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Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The right draft class to be grading now: 2006

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Thanks to JD in Houston who passed on this link to an excellent piece by Mike Reiss, in which he passes out grades for the 2006 draft.

That's who should be graded and assessed now, guys who've been in the league for three seasons. We've got the perspective now to laud the Texans for going with Mario Williams and to wonder about the Titans' read on Vince Young.

I share Mike Silver's stance on quick-turn grading -- this piece from December should be required reading for everyone demanding or eating up letters for his or her team on Monday.

The gist, with apologies to Mel Kiper:

"Here's how it works: A few days after the Super Bowl, writers and talking heads who devote their autumns to watching pro football suddenly start fronting as experts on the college game. Based largely on the intentional misinformation being spread by team officials, as well as the confident cackling of draftniks like Mel Kiper Jr., the faux experts, via clever devices like the mock draft, form a consensus as to which players should go in what order.

"Then the actual draft takes place, and the same faux experts assign grades to each team based on the selections it just made. If a team picks players that were rated highly by the writers and analysts going into the draft, it gets a good grade. If a team chooses players that didn't get as much collective attention, it gets a lousy grade."

We don't like to wait, but on this we should.

Onto Reiss' thoughtful analysis.