“NFL Draft Grades-AFC West”
‘I couldn’t believe he was on the board when our pick came up’.
That’s the most generic statement you hear when the GM’s around the league hold their post draft press conferences.
I can’t believe some of the things that happened in the AFC West as I hand out my report card grades.
CHARGERS…The one thing that we have seen under GM-Tom Telesco is the drive to change the personality of the roster. Athletes who can run, who play fast. Look at what the past drafts have brought, Joey Bosa, Derwin James, Dion King. The same thing this weekend.
..DT-Jerry Tillery (6’6-295) Notre Dame…Big, rangy, long arms, plays fast. Compare him to longtime Patriots DL-Richard Seymour.
..S-Nassir Adderley-Delaware…There is no longer a stigma against players who come from 1-AA schools…Three year starter…can play CB-inside and can play safety as a big hitter…Could be a steal
..OT-Trey Pipkins (6’6-305) Sioux Falls…Good feet-dominated-not long arms though..might project better as an OG than an OT…Hey everybody comes from somehwere.
..LB-Drew Tranquill-Notre Dame..Multi positional player…started career as a safety went to LB-can play both positions in sub packages.
..QB-Easton Stick-North Dakota State…pass-run option player-replaces Carson Wentz….over 10,000-yards in offense in his career…went (49-3) as a starter at 1AA school…Kid wins-student of the game.
Letter Grade….(B+)…Needed defense…drafted 5-on defense.
CHIEFS….What was, is no longer. What was once imposing team, now in crisis mode. WR-Tyreek Hill is likely to be suspended if not released in the on going child abuse case. This will be even more devastating than last year’s mid season release of RB-Kareem Hunt. Add in the decision to purge the defense of Dee Ford-Justin Houston-Eric Berry and more, and this is no longer the same team.
WR-Mercole Hardman put up great numbers at Georgia in a run first offense-but was not rated among top wideouts. S-Juan Thornhill from Virginia likely plays immediately. Of course trading for DE-Frank Clark of the Seahawks counts as part of the draft acquisitions. But what’s coming in does not make up for what’s been lost.
Letter Grade (C)…No longer same team.
BRONCOS….I didn’t like what they did early on, but then things fell in place instead of falling apart. Going in their priorities had to be OL-DL-LB, and they could have had the pick of the litter sitting with the 10th spot. Dropping back to 20-after the Steelers trade alarmed me. But it worked out well. TE-Noah Fant-Iowa is the next great talent at a position of importance in lots of NFL offenses. OT-OG-Dalton Risner of Kansas State has great credentials and starts immediately. QB-Drew Lock dropped to them, so the Missouri passing star will learn behind Joe Flacco. DT-Dre-Mont Jones-Ohio State could be a two position player at a position of need.
Grade…(A)…It all worked out and John Elway needs it to work out
RAIDERS….They had lots of draft currency, had lots of needs, but I don’t think did as well as they could. Taking Clellin Ferrell-DE-Clemson with the 4th pick was really high…they could have traded back to maybe 10th-and gotten another pick in the process and still drafted him…it was a reach. RB-Josh Jacobs-Alabama saw his stock rise at the end of the season and then in his workouts. His run-catch abilities make him valuable. S-Jon Abram is a big time hitter out of LSU and brings strong credentials to the Raiders secondary. CB-Trey Mullen is another Clemson athlete with a chance to play early. They bypassed some pretty good players, DE-Josh Allen..LB-Devin White..DT-Ed Oliver..DT-Christian Wilkens…DE-Dexter Lawrence. We’ll see if the smartest guys in the room, Mike Manock, Jon Gruden reached and got the right player (Ferrell) or stumbled badly.
Grade…(B-)…They took six players on defense-any new talent is better than the young talent they played and lost with last year.