2016 NFL Draft: Quick-snap grades for NFC teams

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Here are my evaluations on how each team utilized their assets during the 2016 NFL Draft. Grades for Days 1 (Round 1) and 2 (Rounds 2-3) are weighed more heavily than Day 3's (Rounds 4-7) in the overall grade.

NFC East


Dallas Cowboys
Draft picks: Ezekiel Elliott (No. 4 overall), Jaylon Smith (No. 34 overall), Maliek Collins (No. 67 overall), Charles Tapper (No. 101), Dak Prescott (No. 135), Anthony Brown (No. 189), Kavon Frazier (No. 212), Darius Jackson (No. 216), Rico Gathers (No. 217)
Day 1 grade: B+
Day 2 grade: B+
Day 3 grade: B+
Overall grade: B+
The skinny: I love Ezekiel Elliott as a player. There's always concern when a running back is taken early in the draft, however, because of attrition at the position.

Choosing Smith in the early second round was a gamble worth taking. Collins was pushed up boards more than his play indicated, but he does have the size and athleticism to be a factor inside. Tapper will give the team the power rush they're looking for, although some Cowboys fans wondered if it should have been addressed earlier in the draft. Prescott was a solid pick as a backup, and maybe more if he continues to improve his accuracy. Dallas then found very interesting players from the MAC in Frazier and Jackson, as well as an intriguing prospect in Gathers.

New York Giants
Draft picks: Eli Apple (No. 10 overall), Sterling Shepard (No. 40 overall), Darian Thompson (No. 71 overall), B.J. Goodson (No. 109), Paul Perkins (No. 149), Jerell Adams (No. 184)
Day 1 grade: C
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: B+
The skinny: Apple fills a need and the young man has a lot of potential. There's a gamble here, though, especially when Vernon Hargreaves was available. The receiver position was looking a bit thin for the Giants, so picking up a bargain in Shepard was brilliant. Thompson didn't test well, but he plays like a boss against the pass and is not contact-shy versus the run.

Goodson is a strong pick in the fourth round. I figured he would go in the third. Perkins isn't the biggest back, but he's going down without a fight. Adams is one of the best values in the entire draft in the sixth round. Those three picks should be immediate contributors for the Giants.

Philadelphia Eagles
Draft picks: Carson Wentz (No. 2 overall), Isaac Seumalo (No. 79 overall), Wendell Smallwood (No. 153), Halapoulivaati Vaitai (No. 164), Blake Countess (No. 196), Jalen Mills (No. 233), Alex McCalister (No. 240), Joe Walker (No. 251)
Day 1 grade: C
Day 2 grade: C
Day 3 grade: B
Overall grade: C+
The skinny: The Eagles are gambling big (gave up CB Byron Maxwell, LB Kiko Alonso, 2017 first-round pick, two top-100 picks this year, 2018 second-rounder) on the ability of Carson Wentz to become a legitimate top-tier starter. We'll see.

Howie Roseman had just one pick in the third round after the trade for Wentz. Seumalo is an athletic guard prospect who should play well for them.

I like Smallwood as a complement to Ryan Mathews, and Countess was a solid pick for depth in the secondary. Countess, Mills, and McCalister will make a difference.

Washington Redskins
Draft picks: Josh Doctson (No. 22 overall), Su'a Cravens (No. 53 overall), Kendall Fuller (No. 84 overall), Matthew Ioannidis (No. 152), Nate Sudfeld (No. 187), Steven Daniels (No. 232), Keith Marshall (No. 242)
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: B
Overall grade: A-
The skinny: Kirk Cousins needs as many weapons as he can get. DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon won't be around forever, so Doctson is a very good investment as a downfield threat. Washington met needs on defense on DAy 2, selecting an outstanding football players in Cravens (whether he's a safety or linebacker in their system) and taking advantage of Fuller's drop due to injury.

The tenacious Ioannidis will contribute on the defensive line, inside and outside, very soon. Bringing Sudfeld makes sense given the team's quarterback depth chart and Jay Gruden's ability to work with young passers. Daniels is a pounder who has a career in front of him. Marshall has first-round talent and the injury history of an undrafted free agent.

NFC North


Chicago Bears
Draft picks: Leonard Floyd (No. 9 overall), Cody Whitehair (No. 56 overall), Jonathan Bullard (No. 72 overall), Nick Kwiatkoski (No. 113), Deon Bush (No. 124), Deiondre' Hall (No. 127), Jordan Howard (No. 150), DeAndre Houston-Carson (No. 185), Daniel Braverman (No. 230)
Day 1 grade: C
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A-
Overall grade: B
The skinny: Chicago needed a pass rusher in the worst way, and Vic Fangio found one in Floyd. Not everyone is sold on his ability to be an elite player, however. Normally, giving up a fourth-round pick wouldn't be a big deal; in this deep draft, that's like giving up a starter.

Getting better on the offensive and defensive lines was a priority for the Bears, and Whitehair and Bullard presented excellent value.

Kwiatowski was worth a mid-fourth-round pick, though it's a bit curious considering the money they spent on two inside linebackers in free agency. The secondary got help with a solid pick in Bush. Howard is a powerful back who will compete for playing time right away. Houston-Carson is a versatile defender worth the late-round pick. Braverman is another version of Marc Mariani, except maybe even quicker.

Detroit Lions
Draft picks: Taylor Decker (No. 16 overall), A'Shawn Robinson (No. 46 overall), Graham Glasgow (No. 95 overall), Miles Killebrew (No. 111), Joe Dahl (No. 151), Antwione Williams (No. 169), Jake Rudock (No. 191), Anthony Zettel (No. 202), Jimmy Landes (No. 210), Dwayne Washington (No. 236)
Day 1 grade: B
Day 2 grade: B
Day 3 grade: B-
Overall grade: B
The skinny: Riley Reiff and Decker are a strong duo from Big Ten schools to help Matthew Stafford stay upright. But with Calvin Johnson retired, is the fourth-best tackle a better value than the second-best receiver? If Laquon Treadwell or Michael Thomas turn out to be all-stars, the team might have missed out.

If Robinson can get more consistent, the Lions could have found a steal. Glasgow impressed in the all-star game circuit, and possesses versatility that the Lions coveted.

The hard-hitting Killebrew should be a tough special-teamer along with a solid defender. Picking a third offensive lineman in Dahl (a versatile player with good value in the fifth) showed the team's need there. Building defensive depth with Williams and Zettel is a good plan. Picking a long snapper is always interesting, but it might have been better to get a cornerback at some point.

Green Bay Packers
Draft picks: Kenny Clark (No. 27 overall), Jason Spriggs (No. 48 overall), Kyler Fackrell (No. 88 overall), Blake Martinez (No. 131), Dean Lowry (No. 137), Trevor Davis (No. 163), Kyle Murphy (No. 200)
Day 1 grade: B+
Day 2 grade: B
Day 3 grade: B+
Overall grade: B+
The skinny: There wasn't much question that the Packers were going to bolster their front seven with their opening pick. Another no-brainer will be fan comparisons of the careers of their selection, Clark, and two available Alabama studs: linebacker Reggie Ragland and nose tackle Jarran Reed.

Green Bay desperately needed help at the tackle position, and trading up for Spriggs filled that hole. It was an atypical move for Ted Thompson, giving up a mid-round choice for a nine-spot move upwards. Fackrell has good potential to help rush the passer on the outside.

The Packers needed an inside linebacker, and they got one with athleticism and intelligence in Martinez. Lowry is a five-technique who will be part of the rotation. Davis is a probable returner who showed the best hands at the combine. Murphy gives more depth at the tackle, though fans are hoping the team gets a good tight end as an undrafted free agent.

Minnesota Vikings
Draft picks: Laquon Treadwell (No. 23 overall), Mackensie Alexander (No. 54 overall), Willie Beavers (No. 121), Kentrell Brothers (No. 160), Moritz Boehringer (No. 180), David Morgan (No. 188), Stephen Weatherly (No. 227), Jayron Kearse (No. 244)
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A
The skinny: General manager Rick Spielman got the most physical receiver in the draft in Treadwell. There's no reason he won't be a to-go guy for Teddy Bridgewater. Alexander is an excellent defender, even without the turnover production. Then Spielman picked up two 2017 mid-round selections from Miami. That's building draft capital.

Spielman found quality players in Beavers, Brothers, Weatherly, and Morgan. Kearse was worth a shot in the seventh round. Boehringer's upside is highly intriguing.

NFC South


Atlanta Falcons
Draft picks: Keanu Neal (No. 17 overall), Deion Jones (No. 52 overall), Austin Hooper No. 81 overall), De'Vondre Campbell (No. 115), Wes Schweitzer (No. 195), Devin Fuller (No. 238)
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: C+
Overall grade: A-
The skinny: Keanu Neal is scheduled to be a strong safety for the Falcons, flying all over the field and aiding in coverage. That's exactly what they needed. The team found great values in the speedy Jones and athletic tight end Hooper, meeting two big needs.

Whether Campbell plays a pass rush or Sam linebacker role, he'll be effective for the Falcons. Schweitzer and Fuller provide depth at key positions. It was expected that the Falcons would pick additional defensive ends, but that didn't come to pass.

Carolina Panthers
Draft picks: Vernon Butler (No. 30 overall), James Bradberry (No. 62 overall), Daryl Worley (No. 77 overall), Zack Sanchez (No. 141), Beau Sandland (No. 252)
Day 1 grade: C
Day 2 grade: C-
Day 3 grade: C
Overall grade: C-
The skinny: I like the potential of Butler, but depth at defensive tackle in this year's draft and the team's existing talent at the position makes me wonder if picking offensive tackle Germain Ifedi or pass rusher Kevin Dodd wouldn't have been a better move.

The Panthers picked up two defensive backs in the second and third rounds, both with good traits. Some other need areas were left alone, however, like the offensive line. And trading a couple of Day 3 picks was a handsome price to pay to get Worley.

Sanchez isn't very thick, but he is competitive and able to make turnovers. But while they took a third defensive back, and found an intriguing tight end in Sandland, they didn't address the offensive line or running back spots.

New Orleans Saints
Draft picks: Sheldon Rankins (No. 12 overall), Michael Thomas (No. 47 overall), Vonn Bell (No. 61 overall), David Onyemata (No. 120), Daniel Lasco (No. 237)
Day 1 grade: B
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: C-
Overall grade: B+
The skinny: Everyone knew the Saints needed a dynamic interior force that they haven't had since Sedrick Ellis. Rankins should fill that role well. He'll have to prove he can handle his run-stopping duties, however, to be worth this pick.

I love, love, love the Saints picking two Buckeyes in the second round. I'm not a big fan of giving up a fourth-round pick in this draft, but Bell was a darn good player at pick No. 61. Thomas will be a Marques Colston-type producer in New Orleans.

Onyemata was a worthwhile project player like fellow defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, but they probably took him a round early. If Lasco can stay on the field, he can use his speed and agility to make plays.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Draft picks: Vernon Hargreaves (No. 11 overall), Noah Spence (No. 39 overall), Roberto Aguayo (No. 59 overall), Ryan Smith (No. 108), Caleb Benenoch (No. 148), Devante Bond (No. 183), Dan Vitale (No. 197)
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: C
Day 3 grade: B+
Overall grade: B
The skinny: The Bucs picked up a fourth-round pick, which in this draft is a potential starter. And they got the playmaker they wanted at No. 9 in Hargreaves! You knew the Bucs would pick a pass rusher in this draft, even after signing Robert Ayers. Spence is a good fit for their defense, and fell in the right spot in the draft given his off-field issues. Picking a kicker in the second round will always be questioned, especially when you give up an early fourth-round pick in a deep draft to do so. But he's a darn good kicker -- a position becoming more important with the recent rule changes.

Obviously the team understood the issues they faced in the secondary, getting a well-respected cover guy in Smith. Benenoch would have been picked in the third round in a draft with less depth. He'll be a starter at guard or tackle very soon. Northwestern "Superback" Vitale can fit multiple roles for the Bucs.

NFC West


Arizona Cardinals
Draft picks: Robert Nkemdiche (No. 29 overall), Brandon Williams (No. 92 overall), Evan Boehm (No. 128 overall), Marqui Christian (No. 167 overall), Cole Toner (No. 170 overall), Harlan Miller (No. 205 overall)
Day 1 grade: B
Day 2 grade: B
Day 3 grade: C
Overall grade: B
The skinny: The Cardinals trusted that Tyrann Mathieu would fly the straight-and-narrow, and are banking the same is true of Nkemdiche. If he harnesses his athleticism without an issue, then this pick could look great. If not, it's a wasted opportunity to improve the secondary or another part of the team with someone without character issues.

Williams is a recently converted corner with loads of potential, but who might be a bit of a project to take with the only Day 2 pick. They did get defensive end Chandler Jones, though. That should count for something.

Carson Palmer was happy to see a stout center in Boehm picked in the fourth round. Their fifth-round picks were not of particularly good value.

Los Angeles Rams
Draft picks: Jared Goff (No. 1 overall), Tyler Higbee (No. 110), Pharoh Cooper (No. 117), Temarrick Hemingway (No. 177), Josh Forrest (No. 190), Mike Thomas (No. 206)
Day 1 grade: B
Day 2 grade: Incomplete
Day 3 grade: D
Overall grade: C
The skinny: Goff is the best quarterback in the class, so there's no issue there. The team gave up a lot of picks to get him; the Rams received a bunch of picks in the RGIII trade, however, and it didn't improve the team because it needed a quarterback. So I can't seriously downgrade the move.

The Rams didn't have any Day 2 picks due to the trade up for Goff.

It was a bit of a surprise when Higbee came off the board in the fourth round given his off-field issues. He'll be a seam threat if he can stay on the straight and narrow, though. The Rams kept giving Goff weapons with a solid pick in Cooper, Hemingway and Thomas. I like Forrest as an inside linebacker, but the receiver picks left the team without any offensive line or defensive back help.

San Francisco 49ers
Draft picks: DeForest Buckner (No. 7 overall), Joshua Garnett (No. 28 overall), Will Redmond (No. 68 overall), Rashard Robinson (No. 133), Ronald Blair (No. 142), John Theus (No. 145), Fahn Cooper (No. 174), Jeff Driskel (No. 207), Kelvin Taylor (No. 211), Aaron Burbridge (No. 213), Prince Charles Iworah (No. 249)
Day 1 grade: B
Day 2 grade: B+
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: B+
The skinny: Buckner is an excellent pick in the top seven as the impact defensive end they've missed since Justin Smith has left. Garnett is my favorite offensive line prospect in this draft, and the 49ers need to replace Alex Boone. But giving up two picks in the deepest draft in history for a guard is a tough sell for me. Redmond is coming off an injury, but teams knew he would come off the board in the third round so that was no surprise. He should work his way into a nickel or starting role when back on the field.

In Round 4, Robinson's athleticism was worth the gamble. They got great value in the Blair pick. He should be a starter as a five-technique despite a poor combine workout. Theus and Cooper are swing tackle candidates who should only get better with time.

Seattle Seahawks
Draft picks: Germain Ifedi (No. 31 overall), Jarran Reed (No. 49 overall), C.J. Prosise (No. 90 overall), Nick Vannett (No. 94 overall), Rees Odhiambo (No. 97 overall), Quinton Jefferson (No. 147), Alex Collins (No. 171), Joey Hunt (No. 215), Kenny Lawler (No. 243), Zac Brooks (No. 247)
Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A
The skinny: Trading down to grab an extra third-round pick in this very deep draft deserves a big grade. Then, the Seahawks got an equally big player in Ifedi, who can dominate at guard or tackle with some technique coaching.

The Seahawks traded up to get Reed, a nice fit to fill in for Brandon Mebane in the middle of the defensive line. Prosise could be the next Matt Forte, so getting him at pick No. 90 was great value. I do have a bit of a concern picking Odhiambo in the third round, but only because of durability concerns. If he can stay healthy, he should be a starting left tackle.

Jefferson fits the strong and long defensive linemen that Pete Carroll likes. Collins could be Beast Mode Jr., and Brooks is also a tough guy. Hunt is a solid center. Lawler could have been a fourth- or fifth-round pick, so hats off to the Seahawks.

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter @chad_reuter.

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