Grading the Top 21 NFL Draft Picks
By Charlie Susser and Julian Hartman-Sigall
- Bengals: Joe Burrow A+
- The Bengals got their guy. Burrow is coming off a Heisman campaign and will continue his success in Cincy.
- Redskins: Chase Young A+
- Every Redskins fan should be thrilled with this pick. Chase Young broke all kinds of records at Ohio State and will continue terrorizing defenses in the NFL. Young is the most talented player in this draft class now and could easily be the best player from this draft in ten years.
3. Lions: Jeff Okudah A
- After acquiring Desmond Trufant, Detroit’s pick of Jeff Okudah will help the Lions create a secondary that offenses will be afraid of.
4. Giants: Andrew Thomas C+
- It seems like the Giants making a questionable first round pick is now a yearly tradition. Many expected to see Isiah Simmons drafted here, but the Giants definitely need to beef up their offensive line to protect Daniel Jones and open up running room for Saquon Barkely. However, Thomas was projected to be picked outside the top ten, so this selection was a huge reach. Better luck next year Giants fans.
5. Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa B+
- After a brief stint with Josh Rosen, it seems as if the Dolphins got their franchise QB. Hopefully, he can prove the haters wrong.
6. Chargers: Justin Herbert B+
- The Chargers definitely need to improve their offensive especially after losing their franchise quarterback, Phillip Rivers. Herbert is a good prospect with potential. However, they got the third best quarterback in the draft with the sixth pick, not great.
7. Panthers: Derrick Brown A+
- The Panthers got an absolute beast on the defensive line. The powerful nose tackle will make Druv Srinivasan (‘22) happy for years to come.
8. Cardinals: Isiah Simmons A+
- Simmons is an elite defender who can basically play anywhere on the field. The Cardinals were blessed when Simmons fell into their lap at the eighth pick.
9. Jaguars: CJ Henderson B
- The Jags drafted for a need here, Henderson is good but there were arguably some better players on the board at 9.
10. Browns: Jedrick Wills Jr. A-
- Jedrick Wills Jr. is a great pick for the Browns. The Browns badly need a good offensive line to pair with their talented skill position players. However, it is unclear if Wills will be better than the offensive lineman drafted right after him.
11. Jets: Mekhi Becton A+
- The Jets got an absolute mountain of a man to protect Sam Darnold. Becton is 6’7” and 364 lbs, no one is getting behind him.
12. Raiders: Henry Ruggs III
- Henry Ruggs III is an extremely talented prospect who will definitely find success in the NFL. It does feel like it needs to be said that getting better receivers will not change the fact that Derek Carr is not good.
13. Buccaneers: Tristan Wirfs B+
- Now that the Bucs have Tom Brady, they need to protect him. Wirfs has the ability to do that.
14. 49ers: Javon Kinlaw A-
- After trading DeForest Buckner, the niners had a hole in the defensive line that was the best in the league last year. Kinlaw has the insane athleticism to make this already elite niners defense, one of the greatest units in recent memory.
15. Broncos: Jerry Jeudy A
- The Broncos are really investing in Drew Lock. Jerry Jeudy will be a speedy target for him.
16. Falcons: A.J. Terrell B
- 16th overall was definitely too early for Terrell. The Falcons desperately needed a cornerback, so they went with Terrell whose physical tools give him the potential to be a solid corner for the Falcons.
17. Cowboys: Ceedee Lamb A+
- Christmas came early for the Cowboys this year. Lamb is an elusive gazelle and will terrorize the NFC East for the next decade.
18. Dolphins: Austin Jackson B-
- The Dolphins certainly had the right idea when trying to draft an offensive lineman to protect Tua. Jackson could end up being a great pick, or a terrible one. He is a physical beast who can move defenders in the run game. However, his pass blocking was wildly inconsistent in college.
19. Raiders: Damon Arnette C
- REEEAAAACCCHHHH. Who is this guy?
20. Jaguars: K’Lavon Chaisson B+
- The Jaguars already have Josh Allen, who is one of the best young linebackers in the game. So selecting Chaisson will give them a great young core of linebackers, but with a team as bad as the Jaguars there are certainly more pressing needs.
21. Eagles: Jalen Reagor B
- The Eagles took what they needed here. Buuuuttt, they really could have traded up for Lamb.