Updated: Apr 27
Giving a letter grade and analysis for every single pick in the first round of the most memorable draft ever.
1. Cincinatti Bengals: Joe Burrow (QB): A
Burrow was a no brainer for the Bengals. They needed a quarterback for the future (and present), and Burrow is that guy. He is accurate, poised, and a great leader. People have concerns about his arm strength, but he is still going to be at least a good pro QB.
2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young (DE): A-
Many believe Chase Young to be the best player in the draft, and they just might be right. It is certainly the safe pick, but I think the right one as well. An A+ for the Redskins though for me would have been them trading down, and getting more.
3. Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah (CB): B+
I would have taken Derrick Brown here, but this is not a bad pick. The Lions needed a defensive back desperately, and Okudah is a good choice. There are a lot of strong cornerbacks in this class, but Okudah probably has the highest potential.
4. New York Giants: Andrew Thomas (T): C+
The Giants definitely needed someone to protect Daniel Jones, while also helping Saquon Barkley in the run game, so positionally, this is a good choice. The top four tackles in this draft are all very even though. Thomas needs to be more consistent, and has a few weaknesses that will be exploited in the pros, which makes me worry.
5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa (QB): B+
This is going to be such a hit or miss for the Dolphins. Tagovailoa certainly has the talent and potential to be a good NFL QB, but injury issues among other things limited his draft stock. Miami had to go QB though, and I think this is a good pick.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert (QB): B
Justin Herbert has all of the physical traits to become a great NFL QB. He's tall at 6'6", has a cannon for an arm, and is very athletic. He does struggle with his touch sometimes though, especially on shorter passes, and his college stats just aren't that impressive. He has a chance to be great, but I don't really see that happening.
7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown (DT): A+
This is an excellent pick by the Panthers, as Brown is a steal at seventh overall. He has a rare combination of size (6'5", 326lbs), and ability, and should be an immediate impact player for Carolina, even if his sack numbers aren't huge.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Isaiah Simmons (LB): B
Simmons is such an interesting player because he played so many positions at Clemson. The Cards are hoping that he can one play cover a tight end like George Kittle, and the next he can spy a QB like Russell Wilson. I don't think he's going to be anything but a safety in the NFL though.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: C.J. Henderson (CB): B+
In suddenly a position of need for the Jaguars, Henderson has great speed, and cover ability. It is possible that he could become the best cornerback in the league. Right now though, he needs to work on being more focused and aware at all times.
10. Cleveland Browns: Jedrick Wills (T): A-
Wills has a skill set absolutely made for the NFL. Despite being only 6'4" (which is relatively small for a tackle), he is very strong, and absolutely bullies opponents. He does have a few things to work on, but I think this is a good pick for the Browns.
11. New York Jets: Mekhi Becton (T): B+
Becton is an absolute monster at 6'7", 364 lbs, and he has a nasty disposition on the field. The big concern with him is his weight, which at times can be a problem. If he keeps that in check though, he will be a good pro.
12. Las Vegas Raiders: Henry Ruggs (WR): B-
Most considered Ruggs to be the third best wide receiver in this class (although it was close), but his speed and explosiveness are no doubt first. He won't rack up a ton of targets, and might take some time adjusting to more physical NFL cornerbacks, but every time he steps on the field, other teams will beware.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tristan Wirfs (T): B
The Bucs traded up one spot to get Wirfs 13th overall, and are making sure to add some much needed protection for Tom Brady with this pick. He has good potential, but consistency will take time with him. This is still a pretty solid pick.
14. San Francisco 49ers: Javon Kinlaw (DT): B+
The 49ers are counting on Kinlaw to replace the traded away Deforest Buckner, and that is a tough task. Kinlaw is an amazing athlete, but it just seems he hasn't figured everything out. With some good coaching, he can become a very solid pro.
15. Denver Broncos: Jerry Jeudy (WR): A
This was a very easy pick for the Broncos. Jeudy is arguably the best WR in this class. He is an excellent route runner, can play the slot or the outside, and has elite level agility. The only concern is that he is a little thin, so opposing cornerbacks might try to play physical with him.
16. Atlanta Falcons: A.J. Terrell (CB): C+
The Falcons definitely reached on Terrell after watching so many other cornerbacks go before him. They no doubt need help at that position, but there were much better players available here. Terrell has a shot to be a decent pro, but I just don't see him being more than that.
17. Dallas Cowboys: CeeDee Lamb (WR): A+
I don't think the Cowboys expected Lamb to still be available at their pick, and then just couldn't pass on him. Lamb can play anywhere on an offense, has great speed and separation, great ball skills, and is explosive with the ball in his hands. Great pick.
18. Miami Dolphins: Austin Jackson (T): C+
There is no doubt that Jackson is a step down form the four tackles drafted above him. He does have a lot of potential, but is by no means a lock to reach that potential. There is a very wide gap between his floor and ceiling, making this a very risky pick by Miami.
19. Las Vegas Raiders: Damon Arnette (CB): B-
I definitely think that the Raiders took Arnette a little too high, but he did have a great career at Ohio State. The Raiders loved his competitiveness, but I just think he is lacking in too many areas to ever become an above average pro.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: K'Lavon Chaisson (LB): A-
Chaisson is no doubt a boom or bust prospect, but I think this is a great pick by the Jaguars. Getting the second best edge rusher in a draft at number 20 is rare, and if Chaisson can stay healthy, he is going to be very dangerous in Jacksonville.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Reagor (WR): B
The Eagles needed a wide receiver, so the position choice was the right one, but I just think that Justin Jefferson is a better player. Reagor is not bad at all though. He is very quick, and electric with the ball in his hands. He's has better playmaking skills than he does receiving skills.
22. Minnesota Vikings: Justin Jefferson (WR): A
He's not Stefon Diggs, but Justin Jefferson should be a very good counterpart to Adam Thielen in Minnesota. He can play the inside and outside and is "a quarterback's best friend" according to NFL.com because of his excellent ball skills.
23. Los Angeles Chargers: Kenneth Murray (LB): A-
Giving up a second and third round pick to get him is not ideal, but Murray might just be worth it. Murray is easily one of the most athletic guys in the draft, he's got speed, strength, you name it. He needs to be a little more consistent, and refine his game for the NFL.
24. New Orleans Saints: Cesar Ruiz (C): A-
Ruiz is an excellent player, but the Saints already have a center. He will probably switch to right guard for at least the near future. Even there, he can be an immediate impact player, and in my opinion will develop into a very strong NFL player.
25. San Francisco 49ers: Brandon Aiyuk (WR): B
Aiyuk has all of the fundamentals, and has shown a lot of improvement over his years at Arizona State. While saying that though, in no means is he going to replace Marquise Goodwin in this offense. Honestly, I don't see Aiyuk being much more than a WR3.
26. Green Bay Packers: Jordan Love (QB): C
The Packers need help at a bunch of places (wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback), and should be in win now mode, which is why this pick just doesn't make sense. No doubt Love will benefit from being behind Aaron Rodgers for a few years, but the Packers Super Bowl chances don't improve at all. Just not a good move.
27. Seattle Seahawks: Jordyn Brooks (LB): B-
Taking Brooks was definitely a surprising move by the Seahawks. Seattle has a few weakspots on their lineup, but Brooks is much more of a pick for the future. Brooks is still an explosive player with good instincts though, so it's not a bad pick per say.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen (LB): A
Queen's inexperience probably lowered his draft stock, but I think this is a great pick by the Ravens. Inside linebacker was Baltimore's biggest need, and Queen fills that role, and is someone who can cover the entire field. He should be an immediate impact player for the Ravens, and has a very high ceiling.
29. Tennessee Titans: Isaiah Wilson (T): B
Wilson is an absolute monster at 6'6" 360lbs. The Titans took him maybe a bit too early, but you can't rally blame them too much. He needs to improve his footwork and technique a little, but he has a lot of potential.
30. Miami Dolphins: Noah Igbinoghene (CB): A-
Igbinoghene is a bit inexperienced at the cornerback position as a converted wide receiver, but has a great mix of physicality and quickness. It will take some time for him to play less like a wide receiver, and also improve his technique though.
31. Minnesota Vikings: Jeff Gladney (CB): A-
Gladney is an extremely competitive player who has great anticipation to stay close to opposing players. He does have some character concerns, and because he is so aggressive might be baited by smart quarterbacks though. This was a position of need for the Vikings, and I think this is a good pick for them overall.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB): B+
Edwards-Helaire is a strong, compact back with a lot of power and balance. I'm not usually a huge fan of taking a running back in the first round, but CEH should fit in pretty well in the Chiefs offense. He should be an effective NFL back.