2011 NFL Draft Grades: Power Rankings of All 32 Teams
All 32 teams had chances to improve their rosters with the upcoming draft, but only a few did so effectively. This slideshow will contain draft grades of all teams and whether they were successful when filling holes in their roster or finding value picks.
The success of their drafts will have a great impact on how teams may do within the coming season.
No. 32: Seattle Seahawks
Last year, I liked what Pete Carroll was doing with the Seahawks. He had a very solid draft in year one; the same could not have been said for year two.
James Carpenter in the late first round was a total reach. With Gabe Carimi still on the board, they must have seen something special with this kid.
Although their main focus was size throughout the draft, including a nice pick in John Moffit (OG), they did not address the quarterback situation. Not sure what that means, free agency maybe?
No. 31: Oakland Raiders
By default, the Raiders would not have made it into my top 10 because of the fact that they were the only team without a first-round pick. The reason for them being so low is that, although they addressed their needs, these were not value picks.
They reached in almost every round, and as usual, the main focus of every draftee was...you guessed it...speed.
Stefen Wisniewski was an overachiever at the center position at Penn State last season and there was no way that any draft expert had a second-round grade on him.
Although I liked that they focused on the run game with the addition of linemen and running back Taiwan Jones, they need to focus a little more on value.
No. 30: Minnesota Vikings
I feel like the addition of Christian Ponder early in the first round overshadows the entire draft that the Vikings had.
Other than that pick, the draft was very solid, addressing almost all needs with value picks.
I have high praise for Kyle Rudolph, who is a first-round talent, and I also like the addition of Christian Ballard on the aging D-line.
Brandon Burton was a great value pick as well at cornerback.
No. 29: Jacksonville Jaguars
This is a similar situation to the Vikings, just the other way around.
The trade for Gabbert in the first round was masterful to say the least. Now he can sit and wait behind Garrard and learn how to play football the right way.
Even though Blaine came out of a spread offense, he is a great talent, and by far has the best situation of all the quarterbacks in the first round.
The reason why they are so low is that after this pick the rest of their draft was rather weak. Although they probably got good value for the guys they chose, most, if not all, of the draftees were from small schools that were not Division I-A.
No. 28: Carolina Panthers
This draft was all about Cam Newton.
It is hard to grade the Panthers because they had the number one overall pick.
It was also very hard for them to pass up on such a talent. But they did not have enough picks to build around Newton or to make this 2-14 team much better.
Even though they filled some holes, only Cam Newton is the real prize here.
No. 27: New York Jets
The Jets had a very solid draft. But here is the catch: Where is the legitimate outside linebacker to rush the passer?
They still do not possess an elite pass rusher, and did not address this position. You can argue that there was a serious talent drop-off as soon as Von Miller and Aldon Smith came off the board, but there were some good players on the board late in the first round, and later on in the draft.
They could have traded out of the first round and got Akeem Ayers or Brooks Reed early on day two.
That being said, I like the pick of Muhammad Wilkerson. They must have really liked him to not take an outside linebacker.
Maybe Wilkerson can help that line and be a good NT in that 3-4 scheme, as Kris Jenkins is not the long-term answer (due to injuries).
No. 26: Miami Dolphins
They had to come sooner or later.
The Dolphins' draft was very solid. They focused on the running game with their first two picks in Pouncey (first round) and Daniel Thomas (second round).
These picks were very solid, but the problem is that they did not address the quarterback need.
Does this tell us what they think of Chad Henne? Will they give him another chance?
Or, they could aquire Kevin Kolb via trade.
We will know soon enough.
No. 25: Tennessee Titans
The Titans were the first to shock everyone on draft night. They drafted Jake Locker with the eighth overall pick.
Although I somewhat like the pick, (you can argue that it was high) it makes sense, and they did not have a bad draft.
There were some reaches here and there in their draft.
But all in all, they addressed needs and drafted well. Jake Locker is why they are this low, because it qualifies as a major reach.
No. 24: Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs were another team with a solid draft.
With Jonathan Baldwin in the first round, they addressed need and value simultaneously.
I like this pick; it really helps broaden the offensive scheme, and helps Dwayne Bowe and Matt Cassel. The pick of Justin Houston is the third round troubles me. Although addressing a need, he is not a hard worker, and I question his work ethic and how it may transition to the NFL.
The same can be said for their other third-round pick in Allen Bailey, another rather lackadaisical player.
No. 23: Chicago Bears
Gabe Carimi gives Mike Martz an aggressive edge blocker to insert into the lineup. Though he is ideally suited to play right tackle, Carimi could move inside to guard to fortify the interior of a leaky offensive line. Regardless of where he winds up, he is a significant upgrade at either position for the Bears. I like this pick.
With the second-round pick, Stephen Paea is one of the strongest players in the draft. He has some injury concern but this is some great value in the second round. It also fits a need because of the recent release of former Pro Bowler Tommie Harris.
The reason for being this low is because their draft quality fell off after the first two rounds.
No. 22: San Diego Chargers
I like Corey Liuget, although he fits in more of a 3-technique system. I believe the Chargers will use him well in the 3-4 scheme.
I thought they would have traded down a bit or take Phil Taylor, and plugged him in at nose tackle. Guess not.
In addition to the first-round pick, the Chargers had five of the first 89 picks. They spent the money rather well, and filled all their needs.
I am just not in love with the first-round pick.
No. 21: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts had a rather boring draft, but it was clear what they were looking for.
They were looking to protect their sheriff in Peyton Manning.
They did so by getting a couple of very solid offensive tackles in the first two rounds.
Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana were very solid and college and will have great pro careers.
They did an excellent job at drafting for need and value. Just no fireworks.
No. 20: Dallas Cowboys
Drafting Tyron Smith in the first round was very safe. Although a great pick, very safe and unlike Jerry Jones.
Jason Garrett seeks to rebuild the Cowboys' offensive line by adding a powerful edge blocker in Smith. Although he is raw and unpolished in several aspects, his pure athleticism, strength and power make him a potential Pro Bowler at the position.
Bruce Carter and DeMarco Murray are good picks, but they just have injury problems, and this could be a good thing or a bad thing. I am leaning towards a pessimistic point of view right now.
No. 19: Philadelphia Eagles
I did not mind the pick of Danny Watkins in the first round, but I felt as if the Eagles would have leaned toward either Gabe Carimi or Jimmy Smith at that point.
I never saw that pick happening.
Although I like their second-round pick of Jaiquawn Jarrett at safety, I feel as if it was a little bit of a reach at that point.
Everyone also saw the addition of "bloodline" Casey Matthews; hopefully he will have an impact on an intriguing linebacker competition.
No. 18: Washington Redskins
Normally the Redskins would have been lower, as they have built a reputation as being one of the worst-drafting teams in the last 12 years. But there was a change of approach in this draft, and you could definitely feel that Mike Shanahan was in the war room.
They did not have many picks initially, but all the trading down and maneuvering in the draft made it quite exciting for Redskins fans.
Every pick was quite solid for the Redskins. They had a top-10 draft.
But, no quarterback. I did not understand this move, as I wonder now, where are they going to go in terms of the QB position?
No. 17: Tampa Bay Bucaneers
Their draft has the potential to be a top-five draft class this year.
They just took risks with the first two picks.
Adrian Clayborn is a great player, and there is no doubt about the fact that Da'Quan Bowers is a stud at DE.
But, these players have threatening injury problems and can easily be busts in the NFL.
I like the move, but somehow it may turn out bad.
No. 16: St. Louis Rams
It was quite evident that the whole draft was about building around their new franchise quarterback, Sam Bradford.
I liked the pick of Robert Quinn in the first round, but I would have liked to see them dip into the DT pool that was still very deep at their selection. But all in all, great choices as they drafted wide receivers and tight ends to accommodate the budding star.
No. 15: Green Bay Packers
I liked their draft. They continued with O-line to help Aaron Rodgers surgically own defenses, and added great players at all need positions.
The Packers rarely miss in the draft; this is their "bread and butter."
No. 14: Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers also very rarely miss with their first-round picks.
Cameron Heyward is a great pick and just looks like a Steelers player, just like his dad.
Great draft. They addressed most if not all their needs.
No. 13: San Francisco 49ers
Some wondered why they passed up on Gabbert and took Aldon Smith in the top 10. Well, they answered that with the selection of Colin Kaepernick in the second round.
Great draft all around the board; they addressed needs and possibly got a steal with Kendall Hunter at running back in the later rounds.
No. 12: Cleveland Browns
Cleveland got a great deal from the Falcons with that blockbuster trade early in the draft.
The Browns finally got to focus on quantity not quality when building their football team. Nowadays, it is all about depth when a team wants to move forward.
The reason for not being in the top 10 is the addition of Phil Taylor—I see him more as an NT than a 3-technique in their system. It seemed to me that they might still be unsure of which system they want to run in the defense.
This was reinforced when they draft Jabaal Sheard in the second round. Another player that is better suited for standing up and rushing the passer.
We will see what they do with defense, but this team will get much better with the next two drafts.
No. 11: New York Giants
I love the addition of Prince in the first round. This was a great value pick.
They went on to draft Marvin Austin in the second and continued to draft for need throughout the rest of the draft.
Very solid draft, though they concentrated on defense maybe a little too much once again.
No. 10: Denver Broncos
I'm still wondering about the Von Miller pick, but they will sort that out.
Very good draft for the Broncos, Fox and Elway.
The concentration was all about defense and rightly so—this was the blatant weak point of this team.
The got an excellent linebacker, the top safety and a nasty O-lineman.
I am just not in love with the Miller pick. Dareus would have been better.
No. 9: Baltimore Ravens
Ozzie Newsome is a draft mastermind.
I loved the Jimmy Smith pick, and if you call steals in the first round viable, this has the chance to be one.
Torrey Smith in the second adds speed to this already great receiving core.
Excellent job of addressing needs and making value picks simultaneously.
No. 8: Atlanta Falcons
This has the potential to be a huge mistake.
But I will not take that route.
Julio Jones is an amazing talent, and I respect the guts of Atlanta for sacrificing all that they did. It was a solid draft after that, although they did not have many picks after.
I love the Jacquizz Rodgers pick. He will have an instant impact.
No. 7: Buffalo Bills
I was quite shocked when I looked back at all these great picks that the Bills took.
This draft elevates this defense immensely. I love what they did at all three levels of the defense and they got a stud to put on the line with the No. 3 pick in Marcell Dareus.
No. 6: Arizona Cardinals
Patrick Peterson will now give that defense some more swagger and really help the Cardinals.
They had an excellent draft and could have easily had the best one—only one problem.
This obviously means they are listening to their star wideout in Larry Fitzgerald. He clearly stated that he wanted a veteran at QB. Look for a veteran like Marc Bulger or Kevin Kolb to start next season.
I love the Ryan Williams pick, by the way.
No. 5: New England Patriots
Need I say any more where the Patriots are concerned?
They own every draft.
Sometimes it looks like they own every pick! But on a serious note. I liked their picks of Nate Solder and Ras-I Dowling. The two running backs are very solid too.
But Ryan Mallett is a great and very smart pick. This kid will now flourish in the NFL.
Bill does it again.
No. 4: New Orleans Saints
The Saints got two top-20 players in the first round. Excellent value pick in Cameron Jordan and a great pick in Mark Ingram.
This draft was very solid from top to bottom and they took arguably the best ILB in the draft in Martez Wilson.
No. 3: Houston Texans
I love how everyone underestimates this draft for the Houston Texans. This was huge.
They addressed and built their new 3-4 scheme in one draft.
J.J Watt will be a stud and will start at the 5-technique for a long time. Brooks Reed is a high-motor guy and will get multiple sacks in his career when it's all said and done.
Brandon Harris and Carmichael at CB are two excellent picks. They are both good cover corners and excellent ball hawks.
No. 2: Detriot Lions
This was by far the best value pick in the first round. I got chills when I saw Fairley pick up the phone.
Suh and Fairley?
This is an excellent pick by the Lions.
Titus Young and Mikel Leshoure are also big-time picks.
Watch out for the Lions.
No. 1: Cincinnati Bengals
This was a statement draft for the Bengals.
Andy Dalton-to-A.J Green for the next eight years is an awesome thing for the Bengals.
This was a statement and it was heard throughout the league.
Goodbye Ochocinco and Palmer.
This was the best draft up and down the board.
With Dontay Moch as the third pick, they got the fastest and one of the most athletic linebackers in the draft.
Clint Boling and Robert Sands are both great players at their positions and these positions are also needs for the Bengals.
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