The Best and Worst 2017 NFL Draft Classes

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Here are the best and worst draft classes from the 2017 NFL Draft. Note, the AFC West teams aren’t included here as we’ve covered all those team's grades and their top picks already. The only team from the AFC West that would have made the cut here would be the Kansas City Chiefs who actually have the worst draft grade of any team in 2017 with a D+.

Here’s how the rest of the league stacks up based on the value of each selection and where that team picked. Needs, how players fit in the system they're going to, as well as value recouped in trades where all taken into consideration for each team's draft grade.

The Best Classes

Dallas Cowboys: A+

Value Grade: A+ (Two top-25 players, three in the top 75)

Need and Fit Grade: A+

The Cowboys haven’t made many mistakes in the draft lately as they’ve been extremely efficient in marrying draft value and addressing needs. Given that their primary holes were at major positions of strength in this draft, they were poised for a great class and managed to executed to perfection. Their first two picks are excellent fits in their system addressing their primary needs and potentially upgrading their defense immediately. Chidobe Awuzie’s fit is particularly intriguing, as his versatility and physicality match up perfectly with what Rod Marinelli likes out of his cornerbacks. Think of a bigger, more versatile Peanut Tillman. Given his pending legal troubles third round pick, Jourdan Lewis is a big risk but if all goes well and the Cowboys were correct in doing their due diligence he’s another immediate starter. Adding more wide receiver depth was great and Noah Brown has huge upside. Brown could be a major red zone threat as he’s physical and makes acrobatic grabs. Safety Xavier Woods was also a great pick up at pick 191 and has the possibility to immediately contribute.

They let the board come to them, got great value, and addressed all their biggest needs in mass with a nice mix of upside and immediate contributors. Considering they were picking in the 28th position at every round before a few trades, their draft is close to perfect.

Green Bay Packers: A+

Value Grade: A+ (One top-25 player, six in the top 115)

Need and Fit Grade: A

The Packers strike again, trading back out the first round and getting tons of potential starters and immediate contributors. Their first four picks are outstanding value grabs, and they address all of their biggest holes going in. Kevin King and Josh Jones add tons of explosiveness to the defensive backfield, have ready-made roles in Green Bay and massive upside. Then they picked a potential starting running back that complements what they have already in Jamaal Williams, added a big, talented down lineman on defense in Montravius Adams, and an outside linebacker in Vince Biegel, all close-to-perfect selections.

They also added two talented playmakers in running back Aaron Jones and LSU wide receiver Malachi Dupre in the late rounds. Dupre, in particular, could be the next great receiver the Packers develop in-house. His upside is massive.

One of the best classes this year bar none.

Philadelphia Eagles: A

Value Grade: A (Two top-20 players, four top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: A-

The Eagles didn’t do anything stupid. They stayed put at the top of their draft and addressed their primary defensive needs with two top-20 talents. Second-rounder Sidney Jones is a bit of a risky selection due to the injury he’s coming off of, but if he gets back to 100-percent (and there’s no reason to think he won’t), this could prove to be the best cornerback in the class in a couple seasons, giving Philly a much-needed lockdown cornerback. The rest of the draft wasn’t as spectacular, but it was very solid all around. Great value picks where made in Rasul Douglas, Shelton Gibson, Nate Gerry, and Elijah Qualls. Aside from not addressing linebacker, all other needs were taken care of, and Gerry might play some linebacker.

They bring home lots of players that they had a need for and got some tremendous value picks. The fact that they managed this type of class after having seemingly mortgaged their futures with the Carson Wentz trade a year ago is that much more impressive.

The Worst

Detroit Lions: C

Value Grade: C (One top-50 player, two in the top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: C+

It feels like the Lions missed some opportunities and left a few players on the board who could have been big stars for them, instead preferring players who plug immediate needs.

For example, no dynamic edge rushers were added until very late as they didn’t take Takkarist McKinley, Charles Harris or Taco Charlton in the first round, instead going with linebacker Jarrad Davis. Davis is a great player with lots of talent but given the importance of rushing the passer, having another great edge rusher opposite Ziggy Ansah seemed like a wasted opportunity.

Teez Tabor who they drafted in round two was also a bit of a reach as was their third round selection of wide receiver Kenny Golladay in round three or Jalen Reeves-Maybin in round four. All good players but there’s little upside, and it feels like all except for Davis could have been had 15-30 spots later.

Tight end Michael Roberts will complement Eric Ebron nicely, and they're bound to get some immediate contributors out of this group given they addressed need areas. But ignoring the pass rushing group while reaching on all their top picks gets their grade down to this.

Los Angeles Rams: C

Value Grade: C (Zero top-50 players, two top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: C

Sure, the Rams didn’t have a first-round pick, but with three picks in the top 100, they should have done better than this value wise. They also didn’t add any o-line help or cornerbacks, a big mistake in this class.

There was obviously pressure in LA to repair the offense and put a competent group on the field so that Jared Goff can be developed with his new head coach. They did that selecting receiving targets with three of their first four picks and I don’t hate the skill position prospects they came away with.

Gerald Everett has been compared plenty to Jordan Reed, and now he has the coach who turned Reed into a superstar calling plays for him. Cooper Kupp simply knows how to get open, has nice hands and size, while Josh Reynolds is a good upside play. They’re all good picks, but I still feel like there was more to be had.

Also not addressing their two most glaring needs at premium positions like offensive tackle and cornerback was really costly.

New York Jets: C

Value Grade: C+ (One top-50 player, four top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: D+

When you’re drafting as high as the Jets were, and have as many glaring holes as they do—particularly on offense—this haul simply isn’t good enough.

I like Jamal Adams as a prospect, a lot, but it’s not like he was a steal at sixth overall he’s appropriate value. Also, Adams is at his best in the box when coming downhill to wreck havoc on offenses, but New York already had that in Calvin Pryor, another former first round pick. They then went out and added yet another safety with a  valuable top-40 pick which was really surprising.

The Jets continue to ignore their need at outside linebacker as well, where a dynamic pass rusher is much needed, as was a cornerback or two which they waited on till late as they were too occupied adding safeties.

Some of the receiving targets they were able to add are nice pieces, particularly ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, and Jordan Leggett but that's far from fixing all their issues.

I get that coach Todd Bowles' defense is built around versatile, aggressive safeties who can play like linebackers but this class just didn’t do it for me. It doesn’t do much in improving the team in the immediate or long term and considering the sad state of affairs in New York they needed much more than this.

The rest of the bunch

Arizona Cardinals: B+

Value Grade: A (Two top-25 players, three in the top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: C+

No cornerback or quarterback and ignoring the corner need in a year like this is a big missed opportunity. But the Cards make some excellent value picks at the top and strengthened their defense to try and win this year. A sound class.

Atlanta Falcons: B

Value Grade: A (One top-10 player, three in the top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: C

Their first pick was great, and they found some excellent value across the board despite having a low pick in each round. There are a few redundant selections with who they already had on their roster here at RB and LB lowering the need and fit grade, but there are some good players in this group.

Baltimore Ravens: A-

Value Grade: A+ (Two top-50 players, five in the top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: B-

No wide receiver here but they addressed most of their other needs and got outstanding value out of their first six picks.

Buffalo Bills: B

Value Grade: C+ (One top-50 player, three in the top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: A

The trade they pull off adds tons of value to their class next year. They addressed their main needs with solid players, but with three picks in the top 63, I’m not sure they found as good of value as they should have.

Carolina Panthers: A-

Value Grade: A (Two top-30 players, four in the top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: B+

The Panthers address all their biggest needs getting great value out their first five picks. Doubling up on Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel is questionable both fit and need wise, but they clearly have a plan so you can’t fault them too much. Also, I encourage diversifying their attack. A creative class and they got done what they needed to.

Chicago Bears: C+

Value Grade: B- (Two top-50 players, four in the top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: C

No defensive stud in this group and the Bears need that maybe above all. The trade up to two robs them of some picks, and they managed to save things with their last three selections as I like who they got, but the top two are risks and reaches. They didn’t do enough for a team picking this high.

Cincinnati Bengals: A-

Value Grade: A (Three top-30 players, four in the top 70)

Need and Fit Grade: B+

Their first pick's a reach due to durability questions, not talent, and it would have been nice to see an inside linebacker go higher, but they get outstanding value here and address all their other biggest needs. Their first four picks are potentially franchise-altering, though they're taking big risks with their top two guys.

Cleveland Browns: A-

Value Grade: A- (Three top-25 players, four in the top 70)

Need and Fit Grade: A-

The Browns maneuvered the board nicely adding valuable picks in 2018 as well. An edge rusher would have been good but need wise that’s really the only complaint. They take care of business here, getting on-point value with the first four picks. The rest is good, but there are few steals just solid value picks. Considering how high they were picking they did what they should have, and that’s not always easy to do.

Houston Texans: B+

Value Grade: A- (Three top-50 players)

Need and Fit Grade: B

They give up a lot of value with the trade up but their top three picks are phenomenal, and their top five really are all at a good price. Not getting a cornerback in a year like this could turn out to be costly in the long run.

Indianapolis Colts: A-

Value Grade: A+ (One top-20 player, five top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: B+

Not a fan of who they selected on the offensive line but at least they addressed a need. The value with their defensive picks was really good. A sound, responsible draft that could allow them to turn the corner.

Jacksonville Jaguars: B

Value Grade: B+ (Two top-50 player, four top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: B-

No quarterback depth and no tight end but the value’s pretty good here though it’s nothing special considering where they were drafting.

Miami Dolphins: B

Value Grade: C+ (One top-50 player, four top 115)

Need and Fit Grade: A

The Fins don’t get the greatest value up top, but they address all their main needs early and often. You can’t fault them too much for that when they added four potential solid contributors.

Minnesota Vikings: A-

Value Grade: A- (One top-11 player, four top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: A-

This might surprise but considering where they were picking the Vikings really pulled off a great draft addressing needs with highly respectable players. Getting Dalvin Cook could be one of the great steals of this draft.

New England Patriots: B

Value Grade: A+ (One top-50 player, two top 70)

Need and Fit Grade: C-

Considering how few picks they had and all the trades they made prior the Pats make the best of their picks with outstanding value. Obviously, it’s impossible to address all their needs with only four picks but who they got could really pay off long term.

New Orleans Saints: B+

Value Grade: B (Two top-25 players, five top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: A-

Considering how many picks the Saints had, their haul is very good but doesn’t exceed expectations. I love the fit with Alvin Kamara, but Alex Anzalone was a reach.

New York Giants: C+

Value Grade: B- (One top-50 player, three top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: C+

No linebacker and offensive line help didn’t come till late which lowers the need grade. However, I love the Engram pick though the fit will be tricky.

Pittsburgh Steelers: B+

Value Grade: B+ (Two top-50 players, three top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: A-

They made some nice picks at key spots and brought home players in need areas. Watch out for JuJu Smith-Schuster who in their system could turn out to be a stud.

San Francisco 49ers: B+

Value Grade: B+ (Two top-11 players, four top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: B

No help on offense really, particularly the offensive line, but the picks up top are great. After that, they took care of business no more no less.

Seattle Seahawks: B-

Value Grade: B- (One top-50 player, four top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: B

The way Seattle moved down on the draft’s opening day and then picked six times in day two was impressive. Their class is nice though there was more value to be had. Not addressing the offensive tackle spot until very late was disappointing.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: B

Value Grade: B (One top-50 player, three top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: B

The Bucs took care of business no more no less. It would have been nice to see an offensive lineman picked and a running back going earlier. But they managed the board decently and came away with a stud in round one.

Tennessee Titans: B-

Value Grade: C- (One top-50 player, three top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: B+

With all the picks they had the Titans didn’t get enough value here. That said, they address some needs and added lots of weapons on offense which was priority number one.

Washington Redskins: A-

Value Grade: A- (One top-5 player, three top 110)

Need and Fit Grade: A-

With Allen at 17, the value grade gets a bump. After the first pick, it might not be exciting but the each pick is good or great value across the board. Most needs got addressed as well.

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