Wed. Jun 26th, 2019

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AFC West 2018 NFL Draft grades

4 min read
2018 NFL Draft Results

Denver Broncos

Draft Picks: Bradley Chubb LB N.C. State Wolfpack (5th overall), Courtland Sutton WR SMU Mustangs (40th overall), Royce Freeman RB Oregon Ducks (71st overall), Isaac Yiadom DB Boston College Eagles (99th overall), Josey Jewell LB Iowa Hawkeyes (106th overall), Dae’Sean Hamilton WR Penn State Nittany Lions (113th overall), Troy Fumagalli TE Wisconsin Badgers (156th overall), Sam Jones OG Arizona State Sun Devils (183rd overall), Keishawn Bierria LB Washington Huskies (217th overall), David Williams RB Arkansas Razorbacks (226th overall)

Draft Grade: A

Lowdown: When Cleveland passed on Chubb, Denver quickly pulled the trigger. Between him and Von Miller, the Broncos will once again terrorize quarterbacks. Freeman will replace C.J. Anderson and is a great fit for this offense. Yiadom will see plenty of playing time in the secondary. I love the Fumagalli pick up. I’m also surprised that he fell that far among tight ends.

Verdict: Denver had one heck of a draft. Signing Case Keemun kept the Broncos from looking for a quarterback which is great for them. Between standouts and solid contributors, the Broncos hit it out of the park. They went bargain hunting late and should see a positive return this fall.

Kansas City Chiefs

Draft Picks: Breeland Speaks LB Ole Miss Rebels (46th overall), Derrick Nnadi DT Florida State Seminoles (75th overall), Dorian O’Daniel LB Clemson Tigers (100th overall), Armani Watts S Texas A&M Aggies (124th overall), Tremon Smith Central Arkansas Bears (196th overall), Kahlil McKenzie OG Tennessee Volunteers (198th overall)

Draft Grade C+

Lowdown: The Chiefs wanted to add some key guys on defense and did so in Speaks and Nnadi. Watts was drafted to replace Marcus Peters who was traded earlier in the offseason. I really like O’Daniel pick up. He’ll make his presence known among the linebackers.

Verdict: Kansas City went after team needs, but moving up to get him seemed questionable. That’s where the Chiefs went wrong in my opinion. The guys they got are okay to good, but I think they pulled the trigger too soon on a couple of picks.

Los Angeles Chargers

Draft Picks: Derwin James S Florida State Seminoles (17th overall), Uchenna Nwosu LB USC Trojans (48th overall), Justin Jones DT N.C. State Wolfpack (84th overall), Kyzir White S West Virginia Mountaineers (119th overall), Scott Quessenberry C UCLA Bruins (155th overall), Dylan Cantrell WR Texas Tech Red Raiders (191st overall), Justin Jackson RB Northwestern Wildcats (251st overall)

Draft Grade B+

Lowdown: The Chargers picked up James who was projected as a top-ten pick. Getting a great player at a team needs position is definitely the right choice. Nwosu has good potential, but taking him over Malik Jefferson is a bold move. White is a physical defender and a ball hawk. He’ll give the Chargers some depth in the secondary. Possibly even emerge as a starter one day. I really like the Justin Jackson pickup. He fell drastically but led the Big Ten in rushing two years ago.

Verdict: Between a couple of players taken to early and a couple that was stolen later, the Chargers had a pretty good draft. They went defense on their first four picks and picking up Jackson was a low risk, high reward scenario. Investing in a quarterback should have been included in their strategy.

Oakland Raiders

Draft Picks: Kolton Miller OT UCLA Bruins (15th overall), P.J. Hall DT Sam Houston State Bearkats (57th overall), Brandon Parker OT North Carolina A&T (65th overall), Arden Key DE LSU Tigers (87th overall), Nick Nelson CB Wisconsin Badgers (110th overall), Maurice Hurst DT Michigan Wolverines (140th overall), Johnny Townsend P Florida Gators (173rd overall), Azeem Victor LB Washington Huskies (216th overall), Marcell Ateman WR Oklahoma State Cowboys (228th overall)

Draft Grade: C+

Lowdown: The Raiders went with an athletic tackle in Miller in the first round after trading down with Arizona. The additional third-round pick gave them the chance to trade it with Pittsburgh for Martavis Bryant. Key is a good pass rusher but has been plagued by injuries. Hurst could be a steal if his heart condition stays at bay. Team doctors did clear him. Townsend will take over punting duties for Oakland and can get it done. Taking Ateman with their last pick could prove to be a great move. He’s a tough, physical receiver that has a lot of intangibles needed for the NFL.

Verdict: It seems that Jon Gruden went after players that he thought would do decent in his system instead of players ranked better at those positions. Some players were selected too high. Only time will tell, but on paper, it looks like many of these picks were taken too early. Oakland’s later round picks may be at their peak already. Too many reaches and uncertainties to give the Raiders a better grade.