These Live 2018 NFL Draft Grades will be posted minutes after each pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Follow @walterfootball
2018 NFL Draft Grades - Round: Picks 1-16
| Picks 17-32
| NFL Draft Team Grades
2018 NFL Mock Draft
Cleveland Browns: Austin Corbett, C/G, Nevada B+ Grade
I like Austin Corbett, and I'm not sure he would've made it far in Round 2 had the Browns not taken him. He doesn't fill an immediate need on the offensive line unless the Browns think he can play left tackle. Center J.C. Tretter didn't perform very well last year, so Corbett is a solid option. Corbett, at the very least, will provide strong depth on the interior, as he can play all three positions. There's a chance he could be the blind-side protector as well.
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New York Giants: Will Hernandez, G, UTEP A Grade
Will Hernandez is a terrific pick to open the second round for the Giants. Hernandez is someone who easily could've been chosen in the early 20s. He slipped to the second round, but the Giants aren't complaining. They desperately needed offensive linemen, especially in the wake of Justin Pugh's departure. Hernandez will be able to open up huge running lanes for Saquon Barkley.
Cleveland Browns: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia B Grade
There were better running backs available than Nick Chubb, including Derrius Guice and Ronald Jones, but Chubb is a fine selection at No. 35. The Browns had to add a running back to their backfield, as they won't be able to rely on the injury-prone Carlos Hyde. I don't have an issue with this pick, but the Browns could've done better.
Indianapolis Colts: Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State B+ Grade
If the first round taught us anything, it's that talented off-LOS linebackers are in demand right now. The Colts had a chance to select one in Roquan Smith at No. 6 overall, but they selected a better player in Quenton Nelson. Leonard is a nice consolation prize in Round 2. He's a speedy, productive linebacker who should be able to play all three downs in Indianapolis' defense.
Indianapolis Colts: Braden Smith, G, Auburn C Grade
I liked the Colts' initial two selections thus far, but I'm not a big fan of this one. I don't hate Braden Smith, or anything, as I thought he could go in the second round. However, some teams had him in the third frame. What bothers me is that the Colts already have three solid guards, so where does Smith fit in?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ronald Jones, RB, USC B+ Grade
We heard the Buccaneers preferred Derrius Guice, but Ronald Jones is definitely a strong option as well. The Buccaneers needed to upgrade their backfield after Doug Martin struggled so much last year. Jones is a dynamic threat who can go the distance whenever he touches the ball, so Jameis Winston will love playing with him. My one concern is how having Jones will work in Tampa's crazy party atmosphere, where many young careers have been derailed.
Chicago Bears: James Daniels, C/G, Iowa A+ Grade
What a steal! James Daniels is a player I felt as though could be chosen in the early 20s. Some had Daniels as the top center in this class following Billy Price's injury. Daniels can also play guard, and that's where I believe he'll be stationed in Chicago, at least right away. The Bears had a big hole at guard, and Daniels will immediately fill that need.
Denver Broncos: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU A Grade
Maybe I'm just in a good mood, but I think this is another steal. Courtland Sutton could've easily been chosen in the late teens or 20s. It's debatable that he might have been the best receiver in the class. If you're wondering about need, there was talk about the Broncos moving on from Demaryius Thomas this offseason. Denver will keep Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but at least one of them could be gone after this upcoming year. Sutton should be a starter in 2019 and beyond.
Tennessee Titans: Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College A- Grade
Many believe this is a huge steal for the Titans. It's definitely a nice bargain, as Harold "Arnold" Landry (thanks, Vince Young) could've been chosen in the 20s, but he wasn't this excellent, top-20 prospect some people touted him to be. Some teams we spoke to had a second-round grade on him, and they turned out to be right. However, I like this selection, as Landry is one of the top players available who fills a big need on the edge.
Miami Dolphins: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State B+ Grade
The Dolphins were going tight end all the way here, as they didn't have one on their roster. I would have chosen Dallas Goedert, but Gesicki is a very solid choice. Gesicki is extremely athletic and should be able to develop into a potent weapon for Ryan Tannehill. I expected him to go in the middle of Round 2, so the range is definitely right for him.
Detroit Lions: Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn B+ Grade
Still no Derrius Guice? The Lions taking Kerryon Johnson makes more sense than Guice because of their scheme, plus he's a better fit for the type of player the Bill Belichick tree likes. Johnson will mesh well with Matthew Stafford, as he'll be a big weapon out of the backfield, catching all of the passes thrown at or behind the line of scrimmage, a staple of Detroit's offense. I'm not sure the Lions had to trade up for Johnson, but I like this pick.
San Francisco 49ers: Dante Pettis, WR, Washington D Grade
I had the 49ers selecting Dante Pettis - at pick No. 70. Had the 49ers remained at 59 and selected Pettis, I would've been fine with it, but there was no need to move up. With so many talented receivers on the board - Anthony Miller, James Washington, D.J. Chark, etc. - the value isn't there to move up for Pettis. He fills a need - the 49ers tried to sign Allen Robinson, but failed - but the trade up for him was not necessary.
Green Bay Packers: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa A+ Grade
Holy hell, I forgot Joshua Jackson was still available. How in the world did he fall this far? Jackson is a player who could've gone No. 14 overall to the Packers, and I would've been fine with it. Some people whose opinion I respect think Jackson should've been in the conversation as the top cornerback in this entire class. Jackson is tall and instinctive and in the mold of Aqib Talib, and he should be an instant upgrade in Green Bay's atrocious secondary.
Kansas City Chiefs: Breeland Speaks, DE/DT, Ole Miss D Grade
Someone tweeted out that the Chiefs traded up for Christian Kirk. I liked that pick a lot more! Speaks is a Round 3 prospect, so why did the Chiefs think they needed to move up for him? Was Andy Reid just bored, or did he want to go out for a quick bite to eat in between selections? I don't get it. Speaks should be a solid rotational defensive lineman for Kansas City, but he's not worth moving up for.
Arizona Cardinals: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M A Grade
I've had Christian Kirk slotted to the Cardinals at this pick for a long time, as the fit absolutely made sense. Kirk, once considered a first-round prospect of some sort, can be considered a steal in the middle of Round 2. The Cardinals desperately needed receiving help, and Kirk will provide that as well as a boost in the return game.
Los Angeles Chargers: Uchenna Nwosu, OLB, USC C+ Grade
I had the Chargers picking Uchenna Nwosu, but in the third round (I moved him to Round 4 at the very end just to make the pieces fit.) Nwosu is a great fit for the Chargers' defense, and he fills a big need as an edge rusher behind Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. However, considering he won't start, I think the Chargers should've addressed bigger needs and hoped to get him in Round 3. I don't dislike this selection, but I would've gone a different route.
Philadelphia Eagles: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State A Grade
Howie Roseman is kicking everyone's a**. After ruining the Giants' plans by giving Lamar Jackson to the Ravens, he moved ahead of the Cowboys, who were desperate for a tight end in the wake of Jason Witten's retirement, for the final second-round tight end. Actually, Dallas Goedert could have arguably been a first-round selection, so I love this selection. Goedert will replace the departed Trey Burton and Brent Celek as the second tight end in Philadelphia's two-tight end offense.
Dallas Cowboys: Connor Williams, OT/G, Texas D Grade
This is a pretty poor selection. The Cowboys, desperate after Courtland Sutton and Dallas Goedert were taken off the board, have reached for a mid-round tackle. Teams were shocked to see the media place Williams in the first or second round, as he doesn't have a home in the NFL. His arms are way too short to play tackle, and he's not nearly strong enough to play guard, which is why some teams considered him to be a fifth-round prospect. Even worse, Williams doesn't fill any sort of need. This was pretty close to a Millen.
Chicago Bears: Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis C Grade
The Bears didn't have another second- or third-round pick, so they've somehow moved into this spot. I like the player they're taking, as Anthony Miller is a skilled receiver who should be able to provide an upgrade. I'm going to tentatively grade this as a B+, but hopefully Chicago didn't surrender too much to get the Memphis product. Update: Chicago surrendered a second-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft, as well as a fourth-rounder, so I don't like this very much.
Indianapolis Colts: Kemoko Turay, DE, Rutgers C Grade
Kemoko Turay is an athletic edge rusher with great upside, and I think he probably should've gone in the third round. I don't think this is a bad reach, or anything, though I wonder about the fit as well. I thought Turay would be better off in the 3-4, but he'll have to play in Indianapolis' new 4-3.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: M.J. Stewart, CB, North Carolina C- Grade
This is a bit of a reach, as M.J. Stewart seemed like a third- or fourth-round prospect. The Buccaneers have the 102nd selection, and I don't think it's out of the question that Stewart could've been available then. Still, this isn't a terrible pick, as Stewart seems like a good fit, and he fills a need.
Cincinnati Bengals: Jessie Bates, S, Wake Forest B+ Grade
The Bengals could've taken any of the top three second-day safeties - Bates, Ronnie Harrison, Justin Reid - and they would've made sense. Cincinnati had a huge need at safety entering the draft, and it's nice that they've filled it with a quality player like Bates.
Carolina Panthers: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU A+ Grade
Wow, Donte Jackson is another player I forgot was on the board. Some people in the media had Jackson in the first round, but teams said they had high second-round grades on him. Jackson slipped a bit, so the Panthers are lucky to pick him up. Jackson, quite possibly the best slot cornerback in this class, will provide a big upgrade for Carolina's pedestrian secondary.
New England Patriots: Duke Dawson, CB, Florida C Grade
It feels wrong to question Bill Belichick, but it's not like he's been flawless in the draft. He's made some mistakes, and I believe this will be one. I don't dislike Dawson, whom we've seen third-round grades on, but I don't know why he felt the need to trade up for him. The Patriots may have gotten Dawson or another comparable prospect by staying put and even perhaps moving down a few spots. Still, the Patriots are at least filling a huge need, so that's important.
Oakland Raiders: P.J. Hall, DT, Sam Houston State B Grade
The Raiders tried to sign Ndamukong Suh, but failed to pry him away from the Rams. They really needed a defensive tackle, and Hall is an explosive interior presence. The consensus was that Hall would be a third-round prospect, but it's the end of the second frame right now, so I wouldn't say this is a reach, or anything. This is a decent pick.
Atlanta Falcons: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado A+ Grade
I thought the Seahawks would move down for Isaiah Oliver into the 25-35 range. This is a big slip, and it's unclear why. Oliver is a lengthy, athletic cornerback in the mold of Richard Sherman. Given that the Seahawks were interested in Oliver, it would make sense that the Falcons would be. This is a great pick, as Oliver and his size will help defend against the tall receivers in the NFC South.
Washington Redskins: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU B+ Grade
One of the NFL Network guys said there would be some breaking news about Derrius Guice that would embarrass him and the team that selected him, so hopefully it's not too bad. Guice is a steal for his talent level, but he has character concerns. He and Eagles general manager Howie Roseman actually got into a heated exchange leading up to the draft. If Guice is clean, this will be an A+ pick, as he could be the best runner on the roster right now by a wide margin. However, I'm worried about some impending problems, so I'll keep this as a B+.
Pittsburgh Steelers: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State B+ Grade
The Steelers struck gold with the previous second-round receiver they took in JuJu Smith-Schuster. They needed to find another wideout in the wake of the Martavis Bryant trade. Washington could have been chosen early in the second round, so there's a big of value here with this selection. I think the Steelers had better options like Justin Reid, but I think this is a good pick.
Jacksonville Jaguars: D.J. Chark, WR, LSU A Grade
D.J. Chark was the fourth- or fifth-ranked receiver by several teams, so it's a bit of a surprise to see him slip so late in the second round. The Jaguars won't complain, as they're getting quite the bargain at No. 61. Chark will fill a huge need at one of the starting receiver positions, vacated by Allen Robinson. It's not out of the question that Chark could be Jacksonville's top wideout by season's end.
Minnesota Vikings: Brian O'Neill, OT, Pittsburgh B Grade
Teams were down on Brian O'Neill because of a lack of strength. He's athletic, but his lack of power could be a problem. If he can add lots of strength, he could be a solid blocker for the Vikings, who needed to address the offensive line. O'Neill seems fine for this range, so this is a logical choice.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn B Grade
It should not be a surprise to anyone that the Buccaneers spent two second-round picks on cornerbacks. This is a position they absolutely had to attack, given their weakness in the secondary. Davis was either a second- or third-round prospect, depending on which team was polled, so he definitely makes sense in this range.
Indianapolis Colts: Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State C- Grade
2018 NFL Draft Grades - Round: Picks 1-16 | Picks 17-32 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | NFL Draft Team Grades | Supplemental
I don't know why the Colts felt that they needed to move up for Tyquan Lewis. The Ohio State product was considered a fourth-round prospect by most reliable sources, so Indianapolis could've remained at its spot and selected this prospect. Lewis fills a need, but I'm not a fan of this choice.
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