Atlanta Falcons: B
The Falcons didn’t enter the draft with a ton of holes, but they did a nice job getting good value early on. Their first two picks, Calvin Ridley and Isaiah Oliver, really could turn out to be nice players in time.
After that, the Falcons got a little sloppy. Ito Smith and Russell Gage both look like career backups. Atlanta should have been more aggressive in the late rounds in hopes of finding a star. Instead, they limited themselves to trying to find players to strengthen the back-end of their roster. The Falcons started the draft loudly but finished it with a whimper.
Carolina Panthers: C+
The Panthers started the draft hot by scooping up DJ Moore. He could be the perfect wide receiver to take pressure off of Cam Newton and Devin Funchess.
Unfortunately, day two was pretty erratic for the Panthers. Donte Jackson and Rashaan Gaulden are both intriguing secondary prospects, but both were reaches in the second and third rounds respectively.
Getting Ian Thomas with the first pick on day three helped push the Panthers haul back slightly above average, but it wasn’t a banner haul for Marty Hurney and company.
New Orleans Saints: D+
The Saints started the draft off hot by spending big to move up and take Marcus Davenport. Some people are criticizing the price New Orleans paid but it’s just the sort of move that could help the team reach another Super Bowl with Drew Brees at the helm.
Unfortunately, the Saints went super conservative after taking Davenport. That led to a pretty nondescript finish to the draft for Sean Payton and Co. Rick Leonard may develop into a competent tackle in time, but there isn’t a lot of other starting-caliber talent in the Saints’ draft haul.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: B+
Tampa Bay has a lot of ground to make up in this division but tis draft should really help. Vita Vea was a bit of a surprise in the first round, but he’ll really help their defensive push up front.
Day two was also particularly strong for the Buccaneers. Ronald Jones gives the team a chance to put their ugly history with Doug Martin behind them for good. M.J. Stewart has off the field concerns but was well worth the risk with the No. 53 pick.
Tampa Bay can feel really good about the possibility of adding three immediate starters in this draft. GMs that manage to do that on a regular basis tend to retire with gold watches and Super Bowl rings.