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Live NFL Draft Grades – Day One

Welcome to my 2018 Live NFL Draft Grades day one edition! This page will be updated around 8:15PM ET as the Browns announce who they select with the first overall pick. Check out my “What would CSD do” Mock Draft here.


1.  Cleveland Browns

My Ideal Pick: Baker Mayfield, QB – Oklahoma
The Pick: Baker Mayfield, QB – Oklahoma
Grade: A

Baker has been my QB1 from the start of the process. His touchdown to interception ratio is almost twice that of the other three top prospects. I love his mobility in the pocket, and high completion percentage at the power five level. A home run pick for Cleveland at #1, and a definite A grade to kick off tonight’s festivities.

2.  New York Giants

My Ideal Pick: Sam Darnold, QB – USC
The Pick: Saquon Barkley, RB – Penn State
Grade: B+

Barkley was the #2 overall pick on my talent board (not taking into account positional importance), and while I think that the Giants, who are dealing with an aging Eli Manning, should have gone quarterback, Barkley is just about the best non-quarter back that the Giants could have picked. He has an unbelievable combination of speed and power.

3.  New York Jets

My Ideal Pick: Sam Darnold, QB – USC
The Pick: Sam Darnold, QB – USC
Grade: A

The Jets get my #2 ranked quarterback at #3 overall. The Jets needed a quarterback desperately, and based off of the remaining choices, they chose correctly. Darnold wasn’t as accurate as Josh Rosen last year, but I feel he has a higher upside once he cleans up his mechanics a little bit. This is a definite A rating from me.

4.  Cleveland Browns

My Ideal Pick: Bradley Chubb, EDGE – NC State
The Pick: Denzel Ward, CB – Ohio State
Grade: B-

I like Denzel Ward, the Browns needed a corner, and he is my CB1, but I feel that if Cleveland wanted to draft him, they could have traded down a few spots and still picked him up. I like the player, but not the value that the Browns left on the table by taking him at #4 instead of trading down and acquiring draft capital. I’ll give this one a B- because of that.

5.  Denver Broncos

My Ideal Pick: Bradley Chubb, EDGE – NC State
The Pick: Bradley Chubb, EDGE – NC State
Grade: A

I would have considered taking Josh Rosen here because of the Broncos’ need at quarterback, but I stuck with the original pick I had them taking in my what would CSD mock draft in Bradley Chubb. Chubb is one of the top five players on my pure talent big board. He will be absolutely deadly lined up next to Von Miller.

6.  Indianapolis Colts

My Ideal Pick: Quenton Nelson, G – Notre Dame
The Pick: Quenton Nelson, G – Notre Dame
Grade: A

The #1 overall player on my pure talent big board, I mocked Nelson to the Colts in my what would CSD do mock draft, and that is exactly what they did here. Nelson plays nasty on the interior and frustrates his matchup throughout the game. The Colts needed protection for the returning Andrew Luck, and that is exactly what they get here.

7.  Buffalo Bills

My Ideal Pick: Josh Rosen, QB – UCLA
The Pick: Josh Allen, QB – Wyoming
Grade: D

I see Josh Allen as a borderline first to second round talent, and that is only because of his potential. If you can’t complete passes against a Mountain West defense, how will you be able to do it against an NFL defense? I don’t know how you could possibly watch Josh Rosen and Josh Allen back to back and pick Josh Allen, and they traded up to get him. Unbelievable.

8.  Chicago Bears

My Ideal Pick: Tremaine Edmunds, LB – Virginia Tech
The Pick: Roquan Smith, LB – Georgia
Grade: B+

I can’t hate this, I love Roquan Smith, it’s just I thought that Tremaine Edmunds was a little bit better than Roquan when you factor in his potential (he is only 19 years old!), although that is splitting hairs. Smith is still one of the top eight players on my pure talent board, so this gets a solid score of a B-plus even though it wasn’t my ideal pick.

9.  San Francisco 49ers

My Ideal Pick: Tremaine Edmunds, LB – Virginia Tech
The Pick: Mike McGlinchey, OT – Notre Dame
Grade: C-

McGlinchey was the top tackle on my board, but this feels like a little bit of a reach. I feel the 49ers needed an edge rusher, linebacker, or corner a lot more than they needed a tackle, I guess they just wanted to protect Jimmy Garropollo, although I think you could have traded down with a quarterback-needy Arizona team and still gotten McGlinchey.

10.  Arizona Cardinals

My Ideal Pick: Josh Rosen, QB – UCLA
The Pick: Josh Rosen, QB – UCLA
Grade: A+

The Cardinals had to give up just a 3rd rounder and a 5th rounder to trade up here to #10 and get the most NFL-ready quarterback in this draft. I graded Rosen slightly behind Mayfield and Darnold, but the added value by getting him down at #10 bumps this grade from an A to an A-plus. We’ll see where Lamar now goes.

11.  Miami Dolphins

My Ideal Pick: Tremaine Edmunds, LB – Virginia Tech
The Pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S – Alabama
Grade: B

Minkah Fitzpatrick has great versatility, and under a normal scenario this would be an A on my board because of how much I like him, but with Tremaine Edmunds, Derwin James, and Vita Vea still on the board in positions of need for Miami, I feel that the Dolphins really missed on a chance to plug a big hole in their defense. I’ll give it a B.

12.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

My Ideal Pick: Derwin James, S – Florida State
The Pick: Vita Vea, IDL – Washington
Grade: A

I expected the Buccs to take James at #7, he was still on the board after they traded down, and then they didn’t take him anyway. They got a beast of a player in Vita Vea though. Vea is a plug and play starter at nose tackle and fits perfectly into the Buccaneers scheme. The added bonus of the extra draft picks acquired from the trade down bump the grade a bit.

13.  Washington Redskins

My Ideal Pick: Tremaine Edmunds, LB – Virginia Tech
The Pick: Da’Ron Payne, IDL – Alabama
Grade: F

Oh my god… this is so bad. Tremaine Edmunds is still on the board, Derwin James is still on the board, and the Redskins take Payne. Edmunds and James are both top-eight talents on my board while Payne has a late first round grade. I can not believe this draft pick, I have Maurice Hurst and Taven Bryan rated above Payne at the interior defensive line position alone.

14. New Orleans Saints

My Ideal Pick: Tremaine Edmunds, LB – Virginia Tech
The Pick: Marcus Davenport, EDGE – UTSA
Grade: C-

Another shocker here. The Saints give up a ton to trade up, and I was expecting them to draft Lamar Jackson. I would personally have gone with Tremaine Edmunds, as he is a top-five talent on my board and the Saints need a linebacker. Instead, they pick Davenport, who I have rated behind Harold Landry in my edge rusher rankings.

15.  Oakland Raiders

My Ideal Pick: Tremaine Edmunds, LB – Virginia Tech
The Pick: Kolton Miller, OT – UCLA
Grade: F

Kolton Miller??? Really? The Raiders needed an offensive tackle, but I have both Connor Williams and Orlando Brown ranked ahead of Kolton Miller at that position, not to mention that Tremaine Edmunds was still on the board here. This was so much worse than the Redskins pick and that one was awful. Wow.

16.  Buffalo Bills

My Ideal Pick: Tremaine Edmunds, LB – Virginia Tech
The Pick: Tremaine Edmunds, LB – Virginia Tech
Grade: A+ times 1,000

Tremaine Edmunds was my #2 defensive player in this draft, and the Bills make up for their Josh Allen pick earlier in round one by trading up and drafting him here. This will likely be the best pick of the entire first round, he is just 19 years old, and is already one of the best defenders in the draft. This guy as NFL Defensive Player of the Year potential.

17.  Los Angeles Chargers

My Ideal Pick: Derwin James, S – Florida State
The Pick: Derwin James, S – Florida State
Grade: A+

A top three defensive player on my board goes #17. This is a great pick for the Chargers, although I’m not sure how much they really needed a safety. Nevertheless, he was undoubtedly the best player left remaining on the board, so there is no reason not to draft him. His is versatile enough to play corner if needed there.

18.  Green Bay Packers

My Ideal Pick: Harold Landry, EDGE – Boston College
The Pick: Jaire Alexander, CB – Louisville
Grade: B+

Jaire Alexander was my #2 cornerback, and this is about where I expected him to go, but I think that the Packers should have gone edge rusher here because Harold Landry, who I expected to go top fifteen, was still on the board here. I’ll give this a B+ because while this was a solid pick, I think there was a better option.

19.  Dallas Cowboys

My Ideal Pick: Isaiah Wynn, G – Georgia
The Pick: Leighton Vander Esch
Grade: C-

Leighton Vander Esch was not a round 1 prospect in my grading, and this pick shocked me. I expected them to go wide receiver and thought they should go guard, but they went neither, taking Vander Esch, who is a developmental prospect out of Boise State. He often got caught on blocks in tape, and while I think he has potential, a first rounder seems a little rich.

20.  Detriot Lions

My Ideal Pick: Isaiah Wynn, G – Georgia
The Pick: Frank Ragnow, C – Arkansas
Grade: C-

I had four interior offensive linemen ranked ahead of Frank Ragnow still on the board in Isaiah Wynn, Will Hernandez, Billy Price, and Frank Daniels. This is a very bad pick for Detroit. Ragnow has great size, but he often plays high and you can catch him playing with his hands outside on tape. I just feel there were better options.

21.  Cincinnati Bengals

My Ideal Pick: Isaiah Wynn, G – Georgia
The Pick: Billy Price, C – Ohio State
Grade: B+

The Bengals needed an interior lineman and they got my #2 one left on the board. I do prefer Isaiah Wynn, but I can see why teams would be scared off by his height. Billy Price has great athleticism and is practically un bull rush-able because of his incredible anchoring. Wynn will be a great steal for whoever snags him

22.  Tennessee Titans

My Ideal Pick: Rashaan Evans, LB – Alabama
The Pick: Rashaan Evans, LB – Alabama
Grade: A

This was a great pick, and Evans is a perfect fit for the Titans. I love Rashaan Evans more than most, I just feel that his explosive play style and versatility to play any of the three linebacker spots, or even with a hand in the dirt in third down scenarios. He is great in coverage and the pass rush. I love this pick a lot, and it gets an A.

23.  New England Patriots

My Ideal Pick: Harold Landry, EDGE – Boston College
The Pick: Isaiah Wynn, G – Georgia
Grade: A

Wynn is a great player, and I think he should’ve gone a while ago, I just thought that edge rusher was a bigger need for the Patriots here. I still gave this an A because of how much I like Wynn. He was the best blocker in the Senior Bowl, and has great versatility to play either guard or tackle at the NFL level, which the Patriots love.

24.  Carolina Panthers

My Ideal Pick: Calvin Ridley, WR – Alabama
The Pick: DJ Moore, WR – Maryland
Grade: B-

I was not high on this receiver class, but the Panthers at 24 always seemed like a good spot for the first wideout to come off the board, I just thought it should be Calvin Ridley. I still like DJ Moore, and I gave this a B-minus, I’m just a little bit higher on Calvin Ridley because of his superior route running compared to Moore.

25.  Baltimore Ravens

My Ideal Pick: Maurice Hurst, IDL – Michigan
The Pick: Hayden Hurst, TE – South Carolina
Grade: D

I gave Hayden Hurst a round two grade, and he was my third ranked tight end, so I don’t know how you can justify picking him in the first round. If you ask me, they picked the wrong Hurst, as the Ravens needed interior defensive linemen, and Maurice Hurst would be a guaranteed top-ten pick if not for health issues.

26.  Atlanta Falcons

My Ideal Pick: Maurice Hurst, IDL – Michigan
The Pick: Calvin Ridley, WR – Alabama
Grade: A-

A solid pick here from Atlanta. They needed a wide receiver, and I think that Ridley is the best in the draft at that position. I would’ve gone Maurice Hurst, but teams are scared off by a diagnosed heart condition. He was cleared by doctors and if it weren’t for that injury he would be a top ten pick, so he would be an incredible value here.

27.  Seattle Seahawks

My Ideal Pick: Josh Jackson, CB – Iowa
The Pick: Rashaad Penny, RB – San Diego State

The most surprising pick of the first round by a country mile. For starters, the Seahawks didn’t really need a runningback, especially not with a 1st round pick. Secondly, Penny was my #7 rated running back with a round three grade. The Seahawks could have waited for another 50 picks before picking Penny. I did a double take when I heard this pick announced.

28.  Pittsburgh Steelers

My Ideal Pick: Harold Landry, EDGE – Boston College
The Pick: Terrell Edmunds, S – Virginia Tech

The Steelers one up Seattle by drafting Edmunds here, who I had as a borderline day three prospect (third-fourth round). Edmunds has great versatility, but he is injury prone, and the Steelers could have waited till at least the second round to pick him, and Harold Landry, who many had in the top ten coming into the draft, was still available.

29.  Jacksonville Jaguars

My Ideal Pick: Harold Landry, EDGE – Boston College
The Pick: Taven Bryan, IDL – Florida
Grade: B

I had Taven Bryan as a first round prospect, so we are finally returning to earth here. I really like Taven Bryan’s scheme versatility, his athleticism, and his speed, but I just feel that this is a very deep interior defensive line class, whereas I’m not as big of a fan of the day two prospects edge rusher wise, which is why I would’ve scooped one up now.

30.  Minnesota Vikings

My Ideal Pick: Josh Jackson, CB – Iowa
The Pick: Mike Hughes, CB – UCF
Grade: B+

I really, really like Mike Hughes’ speed and great ability in the return game, but because of his off the field issues, I would’ve taken Josh Jackson over him here. He was dismissed from North Carolina after a sexual assault accusation that did not result in charges. However, you are innocent until proven guilty, and from an on-field perspective this is an A+

31.  New England Patriots

My Ideal Pick: Harold Landry, EDGE – Boston College
The Pick: Sony Michel, RB – Georgia
Grade: C

How is Harold Landry falling this far? This is crazy! Landry was a top ten player on my and many others’ boards. Instead, the Patriots go with Sony Michel, who isn’t even the top runningback on my board remaining, that would be Derrius Guice. I like Michel’s speed, but I think you could have waited till round two for him.

32.  Baltimore Ravens

My Ideal Pick: Connor Williams, OT – Texas
The Pick: Lamar Jackson, QB – Louisville
Grade: A+

I did not know that the Ravens needed a quarterback badly enough to move into the first round, so I was expecting tackle, but the more I think about it, I love this pick. Jackson was the #2 player remaining on my board, only behind Harold Landry. He has underrated accuracy and of course, is a difference maker with his feet.

Of my personal top 32 prospects, here are those still remaining (in no order)

Connor Williams, OT
Will Hernandez, OG
James Daniels, C
Maurice Hurst, IDL
Harold Landry, EDGE
Fred Warner, LB (I’m on an limb with him)
Josh Jackson, CB
Justin Reid, S

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