AFC West: best and worst draft picks for every team in the division

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Denver Broncos

Best Pick: Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

I’m rooting for Shane Ray (to an extent), but this is partially by default. The Broncos traded a first-round pick, two fifth-rounders and Manny Ramirez to draft him. And toe injury and weed wonderland aside, there are still questions pertaining to how his overall game (e.g. run defense) projects at the next level.

That said, the NFL is a pass-oriented league, and Kansas City proved that a top-tier tandem of edge-rushers can be deadly, especially if backed by a solid secondary; Denver has both.

Worst Pick: Ty Sambrailo, Tackle, Colorado State

I don’t know where—and I don’t want to—but 70 percent of me believes John Elway has a “carpe diem” tattoo. It’s like he just said screw it, turned the lights off and shot nine paintballs at the big board.

Elway also plucked tight end Jeff Heuerman, whose injury history includes a chronic Lisfranc issue. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL on the second day of rookie minicamp and will miss the entire 2015 season now.

Center Max Garcia is a marginal athlete paired with a zone-blocking scheme.

But the biggest head-scratcher is Sambrailo, whom Elway envisions at right tackle. Relative to the position, he has average (at best) arm length and subpar strength.

Samrailo’s athleticism is tailor-made for Kubiak’s scheme, but he’s a Day 3 talent who, in all likelihood, is going to be tasked with protecting Peyton Manning.

Also, there’s that whole getting-stabbed-in-a-fight-and-requiring-14-stitches thing.