Every team made a blunder and a burglary in the 2014 NFL draft. So which was which for the AFC West division?
Burglary: Bradley Roby
There is no doubt the Denver Broncos can directly thank their lucky star, or the San Francisco 49ers in this case for the fact they were able to nab Ohio State corner Bradley Roby. Despite needing a corner, the 49ers chose to pass on Roby who struggled early in 2013 and has his share of off-the-field problems. Denver didn’t hesitate. Roby was rated among the most athletically gifted in the entire 2014 class, and should’ve gone higher.
Blunder: Michael Schofield
Protecting Peyton Manning is of course top priority so it’s never a bad thing when a team invests in offensive linemen. However the Broncos may have reached a little bit on Michael Schofield. While most certainly big and possessing quick feet, he is not a very good athlete and lacks the desired power for a right tackle or guard. His ceiling may be a swing backup, which is not what a team wants out of a 3rd round pick.
San Diego Chargers
Burglary: Jeremiah Attaochu
They did trade up to get him but the San Diego Chargers were smart to do so. Jeremiah Attaochu has the talent and the temperament of a pro coming out of the 2014 NFL draft. Not only does he have the speed and athleticism to get after the quarterback, his greatest asset may be his temperament. Attaochu is a fiery leader who demands more of teammates and gets under the skin of opponents. The Chargers will learn to love him.
Blunder: Ryan Carrethers
I don’t debate the fact that San Diego went after a nose tackle. They could use one. The issue is with the one they took. Ryan Carrethers certainly fits the mold at 337 lbs but he doesn’t have ideal quickness and is only 6’1″ which allows offensive linemen to control him. What made the pick worse was that Daniel McCullers of Tennessee, at 6’7″ and 352 lbs was still on the board.
Kansas City Chiefs
Burglary: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
There was a risk in the Kansas City Chiefs taking McGill tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif since he could opt to play in the CFL instead. Still, it was worth the risk for the Chiefs. Duvernay-Tardif had quietly risen up boards late in the 2014 NFL draft process on the strength of being one of the better pass blockers of the class. Highly intelligent, light on his feet, athletic and gritty he has starter potential. So to get him in the 6th round is outstanding.
Blunder: De’Anthony Thomas
It’s easy to understand the desire to replace Dexter McCluster who was a terrific weapon for the Chiefs offense before departing in free agency. Even so Kansas City still had other needs to address when they selected De’Anthony Thomas. No doubt he is a threat with the ball in his hands but not only did the Chiefs pass up a chance to get help at safety or wide receiver, which were needs, it’s possible they took Thomas a round earlier than he should’ve gone due to injury concerns.
Burglary: Khalil Mack
Considered by many to be the best overall prospect in the entire draft, the fact that the Oakland Raiders got Khalil Mack with the 5th overall pick is a steal in and of itself. His ability to rush the passer, tackle and play coverage comprises a rare skill set that will make him a nightmare to handle for opposing offenses provided his success wasn’t limited to second-rate competition at Buffalo.
Blunder: Shelby Harris
As late as this pick was it’s still hard to ignore the fact that Oakland passes on some quality defensive ends still on the board in favor of getting Shelby Harris. Not only is he inconsistent and lacking quickness, he also has characters and weight issues coming out of college. Some might say that is worth the risk in the 7th round but not with names like James Gayle, Ethan Westbrooks and Jackson Jeffcoat still available.