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2011 NFL Draft Grades: Patrick Peterson, Robert Quinn Boost NFC West Evaluations

By now, we have a pretty good idea of how the Seattle Seahawks' draft is perceived on a national level. When 2011 NFL Draft grades were released on Saturday, many panned the Seahawks choices, labeling Seattle a loser and giving the team below-average marks. And the NFC West as a whole didn't fare much better, with many calling it a so-so draft for the division.

The Arizona Cardinals emerged from the 2011 NFL Draft as winners in Wes Bunting's eyes, thanks to Patrick Peterson and a host of solid picks. The Cardinals found steals in the late rounds, but it was Peterson that made Arizona's grade. Bunting gave the Cardinals a B, the best grade in the NFC West.

Getting one of the premier talents in the entire draft is a great way to start, as the Cardinals landed LSU CB Patrick Peterson to potentially form one of the best young cornerback duos in the league with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

The St. Louis Rams found an excellent pass rusher in Robert Quinn, providing an immediate lift to the defensive line. But Bunting wasn't happy with the rest of the draft, referring to it as "blah." But, thanks to Quinn, the Rams received a B in Bunting's grades tied with the San Francisco 49ers for second-best in the NFC West.

First-round pick Robert Quinn could end up being the best pass rusher to come out of the entire draft class. He’s explosive, can dip his shoulder around the edge and has a ton of upside — a great value in round one.

The 49ers picked up Aldon Smith with their first selection, but it will take time for him to transition to San Francisco's scheme on defense. Colin Kaepernick may be the quarterback of the future, but he'll also need time to develop. Bunting loved the Kendall Hunter pick, but Smith's risk bumped the 49ers' grade down to a B-.

I really do like DE Aldon Smith as a prospect, but I see him more as a down 4-3 guy than standing up as a rush backer

Bunting wasn't high on the Seahawks' draft, calling many of the picks reaches. That label has followed the Seahawks in the aftermath of the 2011 NFL Draft. Many analysts felt Seattle didn't find good value, beginning with James Carpenter in the first round. Like many others, Bunting gave the Seahawks a C.

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. We'll be getting to know each of the Seahawks draft picks in our 2011 NFL Draft results StoryStream.