Grading the 2010 NFL Draft – AFC West


They say you cannot really grade a draft until at least three years have gone by. Players that look great in shorts may not translate well onto an NFL roster. Players that are great in year one might fizzle out by year three. Likewise, players that don’t even see the field in the first season may turn out to be complete studs by year three. So here we are in 2013 and the draft class of 2010 has had three seasons to prove their mettle and therefore “they” say that we can now grade this draft class. But how do we do this? Do we simply use the eyeball test? I am a nerd at heart and I love numbers. So I have attempted to quantify things beyond just an eyeball test. This is a far from perfect system. It simply gives us a jumping off point in the discussion.

Please check out this link for an explanation on how I came about these numbers and what they mean.

Here is the AFC East breakdown.
Here is the AFC North breakdown.
Here is the AFC South breakdown.

This is part four…

Denver Broncos

PlayerSchoolPositionPick(Rd)Raw ScoreWeighted ScoreDraft Value
Demaryius ThomasGeorgia TechWR22(1)13.9214.71-46.00
Tim Tebow FloridaQB25(1)11.8612.62-63.00
Zane BeadlesUtahOT45(2)19.5821.8332.00
J. D. Walton BaylorC80(3)17.5021.0750.00
Eric Decker MinnesotaWR87(3)15.6719.1534.00
Perrish Cox Oklahoma StateCB137(5)9.3612.6317.00
Eric Olsen Notre DameC183(6)5.898.6518.00
Syd’Quan Thompson CaliforniaCB225(7)2.714.2624.00
Jammie Kirlew IndianaDE232(7)0.210.33-6.00
  • Total Raw Score: 96.71 (6th)
  • Total Weighted Score: 115.24 (6th)
  • Average Raw Score: 10.75 (6th)
  • Average Weighted Score: 12.80 (8th)
  • Total Draft Value: +60 (11th)
  • Average Draft Value: +6.67 (12th)

Analysis: Ah the 2010 NFL Draft, the one that most people think cost Josh McDaniels his job. And that thinking all centers around the trade up into the first round to select Tim Tebow, a lightning rode for debate across the entire NFL fan base. In this day of instant quarterback gratification, a first round quarterback who starts only 1/3 of the games in his first three seasons and is traded and then released by his new team is not good value. But beyond the Tebow conundrum lies a very solid draft that perhaps McDaniels doesn’t get enough credit for. Demaryius Thomas is dinged on the numbers here because, like most receivers, it took a few seasons for him to really crack the starting lineup. But with the signing of Peyton Manning last season, Thomas as exploded on the scene and provided the Broncos with all that you can ask of a first round receiver. But despite the first two “reaches”, this draft is littered with talent. Walton and Beadles are both three year starters on the interior of the offensive line. Walton would be rated even higher if he didn’t miss 75% of the season with an injury in 2012. Eric Decker started the last two seasons at receiver. Perrish Cox is a talented role player who was let go after legal issues. The late round picks didn’t produce very much. But a draft that yields four starters on offense is a draft that most GMs would take every year. But that one pick prevented McDaniels from harvesting the fruits of his draft.

Kansas City Chiefs

PlayerSchoolPositionPick(Rd)Raw ScoreWeighted ScoreDraft Value
Eric BerryTennesseeS5(1)18.8819.12-14.00
Dexter McCluster Ole MissRB36(2)12.9114.10-41.00
Javier Arenas AlabamaCB50(2)12.3413.92-32.00
Jon Asamoah IllinoisG68(3)16.5419.4127.00
Tony Moeaki IowaTE93(3)15.9219.6946.00
Kendrick Lewis Ole MissS136(5)17.1723.12102.00
Cameron Sheffield TroyDE142(5)4.135.63-41.00
  • Total Raw Score: 97.89 (5th)
  • Total Weighted Score: 114.98 (7th)
  • Average Raw Score: 13.98 (1st)
  • Average Weighted Score: 16.43 (1st)
  • Total Draft Value: +47 (13th)
  • Average Draft Value: +6.71 (11th)

Analysis: Kansas City is a prime example of the importance of the position of quarterback. 2010 yielded a bevy of talent with four full time starters and two part time starters out of seven total picks. Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis are the starting safety duo for the Chiefs on defense with Berry making two Pro Bowls. The only negative affecting these two is the fact that Berry missed all of 2011 with an injury. But there is no denying the talent and in the case of Lewis, a fifth round pick, the value. Asamoah has been a two year starter at guard and Moeaki would have been a three year starter if not for a knee injury in 2011. Arenas has been a role player/spot starter for three seasons before being traded this offseason to the Cardinals. McCluster is a change of pace back and returner. McCluster’s value as a second rounder may have been a bit of a reach but it’s hard to argue with a player that is utilized so often and in so many ways. Pound for pound this draft has provided the most playing time per pick than any other team’s draft in 2010. It’s difficult to imagine that this team was bad enough to be picking first overall in 2013.

Oakland Raiders

PlayerSchoolPositionPick(Rd)Raw ScoreWeighted ScoreDraft Value
Rolando McClain AlabamaLB8(1)17.8118.17-18.00
Lamarr Houston TexasDT44(2)18.9621.0928.00
Jared Veldheer HillsdaleOT69(3)18.9622.2952.00
Bruce Campbell MarylandOT106(4)3.965.03-79.00
Jacoby Ford ClemsonWR108(4)10.0012.75-4.00
Walter McFadden AuburnCB138(5)0.831.13-85.00
Travis Goethel Arizona StateLB190(6)3.134.64-7.00
Jeremy Ware Michigan StateCB215(7)1.672.586.00
Stevie Brown MichiganS251(7)11.2018.37158.00
  • Total Raw Score: 86.51 (9th)
  • Total Weighted Score: 106.05 (9th)
  • Average Raw Score: 9.61 (12th)
  • Average Weighted Score: 11.78 (15th)
  • Total Draft Value: +51 (12th)
  • Average Draft Value: +5.67 (13th)

Analysis: It’s low hanging fruit to pick on the Oakland Raiders for drafting athletic, high upside guys each and every year. Sometimes it pays off handsomely. 2010 reaped some of the benefits of drafting raw athletic talent. It also bore some of the resulting risk as well. Rolando McClaine has all of the talent in the world, it’s the off-the-field issues that get in the way. Each season has seen his playing time diminish be it injury or “extra-curricular” activities. Eventually Oakland had enough this offseason and waived his rights. In the second round the Raiders picked up a solid starting defensive lineman in Houston. Jared Veldheer has locked down the starting left tackle position, the most critical on the offensive line. Jacoby Ford suffered an injury and missed 2012 but was a starter prior. Unfortunately there has been little to no value in later rounds. Bruce Campbell, Walter McFadden, and Stevie Brown are all with other teams. But other than McClain’s off field transgressions, the athletic route in picking players paid off handsomely in 2010.

San Diego Chargers

PlayerSchoolPositionPick(Rd)Raw ScoreWeighted ScoreDraft Value
Ryan MathewsFresno StateRB12(1)17.3417.87-19.00
Donald Butler WashingtonLB79(3)15.8319.0231.00
Darrell Stuckey KansasS110(4)5.637.20-60.00
Cam Thomas North CarolinaDT146(5)9.0612.4322.00
Jonathan Crompton TennesseeQB168(5)0.630.89-62.00
Dedrick Epps Miami (FL)TE235(7)1.252.0020.00
  • Total Raw Score: 49.73 (25th)
  • Total Weighted Score: 59.42 (27th)
  • Average Raw Score: 8.29 (20th)
  • Average Weighted Score: 9.90 (23rd)
  • Total Draft Value: -68 (19th)
  • Average Draft Value: -11.33 (22nd)

Analysis: Trying to replace L.T. a surefire first ballot hall-of-fame running back is not a good way to head into an NFL draft. LaDanian Tomlinson was no longer a Charger for the first time since 2000 and the Chargers were desperate to find some running back help. The Chargers traded up 16 spots to draft Ryan Matthews. Matthews has averaged about 800 yards and less than 5 touchdowns a season since the move. What’s more is that he’s also averaging several games per season where he sits out due to injury. Not exactly the value you expect when trading up. The trade up cost the Chargers their second round pick as well. In the third round San Diego acquired linebacker Darrell Butler. After that, however, the closest thing to a starter acquired in the draft is nose tackle Cam Thomas, penciled in to start this season. It’s an unenviable position to try to fill the hole left by a hall-of-famer. But it’s going from bad to worse when you try to force that transition.