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Thor's AFC Snap Draft Grades

by Thor Nystrom
Updated On: May 2, 2021, 11:32 pm ET

My grades are based heavily on slot value. Addressing needs and in-draft trades are also considered. Below, along with each team's grade, you'll note three additional categories -- draft capital, talent acquired hi and value -- teams are ranked in.

Draft capital was calculated via Rich Hill's trade chart. Talent acquired is based on scoring the prospects on my Thor500 board through the prism of Hill's trade chart in the same way. The only other thing you need to know is that I grade on a strict curve. 

Away we go.

Here is a link to the NFC Draft Grades.

Editor’s Note: John Daigle will also be weighing in with his grades, with more fantasy impact, Sunday and Monday. 


BALTIMORE RAVENS | Snap grade: A

Draft capital: 18 | Talent acquired: 13 | Value: 6

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.27Rashod BatemanWR418Justin Jefferson6'01908.05
1.31Jayson OwehEDGE326Danielle Hunter6'52579.92
3.94Ben ClevelandiOL1089Jeremiah Poutasi6'63439.64
3.104Brandon StephensCB32271Quenton Meeks6'02139.2
4.131Tylan WallaceWR855Robert Woods5'111944.72
5.160Shaun WadeCB22172Jalen Mills6'11969.6
5.171Daelin HayesEDGE26208Joe Ostman6'32537.93
5.184Ben MasonFB2183Patrick Ricard6'32568.97

The Ravens are so good at this. Same old clockwork efficiency in bargain-shopping steals the NFL passed along to them. Bateman, Oweh and Cleveland were all great values. I talked about Oweh’s fit with Baltimore in particular over the last month -- perfect pairing for a prospect a few Danielle Hunter-like tweaks away from turning into the man himself.

Tylan Wallace was highway robbery in R4. Even Shaun Wade, a prospect I lampooned all process, was juice worth the squeeze on a position-change dice roll on athletic traits at 5.160.


BUFFALO BILLS | Snap grade: B+

Draft capital: 27 | Talent acquired: 19 | Value: 5

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.30Gregory RousseauEDGE533Arik Armstead6'72667.75
2.61Carlos BashamEDGE640Adrian Clayborn6'32749.38
3.93Spencer BrownOT1062Nate Solder6'831110
5.161Tommy DoyleOT17145Dennis Kelly6'83209.9
6.204Marquez StevensonWR23166Travis Rudolph5'101825.39
6.212Damar HamlinS14197Juston Burris6'12007
6.213Rachad WildgooseCB30259David Long5'101917.2
7.236Jack AndersoniOL14131Ben Powers6'53098.58

Bills GM Brandon Beane and I see prospects similarly -- more so than any other current evaluator, I find myself nodding along with almost every draft decision he makes. Buffalo hasn’t had a ton of draft equity in recent years, but they have a Ravens-like ethos of taking advantage of perceptual mistakes the NFL had made on certain prospects.

Rousseau and Boogie Basham are both underrated edge rushers. Brown is such a tantalizing mystery box to purchase for the low-low price of 3.93. 


CINCINNATI BENGALS | Snap grade: B+

Draft capital: 5 | Talent acquired: 9 | Value: 15

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.5Ja'Marr ChaseWR15Roddy White6'02019.81
2.46Jackson CarmaniOL872Brandon Brooks6'5317---
3.69Joseph OssaiEDGE858Takkarist McKinley6'42569.49
4.111Cameron SampleEDGE15134Trey Flowers6'32676.98
4.122Tyler ShelvinDL11120Terrance Knighton6'23500.86
4.139D'Ante SmithOT15106George Fant6'53056.16
5.149Evan McPhersonK2N/ATyler Bass5'11185---
6.190Trey HilliOL27235Travis Frederick6'3319.02.02
6.202Chris EvansRB9138Aaron Jones5'102119.85
7.235Wyatt HubertEDGE31269Kenny Willekes6'32585.99

I leaned Sewell at 1.5 if I was the Bengals, but it would be obnoxious to penalize them for siding with Chase, the best receiver to enter the NFL over the past few classes. Burrow and Chase formed one of the most devastating single-season quarterback-receiver tandems in CFB history during LSU’s run to the title in 2019. Chase won the Biletnikoff. The WR2 on that team was Justin Jefferson. There’s no risk here -- well, outside of the offensive line… you know, never mind with that thought.

The Bengals took Jackson Carman in R2. They clearly see him as an NFL OT. The reason for my lower ranking is that I don’t. But the good thing is that Carman’s going to be a mauling guard if tackle doesn’t work out. The rest of Cincy’s draft was a solid if unspectacular showing, with one particularly-interesting flier in R6 on Chris Evans, who once-upon-a-time flashed at Michigan before his face went on milk cartons for a few years. The former top prospect reintroduced himself with a 98th-percentile athletic composite showing at his pro day workout. He may be fool’s gold, but only a fool would think it wasn’t worth the cost of 6.202 to find out. Two franchises used R6 picks on long snappers! 


CLEVELAND BROWNS | Snap grade: A+

Draft capital: 21 | Talent acquired: 11 | Value: 2

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.26Greg Newsome IICB424Marcus Peters6'01929.66
2.52J. Owusu-KoramoahLB112Lavonte David6'12218.71
3.91Anthony SchwartzWR1491Phillip Dorsett6'01866.91
4.110James HudsonOT1495Charles Leno Jr.6'53133.85
4.132Tommy TogiaiDL9112Derrick Nnadi6'12968.58
5.153Tony Fields IILB24204Jermaine Carter Jr.6'02224.92
5.169Richard LeCounteS23297Xavier Woods5'101960.66
6.211Demetric FeltonWR28224Randall Cobb5'91890.91

We’re living in a world where the Browns have few roster holes, pick at the end of R1, and crush pick-after-pick in the draft. I was lower than much of the industry on CB Greg Newsome -- and even I think the Browns got good value on him at 1.26. The real coup came on Friday night. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, a swiss-army knife of a defender with superstar upside and a low shot of busting due to his proven slot coverage chops alone, proved a bird too bright for the NFL brain trust to make heads or tails of.

I was shocked Owusu-Koramoa fell out of R1, and many sharps in my industry are with me. However, I knew the opportunity Cleveland ended up taking advantage of could be in play when I wrote a Day 2 mock and realized that most teams picking in the top-half of R2 had glaring needs elsewhere and were set at off-ball. So Wu’s slide continued until 2.52, when Cleveland couldn’t help itself in swapping its R3 for CAR’s R4 for the right to move up nine slots and pilfer Owusu-Koramoah. 

Schwartz and Hudson were solid value picks too -- on, respectively, legit world-class speed and moldable dancing bear tools alone. Not only did Cincy use the 21st-most capital to leave the weekend with the 11th-most talent acquired -- No. 2 ROI in the NFL, by my rankings and numbers -- but also added DET’s 2022 fourth-round pick to move back 40 picks in Day 3. We’re on the precipice of entering a golden age of Browns football.


DENVER BRONCOS | Snap grade: A+

Draft capital: 10 | Talent acquired: 3 | Value: 4

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.9Patrick Surtain IICB17Jalen Ramsey6'22089.96
2.34Javonte WilliamsRB131Nick Chubb5'102128.79
3.98Quinn MeinerziOL452Nate Davis6'33209.98
3.105Baron BrowningLB780Zach Cunningham6'32459.98
5.152Caden SternsS11156Tedric Thompson6'02029.59
5.164Jamar JohnsonS247John Johnson III6'02056.22
6.219Seth WilliamsWR17101Laquon Treadwell6'32116.88
7.237Kary Vincent Jr.CB24186Eric King5'101854.11
7.239Jonathon CooperEDGE30260Ogbonnia Okoronkwo6'32537.61
7.253Marquiss SpencerDL25276Titus Adams6'43019.07

I usually only give out two A+’s in my draft grades. But I had to make an exception this year because three teams stood so far ahead of the NFL -- with Denver joining Cleveland and Chicago. If I’m being honest, I’m stunned I love the Broncos draft. I ripped Denver’s trade for Teddy Bridgewater, a decision to remove itself from R1 quarterback consideration in the days leading up to the draft. But how could I quibble with Denver leaving Thursday night with Patrick Surtain? I've called him a prodigy, and the best defender in the class.

This began a weekend of George Paton hitting pitch-after-pitch out of the park. He got my RB1 Javonte Williams -- the only back I had a R1 grade on -- with the second pick of Friday night. Then took advantage of the NFL’s hesitancy on Quinn Meinerz’s small-school profile to steal him in R3. The steals kept coming. If Owusu-Koramoa isn’t the steal of the draft, Jamar Johnson just might be. Night-stalking, ballhawking goblin just beginning to flower that the NFL discounted for limited exposure (less than 10 career starts) and tackling inefficiency. His coverage chops alone will more than foot the bill on his slot.

After this grandmaster-class of a draft, one was left with no other recourse than to reconsider initial reactions to Denver’s quarterback transactions… is the table being set for a Peyton Manning-like run at Aaron Rodgers?


HOUSTON TEXANS | Snap grade: D+

Draft capital: 31 | Talent acquired: 31 | Value: 16

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
3.67Davis MillsQB697Sam Darnold6'42176.6
3.89Nico CollinsWR1068Bryan Edwards6'42159.57
5.147Brevin JordanTE7140Irv Smith Jr.6'32474.54
5.170Garret WallowLB18162Matt Milano6'22208.12
6.195Roy LopezDL21256Trevor Laws6'23047.49

Houston walked slowly down the fairway over the three-day event with bullets in both feet, having squandered most of its draft capital in advance in flights-of-fancy trades. That it had to use its first pick on a quarterback -- the only position on the roster it shouldn't need -- because the franchise face demanded a trade and then immediately tanked his trade value off the field seemed like a fitting way to start the sad march. The most interesting thing about this class was the revelation that the NFL agreed with me about Brevin Jordan.


INDIANAPOLIS COLTS | Snap grade: C-

Draft capital: 24 | Talent acquired: 22 | Value: 18

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.21Kwity PayeEDGE117Cam Jordan6'32619.34
2.54Dayo OdeyingboEDGE1190Charles Omenihu6'5285---
4.127Kylen GransonFB1148Trey Burton6'12417.72
5.165Shawn DavisS9132Rayshawn Jenkins5'11202---
6.218Sam EhlingerQB12261Tim Tebow6'12206.83
7.229Mike StrachanWR42317Riley Cooper6'52269.22
7.248Will FriesiOL28246Dalton Risner6'63098.49

I felt Chris Ballard and crew got strong value at a position need with Kwity Paye in R1, my EDGE1. I also liked the Shawn Davis pick in R5. I didn’t understand the rest of the draft.

I struggled with the thinking on the Dayo Odeyingbo and Kylen Granson picks -- there were so many appealing options on the board, particular at OT and WR, two positions of need that weren’t really addressed. Not a disaster or anything, but Indianapolis didn’t gain ground on the upper-echelon of the AFC over the weekend. 

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news and updates. Plus, it allows you to easily track your favorite players. Get it here!


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS | Snap grade: C

Draft capital: 1 | Talent acquired:1  | Value: 25

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.1Trevor LawrenceQB11Andrew Luck6'6213---
1.25Travis EtienneRB354Reggie Bush5'102159.13
2.33Tyson CampbellCB1082Xavier Rhodes6'11937.53
2.45Walker LittleOT1171Luke Joeckel6'73138.9
3.65Andre CiscoS8109Ha Ha Clinton-Dix6'1216---
4.106Jay TufeleDL798Chris Hovan6'23056.46
4.121Jordan SmithEDGE13123Arden Key6'62552.96
5.145Luke FarrellTE17321Brody Eldridge6'52518.63
6.209Jalen CampWR40295Quincy Enunwa6'22269.75

It might seem weird that I’m giving the Jags a league-average grade. I’m on record stating Trevor Lawrence is the best prospect of the past decade, and you can see by my numbers above that I feel that Jacksonville left the weekend with the most talent acquired of any team. But I rank on slot value, and I'm not bending my methodology to credit Jacksonville for tanking itself into a generational talent (though they absolutely were right to do that).

Outside of being gifted Football Jesus, Urban Meyer and his bud Trent Baalke thoroughly underwhelmed in their first joint venture. Moving Clemson’s backfield south is a fun idea and story, but Etienne wasn’t good value at 1.25. I’m sure a part of the thinking was Etienne would provide comfort for Lawrence during his transition to the pros -- you know who would have provided more? Rashod Bateman, who went two picks later to those clever-devil Ravens.

Etienne kicked off what turned out be the theme of Jacksonville’s draft, Meyer and Baalke grabbing at shiny objects when sure-thing prospects were still on the board. Tyson Campbell, Walker Little and Andre Cisco are, combined as a trio, a collection of flash plays and recruiting headlines. The Jaguars are by definition one of the weekend’s winners for leaving the dance with the prettiest girl the town has ever seen. But if we’re talking about the decisions they made in slots that weren’t pre-determined for them, the Jags’ new brain could have done better.


KANSAS CITY CHIEFS | Snap grade: A

Draft capital: 29 | Talent acquired: 25 | Value: 1

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
2.58Nick BoltonLB663Navorro Bowman5'112374.62
2.63Creed HumphreyiOL230Maurkice Pouncey6'430210
4.144Joshua KaindohEDGE21170Josh Sweat6'62609.59
5.162Noah GrayTE12252Tyler Conklin6'32406.97
5.181Cornell PowellWR31239James Jones6'02047.58
6.226Trey SmithiOL766Larry Warford6'53219.91

The Chiefs didn’t have a R1 pick because they traded for Orlando Brown. Kansas City smartly realized they had no chance for a top-3 OT in this three-OT Tier-1 class. Not wanting a repeat of last year’s playoffs, the Chiefs saw Orlando Brown demand a trade to a team that would make him a left tackle and thought: We can do that! Which of course was brilliant. The Chiefs also gave up a R3 in that deal, but crucially got back BAL’s R2.

Over the weekend, the Chiefs spent the fourth-least draft capital in the league, but they got the NFL's best bang-for-your-buck value when they chose. Their two-biggest steals, as luck would have it, came along the offensive line via Humphrey and Smith, the latter of whom only fell because of a lung issue that hasn’t cropped up or caused him to miss time over the past two seasons. The Chiefs are a talent-gobbling, efficiency-minded machine of an organization.


LAS VEGAS RAIDERS | Snap grade: F

Draft capital: 13 | Talent acquired: 26 | Value: 31

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.17Alex LeatherwoodiOL973Cam Robinson6'53129.69
2.43Trevon MoehrigS132Harrison Smith6'12027.37
3.79Malcolm KoonceEDGE22189Harold Landry6'2249---
3.80Divine DeabloS7105Kyzir White6'32268.03
4.143Tyree GillespieS12181Rudy Ford6'02076.03
5.167Nate HobbsCB38313Breshad Breeland5'111969.62
7.230Jimmy MorrisseyiOL30280Matthew Paradis6'33039.01

Guess I have another early week of Twitter vitriol from Raiders fans to look forward to. My guess are these folks will tire of shooting the messenger and escalate things up a level if Mike Mayock doesn’t start living up to his “draft expert” billing in the next two years. Guru, he has not been, particularly in R1.

With John Schneider out a R1 pick, NFL fans were counting on Mayock to provide the absurd out-of-left-field-R1-pick-that-still-manages-to-lack-upside pick he and Schneider have cornered the market on in recent years. And boy did Mayock come through, taking the only top-100 overall offensive linemen in this class that caused me to think to myself: Does he like contact?

To make matters worse, it was Mayock himself who had set the table for the night's most egregious reach, blowing up a strong offensive line over the offseason to create the need he had to fill. Which, fine. But how do you watch Leatherwood and Christian Darrisaw play and leave with the impression Leatherwood has the brighter future?

Trevon Moehrig was a strong pick. But whereas Mayock usually does interesting things on Day 3, he and I disagreed on the trio of prospects he ended up zeroing in on Saturday.


LOS ANGELES CHARGERS | Snap grade: B

Draft capital: 12 | Talent acquired: 17 | Value: 13

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.13Rashawn SlaterOT211Terron Armstead6'43049.71
2.47Asante Samuel Jr.CB538Jaire Alexander5'101807.46
3.77Josh PalmerWR21142Corey Davis6'12107.6
3.97Tre' McKittyTE9182Jordan Akins6'4246---
4.118Chris Rumph IIEDGE12104Leonard Floyd6'3244---
5.159Brenden JaimesOT19190Rick Wagner6'52988.53
6.185Nick NiemannLB22193Cole Holcomb6'32349.51
6.198Larry Rountree IIIRB25300Alex Collins5'92112.08
7.241Mark WebbS19248Javin White6'12076.31

The NFL’s concern about the dimensions of Slater and Samuel Jr. provided an opportunity for the Chargers to get sticker-price discounts on both. And there’s minimal risk, here: Slater dominated a procession of future NFL edge rushers and stymied Chase Young in a way we weren’t used to seeing as Northwestern’s left tackle. Samuel was a shut-down corner CB1 in the ACC who wasn’t hampered by his stature on the boundary in college and has the cover chops, play style and athleticism to stay in the NFL, ala former Louisville CB Jaire Alexander.

Nothing sexy the rest of the way, but the Chargers drew inside the lines. I like the odds of the first seven guys not only making the team, but sticking around for awhile.


MIAMI DOLPHINS | Snap grade: C+

Draft capital: 3 | Talent acquired: 4 | Value: 22

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.6Jaylen WaddleWR39Joey Galloway5'9180---
1.18Jaelan PhillipsEDGE221Jason Pierre-Paul6'52609.87
2.36Jevon HollandS349Xavier McKinney6'12079.54
2.42Liam EichenbergOT746Riley Reiff6'63068.56
3.81Hunter LongTE481Austin Hooper6'52548.6
7.231Larnel ColemanOT24277Christian DiLauro6'63078.6
7.258Gerrid DoaksRB27322Kevan Barlow6'12288.32

The Dolphins left the weekend with four immediate starters and a fifth that’ll be on his way soon in TE Hunter Long. I would have played things a little different up top, taking Penei Sewell. But I also spent the last two months arguing that you can’t begin judging Tua until you let him get fully healthy and construct a receiving corps of zippy receivers who can separate in the intermediate area (at least). Waddle is a great first step in that direction. Keeping Phillips in Miami is such a cool story -- if that kid's concussions issues are in his past, he's going to be a star.


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS | Snap grade: B+

Draft capital: 15 | Talent acquired: 16 | Value: 12

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.15Mac JonesQB525Andy Dalton6'32177.2
2.38Christian BarmoreDL120Quinnen Williams6'43108.22
3.96Ronnie PerkinsEDGE1087Mario Addison6'22535.13
4.120Rhamondre StevensonRB6111Eddie Lacy6'02314.02
5.177Cam McGroneLB13133Malik Jefferson6'1234---
6.188Joshuah BledsoeS17222Louis Delmas5'11204---
6.197Will ShermaniOL19200Ben Grubbs6'33045.98
7.242Tre NixonWR35255Titus Young6'01878.98

It feels weird to be giving the team that drafted Mac Jones a B+ -- a B+ being a real compliment in these parts -- after I spent the last two months attempting to correct false narratives about him that cropped up as part of San Francisco’s ruse and the media’s gullibility. The tweet below isn’t a hot take. It only feels like one because of a subsequent mythologizing period to justify the reports.

The 49ers smokescreen was the greatest in NFL Draft history. I can say that definitively, because it had the effect of turning Mac Jones -- a perfectly solid quarterback with a starting future ahead of him -- from a boring late-R1 prospect that everyone agrees on into the most polarizing prospect of the class. Some evoked Phil Rivers or Tom Brady. This was a dark period indeed for my industry. But it’s no indictment of Mac himself. I rate him lower, but I had no problem with the Pats paying a slight premium for a quarterback.

This class went to the next level for me, however, after that. Barmore was a mega-steal. Nice value on Oklahoma teammates Perkins and Stevenson. I may have been highest in the industry on Stevenson -- ranking him RB6 and No. 111 overall -- and it naturally piqued my interest that New England in particular was feeling the same vibes, popping the bruiser with sweet feet at 4.120. McGrone has upside and could blossom in this system. Really liked what New England did.



NEW YORK JETS | Snap grade: D

Draft capital: 2 | Talent acquired: 2 | Value: 24

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.2Zach WilsonQB410Baker Mayfield6'2214---
1.14Alijah Vera-TuckeriOL116David DeCastro6'43089.04
2.34Elijah MooreWR523Antonio Brown5'91788.68
4.107Michael CarterRB579Clyde Edwards-Helaire5'82016.23
5.146Jamien SherwoodS21264Nate Gerry6'22164.24
5.154Michael Carter IICB43335Jeremy Ware5'101845.73
5.175Jason PinnockCB35296Tye Smith6'02049.78
6.186Hamsah NasirildeenS585Kyle Dugger6'32157.78
6.200Brandin EcholsCB33285Sam Shields5'101799.15
6.207Jonathan MarshallDL13159Luis Castillo6'33109.99

I spent the process arguing against Zach Wilson’s candidacy for 1.2. I felt the Jets sold low on Sam Darnold before giving him a legitimate supporting cast, and I feel they’re overpaying to find out if Zach Wilson’s one season of star-level play -- against the No. 89 SP+ schedule -- is a mirage or not. I’ve never seen Zach Wilson dominate against a good defense. I can’t tell you what’s coming next. Objectively, too high a price was paid.

If it was me, and I was hell-bent on shooting the moon on upside, the pick would have been Trey Lance. And I know at least two people -- John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan -- who agree with me, or they wouldn’t have gone to those lengths to prevent the Jets and old buddy Robert Saleh from learning their shoot-the-moon quarterback preference and potentially giving the Jets a new perspective on Lance. Lance is an extremely rare and compelling prospect that I would guarantee you the league’s sharper teams were highest on (and by extension quietest about).

I liked the Elijah Moore pick a ton, and Hamsah Nasirildeen could prove to be R6 steal. But I question the Wilson decision, and I thought the Jets overpaid to trade-up for Vera-Tucker (it cost three additional picks, including two R3) when guys like Teven Jenkins and Creed Humphrey ended up coming off the board a round later. If Wilson’s a star, the class is a grand slam of course. But we'll need to see him excel against a good defense before we can say one way or the other.


PITTSBURGH STEELERS | Snap grade: C-

Draft capital: 23 | Talent acquired: 24 | Value: 23

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.24Najee HarrisRB234Steven Jackson6'2232---
2.55Pat FreiermuthTE242Tyler Eifert6'5251---
3.87Kendrick GreeniOL1293Cody Whitehair6'23059.24
4.128Dan Moore Jr.OT20215Martinas Rankin6'63118.97
4.140Buddy JohnsonLB16154Kendell Beckwith6'02299.22
5.156Isaiahh LoudermilkDL32383Billy Winn6'62743.64
6.216Quincy RocheEDGE17143Jeremiah Attaochu6'32456.4
7.245Tre NorwoodS26325Jayden Peters6'01922.7
7.254Pressley Harvin IIIP4N/ARyan Plackemeier5'11263---

You’re gonna read enough fist-shaking from the analytics crowd about the Harris pick that I’ll save the spiel. I will say -- he brings Pittsburgh’s offense a move-TE like weapon in the passing game. Very smooth receiver with a huge catch radius. Speaking of tight ends, I liked the value on Freiermuth. Rest of the class was a straightforward infrastructure exercise. 


TENNESSEE TITANS | Snap grade: A-

Draft capital: 19 | Talent acquired: 14 | Value: 7

PickNamePosRkCompHTWTRAS
1.22Caleb FarleyCB319Jimmy Smith6'2197---
2.53Dillon RadunzOT534Brian O'Neill6'63019.28
3.92Monty RiceLB11127Elandon Roberts6'02337.21
3.100Elijah MoldenCB645Antoine Winfield Jr.5'91924.66
4.109Dez FitzpatrickWR36257KeeSean Johnson6'22088.82
4.135Rashad WeaverEDGE14126Preston Smith6'42597.33
6.205Racey McMathWR51362Mack Hollins6'22117.44
6.215Brady BreezeS22294Jared Mayden6'01976.7

I have a reputation of being a hard grader. But every year, there’s one team that I randomly end up grading higher than anyone else. This year my guess is it’ll be the Titans. I heard a lot of people saying Farley was reach. I disagree. You have to embrace the risk to get the sticker price discount. The Titans know a thing or two about that, don’t they? This pick reminded me so much of the Jeffery Simmons selection. Only Simmons was seen as even riskier at the time, coming off an ACL injury and arriving with character concerns. Steal of a pick if Farley’s back doesn’t derail his career.

I was surprised Tennessee took Radunz, an athletic tackle on the leaner side, only because just last year they selected his polar-opposite with a decade-plan for him in the elephantine Isaiah Wilson. But I love Radunz -- had him just outside R1. Loved the value on Elijah Molden later on.

I assume the Titans are going to get criticized for reaching on Rice. I was a big fan of his game. I ranked Rice LB9 in my first crop of rankings -- he would have ended up 10 or so slots below where Tennessee picked him -- before dropping him to LB11 in my second and final update. I think that’s a pick where you were trying to hit a single and that’s what you’re going to get. I don’t think it’s going to take that kid long to crack the lineup. He brings his lunch pail.

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!