Draft Grades

2016 NFL Draft grades: Texans, Jaguars, Redskins head 'A' teams

Who truly knocked it out of the park on draft day? Here is Bucky Brooks' take on the six teams that earned "A" grades for their efforts in the 2016 NFL Draft:

NOTE: Draft classes are grouped by grade and ordered alphabetically.

» Round 1: (No. 21 overall) Will Fuller, WR.
» Round 2: (50) Nick Martin, OG.
» Round 3: (85) Braxton Miller, WR.
» Round 4: (119) Tyler Ervin, RB.
» Round 5: (159) K.J. Dillon, S; (166) D.J. Reader, NT.

Hats off to Rick Smith and Bill O'Brien for supplying their new franchise quarterback (free-agent addition Brock Osweiler) with enough weapons for him to succeed as a playmaker. The Texans upgraded their speed and big-play potential on the perimeter with the additions of Will Fuller and Braxton Miller. Each pass catcher displays the burst and acceleration to run past defenders on vertical routes, yet both are also crafty catch-and-run specialists capable of turning short passes into big gains. Tyler Ervin gives the team another explosive weapon out of the backfield and adds some sizzle to the return game. On defense, the Texans picked up a pair of intriguing prospects (K.J. Dillon and D.J. Reader) with the potential to carve out roles as rotational players. GRADE: A+

» Round 1: (No. 5 overall) Jalen Ramsey, DB.
» Round 2: (36) Myles Jack, OLB.
» Round 3: (69) Yannick Ngakoue, DE.
» Round 4: (103) Sheldon Day, DT.
» Round 6: (181) Tyrone Holmes, OLB; (201) Brandon Allen, QB.
» Round 7: (226) Jonathan Woodard, DE.

The Jaguars are committed to building a defense capable of complementing an electric offense that boasts the firepower to lead a playoff run. Gus Bradley and Dave Caldwell used the 2016 offseason to add some talented veteran free agents, but the team needed to acquire blue-chip prospects in the draft to spearhead a quick turnaround. Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack are top-five talents with the athleticism, speed and playmaking ability to make splash plays all over the field. While Jack is a bit of question mark due to his knee injury, he is an absolute beast when healthy and could give the Jaguars the spark they need on the second level. The team also added a trio of front-line defenders (Yannick Ngakoue, Sheldon Day and Jonathan Woodard) to beef up the pass-rush rotation. Day stands out in particular, as a high-motor rusher capable of providing a push from an inside or outside position. He could be one of the draft's biggest steals when we look back in a few years. GRADE: A+

» Round 1: (No. 22 overall) Josh Doctson, WR.
» Round 2: (53) Su'a Cravens, OLB/SS.
» Round 3: (84) Kendall Fuller, CB.
» Round 5: (152) Matthew Ioannidis, DT.
» Round 6: (187) Nate Sudfeld, QB.
» Round 7: (232) Steven Daniels, ILB; (242) Keith Marshall, RB.

The Redskins quickly are rounding into a legitimate contender under general manager Scot McCloughan's direction. The savvy evaluator has assembled another strong class that should help Washington make a push to repeat as division champ. Josh Doctson is a dynamic WR1 with the ball skills and bounce to dominate in the red zone. He gives quarterback Kirk Cousins another big body to target in critical situations. Su'a Cravens is the kind of enforcer the Redskins have lacked since Sean Taylor roamed between the hashes. Although he isn't an explosive athlete, Cravens possesses the high football aptitude, grit and toughness that should lead to plenty of splash plays in the middle of the field. Kendall Fuller was a nice get on Day 2 as a corner with outstanding potential. If he is healthy and on his game, there is no reason he can't develop into a premier cover corner on the perimeter. Keith Marshall is a speedster with home-run potential out of the backfield. It will be interesting to see if he can earn a spot in the rotation as a change-of-pace back. GRADE: A

» Round 1: (No. 4 overall) Ezekiel Elliott, RB.
» Round 2: (34) Jaylon Smith, OLB.
» Round 3: (67) Maliek Collins, DT.
» Round 4: (101) Charles Tapper, DE; (135) Dak Prescott, QB.
» Round 6: (189) Anthony Brown, CB; (212) Kavon Frazier, SS; (216) Darius Jackson, RB; (217) Rico Gathers, TE.

Any team that lands a pair of blue-chip prospects with its first two selections in a given draft deserves a high grade. The Cowboys, who nabbed Ezekiel Elliott and Jaylon Smith before the end of Day 2, earned a gold star. Each guy is considered a transcendent talent at his position -- and both are also blue-collar workers with the requisite intangibles to step into leadership roles early in their careers. Although Smith, who suffered ACL and LCL tears in January, might need a redshirt year before he is able to step onto the field to make an impact, Elliott could be the Cowboys' most pivotal player as a rookie. He will anchor the offense as the bell cow in the backfield and help the team follow the 2014 blueprint that resulted in an NFC East title. Dak Prescott could be the franchise quarterback of the future, based on his ruggedly athletic game and superb leadership skills. He will push Kellen Moore for the backup quarterback job while serving as Tony Romo's apprentice. Will Rico Gathers be the next former hoops player to earn Pro Bowl honors as a pass-catching tight end? The late-round pick will get a chance to carve out a role as a developmental prospect. GRADE: A-

» Round 1: (No. 13 overall) Laremy Tunsil, OT.
» Round 2: (38) Xavien Howard, CB.
» Round 3: (73) Kenyan Drake, RB; (86) Leonte Carroo, WR.
» Round 6: (186) Jakeem Grant, WR; (204) Jordan Lucas, SS.
» Round 7: (223) Brandon Doughty, QB; (231) Thomas Duarte, TE.

Risk management is always a part of the draft process, but the Dolphins might've snagged the top prospect in the entire class in the middle of Round 1. Laremy Tunsil is a freakish athlete who not only possesses the balance, body control and lateral quickness of a true franchise tackle, but he also flashes the power and anchor-ability that coaches covet in a premier edge blocker. Although he might start his career at right tackle or inside at offensive guard, Tunsil could give the Dolphins an elite blind-side protector for the next decade. The Dolphins also upgraded the offense with the additions of Kenyan Drake and Leonte Carroo on Day 2. Drake, in particular, is a dynamic playmaker with potential to create explosive gains as a runner-receiver out of the backfield. Jakeem Grant is an electrifying return man with a spectacular combination of speed and open-field running skills. He could emerge as a difference maker for the Dolphins in the return game. GRADE: A-

» Round 1: (No. 8 overall) Jack Conklin, OT.
» Round 2: (33) Kevin Dodd, DE; (43) Austin Johnson, NT; (45) Derrick Henry, RB.
» Round 3: (64) Kevin Byard, S.
» Round 5: (140) Tajae Sharpe, WR; (157) LeShaun Sims, CB.
» Round 6: (193) Sebastian Tretola, OG.
» Round 7: (222) Aaron Wallace, OLB; (253) Kalan Reed, CB.

Jon Robinson is on the verge of quickly transforming the Titans into a playoff contender with his shrewd offseason moves. He continued his rebuilding efforts with a strong draft class that features a number of "hard hat and lunch pail" guys with the blue-collar mentality needed to turn around the program. Jack Conklin is a natural fit at right tackle, but the decision to bypass Laremy Tunsil raised eyebrows in some circles, based on the discrepancy in athleticism and talent. However, the plug-and-play scenario with Conklin and Taylor Lewan on the edges might be the better move because it minimizes the transition along the line. Derrick Henry gives the Titans an Eddie George-like runner to pair with DeMarco Murray in the backfield. The 1-2 punch should help the Titans play keep-away from opponents behind an "exotic smashmouth" approach. On defense, the Titans added talented playmakers on all three levels. Kevin Dodd, Austin Johnson and Aaron Wallace will provide Dick LeBeau with some ammunition up front to attack opponents with fire zones. Kevin Byard and LeShaun Sims are intriguing players with high football IQs and strong ball skills. In an aggressive system that forces the ball to come out hot, each player could snag interceptions on tips and overthrows. GRADE: A-

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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