The 2024 NFL draft is in the books, which means it’s time to hand out grades.

I know some people roll their eyes at draft grades because we won’t actually know how teams fared until a few years down the road, but here’s my argument for why draft grades matter.

It’s important to understand the initial impression of each class because it will inform our perception down the road.

Let’s say Caleb Williams turns into a bust. Does Ryan Poles deserve criticism for that selection? Maybe a little, but it’s likely each of the other 31 teams would have made the same choice. No matter what happens to Williams, that selection was the correct choice in the moment.

Now let’s say Bo Nix is a bust? Does Sean Payton deserve criticism for taking Nix 12th overall? Of course! He made a choice very few others would have made in his shoes.

So if both Williams and Nix are busts, the end result for each franchise is same, but we’ll view Payton and the Broncos in a might different light.

Now that’s not to say my draft grades are perfect. They’re just one set of many grades worth looking at this week. What is valuable is the collective perception of these draft classes, because these grades will inform our perception of what happened when we eventually look back on the draft years later.

So here is my letter grade for each franchise in addition to a few superlatives for each draft class.

2024 NFL Draft Grades:

Arizona CardinalsA
Atlanta FalconsB-
Baltimore RavensA
Buffalo BillsC
Carolina PanthersC+
Chicago BearsA
Cincinnati BengalsB-
Cleveland BrownsC
Denver BroncosB
Dallas CowboysC+
Detroit LionsB
Green Bay PackersB
Houston TexansB+
Indianapolis ColtsB+
Jacksonville JaguarsC+
Kansas City ChiefsA
Las Vegas RaidersC-
Los Angeles ChargersB+
Los Angeles RamsA
Miami DolphinsA
Minnesota VikingsB-
New England PatriotsC-
New Orleans SaintsB-
New York GiantsA-
New York JetsC+
Philadelphia EaglesA-
Pittsburgh SteelersA
Seattle SeahawksC+
San Francisco 49ersD
Tampa Bay BuccaneersC+
Tennessee TitansB
Washington CommandersA

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Cardinals | Falcons | Ravens | Bills | Panthers | Bears | Bengals | Browns

Cowboys | Broncos | Lions | Packers | Texans | Colts | Jaguars | Chiefs

 Chargers | Rams | RaidersDolphins | Vikings | Patriots | Saints | Giants

Jets | Eagles | Steelers | 49ers | Seahawks | Buccaneers | Titans | Commanders

2024 NFL Draft Grades Analysis:

Arizona Cardinals Draft Grade: A

Instant impact: Marvin Harrison Jr, WR

Best value: Elijah Jones, CB

Riskiest pick: Tip Reiman, TE

You really can’t have a bad draft with seven picks in the top 100, especially when you start with Marvin Harrison Jr. This draft could dramatically alter the direction of the franchise. 

Atlanta Falcons Draft Grade: B-

Instant impact: Bralen Trice, EDGE

Best value: Brandon Dorlus, DL

Riskiest pick: Ruke Orhorhoro, DL

I’m going to be much less harsh on the Falcons for the selection of Michael Penix Jr. than others because he was the second quarterback on my board. Drafting him after signing Kirk Cousins was odd, but I believe he’ll end up as their long-term starter after a brief Cousins era in Atlanta. 

Baltimore Ravens Draft Grade: A

Instant impact: Nate Wiggins, CB

Best value: Adisa Isaac, EDGE

Riskiest pick: none

This is what we’ve come to expect from the Ravens. They just sit and wait for good players to fall into their lap. Obviously, not everyone in this class will pan out, but they got such good value from each draft slot that it’s hard to argue any of them were risky selections. 

Buffalo Bills Draft Grade: C

Instant impact: Keon Coleman, WR

Best value: Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, C

Riskiest pick: Coleman

The perception of this draft hinges on Keon Coleman because they need instant production. However, Coleman is one of the biggest boom-or-bust prospects in this class. Day 2 picks Cole Bishop and DeWayne Carter offer some long-term value but probably only add depth in the short term. 

Carolina Panthers Draft Grade: C+

Instant impact: Jonathan Brooks, RB

Best value: Trevin Wallace, LB

Riskiest pick: Xavier Legette, WR

Spending a first-round pick on Xavier Legette, a prospect who made virtually no impact at South Carolina until his redshirt senior year, was probably the biggest reach of the entire draft. But Carolina rebounded with a few good values in Trevin Wallace and Ja’Tavion Sanders. Jonathon Brooks is immediately their most talented ball carrier. 

Chicago Bears Draft Grade: A

Instant impact: Caleb Williams, QB

Best value: Rome Odunze, WR

Riskiest pick: Kiran Amegadjie, OL

This was potentially a franchise-altering draft for the Bears. This team has never drafted a quarterback with a ceiling like Caleb Williams, and pairing him with a weapon like Rome Oduze will make his development even easier. 

Cincinnati Bengals Draft Grade: B-

Instant impact: None

Best value: Matt Lee, C

Riskiest pick: Jermaine Burton, WR

The Bengals may have landed a few future starters in Amarius Mims and Kris Jenkins, but it does not look like any of these prospects will play a meaningful role in 2024. The lack of immediate help was a surprising choice for an AFC contender. 

Cleveland Browns Draft Grade: C

Instant impact: Michael Hall Jr, DT

Best value: Jamari Thrash, WR

Riskiest pick: Zak Zinter, OL

The Browns were without their first and fourth-round pick due to the Deshaun Watson trade, which isn’t exactly paying off. However, Cleveland did land an exciting 20-year-old interior pass-rusher in Michael Hall Jr. in the second round. 

Denver Broncos Draft Grade: B

Instant impact: Bo Nix, QB

Best value: Kris Abrams-Draine, CB

Riskiest pick: Nix

Sean Payton wants his quarterback to make quick decisions and distribute the ball like a point guard, and that’s Bo Nix. I don’t like the value at 12th overall, but I do love the fit. And pairing him with Troy Franklin, who could have gone in the second round, was a smart move to ease his transition into the offense. 

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grade: C+

Instant impact: Cooper Beebe, IOL

Best value: Beebe

Riskiest pick: Marist Luifau, LB

There was a lot of desperation in this class. The Cowboys needed immediate help on the offensive line, but Tyler Guyton is a developmental prospect who is likely to struggle as a rookie. They also needed a linebacker and reached for Marist Liufau, whose 14% missed tackle rate last year was concerning, especially for a fifth-year senior. 

Detroit Lions Draft Grade: B

Instant impact: Terrion Arnold, CB

Best value: Ennis Rakestraw Jr, CB

Riskiest pick: Giovanni Manu, OL

The Lions overhauled their secondary in this class. Ennis Rakestraw Jr. could be a steal if he can stay healthy. During his healthiest season in 2022, he was among the best corners in the SEC. However, trading next year’s third-round pick to take a developmental prospect like Giovanni Manu was an odd choice in the fourth round. 

Green Bay Packers Draft Grade: B

Instant impact: Jordan Morgan, OL

Best value: Edgerrin Cooper, LB

Riskiest pick: MarShawn Lloyd, RB

The Packers blitzed at the league’s sixth-highest rate and landed the best blitzing linebacker in this draft class in Edgerrin Cooper. He generated a 35% pressure rate last year, per Sports Info Solutions. 

Houston Texans Draft Grade: B+

Instant impact: Kamari Lassiter, CB

Best value: Calen Bullock, S

Riskiest pick: Blake Fisher, OT

Both Kamari Lassiter and Calen Bullock could push veterans for starting jobs in 2024. Bullock has the potential to be especially valuable due to his ball-hawk skills in the deep secondary. 

Indianapolis Colts Draft Grade: B+

Instant impact: Laiatu Latu, EDGE

Best value: Anthony Gould, WR

Riskiest pick: Matt Goncalves, OT

It’s hard to assess the risk of his neck injury, but Laiatu Latu was cleared by most team doctors. Based purely on talent, he was the best and most NFL-ready defensive prospect in this class. 

Jacksonville Jaguars Draft Grade: C+

Instant impact: Brian Thomas Jr, WR

Best value: Javon Foster, OT

Riskiest pick: Maason Smith, DL

The Jaguars did a nice job trading down in the first round and still landing Brian Thomas Jr. They took some risks on Day 2, however, especially with Maason Smith, who has a ton of talent but never lived up to the hype at LSU. 

Kansas City Chiefs Draft Grade: A

Instant impact: Xavier Worthy, WR

Best value: Jaden Hicks, S

Riskiest pick: Worthy

The Chiefs took a calculated risk with Xavier Worthy. He’s still developing as a deep threat but is already a serious weapon after the catch. Kingsley Suamataia and Jaden Hicks both have the talent to start in the near future. And the development of Jared Wiley will be fun to watch as he has similar raw traits to Travis Kelce

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Las Vegas Raiders Draft Grade: C-

Instant impact: Brock Bowers, TE

Best value: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C

Riskiest pick: Delmar Glaze, OL

There’s no question Brock Bowers is talented, but the selection was a poor use of resources. A tight end just doesn’t add that much value to your roster when you have a gaping hole at quarterback and many other holes to fill. 

Los Angeles Chargers Draft Grade: B+

Instant impact: Joe Alt, OT

Best value: Junior Colson, LB

Riskiest pick: Ladd McConkey, WR

The Chargers may have added three instant starters in the first three rounds with Joe Alt, Ladd McConkey, and Junior Colson. McConkey looks like the biggest risk simply because of his injury history and the fact that Harbaugh typically likes his receivers to block, which is not McConkey’s strength. 

Los Angeles Rams Draft Grade: A

Instant impact: Jared Verse, EDGE

Best value: Kamren Kinchens, S

Riskiest pick: Blake Corum, RB

You can’t replace Aaron Donald with one guy, but maybe you can with a group effort. That is why I love the selections of Jared Verse and Braden Fiske. The biggest question mark is Blake Corum, who could be a steal if he’s fully healthy or a bust if he’s the same stiff runner he was in 2023. 

Miami Dolphins Draft Grade: A

Instant impact: Patrick Paul, OT

Best value: Mohamed Kamara, EDGE

Riskiest pick: none

The Dolphins filled needs and got great value at each draft slot. No one has an obvious path to an immediate starting job, but Chop Robinson will factor into the rotation of pass-rushers and Patrick Paul will undoubtedly be forced into action by a Terron Armstead injury at some point. 

Minnesota Vikings Draft Grade: B-

Instant impact: J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

Best value: Khyree Jackson, CB

Riskiest pick: Will Reichard, K

The Vikings definitely added two talented players in J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner, but both are raw and will take time to fully develop. By trading up for both, the Vikings essentially sacrificed the rest of their draft and some 2025 picks as well. That’s an incredibly risky process when using those picks on players who aren’t particularly close to hitting their ceiling yet. Oh, and then they drafted a kicker.

New England Patriots Draft Grade: C-

Instant impact: Drake Maye, QB

Best value: Javon Baker, WR

Riskiest pick: Maye

The selection of Drake Maye is understandable, but also extremely risky given the state of this roster. It’s hard to develop a quarterback with limited talent around him. Then they reached for Ja’Lynn Polk and Caedan Wallace to fill needs at those positions. 

New Orleans Saints Draft Grade: B-

Instant impact: Taliese Fuaga, OT

Best value: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB

Riskiest pick: Spencer Rattler, QB

Second-round pick Kool-Aid McKinstry could be a steal if he stays healthy, and Taliese Fuaga likely starts somewhere on the offensive line immediately. Spencer Ratter was drafted in an appropriate range, but with so few draft picks (he was their third player selected), was it really the best use of resources? 

New York Giants Draft Grade: A-

Instant impact: Malik Nabers, WR

Best value: Tyron Tracy Jr., RB

Riskiest pick: Tyler Nubin, S

The Giants hit a home run with Malik Nabers and then added four more players with starter potential. Fifth-round pick Tyrone Tracy Jr. has just one year of experience at running back but was immediately productive and explosive. He could challenge for snaps immediately given New York’s backfield depth chart. 

New York Jets Draft Grade: C+

Instant impact: Malachi Corley, WR

Best value: Olu Fashanu, OT

Riskiest pick: Braelon Allen, RB

Second-round pick Malachi Corley should start immediately in the slot and be a weapon after the catch. Olu Fashanu will be the starting left tackle by 2025 at the latest. But there probably isn’t another future starter in this class, though Qwan’tez Stiggers is an exciting developmental prospect. 

Philadelphia Eagles Draft Grade: A-

Instant impact: Quinyon Mitchell, CB

Best value: Cooper DeJean, CB

Riskiest pick: Jalyx Hunt, EDGE

The Eagles completely overhauled their secondary with Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean. Howie Roseman then played the game of the draft perfectly on Day 3, picking three extra 2025 picks including a third-rounder while also getting good value on players like Ainais Smith and Jeremiah Trotter Jr

Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Grade: A

Instant impact: Troy Fautanu, OL

Best value: Roman Wilson, WR

Riskiest pick: none

All of the Steelers Day 1 and Day 2 picks paired need and value. This team has been desperate for an offensive line overhaul for a few years, and Troy Fautanu and Zach Frazier should make a difference immediately. Roman Wilson is also a much-needed weapon who can win from the slot or the outside. 

Seattle Seahawks Draft Grade: C+

Instant impact: Byron Murphy II, DL

Best value: D.J. James, CB

Riskiest pick: Christian Haynes, OG

The addition of Byron Murphy II was a home run. He’s just 21 years old and already a dangerous interior pass-rusher. But after that, I’m not certain there’s a long-term starter in this group. Christian Haynes has an opportunity to win a job, but someone who spent six years in college should be more polished. 

San Francisco 49ers Draft Grade: D

Instant impact: Dominick Puni, OL

Best value: Isaac Guerendo, RB

Riskiest pick: Renardo Green, CB

The selection of Ricky Pearsall was odd because he doesn’t seem to fit Shanahan’s offense 一 typically they want guys who produce after the catch and that’s not Pearsall’s game. Fourth-round receiver Jacob Cowing feels like a better fit for the offense. Renardo Green didn’t step up his game in college until he was a fifth-year senior, which is a red flag. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Draft Grade: C+

Instant impact: Graham Barton, OL

Best value: Barton

Riskiest pick: Chris Braswell, EDGE

The Bucs will likely put Graham Barton at center, though he has the traits to play anywhere on the offensive line. Second-round pick Chris Braswell should make an impact as a pass-rusher, but even at Alabama he wasn’t a three-down player and made just two career starts. There’s a chance Barton is the only starter to emerge from this class. 

Tennessee Titans Draft Grade: B

Instant impact: JC Latham, OT

Best value: Cedric Gray, LB

Riskiest pick: T’Vondre Sweat, DT

The Titans probably landed themself a stud in JC Latham, though moving him from right to left tackle adds some risk to the equation. Second-round pick T’Vondre Sweat is a boom-or-bust prospect. They need to keep him in shape. Otherwise, he’s just a space-eating nose tackle, which has little value in this era of football. Cedric Gray, Jarvis Browlee Jr, and Jaylen Harrell are all intriguing Day 3 selections.   

Washington Commanders Draft Grade: A

Instant impact: Jayden Daniels, QB

Best value: Jer’Zhan Newton, DL

Riskiest pick: Brandon Coleman, OL

The Commanders crushed the draft, first with Jayden Daniels and then landing three starters in the second round in Jer’Zhan Newton, Mike Sainristil, and Ben Sinnott. Third-round pick Brandon Coleman felt like a reach, and he may need to move to guard, but that’s the only nit-picky criticism I have of this class.