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NFC Draft Grades

By: Robert Davis

Click here for 2012 AFC Draft Grades

Arizona Cardinals B
The Cardinals again neglected the offensive line early, but did help the offense with the addition of Michael Floyd in the first round. There isn't a better mentor in the league than Larry Fitzgerald, and Floyd should really thrive next to him. Oklahoma CB Jamell Fleming in the third round was a solid value pick, and will give the Cards two quality cover mean, pairing with last year's first rounder, Patrick Peterson. Ole Miss OT Bobby Massie in the fourth could turn out to be a steal, and Washington OG Senio Kelemete should provide depth.

Atlanta Falcons C
The Julio Jones trade was a success, so the Falcons didn't mind waiting until the second round this year to select. Wisconsin C was a great value pick, and should start immediately. They stayed on the offensive line in the third, drafting a project in Southern Mississippi's Lamar Holmes. 5th round DE Jonathan Massaquoi has a lot of natural ability off the edge, and could emerge as one of the better late round finds this year if he can regain his 2010 form.

Carolina Panthers B-
Despite many having them pegged for a DT in the first round, the Panthers selected ILB Luke Kuechly to lead their defense. His all around skills and leadership will be on display from day one. OG Aminu Silatolu in the second was another quality selection. He is nasty on the field, and will help set the tone for the rest of the OL. Arkansas WR Joe Adams and Coastal Carolina CB Josh Norman are two exciting players selected in the fourth and fifth rounds that provide excellent value and upside. Avoiding the DT position over the weekend could prove to be a major mistake.

Chicago Bears B-
Shea McClellin was a bit of a surprise at 19th overall, but he is a versatile defender that can provide an immediate impact. After that, the Bears went with a lot of boom or bust selections. Alshon Jeffery could prove to be a tremendous selection in the second round if he keeps his focus and stays in shape. He may not outrun many corners, but he is going to be tough to cover in the red zone against #2 corners, with Brandon Marshall drawing the opponents top cover man. Oregon St S Brandon Hardin missed the 2011 season with an injury, but has a lot of potential as a third round selection. Temple TE Evan Rodriguez is one dimensional, but could develop into a quality receiving tight end, in the mold of New England's Aaron Hernandez.

Dallas Cowboys B
The Cowboys went for it all, moving up in the draft to select LSU CB Morris Claiborne. One of the elite prospects in the draft, he will go a long way towards upgrading the Cowboys atrocious pass D from 2011. Their draft is going to be determined solely by his impact in the secondary, since there isn't much to get excited about after that selection. Tyrone Crawford has some potential as a 3-4 end, but will need to continue to bulk up and get stronger.

Detroit Lions B+
Riley Reiff sliding to #23 was a steal for the Lions. WR Ryan Broyles may look like a reach because of the ACL injury, but if he makes it all the way back, he could thrive with all the attention paid to Calvin Johnson. The third round brought another talented performer, this time filling a major need in the secondary, with Louisiana-Lafayette CB Dwight Bentley. Sticking with the Sooner theme, the Lions landed another talented prospect in 4th round DE/OLB Ronnell Lewis.

Green Bay Packers A
The Pack definitely landed one of the more impressive draft hauls this season. USC DE/OLB Nick Perry is a big play threat off the edge, and second round DT Jerel Worthy of Michigan State provides tremendous value. If motivated, he is an absolute steal in the second. They moved up in the second for Vanderbilt CB Casey Hayward, who adds much needed youth to the secondary. 5th round LB Terrell Manning and 7th round OT Andrew Datko could surprise at the next level.

Minnesota Vikings B
The Vikings did an excellent job enticing the Browns to move up from #4 to #3 to gain extra picks, and still get the man they wanted, USC OT Matt Kalil. Notre Dame S Harrison Smith is a steady safety, but was overvalued because of an overall poor safety class this year. The third and fourth rounds were kind to the Vikings, landing them UCF CB Josh Robinson, Arkansas WR Jarius Wright, and USC TE Rhett Ellison. All three could provide an impact as rookies.

New Orleans Saints D+
It's a tough draft weekend when you have to wait until the third round to make a selection. Their first rounder was sent to New England last year, and their second rounder was forfeited as a result of the bounty program. With their lone pick in the first three rounds, the Saints selected Regina DT Akiem Hicks. He is a former LSU recruit with a ton of ability, but is the ultimate boom or bust pick because he is so raw.

New York Giants B
The Super Bowl Champs added some more talented to its already explosive offense, adding Virginia Tech RB David Wilson in the first round, and LSU WR Rueben Randle in the second. Another Hokie, CB Jayron Hosley was a solid third round selection. 4th round TE Adrien Robinson may need to play immediately, whether he's ready or not. The Giants landed two developmental OT's on day three to keep an eye on, in Auburn's Brandon Moseley and UAB's Matt McCants. os

Philadelphia Eagles A
The Eagles nailed the draft, adding talent at key positions while landing tremendous value along the way. Mississippi St DT Fletcher Cox will be an immediate stud, and the second round landed two more guys that can provide an immediate impact. Cal ILB Mychal Kendricks is an ideal fit, and Marshall DE Vinny Curry will help provide pressure on the QB. Arizona QB Nick Foles gives Andy Reid another young QB to work with, and 4th round CB Brandon Boykin was an excellent value pick. 7th round RB Bryce Brown is a former blue chip recruit that has the talent, but will need to find his focus. A gamble well worth it in the 7th round.

San Francisco 49ers C
Needing to add some playmakers to the offense, the 9ers at least addressed the right side of the football early on in the draft. Illinois WR AJ Jenkins may have been a bit of a reach, but he'll add some much needed speed to the offense. 2nd round RB LaMichael James may be joining a crowded backfield, but his big play ability is something no other back on the roster brings. 7th round DE Cam Johnson is a player to keep an eye on.

Seattle Seahawks D+
West Virginia DE/OLB Bruce Irvin was definitely the most controversial selection of round one. His ability to impact a game off the edge is special, but he may not be able to see enough snaps because of his lack of size. He could make Pete Carroll look very smart or very, very dumb. ILB Bobby Wagner of Utah State is a tackling machine and should play early. If any QB is going to prove the notion that sub 6-foot QB's can hack it as starters, then Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson is the guy. He'll be a great backup to Matt Flynn, but has some skills that lead some to believe he could be a starter one day.

St. Louis Rams A
Armed with a ton of early picks because of the trade down from #2 to #6, and the subsequent trade down to #14, the Rams did a fantastic job addressing needs with big time players. They went with LSU DT Michael Brockers with the 14th pick. He will help immediately, but also has a lot of untapped potential left. The second round brought them Appalachian St WR Brian Quick, N Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins, and Cincinnati RB Isaiah Pead. Quick and Pead brings much needed playmaking ability to the offense, and Jenkins is a character risk but a potential shut down corner. Montana DB Trumaine Johnson in the third round was yet another tremendous pick. Wake Forest WR Chris Givens is a dependable receiver, giving Sam Bradford another weapon.

Tampa Bay Bucs C+
Alabama S Mark Barron was a hot name leading up to the draft, but was a rather large over draft at #7 overall. He is a very good player, but is not a game changer at the safety position, and should not have been selected that high. The Bucs moved back up in the first round to land Boise St RB Doug Martin. Seems like another over draft. A steady, dependable back but a bit of a reach at #22. Nebraska LB Lavonte David was an excellent selection in the second round, and could remind some Buc fans of Derrick Brooks with his range and nose for the football.

Washington Redskins B+
Baylor QB Robert Griffin III is a superstar in the making. They paid a steep price, but if he lives up to the billing, it's all worth it. Selecting Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins in the fourth is a bit of a head scratcher after the Griffin selection, but he is good value in the fourth. If he develops and provides future trade value, the pick is a tremendous one. He has the leadership and intangibles to be a solid backup at the very least.


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