Biggest winners at the NFL draft

Mychal Kendricks and Vinny Curry should both provide immediate help for the Philadelphia Eagles. US Presswire

Adam Schefter answers reader questions in his mailbag twice a week. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: I was just reading over Mel Kiper's Draft Grades and he liked the Philadelphia Eagles' and Cincinnati Bengals' drafts. Which drafts were you most impressed with? Which teams did the best job?

-- Henry (New York)

A: It's interesting that Mel said that. Right when the draft ended, Chris Mortensen and I taped the teams that impressed us most during the draft, Henry. He listed the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and I listed the Eagles and Bengals. It's hard not to look at the Eagles' and Bengals' drafts as a success. Philadelphia got the best defensive lineman in the draft in Fletcher Cox; a linebacker in Mychal Kendricks, who's going to really help; another good pass-rusher in Vinny Curry; a highly rated quarterback in Nick Foles; and an underrated cornerback in Brandon Boykin. How can you not be impressed with Philadelphia's take here? Cincinnati started on the defensive side of the football and alternated between defense and offense on all of its 10 picks. I really liked the Bengals' draft and, of course, loved the trade of Carson Palmer that put them in position to pull off this past weekend. And Cincinnati's not done yet, either. It still will have either the Raiders' second- or first-round pick in April 2013. So it was a great weekend for those teams. But keep in mind: Teams that we think "won" the draft often don't win anything. Their picks still have to prove whether or not they can play, and we won't know that for a while.

Q: I thought the Seattle Seahawks reached a couple times in terms of value in the draft. Which teams did you think had the worst draft?

-- Kevin (Rhode Island)

A: Again, Kevin, it's way too early to judge who had worst draft. Back in 2000, there weren't many who thought the New England Patriots had a particularly strong draft. Then Tom Brady emerged from the sixth round to give New England one of the greatest all-time draft picks. So these things are tough to judge so early. Saying that, the Raiders were crippled with the loss of picks, so it was very hard for Oakland to succeed, and unless Palmer shines, this could go down as a down draft for the Raiders. Atlanta didn't have a lot of picks, but people have to remember that Julio Jones really is a part of this draft class as well. Seattle drafted Bruce Irvin in Round 1, and here's my take on it: Some teams I spoke with said Irvin was the best pass-rusher in the draft, which is a win. But others had him off their board and said they wouldn't want Irvin to be the player you trot out as the top pick representing your organization. So there are two schools of thought. But Seattle has real smart scouts and a front office; the Seahawks have done a great job stockpiling talent. They deserve the benefit of the doubt for now. But everyone will be watching to see if Irvin pans out.

Q: I like the Cleveland Browns' getting Trent Richardson at No. 3, but I wasn't sure about Brandon Weeden at No. 22. What did you think of their draft?

-- Brandon (Iowa)

A: We'll never know now, Brandon, but I think Weeden would have been there for them at 37. The issue was, my strong belief is that the Browns would have liked Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright at No. 22, and when he went at No. 20 to Tennessee, Cleveland lost out on another player, just as it had lost out on the potential trade for Robert Griffin III. The Browns didn't want to lose out on another player, so they used the No. 22 pick on Weeden. I would have liked to have seen them trade out of 22 -- with so many of the teams around that spot trading out -- have gotten back more picks and picked Weeden then. Of course it's easy for me to say that now, on Monday morning, when I'm not on the clock, with the seconds melting away. But here's the bottom line: If Weeden is a stud quarterback, it doesn't matter where the Browns got him, just as it doesn't matter what they gave up to trade up for Richardson. If Richardson and Weeden become standouts, then Cleveland succeeded. If they don't, the Browns are in trouble.

Q: A couple value picks to me seemed like Curry and Kendricks in the second round for the Eagles. What were some other picks in the draft where you think teams got a ton of value?

-- Sarah (Minnesota)

A: Loved those picks, Sarah. Thought the Eagles got great value with Boykin as well. New England's getting cornerback Alfonzo Dennard where it did was a real value. Same is true with the Giants and the cornerback they drafted, Jayron Hosley, who should really be able to help New York's defense. Loved some of the value that the Rams got in running back Isaiah Pead -- think he has the chance to be a real standout. Later on in the draft, I thought San Diego got great value with Michigan center David Molk, who should have gone a lot higher in the draft. But again, let's see what these players do before we decide who was a great value and who wasn't. Ask me this on Nov. 1, and we might have an entirely different list.

Q: Adam, what did you think of the Minnesota Vikings' draft? I thought they did a good job getting more picks for Matt Kalil, and Harrison Smith will steady a shaky secondary.

-- Jonathan (Nevada)

A: What the Vikings did was impressive, Jonathan, and I even had NFL executives say the exact same thing to me. Minnesota did a great job of extracting free picks out of the Browns and manipulating the draft the way it did. They were able to get Kalil a spot later -- no harm, no foul -- then come away with another solid safety in Smith. Minnesota has so many holes to fill and it has begun to do that. The Minnesota front office deserves props for the weekend it had.