GCM’s AFC Draft Grades

Grand Central sports writer Jerry Taylor hands out draft grades to the AFC.

Students sit down; class is in session with Professor Taylor.

The 2010 NFL Draft has come and gone; now it is my turn to grade the NFL teams on how well they did during the 3-day event held at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson, first round (9)

The Bills took Spiller at No. 9 overall. C.J. was the highest rated running back in the draft with his superior size and speed. The Bills needed help on the offensive line however and they did not get that impact guy to protect the Bills’ starting quarterback come September.

Grade: C+

Miami Dolphins: Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State, first round (28)

The Dolphins left me scratching my head after they took Odrick at the end of the first round. Not really sure what Bill Parcells and the Dolphins were thinking in Florida- perhaps they are getting too much sun.

Grade: C-

New England Patriots: Devin McCourty, DB, Rutgers, first round, (27) Zoltan Mesko, P, Michigan, fifth round (150)

The Patriots had a total of 12 draft picks over the weekend, and they took plenty of players with potential. McCourty has the talent to be a good defensive back in the NFL for a really long time- plus they got Zoltan Mesko from Michigan to be their punter.

Grade: B

New York Jets: Kyle Wilson, DB, Boise State, first round (29), Joe McKnight, RB, USC, fourth round (112)

The J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS were big players during the draft. They only had 4 total picks, but they got exactly what they needed with each pick. Kyle Wilson gets to learn from corners Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis, the best cornerback tandem in the NFL. Rex Ryan has got his team set to possibly win a Super Bowl this season.

Grade: A-

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens: Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas, second round (43), Terrance Cody, DT, Alabama, second round (57)

The Ravens got the steal of the draft in my book, when Texas Longhorn LB Sergio Kindle fell to them in the second round. They also bolstered their defense with 365-pound defensive tackle Terrance Cody from Alabama. The Ravens defense just got Halloween like scary.

Grade: A

Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma, first round (21), Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida, second round (54)

Shhh…the Bengals had a very good draft, you just have not heard a lot about them. Gresham will be another weapon for Carson Palmer to throw to, along with wide receivers Jordan Shipley and Dezmon Briscoe who are very good possession receivers who could make a good living in the NFL.

Grade: B

Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden, CB, Florida, first round (7), Colt McCoy, QB, Texas, third round (85)

New Browns GM Mike Holmgren started his term of turning around the Browns with a bang. Well, check that- an average bang. Joe Haden will be able to start immediately in the Browns’ secondary and McCoy will be a project for Holmgren to work on.

Grade: C

Pittsburgh Steelers: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida, first round (18), Antonio Brown, WR, CMU, sixth round (195)

The Steelers drafted yet another solid class, not a lot of flashy talent, just tough players, something that Steelers do year-in-and-year-out. Antonio Brown will look to bolster a Steeler passing attack that traded Santonio Holmes to the Jets.

Grade: B-

AFC South

Houston Texans: Kareem Jackson, DB, Alabama, first round (20), Ben Tate, RB, Auburn, second round (58)

The Texans looked to get a few more weapons offensively in the draft, and they did. Tate fell to them in the second round, which is a big pickup for the Texans.

Grade: C+

Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU, first round (31)

One of the best teams in football just got even better. Jerry Hughes, who was a dominant pass rusher for TCU, fell to them at No. 31. Hughes could be potentially like Dwight Freeney 2.0; oh boy- I feel bad for any quarterback seeing Freeney and Hughes come at him.

Grade: B

Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyson Alualu, DT, California, first round (10)

The No. 10 pick in the draft by the Jaguars was the first head scratcher of the night. Alualu is a solid player, but he wasn’t the best player on the draft board at the 10th pick. The Jaguars did not draft an impact player all weekend; they got a bunch of projects. Terrible draft for the Jaguars and their fans, no wonder no one goes to the games in Jacksonville.

Grade: F

Tennessee Titans: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech, first round (16), Myron Rolle, DB, FSU, sixth round (207)

The Titans got Morgan at pick 16, when he was projected to go in the top 10 of the draft. He will play right away for the Titans. Jeff Fisher is one of the best coaches in the NFL- he will groom each and every one of his draft picks.

Grade: B

AFC West

Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech, first round (22), Tim Tebow, QB, Florida, first round (25)

The Broncos had a solid draft, but also had the shock of the draft. Tim Tebow went 25th overall when he doesn’t really have the necessary tools to be an NFL quarterback. He is a HUGE RISK for the Broncos so early in the draft. Overall though, a solid draft for the Broncos.

Grade: B

Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee, first round (5), Dexter McCluster, RB, Ole Miss, second round (36)

The Chiefs may have had the best first four picks of the NFL Draft. In addition to Berry, who reminds me of Ed Reed, and McCluster, the Chiefs also landed Javier Arenas, a defensive back from Alabama and guard Jon Asamoah from Illinois. Kansas City could surprise a few people this season.

Grade: A-

Oakland Raiders: Ronaldo McClain, LB, Alabama, first round (8), Jared Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale third round (69)

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement: the Raiders actually drafted some talent in this draft! Owner Al Davis must have been sleeping or picking names out of a hat. Whatever method he used, he should stick to it. McClain will bolster an inconsistent linebacking core, while Division II product Jared Veldheer out of Hillsdale College- a 6’7, 315 lb. is a quarterback protector. Good grade for the Raiders?

Grade: A-

San Diego Chargers: Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State, first round (12)

The Chargers drafted their primary need of a running back with the No. 12 pick in the draft. Matthews, who is 5’11” with a 220 lb. frame, will swap time with Darren Sproles in the backfield this fall for the Chargers.

Grade: B-