AFC West grades

April, 27, 2009
4/27/09
4:51
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The draft grades are in. Predictably, none of the AFC West teams received an abundance of outstanding grades. The draft was marked by many reaches for AFC West teams, but still there were some good things that came out of each team's class.

San Diego: B-

The Chargers' draft was quietly productive. They may have taken pass-rusher Larry English a tad too early at No. 16 but he is a fine player who should make a fast impact. Guard Louis Vasquez has a chance to start right away if the third-rounder from Texas Tech has a good training camp. Guard Tyronne Green, (fourth round), running back Gartrell Johnson (fifth) and safety Kevin Ellison (sixth) all could help down the road. It was nothing fancy, but it was a solid draft by the three-time defending division champions.

Kansas City: C+

All of those who expected Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli to make a huge splash may have been disappointed. There wasn't any wild wheeling and dealing. Much like in free agency, Kansas City was conservative in the draft. Tyson Jackson, the No. 3 overall pick, is a good player who should help. Third-round pick Alex Magee is a defensive tackle who can help. Helping the draft out immensely was the fact that the Chiefs secured Matt Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel for their second-round pick.

Denver: C

The Broncos did some very good things in the draft. They got some outstanding players in the form of running back Knowshon Moreno, defensive end/linebacker Robert Ayers and cornerback Alphonso Smith. All three should make big impacts. Still, there are some negatives about this draft that can't be overlooked. Denver added just one front-seven defender in its ten-pick draft despite having a very weak group there, especially on the defensive line. Denver gave up its first-round pick next year to take Smith at No. 37, which was a steep price.

Oakland: D

This draft could eventually turn into an "A" grade or it could be remembered as one of the worst drafts in recent memory. Right now, it's a "D" because the Raiders didn't use the draft board as well as they could have. First-round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey and second-round pick Mike Mitchell were reaches. They both have good potential but they both could have been taken later. Also, Oakland didn't address tackle, its greatest need. Oakland did get a good value in receiver Louis Murphy in the fourth round.

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