2015 NFL Draft grades: Bears, Texans, Falcons earn high marks

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When Bucky Brooks graded all 32 teams for their 2015 NFL Draft hauls, he identified seven whose exceptional rookie classes were worthy of an "A" mark. Here's what he had to say about the teams that stood out from the rest:

ATLANTA FALCONS: The Falcons have started to reshape their roster after enduring a pair of disappointing seasons that exposed deficiencies on both sides of the ball. Defensively, the team desperately needed to find a dynamic DPR (designated pass rusher) to upgrade an attack that mustered just 22 sacks in 2014 (worst in the NFC). Vic Beasley should make an immediate impact chasing down quarterbacks from the blind side. The Falcons continued to upgrade the defense with the selections of cornerback Jalen Collins and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. Collins, taken at No. 42 overall, gives the team the long, rangy corner needed to play aggressive bump-and-run coverage in new coach Dan Quinn's scheme. The Falcons also upgraded the explosiveness of their offense with the additions of running back Tevin Coleman and receiver Justin Hardy. Coleman is an electric one-cut back with the running style that perfectly matches the zone-based scheme Atlanta will use under new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. GRADE: A

DALLAS COWBOYS: Although many assume Stephen Jones has replaced Jerry Jones as the primary football decision maker in Dallas, the Cowboys are still prone to gamble on intriguing talents. The "high risk, high reward" approach helped the Cowboys land three prospects who carried first-round grades on draft boards around the league. The team took a flier on the ultra-athletic Byron Jones, who created quite a buzz at the combine with his spectacular jumping ability, as a potential CB1. While he is an unfinished product on the island, Jones could slide inside and blossom as a free safety. Randy Gregory is arguably the most natural pass rusher in the 2015 class, but character concerns scared teams off in Round 1. If he plays to his potential and avoids trouble off the field, he could give the Cowboys a premier rusher to build around. And this week, Dallas added another premier prospect in La'el Collins, who went undrafted after he became involved in the murder investigation of a former girlfriend. (That investigation is ongoing and Collins has not been named as a suspect.) The ex-LSU standout adds another dimension to a young, gritty offensive line that overpowers opponents at the point of attack. GRADE: A

HOUSTON TEXANS: The Texans deserve kudos for executing a draft strategy that allowed them to land three players who carried first-round grades on various boards across the league. Kevin Johnson and linebacker Benardrick McKinney are pegged as immediate starters. Both guys bring solid skills and impressive football IQs to the table, and the Texans' highly regarded defense shouldn't skip a beat with a pair of youngsters occupying key roles in 2015. Jaelen Strong gives the team a big-bodied pass catcher to line up opposite DeAndre Hopkins. He should blossom into a red-zone threat for the Texans and give Ryan Mallett or Brian Hoyer a nice target to pinpoint in critical moments. Overall, the Texans' draft haul puts them in position to overtake the Colts as the top team in the AFC South. GRADE: A

NEW YORK JETS: General manager Mike Maccagnan must be praised for his astute management of the draft board last weekend. The first-time decision maker showed exceptional discipline and poise while acquiring blue-chip talent throughout the draft. Landing Leonard Williams was certainly an unexpected event, but taking the best player available could help the Jets field a dominant defense for the next five years. With Lorenzo Mauldin also coming on board as a third-round pick, Gang Green fortified its top unit with smart drafting. Second-round selection Devin Smith gives the Jets' aerial attack a vertical stretch receiver. His speed and explosiveness will open up the field for Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, while giving Geno Smith a big-play option on every play. Bryce Petty will not compete for the starting QB job in 2015, but matching the Baylor standout with a creative play designer (Chan Gailey) could pay off for New York down the road. GRADE: A

CHICAGO BEARS: GM Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox, both in their first year with Chicago, are intent on rebuilding the Bears with a bunch of intelligent, hard-nosed football players with non-stop motors. Fox, in particular, covets explosive big-bodied athletes at every position, which is why the Bears' draft features some of the top testers in pre-draft workouts. Kevin White is a dynamic pass catcher with exceptional speed, quickness and burst. He is a natural vertical stretch receiver who could blossom as a WR1 in the Windy City opposite Alshon Jeffery. Defensive tackle Eddie Goldman is a behemoth on the interior, but he plays light on his feet and provides the Bears with a run-stuffer/pocket-pusher at the point of attack. Offensive lineman Hroniss Grasu and running back Jeremy Langford didn't command a lot of attention during the pre-draft process, but each is a rock-solid prospect with the potential to contribute immediately as a role player. GRADE: A-

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: It's unfortunate that the Jaguars' production on the field hasn't matched their talent acquisition under general manager David Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley to this point, but the team is certainly headed in the right direction, based on the solid roster rebuild. The exceptional retooling continued with the addition of Dante Fowler Jr. to anchor the defense on the edges. A hard-nosed, energetic playmaker with disruptive skills, he can deliver impact production as a first-year starter. Offensively, the Jaguars continue to add pieces that will help quarterback Blake Bortles thrive as a playmaker. T.J. Yeldon is an electric feature back with exceptional skills as a runner/receiver. He will team with fellow rookies A.J. Cann (guard) and Rashad Greene (receiver) to boost a promising young offensive nucleus in Jacksonville. Keep an eye on safety James Sample and defensive tackle Michael Bennett as underrated prospects who could develop into key contributors. GRADE: A-

UPDATE: Fowler tore his left ACL during rookie minicamp practice on Friday and will miss the entire 2015 season.

NEW YORK GIANTS: The Giants aren't flashy on draft day, but the team has put together strong classes in back-to-back years. General manager Jerry Reese added three players with the potential to start from Day 1 while addressing critical needs in multiple areas. Ereck Flowers is a rough and rugged edge blocker adept at moving bodies off the ball. He not only upgrades the physicality at the point of attack, but allows the Giants to reshuffle the offensive line (kicking Justin Pugh to guard). Landon Collins and Owamagbe Odighizuwa could crack the lineup as rookie starters based on their athleticism and skills. Collins, in particular, gives the Giants an athletic safety with the potential to blitz, cover and roam around the box or deep middle. Lastly, Geremy Davis is capable of earning a roster spot solely based on his athleticism and special teams potential. All in all, the Giants significantly upgraded their roster over the weekend. GRADE: A-

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL, DIVISION-BY-DIVISION DRAFT REPORT CARDS.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks

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