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New Free Agency Winners and Losers

2008 NFC Draft Grades

By: Robert Davis

Click here for 2008 AFC Draft Grades

Arizona Cardinals

Best Pick: Dominique Rodgers-Cromarte, Round 1.
DRC has big time potential. For a team needing playmakers in the secondary, he is a great selection and great value.

Worst Pick: None.
The Cards got great value in the first three rounds, and you cannot criticize any of the selections at this point.

2nd Day Steal: Tim Hightower, RB, Richmond, Round 5.
Hightower has the size and all around talent to make an impact in the NFL. He could really surprise some people down the road.

Overall: B+. The only thing keeping this from being an A is instant impact. DRC has a huge jump from the small school level, and Calais Campbell is a work in progress.

Atlanta Falcons

Best Pick: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College, Round 1.
Some may have preferred Glenn Dorsey, but this was the right pick. He can be the face of the franchise for the next ten years, and brings every intangible needed to help the Falcons bounce back.

Worst Pick: Sam Baker, OT, USC Round 1.
Baker is a very solid player and will help the Falcons out. They panicked though, trading up to 21 to select Baker. There was a run on tackles, and Baker was probably drafted a little early.

2nd Day Steal: Harry Douglas, WR, Louisville, Round 3.
Douglas is electrifying with the ball in his hands, and should add a boost to the Falcons receiving corps.

Overall: B. The Falcons have a lot of work to do, and they did a good job addressing needs. They filled some holes with talent and high character players.

Carolina

Best Pick: Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon, Round 1.
This is the pick by default, because he was their first selection. Stewart is a workhorse between the tackles, and gives them the physical rushing ability they craved.

Worst Pick: Jeff Otah, OT, Pitt, Round 1.
This is another default pick. Otah is a very good addition to the team and will help them immediately. Trading a #1 next year though will sting this time next year though.

2nd Day Steal: Dan Connor, LB, Penn St. Round 3.
Connor was a borderline first rounder that they landed in the third round. That is excellent value.

Overall: B+. The offense should be considerably better next year. Otah and Stewart give the Panthers the ability to play very physical on offense. Trading next years #1 and not selecting a pass rusher are what keep them from an A.

Chicago Bears

Best Pick: Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt, Round 1.
Youth and athleticism were needed at tackle, and Williams was one of the best tackles in the draft.

Worst Pick: Matt Forte, RB, Tulane, Round 2.
This is not because Forte is a bad player, it is because of how he fits. He is a north/south runner, much like Cedric Benson. Passing on Brian Brohm here could come back to bite the Bears in the rear.

2nd Day Steal: Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt, Round 3.
Bennett is the type of all around threat teams will have to account for.

Overall: C-. The Bears added some talent to an offense in need of some fresh faces. The problem is, the offense will go nowhere without a QB. Not selecting a QB at any point in the draft, especially passing on Brohm and Henne in the second round could really hurt the Bears.

Dallas

Best Pick: Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas, Round 1. -Everyone knew where Jones was headed, but that is because he makes so much sense. He is a great compliment to Marion Barber, and with Barber being a free agent after next year, is insurance in case he leaves.

Worst Pick: None.
The Cowboys had a very good draft, landing talent with a lot of potential at need positions.

2nd Day Steal: Orlando Scandrick, CB, Boise St, Round 5.
Scandrick has all the talent in the world to develop at corner. He was an early entrant, and will not be forced to play immediately. He can develop at his own pace, and could be big time in a few years.

Overall: A. An elite team just added big play ability to the offense, and depth to the secondary.

Detroit

Best Pick: Kevin Smith, RB, Central Florida, Round 3.
Smith is a guy that will start from Day One, and could contend for Rookie of the Year honors.

Worst Pick: Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College, Round 1.
Cherilus was a reach at 17. He fills a need but with Otah on the board, he should have been their selection since they went tackle.

2nd Day Steal: Smith.
Smith is a workhorse and he will get every opportunity to be the Lions lead back this year.

Overall: C. They did a solid job addressing needs, but I feel Cherilus and Dizon went higher than they should have. Kevin Smith was a fantastic pick in the third and should pay big dividends early on. Cliff Avril was another nice second day selection.

Green Bay

Best Pick: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville, Round 2.
Brohm was a great pick that late in the second. He brought tremendous value and is insurance in case Aaron Rodgers cannot get the job done.

Worst Pick: Jordy Nelson, WR, Kansas St. Round 2.
Nelson is a solid selection, but did not feel he was an early second round selection.

2nd Day Steal: Jermichael Finley, TE, Texas Round 3.
Finley has as much potential as any tight in the class, and could be a great intermediate threat for Rodgers or Brohm.

Overall: C+. Other than a slight reach for Nelson, the Packers got good value and added some talent to the offense.

Minnesota

Best Pick: Tyrell Johnson, S, Arkansas St., Round 2.
Johnson was excellent value in the second round and will help out immediately in the secondary.

Worst Pick: None.
Trading for Jared Allen and selecting Johnson in the second are both excellent moves.

2nd Day Steal: John David Booty, QB, USC, Round 5.
I am not as high on Booty as some are, but he is nice value in the fifth round. With the defense the Vikes have assembled along with Adrian Peterson, Booty could step in if Jackson does not get the job done. He would hopefully be the type of QB to keep them in position to win with defense and the running game without making big mistakes.

Overall: A. Even though they were limited with actual picks in the draft, but that was due to the Jared Allen trade. Any time you add the leagues sack leader for a draft pick, it is a positive. Johnson and Booty are two guys who could help the team this year as well.

New Orleans

Best Pick: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC, Round 1.
Ellis is the guy they wanted, and will help the defense tremendously.

Worst Pick: None.
The team needed help on defense, and they got help. Ellis will anchor the defensive line, and Tracy Porter gives them a real playmaker at the corner spot, which is always a glaring need for the Saints.

2nd Day Steal: DeMario Pressley, DT, North Carolina St. Round 5.
Pressley had the talent to go higher but needs to play with more consistency. If he can stay on the field and find that consistency, he could be a real find this late in the draft.

Overall: B. Landing a franchise caliber defensive tackle and ball hawk in the secondary to a team in dire need of both makes for a great draft.

New York Giants

Best Pick: Kenny Phillips, S, Miami Round 1.
Phillips can play immediately and has big time potential at safety.

Worst Pick: Terrell Thomas, DB, USC, Round 2.
This is another pick that is not bad because of the player, but about what they could have done. Dan Connor is a guy they could have considered in Round 1, and they should have taken him in Round 2.

2nd Day Steal: Jonathan Goff, LB, Vanderbilt Round 5 and Andre Woodson, QB, Kentucky Round 6.
These two picks were tremendous value. Woodson could be worth a lot in two years as he develops behind Eli Manning.

Overall: C+. The Giants had a solid draft. The secondary added two players with a lot of ability, and the Giants had a great second day of the draft.

Philadelphia

Best Pick: DeSean Jackson, WR, Cal, Round 2.
Jackson is a first round talent that will add a lot of excitement to the offense and special teams.

Worst Pick: None.
Not only did they land two potential first round picks in the second round, but they also picked up Carolinaís first rounder next year. There is absolutely nothing wrong with how the draft played out for Eagles on Day One.

2nd Day Steal: Jack Ikegwuonu, DB, Wisconsin, Round 4.
Ikegwuonu will not play this year because of a knee injury but the Eagles could be looking at an impact player next year if he heals correctly. He was a second round talent pre injury.

Overall: A. DeSean Jackson was a guy they could have taken at 19 and have been happy with it, and they got him in the middle of the second. Trevor Laws was another great value pick, and they ended up with an extra #1 next year.

Seattle

Best Pick: John Carlson, TE, Notre Dame, Round 2.
Carlson is a guy who could be a major threat in the Seahawks offense.

Worst Pick: None.
Lawrence Jackson and John Carlson were very good picks in the first two rounds.

2nd Day Steal: Red Bryant, DT, Texas AM Round 4.
Bryant is a massive man that can clog running lanes in the middle of the line.

Overall: C. The Seahawks had a solid draft. They didnít land anyone spectacular or any gamebreakers but they addressed some needs and upgraded the talent on their roster.

San Francisco

Best Pick: Kentwan Balmer, DL, North Carolina, Round 1.
Quality defensive lineman are always needed, especially in SF. Balmer is the ideal 3-4 DE.

Worst Pick: Chilo Rachal, OG, USC, Round 2.
Rachal is a talented player and has upside, but early in Round 2 seems a bit high for him.

2nd Day Steal: Reggie Smith, DB, Oklahoma, Round 3.
Smith was a first rounder until he worked out. He did not run a great time but whether he plays corner or safety, he has the talent to perform much better than a third rounder.

Overall: C-. A decent draft for the 9ers. They could have used more speed and playmaking ability at receiver and they did not address that. They got stronger on the lines and in the secondary however.

St. Louis

Best Pick: Chris Long, DE, Virginia, Round 1.
Long was taken second overall, and should be an all around s tar on the defensive line.

Worst Pick: None.
Long was a good pick at 2, and Avery gives them a lot of playmaking ability in the second round.

2nd Day Steal: Justin King, CB, Penn St. Round 4.
King should have gone much earlier and would have been a great pick in the second round. He is a raw but has all the talent to be a star.

Overall: B+. The Rams did a good job addressing some needs, along with value at their picks. Long and Avery were nice picks, and it continued on day two adding Justin King and Keenan Burton in the fourth round.

Tampa Bay Buccaneeers

Best Pick: Aqib Talib, DB, Kansas, Round 1.
Some had some issues with Talib and testing positive for marijuana in college, but he should be fine.

Worst Pick: Dexter Jackson, WR, Appalachian St, Round 2.
Jackson is fast and exciting, but I feel he was drafted at least a round too early.

2nd Day Steal: Josh Johnson, QB, San Diego, Round 5.
Johnson could be a major steal for the Bucs in a couple years. He has the talent, and working with Gruden could be a perfect match.

Overall: C-. Talib is a nice selection to replace Brian Kelly, but Jackson was a reach in the second. He can stretch the field but will not do much to take help off of Joey Galloway.

Washington

Best Pick: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma Round 2.
Landing the best receiver in the draft in the second round is great value. Ignore his 40 time, he can play and his size is a great compliment to his new teammates at receiver.

Worst Pick: Fred Davis, TE, USC, Round 2.
This is nitpicking because Davis is arguably the top TE in the draft. The Skins needed help on the defensive line, and took Devin Thomas just before to help the passing game. This should have been a defensive lineman.

2nd Day Steal: Colt Brennan, QB, Hawaii, Round 6.
Brennan could be a steal this late in the draft. The Skins have a slew of receiving options, and Brennanís ability as a gunslinger would be a nice fit if he has to see the field.

Overall: C. The Skins did get very good value on Day One. Thomas, Davis, and Kelly were all steals at their draft spots. The Skins needed to address the defensive line and chose not to, which could really hurt when the season rolls around.


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