Draft Grades: AFC West

The AFC West is in a state of flux. The Broncos, who have ruled the division for the past three seasons while Peyton Manning was at the helm, will be looking to rebound following their Super Bowl win. The Chiefs, fresh off of their first playoff win in 20 years will be looking to repeat that this season. The Raiders, who had an encouraging 7-9 campaign, made no bones about whipping out their checkbooks and letting it fly this offseason. The Chargers? Well, they’re still gonna be bad, but likely not as poor as last season.

Denver Broncos:

Round 1 Pick 26: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Round 2 Pick 63: Adam Gotsis, DL, Georgia Tech
Round 3 Pick 98: Justin Simmons, S, Boston College
Round 4 Pick 136: Devontae Booker, RB, Utah
Round 5 Pick 144: Connor McGovern, OL, Missouri
Round 6 Pick 176: Andy Janovich, FB, Nebraska
Round 6 Pick 219: Will Parks, S, Arizona
Round 7 Pick 228: Riley Dixon, P, Syracuse

Analysis: The Broncos traded up for Lynch, so he’s ultimately the catalyst for this class. If he blossoms, this was a great class, if he plummets, it’ll hurt looking back. Gotsis is coming off of an ACL, but has some impressive film. A little early for me, but he’s not unreasonable here. Justin Simmons was a great pick. One of the better safeties in the draft, at the end of the third day, he can contribute immediately. Booker was a nice value pick in the 4th, and he fits Kubiak’s scheme well. McGovern was a pretty good steal in the 5th, he should contribute right away. Janovich gives the Broncos a legitimate fullback for the first time in a few years. I can’t speak on Parks, as I didn’t watch him, and the same for Dixon, though Kiper liked him.

Grade: B-

Kansas City Chiefs:

Round 2 Pick 37: Chris Jones, DL, Mississippi State
Round 3 Pick 74: Kei’Varae Russell, DB, Notre Dame
Round 4 Pick 105: Parker Ehringer, OL, Cincinnati
Round 4 Pick 106: Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota
Round 4 Pick 126: Demarcus Robinson, WR, Florida
Round 5 Pick 162: Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford
Round 5 Pick 165: Tyreek Hill, WR/KR, West Alabama
Round 6 Pick 178: D.J. White, DB, Georgia Tech
Round 6 Pick 203: Dadi Nicolas, EDGE, Virginia Tech

Analysis: It’s pretty clear that the Chiefs didn’t think a ton of the options available at the end of the first round. They traded back at almost every spot they were supposed to draft at. Chris Jones is a first round talent in the 2nd, so that’s good value. His motor runs hot and cold, but if they can coach him to not take plays off, he can be a monster. Kei’Varae Russell could play either corner or safety, but he benefited from a strong pro day. Ehringer was a bit of a reach, but he provides good depth. Murray I liked a good bit, and he’ll a nice fit in their press defense. Robinson was a nice value in the 4th, as some had him as a top 100 talent. Kevin Hogan is the prototypical Andy Reid quarterback, and in a couple years he could be ready to take over for Alex Smith. Tyreek Hill is an absolute burner, but due to off field issues went to West Alabama from Oklahoma State. He could be a steal for the Chiefs. D.J. White is coming off of an injury, but should provide nice depth in the secondary. Dadi Nicolas was thought to be a 1st round pick last offseason, but is still a nice value in the 6th. He could become a nice rotational pass rusher.

Grade: B-

Oakland Raiders:

Round 1 Pick 14: Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
Round 2 Pick 44: Jihad Ward, DL, Illinois
Round 3 Pick 75: Shilique Calhoun, EDGE, Michigan State
Round 4 Pick 100: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Round 5 Pick 143: DeAndre Washington, RB, Texas Tech
Round 6 Pick 194: Cory James, LB, Colorado State
Round 7 Pick 234: Vadal Alexander, OG, LSU

Analysis: This draft has boom or bust written all over it. Joseph is coming off of a torn ACL, but if he can return to pre-injury form, he could be the force that the Raiders need at the back of their secondary. Jihad Ward played out of position at Illinois a lot, but he’s a high upside play. He can play true defensive end at nearly 300 pounds, he’s a project. Calhoun was a nice pick at 75, he could have been taken in the 2nd and it would been fine. Connor Cook was an interesting selection, but he can be the backup to groom and trade or provide some depth to the position. Washington may end up being the best pick in this draft, as he was a stud at Texas Tech when given the opportunity. I can’t speak on James at all, but Vadal Alexander was a nice value in the 7th. Once thought as a Day 2 pick, getting Alexander in the 7th is a steal if he produces at all.

Grade: B-

San Diego Chargers:

Round 1 Pick 3: Joey Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Round 2 Pick 35: Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
Round 3 Pick 66: Max Tuerk, OL, USC
Round 4 Pick 102: Josh Perry, LB, Ohio State
Round 5 Pick 175: Jatavis Brown, LB, Akron
Round 6 Pick 179: Drew Kaser, P, Texas A&M
Round 6 Pick 198: Derek Watt, FB, Wisconsin
Round 7 Pick 224: Donovan Clark, OL, Michigan State

Analysis: The Chargers entered this season in full rebuilding mode, as they finished last in the division. The fighting Phillip Rivers’ are looking to improve in 2016, and they set themselves up to do so. Joey Bosa was a bit of a surprise at 3, but he’s well worth the selection. He’ll play all over the Chargers defense. Henry will easily be the best blocking tight end the Chargers will have had in years. He’s also a good receiver, so he was a nice pick at 35. Tuerk is coming off of an ACL, but if he can return to form, he’ll be one of the most athletic interior linemen in the NFL. Perry will provide more depth on the inside of the defense, and was a great value in the 4th round. Brown is a nickel linebacker dynamo, who is #very fast but small so he’s likely limited to subpackages. Kaser was the best punter in the draft, so even in the 6th it’s not horrible. Watt was one of the best fullbacks in the draft, so he fits the range in the 6th. Clark I can’t speak much on, as I didn’t watch him this draft szn.

Grade: B+


Written by 

Adams-Friendship Green Devil and Carroll University Pioneer for life. Aspiring to be great. @RieseDraft

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