Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Grading The 2012 NFL Draft: AFC West

Tebow mania swept the AFC West in 2011 as the Broncos not only won the division but beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round. Tebow mania is now replaced with Manning Mania as the Broncos signed the future hall of famer this off-season. This division also features a team that did not have a draft pick until the compensatory picks of the third round in the Oakland Raiders. Let's take a look at how the AFC West did in the 2012 draft:

Denver Broncos - The Broncos traded out of the first round in order to pick up a few more picks. Then when  with their first pick in the second round they reached for defensive tackle Derek Wolfe out of Cincinnati. While Wolfe will become a starter, the Broncos passed on a number of other talented players in order to take Wolfe. With their next pick the Broncos selected Brock Osweiler out of Arizona State. Denver is hoping that sitting behind Peyton Manning will help Osweiler become a star. However, with the past injuries of Manning, Osweiler may be a starter sooner rather than later. The only other Denver pick that should impact the team is third round pick Ronnie Hillman out of San Diego State. He will be able to provide Denver with an option for screens. Grade: C+

Kansas City Chiefs - Too many Chiefs fans seemed to be angry at the direction their front office went in 2012. Instead of drafting a quarterback, Kansas City went defense early with Dontari Poe and then tried to build up their offensive lines in the second and third rounds with Jeff Allen and Donald Stephenson. It looks like Kansas City is content with Matt Cassel and want to try to protect him. The Chiefs are also smart to build the o-line because they can play on their strength which is their run game with Jamaal Charles and now Peyton Hillis. Kansas City added a few potential steals at wide receiver in Devon Wylie (4th round) and Junior Hemingway (7th round). DeQuan Menzie is another potential starter that the Chiefs were able to add in the fifth round. Overall, Kansas City had a good draft. Grade: B

Oakland Raiders - The Raiders traded away most of their draft picks for 2012. However, they were still able to add a few surprise picks. Their late third round pick Tony Bergstrom could become a starting guard for Oakland and I think a lot of teams are going to be upset that they passed on Juron Criner who was selected by the Raiders in the fifth round. Jack Crawford (5th round) could become a situational pass rusher in 2012. It is hard to discuss a lot of the Raiders picks as they only had six and none of them were before the late third round. This draft could be a complete miss for the Raiders but in the end, I think they get two starters (Bergstrom and Criner). Grade: B-

San Diego Chargers - The Chargers did a good job drafting in the early rounds of the 2012 draft. Melvin Ingram is a versatile defensive player who could start at defensive end or outside linebacker. He will most likely be the Chargers outside linebacker as they play a 3-4 defense. It looks like San Diego is hoping Kendell Reyes out of Connecticut will be the starting nose tackle to begin the season. Safety Brandon Taylor out of LSU, tight end Ladarius Green out of Louisiana-Lafayette and guard Johnnie Troutman out of Penn State could all become starters for San Diego in 2012. Green has the best potential of these three players and should flourish behind Antonio Gates in San Diego. Grade: B+

No comments:

Post a Comment