon’s talent would have put him up with Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey, except for the video of him knocking out a woman back in 2014. The Bengals will take a chance on the talented back.

49. Washington: Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama -- B

Anderson was overshadowed a bit at Alabama because he was surrounded by NFL-caliber talent, but he was productive. He finished his final season with 61 tackles, 19 TFL, nine sacks, three pass breakups and one interception which he returned for a touchdown. He may have been a reach here, because he was projected as a third or fourth rounder, but he’ll be NFL-ready and should contribute immediately.

50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M — C

He’s a little slender for a safety, and he’s a hard hitter with speed, but he misses a lot of tackles. That’s something that the Buccaneers really can’t afford. They’ll hope to correct his technique and make him more reliable.

51. Denver Broncos: DeMarcus Walker, DE

Grade: B

52. Cleveland Browns (via Titans): DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame — A

Kizer has upside, and has the potential to develop into a starter for the Browns. Cleveland was smart to hold off and not

53. Detroit Lions: Teez Tabor, CB

Grade: A

54. Miami Dolphins: Raekwon McMillan, LB

Grade: A

55. New York Giants: Dalvin Tomlinson, DT

Grade: A

56. Oakland Raiders: Obi Melifonwu, S

Grade: C

57. Houston Texans: Zach Cunnigham, LB

Grade: B

58. Seattle Seahawks: Ethan Pocic, C

Grade: A

59. Kansas City Chiefs: Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE

Grade: B

60. Dallas Cowboys: Chidobe Awuzie, CB

Grade: B

61. Green Bay Packers: Josh Jones, S

Grade: A

62. Pittsburgh Steelers: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR

Grade: A

63: Buffalo Bills: Dion Dawkins, OL

Grade: B

64: Carolina Panthers: Taylor Moton, OT

Grade: B

Round 1 picks

1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M — A

With no real face of the franchise at quarterback, there was a temptation to take a quarterback, but this was the right pick all along. Garrett proved himself as the best college football player in the nation — maybe even for the last two years. The Browns made the pick they should’ve made and didn’t overthink it. Kudos.

2. Chicago Bears (via 49ers): Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina — C

Trading up to get the No. 2 pick cost the Bears a bunch of mid-round selections, but they felt good about taking a quarterback. It’s questionable not only because of his lack of experience in college, but also because of the trade that wipes out a lot of value for a team that has much more needs than one. If Trubisky is the player they think he is, it makes sense. That’s a big if.

3. San Francisco 49ers (via Bears): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford — B-

After taking Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner in the first round in consecutive drafts, it’s a little odd that the 49ers would continue to add defensive linemen. The pick is more palatable thanks to a trade that added mid-round selections to the mix, but it’s not quite an A.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU — B-

Fournette is a big upgrade over T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory, the question is whether or not he presents the type of value expected out of a top 10 running back. He struggled to produce on his own against Alabama, and the Jaguars offensive line may not clear the way very well for Fournette.

5. Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan — A-

This is a big surprise, but boy does it make sense. Since drafting Marcus Mariota there hasn’t been much of an effort to surround him with weapons, but now they get the top receiver in the draft. Davis was a little unheralded due to his competition and injuries, but he’s a big-bodied receiver who can make the big plays.

6. New York Jets: Jamal Adams, S, LSU — B+

There was talk that Jamal Adams could go as early as No. 2 overall, so getting him outside the top five is good value even though safeties don’t typically go this early. The Jets pass defense needs help and Adams will plug in right away and help, and probably boost the run defense as well.

7. Los Angeles Chargers: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson — B-

It’s not that the Chargers have no receivers to work with, it’s that Keenan Allen has been injured often, Travis Benjamin didn’t bust on to the scene like they hoped and Antonio Gates is nearing the end of his career. Williams gives Philip Rivers a gritty weapon to work with and he should be around to usher in whatever quarterback eventually replaces Rivers.

8. Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford — A

Finding anything negative to say about McCaffrey is difficult and this is a pairing that just looks wonderful. He can split carries with Jonathan Stewart instead of handling 20-30 carries per game, and it frees him up to move all over the Panthers offense, giving Cam Newton another weapon to work with.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: John Ross, WR, Washington — B-

Wide receiver isn’t the most dire need with A.J. Green still on the roster, but the Bengals offense took a step back when Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu left in free agency a year ago. Ross is lightning fast and a home run threat, and the last top-tier receiver before a significant drop-off.

10. Kansas City Chiefs (via Bills): Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech — A-

The Chiefs have painfully avoided drafting quarterbacks forever and — surprise, surprise — they haven’t had strong quarterback play. Mahomes will have time to develop behind Alex Smith in 2017 and likely start in 2018, and a third-round pick plus a first-rounder in 2018 really isn’t much to secure him. Chiefs fans should be happy.

11. New Orleans Saints: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State — A

The Saints need to invest on defense, and this is a good way to do it. Lattimore is the top cornerback on the board and, while he comes with injury concerns, he’s a big win for the Saints if they get him at full strength. It’s risky, but it’s the swings that the team needs to make if it hopes to squeeze another Super Bowl out of the Drew Brees era.

12. Houston Texans (via Browns): Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson — A

Another quarterback needy team went up to get their guy, and the Texans went after the winner of the class. Houston needs someone who can come step in and win a Super Bowl with a team ready to compete, and Watson’s the guy that makes the most sense for that role.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple — B+

The Cardinals probably would’ve liked to get a quarterback here. Or at least, that’s the best guess based on the two trades that happened in the three picks prior. But Reddick is a solid consolation prize considering his huge potential and athleticism. Pairing the young linebacker with Chandler Jones gives some serious kick to a front seven that is beginning life without Calais Campbell.

14. Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee — B

Defensive linemen and pass rushers are always at a premium, so any chance to get one makes sense. Marcus Smith was a swing and a miss, so this is another chance. There are other spots that could use an upgrade, and giving Carson Wentz some help remains a priority, but Barnett makes sense.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State — A

Getting the rangiest safety in the draft is one hell of a way for Chris Ballard to begin his tenure as the Colts’ general manager. The safety position was a mosh of Andrew Williamson, T.J. Green and Clayton Geathers, so Hooker will presumably go straight to the top of the heap and take over at free safety.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama — B-

Much of the concern surrounding Humphrey is that he’s the same kind of straight-line cornerback that made Dee Milliner a bust. After adding Brandon Carr to start opposite Jimmy Smith, the Ravens still need to add cornerbacks so the pick makes sense, but it’s hard to imagine Baltimore wouldn’t have been better served by adding a talented tight end like O.J. Howard now that the top three receivers are off the board.

17. Washington: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama — A-

A whole bunch of people had Allen projected to be a top five pick, but Washington gets him in the top five instead. The team has ignored the defensive line in the draft for too long and they correct that in a big way here. The shoulder injury concerns that caused many teams to pass is the only reason this gets a minus attached.

18. Tennessee Titans: Adoree Jackson, CB, USC — B

There’s big potential here, and he goes to a team that needs help at cornerback. Is he too small? His accolades in college would seem to indicate he can hold his own, but the NFL could be a different beast.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama — A-

Austin Seferian-Jenkins was a swing and a miss, and it left a hole at the position that was filled by the emergence of Cameron Brate. But double tight-end sets have worked well in Carolina and Jameis Winston will benefit from a similar situation in Tampa Bay.

20. Denver Broncos: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah — B+

There’s no doubt this is a position of need and the Broncos get the first offensive lineman off the board. It’s a safe selection, which is a bit overwhelming for a team that reportedly poked around at the idea of trading for Christian McCaffrey, but it’s a base hit and that’s fine.

21. Detroit Lions: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida — C

The Lions need linebackers, but with Reuben Foster and Zach Cunningham still on the board, this is underwhelming. Linebacker, in general, is a less-than-exciting pick for a franchise that could use a pass rusher other than Ezekiel Ansah.

22. Miami Dolphins: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri — A-

The Dolphins have relied on Cameron Wake to generate a pass rush on his own for a long time, but that era may not have many years left. Putting Ndamukong Suh in the middle helps and now adding Harris on the other side is perfect. Andre Branch was slated to start, and still might, but Harris has the potential to be a big upgrade.

23. New York Giants: Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss — C+

Trenches looked like the way to go for the Giants, but instead the team adds a tight end that most had behind O.J. Howard and David Njoku. Finding an upgrade at the position makes sense, especially on a team with tiny receivers, but it’s not exactly a premium position and the Giants need offensive linemen.

24. Oakland Raiders: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State — B

This one is difficult to unpack. He’s a cornerback with top 10 potential, but whew are there concerns. Aside from the fact that he was kind of a one-year wonder at Ohio State, Conley also comes with recent rape accusations. If the Raiders are comfortable with the pick, then it could be a huge coup for the team.

25. Cleveland Browns (via Texans): Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan — B

The Browns got a first-round pick next year out of this selection, and that makes the pick get a higher grade. Picking Peppers though is a wild selection, though. He doesn’t have a real position, so it seemed like he would’ve made sense in a defense with more pieces already in place. Still, he’s an interesting building block and a bold choice for a team that continues to add early draft picks.

26. Atlanta Falcons (via Seahawks): Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA — A-

McKinley has huge potential and athleticism, but needs time to come into his own. That’s perfect for a defense that has consistently added speed and potential, and waited for those players to blossom under Dan Quinn. This is a good landing spot for McKinley and more speed for the Falcons defense.

27. Buffalo Bills (via Chiefs): Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU — B+

Dropping 17 picks should’ve netted the Bills more than a third-round pick this year and a first-rounder in 2018. But White is a legitimate first-round talent who could end up being one of the best cornerbacks of the draft. The Bills needed a cornerback too to slot in opposite Ronald Darby and White is a cornerback who can start right away.

28. Dallas Cowboys: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan — A-

The Cowboys missed when they tried to fix the pass rush with Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory. So taking another swing is the obvious move. With Charles Harris and Takkarist McKinley gone, this was the last first-round quality pass rusher before a drop-off.

29. Cleveland Browns (via Packers): David Njoku, TE, Miami (Fla.) — B+

Cleveland still hasn’t taken a quarterback, but they added an athlete to the offense. The Browns were often linked to O.J. Howard with the No. 12 pick and ended up getting a tight end at a decent value.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: T.J. Watt, LB, Wisconsin — A

There are two clear needs for the Steelers: Outside linebacker and cornerback. They need someone to pair with Bud Dupree and someone to pair with Artie Burns. Dupree now has his partner in crime with Watt.

31. San Francisco 49ers (via Falcons through Seahawks): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama — B+

There’s no doubt this is good value if Foster is healthy. But a whole lot of teams passed on Foster and the 49ers gave up a fourth-round pick to move up to get him. He’s a seek-and-destroy type of player for a defense that needs to keep adding pieces and could use a better linebacker than Malcolm Smith starting alongside NaVorro Bowman.

32. New Orleans Saints: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin — B

The Saints aren’t particularly needy along the offensive line, but there’s no doubt there’s value here. Like Lattimore at the No. 11 pick, the Saints get a top talent who was expected to go earlier, but with Terron Armstead holding down the left side, he’s likely a right tackle in New Orleans.


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