American Football

NFL Draft Recap: AFC West

Photo courtesy of Sports Information Traders
NFL Draft Recap: AFC West

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Round 1, Pick 7- Mike Williams, Wide Receiver, Clemson
  • Round 2, Pick 38- Forrest Lamp, Guard, Western Kentucky
  • Round 3, Pick 71-Dan Feeney, Guard, Indiana
  • Round 4, Pick 113- Rayshawn Jenkins, Defensive Back, Miami
  • Round 5, Pick 151- Desmond King, Defensive Back, Iowa
  • Round 6, Pick 190- Sam Tevi, Offensive Tackle, Utah
  • Round 7, Pick 225- Issac Rochell, Defensive End, Notre Dame

Mike Williams does need a bit of polish on some more minute aspects, but his big catch ability and athleticism is off the charts. The Chargers didn’t pick another ball handler in the draft, but Mike Williams is good enough to stand in for two or three picks by himself. Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney will definitely keep the aging Phillip Rivers healthy, with Sam Tevi pitching in on that front when he’s needed. Desmond King and Rayshawn Jenkins will plug some big holes in the secondary, and Issac Rochell may provide some nice depth if he makes the team. LA got their big splash in Williams, but they also gave Phillip Rivers a monster weapon to combine with the existing monster Antonio Gates. From there, they plugged necessary holes, but maybe most importantly shored up their shaky offensive line to make sure Rivers can use his weapons.

Denver Broncos

  • Round 1, Pick 20- Garrett Boles, Offensive Tackle, Utah
  • Round 2, Pick 51- Demarcus Walker, Defensive End, Florida State
  • Round 3, Pick 82- Carlos Henderson, Wide Receiver, Louisiana Tech
  • Round 3, Pick 101- Brenden Langley, Defensive Back, Lamar
  • Round 5, Pick 145- Jake Butt, Tight End, Michigan
  • Round 5, Pick 172- Isaiah McKenzie, Wide Receiver, Georgia
  • Round 6, Pick 203- De’Angelo Henderson, Running Back, Coastal Carolina
  • Round 7, Pick 253- Chad Kelly, Quarterback, Ole Miss

Garrett Boles will be a day one starter and provide the missing link in Denver’s line. Demarcus Walker and Branden Langley provide the only defensive aid, but Denver isn’t exactly hurting for more defensive studs. They provide some great help in any case. Carlos Henderson and Isaiah McKenzie will provide targets to Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, or Chad Kelly, who may fight back from injury and being the last pick in the draft to live up to his college potential. Jake Butt dropped pretty far due to an injury suffered during Michigan’s Bowl Game and is likely to sit out a portion of OTAs, but he will provide a dynamic blocking and pass catching tool for the QB, whoever it may be. De’Angelo Henderson may not make the team since the Broncos will be splitting time between CJ Anderson and new addition Jamaal Charles. The offense is set with tools, now it just needs to figure out who will use them to engineer another playoff run.

Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders

  • Round 1, Pick 24- Gaeron Conley, Defensive Back, Ohio State
  • Round 2, Pick 56- Obi Melifonwu, Defensive Back, Connecticut
  • Round 3, Pick 88- Eddie Vanderdoes, Defensive Tackle, UCLA
  • Round 4, Pick 129- David Sharpe, Offensive Tackle, Florida
  • Round 5, Pick 168- Marquel Lee, Linbacker, Wake Forest
  • Round 7, Pick 221- Shalom Luani, Defensive Back, Washington State
  • Round 7, Pick 231- Jylan Ware, Offensive Tackle, Alabama State
  • Round 7, Pick 242- Elijah Hood, Running Back, North Carolina
  • Round 7, Pick 244- Treyvon Hester, Defensive Tackle, Toledo

The Raiders made a controversial first pick in Gaeron Conley, who was then and is still under investigation for sexual assault. If nothing comes of the charges, Conley will provide a big presence in the Oakland/Vegas backfield. The long and tall Melifonwu from UConn brings unusual height to the backfield, which will make him a jumpball threat at all times.Eddie Vanderdoes, Marquel Lee, Shalom Luani, and Treyvon Hester will back up the playoff defense in Las Oak-gas. Elijah Hood will likely be a role player behind the returning Beast Mode, Marshawn Lynch, and David Sharpe will try to keep Derek Carr healthy as he comes back from a fibula break that completely derailed the Raiders’ chances in the playoffs. Oakland is primed for a playoff return following a defense heavy draft, and the offense will return to form as Derek Carr returns to the helm.

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Round 1, Pick 10- Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Texas Tech
  • Round 2, Pick 59- Tanoh Kpassagnon, Defensive End, Villanova
  • Round 3, Pick 86, Kareem Hunt, Running Back, Toledo
  • Round 4, Pick 139, Jehu Chesson, Wide Receiver, Michigan
  • Round 5, Pick 183- Ukeme Eligwe, Linebacker, Georgia Southern
  • Lost a Sixth Round Pick for breaking anti-tampering rules
  • Round 6, Pick 218-  Leon McQuay III, Defensive Back, USC

Kansas City was pretty varied in their picks, balancing three offensive picks with three defensive picks. Patrick Mahomes is likely the chosen successor for Alex Smith, who is in his mid thirties and not exactly slowing down, but not getting any younger. Mahomes will sit and learn behind Smith for a few years before he takes the reins, in all likelihood. Kareem Hunt will split time with CJ Spiller and Spencer Ware, but will have a good chance at having a long run as the starting back. Jehu Chesson brings in a new target for Smith and a future target for Mahomes. Tanoh Kpassagnon and Ukeme Eligwe bring new life and depth to the pass rush, which was hurting with the departure of Dontari Poe and the leg injuries to Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson leaving gaps the past two seasons. Leon McQuay adds depth to the backfield, and he’ll have a great learning experience playing behind Eric Berry. Trading up for Mahomes has puzzled some, but evidently KC sees their future in Mahomes and were willing to give up a lot to get it.

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