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2024 NFL Draft AFC Team Grades

After an exciting weekend in Detroit in which the all-time NFL Draft attendance record was shattered over three days, 257 players have found homes with NFL franchises. Every year, there are clear winners and losers from the draft process, but this was a weird year in which I felt a lot of teams made out pretty good, but the teams that didn't...well, didn't in spectacular fashion. That said, here's who I liked and didn't like out of the 16 teams that comprise the AFC.


Baltimore Ravens: B-

Favorite Selection: T.J. Tampa, CB (Iowa State) at 130th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Devin Leary, QB (Kentucky) at 218th Overall

I spent this entire weekend wondering who would be the classic "How did the Ravens get this guy?" pick. It turns out Eric DeCostsa got a few of them on Saturday in the form of Iowa State corner T.J. Tampa and UNC receiver Tez Walker. Kicking off the weekend with Nate Wiggins and Roger Rosengarten was a solid start, but those two guys in round four were excellent value. I wouldn't even say I disliked any pick the Ravens made necessarily; it was just another super solid draft from them up and down the board.

Buffalo Bills: C+

Favorite Selection: DeWayne Carter, IDL (Duke) at 95th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Keon Coleman, WR (Florida St.) at 33rd Overall

Trading out of picks that turned into Xavier Worthy and Xavier Legette to end up with Keon Coleman to kick off round two was a pretty rough way for the Bills to start a very pivotal draft, and I'm not on board with their plan to use him as a traditional X receiver either. Granted, I liked most of everything else Brandon Beane did, namely, getting some defensive trench help in the form of DeWayne Carter and some much-needed safety help by adding Cole Bishop.


Cincinnati Bengals: B

Favorite Selection: Kris Jenkins, IDL (Michigan) at 49th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: McKinley Jackson, IDL (Texas A&M) at 97th Overall

Assuming now that the Bengals don't view Trent Brown as a roster lock, I've come around on the Amarius Mims pick, especially since they still drafted an exceptional D.J. Reader replacement in Kris Jenkins. In my estimation, McKinley Jackson at 97 was a reach, but getting yourself a nose tackle and 3-Tech when you lost a pivotal piece upfront via free agency is sound.


Cleveland Browns: C-

Favorite Selection: Zak Zinter, IOL (Michigan) at 95th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Michael Hall, IDL (Ohio State) at 54th Overall

I would've liked to have seen the Browns try to get ahead of the run on interior defenders in the second round, but that's how it goes sometimes. I wasn't a big fan of the Hall pick in relativity, but Zak Zinter, who at 95 is incredible value, and Jamari Thrash save this from being a pretty poor weekend for Cleveland.

Denver Broncos: D-

Favorite Selection: Troy Franklin, WR (Oregon) at 102nd Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Bo Nix, QB (Oregon) at 12th Overall

Bo Nix at 12 completely took the wind out of the sails of this Denver draft for me. For all the talk of the Falcons going Penix at No. 8, this pick was infinitely worse from a raw talent standpoint. Could he have been taken around one by someone else? It was plausible, but looking at where they went after this pick. They could've gone with any of the top corners or edge rushers here but opted to go with a far worse reach than what Atlanta did.

Additionally, while I wasn't a big Troy Franklin guy, getting him at 102 was a good value play. And on a final note, seven consecutive drafts without picking a single offensive tackle now for Denver; that's completely unacceptable, even if you have set starters.


Houston Texans: B-

Favorite Selection: Callen Bullock, SAF (USC) at 78th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Kamari Lassiter, CB (Georgia) 42nd Overall

It was not the grand slam affair that Nick Caserio had in 2023, but this was undoubtedly a solid haul for the Texans. Their first pick, Kamari Lassiter out of Georgia, has some size/frame and speed concerns, but he plays tough as hell and competes, so I imagine they have a role in mind for him right away. Callen Bullock, who they took about 35 picks later, was an excellent pickup to pair with Jalen Pitre. I am also interested in seeing what becomes of Ohio State tight end Cade Stover.


Indianapolis Colts: B+

Favorite Selection: Adonai Mitchell, WR (Texas) at 52nd Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Matt Gonclaves, OT (Pitt) at 79th Overall

What keeps Indy out of the A-grade range is that I wish they had attacked the corner inside the top 100, preferably with pick 79. However, coming home with Laiatu Latu, Adonai Mitchell (CRIMINAL VALUE), and Tanor Bortolini was a great haul, all inside the top 120 picks. This was the exact draft they needed in year two with Anthony Richardson to get back into playoff contention.

Jacksonville Jaguars: C+

Favorite Selection: Brian Thomas Jr., WR (LSU) at 23rd Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Jordan Jefferson, IDL (LSU) at 116th Overall

Getting Brian Thomas at 23 was a steal, and I liked the pickup of Jarian Jones, but I would've liked to have seen them go Mehki Wingo over Maason Smith. While it's hard to say what Jordan Jefferson's market was looking like, I think they could've held off on going with a nose tackle until their next pick, which was 153. On a final note, I'm interested to see what becomes of their final pick, sixth-year senior Myles Cole, out of Texas Tech. I knew a few people who thought highly of him coming into draft week.


Kansas City Chiefs: B

Favorite Selection: Jaden Hicks, SAF (Washington St.) at 133rd Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Jared Wiley, TE (TCU) 131st Overall

It's not the sexiest Chiefs draft you've ever seen, but they have some guys who fit exactly what they need and are looking for now. I had Jaden Hicks ranked as the top outright safety and 45th-best player, and Brett Veach got him at 133. I know the consensus on safety was all over the place after the wide majority of which tested terrible at the combine, but that's unreal value. Although I thought they should've pushed their chips in on Ja'Tavion Sanders after his freefall instead of settling for Jared Wiley, this was another solid draft for the defending Champs.


Las Vegas Raiders: B+

Favorite Selection: Brock Bowers, TE (Georgia) at 13th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Trey Taylor, SAF (Air Force) at 223rd Overall

I know some people weren't super big on the Brock Bowers pick for the Raiders; I was not one of them. He was my No. 2 outright player in this draft, and to then get Jackson Powers-Johnson right after was some insane luck for the black and silver. Hypothetically, if they could've had Khyree Jackson drop a few spots and had him fall to them at 112, this would've easily been an A-grade, but a super-strong first draft for Tom Telesco out in Sin City.


Los Angeles Chargers: A

Favorite Selection: Joe Alt, OT (Notre Dame) at 5th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Tahreeb Still, CB (Mississippi St.) at 116th Overall

Well, initially, this doesn't appear to be your same old Chargers because I thought they had a superb draft. No matter what side of the line he ends up on, Joe Alt was a phenomenal pick, and then they backed that up by grabbing guys like Junior Colson, Ladd McConkey, Justin Eboigbe, Cam Hart, and Brendan Rice. I love that the triple dipped at receiver and ended up with at least two Michigan guys. It's good that Harbaugh has a pair of guys he knows will buy in immediately.


Miami Dolphins: B-

Favorite Selection: Chop Robinson, EDGE (Penn State) at 21st Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Mo Kamara, EDGE (Colorado St.) 158th Overall

What almost puts the Dolphins in the C-range was ultimately their first selection of Chop Robinson. I thought they should've gone with Johnny Newton to slot in for the outgoing Christian Wilkins, and I liked their second EDGE selection, Mo Kamara, better from a value standpoint, and he was a guy I gravitated towards later on in the process. Still, I love Miami committing to the bit and assembling a D1 track team on offense. They got another running back with some afterburners on him in the form of Tennessee's Jaylen Wright.

New England Patriots: B+

Favorite Selection: Javon Baker, WR (UCF) at 110th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Layden Robinson, IOL (Texas A&M) at 103rd Overall

Drake Maye was the only choice at No. 3 overall, and luckily for the Patriots, they phoned that pick in instantly. From there, while not perfect, I liked the vast majority of what they did this weekend. Reuniting Washington wideout Ja'Lynn Polk with his old receivers coach Tyler Hughes was a smart move, and getting Javon Baker out of UCF at 110 overall was one of this draft's biggest outright steals. They essentially traded the rights to Ladd McConkey to get both of those wideouts, which I'd say is a net positive. Also, this quote from Baker from after he was picked was one of the craziest things I've ever heard.

Despite being a reach, I liked the Caedan Wallace pick in round three. Get yourself an experienced and versatile lineman every day of the week if you feel that good about him. I was less enthusiastic about Robinson, but I'd still chalk this draft up as a win for New England, who drafted five consecutive offensive players to open things up for the first time since 1969.


New York Jets: C

Favorite Selection: Olu Fashanu, OT (Penn State) at 10th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Isaiah Davis, RB (South Dakota St.) at 116th Overall

The multiple running back selections with two of their first three Day 3 selections drag the Jets down here. Especially after getting Isreal Abanikanda in the fifth a year ago, that felt unnecessary given some needs at spots like tight end and safety, and it took the Jets until the final pick in the draft to address either. I love the pickups of Fashanu and the YAC God Malachi Corley, though. Corley paired up with Garrett Wilson should be fun and hopefully lighten the load for Mike Williams.


Pittsburgh Steelers: A+

Favorite Selection: Troy Fautanu, OT (Washington) at 20th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: N/A

It pains me to say this as a Patriots fan, but Omar Khan came home with a king's ransom this weekend for the Steelers. To me, their two biggest outright needs were tackle and center, and they got elite options at both spots with Troy Fautanu and Zach Fraizer right away. Even guys like Roman Wilson, Payton Wilson, and late riser Mason McCormick from South Dakota St. were unreal gets. Even if they didn't take a corner with a premium pick, this was comfortably a top-three draft in the NFL. Yinzer Nation should be over the moon.

Tennessee Titans: D-

Favorite Selection: JC Latham, OT (Alabama) at 7th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: T'Vondre Sweat, IDL (Texas) at 38th Overall

It was not quite the worst draft in football, but this was a perplexing weekend for the Titans, to say the least, especially after crushing free agency. The Latham pick was their best, but I don't think he warranted the seventh overall pick with all of Olu Fashanu, Taliese Fuaga, and Troy Fautanu still on the board. All three of those guys might not have Latham's power, but all are significantly more agile and athletic, which matters in today's NFL. Then they went T'Vondre Sweat, much earlier than I had anticipated given his recent legal situation, which was very interesting. Also, I am a bit surprised they didn't double dip at tackle and didn't take a guard either.



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