2017 NFL Draft grades: Chargers, Patriots, 49ers head 'A' teams

Former NFL player/scout Bucky Brooks and Around The NFL's Conor Orr performed a division-by-division assessment of the 2017 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below are their takes on the teams that earned "A" grades for their efforts in the draft.

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

Grade
A+
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers

» Round 1: (No. 7 overall) Mike Williams, WR, Clemson.

» Round 2: (38) Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky.

» Round 3: (71) Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana.

» Round 4: (113) Rayshawn Jenkins, S, Miami.

» Round 5: (151) Desmond King, DB, Iowa.

» Round 6: (190) Sam Tevi, OT, Utah.

» Round 7: (225) Isaac Rochell, DT, Notre Dame.

This was a coup for GM Tom Telesco and new head coach Anthony Lynn. Not only do you diversify your offensive weapons, but you acquire Lamp, who by all accounts was one of the safer offensive line choices in this draft. Lamp was enjoyable to watch against Alabama this past year, which had to be a nice barometer for scouts wondering how he could perform against top-tier competition. I did not sense hesitation against a blue-chip defensive line aiming to blow up the Hilltoppers' pocket.

Grade
A
New England Patriots
New England Patriots

» Round 3: (No. 83 overall) Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State; (85) Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy.

» Round 4: (131) Deatrich Wise, DE, Arkansas.

» Round 6: (211) Conor McDermott, OT, UCLA.

If you include Brandin CooksKony Ealy and Dwayne Allen -- three guys New England landed via trade earlier this offseason, in exchange for the Patriots' picks in Rounds 1, 2, 3 and 4 -- this draft becomes insane and unfair for the Patriots. That said, I think we all understand the Pats are dealing from a different deck. Bill Belichick can now traffic almost exclusively in already-developed, in-prime NFL players. I can't imagine this draft had any particular meaning to him, given the window his team is currently in. As for the players he did draft, Belichick acquired what he seems to like in Rivers and Wise -- two versatile, front-seven defenders who can shift throughout a defense. He also selected two massive offensive linemen -- Garcia (6-foot-6) and McDermott (6-8) -- and handed them over to offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia to put in the pipeline. What kind of grade do you give to someone who does the same thing every year and ends up making the playoffs? (And yes, I am factoring the trade acquisitions into this grade.) 

Grade
A
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers

» Round 1: (No. 3 overall) Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford; (No. 31) Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama.

» Round 3: (66) Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado; (104) C.J. Beathard, QB, Iowa.

» Round 4: (121) Joe Williams, RB, Utah.

» Round 5: (146) George Kittle, TE, Iowa; (177) Trent Taylor, WR, Louisiana Tech.

» Round 6: (198) D.J. Jones, DT, Mississippi; (202) Pita Taumoepenu, OLB, Utah.

» Round 7: (229) Adrian Colbert, DB, Miami.


Credit John Lynch for knocking it out of the park in his first draft as the 49ers' general manager. The former broadcaster landed a pair of blue-chip players in the first round after convincing the Chicago Bears to cough up a boatload picks for the No. 2 overall selection. Thomas gives the 49ers a slippery pass rusher with dynamic skills as an inside/outside rusher. Foster is a menacing linebacker with a nasty demeanor and some serious "thump" to his game. He fills a void on the second level that's been missing since Patrick Willis retired a few years ago. Williams is a rugged runner with the speed to take it the distance. Beathard, though, is a bit of a head-scratcher as a developmental quarterback prospect. 

Grade
A-
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars

» Round 1: (No. 4 overall) Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU.

» Round 2: (34) Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama.

» Round 3: (68) Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois.

» Round 4: (110) Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma.

» Round 5: (148) Blair Brown, LB, Ohio.

» Round 7: (222) Jalen Myrick, CB, Minnesota; (240) Marquez Williams, FB, Miami (OH).

Unsure if any team got a better first- and second-round value in each of the last two years than the Jacksonville Jaguars. Combining Fournette with Robinson -- the top tackle in the draft in the eyes of some media analysts and evaluators -- is a safe and effective move that puts two king-sized SEC stars into the same system. Having Robinson grow from the ground up with former collegiate offensive lineman Doug Marrone as head coach should be a benefit, just as having Coughlin lord over Fournette and the power running game will be an extra bonus. General manager Dave Caldwell's last four first- or second-round picks are now: Fournette, Robinson, Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack. Not bad. 

Grade
A-
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins

» Round 1: (No. 22 overall) Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri.

» Round 2: (54) Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State.

» Round 3: (97) Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson.

» Round 5: (164) Isaac Asiata, OG, Utah; (178) Davon Godchaux, DT, LSU.

» Round 6: (194) Vincent Taylor, DT, Oklahoma State.

» Round 7: (237) Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech.

The Dolphins are importing attitude by the truckload. Gase won a stare down during his first season with a notoriously cavalier roster and then added some pop with Harris and McMillan (an all-over linebacker who, to me, seems pretty competent against the pass and fights well against the run). If they're able to bring Asiata up to speed technically and have him compete for a guard spot this summer, that's a pretty impressive haul.

Grade
A-
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders

» Round 1: (No. 24 overall) Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State.

» Round 2: (56) Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut.

» Round 3: (88) Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, UCLA.

» Round 4: (129) David Sharpe, OT, Florida.

» Round 5: (168) Marquel Lee, LB, Wake Forest.

» Round 7: (221) Shalom Luani, S, Washington State; (231) Jylan Ware, OT, Alabama State; (242) Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina; (244) Treyvon Hester, DT, Toledo.

I am biased here, given that Melifonwu was one of my favorite players in the entire draft -- a Jamie Collins for the secondary. Had he gone to a team that did not have someone with a strong defensive mind present, I'm not sure I would have been as crazy about the pick. Jack Del Rio, who hasn't had this kind of size and athleticism in his secondary in his Raiders tenure thus far, essentially secured himself a shape-shifter who can be the linchpin of game plans for years to come. Setting the uncertainty surrounding Conley aside for now, Oakland's focus on defensive talent made sense and played with the strength of the class as a whole. Surround Khalil Mack with talent and watch the team get tougher and tougher.

Grade
A-
Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles

» Round 1: (No. 14 overall) Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee.

» Round 2: (43) Sidney Jones, CB, Washington.

» Round 3: (99) Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia.

» Round 4: (118) Mack Hollins, WR, North Carolina; (132) Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State.

» Round 5: (166) Shelton Gibson, WR, West Virginia; (184) Nate Gerry, S, Nebraska.

» Round 6: (214) Elijah Qualls, DT, Washington.


After devoting their free-agent resources to offense, the Eagles committed their draft capital to defense. Barnett gives the Eagles one of the best pass rushers in the draft. He is a "Call of Duty" player -- that is to say, he has exceptional hand-to-hand combat skills -- with the potential to be a double-digit sack producer as a rookie. Jones isn't expected to make a major contribution as a rookie, due to his lengthy recovery from a torn Achilles tendon suffered at his pro day in March. If he fully recovers, he gives the Eagles a Pro Bowl-caliber corner on the island. Hollins is a slick vertical pass catcher with A-plus skills as a special teams demon. He could blossom into an impact player in that underrated phase of the game.

Grade
A-
Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans

» Round 1: (No. 5 overall) Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan; (18) Adoree' Jackson, CB, USC.

» Round 3: (72) Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky; (100) Jonnu Smith, TE, Florida International.

» Round 5: (155) Jayon Brown, LB, UCLA.

» Round 6: (217) Corey Levin, OL, Tennessee-Chattanooga.

» Round 7: (227) Josh Carraway, OLB, TCU; (236) Brad Seaton, OT, Villanova; (241) Khalfani Muhammad, RB, Cal.

The Titans did not go full Browns, nor did they need to. They've spent the last of their 2016 pre-draft trade capital and the haul was impressive. I especially liked this draft because it was all for quarterback Marcus Mariota, who received three new weapons out of the gate. The Titans were able to create yardage off their powerful offensive line and cheeky play calling a year ago, but are now on their way to being another Cowboys-style powerhouse once Davis grows into his own.

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