The NFL Draft, just as any other pro sports draft, is a total crapshoot. Players who seem like can't miss prospects turn out to be busts and players who don't seem like they will be impact player in the league can turn into all time greats. If you doubt this, take a look at Tom Brady. If anyone thought there was even a chance that he could be the best Quarterback to ever throw a football, he wouldn't have slipped to the 6th round.
When NFL analysts and scouts give their pre draft grades for each draft prospect, they often make crucial mistakes when analyzing whether or not the player will make an impact in the league. These people are often called draft "experts" or "professionals" but they know barely know more than you or me. In honor of these draft grades, I decided to look back at the worst draft grades that I could find since 2011. These disgraceful grades come from a variety of sports outlets and so-called NFL Draft experts. If you are grading every prospect in the draft, there is no chance you can hit on all of them.
Here is a list of the 15 worst draft grades since 2011. Enjoy.
15 Luke Joeckel: A-
Luke Joeckel is a player that you probably haven't heard of unless you follow the NFL very closely or a a fan of Jaguars or Seahawks. Since he is an O-lineman, he doesn't get much glory but his role is crucial. However, he isn't too good at his role. Joeckel was the 2nd pick in the 2013 NFL draft which immediately gives him great bust potential. Joeckel also watched most of his first season games from the bench due to his leg injury. The following season, Joeckel was healthy, which was actually unfortunate for the Jaguars because he gave up 8 sacks and was rated as one of the worst offensive tackles in the league by Pro Football Focus. His next step of his career was to sign with the Seahawks which we will have to wait to see how it goes.
14 Dorial Green-Beckham: A
Dorial Green-Beckham is a one trick pony. The only reason he is in the NFL is because of his height. In theory, he should be a great deep threat and red zone receiver where you can just throw up the ball and he will go get it but that would be too easy. Beckham spent the first leg of his career on the Titans and in a trade prior to the 2016 season, he was dealt to the Eagles. Philly fans like myself were extremely excited about his big frame but that was before we heard he doesn't work hard. The combo of little work ethic and no route running, won't work in the NFL. There are other tall guys that can come and will come and take your spot like Alshon Jeffery. Not to mention Beckham was a locker room issue in Tennessee as well.
13 Jake Locker: B+
Jake Locker no longer has a locker, in the NFL at least. After just four short years as quarterback of the lousy early '10 Titans team, locker compiled a record of 9-14 and racked up just under 5,000 yards. He retired in 2015 due to a long history of injuries and the simple fact that he wasn't all that good. Locker was the 8th pick in the draft which proves just how hard it is to stick around in this league even when you are a first rounder drafted inside the top 10. The NFL will quickly weed out the strong from the weak and it will show no mercy. Locker was just happy to make it out alive with his injury history. Not to mention he picked up a nice paycheck.
12 Dion Jordan: A
The third pick in the 2013 NFL Draft belonged to the Dolphins after they traded up with the Oakland Raiders. They chose Dion Jordan who was highly touted coming out of college where he attended Oregon. Jordan was compared to Jason Taylor just after being drafted which is unfair to him and stupid at the same time. Jordan has just 3 sacks thus far into his career. The word about Jordan was that you didn't have to scheme up a blitz for him to get a sack but apparently you do. To add insult to injury he was suspended in 2015 for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
This offseason the Seahawks signed him hoping he can find the magic he had in college. Jordan still has a chance to prove this grade right, but I doubt it. After a few years out of the NFL it is immensely hard to make a comeback especially when you weren't all that good in the first place.
11 Nelson Agholor: B
Nelson Agholor has hands of stone. Agholor has been one of the worst starting receivers in the NFL since his inception on draft day. Pro Football Focus ranked Agholor as the worst receiver in the NFL in his rookie season. As an Eagles fan, he teases you with his speed and athleticism because he can never get the ball in his hands in the first place. Nothing matters if you don't have the ball. What is so frustrating about Agholor is that he will jump high and make an amazing catch one play and come back the play and drop a wide open one. With the way the Eagles offensive was configured, a drop meant a punt. The Eagles added a few free agent WRs so hopefully Agholor will no longer have to start. It will be better for both parties.
10 Greg Robinson: A
The second overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Greg Robinson, has been a bust so far in his career despite what his draft grade says. Robinson can't stay in shape, gets called for way too many penalties, and has even been a healthy scratch which is embarrassing considering this is just two years after he was selected 2nd overall. Robinson was supposed to be an anchor in the passing game but he hasn't lived up to the hype mostly because he has been out of shape. It's tough to see such a dominant college player to be overpowered by the freak athletes of the NFL.
After 2016, the Rams declined his contract option which made him a free agent. Robinson signed with the Lions where he will have to play well or else it will be the last stop on his NFL journey. Pick it up big fella!
9 Justin Gilbert - A-
Justin Gilbert has just one interception in his three year career so far. Ironically, his once interception was a pick-six. After being picked 8th overall, the Browns were excited. Gilbert was supposed to be able to help seal the leaking pipe that is the Browns defense, but he didn't help much and only started 3 games for the Browns. In 2016, he barely played at all. He had one tackle the entire season which is nothing to write home about. Maybe, although unlikely, Gilbert could currently be a capable NFL corner if he never got injured his rookie year. Injuries can really put a halt to development as player. In 2016, Gilbert was traded to the Steelers for a sixth round pick which proves how much he has depreciated. To go from 8th pick, to 6th round, Gilbert has been through it all.
8 Julio Jones: C
The fact that Julio Jones, the best receiver in the NFL, got any grade other than an A+ blows my mind. He has the size, speed, hands, and route running that no other receiver can rival. The only reason the pick got a C (notably CBS Sports' Pete Prisco) is because many so called experts felt that the Falcons gave up too much to the Browns to move up and take Jones. Mel Kiper actually ranked the Falcons in the bottom 10 for their 2011 NFL Draft grade even though they got arguably the best player.
In typical Browns fashion, they weren't even able to cash in on any of the picks they got in exchange for swapping picks with the Falcons.
Who knows, maybe if the Browns would have just taken Julio, all of their luck would have been reversed and they wouldn't be the laughingstock of the league. More likely however is that Jones wouldn't have turned out to be the player he is if he had been drafted by Cleveland.
7 Jaelen Strong: A+
Jaelen Strong got an A+ rank by Bleacher Report and was supposedly going to turn into the third or fourth best receiver in the draft. Well, that never happened. Strong hasn't made an impact yet in the NFL, not to say that he won't, but it is looking unlikely at this point in time. To give the pick an A+ is crazy. Strong was supposed to be a great complement to DeAndre Hopkins but it turns out that Strong was not their man and Will Fuller is the more viable option. I think BR fell for the combine numbers when grading Strong because he did impress with his 4.44 4o yard dash and his 42 inch vertical, the highest in the past 4 years. Too bad football isn't about how high you can jump or else this pick may be an A+.
6 Trent Richardson: A+
Trent Richardson was a player that even I thought was a can't miss player. At Alabama he was a monster. I thought he would come right into the NFL, be a bell cow back and run through people just like he did in college but boy was I wrong. Richardson could never find the hole and he was constantly getting swallowed up for losses. If Richardson couldn't get his body moving and get some momentum, he was a wreck. He spent two years with the Browns, maybe he was doomed from the start, and then spent his next two with the Colts where he couldn't flourish either. His rookie season was actually his best where he scored an impressive 11 TD's, but after that, just six in his next 3 seasons. He was also never able to eclipse 4 yards per carry, something that all good running backs must be able to do.
5 Dee Milliner: A
Dee Milliner was supposed to be a lockdown corner which explains why he was drafted 9th in the 2013 NFL Draft. What remains to be explained is why people thought he was going to be a lockdown corner. Milliner lacks the size, strength and technique to be a serviceable corner in the NFL. Milliner only played three seasons and started only 14 games in his entire career which is all but over. On top of not playing at a high level, he was constantly injured. Milliner has had a plethora of injuries that have stifled his progress and at this point, with his medical record, I think it would be smart for him to hang it up. He will never be a star in the NFL although he is still only 25 years old which is very young especially for a player who has been in the league since 2013.
4 Luke Kuechly: D
The best middle linebacker in the NFL got a D draft grade. If that doesn't inspire NFL rookies, I don't know what will. Kuechly won defensive rookie of the year and defensive player of the year in consecutive seasons to shut the haters up really quickly. Every single weakness that scouts said he had, is now a strength. Kuechly is such a smart linebacker and leader of the defense that he knows what play the offense is running before it happens and adjusts his teammates to be in the right positions. Listening to Kuechly play mic'd up is mind boggling to me.
To be able to recognize a play is one thing, but to shed off multiple blockers enroute to the ball carrier is another. There is no doubt in my mind that Kuechly will go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest linebackers to ever play the game. Definitely the best I have ever seen.
3 Johnny Manziel: A+
Money Manziel, oh where do I start? Who really thought that Manziel's play style would work in the NFL? I for one did not. I have called many picks wrong in my day, but Manziel was an easy one for me. How can you give Manziel an A+? The only reason I can think of is that the QB graveyard themselves, the Browns, got good value because they got a plethora of picks. As much as I enjoyed watching Manziel rub his fingers together with fake money, I knew I wouldn't like him. Nowadays, Manziel is a drug addict, psychopath who can't get his life together. Manziel just never had the winning attitude. He rather party than win a football game, which won't go over well with players, coaches or anyone. There have been rumors that he is trying to make a comeback but who would sign him.
2 Bruce Irvin: F-
First of all, to give an F- to any pick is disrespectful, but to give it to a future (contributing) Super Bowl winner is asinine. Irvin was a key component of the nasty Seahawks defense that carried them to the Super Bowl and ended up winning it for them as well. Heck, the Seahawks were given grades of D+ and C- in the 2011 and 2012 drafts by Mel Kiper, but were Super Bowl champions of the 2013 season.
They almost went back to back it if weren't for the infamous Pete Carroll play call. Anyway, he is now on the Raiders and is a very good pass rusher and is also very capable in coverage. The only way to appropriately describe his is as a playmaker. Whether is be a sack, pick-six, or disrupting a play in any other way he is always looking to make his mark. He has a high motor and doesn't give up on plays. Irvin may have seen his draft grade and wanted to prove the people wrong because apparently no one believed in him.
1 Robert Griffin III: A+
Robert Griffin III lived up to his A+ draft grade in his rookie season. RGIII had an incredible rookie campaign and everyone was on his bandwagon, but in his second season, the wheels fell off. As he got injured again and again, he lost a step and couldn't be as elusive as he once was which made him such an electric player. He was never a precise passer so once he lost some athleticism, his biggest strength was out of the window. And the icing on the cake was the Cleveland Browns, the QB graveyard. Once a QB plays for the Browns, they will never play well again. The list of QBs the Browns have gone through is astonishing. RGIII is just one of the latest players to add onto the list.
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