By Don Banks
April 20, 2005
AFC West Five-Year Draft Grades
Denver Broncos
If only the Broncos could draft running backs with every pick. Denver deserves major kudos for nabbing Clinton Portis in the second round in 2002, and then two years later getting both cornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round pick for him in a trade. There's also Mike Anderson (2000, 6th round), Quentin Griffin (2003, 4th round) and Tatum Bell (2004, 2nd round). But at other positions, especially receiver, the results have been spotty.
Kansas City Chiefs
Way too many swings and misses for the Arrowheads. A first-round pick for backup running back Larry Johnson in 2003? A third-rounder for receiver Marvin Minnis in 2001 and a No. 1 for receiver Sylvester Morris in 2000? Even defensive tackle Ryan Sims (1st round, 2002) hasn't developed into the dominant force the Chiefs hoped for. On the plus side, linebacker Scott Fujita was a steal in 2002's fifth round.
Oakland Raiders
It's tough to grade a team willing to take a kicker -- Sebastian Janikowski -- with its 2000 first-round pick. There have been some success stories, like seventh-round receiver Ronald Curry in 2002, and fifth-round receiver Doug Gabriel in 2003. But the top of the 2003 class has been a disappointment. The Raiders had five first-day picks, and haven't gotten much out of the likes of cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, defensive end Tyler Brayton, tight end Teyo Johnson and running back Justin Fargas.
San Diego Chargers
Even Charger-haters would have to admit the Eli Manning trade looks like a beauty so far. San Diego got this year's No. 12 overall pick from the Giants, a fifth-rounder and quarterback Philip Rivers, who might still emerge as the team's franchise arm. In 2001, San Diego dealt Micheal Vick's rights to Atlanta and came away with LaDainian Tomlinson, two picks and Tim Dwight. On the down side, cornerback Quentin Jammer (1st, 2002) hasn't lived up to his No. 5-overall pick.

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