I always hear analysts talking about how draft grades are only relevant a few years after the draft, but I never see them actually make those grades. Obviously, there is a lot of talk about how good or bad the 2014 draft is or how Ozzie is a wizard or how he has lost it. I decided to post the drafts from 2008-2012 so that we can actually take a look and give some grades. I haven't included data about trading up or back, though it is relevant to the discussion. I don't plan to grade them, but I am interested in grades that other fans give. Please justify your reasoning for whatever grades you do give. I've listed round, name and position. If you spot errors, let me know so I can come back to correct them.
I can't really give grades as such because players productivity and the length of time before becoming productive all play a part. I really look at development in terms of initial investment, rate of return and total value like any real investment. A 7th rounder that took 3 years to become a back-up isn't a bad pick. A first round pick that takes 3 years to become a starter is less than I would expect for such a high investment. I simplify it to what I see as the basic cost to the team and the total value he has provided.
Very High Value = Cornerstone of the Team, Elite Player
High Value = Starting Caliber, Productive and Consistent Player
Medium Value = Plays a valuable if limited role for the team, productive in his role
Low Value = Offers some value in terms of adding depth and possibly a weak link on a productive team
No Value = Did little to nothing that really contributed to the team on gameday
I assign roles that I feel we assumed the player would take the first year. Starters were assumed to become starters the first year. Solid Role player were assumed to play a productive part in the offense year one but not necessarily start. Depth picks were drafted to add to a rotation as a reserve in the first year but not necessarily see significant time. Development picks were meant to be brought along over time and bring contributions down the road.
Disclaimer: To me most picks outside of the first four rounds are meant to be longshots and projects that we shouldn't expect much from. We use our PSquad and Injured Reserve like an in-house minor league to help us develop players on the fringes of the roster. That gives most developmental guys 2-years to figure it out or hit the streets. Mostly low risk gambles that pan out sometimes along with RFA's.
2: Courtney Upshaw OLB - Solid Role - Drafted to take over a role in the defense and has been a solid contributor all along, particularly in the run game. A solid vet. High Cost / High Value
2: Kelechi Osemele G - Solid Role - Drafted to compete for a starting role Osemele started 14 games at RT and the playoffs at LG helping us win a SB. Flashed dominance at G before injury last year. High Cost / Very High Value (High to Med value if injury persists)
3: Bernard Pierce RB - Solid Role - Came in a provided a good option at RB after Rice. Looked great year 1, but struggled last year along with Rice in part due to oline. Had been productive and looks to be productive again. Med Cost / High Value
4: Gino Gradkowski C - Development Pick - Groomed to take over at C but under-performed as a starter. Started for us all last year and a depth player the year before but absent a great camp he looks like he out. Med Cost / Med Value
4: Christian Thompson S - Solid Role - Drafted to add depth to the safety corps. Never added up to the sum of his parts. Talented but never developed. Med Cost / No Value
5: Asa Jackson CB - Development Pick - Asa has looked good preseason but can seem to get playing time but has managed to make the team and provide depth every year. Suspension irked team last year. Jury is out. Low Cost / ??? Value
6: Tommy Streeter WR - Development Pick - So much talent and nothing more. PSquad/IR Stash. Low Cost / No Value
7: DeAngelo Tyson DE - Development Pick - A player we thought could develop into something with time. Managed a bit of production his rookie year and then moved fully into the rotation his second. A solid contributor in the DE/DT rotation. Low Cost / Med Value
1: Jimmy Smith CB - Starter - Drafted to be a starter Jimmy took longer to develop than we would have liked but he is one of the better corners in the league. High Cost / Very High Value
2: Torrey Smith WR - Solid Role - Drafted to be the WR of the future with a start as a deep threat. He has been as advertised and seems to get better every year. High Cost / High Value
3: Jah Reid OT - Development Pick - Looked like he was going to be a good project. Has tools but cannot manage to be consistent. Has been depth on the line but unable to achieve starting role. Jury is out but appears to be a bust. Med Cost / Low Value
4: Tandon Doss WR - Development Pick - Slid due to injury. Began as a sure handed route runner but failed to produce when given the chance after a few years behind Boldin. Productive in ST. Med Cost / Low Value
5: Chykie Brown CB - Development Pick - Large CB that has all the physical tools but lacks the smarts to fully develop. Still he's been very productive. Low Cost / Med Value
5: Pernell McPhee DE - Development Pick - An undersized DT he managed production as a rookie but has since had a hard time finding a role and escaping injury. Low Cost / Med Value
6: Tyrod Taylor QB - Development Pick - Has been our QB2 since year 2. Inconsistent and stuck behind Flacco. Low Cost / Med Value
7: Anthony Allen RB - Development Pick - Became a solid RB3. A big back that could pass protect but had a fumbling problem.
Low cost / Low value
2: Sergio Kindle LB - Solid Role - Was ready to be a premiere pass rusher for us and develop into a starter before cracking his head.
High Cost / No Value
2: Terrence Cody DT - Solid Role - Was productive rookie season, caused a fumble that helped us win playoff game. Derailed by injury, jury is still out. High Cost / Med Value
3: Ed Dickson TE - Solid Role - The former TE of the future Dickson had the tools to be a great player and was productive before falling off and dropping passes. Med Cost / Med Value
4: Dennis Pitta TE - Depth Pick - Initially behind Dickson and Heap on the depth chart but was productive initially and became Flacco's security blanket and helped us win a SB. Med Cost / Very High Value
5: David Reed WR - Depth Pick - A player that was able to produce immediately in ST and showed promise at WR before derailed by injuries and inconsistency. Low Cost / Moderate Value
5: Arthur Jones DT - Depth Pick - A player that slid to us who wasn't great at anything and became pretty god at everything. He rose from the fringes of the roster to solid depth in the DE/DT rotation to a quality starter that left for a big pay day. Low Cost / High Value
6: Ramon Harewood OT - Developmental Pick - A PSquad/IR stash development player that had great potential that never materialized. Managed to rise to depth on the oline. Low Cost / Low Value
1: Michael Oher OT - Starter - A plug in starter that never missed a game. Had his troubles and regressed last year but a productive player for 5 years that helped us win a SB. High Cost / High Value
2: Paul Kruger DE/OLB - Solid Role - Drafted to fill in relatively quickly, buried on depth chart and then floundered. Late Development.
High Cost / Med Value + Compensatory Pick
3: Lardarius Webb CB - Development Pick - Had tools to play but needed some time to get it together. A defensive cornerstone.
Med Cost / Very High Value
5: Jason Phillips LB - Development Pick - Looked like a nice contributor but never was. Low Cost / No Value
5: Davon Drew TE - Development Pick - Floated on the edge of the roster for a few years as PSquad type. Low Cost / No Value
6: Cedric Peerman RB - Development Pick - Slid due to injury prone. PSquad/IR stash type but managed seasons in the league elsewhere.
Low Cost / No Value
1: Joe Flacco QB - Starter - Drafted to be the eventual starter. Started every game, multiple playoff wins, SB MVP.
High Cost / Very High Value
2: Ray Rice RB - Solid Role - Picked to play an immediate role on the team as RB2 and was contributor day 1.
High Cost / Very High Value
3: Tavares Gooden LB - Depth Pick - Very fast player loaded with talent that added depth and got better but never put it together.
Med Cost / Med Value
3: Tom Zbikowdki S - Depth Pick - Was a solid contributor from day 1 on ST and in the safety rotation, eventual starter. Pay-day elsewhere.
Med Cost / High Value
3: Oniel Cousins G - Depth Pick - Had all the tools to be a starting G, developed into avg G, pay day elsewhere. Med Cost / Med Value
4: Marcus Smith WR - Development Pick - Saw some playing time on ST and snaps at WR but never panned out. Med Cost / Low Value
4: David Hale OT - Development Pick - Never panned out. Managed a bit of playing time. Med Cost / Low Value
6: Haruki Nakamura S - Development Pick - Haruki became a solid depth player and left for a pay day. Low cost / High Value
7: Justin Harper WR - PSquad/IR Stash Development Guy - Never panned out or reached potential. Low cost / No Value
7: Allen Patrick RB - I have no memory of this guy
Edited by RavensDE, 12 May 2014 - 05:00 PM.