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Draft 2013: AFC Draft Grades

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Draft 2013: AFC Draft Grades
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Evan Silva assigns a grade to each AFC Team following the 2013 NFL Draft

Bang it here for 2013 NFC Draft Grades.

Baltimore Ravens

32. Matt Elam, strong safety, Florida.
56. Arthur Brown, inside linebacker, Kansas State.
94. Brandon Williams, nose tackle, Missouri Southern.
129. John Simon, outside linebacker, Ohio State.
130. Kyle Juszczyk, fullback, Harvard.
168. Ricky Wagner, tackle, Wisconsin.
200. Kapron Lewis-Moore, defensive end, Notre Dame.
203. Ryan Jensen, guard, Colorado State-Pueblo.
238. Aaron Mellette, receiver, Elon.
247. Marc Anthony, cornerback, California.

Overview: The Ravens entered Thursday with an AFC-high 12 picks. They proceeded to replenish a defense picked apart in free agency with first- and second-day value grabs that address immediate needs. Elam and Brown are plug-and-play starters who add physicality up the middle. Experienced covering slot receivers, Elam is an upgrade on outgoing Bernard Pollard, while Brown's game tape was arguably indicative of a top-20 overall player. Williams is a quick-footed 340-pound nose tackle with pocket-pushing ability. Simon draws comparisons to James Harrison as a stubby, if stout rush linebacker prospect with a deceptively explosive first step. Juszczyk, Wagner, Lewis-Moore, and Anthony look like future role players. Mellette was another terrific late-round value pick. Once GM Ozzie Newsome gets left tackle Bryant McKinnie re-signed, the Ravens' 2013 lineups will near completion. And I think the product can be better than what Baltimore put on the field in 2012.

Grade: B+

Buffalo Bills

16. E.J. Manuel, quarterback, Florida State.
41. Robert Woods, receiver, USC.
46. Kiko Alonso, linebacker, Oregon.
78. Marquise Goodwin, receiver, Texas.
105. Duke Williams, safety, Nevada.
143. Jonathan Meeks, safety, Clemson.
177. Dustin Hopkins, kicker, Florida State.
222. Chris Gragg, tight end, Arkansas.

Overview: A high-risk, potentially high-reward draft. Top Bills personnel men Buddy Nix and Doug Whaley deserve kudos for pre-draft misdirection that convinced everyone Ryan Nassib or even perhaps Matt Barkley would be the No. 8 pick. Instead, they traded down to acquire more valuable choices and still came away with real franchise quarterback target Manuel. I'm admittedly skeptical of Manuel's NFL future, but Buffalo's execution was impressive. Woods, Alonso, Williams, and Gragg were solid value selections. The former two can help right away. The jury is out on whether Goodwin upgrades on in-house speedster T.J. Graham. Meeks and Hopkins were suspect picks.

Grade: C+

Cincinnati Bengals

21. Tyler Eifert, tight end, Notre Dame.
37. Giovani Bernard, running back, North Carolina.
53. Margus Hunt, defensive end, SMU.
84. Shawn Williams, safety, Georgia.
118. Sean Porter, outside linebacker, Texas A&M.
156. Tanner Hawkinson, tackle, Kansas.
190. Rex Burkhead, running back, Nebraska.
197. Cobi Hamilton, receiver, Arkansas.
240. Reid Fragel, tackle, Ohio State.
251. T.J. Johnson, center/guard, South Carolina.

Overview: The Bengals have done a great job of value drafting in recent years, and I don't think that changed here. Eifert was an obvious best-available selection and gives Cincy the athletic movement tight end Jermaine Gresham was supposed to be. Bernard should run circles around plodder BenJarvus Green-Ellis in camp, adding sorely needed playmaking ability to the backfield. Hunt is a Combine freak with unimpressive college tape and turns 26 years old before the season, but he couldn't have landed in a better spot. He'll receive Mike Zimmer and Marvin Lewis' tutelage as a developmental project while riding the bench initially behind one of the NFL's top front fours. Williams, Porter, Burkhead, Hamilton, and Fragel could all be contributors within the next year or two. Quarterback remains an issue in Cincinnati, but the rest of the roster is becoming awfully good.

Grade: B

Cleveland Browns

6. Barkevious Mingo, outside linebacker, LSU.
68. Leon McFadden, cornerback, San Diego State.
175. Jamoris Slaughter, strong safety, Notre Dame.
217. Armonty Bryant, defensive end, East Central (OK).
227. Garrett Gilkey, tackle, Chadron State.

Overview: I contemplated factoring Josh Gordon into this grade -- he was a 2012 second-round Supplemental Pick and cost Cleveland its 2013 second-round choice -- but decided against it because the pick was made by a prior regime. New GM Mike Lombardi does deserve credit for the Davone Bess trade, which netted Cleveland a reliable chain-moving slot receiver and all told cost very little. Along the way, the Browns invested in the 2014 draft, acquiring third- and fourth-round picks next year via trades with Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. Mingo was the most naturally explosive edge presence in this draft. McFadden may be stretched covering outside receivers in the NFL, but projects as an upgrade on Buster Skrine at nickel back. Bryant has some upside as a small-school project. Slaughter can be a core special teamer if his Achilles' is right. Lombardi's first draft haul underwhelms on paper, but the Browns can capitalize on his forward-minded thinking next year.

Grade: C

Denver Broncos

28. Sylvester Williams, defensive tackle, North Carolina.
58. Montee Ball, running back, Wisconsin.
90. Kayvon Webster, cornerback, South Florida.
146. Quanterus Smith, defensive end, Western Kentucky.
161. Tavarres King, receiver, Georgia.
173. Vinston Painter, tackle, Virginia Tech.
234. Zac Dysert, quarterback, Miami of Ohio.

Overview: The early rounds of VP of Player Personnel John Elway's third Broncos draft were largely by the book. Perhaps only Webster could be considered a reach, but he was a late third-rounder and adds quality secondary depth. Elway found potential late-round gems. Speed rusher Smith was leading the nation in sacks last year -- including three against Alabama's offensive line -- before tearing his left ACL in mid-November. King won't play right away, but offers starting-caliber potential down the line with 4.47 jets and separation skills. Although inexperienced, Painter is long armed and highly athletic with upside to develop into a starter at tackle or left guard. Dysert was a favorite of Rotoworld draft guru Josh Norris, whom I trust. Norris encourages not being surprised if Dysert eventually overtakes shaky 2012 second-round pick Brock Osweiler behind Peyton Manning.

Grade: B

Houston Texans

27. DeAndre Hopkins, receiver, Clemson.
57. D.J. Swearinger, safety, South Carolina.
89. Brennan Williams, tackle, North Carolina.
95. Sam Montgomery, outside linebacker, LSU.
124. Trevardo Williams, outside linebacker, Connecticut.
176. David Quessenberry, tackle/guard, San Jose State.
195. Alan Bonner, receiver, Jacksonville State.
198. Chris Jones, defensive tackle, Bowling Green.
201. Ryan Griffin, tight end, Connecticut.

Overview: Perhaps no AFC team found a better first-round fit than Hopkins in Houston. A Roddy White-type talent, Hopkins is a pro-ready bookend for X receiver Andre Johnson, playing Z and in the slot. Hard-hitting, trash-talking Swearinger will be a third safety as a rookie, but adds special teams value and could grow into the Texans' next Glover Quin. Williams is an athletic, finesse right tackle prospect capable of putting immediate pressure on inconsistent starter Derek Newton. An LSU base 4-3 end, Montgomery is a questionable schematic fit for Houston's 3-4 but was a value pick. Williams is undersized but wildly explosive off the age. Quessenberry is another zone-blocking prospect. I liked the late-round stab at Jones, who dominated the MAC last season.

Grade: B

Indianapolis Colts

24. Bjoern Werner, outside linebacker, Florida State.
86. Hugh Thornton, guard, Illinois.
121. Khaled Holmes, center, USC.
139. Montori Hughes, defensive tackle, Tennessee-Martin.
192. John Boyett, safety, Oregon.
230. Kerwynn Williams, running back, Utah State.
254. Justice Cunningham, tight end, South Carolina.

Overview: Keep in mind Colts GM Ryan Grigson also surrendered a 2014 fourth-round pick in the trade up for Hughes early in round five. I'm surprised Grigson mortgaged part of his future for a small-schooler with a checkered character background. Not only is Werner an odd fit for Chuck Pagano's 3-4 defense, but his tendency to give up on plays after initially being blocked was disconcerting on game film. Contrary to popular belief – which may be racially driven -- the player's motor is an issue. I liked the Thornton pick, but not Holmes. I didn't love many of Grigson's free-agency moves or his draft as a whole, and this grade will be low. But the 2012 NFL Executive of the Year has earned every ounce of the benefit of the doubt. The Colts have a top-15 roster a year after going 2-14, thanks in large part to Grigson's scouting. He knows more than me.

Grade: C-

Jacksonville Jaguars

2. Luke Joeckel, right tackle, Texas A&M.
33. Johnathan Cyprien, strong safety, FIU.
64. Dwayne Gratz, cornerback, Connecticut.
101. Ace Sanders, receiver, South Carolina.
135. Denard Robinson, running back, Michigan.
169. Josh Evans, free safety, Florida.
208. Jeremy Harris, cornerback, New Mexico State.
210. Demetrius McCray, cornerback, Appalachian State.

Overview: Rookie GM Dave Caldwell inherited one of the league's most talent-starved rosters from annual draft-misser Gene Smith. Caldwell's approach was to simply land good football players, which makes sense because Jacksonville doesn't have many of them. Joeckel and Cyprien were widely considered first-round locks before the draft, and I thought press-corner Gratz was a sleeper for the top 32. The Robinson pick may be laughed at in some circles, but he has a genuine chance to be the Jaguars' running back of the future. Maurice Jones-Drew is coming off major foot surgery and entering a contract year. Evans was a solid late value pick; he has centerfielder range and was an excellent player overshadowed by Matt Elam at UF. The Jags still have a laundry list of needs -- pass rusher and quarterback most glaring among them -- but from all indications Caldwell is off to a strong start. Jacksonville still has a long way to go before becoming a competitive team.

Grade: B-


Kansas City Chiefs

1. Eric Fisher, left tackle, Central Michigan.
63. Travis Kelce, tight end, Cincinnati.
96. Knile Davis, running back, Arkansas.
99. Nico Johnson, inside linebacker, Alabama.
134. Sanders Commings, cornerback, Georgia.
170. Eric Kush, center, California (PA).
204. Braden Wilson, fullback, Kansas State.
207. Mike Catapano, defensive end, Princeton.

Overview: GM John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid entered the draft without a second-round pick following the Alex Smith trade. Their failed Branden Albert trade bid ensured it stayed that way. Kansas City still drafted left tackle Fisher with the first pick and plucked day-one talent Kelce at the beginning of round three. Their draft dropped off precipitously from there. Selecting workout warrior running back Davis over Johnathan Franklin was one of the worst picks of the 2013 draft. If Davis' college tape means anything for his NFL future -- and I believe it does -- he won't be long for the league. Johnson is a two-down role player and special teamer at best. Commings has been billed as a physical press corner, but I watched his tape and found him to be allergic to contact. The Catapano pick offered late-round value, but otherwise I was unimpressed by this eight-man haul.

Grade: C-

Miami Dolphins

3. Dion Jordan, defensive end, Oregon.
54. Jamar Taylor, cornerback, Boise State.
77. Dallas Thomas, guard/tackle, Tennessee.
93. Will Davis, cornerback, Utah State.
104. Jelani Jenkins, inside linebacker, Florida.
106. Dion Sims, tight end, Michigan State.
164. Mike Gillislee, running back, Florida.
166. Caleb Sturgis, kicker, Florida.
250. Don Jones, safety, Arkansas State.

Overview: GM Jeff Ireland was pick-rich after unloading Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis -- two premier NFL starters -- for pennies on the dollar. Those bad trades are factored into Miami's grade. After more trades, the Fins wound up turning the two Marshall third-rounders into Michael Egnew, B.J. Cunningham, blocking tight end Sims, and part of the deal that brought underwhelming corner prospect Davis. For Vontae, they got Taylor straight up. Jordan has a chance to be the best player in this draft class. I like Taylor. Gillislee could be a year-one upgrade on Daniel Thomas if he demonstrates consistency in pass protection. Jones has starter measurables and offered value at the tail end of day three. But Ireland can't be let off the hook for his past talent-shaving trades just because he snuck them into last offseason. The Fins are still paying the piper, and after nauseatingly producing four consecutive losing seasons Ireland has cost himself all possible benefit of the doubt.

Grade: D+

New England Patriots

52. Jamie Collins, defensive end, Southern Miss.
59. Aaron Dobson, receiver, Marshall.
83. Logan Ryan, cornerback, Rutgers.
91. Duron Harmon, safety, Rutgers.
102. Josh Boyce, receiver, TCU.
226. Michael Buchanan, defensive end, Illinois.
235. Steve Beauharnais, inside linebacker, Rutgers.

Overview: The Patriots entered the draft with just five picks and did well to maneuver down the board, picking up more chances to improve their roster. Collins is an underrated, explosive edge rusher. Dobson had the best hands of any receiver in the draft. Boyce can really run, and Buchanan is talented enough to develop into an eventual NFL contributor. Ryan will play on special teams and may eventually push slot cornerback Kyle Arrington for snaps. The Patriots drafted several solid prospects and could get surprise impact from some members of the group, but New England is a win-now team and I'm not confident this draft will help them get where they want to be in 2013.

Grade: C-

New York Jets

9. Dee Milliner, cornerback, Alabama.
13. Sheldon Richardson, defensive tackle, Missouri.
39. Geno Smith, quarterback, West Virginia.
72. Brian Winters, guard, Kent State.
141. Oday Aboushi, tackle, Virginia.
178. William Campbell, guard, Michigan.
215. Tommy Bohanon, fullback, Wake Forest.

Overview: The fact that the Jets surrendered Hall of Fame talent Darrelle Revis for the 13th pick (and a 2014 third-rounder) is factored into their grade. GM John Idzik was still savvy enough to pull off a productive trade of his own, sending pick No. 106 to the Saints for new feature back Chris Ivory. Rather than adhere to a position-specific strategy, Idzik made selections working straight down his board. Milliner and Richardson upgrade the pass defense. Smith was the Jets' No. 1-rated quarterback and figures to start over David Garrard as a rookie. (Mark Sanchez will be released.) Winters is a highly impressive prospect and probable Week 1 starter at right guard. Aboushi, Campbell, and Bohanon may amount to mid- to late-round throwaways, but the Jets got better in this draft with five starting-caliber talents, including Ivory. Revis' loss still keeps their grade in check.

Grade: C+

Oakland Raiders

12. D.J. Hayden, cornerback, Houston.
42. Menelik Watson, tackle, Florida State.
66. Sio Moore, linebacker, Connecticut.
112. Tyler Wilson, quarterback, Arkansas.
172. Nick Kasa, tight end, Colorado.
181. Latavius Murray, running back, Central Florida.
184. Mychal Rivera, tight end, Tennessee.
205. Stacy McGee, defensive tackle, Oklahoma.
209. Brice Butler, receiver, San Diego State.
233. David Bass, defensive end, Missouri Western.

Overview: The Raiders essentially came away from GM Reggie McKenzie's first draft with a goose egg and signed several 2012 free-agent busts, from Mike Brisiel and Dave Tollefson to Shawntae Spencer and Ron Bartell. He also traded for Matt Flynn, which is not a solution for Oakland's long-term quarterback woes. Entering the draft, I worried McKenzie was simply struggling to identify talent. This haul eased some concerns. The Hayden and Wilson picks stand out as quality value additions of potential franchise changers. Wilson doesn't have the greatest arm and isn't the most accurate thrower, but he was the best quarterback in the draft in terms of pocket toughness. And that trait can take a signal caller a long way. I wouldn't be surprised if he started over Flynn this year. Kasa, Murray, and Bass were worthwhile late-round stabs. Watson will probably start at right tackle as a rookie, which is where he played last year at Florida State. I like Moore as a prospect, but didn't understand the fit. The Raiders are still desperate for pass rushers.

Grade: B-

Pittsburgh Steelers

17. Jarvis Jones, outside linebacker, Georgia.
48. Le'Veon Bell, running back, Michigan State.
79. Markus Wheaton, receiver, Oregon State.
111. Shamarko Thomas, strong safety, Syracuse.
115. Landry Jones, quarterback, Oklahoma.
150. Terry Hawthorne, cornerback, Illinois.
186. Justin Brown, receiver, Oklahoma.
206. Vince Williams, inside linebacker, Florida State.
223. Nick Williams, defensive end, Samford.

Overview: There's a lot to like about this draft on paper. Just keep in mind Pittsburgh sent a 2014 third-round pick to Cleveland in exchange for No. 111. Hard-hitting Thomas was a value there, but may only help on special teams for the next year and is a tight-hipped safety prospect, which is why he was available in round four. Jones and Bell are day-one starters, while Wheaton should have every opportunity to win a job in three-receiver sets as the "X" when Emmanuel Sanders kicks inside to the slot. Vince Williams is a physical inside thumper. Nick is built ideally to play five-technique end in Pittsburgh's 3-4 defense and has developmental athleticism. Hawthorne was once a projected future first-rounder. Jones has a great arm and quick release, though he'll have to improve his in-pocket courage to pan out. I think the Steelers added good football players and can expect immediate impact from two to three acquisitions, but giving up next year's third-rounder is still bothersome when the team cannot be sure Thomas will be a productive NFL player.

Grade: C+

San Diego Chargers

11. D.J. Fluker, right tackle, Alabama.
38. Manti Te'o, inside linebacker, Notre Dame.
76. Keenan Allen, receiver, California.
145. Steve Williams, cornerback, California.
179. Tourek Williams, outside linebacker, FIU.
221. Brad Sorensen, quarterback, Southern Utah.

Overview: Rookie GM Tom Telesco's first draft netted just one clear-cut value pick in Allen. More disturbingly, Fluker was the only front-five addition to arguably the NFL's worst offensive line. Telesco has been praised for stealing Allen in round three, but I'm not sure that pick helps the offense whatsoever if Philip Rivers isn't protected. And pass protection was Fluker's weakness in college, surrendering 5.5 sacks and 15.5 more hurries last season. He can be made to look silly by speedy edge rushers. The Williamses bring to the table athleticism and core special teams value, but neither projects as a future NFL starter. Sorensen is coming off a disappointing senior season at a small school. Te'o can be a solid two-down inside linebacker if protected by massive defensive tackles, but wasn't worth the trade up, which cost San Diego the Nos. 45 and 110 overall picks. I just find it shocking that Telesco showed so little urgency about upgrading his offensive line.

Grade: D

Tennessee Titans

10. Chance Warmack, guard, Alabama.
34. Justin Hunter, receiver, Tennessee.
70. Blidi Wreh-Wilson, cornerback, Connecticut.
97. Zaviar Gooden, outside linebacker, Missouri.
107. Brian Schwenke, center, California.
142. LaVar Edwards, defensive end, LSU.
202. Khalid Wooten, cornerback, Nevada.
248. Daimion Stafford, safety, Nebraska.

Overview: The players acquired look impressive at first glance, but dig deeper and there are concerns about the class as a whole and the costs to put it together. In the trade up for Hunter, Tennessee surrendered pick Nos. 40 (Tank Carradine) and 216 (Charles Johnson), on top of a 2014 third-round pick. All that for a six-spot jump in round two, which netted a receiver with great physical gifts but suspect hands. It was a steep price. Warmack adds needed power to the Titans' line, but was a largely ineffective second-level blocker at Alabama due to limited movement skills. He's a phone-booth player entering a zone scheme. Schwenke and Gooden stand out as value picks, but Tennessee did little to upgrade its porous pass defense and still needs to get more physical on Jerry Gray's side of the ball. Regardless of draft results, Jake Locker's third-year progress -- or lack thereof -- will determine whether or not the Titans field a competitive 2013 football team. And it'll probably determine Gray, GM Ruston Webster, and coach Mike Munchak's future in Nashville.

Grade: C-

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