2013 NFL Draft Grades: Panthers, Patriots, Raiders underachieve

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It's way too early to honestly call any team's draft class "bad," but it is fair to say that some hauls don't quite look up to snuff. When he graded out the 2013 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks found that six teams deserved "C" marks for one reason or another. Here's what he had to say about these apparent underachievers (click on team names for full draft classes):

CAROLINA PANTHERS: Ron Rivera needs to rectify the Panthers' leaky defense to help the team make a run at the postseason. The defensive-minded head coach took steps to remedy the problem by adding two defensive tackles in the early rounds. Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short add size, strength and power to the front line. Additionally, they are instinctive players with the capacity to make plays against the run or pass. Short, in particular, is a dynamic rusher with the first-step speed and quickness to wreak havoc on the interior. Kenjon Barner joins a crowded backfield, but adds some sizzle with his crafty game. GRADE: C+

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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: The Colts' surprising playoff berth a season ago was fueled by the stellar contributions of many first-year players. To make another run at the postseason, the Colts will need a similar effort from a rookie class that features solid (but unheralded) players at every turn. Bjoern Werner is a productive pass rusher with energy and skills. He doesn't display the flash or sizzle of many counterparts in this draft class, but he has a knack for getting to the quarterback. Hugh Thornton and Khaled Holmes are hard-nosed interior blockers who should fortify the Colts' leaky front line. Montori Hughes is a boom-or-bust pick with remarkable talent and a suspect motor. Kerwynn Williams adds some speed and quickness to the Colts' running back rotation. GRADE: C+

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: The Patriots tend to opt for substance over sizzle in the draft, and this year was no exception. Bill Belichick addressed obvious defensive needs by adding OLB Jamie Collins, CB Logan Ryan and S Duron Harmon, who will fill voids at pass rusher and defensive back. Collins, in particular, gives the Patriots the high-energy defender they've been missing in recent years; he is an extremely explosive athlete off the edge, showing an uncanny knack for getting to the quarterback. Receiver Aaron Dobson has a chance to be a good player in the Patriots' system, with his combination of size, speed and athleticism. If he fulfills his potential, he could become an effective perimeter complement to tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. GRADE: C+

CHICAGO BEARS: General manager Phil Emery took a hammer to the Bears' roster this offseason, rebuilding the team into what should be a more effective group on both sides of the ball. Signing several veteran free agents to fill immediate needs allowed him to implement a draft-day plan in which he could take chances on productive players, regardless of position. Offensive guard Kyle Long is considered a reach, based on his inexperience and the Bears' draft position, but he could make that a moot point if he develops into a quality starter early in his career. Jon Bostic, Khaseem Greene and Cornelius Washington will collectively fill the void at linebacker. Each brings athleticism, toughness and instincts -- which could also make them standout special teams players. Overall, the Bears' class has plenty of talent and potential, but the uncertainty surrounding the top selection brings the grade down. GRADE: C

CLEVELAND BROWNS: The mismanagement of draft picks by the previous administration left the Browns lacking ammunition with which to improve their roster. However, the team landed a pair of potential impact defenders in pass rusher Barkevious Mingo and cornerback Leon McFadden. Mingo, in particular, is an athletic freak with the speed and quickness to create disruption off the edge. Now, he is not polished as a rusher at this point, but his overall athleticism could shine in defensive coordinator Ray Horton's aggressive scheme. McFadden is a potential starter with a balanced skill set that will enable the Browns to use press or off coverage on the perimeter. GRADE: C

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OAKLAND RAIDERS: The Raiders traded down from No. 3 to 12 to land D.J. Hayden and an extra pick, but the compensation fell well short of par, according to the standard trade chart. Additionally, Hayden was considered a bit of a reach as a top-15 pick, which leads to more questions about the overall transaction. Sio Moore is an impressive hybrid defender with the skills to affect the run and pass. He specialized in creating disruption at Connecticut and could develop into a force quickly with the Raiders. Menelik Watson addresses the team's need at offensive tackle, but his lack of football experience could lead to a slow transition to the pro game. Tyler Wilson joins a competitive situation at quarterback. He is an intriguing talent capable of winning the starting job in training camp. GRADE: C

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks

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