NFL Draft Grades for all 32 first round NFL picks


Credit: New York Giants (Instagram)


If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times... intros are boring. Let's get right into what everybody wants to see and read:


1. Travon Walker, Edge, Jaguars


Frascella's Big Board: No. 1 overall

Relativity Grade: A


I know Travon sort of came on late as a consensus No. 1 kinda guy, but to me he really does look the part. With the pressure that Josh Allen already gets for Jacksonville, Travon comes in with less stress and can swim in his wake at times. The duo should work well together. I don't take any issue with this No. 1 overall selection by the Jags.


2. Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Lions


Frascella's Big Board: No. 7 overall

Relativity Grade: B-


Hutchinson is a typical "you know what you're gonna get" type of pick. On the bright side, we love his effort and passion for the game. On the downside? You really wanna know how I feel? I think he runs weird and isn't explosive at all, relative to where he was selected in this draft. But Dan Campbell will pump him full of confidence and Hutchinson will do his best to be a leader for this rebuilding Detroit team.


3. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, Texans


Frascella's Big Board: No. 9 overall

Relativity Grade: C+


Something just doesn't feel right, here. I don't like taking corners this high in general, and I don't like so many of the reports on Stingley's attitude and demeanor. The tape doesn't blow me away, either. And, in the end, I don't trust the Texans' evaluators. Feels like Stingley will ultimately become a run-of-the-mill corner and we'll wonder why he wasn't selected at the end of the 1st round, as opposed to the beginning.


4. Sauce Gardner, CB, Jets


Frascella's Big Board: No. 6 overall

Relativity Grade: B


I'm not gonna lie, my physical reaction to this pick wasn't good. I was with my buddies and dropped to the ground with a faux heart attack. And it wasn't a heart attack from excitement and happiness. Nope, I just wasn't happy with this pick in the slightest. Ultimately, GM Joe Douglas had a larger plan that I simply couldn't see at the time. I wanted Thibodeaux here, but our pass rusher came later on in the 1st round.


5. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Giants


Frascella's Big Board: No. 3 overall

Relativity Grade: A


Not too many guys "looked the part" to me in the first round of this ugly NFL Draft. But, like Travon Walker at No. 1, Mr. Thibodeaux was one of those rare players. As I said, I wanted my Jets to nab him at No. 4. A fun tidbit on Thibodeaux, already:


Todd McShay just reported that he had information on how bad the Kayvon Thibodeaux interview went with the NYG "historically bad"


Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll both came from Buffalo, and these guys know what they are doing. They are locked in and in-step with a league that is always rapidly changing and evolving. If they like Thibodeaux, and I like Thibodeaux, I really do think he's one of the top three overall players in this divisive draft class.


6. Ickey Ekwonu, OT, Panthers


Frascella's Big Board: No. 5 overall

Relativity Grade: A-


A safe pick in this spot, indeed. There's still an outside chance that Ekwonu isn't the best offensive lineman in this draft, though. Evan Neal, Charles Cross and Zion Johnson have loads of pro potential, as well. So that's why I go A- here instead of pure "A".


7. Evan Neal, OT, Giants


Frascella's Big Board: No. 10 overall

Relativity Grade: B


See, it's funny how things can change quickly. At No. 5, I was lockstep with Schoen and Daboll. Here... I had Neal as low as the fourth-best OL in this draft. In an initial iteration of my Big Board, I actually had Neal in the early 20s in terms of my player evaluation. I don't think he's explosive. I think he's a steady guy who eventually just blends in. Is that what you want at No. 7 overall? But, I'm safely assuming that Schoen and Daboll know more about football than I do. And I like this management pair, so I'm bumping Neal up to the last spot in my top 10.


8. Drake London, WR, Falcons


Frascella's Big Board: No. 11 overall

Relativity Grade: B-


This Relativity Grade gets an extra "ding" because of the receivers who were taken after London. You'll see how I feel about Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams in a bit. I don't think London is significantly separated from Chris Olave or Jahan Dotson, really. And to be honest, I don't particularly love those two guys, either. The only thing saving Atlanta here is that they have a good history with "hands" players: Kyle Pitts, Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones, dating backwards. The organization seems to "know" receivers. We'll see. I can barely rank London as my No. 3 overall wide receiver in this draft class.




9. Charles Cross, OT, Seahawks


Frascella's Big Board: No. 12 overall

Relativity Grade: A-


Just seemed like a very easy pick for Seattle. They are in rebuilding mode, and a lot of teams simply start from the O-Line. I've seen mocks with Cross as the best offensive lineman in the class, too. Still, I'm not going full "A" because... why did the Giants pass on Cross, whom many considered to be a bit safer selection in that spot? Hmm. And Seattle hasn't been doing anything right lately, either. So I'm going A- when at first glance, this could have potentially been an A.


10. Garrett Wilson, WR, Jets


Frascella's Big Board: No. 2 overall

Relativity Grade: A+


And with this, Joe Douglas began his ascension back into my good graces.


Watch the film on Wilson, and you know the kid can do it all. He's confident, he's cocky and he can beat you every which way in open space. The only question is this... in so many of his highlights he is WIDE open. Is that because he's the best route runner on the planet? Or is college coverage often that soft and that weak? I mean, you can tell from my A+ grade, I think Wilson is the real deal. He won't beat pro coverage like that, but he'll beat it nonetheless. Benefits from the presence of Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios, Corey Davis, Michael Carter, CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin taking defensive attention away from him as a rookie. Lord knows, Zach Wilson is gonna need Garrett Wilson's help this season.


11. Chris Olave, WR, Saints


Frascella's Big Board: No. 19 overall

Relativity Grade: C-


Like... huh? You trade up and don't take Jameson Williams here? Especially as a rebuilding team? (Again, I'll talk more about Williams, coming up next.) Sean Payton steps away, and I guess things get wacky in New Orleans. This move seemed completely out of touch with the projected runout of this draft. Again, I'm not so sure Olave is even better than Jahan Dotson. I very well might have taken Dotson over Olave, in a vacuum.


12. Jameson Williams, WR, Lions


Frascella's Big Board: No. 4 overall

Relativity Grade: A+


Yes sirrrrrrrr! You can see what Dan Campbell and the Lions are doing, here. Hutchinson was the "safe" pick up top. Now they go major upside in Williams. We all know about the reasonable injury concerns at this point, but this was a no-brainer for Detroit given the current state of their franchise. You gotta take a chance on a potential No. 1 receiver for your quarterback after Jared Goff completely loses grip on the job.


In all honesty, pre-injury, Williams was neck-and-neck with Garrett Wilson for me. Kind of reminded me of old draft comparisons between like, Henry Ruggs and CeeDee Lamb or Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith. Do you take a shot on the explosive speed? Or do you go with the more complete all-around player? At full health, I have Williams as the No. 3 overall player in this draft class. For now, with the injury considerations, I'm giving Thibodeaux the slight edge for that spot and distinction.


13. Jordan Davis, DT, Eagles


Frascella's Big Board: No. 20 overall

Relativity Grade: C+


Just doesn't do it for me. This early? He's a blah player, in terms of explosiveness, dominance and Pro Bowl potential. As I said to my buddies during the draft, if you're gonna go DT within the top 15 picks, you should want the guy to wow you like Derrick Brown to the Panthers in 2020. He's a kid who jumps off the screen at you. Jordan Davis is certainly not that. But hey... hat's off to the Eagles for nabbing A.J. Brown!


14. Kyle Hamilton, S, Ravens


Frascella's Big Board: No. 18 overall

Relativity Grade: B-


This was very close to being a C+. You deal Marquise "Hollywood" Brown and draft this kid within the same hour or so? How is Lamar Jackson going to improve as a passer, coming off injury? And to me, Safety simply isn't an impact position in the NFL. We have to draw the line, somewhere. I still think Jamal Adams is a pretty good Safety - how much impact did he actually have on the Win column for the Jets? How about the Win column for Seattle since transitioning? There's no one-to-one correlation at this position. Losing Hollywood Brown could really hurt Baltimore and Jackson. Adding Hamilton this early in the draft isn't gonna make that much of a difference. (Though, to be fair, he is the best Safety in this class.)


15. Kenyon Green, OL, Texans


Frascella's Big Board: No. 25 overall

Relativity Grade: D


Lot of post-Round 1 articles indicating that Green was easily one of the top "reaches" of the evening. I can totally see why the other experts would think that. My Big Board of 32 is in relativity to the players who were actually selected in the first round. If we went into undrafted players thus far, I'd have the following above Green: Nakobe Dean, Andrew Booth Jr., Malik Willis, Boye Mafe, Matt Corral and Sam Howell.


The Texans simply don't know what they are doing.


16. Jahon Dotson, WR, Washington


Frascella's Big Board: No. 21 overall

Relativity Grade: B


Good idea to get Terry McLaurin some help within this passing attack. Things just haven't worked out with youngster Antonio Gandy-Golden on this front. Curtis Samuel has to prove he can stay healthy, too. So Dotson is a safe pick, here. He's not gonna knock your socks off - like say, McLaurin - but he's a complementary player who is gonna have to be of assistance to shaky Carson Wentz.


17. Zion Johnson, OL, Chargers


Frascella's Big Board: No. 16 overall

Relativity Grade: A


The Chargers have been getting things right, lately. I don't think there's any question that - at the pro level - Zion will be a better and more productive football player than Kenyon Green who went No. 15 overall. Zion's a good, solid lineman who is ready to play at the game's highest level. Justin Herbert will enjoy his company.


18. Treylon Burks, WR, Titans


Frascella's Big Board: No. 22 overall

Relativity Grade: B-


Could have been a solid "B", but this reeks of some desperation in the wake of the A.J. Brown trade. Considering the preexisting strength of Tennessee's defense and running game, I think they should consider WRs George Pickens, Christian Watson and Skyy Moore in the second round, too. Just in case Burks was a tiny bit of a reach. Things were getting a little thin in this spot here in the first round, but it still feels like a quick trigger of sorts.


(You may not necessarily get a synopsis from here on out.)


19. Trevor Penning, OT, Saints


Frascella's Big Board: No. 23 overall

Relativity Grade: B-


20. Kenny Pickett, QB, Steelers


Frascella's Big Board: No. 14 overall

Relativity Grade: A-


Again, this could have been an "A", but personally there's a good possibility I would have taken Malik Willis here. Mitchell Trubisky is still just 27 years old, and I'm not necessarily sure Pickett is better than him. There are some similarities, admittedly. Thus, I'd rather take a shot on the more dynamic player in Willis. Still, the Steelers had to take a quarterback here. And Pickett was definitely one of the top two quarterbacks on the board. Just not sure he was the "right" one, thus the A- instead of the A.


21. Trent McDuffie, CB, Chiefs


Frascella's Big Board: No. 24 overall

Relativity Grade: B


22. Quay Walker, LB, Packers


Frascella's Big Board: No. 13 overall

Relativity Grade: A


The Packers have been hot with defensive players, lately. Sure, they are an offensive organization known for Aaron Rodgers, Matt LaFleur, Davante Adams and Aaron Jones in recent years, but don't forget about Rashan Gary, Kenny Clark, De'Vondre Campbell, Preston Smith and Jaire Alexander on the flip side of the ball. If the Packers stay elite in the absence of Adams this season, it'll be in large part because of this quietly stacked D.


23. Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida


Frascella's Big Board: No. 15 overall

Relativity Grade: A-


Looks like a steal here, for sure. Like I said earlier, this current Bills' administration knows what the hell it is doing. I would have taken Elam over McDuffie at No. 21. I also would have waited for Elam, as opposed to reaching for Stingley like the hapless Texans did.


24. Tyler Smith, OT, Cowboys


Frascella's Big Board: No. 26 overall

Relativity Grade: B


25. Tyler Linderbaum, C, Ravens


Frascella's Big Board: No. 17 overall

Relativity Grade: A


In the famous sports book Moneyball, there's a lot of talk about "Defective Players". In baseball, maybe the guy is overweight. Maybe he doesn't "look the part". Maybe he grades out poorly on the athleticism metrics. Well, in football here, there's supposedly a problem with the size of Linderbaum's hands. But have you seen this kid get up field and block? Kyle Hamilton may not have been the right pick at 14, but the Ravens nailed this one right here.


26. Jermaine Johnson II, Edge, Jets


Frascella's Big Board: No. 8 overall

Relativity Grade: A+


And here's the second of two "Defective Players," back-to-back. I already tweeted about JJ2 today:

And that right there pretty much sums up how I feel. I think most of us had Jermaine as one of the top 10-15 overall players in this draft class. He simply fell because he is 23 years old, which is just absolutely ludicrous. This is "old world thinking" from the many teams who passed on him. Joe Douglas made a genius move here, trading up to get one of the best players in the draft. In my last-minute mock, I actually had JJ2 going 5 overall to the G-Men:

Just an absolute steal for my Jets. I feel a lot better about the Sauce Gardner premature selection, now.


27. Devin Lloyd, LB, Jaguars


Frascella's Big Board: No. 27

Relativity Grade: B+


28. Devonte Wyatt, DT, Packers


Frascella's Big Board: No. 28

Relativity Grade: A-


29. Cole Strange, G, Patriots


Frascella's Big Board: No. 32

Relativity Grade: F


Yes sirrrrrrr! We've got the Talk of the Town, right here. Here's the instantly famous Sean McVay clip:

And like, come on. We all know the deal at this point. Belichick is a dinosaur now. McVay is totally locked in on the heartbeat of the league. Cole Strange represents an absolute disaster of a pick in this spot. Hands down, the worst pick in the draft.


30. George Karlaftis, Edge, Chiefs


Frascella's Big Board: No. 29

Relativity Grade: B+


31. Daxton Hill, S, Bengals


Frascella's Big Board: No. 30

Relativity Grade: A-


32. Lewis Cine, S, Vikings


Frascella's Big Board: No. 31

Relativity Grade: B+


PICK POWER RANKINGS


1. Jermaine Johnson II: A+

2. Garrett Wilson: A+

3. Jameson Williams: A+

4. Kayvon Thibodeaux: A

5. Travon Walker: A

6. Quay Walker: A

7. Tyler Linderbaum: A

8. Zion Johnson: A

9. Ickey Ekwonu: A-

10. Charles Cross: A-

11. Kaair Elam: A-

12. Devonte Wyatt: A-

13. Kenny Pickett: A-

14. Daxton Hill: A-

15. Lewis Cine: B+

16. George Karlaftis: B+

17. Devin Lloyd: B+

18. Sauce Gardner: B

19. Evan Neal: B

20. Jahon Dotson: B

21. Trent McDuffie: B

22. Tyler Smith: B

23. Aidan Hutchinson: B-

24. Drake London: B-

25. Kyle Hamilton: B-

26. Treylon Burks: B-

27. Trevor Penning: B-

28. Derek Stingley Jr.: C+

29. Jordan Davis: C+

30. Chris Olave: C-

31. Kenyon Green: D

32. Cole Strange: F


JOHN FRASCELLA'S BEST AVAILABLE


Nakobe Dean: A-

Malik Willis: A-

Andrew Booth: B+

Boye Mafe: B+

George Pickens: B+

Bernhard Raimann: B

Roger McCreary: B

Matt Corral: B

Sam Howell: B

Jalen Pitre: B

Christian Watson: B

Skyy Moore: B


I truly hope you enjoyed this piece... and bring on the debate, we welcome it at Aaron Torres Media!


John Frascella is a published sports author and Senior Writer for Aaron Torres Online. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things football, basketball and baseball.

 

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