Sports Outside the Beltway

Team Grades for 2006 NFL Draft

Rick Gosselin is a tough grader, giving most teams a “C” and not giving extra credit to teams who are picking late in the round or who foolishly traded away their picks in the previous draft and thus entered this one shorthanded.

Notable on his report card:

Dallas: The Cowboys addressed all their needs: size in the front defensive seven, a tight end, safety, kick returner plus depth on the offensive line. The player who could have the quickest impact is Green, the kick returner.

Sounds pretty good, right? Grade: C. I told you, he’s tough.

Washington: With only one pick in the first four rounds, it was tough for Washington to build up any momentum. The draft for the Redskins is just a light exercise on the calendar between Presidents Day and the Fourth of July. (Grade: F)

Arizona: Leinart, Lutui, Pope and Watson were all first-day values that slid right to the Cardinals. Leinart couldn’t pick a better situation. The perfect weather conditions won’t challenge his arm and he has two great wideouts. (Grade: A)

Cleveland:The Browns found quality in every round. They took Pac-10 rushing champion Harrison in the fifth and the draft’s best fullback in the sixth. Wimbley and Jackson give Romeo Crennel starting linebackers in his 3-4 defense. (Grade: A+)

I’ll update with other expert analysts’ picks as I find them.

Update 1: Mel Kiper weighs in. He’s a little easier a grader than Goose and has a different board, based entirely on his own assessments of players vice Goose’s consultation with NFL GMs to get a consenus of the 32 teams’ boards.

Dallas Cowboys: GRADE: B-

They drafted a very versatile and talented OLB in Bobby Carpenter. Anthony Fasano is a good tight end, but the Cowboys already have Jason Witten, and more importantly, they didn’t get the free safety and offensive line help I thought they needed. Skyler Green brings speed to the return game, and I do like getting DT Montavious Stanley in the sixth round.

So, a slightly harsher assessment but slightly higher grade than Gosselin gave the ‘Boys. The choice of Fasano with the 2nd pick surprised many of us who are Dallas fans, given the strength already at that position, but Jerry Jones insists that he wants two TEs on the field virtually every play.

Kiper gave no A’s and no F’s, which is interesting. He gives the Redskins a C and and Cleveland a B, radically different than Gosselin’s F and A+, respectively.

Via Sean Hackbarth, I see that YahooNews has put up its report cards with the grading done by Charles Robinson. Frankly, I’ve never heard of the guy and would give his analysis less weight that Gosselin’s or Kiper’s. Still, his views are being published by a reputatable outlet, so I’m adding him. He grades the NFC and AFC separately.

He gives the Cowboys a C+.

High marks – Bobby Carpenter is a solid pick at No. 18 overall and gives the Cowboys impressive depth at outside linebacker. Defensive end Jason Hatcher is huge and could end up being a great value selection in the third round. Wide receiver Skyler Green should be productive on special teams.

Low marks – No offensive line help until the seventh round? That was a surprise for such a pressing need, and the Cowboys had quality offensive tackles on the board when they used their second-rounder on tight end Anthony Fasano. With Jason Witten on the roster, using such a high pick on tight end seemed curious.

As noted earlier, though, Jerry Jones explained to the Dallas media that he intends to use two TE sets routinely.

The Eagles, Packers, Cardinals, and Titans all earn “A” grades from Robinson with the Broncos getting an A-minus. Nobody gets below a C-.

Final grade: C-plus

Update 2: ESPN collects several roundups. The precis:

Everyone has an opinion, especially when it comes to how teams fared at the NFL draft each year. And this year is no different.

The intrigue started on the night before the draft began when the Houston Texans came to terms with defensive end Mario Williams as the No. 1 overall selection. News of the surprising signing spread quickly around the league. And there were more surprises in store on the first day of the draft when Vince Young went ahead of Matt Leinart, and Leinart fell all the way to Arizona at No. 10.

While many websites are in agreement that the Cardinals enjoyed one of the best weekends, the jury is still out on Houston’s draft class. Other nearly unanimous winners were San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos. But which teams didn’t draft so well according to the experts? Below are the grades handed out by nine different outlets followed by the consensus GPA, based on a 4.0 scale.

Highest Grade: Arizona Cardinals (3.8)
Lowest Grade: Washington Redskins (1.3)

The polls, in addition to Kiper’s and Robinson’s from above:

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Robinson and/or Yahoo Sports broke the Reggie Bush house story. At least we know they do some digging around even if Robinson’s grades are a little inflated.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth | May 1, 2006 | 01:25 pm | Permalink

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