Below are our grades for each 1st Round pick, they are based on our board and our rankings so we know some will look quite different than what others have. The grades are pretty easy to see and next to each grade you’ll see two numbers. The number next to the position grouping (ex. QB) tells you where we ranked that QB by his position and the BB stands for where he fell on our big board.
1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck QB Stanford, QB: 1, BB: 1, Grade: A+
With the loss of Peyton Manning this pick was the worst kept secret in this draft. Luck is our top overall player, and will start Day 1 in Indianapolis
2. Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III QB Baylor, QB: 2, BB: 2, Grade: A
The Redskins had to give up a ton of picks in order to get to this position. That hurts the grade only slightly but they still land RGIII who we think has potentially the higher ceiling.
3. Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson RB Alabama, RB: 1, BB: 3, Grade: A+
Cleveland moved three late round picks to get to this point but apparently had to fend off Tampa who was pushing hard for Richardson. They got their man and it didn’t cost them a ton in terms of quality picks. Great trade and pick!
4. Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil OT USC, OT: 1, BB: 4, Grade: A+
The Vikings sold everybody on the fact that they didn’t want Kalil and wanted Mo Claiborne. Instead they wisely move down one spot, pick up three picks and still get a franchise LT prospect. That some shrewd movement by Speilman.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State, WR: 2, BB: 9, Grade: A-
The Jaguars have wanted Blackmon for a long time and were so worried about him not getting down to them that they moved a 4th for him and got their man. He’s our 2nd WR but he can start for the Jags immediately.
6. Dallas Cowboys – Mo Claiborne CB LSU, CB: 1, BB: 5, Grade: A+
Dallas had everybody convinced that they wanted SAF Mark Barron but instead jumped up 8 spots to grab the best DB in this class. They will combine him with Brandon Carr and they have done a ton to upgrade their coverage.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mark Barron SAF Alabama, SAF: 1, BB: 20, Grade: B
The Bucs didn’t get the trade up for Richardson and they just missed out on Claiborne but then appeared to scramble and take Barron. Barron is a great SAF prospect who has excellent range and coverage skills. He also has shown the versatility to play in the box and stop the run.
8. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M QB: 3, BB: 32, Grade: B-
The Dolphins have their QB of the future in Tannehill. It’s a bit of a drop off from the top 2 QB’s but Tannehill has plenty of upside which is the only thing that saves this pick from being a lower grade.
9. Carolina Panthers – Luke Kuechly LB Boston College ILB: 3, BB: 43, Grade: C
The Panthers take the intial non-first round graded player in Kuechly here. We know we are in the minority here but for as athletic as Kuechly is, he does not handle blocks well and for us that is a huge issue.
10. Buffalo Bills – Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina, CB: 8, BB: 49, Grade: C
The Bills take Stephon Gilmore to round out of the top 10. This pick wasn’t a huge surprise given that the Bills went and saw Gilmore multiple times this year. Gilmore has a ideal size, athletic ability, and ball skills. However he gambles far too often for our liking and has a tendency to bite on double moves and pump fakes.
11. Kansas City Chiefs – Dontari Poe DT Memphis DT: 3, BB: 23, Grade: B+
The Chiefs after many years of working to complete their 34 defensive line will hopefully have done so here with Poe. Poe who can dominate at times struggled to consistently win battles in the CUSA and that’s a big concern.
12. Philadelphia Eagles – Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State, DT: 1, BB: 10, Grade: A+
The Eagles get our top ranked DT at #13 and its an absolute steal. Cox is the kind of player who can come in and start on Day 1 and be a disrupter in the middle of that defense. He should allow their wide nine set to run wild.
13. Arizona Cardinals – Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame, WR: 1, BB: 8, Grade: A+
Cardinals get a great addition in Michael Floyd here who will line opposite Larry Fitzgerald and give the Cards the most physical WR group in the NFL. Floyd should do a lot to loosen up the deep part of the field and open up the underneath and intermediate routes for Fitzgerald.
14. St. Louis Rams – Michael Brockers DT LSU DT: 2, BB: 11, Grade: A
Brockers may have the highest potential ceiling of any prospect in this draft and he is going to a good situation where he can play next to Robert Quinn.
15. Seattle Seahawks – Bruce Irvin OLB West Virginia, OLB: 3, BB: 49, Grade: D
The Seahawks may have made the first big shock of the draft as they take pass rush specialist Bruce Irvin. We’re not quite sure where Irvin will play in the NFL but we do know he can utilize his speed to get after the QB.
16. New York Jets – Quinton Coples DE UNC, DE: 1, BB: 6, Grade: A
Jets make one of the biggest value picks of the draft by grabbing Coples here, we aren’t sure he’s a perfect fit for the 34 but he should do very well playing opposite Muhammad Wilkerson and doing battle at the point of attack.
17. Cincinnati Bengals – Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama, CB: 2, BB: 19, Grade: A-
Bengals use their 1st pick of the first round to take a CB who should do a lot to help replace Jonathan Joseph who left a couple of years ago. Kirkpatrick may not be the most dynamic play maker but he’s a strong tackler who does a good job sticking his man in coverage.
18. San Diego Chargers – Melvin Ingram OLB South Carolina OLB: 2 BB: 31, Grade: B+
Melvin Ingram has long been the guy we have mocked to San Diego here because we think that he is the best fit in a 34 scheme playing the stand up role. He has an explosive first step and really does a good job getting after the QB.
19. Chicago Bears – Shea McClellin DE Boise State, DE: 10, BB: 64, Grade: C-
The Bears reach down some here to take the athletic pass rusher who can play DE or OLB. The Bears hope can become an even more dominant than he ever was in college and continue to develop his all around game.
20. Tennessee Titans – Kendall Wright WR Baylor, WR: 3, BB: 22, Grade: B
The Titans nab one of the top WR options in the draft. Wright may have only been here because he ran poorly but one teams trash could certainly be the Titans treasure.
21. New England Patriots – Chandler Jones DE Syracuse, DE: 8, BB: 62, Grade: C+
The Patriots traded up to get Chandler Jones here. While we ranked Jones lower because he is an underdeveloped prospect we think he has a great ceiling and could really develop into something in a couple of years.
22. Cleveland Browns – Brandon Weeden QB Oklahoma State, QB: 3, BB: 45, Grade: B-
The Browns get their back to back offensive play makers as they take Richardson at 3 and Weeden here. Weeden should be the starter next season and goes Round 1 despite his advanced age.
23. Detroit Lions – Riley Reiff OT Iowa, OT: 3, BB: 17, Grade: A
The Lions take the falling Reiff who we still think could play LT. The Lions need to do a better job of protecting Stafford and Iowa lineman are among the best technically trained OL in all of college football.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – David DeCastro OG Stanford, OG: 1, BB: 7, Grade: A+
This was the steal of the draft in our opinion. DeCastro is a Top 10 talent on our board and him going to the Steelers will be a great fit. This is how you build dynasties.
25. New England Patriots – Dont’a Hightower ILB Alabama, ILB: 2, BB: 21, Grade: A
The Pats again moved up and snagged one of the best ILB’s in this class in Dont’a Hightower who we rank higher than Kuechly who went at 9. Hightower has good size, speed, and tackling ability. We want to see his instincts continue to develop but he should flourish in New England.
26. Houston Texans – Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois, DE: 7, BB: 60, Grade: D+
The Texans go pass rusher again in an effort to replace the loss of Mario Williams. Mercilus was the most feared pass rusher in the FBS this year but struggled v. the run and could be a liability. He may be forced to be a pass rush specialist early on.
27. Cincinnati Bengals – Kevin Zeitler OG Wisconsin, OG: 4, BB: 44, Grade: C-
The Bengals passed on elite OG prospect Cordy Glenn to reach for Kevin Zeitler here. Zeitler is a strong technical OG prospect but he does not have the upside of either Glenn or Silatolu.
28. Green Bay Packers – Nick Perry DE USC DE: 2, BB: 14, Grade: B+
The only reason we don’t give this pick an A is because we aren’t sure if Perry is a good fit to move out to 34 OLB. We liked him more at 43 DE but he has a lot of pass rush potential.
29. Minnesota Vikings – Harrison Smith SAF Notre Dame, SAF: 10, BB: 156, Grade: F
We have never understood the love affair that many people have for Harrison Smith. Smith who is a strong tackling SAF is not good in coverage and struggles with stiffness in his hips. We though Smith was a Day 3 prospect, not a Round 1 prospect.
30. San Francisco 49ers – A.J. Jenkins WR Illinois, WR: 26, BB: 192, Grade: F
Back to back bad picks per our board, the 49ers reached over multiple other WR’s to take Jenkins here. Jenkins is a good slot option WR who runs strong, routes and has nice hands but he doesn’t offer much more than that.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Doug Martin RB Boise State, RB: 4, BB: 51, Grade: C
The Bucs may have missed out on Richardson early but they would not be denied when it came to going after Doug Martin. They made the deal with Denver to move up and get the back from Boise who will team with Blount.
32. New York Giants – David Wilson RB Virginia Tech, RB: 5, BB: 65, Grade: C-
Back to back RB’s is a bit of surprise to close out Round 1 but Wilson offers some speed and athleticism to the Giants RB group that they don’t seem to have enough of. In the Giants system of rotating backs this pick makes a lot of sense, we just think they could of gotten him a full round lower.