2010 NFL Draft: AFC West Draft Grades

John Bazemore/AP

AFC West

Denver Broncos

Grade: C

Players: 1st Demaryius Thomas-WR-Georgia Tech, 1st Tim Tebow-QB-Florida, 2nd Zane Beadles-OG-Utah, 3rd J.D. Walton-C-Baylor, 3rd Eric Decker-WR-Minnesota, 5th Perrish Cox CB-Oklahoma State, 6th Eric Olsen-C-Notre Dame, Syd’Quan Thompson-CB-California, 7th Jammie Kirlew-DE-Indiana

Thoughts: This draft will live or die by the play of Tim Tebow. Given Tebow’s issues with his mechanics and his experience running only a spread offense, he was a reach at 25. I do not think he will find full time success as a quarterback. The Broncos found a replacement for Brandon Marshall by selecting Thomas, one of the top two receivers in the draft, with their first pick. Decker, Cox, Olsen, and Thompson, were all good value picks. However, they also have limitations. Decker has a history of injury issues and Cox has character issues. Syd’Quan Thompson is an intriguing prospect at cornerback. He demonstrated excellent coverage skills in college, but he may be a bit undersized in the NFL at 5’9”. The negatives – I do not believe the Broncos exited this draft with a pro bowl level player and Tim Tebow was not worthy of a first round selection.

Kansas City Chiefs

Grade: B+

Players: 1st Eric Berry-S-Tennessee, 2nd Dexter McCluster-RB-Mississippi, 2nd Javier Arenas-CB-Alabama, 3rd Jon Asamoah-G-Illinois, 3rd Tony Moeaki-TE-Iowa, 5th Kendrick Lewis-S-Mississippi, 5th Cameron Sheffield-OLB-Troy

Thoughts: The Chiefs had many holes to fill heading into this draft. In attempting to fill some of the holes, the Chiefs improved their team speed and probably added four starters, via their first four picks. Eric Berry has the skills to be a defensive star and perennial pro bowl player. Todd Haley found a new toy in McCluster, he will certainly find a myriad of ways for McCluster to make a difference on the field. Arenas will immediately improve Kansas City’s return game. The Chiefs draft is not sexy, but incredibly solid in terms of simultaneously filling need and finding value. Overall, the team should feel the benefits of this draft for years to come.

Oakland Raiders

Grade: B+

Players: 1st Rolando McClain-LB-Alabama, 2nd Lamarr Houston-DT-Texas, 3rd Edwin Veldheer-OT-Hillsdale, 4th Bruce Campbell-OT-Maryland, 4th Jacoby Ford-WR-Clemson, 5th Walter McFadden-CB-Auburn, 6th Travis Goethel-ILB-Arizona State, 7th Jeremy Ware-CB-Michigan State, 7th Stevie Brown-S-Michigan

Thoughts: Oakland’s drafts are usually a model of what not to do. This year, however, Al Davis and crew apparently turned over a new leaf as their draft was so out of character, I questioned if Al Davis turned over the draft to someone who knows football. The team reached slightly for McClain, but he was the highest rated inside linebacker in the draft and filled an area of need. Houston is a solid DT who should be an immediate contributor. Based upon his freakish combine workout, many assumed Al Davis would draft Bruce Campbell in the first round. He is athletically gifted, but very raw from a technical experience. Grabbing him in the fourth round represents excellent value, while the team tries to coach him up. The Raiders also filled a huge need by trading for QB Jason Campbell, who will be the Raider’s opening day signal caller. Jamarcus Russell, who is expected to be released in the coming weeks, represents one of the biggest draft busts in the last several years. The Raiders have years of bad drafts to atone for, but this year is a good start to the turnaround.

San Diego Chargers

Grade: C+

Players: 1st Ryan Mathews-RB-Fresno State, 3rd Donald Butler-LB-Washington, 4th Darrell Stuckey-S-Kansas, 5th Cam Thomas-DT-North Carolina, 5th Jonathan Crompton-QB-Tennessee, 7th Dedrick Epps-TE-Miami

Thoughts: The entire league knew the Chargers would take a running back in round one, the only surprise was how much they overpaid to get one. Mathews will be the team’s franchise running back, but they paid a hefty price for him. Butler is an excellent linebacker prospect who came on strong at the Senior Bowl. Thomas was a good value pick in the 5th round and addressed one of the team’s most glaring needs. Frankly, the team could have used another defensive line prospect, in addition to Thomas. Other than Mathews, and potentially Thomas, the draft failed to yield any difference makers.   Crompton will not contribute much and Epps will struggle to make the roster.

Topics: AFC West, Bruce Campbell, Cam Thomas, Cameron Sheffield, Darrell Stuckey, Dedrick Epps, Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos, Dexter McCluster, Donald Butler, Edwin Veldheer, Eric Berry, Eric Decker, Eric Olsen, Jacoby Ford, Jammie Kirlew, Jason Campbell, Javier Arenas, JD Walton, Jeremy Ware, Jon Asamoah, Jonathan Crompton, Kansas City Chiefs, Kendrick Lewis, LaMarr Houston, Oakland Raiders, Perrish Cox, Rolando McClain, Ryan Matthews, Stevie Brown, Syd'Quan Thompson, Tim Tebow, Tony Moeaki, Travis Goethel, Walter McFadden, Zane BEadles

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