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2014 NFL Draft Grades: AFC West

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Grading an NFL Draft immediately after it occurs is akin to giving your compliments to the chef based on the menu. It will take at least three years before we can truly assess how the 32 NFL teams fared over the 2014 NFL Draft.

But waiting is no fun. So let's take a look at which teams appear to have done the best job of filling needs and building for the future.

DENVER BRONCOS: I really like the addition of tough and talented cornerback Bradley Roby at No. 31. He needs to play with greater consistency but the talent is undeniable. Wide receiver Cody Latimer adds to the length, speed and toughness of a group that failed to match Seattle's physicality in the Super Bowl -- with the notable exception of star Demaryius Thomas. Michael Schofield and Matt Paradis are no-nonsense blockers who also fill a need for depth along the offensive line and there is ample athletic upside in linebackers Lamin Barrow and Corey Nelson. This wasn't a breath-taking draft for the Broncos but few clubs did more with less (six) picks

Grade: B

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Given the success of the Chiefs' defense -- in large part due to pass rushers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali -- the addition of Dee Ford in the first round was surprising. Adding impact edge rushers is never a bad idea, especially in a division featuring relatively immobile pocket passers like Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. Given the Chiefs' starting quarterback, Alex Smith, is not of this caliber, I anticipated that the team would add some pass-catchers to help him. Running back De'Anthony Thomas and quarterback Aaron Murray are the club's only offensive skill-position prospects. Some will blast the Chiefs for not adding receivers but Andy Reid's offense is said to be especially difficult so expecting any rookie to make an immediate impact would have been a stretch. Still, I would have liked to see more playmakers added. Phillip Gaines and Zach Fulton could carve out niches as rookies and I love the upside of offensive lineman Laurent Duvarney-Tardif. A solid class but not one that I believe will keep the Chiefs from taking a step back in the AFC West.

Grade: B-

OAKLAND RAIDERS: A intriguing class brings reason for optimism to Oakland. A great deal of patience from general manager Reggie McKenzie and his staff could be rewarded. Pass rusher Khalil Mack was a no-brainer at No. 5 overall and I would argue that quarterback Derek Carr was in the second round. While true that he struggled with pressure in his face at Fresno State, it should be noted that Carr also never had much of an offensive line, as only one blocker during his time with the Bulldogs was drafted (and offensive guard Andrew Jackson was a seventh-rounder three years ago). The Raiders nabbed two athletic, wide-bodied interior linemen with guard Gabe Jackson in the third and defensive tackle Justin Ellis in the fourth. The length of the three defensive backs Oakland nabbed in this draft is noteworthy, especially given the size of the top receivers in this division.

Grade: B

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: Like Denver, San Diego was successful filling some holes with a limited number of picks. What cornerback Jason Verrett lacks in size, he makes up for with quickness, instincts and tenacity. One of the long-time NFL scouts I trust most graded Verrett as the top senior prospect in the country, regardless of position. I love the schematic fits and value that the Chargers found with outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu in the second round, guard Chris Watt in the third and nose guard Ryan Carrethers in the fifth. Former ASU running back Marion Grice offers a very specific skill-set as one of the elite pass-catchers at the position as does big-play wideout Tevin Reese -- whose speed is better described with his propensity for long touchdowns rather than just his 40-yard dash time (4.41). More impressively, 22 of his 25 career touchdowns at Baylor traveled at least 40 yards. That's no misprint. San Diego is gambling on some specialists here to be sure but they are intriguing fits that could help the Chargers take another step in the divisional race.

Grade: A-
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