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2012 Draft Grades

Are post-draft grades worthess? This time of year the cynics come out of the woodwork to say “you can’t grade a draft until three years  have gone by.” While there is definitely some truth to that statement, grading a draft class immediately after the fact is far from worthless. In fact the post-draft grades are crucial to the grading process down the line.

Consider this example, if Andrew Luck turns out to be the next Ryan Leaf, will the Colts receive a failing grade in three years? Those same cynics who criticize the post-draft grading may say yes, but it’s not that simple. Nearly every scout, coach and general manager in the league would have made the same selection and, as a result, the Colts post-draft grade of the selection receives high marks. No matter what happens down the road, this was the right decision. It would be difficult to ever give the Colts a failing grade for the selection of Luck, regardless of the outcome.

Consider another example, let’s say Mohamad Sanu (Bengals 3rd-round pick) and John Hughes (Browns 3rd-round pick) both turn into busts. Do the teams get the same grade in three years for these selections? If you only look at the draft from the perspective of what happened on the field, yes. But if you refer to the initial reaction of the selections, it’s not even close. Sanu was a consensus top 100 pick, and many teams had 3rd-round grades on him. If he fails, it doesn’t change the fact that it was a safe pick by the Bengals. A certain percentage of 3rd-round picks will turn into busts, even the highly-rated ones. John Hughes, on the other hand, received very few, if any, 3rd-round grades from other teams. The Browns reached to fill a need and if he fails to pan out, the Browns grade should be a reflection of their questionable decision.

So while these grades certainly will change in three years, they will also serve as a valuable tool for evaluating these draft classes in the future.

Click on a team’s logo for their draft grade.

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