NFL Draft Day 1 Grades – AFC

AFC East
Miami Dolphins: WR DeVante Parker (No. 14)
Grade: B+
Solid pick. Parker doesn’t attack the ball in the air the way you’d like; can he learn to do that?

New England Patriots: DT Malcom Brown (No. 32)
Grade: C
Brown has the ability to shoot into the hole and make plays in the opponent’s backfield. He also got crushed when blockers got their hands on him.

New York Jets: DL Leonard Williams (No. 6)
Grade: B
I’m in wait-and-see mode with Williams. Has the talent; but if he can’t hold up against the run in the NFL, what use is he as a tackle?

Buffalo Bills: No picks.
Grade: Incomplete
I wish I could penalize the Bills for that horrendous trade that cost them this year’s No. 1 pick. But alas, that happened in 2014.

AFC North
Baltimore Ravens: WR Breshad Perriman (No. 26)
Grade: C+
Perriman’s deep speed will probably serve as a nice complement to Steve Smith. But, simply put, there were better players on the board.

Cincinnati Bengals: OL Cedric Ogbuehi (No. 21)
Grade: D
Ogbuehi looks smooth and has a bit of a punch in pass protection. He was a virtual non-factor in the run game this year. Do the Bengals pull him on run downs?

Cleveland Browns: DT Danny Shelton (No. 12), OL Cam Erving (No. 19)
Grade: A+
Shelton has rare short-area quickness, the anchor and athleticism to defend the run down the line, and the power to collapse the pocket against the pass. Erving is a rare blend of size and agility at center (think Nick Mangold); with the ability to play other positions along the line, he’s a really solid pick.

Pittsburgh Steelers: DE/LB Bud Dupree (No. 22)
Grade: B-
He’s an athletic freak, with the strength to set the edge and quickness off the snap. But he’s not some kind of pass-rush phenom, like folks are projecting. After the Jarvis Jones debacle, Steelers fans deserved more.

AFC South
Houston Texans: CB Kevin Johnson (No. 16)
Grade: A-
The more I watched, the more I wondered if he’s the top cornerback in the draft.

Indianapolis Colts: WR Phillip Dorsett (No. 29)
Grade: B-
Good player, great fit. His short area quickness and homerun speed will help him get separation underneath. The Colts have a really interesting arsenal of receiving weapons now.

Jacksonville Jaguars: LB/DE Dante Fowler Jr. (No. 3)
Grade: C-
I’ll believe the pass-rush hype when I see it. He didn’t use his hands effectively to set the edge on a consistent basis, either.

Tennessee Titans: QB Marcus Mariota (No. 2)
Grade: B+
I’m filled with cautious optimism about this experiment. I think Titans fans can trust Wisenhunt to mold the offense to fit Mariota’s skills.

AFC West
Denver Broncos: DE/LB Shane Ray (No. 23)
Grade: C+
Size is a concern.

Kansas City Chiefs: CB Marcus Peters (No. 18)
Grade: B
I’m a bit undecided about Peters. The athletic talent was there, but he seemed to change his mind from play to play about how to play cornerback.

Oakland Raiders: WR Amari Cooper (No. 4)
Grade: B
He’ll be a fine receiver, but he doesn’t tip the scales.

San Diego Chargers: RB Melvin Gordon (No. 15)
Grade: D+
Hopefully he sees as many gaping holes as he did at Wisconsin.


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