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Draft Grades: Eagles score a knockout - NFL Sports News
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Draft Grades: Eagles score a knockout


Rang's draft grades | Tracker | 2010 mock draft | Trades | Blog | Reuter's notebook

During a conversation I had with an ex-NFL head coach at the league's scouting combine this past February, he told me he couldn't understand the grading we do in the media.

The 49ers drafting Michael Crabtree is a curious move, according to Prisco. (AP)  
The 49ers drafting Michael Crabtree is a curious move, according to Prisco. (AP)  
"How can you guys really know what's going on?" he asked. "You grade the day after a game without watching the film. You grade drafts the next day. How can you really know? That's what bothers us. There's no waiting."

Not in this era. It's a give-it-me-now approach, which is why we have report cards immediately after games and drafts.

The fans want it, so our bosses want it. I told the coach that.

"It's our job," I told him. "You have yours, and we have our job. We do what we're told."

And I'm told to do draft grades. Plus, here's a little secret: I like doing them.

The reality is a draft really can't be graded for three years. But you want it now. So we give it to you now.

Coaches and personnel people hate it. But what do we care? That's why this year's draft was barely over and I was already popping up grades next to team's drafts.

Why wait? Especially when you know how some coaches and personnel people take it so seriously.

Pete Prisco's team-by-team grades
Arizona Cardinals analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Third-round pick Rashard Johnson is a rangy safety who has good instincts. He won't start, but should be a good special-teams player.
  • Questionable move: Not trading up to get Donald Brown. He fit their offense better than Beanie Wells.
  • Second-day gem: Greg Toler. Taken in the fourth round, this corner from St. Paul College has loads of physical skill.
  • This is an organization that has turned the corner when it comes to drafting. B-
    Atlanta Falcons analysis Grade
  • Best pick: I love the pick in the first round of defensive tackle Peria Jerry. He will be an impact player right away.
  • Questionable move: Safety William Moore, the team's second-round pick, has to prove he can be a cover player before I think he was a good choice that high.
  • Second-day gem: Fourth-round pick Lawrence Sidbury, a pass rusher from Richmond, will be the apprentice to John Abraham. He has great quickness.
  • If they hit on Moore, this will be an A draft. I love Jerry. He might be better than B.J. Raji. B+
    Baltimore Ravens analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Second-round pick Paul Kruger is a tough player who will push for time as a 3-4 rush player. He fits with the Ravens.
  • Questionable move: Passing on a receiver or a corner to take Michael Oher. I get that you take big people when you can, but they needed other help.
  • Second-day gem: They really don't need a running back, but landing Virginia's Cedric Peerman in the sixth round is a nice pick.
  • They always seem to land good players. Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta are good at what they do. B
    Buffalo Bills analysis Grade
  • Best pick: First-round pick Aaron Maybin has great burst off the corner, and this is a team that badly needs it.
  • Questionable move: Taking center/guard Eric Wood in the first round. He's a good player, but what about tackle?
  • Second-day gem: Fourth-round pick Shawn Nelson is a pass-catching tight end who will be involved early since the Bills lack a real threat at his position.
  • I like what they did. Maybin will really help. But they still have to find somebody to replace Jason Peters. B-
    Carolina Panthers analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Second-round pick Sherrod Martin is an athletic safety who can run. You need that in a division with Drew Brees and Matt Ryan.
  • Questionable move: Trading a 2010 first-round pick to get Everette Brown. I like Brown, but he is undersized at defensive end.
  • Second-day gem: Some expected Duke Robinson to be a second-round pick and the Panthers landed the Oklahoma guard in the fifth.
  • They didn't have a first-round pick because they traded it for the chance to draft tackle Jeff Otah last year, but they made some nice moves to get some impact players. Trading next year's No. 1 is always risky. C+
    Chicago Bears analysis Grade
  • Best pick: It's not a draft pick, but trading their first-round pick to get quarterback Jay Cutler is the move of the year.
  • Questionable move: Trading out of the second round. They had no picks on the first day. Wow.
  • Second-day gem: I love third-round pick Juaquin Iglesias. He will be a factor as a slot receiver for Cutler.
  • They get that if you count Cutler, which I do. A
    Cincinnati Bengals analysis Grade
  • Best pick: They didn't get scared off of Andre Smith because of his post-playing issues. This is a Pro Bowl tackle.
  • Questionable move: Taking Rey Maualuga in the second round. He's a thumper, but he lacks the coverage skills.
  • Second-day gem: Third-round pick Chase Coffman is a tight end who should be a factor as a rookie in the passing game.
  • For a team that has been ripped for poor drafting the past decade or so, they did a really nice job. This draft might just make them a playoff team. B+
    Cleveland Browns analysis Grade
  • Best pick: I love the pick of receiver Brian Robiskie in the second round. He will be a starter as a rookie.
  • Questionable move: Trading down as much as they did and not quite getting the value they deserved. The Jets got the better of them in that deal for the fifth pick.
  • Second-day gem: Sixth-round pick James Davis was a highly rated back a year ago, but he struggled as a senior. There is talent there.
  • I like some of their picks, but they didn't get enough in their trade downs. C
    Dallas Cowboys analysis Grade
    Dallas Cowboys
  • Best pick: I like quarterback Stephen McGee in the fourth round. He'll be a backup, but a good one.
  • Questionable move: Why use a pick on kicker in the fifth round when Nick Folk is so good? It makes no sense.
  • Second-day gem: Fourth-round defensive end Victor Butler is a speed rusher who has a lot of athletic ability. He fits in their 3-4 scheme.
  • They had a lot of picks, but what did they get? And trading the first- and third-round picks for Roy Williams last year is questionable. D+
    Denver Broncos analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Darcel McBath, their second-round pick, is a rangy safety they badly need in the back end of their defense.
  • Questionable move: Trading next year's first-round pick to draft corner Alphonso Smith. He's a good player, but that could be a high pick.
  • Second-day gem: Fifth-round pick Kenny McKinley is a smart receiver who will fill the slot position role for the Broncos.
  • If you count trading away Cutler and trading away next year's No. 1, this wasn't a good first draft for the new regime, even if Moreno will be a star. C-
    Detroit Lions analysis Grade
  • Best pick: I like tight end Brandon Pettigrew with the No. 20 in the first round. He's a good blocking tight end and he can catch.
  • Questionable move: Not taking an offensive tackle in the first five rounds. They need help there.
  • Second-day gem: Fourth-round pick Sammie Lee Hill is a project from Stillman who has a lot of athletic ability. At 6-4, 329 pounds he has the size Jim Schwartz loves from his defensive tackles.
  • They had two first-round picks and hit on both in Pettigrew and Matt Stafford with the first pick. Nice job, Martin Mayhew. A
    Green Bay Packers analysis Grade
  • Best pick: They had to get a power player inside and took B.J. Raji in the first round. He is a load.
  • Questionable move: Trading back into the first round to get USC linebacker Clay Matthews. I didn't like that move at all. He's good. Not that good.
  • Second-day gem: Landing tackle Jamon Meredith in the fifth round could prove to be a steal for a team in need of a tackle.
  • Ted Thompson added some nice players, but I think the Matthews move is questionable. B
    Houston Texans analysis Grade
  • Best pick: I really like third-round pick Antoine Caldwell, a center from Alabama. He will be their starter in a year.
  • Questionable move: Not getting a secondary player early in the draft. That was a definite need.
  • Second-day gem: Tight end James Casey, taken in the fifth round, is a good pass-catching tight end who can complement Owen Daniels.
  • I liked Brian Cushing in the first round and they added a lot of nice picks after that. B
    Indianapolis Colts analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Second-round pick Fili Moala will prove to be a steal. He could have easily been a first-round pick a year ago.
  • Questionable move: Taking Donald Brown with other needs. But Brown will be a good player. They have issues with Joseph Addai.
  • Second-day gem: Defensive tackle Terrance Taylor is short, strong player who will be a good player on the next level. He's been a three-year starter.
  • Overall grade: B+.
  • Bill Polian strikes again. When does he not? B+
    Jacksonville Jaguars analysis Grade
  • Best pick: I love the choice of Arizona receiver Mike Thomas in the fourth round. He is small, but he has good speed. He will also help the return game.
  • Questionable move: Trading back into the third round -- giving up a 2010 second-round pick -- to land William & Mary corner Derek Knox. He has speed, but that was high.
  • Second-day gem: Receiver Jarrett Dillard from Rice could be a lot like Keenan McCardell, their former great receiver. He's not a burner, but he knows how to get open.
  • I like the pick of Eugene Monroe in the first round, but why two tackles in the first two? The third-round picks were iffy. All in all, though, it was a solid first draft for GM Gene Smith. B
    Kansas City Chiefs analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Third-round corner Donald Washington is raw, but he has a lot of athletic ability.
  • Questionable move: Taking Tyson Jackson with the third overall pick is a move that will be watched closely. Why not Aaron Curry?
  • Second-day gem: Fifth-round pick Colin Brown is a tackle from Missouri with good size who could be a starter down the road.
  • I didn't like the pick of Jackson with the third overall pick. But they did get a quarterback in Matt Cassel with their second-round pick. C
    Miami Dolphins analysis Grade
  • Best pick: I love the choice of corner Sean Smith in the second round. He is big at 6-3, 210 pounds, and he can run.
  • Questionable move: Taking Pat White in the second round. Yes, I know they run the Wildcat formation, but it's still high for him.
  • Second-day gem: Fourth-round receiver Brian Hartline was a productive college player who will be better than Patrick Turner, who went to the Dolphins the round before.
  • The pick of White drives it down, but I like taking corners Smith and Vontae Davis. B-
    Minnesota Vikings analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Second-round pick Phil Loadholt will push for time as the starting right tackle as a rookie. He's that powerful.
  • Questionable move: Taking Percy Harvin with the 22nd pick. He will be a feast-or-famine pick. The foot injury has to be a concern.
  • Second-day gem: Jasper Brinkley was a productive college linebacker in a big conference. He is a value pick in the fifth round.
  • If Harvin is what they think he is, and he stays clear of problems, this grade will be higher in a few years. B-
    New England Patriots analysis Grade
  • Best pick: There were many who thought Connecticut corner Darius Butler would be a first-round pick. The Pats did a great job getting him in Round 2.
  • Questionable move: Taking North Carolina receiver Brandon Tate in the third round. He has character issues and is coming off an ACL injury.
  • Second-day gem: Linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, their fifth-round pick, was a productive player at South Florida who will bring more athleticism to a position that needs it.
  • They added some good players and even added a second-round pick in next year's draft. Bill Belichick gets it. B+
    New Orleans Saints analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Their first one was their best. They filled a major need in the secondary taking Ohio State safety/corner Malcolm Jenkins in the first round.
  • Questionable move: Having only four draft picks and using one on a punter, trading up to get him.
  • Second-day gem: Stanley Arnoux, a fourth-round pick out of Wake Forest, is a linebacker who could help on special teams.
  • They just didn't have enough picks for a better grade. C
    New York Giants analysis Grade
  • Best pick: I like Clint Sintim in the second round. He's a good, solid player who will be an impact player early in his career.
  • Questionable move: Taking Hakeem Nicks in the first round. He has speed, but did they force it?
  • Second-day gem: Landing running back Andre Brown in the fourth round is a steal. He's a nice replacement for Derrick Ward.
  • Jerry Reese has another good draft for the Giants. B-
    New York Jets analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Making the move up to get Mark Sanchez makes their draft. I love the aggression.
  • Questionable move: Trading up to get Shonn Green in the third round. Do they really need a back?
  • Second-day gem: They didn't have any with few picks.
  • It's all because they made the move to get Sanchez. He will make their draft for years. B+
    Oakland Raiders analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Darius Heyward-Bey. Yes, their first pick. Most think they should have taken Michael Crabtree, but they picked the right guy.
  • Questionable move: Taking safety Mike Mitchell in the second round. He was over-drafted, but maybe all the analysts and scouts missed.
  • Second-day gem: Wide receiver Louis Murphy has good speed and will prove to be a nice value pick in the fifth round.
  • The second-round pick is what drives this down. What did Al Davis do? D
    Philadelphia Eagles analysis Grade
  • Best pick: They had no idea they'd get receiver Jeremy Maclin in the first round. They will love his speed in their offense.
  • Questionable move: Hard to find any. I mean it.
  • Second-day gem: Fifth-round pick Cornelius Ingram is a wonderful athlete who will be the new L.J. Smith in their offense.
  • If you count adding left tackle Jason Peters and corner Ellis Hobbs, they had an amazing week. A+
    Pittsburgh Steelers analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Evander Hood was a nice pick in the first round because age is becoming an issue on their defensive line.
  • Questionable move: Waiting until the third round to address the offensive line and doing so only once.
  • Second-day gem: Fourth-round pick Mike Wallace is a speedy receiver who could help fill the void left by Nate Washington.
  • Kevin Colbert remains one of the league's most underrated talent evaluators. B
    St. Louis Rams analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Getting linebacker James Laurinaitis in the second round is a nice move. He is a big hitter who has good instincts. Steve Spagnuolo will love him.
  • Questionable move: Passing on Eugene Monroe for Jason Smith. That's a move we'll watch closely for the next 10 years.
  • Second-day gem: Fourth-round pick Dorell Scott has talent, but he under-achieved last season. But he has talent to get into the rotation at defensive tackle.
  • They couldn't miss with the second overall pick and they did some other nice things. B-
    San Diego Chargers analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Guard Louis Vasquez, the team's second-round pick, is a feisty lineman who fits in with what the Chargers want to do.
  • Questionable move: Taking Larry English with the 16th pick might have been a little high. And it really wasn't a need. Some teams had second-round grades on English.
  • Second-day gem: Fourth-round pick Vaughn Martin played his college ball in Canada, but he initially was set to go to Michigan State. He is 6-3, 331 pounds and has a lot of raw ability.
  • I just didn't think they did a lot of really good things. But English can change that if he becomes another Shawne Merriman. C-
    San Francisco 49ers analysis Grade
  • Best pick: I really like sixth-round pick Bear Pascoe. He is a blocking tight end who is a former quarterback.
  • Questionable move: Taking Michael Crabtree. That foot makes it a risk. So does his diva act.
  • Second-day gem: Fifth-round pick Scott McKillop is a feisty linebacker Mike Singletary will come to love. He will be a special-teams star.
  • I'm just not enamored with what they did. C-
    Seattle Seahawks analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Second-round pick Max Unger can play guard or center. Some had him rated as first-round talent.
  • Questionable move: Passing on Mark Sanchez for Aaron Curry. They better hope like heck Matt Hasselbeck holds up.
  • Second-day gem: Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel could prove to be a steal in the sixth round. He has a good arm and threw it a lot at Rutgers.
  • They should have landed Sanchez. Curry will still be an impact player, but this is a quarterback-driven league. B-
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers analysis Grade
  • Best pick: In the third round they took Roy Miller, a defensive tackle out of Texas. They needed more size inside, and has it at 6-5, 305 pounds.
  • Questionable move: Taking Josh Freeman with the 16th pick. He'd better be special. I think he's a project.
  • Second-day gem: I love the pick of Oregon State receiver Sammie Stroughter in the seventh round. He has a chance to make this team.
  • They better hope like heck that Freeman turns out to be a star. They didn't get much else. C-
    Tennessee Titans analysis Grade
  • Best pick: Second-round pick Sen'Derrick Marks will remind Titans fans of Josh Evans, their former tackle. He played hurt late last season, but he was a dominant player before that.
  • Questionable move: Taking Kenny Britt with their first pick. I know he runs better than Brian Robiskie, but I would have taken Robiskie.
  • Second-day gem: South Carolina tight end Jared Cook will become a favorite friend of Kerry Collins. He is a good receiver.
  • They always do a good job, and this year was no different. B
    Washington Redskins analysis Grade
  • Best pick: They needed a defensive end and landed one in Brian Orakpo, who fell to the them at 13. He will be a rookie starter.
  • Questionable move: Trading their second-round pick away last year to the Dolphins for Jason Taylor. How'd that work out?
  • Second-day gem: Third-round pick Kevin Barnes has a chance to be a factor as a nickel corner.
  • I like Orakpo, but they landed little else that excites. And not having a second-round pick really hurt. C

    Talk Back
    Since:Dec 31, 2008

    April 26, 2009 11:25 pm
    I know that I am definitely a little bit biased towards the Seahawks, and my perception of how they did this draft is definitely flavored by my opinion of Sanchez, but I don't think that you can critcize an organization for grabbing something as close to a "sure thing" as is possible in the NFL instead of grabbing a fairly inexper ...(more)
    Since:Apr 27, 2007

    April 27, 2009 5:30 pm
    I get tired of being a Raider Fan. Davis continues to screw the franchise over and over and over and over.  He keeps trying to prove how smart he is but keeps showing how out of touch he is.  DHB instead of Crabtree or Maklin????????  And in the second round he takes this kid Mitchell instead of Moore from Mizzou?????   Then Let's flash back a bit - instead of Huff, he tak ...(more)
    Since:Oct 21, 2006

    April 27, 2009 5:59 pm
    Thats MUCH higher than what I thought he would give us.  In my opinion we did HORRIBLE, Aaron Curry was probably one of the best in the draft and we just shat ourselves.  Third year in a row drafting an LSU player in the first round.  Bowe has somewhat payed off.  Dorsey I wont comment on, sure didn't step up ...(more)
    Since:May 22, 2007

    April 27, 2009 7:10 am
    Pete - I think you are way too generous with your grade of the Dallas Cowboys. I love the Cowboys, but they are a train wreck and Jerry Jones in the engineer. The Lions sure got the best of them when they traded Roy Williams to us for a 1st and a third. Heck, we could have had ...(more)
    Since:Aug 28, 2006

    April 27, 2009 9:50 am
    I am not really sure why you believe tha tCrabtree is a questionable pick here. At #10, the 49ers got arguably the best player in the draft. I mean, he was supposedly #1 on many teams boards, he is far and away the best receiver in the game, and his upside is tremendous.

    You keep bringing up two things:

    1) His inju
    Since:Mar 13, 2008

    April 26, 2009 10:45 pm
    C'mon guys, don't get mad at Prisco.  Didn't you read his disclaimer that the only reason anyone writes draft grades like this is to give fans something to look at until preseason.  Someone had to do it.  Does he know what he is writing about?  NO!  Do you know any more than he does about this draft?  NO!  Just take this for what it's worth.  Filler.  H ...(more)
    Since:Apr 29, 2007

    April 26, 2009 11:02 pm
    Im not following this grading scale for the most part...without a doubt, the Raiders deserve an overall F for their draft and the Lions, who by Prisco's own admission, did not address a glaring need on their team (O-line) merit an A?  Lots of other questions, but not gonna re-ha ...(more)
    Since:Dec 3, 2006

    April 26, 2009 10:12 pm
    Lions fans have a reason to feel pretty good about their team this year. They didn't shoot themselves in the foot as my Cleveland Browns did by giving up on marquis players in favor of affordable ones further down. Probably a sign of the economic times that the Browns passed on the p ...(more)
    Since:Jul 12, 2007

    April 26, 2009 10:06 pm
    Ya right, Beanie Wells is a bigger back with more power in his step the Cards need a 2 power back system to play it up 4 yards at a time. Donald Brown would not fit into the Cards offensive scheme because he is undersized as a RB and relies too much on speed. Besides Chris Beanie Wells already proved himself as a threat facing Big 10 Defenses, not like UCONN where Donald Brown played aga ...(more)
    Since:Nov 25, 2006

    April 26, 2009 10:40 pm
    It almost seems like Al Davis has been sabotaging the Oakland Raiders organization in recent years. Losing a second round pick and signing DeAngelo Hall, then signing him and Javon Walker to $50 million p ...(more)
    Since:Feb 7, 2008

    April 26, 2009 11:10 pm
    Ok, you say you cant grade a draft for 3 years and I agree with that, how about an article looking back at the last 10 years with Grades by team and an overall ranking of how they draft. I looked back at the Chiefs last 25 years today and was amazed at how poor they had done, Dante Hall as a 5th rounder was about the only late rounder to eve ...(more)
    Since:Aug 16, 2006

    April 27, 2009 10:50 am

    Pete, New England drafted 12 players.  4 of them had 1st round grades on some draft boards.  They did not have the Sxy pick like the Jets, but I can 100% gaurentee that in 3 years this draft class of the Patriots will prove to be the best of 2009. 

    I also ...(more)

    Since:Oct 18, 2006

    April 27, 2009 2:22 pm
    Why these sportswriters even post grades is beyond me...lets wait a season then grade them...until then, it does NOT matter...

    With that being said...Dallas' draft will not be popular, but when you are picking from Round 3 and beyond, you are not going to get guys that most people would know anyway...

    Also, it is VERY UNREALISTIC to think that any drafted rookie will star
    Since:Jun 10, 2008

    April 27, 2009 1:13 am
    I really have no ax to grind with Pete Prisco but this article is a cop-out and the grades can't even be chalked up to "just one man's opinion". We all understand that grading the draft is conjecture. Where is the consistency Pete? Put the blame on public demand and your boss if you must but, at least have a formula or thought process that is applied to all teams and draft picks equ ...(more)
    Since:Jan 4, 2009

    April 28, 2009 11:28 am
    ...even FOR the "give me now" era that Prisco knows we live in! When each of these players is months away from participating in their first NFL game, how can you possibly post grades with a straight face! Prisco, what grade did you give the Patriots when they selected Tom Brady ...(more)
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