Every year we see immediate grades given to Draft classes. As many people note, it takes three years minimum to come to a proper grade.
Over the last few days, teams have had to decide whether or not to pick up the fifth year option on first round picks from the 2013 NFL Draft class. We are starting to see which picks have been successful and which have been unsuccessful from that group. With that in mind, let's go back to what Mel Kiper, Jr. from ESPN said about the haul the Jets had at that point in time.
New York Jets
Needs: B Value: B+ Overall: B
Once you can divorce yourself from the reality of what Geno Smith is headed into, you take a step back and realize the Jets just took the guy I think is the best quarterback in the draft, and they did it at No. 39 overall. We're grading a draft, not the QB situation they have. The Jets really needed a corner now that Darrelle Revis is in Tampa, and they got the best one in the draft at No. 9. I wanted them to get a pass-rusher, but they might have done it in another way. With Sheldon Richardson, I expect them to do some new things up front, potentially shifting Quinton Coples to the edge. This is the makings of an extremely good defense up front, and Rex Ryan is a master at creating pressure with whatever he has. Brian Winters is a starter at guard, and Oday Aboushi could play either right tackle or guard. Tommy Bohanan (T-Bo!) should stick. I wanted the Jets to get a safety, but I still think they deserve a pretty good grade for hitting a few big needs. Now, they need to be patient with Smith.
As you can see, this is pretty much a case study showing how far off immediate Draft grades can be. From this, you would think the Jets took five starters from this class. Well, maybe that is true. All five of the players Kiper mentioned have held starting roles. The problem is only one has been a quality starter.
Sheldon Richardson is a Pro Bowl level talent. The rest mainly struggled. Aboushi couldn't play tackle. He got some starts at guard and was cut at the start of his third season. Winters has been consistently below average. Bohanon has not made an impact as a blocker or receiver. Geno Smith has known little success. And Milliner is looking like one of the first worst picks in the Jets' star-crossed Draft history.
You could argue the Jets trading a fourth round pick for Chris Ivory helps matters. If you do that, however, you also have to factor in that the Jets only got the Richardson pick by subtracting Darrelle Revis.
At this point, only Richardson appears worthy of a second contract. That Draft is not worthy of a B.
You can only put too much stock in what analysts say days after a Draft. What actually happens when the players take the field is much more important.