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AFC West Draft Grades: Oakland Takes the Star of the Draft

by Photo of Quentin Haynes

Draft Grades For The Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, and Broncos.

AFC West Draft Grades: Oakland Takes the Star of the Draft

The AFC West is one of the worst divisions in football. Outside of Denver, they found three teams picking in the top 11. Either way, I think each team had multiple successful picks. Oddly enough, I believe the Denver Broncos had the worst draft in all of football. Oakland, San Diego, and Kansas City all found themselves with solid grades. Let's take a look at each team's respective draft.

Kansas City Chiefs- Grade: C+

1. Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

3. Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati

3. Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas

4. Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama

5. Sanders Commings, CB, Georgia

6. Eric Kush, C, California (PA)

6. Braden Wilson, FB, Kansas St.

7. Mike Catapano, DE, Princeton

Before I talk about some of their top picks, I’m dropping them a letter grade because they didn’t take a single QB prospect to groom behind Alex Smith. Other than plucking undrafted free agent Tyler Bray, the Chiefs didn’t do anything to address the backup QB position.

Now, let’s get to the draft picks. I wasn’t a fan of Eric Fisher number one overall. He could be a good player at either tackle spot because of his feet and athleticism, but I just thought Joeckel was the safer pick. The next two picks were a bit confusing. Travis Kelce in the draft when you already have Tony Moeaki and Anthony Fasano wasn’t ideal, and taking Knile Davis when much better (and safer) prospects were on the board? Baffling. The Chiefs had a good free agency class, but this draft was very odd. I do like the Nico Johnson pick to pair with Derrick Johnson inside. Sanders Commings allows Robinson to fully move to the safety position, and Eric Kush seems like the classic offensive interior lineman that works out under Andy Reid.

Oakland Raiders- Grade: B-

1. D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston

2. Menelik Watson, OT, Florida St.

3. Sio Moore, OLB, Connecticut

4. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

6. Nick Kasa, TE, Colorado

6. Latavius Murray, RB, Central Florida

6. Mychal Rivera, TE, Tennessee

6. Stacy McGee, DT, Oklahoma

7. Brice Butler, WR, San Diego St.

7. David Bass, DE, Missouri Western St.

After moving down from third overall, the Oakland Raiders came out with a solid draft class. I had to dock Oakland some points for taking so little back for the move down. D.J. Hayden might’ve been a bit overrated, but he has starter potential and could be a slot cornerback right away. Menelik Watson could start at guard or right tackle, and has left tackle upside. Sio Moore was a need with many linebackers being free agents next season, and Tyler Wilson as a young quarterback prospect could work. The two tight ends in Kasa and Rivera late in the draft will be able to replace Brandon Meyers’ production, and guys like Stacy McGee and David Bass will look to jump into a rotation.

San Diego Chargers Grade: B+

1. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama #23

2. Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame #25

3. Keenan Allen, WR, California #24

5. Steve Williams, CB, California

6. Tourek Williams, DE, Florida International

7. Brad Sorensen, QB, Southern Utah

Personally, I think the Chargers did a great job early. D.J. Fluker, regardless of position, should give the Chargers a road grater on the right side of the offensive line. Manti Te’o isn’t a superstar, but I’d be shocked if he wasn’t a solid starter. In round three, Kennan Allen was tremendous value, and could be a value outside threat for Phillip Rivers. The only issue with this draft is the lack of picks. With six total picks, it’s boom or bust for Fluker, Te’o, and Allen, although I like the pick of Steve Williams in round five to step into a slot cornerback role. Not a fan of the lack of picks overall, but the first three picks are pretty strong.

Denver Broncos- Grade: C

1. Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

2. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin

3. Kayvon Webster, CB,

5. Quanterus Smith, DE, Western Kentucky

5. Tavarres King, WR, Georgia

6. Vinston Painter, OT, Virginia Tech

7. Zac Dysert, QB, Miami (OH)

This is the classic draft where a team with recent success just takes guys. Sylvester Williams was an excellent pick in round one and could start right away. After that, I found myself hating every pick but one. In round five, I thought Quanterus Smith was a steal. Before tearing his ACL, I thought he was a second-round pick. While I like the pick, I don’t believe Smith will jump into the starting role, but should be a respectable reserve as a rookie. Montee Ball in round two, to me, was an awful pick. There were just too many running backs taken after him (Lacy, Franklin, Gillislee, Ellington, etc) with less carries and more speed. Kayvon Webster was a reach pick there in round three. Tavarres King will be an interesting return man, and Painter is a classic grooming offensive tackle, but not too many picks in this class that made me think the Broncos actually cared about this draft in terms of instant rotation players.

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