Sunday, April 29, 2012
Mel Kiper Jr.'s draft grades are in
By Dan Graziano
With the required disclaimer about not being able to grade a draft based on performance the day after it ends, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has issued his immediate post-draft grades based on how well teams addressed their needs. His NFC East grades:
Philadelphia Eagles: A
Dallas Cowboys: C+
New York Giants: C+
Washington Redskins: C+
Yeah, other than the Eagles, whom he put at the very top of his list, Mel didn't think much of the NFC East's draft. The other three teams all rank in the bottom 11 of Mel's list.
I agree on the Eagles, who seemed to have one of those drafts in which everything fell their way. They didn't even need to pay too heavy a price in their first-round trade up for Fletcher Cox, as the Cowboys and Redskins did in their first-round trades. Mel calls this "One of the best drafts in terms of lining up needs and getting guys at spots where I didn't think they'd still be around."
Mel's Cowboys grade, along with everyone else's Cowboys grade, is inflated by the fact that they secured the best defensive player in the draft in Morris Claiborne with their first-round move up. But the Cowboys entered this draft with a lot of needs, and they really didn't fill any in ways that are likely to help them in 2012: "Really thought Dallas would get a player along the offensive line and improve the run game. I also don't see any immediate help for the pass rush. But the Cowboys can feel pretty good about landing Claiborne."
I liked the Giants' draft better than Mel did, but he seems to think they reached for David Wilson at No. 32 after their top choice, Doug Martin, went one pick earlier, and he may have a point. All in all, Mel says the Giants got "some helpful pieces, but Wilson needs to provide impact," and there is some question about whether he will.
The Redskins' draft will forever be the Robert Griffin III draft, for good or for ill. Mel's grade is kept down, he says, but the extraordinary price the team paid to move up to draft their new quarterback: "I think RG3 will be a very good player, and I think he can be pretty good right out of the gate, but he's this draft for Washington, and he came at the cost of (likely) three future starters."