Football

How the Internet graded California team’s 2017 NFL draft haul

San Francisco 49ers draft picks Reuben Foster, left, and Solomon Thomas pose for photos at a news conference in Santa Clara on Friday.
San Francisco 49ers draft picks Reuben Foster, left, and Solomon Thomas pose for photos at a news conference in Santa Clara on Friday. Associated Press

The 2017 NFL draft started with a flurry of trades and some surprising selections in Round 1, but after three days, seven rounds and 253 new players in the league, it’s finally over. Now, the analysis can begin.

You may think it is unfair to make snap judgments this early, but that has never, and will never, stop NFL pundits from handing out their draft grades based on how teams spent their draft capital. If you don’t want to buy into just one person’s view however, we’ve done you the favor of rolling together some of the NFL media’s top minds to better gauge how teams did in 2017.

Here’s how the California teams stacked up based on the consensus grades of the 2017 NFL draft, pulling together the marks of Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated, Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, Nate Davis of USA Today, Dan Kadar of SB Nation, ESPN’s Mel Kiper and The Washington Post’s Mark Maske.

San Francisco 49ers

Consensus grade: A-

The clear winners of the draft, the lowest grade they received was from SB Nation, who awarded first-year General Manager John Lynch a B- for stockpiling several future picks along with one of the surest prospects in the draft, defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, at No. 3. Lynch also got great value with linebacker Reuben Foster, a player a third of the 202 mock drafts surveyed had in the top 10, at No. 31.

Thomas was the best run defender in college football last year per Pro Football Focus with an ability to rush the passer – 44 total sacks, hits and hurries last season – and Foster was considered one of the best values in the draft per PFF after becoming the nation’s top-graded linebacker overall, including the top grade against the run and in coverage.

chargers draft
Los Angeles Chargers first-round draft pick Mike Williams poses for photos after a news conference at the StubHub Center in Carson on Friday. Jae C. Hong Associated Press

Los Angeles Chargers

Consensus grade: B+

Receiver Mike Williams, the team’s first-round pick, gives the franchise a wideout who will win balls in the air – he caught 17 of 29 targets on contested catches, one of the highest percentages in the draft class, last season – and, according to NFL.com’s Matt Harmon, Williams caught the ball on 26.2 percent of his routes run, which was the third-highest figure in his study of the receivers sampled from the draft class and 4.8 percent higher than average over the past two seasons.

The Chargers also got two of PFF’s top 10 value picks from the 2017 draft: offensive lineman Forrest Lamp – highest-graded left tackle in the nation in 2014 and 2015 before finishing second in an injury-shortened 2016 – and defensive back Desmond King (20 pass breakups over his last two years in college).

rams draft
Former Los Angeles Rams player Jack Youngblood, left, announces South Alabama’s Gerald Everett as the Rams' selection in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft. Matt Rourke Associated Press

Los Angeles Rams

Consensus grade: C-

The Rams ranked last for net yards per pass attempt in 2016 (5.0) behind an offensive line that allowed the fourth-highest sack rate after adjusting for down, distance and opponent (8.1 percent), so the theme around this year’s draft needed to be getting help for second-year quarterback Jared Goff.

Los Angeles instead got tight end Gerald Everett and wide receiver Cooper Kupp with its first two picks; both are questionable to provide an immediate impact.

Everett transferred to South Alabama in 2015 and became a two-time All-Sun Belt selection, hauling in 90 passes in two seasons, 12 for touchdowns. The hope is Everett’s leaping ability (37.5 inch vertical jump, third-highest among tight ends at the combine) will help him make plays in the red zone, but NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein scouting report noted Everett’s “touchdown production lower than expected.”

Kupp is a slot receiver who, per Harmon, “struggles to beat tight man coverage,” posting a 59.1 percent success rate vs. man coverage (23rd percentile among prospects charted the last two years) and 52.3 percent success rate vs. press coverage (27th percentile).

raider draft
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, right, stands with a fan after the Oakland Raiders chose Gareon Conley during the first round of the 2017 NFL draft. Jeff Haynes Associated Press

Oakland Raiders

Consensus grade: C+

Gareon Conley, the team’s first-round pick, is the top corner in the draft. He allowed a collegiate-best passer rating of just 13.6 when targeted in 2016, but he is facing rape accusations. While Conley may be innocent, that’s a lot of risk to take with a first-round pick.

Safety Obi Melifonwu (No. 56) was a star at this year’s combine – he ran a 4.40 40-yard dash with a 44-inch vertical jump and an 11-foot-9 broad jump – but the Raiders should have filled one of their other needs on defense rather than doubling down on the secondary.

Oakland was the third-worst pass-rushing team in the NFL last season but didn’t get a single surefire impact player who could turn that around, and that includes defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes (No. 88).

“A really interesting selection coming off an ACL two years ago. I didn’t think he played really well at all last year; he was heavy, out of shape and couldn’t finish plays,” said NFL.com’s Mike Mayock. “All of a sudden at the Senior Bowl, there’s quickness and explosion. Oakland is obviously hoping they get the slimmed-down, aggressive, quick version.”

Grading the NFL draft

San Francisco 49ers A-

Los Angeles Chargers B+

Washington Redskins B+

Green Bay Packers B+

Buffalo Bills B+

Arizona Cardinals B+

Cleveland Browns B+

New England Patriots B+

Indianapolis Colts B+

Tampa Bay Buccaneers B+

Tennessee Titans B+

Minnesota Vikings B+

Baltimore Ravens B+

New Orleans Saints B

Cincinnati Bengals B

Philadelphia Eagles B

Jacksonville Jaguars B

Denver Broncos B

Atlanta Falcons B-

Pittsburgh Steelers B-

Dallas Cowboys B-

Carolina Panthers B-

Houston Texans B-

Seattle Seahawks B-

Miami Dolphins C+

Kansas City Chiefs C +

New York Jets C+

New York Giants C+

Oakland Raiders C+

Detroit Lions C+

Los Angeles Rams C-

Chicago Bears C-

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