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Draft Decisions

Nystrom’s Snap Draft Grades

by Thor Nystrom
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Note: My pre-Draft rankings are in parenthesis. These grades reflect my opinion of pick value and future draft equity acquired. I did not factor trades for players into the grades (i.e. Kansas City's grade is based in the vacuum of the picks it made, not weighted to reflect last year's Pat Mahomes trade; the Rams' grade doesn't factor in the acquisitions of Brandin Cooks, Marcus Peters, and Aqib Talib, etc.).

Arizona Cardinals | NFL Draft snap grade: A


1.10 (1) QB Josh Rosen (UCLA)

2.47 (47) WR Christian Kirk (Texas A&M)

3.97 (169) C Mason Cole (Michigan)

4.134 (155) RB Chase Edmonds (Fordham)

6.182 (99) CB Christian Campbell (Penn State)

7.254 (NR) Korey Cunningham (Cincinnati)


In one sentence: Getting Rosen at 1.10 is theft; adding Kirk in Round 2 was a nice touch.



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Atlanta Falcons | NFL Draft Snap grade: C


1.26 (39) WR Calvin Ridley (Alabama)

2.58 (33) CB Isaiah Oliver (Colorado)

3.90 (115) DT Deadrin Senat (South Florida)

4.126 (283) RB Ito Smith (Southern Mississippi)

6.194 (377) WR Russell Gage (LSU)

6.200 (NR) S Foyesade Oluokun (Yale)


In one sentence: Boring, workmanlike draft that filled holes in an unsexy way.


Baltimore Ravens | NFL Draft snap grade: B+


1.25 (54) TE Hayden Hurst (South Carolina)

1.32 (5) QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville)

3.83 (56) T Orlando Brown (Oklahoma)

3.86 (101) TE Mark Andrews (Oklahoma)

4.118 (126) CB Anthony Averett (Alabama)

4.122 (293) LB Kenny Young (UCLA)

4.132 (153) WR Jaleel Scott (New Mexico State)

5.162 (138) WR Jordan Lasley (UCLA)

6.190 (75) S Deshon Elliott (Texas)

6.212 (202) T Greg Senat (Wagner)

6.215 (271) C Bradley Bozeman (Alabama)

7.238 (NR) DE Zach Sieler (Ferris State)


*Gave up 2019 R2 to the Eagles


In one sentence: I didn't like popping Hurst at 1.25, but Lamar Jackson at 1.32 was my favorite pick of the draft.


Buffalo Bills | NFL Draft snap grade: D+


1.7 (32) QB Josh Allen (Wyoming)

1.16 (12) LB Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech)

3.96 (87) DT Harrison Phillips (Stanford)

4.121 (182) CB Taron Johnson (Weber State)

5.154 (213) S Siran Neal (Jacksonville State)

5.166 (102) G Wyatt Teller (Virginia Tech)

6.187 (347) WR Ray-Ray McCloud (Clemson)

7.255 (NR) Austin Proehl (UNC)


In one sentence: Hated trading a bunch of draft equity to move up and take Allen.


Carolina Panthers | NFL Draft snap grade: B-


1.24 (27) WR D.J. Moore (Maryland)

2.55 (46) CB Donte Jackson (LSU)

3.85 (154) S Rashaan Gaulden (Tennessee)

4.101 (72) TE Ian Thomas (Indiana)

4.136 (241) LB Marquis Haynes (Ole Miss)

5.161 (NR) LB Jermaine Carter (Maryland)

7.234 (306) LB Andre Smith (UNC)

7.242 (195) DT Kendrick Norton (Miami)


In one sentence: Liked what the Panthers did early; after that, they were a bit hit and miss.


Chicago Bears | NFL Draft snap grade: A


1.8 (3) LB Roquan Smith (Georgia)

2.39 (21) C James Daniels (Iowa)

2.51 (53) WR Anthony Miller (Memphis)

4.115 (288) LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe (Western Kentucky)

5.145 (240) DT Bilal Nichols (Delaware)

6.181 (172) LB Kylie Fitts (Utah)

7.224 (279) WR Javon Wims (Georgia)


*Traded 2019 R2 to the Pats


In one sentence: The first three picks were a thing of beauty.


Cincinnati Bengals | NFL Draft snap grade: B+


1.21 (35) C Billy Price (Ohio State)

2.54 (38) S Jessie Bates (Wake Forest)

3.77 (48) DE Sam Hubbard (Ohio State)

3.78 (43) LB Malik Jefferson (Texas)

4.112 (109) RB Mark Walton (Miami)

5.151 (187) CB Davontae Harris (Illinois State)

5.158 (170) DT Andrew Brown (Virginia)

5.170 (209) CB Darius Phillips (Western Michigan)

7.249 (313) QB Logan Woodside (Toledo)

7.252 (242) G Rod Taylor (Ole Miss)

7.253 (218) WR Auden Tate (FSU)


In one sentence: Thought they panicked a tad with Price in Round 1, but I liked most of the rest of their draft, particularly what they did in Rounds 2-5.


Cleveland Browns | NFL Draft snap grade: C+


1.1 (18) QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)

1.4 (15) CB Denzel Ward (Ohio State)

2.33 (65) G Austin Corbett (Nevada)

2.35 (69) RB Nick Chubb (Georgia)

3.67 (149) DE Chad Thomas (Miami)

4.105 (90) WR Antonio Callaway (Florida)

5.150 (93) LB Genard Avery (Memphis)

6.175 (NR) WR Damion Ratley (Texas A&M)

6.188 (NR) Simeon Thomas (UL-Lafayette)


In one sentence: The Browns added a ton of talent -- but they had a ludicrous amount of draft capital; I thought they could have done better.


Dallas Cowboys | NFL Draft snap grade: A


1.19 (25) LB Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State)

2.50 (28) G/T Connor Williams (Texas)

3.81 (52) WR Michael Gallup (Colorado State)

4.116 (107) LB Dorance Armstrong, Jr. (Kansas)

4.137 (110) TE Dalton Schultz (Stanford)

5.171 (100) QB Mike White (Western Kentucky)

6.193 (308) LB Chris Covington (Indiana)

6.208 (114) WR Cedrick Wilson (Boise State)

7.236 (178) RB Bo Scarbrough (Alabama)


In one sentence: Sensational job of filling needs while getting great value at most every pick.


Denver Broncos | NFL Draft snap grade: A+


1.5 (6) DE Bradley Chubb (NC State)

2.40 (22) WR Courtland Sutton (SMU)

3.71 (82) RB Royce Freeman (Oregon)

3.99 (60) CB Isaac Yiadom (Boston College)

4.106 (58) LB Josey Jewell (Iowa)

4.113 (84) WR DaeSean Hamilton (Penn State)

5.156 (168) TE Troy Fumagalli (Wisconsin)

6.183 (188) G Sam Jones (Arizona State)

6.217 (263) LB Keishawn Bierria (Washington)

7.226 (NR) RB David Williams (Arkansas)


In one sentence: This is how it's done, folks.


Detroit Lions | NFL Draft snap grade: B+


1.20 (37) C/G Frank Ragnow (Arkansas)

2.43 (61) RB Kerryon Johnson (Auburn)

3.82 (270) S Tracy Walker (UL-Lafayette)

4.114 (86) DE Da’shawn Hand (Alabama)

5.153 (40) T Tyrell Crosby (Oregon)

7.237 (267) FB Nick Bawden (San Diego State)


*Traded 2019 R3 to the Pats


In one sentence: Like what they did with their first two picks, and also the outstanding value on Hand and Crosby on Day 3.


Green Bay Packers | NFL Draft snap grade: A+


1.18 (17) CB Jaire Alexander (Louisville)

2.45 (13) CB Joshua Jackson (Iowa)

3.88 (146) LB Oren Burks (Vanderbilt)

4.133 (92) WR J’Mon Moore (Missouri)

5.138 (128) G Cole Madison (Washington State)

5.172 (228) P JK Scott (Alabama)

5.174 (256) WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (USF)

6.207 (49) WR Equanimeous St. Brown (Notre Dame)

7.232 (215) DT James Looney (Cal)

7.239 (NR) LS Hunter Bradley (Mississippi State)

7.248 (NR) LB Kendall Donnerson (Southeast Missouri State)


*Acquired 2019 R1 from Saints


In one sentence: They needed corner help and got two of my top three CBs... as if that wasn't enough, they pilfered New Orleans' first-rounder next year and absolutely stole St. Brown in Round 6 -- a perfect draft for Green Bay.


Houston Texans | NFL Draft snap grade: B


3.68 (30) S Justin Reid (Stanford)

3.80 (85) G Martinas Rankin (Mississippi State)

3.98 (220) H-back Jordan Akins (UCF)

3.103 (117) WR Keke Coutee (Texas Tech)

6.177 (79) DE Duke Ejiofor (Wake Forest)

6.211 (243) TE Jordan Thomas (Mississippi State)

6.214 (286) LB Peter Kalambayi (Stanford)

7.222 (NR) CB Jermaine Kelly (San Jose State)


In one sentence: The Texans had almost no draft equity, but I really liked what they did with the picks they had -- Reid is a first-round talent that they acquired in Round 3.


Indianapolis Colts | NFL Draft snap grade: B


1.6 (4) G Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame)

2.36 (105) LB Darius Leonard (South Carolina State)

2.37 (51) G Braden Smith (Auburn)

2.52 (80) LB Kemoko Turay (Rutgers)

2.64 (113) DE Tyquan Lewis (Ohio State)

4.104 (116) RB Nyheim Hines (NC State)

5.159 (231) WR Daurice Fountain (Northern Iowa)

5.169 (230) RB Jordan Wilkins (Ole Miss)

6.185 (77) WR Deon Cain (Clemson)

7.221 (NR) LB Matthew Adams (Houston)

7.235 (321) LB Zaire Franklin (Syracuse)


*Acquired 2019 R2 from the Jets


In one sentence: Indy just turned their offensive line into a strength while adding athleticism at the skill positons and on defense... plus, they added New York's second-rounder next year, likely to be equivalent to a late first-rounder.


Jacksonville Jaguars | NFL Draft snap grade: B


1.29 (16) DT Taven Bryan (Florida)

2.61 (71) WR DJ Chark (LSU)

3.93 (50) S Ronnie Harrison (Alabama)

4.129 (111) T Will Richardson (NC State)

6.203 (254) QB Tanner Lee (Nebraska)

7.230 (189) LB Leon Jacobs (Wisconsin)

7.247 (NR) P Logan Cooke (Mississippi State)


In one sentence: They found nice value in their first four picks.


Kansas City Chiefs | NFL Draft snap grade: F


2.46 (211) DT Breeland Speaks (Ole Miss)

3.75 (151) DT Derrick Nnadi (Florida State)

3.100 (166) LB Dorian O'Daniel (Clemson)

4.124 (175) S Armani Watts (Texas A&M)

6.196 (268) CB Tremon Smith (Central Arkansas)

6.198 (334) DT Kahlil McKenzie (Tennessee)


In one sentence: I'm not baking the partial cost of Pat Mahomes into this grade; if you're just looking at what they acquired with the picks they had, I thought they misfired.


Los Angeles Rams | NFL Draft snap grade: D+


3.89 (122) T Joseph Noteboom (TCU)

4.111 (252) C Brian Allen (Michigan State)

4.135 (190) DE John Franklin-Myers (Stephen F. Austin)

5.147 (171) LB Micah Kiser (Virginia)

5.160 (89) LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Oklahoma)

5.176 (136) RB John Kelly (Tennessee)

6.192 (194) G Jamil Demby (Maine)

6.195 (NR) DT Sebastian Joseph (Rutgers)

6.205 (257) DE Trevon Young (Louisville)

7.231 (NR) LB Travin Howard (TCU)

7.244 (244) DE Justin Lawler (SMU)


In one sentence: The Rams had no picks early and a bunch of picks late -- I just didn't love what they did with the picks they had.


Los Angeles Chargers | NFL Draft snap grade: C-


1.17 (7) S Derwin James (Florida State)

2.48 (97) LB Uchenna Nwosu (USC)

3.84 (198) DT Justin Jones (NC State)

4.119 (165) S Kyzir White (West Virginia)

5.155 (167) C Scott Quessenberry (UCLA)

6.191 (204) WR Dylan Cantrell (Texas Tech)

7.251 (152) RB Justin Jackson (Northwestern)


In one sentence: Tremendous first pick -- the rest of the group left something to be desired.


Miami Dolphins | NFL Draft snap grade: C


1.11 (9) S Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)

2.42 (63) TE Mike Gesicki (Penn State)

3.73 (124) LB Jerome Baker (Ohio State)

4.123 (159) TE Durham Smythe (Notre Dame)

4.131 (157) RB Kalen Ballage (Arizona State)

6.209 (NR) Cornell Armstrong (Southern Miss)

7.227 (336) LB Quentin Poling (Ohio)

7.229 (NR) K Jason Sanders (New Mexico)


In one sentence: A solid, unspectacular showing.


Minnesota Vikings | #NFLDraft Snap grade: C+


1.30 (23) CB Mike Hughes (UCF)

2.62 (83) T Brian O’Neill (Pitt)

4.102 (139) DE Jalyn Holmes (Ohio State)

5.157 (233) TE Tyler Conklin (Central Michigan)

5.167 (179) K Daniel Carlson (Auburn)

6.213 (161) G Colby Gossett (Appalachian State)

6.218 (134) DE Ade Aruna (Tulane)

7.225 (NR) Devante Downs (California)


In one sentence: The Vikings plugged their holes at an acceptable price.


New England Patriots | NFL Draft snap grade: B+


1.23 (10) G Isaiah Wynn (Georgia)

1.31 (34) RB Sony Michel (Georgia)

2.56 (88) CB Duke Dawson (Florida)

5.143 (320) LB Ja'Whaun Bentley (Purdue)

6.178 (164) LB Christian Sam (Arizona State)

6.210 (302) WR Braxton Berrios (Miami)

7.219 (NR) QB Danny Etling (LSU)

7.243 (NR) Keion Crossen (Western Carolina)

7.250 (200) TE Ryan Izzo (FSU)


*Acquired Bears 2019 R2

*Acquired Lions 2019 R3


In one sentence: Loved what New England did early, and I love that they added a pair of Day 2 picks tomorrow... the grade would have been higher, but I didn't like what they did on Day 3.


New Orleans Saints | NFL Draft snap grade: F


1.14 (42) DE Marcus Davenport (UTSA)

3.91 (108) WR Tre’Quan Smith (UCF)

4.127 (NR) OT Rick Leonard (Florida State)

5.164 (344) S Natrell Jamerson (Wisconsin)

6.189 (312) CB Kamrin Moore (Boston College)

6.201 (NR) RB Boston Scott (Louisiana Tech)

7.245 (197) C Will Clapp (LSU)


*Traded 2019 R1 to Packers


In one sentence: This haul is extremely underwhelming in a vacuum... when you consider that they gave up their first-rounder next year to get it done, it becomes dreadful.


New York Giants | NFL Draft snap grade: D


1.2 (2) RB Saquon Barkley (Penn State)

2.34 (31) G Will Hernandez (UTEP)

3.66 (59) LB Lorenzo Carter (Georgia)

3.69 (106) DT B.J. Hill (NC State)

4.108 (118) QB Kyle Lauletta (Richmond)

5.139 (174) DT RJ McIntosh (Miami)


In one sentence: In a class that has multiple potential franchise QBs, you have to take your QB of the future at 1.2... the Giants are deluding themselves into believing that they could contend in the remaining years of Eli Manning's career... this draft assures they'll be good enough to draft in the middle of the first round next year (no better), which'll box them out of the top QBs in that class, too.


New York Jets | NFL Draft snap grade: B


1.3 (11) QB Sam Darnold (USC)

3.72 (96) DT Nathan Shepherd (Fort Hays State)

4.107 (135) TE Christopher Herndon (Miami)

6.179 (131) CB Parry Nickerson (Tulane)

6.180 (133) DT Folorunso Fatukasi (UConn)

6.204 (NR) RB Trenton Cannon (Virginia State)


*Traded 2019 R2 to the Colts


In one sentence: It was a huge coup that Darnold fell to 1.3, and the Jets did a nice job with their other picks.


Oakland Raiders | NFL Draft snap grade: D-


1.15 (45) T Kolton Miller (UCLA)

2.57 (236) DT PJ Hall (Sam Houston)

3.65 (160) T Brandon Parker (NC A&T)

3.87 (74) LB Arden Key (LSU)

4.110 (137) CB Nick Nelson (Wisconsin)

5.140 (29) DT Maurice Hurst (Michigan)

5.173 (315) P Johnny Townsend (Florida)

6.216 (325) LB Azeem Victor (Washington)

7.228 (162) WR Marcell Ateman (Oklahoma State)


In one sentence: This grade would have been an F had the Raiders not gotten good value on Key and tremendous value on Hurst.


Philadelphia Eagles | NFL Draft snap grade: B+


2.49 (57) TE Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State)

4.125 (176) CB Avonte Maddox (Pitt)

4.130 (26) DE Josh Sweat (Florida State)

6.206 (222) T Matt Pryor (TCU)

7.233 (NR) T Jordan Mailata (Australia)


*Acquired 2019 R2 from the Ravens


In one sentence: Philly got the "1A" tight end int his class, acquired a Round 2 pick next year, and got a huge steal in Sweat (assuming his knee holds up).


Pittsburgh Steelers | NFL Draft snap grade: C


1.28 (112) S Terrell Edmunds (Virginia Tech)

2.60 (62) WR James Washington (Oklahoma State)

3.76 (64) QB Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State)

3.92 (91) T Chukwuma Okorafor (Western Michigan)

5.148 (147) S Marcus Allen (Penn State)

5.165 (95) H-back Jaylen Samuels (NC State)

7.246 (NR) Joshua Frazier (Alabama)


In one sentence: I liked what the Steelers did after their first pick... but I hated what they did with that first pick.


San Francisco 49ers | NFL Draft snap grade: B-


1.9 (14) T Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame)

2.44 (68) WR Dante Pettis (Washington)

3.70 (67) LB Fred Warner (BYU)

3.95 (208) S Tarvarius Moore (Southern Miss)

4.128 (185) DE Kentavius Street (NC State)

5.142 (129) CB DJ Reed (Kansas State)

6.184 (376) S Marcell Harris (Florida)

7.223 (NR) DT Jullian Taylor (Temple)

7.240 (246) WR Richie James (Middle Tennessee State)


In one sentence: McGlinchey and Warner were both really strong picks, and Pettis was okay (I would have taken a different WR but it wasn't a huge reach)... I was out on the rest of their picks (except Reed).


Seattle Seahawks | NFL Draft Snap grade: D-


1.27 (94) RB Rashaad Penny (San Diego State)

3.79 (55) DE Rasheem Green (USC)

4.120 (259) TE Will Dissly (Washington)

5.141 (98) LB Shaquem Griffin (Central Florida)

5.146 (311) S Tre Flowers (Oklahoma State)

5.149 (183) P Michael Dickson (Texas)

5.168 (73) T Jamarco Jones (Ohio State)

6.186 (NR) OLB Jake Martin (Temple)

7.220 (260) QB Alex McGough (Florida International)


In one sentence: I hated the Penny pick and wasn't a big fan of what Seattle did outside of that except for getting Green, Griffin and especially Jones at solid values.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers | #NFLDraft Snap grade: B+


1.12 (20) DT Vita Vea (Washington)

2.38 (41) RB Ronald Jones (USC)

2.53 (76) CB M.J. Stewart (UNC)

2.63 (44) CB Carlton Davis (Auburn)

3.94 (144) G Alex Cappa (Humboldt State)

4.117 (104) S Jordan Whitehead (Pittsburgh)

5.144 (120) WR Justin Watson (Pennsylvania)

6.202 (216) LB Jack Cichy (Wisconsin)


In one sentence: Rock solid draft that addressed needs while maintaining strong pick value throughout.


Tennessee Titans | #NFLDraft Snap grade: A-


1.22 (19) LB Rashaan Evans (Alabama)

2.41 (8) DE Harold Landry (Boston College)

5.152 (132) S Dane Cruikshank (Arizona)

6.199 (150) QB Luke Falk (Washington State)


In one sentence: The Titans only had four picks, but boy did they do well with them... Landry at 2.41 is insane value.


Washington Redskins | #NFLDraft Snap grade: B+


1.13 (24) DT Da’Ron Payne (Alabama)

2.59 (36) RB Derrius Guice (LSU)

3.74 (70) T Geron Christian (Louisville)

3.100 (314) S Troy Apke (Penn State)

5.163 (81) DT Tim Settle (Virginia Tech)

6.197 (255) LB Shaun Dion Hamilton (Alabama)

7.241 (245) CB Greg Stroman (Virginia Tech)

7.256 (140) WR Trey Quinn (SMU)


In one sentence: Outside of a reach on the testing freak Apke, I thought Washington had an extremely solid draft... I especially liked the values on Guice, Christian, Settle and Quinn.


Thor Nystrom

Thor Nystrom is NBC Sports Edge’s lead CFB writer. The 2018 FSWA College Sports Writer of the Year, Nystrom’s writing has also been honored by Rolling Stone magazine and The Best American Essays series. Say hi to him on Twitter @thorku!