2018 NFL Draft Grades: These 10 Teams Had The Best Draft

NFL-Draft-2018

Seven rounds and 256 picks later, the 2018 NFL draft is all wrapped up.

The first round kicked off with a number of trades as well as a number of quarterbacks chosen with four taken with the first 10 picks. The Browns, like so many other teams made some surprising picks and moves. So which teams boast the most impressive rookie classes? Here is a look at our 2018 NFL draft grades:

1. NEW YORK GIANTS

Draft picks: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (No. 2), UTEP OG Will Hernandez (No. 34), Georgia LB Lorenzo Carter (No. 66), N.C. State DT B.J. Hill (No. 69), Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta (No. 108), Miami DT R.J. McIntosh (No. 139).

With so many quarterbacks on the board, the New York Giants passed on taking a quarterback and selected Penn State running back sensation Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 pick. Barkley’s impact is wide-reaching and is a dynamic and explosive player. The Giants also selected Will Hernandez to bulk up the offensive line and added linebacker Lorenzo Carter who will likely be a starter. The 6-foot-6, 250-pound player is arguably one of the best linebackers in the entire draft as the Giants got one of the night’s biggest steals by getting him with the No. 66 pick. In short, it was a great draft for the Giants.

2. CHICAGO BEARS

Draft picks: Georgia LB Roquan Smith (No. 8), Iowa C James Daniels (No. 39), Memphis WR Anthony Miller (No. 51), Western Kentucky LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe (No. 115), Delaware DE Bilal Nichols (No. 145), Utah LB Kylie Fitts (No. 181), Georgia WR Javon Wims (No. 224).

The Bears wanted to improve their defense and they did exactly that as they added Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith with the No. 8 pick. Smith, a potential future Pro Bowler, will team up with Utah linebacker Kylie Fitts and Joel Iyiegbuniwe out of Western Kentucky. The Bears also tabbed the top-rated center in this draft in the second round in James Daniels and also broke a lot of team’s hearts when they jumped up to grab Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller. Throughout the draft the Bears grabbed a number of players with a lot of high upside.

3. DENVER BRONCOS

Draft picks: N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb (No. 5), SMU WR Courtland Sutton (No. 40), Oregon RB Royce Freeman (No. 71), Boston College DB Isaac Yiadom (No. 99), Iowa LB Josey Jewell (No. 106), Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton (No. 113), Wisconsin TE Troy Fumagalli (No. 156), Arizona State OG Sam Jones (No. 183), Washington LB Keishawn Bierria (No. 217), Arkansas RB David Williams (No. 226).

The Denver Broncos got an early Christmas present whey they selected Bradley Chubb with the No. 5 pick. And the Broncos didn’t even have to trade up to get him either.  Chubb brings another elite defender and pass rusher to the Bronco defense. In the third-round, The Broncos grabbed Oregon RB Royce Freeman who will help fans forget about C.J. Anderson. Overall, the Broncos GM Jon Elway found a bunch of great players in the middle rounds to give the Broncos one of the best drafts this year.

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4. DALLAS COWBOYS

Draft picks: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch (No. 19), Texas OG Connor Williams (No. 50), Colorado State WR Michael Gallup (No. 81), Kansas DE Dorance Armstrong (No. 116), Stanford TE Dalton Schultz (No.), Western Kentucky QB Mike White (No. 171), Indiana LB Chris Covington (No. 193), Boise State WR Cedrick Wilson (No. 208), Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough (No. 236).

It was a weird draft for the Dallas Cowboys. With the situations of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, the Cowboys drafted some terrific players, but at the same time, didn’t necessarily draft to fix the needs of the team. Vander Esch looks to be a future star at linebacker and Connor Williams will only add to the Cowboys’ terrific offensive line. Schultz won’t be the next Jason Witten, but he was a great option on Day 3. Wideouts Gallup and Wilson have a chance to make some noise and the Cowboys really knocked it out of the park with Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough in the seventh round.

5. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Draft picks: Washington DT Vita Vea (No. 12), USC RB Ronald Jones (No. 38), North Carolina DB M.J. Stewart (No. 53), Auburn CB Carlton Davis (No. 63), Humboldt State OG Alex Cappa (No. 94), Pittsburgh S Jordan Whitehead (No. 117), Pennsylvania WR Justin Watson (No. 144), Wisconsin LB Jack Cichy (No. 202).

Tampa Bay’s defensive front got a big boost as the Buccaneers selected Vita Vea with the No. 12 pick. Vea is a dominant interior defender and run stopper and with three second round picks, the Bucs came out swinging with cornerbacks M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis. Tampa Bay also added USC sensation Ronald Jones. The playmaker can play multiple positions and will help fill the void left by Doug Martin.

6. CAROLINA PANTHERS

Draft picks: Maryland WR D.J. Moore (No. 24), LSU CB Donte Jackson (No. 55), Tennessee DB Rashaan Gaulden (No. 85), Indiana TE Ian Thomas (No. 101), Mississippi LB Marquis Haynes (No. 136), Maryland LB Jermaine Carter (No. 161), North Carolina LB Andre Smith (No. 234), Miami DT Kendrick Norton (No. 242).

This year, most of the front-seven players on defense for Carolina are under contract through at least 2020. With that, the Panthers picked up wide receiver D.J. Moore to help Cam Newton spread out the offense. The with the next two picks, the Panthers went after defensive backs  with speedster Donte Jackson and safety/corner Rashaan Gaulden. Still without a quality contributor behind Greg Olsen, the Panthers got a tight end with their fourth pick. The Panthers drafted a number of guys with very high upsides and got some needs as well which is why they made our list.

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7. CLEVELAND BROWNS

Draft picks: Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield (No. 1), Ohio State CB Denzel Ward (No. 4), Nevada OG Austin Corbett (No. 33), Georgia RB Nick Chubb (No. 35), Miami DE Chad Thomas (No. 67), Florida WR Antonio Callaway (No. 105), Memphis LB Genard Avery (No. 150), Texas A&M WR Damion Ratley (No. 175), Louisiana-Lafayette CB Simeon Thomas (No. 188).

The Browns had some great picks, however, they also had some questionable picks which is why they slid down to No. 7 on our list. Yes, the jury is still out on Baker Mayfield and for any quarterback taken in the draft for that matter. But, the Browns simply couldn’t live without him. With so many quarterbacks to choose from this year, the Browns hopefully did their homework with all the time they had leading up to the draft. However, not taking Bradley Chubb could be a big mistake as they took CB Denzel Ward instead. If the Browns had Chubb, one could only imagine that combined with pass rusher Myles Garrett who they took last year. The Browns also took Florida WR Antonio Callaway and although he could turn out to be a very good player, he comes with a lot of risks with off-field problems very similar to Josh Gordon.

8. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Draft picks: Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey (No. 9), Washington WR Dante Pettis (No. 44), BYU LB Fred Warner (No. 70), Southern Mississippi S Tarvarius Moore (No. 95), N.C. State DE Kentavius Street (No. 128), Kansas State DB D.J. Reed (No. 142), Florida DB Marcell Harris (No. 184), Temple DT Jullian Taylor (No. 223), Middle Tennessee WR Richie James (No. 240).

The 49ers quietly put together a great draft as they picked solidified their offensive line with OT Mike McGlinchey. Another need was adding to their skill positions and getting WR Dante Pettis was a great move for the franchise as he’s shown he can play multiple positions and excel in them all. Pettis will join Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor in what is becoming a great receiving corps. BYU LB Fred Warner was a solid choice as well as a great hedge against the uncertainty of Reuben Foster. Warner, can do it all whether its stopping the run or using his speed to cover wide receivers and tight ends. Many believe he’s an upgrade over ex-Seahawk Malcolm Smith.

9. BALTIMORE RAVENS

Draft picks: South Carolina TE Hayden Hurst (No. 25), Louisville QB Lamar Jackson (No. 32), Oklahoma OT Orlando Brown (No. 83), Oklahoma TE Mark Andrews (No. 86), Alabama CB Anthony Averett (No. 118), UCLA LB Kenny Young (No. 122), New Mexico State WR Jaleel Scott (No. 132), UCLA WR Jordan Lasley (No. 162), Texas S DeShon Elliott (No. 190), Wagner OT Greg Senat (No. 212), Alabama C Bradley Bozeman (No. 215), Ferris State DE Zach Sieler (No. 238).

In his final draft as Baltimore’s GM, Ozzie Newsome made some unexpected and bold moves. Late Thursday night, Newsome traded picks No. 52 and No. 125 as well as next year’s second-rounder, to move up and get QB Lamar Jackson at No. 32. It remains to be seen if that trade was a great move or a bust. However, if the plan is for Jackson to sit and learn behind Joe Flacco, the Ravens might be in trouble as both players have very different playing styles. The Ravens did pick up OT Orlando Brown and WR Jordan Lasley. Both players are high-risk, high-reward players on top of getting CB Anthony Averett in the fourth round and C Bradley Bozeman in the sixth round.

10. ARIZONA CARDINALS

Draft picksUCLA QB Josh Rosen (No. 10), Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk (No. 47), Michigan C Mason Cole (No. 97), Fordham RB Chase Edmonds (No. 134), Penn State DB Christian Campbell (No. 182), Cincinnati OT Korey Cunningham (No. 254).

Most of the picks weren’t sexy and they didn’t have a lot of picks to begin with either, however, the Arizona Cardinals put together a good draft class overall. The Cardinals did a great job at retooling some areas in need. With the retirement of QB Carson Palmer and without knowing how much longer WR Larry Fitzgerald will continue to play, Arizona traded up to get highly-touted UCLA QB Josh Rosen with their first pick. With their second pick, the Cardinals added Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk which perfectly compliments Rosen who loves to throw the ball downfield.

Leave a comment below and tell us which teams made your top 10 list.

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