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2018 NFL rookie report card: Ranking each team's class, 1 to 32

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  • By Jeremy Bergman and Nick Shook NFL.com
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The 2018 NFL season is in the books, meaning the 2019 NFL Draft is coming down the pike. But before completely shifting focus to the next crop of prospects entering the league, we took full stock of the rookies who just finished up Year 1.

Over the past couple weeks, NFL.com rolled out division-by-division files featuring grades for each team's rookie class, with Nick Shook handling the AFC and Jeremy Bergman taking on the NFC. Upon completion of this series, Shook and Bergman had a meeting of the minds to officially rank every group, from 1 to 32. Here's the pecking order:

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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: A

Round 1: (No. 6 overall) Quenton Nelson, OG, 16 games/16 starts.
Round 2: (36) Darius Leonard, LB, 15 games/15 starts; (37) Braden Smith, OT, 15 games/13 starts; (52) Kemoko Turay, DE, 14 games/3 starts; (64) Tyquan Lewis, DE, 8 games/6 starts.
Round 4: (104) Nyheim Hines, RB, 16 games/4 starts.
Round 5: (159) Daurice Fountain, WR, 1 game/0 starts; (169) Jordan Wilkins, RB, 16 games/3 starts.
Round 6: (185) Deon Cain, WR, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 7: (221) Matthew Adams, LB, 16 games/5 starts; (235) Zaire Franklin, LB, 16 games/2 starts.

What a class. GM Chris Ballard eschewed sexier picks in the early rounds, instead selecting the best lineman in the draft in Nelson, who immediately paid dividends while earning All-Pro honors. Smith is a competent tackle who could improve into a very good player with proper coaching. Leonard was a revelation at linebacker, taking home Defensive Rookie of the Year while also earning All-Pro honors. Turay's future is bright on the edge after he recorded four sacks in 14 games. Hines was a nice change-of-pace back who found success in the passing game. Cain could develop into a good receiver if he can return to full strength after tearing his ACL in August. Lewis needs more reps to develop, but recorded two sacks in eight games. Wilkins was a nice find in the fifth round. Adams played in all 16 games, recording 33 tackles as a depth defender. Franklin was another depth defender with a less productive rookie campaign. In all, an excellent draft for Ballard, who landed two All-Pros, solidified what was a porous line and helped turn around the Colts.

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CLEVELAND BROWNS: A-

Round 1: (No. 1 overall) Baker Mayfield, QB, 14 games/13 starts; (4) Denzel Ward, CB, 13 games/12 starts.
Round 2: (33) Austin Corbett, T, 11 games/1 start; (35) Nick Chubb, RB, 16 games/9 starts.
Round 3: (67) Chad Thomas, DE, 4 games/0 starts.
Round 4: (105) Antonio Callaway, WR, 16 games/11 starts.
Round 5: (150) Genard Avery, LB, 16 games/5 starts.
Round 6: (175) Damion Ratley, WR, 13 games/3 starts; (188) Simeon Thomas, CB, 0 games/0 starts (waived by Browns in September, spent time on Seahawks' practice squad, currently with Seattle).

Cleveland found plenty of high-level contributors in the early portion of this draft. In fact, had Corbett paired with Joel Bitonio to solve the left side of the line, this would have been a no-doubt home-run class -- but the jury is still out on the guard. Mayfield is a franchise quarterback. Ward is a blanket of a corner who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and only has durability concerns standing in his way. Chubb ripped off his share of big gains. Callaway has plenty of potential as a speedy complement to Jarvis Landry, though he doesn't have the size to function as a No. 1 type of receiver. Avery was very productive in Year 1, especially against the pass, trailing only Bradley Chubb in total pressures among rookie edge defenders, per Pro Football Focus.

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CHICAGO BEARS: A-

Round 1: (8) Roquan Smith, LB, 16 games/14 starts.
Round 2: (39) James Daniels, OG/C, 16 games/10 starts; (51) Anthony Miller, WR, 15 games/4 starts.
Round 4: (115) Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB, 16 games/0 starts.
Round 5: (145) Bilal Nichols, DT, 14 games/6 starts.
Round 6: (181) Kylie Fitts, DE, 6 games/0 starts.
Round 7: (224) Javon Wims, WR, 4 games/0 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: Kevin Toliver, DB, 15 games/1 start.

Few clubs reaped a better haul from the first two rounds of the 2018 draft than Chicago. After sweating out a testy and lengthy holdout with Smith over some restrictive contract language, the two sides made up and wreaked havoc on the NFC. Smith completed a nasty linebacking corps featuring Danny Trevathan and edge rushers Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd, leading the team in tackles (121) and making himself an obvious PFWA All-Rookie honoree. Drafted as a center, Daniels filled in at guard for Eric Kush and started from Week 8 on, holding his own against the likes of Sheldon Richardson and Aaron Donald down the stretch. Miller proved a key part of Chicago's revamped receiving corps, leading the team in touchdown receptions (seven) and TD percentage (21.2). A favorite of Mitchell Trubisky's, Miller should be a starter alongside Allen Robinson in 2019. That trio alone makes this class one of the year's best, regardless of the additions that came afterward. Nichols was the only rookie from the last five rounds to stand out in his first season, racking up as many sacks (three) as interior linemates Roy Robertson-Harris and Eddie Goldman, despite playing fewer defensive snaps than either player.

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NEW YORK GIANTS: A-

Round 1: (2) Saquon Barkley, RB, 16 games/16 starts.
Round 2: (34) Will Hernandez, G, 16 games/16 starts.
Round 3: (66) Lorenzo Carter, LB, 15 games/2 starts; (69) B.J. Hill, DL, 16 games/12 starts.
Round 4: (108) Kyle Lauletta, QB, 2 games/0 starts.
Round 5: (139) RJ McIntosh, DT, 6 games/0 starts.
Supplemental Draft, Round 3: Sam Beal, CB, 0 games/0 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: Sean Chandler, DB, 16 games/0 starts; Tae Davis, LB, 14 games/4 starts; Grant Haley, DB, 10 games/9 starts.

The tri-state debate over whether the Giants should have drafted Barkley or Sam Darnold with the second pick in 2018, knowing that Eli Manning was on the wrong side of 37, will continue incessantly for years to come, single-handedly keeping drive-time sportstalk radio alive past its deserved expiration date. That is until New York picks the right QB of the future, which could happen as early as this spring. HOWEVAH, there is no denying the outstanding achievement that was Saquon's first year as a pro. He lived up to all expectations, making the Pro Bowl while racking up a league-high 2,028 scrimmage yards and 15 scores behind an improving (but still bottom-tier) O-line. Anchoring that line's late-season resurgence was Hernandez, who, along with Barkley, made the PFWA All-Rookie Team. Hill was an unheralded but solid selection, leading all Big Blue D-linemen in snaps, and Carter was a consistent contributor off the bench and the edge. Lauletta, meanwhile, spent more time in the news in 2018 for reckless drives than touchdown drives. The grade stands at A- for now, BUT it self-demotes to a B if NYG doesn't find a QB of the future within 15 months.

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DENVER BRONCOS: A-

Round 1: (No. 5 overall) Bradley Chubb, DE, 16 games/16 starts.
Round 2: (40) Courtland Sutton, WR, 16 games/9 starts.
Round 3: (71) Royce Freeman, RB, 14 games/8 starts; (99) Isaac Yiadom, CB, 13 games/1 starts.
Round 4: (106) Josey Jewell, LB, 16 games/9 starts; (113) DaeSean Hamilton, WR, 14 games/5 starts.
Round 5: (156) Troy Fumagalli, TE, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (183) Sam Jones, OG, 5 games/0 starts; (217) Keishawn Bierria, LB, 16 games/0 starts.
Round 7: (226) Dave Williams, RB, 6 games/0 starts (with Jacksonville).
Notable rookie FA signings: Phillip Lindsay, RB, 15 games/8 starts.

A year after Denver's draft netted the team exactly one legitimate contributor (Garett Bolles), the Broncos came away with a solid haul. Chubb was lost in the shuffle of the season, but he was an impact player opposite Von Miller, racking up 60 tackles and 12 sacks as a rookie. Sutton is the new jump-ball winner Denver sorely needed, and Freeman was one half of a rookie backfield that looks to be set for years to come. Lindsay was the best addition of the entire class, and he came via free agency. Jewell was a great find in the fourth round, starting nine games and appearing in all 16 contests while growing into a starting linebacker. Hamilton found success in spots and Bierria is a solid depth linebacker. Yiadom had an up-and-down season, as a player you noticed more for his mistakes than his positive contributions. The Lindsay pickup, combined with the Chubb selection, carries this grade.

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BALTIMORE RAVENS: B+

Round 1: (No. 25 overall) Hayden Hurst, TE, 12 games/0 starts; (32) Lamar Jackson, QB, 16 games/7 starts.
Round 3: (83) Orlando Brown, T, 16 games/10 starts; (86) Mark Andrews, TE, 16 games/3 starts.
Round 4: (118) Anthony Averett, CB, 11 games/0 starts; (122) Kenny Young, LB, 16 games/3 starts; (132) Jaleel Scott, WR, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 5: (162) Jordan Lasley, WR, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (190) DeShon Elliott, S, 0 games/0 starts; (212) Greg Senat, T, 0 games/0 starts; (215) Bradley Bozeman, C, 14 games/1 start.
Round 7: (238) Zach Sieler, DL, 2 games/0 starts.
Notable free agent signings: Gus Edwards, RB, 11 games/6 starts.

Obviously, the big get in this class is Jackson, who teamed with coach John Harbaugh to save Harbaugh's job and lead the Ravens to an AFC North title, which made the Broncos-bound Joe Flacco expendable. Surprisingly, second-rounder Andrews (34 catches, 552 yards, three TDs) ended up contributing much more in Year 1 than first-rounder Hurst (13 catches, 163 yards, one score), who missed the first four games of the season due to injury. Both could still team up to make a formidable tight end duo in the future; they'll get more chances when Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams, who are both bound for free agency, depart. Senat is an unknown but should get more work in the lead-up to 2019 after dealing with a foot injury. Bozeman is promising as an interior lineman. Young was an immediate contributor as a rotational defender, and we can't forget the out-of-nowhere play of Edwards, who helped carry the rushing load for Baltimore's transformed offense.

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LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: B+

Round 1: (No. 17 overall) Derwin James, S, 16 games/16 starts.
Round 2: (48) Uchenna Nwosu, OLB, 16 games/3 starts.
Round 3: (84) Justin Jones, DT, 15 games/0 starts.
Round 4: (119) Kyzir White, LB, 3 games/3 starts.
Round 5: (155) Scott Quessenberry, C, 15 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (191) Dylan Cantrell, WR, 0 games/0 starts (practice squad for most of season, promoted Dec. 3).
Round 7: (251) Justin Jackson, RB, 13 games/1 start.
Notable rookie FA signings: Mike Badgley, K, 10 games.

This draft class was stocked with instant contributors, with James landing All-Pro honors as a rookie in a loaded defensive backfield, making plays all over the field. Nwosu was quietly one of the better edge-defending rookies, making timely plays for the Chargers, and he has a bright future. Jones' best game came in the playoffs, and he carries plenty of promise moving forward. White transitioned to linebacker and helped Los Angeles' defense after it lost Jatavis Brown to injury. Quessenberry was a depth player with room for growth. Cantrell spent the majority of the season on the practice squad, but Jackson became of use in key games late (due to an injury to Melvin Gordon) and did a solid job. Badgley was a revelation for a team burned by bad kickers in recent years.

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NEW YORK JETS: B+

Round 1: (No. 3 overall) Sam Darnold, QB, 13 games/13 starts.
Round 3: (72) Nathan Shepherd, DT, 16 games/5 starts.
Round 4: (107) Chris Herndon, TE, 16 games/12 starts.
Round 6: (179) Parry Nickerson, CB, 16 games/2 starts; (180) Foley Fatukasi, DT, 1 game/0 starts; (204) Trenton Cannon, RB, 16 games/0 starts.

The Jets are thrilled by the potential of Darnold, who looks like he might be able to develop into the franchise quarterback the team has sorely needed. Herndon was productive as a rookie. In fact, I selected him as New York's unsung hero for the 2018 season. Shepherd himself said last week he's not satisfied with where he is after his rookie season, which is encouraging for a player who didn't make a huge statistical impact but stands to solidify his status as a starter going forward. Nickerson and Cannon were reliable special teamers, and Nickerson could see a larger role in 2019. It's not a deep class, but with Darnold on the roster and Herndon there as a target, it's a solid haul.

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DALLAS COWBOYS: B+

Round 1: (19) Leighton Vander Esch, LB, 16 games/11 starts.
Round 2: (50) Connor Williams, OG, 13 games/10 starts.
Round 3: (81) Michael Gallup, WR, 16 games/8 starts.
Round 4: (116) Dorance Armstrong, DE, 15 games/1 start; (137) Dalton Schultz, TE, 11 games/7 starts.
Round 5: (171) Mike White, QB, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (193) Chris Covington, LB, 5 games/0 starts; (208) Ced Wilson, WR, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 7: (236) Bo Scarbrough, RB, 0 games/0 starts.

Dallas found the present and future of the linebacker position, and it came from Riggins, Idaho. An easy pick for the PFWA All-Rookie Team, Vander Esch stepped in for the oft-injured Sean Lee and finished third in the league in tackles, earning Pro Bowl honors as a replacement for Luke Kuechly. With sideline-to-sideline speed and instinctual ferocity that few young 'backers possess coming out of college, Vander Esch solidified an LB duo alongside Jaylon Smith that is sure to be among the league's best for the next half-decade at least. Behind LVE, Dallas hit on Gallup, who should be assured a starting role across from Amari Cooper next season. Williams shared the left guard spot with Xavier Su'a-Filo to mixed results. Schultz should compete for Dallas' starting tight end spot next season if the club doesn't seek a veteran in free agency.

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ARIZONA CARDINALS: B+

Round 1: (No. 10 overall) Josh Rosen, QB, 14 games/13 starts.
Round 2: (47) Christian Kirk, WR, 12 games/7 starts.
Round 3: (97) Mason Cole, C, 16 games/16 starts.
Round 4: (134) Chase Edmonds, RB, 16 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (182) Chris Campbell, CB, 0 games/0 starts (waived by Arizona and signed to Saints' practice squad).
Round 7: (254) Korey Cunningham, OL, 6 games/6 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: Trent Sherfield, WR, 13 games/2 starts; Colby Gossett, G, 5 games/4 starts; Zeke Turner, ST, 16 games/1 start.

Mission accomplished in Arizona -- kind of. Out of their 2018 draft class, the Cardinals got their quarterback, wide receiver and center of the future. That's three starters in the first three rounds. They were one of just six teams with two rookies on the PFWA All-Rookie Team -- Kirk as a punt returner and free-agent Turner as a special teamer. Cole played 100 percent of the team's offensive snaps, and Rosen, once installed as the starter, didn't miss a snap. All that being said, Steve Wilks' only draft class was not enough to save his hide, and the additions of Kirk, Sherfield, Cole and Cunningham couldn't patch up Arizona's decrepit depth at receiver and on the offensive line, the latter of which was one of the lowest-graded lines by Pro Football Focus at full strength.

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MIAMI DOLPHINS: B+

Round 1: (No. 11 overall) Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, 16 games/11 starts.
Round 2: (42) Mike Gesicki, TE, 16 games/7 starts.
Round 3: (73) Jerome Baker, LB, 16 games/11 starts.
Round 4: (123) Durham Smythe, TE, 15 games/2 starts; (131) Kalen Ballage, RB, 12 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (209) Cornell Armstrong, DB, 15 games/0 starts.
Round 7: (227) Quentin Poling, LB, 0 games/0 starts; (229) Jason Sanders, K, 16 games/0 starts.

Fitzpatrick wasn't at the level of fellow rookie defensive back Derwin James, but he was still effective in a variety of roles for Miami's defense, racking up 80 tackles, nine passes defensed and two interceptions. Gesicki wasn't quite the weapon we expected him to be as a rookie, but has room to improve. Baker was a solid addition at linebacker opposite fellow Buckeye Raekwon McMillan, logging 79 tackles, three passes defensed and one interception. Smythe wasn't much of a statistical factor (six catches for 50 yards) in a crowded tight end group. Ballage was buried at running back behind Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake but exploded for 123 yards and a touchdown in Week 15, which was his lone legitimate opportunity up to that point. He stands as a contender for the starting job in 2019. Armstrong is a developmental prospect. Poling was the lone Miami draft pick to not make the final 53-man roster, but he was added to the practice squad. Sanders was a welcome addition at kicker, making 90 percent of his field goal attempts and 35 of 36 extra-point attempts in his first season. In all, the Dolphins landed three immediate contributors in Fitzpatrick, Baker and Sanders, and that number could rise to five, depending on the play of Ballage and Gesicki.

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CAROLINA PANTHERS: B+

Round 1: (No. 24 overall) D.J. Moore, WR, 16 games/10 starts.
Round 2: (55) Donte Jackson, CB, 16 games/16 starts.
Round 3: (85) Rashaan Gaulden, CB, 15 games/0 starts.
Round 4: (101) Ian Thomas, TE, 16 games/6 starts; (136) Marquis Haynes, LB, 4 games/0 starts.
Round 5: (161) Jermaine Carter, LB, 16 games/1 start.
Round 7: (234) Andre Smith, LB, 3 games/0 starts; (242) Kendrick Norton, DT, 0 games/0 starts (waived by Panthers in September, spent time on practice squad, then signed with Dolphins in December).
Notable rookie FA signings: Kyle Allen, QB, 2 games/1 start.

Drafted two spots away from each other by division rivals, Moore and Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley will be compared to one another forever, or at least through their rookie contracts. Whereas Ridley found the end zone plenty in his first year, Moore did so just twice -- and despite racking up more yards after the catch, Moore was outgained by the Atlanta receiver, as well (821 to 788). Yet, both Moore and Ridley shared PFWA honors as the top receivers from the 2018 rookie class. Moore and Jackson, who started every game for Carolina in 2018 and looked like DROY material for the first half, comprised one of the best tops of a draft this year. The same cannot be said for much of the rest of the haul. Thomas proved useful after Greg Olsen was lost for the season in Week 13, and Allen's standout performance in New Orleans during the season finale could help earn him the backup role in 2019 -- or even the starting position, if Cam Newton's shoulder holds him back.

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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: B

Round 1: (No. 23 overall) Isaiah Wynn, T, 0 games/0 starts; (31) Sony Michel, RB, 13 games/8 starts.
Round 2: (56) Duke Dawson, CB, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 5: (143) Ja'Whaun Bentley, LB, 3 games/2 starts.
Round 6: (178) Christian Sam, LB, 0 games/0 starts; (210) Braxton Berrios, WR, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 7: (219) Danny Etling, QB, 0 games/0 starts; (243) Keion Crossen, DB, 11 games/0 starts; (250) Ryan Izzo, TE, 0 games/0 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: J.C. Jackson, CB, 13 games/5 starts.

Michel was a major factor in New England's ground-based run to the Super Bowl and had a very good rookie season overall. Wynn stands to be a key piece up front if he can return at full strength in 2019. (A torn Achilles ended his 2018 campaign in the preseason.) Dawson's situation was an interesting one, as he was a healthy scratch late in the season after starting it on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury. Jackson, meanwhile, stepped in to play quite well down the stretch, earning five starts, recording 24 tackles, six passes defensed and three interceptions. He played a key role opposite Stephon Gilmore and behind Jason McCourty and could end up being a starter, depending on what happens with McCourty, who's due to become a free agent this offseason. Crossen is a corner with premier speed who is perfect for defending the league's fastest weapons (see: his performance against Tyreek Hill in the AFC title game). As is commonly seen with a class heavy in Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) picks, a lot of these Patriots rookies didn't produce much. The miss -- at least to this point -- on Dawson hurts, but Michel and Jackson should be in New England for years to come, Crossen could carve out his long-term niche, and Wynn could end up being a very good pick.

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BUFFALO BILLS: B

Round 1: (No. 7 overall) Josh Allen, QB, 12 games/11 starts; (16) Tremaine Edmunds, LB, 15 games/15 starts.
Round 3: (96) Harrison Phillips, DT, 16 games/0 starts.
Round 4: (121) Taron Johnson, CB, 11 games/2 starts.
Round 5: (154) Siran Neal, S, 16 games/0 starts; (166) Wyatt Teller, G, 8 games/7 starts.
Round 6: (187) Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, 10 games/1 start.
Round 7: (255) Austin Proehl, WR, 0 games/0 starts (with Los Angeles Rams).
Notable rookie FA signings: Robert Foster, WR, 13 games/3 starts.

The jewel of this class thus far is Edmunds, a linebacker who looks like he'll be a mainstay in Buffalo's defense for years to come. Allen's evaluation depends on who you talk to: He's better than anyone else Buffalo had at the position after trading away Tyrod Taylor, but his passing at multiple depths of the field needs work. His big arm created some highlight completions, and his running ability was the talk of the town, but he's yet to prove he'll be "the guy" in Buffalo. He has the tools to improve, though. Phillips was an excellent grab in the third round and will step into the retiring Kyle Williams' place next season. Johnson was a solid rookie who has plenty of upside as Buffalo searches for a corner opposite Tre'Davious White. Neal was an important special teamer. Teller received some late-season starts but is a bit of an unknown moving forward. McCloud was overtaken by Foster, who appeared out of nowhere to contribute late in the season. Proehl spent 2018 with the Rams and didn't appear in a game. Buffalo's second, third and fourth picks carry this class, which could end up with a better grade if Allen develops into a franchise quarterback.

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DETROIT LIONS: B

Round 1: (20) Frank Ragnow, OG/C, 16 games/16 starts.
Round 2: (43) Kerryon Johnson, RB, 10 games/7 starts.
Round 3: (82) Tracy Walker, S, 16 games/0 starts.
Round 4: (114) Da'Shawn Hand, DE, 13 games/8 starts.
Round 5: (153) Tyrell Crosby, OT, 10 games/2 starts.
Round 7: (237) Nick Bawden, RB, 0 games/0 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: Mike Ford, CB, 7 games/4 starts

Matt Patricia's first draft class was like his first season in Detroit: it contained extreme highs and lows, with much room for improvement. This is best exemplified by Ragnow, who was meant to shore up a strong offensive line on paper. The results after one season alongside Rick Wagner, Graham Glasgow and Taylor Decker were iffy. Ragnow allowed the ninth-most pressures of any guard, according to Pro Football Focus. Getting another year under his belt will do him some good. Johnson was a revelation, a running back unlike any Detroit had produced since Barry Sanders. The rookie seized the starting role by midseason and became the first Lions RB to rush for over 100 yards in a game since Reggie Bush in 2013. But a knee injury cut his year short. Johnson should be the starter when he returns, and for years to come. Detroit's greatest find came later in the draft in the form of Hand, who started eight games, racked up three sacks and made the PFWA All-Rookie Team. No Lions interior defensive lineman played more snaps than Hand. He and Damon Harrison will snack on running backs and opposing interior linemen in 2019.

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GREEN BAY PACKERS: B

Round 1: (18) Jaire Alexander, CB, 13 games/11 starts.
Round 2: (45) Josh Jackson, CB, 16 games/10 starts.
Round 3: (88) Oren Burks, LB, 14 games/4 starts.
Round 4: (133) J'Mon Moore, WR, 12 games/0 starts.
Round 5: (138) Cole Madison, OG, 0 games/0 starts; (172) JK Scott, P, 16 games/0 starts; (174) Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, 16 games/10 starts.
Round 6: (207) Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, 12 games/7 starts.
Round 7: (232) James Looney, DE, 3 games/0 starts; (239) Hunter Bradley, LS, 16 games/0 starts; (248) Kendall Donnerson, LB, 0 games/0 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: Tyler Lancaster, DL, 12 games/5 starts; Raven Greene, S, 8 games/0 starts; James Crawford, ST, 16 games/0 starts; Tony Brown, CB, 11 games/ 3 starts.

Green Bay went all-secondary with its first two selections in 2018, and it paid off immediately. Alongside veteran Tramon Williams, Alexander and Jackson started the bulk of their rookie seasons at corner, with the former earning PFWA All-Rookie honors and garnering DROY hype after a five-passes-defensed showing against the juggernaut Rams in Week 8. Green Bay's rookie crop of receivers proved necessary, as Geronimo Allison and Randall Cobb both dealt with injuries. MVS (73 targets) and St. Brown (36) saw much more love than Moore (three) and Kumerow (11) and built up solid connections with Aaron Rodgers, but neither wideout locked down a starting or slot role in 2019. Burks, Looney and Donnerson weren't players on defense in their first seasons, and it's unlikely they will be in 2019, barring injuries. Lancaster was a surprising UDFA pickup who started the season on Green Bay's practice squad but ended up compiling 26 tackles. Madison missed the whole season with a personal issue, which The Athletic Wisconsin has since reported was emotional distress connected to the suicide last January of former Washington State teammate Tyler Hilinski.

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TENNESSEE TITANS: B

Round 1: (No. 22 overall) Rashaan Evans, LB, 15 games/7 starts.
Round 2: (41) Harold Landry, LB, 15 games/3 starts.
Round 5: (152) Dane Cruikshank, DB, 12 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (199) Luke Falk, QB, 0 games/0 starts (waived in September and claimed by Dolphins before landing on IR).

With less picks, it becomes more difficult to find contributors, but the Titans did so in selecting Evans and Landry. Evans' debut was a bit delayed by injury, but his potential is great and he'll get a chance to prove himself moving forward. Landry recorded 4.5 sacks in 15 games and is promising, but needs to take the next step. He'll get a chance to do so after the retirement of Brian Orakpo. Cruikshank didn't get many opportunities in a loaded defensive backfield, but he made an impact on special teams. Falk was released before the season and ended up on Miami's roster.

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ATLANTA FALCONS: B

Round 1: (No. 26 overall) Calvin Ridley, WR, 16 games/5 starts.
Round 2: (58) Isaiah Oliver, CB, 14 games/2 starts.
Round 3: (90) Deadrin Senat, DT, 15 games/2 starts.
Round 4: (126) Ito Smith, RB, 14 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (194) Russell Gage, WR, 15 games/0 starts; (200) Foye Oluokun, LB, 16 games/7 starts.

A lost season in Atlanta saw decent returns from the draft. Paired with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu, Ridley had a prolific rookie year, hauling in 10 touchdowns, the most by a rookie receiver since Odell Beckham and Mike Evans each snagged 12 in 2014. That's fine company. Ridley averaged about 10 fewer snaps per game than Jones and Sanu, yet outscored both of them, earning a spot on the PFWA All-Rookie Team and likely more playing time next season. The Falcons reaped solid contributors in Oluokun, Senat, Oliver and Smith, the last of whom filled in nicely for injured RB Devonta Freeman and perhaps won a part-time gig in Atlanta's backfield next season. Ridley, Senat and Oluokun could be starters in 2019, but that depends on how the Falcons attack the market.

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KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: B

Round 2: (No. 46 overall) Breeland Speaks, OLB, 16 games/4 starts.
Round 3: (75) Derrick Nnadi, NT, 16 games/11 starts; (100) Dorian O'Daniel, LB, 16 games/1 starts.
Round 4: (124) Armani Watts, S, 5 games/0 start.
Round 6: (196) Tremon Smith, CB, 14 games/1 start; (198) Kahlil McKenzie, OG, 0 games/0 starts.

Speaks appeared in all 16 games and did a decent job as a rookie, but he was overshadowed by better teammates. He has room for growth. A similar tale existed for Nnadi, though his contributions don't necessarily show up in the stat sheet. O'Daniel contributed in spots and is better against three-receiver sets, due to his athleticism. Watts saw his season end early due to injury and was missed in a secondary that desperately needed help on the back end. Smith made his contributions in the return game, being voted to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team for his special teams efforts. McKenzie, a defensive tackle in college, transitioned to guard in his first season and is a developmental prospect.

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SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: B

Round 1: (No. 9 overall) Mike McGlinchey, T, 16 games/16 starts.
Round 2: (44) Dante Pettis, WR, 12 games/7 starts.
Round 3: (70) Fred Warner, LB, 16 games/16 starts; (95) Tarvarius Moore, S, 16 games/2 starts.
Round 4: (128) Kentavius Street, DT, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 5: (142) D.J. Reed, CB, 15 games/2 starts.
Round 6: (184) Marcell Harris, S, 8 games/5 starts.
Round 7: (223) Jullian Taylor, DT, 6 games/0 starts; (240) Richie James, WR, 13 games/2 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: Jeff Wilson, RB, 6 games/2 starts; Ross Dwelley, TE, 11 games/0 starts.

John Lynch's second draft in San Francisco was a solid sophomore effort. McGlinchey immediately slid into San Francisco's starting lineup, led the offense in snaps and made the PFWA All-Rookie Team. An impressive run-blocker, McGlinchey is still vulnerable as a pass-protector, but San Francisco has both of its tackle positions solved. Warner led the defense in snaps and tackles (123) and held down as best he could a linebacking corps that lost Reuben Foster midseason. The injury-prone Pettis remains unrefined but dangerous in the receiving game. He did not show his touted return capabilities in his rookie campaign -- unlike James, who was a consistent threat on kick returns. Wilson was a nice find who filled in and surprised down the stretch.

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HOUSTON TEXANS: B

Round 3: (No. 68 overall) Justin Reid, S, 16 games/12 starts; (80) Martinas Rankin, OL, 16 games/4 starts; (98) Jordan Akins, TE, 16 games/6 starts.
Round 4: (103) Keke Coutee, WR, 6 games/2 starts.
Round 6: (177) Duke Ejiofor, LB, 12 games/0 starts; (211) Jordan Thomas, TE, 16 games/10 starts; (214) Peter Kalambayi, LB, 15 games/0 starts.
Round 7: (222) Jermaine Kelly, DB, 0 games/0 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: Trevor Daniel, P, 16 games/0 starts.

Reid was everything the Texans hoped they were getting from a safety, especially one selected in the third round. He figures to be in the back end of that defense for years to come. Coutee stepped up after Will Fuller was lost to injury and did an admirable job as a rookie, catching 28 passes for 287 yards and one touchdown and coming close to earning my nod for the Texans' unsung hero. Rankin could become a decent guard for the Texans, and spent a lot of his rookie season attempting to fill holes up front created by injuries. Thomas and Akins teamed up to address the void at tight end, with Thomas logging all four of the TE touchdowns and Akins finishing with 17 receptions for 225 yards. Ejiofor and Kalambayi are depth players, and Kelly spent the whole season on IR. Daniel beat out six-time All-Pro Shane Lechler for the punting job in training camp, and showed some promise in Year 1, particularly when it came to dropping the ball inside the 20 (with 36 such punts, fourth-most in the NFL).

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PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: B-

Round 2: (49) Dallas Goedert, TE, 16 games/8 starts.
Round 4: (125) Avonte Maddox, CB 13 games/9 starts; (130) Josh Sweat, DE, 9 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (206) Matt Pryor, OT, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 7: (233) Jordan Mailata, OT, 0 games/0 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: Josh Adams, RB, 14 games/5 starts; Tre Sullivan, DB, 12 games/1 start.

Philly did enough with its 2018 draft crop to warrant an average grade. Goedert filled the void left by the retired Brent Celek and offered Carson Wentz/ Nick Foles another reliable pass-catching tight end. He's no Zach Ertz at this stage, but Goedert was Philly's fourth receiver of choice in 2018 and was considered the ninth-ranked tight end in the league by Pro Football Focus. Maddox wasn't supposed to start nine games and play a pivotal role in a late run to the playoffs, but thems the breaks. There was no more injury-riddled unit in the postseason than the Eagles' secondary, and though Maddox was abused in two playoff appearances, Philly wouldn't have been there if it weren't for his 59.9 passer rating allowed in the regular season, per PFF. Adams and Sullivan were nice depth finds who played legit roles at injury-riddled positions down the stretch.

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SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: B-

Round 1: (No. 27 overall) Rashaad Penny, RB, 14 games/0 starts.
Round 3: (79) Rasheem Green, DT, 10 games/0 starts.
Round 4: (120) Will Dissly, TE, 4 games/4 starts.
Round 5: (141) Shaquem Griffin, LB, 16 games/1 start; (146) Tre Flowers, S, 15 games/15 starts; (149) Michael Dickson, P, 16 games/16 starts; (168) Jamarco Jones, T, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (186) Jake Martin, LB, 16 games/0 starts.
Round 7: (220) Alex McGough, QB, 0 games/0 starts (spent most of season on practice squad; signed with Jaguars in January).
Notable rookie FA signings: Poona Ford, DT, 11 games/1 start.

It's an odd year when the best performing member of your draft class is a punter, but that's the deal in Seattle. Dickson and his booming leg from down under made the PFWA All-Rookie Team, and deservedly so. Casual fans may only remember his sad onside kick attempt that signaled the end to Seattle's season, but he's so much more than that drop-kick dude. Also a fifth-rounder, Flowers is Seattle's second-biggest success story, as he started across from Shaquill Griffin for most of the season. Shaq's brother, Shaquem, was a heart-warming draft selection, but he was mostly relegated to special teams duty. Seattle's mediocre draft mark can be pinned to another first-round miss (or miscalculation) by general manager John Schneider. The Seahawks reached on Penny the day they selected him, then saw a seventh-rounder from the year prior, Chris Carson, blow the rookie away and rush for the fifth-most yards in the league. Dissly was an enticing option before his season-ending injury in September, and Green and Ford are worthy projects on the defensive line.

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NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: B-

Round 1: (No. 14 overall) Marcus Davenport, DE, 13 games/0 starts.
Round 3: (91) Tre'Quan Smith, WR, 15 games/7 starts.
Round 4: (127) Rick Leonard, OT, 0 games/0 starts (waived by Saints, spent time on practice squads of Saints, Rams and Cardinals, signed with Texans in January).
Round 5: (164) Natrell Jamerson, S, 0 games/0 starts (waived by Saints, played 10 games for Texans, 2 games with Packers; currently with Packers).
Round 6: (189) Kamrin Moore, CB, 0 games/0 starts (waived by Saints, 2 games with Giants; currently with Giants); (201) Boston Scott, RB, 0 games/0 starts (waived by Saints, 2 games with Eagles; currently with Eagles).
Round 7: (245) Will Clapp, C, 3 games/1 start.
Notable rookie FA signings: Taylor Stallworth, DT, 14 games/0 starts; Keith Kirkwood, WR, 8 games/1 start; Dan Arnold, TE, 10 games/1 start.

The success of New Orleans' draft class was predicated on (and directly related to) that of Davenport, for whom the Saints surrendered two first-round picks, including their 30th overall selection in 2019. While the defensive lineman failed to crack the starting lineup, he racked up 4.5 sacks and 12.5 QB hits while playing 40 percent of the defensive snaps, and he made the PFWA All-Rookie Team. Smith has the potential in Year 2 to assume full-time the No. 2 receiver role the Saints desperately need someone to seize for balance. Most of the rest of New Orleans' draft spent time on other rosters in 2018, but the Saints found meaningful pickups in Stallworth, Kirkwood and Arnold, who all played roles as substitutes down the stretch.

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MINNESOTA VIKINGS: B-

Round 1: (30) Mike Hughes, CB, 6 games/2 starts.
Round 2: (62) Brian O'Neill, OT, 15 games/11 starts.
Round 4: (102) Jalyn Holmes, DE, 5 games/0 starts.
Round 5: (157) Tyler Conklin, TE, 16 games/3 starts; (167) Daniel Carlson, K, 2 games with Minnesota/0 starts (waived by Vikings in September; signed with Raiders in October, played in 10 games with Raiders).
Round 6: (213) Colby Gossett, OG, 0 games with Minnesota (waived by Vikings in September, signed to practice squad, signed by Cardinals in October, played in five games with four starts for Cardinals); (218) Ade Aruna, DE, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 7: (225) Devante Downs, LB, 11 games/0 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: Holton Hill, CB, 16 games/3 starts; Mike Boone, RB, 8 games/0 starts.

It's hard to evaluate Minnesota's class when its first-round pick played less than half a season. Hughes was playing well and frequently over the Vikings' first five games, even recording a pick in Minnesota's opener, but his year was cut short by a torn ACL in Week 6. Hughes flashed enough to suggest he'll be a formidable starter for years to come. O'Neill stepped up during the last half of the year at right tackle and should pair with Riley Reiff next season as solid bookends in front of Kirk Cousins. Carlson was a bust, at least for the Vikings, who cut the kicker after just two games and three missed field-goal tries; he has since found employment -- and his stroke -- with Oakland. Holmes was a non-factor, while Conklin flashed as a blocking tight end in his limited offensive snaps.

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CINCINNATI BENGALS: C+

Round 1: (No. 21 overall) Billy Price, C, 10 games/10 starts.
Round 2: (54) Jessie Bates III, S, 16 games/16 starts.
Round 3: (77) Sam Hubbard, DE, 16 games/0 starts; (78) Malik Jefferson, LB, 12 games/0 starts.
Round 4: (112) Mark Walton, RB, 14 games/0 starts.
Round 5: (151) Davontae Harris, CB, 3 games/0 starts; (158) Andrew Brown, DE, 0 games/0 starts; (170) Darius Phillips, CB, 15 games/1 start.
Round 7: (249) Logan Woodside, QB, 0 games/0 starts (waived by Bengals in September, currently in AAF); (252) Rod Taylor, OL, 0 games/0 starts; (253) Auden Tate, WR, 7 games/0 starts.

Bates was the shining star of this class, starting all 16 games and racking up 111 tackles, seven passes defensed and three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown). Bates garnered plenty of national praise, landing on the PFWA All-Rookie Team. Hubbard has potential and could end up in a starting role in place of veteran Michael Johnson, who's headed for free agency again in 2019. Price was hampered by injuries -- first, a torn pectoral suffered during the NFL Scouting Combine, and later, a foot issue -- making it difficult to evaluate him after one season. The rest of the class didn't really produce. Tate didn't get to play much. Woodside is in the Alliance of American Football, slinging the ball for the San Antonio Commanders. Phillips was a special teamer who played in place of injured starters and did well with his limited chances. If Hubbard and Price end up being quality starters, this group gets a better grade. Right now, though, it's underwhelming.

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WASHINGTON REDSKINS: C+

Round 1: (13) Daron Payne, DT, 16 games/16 starts.
Round 2: (59) Derrius Guice, RB, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 3: (74) Geron Christian, OT, 2 games/0 starts.
Round 4: (109) Troy Apke, S, 2 games/0 starts.
Round 5: (163) Tim Settle, DT, 16 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (197) Shaun Dion Hamilton, LB, 16 games/4 starts.
Round 7: (241) Greg Stroman, CB, 15 games/3 starts; (256) Trey Quinn, WR, 3 games/2 starts.
Supplemental Draft, Round 6: Adonis Alexander, DB, 9 games/0 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: Danny Johnson, CB, 14 games/1 start.

Washington tapped the Tuscaloosa well yet again in 2018, and it paid off big time. Payne brought the pain in his rookie year, solidifying a spot on the PFWA All-Rookie Team with five sacks in 16 starts. Whereas Payne didn't miss a single game, Guice missed all of them, sidelined by a torn ACL in the preseason. It's hard to truly grade how Redskins brass fared in 2018 when its star attraction was watching from home. And for that reason, this grade could honestly be N/A until we see what a healthy Guice can provide. The rest of the class was nothing special, though Stroman, Hamilton and Settle could contribute more going forward.

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PITTSBURGH STEELERS: C+

Round 1: (No. 28 overall) Terrell Edmunds, S, 16 games/15 starts.
Round 2: (60) James Washington, WR, 14 games/6 starts.
Round 3: (76) Mason Rudolph, QB, 0 games/0 starts; (92) Chukwuma Okorafor, T, 13 games/3 starts.
Round 5: (148) Marcus Allen, S, 2 games/0 starts; (165) Jaylen Samuels, RB, 14 games/3 starts.
Round 7: (246) Josh Frazier, DL, 0 games/0 starts (waived by Steelers in September, spent time on Lions' practice squad).

The lesser-known Edmunds brother (Tremaine was chosen 16th overall by the Bills) was a head-scratcher as a first-round pick, but he was decent after being thrown into the fire (78 tackles, one sack, one pick, four passes defensed) and has a chance to become a reliable starter. Washington was uneven as a rookie, but has plenty of potential to do more in the future. Rudolph waits quietly behind Ben Roethlisberger, for now. Samuels played very well while filling in for James Conner when Conner was injured (109.3 scrimmage yards per game from Week 14 through Week 16), bringing hope to a position group that once looked discouraging in light of Le'Veon Bell's expected departure. Okorafor could develop into a starter at tackle. This group didn't produce a budding star, but it might end up providing a few contributors, which could send this grade up a letter.

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JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: C

Round 1: (No. 29 overall) Taven Bryan, DT, 16 games/1 start.
Round 2: (61) D.J. Chark, WR, 11 games/0 starts.
Round 3: (93) Ronnie Harrison, DB, 14 games/8 starts.
Round 4: (129) Will Richardson, OT, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (203) Tanner Lee, QB, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 7: (230) Leon Jacobs, LB, 12 games/3 starts; (247) Logan Cooke, P, 16 games/0 starts.

Foreseeing a need at defensive tackle, Jacksonville swung on Bryan -- and, after a year, it might have been a miss. Bryan recorded 20 tackles and one sack in 16 games, but wasn't the kind of impact player you'd typically expect from a first-round pick, making the likely impending release of Marcell Dareus tougher to swallow. Chark wasn't the contributor the Jags might've anticipated he'd be, but still has the size and skills needed to develop. Richardson's first season was a washout due to knee injury, and his absence was felt when Cam Robinson was lost in September due to an ACL injury. Harrison was an encouraging rookie and -- right now -- stands as the best player from this class. Lee spent the majority of his rookie season on the practice squad. Jacobs was a depth player who made a minimal impact in 12 games. Cooke was a competent punter, averaging 41.2 net yards and putting 37 of his 86 punts inside the 20 (ranking third in the NFL).

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TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: C

Round 1: (No. 12 overall) Vita Vea, DT, 13 games/8 starts.
Round 2: (38) Ronald Jones, RB, 9 games/0 starts; (53) M.J. Stewart, CB, 11 games/5 starts; (63) Carlton Davis, CB, 13 games/12 starts.
Round 3: (94) Alex Cappa, OT, 6 games/0 starts.
Round 4: (117) Jordan Whitehead, S, 15 games/11 starts.
Round 5: (144) Justin Watson, WR, 12 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (202) Jack Cichy, LB, 6 games/0 starts.

Is it a good or bad sign that three rookies started a combined 28 games in Tampa's secondary in 2018? On one hand, there's a reason the Buccaneers' defense ranked 26th in passing yards allowed per game and 31st in points allowed per game. On the other, experience! The hole-plugging Vea battled injuries and got off to a slow start, but the first-round pick came on late in the season, recording three sacks and eventually averaging around 50 snaps per game over the season's last quarter. Drafted ahead of Kerryon Johnson, Royce Freeman and UDFA Phillip Lindsay, Jones was a disappointment, struggling to see the field in a weak RB room. Davis could take over for the departing Brent Grimes next season, but the corner and Whitehead will be tested this offseason by new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

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OAKLAND RAIDERS: C

Round 1: (No. 15 overall) Kolton Miller, OT, 16 games/16 starts.
Round 2: (57) P.J. Hall, DT, 14 games/6 starts.
Round 3: (65) Brandon Parker, OT, 15 games/12 starts; (87) Arden Key, DE, 16 games/10 starts.
Round 4: (110) Nick Nelson, CB, 10 games/3 starts.
Round 5: (140) Maurice Hurst, DT, 13 games/10 starts; (173) Johnny Townsend, P, 16 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (216) Azeem Victor, LB, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 7: (228) Marcell Ateman, WR, 7 games/6 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: Daniel Carlson, K, 10 games (drafted by Vikings in fifth round, then cut).

What a tumultuous year for the Raiders. Oakland followed this class by dealing away Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper for future first-rounders, adding emphasis on future drafts, but this one landed a few contributors who have the chance to blossom into good players. Miller was thrown into the fire and did a decent job (he was playing through a knee injury), and Key played slightly above expectations, showing flashes of the potential that once had him projected as a first-rounder. Hurst slid because of concern related to a heart condition, but he played well, recording 31 tackles, four sacks, three passes defensed and one forced fumble. His future is promising. Townsend adequately replaced Marquette King. Parker was another rookie thrown into battle nearly immediately, but he wasn't as effective as Miller. Victor, who was an effective player at Washington when he wasn't in trouble, didn't make it to the final 53-man roster. Ateman found opportunities as a result of a thin receiving corps, while Nelson's season is incomplete, due to a slow return from injury. Carlson, the first of just two kickers drafted in 2018 (Round 5, No. 167 by the Vikings), almost immediately flared out in Minnesota. But the Raiders picked him up off the scrap heap, and the former Auburn standout went 16-for-17 in field goals and 18-for-18 in PATs with Oakland.

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LOS ANGELES RAMS: D

Round 3: (No. 89 overall) Joseph Noteboom, T, 16 games/0 starts.
Round 4: (111) Brian Allen, C, 12 games/0 starts; (135) John Franklin-Myers, DE, 16 games/0 starts.
Round 5: (147) Micah Kiser, LB, 16 games/0 starts; (160) Obo Okoronkwo, DE, 0 games/0 starts.
Round 6: (176) John Kelly, RB, 4 games/0 starts; (192) Jamil Demby, T, 0 games/0 starts (waived in September, spent most of season on Lions' practice squad, then was re-signed by Rams in December); (195) Sebastian Joseph-Day, DT, 0 games/0 starts; (205) Trevon Young, DE, 2 games/0 starts.
Round 7: (231) Travin Howard, LB, 0 games/0 starts; (244) Justin Lawler, DE, 16 games/0 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: KhaDarel Hodge, WR, 14 games/0 starts.

The NFC champions did their team-building through trades and free agency last offseason, opting to part with their first-round selection for Brandin Cooks and mid-round picks for the likes of Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Considering all that, Los Angeles' utilization of its draft capital should grade high; Cooks led the team in receiving, and Peters and Talib shored up the secondary (when healthy and/or hungry for gumbo). But when looking at what the Rams reaped from their 11 picks, it's easy to label this draft a total bust. Los Angeles got zero starts from their draft picks. None. Zilch. Nada. Noteboom and Allen were smart plays in case there were significant injuries on the depth-less O-line (there weren't), and Franklin-Myers can grow into a greater role next year. But this haul is easily one of the most forgettable from any team with at least 10 selections in recent memory.

Follow Jeremy Bergman on Twitter @JABergman.

Follow Nick Shook on Twitter @TheNickShook.

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