2024 NFL Draft: We cannot fairly grade drafts until years down the road

Yes, draft grades are a common thing right after the NFL Draft concludes, but they're not fair.
2007 NFL Draft
2007 NFL Draft / Chris McGrath/GettyImages

Immediately following any NFL Draft, analysts and content creators alike give their "draft grades" for teams, but if we're being honest, draft grades are horribly unfair. Now yes, there are "consensus big boards" that are essentially a culmination of where various NFL minds have prospects ranked, so in terms of value, you could probably attach a grade.

But in the grand scheme of things, it's not fair. Sure, the Denver Broncos getting a second-round talent in Troy Franklin at the top of the fourth round was great value, but again, draft grades just do not hold any water until years down the road. For any team, especially a team that took a QB, this is even more true.

The Atlanta Falcons, for example, took Michael Penix Jr at pick eight, and it'll probably be a minimum of three seasons before Penix gets a shot to start. Well, most of the "draft grades" for the Falcons have them quite low. But what if Penix turns out to be a left-handed Drew Brees in year four? What if he ends up leading to Falcons to Super Bowls?

What about those pesky draft grades that told us the Falcons botched the draft? And there is always the scenario where the first-round pick does not pan out but the fifth-round pick does. For those who like to consume the draft grade content, understand that it will truly take years to accurately gauge if the class was strong or not.

For the 2024 NFL Draft, it was a truly historic one, especially at the top, as six quarterbacks went in the top 12 picks. After that, though, there was a huge run on defensive players. This also meant that quite a few defensive players fell a bit down the board, and even some wide receivers fell far as well.

With how deep the classes were at WR and to an extent on defense, certain teams got some insane value outside of the first round.