Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs showed that they’re thinking about life after Alex Smith, trading up to select Patrick Mahomes at pick 10. Mahomes is an athletic gunslinger who looks to make plays. Even though they were aggressive to grab him, this pick will put the organization behind in the AFC West, in my opinion. Mahomes needs time to develop patience in moving the ball methodically down the field and not risking turnovers.
In the 2nd round the Chiefs selected defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon who is physically imposing at 6’7” but is still raw and will need more time to learn the details of the game.
With their 3rd round selection, Kansas City chose running back Kareem Hunt, who may take over primary running back duties with his quick and shifty moves. The 4th round pick of wide receiver Jehu Chesson can help to stretch the defense vertically.
In the 6th round, they drafted another sleeper prospect in Safety Leon McQuay, who can learn from all-pro safety Eric Berry but also has the speed and physicality to excel in coverage himself.
With their 1st round pick, the Raiders took a big chance on defensive back Gareon Conley. This was a high risk, high reward selection: Conley has the cover skills to contribute early but only if he is cleared of his sexual assault allegations. Conley is a player who, if cleared, could tip the scales in the AFC West for years to come.
In the 2nd round, Oakland selected explosive safety Obi Melifonwu; he’ll be a match up chess piece. Obi can match up with bigger TEs and cover faster WRs, so he is a great addition to the back end of the defense and can learn from incumbent Reggie Nelson.
In the round 3, the Raiders took a chance with defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes. He is quick and can create havoc on the defensive line. That said, he will need to keep his weight down and play with more gap control discipline going forward.
In the 4th round, Oakland selected offensive tackle David Sharpe who is an athletic offensive lineman with smooth feet when changing direction. Sharpe will need a few years to improve the power in his hand strike and keeping his shoulders upright.
In an effort to push back to the top of the AFC West, the Broncos took some chances on players that have high potential and could become quality starters. In the 1st round they chose to protect their franchise quarterback, selecting offensive tackle Garett Bolles. I like this pick because Bolles plays with a nasty demeanor, one that could help get the Broncos running game moving forward while simultaneously protecting QB Paxton Lynch.
2nd round selection Demarcus Walker is a team player who has subtle quickness and strength. He’s apt to control the line of scrimmage effectively. Walker went under the radar because his shorter arms may make it difficult for him to disengage with offensive lineman at the NFL level.
In the 3rd round Denver selected WR Carlos Henderson, who is an explosive play maker. He can catch a 4 yard pass and break it into a long touchdown.
In the 5th round Denver chose TE Jake Butt, a steal due to an ACL injury. Butt compares favorably to Jason Witten: not overly fast but he does have the natural instincts to know how to sit in zone coverage holes and he has reliable hands.
The Broncos capitalized on teams passing on quarterback Chad Kelly and selected him with the last pick of the draft. His arm talent is fantastic but they must keep him focused on football.
Los Angeles Chargers
I personally thought the Chargers had one of the better drafts in the league. In the 1st round they selected wide receiver Mike Williams, who will immediately help Phillip Rivers push the ball downfield and score in the red zone.
In the 2nd round, the Chargers landed possibly the best offensive prospect in this class in offensive guard Forrest Lamp. In the 3rd round, Los Angeles selected offensive guard Dan Feeney to further compliment Lamp. Feeney is a brawler and physical at the point of contact. Investing heavily in their offensive line will help keep the aging Phillip Rivers clean in the pocket and continue Melvin Gordon’s resurgence.
In round 5, the Chargers selected defensive back Desmond King, who was beaten regularly at the Reeses’ Senior Bowl week. That said, King could prove to be a steal in years to come because the Senior Bowl solidified that teams should use him in zone coverage. He can be very effective in that role.
In the 7th round they added a depth piece to their defensive line with Notre Dame’s Isaac Rochell. Rochell is powerful at the point of contact, can stop the run and does provide decent pass rush skills.