As I say every year, the draft is about adding talent, but winning is about talent development. I know I can't grade a draft class on performance for at least a few years, which is a reason I audit old drafts. What I do here is assess three main things:
• How much overall talent did a team add, based on board position?
• How effectively did they address key personnel voids?
• How efficient were they in maneuvering on the draft board?
Remember: I have to use my player grades as the prism. I'm well aware all NFL teams see players differently -- I debate with those evaluators all year. Disagreements are just the reality of this process, and I'm sure they have some grades on me.
Grading scale: In my mind an A means it's exceptional; a B is pretty good; a C is average, with hits and questions marks; a D means below average with some big questions. An F ... well, keep reading.
Seattle Seahawks: A-
Top needs: WR, CB, C/G, DE
Let's start with this question: Will there be any rookie in the NFL next year who figures to be better than Jimmy Graham? In a health vacuum, I'd say no. And remember, Graham is truly the centerpiece of this draft, as he came over for the price of the 31st pick and Max Unger. Every guy drafted this week has the hope of being a star; Jimmy Graham IS a star. That's a good grade on its own. I have to trust Seattle has vetted Frank Clark's off-field problems and feels comfortable bringing him in. Assuming he's OK there, the value is pretty fair, and they could use the pass-rushing help. The pick of Tyler Lockett (they moved up for him) is one of my favorites in the entire draft. The guy is just always open, and anybody who watched the Super Bowl knows how much the Seahawks need pass-catchers who can create some separation. This is your guy. From there, you see some decent bets on offensive line help, which we know is an obvious need area. Overall, the combination of adding Graham and Lockett, plus the attempt to improve things with some new competitors to win jobs along the offensive line makes this draft a pretty good one for the Seahawks, who seem to always have a developmental plan for their picks. We often have players graded differently, but they know how to coach them up.
Pittsburgh Steelers: A-
Top needs: CB, S, OLB, TE