Scouting the Draft: Offensive Guards

Editor’s Note: Author Larry Zierlein was a college and NFL offensive line coach for 32 years. His career is highlighted by a Super Bowl win in 2008 with the Pittsburgh Steelers under Mike Tomlin. We asked Coach Zierlein to take a look at several offensive line prospects from this year’s draft and share with us what he saw.

He watched multiple cut-ups for each prospect listed, but wants to remind the reader that for a final evaluation, it takes even more film work, interviewing the player to get a feel for his character, checking on the player’s background and working linemen out whenever possible.  Coach Zierlein gave us the order that he would rank each of the tackles and guards based on what he saw from each prospect.  The only player’s he evaluated are the ones listed.

Coach Zierlein is retired and working Under Armour’s “Football University” camps along with other former NFL coaches.  This was also his first year working out offensive line draft prospects in preparation for the Senior Bowl and Combine.  If you are an agent interested in contacting Coach Zierlein for work with future clients, please email us and we’ll pass the info along to him.

See: Offensive Tackles | Centers

No. 1

Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State

Height: 6’4
Weight: 311
Arms: 33″

  • Very good athlete
  • Shows good flexibility and change of direction
  • Can run well and gets to the 2nd and even 3rd levels on running plays and some screen passes
  • His re-direct on the 2nd level is very good
  • It is difficult to tell how good his functional strength is in the running game with the offense that his team runs
  • At times, I question his anchor.  I would need to see more of him, but he doesn’t appear to be as cockstrong as you are expecting
  • Tough player but doesn’t jolt defensive players with power.
  • Finishes his blocks
  • Moves well laterally exceptionally well and can get across the face of defenders.
  • Good pass sets, but would still like to work him out and check core strength

Overall:  Good athleticism and foot quickness.  His ability to re-direct on the second level and move laterally make him a great fit for a team running outside zone, but he should be able to play in any system.  His intangibles and mental makeup need to be checked out since he comes from smaller school and played less competition but has terrific upside.  Looks like an early 2nd round pick.

No. 2

Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin

Height: 6’4
Weight: 314
Arms: 32 3/4″

  • Has strength
  • He’s a finisher
  • Average puller.  Doesn’t look smooth but seems to find target pretty well
  • Good P.O.A. (point of attack)
  • Great pad level on run blocks
  • Accelerates feet after contact in running game
  • Can make backside cut off block
  • Very good combo blocker
  • Could have issue with athletic pass rushers on the interior
  • Lunges at times in pass protection

Overall:  Didn’t see him as much in pass protection as I would like but he’s an outstanding run blocker.  He’s tough and nasty.  Could be a first rounder depending on what the back end teams are looking for, but he’s no worse than a second rounder.

No. 3

Cordy Glenn, OT/OG, Georgia

Height: 6’5
Weight: 345
Arms: 35 3/4

  • Plays with good strength
  • Doesn’t always sustain his run blocks
  • Lacks flexibility which causes him to play high in running game
  • Waist-bender
  • Good size but stiffness will always be a concern
  • Marginal quickness and re-direct is very average
  • Good awareness
  • Can definitely anchor but has balance issues.
  • Was on ground way too often when I watched him play guard.
  • Has issues with re-direct on the second level

Overall:  Good strength and anchor, but stiffness will limit him inside at guard.  His best position might end up being at right tackle.  Not crazy about his upside in the NFL at guard as stiffness and inability to play with lower pad level could limit his ability to utilize his power.  Looks like a second round prospect.

Ranking the Top Three QBs in the 2014 NFL Draft: Johnny Manziel

Editor’s Note: All data mentioned represents the 2013 season.

Toughness and Poise

There can be no denying that Manziel is at the top of the toughness list amongst QBs in this year’s draft.  In his two years as a starter, Manziel never missed a game due to injury despite how frequently he ran with the ball on called plays and when scrambling.  As for his poise, I was absolutely shocked to find that the data didn’t really back my perception of Manziel’s poise.

Manziel was blitzed on 29% of his throws and his completion percentage went from 73.4% when he wasn’t being blitzed to just 61.3% when blitzed.  I was also surprised to see that despite being blitzed on just 29% of his throws, 7 (53.8%) of Manziel’s 13 INTs came when blitzed while his TD% while blitzed was only 35.1%.

It is worth noting that Manziel was the best of the three QBs with a completion percentage of 70.1% in the 4th quarter.  Manziel certainly doesn’t panic under pressure and I doubt any NFL team would challenge the assertion that he is a very poised QB.  The data, however, suggests that maybe “Johnny Football” wasn’t quite as prolific under pressure as we had assumed based on the eye-popping plays we remember.

Read The Sideline View’s Scouting Report on Johnny Manziel »

Accuracy (including on the move)

I’ve heard questions about whether or not Manziel can beat a team from the pocket and to do that, he has to prove that he is accurate.  Was he accurate from the pocket in college?  Yes.  Yes he was.

When Manziel threw from the pocket, he complete 73.6% of his passes for 3,429 yards, 9.95 ypa and 27 TDs.  Can Manziel scramble and hurt you with his feet?  Absolutely, but to assume that his passing game primarily revolved around scrambling and making passing outside the pocket would be a mistake.

NFL QBs must be accurate on the short to intermediate throws, and Manziel was just that.  I went back and researched his throws from 6 – 15 yards and Manziel completed 65.7% of those passes including 66% on his intermediate sideline throws.  The one area of concern, however, was that Manziel had 7 INTs on his 111 throws from this range.

Makes NFL Throws

This is one of the areas that some evaluators believe Manziel could struggle with on the next level.  It isn’t necessarily the arm strength that is the knock here, it is the feel and the anticipation that tends to get him knocked.  I’ve seen some of the anticipation issues with my own eyes as Manziel has waited for a window to come open rather than throwing to a spot.  Is this coachable?  It can be.

I also believe that many NFL offensive coaches are much more flexible than in the past and understand how to tailor offenses around what a QB does well rather than asking them to fit into “the norm” as we’ve seen in the past.

Of Manziel’s 37 TD passes this year, only 10 came from behind the line of scrimmage to five yards down the field – the classic dump and dash that we see in college.  According to the STATS Ice data, Manziel had 27 TDs passes beyond 6 yards including 12 that were for 16+ yards.

Mobility

We know that Manziel is elite in terms of his mobility.  Whether Manziel is scrambling to extend plays and make throws down the field or getting outside of the pocket and running for first downs, Manziel is clearly one of the new breed of “3rd down warriors” who are able to keep drives going with their legs and singular playmaking that most pure pocket passers can’t.

Manziel’s running ability is unquestioned, but how does he throw on the move?  Manziel complete 50.8% of his passes for 539 yards after scrambling from the pocket while throwing for 8 TDs, 1 INT.  According to the STATS Ice data, Manziel ran for 132 yards scrambling left, but took five sacks.  While scrambling right, Manziel scrambled for 277 yards while getting sacked just three times.  Manziel’s QB Efficiency was 174.2 scrambling left and 171.6 scrambling right showing an ability to beat defenses with his legs or arm moving in both directions.

Final Analysis

The tape shows that Manziel has the ability to make throws against Cover-2 defenses and down the sideline on vertical routes.  His touch on those deep throws is undeniable.  However, the tape and the data also show that Manziel tends to get careless with some of his throws between the hashmarks and that will be a concern for evaluators as they project him to the next level.

Manziel’s data charts show that he’s fairly consistent throwing right and left and has the ability to attack defenses on all three levels with accuracy and confidence.  His ability to attack from the pocket (despite the turnovers) should be a big check-mark in his favor as should his improvement as a passer from his first year to his second as a college QB.

Manziel’s highly competitive nature was apparent in wins and losses, in the first quarter through the fourth quarter and against losing teams and SEC powerhouses.  He struggled against LSU in both matchups, but never stopped competing.  Against one of the top defensive minds in all of football – Nick Saban – Manziel was able to attack and execute early in the game and then come back with big fourth quarters in both games after falling into a little bit of a lull in the middle of those games.

After pouring over the data, it looks as though Manziel doesn’t display strong tendencies that defensive coordinators will be able to attack.  Of course, Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and his offensive staff deserve some of that credit for their varied play-calling.  Manziel is relatively consistent to both sides of the field and on all three passing levels.

His ability to extend plays with his legs while keeping his eyes down the field is reminiscent of Ben Roethlisberger while his ability to hurt defenses with his running (not just extend drives) reminds me of a more explosive Russell Wilson or even a young Michael Vick without they “pull-away” finishing speed.

Like Liam Neeson, Johnny Manziel has a very particular set of skills and they will be best served by a new school offensive mind who is willing to break from NFL convention (much like Jim  Harbaugh did with Colin Kaepernick) and create an offense designed around Manziel.  With that said, I do believe that the data (and to some extent, the film) shows that Manziel can fit into a slightly more traditional offense as well. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that 803 of his 816 snaps came from the Pistol or Gun so that is obviously going to have to be taken into consideration by any team that takes Manziel.

The Curious Case of Christian Jones

Prior to heading to Mobile for the Senior Bowl, my Sideline View cohort Lance Zierlein and I were discussing our most intriguing Senior Bowl prospects.  I quickly noted Florida State’s Christian Jones, in large part due to the fact that I wanted to see how the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff would use him down in Mobile.  Would they play him at middle linebacker?  Would they allow him to stand up and rush the edge?  Would he play one of the outside linebacker spots?

It dawned on me at that particular moment how different and unique Jones is and the dimension that he provides for an NFL team.  Many don’t see it my way, well, many in the draft media world.  But, I can be stubborn about what I’ve seen and even more so as it pertains to what I think Jones can do for an NFL team at the next level.  Here’s why.

The Game

The former Seminole was a five-star prospect coming out of high school at defensive end/outside linebacker.  His father and his brother were star Seminole pass rushers and Jones looked to carry on the tradition.  Unfortunately, FSU DC Mark Stoops had a much different idea and played him at outside linebacker.  Once in the starting lineup, he made a significant impact with his ability to get to the football and tackle.  He didn’t miss much at all.

Tackling is fundamental, but teams spend so little time working on it.  They need players that can step in yesterday and makes tackles.  How important has tackling become?

“Through my work with personnel departments across the NFL I have witnessed an increased emphasis in assessing a defensive players’ tackling ability,” said STATS Sports Solutions Group GM John Pollard.  “With today’s wide open offensive game a defensive player has to be able to translate their athleticism and on field intelligence into sure tackling in an effort to keep plays in front and reduce the big play.”

According to STATS Ice, of the five top linebacker prospects, Jones measured as the most efficient and most impactful tackler of the group.  “Impact tackles” are tackles 2 yards or less from the line of scrimmage that do not result in a first down and it is a key metric with personnel people as it helps them highlight LBs who play downhill rather than passively.  Jones registered 53 tackles this year, of which 24.5% of them were impact tackles.

Looking for more?  Christian Jones had no tackles broken and was tagged with just two missed tackles all season posting an extremely impressive tackle efficiency rating of 96.2% which was just behind C.J. Mosley at 97.2% and better than guys like Kyle Van Noy (79.1%), Anthony Barr (90.2%) and Shayne Skov (91.7%).  It’s also worth noting that Jones’ team was 5.2% more successful when he was on the field than off which is better than all of the LBs listed above.

He closes on the ball in a hurry.  He doesn’t stay blocked.  He runs extremely well.  He covers well out of the backfield.  He’ll rush the passer.  But, all of that is moot if he can’t tackle.  The numbers more than show that he can effectively.

Scheme Versatility

I had lunch a few years with a former University of Texas football player.  Well, he was one of a group of about 12 people at the lunch.  I didn’t know he was in the group and guys were firing a bunch of questions at me about the upcoming college football season.  Finally, after going rapid fire for about ten minutes, someone finally asks

“Why did he not make it in the NFL?”

I didn’t miss a beat: “He didn’t have a position.”

Said Longhorn played some OLB and some safety, but never mastered either and left NFL scouts wondering what to do with him.  He didn’t thrive at either in camp, so he got cut.  However, the league has changed in some respects.

Holding to traditional positions and labels is not what the NFL does anymore.  A tight end is a tight end in name only.  What position does Randall Cobb play?  WR?  Okay, why does he line up in the backfield so much?  Whereas tweeners and “no position” guys couldn’t exist in the NFL years ago, some of those players now have “scheme versatility” and can thrive under the right coaching/flexible scheme.

Jones fits that “scheme versatile” moniker to a T.  In 2011, he started the entire season at Sam linebacker in a 4-3.  In 2012, he started the entire season at Will linebacker in a 4-3.  In 2013, he started the first half of the season inside, then spent the second half of the season rushing the edge as a stand up 3-4 OLB.

The pass rushing aspect of playing the edge was a little like getting back up on a bike and riding.  Jones jumped right in and got after the quarterback.  In Mobile, the South team tackles couldn’t stop the two reps a day that Jones took off the edge before he had to go back to pass skelly drills with the inside linebackers.  Surprisingly, though, he played the run on the edge better than you’d expect.  We saw at the Senior Bowl how difficult he was to block at the point of attack.  The guy started for two and a half years at inside linebacker and you would’ve never guessed that after watching No. 7 play the edge for a half of a season.

So, what scheme does he fit?  All of them…and that’s a great thing.  Why?  Glad you asked.

The ‘Seahawks’ Effect

If a Super Bowl winning team could take its winning formula, bottle it, sell it and donate the earnings back to the US government, there’d be no domestic deficit, that’s for sure.  Unfortunately, the only thing other NFL teams can do is attempt to replicate what the Seattle Seahawks have done to become a championship team.

We all know what an offensive league the NFL has become.  Every rule instituted in the game is to allow the offense the opportunity to put points on the board.  But, GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll took a different approach.  They went and found the most versatile, aggressive, sound tackling and physical players they could find, no matter the position.  Schneider loved Beast Mode Marshawn Lynch and made the move to get him years ago even though he seemingly had lost his way in Buffalo.  In the 2012 draft, he selected former West Virginia edge rusher/speedster Bruce Irvin.  What position did Irvin play?  Ah, it didn’t matter.  His speed and his ability to make something happen on the field meant more than where he “fit” the defense.  Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman?  Same thing.  Heck, Sherman was a former receiver!

Either way, the point is that physical dominance, chaos, disruption, tackling and defensive efficiency meant more to the Seahawks’ brain trust than anything else.

Jones won’t be a Seahawk given the depth Seattle has at that position, but the fact that teams want “Seattle type” linebackers plays to his advantage.  He’s a little over 6’3” and 234.  He has an 80+” wingspan with nearly 33” arms.  Sounds a lot like K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner.  He runs exceptionally well, like those two.  And, like those two, he could play any linebacker position on the field or star in any role the defensive coaches desire.

Add it all up and it’s going to be hard to find a linebacker with the tackling efficiency, the measurables and scheme versatility like Christian Jones leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft.

Grading the NFL Draft – Four Years Later

For the past two years, I’ve given out grades for the NFL Draft, but not for the draft most immediately completed.  Everyone always says that you can’t grade these drafts for like three or four years, so okay, here you go.

These are the draft grades from the 2008 Draft and it’s not pretty.  I’d like to think I graded on a little bit of curve, but I had to…in some sense.  A few overall “stats” stood out.  First off, of the 252 players drafted, only 13 players have made just one Pro Bowl.  Outside of that, only 41 players drafted in this draft are projected as starters in the 2012 season. I’d venture a guess that’s a little below average.  So, with no further ado, here are my 2008 NFL Draft grades.

Arizona Cardinals

  • 2012 Grade: C
  • Original Grade:  B+
  • 7 selections
  • One Pro Bowler – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – 2009
  • Two players remain on roster – Early Doucet and Calais Campbell

The Cards top three picks in the draft – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (1st), Calais Campbell (2nd) and Early Doucet (3rd) – contributed to the Cardinals, but none of the three have been dominant, some not even contributors. Campbell has become one of the pieces of the foundation on defense for the Cards. However, DRC was traded to the Eagles and Doucet will be a bit muted now that WR Michael Floyd is coming Arizona. Tim Hightower (5th) gave them decent touches for a while and Brandon Keith was decent value in the seventh.

Atlanta Falcons

  • 2012 Grade: B
  • Original Grade:  C+
  • 11 selections
  • One Pro Bowler – Matt Ryan – 2010
  • Six players remain on roster – Matt Ryan, Sam Baker, Harry Douglas, Thomas DeCoud, Robert James and Kroy Biermann

The Matt Ryan Draft. This draft grade will continue to change as Ryan (1st – 3rd pick) rises or falls. But, the Falcons did find value throughout the draft.  Curtis Lofton (2nd) was the team’s leading tackler for two years before moving on to New Orleans this off-season. Harry Douglas (3rd) is an important slot receiver who has to stay healthy. Cal’s Thomas DeCoud (3rd) one of my favorites, has been a starter for those past couple of seasons. Montana’s Kroy Biermann (5th) is a relentless pass rusher who has contributed more than expected.

Baltimore Ravens

  • 2012 Grade: B
  • Original Grade:  C
  • 10 selections
  • One Pro Bowler – Ray Rice – 2009 and 2011
  • Two players remain on roster – Joe Flacco and Ray Rice

I seemingly always love the Ravens draft and this one was no exception. Pro Bowl RB Ray Rice was taken at #55, if you can believe that, while QB Joe Flacco was the team’s necessary first round selection. They didn’t get much from the rest of the draft, outside of Notre Dame’s Tom Zbikowski (3rd), but Flacco and Rice in the first two rounds are good enough to rate at least a B.

Buffalo Bills

  • 2012 Grade: D
  • Original Grade:  B-
  • 10 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • Two players remain on roster – Leodis McKelvin and Stevie Johnson

The Bills missed on nearly every pick in this draft. The only exception was finding two starters in the 7th round – Demetress Bell and Stevie Johnson.  Bell moved on to Philadelphia in the off-season, while Johnson is on his way to being one of the top receivers in the AFC. Leodis McKelvin (1st)? James Hardy (2nd)? Chris Ellis (3rd)? Reggie Corner (4th)? Derek Fine (4th)? Shall I continue? Okay, moving on.

Carolina Panthers

  • 2012 Grade: B-
  • Original Grade:  B+
  • 9 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • Four players remain on roster – Jonathan Stewart, Jeff Otah, Charles Godfrey and Gary Barnidge

You could argue that 7th rounder Mackenzy Bernadeau was the best value in this draft for the Panthers, but I won’t because the first few picks were solid, just not spectacular. RB Jonathan Stewart (1st – 13th pick) has been the perfect complement to DeAngelo Williams. OT Jeff Otah (1st – 19th pick) was on his way to a stellar career, only to be derailed by knee injuries in the 2010 and 2011. Charles Godfrey has been a starter at FS since day one and has been the leader in the middle of the defense since his arrival.

Chicago Bears

  • 2012 Grade: B-
  • Original Grade:  B
  • 12 selections
  • One Pro Bowler – Matt Forte – 2011
  • Five player remain on roster – Chris Williams, Matt Forte, Earl Bennett, Craig Steltz and Kellen Davis

Similar to the Ravens and Ray Rice, the Bears found their star RB in the second round and Matt Forte saves this class, so to speak. WR Earl Bennett has been a contributor, but will never be the team’s go-to receiver. The rest of the draft is a bunch of names you won’t recognize, unfortunately the one that you do, first rounder Chris Williams (1st – 14th pick) hasn’t lived up to acclaim, whatsoever. He was injured in 2008, moved over to guard in 2010, missed a chunk of the 2010 season and then was put on IR in 2011 mid-way through the year.  Without Forte, this grade is a D at best.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • 2012 Grade: C-
  • Original Grade:  C+
  • 10 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • Two players remain on the roster – Pat Sims and Anthony Collins

Very little to get excited about in the ‘Nati in this 2008 draft. First rounder Keith Rivers just got moved for a fifth rounder. Jerome Simpson (2nd) is known for one heck of a broad jump at the combine and a flip over an Arizona Cardinals defender. At least Simpson was a contributor, as was Andre Caldwell who caught 124 balls in 4 years. The rest? (Blowing raspberries, loudly). Stunk.

Cleveland Browns

  • 2012 Grade: D-
  • Original Grade:  B-
  • 4 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • One player remains on the roster – Ahtya Rubin

The Browns didn’t have a selection until pick 111 of the 4th round and they should’ve probably just stayed home. This draft was horrid.  Martin Rucker (4th), Ahtya Rubin (6th), Paul Hubbard (6th) and Alex Hall (7th). Rubin remains at DT and has been solid, but that’s all that ever came out of this draft.

Dallas Cowboys

  • 2012 Grade: C
  • Original Grade:  B-
  • 6 selections
  • One Pro Bowler – Mike Jenkins – 2009
  • Three players remain on roster – Mike Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick and Felix Jones

I’m sure if I go back to my thoughts right after the draft, I liked what Dallas did. However, looking at the production over the past four years, yikes. Felix Jones (1st) hasn’t been able to stay healthy, but CB Mike Jenkins (1st) was a productive player until the 2011 season. Martellus Bennett (2nd) continues to live on his own planet and Tashard Choice (4th) had a higher opinion of himself than anyone else. The 5th and 6th rounds produced players but Orlando Scandrick (5th) is the only one to make it work in Dallas as Erik Walden (6th) moved on to Green Bay and contributed for the Packers 2010 Super Bowl championship team.

Denver Broncos

  • 2012 Grade: B-
  • Original Grade:  D+
  • 9 selections
  • One Pro Bowlers – Ryan Clady – 2009 & 2011
  • One player remains on roster – Ryan Clady

From the first moment I can remember seeing former Boise St. star LT Ryan Clady (1st – 12th pick) play, I was convinced he was a player.  He still is and the Broncos selection at #12 was the right one. He’s the star of this class, but getting value out of Eddie Royal (2nd) before he moved on in free agency was big. There wasn’t much else in this draft of much consequence other than the throw-in, last pick of the draft in the 7th round.  Some guy named Peyton Hillis.

Detroit Lions

  • 2012 Grade: C
  • Original Grade:  C-
  • 9 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • Three players remain on roster – Cliff Avril, Kevin Smith and Gosder Cherilus

At the time, I know I loved the Cliff Avril pick in the 3rd round and still love it to this day. He’s been the biggest impact player in this draft class. Jordon Dizon (2nd) didn’t last two years and was a complete throwaway pick in the 2nd. RB Kevin Smith (3rd) gave the Lions a small bit of production, but could never stay healthy enough to be a consistent 1,500 yard/season running back. OT Gosder Cherilus will be moved to guard or moved altogether, but he was decent, not great, but not a complete bust at #17.

Green Bay Packers

  • 2012 Grade: B+
  • Original Grade:  B-
  • 9 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • Three players remain on roster – Jermichael Finley, Jordy Nelson and Josh Sitton

The Packers didn’t have a first round selection in this draft; I can’t remember why, maybe Brett Favre ate it, I don’t know. But, the Packers made the most of the rest of it.  The team’s first selection was Kansas State WR Jordy Nelson (2nd). Yeah, he’s good. Texas TE Jermichael Finley was there in the 3rd round, while the Packers found one of the league’s best young guards at the 135th pick in the 4th round Josh Sitton. And, then in the 7th, they selected Matt Flynn, who signed a three-year/$24 million deal up in Seattle after starting two games for the Packers. Of course, we won’t mention the Brian Brohm selection in the second round, but it won’t put any stench on this draft at all.

Houston Texans

  • 2012 Grade: C+
  • Original Grade:  C
  • 7 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers (yet)
  • One player remains on roster – Duane Brown

Thank god, Duane Brown has turned into a major stud at left tackle because the rest of it is a nightmare. Antwaun Molden, Steve Slaton, Xavier Adibi, Frank Okam, Dom Barber and Alex Brink. Outside of Slaton’s strong rookie campaign, not one positive thing was accomplished by this group from 2009 through 2011. Not one. And, not one of those players is still with the Texans. Again, thanks so much, Duane. You proved me wrong in a big way and I’m glad I get to watch you do your work on a daily basis.

Indianapolis Colts

  • 2012 Grade: C-
  • Original Grade:  B+
  • 9 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • No players remain on roster

The Colts didn’t have a first round, similar to the Packers, but didn’t have near the success in its draft. LB Phillip Wheeler (3rd) had some moments as a starter. TE Jacob Tamme (4th) was a sufficient player to back up Dallas Clark and Pierre Garcon in the sixth was a major steal. The rest of it? Best to just forget it even happened.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • 2012 Grade: F
  • Original Grade:  B
  • 5 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • No players remain on roster

What does it say when you draft not one, but two, defensive ends to solve your pass rush problems and neither one does a dadgum thing for you? Derrick Harvey (1st) and Quentin Groves (2nd) were major disappointments and it’s kept the Jaguars in the market for a pass rush ever since. The Jags had only three more selections the rest of the draft and trust me, you don’t even want to know.

Kansas City Chiefs

  • 2012 Grade: B-
  • Original Grade:  A
  • 12 selections
  • One Pro Bowler – Jamaal Charles – 2010
  • Four players remain on roster – Glenn Dorsey, Branden Albert, Brandon Flowers and Jamaal Charles

DT Glenn Dorsey (1st) and OL Branden Albert (1st) haven’t been outright busts like others taken in the first round, but they certainly haven’t made an impact as many expected. Now, Dorsey has been miscast from jump – he’s a bona fide 3-technique and he’s played every position but that one. RB Jamaal Charles (3rd) was a star in 2010, but tore his ACL in the second game of the 2011 season. The Chiefs found two stars at CB in this draft – Brandon Flowers (2nd) and Brandon Carr (5th). The sheer numbers helped the Chiefs in this draft.

Miami Dolphins

  • 2012 Grade: B-
  • Original Grade:  A
  • 9 selections
  • One Pro Bowler – Jake Long – 2009, 2010 & 2011
  • One player remains on roster – Jake Long

Long has been a Pro Bowler and the only reason this draft gets a B-. He was injured and placed on IR in 2011 and there are some who think he might be moved with such a hefty contract in 2012. Regardless, there was nearly nothing else to speak of in this draft. Chad Henne (2nd) could never put a strangle hold on the starting QB spot and DE Kendall Langford (3rd) had some decent moments. DE Phillip Merling (2nd)? Ouch. We’ll move on.

Minnesota Vikings

  • 2012 Grade: D+
  • Original Grade:  B
  • 5 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • Two players remains on roster – John Sullivan and Letroy Guion

Here are the names – Tyrell Johnson, John David Booty, Letroy Guion, John Sullivan and Jaymar Johnson. Remember seeing any of them do anything of value in the last four years? Well, it’s hard to pick out what linemen Guion and Sullivan have done, Sullivan in particular. He’s started for the past three seasons, combining for 45 career starts. He signed a 5-year, $25 million deal in the off-season. Outside of those two, pfffffffffttt. Nothing.

New England Patriots

  • 2012 Grade: C+
  • Original Grade:  B-
  • 7 selections
  • Two Pro Bowler – Jerod Mayo – 2010 and Matt Slater – 2011
  • Two remain on roster – Jerod Mayo and Matt Slater

Mayo (1st – 10th pick) has been a star when healthy and was the highest riser in this draft prior to draft day. And, now we can see the rise was with good reason. The rest of the draft? A Belichickian nightmare. The only player still anywhere near the squad was WR Matt Slater who played more on defense than offense; however, he made the Pro Bowler as a special teamer. The 2007 and 2008 draft classes were disasters for the Patriots, leading the way for much better classes in the three successive drafts.

New Orleans Saints

  • 2012 Grade: B-
  • Original Grade:  B-
  • 6 selections
  • One Pro Bowler – Carl Nicks – 2010 & 2011
  • Two players remain on roster – Sedrick Ellis and Adrian Arrington

DT Sedrick Ellis (1st – 7th pick) has been a solid selection for the Saints, but hasn’t made a Pro Bowl. Tracy Porter (2nd) made an impact early in his career, but moved on to Denver in free agency. Finding G Carl Nicks in the 5th round was a steal and he was one of the best guards in the NFL for years, but the Saints couldn’t afford to keep him and he moved on to Tampa Bay for big money.

New York Giants

  • 2012 Grade: B
  • Original Grade:  B+
  • 7 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • Two players remain on roster – Kenny Phillips and Terrell Thomas

This group was drafted after the Giants won their first Super Bowl and drafting at the bottom of the round, the Giants success was better than expected. The 2007 haul was a bit better in numbers, but this group was solid with contributors all throughout. S Kenny Phillips (1st – 31st pick) and CB Terrell Thomas (2nd) have been leaders in the secondary, when healthy. WR Mario Manningham (3rd) probably had the most overall success, but he chose to sign with the 49ers in the off-season.

New York Jets

  • 2012 Grade: D-
  • Original Grade:  C
  • 6 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • One player remains on roster – Dustin Keller

Thank god for TE Dustin Keller (1st – 30th pick) or this one is a bona fide F.  Keller hasn’t been a star, but he’s been an effective contributor.  Unfortunately, that’s a lot more than the Jets can say for former Ohio State star Vernon Gholston (1st – 6th pick).  B-U-S-T. The rest of the draft is much the same – Dwight Lowery (wasn’t horrible, no longer there) Erik Ainge, Marcus Henry, Nate Garner.  Blech.

Oakland Raiders

  • 2012 Grade: B-
  • Original Grade:  C-
  • 6 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • Two players remain on roster – Darren McFadden and Tyvon Branch

McFadden (1st – 4th pick) is a star when he can stay healthy and WR Chaz Schilens far out-performed his seventh round selection. S Tyvon Branch (4th) was a starter throughout the past few years. The Raiders didn’t have 2nd, 3rd and 5th round picks, so they did a solid job getting value out of the few picks they did have.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • 2012 Grade: C
  • Original Grade:  C+
  • 10 selections
  • One Pro Bowler – DeSean Jackson – 2009 & 2010
  • Two players remain on roster – DeSean Jackson and Mike Gibson

Throw it all completely away, with the exception of the 2nd round selection of Jackson (2nd).  Philly didn’t have a first rounder and its first pick of the second round was DT Trevor Laws, who had some moments as a player before he signed a FA deal with the Rams in the off-season. The rest of it is not even worth speaking of (Bryan Smith? Jack Ikegwuonu? Mike Gibson? Andy Studebaker?)

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • 2012 Grade: D+
  • Original Grade:  B+
  • 7 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • Two players remain on roster – Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Mundy

Boy, on draft day 2008, this one didn’t look bad at all. Boy, on draft day 2012, this one is horrid, outside of Mendenhall. The former Illinois product has put together some strong seasons and some lousy seasons.  But, he’s a Hall of Famer compared to former Texas WR Limas Sweed (2nd). Yikes. T Tony Hills (4th) had to play given the injuries on the offensive line, but he was well below average (and I’m being nice).

San Diego Chargers

  • 2012 Grade: D
  • Original Grade:  B
  • 5 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • Two players remain on roster – Antoine Cason and Jacob Hester

The Chargers only had five selections in this draft and didn’t do much of anything with them. CB Antoine Cason (1st – 27th pick) has been up and down and FB Jacob Hester (3rd) has done a little bit of everything, like he did at LSU. Marcus Thomas (5th), DeJuan Tribble (6th) and Corey Clark (7th) really gave them nothing.  Heck, Thomas was cut in camp. Tribble hardly made it through the 2008 season and then went to the UFL. Clark played in one game in two years.

San Francisco 49ers

  • 2012 Grade: F
  • Original Grade:  B
  • 6 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • No players remain on roster

Kentwan Balmer (1st – 29th pick) was one of the biggest draft disappointments in 49er history. The only guy who made any impact at all was WR Josh Morgan (6th) and it was minimal at best and G Chilo Rachal who was replaced in 2011. The rest of it is worth forgetting.

Seattle Seahawks

  • 2012 Grade: C-
  • Original Grade:  C
  • 7 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • One player remains on roster – Red Bryant

The Seahawks got a few decent years out of TE John Carlson (2nd), but the best pick of this draft was 4th rounder Red Bryant who has been a perfect piece in Pete Carroll’s new defense. RB Justin Forsett was a 7th rounder who gave the team some unexpected production.  However, first rounder Lawrence Jackson (1st – 28th pick) did nothing whatsoever for Seattle and has been a journeyman since.

St. Louis Rams

  • 2012 Grade: D+
  • Original Grade:  C+
  • 8 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • One player remains on roster – Chris Long

DE Chris Long (1st – 2nd pick) improves each and every year, but he’s not gotten himself to a Pro Bowl. The Rams made Donnie Avery the first WR taken in this draft and suffice it to say, injuries killed his promising career.  The rest of the draft is fairly dreadful (John Greco, Keenan Burton, Roy Schuening)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • 2012 Grade: D
  • Original Grade:  C
  • 7 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • Two players remain on roster – Aqib Talib and Jeremy Zuttah

CB Aqib Talib (1st – 20th pick) is a turd and proves that to be true most every off-season. G Jeremy Zuttah will presumably move over to center in 2012 and he’s been, by far, the most outstanding player in this draft class. Dexter Jackson (2nd) could run, but couldn’t play. Dre Moore, Geno Hayes and Cory Boyd…look, don’t kill the messenger. It’s just bad.

Tennessee Titans

  • 2012 Grade: B-
  • Original Grade:  D+
  • 6 selections
  • One Pro Bowler – Chris Johnson – 2008, 2009 & 2010
  • Three players remain on roster – Chris Johnson, Craig Stevens and Lavelle Hawkins

The Titans got slaughtered for the selection of CJ28 (1st – 24th pick) and how has that worked out? He didn’t have a great 2011, but up to that point, he was one of the most explosive weapons in the league. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. DE Jason Jones (2nd) started 28 games the past two years which resulted in a one year contract… from the Seahawks. TE Craig Stevens has contributed 21 career catches but has played. That’s more than you can say for most of this draft class.

Washington Redskins

  • 2012 Grade: D-
  • Original Grade: B
  • 11 selections
  • No Pro Bowlers
  • One player remains on roster – Fred Davis

Second rounder TE Fred Davis has had an up and down start to his career.  He overslept on the last day of his first mini-camp. He responded by eventually becoming a starter in 2011 and caught 59 passes for 796 yards and three TDs. Of course, he then got popped for repeatedly failing drug tests. The rest of this abysmal draft is so bad it’s not even worth mentioning. Alright, I’ll mention my guy former Hawai’i QB Colt Brennan, but other than that, I’ll spare you the carnage.

Lowering the Barr

“But he had ten sacks this year…”

I saw this tweet this week, not just once (and I’m paraphrase-twitter-ing), “Why are people off the Anthony Barr bandwagon?”  When I saw a similar tweet on the All-American UCLA OLB more than a couple of times, I did what I always do.

I put the film on…bro.  Okay, that’s a shameless brand plug and I apologize.  (But I actually did.)

Since the USC game last year, Barr was one of the most talked about NFL prospects in the nation.  He played at a Pac-12 school.  He faced excellent competition week in and week out.  He more than looks the part.  He’s pretty, football pretty, I mean.  He’s fast.  He redirects and changes directions on a dime.  But, when I studied him closely last summer, I was left wanting more.  A whole lot more.  He was lauded for his performance against USC in which he knocked former Trojan star QB Matt Barkley out of the game with a vicious hit.  Upon further review, that highlight worthy sack was more about missed assignments and poor offensive line pass protection than it was anything Barr did or didn’t do.  Either way, there seemed to be a disconnect with what many analysts were writing and what I saw.

I even wrote this in his scouting report”

“Barr will have everybody eating out of the palm of his hand with the Underwear Olympics about to unfold over the next few months.  But, Barr, the football player, has plenty of work to do to make the transition to the next level.”

Throughout the season, there were times, I’ll admit, when I started to doubt myself a tiny bit as well known, reputable draft analysts placed him as high as the number on pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.  But, I trusted what I saw and what I was seeing during the 2013 season.  Barr finished with some solid numbers, including double digits in sacks, but “beyond the numbers” told me a different story.

Against Nevada 2013, he finished the game with two TFL and no sacks.  Why?  He didn’t do anything.  Not that he didn’t play hard.  He just couldn’t do anything at all vs. Nevada LT Joel Bitonio.  Here is my play by play chicken scratch; I’ll assess what it means below.

  • Play 1 – run play, blocked easily
  • Play 2 – three step, cut
  • Play 3 – swing pass – handled one on one
  • Play 4 – QB flushed, split B gap, got heat – essentially no one blocked him
  • Play 5 – No one blocks him, runs zone read down from behind for 2 yd gain
  • Play 6 – Run play, Bitonio handles him
  • Play 7 – Zone read, QB runs to him, can’t stop him for TFL
  • Play 8 – TE blocks him on inside zone
  • Play 9 – Pass Play – Bitonio handles him one-on-one
  • Play 10 – Run play – Bitonio mashes him
  • Play 11 – Pulling guard engages, play away from him
  • Play 12 – Drops in coverage
  • Play 13 – Pass rush, chipped by TE, no factor
  • Play 14 – Blocked inside, although he’s contain player on zone read
  • Play 15 – Drops in coverage
  • Play 16 – Bitonio cuts him on 3 step
  • Play 17 – Best pass rush on 3rd and six, bursts hard upfield, uses rip under and forces QB to move
  • Play 18 – Turned inside by TE on zone run toward him
  • Play 19 – Unblocked, gets shoulders turned, QB pulls it runs for big gain
  • Play 20 – Lines up in space, inside run
  • Play 21 – 4th and 1 – TE blocks on, doesn’t disengage
  • Play 22 – TE blocks on, finally shucks him, forces RB to help
  • Play 23 – Not blocked, fade route – no factor
  • Play 24 – Goalline – Bitonio blocks on, knocks him into the end zone
  • Play 25 – Drops in coverage, jumps wrong WR
  • Play 26 – Best play of night, slips pulling guard and fullback for TFL
  • Play 27 – Rushes on pass play, not even blocked, nothing
  • Play 28 – Bitonio blocks on – stones him on inside run
  • Play 29 – Slips Bitonio, barely, on run away from him
  • Play 30 – Cut block attempt, Barr evades it, harasses throw slightly.
  • Play 31 – Bitonio stoned Barr on pass rush
  • Play 32 – Used spin move and Bitonio stoned him on pass rush
  • Play 33 – Stabbed Bitonio then spun, not a factor as Bitonio does nice job again.
  • Play 34 – Bitonio again stoned his initial rush, very physical with him
  • Play 35 – Quick throw
  • Play 36 – Pass, threw stab under Bitonio chin, still stoned at point of attack. can’t disengage
  • Play 37 – Same as previous play, QB hurried from interior
  • Play 38 – Counter at him, takes on pulling guard and makes a tackle for short yardage
  • Play 39 – Pass, Bitonio stoned him
  • Play 40 – Cut on three step
  • Play 41 – Cut again on three step
  • Play 42 – Run away from him, unblocked, no factor
  • Play 43 – Cut again on three step
  • Play 44 – DOES. NOTHING. Stoned again by Bitonio
  • Play 45 – Stoned on pass rush by Bitonio again
  • Play 46 – TE blocks on, Barr spins and makes his TFL
  • Play 47 – Starts rush, redirects to back out of the backfield on swing route

During the entire night, I’d say play No. 46 was his best play of the night, a tackle for a loss when he spun away from the tight end, avoided the H-back and tackled the running back for a two yard loss.  But, look at how many times I wrote “stoned”, “handled” or “mashed.”  Those feats accomplished by a left tackle that was good, not great, at the Senior Bowl.  Now, trust me, Nevada is a tough team to prepare for as an edge player, but there were plenty of times that Barr had opportunities to make plays once UCLA had a lead and forced Nevada to the air.

Then I charted the Stanford game.  A more traditional offense but with a physical front and backs.

  • Play 1 – buries tackle playing TE, best play I’ve seen in two games on 3rd and one.
  • Play 2 – TE blocked on, can’t disengage on isolation run
  • Play 3 – Play action, dropped in coverage
  • Play 4 – One on one with first year starter Andrus Peat on pass rush – stoned.
  • Play 5 – Unblocked, ran up field forced bad toss on shovel pass underneath him
  • Play 6 – Rushed past Peat upfield on middle screen to RB underneath
  • Play 7 – Zone lead at him, FB kicks him out, doesn’t disengage
  • Play 8 – Ran upfield out of control on zone read, missed tackle
  • Play 9 – Dropped in coverage on pass, lost sight of WR, completed behind him
  • Play 10 – Dropped in coverage on pass, sprinted over to help on tackle
  • Play 11 – Initially stoned on upfield rush by Peat, helped by Yankey
  • Play 12 – Lined up in space, run lead at him, again FB kicks him out easily
  • Play 13 – TE blocked on, knocked him eight yards off the ball, never disengaged
  • Play 14 – Good read here, saw RB flare out for screen, then missed the tackle after throw
  • Play 15 – Power play, FB kicked him out again, technically it’s fine, but not getting off blocks to make plays
  • Play 16 – 3rd and five run play, avoided TE, not a factor on play
  • Play 17 – Quick throw
  • Play 18 – 3rd and one – driven back three yards
  • Play 19 – TE stunt, bull rushed center and knocked him back into QB, plus play (barely)
  • Play 20 – Peat lost feet as Barr used hands to get inside to harass QB, plus play
  • Play 21 – TE stunt again, C was in better shape, Barr still bull rushed to force QB to move
  • Play 22 – T dressed up as TE handled him at point of attack on inside run
  • Play 23 – Power play, tried to avoid FB this time and run around him, RB darts inside then out for good gain
  • Play 24 – Dropped in coverage
  • Play 25 – BEST play by far, redirected on a reverse for big TFL, plus play
  • Play 26 – Power again, T dressed up as TE buried him again
  • Play 27 – Speed upfield forced Peat to lose his balance, redirected inside, C helped on him
  • Play 28 – TE hit and released, Peat doesn’t have much of a chance as ball ran right into Barr
  • Play 29 – Best play all day v. Power, slipped inside “fake” TE block and makes tackle
  • Play 30 – Perfect example of Barr, when engaged, he’s cooked but once he freed himself, he ran to ball for tackle
  • Play 31 – Power right at him, FB got under his chin and stoned him
  • Play 32 – Isolation, Peat tried to get him upfield, he didn’t bite, so Peat then handled him for big Stanford gain.
  • Play 33 – Finally used his hands to violently to get loose on Power

There’s much more game film to study, but here are a couple of things that stand out in just these two games, consistent with Barr’s entire season.  Barr is hardly ever doubled.  Not initially and rarely during the play.  Many people see a great player’s numbers go down and instantly the thought is, “Well, Team A is doubling him on every play.”  Not the case for Barr.

Not once in two games was he doubled and seldom was he even chipped by a RB.  He didn’t produce one sack in these two games.  He did force the QB to move once, maybe, in the Stanford game, but of the 80+ plays in these two games, not one sack.  His two best pass rush plays were on T/E stunts.  Take the numbers away.

How often was Barr shut down with little impact?  Often.  How often did Barr get off a block and make a tackle?  Not often.  When Barr wasn’t blocked how effective was he?  Very.  Will this happen at the next level?  Nah.

I spared you the “play-by-play” during the Oregon game, but even as he registered two sacks against the Ducks, he wasn’t blow you away impressive.  He whipped Oregon LT Tyler Johnstone with impressive speed on the first series for a strip sack and Oregon QB Marcus Mariota ran right into him when Barr was blocked for the other.  Johnstone consistently whipped Barr’s spin move and rarely needed much help throughout the day as he handled the Pac-12’s star pass rusher.

Had Barr declared early in 2012, he probably would’ve gone third over Dion Jordan to Miami in what many thought was a weak draft.  But this draft isn’t quite that way.  Barr’s athleticism is attractive, but Buffalo’s Khalil Mack has athleticism and nasty and a full complement of “wrecking shop” skills.

South Carolina edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney is freakish and he DID get doubled/chipped most of the season.  With three top QBs, a couple of solid prospects at tackle and the aforementioned edge rushing freaks, Barr should fall behind them due to the problems outlined above.  If it’s been a little shocking to see Barr’s name take a hit lately, now you know — if you didn’t already, of course.

Regrading the 2010 NFL Draft

Ahhhh, one of my favorite times of the year. It’s time to hand out some grades. Now, if you’ve been reading my work and following me for the past few years, you know that I absolutely abhor handing out grades days following a completed draft. Having been a teacher, I likened it to giving a grade to a student as he/she walked in the door on day one.

“Hey, you look smart. I’ll give you an A”. Yeah, that doesn’t work. So, back in 2011, I started grading the draft…four years after the fact.

(As luck would have it, I can’t find my 2009 re-grade, just so you know I’m not keeping it from you on purpose.)

Anyhow, it’s 2010’s turn – the Sam Bradford draft. When I first looked back at the teams’ drafts, I wasn’t blown away, for the most part. A few Pro Bowlers here, a few there, but nothing to write home about, no?

Well, no is right. The 2010 NFL Draft class produced 30 Pro Bowlers to this point, which is 10 more than the more ballyhooed 2011 NFL Draft class. Here is the Pro Bowler breakdown:

  • 2006 – 37 Pro Bowlers
  • 2007 – 31 Pro Bowlers
  • 2008 – 20 Pro Bowlers
  • 2009 – 15 Pro Bowlers
  • 2010 – 30 Pro Bowlers
  • 2011 – 20 Pro Bowlers

This class was more of a gem than I remembered. And, to the city of Seattle, the Seahawks class was THE foundation piece to winning a championship in 2013. You see that in full as you read further.

To give a basis of comparison, I found Bleacher Report’s overall grade for each team, and then I found a list that showed a consensus grade of some of the more popular draftniks in the country (Mel Kiper, Rick Gosselin, etc…).  Here’s each team’s REAL grade…after the test, not before. Pro Bowlers are in bold.

Arizona Cardinals

  • Pro Bowlers: 1
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  2
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – C, Consensus – C+
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014): C+

1st Round – Tennessee DT Dan Williams
2nd Round – TCU LB Daryl Washington
3rd Round – The Citadel WR Andre Roberts
4th Round – Wisconsin DE O’Brien Schofield
5th Round – Fordham QB John Skelton
6th Round – Troy CB Jorrick Calvin
7th Round – Stanford TE Jim Dray

In the days leading up to the draft, former TCU product Washington got more and more attention.  As a run-and-hit linebacker, there aren’t many better. The NFL players ranked him as one of the top 100 players in the league, while Williams carved out a starting spot in the Cardinals front seven. Roberts provided good value early in his career, whereas Schofield got cut, signed in Seattle and picked up a ring in the process. The team didn’t get much from QB Skelton at a time when the QB position was a wide open competition.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Pro Bowlers: 0
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014: 3
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – B, Consensus – C+
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014): D+

1st Round – Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon
3rd Round – Kentucky DT Corey Peters
3rd Round – Alabama G Mike Johnson
4th Round – UNLV G Joe Hawley
5th Round – Oklahoma CB Dominique Franks
5th Round – Kansas WR Kerry Meier
6th Round – Montana S Shann Schillinger

Weatherspoon played well in his first three seasons, but only played seven games in 2013. Peters is a backup and hasn’t made a huge impact. Hawley will fight for a starting spot and started 12 times in his first four years. But, all in all, there’s been little impact from this draft class.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Pro Bowlers: 0
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014: 2
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – A, Consensus – A
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014): C

2nd Round – Texas OLB Sergio Kindle
2nd Round – Alabama NT Terrence Cody
3rd Round – Oregon TE Ed Dickson
4th Round – BYU TE Dennis Pitta
5th Round – Utah WR David Reed
5th Round – Syracuse DT Arthur Jones
6th Round – Morehouse OT Ramon Harewood

Kindle didn’t even get out of the blocks after suffering a harrowing injury before training camp. Dickson started his career well, but Pitta became the star at TE. Jones was a key figure in the defensive line before signing a five year/$30M contract with the Colts. Cody is a backup and will more than likely remain a backup. With no first round selection and Kindle’s injury, the Ravens draft class was doomed from the start.

Buffalo Bills

  • Pro Bowlers: 1
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014: 2
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – B, Consensus – C+
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  D-

1st Round – Clemson RB C.J. Spiller
2nd Round – UCF DT Torell Troup
3rd Round – Arkansas State DE Alex Carrington
4th Round – U Conn WR Marcus Easley
5th Round – Virginia Tech OL Ed Wang
6th Round – James Madison DE Arthur Moats
6th Round – South Dakota State LB Bryce Drake
7th Round – Troy QB Levi Brown
7th Round – Iowa OT Kyle Calloway

If not for Spiller, this draft would’ve been a complete waste. Easley is the only other draft pick still on the roster and he’s caught two passes in four years. Yes, that’s correct two passes in four years. It’s hard to find anything positive in this draft other than Spiller who made the 2012 Pro Bowl. Moats played well for the Bills as a role player for the Bills but that’s where the production ends. Abruptly.

Carolina Panthers

  • Pro Bowlers: 1
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014: 1
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – B, Consensus – B-
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014): D

2nd Round – Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen
3rd Round – LSU WR Brandon LaFell
3rd Round – Appalachian State WR Armanti Edwards
4th Round – South Carolina OLB Eric Norwood
6th Round – Ole Miss DE Greg Hardy
6th Round – Baylor WR David Gettis
6th Round – Texas A&M CB Jordan Pugh
6th Round – Cincinnati QB Tony Pike
7th Round – Utah CB R.J Stanford
7th Round – U Conn CB Robert McClain

Just when it appeared I could give Carolina a passing grade for drafting Hardy in the sixth round, the former Ole Miss product was arrested for potential domestic assault and battery. On the field, he’s a rising star as he has 33 sacks and a Pro Bowl to his name. The rest of this class? Oy. Not one player remains in Carolina other than Hardy. Clausen started ten times in 2010, threw three times as many interceptions as touchdowns and was replaced by No. 1 pick in 2011 Cam Newton.  As expected, he has never thrown another regular season pass. Just bad…the entire class.

Chicago Bears

  • Pro Bowlers: 0
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014: 0
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – C, Consensus – C
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  D-

3rd Round – Florida S Major Wright
4th Round – Northwestern DE Corey Wootton
5th Round – Kansas State CB Joshua Moore
6th Round – Central Michigan QB Dan LeFevour
7th Round – West Texas A&M OT J’Marcus Webb

The Bears didn’t have picks in the first two rounds but Wright was a solid starter, drafted in the third round. He signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this off-season, following former Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Wootton was a role playing contributor and signed with Minnesota in the off-season. Webb was Jay Cutler’s whipping boy throughout his three years in Chicago. Quite frankly, the Bears have nothing to show, four years later, from this draft class.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Pro Bowlers: 2
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  3
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – A, Consensus – B-
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  A

1st Round – Oklahoma TE Jermaine Gresham
2nd Round – Florida DE Carlos Dunlap
3rd Round – Texas WR Jordan Shipley
3rd Round – Wake Forest CB Brandon Ghee
4th Round – Georgia DT Geno Atkins
4th Round – Texas OLB Roddrick Muckelroy
5th Round – Eastern Illinois G Otis Hudson
6th Round – Kansas WR Dezmon Briscoe
7th Round – Iowa State G Reggie Stephens

Atkins is the true star in this class and kudos to the Bengals for finding him in the fourth round. Gresham is one of the rare two time Pro Bowlers in this draft class. Dunlap showed flashes of being a dominant end and will get more opportunities with Michael Johnson gone to Tampa. Quite frankly, this was one of the top three 2010 draft classes, even though the Bengals got very little from the last four picks in this class.

Cleveland Browns

  • Pro Bowlers: 2
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  1
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – B, Consensus – B-
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  B

1st Round – Florida CB Joe Haden
2nd Round – Oregon S T.J. Ward
2nd Round – Tennessee RB Montario Hardesty
3rd Round – Texas QB Colt McCoy
3rd Round – Arizona State OT Shawn Lauvao
5th Round – Nebraska S Larry Asante
6th Round – USF WR Carlton Mitchell
6th Round – South Carolina DE Clifton Geathers

Haden ran a 4.6 at the Combine and the draft cognoscenti freaked out. As one of his most ardent supporters, I tried to stay strong, even though others were bailing. Glad I did. Haden just signed a new extension that’ll pay him on par with the best defensive players in the league. Second rounder Ward made last year’s Pro Bowl, then signed a massive deal with the Denver Broncos. The rest of the class? Ouch. Hardesty’s issue heading into the draft was health and it remained an issue. McCoy never got on track and got traded. The rest isn’t even worth mentioning, other than Lauvao who is still in the league.

Dallas Cowboys

  • Pro Bowlers: 1
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  2
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – A, Consensus – B-
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  B-

1st Round – Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant
2nd Round – Penn State OLB Sean Lee
4th Round – Indiana (PA) CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah
6th Round – Notre Dame OT Sam Young
6th Round – Texas Tech CB Jamar Wall
7th Round – William & Mary DT Sean Lissemore

When Jerry Jones selected Dez Bryant at No. 24 in the first round, it was a boom or bust selection. Luckily for “Jerrah”, he got that one right. It’s been a little rocky at times, but there’s no more athletic receiver in football than Bryant. If Lee could ever stay healthy, he’d end up in a Pro Bowl or three. 4th round on down? Disaster, but rolling the Dez Bryant dice, and winning, was a decision that will always be a feather in Jerry’s cap.

Denver Broncos

  • Pro Bowlers:  2
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  1
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – C, Consensus – C+
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  B

1st Round – Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas
1st Round – Florida QB Tim Tebow
2nd Round – Utah OL Zane Beadles
3rd Round – Baylor C J.D Walton
3rd Round – Minnesota WR Eric Decker
5th Round – Oklahoma State CB Perrish Cox
6th Round – Notre Dame C Eric Olsen
7th Round – Cal CB Syd’Quan Thompson
7th Round – Indiana DE Jammie Kirlew

Without Peyton Manning, it’s hard to imagine Thomas as a Pro Bowler. But, Manning’s arrival helped maximize the value the Broncos got from Thomas, Beadles and Decker. Walton started early in his career but got injured and never got his job back. Then, there was the Tebow pick. It’s hard to truly quantify his impact. He’s out of football four years later, but he led a young team to a playoff win in 2011 over Pittsburgh. Even without Tebow, the three offensive stars were excellent value selections, although Beadles and Decker took big money to go elsewhere in 2014.

Detroit Lions

  • Pro Bowlers: 1
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  1
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – B, Consensus – A
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  C+

1st Round – Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh
1st Round – Cal RB Jahvid Best
3rd Round – Iowa CB Amari Spievey
4th Round – Miami, FL OT Jason Fox
7th Round – NC State DE Willie Young
7th Round – Weber State WR Tim Toone

Suh was a no-brainer at No. 2 behind Sam Bradford and he’s made three Pro Bowls. Yet, controversy followed him throughout his career. That said, there aren’t many 3x Pro Bowlers in this class. Best had a concussion history prior to being drafted and retired after another concussion. That risk didn’t pay off. Spievey had four solid years in Detroit, racking up 142 tackles and five interceptions. Young was a backup pass rusher but vital in the “wide 9” scheme for a few years. Regardless, this class is defined by Suh’s aggression and production and Best’s retirement.

Green Bay Packers

  • Pro Bowlers:  0
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  5
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – C, Consensus – B-
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  B-

1st Round – Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga
2nd Round – Purdue DT Mike Neal
3rd Round – Georgia Tech S Morgan Burnett
5th Round – Penn State TE Andrew Quarless
5th Round – TCU OT Marshall Newhouse
6th Round – Buffalo RB James Starks
7th Round – East Carolina DE C.J Wilson

Solid. The five players that remain are solid, nothing better, nothing worse. Bulaga solidified the right side of the line at right tackle. Neal is in the DE rotation, while Burnett took over in 2013 as the starter at strong safety. Starks made significant contributions in the 2010 playoff run, but Eddie Lacy has become the bona fide No. 1 back in Green Bay. Quarless is the top tight end in Green Bay. No team has more players remaining on the roster from its draft class than the Packers (five of seven still remain).

Houston Texans

  • Pro Bowlers:  0
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  2
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – A, Consensus – B-
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  B

1st Round – Alabama CB Kareem Jackson
2nd Round – Auburn RB Ben Tate
3rd Round – Arizona DT Earl Mitchell
4th Round – Miami FL LB Darryl Sharpton
4th Round – Wisconsin TE Garrett Graham
5th Round – Northwestern CB Sherrick McManis
6th Round – Colorado State G Shelley Smith
6th Round – LSU KR Trindon Holliday
7th Round – Pitt WR/TE Dorin Dickerson

I’m not sure I would’ve given this draft class an A just following the draft, but four years later, I’d give it a solid B. Jackson was brutal early in his career but he improved each and every year. Last year, he fell back into some bad habits but should thrive under a new direction in 2014. Graham re-signed with the Texans this off-season and should play a huge role in this new Texans offense. Tate was a solid backup to Arian Foster and Mitchell thrived as a starter in 2013; however, both players signed free agent contracts elsewhere in 2014. Holliday is one of the most dynamic returners in the game…for the Broncos. Many thought that Dickerson was THE major find in this draft in the seventh round, but he did nothing and was released before the 2011 season started.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Pro Bowlers:  0
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  0
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – C, Consensus – C+
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  D

1st Round – TCU OLB Jerry Hughes
2nd Round – Iowa LB Pat Angerer
3rd Round – USC CB Kevin Thomas
4th Round – Tennessee G Jacques McClendon
5th Round – Oklahoma TE Brody Eldridge
7th Round – Cincinnati DT Ricardo Mathews
7th Round – Clemson LB Kavell Conner
7th Round – Indiana CB Ray Fisher

I thought Hughes was destined to be a star in Indianapolis, once he got an opportunity. But, he didn’t really get that chance until 2012, did little with it, got traded to Buffalo and then racked up ten sacks. Angerer started for four years and racked up 327 tackles but he’s an unrestricted free agent and hasn’t re-signed with the Colts as of press date. The rest of the class? Meh.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Pro Bowlers:  0
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  1
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – F, Consensus – C-
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  D-

1st Round – Cal DT Tyson Alualu
3rd Round – Louisiana Tech DT D’Anthony Smith
5th Round – Central Arkansas DE Larry Hart
5th Round – Murray State DE Austen Lane
6th Round – Southern Illinois RB Deji Karim
6th Round – James Madison KR Scotty McGee

This was the beginning of the end for former Jags GM Gene Smith. His heart was in the right place, seemingly, but Alualu was a major surprise at No. 10 and spent an inconsistent four years in Jacksonville. The rest of the draft is dreadful. Karim was still in the league last year but that’s about it. I won’t give it an F until Alualu is done…and that may be this year.

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Pro Bowlers:  2
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  1
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – C, Consensus – B
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  B-

1st Round – Tennessee S Eric Berry
2nd Round – Ole Miss RB Dexter McCluster
2nd Round – Alabama CB Javier Arenas
3rd Round – Illinois G Jon Asamoah
3rd Round – Iowa TE Tony Moeaki
5th Round – Ole Miss S Kendrick Lewis
5th Round – Troy DE Cameron Sheffield

Although Berry is often criticized for any failings of the Kansas City defense, he was the right pick early in the first round. Similar to Suh, he’s been to three Pro Bowls and is the leader of the Chiefs defense. McCluster’s career in Kansas City was a roller coaster, but he did make the Pro Bowl in 2013 as a returner. Asamoah started his career in good shape but signed a free agent contract elsewhere in 2014. Moeaki was on the verge of greatness but an injury shut his progress down, essentially on the spot. Had Arenas stayed in Kansas City under defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, there’s no telling what he could have done. He didn’t, unfortunately. Solid class, overall, in Kansas City.

Miami Dolphins

  • Pro Bowlers:  0
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  3
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – C, Consensus – B
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  C-

1st Round – Penn State DT/DE Jared Odrick
2nd Round – Utah OLB Koa Misi
3rd Round – Ole Miss T/G John Jerry
4th Round – Iowa LB A.J Edds
5th Round – Maryland CB Nolan Carroll
5th Round – Georgia S Reshad Jones
7th Round – Middle Tennessee State LB Chris McCoy

The Dolphins didn’t have a Pro Bowler in this class, but did have four starters in the top six picks. The problem is that none of them had a significant impact on the team, other than Jerry, who was one of the alleged ring leaders in hazing former Dolphin Jonathan Martin and that wasn’t positive impact. Odrick never found the right position. Misi fell into the same trap, so to speak.

MInnesota Vikings

  • Pro Bowlers:  0
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  1
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – A, Consensus – C+
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  D

2nd Round – UVa CB Chris Cook
2nd Round – Stanford RB Toby Gerhart
4th Round – USC DE Everson Griffen
5th Round – Wake Forest OT Chris DeGeare
5th Round – Minnesota OLB Nathan Triplett
6th Round – UAB QB Joe Webb
7th Round – Penn State TE Mickey Shuler
7th Round – Rutgers LB Ryan D’Imperio

An A? Bleacher Report gave this group an A? How? Cook was a mess coming into the league and left Minnesota with no interceptions in four years. Gerhart didn’t really have a chance to impact the team with Adrian Peterson dominating the carries. Griffen has been the lone bright spot and the lone Viking to remain on the roster. Webb started a playoff game and that’s about all. Not a great weekend for the Vikings brass in 2010.

New England Patriots

  • Pro Bowlers:  3
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – A, Consensus – A
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  B

1st Round – Rutgers CB/S Devin McCourty
2nd Round – Arizona TE Rob Gronkowski
2nd Round – Florida DE Jermaine Cunningham
2nd Round – Florida LB Brandon Spikes
3rd Round – Ohio WR Taylor Price
4th Round – Florida TE Aaron Hernandez
5th Round – Michigan P Zoltan Mesko
6th Round – NC State C Ted Larsen
7th Round – Vanderbilt OT Thomas Welch
7th Round – Alabama DT Brandon Deaderick
7th Round – Georgia DT Kade Weston
7th Round – Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson

The Bleacher Report 2010 grade analysis included the following statement:  Does there really need to be any analysis of these picks? Bill Belichick is a draft master. Period.

Well, that’s just foolhardy, to be honest. Belichick missed plenty of times over the years, but in 2010, he drafted 12 players, the most of any team, minus Philadelphia. He did draft three Pro Bowlers, but none of the three truly sustained that success. McCourty was a 2010 Pro Bowler as a rookie CB, but he floundered in 2011 and was moved to safety. Gronkowski was brilliant for the first two years, but the last two years have been marred by injury. Hernandez, well, is a murderer. Okay, okay, alleged murderer but he won’t be seen any time soon. Spikes underachieved and Cunningham did next to nothing in Foxboro. The only other player in that class that impact the roster at all was Mesko. Yes, the punter.

New Orleans Saints

  • Pro Bowlers:  1
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  2
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – B, Consensus – B-
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  C

1st Round – Florida State CB Patrick Robinson
2nd Round – USC OT Charles Brown
3rd Round – Miami (FL) TE Jimmy Graham
4th Round – LSU DT Al Woods
5th Round – Boston College C Matt Tennant
7th Round – Oregon State QB Sean Canfield

If the Saints hadn’t taken a calculated risk with Jimmy Graham, there would’ve been nothing to show for this class at all. Sure, the Saints were selecting last in each round, but Robinson was a reach, in my opinion, at the time and that’s been proven to be true. Brown started occasionally, but wasn’t worth the second round pick. That said, Graham has been so much better than advertised that it bumps the grade from a D- or an F to a C.

New York Giants

  • Pro Bowlers:  1
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  1
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – B, Consensus – B-
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  C-

1st Round – USF DE Jason Pierre-Paul
2nd Round – East Carolina DT Linval Joseph
3rd Round – LSU S Chad Jones
4th Round – Nebraska LB Phillip Dillard
5th Round – Arkansas G Mitch Petrus
6th Round – William & Mary LB Adrian Tracy
7th Round – East Carolina P Matt Dodge

The tragedy in this class was what happened to Jones. The former Tiger was involved in a car accident that kept him from ever seeing the field in New York. Pierre-Paul went to two Pro Bowls and has 28.5 sacks, but 2013 was clearly his worst year in the league. The rest of the class? Ugh.

New York Jets

  • Pro Bowlers:  0
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  1
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – C, Consensus – B
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  F

1st Round – Boise State CB Kyle Wilson
2nd Round – UMass OT Vlad Ducasse
4th Round – USC RB Joe McKnight
5th Round – Kentucky FB John Conner

Beat it, 2010 draft class. Wilson has done…you know what, I’m not wasting a single, solitary second more on this class. It was awful.

Oakland Raiders

  • Pro Bowlers:  0
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  0
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – B, Consensus – A
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  C-

1st Round – Alabama LB Rolando McClain
2nd Round – Texas DE Lamarr Houston
3rd Round – Hillsdale OT Jared Veldheer
4th Round – Maryland OT Bruce Campbell
4th Round – Clemson WR Jacoby Ford
5th Round – Auburn CB Walter McFadden
6th Round – Arizona State LB Travis Goethel
7th Round – Michigan State CB Jeremy Ware
7th Round – Michigan S Stevie Brown

The Raiders seemingly hit on their second and third round picks, but when it came time to re-sign both Houston and Veldheer after their four years of service in Oakland, the two stars went elsewhere. McClain’s off-the-field issues shut his career down before it even truly started. Ford’s impact early couldn’t overshadow the fact that he did nothing later in his career. All in all, two excellent picks on day two, yet nothing to show for it four years later.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Pro Bowlers:  0
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  3
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – B, Consensus – B
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  D+

1st Round – Michigan DE Brandon Graham
2nd Round – USF S Nate Allen
3rd Round – Washington DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim
4th Round – Kentucky CB Trevard Lindley
4th Round – Oklahoma LB Keenan Clayton
4th Round – Northwestern QB Mike Kafka
4th Round – Missouri State TE Clay Harbor
5th Round – Clemson DE Ricky Sapp
5th Round – Florida WR Riley Cooper
6th Round – LSU RB Charles Scott
7th Round – Mississippi State LB Jamar Chaney
7th Round – Georgia DT Jeff Owens
7th Round – Ohio State S Kurt Coleman

The Eagles drafted more players in this draft than any other team in the league. Strength in numbers, right? Well, not really, in this case. The only true value draft pick in this group was Cooper. Various players were shoe-horned into starting spots, but it didn’t take. Coleman was an excellent find in the last round of the draft but he signed a free agent deal with Minnesota this off-season. Those two players saved the draft grade from being an F.

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Pro Bowlers:  2
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  3
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – C, Consensus – B-
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  B

1st Round – Florida C Maurkice Pouncey
2nd Round – Virginia Tech DE Jason Worilds
3rd Round – SMU WR Emmanuel Sanders
4th Round – Ohio State DE Thaddeus Gibson
5th Round – Tennessee OT Chris Scott
5th Round – Clemson CB Crezdon Butler
5th Round – Utah LB Stevenson Sylvester
6th Round – Georgia Tech RB Jonathan Dwyer
6th Round – Central Michigan WR Antonio Brown
7th Round – Ohio State DT Doug Worthington

I liked this draft at the time and still like it today. Pouncey is one of the best centers in the league and Brown is one of the most dynamic players in the league. I thought the strength of the draft would be Worilds, Gibson and Sylvester, but only Worlids remains on the roster at this point. But, Sanders, combined with Brown to make a major impact over the past four years. Sanders caught 161 passes for 2,030 yards during his time in Pittsburgh, but signed with Denver in the off-season.

San Diego Chargers

  • Pro Bowlers:  1
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  3
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – C, Consensus – C+
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  B

1st Round – Fresno State RB Ryan Mathews
3rd Round – Washington LB Donald Butler
4th Round – Kansas S Darrell Stuckey
5th Round – North Carolina DT Cam Thomas
5th Round – Tennessee QB Jonathan Crompton
7th Round – Miami, FL TE Dedrick Epps

Had I done this exercise last year, I might have given the Chargers a D- as Mathews was a disappointment. Even though he went to the 2011 Pro Bowl, he slumped in 2012, only starting nine games and rushing for only 707 yards. But, last year, he showed the full gamut of skills, rushing for nearly 1,300 yards and six touchdowns. Butler has been a key starter on defense, while Stuckey has been a solid contributor in the secondary. Crompton? Ugh.

San Francisco 49ers

  • Pro Bowlers:  2
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  3
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – A, Consensus – A
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  A

1st Round – Rutgers OT Anthony Davis
1st Round – Idaho G Mike Iupati
2nd Round – USC S Taylor Mays
3rd Round – Penn State LB NaVorro Bowman
6th Round – Mississippi State RB Anthony Dixon
6th Round – Pitt TE Nate Byham
6th Round – Arizona State WR Kyle Williams

The only thing really, truly keeping this grade from being an A+ was the selection of Mays in the second round. The much ballyhooed high school recruit from the state of Washington rode a massive hype wave throughout his USC career, culminating in a second round selection. He didn’t even make it to the second season in San Francisco. Other than Mays and Byham, the 49ers got excellent value from everyone on this board.

Seattle Seahawks

  • Pro Bowlers:  3
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  4
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – A, Consensus – A+
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  A+

1st Round – Oklahoma State OT Russell Okung
1st Round – Texas S Earl Thomas
2nd Round – Notre Dame WR Golden Tate
4th Round – Oregon CB Walter Thurmond
4th Round – North Carolina DE E.J Wilson
5th Round – Virginia Tech S Kam Chancellor
6th Round – USC TE Anthony McCoy
7th Round – Arizona State LB Dexter Davis
7th Round – Kent State FB Jameson Konz

This class was even better than the A grade that was given back in 2010. Three Pro Bowlers. Five quality players. Linchpins in the 2013 Super Bowl roster. What more is there to say about this class? Just brilliant work by John Schneider and Pete Carroll.

St. Louis Rams

  • Pro Bowlers:  0
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  2
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – B, Consensus – B
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  D+

1st Round – Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford
2nd Round – Indiana OT Rodger Saffold
3rd Round – USF CB Jerome Murphy
4th Round – Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard
5th Round – Illinois TE Michael Hoomanawanui
5th Round – ULL DE Hall Davis
6th Round – Houston TE Fendi Onobun
6th Round – West Texas A&M DE Eugene Sims
7th Round – Alabama CB Marquis Johnson
7th Round – USF DE George Selvie
7th Round – Penn State LB Josh Hull

The Rams are still waiting on Bradford to live up to the No. 1 pick in the draft status. His health has failed him throughout his career as he’s only started 16 games twice in four years. Fittingly, the Rams won seven games in each of those seasons, but won eight combined in the two years he didn’t make it all the way through. The rest of the class was a disaster but Bradford and Saffold showed just enough to keep it from being an F.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Pro Bowlers:  1
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – B, Consensus – A-
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  C-

1st Round – Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy
2nd Round – UCLA DT Brian Price
2nd Round – Illinois WR Arrelious Benn
3rd Round – Vanderbilt CB Myron Lewis
4th Round – Syracuse WR Mike Williams
6th Round – Virginia Tech P Brent Bowden
7th Round – Virginia Tech S Cody Grimm
7th Round – Florida State LB Dekoda Watson
7th Round – Stanford DE Erik Lorig

McCoy was, is and will continue to be a bona fide stud. Williams was brilliant early in his career but off-season foibles masked his on-field excellence. He was traded to Buffalo this off-season. The rest of the class was nothing to write home about, including Price who is now with the LA Kiss in the Arena League. No, I’m not kidding.

Tennessee Titans

  • Pro Bowlers:  2
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  2
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – C, Consensus – C+
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  B-

1st Round – Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan
3rd Round – USC WR Damian Williams
3rd Round – Georgia LB Rennie Curran
4th Round – UCLA CB Alterraun Verner
5th Round – Utah S Robert Johnson
6th Round – Florida Atlantic QB Rusty Smith
6th Round – Florida State S Myron Rolle
7th Round – Montana WR Marc Mariani
7th Round – Brown DT David Howard

This was my favorite draft of any team in the NFL in 2010. Why? Howard, a Brown graduate. But, in reality, the value in this draft came from the day three selections. Verner turned into one of the best CBs in the AFC and Mariani made the Pro Bowl as a special teams demon. Yet, Morgan’s first four years were no better than ordinary and the rest of the class stunk. However, the value in finding two Pro Bowlers in rounds four and seven, respectively, accounts for the B- in this class.

Washington Redskins

  • Pro Bowlers:  1
  • Players remaining on the roster as of May 2014:  2
  • 2010 Draft Grade (as of April 2010):  Bleacher Report – C, Consensus – C
  • REAL Draft Grade (as of May 2014):  C-

1st Round – Oklahoma OT Trent Williams
3rd Round – supplemental pick for Kentucky DT Jeremy Jarmon
4th Round – LSU LB Perry Riley
6th Round – Louisiana Tech TE Dennis Morris
7th Round – UCLA WR Terrence Austin
7th Round – New Mexico C Erik Cook
7th Round – West Virginia OT Selvish Capers

The Redskins hit a home run with Williams in the first round. The former Oklahoma star was voted to two consecutive Pro Bowls and is one of the top left tackles in the league. Riley will be a mainstay for the Redskins at inside linebacker.

The remaining draft picks? Definitely two hop ground outs to shortstop. The one that stings most was, more than likely, Jarmon. He was a third round 2009 supplemental pick and did nothing in two years. He finished with half of a sack and was retired by the age of 24. By sacrificing their third round selection in the 2010 draft to snap up Jarmon, the Redskins passed on two Pro Bowlers and a handful of capable stars at positions that they addressed later in the draft. Robert Griffin III to Jimmy Graham anyone? What…could’ve been. Instead, the Redskins waited until the sixth round to draft Morris who didn’t make it to September 2010 with the Redskins.

‘The Steelers Project’ Part 1: The Steeler Way

I wrote the article below last year, but I wanted to make it available once again now that our website has a larger following. While the information on how the Steelers approach the draft will speak for itself, I decided to go a step further with this piece in 2012. I decided to create “The Steelers Project”.

I took my own knowledge of the Steelers, studied Pittsburgh Steelers’ General Manager Kevin Colbert’s previous drafts/rosters and reached out to a few NFL insiders to get a feel for what it is that Pittsburgh looks for from prospects at each position.  Some position-specific traits are fairly clear while others are more vague.

Kevin Colbert, General Manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers

I used some of my own evaluations for draft prospects as well as the evaluations of a couple of NFL coaches and scouts. Then I used my “Steelers filter” to find the players whom I believe to be the best fit for what the Steelers look for from prospects on both sides of the ball.

Of course, their evaluations and my evaluations are sure to be much different from player to player, but I tried to do the best I could to remain open-minded about how they might rate a player as opposed to my own predisposition towards a prospect.

I scratched players off the board who I felt didn’t fit their scheme or who had character issues that might preclude the Steelers from looking at them. I took all of this information and stacked a draft board for the Steelers would be my best guess for what their board might look like. I’ve isolated team needs for the Steelers (as well as the entire AFC), and I used those needs to help me create my draft board.

While most teams do look at “best player available”, every team prefers to look for “best player available at a position of need”. The biggest difference from team to team is that some teams hold certain positions as higher draft priorities from year to year than others.

The Steeler Way

There are few teams in football more respected on draft day than the Pittsburgh Steelers. What makes the Steelers so revered is not just the fact that they have a track record of finding good football players, but they’ve also created a mindset of “Steeler football” and they stay true to that mindset/philosophy.

What makes the Steelers so revered is they’ve created a mindset of “Steeler Football” and they stay true to it.

My dad coached the offensive line for the Steelers from 2007-2009 and despite what most people think, I rarely got inside information from him while he was there. In fact, he was always so jammed up with work that our discussions usually centered on offensive line play during the season and how his grandchildren were doing. During the draft process, I would ask questions about some offensive line prospects from time to time, but that was the extent of it.

Recently, over Tex-Mex, he began telling me about how the Steelers go about the draft process and I found it to be fascinating. In Pittsburgh, Kevin Colbert runs the draft but has Mike Tomlin helping to make decisions. There is a balance between the scouting department and position coaches.

The Steelers pecking order isn’t what fascinated me, but rather, the manner in which they put together their draft board is what caught my attention.

Stacking The Board

After all the player readings are finished and the evaluations are complete, the Steelers will stack their draft board. While other teams try and predict what teams ahead of them will do, the Steelers decided that was a waste of time. I will keep the nuts and bolts about how the Steelers draft process works to me, but I love their overall approach. The Steelers only care about what they can control: their own draft board.

The Steelers create their draft board based on a mock draft where only the Steelers pick. They make picks 1 through 32 in the first round based on their philosophies on both sides of the ball. While every team stacks their draft board based on draft grades with players in all positions, the Steelers are able to put together a true “big board” based on their judgments of talent, fit to the system, need and character.

The Steelers do care about off-the-field character and the Rooneys will either drop players down the list or remove players entirely based on character issues.

To begin with, the Steelers will meet and list who they think are the top players in the draft, regardless of position, need or fit with Steelers. On the next day, Steelers’ oweners the Rooneys join the group and they start going through the list again, adjusting for fit, character issues and team needs.

The Steelers do care about off-the-field character and the Rooneys will either drop players down the list or remove players entirely based on character issues. Mike Tomlin will work with Kevin Colbert in terms of stacking the board, but it is my understanding that Colbert runs the show.

Have you ever been at the horse races and you are in line to make your wagers but you aren’t quite sure what your game plan is going to be? You end up making way too many bets and you come away with tickets that you didn’t really want. The same thing has probably happened to you in fantasy football drafts.

But with their method, the Steelers are able to operate within the first two rounds with a checklist that they rarely have to deviate from. Sure, they may go off script based on how the draft is unfolding, but they know who they are and what they want to do when they are on the clock.

Mock drafts? You can keep them. The Steelers only care about the Steelers.

Two Round Mock Draft

Round One

1. Carolina – Marcel Dareus, DT, Alabama

2. Denver – Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

3. Buffalo – Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

4. Cincinnati – Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

5. Arizona – Robert Quinn, OLB/DE, North Carolina

6. Cleveland – A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

7. San Francisco – Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

8 .Tennessee – Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

9 .Dallas – Tyron Smith, OT, USC

10. Washington – Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

11. Houston – Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

12. Minnesota – Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

13. Detroit – Anthony Castonzo, LT, Boston College

14. St. Louis – Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

15. Miami – Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

16. Jacksonville – Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

17. New England – J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

18. San Diego – Cameron Jordan, DE, Cal

19. New York Giants – Mike Pouncey, OG/C, Florida

20. Tampa Bay – Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

21. Kansas City – Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor

22. Indianapolis – Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

23. Philadelphia – Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

24. New Orleans – Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

25. Seattle – Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

26. Baltimore – Nate Solder, LT, Colorado

27. PIttsburgh (trade w/ ATL) – Derek Sherrod, LT, Miss. State

28. New England – Orlando Franklin, OG, Miami

29. Chicago – Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

30. New York Jets – Danny Watkins, LG, Baylor

31. Atlanta (proj. trade with PIT) – Justin Houston, DE, Georgia

32. Green Bay – Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

Round Two

33. New England – Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

34. Buffalo – Jake Locker, QB, Washington

35. Cincinnati – Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

36. Denver – Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State

37. Cleveland – Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

38. Arizona – Marcus Cannon, OG, TCU

39. Tennessee – Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

40. Dallas – Allen Bailey, DE, Miami

41. Washington – Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois

42. Houston – Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona

43. Minnesota – Andy Dalton, QB, TCU

44. Detroit – Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech

45. San Francisco – Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pitt

46. Denver – Jurrell Casey, DT, USC

47. St. Louis – Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky

48. Oakland – Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia

49. Jacksonville – Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA

50. San Diego – Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois

51. Tampa Bay – Brandon Burton, CB, Utah

52. New York Giants – Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame

53. Indianapolis – Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State

54. Philadelphia – Ben Ijalana, OG, Villanova

55. Kansas City – Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa

56. New Orleans – Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina

57. Seattle – Rodney Hudson, G/C, Seattle

58. Baltimore – Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy

59. Atlanta – Curtis Brown, CB, Texas

60. New England – Jonathan Baldwin, WR, PItt

61. San Diego – Clint Boling, OG, Georgia

62. Chicago – Marvin Austin, NT, North Carolina

63. Pittsburgh – Davon House, CB, New Mexico State

64. Green Bay – James Carpenter, OG/OT, Alabama