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Posted Jan. 20, 2010

2010 NFL Draft Offensive Grades

Where do we stand with the NFL Draft this year? Just how good is it? How do the positional classes stack up from a talent standpoint and to one another position-by-position? All of these questions will be answered in today's NFL Matt Draft.

To start out, we need to understand what makes for a good or bad draft. In an extremely good draft for one position, I expect to see a couple top-10 prospects, then 3-5 more solid first-round prospects, then several more projected starters or highly talented developmental prospects in Rounds 2 and 3. After the third round, there is a serious drop off of talent in the draft.

The NFL Network's Charlie Casserly once said that you have a 33 percent chance of finding a starter in the third round - just to give you a barometer of how hard it is to find starters even after Round two.

Let's analyze the 2010 NFL Draft position by position.


Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford are the cream of the crop in this draft - no debate here. Clausen carries a top-8, 4.5-star grade, and he is the No. 5 overall prospect on my board and is a franchise quarterback. I have serious questions regarding Bradford, but he is still a top-20 talent who will find himself drafted in the top 10 picks.

After Clausen and Bradford, not much at all intrigues me. Colt McCoy has mediocre physical tools and his offense made him look much better than he really was. I gave Tony Pike a third-round grade. He is not an immediate starter, but might be developed into one. Jevan Snead has great physical tools, but is too raw; I gave him a mid-round grade.

Overall, this is a very average draft class because we only have two definite franchise quarterbacks, one of which I have serious questions about.

Grade: C-

Running Backs
C.J. Spiller is a late first-to-early second-round pick. He has a lot of talent, but lacks the bulk and inside running skills to be considered a No. 1 - and no, don't give me Chris Johnson because Johnson is much faster than Spiller. Jahvid Best is an intriguing talent who will likely go in the second round. Jonathan Dwyer is the only back in this class who can possibly project as a No. 1 because of his size and potentially good athletic ability if he sheds a few pounds and gets in shape.

After the big three, there isn't much to speak of. Fresno State's Ryan Mathews is an overrated talent. Montario Hardesty, Anthony Dixon and Toby Gerhart all lack great speed.

This is one of the weakest running back classes in recent memory. We only have one (potentially) No. 1 back and a couple game breakers.

Grade: D

Wide Receiver
Damian Williams, Arrelious Benn, Dez Bryant, Golden Tate and Brandon LaFell are all in the first-round mix. Eric Decker, Mardy Gilyard, Jordan Shipley and Demaryius Thomas could all go in the second round (though I am not a fan of Gilyard or Thomas). We have some interesting prospects on the back end in Jeremy Williams, Jacoby Ford and Riley Cooper who could be players at the next level.

I am really intrigued by these wideouts and it is certainly one of the better classes we have seen in a while.

Grade: B+

Tight End
With the growth of the spread offense, so goes the in-line blocker. Jermaine Gresham is the consensus No. 1 tight end in this class and a likely first-rounder. Rob Gronkowski is a big athlete who will also get his uniform dirty and block as he is coming off a serious back injury. Aaron Hernandez and Ed Dickson are athletic pass catchers that will be chosen in Rounds 2 or 3. Dennis Pitta, Anthony McCoy and Jimmy Graham are intriguing projects that will go in the mid rounds.

This tight end class is OK, but nothing to get excited about. It is very average for what he expect out of a tight end group.

Grade: C

Offensive Tackle
The most talked-about class outside of quarterbacks will be tackles because I think draft analysts will be over the map on how they are ranked. Russell Okung and Bruce Campbell are likely top-10 picks. Anthony Davis, Bryan Bulaga and Trent Williams are very big linemen, and one or two of these names might also be in the top 10 when it's all said and done. Charles Brown is small, but he has great technique and athleticism. He's on the fringe of the first round. Selvish Capers out of West Virginia is a raw athlete with a nasty demeanor, but he has no technique and comes from a bad college scheme. His name will likely get called at some point in Rounds 2 or 3. Vladimir Ducasse could also go in the second round. Kyle Calloway, Jason Fox, Jared Veldheer, Ed Wang and Tony Washington are intriguing mid-round prospects.

This is a very impressive group of prospects, but it lacks one or two talents in the second round or the elite 5-star prospect for me to give it an "A" grade.

Grade: B+

Interior Offensive Line
I am grouping guards and centers together here. Maurkice Pouncey and Mike Iupati are the top prospects in this group. Pouncey can play center or guard (I think he is a better fit at guard). Iupati might be in the late first-round mix. Jon Asamoah and Mike Johnson are likely third- or fourth-round prospects. J.D. Walton is my No. 1 center in this class and he is a likely second-round pick.

This is a decent group, but it wasn't nearly as good as last year's. This class lacks serious depth in the third and fourth rounds where some teams find immediate starters.

Grade: C-

Tomorrow I will break down the defense and the formula for figuring out the overall grade in the 2010 NFL Draft, talent-wise.

Matt McGuire's Recent NFL Draft Blog Entries:

Analyzing Andrew Luck's Decision - 1/7
Luck vs. Locker - 9/15
Top 10 Quarterback Busts - 7/7
NBA Draft vs. NFL Draft - 6/27
Six Sophomores Who Need to Step Up - 6/2
Kentucky 2010 NBA Draft Prospect Blog - 6/1
Brett Favre Retirement Conditions - 5/30
2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year - 5/24
2010 NFL Power Rankings Tier - 5/21
2010 NFL Power Rankings - 5/18
NFL Mailbag: C.J. Spiller and Buffalo Bills Reaction - 5/14
LeBron James Game 6 Reaction - 5/14
The Buffalo Bills - 5/13
LeBron James: Celtic Pride - 5/13
The JaMarcus Russell Lesson - 5/11
Most Productive 2010 NFL Rookies - 5/6
Double Down - 4/30
2010 NFL Draft Observations and Telecast Blog - 4/26
2010 NFL Draft Grades: Day 3 - 4/25
2010 NFL Draft Grades: Rounds 1-3 - 4/24
2010 NFL Draft Grades: First Round - 4/23
2010 NFL Draft Trade Analysis - 4/23
Random Round 1 Thoughts and Analysis - 4/23
2010 NFL Draft Class Predictions - 4/22
2010 NFL Draft Trades - 4/21
Response to Mike Mayock's Redskins-Trent Williams Comment - 4/8
Teams Misevaluating Their Own Quarterbacks - 4/6
Where Will Jimmy Clausen Go? - 4/5
2010 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Picks - 3/25
Gerald McCoy's Draft Range - 3/12
NFL Draft Picks Are Business Investments (Anthony Davis) - 3/11
Offense Matters - 3/9
Mel Kiper vs. Todd McShay Debate Revisited - 3/8
Taylor Mays - 3/3
"He's a Winner" ... Not Really - 3/2
Quarterback Height (Jimmy Clausen) - 2/25
The Top Five Reasons the Redskins Won't Pass on Jimmy Clausen - 2/22
2010 NFL Draft: All-Overhyped and Underrated Teams - 2/18
Matt Ryan and the Rams - 2/17
Prospect Case Study: Tim Tebow - 2/11
2010 NFL Draft Offensive Grades - 1/20
Tim Tebow at the Senior Bowl - 1/14
Junior Quarterbacks/Jimmy Clausen - 12/29
2010 NFL Draft Prospect Updates - 12/21
The Michael Oher Lesson - 12/20
Cameron Heyward's Ceiling - 12/17
Jake Locker to Return for Senior Season - 12/15
Top Four Scenario - 12/8
"Suh" is Elite - 12/7
Carlos Dunlap Update - 11/11
Player to Watch - 10/30
Alpha Quarterback - 10/29
2010 NFL Draft Mailbag - 10/28
O Bradford, Where Art Thou (Draft Stock)? - 10/27
The Trojan Torpedo - 10/26
Quarterback Mobility - 10/23
Charles Brown's Stock on the Rise - 10/18
Mays-Clausen and Gaines Adams - 10/17
Mr. Overrated - 10/14
2010 NFL Draft Cursed? - 10/8
Conservative Carroll - 9/22
The Crabtree Lesson - 9/21
Scouting Notes: Weeks 2-3 - 9/20
Terrelle Pryor - NFL QB? - 9/15
Jay Cutler Trade Evaluation - 9/14
THE Choke State University - 9/13
2009 NFL Predictions - 9/10
2009 College Football Predictions - 9/3
The Brett Favre Line - 8/20
Why Vick Hasn't Signed - 8/12
The Vince Young Lesson - 8/10
Vegas NFL Power Rankings - 8/9
Dorsey Fat - Chiefs Stupid - 8/7
Eli Manning: The $100 Million Man - 8/6
Predicting Future Needs Part II - 8/4
NFL Draft Moved - 7/24
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