#1 Lions: QB DJ Uiagalelei: Clemson- A. The clear-cut QB1 of this draft class that the Lions traded up to snag and make the head of their offense as they look to return to the playoffs. The Lions acquired Jared Goff in the trade for this pick, but cut him before the draft so they didn’t have a single quarterback on the roster and Uiagalelei fills that hole better than anyone could after he led the Clemson Tigers to a National Championship victory. DJ will have elite weapons but not the best offensive line to support him. He was the strongest quarterback in this draft class by far and still one of the most athletic, but only time will tell if he deserved that extra + at the end of an A grade.
#2 Packers: QB Bryce Young: Alabama- B+. Green bay made a somewhat controversial pick as although he is the biggest and best dual-threat quarterback option in the draft class, Young didn’t even start his senior year in college. But an amazing combine performance and the fact that Alabama has a great reputation got him taken 2nd overall. He’ll be the instant Starter for the Packers and filled the biggest hole on the team in the most important position. Time will tell if the Packers trade was worth it and if Young is better than the Heisman winner Michael Penix Jr or the Crimson Tide’s starter Mac Jones.
#3 Chiefs: RE Brian Breese: Clemson- A-. Although Breese was the best guy on an insanely good Clemson defensive line, Kansas City has Frank Clark, Gregory Rousseau, and Chris Jones already on their roster and they have glaring holes on their linebacker core and their interior offensive line. Breese is an amazing rusher who the Chiefs plan on moving to DT for interior help and he will start in Kansas City’s 4-3 defense. But it just feels like the defensive line unit was already solidified in Kansas City and the Chiefs could have traded down or used this early of a pick on a player that would elevate their roster immediately, not be the 4th best guy on a line of 4. It is worth noting he was the best pass rusher on the insane championship-winning Clemson defense, but also worth mentioning he may have benefited from the surrounding elite play there, although he has a pretty good crew again with the Cheifs.
#4 Packers: CB Tyreke Johnson: Ohio State- A. Many thought Green Bay would use their second top 5 pick on a wide receiver, but with no blazing speed from any prospect and plenty of other high-level options they knew would be available for their early second-round picks, they decided to fill a huge position of need in cornerback because they aren’t confident in Kevin King’s abilities. Tyreke Johnson was the fastest and most skilled in coverage out of all the cornerback prospects and will be a day 1 starter across from the very talented Jaire Alexander. He will make an instant impact especially in the NFC North which is stacked with receiving talent on opposing offenses.
#5 Falcons: WR Julian Fleming: Ohio State- A-. Not much to say about Atlanta’s pick. Fleming is a good player but the team simply didn’t need a wide receiver as they are loaded with talent that is mostly signed to contracts for years to come. Not to mention, Fleming wasn’t even the top wideout prospect in skills or speed of this draft class. The Falcons have plenty of bigger holes on the o line they could have attempted to fill before going after Julian Fleming. He’s sure to be a great player and they plan on moving him to tight end so he sees the field often, but the pick was definitely somewhat confusing. Maybe Atlanta’s guy got taken and they didn’t expect it or maybe they had a trade-down that fell through and they resorted to this. All we know is the Falcons could have done better, but also could have done a whole lot worse to be fair.
#6 Browns: LE KJ Henry: Clemson- A+. Cleveland drafted an absolute stud in Henry who can be credited as the primary reason Brian Breese was elite off the opposite edge in college at Clemson as Henry drew so much attention. He Henry had 3 sacks and 4 TFL as he led the Clemson Tigers defense to a National Championship win and impressed at the combine soon after. Henry will compete for and most likely win the starting left end position and the Browns had no other real positions of need besides a new center maybe. Cleveland looks like they hit a home run with KJ Henry and he will be a frontrunner for the Defensive Rookie of the Year in the AFC.
#7 Falcons: CB Jaylon Jones: Texas A&M- A. Atlanta picked again in the top 10 and yet again passed on helping out their below-average offensive line but at least got a high-quality player that will have a huge impact in their secondary. The Falcons got the second-best cornerback of the draft that will instantly be a starter in nickel and dime packages and maybe more. Jaylon Jones is a playmaker on any defense and will fit in well with his aggressive playstyle, solid speed, and great coverage ability.
#8 Rams: QB Michael Penix Jr: Indiana- A+. The Los Angeles Rams got an absolutely amazing prospect at this pick in Penix Jr. He was debatably the second best quarterback in this draft class and won the Heisman Award and was a first-team All-American in his senior season at Indiana leading them to a 10-2 record. The quarterback position was also by far the biggest need on the team and Penix becomes instant starter with the poor play from Kellen Mond and the loss of Jared Goff in the blockbuster trade with the Detroit Lions that saw the Rams give up DJ Uiagalelei AKA the first overall pick for this pick and the 17th overall. Penix’s amazing college resume made him a first-pick quality player honestly if it weren’t for DJ and the Rams were able to get him at 8.
#9 Cowboys: LE Miles Murphy: Clemson- B. Dallas drafted Murph not as a position of need but as a great player who gets to learn from Demarcus Lawrence for a year before taking his starting spot and he fills the Cowboys defensive line very well. The pick gets a knock for not being an instant starter drafted in the top 10 but the Cowboys tried to trade down, but no deal ended up happening so Dallas reached a bit to secure the guy they wanted. Murphy is also the 3rd Clemson defensive end taken from that stacked roster and in college he benefited from the elite play of Brian Breese and KJ Henry. While not an instant impact player, Murphy should turn out to be what the Cowboys wanted.
#10 Steelers: WR Jadon Haselwood: Oklahoma- A-. Pittsburgh got an outstanding versatile player that gives new quarterback Deshaun Watson yet another weapon as Haselwood joins perhaps the most talented wide receiving group in all of football, filled with Julio Jones, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and James Washington. The Steelers get a knockdown from an A grade because of those guys ahead of him on the depth chart and Julio being the only one with an expiring contract. That could make this a somewhat questionable pick especially with the team also having decently big holes at linebacker positions but we will just have to see how Haselwood fits in and performs for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Added Bonus Commentary:
Worst Pick: San Francisco 49ers taking Jordan Wilmore out of Utah. He’s a great promising player but he wasn’t even a top 5 HB prospect and the 49ers took him over Demarkcus Bowman who showed over and over again that he was a beast as he practically single-handily brought the Flordia Gators to the National Championship, although I doubt Bowman minds going to the back-to-back Super Bowl winning Buffalo Bills (he will have to adjust to Buffalo’s cold weather instead of the Florida heat). Wilmore isn’t the fastest or the strongest on the 49ers so unless he plans on carrying the workload by himself, the 49ers should have taken a position of need or just simply: Demarkcus Bowman.