Grading the NFL Draft is a futile exercise in and of itself. Often, we look back way down the line and see these grades were way off in trying to assess if a team did well or not. We fully recognize this, but it is still an interesting way to look at and analyze a team’s draft. Keep in mind that each team is different and has different fits that could affect the value. Today, we are grading the NFC West.
Below you will see where each player was taken in this class with my overall ranking in parenthesis.
NFC WEST DRAFT GRADES
2-55-(40)-TE-Trey McBride-Colorado State
3-87-(78)-EDGE-Cameron Thomas-San Diego State
6-201-(NR)-RB-Keaontay Ingram-Southern Cal
6-215-(236)-G-Lecitus Smith-Virginia Tech
7-244-(NR)-CB-Christian Matthew-Valdosta State
7-256-(159)-EDGE-Jesse Luketa-Penn State
I loved the Cardinals attacking the edge position with 2 of their first 3 picks. Thomas is more of the traditional defensive end type who was highly productive in the MWC this season. Sanders will be more of the stand-up rusher. The Cardinals added two more weapons for Kyler Murray. First, they traded their first-round pick for WR Hollywood Brown. Second, they added another pass-catching tight end with Trey McBride. Pairing him with Zack Ertz will give Murray dual security blankets.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
4-142-(273)-CB-Decobie Durant-South Carolina State
5-164-(212)-RB-Kyren Williams-Notre Dame
7-235-(NR)-EDGE-Daniel Hardy-Montana State
7-253-(NR)-S-Russ Yeast-Kansas State
7-261-(NR)-OT-A.J. Arcuri-Michigan State
The Rams didn’t have a pick until 104 after dealing for QB Matthew Stafford and pass rusher Von Miller. Since they won a Super Bowl it is hard to argue their methodology. F**k them picks, right?! As far as their actual draft picks, well, color me unimpressed.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
2-61-(53)-EDGE-Drake Jackson-Southern Cal
6-221-(134)-CB-Tariq Castro-Fields-Penn State
7-262-(NR)-QB-Brock Purdy-Iowa State
The 49ers were sans first-round pick thanks to trading up last year for Trey Lance. Their first pick this year should contribute immediately. Drake Jackson possesses a skill set that should lead to a high sack number as a rookie. Especially getting 1-on-1 blocks opposite of Nick Bosa. I didn’t expect Ty Davis-Price to be drafted; much less in the third round. Danny Gray gives the 49ers speed on the outside.
1-9-(7)-OT-Charles Cross-Mississippi State
2-41-(59)-RB-Kenneth Walker III-Michigan State
3-72-(107)-OT-Abraham Lucas-Washington State
5-158-(163)-EDGE-Tyreke Smith-Ohio State
For the first time in recent memory, I actually liked the Seahawks draft class. I do find it ironic that the moment Russell Wilson is out of town they addressed the offensive tackle spot. Charles Cross was the best pass blocking OT in this class. I am not as high on Abraham Lucas but he should be a solid right tackle. Mafe is an athletic pass rusher. I love the two corner picks in the mid-rounds. Woolen is everything the old Legion of Boom used to be. Bryant was tested often at Cincinnati and passed more often than not. Walker will be RB1 sooner rather than later.
Also, don’t sleep on the two seventh-round wide receivers. Young is nearly a clone of D.K. Metcalf. Melton should provide special teams boosts immediately.
Next up, I will look at the NFC North!