October 20, 2017
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The Los Angeles Chargers selected Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams in the first-round of the 2017 NFL Draft and arguably had the best draft class of the AFC. USA TODAY Sports/ Kelvin Kuo

2017 NFL Draft Grades: Chargers, Browns, Broncos Atop the AFC

The 2017 NFL Draft officially wrapped up a week ago in Philadelphia, but determining who won this year’s draft won’t be known until years down the road when we can better evaluate how each draft selection worked out.

Instead of stating the winners or losers of the 2017 NFL Draft, Fourth & Goal’s is grading each franchise’s draft by value acquired based on draft position, needs filled, and how each team’s 2017 draft selections improved their chances to succeed in 2017.

Below is a list of every division and team in the AFC. To see the NFC divisions’ draft grades, click here.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills Grade: B+

First-Round – LSU CB Tre’Davious White (No. 27)

Second-Round – East Carolina WR Zay Jones (No. 37)

Second-Round – Temple OL Dion Dawkins (No. 63)

Fifth-Round – Boston College LB Matt Milano (No. 163)

Fifth-Round – Pittsburgh QB Nathan Peterman (No. 171)

Sixth-Round – Boise State LB Tanner Vallejo (No. 195)

Analysis: The Buffalo Bills filled three of their biggest needs in the first two rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, while also acquiring Kansas City’s 2018 first-round pick in the process. Buffalo landed an experienced cornerback in the first-round in Tre’Davious White, adding a player that should be able to start for them Week 1 of the 2017 season. After trading back in the first-round, the Bills moved up in the second-round to select East Carolina wide receiver Zay Jones. The 6-foot-2, 201-pound receiver shined at the Senior Bowl back in January, and gives quarterback Tyrod Taylor another playmaker that has the ability to develop into a star at the next level. While Buffalo surely didn’t answer all their offensive line needs in the draft, the Bills did get a solid value pick in Temple offensive tackle Dion Dawkins. The 6-foot-4, 314-pound offensive lineman is expected to to play guard at the next level, but could give Buffalo some competition for the starting right tackle position in training camp. The Bills also added some depth to their linebacker corps after the departure of Zach Brown in free agency, and got a steal in Pittsburgh quarterback Nathan Peterman with the 171st overall pick. The Bills got immediate value with their first three picks, and in time could view the 2017 draft as the beginning of franchise’s turnaround, depending on what happens with next year’s two first-round selections.

Miami Dolphins Grade: B-

First-Round – Missouri DE Charles Harris (No. 22)

Second-Round – Ohio State LB Raekwon McMillan (No. 54)

Third-Round – Clemson CB Cordrea Tankersley (No. 97)

Fifth-Round – Utah OL Isaac Asiata (No. 164)

Fifth-Round – LSU DT Davon Godchaux (No. 178)

Sixth-Round – Oklahoma State DT Vincent Taylor (No. 194)

Seventh-Round – Virginia Tech WR Isaiah Ford (No. 237)

Analysis: The Dolphins elected to pass on Western Kentucky offensive lineman Forrest Lamp despite their need at guard, but overall added value that should at least elevate their defense this upcoming season. The Dolphins selected a pass rusher with high upside potential in the first-round, taking Missouri defensive end Charles Harris with the No. 22 overall pick. The 6-foot-3, 253-pound defensive end will likely be a starting rotational pass rusher at the beginning of the 2017 season, but easily could find himself in a full-time starting role opposite Cameron Wake by midseason. The Dolphins reached on Buckeyes linebacker Raekwon McMillan with the 54th overall pick, but likely feel he can develop into an eventual starter and learn from Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons. While McMillan was a reach in the second-round, the Dolphins got great value late in the third-round, selecting Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley. The 6-foot-1, 199-pound corner was a two-year starter in the ACC and has the ability to compete for a starting role in his rookie year. The Dolphins hope they got their replacement for Laremy Tunsil, who is expected to bump out from guard to tackle in 2017, in Isaac Asiata, and likely view him as a steal due to his potential impact as a run blocker. Miami’s front office got plenty of talent that should make an impact in 2017, but arguably their greatest value pick came late in the fifth-round. The Dolphins selected LSU defensive tackle Davon Godchaux with the 178th overall pick and got a player that can develop into an eventual starter. The 6-foot-3, 310-pound defensive tackle amassed 17.5 tackles for a loss and 12.5 sacks the past two seasons in the Southeastern Conference and could easily work his way into Miami’s defensive line rotation as a rookie.

New England Patriots Grade: A-

Third-Round – Youngstown State DE Derek Rivers (No. 83)

Third-Round – Troy OT Antonio Garcia (No. 85)

Fourth-Round – Arkansas DE Deatrich Wise (No. 131)

Sixth-Round – UCLA OT Conor McDermott (No. 211)

Analysis: The Patriots only selected four players in the 2017 NFL Draft, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t use their draft picks wisely. New England added depth to their two biggest positions of need, defensive end and offensive line, and already arguably had one of the best draft classes before the event even began last week, if you includes their pre-draft trades. The Patriots acquired wide receiver Brandin Cooks, defensive lineman Kony Ealy, and tight end Dwayne Allen through trades involving 2017 draft selections, and also signed former Buffalo Bills running back Mike Gillislee to two-year deal, which forced New England to surrender a fifth-round pick to Buffalo. The Patriots undoubtedly helped their chances at hoisting a sixth Lombardi Trophy next season with their trades, but that shouldn’t take away from the value of the selections they made in the actual draft itself. New England’s front office landed arguably the fourth best offensive tackle, Antonio Garcia, in this year’s class in the third-round, and selected a developmental tackle, Conor McDemott, with upside potential in the sixth-round. The Patriots added some much-needed pass rushers after losing both Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long in free agency, and added a versatile 6-foot-4, 248-pound pass rusher, Derek Rivers, that should flourish under the tutelage of head coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

New York Jets Grade: C+

First-Round – LSU S Jamal Adams (No. 6)

Second-Round – Florida S Marcus Maye (No. 39)

Third-Round – Alabama WR ArDarius Steward (No. 79)

Fourth-Round – California WR Chad Hansen (No. 141)

Fifth-Round – Clemson TE Jordan Leggett (No. 150)

Fifth-Round – West Georgia DL Dylan Donahue (No. 181)

Sixth-Round – Louisiana-Lafayette RB Elijah McGuire (No. 188)

Sixth-Round – Michigan CB Jeremy Clark (No. 197)

Sixth-Round – Ole Miss CB Derek Jones (No. 204)

Analysis: The Jets had needs at almost every position entering the 2017 NFL Draft, and had to be happily surprised to see arguably the safest prospect in this year’s class still on the board at No. 6 overall. It was a no-brainer for the Jets to select Jamal Adams with their first-round selection, as he will immediately help their defense and should quickly develop into a leader in their locker room. While the Jets got off to a strong start on day one, they left many Gang Green fans scratching their heads on day two. After selecting a safety in the first-round, New York’s front office elected to draft another safety in the second-round in Florida’s Marcus Maye. The 6-foot, 210-pound safety was a strong value pick, but with needs at cornerback and along the offensive line, the pick seems questionable at best. The Jets did get some value in the selections of Alabama wide receiver ArDarius Stewart, California wide receiver Chad Hansen, and Clemson tight end Jordan Leggett. New York surely improved their roster through the draft, but should continue to struggle in 2017, as a veteran journeyman quarterback and two inexperienced quarterbacks are sure to have trouble succeeding behind a shaky offensive line. Overall, the Jets had one of the worst drafts of AFC, as their selections are proof that that they are building from ground up once again.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens Grade: B+

First-Round – Alabama C Marlon Humphrey (No. 16)

Second-Round – Houston OLB Tyus Bowser (No. 47)

Third-Round – Michigan DL Chris Wormley (No. 74)

Third-Round – Alabama OLB Tim Williams (No. 78)

Fourth-Round – San Diego St. OL Nico Siragusa

Fifth-Round – Texas A&M OL Jermaine Eluemunor

Sixth-Round – Virginia Tech DB Chuck Clark

Analysis: The Ravens are building Baltimore’s next generation’s defense, and got four players in the first three rounds that have the potential to develop into staple players in the AFC North. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome was clearly focused on the defensive side of the ball in this year’s draft, and surely hopes Alabama’s 6-foot, 190-pound cornerback, Marlon Humphrey, can become a cornerstone player for the franchise, especially given the depth of corners in this year’s class. While only time will tell if Humphrey is worthy of the 16th overall selection, the Ravens may have found the franchise’s next star pass rusher in Tyus Bowser. The Ravens doubled down on adding a pass rushing presence with Terrell Suggs turning 35-years-old this upcoming season, and got a steal in Alabama outside linebacker Tim Williams with the 78th overall pick. The 6-foot-3, 244-pound outside linebacker amassed 27.5 tackles for a loss, 18.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles over the past two seasons in Tuscaloosa, and should fit well in Baltimore’s 3-4 base defense. The Ravens also got some much-needed offensive line help in Nico Siragusa and Jermaine Eluemunor on day three.

Cincinnati Bengals Grade: B

First-Round – Washington WR John Ross (No. 9)

Second-Round – Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon (No. 48)

Third-Round – Kansas State DE Jordan Willis (No. 73)

Fourth-Round – Auburn DE Carl Lawson (No. 116)

Fourth-Round – Tennessee WR Josh Malone (No. 128)

Fourth-Round – Michigan DT Ryan Glasgow (No, 138)

Fifth-Round – Memphis K Jake Elliott (No. 153)

Fifth-Round – Utah OL J.J. Dielman (No. 176)

Sixth-Round – Oklahoma LB Jordan Evans (No. 193)

Sixth-Round – Houston RB Brandon Wilson (No. 207)

Seventh-Round – Buffalo TE Mason Schreck (No. 251)

Analysis: The Bengals may have gotten two of the biggest draft steals in this year’s class in Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Jordan Willis and Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson, but also selected to huge boom-or-bust players in John Ross and Joe Mixon. Both Ross and Mixon displayed incredible talents on the football field during their time in college, but Ross’ injury concerns and Mixon’s off-field history is sure to raise some eyebrows, particularly given where they were selected. Cincinnati’s first-round pick could be lethal opposite A.J. Green and should give quarterback Andy Dalton an immediate deep threat, but a history of shoulder and knee injuries is surely a cause for concern regarding the 5-foot-11, 188-pound receiver. The Bengals have a history of taking risks on guys with troubled pasts, but selecting a player with Mixon’s history is unprecedented due to the visual evidence. While the Bengals will look to move past the Mixon selection, it is sure to be a major topic throughout training camp and the preseason. Mixon and Ross may steal the headlines in Cincinnati in the lead-up to the 2017 season, but the addition of Willis, Lawson, and Michigan defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow is what truly earns the Bengals their B grade.

Cleveland Browns Grade: A-

First-Round – Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett (No. 1)

First-Round – Michigan S Jabrill Peppers (No. 25)

First-Round – Miami TE David Njoku (No. 29)

Second-Round – Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer (No. 52)

Third-Round – Charlotte DT Larry Ogunjobi (No. 65)

Fourth-Round – Houston CB Howard Wilson (No. 126)

Fifth-Round – Florida State OT Roderick Johnson (No. 160)

Sixth-Round – Florida DT Caleb Brantley (No. 185)

Seventh-Round – Arizona State K Zane Gonzalez (No. 224)

Seventh-Round – N.C. State RB Matt Dayes (No. 252)

Anaylsis: The Cleveland Browns managed to acquire three dynamic talents in the first-round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and still set themselves up for next year’s draft with Houston’s first-round pick. Cleveland made the smart decision of taking the best player available at No. 1 overall in Myles Garrett, and got two players that have high upside potential in safety Jabrill Peppers and tight end David Njoku. Peppers and Garrett should immediately improve Cleveland’s 31st ranked defense in terms of yards allowed, and should grow into cornerstone players for the franchise in time. While the Browns elected not to reach on a quarterback early, they still landed one of the top four quarterback prospects in the second-round. DeShone Kizer is expected to need time to develop at the next level, but has the size, arm, and athleticism NFL teams look for in a franchise quarterback. Cleveland’s front office also selected players with developmental potential in Larry Ogunjobi and Roderick Johnson, and a steal in Caleb Brantley in the sixth-round in terms of talent. Brantley’s draft stock plummeted after he was accused of assault just days before the draft, but a decision to formally charge him has yet to be made. Cleveland’s front office may not even keep Brantley on the roster in 2017 due to off-field distractions, but even without the Gators defensive tackle, the Browns still amassed one of the best draft classes of 2017.

Pittsburgh Steelers Grade: B+

First-Round – Wisconsin OLB T.J. Watt (No. 30_

Second-Round – USC WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (No. 62)

Third-Round – Tennessee CB Cameron Sutton (No. 94)

Third-Round – Pittsburgh RB James Conner (No. 105)

Fourth-Round – Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs (No. 135)

Fifth-Round – Utah CB Brian Allen (No. 173)

Sixth-Round – Louisville LS Colin Holba (No. 213)

Seventh-Round – Western Michigan OLB Keion Adams (No. 248)

Analysis: The Pittsburgh Steelers needed to find an outside linebacker to eventually replace James Harrison, and hope the Badgers 6-foot-4, 252-pound linebacker, T.J. Watt, can develop into that cornerstone player for the franchise. There are some concerns surrounding his past knee injuries, but he proved himself a dynamic playmaker in Wisconsin’s defense in 2016, recording 63 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception. While Watt will likely start the 2017 season as a rotational outside linebacker, the Steelers second-round pick, JuJu Smith-Schuster, should find himself in the starting lineup. The Trojans 6-foot-1, 215-pound receiver is a perfect fit in Pittsburgh’s offense due to his tough, physical mentality as a receiver. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert knew adding some defensive backs to the secondary would be priority this offseason, and found two strong value selections in Cameron Sutton and Brian Allen. The Steelers may have reached on Pittsburgh running back James Conner at the end of the third-round, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be an impact player behind Le’Veon Bell at the next level. Pittsburgh’s front office also found Ben Roethlisberger’s potential successor in the fourth-round in Joshua Dobbs, and a potential steal in the seventh-round in Keion Adams. The 6-foot-2, 245-pound outside linebacker amassed 28 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks, and four forced fumbles in his final two seasons at Western Michigan. The Steelers are clearly building their defense for the future with their draft selections, but also helped their chances to succeed this upcoming season, especially with the additions of Watt, Smith-Schuster, and Sutton.

AFC South

Houston Texans Grade: B

First-Round – Clemson QB Deshaun Watson (No. 12)

Second-Round – Vanderlbilt LB Zach Cunningham (No. 57)

Third-Round – Texas RB D’Onta Foreman (No. 89)

Fourth-Round – Bucknell OT Julie’n Davenport (No. 130)

Fourth-Round – Clemson DT Carlos Watkins (No. 142)

Fifth-Round – Oregon St. S Treston Decoud (No. 169)

Sixth-Round – Baylor OL Kyle Fuller (No. 243)

Analysis: It’s no secret what the Houston Texans’ biggest need was entering the 2017 NFL Draft, and general manager Rick Smith was will to give up a 2018 first-round selection to fill that need immediately. The Texans plan to let Deshaun Watson compete for the starting role from the outset of training camp, and arguably got the most pro-ready quarterback in this draft at least mentally. Watson will need to adjust to head coach Bill O’Brien’s pro-style offense, but after watching two quarterbacks implode in two playoff losses the past two years, Houston clearly wanted a quarteback that wouldn’t crumble under the pressure of the spotlight. While giving up a 2018 first-round pick for Watson is a big risk, the Texans can’t afford to sit idly and hope a franchise quarterback falls in their lap. Houston’s 2017 draft class will be determined by the success of Watson, but that doesn’t mean that didn’t get value with their other selections. Houston landed two steals in Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham and Texas running back D’Onta Foreman based on value and draft selection, and a fourth-round defensive tackle in Carlos Watkins that should contribute in his rookie year. The Texans also got a developmental offensive tackle with starting potential in Julie’n Davenport with the 130th overall pick.

Indianapolis Colts Grade: B+

First-Round – Ohio State S Malik Hooker (No. 15)

Second-Round – Florida CB Quincy Wilson (No. 46)

Third-Round – Ohio DE/OLB Tarell Basham (No. 80)

Fourth-Round – USC OT Zach Banner (No. 137)

Fourth-Round – USF RB Marlon Mack (No. 143)

Fourth-Round – Albany St. (GA) DT Grover Stewart (No. 144)

Fifth-Round – Temple CB Nate Hairston (No. 158)

Fifth-Round – Northwestern LB Anthony Walker Jr. (No. 161)

Analysis: The Indianapolis Colts recorded just eight interceptions as a team in 2016, and must have been happily surprised to a see Malik Hooker still available for the 15th overall pick. The Buckeyes 6-foot-1, 206-pound safety should immediate create turnovers for Indianapolis’ defense, and has huge upside potential after his one explosive season as a starter at Ohio State. Hooker recorded seven interceptions and scored three defensive touchdowns in 2016 and very well could end up being the biggest steal in the first-round of this year’s draft. The Colts continued to bolster their secondary, selecting Gators cornerback Quincy Wilson in the second-round. Colts first-year general manager Chris Ballard also added a much-needed pass rusher in Ohio’s Tarrell Basham that will be asked to step up early and often in 2017. While defense was clearly the top priority, the Colts also made sure to address the offensive side of the ball as well. The Colts selected an offensive tackle that has starting potential in Zach Banner, and a running back that could develop into a household name in Indianapolis. Marlon Mack could have gone at least full round earlier than his selection, and is coming off three consecutive 1,000-yard plus rushing seasons in the American Athletic Conference. Overall, the Colts got great value with their selections and surely improved their defense, but left questions along the offensive line unanswered.

Jacksonville Jaguars Grade: B

First-Round – LSU RB Leonard Fournette (No. 4)

Second-Round – Alabama OT Cam Robinson (No. 34)

Third-Round – Illinois DE Dawuane Smoot (No. 68)

Fourth-Round – Oklahoma WR Dede Westbrook (No. 110)

Fifth-Round – Ohio LB Blair Brown (No. 148)

Seventh-Round – Minnesota CB Jalen Myrick (No. 222)

Seventh-Round – Miami (OH) FB Marquez Williams (No. 240_

Analysis: The Jaguars selected a game-changer in the first-round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and immediately gave him a run blocker up front in the second-round. Jacksonville’s front office didn’t overthink their first-round pick and got arguably to the best player available, as Fournette is a rare talent that has the ability to be an perennial All-Pro at the next level. The Jaguars rookie running back may not have the same impact as Ezekiel Elliott in his first season, but that has more to do with the differences of the two franchises’ offensive lines. Jacksonville’s front office surely hopes Alabama’ 6-foot-6, 322-pound offensive tackle, Cam Robinson, can develop into a cornerstone tackle for the franchise for the next decade, and got a steal selecting him in the second-round in terms of talent. While Robinson and Fournette will be the main focus of the 2017 draft in Jacksonville, general manager Dave Caldwell also made sure to get some talented players that can have an impact this upcoming season. The Jaguars added another pass rusher to their revamped defense in Dawuane Smoot, and got a Heisman finalist wide receiver in the fourth-round. Dede Westbrook caught 80 passes for 1,524 yards and scored 10 touchdowns in 2016, and surely would have gone higher than No. 110 overall if not for off-field concerns. Jacksonville also got a developmental cornerback, Jalen Myrick, with plenty of upside potential in seventh-round. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound cornerback posted the fastest defensive back 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he will need to work on coverage skills and ball awareness at the next level. The Jaguars helped there chances of succeeding this upcoming season with their draft selections, and their front office is clearly giving quarterback Blake Bortles all the weapons needed to succeed in the AFC South.

Tennessee Titans Grade: B-

First-Round – Western Michigan WR Corey Davis (No. 5)

First-Round – USC CB Adoree’ Jackson (No. 18)

Third-Round – Western Kentucky WR Taywan Taylor (No. 72)

Fourth-Round – Florida International TE Jonnu Smith (No. 100)

Fifth-Round – UCLA LB Jayon Brown (No. 155)

Sixth-Round – Tennessee-Chattanooga OL Corey Levin (No. 217)

Seventh-Round – TCU OLB Josh Carraway (No. 227)

Seventh-Round – Villanova OT Brad Seaton (No. 236)

Analysis: Both Corey Davis and Adoree’ Jackson should make an immediate impact for the Tennessee Titans in 2017, but might have been reaches in terms of where they were selected in the first-round. The Titans wanted to make sure they got franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota a No. 1 wide receiver, and started a run that had three receivers selected in the top-10. It’s hard to argue the Titans selecting Davis with the fifth overall pick, especially with both Mike Williams and John Ross off the board before their second first-round selection. The Western Michigan 6-foot-3, 209-pound receiver was a model of consistency in Kalamazoo over four seasons, and will give Tennessee an immediate red zone threat and big-bodied receiver that has shown tremendous route-running ability. Titans general manager Jon Robinson has made the secondary a priority this offseason, as he signed cornerback Logan Ryan and safety Johnathan Cyprien in free agency and now adds a versatile playmaker in Jackson. The 5-foot-10, 186-pound cornerback may not have been the best pure cover corner on the board at No. 18, but his athleticism and ability to create turnovers should make him an instant playmaker for their defense and in special teams. The Titans are making sure to give Mariota plenty of options in 2017, as they also selected Western Kentucky wide receiver Taywan Taylor and Florida International tight end Jonnu Smith in the third and fourth-round respectively. Taylor is coming off back-to-back 1,400-yard plus receiving seasons in Conference USA, and could prove to be dynamic weapon lined-up alongside Davis and Rishard Matthews on third-down passing scenarios. The Titans also got a solid value selection with their seventh-round pick of Josh Carraway, as the 6-foot-3, 242-pound pass rusher amassed 21.5 tackles for a loss, 16 sacks, and two forced fumbles in his final two seasons in the Big 12.

AFC West

Denver Broncos Grade: A-

First-Round – Utah OT Garett Bolles (No. 20)

Second-Round – Florida State DE DeMarcus Walker (No. 51)

Third-Round – Louisiana Tech WR Carlos Henderson (No. 82)

Third-Round – Lamar CB Brendan Langley (No. 101)

Fifth-Round – Michigan TE Jake Butt (No. 145)

Fifth-Round – Georgia WR Isaiah McKenzie (No. 172)

Sixth-Round – Coastal Carolina RB De’Angelo Henderson (No. 203)

Seventh-Round – Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly (No. 253)

Analysis: The Denver Broncos filled their biggest need in the first-round of the 2017 NFL Draft, selecting the most pro-ready offensive tackle, Garett Bolles, in this year’s class. The 6-foot-5, 297-pound athletic offensive lineman should be an immediate starter for Denver’s offense and should greatly improve the team’s 27th ranked rushing attack from 2016. While the Broncos know they need to protect their young quarterbacks better in 2017, they also know their defense is what separates them as Super Bowl contenders. Broncos general manager John Elway selected Florida State defensive end DeMarcus Walker with the 51st overall pick, giving Denver a high level pass rusher that can develop into a Pro Bowl player in the AFC West. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound defensive end recorded 33.5 tackles for a loss, 25 sacks, and six forced fumbles in his two final two seasons in Tallahassee, and has the potential to develop into a dynamic playmaker under the tutelage of Denver’s veteran defensive players. While Bolles and Walker should immediate help the Broncos get back to the postseason, Elway landed two day three steals that could pay huge dividends down the road. The Broncos selected Michigan tight end Jake Butt with the first pick in the fifth-round, giving them a second-round talent that could be their top tight end by the end of the 2017 regular season. Butt fell all the way to the fifth-round after suffering a torn ACL in the Orange Bowl, but said in March that he was ahead of schedule in his recovery and that he should be on the field by October latest. The Broncos also made Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly “Mr. Irrelevant,” selecting him with the last pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but the 6-foot-2, 224-pound quarterback was anything but irrelevant in the lead-up to the draft. Talent wise, Kelly is one of the best quarterbacks in this year’s class, but off-field concerns and injuries led to him sliding all the way down draft boards. He likely will make the team as a third-string quarterback, but Broncos fans should keep an eye on him this preseason, as he has NFL starting potential. Overall, the Broncos filled some much-needed positions in the draft and got some great value with their draft selections.

Kansas City Chiefs Grade: C+

First-Round – Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes (No. 10)

Second-Round – Villanova DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (No. 59)

Third-Round – Toledo RB Kareem Hunt (No. 86)

Fourth-Round – Michigan WR Jehu Chesson (No. 139)

Fifth-Round – Georgia Southern LB Ukeme Eligwe (No. 183)

Sixth-Round – USC S Leon McQuay III (No. 218)

Analysis: The grade is not a knock on Patrick Mahomes, as he can flourish under head coach Andy Reid in Kansas City. The Chiefs have a team that can contend for a Super Bowl title, but instead of trying to win-now they are clearly building toward the future. Mahomes has huge upside potential and a cannon for an arm, but will have to likely sit behind Alex Smith for at least one full season. The Chiefs gave up a 2018 first-round selection and third-round (No. 91) pick to select the Texas Tech quarterback at No. 10 overall, but only time will tell if Mahomes can live up to the Brett Favre comparisons. The Chiefs did get some value that should help them immediately in Toledo running back Kareem Hunt, and selected a raw 6-foot-7, 289-pound defensive end, Tanoh Kpassagnon, that has plenty of upside potential. Other than Mahomes, the main question from Kansas City’s draft is whether fifth-round pick linebacker Ukeme Eligwe can fill their need at inside linebacker. The 6-foot-2, 239-pound linebacker recorded 97 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumble, and an interception during his redshirt junior season, and should soak in all the information he can get from Chiefs four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson. The 2017 draft class for the Kansas City Chiefs will always be remembered as the year they drafted Mahomes, but for this upcoming season it’s unclear how their draft strategy will get them closer to winning a Super Bowl now.

Los Angeles Chargers Grade: A

First-Round – Clemson WR Mike Williams (No. 7)

Second-Round – Western Kentucky OL Forrest Lamp (No. 38)

Third-Round – Indiana OL Dan Feeney (No. 71)

Fourth-Round – Miami S Rayshawn Jenkins (No. 113)

Fifth-Round – Iowa S Desmond King (No. 151)

Sixth-Round – Utah OT Sam Tevi (No. 190)

Seventh-Round – Notre Dame DT Isaac Rochell (No. 225)

Analysis: The Los Angeles Chargers may have had the best draft of any franchise in 2017, as they not only filled multiple needs but got value in almost every selection they made. General manager Tom Telesco selected Defensive Rookie of the Year, Joey Bosa, in the first-round of last year’s draft, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise their first-round pick this year, Mike Williams, puts up Offensive Rookie of the Year type numbers in his first season in Los Angeles. The 6-foot-4, 218-pound receiver was arguably the best receiver in this year’s draft class, and his addition could give L.A. two legitimate No. 1 receiving options should Keenan Allen return healthy in 2017. The Chargers then selected Western Kentucky offensive lineman Forrest Lamp with the 38th overall pick in the second-round. The 6-foot-4, 309-pound offensive lineman should fill an immediate need at guard this upcoming season, and was arguably the best talent available heading into day two of the 2017 draft. While Lamp was considered the best interior offensive lineman in this draft, Los Angeles’ third-round pick Dan Feeney was not far behind in position rankings. The Hoosiers four-year starer should immediately compete for a starting guard position on the offensive line, and L.A could be looking at both rookies starting on the offensive line at either guard or center this upcoming season. The Chargers also got plenty of value on day three, but getting Iowa safety Desmond King with the 151st overall pick may end up being one of the biggest steals of the entire draft. The four-year starter was projected to be a third-round selection prior to the draft, and newly appointed defensive coordinator Gus Bradley will surely find ways to get him involved in his rookie season. Through four seasons at Iowa, King amassed 263 tackles, 33 passes defended, 14 interceptions, 9.5 tackles for a loss, and scored three defensive touchdowns.

Oakland Raiders Grade: B

First-Round – Ohio State CB Gareon Conley (No. 24)

Second-Round – UConn S Obi Melifonwu (No. 56)

Third-Round – UCLA DT Eddie Vanderdoes (No. 88)

Fourth-Round – Florida OT David Sharpe (No. 129)

Fifth-Round – Wake Forest LB Marquel Lee (No. 168)

Sixth-Round – Washington St. S Shalom Launi (No. 221)

Seventh-Round – Alabama St. OT Jylan Ware (No. 231)

Seventh-Round – North Carolina RB Elijah Hook (No. 242)

Seventh-Round – Toledo DT Treyvon Hester (No. 244)

Analysis: The Raiders draft may be one of the hardest to grade due to Gareon Conley’s ongoing investigation. The Buckeyes cornerback was a top-20 talent entering the draft, but it’s hard to give Oakland’s front office praise for selecting a guy who has been accused of rape. Even without Conley’s draft selection, the Raiders still added some much-needed depth to important positions and found value in days two and three of the draft. The Silver and Black selected an athletic freak in UConn’s 6-foot-4 224-pound safety, Obi Melifonwu, in the second-round, and got some help for their interior defensive line in Bruins defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes. The 6-foot-3, 305-pound defensive tackle should immediate complete for a starting role in Oakland’s 4-3 base defense, but will have to show more consistency to be three-down defensive lineman at the next level. Oakland’s front office made a solid value pick in Florida offensive tackle David Sharpe, as he not only gives them depth along the offensive line but also a potential future starter down the road. The Raiders needed to add a linebacker in this year’s draft, and likely feel they got a steal in Wake Forest’s Marquel Lee in the fifth-round. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound linebacker has a legitimate shot at earning the starting middle linebacker role as a rookie, and is coming off an impressive senior season in which he recorded 105 tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles. The Raiders added value and improved their chances to win in 2017 with their draft selections, but can’t fully earn one of the top draft grades in the AFC, especially with their current first-round pick’s NFL future in question.

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