2012 NFL Draft: Value Draft Grades

Chase Minnifield NFL Draft

In Doug's grading system, quality UDFAs like Minnifield score highly.

NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed

Oh, the age old tradition of immediately grading a draft class that hasn’t even taken the field for practice yet.

Everyone does it, and I understand why. We’ve watched these players all year and we all have our perception of them and their talent. The problem is, NFL teams know more than us. They’ve also seen more and better tape and there are players every year that we haven’t heard of.

Instead of doing the regular A-F grading scale, I decided to come up with my own system.

I ranked 250 players this year before the draft. Any player that was drafted above my ranking, gets the difference in a negative score, any player that was drafted below my ranking gets the difference in a positive score. All undrafted players are scored as though they were the 254th player drafted and any player that I did not rank and did not watch enough tape to rank gets an incomplete, or no score at all. I figured this was a way to grade the draft based on my perceived “value.” The only “opinion” I put into these grades was pre-draft.

It’s not a perfect system, since it’s all based on my opinion and players taken early that should be taken early don’t get a positive grade. The main part was that I didn’t want to punish teams for drafting players that I didn’t watch enough.

(Ex. Luke Kuechly was taken 9th, he was my 15th ranked player, that selection gets a -6. Devon Still was taken 53rd, he was my 14th ranked player, that selection gets a 39. Chris Polk went undrafted, he was my 46th ranked player, that selection gets a (254-46) 208.

If you want to see my full top 250, plus every player drafted and color coded, go here.

1. Philadelphia Eagles
12. Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
46. Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California
59. Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
88. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
123. Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia
153. Dennis Kelly, OT, Purdue
194. Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
200. Brandon Washington, G/OT, Miami
229. Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas State
Ranked UDFA: Chris Polk (46), Emil Igwenagu (143), Phillip Thomas (160), Chase Ford (239), Cliff Harris (243)
Total Score: 648

The Eagles get the top score, mostly because of a great UDFA class. Chris Polk alone got a 208. Brandon Boykin, Marvin McNutt and Brandon Washington  were also great late round picks that I had ranked far higher.

2. New York Jets
16. Quinton Coples, DE/DT, North Carolina
43. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
77. Demario Davis, OLB, Arkansas State
187. Josh Bush, S, Wake Forest
202. Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor
203. Robert T. Griffin, G, Baylor
242. Antonio Allen, S, South Carolina
244. Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan
Ranked UDFA: Donnie Fletcher (139), Ryan Steed (150), Brian Linthicum (170), John Cullen (257)
Total Score: 522

This truly hurts to see the Jets graded out so high, but once again, it’s because of a solid UDFA class. I had Stephen Hill graded as a late second round pick, but that was one of the few picks that earned a negative score.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7. Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
31. Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
58. Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska
140. Najee Goode, ILB, West Virginia
174. Keith Tandy, CB, West Virginia
212. Michael Smith, RB, Utah State
233. Drake Dunsmore, FB, Northwestern
Ranked UDFA: Leonard Johnson (113), Eric Page (185)
Total Score: 372

I didn’t love the Mark Barron pick, but I was a big fan of Doug Martin, Lavonte David and Leonard Johnson.

4. Cincinnati Bengals
17. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
27. Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin
53. Devon Still, DT, Penn State
83. Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
93. Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
116. Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
156. Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
166. Marvin Jones, WR, California
167. George Iloka, S, Boise State
191. Dan Herron, RB, Ohio State
Total Score: 303

On paper, the Bengals did amazing without an UDFA ranked in my top 250. Kirkpatrick, Still, Sanu, Thompson, Charles, Jones and Iloka were all huge steals in my opinion.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers
24. David DeCastro, G, Stanford
56. Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
86. Sean Spence, OLB, Miami
109. Alameda Ta’amu, NT, Washington
159. Chris Rainey, RB/KR, Florida
231. Toney Clemons, WR, Colorado
240. David Paulson, TE, Oregon
246. Terrence Frederick, DT, Texas A&M
248. Kelvin Beachum, G, SMU
Ranked UDFA: Brandon Lindsey (137), Adrian Robinson (206)
Total Score: 282

This is another one that hurts, you never like to see the Steelers come out of a draft with this type of class. DeCastro, Adams and Ta’amu were among my favorite picks in this class. I wasn’t a big fan of the limited tape I saw of Toney Clemons. Brandon Lindsey was a pretty perplexing UDFA.

6. Indianapolis Colts
1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
34. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
64. Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
92. T.Y. Hilton, WR/KR, Florida International
136. Josh Chapman, NT, Alabama
170. Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State
206. LaVon Brazill, WR, Ohio
208. Justin Anderson, OT, Georgia
214. Tim Fugger, DE/OLB, Vanderbilt
253. Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois
Ranked UDFA: Micah Pellerin (134)
Total Score: 257

The Colts get a high score despite the fact that Andrew Luck earned them a 0 on a value scale. Josh Chapman, Chandler Harnish and Micah Pellerin were major point earners.

7. Green Bay Packers
28. Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
51. Jerel Worthy, DE/DT, Michigan State
62. Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
132. Mike Daniels, DE/DT, Iowa
133. Jerron McMillian, S, Maine
163. Terrell Manning, LB, N.C. State
241. Andrew Datko, OT, Florida State
243. B.J. Coleman, QB, UT-Chattanooga
Ranked UDFA: Dale Moss (202)
Total Score: 224

It’s no surprise that the Packers came out of this class near the top. Nick Perry and Casey Hayward were major steals in my opinion. BJ Coleman was placed in the perfect opportunity, Dale Moss is a highly athletic UDFA.

8. Washington Redskins
2. Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor
71. Josh LeRibeus, G, SMU
102. Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
119. Keenan Robinson, ILB, Texas
141. Adam Gettis, G, Iowa
173. Alfred Morris, RB, Florida Atlantic
193. Tom Compton, OT, South Dakota
213. Richard Crawford, CB, SMU
217. Jordan Bernstine, S, Iowa
Ranked UDFA: Chase Minnifield (76), DJ Holt (234), Vaughn Meatoga (236)
Total Score: 223

This one surprised me a little, but Chase Minnifield helped a lot earning 178 points. I was a big fan of Keenan Robinson and Tom Compton as well. To prove that this system holds no bias, I hated the Kirk Cousins pick.

9. Arizona Cardinals
13. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
80. Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma
112. Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss
151. Senio Kelemte, G, Washington
177. Justin Bethel, S, Presbyterian
185. Ryan Lindley, QB, San Diego State
221. Nate Potter, OT/G
Ranked UDFA: Broderick Binns (193)
Total Score: 217

I was perplexed that Jamell Fleming fell so far on draft boards. I saw a great zone corner with some of the smoothest hips in the class. Bobby Massie fell further than most had him ranked and Ryan Lindley was a nice late round pickup.

10. Detroit Lions
23. Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
54. Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
85. Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette
125. Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma
138. Tahir Whitehead, DE/OLB, Temple
148. Chris Greenwood, CB, Albion
196. Jonte Green, CB, New Mexico State
223. Travis Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma
Ranked UDFA: Patrick Edwards (181)
Total Score: 197

I wasn’t a huge fan of the Ryan Broyles pick, he was one of the few injured players that didn’t fall far. Ronnell Lewis, Travis Lewis and Patrick Edwards helped the Lions round out the top 10.

11. New York Giants
32. David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
63. Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
94. Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
127. Adrien Robinson, TE, Cincinnati
131. Brandon Mosley, OT, Auburn
201. Matt McCants, OT, UAB
239. Markus Kuhn, DT, N.C. State
Ranked UDFA: Janzen Jackson (169)
Total Score: 182

I don’t like the Wilson pick, I thought that was a major reach for need. I love the Randle and Hosley picks though, and McCants and Jackson scored a lot of points in this system.

12. New England Patriots
21. Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse
25. Dont’a Hightower, ILB/DE/OLB, Alabama
48. Tavon Wilson, S, Illinois
90. Jake Bequette, DE, Arkansas
197. Nate Ebner, DB, Ohio State
224. Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
235. Jeremy Ebert, WR, Northwestern
Ranked UDFA: Markus Zusevics (204)
Total Score: 164

The hometown boys get the twelve spot, mostly due to 7th rounder Alfonzo Dennard. The fact that I hadn’t watched a lot of tape on Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner and Jeremy Ebert certainly helped, as they all received incompletes or zeros.

13. Miami Dolphins
8. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
42. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
72. Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami
78. Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri
97. Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
155. Josh Kaddu, DE/OLB, Oregon
183. B.J. Cunningham, WR, Michigan State
215. Kheeston Randall, DE/DT, Texas
227. Rishard Matthews, WR, Nevada
Ranked UDFA: Jeff Fuller (172), Kelcie McCray (246)
Total Score: 136

Jonathan Martin, Lamar Miller, Josh Kaddu and the UDFAs earned the Dolphins a lot of points. I loved Vernon, but had him ranked 74th, and didn’t like Kaddu, but had him ranked much higher. Go figure.

14. Minnesota Vikings
4. Matt Kalil, OT, USC
29. Harrison Smith, SS, Notre Dame
66. Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida
118. Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas
128. Rhett Ellison, FB/TE, USC
134. Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas
139. Robert Blanton, CB/S, Notre Dame
175. Blair Walsh, K, Georgia
210. Audie Cole, ILB, N.C. State
219. Trevor Guyton, DE, California
Ranked UDFA: Quentin Saulsberry (163), Tyler Nielsen (220)
Total Score: 136

I thought Harrison Smith was a major reach, but the Vikings got value elsewhere in both Arkansas receivers, Cole and Saulsberry.

15. Baltimore Ravens
35. Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
60. Kelechi Osemele, G, Iowa State
84. Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
98. Gino Gradkowski, C/G, Delaware
130. Christian Thompson, S, South Carolina State
169. Asa Jackson, CB, Cal Poly-SLO
198. Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami
236. DeAngelo Tyson, NT, Georgia
Ranked UDFA: Bobby Rainey (233), James Carmon (237), Jack Cornell (241), Charles Brown (245)
Total Score: 96

It’s almost unfair that the Ravens had some a good class. They couldn’t have hoped for a better first round pick in Upshaw, Osemele was a major steal and so were Jackson and Streeter.

16. San Francisco 49ers
30. A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois
61. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
117. Joe Looney, G, Wake Forest
165. Darius Fleming, DE/OLB, Notre Dame
180. Trenton Robinson, S, Michigan State
199. Jason Slowey, C, Western Oregon
237. Cam Johnson, DE/OLB, Virginia
Ranked UDFA: Chris Owusu (177), Jewel Hampton (229)
Total Score: 96

I hated the AJ Jenkins pick, I actually think UDFA Chris Owusu could wind up having a better career if he can stay healthy. Hampton was a nice pickup as an UDFA despite multiple knee injuries.


Click page 2 below for the bottom 16 teams.

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26 Responses to “2012 NFL Draft: Value Draft Grades”

  1. Jim Keddy says:

    Two of the Patriots UDFAs who were not on your spread sheet
    (Forster and Bolden) were rated higher than most of the Jets UDFAs that you listed. They would tilt the value a little towards the Patriots.

  2. Spearhead says:

    I’d also like a moment of silence for the poor young men drafted by NYJ. Keep some cologne on a hankie incase Rex should remove his footwear. Don’t worry, you’ll probably have a new coach before your contract ends.

  3. Spearhead says:

    I’d like to note that STL drafted several players PATs fans on this site wanted to go to the PATs. We’ll see how well STL improves.

  4. Tony D says:

    So what your saying is to totally disregard these “rankings” because they are based on what an amateur thinks about the players values? Okay cool, because I hope you wouldn’t actually want anyone to believe that you know more than professional nfl talent evaluators.

  5. Jim Keddy says:

    Your spread sheet has one omission who would add value
    points for the Patriots, Marcus Forston. He was rated 107th
    best player by Great Blue North. This was much higher than any of the Jets UDFAs.

    This assumes that Forston has, indeed, signed with the Patriots.

  6. drock says:

    Eric Page is now with the Broncos, not the Buccaneers.

  7. qwerty says:

    Doug is being criticized for really nothing. He came up with the system of ranking and based on that quantitative systemm came out with a ranking. It is what it is. He is not saying this is the end all or be all of ranking. He can only watch the tape of so many players. It may take him weeks to implement alternative methods so not practical with his time. If you had a better way to systematically rank them, you should suggest what that is.

    I prefer the intuition ranking. Going with your gut feel. I couldn’t do that for every team or player except maybe pick out which five teams had the best draft at most although maybe Doug can.

    Doug is in information overload and that can be a disadvantage in seeing the forest. He may know too much. I got another suggestion for Doug. Rate the teams based only on draft and not UDFA and only rate on 4 best players selected. Then throw in some intuition. If a team gets 4 players that work for them, it is a home run draft.

    • qwerty says:

      Rank the UDFA separately in the same way. UDFA players can actually be in much better position because they can choose which teams they want to try out for.

  8. Joe Blake says:

    It will take three years to determine if this years pats draft was a success or not. by then, we will have gone through: countless players, three more drafts, three more seasons records and post season play…so no one will really be able to focus on the 2012 draft results in 2015 unless they go hide in a box for that time period. By then BB and TB will be retired and a totally new focus will result. If they win one SB between now and then, I will be satisfied.

  9. Lundahl says:

    Bills are so not last. And how are the Jets ranked so high ?

    • Doug Kyed says:

      I went completely based on this in the intro:

      “I ranked 250 players this year before the draft. Any player that was drafted above my ranking, gets the difference in a negative score, any player that was drafted below my ranking gets the difference in a positive score. All undrafted players are scored as though they were the 254th player drafted and any player that I did not rank and did not watch enough tape to rank gets an incomplete, or no score at all. I figured this was a way to grade the draft based on my perceived “value.” The only “opinion” I put into these grades was pre-draft.”

      No bias involved, just based on pre-draft rankings.

      • Lundahl says:

        I understand your point and I did read your intro. If you put it this way – I believe the Bills whom until now have had disastrous drafts, have done a good job this year. But you can also pick up great value in firsts and second and big flops as well, that’s what I’m trying to say. Like the Jets who drafted Sanchez, Keller, Wilson and Wilkerson, those are busts. But I don’t agree on the Jets. I’m not hating on them, I just don’t believe they are that high. But you do a good job btw

  10. Dan says:

    This doesn’t belong in this discussion, but I want to write this now because it’s just great info, and I was listening to the radio and heard some good stuff.

    On the Wilson pick in the 2nd round:

    I watched the Parcells ESPN special again this year and he offered another great point this year (last year he summed up the rookie pay scale in billions of dollars…or some fraction…lost to first rounders…gave the actual stats/$$$ over the last 5 years or so…great stuff; especially on why the Pats always dropped out). This year he mentioned that if he were coaching today he would have 3 corners on the field on first down, always. He would drop a safety…deal with passing on first down, and not the run etc…

    I feel this brings some insight as to why BB took Wilson so high. The kid has the hybrid body of a safety/corner, more so, he’s played both and both sides (and special teams). He’s a 4.5 guy, but is a solid 205 with no health issues.
    I think he wants someone like that to mold into that position Parcells was talking about…but, as a new hybrid player…disguise ability, position flexibility…can cover, move to corner, play safety in the box, whatever…

    I doubt highly that he just took some kid for the hell of it…he, and his staff probably looked long & hard for such a player and they decided on Wilson.

    The second part of this was the fact that they (this came from the radio caller) had only 2 picks left in the draft. So, they didn’t want to mess around, probably didn’t get a call back on any draft down attempts, so they pulled the trigger because that was their guy for this new player-type. Then, they went to work on getting that trade-down and made that happen.

    Sorry for straying from the subject.

  11. Dan says:

    I’ve noticed in all these grades being done that the teams that come with the higher grades are the ones that seem to follow the mock world.
    For example, Philly is getting “A’s” across the board and high praise. I happen to agree…I like what they did.
    But, I think it’s less about talent and more about having their picks reflect the opinion of the Kipers and all the other mockers.
    All it will take for their draft to suck, in reality, is for Cox to simply be an average D-lineman…a JAG, and maybe for Kendricks to play as an under-sized MLB and be abused by larger receivers & TE’s in the league. That’s not such a stretch…
    Right now they’re both going to the Hall of Fame. Why, because it’s what we all thought would happen, so there’s some ego thing going on.

  12. Jim R says:

    It looks like the Bengals drafted right out of “Mels top 10 available” when they drafted.

    • Doug Kyed says:

      haha, typically right out of “Doug’s top 10 available” as well. Thus the high score.

  13. Jim R says:

    It looks like the Bengals drafted right out of “Mels to 10 available” when they drafted.

  14. Jim R says:

    So what you saying Doug is the Bills are last. Ha Ha Ha

  15. TD says:

    Relax everybody, much like all the so-called “experts” (Kiper et al) this list is also put together by someone that is not:

    1 NFL head coach
    2 NFL GM
    3 NFL Player Dev.
    4 NFL Scout
    5 or even a secretary with any team

    An example of how arbitrary any evaluation at this point is, consider that Belichick assigns a “value” to a possible pick dependant on how they feel the player would perform in their system, at a position, in that year. The “value” is not based on hype/atheletic abilityl/actual game performances/senior bowl/combine. Some clubs will also base the “value” on possible future development.

  16. Doug Kyed says:

    It’s going to be very interesting to see who actually reads the intro and who doesn’t. Pretty obvious the first two commenters did not.

    • Dan says:

      I need to speak to Doug here for a moment…
      I did read what you are doing…pretty cool, and I will probably comment below, but I feel that many of these strong comments are the result of so many draftniks feeling a bit foolish following the actual draft.
      I know I’m feeling a bit silly….ranking players and seeing them fall out of the draft completely…there are too many examples to mention.
      To sum it up, there seems to be a phenomenon on all these sites of mimicking and slotting players to a certain ranking. The best example (and it’s exaggerated) that comes to mind is Burfict…he was on most all first or second round mocks up until a month ago, or so, mostly slotted to the Ravens. Now, was this because he resembles an aging Lewis in his vocal game, or because he actually has the skill to play MLB in the NFL? More so, was it because everyone just kept saying to themselves, “this looks like a good pick for the Ravens and everyone else has him there so it must have some validity”?
      I’ve said this before on this site, and others, that we don’t know the medicals, we don’t know the interview (detective work) etc…But, how many of us really know NFL talent? To start with, it’s 50/50 odds for the best in the business who have access to the medicals, interviews, team plans etc…
      But, it’s fun, and I appreciate this site and all the hard work, fact gathering (lots of good stuff this year), and the friendly discussion.

      • Doug Kyed says:

        I personally don’t feel foolish at all after the draft. 65 players that I didn’t rank got drafted. As one person, I can’t get to every player and I don’t feel comfortable ranking players I didn’t watch enough of. I have no problem ranking 188/253 players drafted.

        I rank players based on how I think they will do in the NFL, not based on where I think they’ll be drafted. I’ll feel much better if I nail every late round steal than whether those guys went in the first round.

        As for Burfict, that was a product of perceived need, plus a bit of group think, plus his 2010 tape. He played much worse in 2011, acted out more, and then finally dropped due to his workouts.

  17. BILL says:

    The Bills last??? Come on. There picks 3,4,5th round picks will all be contributors. Gimore is a reach, but a very good player.

    Patriots only had 1st round with any quality, and completely blew the 2nd round. The FA they signed at the end were far better than the 6th, 7th round picks. I don’t get that. I rate them a C- at best.

    • Lundahl says:

      What about Denard ? People say that every year about their draft but the play nearly in the SuperBowl every year.

  18. Michael says:

    Absolute BS. How you rank the Bills last is total BS. You seriously rate the Broncos draft better? Yawn.

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