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Line of Scrimmage: NFL Draft Grades - Part I - The AFC
By Tony Moss, NFL Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It's always fun to scrutinize past efforts to evaluate the NFL Draft, which is why there is a yellowing copy of USA Today's 2007 team-by-team draft review sitting on a shelf in my office.

This is not meant to pick on USA Today, which annually does one of the best jobs you'll find in this realm, but an illustration of how all of the homework in the world can't remove the uncertainty from the evaluation process.

No one really knows how a player will pan out when he steps onto an NFL field for the first time, how he'll hold up from a health standpoint, how he'll fit into a given system in a league with a ton of coaching turnover, or how he'll react, in terms of work ethic, to making big bucks for the first time in his young life.

Thus, we submit to you the fact that now-battered copy of USA Today assigned the Cowboys' 07 Draft an "A."

That grade was based on the selection of first-round outside linebacker Anthony Spencer (a contributor but not a star), third-round tackle James Marten (never played a game with Dallas), fourth-round wideout Isaiah Stanback (appeared in 10 games as a Cowboy), fourth-round tackle Doug Free (a part-time starter last year), sixth-round kicker Nick Folk (kicked his way out of the league last year), sixth-round fullback Deon Anderson (has stuck and been a contributor), seventh-round cornerback Courtney Brown (17 games played with one start in the league), and seventh-round corner Alan Ball (good value pick who has stuck in Big D).

Does that look like an "A" to you?

Does the following list, which was the Philadelphia Eagles' draft haul, look like a "D"?

Because that's what USA Today thought of second-rounder Kevin Kolb (now the Philly starter), second-round defensive end Victor Abiamiri (part-time starter last year), third-round linebacker Stewart Bradley (hurt in 2009 but on the verge of becoming a star), third-round running back Tony Hunt (bad pick), fifth-round safety C.J. Gaddis (ditto), fifth-round tight end Brent Celek (possibly the best late-round pick of the Andy Reid era), sixth-round corner Rashad Barksdale (didn't stick) and running back Nate Ilaoa (didn't pan out either).

I know that's not an "A", but I also know it's not a "D".

The point of course, is not to get too excited about what you see below.

Our evaluation of the Draft weekend hauls of all 16 teams of the AFC:

(NFC grades can be found here)



1 - C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson (5-11, 196); 2 - Torell Troup, NT, UCF (6-3, 314); 3 - Alex Carrington, DE, Arkansas State (6-5, 285); 4 - Marcus Easley, WR, Connecticut (6-3, 210); 5 - Ed Wang, T, Virginia Tech (6-5, 314); 6 - Arthur Moats, OLB, James Madison (6-0, 246); 6 - Danny Batten, DE, South Dakota State (6-3, 246); 7 - Levi Brown, QB, Troy (6-3, 229); 7 - Kyle Calloway, T, Iowa (6-6, 323)

Analysis: Like Oakland, Buffalo really needed a left tackle, and some had them targeting a quarterback like Jimmy Clausen too. Instead, new GM Buddy Nix (curiously) selected Spiller, putting Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson on notice. With another chance to take a LT and QB in round two, Buffalo opted instead for a nose tackle, Troup, to anchor its new 3-4 scheme. Carrington is another scheme player, and will have to prove to detractors that he has the fire to play in the NFL. Easley was a fourth-round reach that would have been better spent on one of Buffalo's bigger needs. The Bills finally took a tackle in Round 5, tabbing the project Wang, who was uncertain to be drafted at all. The seventh-rounder Calloway won't fill the need any better. The Bills' best pick of the Draft might have been Moats, the 2009 Buck Buchanan Award winner (previous winners: Dexter Coakley, Rashean Mathis, Jared Allen) as the top defensive player in FCS who will get a real chance. Batten, another former FCS star, is a similar-type player. Buffalo finally took a quarterback in Round 7 when it selected Brown, hardly the answer Bills fans were looking for.

Bottom Line: Bills' tradition of terrible drafts continues, as they fail to adequately fill their biggest needs at quarterback and left tackle.

Grade: D



1 - Jared Odrick, DL, Penn State (6-5, 304); 2 - Koa Misi, OLB, Utah (6-3, 251); 3 - John Jerry, G, Ole Miss (6-5, 328); 4 - A.J. Edds, OLB, Iowa (6-3, 247); 5 - Reshad Jones, S, Georgia (6-1, 214); 7 - Chris McCoy, OLB, Middle Tennessee (6-3, 251); 7 - Austin Spitler, LB, Ohio State (6-3, 235)

Analysis: Miami traded down from No. 12 to No. 28, giving San Diego the right to draft Ryan Mathews for what amounted to a second-round pick (No. 40 overall). The Dolphins also swapped fourth-rounders with the Bolts in the deal, and picked up linebacker Tim Dobbins in exchange for a sixth. The Dolphins had been widely linked to outside linebacker Sergio Kindle at No. 12, so once he fell to No. 28, they would surely jump on him, right? Uh, nope. Bill Parcells loves big, strong players, and targeted Odrick in order to make his team tougher in the trenches. The Fins got their OLB in the next round, passing up Kindle again to get the solid but relatively unknown Misi. The fourth-rounder, Edds, was a reach but fits the same profile as Misi. Jerry is a big interior lineman who Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams will like running behind. Jones, rated among the top three strong safeties in the Draft by some, was a fifth- round steal.

Bottom Line: Filled needs at pass rusher and along both lines, but did they take too many chances in doing so?

Grade: B


New England

1 - Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers (5-11, 193); 2 - Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona (6-6, 264); 2 - Jermaine Cunningham, OLB (6-3, 252); 2 - Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida (6-3, 249); 3 - Taylor Price, WR, Ohio (6-0, 204); 4 - Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida (6-3, 243); 5 - Zoltan Mesko, P, Michigan (6-4, 235); 6 - Ted Larsen, OL, North Carolina State (6-3, 304); 7 - Thomas Welch, T, Vanderbilt (6-6, 307); 7 - Brandon Deaderick, DL, Alabama (6-4, 296); 7 - Kade Weston, DL, Georgia (6-5, 317); 7 - Zac Robinson, QB/WR, Oklahoma State (6-2, 214)

Analysis: The Patriots were thought to be in the market for edge pass rushers, and TCU's Jerry Hughes or Texas' Sergio Kindle might have seemed like a steal for them at No. 27, especially after New England had traded down from No. 22, then No. 24. But Bill Belichick instead sought to close a revolving door at cornerback by selecting McCourty. The Pats moved up in the second in order to take Gronkowski, who was injured in 2009 but was believed by some to be the best TE in this Draft. The unheralded Cunningham filled a pass rushing need, and surprisingly went one pick before his teammate Carlos Dunlap. Later in the second, the Pats went for another Gator, taking the sturdy but slow-of-foot Spikes to stand next to Jerod Mayo. With their final pick of the second day, Belichick and Co. went with Price, who looks like a fail-safe in case Wes Welker can't get back from his injuries in short order. The Pats went back to the Florida well in Round 4 to select Hernandez, who could be a major steal. Mesko has a huge leg and was the first specialist selected. Larsen was viewed as a top-three center and will have a good chance to make this team. Of the seventh-rounders, the most interesting figures are Deaderick, who slipped a bit due to character concerns, and Robinson, who the Pats could try to move to receiver.

Bottom Line: Found lots of people to catch the football and upgraded talent overall with their 12 picks, but the failure to land a top-quality pass rusher could yield negative consequences.

Grade: B


N.Y. Jets

1 - Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State (5-10, 186); 2 - Vladimir Ducasse, OL, Massachusetts (6-4, 332); 4 - Joe McKnight, RB, USC (5-11, 198); 5 - John Conner, FB, Kentucky (5-11, 246)

Analysis: The Jets got an absolute steal in Wilson, a technically sound player and local product (from nearby Piscataway, NJ) who is going to look great opposite Darrelle Revis and give the team some insurance in case Antonio Cromartie fails. With their second-round selection, the Jets targeted Ducasse, who needs some work (particularly with his feet), but is going to need to develop quickly after the team released guard Alan Faneca's upon Ducasse's selection. McKnight was an interesting pick in Round 4, and made Leon Washington, who was soon after dealt to the Seahawks, expendable. Conner was rated by many as the second-best fullback in this Draft behind Toby Gerhart, and his presence puts Tony Richardson (who was re-signed in March) on notice.

Bottom Line: Jets did OK if you count Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes as part of this draft class, but gambled in parting ways with Faneca and Washington and totally whiffed on adding depth to the defensive line.

Grade: C




2 - Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas (6-4, 255); 2 - Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama (6-4, 370); 3 - Ed Dickson, TE, Oregon (6-4, 244); 4 - Dennis Pitta, TE, BYU (6-4, 245); 5 - David Reed, WR, Utah (6-0, 191); 5 - Arthur Jones, DT, Syracuse (6-3, 301); 6 - Ramone Harewood, T, Morehouse (6-6, 353)

Analysis: The Ravens traded out of the first round, sending the No. 25 pick to the Broncos (used on Tim Tebow) in exchange for selections in the second, third, and fourth rounds. With their second-rounder, Baltimore gambled on "Mount" Cody, a pick that was even more bizarre given the presence of the also- massive Haloti Ngata on the roster. After narrowly missing out on Rob Gronkowski in the second, the Ravens pulled the trigger on Dickson - a decent pass-catcher and questionable blocker - in the third. Curiously, Baltimore took Pitta, another pass-catching-oriented tight end rated as a Top 50 talent by some, with their fourth-round selection. If Dickson and Pitta force the Ravens' hand by developing in mini-camps and beyond, Todd Heap's days in Baltimore could be numbered. The two fifth-rounders are developmental-type players, though Reed could help as a kick returner. Jones is coming off a torn pectoral, but is seen by many scouts as having NFL starter potential. Harewood is big and raw, and the Ravens could try to slip him through to the practice squad and work with him there.

Bottom Line: Ravens got some good value over the final two days of the Draft, but struck out big-time by failing to enhance a suspect group of cornerbacks.

Grade: B-



1 - Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma (6-5, 261); 2 - Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida (6-6, 277); 3 - Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas (5-11, 193); 3 - Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest (5-11, 192); 4 - Geno Atkins, DT, Georgia (6-1, 293); 4 - Roddrick Muckelroy, LB, Texas (6-2, 242); 5 - Otis Hudson, G, Eastern Illinois (6-5, 331); 6 - Dezmon Briscoe, WR, Kansas (6-2, 207); 7 - Reggie Stephens, G, Iowa State (6-3, 322)

Analysis: The Bengals proved that they want to throw the football this season when they signed Antonio Bryant in free agency, and reinforced that viewpoint by taking Gresham, the consensus No. 1 tight end in this Draft. Cincinnati may have gotten a steal in Dunlap with the No. 54 pick, as the ex-Florida star was viewed as a first-rounder by some. His work ethic is a question mark, which in many ways makes him the perfect Bengal. Back to the aerial assault, Cincinnati took a player in Shipley who was a productive college receiver that can also help out on special teams. With their third-round compensatory selection, Cincinnati took Ghee, the final player left in the "Green Room" at Radio City Music Hall. Atkins was a depth pick along the interior d-line. Muckelroy is a weakside LB candidate who hurt himself with a rough Senior Bowl. Hudson, who did not seem likely to be drafted (much less in the fifth round) had the internet ablaze with people trying to find out who he was. Briscoe fell to the sixth round due to his speed and character questions, and will struggle to make an impact at the next level.

Bottom Line: Gresham, Dunlap, and Shipley should all be impact players, but mark the Bengals down for not adding any high-level o-line depth.

Grade: B



1 - Joe Haden, CB, Florida (5-11, 193); 2 - T.J. Ward, S, Oregon (5-10, 199); 2 - Montario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee (6-0, 225); 3 - Colt McCoy, QB, Texas (6-1, 216); 3 - Shaun Lauvao, OL, Arizona State (6-3, 315); 5 - Larry Asante, S, Nebraska (6-0, 211); 6 - Carlton Mitchell, WR, South Florida (6-3, 215); 6 - Clifton Geathers, DE, South Carolina (6-7, 299)

Analysis: Haden was linked with the Browns before the team dealt for Sheldon Brown, after which it was thought that they had bigger needs than corner. But Cleveland still pulled the trigger on Haden, whose slow 40 time at the combine raised some questions. Cleveland's second-round pick was also a question mark, as Ward had big-time medical issues that had lowered his stock among may scouts. The big but not lightning-quick Hardesty was likely chosen as complement to Jerome Harrison, if the ex-Volunteer can stay healthy. McCoy was the highest-profile pick of the third round, but his immediate place on a roster that includes Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace is in question. Lauvao, the team's final pick of the second day, is versatile enough to play tackle or guard. Asante could make it right away as a backup strong safety. Mitchell was a sixth-round steal who some had going in the second round. Geathers is a project who could eventually fit in as a 3-4 end.

Bottom Line: Focus on defensive backs was a good thing, but Browns needed to come out of draft with a high-quality receiver and/or pass rusher.

Grade: C+



1 - Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida (6-4, 304); 2 - Jason Worilds, OLB, Virginia Tech (6-1, 254); 3 - Emmanuel Sanders, WR, SMU (5-11, 186); 4 - Thaddeus Gibson, OLB, Ohio State (6-2, 243); 5 - Chris Scott, OL, Tennessee (6-5, 319); 5 - Crezdon Butler, CB, Clemson (6-0, 191); 5 - Steven Sylvester, LB, Utah (6-3, 231); 6 - Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech (5-11, 229); 6 - Antonio Brown, WR, Central Michigan (5-10, 186); 7 - Doug Worthington, DT, Ohio State (6-5, 292)

Analysis: Finally, the Steelers take the first-round o-lineman they've needed for years. Pouncey can play guard, but don't be surprised to see him unseat Justin Hartwig and start at center immediately. The Worilds pick was a surprise, both because the Steelers seemed to be set at OLB and because there were a couple of OLBs rated above the Virginia Tech standout on several boards. The third-round pick Sanders isn't a huge guy and won't have a Santonio Holmes- like impact, but caught a ton of balls at SMU and has a chance to be involved in the slot. Gibson and Sylvester were similar picks to Worilds but will have to prove their abilities on special teams. Scott was likely selected in the fifth-round due to his ability to play guard and tackle. It was surprising that the Steelers waited until the fifth-round to take a corner, and Butler is a solid player who will nonetheless make no one forget about Rod Woodson. Dwyer was originally a first-round prospect who saw his stock plummet due to a lack of versatility and questionable work ethic. Brown offers some value as a return man. Pittsburgh pulled off a trade with Arizona to re-acquire prodigal corner Bryant McFadden, but let's remember that McFadden wasn't the most consistent CB on earth during his first tour with the team.

Bottom Line: Early picks of Pouncey and Sanders made sense, but all the outside linebackers - at the expense of a decent young corner - did not.

Grade: B-




1 - Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama (5-10, 196); 2 - Ben Tate, RB, Auburn (5-11, 220); 3 - Earl Mitchell, DT, Arizona (6-1, 289); 4 - Darryl Sharpton, LB, Miami-Florida (6-0, 229); 4 - Garrett Graham, TE, Wisconsin (6-3, 241); 5 - Sherrick McManis, CB, Northwestern (5-11, 195); 6 - Shelley Smith, G, Colorado State (6-3, 300); 6 - Trindon Holliday, KR/WR, LSU (5-5, 162); 7 - Dorin Dickerson, TE, Pittsburgh (6-1, 226)

Analysis: That the Texans took a corner was not a surprise, but they passed up more highly-rated players like Kyle Wilson, Patrick Robinson, and Devin McCourty in order to take Jackson. Wait and see on this one. Houston got its running back in the second round, staying away from the likes of Joe McKnight (USC) and Dexter McCluster (Ole Miss) to take the big and fast Auburn product. The Mitchell pick in the third didn't make much of a ripple, but was a solid pickup for a team that needed DT depth. The initial fourth-round pick, Sharpton, is undersized but could develop into a quality reserve. Graham was another Wisconsin tight end added to a roster that already includes Owen Daniels. McManis could help as a corner or safety, and also has return abilities. Smith was a depth selection at guard. The 5-5 Holliday has lightning speed but would be one of the smallest players in NFL history if he makes it. Dickerson was among the Draft's biggest second-day fallers, likely due to concerns over his size.

Bottom Line: Filled three biggest needs with their first three picks, but whether they picked the right guys is worth debating.

Grade: B+



1 - Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU (6-2, 257); 2 - Pat Angerer, LB, Iowa (6-0, 235); 3 - Kevin Thomas, CB, USC (6-0, 192); 4 - Jacques McClendon, G, Tennessee (6-2, 315); 5 - Brody Eldridge, TE/OL, Oklahoma (6-5, 261); 7 - Ricardo Matthews, DT, Cincinnati (6-2, 287); 7 - Kavell Conner, LB, Clemson (6-0, 242); 7 - Ray Fisher, CB, Indiana (5-10, 211)

Analysis: Hughes was regarded as a late first-round pick by most scouts, but a player seen as a 3-4 outside linebacker didn't seem like a natural selection for the 4-3 Colts. It will be interesting to see what Indy has planned for Hughes. Indy got itself a more pure version of a linebacker in Round 2, but Angerer is not huge or athletic, and will have to defy some skeptics to make it. The third-round pick Thomas was viewed as a Top 10 corner in this Draft, and is another good young defensive back for Jim Caldwell's squad. The interior o-line depth the team coveted came in Round 4 with McClendon, who helped himself with a good pro day. Who knows what Indy has in mind for Eldridge, who played fullback, tight end, guard, and center in college. Fisher could make it as a return guy.

Bottom Line: Hughes' development will eventually tell the tale for the Colts' draft class, but there's no question that need-free Indy found some quality football players.

Grade: B+



1 - Tyson Alualu, DT, California (6-2, 295); 3 - D'Anthony Smith, DT, Louisiana Tech (6-2, 304); 5 - Larry Hart, DE/OLB, Central Arkansas (6-0, 246); 5 - Austen Lane, DE, Murray State (6-6, 276); 6 - Deji Karim, RB, Southern Illinois (5-9, 210); 6 - Scotty McGee, KR/CB, James Madison (5-8, 184)

Analysis: The first truly head-scratching moment of the first-round came at No. 10, when the Jaguars took a player that most had projected as a second-rounder at best. Alualu might help on the field, but he won't sell season tickets. When they finally picked again, the Jags took yet another DT, perhaps another signal that John Henderson's days in Jax are numbered. The Jags dealt their fourth- rounder to the Raiders for middle linebacker Kirk Morrison, whom Oakland deemed expendable once they selected Rolando McClain in the first. Hart was a productive player at the FCS level but will have to adapt to the outside linebacker role in the NFL, and the similar-pedigreed Lane was a solid pass rusher for a bad team playing at the same level. The run on FCS talent continued with the undersized Karim, who could develop as a third option behind Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings. McGee, who is too small to play corner but is a quality kick returner, was the Jags' fourth-straight FCS pick.

Bottom Line: You can't discount the small-college players just because they weren't playing on national TV every week, but you can question when exactly the Jaguars are going to be able to get these guys on the field.

Grade: D



1 - Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech (6-3, 266); 3 - Damian Williams, WR, USC (6-1, 197); 3 - Rennie Curran, OLB, Georgia (5-11, 229); 4 - Alterraun Verner, CB, UCLA (5-11, 189); 5 - Robert Johnson, S, Utah (6-2, 197); 6 - Rusty Smith, QB, Florida Atlantic (6-5, 224); 6 - Myron Rolle, S, Florida State (6-1, 217); 7 - Marc Mariani, WR, Montana (6-0, 181); 7 - David Howard, DT, Brown (6-3, 288)

Analysis: Morgan was a somewhat quiet pick that could end up being one of the best in the first-round when all is said and done. Tennessee needed a pass rusher, and if Morgan bulks up a bit to play the 4-3, he has the goods to become an elite one. Jeff Fisher tapped into his USC connection to select Williams in the third, and he'll have to hope the productive collegian doesn't turn into the next Mike Williams, Keary Colbert, or Dwayne Jarrett. Curran could face an uphill battle in becoming an NFL starter due to his height, but he is athletic. The fourth-round pick, Verner, is a sleeper who is a bit undersized at corner. Johnson was a fifth-round reach who will be a special- teamer at best. Smith was a surprise selection who endured injuries during his senior year and looks like a practice squad guy. Rolle, the much-publicized Rhodes scholar who is delaying medical school and a career as a neurosurgeon to play in the NFL, is a pure safety and hard hitter. Mariani was a prolific college player at one of the top programs in the FCS ranks.

Bottom Line: You can debate their selection of a wideout over a corner in the third round if you wish, but the Titans understand the draft game and play it well.

Grade: A-




1 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech (6-3, 230); 1 - Tim Tebow, QB, Florida (6-3, 236); 2 - Zane Beadles, OL, Utah (6-4, 310); 3 - J.D. Walton, C, Baylor (6-3, 300); 3 - Eric Decker, WR, Minnesota (6-3, 217); 5 - Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State (5-11, 195); 6 - Eric Olsen, C, Notre Dame (6-4, 306); 7 - Syd'Quan Thompson, CB, California (5-9, 182); 7 - Jammie Kirlew, OLB, Indiana (6-1, 260);

Analysis: Josh McDaniels gushed about Dez Bryant after the wideout's visit last week, traded up with New England to get into position to take him (after trading down from No. 11, then No. 13), then defied convention by selecting the bigger Thomas. Thomas is an athletic specimen, but might take some time to develop. Give some credit to McDaniels for going "all in" with two highly risky developmental players, a couple of guys who are going to struggle to get on the field for a team that needs to win in 2010. Tebow's progression will be worth watching, but how much will he contribute as a rookie? The Broncos went the bizarre route in Round 2 as well. Beadles is versatile, but No. 45 might have been too steep for a guy that projects as an adequate guard or center. Walton, the third-round pick, only played center in college. The athletic Decker could end up being the Broncos' biggest immediate-impact player of the first three rounds. Cox is a good player who slipped to the fifth-round mainly due to character concerns. Olsen is a potential backup on the interior line. The smallish Thompson's ceiling is as a nickel corner. The signing of free agent LB Akin Ayodele may have been the team's biggest immediate impact move of the three-day event.

Bottom Line: Broncos drafted like a team that has won three straight Super Bowls, selecting luxury picks early and trying to prove how much smarter they are than the rest of the league.

Grade: D


Kansas City

1 - Eric Berry, FS, Tennessee (6-0, 211); 2 - Dexter McCluster, RB, Ole Miss (5-9, 172); 2 - Javier Arenas, CB, Alabama (5-9, 195); 3 - Jon Asamoah, G, Illinois (6-4, 305); 3 - Tony Moeaki, TE, Iowa (6-3, 245); 5 - Kendrick Lewis, S, Ole Miss (5-11, 189); 5 - Cameron Sheffield, OLB, Troy (6-2, 257)

Analysis: Scott Pioli's talk about not liking to take safeties early was just bluster, as the Chiefs GM added a bona fide playmaker to a roster that needed one. Kansas City defied convention with its second selection, however, taking the miniature McCluster at No. 36 when most draftniks had him as a third-round choice or lower. That's a pretty steep price for a third-round back. The 5-9 Arenas might have been another reach for a team that could have had South Florida's Jerome Murphy or Wake Forest's Brandon Ghee at No. 50. The Chiefs' best pick after Berry may have been Asamoah, who has a real chance to contribute on the interior line. Kansas City traded up to get Moeaki, who has been compared to the Texans' Owen Daniels, near the end of the third-round. The fifth-rounder Lewis, like Berry, was one of the top five or six free safety candidates in this Draft. The intriguing Sheffield offers depth off the edge in K.C.'s 3-4.

Bottom Line: Berry is a gem, but otherwise they didn't do enough to upgrade deficient offensive line and pass rush.

Grade: C



1 - Rolando McClain, MLB, Alabama (6-3, 254); 2 - Lamarr Houston, DL, Texas (6-3, 305); 3 - Jared Veldheer, OL, Hillsdale (Mich.) (6-8, 312); 4 - Bruce Campbell, T, Maryland (6-6, 314); 4 - Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson (5-9, 186); 5 - Walter McFadden, CB, Auburn (5-10, 172); 6 - Travis Goethel, LB, Arizona State (6-2, 248); 7 - Jeremy Ware, DB, Michigan State (5-11, 185); 7 - Stevie Brown, S, Michigan (5-11, 214)

Analysis: Every pick the Raiders made over the three days of the draft was overshadowed by the acquisition of quarterback Jason Campbell from the Redskins. The move means JaMarcus Russell's days as a Raider, and perhaps as an NFL player, are numbered. As for the Draft, the Raiders were thought to be in the market for a left tackle, but a team that hasn't stopped the run in years did OK with the selection of McClain as well. The pick made Kirk Morrison, whom Oakland shipped to Jacksonville on Saturday, expendable. The Silver and Black continued the run-stuffing trend in the second round with the selection of Houston, but could they really afford to forgo their unquestionable offensive needs by trading down twice to take him? The team spent its next two picks on much-needed tackles, but the fourth-rounder Campbell has a better chance to get on the field immediately than the developmental Veldheer. Ford is an undersized blazer who Oakland will try out on returns. McFadden adds corner depth. Goethel and the two seventh-rounders all look like special-teamers.

Bottom Line: Raiders gave themselves a puncher's chance in 2010 with the work they did at the Draft, but it could all come down to the two Campbells they acquired on Saturday.

Grade: A-


San Diego

1 - Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State (6-0, 218); 3 - Donald Butler, LB, Washington (6-1, 235); 4 - Darrell Stuckey, S, Kansas (5-11, 207); 5 - Cam Thomas, DT, North Carolina (6-4, 330); 5 - Jonathan Crompton, QB, Tennessee (6-3, 222); 7 - Dedrick Epps, TE, Miami-Florida (6-3, 250)

Analysis: The Chargers were widely believed to be in the market for a running back, but their desperation to get one was underlined when they traded up 16 spots to select Mathews. He'll be a starter from day one. The Bolts gave up what amounted to a second-round pick (No. 40 overall) to get Mathews, also swapping fourth-rounders with Miami, and dealing linebacker Tim Dobbins to the Fins in exchange for a sixth-round pick. San Diego replaced Dobbins in Round 3, taking a player in Butler who excelled at the Senior Bowl and projects as an inside backer. The fourth-rounder Stuckey is not exceptionally fast and will be a strong safety at the next level. The fifth-rounder Thomas has a chance to serve as a backup nose tackle. Crompton was a fifth-round reach who will struggle to make this team after an inconsistent college career. The seventh- rounder Epps can catch but is not a blocker.

Bottom Line: Picked up a franchise running back in Mathews, but failed to properly address some growing limitations along the defensive line.

Grade: C+


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