Top 10 Drafting Teams…According to Peter Schrager



1. Tennessee Titans: A+

Maybe my favorite draft class in recent memory. The Titans, knowing they already had a quarterback of the future in their back pocket, leveraged the first overall pick for a haul of others, and then worked back into the top 10 to get a right tackle that they believe can be a starter for the next decade in Jack Conklin. Kevin Dodd dominated the national championship game and had a huge 2015. I like him in the second round, love Austin Johnson in Tennessee’s 3-4 base, and thought both Derrick Henry and Kevin Byard fit what Tennessee is building and can make a difference right away. GM Jon Robinson looks like a draft mastermind, and with the haul they got from Los Angeles paying off the next two years, the best could still be yet to come.

2. Los Angeles Rams: A

The Rams wanted a franchise quarterback to start the organization’s re-invigoration in Los Angeles and did whatever was needed to go get him. They were sitting at the 15 spot in this year’s draft, wanted Jared Goff, knew they’d need to give a lot up to get him, and then just went for it. I love that. Five years from now, the football gods will tell us if they went for the right quarterback or not, or if they gave up too much, but in the present, how do you not appreciate a team laying it on the table and just saying, “Let’s go for it”? I don’t know how you can rant and rave and praise the selection of backup cornerbacks and guards in the second and third round — guys the Rams couldn’t take because of trading picks — until we see what Jared Goff becomes. GM Les Snead has built a wonderful young team in Los Angeles, minus one position. The quarterback. So, they just put their franchise and many of their legacies on the right arm of the kid they wanted. In a league where everyone’s trying to get better and emerge from the dreaded world of 7-9 and 8-8, the Rams took a big swing to someday get to 10-6 or 12-4. For that alone, it’s an A.

Best value pick: None

3. Buffalo Bills: A

The Bills didn’t resemble a Rex Ryan team on defense last year, and if you’re going to employ Rex (and brother Rob), you might as well give the defense some thumpers up front. Shaq Lawson — if his shoulder checks out — can be the top pass rusher in this class, while Reggie Ragland is the perfect inside linebacker for a Ryan brother defense. I liked the selection of big boy Adolphus Washington up front, and can already envision Cardale Jones getting on the field at some point in 2016. I liked the value and the needs fulfilled with the first four picks in this draft, and think Kolby Listenbee, a late-round flyer, could be a decent threat in the deep game.

Best value pick: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama, 41st overall

4. Philadelphia Eagles: A

Similar to how I feel about the Rams, I love the Eagles going up and making the moves necessary to get their guy at No. 2. You can’t win in this league without a quarterback, and if the Eagles view Carson Wentz as that kind of quarterback, they weren’t getting him at 13 or 8. As Sam Bradford doesn’t show up to voluntary minicamp and sends messages through his agent, Carson Wentz now comes to Philadelphia, ready to compete and be the best player he can be. I also loved Chase Daniel welcoming him with open arms. It’s as if Bradford is being told, “Hey bud, we’re good here. Are you in or are you out?” And with a quarterbacks room that’ll include Doug Pederson, Frank Reich, and John DeFilippo, it’s hard not to feel good about a young, whip-smart quarterback’s chances for success. I liked the aggressiveness of GM Howie Roseman here, but also liked some of the Day 3 picks, including Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jalen Mills, and local product Wendell Smallwood.

Best value pick: Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, TCU, 164th overall

5. Arizona Cardinals: A

I’d feel less comfortable with other teams taking Robert Nkemdiche in the first round, but the Cardinals are a different beast. There’s an infrastructure in place, and the people in the building — from owner Michael Bidwill to GM Steve Keim to head coach Bruce Arians — are strong enough to handle any potential off-field pitfalls the young man may come across. Tyrann Mathieu is the blueprint. Now Nkemdiche — whom I had listed as my No. 1 prospect in this draft before the college season started — just needs to execute. I’m including Chandler Jones — traded to Arizona in a package that included the Cardinals’ second-round pick — as a part of this draft class and think he’ll be an absolute superstar next season. I also think Evan Boehm, a stout center/guard out of Missouri, can contribute right away.

Best value pick: Evan Boehm, C/G, Missouri, 128th overall

6. Cincinnati Bengals: A

Value, value, value. Hats off to Duke Tobin, Marvin Lewis, and the rest of the Bengals’ decision makers on this one. Cincinnati stayed true to its board and with seemingly every pick and took guys who produced in the college game. The first-round selection of William Jackson III was not one for need, and it stung their division-rival Steelers, who had the pick right after. Tyler Boyd could be a good complement to A.J. Green; he isn’t a burner, but is a tough, smart route runner. Andrew Billings was a disruptive force who I saw as a second-round pick. Cincinnati got him in the fourth, and offensive guard Christian Westerman is a big body who could have gone on Day 2. Offensive line coach Paul Alexander will get the very most of him.

Best value pick: Christian Westerman, OG, Arizona State, 161st overall

7. Seattle Seahawks: A-

The rich got richer this weekend. Seattle traded back in the first round and still got an offensive tackle they coveted in Germain Ifedi at 31st overall, got big man Jarran Reed — a top-20 talent — in the second round, and two talented offensive players who can make real impacts next year in Nick Vannett and C.J. Prosise in the third round. I see Prosise as a Reggie Bush/Percy Harvin clone. He played wide receiver in college, moved to running back, and did it all in the special teams game. I also like the value they got in Tyvis Powell, an undrafted free agent, who is a tall, rangy safety that left Ohio State early. Perfect fit for the Legion Of Boom.

Best value pick: C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame, 90th overall

8. San Francisco 49ers: A-

I loved the 49ers’ draft, despite a complete lack of flash and/or sizzle. San Francisco needed to get tough and big up front on both sides of the ball and address their defensive backfield. They did that with DeForest Buckner, my top-rated defensive player; Joshua Garnett, arguably the best run-blocking guard in this class; and they got Ronald Blair, a big bull out of Appalachian State — in the fifth round. They also hit that cornerback need with three guys loaded with potential in Will Redmond, Rashard Robinson, and Prince Charles Iworah. I would have liked to have seen them take Connor Cook in the third round, but they waited and got Jeff Driskel in the sixth. A few years back, the young man was the highest-rated high school quarterback in the country. Maybe Chip Kelly can help him fulfill that potential.

Best value pick: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon, seventh overall

9. Denver Broncos: A-

Round by round, Denver nailed its picks. If everyone was as hot as it sounds for Paxton Lynch late in the first round, Denver did what it had to do to land its guy. Again, I have the ultimate respect for the teams that make moves to get quarterbacks. I do not believe you can win without one. I also am a big fan of Adam Gotsis, the big Australian defensive tackle, and can see him learning from Derek Wolfe. Justin Simmons and Devontae Booker will have roles in 2016, and Connor McGovern is one of those weight-room freaks who can set the tone if given the chance to polish his skills. This draft will depend on Lynch and his development. I have high hopes.

Best value pick: Devontae Booker, RB, Utah, 136th overall

10. Indianapolis Colts: A-

The Colts’ offensive line was at least somewhat at fault for the shellacking Andrew Luck took last year. After that, Matt Hasselbeck got clobbered, too. To his credit, Ryan Grigson addressed the offensive line and then some over the weekend. I loved the Ryan Kelly pick, making he and Andrew Luck the only quarterback/center combo that has two masters degrees. I also am high on big boy Le’Raven Clark out of Texas Tech and Joe Haeg, the road paver out of North Dakota State. That’s three for three on the offensive line, and for that, I tip my cap.

Best value pick: Le’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech, 82nd overall

Round 2 NFL Draft




Round 2:

1 (32). Cleveland Browns

2 (33). Tennessee Titans

3 (34). Dallas Cowboys

4 (35). San Diego Chargers

5 (36). Baltimore Ravens

6 (37). Kansas City Chiefs (from 49ers)

7 (38). Jacksonville Jaguars

8 (39). Tampa Bay Buccaneers

9 (40). New York Giants

10 (41). Chicago Bears

11 (42). Miami Dolphins

12 (43). Tennessee Titans (from Eagles via Rams)

13 (44). Oakland Raiders

14 (45). Tennessee Titans (from Rams)

15 (46). Detroit Lions

16 (47). New Orleans Saints

17 (48). Indianapolis Colts

18 (49). Buffalo Bills

19 (50). Atlanta Falcons

20 (51). New York Jets

21 (52). Houston Texans

22 (53). Washington Redskins

23 (54). Minnesota Vikings

24 (55). Cincinnati Bengals

25 (56). Seattle Seahawks

26 (57). Green Bay Packers

27 (58). Pittsburgh Steelers

28 (59). Kansas City Chiefs

29 (60). New England Patriots

30 (61). New England Patriots (from Cardinals)

31 (62). Carolina Panthers

32 (63). Denver Broncos

Seahawks…Re-Stocking or Re-Loading in the 2016 Draft?

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Every few minutes on Tuesday, John Schneider’s phone would ding while resting next to him on the table.

Another message for Seattle’s general manager in the hours leading up to an important NFL draft for the Seahawks.

Seattle will have nine total picks when the draft begins on Thursday, including the No. 26 overall pick in the first round. After middling draft results in recent years, the Seahawks have needs at a number of positions – most notably on the offensive and defensive lines – that could be solved in the short and long term with a successful weekend of selections.

Since the 2012 draft where the Seahawks landed a bounty of future stars, including quarterback Russell Wilson, Seattle’s draft success has fallen off. But that was a transition year when Seattle went from building a championship contender to now trying to maintain its place among the NFL elite. And with veteran free-agent additions and finding a few undrafted gems, simply getting on the roster for players drafted by the Seahawks has become a challenge.

”It’s been harder to make our team since the ’13 draft, `14 draft,” Schneider said. ”Some drafts are stronger than others – how many of these guys really have a legitimate chance of making our team? It’s been harder for us to figure out who has a legitimate chance to make our team.”

Schneider said he views this draft as the deepest since arriving in Seattle in 2010. That means there could be more late-round gems for the Seahawks to unearth and potentially more options among undrafted rookie free agents, an area in which Seattle has excelled in finding future contributors.

But it’ll be the early rounds where much of the attention will fall on the Seahawks. Seattle has four selections among the Top 100 picks and that’s assuming the Seahawks keep their first-round pick at No. 26. Seattle has not made a pick in the first round since 2012.

”This is our seventh (draft) and this is the most impressive one to us in terms of the sheer number of players,” Schneider said.

Most of the attention has fallen on the needs along the offensive and defensive lines after losing some key starters during free agency. Guard J.R. Sweezy and tackle Russell Okung departed from the offensive line, while defensive tackle Brandon Mebane and outside linebacker/defensive end Bruce Irvin left along the defensive line. And while Seattle has options already on its roster that can fill those spots, coach Pete Carroll’s mantra of always wanting to create competition likely means those positions will be addressed during the draft.

”We don’t grade for the league, we grade for our team. And when you do that, that represents what your board ends up looking like,” Schneider said. ”You’re going to have specific needs at different positions based on people that you’ve lost on free agency or if a guy that you drafted isn’t coming through at a specific position. It’s really a combination of the two.”

NOTES: Carroll said RB Thomas Rawls (ankle) and TE Jimmy Graham (knee) are continuing to recover from major injuries suffered late last season: ”Everything is going well. Everything is in good shape. As they push to get back, we’ll just have to see what the timeline tells us.” … Schneider said the signing of veteran DE Chris Clemons was in part because of the hope that he could take on Irvin’s role as a third-down pass rusher. Carroll added that the Seahawks have a specific plan for how they intend to use recently signed CB Brandon Browner, who was with Seattle through the 2013 season, but he declined to expand on what Browner’s role will be. ”We’re going to do some different things with him you’ll see in the future.”

NFL Draft Leaving New York



With the 2015 NFL Draft up for grabs, New York is out and the race has come down to the nation’s second- and third-largest cities to play host to the multi-day event.

“We’re focusing solely on Los Angeles and Chicago now,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday, speaking to reporters at the Beverly Hilton after participating on a CBS “Thursday Night Football” panel.

New York has hosted the draft since 1965, but has been dropped from consideration for next year, Goodell said, because Radio City Music Hall couldn’t offer available dates in April or May. The event is expected to take place either April 22-25 or April 29-May 2.

“We had 12 cities that were interested,” Goodell said. “We felt the best thing to do was to focus on the three cities, because they had such a tremendous interest. There are very attractive aspects to each of those cities. Because we don’t have the appropriate dates in May our focus is completely on Los Angeles and Chicago.

“They both have tremendous bids.”

Goodell declined to give a timetable on when the league will make its choice.

“I just got an update two days ago,” he said. “I believe the decision will come in late summer, but we’re not going to be bound by that. We’re going to do the right thing.”

The league is considering stretching the draft from three days to four, a concept that would test the creativity of the NFL considering the interest naturally wanes in the later rounds. Still, the TV numbers are staggering. For instance, the first round of this year’s draft drew more viewers than the NBA playoffs (and attracted a larger audience than MLB’s All-Star game.)

Still, keeping viewers tuned in for a fourth day would be a challenge, Goodell said.

“We’re talking about different concepts, primarily how to strengthen the last day and whether we should maybe push that back to the clubs a little bit more and allow the clubs to have a little bit more freedom as more of a club day,” he said. “Maybe they would announce the picks from there. We’re looking at everything under the sun, because there’s a great interest in it and we want to do something that’s more responsive to our fans.”

Keith Price Signed by Seahawks

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When Keith Price attended the local-player workout at Virginia Mason Athletic Center last month, the former University of Washington quarterback expressed a desire to join the Seahawks.

“I know that coach (Pete) Carroll’s philosophy is competing, and I wouldn’t mind being a part of it,” Price said at the time. “My motto is, all I need is a foot in the door and I’ll take care of the rest.”

Price got his wish Saturday, when he was among nine rookie free agents to agree to terms with the Seahawks at the conclusion of the three-day NFL Draft.

Also agreeing to terms with the Seahawks:

  • USC strong safety Dion Bailey
  • Montana linebacker Brock Coyle
  • Central Arkansas tight end Chase Dixon
  • Penn State tackle Garry Gilliam
  • Oklahoma guard Bronson Irwin
  • Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat
  • South Carolina cornerback Jimmy Legree
  • Eastern Washington defensive tackle Andru Pulu.

Pulu also participated in the Seahawks’ workout for local players.

Price, Pulu and the other seven free agents will join the nine players selected by the Seahawks in the draft for the team’s three-day rookie minicamp that begins Friday. And Price should get a lot of reps during the workouts.

“We had a good look at him, obviously,” Carroll said Saturday. “Being a local kid, we’ve seen him for years. We had a good look at him at his workouts. He came here for our local workout. We feel very, very comfortable with him. We know that’s he’s got a big upside. He seemed to fit in really well with our coaches. We just feel really comfortable and we think we can give him a real good shot at it.” 

Seahawks Draft Picks

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Paul Richardson, WR (second round, No. 45 overall)

Justin Britt, OT (second round, No. 64 overall)

Cassius Marsh, DE (fourth round, No. 108 overall)

Kevin Norwood, WR (fourth round, No. 123 overall)

Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB (fourth round, No. 132 overall)

Jimmy Staten, DT (fifth round, No. 172 overall)

Garrett Scott, OT (sixth round, No. 199 overall)

Eric Pinkins, SS (sixth round, No. 208 overall)

Kiero Small, FB (seventh round, No. 227 overall) 

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Paul Richardson, WR (second round, No. 45 overall)

Some will hate this pick based on the fact Richardson’s frame is so small, but the truth is he’s a burner. He can take the top off a defense at a moment’s notice and can take any pass to the house. Pete Carroll loves playmakers. 

One should expect Richardson to fight for the No. 3 wide receiver job out of training camp.


Justin Britt, OT (second round, No. 64 overall)

When the Seahawks moved on from Breno Giacomini in the offseason, it became clear that offensive line coach Tom Cable wanted a fresh start at the right tackle position. So what did general manager John Schneider do? He gave Cable a new toy to work with at right tackle.

Britt did have some injury issues at Missouri, but Seattle is hopeful he is over them. If he is, Britt should open the season as the team’s starting right tackle. That’s how polished of a product he is right now. 


Cassius Marsh, DE (fourth round, No. 108 overall)

Marsh’s production wasn’t where it needed to be in college, but the upside is definitely there. He can play multiple positions on the defensive line and even has the ability to drop back in coverage. It’s safe to say Coach Carroll has had his eye on Marsh since USC recruited him coming out of high school


Kevin Norwood, WR (fourth round, No. 123 overall)

It was a big surprise to see Seattle take another pass-catcher in Round 4, but Norwood must have been atop the Seahawks board. He’s a tall, possession receiver who has reliable hands and is known as a good route-runner. 

He will do a good job of creating separation and garnering yards after the catch in the Pacific Northwest.


Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB (fourth round, No. 132 overall)

Pierre-Louis played outside linebacker at Boston College, yet it’s safe to say he will play with his hand in the ground in Seattle because of his size. He has the speed and athleticism teams look for in an edge-rusher.


Eric Pinkins, SS (sixth round, No. 208 overall)

Even though Pinkins played strong safety at San Diego State, there’s been some chatter that the Seahawks could move him to cornerback. This shouldn’t shock anyone. Pinkins is 6’2″ and has extremely long arms. In fact, his measurables are similar to those of current Seahawks cornerback Tharold Simon.

Jimmy Staten, DT (fifth round, No. 172 overall)

Staten looks to be a Pete Carroll-esque guy. He’s a big-bodied nose tackle who can move offensive linemen at the point of attack. The only problem is the Seahawks could have drafted him in the seventh round or snagged him as a priority free agent.


Garrett Scott, OT (sixth round, No. 199 overall)

Like Staten, Scott possesses great size and is versatile. But again, Seattle overdrafted the Marshall product. If the Seahawks wouldn’t have drafted him in the sixth round, odds are he would have been an undrafted free agent.