Yes, I know you can't grade a draft class for performance until a few years after -- at least. But again, the draft grades aren't based on NFL performance, they are based on total value added based on where I had players ranked. It's about maximizing the draft, maneuvering through trades, and nothing more.
Remember: The updated grades are just a fun exercise in seeing how the draft class appears to be shaping up. It's a check to see how players are coming along. A few parameters:
• I look at first-year impact from the rookie class based on relative value -- contributing to a winner is worth more than piling up reps for a bad team.
• I included rookie undrafted free agents added after the draft. (That's part of the process, really.)
• Like the rookie rankings, I try to ask whether players who contributed could do so for most teams. Again, relative value matters.
On the undrafted free agents: Those guys are a part of the draft in many ways. The draft is shorter now to better allocate rookies, so how well teams prioritize free agents is part of that process. And I certainly scout and rate far more players than will be drafted. With that in mind, let's see whether my draft night grades held up.
Post-draft grade: B
Summary: There is going to be a misconception about this dropped grade. Let me dispel that quickly, because I hear "struggled" when this player's rookie year is described, pretty much all the time. The truth: Calvin Pryor was just fine as a rookie. He was better than a league-average safety, and in a league where safeties and corners look bad all the time as they adjust to the speed and technical ability of receivers, tight ends and backs running at them -- remember Dee Milliner's rookie year, Jets fans? -- Pryor wasn't remotely bad. He just wasn't a star, had his ups and downs in coverage, and assuming he improves, he can be a really good player. He wasn't a bad pick. Jace Amaro caught 38 passes (tied for second on the team) and if he can ever find chemistry with whomever is at QB, can be a good one. Dexter McDougle got hurt, so that's just bad luck.
Where this draft suffers is New York simply didn't find even the hint of a playmaker at wide receiver when so many others did. They took Pryor when Brandin Cooks was available (excusable), McDougle instead of John Brown or Donte Moncrief, then both Jalen Saunders and Shaq Evans in front or Martavis Bryant. Heck yes, this is total hindsight, but that's what an early re-grade is. I wrote then, "I thought the Jets did a nice job with my one question being whether they really added a player in the passing game that will scare defenses." Amaro is a start, and a trade for Percy Harvin that came too late helped, but there was some bad luck and missed opportunities. There's nothing really to be said yet for the many late lottery ticket picks they had. The fact that the team struggled so much doesn't help, either.