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2022 RZL Draft Grades
By Jason Arnold
Special to rzl-football.com

These rankings will be based on certain criteria: Positional value, draft slot as it corresponds to need on team and overall talent, and the player itself.



1.1 Dallas Cowboys - Geno Smith, QB, WVU --- A-

Nothing we haven't seen out of a QB before, but has all the upside you look for in a franchise caliber QB.

1.2 New York Giants - Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama --- B+

He's a good, but not great or elite CB prospect. Also, I like Michaels better as a prospect who went one pick later.

1.3 Cleveland Browns - DeAndre Michaels, CB, Florida --- A+

Best CB in the draft. Normally the best CBs go 1 or 2 at the latest, so to get him at 3 deserves and A+ from me.

1.4 Jacksonville Jaguars - DaMontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M --- B+

Good players, but -- Not much better than a few other DEs in the draft and the Jaguars are overloaded at DE already.

1.5 Cincinnati Bengals - Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia --- A

In my opinion, the overall best defensive player in the draft. Injury history is a little worrisome, but he has the talent. Would have made more sense for Jacksonville, IMO(especially considering they moved OLB Wilson). Injury is only thing keeping him from A+.

1.6 Indianapolis Colts -- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah --- C

Star's a very good DT, but nothing about him is insanely elite. And quite frankly, unless you're getting a player like that, taking a DT in the top 10 is pointless. Better values were had far later in the draft like Tsung and Hankins, and Richardson far later on in the draft.

1.7 Cincinnati Bengals -- Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M --- A

Franchise RT. What else needs to be said?

1.8 New Orleans Saints -- Keenan Allen, WR, Cal --- B+

I like it, don't love it. Has good, not great height. Good, not great starting attributes. Can develop into a top notch WR though.

1.9 Houston Texans -- Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA --- B-

I think Manti Te'o is a better player and was taken one pick later on. Barr's not bad by any stretch, but the value wasn't there with him. If you keep him at OLB than I'd drop this to a C grade because OLBs don't have the value in the top 10 unless they're a Jarvis Jones type of talent.

1.10 Denver Broncos -- Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame --- B+

Big time need pick and a very good player. The fact Te'o will need a good amount of work in TC on his speed is what stops him from a sure-fire A grade. Still a good pick.

1.11 Oakland Raiders -- Chris Faulk, OT, LSU --- A

Getting a franchise RT this late in the first is always nice. Usually go much higher. About time the Raiders made a good pick.

1.12 Chicago Bears -- Jonathan Banks, CB, Miss. State --- A+

Very good CB. Great starting SPD & ACC and even Awareness. Not elite height, but everything else allows him to develop into an elite CB.

1.13 Washington Redskins -- Ezekial Ansah, DE, BYU --- N/A

I don't rate my own picks.

1.14 Buffalo Bills -- Parker Williams, CB, Oklahoma --- A-

I like the upside with this pick for sure. Raw starting attributes and the amount of TC points invested in him to make him top notch is what drops this from an A+.

1.15 Minnesota Vikings -- Luke Joekel, OT, Texas A&M --- B

He's a good player and will probably be a starting caliber RT. He just won't be elite, ever. I think if you're a franchise that has struggled like so, you need to make a wow pick and this was just 'meh' for me.

1.16 New England Patriots -- Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia --- A

Raw and will need some time to fulfill his destiny, but -- he's probably the most athletically gifted LB in the draft not named Jarvis Jones. Surprised the Vikings didn't go this pick with their weak LB corps. Great pick.

1.17 Cleveland Browns -- Cornellius Carradine, DE/OLB, FSU --- A-

Has the tools to be one of the best pass rushers in the RZL. Only concern for me is the INJ history and as Garrison has shown us, can become a factor for a DE.

1.18 Cincinnati Bengals -- Robert Woods, WR, USC --- C

I loved the other two picks. This ... not so much. He's okay. Decent starting SPD/ACC but, nothing elite. Nothing amazing about his size. Poor INJ rating could make him a huge liability in a few years. Will need a lot of TC points to become what you really want him to be. Not feelin' it.

1.19 Tennessee Titans -- Thomas Class, TE, S. Dakota State --- D

Look, even if he's the best TE the RZL has ever seen, how much of a difference is that REALLY? And, with the Titans' roster aging, especially in the secondary, I'm sure you could have found a better way to go in the draft. His SPD rating is also abysmal so, if he does become an elite blocker he still won't be a huge threat in the passing game. Roster has bigger problems than TE.

1.20 Pittsburgh Steelers -- Marcus Lattimore, HB, South Carolina --- B

He's a good player. That injury rating will come into play and if he gets injured one more time seriously his INJ rating will be sub-70 and he could become worthless. Too risky.

1.21 Carolina Panthers -- Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee --- A-

A great prospect to get this late in the first round. Will take some time, but drafting this late in the first, you expect to get raw-er prospects. Still can be a top flight WR.

1.22 Detroit Lions -- Tyrelle Witherington, OLB, Alabama --- A

I really like this pick. I know there was some debate between he and Mingo as the "should have been" pick, but I like Witherington more than Mingo. He is very comparable in overall athleticism and while he's not quite as strong as Mingo, he is a bigger body overall and has much, much higher starting TKL.

1.23 Oakland Raiders -- A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois --- B

Good player, will need to develop which isn't the biggest issue. Again, that low INJ rating has to be a big red flag when you're a struggling team. One injury and he's down around 67 INJ rating and could be labeled injury prone.

1.24 Pittsburgh Steelers -- Trey Milliard, FB, Oklahoma --- F

Best FB in the league. Okay? You don't take a FB in Round 1 unless you plan to start him at HB and even then, that has never really worked out long term. The Steelers aren't at the point to be drafting FBs in the first round, much better prospects to be had.

1.25 Buffalo Bills -- Bjoern Werner, DE, FSU --- A+

He's not as overall large and athletic as some of the other DEs, but -- he's fast enough to get after the QB and strong enough to hold up in the running game. A top 15 prospect going at 25 is a steal.

1.26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU --- A-

Very athletic player and a good frame. His lack of TKL scares me as you need to be able to TKL as a LB. However, it can progress well if he doesn't play too poorly and than become a phenomenal player.

1.27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington --- A

Surprised Trufant didn't go way earlier with the premium on CBs. Kid will need some time, but in as little as two seasons can be a high quality starter.

1.28 St. Louis Rams -- Preston Parker, DE, Marshall --- A-

He's a good player, nothing else to really say. He'll need some points into SPD, but he should be a good DE long term.

1.29 Atlanta Falcons -- DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson --- B+

I like him better than Jenkins who went many picks earlier. He's athletic and has very good starting SPD. That INJ rating stops it from be an A though.

1.30 Baltimore Ravens -- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M --- B-

He's going to take quite a while to be a dependable QB and the Ravens already have 5 QBs on their roster and a ton of money invested there. I think there's plenty of other holes on this roster to be addressed.

1.31 San Diego Chargers -- Nathanial Davis, ILB, Florida --- A-

Got a good, solid, athletic player at a very important position at the back-end of Round 1. Can't complain there.

1.32 Green Bay Packers -- Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri --- B

He's an incredible athlete for a DT and will be able to play DE at times because of that athleticism. The problem for me is a guy like Geno Atkins who was an even better athlete at the DT position had to be moved to DE because he wasn't big and strong enough at DT to be productive(high of 4 sacks prior to move to DE). His value lies in versatility, though.
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