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How did your team do in the 2015 NFL Draft? – NFC Edition

In the second part of his analysis, Steve O’Rourke looks at the NFC.

Updated at 21.50

NFC East

Source: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP/Press Association Images

Philadelphia Eagles - B-
Favourite pick:
Nelson Agholor, WR (1st round)
Questionable pick: 
Jordan Hicks, LB (3rd round)

Agholor is always going to suffer for being the guy the Eagles had to settle for after not convincing the Titans to trade out of the second spot for Marcus Mariota. However, he is a great fit for the Chip Kelly offence and is a like-for-like replacement for Jeremy Maclin. Hicks to me seems a luxury considering the Eagles’ depth at linebacker.

New York Giants - C+
Favourite pick:
 Landon Collins, SS (2nd round)
Questionable pick: Ereck Flowers (1st round)

I wasn’t a fan of anything the Giants did on Thursday or Saturday but Collins was one of my favourite players in the draft and, let’s face it, with the amount of times Eli Manning turns over the ball, he’s going to see a lot of game time this season. The addition of  Owa Odighizuwa in the third round cemented by far the best day of the draft for Big Blue.

Dallas Cowboys - C
Favourite pick:
 Randy Gregory DE (2nd round)
Questionable pick: Chaz Green, OL (3rd round)

The Cowboys undoubtedly did well in rounds one and two — Gregory especially could well be seen as a steal in the years to come — but did the Cowboys completely forget that Darren McFadden is currently the cream of their running back talent? Dallas had a very particular way of winning football games last year and did nothing in this draft to sustain or improve on that formula.

Washington - C-
Favourite pick:
 Preston Smith, OLB (2nd round)
Questionable: Brandon Scherff, OL (1st round)

I think Brandon Scherff is going to be a fantastic player with maybe a 10-12 year NFL career ahead of him. Would I have left Leonard Williams, Vic Beasley, or Kevin White on the board to get him? Not a chance. Maybe nobody wanted the trade but as good as their second round pick was, it can’t make up for the fact they drafted a player a #5 overall to protect a quarterback who may not be the starter by mid season. 

NFC North

Source: AP/Press Association Images

Minnesota Vikings - B+
Favourite pick: 
Eric Kendricks, ILB (2nd round)
Questionable pick: 
TJ Clemmings, OL (4th round)

A lot of people, myself included, were fully expecting the Vikings to get the band back together and reunite quarterback Teddy Bridgewater with DeVante Parker. However, the Vikings decided to build their defence in this draft and potentially added five starters to it which is impressive in any draft. Clemmings’ injury issues mean there are still some concerns over the offensive line.

Chicago Bears - B
Favourite pick:
Nate Goldman, NT (2nd round)
Questionable pick: 
Jeremy Langford, RB (4th round)

With only six picks to make, the Bears had to make every one of them count and they very nearly did. Kevin White at #7 overall is going to be a redzone — and therefore fantasy football — monster and Goldman should shore up Chicago’s porous run defence. I don’t see Langford as an NFL standard starting running back however.

Detroit Lions - B-
Favourite pick: 
Ameer Abdullah, RB (2nd round)
Questionable pick: 
Quandre Diggs, CB (6th round)

The addition of Abdullah should really bolster the Lions attack this year. He not only gives them assistance on the ground but can be a threat in the passing game too which should really help Matthew Stafford. The trade that saw them pick up Manuel Ramirez (C) from the Broncos and Laken Tomlinson (G) in round one also helped.

Green Bay Packers - C+
Favourite pick:  
Damarious Randall, S (1st round)
Questionable pick: 
Brett Hundley, QB (5th round)

It wasn’t a great draft class in terms of defensive backs but Randall is a real ball-hawk defender and will be afforded the opportunity to make a lot of plays. I don’t think Hundley is the long-term replacement for Aaron Rodgers — especially after taking 125 sacks in just three years in college — so why bother draft him?

NFC South

Source: AP/Press Association Images

Atlanta Falcons - A+
Favourite pick: 
Grady Jarrett, DT (5th round)
Questionable pick: 
None

I loved pretty much everything the Falcons did during this year’s draft. They somehow managed to land three players with first round grades at #8, #42 and #73 overall, not to mention the addition of Justin Hardy and Grady Jarrett who could almost certainly start week one.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - B
Favourite pick: 
Kwon Alexander, OLB (4th round)
Questionable pick: 
Jameis Winston, QB (1st round)

The Bucs failed to draft the best player in the draft with the number one pick. You could argue they failed to draft the number one quarterback too. However, Winston is the player they identified and the fact they used all but one pick on offensive players to help him show they are fully committed to the former Florida State man.

New Orleans Saints - C+
Favourite pick: 
Andrus Peat, OT (1st round)
Questionable pick: 
Hau’oli Kikaha, OLB (2nd round)

Nobody cheers when a team picks a tackle in the first round but, at #13 overall, Peat could well end up being the New Orleans Saints quarterback’s best friend for the next decade. The trade with Seattle brought in Max Unger so the Saints offensive line is looking great. They failed to draft a wide receiver though, despite the loss of Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills.

Carolina Panters - D
Favourite pick: 
None
Questionable pick: 
Devin Funchess, WR (2nd round)

I’d love to know what GM Dave Gettleman saw in Devin Funchess to give up three picks for him but it can’t be the guy who doesn’t win enough 50/50 balls and had twenty drops on catchable balls over the past three seasons. His upside is potentially huge, but the priced paid was way, way too high. A mistake they repeated in going about getting Daryl Williams later in the draft.

NFC West

NFL Draft Football Source: Jeff Haynes/AP/Press Association Images

Arizona Cardinals - A
Favourite pick: 
D.J. Humphries, OL (1st round)
Questionable pick: 
Rodney Gunter, DT (4th round)

A team as close to making a Super Bowl run as the Cardinals are doesn’t need to do a whole lot to have a good draft. However, many analysts would argue that Humphries was the best offensive lineman in the draft and will do a great job of the keeping Carson Palmer healthy. Gunter was the only pick I’m unsure off as he faces a big step up to become an NFL starter.

San Francisco 49ers - C+
Favourite pick: 
Eli Harold, OLB (3rd round)
Questionable pick:  
Bradley Pinion, P (5th round)

Do you know that person in your fantasy football league who insists on drafting a kicker or defence before the last two rounds? That’s the 49ers in this draft taking a punter in the fifth. I’m not mad on Arik Armstead their first round pick either but GM Trent Baalke should have worn a stripey jumper and mask when announcing Eli Harold as their third round pick. He’s an absolute steal.

St. Louis Rams - C
Favourite pick:
 Sean Mannion, QB (3rd round)
Questionable pick: 
Todd Gurley, RB (1st round)

Regular readers of the The42 will know that Mannion was one of my sleeper pick quarterback picks before the draft and the Rams is a great landing spot for him. However, drafting a running back in the top ten, a running back coming off the back of a serious injury too, is high risk. With nine picks to make, this could have been so much better for the Rams.

Seattle Seahawks - C-
Favourite pick:
  Mark Glowinski, G (4th round)
Questionable pick:
Frank Clark, DE (2nd round)

Technically the Seahawks didn’t have a first round pick but they got Jimmy Graham from the Saints instead and that’s going to bump up their grade in anyone’s books. The selection of Clark — especially given the spotlight on domestic violence in the NFL — rightly raised a few eyebrows while the gamble on Tyler Lockett in the third round could cost them in the long run.

– First published at 15.17

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Steve O'Rourke

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