Draft Takeaways: AFC West

This year’s NFL draft process and offseason have been extremely unique and interesting to see play out. Many teams in the AFC West have used this draft to try and compete with the Chiefs in the near future. While this is going to be very hard considering the Chief’s young core of superstars, many of these teams can be true playoff contenders in a possible wild card spot a few years down the line. This division is full of bright futures and soon it could become one o the harder divisions to win in in football.

Kansas City Chiefs

Team draft picks:

Round 2: Pick 58  (LB Nick Bolton)

Round 2: Pick 63 (C Creed Humphrey)

Round 4: Pick 144 (DE Joshua Kaindoh)

Round 5: Pick 162 (TE Noah Gray)

Round 5: Pick 181 (WR Cornell Powell)

Round 6: Pick 226 (G Trey Smith)

Kansas City Chiefs 2021 NFL draft caps revealed by New Era

After sacrificing multiple draft picks for Orlando Brown Jr, including this year’s first-rounder, the Chiefs still managed to bring in a pretty decent draft class. Nick Bolton addressed a position of need for them and although they may have not pulled in as many starters as they would’ve liked, they still received pretty good value considering their lack of draft capital. With this draft the Chiefs have shown that they think that Patrick Mahomes can succeed with his current weapons, as they didn’t pick another one until the 5th round. Protection may have been what cost the Chiefs last year’s Superbowl, and with the loss of starting tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, the Chiefs tried to improve their offensive line, as they signed guard Joe Thuney and traded for a young elite offensive tackle in Orlando Brown. Their O-line could still use some improvement, but with the addition of center Creed Humphrey (who they may try to develop behind Austin Blythe), it’s looking more and more complete. The Chiefs seem to have decided that Mike Remmers will be able to hold up on the right side of the line, as they drafted no future successor to him unless someone is willing to moe positions. Overall, the Chiefs looked to make Patrick Mahomes happy, and although, aside from Nick Bolton, they may look to develop most of their draft picks for a couple of years before starting them, they did draft pretty decent players in positions of need to try and propel them to another Super Bowl.

Denver Broncos

Team draft picks:

Round 1: Pick 9 (CB Patrick Surtain II)

Round 2: Pick 35 (RB Javonte Williams)

Round 3: Pick 98 (G Quinn Meinerz)

Round 3: Pick 105 (LB Baron Browning) 

Round 5: Pick 152 (S Caden Sterns)

Round 5: Pick 164 (S Jamar Johnson)

Round 6: Pick 219 (WR Seth Williams)

Round 7: Pick 237 (CB Kary Vincent)

Round 7: Pick 239 (LB Jonathon Cooper)

Round 7: Pick 253 (DE Marquiss Spencer)

Denver Broncos 2021 draft: Analyzing instant impact for every pick

With this draft, (if the Aaron Rodgers deal doesn’t pan out) the Denver Broncos proved that they will ride with a Teddy Bridgewater-Drew Lock quarterback tandem with Lock most likely starting for yet another season. Drew Lock showed plenty of promise in the 5 games he played in 2019 but struggled a lot in 2020. It seems the Broncos have excused him, as the absence of Courtland Sutton and having a Covid-altered year may have affected his production. However, it looks like they may try to put more pressure on Lock to succeed with the addition of Bridgewater. The Broncos picked mainly defensive players this year, and despite having a pretty decent defense last year, the Broncos brought some elite additions in to help support it. With the Patrick Surtain II pick at number 9, it’s clear that either Ronald Darby, Bryce Callahan, or Kyle Fuller will have to go next season. While it may be a surprising selection considering all the Broncos cornerbacks are coming off of pretty good seasons, Surtain II will probably replace either Fuller or Darby next year (both will get lots of money next year), and Denver could have one of the secondaries in football next season. It also appears that the Broncos are trying to give themselves leverage in contract negotiations with Kareem Jackson next year. Whether Jacksons is replaced or not, Caden Sterns and Jamar Johnson are both positive additions that could have a very good impact in years to come. The gap left by Phillip Lindsay’s departure has been filled by North Carolina running back Javonte Williams and the coverage linebacker need has been solved with Baron Browning and Jonathon Cooper. Quinn Meinerz should be able to contribute at the guard position pretty decently and overall the Broncos filled multiple spots where they needed improvement.

Las Vegas Raiders:

Team draft picks:

Round 1: Pick 17 (OL Alex Leatherwood)

Round 2: Pick 43 (S Trevon Moehrig)

Round 3: Pick 79 (DE Malcolm Koonce)

Round 3: Pick 80 (DB Divine Deablo)

Round 4: Pick 143 (S Tyree Gillespie) 

Round 5: Pick 167 (CB Nate Hobbs)

Round 7: Pick 230 (C Jimmy Morrissey)

What players did the Las Vegas Raiders select? NFL Draft 2021 tracker,  latest picks - oregonlive.com

Rodney Hudson left the Raiders to join the Cardinals this offseason, and although the addition of Alex Leatherwood may have been a slight reach considering the other offensive line prospects on the board it allows the Raiders to move around their o-line to fill the hole left by Hudson’s departure. They got two safeties with plenty of upside in Trevon Moehrig and Tyree Gillespie which points to them trying to gut and rebuild their defensive with these younger, high potential developing players. The Raiders seem to be stuck in the middle and they really need one of these draft picks to break out and push them into serious playoff contention. They are not exactly trying to win now it seems, but rather trying to see if they can put themselves in a win now positon a few years down the line.

Los Angeles Chargers

Team draft picks:

Round 1: Pick 13 (OL Rashawn Slater)

Round 2: Pick 47 (CB Asante Samuel Jr.)

Round 3: Pick 77 (WR Josh Palmer)

Round 3: Pick 97 (TE Tre’ McKitty)

Round 4: Pick 118 (LB Chris Rumph II)

Round 5: Pick 159 (OT Brenden Jaimes)

Round 6: Pick 185 (LB Nick Niemann)

Round 6: Pick 198 (RB Larry Rountree III)

Round 7: Pick 241 (S Mark Webb)

What players did the Los Angeles Chargers select? NFL Draft 2021 tracker,  latest picks - oregonlive.com

Rashawn Slater and Justin Herbert will be the cornerstones to the future of the Chargers franchise. These two young players will grow and develop alongside each other, and while it isn’t Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater certainly has the potential to be a top offensive lineman. Asante Samuel Jr will be Casey Hayward Jr’s replacement, and alongside Chris Harris Jr (Chargers seem to have a lot of people with the same name as their parents) they look to support their defense that allowed 26.6 points per game last year. With elite additions this offseason, the Chargers look to be legitimate contenders for the playoffs. This draft proved that they are trying to set up their future for success, and as of now it’s looking bright.