What is value when it comes to the NFL Draft? It’s a question kicked around quite a bit and seems to be the end-all when evaluating and grading the draft. Reaches are frowned upon, value picks are loved and general managers are judged upon the shrewdness of their moves. It’s an interesting concept, but seems hollow when it comes to the draft, and grades based simply upon the overall value of picks doesn’t necessarily tell us much.
The Seattle Seahawks received a D from Fox Sports’ Adam Caplan, thanks to the perceived reaches in the 2011 NFL Draft. Personnel evaluators felt almost every pick was a player taken far too early, and thus we have the perception of drastic reaches throughout the draft.
Analysis: No team reached for players as badly as the Seahawks. While they selected a few good players early on, Seattle picked them before many personnel evaluators felt they should have gone off the board.
Meanwhile the Arizona Cardinals followed conventional wisdom and simply drafted for value. With Patrick Peterson and Ryan Williams, Arizona found two players that should jump into the mix right away and could make an immediate impact. For their efforts, the Cardinals received a B+.
Analysis: The Cardinals did a great job of drafting for value, which isn’t something they have always done. The first four draftees all could start as rookies.
The St. Louis Rams also drafted for value, drawing praise from Caplan. If you haven’t noticed the trend yet, Caplan is simply looking at value when evaluating his picks and handing out grades based on it. The Rams received a solid B for a solid draft class.
Analysis: The Rams appear to have put together another solid draft class. General manager Billy Devaney does a really nice job of drafting for value.
The Houston Texans received the highest grade, acing their 2011 NFL Draft exam. The Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers also received high marks and came out of the draft as winners.
For even more on the draft, head on over to Field Gulls. Check out the rest of our 2011 NFL Draft grades to get caught up on all the picks. For a look back on the draft that was, check out our 2011 NFL Draft StoryStream. Stay with us for more on the draft as it becomes available.