Here's part of this series of articles. Enjoy!
1.11 – SS Mark Barron, WAS. The Redskins needed to strengthen their secondary in 2020 and picked Barron early in the draft. Barron has great size (6’2”) and tremendous speed (92 SPD), but with 64 STR 69 TAK seemed better suited to the Free Safety position. The Alabama is another prospect that looks amazing on paper but doesn’t end producing too much that can be tracked. He totaled 1 interception in his 2 years in DC, before being traded to Cleveland. The Browns gave up the 13th pick overall in the 2022 draft, where the Redskins got DE Ezekial Ansah, who has 3 sacks in a little over a year. GRADE: C-
1.12 – HB Bryant Buchanan, NE. The Patriots went their first 15 seasons without a 10+ win season. That changed in 2021, in no small part to Buchanan giving New England the running game it had missed in the previous few seasons. Buchanan isn’t a fast HB, but he’s big and strong and rushed for over 1,300 yards in each of his first three seasons. He might not be the piece that puts the Patriots over the top, but he’ll be a vital part of their improvement. GRADE: A
1.13 – CB Chase Minnifield, BAL. As much as Corners are coveted in this league, it’s seems rare when they actually manage to live up to expectations. The former Virginia player racked up 8 picks in his first two seasons, including 2 returned for TDs in 2021. Minnifield appeared to be taking things to the next level his junior year with 3 picks in his first 7 games of 2022, before being sidelined. So far he’s shown no rust, with 3 picks in 4 games this season. GRADE: A
1.14 – WR Dwight Jones, NYJ. It’s hard to imagine how a WR who stands 6’4” and has 92 SPD being the 4th WR off the board, but that’s what happened to Jones, who fell to New York at 1.14. After a so-so rookie season, Jones exploded in 2021 with over 1,800 yards and 14 TDs and hasn’t looked back since. He’s already had 5 games of 200 yards or more receiving – not bad. Not bad at all. GRADE: A
1.15 – WR Brian Quick, NYG. Brian Quick may be the anti-Dwight Jones. Just as tall, and just as fast, Quick has not lived up to expectations so far in the Big Apple. In his first 3 seasons in New York, Quick averaged 699 yards and 4 TDs. Much of this isn’t his fault as RGIII has undergone growing pains at the QB position. Still, it seems like such a waste of talent. GRADE: C
1.16 – HB Marjani Marshall, NYG. This Boston College grad has flashed his potential but left fans wanting more. After exploding on the scene his rookie year with over 1,600 yards rushing 9 TDs, Marshall barely eclipsed those totals in his next 2 seasons combined. Injuries were partly to blame, along with an anemic offense. Marshall is off to a good start in 2023 and may end up being a superstar after all. GRADE: B.
1.17 – WR Frankie Freeman, MIA. Freeman is one of only 5 players in the league that stands 6’1” or more with at least 98 SPD. On paper, Freeman should be an All-Pro every year. Granted, he’s had to compete for balls with some great WRs, but he has the attributes to be the best on any team. Averaging just over 900 yards a season is far below what one would expect from Freeman. GRADE: C
1.18 – CB Buster Bowden, TB. Coming into the draft, the big knock on Bowden was his poor agility (84 AGI). The Bucs were able to overlook this shortcoming, especially when they looked at his size and speed. Bowden’s first two seasons in Tampa Bay were nothing special, where he picked off 1 pass and deflected 12 passes. Last year, however, Bowden came out of his shell a bit, posting 5 picks and 30 deflections. Hopefully for the Bucs, Bowden is over the hump and ready to be a primetime player. GRADE: B+
1.19 – OL Zebrie Sanders, DEN. The first offensive lineman of the 2020 draft came off the board late in the game and landed in Denver. At the time, Sanders played OT and lacked elite strength for the position. However, Sanders had one of the best combinations of speed and acceleration in the league, making him enticing. Sanders surrendered 15 sacks his first two seasons, before being shipped to Chicago where he spent a single miserable season. This year Sanders was traded to Dallas where he was moved to Guard, which the team believes he is more suited for. GRADE: B-
1.20 – LT Riley Reiff, ATL. Arguably the best line prospect in the draft, Atlanta gets a nice bargain this late in the draft. Though not as fast as Sanders, Reiff was still pretty quick, and has good speed for someone so athletic. In his first 3 seasons, Reiff averaged just under 5 sacks allowed a season, and in his last two complete seasons the Iowa product has averaged over 100 pancakes a year. GRADE: A-