I love the smell of draft grades in the morning. It smells like…well, I shouldn’t say what it smells like here, but I can say that it’s not victory. But they are an inevitable consequence of a draft being held, and they fall down like rain in the week following the annual event.
Today’s draft grades come from Pro Football Focus, and they at least mercifully down take a letter grade approach. In fact that seem to use the same scale as they do for players, ranging from ‘Elite’ (which the New York Jets and three others received) to poor presumably, though now team received that. five teams received ‘below average’ grades, including most of the NFC North.
The site didn’t think particularly highly or poorly of the Pittsburgh Steelers draft, marking them with an ‘average’ class. The pick that they seemed to like the most was quarterback Mason Rudolph, whom they like quite a bit as a player.
They called the selection of Terrell Edmunds in the first round as “one of the bigger surprises”, writing that he “brings an exceptional athletic profile, but an inconsistent on-field performance”. While he offers “plenty of highlight-reel plays”, he also has “far too many players where he is simply a step out of position at the catch point”.
The Steelers were complimented for adding “one of the nation’s most prolific duos in the nation in Oklahoma State’s James Washington and Mason Rudolph”, and there is no disputing their college numbers. The two definitely made each other better, and Pittsburgh added both of them on day two.
“Chukwuma Okorafor has a classic offensive tackle frame, but he’s a developmental player at this stage after topping out with a 78.6 overall grade in 2016”, they wrote of the Steelers’ second pick in the third round, one of the team’s more highly-questioned selections.
Pittsburgh also added three players on the third day of the draft, beginning with box safety Marcus Allen, who they graded out well against the run, but “he may be limited as a coverage player”. If he gets on the field, he probably won’t be asked to cover a lot.
Running back Jaylen Samuels also got talked up his share, described as “an offensive mismatch weapon”, noting that he averaged 1.43 yards per route run, which is a good number for a player like him. Oddly, they left seventh-round defensive tackle Joshua Frazier without comment.
Draft grades I the days following a draft mean very little, to be frank. There are always players that fail to live up to expectations and others that far exceed them, at least when judged from outside views. Teams stick to their boards, or at least intend to, though of course some teams are better at putting boards together than others.