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Mel Kiper's 2011 Draft Grades: Lions, Bengals, Browns, Steelers Receive Praise

Mel Kiper's 2011 Draft Grades are out (insider only), and, unsurprisingly, the Lions (Nick Fairley, Mikel Leshoure), Bengals (A.J. Green, Andy Dalton), Bucs (Adrian Clayborn, Da'Quan Bowers), Browns (Phil Taylor, Jabaal Sheard and a big pile o' draft picks), Colts (Anthony Castonzo, Ben Ijalana), Packers (Derek Sherrod, Randall Cobb), and Ravens (Jimmy Smith, Torrey Smith, Jah Reid) all rank near the top. He also praises the Chargers (Corey Liuget, Marcus Gilchrist), which puzzles me a little, but maybe I'm being too hard on San Diego for the Jonas Mouton pick, which was the only one that actively confused me.

Also near the top - again unsurprisingly - is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who Kiper praises for an "unflashy" but "effective" draft and gives an overall draft grade of B+. Can't argue with that: the Steelers didn't trade around or make any splashy picks, but they got good value everywhere and picked players who met obvious needs.

The lowest-ranked team on the list is the Seattle Seahawks, who get an overall grade of D+. The Seahawks reached on all their top picks, including James Carpenter, John Moffitt, K.J. Wright and Kris Durham. The Jaguars also get a very low grade - Kiper isn't a huge Blaine Gabbert fan. Two other teams that took quarterbacks in the first round - the Panthers (Cam Newton) and Titans (Jake Locker) - also receive low grades.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.