Snap Grades

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2018 NFL Draft: Day 1 quick-snap grades for all 32 teams

I've heard the argument that grades on draft picks immediately after the draft are worthless. But I don't agree.

These grades are not about what the player will look like three years from now, because no one knows. What the grades represent are an evaluation of the process each team went through to get the players they did, and whether their selection is of appropriate value as a prospect given their college game and athleticism.

Taking this snapshot now also gives a baseline evaluation of teams' decision-making processes. If a prospect is considered a great pick the day of the draft, but doesn't work out, that's a completely different evaluation of his new team's decision than a "bust" who was considered a reach at the time. Waiting for three years to grade these picks leads to revisionist history, not an accurate evaluation.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills
Draft picks: Wyoming QB Josh Allen (No. 7 overall), Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds (No. 16 overall).
Day 1 grade: B+
The skinny: Tackle Cordy Glenn was shipped to Cincinnati in a swap of picks, setting Buffalo into a position to move up again to pick Allen. Giving up two second-round picks without trading the No. 22 pick this year or next year's first-round pick is fine. Allen's inaccuracy as a thrower against marginal competition makes him a risk that many teams wouldn't want to take. He showed improvement through the draft process, though, so it's possible this will turn out. The Bills also moved down in last year's draft to get a second first-rounder this year via Kansas City, and then moved back up when the exceptional Tremaine Edmunds was available at 16. A good trade, especially since they only moved from the third to the fifth round in the deal.

Miami Dolphins
Draft picks: Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 11 overall).
Day 1 grade: B+
The skinny: The Dolphins didn't go get a top-notch quarterback, instead waiting to see if Ryan Tannehill returns healthy and productive. We'll see if they pick a QB later as a backup plan. I can't blame them for taking Fitzpatrick, though, as he will push Miami's defense -- not just secondary -- to another level.

New England Patriots
Draft picks: Georgia OT Isaiah Wynn (No. 23 overall), Georgia RB Sony Michel (No. 31 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: There's not many sub-6-foot-3 tackles in the NFL. But Wynn's length and athleticism allowed him to excel at the position with the Bulldogs, and there's no reason to think he can't be a solid player there in the NFL. He also plays with a nasty streak. Just another four-year, high-character player for Bill Belichick. His college teammate, running back Sony Michel, will join him in Foxboro. Michel has the versatility to be a star in the Patriots' system, working as a receiver and slashing through defenses as a runner. They needed to replace Dion Lewis, so they did. I expect them to get help on defense on Day Two.

New York Jets
Draft picks: USC QB Sam Darnold (No. 3 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: The Jets gave up three second-round picks to move up three spots to find a quarterback. They might have gotten the top quarterback on their board with Darnold sitting there (though they wouldn't admit it if he wasn't their top QB). They paid a pretty high price to get him, but it's not franchise-killing if it doesn't work out. It was a good move that could become a great move.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens
Draft picks: South Carolina TE Hayden Hurst (No. 25 overall), Louisville QB Lamar Jackson (No. 32 overall).
Day 1 grade: A-
The skinny: The Ravens picked up a slew of picks in two trade-downs and still got a talent at a need position (tight end). That's a great way for Ozzie Newsome to start off his final draft as the Ravens' GM. Hurst is a smooth, sure-handed receiver who will provide toughness inside and stretch the field. I think fellow tight end Dallas Goedert has a potentially great future, though, so I would have gone that direction instead. Giving up a second-round pick in 2019 to get Jackson is not an overly risky play. I'm a believer in Jackson's playmaking ability and he's under no pressure to play in 2018. Jackson is a worthy selection.

Cincinnati Bengals
Draft picks: Ohio State C/OG Billy Price (No. 21 overall).
Day 1 grade: B
The skinny: Picking up Cordy Glenn from the Bills for a move down of 10 spots in the first round will help their offensive line, so that needs to be considered here. Selecting Price, a center/guard, continues the Bengals' effort to get stronger up front, though I think there could have been more of a difference-maker selected here. The Bengals could have waited and landed a very good interior offensive lineman in the second or third round.

Cleveland Browns
Draft picks: Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield (No. 1 overall), Ohio State CB Denzel Ward (No. 4 overall).
Day 1 grade: B
The skinny:Browns GM John Dorsey benefited from his predecessors' bounty. They picked up a first-round pick in this draft by trading down and passing on Deshaun Watson last April. Now, they have Mayfield, a fiery leader with passing skills that they believe can take the team's mojo to the next level. They had to pick a QB at No. 1, and they did. The only red flag here is that Mayfield needs to make plays from the pocket to succeed. If Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen excel and Mayfield doesn't, then their process was flawed. Picking Ward with the No. 4 overall pick was too rich for my blood. He's a good player who meets a need, but he's probably a reach at No. 4.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Draft picks: Virginia Tech S Terrell Edmunds (No. 28 overall).
Day 1 grade: B+
The skinny: The Steelers went safety, as expected, but picked Edmunds, the brother of fellow first-round pick Tremaine, instead of Stanford's Justin Reid and others. This was a surprise pick to most, and probably a round early -- but given his strength and NFL bloodlines (father, Ferrell, played tight end in the league), but maybe it shouldn't have been. He'll be a welcomed addition to the team, either way.

AFC South

Houston Texans
Draft picks: None.
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: If the Texans had the fourth pick in this draft, instead of trading up to pick Deshaun Watson last April, would they be better off? It seems unlikely, so I'll stick with the "A" grade I gave them last year. But we'll know more when he is healthy again.

Indianapolis Colts
Draft picks: Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson (No. 6 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: GM Chris Ballard hauled in three second-round picks from the Jets to move down just three slots. They still got Quenton Nelson, one of the top three players in the draft. He'll be a difference maker up front for an organization that needs to protect its franchise player.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Draft picks: Florida DT Taven Bryan (No. 29 overall).
Day 1 grade: A-
The skinny: The Jaguars selected Bryan, even though they already have a load of talent on defensive line. But Philadelphia did win a Super Bowl with a strong rotation, and Bryan has some real potential that the Jags' coaches could tap into. They have a need for an inside linebacker, but the players of value at the position in the first round were already gone.

Tennessee Titans
Draft picks: Alabama LB Rashaan Evans (No. 22 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: The Titans really needed an inside linebacker after the departure of Avery Williamson, so this trade made sense. They had to move down two rounds (giving up a fourth-rounder and picking up a sixth-rounder) on Saturday to get ahead of the Patriots to secure Evans, but that's reasonable for an instant starter who can do a lot on the field.

AFC West

Denver Broncos
Draft picks: N.C. State edge rusher Bradley Chubb (No. 5 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: Chubb was the best value on the board for this team. Putting him and Von Miller on the same defense makes them dangerous again, like when DeMarcus Ware and Miller were doing their thing. Case Keenum's two-year deal took QB out of the equation here, and Paxton Lynch still has an opportunity to grow into a starter.

Kansas City Chiefs
Draft picks: None.
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: The Chiefs had no first-round selection this year because they traded up 17 spots in 2017 to bring in Patrick Mahomes. The young gunslinger played well enough last season that the team unloaded veteran Alex Smith this off-season.

Los Angeles Chargers
Draft picks: Florida State S Derwin James (No. 17 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: The Chargers let the draft come to them, and they got a great player at a need position. Doesn't get much better than that for a mid-first-round selection. James is fluid, tough, and fast. I don't understand why he was still available at 17.

Oakland Raiders
Draft picks: UCLA OT Kolton Miller (No. 15 overall).
Day 1 grade: C
The skinny: With many top-notch defenders on the board, the Raiders instead take an athletic but inconsistent tackle in Miller. His tape did not put him in the mid-first round. The team did get a third- and fifth-round pick in the trade to with Arizona to move five picks down (from 10 to 15), so that's a plus.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys
Draft picks: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch (No. 19 overall).
Day 1 grade: A-
The skinny: Vander Esch is a talented off-the-ball linebacker who can move on the outside and slip tackles inside to find the ball. Dallas needed to bolster the position, but should they have found a pass catcher here instead of a LB, given their dire need at WR? Vander Esch is a good pick, especially if his neck truly is not a problem. This draft will look even better if they secure a receiver on Friday night.

New York Giants
Draft picks: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (No. 2 overall).
Day 1 grade: A-
The skinny:Saquon Barkley was the No. 1 prospect on many teams' boards, and they found him available at No. 2. I think Bradley Chubb might prove to be a better investment because of the attrition at the running back spot. But there's no blaming them for claiming Barkley's talent.

Philadelphia Eagles
Draft picks: None.
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: GM Howie Roseman takes advantage of Lamar Jackson's fall by trading out of the first round so Baltimore could select him. He grabbed the Ravens' 2019 second-round pick and moved up seven spots in the fourth round to go from the 32nd pick to the 52nd pick, where there will still be good value. The rich get richer.

Washington Redskins
Draft picks: Alabama DT Da'Ron Payne (No. 13 overall).
Day 1 grade: B
The skinny: Payne wasn't overly productive in college, but his ability to stop the run was desperately needed for the league's worst run defense. If he continues to improve, he and former Tide teammate Jonathan Allen could be a great one-two punch for Washington.

NFC North

Chicago Bears
Draft picks: Georgia LB Roquan Smith (No. 8 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: The Bears found much-needed speed and talent for their defense in Smith. He's not a physical specimen in the Brian Urlacher mold, but he's still a force to be reckoned with. The Georgia star was the best player on the board at the eighth pick.

Detroit Lions
Draft picks: Arkansas C/OG Frank Ragnow (No. 20 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: Detroit needed to get stronger in the middle, and did by picking Ragnow. He could play guard for now, or move to center if needed. Either way, he'll move the line of scrimmage. Matthew Stafford feels better already.

Green Bay Packers
Draft picks: Louisville CB Jaire Alexander (No. 18 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: Even with talented safety Derwin James on the board, the Saints gave the Packers a deal too rich to give up, as Green Bay traded down from No. 14. Getting a 2019 first-round pick was a steal for new GM Brian Gutekunst. Later on, he made a strong move up to pick Alexander, the second-best corner in the draft to most teams, despite being a little undersized. They did give up a third-round pick in this deal, but the net effect of the two deals is still a positive, and they met their biggest position need with a guy who can be an above-average starter.

Minnesota Vikings
Draft picks: UCF CB Mike Hughes (No. 30 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny:Mackensie Alexander needed competition in the slot, so the Vikings ignored their offensive line need to pick Hughes. He's a great athlete with some off-field concerns and only average size. He should excel inside for the Vikings, who will find linemen later on.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons
Draft picks: Alabama WR Calvin Ridley (No. 26 overall).
Day 1 grade: B+
The skinny: Even though the team had needs on defense that Taven Bryan and others could have met, it's tough to blame Thomas Dimitroff for taking a good value in Ridley. And, they can find a nose tackle later in the draft. Ridley's quickness will complement Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu quite well, especially with Andre Roberts and Taylor Gabriel no longer with the team.

Carolina Panthers
Draft picks: Maryland WR D.J. Moore (No. 24 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: The Panthers got the best receiver in the draft at the 24th overall pick. He's fast, quick, elusive, and tough. Get him the ball and let him go. Cam Newton needs more weapons, and Moore fits the bill.

New Orleans Saints
Draft picks: UTSA edge rusher Marcus Davenport (No. 14 overall).
Day 1 grade: C-
The skinny: Sean Payton jumps up the board to get his man, trading from 27 in a deal with the Packers. Davenport is a talented player, but trading a 2019 first-round pick and a 2018 fifth-round pick to go get a raw pass rusher was too heavy a price in my mind.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Draft picks: Washington DT Vita Vea (No. 12 overall).
Day 1 grade: A-
The skinny: Vea is a talented defensive tackle who could be a difference maker against the run and as a penetrator in the interior. I believe there was better value at a position of need in Florida State safety Derwin James. They could have picked a nose tackle later in the draft.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals
Draft picks: UCLA QB Josh Rosen (No. 10 overall).
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: Rosen is the best pure pocket passer in the draft. The Cardinals need to protect him, but if they do, he'll be a Pro Bowler. Giving up third- and fifth-round picks was more than reasonable for a player of his caliber.

Los Angeles Rams
Draft picks: None.
Day 1 grade: A
The skinny: Les Snead pulled the trigger on a trade with the Patriots to land receiver Brandin Cooks, giving up the No. 23 overall pick this year and swapping a sixth-round pick for a fourth-round selection as well. Jared Goff is already thriving under coach Sean McVay, and now he has a very reliable pass catcher to rely on. This is a win-now move, which makes more sense than relying on a rookie receiver to help the offense.

San Francisco 49ers
Draft picks: Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey (No. 9 overall).
Day 1 grade: C+
The skinny: McGlinchey brings power in the run game, and if he can learn to be a better pass protector, they'll have a great find. He's a solid player, but I like linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and safeties Derwin James and Minkah Fitzpatrick as better values here.

Seattle Seahawks
Draft picks: San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny (No. 27 overall).
Day 1 grade: D
The skinny: There was zero surprise that the Seahawks traded down, as they expected their guys to be available later. I believe Penny is a good back, but they picked him too early. This is the modus operandi for the Seahawks in recent years, picking someone in the first round much earlier than most people project. And, in most cases, the picks haven't worked out.

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter @chad_reuter.

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