AFC Team-By-Team Draft Grades
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AFC Team-By-Team Draft Grades

The NFL Draft has come and gone, and we are left waiting another calendar year until the spectacle takes over Las Vegas in 2022. There were certainly some big surprises in round one, some picks that seem perfect, a few head scratchers, and of course, the late-round steals. The Jaguars got their quarterback, so did the Jets, Niners, Bears and Patriots. The Falcons took a generational tight end and wide receivers were a hot commodity. Here are the grades for the teams in the AFC.

 

AFC North 

Pittsburgh Steelers (C+) – The Steelers went with the ever-so-risky first-round running back – Alabama’s Najee Harris. It was a glaring need, but also a move that can backfire on teams. They also grabbed Penn State TE Pat Freiermuth and Illinois C Kendrick Green on day two.

Baltimore Ravens (A) – The Ravens always seem to find great value in the draft. With two Day 1 picks, they got two of the best players in the draft – Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman and Penn State EDGE Odafe Oweh who had a 40-inch vertical and 4.39 40-yard dash at his Pro Day.

Cleveland Browns (A+) – The year of the Browns continues. This team dominated the draft with a top cornerback – Greg Newsome II from Northwestern – and maybe the third best linebacker deep in round two in Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

Cincinnati Bengals (B-) – Reuniting QB Joe Burrow with his former LSU teammate WR Ja’Marr Chase is going to be fun.  While many were upset that they didn’t go with O-line on the first pick, they did grab three linemen in this draft, including Clemson T Jackson Carman.

 

AFC South

Jacksonville Jaguars (B) – The Jags got their franchise quarterback in Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, but that was a hard one to screw up. Jacksonville drafted a lot of talent overall, but I am not a massive fan of the Clemson RB Travis Etienne pick later in the first round.

Houston Texans (C-) – The Texans not having a great draft? Shocker. They had just five picks because of the Laremy Tunsil trade last year. The top two came in the third round and the rest were rounds 5 and 6. Stanford QB Davis Mills was their best pick.

Indianapolis Colts (B-) – The Kwity Paye pick will be a ton of fun to watch, and you have to hope that the Michigan EDGE rusher pans out. The Colts have had success picking rushers and they got two in their first two selections. Nothing else stands out.

Tennessee Titans (A) – There wasn’t a lot of flashiness in this draft for the Titans, but they filled their holes and improved their defense. The selection of Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley was a gamble but if he stays healthy, this was a great draft.

 

AFC East

New England Patriots (A) – Getting Alabama QB Mac Jones at 15 could not have worked out any better for the Pats if they wanted. My favorite selection was Alabama DT Christian Barmore in round two, a guy who easily could have gone in the first round.

Miami Dolphins (B+) – Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle and Miami EDGE Jaelen Philips with picks one and two? This was a home run draft. Waddle is reunited with QB Tua Tagovailoa and should be fun to watch.  Taking Oregon S Jevon Holland was a bit of a surprise.

New York Jets (A+) – I’m shocked to give them this grade, but the Jets got their franchise QB in BYU’s Zach Wilson and USC stud OL Alijah Vera-Tucker to put next to last year’s first round pick Mekhi Becton.  It was an absolute steal getting Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore in round two.

Buffalo Bills (B) – This was a great draft for them to build their offensive line and grab pass rushers, they did both of those things well. Miami EDGE Gregory Rousseau has incredible freakish potential at 6-foot-7 with 34.75-inch arms.

 

AFC West 

Denver Broncos (A) – Obviously the Aaron Rodgers trade to Denver rumors didn’t pan out, but getting the top cornerback – Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II – to add to a already strong secondary and a new running back in North Carolina’s Javonte Williams works too.

Las Vegas Raiders (C+) – My favorite selection here is S Trevor Moehrig out of TCU.  Nothing else really wowed me. If anything, Vegas jumped the gun in round one by selecting Alabama T Alex Leatherwood.  He was the ninth-ranked tackle on the PFF Big Board.

Kansas City Chiefs (B+) – Despite no day one pick, the Chiefs made out like bandits with Missouri LB Nick Bolton and Oklahoma C Creed Humphrey. Both are potential day one starters. Tennessee G Trey Smith could be an excellent pick up in the sixth round.

Las Angeles Chargers (A+) – The Chargers got my favorite tackle in the draft – Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater and my sneaky favorite cornerback in Florida State’s Asante Samuel Jr. Tennessee WR Josh Palmer could develop into a playmaker for QB Justin Herbert.

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