The Exclusive PFT Draft Grades

Just as everyone and their grandmother’s gardener did mock drafts before the rookie selection process, the draft grades are now flying like a plane full of Alpha Bits.
Here are our official and exclusive grades.  For every NFL franchise.
Drum roll. . . . fart . . . . drum roll.
There’s no way of knowing who did well and who didn’t until these guys put on the pads and show what they can do between the white lines. 
And it’s not a one-season thing.  We need to wait three or four years before deciding the winners and losers of the 2009 draft.
By then, of course, we’ll be too worried about the 2012 or 2013 draft to care about whether the 2009 version was a good one or a bad one.  (If you don’t believe that, consider our recent item regarding Mel Kiper’s 2005 draft grades.)
That said, we plan to embark today on an assessment of each team’s draft, with the understanding that we won’t know much if anything about the quality of the 2009 draft until we start moving a couple of years into the next decade.  We’ll do a write-up for each division, and they’ll start popping up later this morning.

30 responses to “The Exclusive PFT Draft Grades

  1. Be sure to mention how Mel and Todd love the drafts of teams like Cincinnati, who get a lot of the guys that were on the “experts” big boards but get passed up by 32 teams that actually employ people who know what they’re doing.

  2. Your post on the 2005 draft shows the whole point of grading a draft right after it with the info at hand at the time – it tells you later how much of the success/failure of a draft might be luck versus skill. You focussed on Kiper giving the Bengals a good grade for what turned out to be a disasterous 2005 draft. But what it shows is that a lot of that was bad luck. Pollack and Perry were both good picks whose careers were cut short by random serious injuries, and in the pre-Goodell NFL, when players didn’t get 8 game suspensions under the conduct policy, Henry didn’t seem as big of a risk as he later became when Goodell became commissioner and ramped up the punishments.

  3. your grading of the draft is kind of a cop out, florio. obviously you can’t grade their nfl performance for a few years. but maybe you could give some sort of analysis of the value of the picks the teams made. for example, taking the “70th best safety” with the second round pick or a second round WR with the #7 pick overall probably wouldn’t score a very high grade. meanwhile, giving up three no-name players and two draft picks for a quarterback perceived by many as the best in the class might score a good grade.

  4. Kiper kills me. If he really likes a guy, then whoever drafts him gets an A grade – even if the team picks suck players for the rest of the draft.
    If someone is drafted #15 and Kiper has him “rated” as #17, then he kills the team for “reaching” or “drafting a player too soon”.
    Further, he has people “moving up” and “sliding down” his draft board continually between the combine and the draft – you know, when NOTHING is going on to cause guys to move up or back. Last I checked no games are played during that time. That is called “manufacturing” interest (interest in HIM).
    What a freakin joke.

  5. Grading a draft three years later does not give good insight into how a particular team drafted…there are too many factors in play to determine if picks were ‘good’ (injury, coaching changes, etc.).
    A 3 year later mark is the result of thousands of serendipitous (or catastrophic, or somewhere in between) happenings which, as you pointed out in your post about the rams being unable to trade up, is luck.
    Given the amount of information that is floating around prior to and during the draft, I’d like to hear your opinion on the decision making of different teams – were they too patient, too aggressive, duped by false info, etc.
    An example of what I’m talking about would be why did the eagles feel the need to jump to spots to pick up a WR. We’re they that concerned the Browns were either going to take Maclin or trade the pick to someone who would’ve? Were the Lions considering him over Pettirgrew? etc.

  6. Birds get an A+, HAHAHAHA! Just good enough to lose in the playoffs to a team the should beat, yet again!!

  7. In my opinion draft grades and mock draft are not pointless, but it is more about the intent and what purpose they are used for. If you do a mock draft with the intent of predicting what each team WILL do then it is a fruitless and pointless excercise. However if you do it as an excercise of what you think a team should do based on what you believe there needs are and how good you think the players are. The same goes for a draft grade, if you give the grade based on how good the players will be in the NFL then it is pointless. But if you give the grade based on how well a team did at filling needs while drafting players at their perceived value and getting players that will be able to come in and make a roster spot then the draft grade has some value.

  8. “We’ll do a write-up for each division, and they’ll start popping up later this morning.”
    That’s what he said…?

  9. I remember what Kiper said about Alex Smith or better yet how Gholston was a going to be a good hiiting LB. Yeahhhhh! The fact is nobody knows crap how these players are going to turn out. Wait for about two years and then grade them. Especially WRs they take a couple of years.

  10. The Pats had a fantastic draft and perhaps the most brilliant work ever by Belichick in that regard.
    Got the defensive players and Oline help we needed, got them all as 2nd round or lower so the impact on salary cap is minimal during a year in which many important veterans need to be resigned leaving money for them, and loaded up on picks for next year when the draft class is supposedly much better. Talk about layering success !

  11. You miss the point of draft grades, Florio. A team does well in the draft if they find a way to get good players that fit their needs or scheme. Of course it’s subjective, that’s why it’s fun to talk and argue about.
    The success of those players 3 years down the road is a completely different measurement.

  12. My take is that the ever-growing number of people who refuse to rate a recent draft aside from giving an incomplete are copping out.
    Think of it this way. Prior to Michael Spinks v. Mike Tyson, one could know BEFORE the fight that anyone picking Spinks crapped their pants – rather than getting an “incomplete.”
    Yes, there’s more uncertainty in the NFL Draft than Spinks v. Tyson, make a call, and own it. Don’t limp off with that lame excuse. It’s easy to write a story looking in your rear view mirror. You folks are supposed to be experts, right?

  13. Hate to say it, but I think the Eagles found gold on Day 1. Maclin, Peters and McCoy will provide instant upgrade to their team. On Day 2, the only thing worth mentioning is getting Ellis Hobbs via trade. Good pickup to start in place of Sheldon Brown, who will hold out or ride the pine.
    I was happy with the Giants. They addressed issues: depth at WR, depth at LB, depth on the OL….running theme: Drafting for Depth. Nicks is the only one who will be expected to start at some point this year. I like the Running back in the 4th. very “Derrick Ward” style runner.

  14. obviously Kiper’s a hack who is well past his prime. Admittedly he had the Giants at a C in 2005 but Tuck and Jacobs proved that to be much better. He loved McCoy for my Eagles except he sucked.
    That being said i LOVE what the Eagles did.
    1-Peters is better than anyone available at 28.
    2-Maclin was a steal at 19 (I can see a Washington style “smurfs” with him and Desean.
    3-McCoy is a Westbrook clone that will torture NFC East teams for the next 10 years.
    4-Ingram was a steal in the 5th round. If not for his ACL tear he’d have been a second rounder for sure
    5-trade for Hobbs–two fifth rounders for a starting corner???
    Also getting Seattle’s 3rd round pick (which could be very low???)
    Also how many return men do the Eagles need? Maclin, Jackson, Hobbs???
    Not hard to see who is the best team going into 2009 in the NFC East.

  15. SERIOUSLY, you should do draft grades for all the teams from the 2005 draft and then make this a tradition the week after the draft you hand out grades from 3 years ago, along with info on where each player is and what Kiper & Mayock were saying about them, if it’s anything notable. What other people graded their draft as, the day after! Just to see who was right and wrong etc.
    With all the energy poured into the pre-draft stuff, you’d think someone would do this. So go ahead, start a new trend. Draft Grades from 3 years ago!!!!

  16. Oh you’re going to do write ups of the draft? And they’ll start popping up later? Oh man I can’t wait.
    Too bad I’ll have to wait, about 3 weeks, because you are the absolute worst at getting stuff like that done in any sort of timely fashion.

  17. The whole anti-grade deal doesn’t make sense. If you follow that line of reasoning, then it also doesn’t make sense for anyone to say whether anyone thinks the Raiders were right or wrong in selecting Derrius Heyward-Bey, because we all really won’t know until 2-4 years down the road. I think it makes more sense for everyone to put a grade on every draft — make people take a stand on how they think players are going to turn out.

  18. “5-trade for Hobbs–two fifth rounders for a starting corner???”
    Yup, and Hobbs is already looking for a fat new contract because he’s “underpaid”. Does that sound familiar in Philly? He’ll fit right in. The Pats will take two 5th’s now because next year they’d get nothing for him when everyone would figure out they would not be re-signing him.

  19. The “experts” are just writers who rate teams’ draft picks based on their OWN nonknowledge. Ha ha. Did you know that after the 1974 draft, the Steelers were given a bad grade for that draft?

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