NFC draft report card

More NFL draft: Robinson's AFC draft report card | Wetzel's winners and losers

NEW YORK – Here are my draft grades for each team in the NFC:


Dallas Cowboys

High marks – Bobby Carpenter is a solid pick at No. 18 overall and gives the Cowboys impressive depth at outside linebacker. Defensive end Jason Hatcher is huge and could end up being a great value selection in the third round. Wide receiver Skyler Green should be productive on special teams.

Low marks – No offensive line help until the seventh round? That was a surprise for such a pressing need, and the Cowboys had quality offensive tackles on the board when they used their second-rounder on tight end Anthony Fasano. With Jason Witten on the roster, using such a high pick on tight end seemed curious.

Final grade: C-plus

New York Giants

High marks – Sinorice Moss was a value pick in the second round and gives the Giants a potential replacement for Amani Toomer in the future. Moss can help on special teams, too. Linebacker Gerris Wilkinson has played both inside and outside and he gives some good flexibility. Defensive tackle Barry Cofield replenishes depth.

Low marks – Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka gives New York an eventual replacement for Michael Strahan, but he was a reach at the end of the first round. The Giants could have taken Chad Jackson at the end of the first round and still gotten Kiwanuka at No. 44 overall. The Giants also could have gone after a running back in the middle rounds to start planning for the eventual departure of Tiki Barber.

Final grade: C-plus

Philadelphia Eagles

High marks – The Eagles cleaned up for the second straight season, getting talent and value from the top of the draft to the bottom. Brodrick Bunkley should add to a top-notch defensive tackle rotation, and getting offensive tackle Winston Justice in the second round was highway robbery. Defensive end Chris Gocong is a smart, high-motor guy who could end up being a steal in the third round. Massive guard Max Jean-Gilles should be a future starter, and wide receivers Jason Avant and Jeremy Bloom will be great special teamers who could blossom into productive wideouts. Even linebacker Omar Gaither and defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey should make the team and give the Eagles good depth down the line.

Low marks – Running back is the only area that could have used some kind of attention depth-wise.

Final grade: A

Washington Redskins

High marks – Outside linebacker was the big area of need, and the Redskins got a solid player to plug into the lineup in Roger McIntosh. The real value from this year's draft comes from the players netted by trading picks away. Getting quarterback Jason Campbell last season – in exchange for this year's first-rounder – looks like a solid move considering there wasn't a quality QB available where the Redskins would have drafted. Acquiring Brandon Lloyd for this year's third-rounder was a good move, too, considering he has just as much talent as any wideout in this year's draft.

Low marks – With only one first-day choice – 35th overall – it wasn't a high-yield draft class. And the Redskins gave up far too much to move up 18 spots in the second round to draft McIntosh. For that price – a second-round pick, a sixth-rounder and another second-rounder in 2007 – he better be a top-shelf player from the get-go.

Final grade: C


Chicago Bears

High marks – Ricky Manning has to be factored into the draft evaluation after giving up a third-round choice for him. Top pick Danieal Manning is a good talent with first-rate flexibility. He can help the Bears at cornerback or safety and is an excellent return specialist. Dusty Dvoracek is a good depth selection at defensive tackle. Linebacker Jamar Williams adds to the depth at both inside and outside linebacker, and fifth-rounder Mark Anderson is a good value pick as a situational pass rusher.

Low marks – Second-rounder Devin Hester has a lot of talent, but he has no true position beyond special teams returner. Most teams had him slated as no better than a third-round choice simply because they had no sure position for him.

Final grade: C

Detroit Lions

High marks – Safety Daniel Bullocks is a tough, physical safety who should thrive under head coach Rod Marinelli in the Cover 2. He's good in run support, too. Tackle Jonathan Scott and guard Fred Matua are great value picks in the fifth and seventh rounds, respectively. Running back Brian Calhoun gives the Lions a speedy Kevin Faulk-type to go along with Kevin Jones and Shawn Bryson.

Low marks – Outside linebacker Ernie Sims was a small reach at No. 9, and he is also a major concern because of his concussion issues. That's an unsettling fact considering how reckless Sims can be with his body. Combined with the fact that Detroit passed on Matt Leinart to cast its lot with Jon Kitna and Josh McCown, it's a questionable selection.

Final grade: C-plus

Green Bay Packers

High marks – The mass of the class is fantastic – 13 total picks, including five in the top 75. Linebackers A.J. Hawk and Abdul Hodge should be a great tandem for years to come. Tackle Daryn Colledge and center Jason Spitz should eventually develop into starters. Greg Jennings and Cory Rodgers add depth to the receiving crew and should provide what Terrence Murphy would have if he hadn't been injured. Cornerback/wide receiver Will Blackmon offers flexibility and can also be a return specialist. Defensive tackle Johnny Jolly was a great value selection in the sixth round.

Low marks – The Packers started strong, but dropped off with some reaching in Rounds 5 through 7. Two big ones came in the fifth round: Quarterback Ingle Martin was a seventh-round choice on many boards, and tackle Tony Moll was expected to be an undrafted free agent.

Final grade: A

Minnesota Vikings

High marks – Cedric Griffin is a good addition to the cornerbacks and should be able to step into the nickel role as a rookie. In the future, he could develop into a top-notch player who pushes for the No. 2 cornerback job. Chad Greenway is a good productive outside linebacker who should solidify the position opposite Ben Leber.

Low marks – There were too many major reaches in the second round. Tackle/center Ryan Cook offers some flexibility, but most teams had him going in the fourth or fifth. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson might have the best arm in the draft, but he was widely thought to be a fourth-rounder at best.

Final grade: C


Atlanta Falcons

High marks – Defensive end John Abraham has to be factored in after he was acquired for picks. Jimmy Williams was an absolute steal at the 37th overall pick. He can play cornerback or safety, offering depth to both positions, but ultimately, Williams has the talent to become a starter across from DeAngelo Hall. Running back Jerious Norwood needs to get bigger, but he could develop into a player who competes for a starting job when Warrick Dunn begins to fade. Guard/tackle Quinn Ojinnaka improves depth across the line. Quarterback D.J. Shockley was a good project pick in the seventh round.

Low marks – A young safety could have been added for depth.

Final grade: B

Carolina Panthers

High marks – Many teams had DeAngelo Williams rated as the No. 1 running back available. As a small back, he's a curious pick for a power-running team, but he has undeniable talent. Cornerback Richard Marshall should plug the hole created by the loss of Ricky Manning. Rashad Butler is a solid third-rounder who will give quality depth at the tackle spots. Tight end Jeff King solidly fills a need.

Low marks – Outside linebacker James Anderson was a reach in the third round, as many teams had him slated in the fifth. He's more of a nickel linebacker than an every-down player. Depth issues at middle linebacker weren't addressed.

Final grade: B-minus

New Orleans Saints

High marks – Reggie Bush, Reggie Bush and Reggie Bush. He is the best pick the Saints have made in … well, maybe ever. The Saints moved back nine spots in the second round and got a quality center in Jahri Evans. Tackle Zach Strief was a good value selection in the seventh round.

Low marks – The second-round pick of Roman Harper should have been spent on more pressing needs. Despite badly needing an infusion of talent at linebacker – and this linebacker class being so strong – the Saints didn't spend a single pick on the position.

Final grade: B-plus

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

High marks – Tackle Jeremy Trueblood is a solid selection in the second round that fills a depth need. Wide receiver Maurice Stovall and cornerback Alan Zemaitis were also good depth picks in the middle rounds. Stovall could end up being a steal. Defensive end Julian Jenkins and tight end T.J. Williams were good value choices in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively.

Low marks – Considering what the Bucs could have gotten in return for moving back to the end of the first round, reaching for Davin Joseph at No. 23 was a shaky pick.

Final grade: C-minus


Arizona Cardinals

High marks – Dennis Green did it again, walking away from the draft with a treasure trove of talent. As I've said before, this is his Super Bowl with the Cardinals. Matt Leinart slipping to 10th overall selection was a great stroke of luck and gives Arizona its quarterback of the future. Guard Deuce Lutui is an excellent pick in the second round and should finish the 2006 season as a starter. Leonard Pope was the top tight end on many draft boards, making him a steal in the third round. Gabe Watson is a fourth-round choice with first-round talent and seventh-round passion. He could be a tremendous steal if Green can get him motivated. Outside linebacker Brandon Johnson and defensive tackle John Lewis add good defensive depth.

Low marks – More offensive line help was needed. But with only seven picks, it's hard to harp on the talent that was selected.

Final grade: A

Seattle Seahawks

High marks – Conveying a third-round choice for signing Nate Burleson was a great value. Cornerback Kelly Jennings is a fast and athletic player who should fill the void left behind by Andre Dyson. Defensive end Darryl Tapp adds good depth and situational pass-rushing to a position that has seen its share of injuries and defections. Guard Rob Sims and fullback David Kirtman were both good value picks in the fourth and fifth rounds, respectively.

Low marks – Only two selections on the first day and six picks overall – with two of those being long-shot seventh-rounders – make it a thin draft class.

Final grade: B

San Francisco 49ers

High marks – The 49ers had a great first round, adding freakish tight end Vernon Davis and hybrid linebacker Manny Lawson. Both should be instant starters. Brandon Williams adds depth to wide receiver and can be a return specialist. Fourth-round pick Michael Robinson could be a very intriguing prospect depending on what position he ends up playing. Hybrid linebacker Parys Haralson adds depth.

Low marks – Zero offensive line help among the nine selections. At the very least, the third-rounder spent on Williams could have gone to a talented lineman to groom.

Final grade: B-plus

St. Louis Rams

High marks – Ten total picks – five on the first day – provide a good bulk of talent. First-rounder Tye Hill is a feisty corner who should eventually challenge for a starting spot. Moving back four spots in the first round produced a third-round selection that became talented LSU defensive tackle Claude Wroten. Wroten has character concerns, but his talent makes him a great value choice. Outside linebacker Jon Alston could end up being a great value pick in the third round.

Low marks – Picking up one tight end made sense, but two weren't needed. One of the selections spent on Dominique Byrd and Joe Klopfenstein should have been used to continue to add to the defense – either at linebacker or defensive line.

Final grade: B-minus