Arizona Cardinals: A
The Cardinals didn’t necessarily need a linebacker/safety hybrid, but Isaiah Simmons’ talent made him the right choice at No. 8. He’ll pay immediate dividends all over Arizona’s defense.
Grabbing Josh Jones in the third round will also give the Cardinals an immediate starter at tackle. That’s going to be crucial for Kyler Murray’s development.
Keep a close eye on sixth round pick Evan Weaver’s work for the team as the season rolls along. He’s going to need some time to adjust to NFL competition, but he’s got the quick twitch athleticism required to generate pressure at the next level. The Cardinals did great work in this year’s draft.
Los Angeles Rams: C
The Rams certainly had a need at running back, but that doesn’t mean spending their best draft choice on Cam Akers was the right move. He needs to be an above average starter immediately to make the pick pay off.
Van Jefferson should pay immediate dividends from Round 2. Terrell Lewis has some fans too, but his injury issues are a major red flag. Fifth round pick Brycen Hopkins has a chance to help this offense out in future years as well. He wasn’t overly productive in college but he’s got the athleticism to make plays down the field.
The Rams drafted some decent prospects, but there’s not enough upside in this class to earn an above average mark.
San Francisco 49ers: B+
The 49ers did a great job in Round 1 coming away with both Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk. Then again, they needed to hit on both those picks since they didn’t have a selection on Day Two.
Kinlaw needs to up his consistency but the 49ers coaching staff should be able to help him maximize his potential. Aiyuk has a chance to make big plays for Jimmy Garoppolo right away. He was really good value late in the first round.
The 49ers also took an intriguing receiver in Round 7. Jauan Jennings may not have elite speed, but he showed great ball skills at Tennessee. He caps off a solidly above average class for the ‘Niners.
Seattle Seahawks: B-
The Seahawks came into the draft with a clear plan to upgrade their speed on defense. Jordyn Brooks will give their linebacker corps more juice, but he wasn’t a great value choice late in Round 1.
Moving up to grab Tennessee edge rusher Darrell Taylor in the second round was another questionable move in terms of value. He really struggled with injuries during his last season in Knoxville. He’ll need to shrug off those concerns and fulfill all of his potential to exceed his Round 2 draft slot.
DeeJay Dallas may never be a No. 1 back, but he’s going to contribute early and often for Seattle. Grabbing him in the fourth round might turn out to be the team’s most valuable move of the draft. This wasn’t a great group for the Seahawks, but there’s some talent there for Pete Carroll and his coaching staff.