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AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Player – Sammy Watkins (6)

Pick – 4

Grade – C-

The Bills trade a 1st and a 4th in the 2015 draft to move up from #9 to #4. I have Watkins as the best WR in the class. His RAC will take pressure off Manuel and the running game, and he’s also a deep threat. But trading away a future 1st to acquire a WR in a draft stacked with WR doesn’t sit well.

Miami Dolphins

Player – Ja’Wuan James (outside top 40)

Pick – 19

Grade – C-

James is a fine player and should solidify the RT position. He has very good feet for a RT, but he’s not as physically dominant as your standout RT’s. He is a good fit for a ZBS, and he’s a better RT prospect than Zach Martin. To draft him, though, Miami passed on a number of standout DB’s and WR’s – all rated as significantly better prospects than James. When you draft for need in 2014, you’ll be drafting for need in 2015.

New England Patriots

Player – Dominique Easley (outside top 40)

Pick – 29

Grade – D+

Talented player with medical red flags. Undersized, penetrating 3-technique. Given the available players and Easley’s health, this is a major reach. If everything comes together for him, he has the talent to justify the pick, but New England passed on players with as much (if not more) talent and fewer red flags. Bad betting, BB.

New York Jets

Player – Calvin Pryor (30-40)

Pick – 18

Grade – C

If we’re grading on an AFC-East curve, the Jets aced it! Pryor doesn’t have the coverage ability, versatility, athletic ability, ball skills, or play making ability of Jimmie Ward or Deone Bucannon. For a SS, his coverage skills are solid, and he can bring the heat in the box, but he’s a limited player for the 18th pick in a very strong draft.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Player – C. J. Mosley (30-40)

Pick – 17

Grade – C+

The best 3-4 ILB prospect went off the board two picks earlier, and there is a drop off after Mosley. He’s a good player and a smart player, but they passed on more productive and dynamic players to take him at 17. He also has medical red flags.

Cincinnati Bengals

Player – Darqueze Dennard (21)

Pick – 24

Grade – B+

Dennard represents good value and scheme fit for the Bengals. With two deep safeties, his physical limitations are less of a concern. He’s a strong tackler and aggressive in press coverage.

Cleveland Browns

Player(s) – Justin Gilbert (16), Johnny Manziel (4)

Pick(s) – 8, 22

Grade – A

Cleveland picked up 2015 1st and 4th RD picks in the trade down with Buffalo, and that does factor into the grade. Even though Gilbert was a significant reach at 8, if the picks were reversed (Manziel at 8 and Gilbert at 22), the value is outstanding for both picks.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Player – Ryan Shazier (3)

Pick – 15

Grade – A

LB’s with Ryan Shazier’s production and athleticism only come around once every 5-10 years. He’s a SPECIAL talent – every bit as special as Clowney and Robinson. Best possible pick for Pittsburgh at 15.

AFC South

Houston Texans

Player – Jadeveon Clowney (2)

Pick – 1

Grade A-

Sometimes the obvious pick is the right pick. They need to address QB pretty soon, but he’s going to be a monster as 2-point or 3-point rusher in the 9-technique.

Indianapolis Colts – pick traded to Cleveland for Trent Richardson. What did the Browns do with the pick? Turned it into Johnny Manziel.

Grade – F

Jacksonville Jaguars

Player – Blake Bortles (32)

Pick – 3

Grade – C-

Wrong QB. Bortles is a solid QB prospect but has too many holes in his game to consider this early. Compound those holes with his only adequate upside, and you have a significant reach. He’s got a shot to do well there, no question, but he’s a bad bet in the top 10.

Tennessee Titans

Player – Taylor Lewan (7)

Pick – 11

Grade – A-

Lewan offers excellent value at 11. Joe Staley is a good pro comp. Strength is solid, but physicality and athleticism are top-notch. Better OT prospect than any of the big 3 from last year (though you can make a case for Lane Johnson). 

AFC West

Denver Broncos

Player – Bradley Roby (22)

Pick – 31

Grade – A-

Roby is an outstanding talent – arguably the most talented CB in the draft. He has to tighten his game, but from what I hear, he’s aware of it. Denver has the leadership to maximize his talents. Couldn’t do much (if any) better if you’re Denver.

Kansas City Chiefs

Player – Dee Ford (30-40)

Pick – 23

Grade – C-

Good athlete and solid player. Poor man’s Brandon Graham. Too early for a player with Ford’s limitations as a LB – given his lack of elite traits.

Oakland Raiders

Player – Khalil Mack (5)

Pick – 5

Grade – A-

Best 1st RD pick for the Raiders in recent memory. Mack is an elite athlete with great versatility and production. Strong pick and appropriate value for Oakland.

San Diego Chargers

Player – Jason Verrett (23)

Pick – 25

Grade – B+

In Verrett, San Diego gets good value at a position of desperate need. Verrett compares favorably to a more athletic Brent Grimes. Look for him to line up against Welker in the slot when SD plays Denver. 

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