2,478

Grading the AFC West; and the winner is …

Share

When chasing a team as dominant as the Denver Broncos, the key is to make the most of your opportunities over a sustained period.
The Raiders took another step forward in this year’s NFL draft and closed the gap, if only slightly, by scoring a direct hit on linebacker Khalil Mack in the first round.
If they develop some of their seven other picks into starters, then they can lay claim to having the best draft class among AFC West teams. For now, they get the benefit of doubt based solely on Mack’s potential to be the best player from this draft.
Here’s a team-by-team look at how the four AFC West teams fared, from best to worst:

1. Raiders – It would be hard to go wrong with the No. 5 pick in a draft regarded as one of the deepest and most talented in years. Still, it’s hard to envision things going much better for the Raiders than they did in this draft, at least in the first two rounds. Linebacker Khalil Mack fell in their laps, even though he was regarded by some as the best player in the entire draft. Quarterback Derek Carr lasted until the second round, which enabled the Raiders to take a chance at finding a long-term solution at a position that has been in flux since Rich Gannon retired. General manager Reggie McKenzie also might have found a starting guard in Gabe Jackson. If nothing else, he improved the depth on his roster with his final six selections.

LB Khalil Mack
QB Derek Carr
G Gabe Jackson
DT Justin Ellis
DB Keith McGill
CB Travis Carrie
DE Shelby Harris
S Jonathan Dowling

2. Broncos – The Broncos addressed their two most-glaring needs with their first two picks when they selected cornerback Bradley Roby and wide receiver Cody Latimer. Roby helps offset the loss of veteran Champ Bailey – Aqib Talib was signed to be the immediate starter – and Cody Latimer gives quarterback Peyton Manning another candidate to fill the void created by the departure of Eric Decker. The Broncos grip on the AFC West just got a little bit tighter.

CB Bradley Roby
WR Cody Latimer
OT Michael Schofield
LB Lamin Barrow
C Matt Paradis
LB Corey Nelson

3. Chargers – They went for solid over splash, with every one of their first four selections talented enough to start or make a significant contribution in the short term, if not next season. Verrett is the crown jewel of the bounty, but Attaochu, Watt and Carrethers address immediate needs. Grice and Reese are long-shots to make the 53-man roster.

CB Jason Verrett
LB Jeremiah Attaochu
G Chris Watt
DT Ryan Carrethers
RB Marion Grice
WR Tevin Reese

4. Chiefs – It’s unlikely that the Chiefs reeled in any immediate help from this draft class, with the possible exception of De’Anthony Thomas as a replacement for departed free agent Dexter McCluster. Ford likely will be a situational pass rusher on one of the league’s most talented defenses. Gaines is a bit of stretch in the third round. Great move by the Chiefs to gamble on a potential replacement for quarterback Alex Smith with Aaron Murray in the fifth round.

DE Dee Ford
CB Phillip Gaines
RB De’Anthony Thomas
QB Aaron Murray
G Zach Fulton
OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Share

Steve Corkran

  • xraided

    if they prove their worth against SEA and SF, then that means Jackson and Watson were good draft picks. Jackson is exceptional. best pure guard in terms of raw power… will be a road grater that’s for sure

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    The purses are barely warmed up.

  • May I recommend when in the shower.

  • PlunkforHOF

    I bet you’re blast at weddings.

  • nolimits3333

    Our D sucked last year.

  • People have been predicting a move to a 3-4 every one of the 6 years I have been posting on here.
    DA is a 4-3 coach. We will show 3-4 looks of course, 3-3-5, 4-2-5 all that stuff.
    But we are a base 4-3 team.

  • Elliot

    Sorry What Were You watching? it was playing well for a while then collapsed

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    i have a feeling our defense is going to be knockin some teeth out. we can stuff the run and get after QB’s. DB’s got it covered. can we score enough points? A lot of that depends on Schaub’s health and the running game

  • RediaR

    We use multiple fronts. The designated base D really is meaningless.

  • xraided

    i’m liking our OL depth…in fact i’m loving it… esp in platoon packages… just power run the sht out of the ball with our backs…

    Sporano is an OL(soon to be HC) coach that you can trust will put this together.

  • As long as the passing game is working.
    5 lineman can’t block 7 guys.

  • Elliot

    Of course….I realize that but it is initially a base 4-3…

  • PlunkforHOF

    A constitutional right to not be put in jail for his words by the government. Has no bearing on the NBA’s right to sanction him or even revoke his franchise.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    DL

    Tuck
    Mack
    Smith
    McGee
    Sims
    Woodley
    Ellis
    Robinson
    Crawford
    Harris

    I could see a trade coming to improve this DLine

  • PlunkforHOF

    That said, he was set up by his hooker girlfriend… you get what you pay for.

  • RediaR

    Matt McGloin for JJ Watt straight up.

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    why??

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    You should’ve been at his!

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    was thinking Jelly for Suh, myself

  • RediaR

    Well yeah. Just means little.

  • It is not a constitutional thing, but there is some corporate law/exemption/NBA bi-law fight to be surely had.
    And since this has never been ruled on, this will set the precedent.

  • Elliot

    Bro I agree with you

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Matt would kick his butt.

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    geys welcome to the NFL. up next? dudes that like to hump animals, trees and siblings …

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Leave me out of this.

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    lol, purv. u crazy. i didnt mention Palmer posters or jerseys

  • PatrickBateman

    Top 5 in rushing offense next year and if so, could see us at 9-7 easily

  • RaiderDirt

    With no pass rush, even the best secondaries will be exposed & exploded

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    Patrick Bates? where ya been?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I don’t like Carson that much.

  • Elliot

    So guys basically we signed 11 udfas? I checked silver and black but no updated today

  • PatrickBateman

    Hiding

  • EDWARD TEACH

    I’m not predicting anything, just pointing out that Reggie has recently been bringing in young players that could fit very well into a 3-4 alignment. They will go with whatever scheme gives them the best players they can put on the field. Reggie is a BPA guy; his drafts will indicate more about his leanings than anything you or I can predict.

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    i didnt either, until we saw what Flynn & Pryor were capable of

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    DB coach somewhere?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Be careful what you wish for.

  • We were 10 yard a game away from being a top 5 rushing team last year.
    We are going to need more then that.

  • SnBG

    Our D had no real depth like it does this year. That’s the only reason .

  • Papertiger

    He had some videotapes to return.

  • SnBG

    That’s the only reason they where not as good as they could have been with depth.

  • SnBG

    Thank you SnBG for clarifying that first part.

  • SnBG

    You’re welcome SnBG.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    Ah, yes. The slippery slope argument. Still as discredited as always.

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    safety Patrick Bates with Mark Davis #memories

  • PlunkforHOF

    Apparently the word w-h-or-e is a no-no on Disqus.

  • r8ter4evr

    SnGB does as SnGB is TOLD

  • IAmAlwaysWrong

    lol. i’m sure Purv has been called worse!

  • r8ter4evr

    That’s horse sh$t

  • SnBG

    Reminds me of the movie ReferMadness.

  • PatrickBateman

    Pryor had a lot to do with that. If we are top 5 this year I think it’s a different result, W – L wise