2013 NFL Draft Report Card Report

2013 NFL Draft Report Card Report
2013 NFL Draft Report Card Report
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Guest column by Mike Ridley

The NFL draft made its last pick less than 75 hours ago, yet the internet is already littered with draft grades from even the most thoughtful, intelligent NFL and draft analysts. As is our yearly custom, we've searched out the most highly-regarded of these draft grades (sorry, bleacherreport), compiled their information and analyzed the data to figure out which teams they loved, which teams they hated (Hi, Jerry Jones), and which teams they didn't know what to do with. (Previous NFL Draft Report Card Reports can be found here: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2004.).

The lineup for this year's draft grades is listed below. It is nearly identical to last year's selection of draft analysts, with the exception being John Czarnecki, who had not posted a draft grades column at the time of this article. (Special thanks to Nate Davis for giving grades, rather than rankings, this year.)

*Dane Brugler did NFLDraftScout.com's AFC North grades for Rang.

As always, we'll look at the five teams with the highest grades, the five with the lowest, and the five who analysts can't make up their mind about. However, since we have almost the same group of analysts from a year ago, we'll also take a look at how this year's draft grades compare to last year's.

Highest Draft Grades

1. San Francisco 49ers
GPA: 3.71
Highest Grade: A+ (Cole)
Lowest Grade: B (Kiper, Prisco)
Comments: Jason Cole gave the 49ers the only "A+" to be handed out this year. He loved that the Niners addressed their four top needs with starting-caliber players and believes a healthy Marcus Lattimore could end up being the drafts best back. Kiper's grade hinges mostly on his thoughts of Eric Reid, whom he had has his sixth-best safety. Prisco wasn't a huge fan of drafting not one, but two players coming off major ACL injuries.

2. Cincinnati Bengals
GPA: 3.54
Highest Grade: A (Brugler, Prisco, Davis)
Lowest Grade: B- (Cole)
Comments: For the second straight year, the Bengals find themselves at, or near the top of the draft report cards, proving last year's GPA of 4.11 may not have been a fluke after all. All three analysts who gave A's loved the fit of Giovani Bernard in the Bengals offense. They also thought they added some quality depth in the later rounds, particularly Margus Hunt. Cole essentially echoed the comments of the other three, but was not as kind regarding the pick of Tyler Eifert when the Bengals already have Jermaine Gresham.

3. Baltimore Ravens
GPA: 3.50
Highest Grade: A (Brugler, Davis)
Lowest Grade: B (Prisco, Cole)
Comments: Brugler and Davis praised the Ravens for finding replacements for their highly publicized offseason departures. Both feel that the trade to get Arthur Brown is going to prove fruitful for years to come, while Matt Elam and Brandon Williams will both contribute early and often. Prisco thought the Ravens should've gone after a receiver before the seventh round while Cole didn't seem as high on Arthur Brown as others were.

4. St. Louis Rams
GPA: 3.42
Highest Grade: A (Burke, Davis)
Lowest Grade: B- (Silva)
Comments: Analysts loved that the Rams addressed the lack of playmakers head on, especially with Tavon Austin. Both Burke and Davis thought the trade up for the dynamic playmaker was well worth it. They see contributions from possibly all seven of the Rams' picks. Silva, who was easily the draft's harshest grader, was not nearly as sold on T.J. McDonald or Barrett Jones, whom he called a reserve at best.

5. Arizona Cardinals
GPA: 3.38
Highest Grade: A (Prisco, Cole)
Lowest Grade: C+ (Silva)
Comments: The Cardinals and Vikings tied for fifth and had the same lowest grade, but Arizona had a lower standard deviation so we'll list them fifth here. The Cardinals addressed one of their major needs with their first pick and continued to add contributors throughout the draft, even if some (Mathieu) come with notable asterisks. Prisco and Cole were both very high on fourth-round pick Alex Okafor, who has the potential to be a huge steal. Silva praised most decisions but thought more should've been done to address the offensive line and the long-term need at quarterback.

Lowest Draft Grades

32. Dallas Cowboys
GPA: 1.63
Highest Grade: B- (Rang)
Lowest Grade: F (Cole)
Comments: Rang wasn't as hard on the Cowboys due to the depth that they picked up in the draft. He thought that the pick of Terrance Williams mitigated getting a minimal return from the 49ers in their first-round trade. Cole thought the pick of Travis Frederick was a reach, as did most, while also pointing out that adding weapons to an already formidable passing attack was a luxury the Cowboys shouldn't have prioritized. Because of this and the lack of production their picks on defense are likely to create in the next two years, he gave out the only "F" in our eight report cards.

31. Cleveland Browns
GPA: 1.79
Highest Grade: C+ (Kiper)
Lowest Grade: D (Iyer)
Comments: The Browns were essentially in a no-win situation with the five picks they were left with after trading for multiple picks next year and picking up Davone Bess from the Dolphins. The picks they did make didn't scream out success, either. Kiper played devil's advocate, thinking the pick of Leon McFadden will have a residual effect with the secondary while also hoping Barkevious Mingo's production will finally match his talent. Iyer wasn't as high on McFadden and thought the Browns should've chosen at least one of the falling quarterbacks.

30. New England Patriots
GPA: 2.04
Highest Grade: B- (Rang, Prisco, Iyer)
Lowest Grade: D (Cole, Davis)
Comments: Most thought the Patriots got a steal (and future star) in second-round pick Jamie Collins. They also seemed to agree on the pick of Josh Boyce in the fourth. Duron Harmon unanimously considered a reach, with the pick of his teammate Logan Ryan failing to impress as well. Cole's biggest reason for the low grade was the lack of immediate-impact players drafted to help Tom Brady's closing window.

29. Buffalo Bills
GPA: 2.33
Highest Grade: B+ (Cole)
Lowest Grade: C- (Kiper)
Comments: Both Kiper and Cole liked the Bills' trade back in the first round and agreed that Robert Woods has value as a second-round pick. Cole was more bullish on E.J. Manuel as a first-round pick, while Kiper panned the pick, stating he was his sixth-rated quarterback in the draft class. Kiper thought they should've addressed the departure of Andy Levitre but, like Cole, thought they received good value from their picks after Thursday night.

28. Washington Redskins
GPA: 2.38
Highest Grade: A- (Rang)
Lowest Grade: D (Iyer)
Comments: The Redskins and Colts actually tied for the 28th spot, but the Redskins lose the arbitrary tiebreaker of lowest low grade. As expected when comparing comments from an "A-" and a "D," there was very little in common. Rang saw the Redskins draft through rainbow-tinted glasses, noting that David Amerson is a "ball hawk" and left school with an NCAA-leading 18 interceptions. He also likened Jordan Reed to Aaron Hernandez. Iyer, meanwhile, believers Amerson is a big risk in coverage and noted Jordan Reed's failed production in school. He believes the only saving grace in their draft is if Phillip Thomas becomes a starter.

Greatest Variation in Draft Grades

1. Dallas Cowboys
GPA: 1.63
Standard Deviation: .95
Highest Grade: B- (Rang)
Lowest Grade: F (Cole)
Comments: The Cowboys grades were all over the board. The precipitous fall from a "B-" to "F" certainly helped increase their deviation. The main differences came from whether the analysts believed Travis Frederick was worth a first-round pick and if they filled enough holes with their picks.

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2. San Diego Chargers
GPA: 2.67
Standard Deviation: .93
Highest Grade: A- (Davis)
Lowest Grade: D (Silva)
Comments: Davis believes the Charges got three first-round caliber players with their first three picks and projects possible Pro Bowls in their futures. Silva, meanwhile, thinks Keenan Allen was the only pick of value. He thinks D.J. Fluker will do little to help the Chargers much-maligned offensive line, noting his 5.5 sacks allowed last year. The trade to move up for Manti Te'o, instead of using those picks for the offensive line, also bothered Silva.

3. Tennessee Titans
GPA: 2.88
Standard Deviation: .89
Highest Grade: A (Davis)
Lowest Grade: C- (Iyer, Silva)
Comments: The major factors here were the analysts' feelings on Chance Warmack and Justin Hunter. Davis thinks that Warmack and Brian Schwenke complete the Titans' offensive line overhaul and Hunter provides an additional weapon to Jake Locker. Iyer and Silva are more suspect of Justin Hunter's prospects to succeed and think the price paid to move up and get him was too steep. Silva also believes Chance Warmack will prove to be a poor fit for the Titans zone scheme.

4. Miami Dolphins
GPA: 2.75
Standard Deviation: .89
Highest Grade: A (Cole)
Lowest Grade: D+ (Silva)
Comments: No surprise as the tough-to-please Evan Silva shows up again as the lowest grader. He likes many of the Dolphins' picks, but references the trades of Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis as factors into the poor grade. Cole left things in the past and gave Miami his only "A" in the AFC. He thinks highly of Dion Jordan and applauded the trade the Dolphins made to get him, as well as their attempt to refill their depleted secondary.

5. Washington Redskins
GPA: 2.38
Standard Deviation: .86
Highest Grade: A- (Rang)
Lowest Grade: D (Iyer)
Comments: As previously mentioned, Rang and Iyer couldn't have a bigger difference of opinion about the quality of the Redskins' picks. While Rang sees a lot of upside and depth, Iyer sees risk, lack of production and minimal help. Other factors influencing the wide range of results include whether the analysts consider RG3 as part of this draft (because of picks involved in last year's deal) or if they believe Brandon Jenkins will pan out.

Year to Year Comparison

With this year failing to have top-notch talent at the skill positions, I was expecting to see lower overall grades. Many of the analysts cited grabbing a future All-Pro as their reason for the high grades so I was shocked to see that the cumulative GPA for all teams actually rose from 2.74 to 2.81, a fairly sizable jump. Where the lack of big name stars showed itself was in the high-end grades. Last year, eight "A+" grades were handed out from our eight analysts, compared to just one this year. The depth of draft help offset the lack of profile athletes as twenty-four "A" grades were given out against last year's twenty-three.

A look at the analysts shows that Rob Rang featured the biggest change in voting, increasing his cumulative GPA given from a stingy 2.66 to 3.12, easily the highest of all analysts this year. Moving in the opposite direction was Evan Silva, who went from 2.92* to a cringe-worthy 2.43, .33 lower than Vinnie Iyer. (Silva did only Rotoworld's NFC grades in 2012; that's where his 2012 average comes from.)

Overall Grades

Here's the breakdown of this year's results:

2013 NFL Draft Grades
Team High Grade Low Grade Avg.
Std. Dev Grade
Std. Dev
Arizona A (Prisco, Cole) C+ (Silva) 3.38 0.58 6 16
Atlanta A- (Cole) C+ (Silva) 3.00 0.36 12 30
Baltimore A (Rang, Davis) B (Prisco, Cole) 3.50 0.40 3 28
Buffalo B+ (Cole) C- (Kiper) 2.33 0.67 29 11
Carolina B+ (Davis) C (Silva, Burke) 2.54 0.47 23 22
Chicago B+ (Davis) C (Prisco, Iyer) 2.46 0.43 25 26
Cincinnati A (Three tied) B- (Cole) 3.54 0.50 2 20
Cleveland C+ (Kiper) D (Iyer) 1.79 0.43 31 27
Dallas B- (Rang) F (Cole) 1.63 0.95 32 1
Denver B (Three tied) C- (Iyer) 2.54 0.47 24 23
Detroit B (Four tied) C+ (Prisco, Davis) 2.75 0.30 17 32
Green Bay A (Rang, Iyer) C- (Prisco) 3.33 0.76 7 7
Houston A- (Three tied) C (Cole) 3.08 0.58 9 15
Indianapolis B+ (Iyer) C- (Silva) 2.38 0.55 28 17
Jacksonville A (Iyer, Burke) B- (Silva, Cole) 3.33 0.53 8 18
Kansas City A- (Davis) C- (Iyer, Silva) 2.54 0.71 22 10
Team High Grade Low Grade Avg.
Std. Dev Grade
Std. Dev
Miami A (Cole) D+ (Silva) 2.75 0.89 18 4
Minnesota A (Rang, Prisco) C+ (Davis) 3.38 0.63 5 13
New England B- (Three tied) D (Cole, Davis) 2.04 0.72 30 9
New Orleans B+ (Three tied) C (Burke) 2.88 0.50 16 21
NY Giants B (Four tied) C+ (Kiper, Cole) 2.75 0.30 19 31
NY Jets B (Four tied) D (Iyer) 2.42 0.73 26 8
Oakland B (Three tied) C- (Iyer) 2.67 0.44 20 25
Philadelphia A (Iyer) C (Davis) 3.08 0.66 11 12
Pittsburgh A (Iyer) C+ (Silva, Cole) 3.08 0.61 10 14
San Diego A- (Davis) D (Silva) 2.67 0.93 21 2
San Francisco A+ (Cole) B (Kiper, Prisco) 3.71 0.52 1 19
Seattle A- (Silva) C+ (Davis) 2.92 0.39 13 29
St. Louis A (Burke, Davis) B- (Silva) 3.42 0.46 4 24
Tampa Bay A (Davis) C- (Silva) 2.88 0.82 14 6
Tennessee A (Davis) C- (Iyer, Silva) 2.88 0.89 15 3
Washington A- (Rang) D (Iyer) 2.38 0.86 27 5

Grading the Graders

2013 NFL Draft Grades
Grader High Grade Low Grade Avg. Grade Std. Dev
Mel Kiper, ESPN A- (Three tied) C- (Buffalo) 2.88 0.48
Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com A (Five tied) C (Cleveland, Kansas City) 3.12 0.58
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports A (Three tied) C- (Green Bay, San Diego) 2.77 0.63
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News A (Five tied) D (Three tied) 2.76 0.98
Evan Silva, Rotoworld A (San Francisco) D (Dallas) 2.43 0.72
Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated A (Three tied) D+ (Cleveland) 2.89 0.70
Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports A+ (San Francisco) F (Dallas) 2.80 0.86
Nate Davis, USA Today A (Five tied) D- (Dallas) 2.87 0.95

Mike Ridley is an FO intern and statistics researcher and the co-host of the Simply Awesome Sports podcast on Oregon Sports News. He's also an author for the Hour of Power Show blog. You can follow him on Twitter @hourofpowershow.


96 comments, Last at 09 Jul 2013, 9:23pm

#1 by DEW (not verified) // Apr 30, 2013 - 4:50pm

Draft gurus have the best jobs in the world. There is no correlation between their performance and their employment--indeed, has anyone ever even tried looking at Mel Kiper's body of work over time and seeing if he has a clue as to what he says pre-draft and post-draft has any relationship to how things work out, and more importantly, how his analysis compares to that of other analysts?

...That said, I still can't believe that Silva downgraded the Cards for not addressing the QB position in this draft, just because I haven't heard anyone say that any of the QBs available are a viable long-term answer.

Points: 0

#8 by bhauck // Apr 30, 2013 - 5:27pm

Coming into NFL fandom long after Kiper had established himself, my initial understanding of him was that he solely tried to predict the draft and didn't try to actually evaluate the players. Now I know that he did start out as more of a scout, but I don't know why anyone cares who he thinks will be good. Who he thinks will be taken 12th overall, or what round guys are likely to go in, or what positions a team considers a priority, maybe, but never how good players are or will be.

Points: 0

#12 by Anonymousse (not verified) // Apr 30, 2013 - 5:53pm

Kiper is a hack, pure and simple.

He gave the Patriots in 2010 a B-, after they traded back and got an additional 2nd rounder the next year, drafted:

1st Round (27th Overall) – Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
2nd Round (42nd Overall) – Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona
2nd Round (53rd Overall) – Jermaine Cunningham, OLB, Florida
2nd Round (62nd Overall) – Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida
3rd Round (90th Overall) – Taylor Price, WR, Ohio
4th Round (113th Overall) – Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida
5th Round (150th Overall) – Zoltan Mesko, P, Michigan
6th Round (205th Overall) – Ted Larsen, C, NC State
7th Round (208th Overall) – Thomas Welch, OT, Vanderbilt
7th Round (247th Overall) – Brandon Deaderick, DL, Alabama
7th Round (248th Overall) – Kade Weston, DL, Georgia
7th Round (250th Overall) – Zac Robinson, QB, Oklahoma State

Every single player they drafted is still on an NFL roster. There are several pro-bowl level players, atleast 5 starters there, several guys who get regular playing time, and then some role players. Its probably the best draft class of the decade, and Kiper thought it was a bad one.

He pretty much gives the patriots a C- to B- every year. Then goes back and regrades (higher) 6 months later when he realizes he just doesn't understand that the Patriots aren't drafting off the same board he is.

Points: 0

#16 by thok // Apr 30, 2013 - 7:20pm

To be fair, that was a hard draft to analyze. By far the best point of that draft are the tight ends they got in the second and fourth round, and it would be a reach to have expected them to coexist together, much less form the nucleus of a contender for the best offense ever.

Points: 0

#20 by Anonymousse (not verified) // Apr 30, 2013 - 8:10pm

The point is, even if you remove Gronk and Hernandez, it would still be a draft that produced 3 good starters, and thats a good draft.

It was pretty clear early on that it was a ridiculously good draft, and pretty much all the other graders gave it an A or an A+ for the Patriots, but Kiper basically said they'd got nothing out of it.

It was a clear indicator that he has no idea what hes talking about.

Points: 0

#96 by tmac22 (not verified) // Jul 09, 2013 - 9:23pm

Not really sure that giving a B- on an A draft means he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Points: 0

#21 by Jimmy Oz // Apr 30, 2013 - 8:18pm

Also, Devin McCourty turned out to be good & I'm not sure anyone had much faith left in BB being able to draft a DB in the 1st two rounds at that point.

Points: 0

#25 by dryheat // Apr 30, 2013 - 9:06pm

Your last sentence says it all. Graders give a grade according to how much the team agrees with him. If you take more players Kiper thinks are good, Kiper gives you a good grade. If you disagree with Kipers player rankings, Kiper gives you a poor grade.

Points: 0

#38 by Anonymous- (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 11:58am

Of course... why would they not do this when grading? Should an analyst be giving good grades to teams who draft players that he thinks are bad?

Points: 0

#39 by dryheat // May 01, 2013 - 12:10pm

Of course not. But we should accept it for what it is -- The opinion of a guy who hasn't watched as much film as an NFL scout, if any, doesn't have the players medical and police files, has not interviewed him in depth about football, has not watched him in practice, has not interviewed in any depth the players coaches, teammates, opposing coaches, etc, has not met his family and seen the environment he grew up in, has not worked him out, has not watched film with him, has not worked with him in the classroom setting, etc.

I follow the draft process some, although not as much as five years ago. I do mock drafts, I absorb all I can about the prospects, I have an initial reaction of "good pick" or "poor pick", but at the end of the day, I realize I have maybe 1/10th of the information that an NFL front office does about the players in question, and much of that is inluenced by the analysts. Maybe Mayock has 1/4th, and he's probably the best.

My word, at least 2 national draft "experts" had Ryan Nassib as the best player available in the draft heading into Thursday.

Points: 0

#40 by Kyle D. (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 12:36pm

There's so many "experts" out there. And none of them seem to know much. The Nassib prediction turned out to be a joke, and remember the talk that Barkley might jump over Gino Smith? The guy SI had do one of their draft grades online came across as a total idiot. He didn't even know what most teams real needs were and in one case took a team to task for ignoring needs at WR and LB when they'd actually selected one of each!

Points: 0

#43 by Independent George // May 01, 2013 - 12:45pm

The problem is that all of these grades are subjective and limited to small sample sizes. What we need is a statistical method of evaluating the quality of individual draft picks against a control across a large data set - a Draft Versimilitude Over Average, if you will.

Points: 0

#46 by MilkmanDanimal // May 01, 2013 - 12:53pm

Considering some people projected Nassib going to the Bills 8th overall, I'd say Nassib is the Ryan Leaf of mock drafts.

Points: 0

#78 by Noahrk // May 02, 2013 - 10:53am

And yet, have you read Waldman's recent article about the draft process and scouting? Sometimes less is more.

FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

Points: 0

#26 by dmstorm22 // Apr 30, 2013 - 10:04pm

While that was a great draft, your first statement that they are all on NFL rosters is wrong.

Kade Weston is currently in the CFL. Zac Robinson is a PSer.

Also, it is hard to call it the best draft of the decade when one of the 2nd round picks (Cunningham) has been a disappointment, and the 3rd round pick lasted just one season with that team (Price).

Not sure what decade you're considering, but the best draft since 2000 is probably the Cowboys in 2005, getting DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Kevin Burnett, Marion Barber and Chris Canty with their first five picks, and Jay Ratliff as a 7th rounder.

Points: 0

#29 by RickD // May 01, 2013 - 12:16am

Just wondering whether 2005 and 2010 are in the "same decade."

Were 1985 and 1990 in the same decade?

Points: 0

#30 by dmstorm22 // May 01, 2013 - 12:28am

Technically, they aren't. Decades, I believe, run from 0-9 (2000-2009, 1970-1979).

My point was more that it is easy to say that a draft from 2010 is the best draft of the 2010-2019 decade, as it is way too early for most 2011-2012 drafts to really compare.

Points: 0

#52 by bravehoptoad // May 01, 2013 - 1:54pm

I think they run from 1-10. The first year of the first decade was 1, not 0.

In the 19th century they knew this; they celebrated the beginning of the new century in 1901, not 1900.

Points: 0

#31 by BaronFoobarstein // May 01, 2013 - 12:30am

A decade is any ten year span. But numbered ordinally, yes, 2005 and 2010 are both in the 201st decade which is 2001-2010.

Points: 0

#32 by dmstorm22 // May 01, 2013 - 12:55am

I thought decades were different than Centuries and Milleniums (which follow the 01-00 and 001-000 format), but from a little googling and wikipeding, I've come over to your side.

Points: 0

#60 by DRohan // May 01, 2013 - 4:57pm

I had a teacher in 5th grade tell us that B.C. stood for "before Christ" and A.D. was "after death". At the time I couldn't remember the Latin words A.D. stood for, but it was still pretty obvious to me that she missing about 32 years there somewhere.

Points: 0

#33 by Mr Shush // May 01, 2013 - 5:46am

2005 Packers. Rodgers is worth more than all those players put together.

2004 Chargers is probably better too. 2004 Giants, maybe. 2004 Cardinals would have a shout. 2006 Broncos, for all that they didn't get the most out of it.

Points: 0

#34 by dmstorm22 // May 01, 2013 - 7:59am

Sure. And if you want to go by the studies this site just did, the only draft class since 2000 in either of the Best 10 tables was the 2006 Colts.

Points: 0

#35 by Mr Shush // May 01, 2013 - 8:56am

I actually didn't read those. Is there a joke I'm missing? I mean, the best player in that class was Antoine Bethea, right?

Points: 0

#71 by dmstorm22 // May 02, 2013 - 1:59am

They were top-10 by ROI (return on investment). I would recommend going back and reading the series Danny did.

Anyway, that particular metric credits teams that have value drafts, so the Colts get major points for Bethea in Round 6. Also, Joe Addai and Tim Jennings were good for picks #30 and #62.

Points: 0

#36 by Karl Cuba // May 01, 2013 - 10:41am

You're going to have to help me out. I see a pair of talented but injury prone tight ends, a mediocre defensive back, a mediocre linebacker and a punter. Not bad but i'm struggling to see the best draft class of the decade even if I really squint.

Mike Tanier provided a list of better drafts from the past ten years, it even has Pats 2003 on it though marks were deducted for omitting Niners 2007 (Willis, Staley, McDonald, Goldson, Brown)


Points: 0

#48 by RickD // May 01, 2013 - 1:32pm

If you use the same adjective ("mediocre") to describe Cunningham and McCourty, there's not much to say. Most observers think one of those two has contributed a good deal more than the other.

Gronk and Hernandez have each played 38 games in three seasons. But they're "injury-prone." OK.

Points: 0

#50 by Kyle D. (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 1:50pm

I see Gronkowski as having played in 43 games with 38 started. But guys can still be injury-prone and still able to play. Hard to define last season for Gronk as anything other than injury prone. Seemed like every week there was a question if he'd actually be able to play.

Points: 0

#51 by Karl Cuba // May 01, 2013 - 1:51pm

I wasn't describing Cunningham at all, I was talking about Spikes.

38 games in three years suggests that they miss about three and a half games per year, probably closer to four if you account for the games they got hurt in. That would put them at missing a quarter of their games, without accounting for Gronk missing significant time in the playoffs.

Points: 0

#55 by sundown (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 2:13pm

In three seasons, Hernandez hasn't yet played a full one. Not that great for a big guy who spends lots of time being tackled by smaller ones. Gronk missed games last year, was questionable for a bunch more, left some games early when he got re-injured, and now may not be ready for this season. If that isn't injury-prone, where would that definition kick in?

Points: 0

#57 by markus (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 4:09pm

Gronkowski and Hernandez were only in the lineup together for 4 games all season, iirc.

Points: 0

#58 by ViciousChicken… (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 4:11pm

Agreed. I dont understand the "several pro-bowl level players" comment.

McCourty made the probowl in 2010, due to having 7INT's, but I dont think anyone really considers him "pro-bowl level" if that term even has meaning anymore.

Gronkowski, yes.
Cunningham, no.
Spikes, no.
Price, no.
Hernandez, borderline but I'd say yes.
Mesko, no.
Larsen, no.
Welch, no.
Deaderick, no.
Weston, no.
Robinson, no.

So basically, two have actually made the probowl. Two are actually "pro-bowl level". That is hardly "several". B- is probably a low grade, but it isnt exactly the draft of a lifetime either.

Points: 0

#74 by JonFrum // May 02, 2013 - 9:49am

McCourty had a great rookie year, and then collapsed into one of the worst starting CBs in the NFL. With just a few years in the league, he's already been demoted to safety - not worth a first round pick.

Gronk needs no discussion

Cunningham is barely hanging on to his roster spot, and may be cut this year.

Spikes is a run stopper in a passing league.

Taylor Price was a wasted pick at a position of need.

Hernandez - see Gronk.

Mesko - competent but not special punter.

Of the rest, only Deadrick is doing anything for the Patriots, and that's only because they've failed to upgrade the position - see the Ron Brace pick.

A B- grade is not 'bad.' It certainly turned out to be a great draft for the Patriots, but Kiper didn't hammer it - he just didn't rate it high enough. An All Pro plus three starters plus a regular contributor plus a punter plus some injury fill-ins for a few years certainly is an 'A' draft. Just don't bring Taylor Price and Jermaine Cunningham into it.

Points: 0

#82 by Anonymousse (not verified) // May 02, 2013 - 11:17am

McCourty is an elite safety at this point. That most certainly is worth a late first round pick.

Points: 0

#9 by Theo // Apr 30, 2013 - 5:31pm

you can start doing that with this:

Points: 0

#22 by Jerry // Apr 30, 2013 - 8:31pm

There's a vast oversupply of draft gurus these days. Anyone with any kind of internet platform can, and often does, opine about the relative worth of prospects and who teams should draft. A handful of people can make a living at it, usually by having a network willing to let them bloviate on television. If you don't find any of these analysts informative, you're more than welcome to ignore them.

Of course, there's a larger group of people who make their livings evaluating prospects. They work for teams and/or scouting combines, and they have to answer for their wrong opinions.

Points: 0

#37 by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 11:50am

From what I can tell, Kiper's biggest "credential" is that he got into the draft prognosticator business ahead of everyone else. If he came along now, he'd be just another jabbering voice in the wind (which he kind of is anyway). But because he was the first, there's still some sort of deferrence to his opinion, as if it mattered.

Bill Tobin was right!

Points: 0

#49 by TomC // May 01, 2013 - 1:50pm

Tobin may have been right that Kiper is a hack, but Kiper sure was right about Trev Alberts.

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#72 by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) // May 02, 2013 - 9:33am

Kiper was right about Alberts, but the alternative he was pushing was Trent Dilfer. Dilfer had a better career than Alberts, but he wasn't anything to write home about.

Neither Tobin nor Kiper really "won" that debate, but I'll always take Tobin's side on this one. For one thing, I'm a Colts fan. But more importantly, Tobin was in a position to be held accountable for his mistakes.

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#91 by Mehllageman56 (not verified) // May 03, 2013 - 3:09pm

Mel Kiper's bashing of the Jets in the 1989 draft (Its obvious to me that the Jets don't know what the draft is about) erupted when they reached for Jeff Lageman in the first round. Jeff Lageman made all rookie teams at linebacker, and got moved to defensive end in Pete Carroll's defense his second year. His third year he had ten sacks and made the Pro Bowl. He got injured the next year, but that career arc tells me that Kiper doesn't know what he is talking about, only 'when' players should be picked. Another pick he considered a reach: Dwight Freeney. He was supposed to go late in the first, and the Colts picked him eighth.

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#68 by Jerry // May 01, 2013 - 11:32pm

Yeah, Kiper and the late Joel Buschbaum were the first two draftniks to gain notoriety. Of course, there was no Internet and very little cable TV in the late '70s, and the ability to sit on the couch and watch 15 hours of college football on Saturday didn't yet exist. While the league was well past drafting from Street and Smith's by then, most media previews were at that level. Kiper could go on a talk show and answer questions about the safety from Central Michigan.

Once ESPN established itself, hiring Kiper brought them a recognized brand. As he's developed more of a media presence, he may spend less time looking at film, but I suspect he still enjoys doing the basic research and putting together his book. His opinion may not matter, but neither does any other draftnik's.

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#93 by Unclestosh (not verified) // May 05, 2013 - 10:58am

Yes, there have been look backs but not enough. From what is out there, it isn't pretty for anyone, including NFL personnel departments. And I am specifically talking about the critique of the Big Boards which purport to judge the level of talent and future success. A Mock Draft only tries to guess what the NFL team is going to do on draft day.

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#94 by Sifter // May 05, 2013 - 5:07pm

I agree there is a surprising lack of draft data out there, considering the NFL offseason is so bloody long compared to other sports. You'd think the midst of mid-May boredom, and realizing there is still 3.5 months until the real football starts someone would have done some hardcore draft research.

That said, it would probably find the same thing as it does for the teams. Some teams are slightly better at drafting, but generally it's still a crapshoot. It would be the same for draft experts.

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#2 by theprophecy // Apr 30, 2013 - 4:51pm

Inspired me to go read Silva. Too much drooling over the draft in general.

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#3 by jburke (not verified) // Apr 30, 2013 - 4:54pm

Do you picture the Dallas draft room being like ten 75-90 year old scouts spitting their chew and discussing things like, "Center - it's the most important position in football. Bar None. I mean there is a real skill to snapping that ball back into the QB's hands. Do you remember Bulldog Turner? Now that was a football player!"

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#7 by drobviousso // Apr 30, 2013 - 5:11pm

Sometimes, life is better than satire.
"Garrett, at one point, had a blank look across his face as he started rubbing his forehead with his hand. Ciskowski and Stephen Jones also had an animated exchange. It was a rare show of emotion by Ciskowski."

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#6 by nath // Apr 30, 2013 - 5:11pm

Did anyone else see the reports on Twitter on the huge argument in the Cowboys' war room over the first-rounder? Apparently Garrett and the scouts wanted to draft Sharrif Floyd, but Jerry and Stephen Jones overruled them and traded down to take Frederick.

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#67 by nath // May 01, 2013 - 9:09pm

So do you think it's just rumor? The fact that it broke on Twitter when it happened led me to think there was something legitimate behind it.

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#69 by Jim W. (not verified) // May 02, 2013 - 12:07am

No, I don't think it's just a rumor. Other media members from local radio stations and newspapers are saying similar things.

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#70 by nath // May 02, 2013 - 1:19am

Yeah, if that's true, I think it's one of the single most awful/worst moves a team has made in a long time. Up there with the story of Charley Armey wanting the Rams to take Alex Smith based on a highlight tape, and trying to get the scout who disagreed with him to change his grade. What are you even paying scouts for?

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#73 by Karl Cuba // May 02, 2013 - 9:45am

The thing about that Armey story is while Armey was overrating Smith and using a pretty ropey process to do so, the scout himself was way off. He had Smith as a worse prospect than Jeff Smoker, who made the Rams' roster as a rookie and then made a practice squad before becoming preseason injury relief for another team and finishing his career in the arena league.

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#79 by Noahrk // May 02, 2013 - 11:03am

But did he have Smoker too high or Smith too low?

FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

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#81 by Anonymousse (not verified) // May 02, 2013 - 11:12am

Whose to say if Smoker had been given 5 years to figure his shit out as a starter, he wouldn't have got to league average?

I don't think I've ever seen a QB who was given as much rope as Alex Smith was. And I can't help but think that had the 49'ers not spent a 1st rounder on him, he would have been cut years ago.

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#83 by Karl Cuba // May 02, 2013 - 11:39am

On the other hand I've never seen another quarterback messed around by his franchise as much as Smith was. He started to look like a decent qb in his second year before Norv Turner was replaced by Jeff Hostler and the long night began.

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#86 by bravehoptoad // May 02, 2013 - 12:20pm

Talk about a lose-lose. That move wrecked the Niners and sent the Chargers into a tail spin in one fell swoop.

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#87 by Sifter // May 02, 2013 - 5:57pm

Jason Campbell is also a member of that 'messed around' club. Here's a list of his offensive coordinators that I found (Gibbs and Zorn were HC and OC):
• Norv Turner, 2013, Browns
• Mike Tice, 2012, Bears
• Al Saunders, 2011, Raiders
• Hue Jackson, 2010, Raiders
• Sherman Smith, 2009, Redskins
• Jim Zorn, 2008, Redskins
• Al Saunders, 2006 and 2007, Redskins
• Joe Gibbs, 2005, Redskins
• Al Borges, 2004, Auburn
• Hugh Nall, 2003, Auburn
• Bobby Petrino, 2002, Auburn
• Noel Mazzone, 2001, Auburn

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#11 by smilerz (not verified) // Apr 30, 2013 - 5:40pm

Is there any analysis at how good these guys are at evaluating a draft once the results are in? In other words, who is best at predicting the future?

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#15 by Ben // Apr 30, 2013 - 7:00pm

Why did Washington get the write up for fifth worst draft when the table says they were sixth and the Colts were fifth?

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#18 by Ben // Apr 30, 2013 - 8:03pm

The grade rank has the Colts at 28 and Redskins at 27. They both have the same GPA, but the Colts have a lower standard deviation, so the "experts" agreed more on their suckage.

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#19 by Mike Ridley // Apr 30, 2013 - 8:08pm

The explanation is in the first line of comments for the Redskins. It was a tiebreaker that wasn't shown in the graph.

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#23 by MJK // Apr 30, 2013 - 8:42pm

Now that FO is starting to play with evaluating draft efficiency with AVP, it would be interesting to look back over these "experts" grades and study how well their same-year draft grades correlate with the actual efficiency each team got with its draft picks...

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#24 by Will Allen // Apr 30, 2013 - 8:52pm

The odds of any of these guys watching enough NFL film to have a really good idea of what players on the particular NFL rosters need to be replaced, while also watching enough college film to know what new guys would best replace them, are very slim. Even if we assume that these alleged gurus know whether the ball is inflated or stuffed. That is not a really sound assumption.

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#42 by Kyle D. (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 12:45pm

That's why some of the best commentary of the draft I typically hear is from guys covering a single team, talking about that team. They don't always have the best handle on the guys being drafted, but they almost always have insight into why a certain position might have been drafted, even when the pick seems odd at first glance. They usually won't bother with grading picks, but they'll give valuable insight into what the strategy behind the picks were.

Most of these guys grading the entire draft seem to have, at best, solid insight on maybe 1/3 of the teams and it's not uncommon to see them mention "needs" totally out-of-whack with reality.

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#56 by Perfundle // May 01, 2013 - 3:05pm

That valuable insight generally consists of putting the best possible spin on each draft pick. Of course, some of that information they got from the team themselves, who are doing the same thing. Obviously every FO thinks they had an A+ draft, but only hearing the best possible scenario is severely lacking in nourishment to me.

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#61 by Kyle D. (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 5:02pm

True enough, but I'll take a good explanation of what the team is trying to do over a random grade based on essentially nothing any day. Because that isn't nourishing, either.

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#27 by loren (not verified) // Apr 30, 2013 - 10:18pm

Looking back its interesting to note how frequently Cole had made poor predictions (Wilson, Newton, etc). I'd be interested in a report card on the analysts themselves.

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#54 by bravehoptoad // May 01, 2013 - 2:03pm


That would be a fun article to do. They could run it when they evaluated a draft class six years later.

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#41 by jimmy bones (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 12:45pm

Its been discussed that most drafted players are crapshoots and for the most part you should just accumulate picks to pull value. I'm not sure why we hold draft experts to some kind of higher standards than the teams. They are all going to have more hits and misses.

I think it would be more interesting for the long time experts to go back to their reports 5 years ago and go through where they were wrong and why they think that was. But the de facto analysis of past drafts is always either redoing the draft or or redoing the grades of the draft which is ridiculously unexciting but likely can produce debates among fans when there guy gets 'picked' at a lower point than they want.

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#45 by Kyle D. (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 12:51pm

Because people who brag how smart they are deserve to be called on it when they're wrong. If you're going to stick grades on what others are doing, then you'd better have some good knowledge or you need to remain quiet. Individual teams are obviously trying to do the best they can; they're right sometimes, wrong others, but typically don't go crazy bragging about their efforts and almost never call out other teams for doing a bad job.

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#44 by peterplaysbass // May 01, 2013 - 12:51pm

You've got Arizona as #6 in the table despite a lower STDEV score than Minnesota (#5).

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#59 by ViciousChicken… (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 4:20pm

Add Walterfootball.
Remove Prisco.

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#75 by JonFrum // May 02, 2013 - 9:56am

I much prefer Walterfootball to Prisco. God knows he crashed and burned on Jimmy Clausen, but he gives a lot of useful information and constantly updates.

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#85 by Dean // May 02, 2013 - 11:58am

I can reluctantly agree to this. Walter may be obnoxious and a terrible writer, but he does seem to have a pretty good handle on the draft overall. Prisco brings absolutely nothing to the table. I'm sure he got his job for a good reason, but I couldn't tell you for the life of me what that reason might be.

The only real criticism of walterfootball that I have is that if anything, he tends to overvalue certain trends. For example, if there's a player with even a small rap sheet, you can pretty much bet he's being mocked to either the Bengals or Rams.

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#63 by Passing Through (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 5:47pm

It's hilarious to look at last year's article.

The most shocking grade is Seattle being ranked 30th. If you Ctrl+F for "Wilson", half the discussion is about some dude in NE called Tavon Wilson, rather than the new superstar Russell.

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#64 by Anonanon (not verified) // May 01, 2013 - 7:44pm

Maybe the best illustration of the futility of "grading" the NFL draft is the list of players drafted ahead of Tom Brady *by New England* in 2000:

2. Adrian Klemm
3. J.R. Redmond
4. Greg Randall
5. Dave Stachelski
5. Jeff Marriott
6. Antwan Harris

If they had picked him in the 3rd round, say, they might deserve some credit for foresight. But you don't draft a QB as your second pick in the 6th round for any reason other than roster filler and let's hope he develops. The Pats got lucky, plain and simple, and that kind of thing happens all the time (or doesn't).

The only real way to "grade" a franchise is by their long-term success on the field. The same regime is not going to be smart one year and dumb the next.

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#76 by JonFrum // May 02, 2013 - 10:01am

Then again, how do you give the Colts an 'A' for taking Andrew Luck with the #1 pick? It's like giving the millionaire's son credit for his bank account. Every year, the teams with the highest/most picks get most of the best grades. You could pretty well hand out the grades before the draft.

On the other hand, 31 teams DIDN'T get lucky and pick Brady. Some credit has to accrue there - certainly more than to the Colts last year.

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#77 by dryheat // May 02, 2013 - 10:39am

I think we're all in agreement that Belichick got lucky in how good Brady turned out to be. As he often says, if he knew Brady would be this good he would have drafted him much earlier(although who knows if Brady would be a HOFer if he came in as an entitled 1st round pick).

But in context, namely Bledsoe having signed the richest QB contract in history and the Pats still feeling the effects of the Bill Parcells / Bobby Grier salary cap hell, a sixth round pick was about the highest one could justify using on a QB with three already on the roster (Starter Bledsoe, Vet backup Freize, Prospect Bishop). They obviously felt good enough about Brady (and Tim Rattay, who was the other candidate) to use draft capital to add another, and former QB coach Dick Rebhein pushed strongly for Brady, so I think that the scouting staff deserves some credit for drafting him.

I also think the coaching staff deserves much credit for devoping him. I can't think of another starting QB who has improved as much as Brady from draft day to now, which is obviously mostly creditable to Brady's work ethic.

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#88 by patoshea (not verified) // May 03, 2013 - 12:46pm

I would like to see with the grade of this years draft the analysis of the draft 3 years ago. Then we would who knew their stuff at the time.

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#95 by guestiseveryth… (not verified) // May 09, 2013 - 9:09am

Grades are a joke. A/B for the Ravens? No improvement on defense. You band-aid a defense with quick/cheap fixes and roleplayers but not playmakers. They are literally repeating history even though don't want to. This time instead of Grbac/Dilfer its Dumervil/Ed Reed. 2013 Ravens = 2001 Ravens. No doubt about it.

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