This is part two of the draft grades article. It teases and pleases you with the Cowboys and Giants, climaxes with the 49ers and cuddles with the Seahawks. If you want to read about the AFC, or need an explanation of the wonky pedagogy-challenged categories, read yesterday's article!
Finds Talent: Satisfactory. Zack Martin will be a great guard and could slide over to become a very good right tackle. I am not sold on Demarcus Lawrence as a system fit -- he's the kind of underweight, elongated defensive end who could get steamrolled in an old-school 4-3. Ben Gardner is stouter but less dynamic. The seventh-round pick brigade is full of guys like linebacker Will Smith of Texas Tech: major-program starters with high motors and just enough to offer athletically to make them viable prospects.
Meets Needs: Satisfactory. The Cowboys got the guard they needed, then just hammered on the defense, grabbing Devin Street in the fifth round because you would be crazy to ignore wide receiver in this draft. (Hear that, Raiders and Chiefs: crazy!)
Uses Resources: Satisfactory. The Cowboys clearly love Lawrence, but they are a little too needy to be trading out of the third round. Stockpiling seventh-round picks may not seem like a wise Cowboys move -- Jerry Jones is on his second Bombay Sapphire martini by the seventh round -- but the team chose with care and got potentially useful players.
Final Assessment: Proficient. The fingerprints of Rod Marinelli can be seen on much of this draft. The new defensive coordinator stresses aggressiveness above most other traits, and prospects like Lawrence, Smith, Gardner and Ahmad Dixon play like they are leading a cavalry charge. At the same time, Marinelli will sometimes sacrifice too much for a gung-ho attitude. The Cowboys defensive line will be pretty small if Lawrence climbs atop the depth chart, and Anthony Hitchens is more of a try-hard than a can-do. There are few players here who point the way to a brighter future, but the defense has been duct taped up as much as possible, there will be no calling Rayfield Wright out of retirement for a guard emergency, and the decision to avoid a Manziel circus in favor of quiet defensive rebuilding is its own small triumph.
New York Giants
Finds Talent: Excellent. Odell Beckham is such a gifted deep threat -- with the potential to be a 90-catch every-down threat as well -- that he could reshape Eli Manning's late career. Weston Richburg is the center who earns a starting job by the end of his rookie year, then let's you forget about the center position for the rest of the decade. Andre Williams would have been a top-20 pick in the 1980s or early 1990s as an exceptional thumper between the tackles who will give the Giants offense a Frank Gore vibe. (Or to put it in Giants terms, an old-school Ottis Anderson vibe. Devon Kennard can be a sleeper hit at outside linebacker if he stays healthy.
Meets Needs: Satisfactory. Richburg was a natural need pick, as were Beckham and Williams. Jay Bromley will be an important part of the defensive line rebuild: He's a big beefball who is tenacious and has surprising, subtle little block-slipping techniques.
Uses Resources: Satisfactory. The Giants stayed in their lane for the whole draft, with no crazy reaches or sudden shifts.
Final Assessment: Advanced. The Giants get a high score for the overall shape of their draft. Beckham and Williams are personality changers for a team that needed an adjustment at the skill positions. A Williams-Rashard Jennings running back tandem gives the Giants ball-pounding capability after several seasons of sending rushers off-tackle to get injured and fumble. Beckham and Victor Cruz give the receiver corps back some 2011 dynamism. The rest of the draft brought infrastructure guys for a team with crumbling infrastructure. The Giants may not be back to Super Bowl form (and we would not be able to tell, anyway, since their Super Bowl teams look no different than their wild-card teams), but we won't be watching Peyton Hillis in a major role again, so hooray.
Finds Talent: Satisfactory. Jordan Mathews would have been a first-round pick in a draft without epic wide receiver talent. Jaylen Watkins has a future as a starting cornerback. Marcus Smith will never be a 10-sack guy, but he will be a six-sack guy who stuffs some runs and does more in coverage than stand there and serve as a deterrent. Josh Huff and Taylor Hart were not indulgent "Oregon pipeline" picks in the third and fifth round: Huff is a smooth all-purpose depth receiver, Hart a strong and ornery wave lineman.
Meets Needs: Satisfactory. There was no NEXT BRIAN DAWKINS in this draft class, which is a shame, because Eagles fans desperately need to anoint a NEXT BRIAN DAWKINS and tend to see the face of the NEXT BRIAN DAWKINS in the burn marks on the side of a burrito. Ed Reynolds is more of a low-mistake, sure-tackling cleanup safety, so he at least passes the ANYONE IS BETTER THAN PATRICK CHUNG test. The receivers ease DeSean Jackson anxiety, and swapping out Bryce Brown for Darren Sproles increases backfield diversity.
Uses Resources: Needs Improvement. The Eagles stood still in the first round and waited for either Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Brandin Cooks to fall. The Saints leap-frogged for Cooks, the Packers pulled a Nelson Muntz with Clinton-Dix and the Eagles traded down to ease the sting of selecting Smith, a fine player but clear consolation prize.
Final Assessment: Proficient. The quiet key to this class may be Watkins. He could develop rapidly into a quality starting cornerback, making him an exceptional fourth-round value. Otherwise, Smith and Matthews are safe selections, Sproles provides a short-term boost and the Eagles did roughly what they had to do to prevent a Chip Kelly "the league has figured me out" sophomore swoon.
Finds Talent: Satisfactory. Trent Murphy, Morgan Moses and Lache Seastrunk represent a pretty fine haul for a team with no first-round pick. Murphy is a polarizing prospect, but when he replaces Brian Orakpo next year he will likely be the "other" outside linebacker to Ryan Kerrigan, so a little less pass-rush ability and a little more versatility will not hurt. Moses has starting-tackle upside, as his technique has continuously smoothed out over the years. Seastunk is a big-play guy in line for a 10-touch role in support of Alfred Morris.
Meets Needs: Satisfactory. Seastrunk adds offensive explosiveness in just the right place. Murphy shows the Redskins planning for the future (shudder). Spencer Long may move from guard to center; the team needs to be planning ahead at both positions. And I don't mind kicker Zach Hocker in the seventh round. He has a touchback leg, which will help a team rebounding from a special teams crisis. Just sending a noisy message about being serious about fixing the darn special teams is worth a seventh-round pick.
Uses Resources: Excellent. Trading down twice to get extra picks -- including an extra third-rounder that became Long == was a wise move, and a bold one. It's not easy to wait through Day One, stare at the top of the Day Two draft board all day Friday, and then commit to plunging even further, but the Redskins made it work. And for the record, Demarcus Lawrence (who the Cowboys drafted with the Redskins' second-round pick) may grade out as a better athlete, but he was a 4-3 defensive end, whereas Murphy played a similar role at Stanford to the one he will play with the Redskins.
Final Assessment: Proficient. Trading three years' worth of draft picks for Robert Griffin was a huge mistake. I said it when it happened, long before Griffinfall. If Redskins fans imagine a Redskins team with Kirk Cousins or Ryan Tannehill at quarterback and Desmond Trufant (taken with one of the picks the Redskins traded) and Janoris Jenkins (taken with another) at cornerback, and with Sammy Watkins, Greg Robinson or Khalil Mack coming aboard this year, they might sigh heavily. And don't go all Delicate Sound of Thunder on me: I know the draft orders and needs would all be different. The point is that Griffin is here and still an outstanding prospect, the Redskins have to make the best of the lemons they gave themselves and this draft class is pretty drinkable lemonade.
Finds Talent: Satisfactory. Kyle Fuller arrives ready to play. Ka'Deem Carey can take pressure off Matt Forte immediately, and if you understand running back aging patterns, you know the Bears will need a new featured back sooner than later. There was not a lot of specialness in the late draft class.
Meets Needs: Excellent. Three straight picks on defense to start the draft tell the tale. Ego "The Living Planet" Ferguson and Will Sutton are future starters at defensive tackle. Ego is the nose guy, Sutton the three-tech, and both can ease into their roles because the Bears retained some of their geezer gang (like Jay Ratliff) for an extra year. As mentioned above, Carey closes a hole that may soon open. David Fales is a quick-witted short passer; he is strictly a backup, but he will allow Marc Trestman to explore his West Coast roots.
Uses Resources: Satisfactory. Some think of Ego as a reach, but if you flip him and Sutton, the Bears draft board looks more like my little draftnik doodle pad.
Final Assessment: Proficient. This was a very good effort, bordering on a great one. A post-Urlacher, post-Peanut defensive core is taking shape: You can see a Fuller-Ego-Sutton-Lamarr Houston-Jon Bostic defense gelling into something great in a year or two. In the short term, these rookies can help Peanut Tillman, Lance Briggs, Jared Allen and the other graybeards climb to the top of the NFC North. Remember, folks: The Bears offense is now pretty good, so the defense does not have to go into Super Bowl Shuffle mode for a playoff run. They just have to cut out the 200-yard rushing days for opponents. They have done that, and then some.
Finds Talent: Satisfactory. Eric Ebron and Kyle Van Noy get your attention. Ebron is that coveted Jimmy Graham type, while Van Noy provides a pass-rush threat (plus versatility) at outside linebacker, meaning that the days of never blitzing and using exactly one defensive front are over in Detroit. Caraun Reid is a tough, high-energy dependability guy to provide depth and wave production behind the Lions' marauding Visigoth tackles.
Meets Needs: Satisfactory. Ebron was not exactly a need pick: The Lions re-signed Brandon Pettigrew to a lucrative deal and have Joseph Fauria dancing in the wings. Then again, Travis Swanson arrived as the center of the near future in the third round, Nevin Lawson is ready to play an immediate role at cornerback and if you have no experienced kickers on the roster, splurging on Nate Freese in the seventh round is not a terrible idea.
Uses Resources: Satisfactory. The Lions traded up a few slots for Van Noy but still had picks in every round, with two in the fourth. The team whiffed on its alleged effort to move up for Sammy Watkins, but using "only so many footballs to go around" logic, upgrading at tight end -- while still having picks available to clean up other messes -- makes more sense than lunging for a #2 receiver.
Final Assessment: Proficient. This draft could have been flashier (Watkins!) or more obvious (more cornerbacks!), but it still accomplished a lot. Opponents will have a brutal time covering all of the Lions offensive weapons. Van Noy adds a new dimension to the pass rush. And players like Larson, Swanson, Reid and pass-rush prospect Larry Webster point the way to a not-so-distant future when the Lions will be too cap-strapped to keep second-tier stars like Nick Fairley. Like the Bears, the Lions made themselves viable playoff contenders in the short term while still keeping an eye on the horizon.
Green Bay Packers
Finds Talent: Satisfactory. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is not a future superstar. He is, however, an almost immediate quality starter who will get the job done for years to come. Jared Abbrederis is a fine addition to four- and five-wideout packages because he works short areas well, catches everything and blocks. I just received a memo informing me to refer to Jeff Janis as THE NEXT JORDY NELSON (it must be similar to THE NEXT BRIAN DAWKINS) but I don't see it: Janis looked like a big, tough possession guy to me at the Senior Bowl. I am not a Carl Bradford fan: He looks to me like a guy whose maximum effort results in getting pancaked and whiffing on open-field tackles. But he could become that elusive complementary linebacker to Clay Matthews, theoretically.
Meets Needs: Excellent. Saturation drafting the receiving corps made sense. Davante Adams is the top pick of the bunch, but I can see Abbrederis and Janis staging a depth-chart coup. Either way, the competition will help offset recent losses. Richard Rodgers is the type of tight end the Packers prefer: a slightly larger wide receiver. Corey Linsley is a center for a team that needs a center; it seems obvious, but the Packers have that Patriots problem of using differential calculus to count change at times. There was no disaster relief quarterback (Boston College's Chase Rettig, a free agent, is a camp arm), but Scott Tolzien is a passable No. 3, and Matt Flynn in Green Bay is like Aquaman in seawater.
Uses Resources: Satisfactory. The Packers had extra third- and fifth-round compensatory picks, and they had several roster needs, so they used the picks to address the needs. Again, sometimes you have to tell Einstein which drawer the socks are in.
Final Assessment: Proficient. The Packers were the little Italian restaurant on the corner this year. The quality is just OK, but the portion is huge, and you get exactly what you expected. Ted Thompson has served a lot of fusion cuisine in the past, leaving us intermittently inspired, confused and hungry, so this feels right. The rest of the division may have gained a little ground, but the Packers did what they could to allow Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews to keep setting the pace.
Finds Talent: Satisfactory. I am a Teddy Bridgeliever, though the fit is troublesome. The Vikings have a poor track record with pesky short passers. Anthony Barr gives Mike Zimmer the kind of chess piece he needs to revamp the defense. David Yankey is a great fifth-round value at guard. Jerick McKinnon is a physical runner who will make a smooth transition from college quarterback to change-up running back. If McKinnon is taking snaps in December, Joe Webb-style, with Bridgewater on the bench or IR, I am quitting the draft business forever.
Meets Needs: Excellent. Three developmental cornerbacks are better than one. Seventh-rounder Jabari Price could climb above toolsy Antone Exum and small-school project Kendall James because he is disciplined and competitive. Barr and Scott Crichton will make the front seven more Zimmer-like. Quarterback was an obvious need.
Uses Resources: Excellent. The Vikings won the draft trade battle. They got the Yankey pick by sliding down one spot so the Browns could acquire Justin Gilbert. Moving up for Bridgewater cost little. Several late-round slides brought extra picks in the sixth and seventh round. Extra picks are important for the Vikings because …
Final Assessment: Advanced. … one of the things a new coaching regime must do is reshape a roster in its own image. That can be tricky. Some coaches become autocratic and make changes for change's sake; others arrive with too many needs or cap constraints to do the little things, like make sure everyone on the depth chart fits the new system. Sixth- and seventh-round picks are a great way for a new staff to allow competition to dictate how roster transition will be handled: If Price and Brandon Watts are better fits at cornerback and outside linebacker than the incumbent Vikings, then they stick. While the late-rounders flesh out the roster, Bridgewater and Barr chart a new course on offense and defense. The Vikings have selected five players in the first rounds of the last two drafts, so Zimmer now has everything he needs to form a young nucleus, including a superstar running back to keep the team competitive while the puzzle pieces fall into place.
Finds Talent: Satisfactory. Jake Matthews gets overshadowed by everybody. Teammate Johnny Manziel was more fun, former teammate Luke Joeckel was drafted higher, Greg Robinson is bigger and stronger and the Matthews family is full of great football players. Judged on his own terms, he is a better player than Joeckel, more prepared to start than Robinson and a likely starter for a decade. Ra'Shede Hageman was a first-round talent in the second round. Devonta Freeman is a tough, versatile change-up back.
Meets Needs: Excellent. Defensive toughness was a major need (besides left tackle, a more specific and obvious need). Hageman is a brawler, cornerback Ricardo Allen is ornery and physical and Marquis Spruill is another undersized "striker" type. Adding seven defenders sent a message that none of the kids who became default-choice starters last year can rest easy.
Uses Resources: Satisfactory. The Falcons used their early draft position to maximum advantage. They are less needy than most teams that pick sixth overall, so they were able to target very good players to solve specific problems.
Final Assessment: Proficient. The Falcons splurged with a 20-free-agent spree after the draft, grabbing both Wisconsin tight ends (Jacob Pederson and Brian Wozniak) and a receiver named Julian Jones who is bound to cause some confusion. Factor in all of last year's rookies, and the Falcons have a full-scale rebuild going on beneath the façade of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. There will be growing pains, and some picks will not pan out, but this is the right call. The NFC South is a tough division, and the Falcons will not get good again overnight. By doing some dirty work this year, they can be ready to attack again when Ryan is still in his prime and Drew Brees is in a broadcast booth.
Finds Talent: Needs Improvement. In terms of pure talent, Kelvin Benjamin has the goods. He is also about as ready as a frozen turkey. Think of him as a top-10 talent in the 2015 draft if you like, but the Panthers need two starting receivers for Week One and still have zero at this moment. Kony Ealy's selection makes sense in light of Greg Hardy's legal issues, but the Panthers front seven will still be solid if Hardy is unavailable, while their secondary and receiving corps will be ugly no matter what. As for the rest of the draft: It was a bunch of guys named Trai, Tre and Bene, but it was not tres tres bien. (Sorry).
Meets Needs: Needs Improvement. Ugh. Benjamin is the receiver you draft after you retain Steve Smith to be your go-to guy for one more year. The Panthers waved at their need in the secondary by selecting safety Tre Boston and cornerback Bene Benwikere in the fourth and fifth rounds; this is a team that needed second- and third-round talent at those positions. Extra wide receivers? We don't need no stinking extra wide receivers!
Uses Resources: Needs Improvement. Double ugh. Remember how the Falcons selected 20 rookie free agents in the last segment? The Panthers signed nine as of Tuesday, when all the best ones were taken. Nine. Two of them were wide receivers, one was a defensive back. The Panthers also traded out of the seventh round. You know how great teams keep their rosters strong by fostering competition -- "steel sharpens steel," and all that? The Panthers don't seem to grasp that concept.
Final Assessment: Remediation. Kudos to Panthers general manager David Gettleman for putting family first and attending his son's graduation on Day Three of the draft. Next time, he should put family really first by spending draft weekend at home making pancakes and watching the sunset, leaving someone in charge who will pick players the Panthers can actually use in 2014. This was an ugly draft, capping one of the worst offseasons I have ever seen a playoff team inflict upon itself. When the Panthers are 5-11 next year, people will straight-facedly blame it on Cam Newton's regression, ignoring the fact that Peyton Manning could not make this receiving corps serviceable. If Gettleman is one of those Cam-blamers, Panthers fans, be terrified.
New Orleans Saints
Finds Talent: Satisfactory. Sean Payton and Drew Brees will love Brandin Cooks, inserting him quickly into a Devery Henderson role, with a side of Darrin Sproles shallow crosses. Rob Ryan has a new toy chest in Stanley Jean-Baptiste (another of the Richard Sherman Babies), Khairi Fortt (linebacker multi-tool) and Ronald Powell (a gamble-on-greatness pass rusher with a rough ACL history). Special teams coach Greg McMahon gets Vinnie Sunseri, a coach's kid whose skill set screams "special teams captain."
Meets Needs: Satisfactory. Some tight end insurance would have been nice, but let's face it: Jimmy Graham will be back for at least one more year, and he is not the kind of guy you replace in the second round. Cooks replenishes the Saints' deep-threat capability, and Jean-Baptiste will get bump-and-run tutelage from Champ Bailey.
Uses Resources: Excellent. Trading up for Cooks was a masterstroke. The Saints beat two other playoff teams (Chiefs and Eagles) to a player all three needed; the cost of a late third-round pick was a bargain. Powell comes as compensation for Sproles. He is a battler with great instincts, but he did not look that explosive last season after a year of ACL rehab. ACL rehab is often a two-year road, so Powell could be a sleeper.
Final Assessment: Proficient. Now that Ryan has enough pieces in place on defense, the Saints' best chance to win another Super Bowl in the Brees era is to make the offense as much like the 2009 model as possible, forcing the big-D NFC defenders to play on their heels. Cooks can make that happen, assuming a happy Graham reports for duty as well.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Finds Talent: Satisfactory. Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are not just great, high-upside prospects, but players who will shape the Buccaneers offense. Evans and Vincent Jackson are quarterback's helpers who not only create mismatches but haul in contested and off-target passes. Seferian-Jenkins can block for all of Tampa's power runners while contributing as a safety valve. The rest of the draft was uneventful, though Robert Herron was a great sixth-round value at wide receiver. He provides great pure speed but little else -- not the guy to build a draft around, but an excellent low-price acquisition as a fourth wideout.
Meets Needs: Satisfactory. Wide receiver was a major need, tight end a secondary one. Running back was a non-need, so Charles Sims was an odd choice: He is a power runner on a roster flooded with them. Kadeem Edwards and Kevin Pamphile are both size/strength prospects on the interior line, where the Bucs might need more immediate help because of Carl Nicks' health issues. There is no quarterback of the future, though it may turn out that there is: a fellow named Mike Glennon. Free agency brought Brett Smith, who will be a Jeff Tedford tinkertoy.
Uses Resources: Satisfactory. The Bucs lost their fourth-round pick in the Revis deal, but it did not really matter. They were so active in free agency that there was not much to accomplish in the draft.
Final Assessment: Proficient. Lovie Smith handled much of his overhaul via free agency, and he did not have much work to do on a defense loaded with young talent. Evans and Seferian-Jenkins join a new-look offense that's intriguing on paper and could make the Bucs instantly competitive again while the Falcons rebuild and Panthers shoot themselves in the foot. It looks like Josh McCown in the short term and Glennon in the long term at quarterback, but that's not a bad thing. Stack Glennon's baptism under fire against anything the Jimmy Garoppolo or Aaron Murray types in the pool have to offer, and it makes sense to give him a second look.
Finds Talent: Satisfactory. The theme of the Cardinals draft is "big and toolsy." Troy Niklas is not as athletic or versatile as other recent Notre Dame tight ends, but he is huge, which counts for something. Logan Thomas looks and sounds like a Jedi but has the aim of a Stormtrooper. Kareem Martin looks like an eight-time All-Pro in a T-shirt and has strength and speed to burn, though it somehow doesn't add up. Ed Stinson is another Muscle and Fitness cover model in need of some better game tape. Like the Steelers class, this one is full of hopes and projections, though Deone Bucannon is more of a sure-thing as the capstone.
Meets Needs: Satisfactory. Safety was a big concern, and Bucannon is another tone setter for Todd Bowles, whose tone is "fly around, hit hard, accept consequences later." Bruce Arians loves tight end depth, and Niklas will have multiple journeyman mentors, including Notre Dame prototype John Carlson. Thomas counts as a developmental quarterback of the future, as long as you underline "developmental" and "future."
Uses Resources: Satisfactory. The Cardinals were facilitators of the Saints deal to get Brandin Cooks, netting Pittsburg State's John Brown with the extra pick. I have never seen Brown, but I am surprised to see that he is a little guy (5-foot-10, 180) based on the rest of the Cardinals draft: I thought you had to be built like a Jack Kirby drawing to make their draft board.
Final Assessment: Proficient. The Cardinals drafted players that Arians and Bowles like to work with, even if they look like beefy odds and ends to the rest of us. The Cardinals are doing things their way, and since it is novel for there to even be a "Cardinals way" of doing things, let's go with it for a year.
St. Louis Rams
Finds Talent: Excellent. Greg Robinson and Aaron Donald were the best players on the boards at their positions, assuming you classify Robinson's position as right tackle or guard. Lamarcus Joyner is one of those cornerbacks whose height is a big deal throughout the draft process; then, he suddenly grows two symbolic inches by his third season. E.J. Gaines was a heck of a cornerback prospect to stumble into in the sixth round. Tre Mason carried eight times for 35 yards while you were reading this paragraph, even though it is mid-May.
Meets Needs: Satisfactory. It's hard to imagine how much better Donald can make the Rams defense. At some point, the difference between giving opposing quarterbacks 0.55 and 0.53 seconds to throw does not amount to much. Robinson and Mason give the Rams so much inside-running beef that we might not notice the lack of downfield passing, but some of us were looking for a more emphatic quarterback statement than SMU's Garrett Gilbert.
Uses Resources: Excellent. The second overall pick in the draft is a lovely thing to have gift-wrapped two years in advance, of course. But the Rams knew what to do with it -- not only taking a potential great in Robinson, but using the surplus to trade up without incident to get Joyner. Extra bottom-round picks allowed the Rams to do more than make history with Michael Sam: Gaines will stick as a nickel player, and Mitchell Van Dyk looked like a dad playing in a Pop Warner game in the Portland State-Southern Utah game I watched. (Yes, I watch PSU-SUU tape on beautiful spring days. Please recommend a good therapist in the 856 area code and a Blue Cross network. Many thanks.)
Final Assessment: Advanced. The Rams would be my pick to win the AFC South hands down, and they would at least merit serious wild-card consideration in several other divisions. As it is, they are stuck in a battle for third place, but assuming the team's Sam Bradford faith is even semi-warranted, it is hard to see what more a team can do over three days to improve itself. Unless, of course, you read the next four paragraphs.
San Francisco 49ers
Finds Talent: Excellent. Drool. Here, read Russ Lande's breakdown.
Meets Needs: Excellent. The 49ers barely have needs, so they respond by drafting injured players to stash on IR like guard-tackle Brandon Thomas. That way, they will never have needs.
Uses Resources: Excellent. The best part was getting Steve Johnson for nothing. Or hanging around on the third day, when it seemed impossible that they would find a player they could use, and getting pesky slot receiver Bruce Ellington and Kaleb Ramsey, another injury case who could help some future defensive line.
Final Assessment: Curve Blown. If the current configuration of 49ers does not win a Super Bowl, it will likely not be the fault of Jim Harbaugh, his Lennon-McCartney relationship with the front office or Colin Kaepernick, but simply the cruel vagaries of chance, plus the Seahawks. This roster looks ready to win in 2014 through about 2019.
Finds Talent: Satisfactory. There's a temptation to give the Seahawks leniency based on their ability to find late-round gold. Without assuming that Schneider-Carroll can turn Eric Pinkins into Kam Chancellor with a magic wand, the Seahawks added a dose of speed to the receiving corps in Paul Richardson and yet another pass rusher in Cassius Marsh.
Meets Needs: Satisfactory. The Seahawks receiving corps lacks elite speed when Percy Harvin is hurt, so Richardson is a plus. Justin Britt will be called upon sooner than later on the offensive line. The Seahawks are not particularly needy.
Uses Resources: Satisfactory. The Seahawks traded down twice to stockpile picks, something you can do when you have some of the NFL's best players locked under contract and don't see anyone on the draft board that thrills.
Final Assessment: Proficient. The Seahawks get an "Advanced" when the Richard Sherman extension is thrown in. But in isolation, this draft does not do much to help the 2014 team, and the Niners gained ground. You can see Schneider's cap management ideas at work, however: He wants multiple swings at a mid-round home run, and he wants plenty of low-priced options as the Seahawks brace for the next round of major cap decisions. In other words, the best move of this draft may occur in 2017, when one or two of these players gets extended.