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2021 Day One Draft Grades: AFC West

How did your favourite AFC West team do one day one of the draft?

Kansas City Chiefs: No pick

The Chiefs gave up their first-round pick in this year’s draft to the Ravens for Orlando Brown. It is difficult to fault them for it. After getting rid of both of their starting tackles, they needed to find another guy to protect Mahomes’ blindside. They pick at 58 tonight.

Denver Broncos: A

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama: I’ll say it again: you can never have too many corners in the AFC, especially in the AFC West. It wouldn’t have made sense for them to draft Justin Fields here. Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater could both turn out to be capable starters and Surtain II is going to be a solid corner day one. A lot of analysts are saying that this was a bad pick, but if Surtain II turns out to be half the player that a lot of people think he can be, it will be worth it.

Oakland Raiders: A-

Alex Leatherwood, OG/C, Alabama: One of my proudest moments in the draft was calling this pick. The Raiders are always all over the place, but I think this pick made a lot of sense for them. They’re rebuilding their offensive line, meaning that a guy who can play multiple positions, even if he may not be quite as good as some of the other guys that were available, is a great asset. I still would have taken Jenkins of Darrisaw here (which is why this is an A-) but Oakland clearly values versatility on the offensive line pretty highly.

Los Angeles Chargers: A+

Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern: See, this is the difference between functional franchises and dysfunctional ones. This is the kind of pick that Cincinnati SHOULD have made. Dysfunctional franchises are always making the flashy pick instead of the smart pick. In this case, LA decided that protecting their star QB was the most important thing. Herbert will now have a solid player to protect his blindside for years in Slater. Considering the fact that I’ve always thought that Slater was the best OT in this class, I also think this is a huge value pick. Make no mistake, the Chargers are thanking their lucky stars that Slater was around at 13.