News & Analysis

Draft History: Grades and stats for every first- and second-round pick since 2015 NFC West edition

By Ben Cooper
Feb 15, 2019

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Dec 16, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) reacts after throwing an interception during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 NFL Draft will be here before we know it but before then, the NFL’s free agency period will open up, and teams will be looking to bolster their lineups with new signees while also looking to keep on board players who have shined bright since their arrival with their franchise. One big thing for the 2019 free agency period is that, for the first time, a rookie class that we had at least a college year of data from, have all now either finished their rookie contract or those select first rounders have had their final year exercised to stay with their team.

With that in mind, we decided to take a look back at some grades and PFF advanced statistics and data for every team’s first- and second-round pick since that 2015 season. While some of these players are no longer with their respective team, the players listed below were all drafted by the team mentioned and the grades and stats represented are just from their time with their drafted team.

Today’s series takes a look at the NFC West.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

2015

D.J. Humphries, Tackle

Round 1, Pick 24

Career-high overall grade: 81.7 (2017)

Humphries regressed a bit in 2018 after a stellar (but shortened) 2018,  but he was still effective in a league where offensive line talent is hard to come by. His 72.2 run-blocking grade ranked 11th among tackles, and he committed only two penalties on 500-plus snaps. 

Markus Golden, Edge defender

Round 2, Pick 58

Career-high overall grade: 74.3 (2016)

After shining in his first two years in the NFL, Golden has seen an unexpected drop off in play. He achieved a strong 74.3 overall grade in 2016 but has since fallen below 60.0 in each of the past two seasons. After tallying more than 100 combined quarterback pressures in 2015 and 2016, he has had just 42 combined in 2017 and 2018.

2016

Robert Nkemdiche, Interior defensive line

Round 1, Pick 29

Career-high overall grade: 59.5 (2018)

It’s been a rough three years for Nkemdiche, having yet to eclipse a 60.0 grade. However, it hasn’t been without a few bright spots. In 2018, his best season yet, he had two particularly strong outings: In Week 1, he had four quarterback pressures and two stops. In the best game of his career, Week 12, Nkemdiche racked up three sacks and six stops.

2017

Haason Reddick, Linebacker

Round 1, Pick 13

Career-high overall grade: 61.3 (2018)

Reddick is on the right path to living up to his first-round billing. He allowed just 8.6 yards per reception in 2018 (18th), a facet linebackers tend to struggle in. And as a pass rusher, his 18 quarterback pressures tied for eighth among linebackers.

Budda Baker, Cornerback

Round 2, Pick 36

Career-high overall grade: 72.5 (2017)

Baker is still coming into his own as a slot corner, and he’s dealt with some growing pains along the way. He’s yet to snag his first career interception and has allowed passer ratings in coverage above 100.0 in both 2017 and 2018. However, in 2018, he racked up 31 stops from the position, second-best among cornerbacks.

2018

Josh Rosen, Quarterback

Round 1, Pick 10

Career-high overall grade: 49.1

Even with a rough start to his career, Rosen is primed for a strong 2019. He was the lowest-graded rookie quarterback in 2018 but was also the most pressured at a 43.4 percent rate. Upgrades at the offensive line could provide Rosen with more to work with next year.

Christian Kirk, Wide receiver

Round 2, Pick 47

Career-high overall grade: 70.3

Kirk was the third-highest graded rookie wideout in 2018 behind 43 receptions on 65 targets. That production should carry over relatively seamlessly into 2019, as the Cardinals’ offense will likely see upgrades at key positions.

LOS ANGELES RAMS

2015

Todd Gurley, Running back

Round 1, Pick 10

Career-high overall grade: 82.6 (2017)

Yet to finish a season with a grade below 70.0, Gurley has established himself as not only a top running back in the division but a top running back in the NFL. And 19 rushing touchdowns isn’t bad, either.

Rob Havenstein, Tackle

Round 2, Pick 57

Career-high overall grade: 81.8 (2018)

A career-best year for Havenstein in 2018 helped lead the Rams to a Super Bowl appearance. After allowing 15 sacks combined in 2016 and 2017, he allowed just two in 2018 to go along with a career-best run-blocking grade (82.5).

2016

Jared Goff, Quarterback

Round 1, Pick 1

Career-high overall grade: 84.3 (2018)

A lot can be said about Goff, but one’s thing is for sure: He has lived up to the hype as a former No. 1 overall pick. He was particularly effective when he wasn’t under pressure, notching a seventh-best 117.1 passer rating in the regular season on those plays.

2017

Gerald Everett, Tight end

Round 2, Pick 44

Career-high overall grade: 76.7 (2017)

Everett upped his catch total from 17 in 2017 to 35 in 2018. Nineteen of those catches went for first downs, as Everett built upon a shaky rookie year (three drops, one fumble) to become a reliable option (one drop, no fumbles) for his young quarterback.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

2015

Arik Armstead, Edge defender

Round 1, Pick 17

Career-high overall grade: 78.1 (2015)

Unfortunately for Armstead, he hasn’t been able to improve upon what was a fantastic rookie year where he tallied 38 pressures on just 254 pass-rushing snaps. He did get closer to that form in 2018, though, racking up a career-high 23 stops and a 74.8 overall grade.

Jaquiski Tartt, Safety

Round 2, Pick 46

Career-high overall grade: 78.6 (2017)

Tartt missed the end of the 2018 season on injured reserve, but the fourth-year safety had some positive showings. His 79.6 run defense grade ranked 12th among safeties, and he was able to hold receivers in his coverage to a respectable 10.3 yards per catch. However, missed tackles, five in 2018 on limited snaps, continue to be a problem.

2016

DeForest Buckner, Interior defensive line

Round 1, Pick 7

Career-high overall grade: 82.2 (2017)

The club of elite interior defenders is just about ready to welcome Buckner in. His second straight season of an 80-plus grade, in addition to 50-plus pressures in both seasons, should have the 49ers excited about what the future holds.

Joshua Garnett, Guard

Round 1, Pick 28

Career-high overall grade: 61.5 (2016)

It’s hard to throw the bust label on a player who has barely played, but Garnett is certainly hovering around it. After missing all of 2017 due to injury, the former first-round pick played just 59 snaps in another injury-riddled 2018. In his only full season, 2016, he struggled in three major facets — pass blocking, run blocking and penalties.

2017

Solomon Thomas, Edge defender

Round 1, Pick 3

Career-high overall grade: 64.0 (2018)

While he had only one sack to show for it, Solomon Thomas had a much-improved year in 2018. He posted five games with a grade higher than 70.0 after having three such instances in 2017. Even though the former top-five draft pick hasn’t shined as much as expected, he’s on the right track to getting there.

Reuben Foster, Linebacker

Round 1, Pick 31

Career-high overall grade: 81.2 (2017)

Foster was a star in his rookie season, and not so much in his sophomore campaign. He played in only six games due to off-the-field problems and earned an abysmal grade of 50.0 or less in four of them. That comes after a season in which he was one of the best run defenders in the league — now he’ll have to find his footing with his new team, the Washington Redskins.

2018

Mike McGlinchey, Tackle

Round 1, Pick 9

Career-high overall grade: 73.2

It’s a known fact that offensive line talent is hard to come by — and with that in mind, the 49ers got an absolute stud by drafting McGlinchey. He was second among tackles in run-blocking grade (78.2) and was one of only two rookie tackles to play 1000 snaps. Yes, he will be in the league for a long time.

Dante Pettis, Wide receiver

Round 2, Pick 44

Career-high overall grade: 68.5

From Weeks 13 to 16, Pettis was the only receiver who generated a perfect passer rating (and had at least 10 targets). If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know about him, then nothing will. With Jimmy Garoppolo back at the helm in 2019, San Francisco may have a sneaky good air attack.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

2015

Frank Clark, Edge defender

Round 2, Pick 63

Career-high overall grade: 77.4 (2018)

Clark’s 69 pressures in the regular season and playoffs in 2018 ranked 10th among edge defenders — better than Von Miller, Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett, to name a few. He did have an extra game to surpass those big names, but he certainly earned it with his career year in 2018.

2016

Germain Ifedi, Tackle

Round 1, Pick 31

Career-high overall grade: 55.2 (2018)

The former first-rounder just hasn’t panned out for the Seahawks. He’s yet to eclipse a season grade higher than his 55.2 mark this year, which ranked 72nd out of 82 qualifying tackles. Despite playing a ton of snaps, Ifedi hasn’t found his footing in pass blocking and has been a complete liability in the run game.

Jarran Reed, Interior defensive line

Round 2, Pick 49

Career-high overall grade: 69.2 (2018)

Reed did a lot of good things and not a lot of bad things in 2018. Fifty-five quarterback pressures (seventh), 39 stops (third) and 11 sacks (t-fourth), to name a few accomplishments, will get you far in the NFL. The Seahawks have to be thrilled with the way he’s developed on their line.

2017

Malik McDowell, Interior defensive line

Round 2, Pick 35

Career-high overall grade: N/A

McDowell is currently a free agent and has yet to play an NFL snap.

Ethan Pocic, Guard

Round 2, Pick 58

Career-high overall grade: 50.2 (2017)

Many offensive linemen fail to make the transition from the college to NFL, and it seems Pocic is on course for that through two seasons. When he has played, Pocic has been a revolving door — his 94.0 pass-blocking efficiency rating was last among 87 qualifying guards in 2018.

2018

Rashaad Penny, Running back

Round 1, Pick 27

Career-high overall grade: 63.8

The future of Seattle’s backfield likely belongs to Rashaad Penny, at least for a year to prove himself. On limited snaps in 2018, he flashed potential with an average of five yards per carry and 3.34 yards after contact on average, which ranked second among rookie running backs.

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