The 2015 NFL Draft ended last night with the 256th overall pick going to the Arizona Cardinals. Slowly, players are beginning to show up at their respective team facilities, holding press conferences or conference calls, and starting to get through the administrative side of being in the NFL. As fans, of course, we do not really care about most of that. We want to know how our team did when it comes to on-field performance during the regular season.
ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr., has given his immediate draft grades for all 32 teams. To explain his evaluation system, since there is no on-field performances yet to grade, Kiper writes:
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.
Kiper's top grades this year were A-minuses, which went to the Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins, and New York Jets. How did he see the Miami Dolphins do during the three-day draft process?
Kiper gives the South Florida franchise a B. To explain his reasoning, the analyst writes:
The Dolphins had one of my favorite picks of Round 1, and they didn't have to move to get their guy. DeVante Parker has the chance to be special and fills a clear need for them. I could have seen him going with any of the four picks ahead of Miami -- St. Louis, Minnesota, Cleveland and New Orleans -- so getting him at No. 14 was a good value. Jordan Phillips has first-round physical ability and third-round tape, so landing in Round 2 just about averages things out. The addition of Ndamukong Suh was impactful, but Miami can use the depth behind him or put Phillips and Suh on the field at the same time. If Phillips plays at Suh's effort level on every snap, there's a potential stud here.Jamil Douglas could play right away, given the need at guard, and though I thought Bobby McCain was a bit of a reach given some other cornerbacks available when he was taken, that's splitting hairs again. Jay Ajayi is a tough runner who fell on injury and ball security concerns, but if he's healthy, he can be really good. Tony Lippett is a player I expected to go earlier. If there's a question, it's the lack of a linebacker earlier on. The Parker pick really elevates this draft for me, and they can hope the coin flip on Phillips' becoming really good works out. But ultimately, I see one certainty here, and injury risk in a number of places.
What do you think of Kiper's grade and explanation?