AFC West Draft Overview

The NFL Draft has come and gone and it was very interesting. Giving out a draft grade for the draft is just nuts because these guys have not played a down in the league. With that said, for each team we are going to look at the following: Best Pick, Worse Pick, Diamond in the Rough and Best UDFA Signing.

This is completely speculative and we won’t know how good these guys are for a few years but here we go anyway.

DENVER BRONCOS
Best Pick: WR Troy Franklin
After trading Jerry Jeudy prior to the draft, the Broncos drafted Franklin. He is a slightly shorter version of Marques Colston and a perfect fit for Sean Payton’s offense. To make things even better, he played two years with Bo Nix and was his #1 receiver. Size, speed and a excellent route runner, he was a great pick.

Worse Pick: QB Bo Nix
This pick was forecasted and he is a great fit for Payton’s office. The reason it is the worse pick is where he was chosen (12th overall). After the crazy run on quarterbacks, the Broncos had to pull the trigger as they did not have a 2nd round pick. Time will tell with this one.

Diamond in the Rough: CB Kris Abrams-Draine
This guy will compete for the slot corner spot immediatley. He is a ball-hawking dog on the field. He reads quarterbacks as good as anyone in the draft. Getting this guy in the 5th round was one of the biggest steals of the draft.

Best UDFA Signing: OT Frank Crum
This guy had a great combine and was one of the best overall athletes for the OT position. He has a real shot at being a swing tackle as he has played both positions in college.

 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Best Pick: WR Xavier Worthy
Here comes the fastest receiver to ever run at the combine. This guy was the perfect fit for the Chiefs offense. With Worthy and free agent signing Marquise Brown, the Chiefs now have two receivers that have 4.2 speed.

Worse Pick: OT Kingsley Suamataia
This pick was a round or so too early. He has great size and is a pretty good athlete but he has has only played 23 games over three years. He is an average pass protector at this point and is still raw. He is a boom or bust prospect.

Diamond in the Rough: OL Hunter Nourzad
This guy has played RT, LG and Center. That should tell you how versatile he is. He will push for playing time this year. He is very smart but he has some serious nasty to his game. Getting him in the 5th round is a real steal.

Best UDFA Signing: LB Curtis Jacobs
This guy is a pretty good athlete with decent production on a team with star players. He is a glue guy to any defense and the kind of guy that Steve Spagnuolo will get the most out of.

 

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Best Pick: TE Brock Bowers
This pick was a flat out steal. Was it a need, no, but he was the best player available. This guy should have been off the board but with the top six quarterbacks off the board, he was the guy. Bowers is a matchup nightmare and will be used all over the field. With OC Luke Getsy using 12 personnel (one back and two tight ends) only 23.5% of the time, expect that number to increase significantly.

Worse Pick: OT DJ Glaze
The Raiders had to address the offensive line and drafted JPJ in the second round to play guard. Glaze is a tackle that is great at pass blocking but average at best in the run game. He was drafted a bit too early. This guy will be a swing tackle but will have to develop quickly to make the team.

Diamond in the Rough: CB Decamerion Richardson
This guy was made to play in Patrick Graham’s defense. His size and speed has been the missing element for the defense to take the next step. The key with him will be how quickly he develops and learns the defensive scheme.

Best UDFA Signing: WR/KR Lideatrick Griffin
This guy will have a real shot at making the team as a returner. He is very elusive and has above average speed. In 2022 he was the all SEC Retuner. He is a decent slot receiver but retuning will be where he makes the team.

 

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Best Pick: OT Joe Alt
Alt was arguably the best tackle in the draft. He will be an instant upgrade to the offensive line and help keep Justin Herbert upright. The only issue with this pick is what tackle position he will be playing. If he was drafted to play Left Tackle, this is the perfect pick. If he was drafted to play Right Tackle, there were better options as he never played RT in college at all.

Worse Pick: LB Junior Colson
Colson was one of if not the best linebackers in this years draft. He has great leadership skills, fantastic against the run and has a good chance of being the starting Middle Linebacker. His biggest draw backs are his trigger, coverage skills, but more importantly his speed or should that be his lack thereof. In a division with Travis Kelce, Michael Mayer and Brock Bowers, those concerns could come back to haunt him.

Diamond in the Rough: WR Brendon Rice
This is CRAZY!!! How does this guy slip to the 7th round. He is a good route runner, field stretcher (17.58 YPR) but a TD machine (12 TDs in 12 games). The Chargers made HUGE changes to their Wide Receiver room but somehow getting this guy is going to be a big help.

Best UDFA Signing: DB Akeem Dent
Dent is a true jack of all trades, master of none. He can play anywhere in the secondary with decent size (5’11”, 191) with 4.38 speed. He is the kind of chess piece that Jim Harbaugh loves to have on his team.

 

Well…..we are few months away from training camp and it can’t get here fast enough. So many questions to be answered and so many changes to be made. With that said, stand by for the stand by.

AFC West Outlook

Talk about an interesting free agency period so far, WOW! Trades, cuts and some great signings. This division is going to look a lot different this coming season. With the draft only a few weeks away, quality free agents still available and many moves to still be made, buckle up and get ready what promises to be a hell of a ride.

We are going to take a look at each team’s top signing, cut/trade, cap space, team needs and mock draft. Let’s get it….

Denver Broncos
Top Signing/s: C Sam Mustipher, S Brandon Jones, WR Josh Reynolds
Top Cuts: QB Russell Wilson, S Justin Simmons
Trades: WR Jerry Jeudy
Cap Space: $18,057,692
Team Needs: QB, CB, DT, Edge, OT
Mock Draft: QB Bo Nix
The Broncos have started to purge the roster to fit Sean Payton’s vision. The Wilson experiment is now over and Payton will be looking for the right fit for his offense. Enter Bo Nix. Quick release, check. Accurate all over the field, check. Timing Passer, check. Nix is taylormade for Payton’s offense. Expect the Broncos to move down in an attempt to pick up a 2nd rounder but if they can’t, Nix should still be the pick.

Las Vegas Raiders
Top Signing/s: RB Alexander Mattison, DT Christian Wilkins, QB Gardner Minshew
Top Cuts: QB Jimmy Garoppolo, WR Hunter Renfrow, DT Jerry Tillery
Trades: None
Cap Space: $25,276,353
Team Needs: QB, CB, OT, WR, IOL
Mock Draft: QB Michael Penix Jr.
The Raiders began the overhaul of their Quarterback room by releasing Garoppolo and Hoyer. They then signed Gardner Minshew. Enter Michael Penix Jr. He was made in a lab for the Raiders offense. He has pinpoint accuracy and throws the best deep ball in the draft. Adams and company will love this guy. Penix has a injury history but is healthy and is worth the risk.

Los Angeles Chargers
Top Signing/s: RB Gus Edwards, C Bradley Bozeman, TE Hayden Hurst
Top Cuts: WR Mike Williams, LB Eric Kendricks
Trades: Keenan Allen
Cap Space: $31,576,637
Team Needs: WR, CB, IOL, OT, RB
Mock Draft: WR Malik Nabers
The Chargers shocked the world by getting Jim Harbaugh to leave his alma mater and take over as the new Head Coach. They then released/traded their two top receivers and did not resign their starting tight end. Nabers is a true #1 receiver and a flatout dog. Expect him to be Herbert’s favorite target the minute he is drafted. He is half Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson and that is saying a lot.

Kansas City Chiefs
Top Signing/s: WR Hollywood Brown, TE Irv Smith Jr., P Matt Araiza
Top Cuts: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Trades: CB L’Jarius Sneed
Cap Space: $23,901,508
Team Needs: WR, OT, CB, RB, IOL
Mock Draft: WR Xavier Worthy
The Chiefs won the whole thing, again (I just puked in my mouth). With that said, the offense was lacking one thing, receivers with speed. They signed Brown to help in that department but Worthy is different. He is not a track guy playing football, he is a football player that has world class speed. Giving Mahomes a guy that is actually faster than Hill seems unfair but it will be fun to watch.

(Cap Space Numbers via Spotrac)

This year will be one of the most interesting drafts within the division, moreso than we’ve seen in a long time because of the mystery and the unknown. New coaches, new General Mangers, new outlooks.

Strap in guys, this is going to be a fun one!!!

AFC West Cap Space and Team Needs

It has been a while and I have missed you guys but now it is time to get back to business and drop a hot rock. Let me start by saying congratulations to the Chiefs on their Superbowl win (FUCK THE CHIEFS!).

We are a day away from the Scouting Combine and a few weeks away from the start of Free Agency and the official start to the NFL year. Let’s look at the salary cap situation for each team and the team needs prior to the start of free agency. We will revisit team needs along with mock drafts as the season progresses. Without further ado, let’s do this, MAN!

SALARY CAP SPACE

Raiders  $42,936,109 (11th)

The Raiders are expected to be players and sign a few top end free agents.

 

Chiefs  $17,139,240 (19th)

The Chiefs may focus on signing their own stars in Jones and Sneed.

 

Broncos -$16,811,078 (28th)

The Broncos must make a decision at quarterback and free up cap space.

 

Charger -$25,607,797 (29th)

The Chargers must free up a lot of cap space and make some big changes.

 

Overall, this will be one of the most interesting free agency periods in a long time for the AFC West as there are teams at both spectrums of the salary cap.

(Figures via Over the Cap on Feb 26)

 

TEAM NEEDS

Raiders – QB, IOL, OT, CB, RB

The Raiders must find their franchise quarterback this year. Expect them to look into moving up in the draft to get their guy.

 

Chiefs – DT, WR, OT, CB, RB

If the Chiefs are able to resign DT Jones, wide receiver will be the top priority.

 

Broncos – QB, DT, TE, CB, Edge

If the Broncos move on from Russell, quarterback becomes the top priority.

 

Chargers – CB, RB, DT, TE, C

The Chargers have to fix their secondary and find a true number one cornerback.

 

What surprises will this off season bring…….only the Shadow knows. It should make for some great entertainment.

Balls’ Week 16 Predicktions

Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Chargers – I expect the Chargers team to rally behind the new interim HC, and try to keep this game close early, but eventually Josh Allen and the Bills wear down a much inferior Chargers squad, and cover 27-13.

New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos – I expect the Patriots the scheme up defensively to hold the Broncos offense in check. This game will be close late, but I do expect the Broncos to hold off the Patriots 20-17.

Las Vegas Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs – Hard to say which Raiders and Chiefs teams show up. This game has the potential to be very evenly matched with the Raiders having a chance to win, it also has potential to be a blowout with Mahomes lighting up the Raiders defense, even with a lackluster receiving corps. I do expect the result to be somewhere in the middle, with the Chiefs defense suffocating the Raiders offense at times, and win 27-17.

fuck the chiefs

Weekly Grade and Predictions

What in the hell is going on in the AFC West. One week you are going nuts and pulling out your hair, the next you are celebrating like its 1999. Let’s go…

GRADES
Chargers
Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense was spectacular putting up 421 yards of offense and 38 points only to see the defense completely blow. You want to talk about horrible, let’s see……..the Lions offense put up 41 points on 533 yards of offense with 200 yards coming on the ground. To understand how bad the defense was, the Lions punted only once in this game. This was an embarrassing showing for them as they wasted another outstanding performance from Herbert, Allen and company.
Grade: C- (Offense: A/Defense: F)

Raiders
The Raiders offense faced its hardest foe of the season going up against the Jets top 6 defense. HC Pierce simplified things and ran the ball with Josh Jacobs for 116 yards and controlled the clock. The Raiders scored the lone touchdown of the game in the 4th quarter on a great grab by rookie Michael Meyers. The defense held the Jets out of the end zone and only allowed 4 fieldgoals. This game was far from pretty but a win is a win.
Grade: B

Broncos
The Broncos pulled off the upset of the year to date. The defense was great in this game and created 4 turnovers while holding the Bills to 22 points. Russell Wilson was back to his old self completing a magical throw for a touchdown to Courtland Sutton. The Broncos were the laughing stocks of the league when Miami put 70 up on them. The last three weeks they have defeated the Packers, Chiefs and Bills proving they are not to be taken lightly and can beat anyone in the league.
Grade: A-

PREDICTIONS
Las Vegas Raiders at Miami Dolphins
This could get ugly and quick.
Dolphins 34 Raiders 13
Spread: +13.5 Raiders
Over/Under: 46.5

Los Angeles Chargers at Green Bay Packers
This is a must win for both teams.
Chargers 24 Packers 20
Spread: -3 Chargers
Over/Under: 43.5

Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos
This will be a defensive slobberknocker.
Broncos 20 Vikings 17
Spread: -2.5 Broncos
Over/Under: 42.5

Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs
A Superbowl rematch……strap in!
Eagles 24 Chiefs 20
Spread: -2.5 Chiefs
Over/Under: 45.5
Season: 18-14

This week is must see tv for the AFC West with the creme de la creme being in primetime on Monday night. Sit back and enjoy!

Weekly Grade and Predictions

“When you wish apon a star, makes no differnce who you are. Anything your heart desires, will come to you.”
I know, I know……it is cheesy but it is so applicable in this week’s scenario. Let’s go….

GRADES
Chiefs
This was hyped as the “Game of the year” to date with two of the most powerful offenses in the NFL clashing. It ended up being all about the defense. The Chiefs defense scored near the end of the 1st half to give them a 21-0 lead at halftime. The offense was shutout in the second half and almost blew that big lead but the defense made a enough plays in the end to secure the victory.
Grade: B+

Raiders
Ok, ok, ok….it really happened. The Raiders fired HC Josh McDaniels, GM Dave Zeigler and OC Mick Lombardi. Antonio Pierce was made the Interim Head Coach and did this team respond. The offense was good and scored 30 points for the first time this season with Aiden O’Connell at quarterback and Josh Jacobs scoring twice. The defense went nuts in this game with 8 sacks (Madd Maxx with 3 sacks), 8 tackles for lose and 2 interceptions. This was a different team this week.
Grade: A

Chargers
Justin Hebert and Chargers offense was really off this week. With that said, a punt return for a touchdown and Austin Ekeler rushing for 2 touchdowns was all the firepower they needed. The defense was crazy good in this game with 8 sacks and 3 fumble recoveries. This was not a pretty game by any means but it was a telling game for the Chargers. Their special teams and defense were outstanding while their passing game struggled. This was a good win.
Grade: B+

PREDICTIONS
New York Jets at Las Vegas Raiders
This is a must win for both team.
Raiders 20 Jets 17
Spread: +1.5 Raiders
Over/Under: 36.5

Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Chargers
Another must win for both teams.
Lions 27 Chargers 23
Spread: +3 Chargers
Over/Under: 48.5

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills
Primetime and it could get ugly.
Bills 28 Broncos 17
Spread: +7.5 Broncos
Over/Under: 46.5
Season: 16-13

This season has taken a much needed twist for the division. We are seeing the defenses win games. The second half of the season will be very interesting and fun. You never want to see someone lose their job but somethings have to be said:
FUCK JOSH MCDANIELS!!!

Weekly Grade and Predictions

This division is the epitome of the term “What the Fuck!”. Every week the lanscape changes but there are some things that stay the same. Let’s go…

GRADES
Raiders
Every week Josh McDaniels reminds us that he is the poster child for birth control. An offense with this many weapons, to play this bad, is all about the coach and play calling. When you have 6 punts, turn it over on down 3 times, throw an interception, allow 6 sacks and 7 tackles for loss, the offense is just not bad, it is disgraceful. McDaniels should not be sitting on the hot seat, he should be sitting on an erupting volcano after this fiasco.
Grade: F- (McDaniels has earned worse coach in Raiders History)

Chiefs
Every sports outlet has deemed this game as the “Mahomes had the flu and Taylor Swift was not there” Game. The Chiefs have not lost a game to the Broncos since 2015, WOW!!! The Mahomes offense was off and scored only 9 points while turning it over 5 times, (2 interceptions and 3 fumbles). When is the last time you can remember saying the Chiefs offense was scoring fieldgoals while they were surrendering touchdowns. This was not a good time to have a bad game when you have to travel to Germany and face the Dolphins.
Grade: D-

Broncos
The curse and losing streak to the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes is OVER! What makes this win so impressive was Russell Wilson only completed 12 passed but 3 were for touchdowns. The Broncos rushed for 153 yards as well. The defense created 5 turnovers and 3 sacks. This game is a perfect way for the Broncos to go into their bye week.
Grade: A

Chargers
The Chargers and Justin Herbert started their first drive at their own 2 yards line. He went on to complete his first 15 passes. The game was pretty much over after that. Austin Ekeler was back to his old self with 123 total yards and a touchdown. This game was never is question as the Chargers won this one in every aspect to include coaching, WOW!!!
Grade: A

 

PREDICTIONS
Kansas City Chiefs vs Miami Dolphins
This game should be a barn bunner, buckle up!
Dolphins 28 Chiefs 24
Spread: -2.5 Chiefs
Over/Under: 50.5

New York Giants at Las Vegas Raiders
This is the hot garbage game of the week.
Giants 20 Raiders 13
Spread: -2.5 Raiders
Over/Under: 37.5

Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets
The Chargers offense is starting to dominate.
Chargers 24 Jets 13
Spread: -3 Chargers
Over/Under: 41.5
Season: 15-11

This season is a living example of the greatest quote ever, “Foosball is the Devil!”

Weekly Grade and Predictions

We are seven games into the new season and the Chiefs have a commanding three game lead on the Raiders. Oh well…there is always next year…..WTF! Lets go…

GRADES
Raiders
Brian Hoyer went into this game with a record of 0-12 as a starter in his last 12 games, let’s make it 0-13 now. This was a complete disgrace in every aspect of the game. The offense sputtered all game. The defense was destroyed by a rookie undrafted quarterback as well as giving up 173 rushing yards (D’Onta Foreman 3 TDs). Josh McDaniels was outcoached and outclassed in every way. For a team that could have gone over .500 to play like this says they were not prepared by the coaching staff and once again the play calling was horrible.
Grade: F- (Josh McDaniels is the WORSE coach in the the League)

Chargers
Justin Herbert and the Chargers were going head to head with the Chiefs in Arrowhead in the first half and were down by only 7 at the half. The second half was a complete nightmare for the offense and Herbert. Let’s see, interception, 3 and out, 3 and out, 3 and out and another interception. No way are you beating the Chiefs playing like that. To there credit, the Chargers defense only allowed 7 point in the second half. Overall, the Chargers offense killed any chance of them winning this game.
Grade: C-

Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce was unstoppable in this game. Kelce had 12 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown. Mahomes threw for 424 yards and 4 touchdowns. With that said, the Chiefs defense was the story of the day. For the seventh consecutive game, they held their opponent to 21 or fewer points. They are the only team in the league this season to do so. The only thing the Chiefs did not do well was score in the second half.
Grade: B+

Broncos
The Broncos finally won a game at home. The offense was balanced and had 145 yards on the ground and 194 passing yards. Although they got the win, they struggled in the red zone. In four trips inside the Packer’s 20 yard line, they only scored one touchdown. Wil Lutz made 4 fieldgoals and accouted for most of the scoring. The Broncos defense sealed the win with a late interception.
Grade: B

 

PREDITIONS
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos
This one could get ugly and quick.
Chiefs 31 Broncos 17
Spread: -8 Chiefs
Over/Under: 46

Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Chargers
This one should be a walk in the park.
Chargers 28 Bears 20
Spread: -8.5 Chargers
Over/Under: 46.5

Las Vegas Raiders at Detroit Lions
Can you say Lambs to the Slaughter
Lions 37 Raiders 9
Spread: -8.0 Lions
Over/Under: 45.5
Season: 13-10

Football is such a great sport so why does this division have to suck ass except for one team. This is getting old but we have to watch and the Cognac bottle is starting to call my name. Onward and downward.

Weekly Grade and Predictions

Another week of football and another week of can someone please explain what the hell is going on with this division. Let’s go…..

GRADES
Broncos
When your defense holds the Chiefs to 19 points at Arrowhead, you expect to have a chance to win the game. Well……when you score your first points in the game with 6:07 left in the game, not so much. Russell Wilson is struggling (95 Passing Yards). Sean Payton’s play calling is HORRIBLE. So far, it looks like the Broncos should have kept the 1st round pick. This nightmare of a season has a long way to go.
Grade: D

Chiefs
The Chiefs did not have their best showing in this game but they had T-Swift there so Kelce (124 Yards) went nuts and they found a way to win. The offense was stagnant all night and especially on 3rd down (4 of 13). With that said, Harrison Butker was 4 for 4 on fieldgoals and the defense had 4 sacks, 2 interceptions and fumble recovery. Finding a way to get a division win when you are not at your best is always a good thing.
Grade: B-

Raiders
Once again the Raiders found a way to win a game inspite of bad play calling by Josh McDaniels. The defense was great in the 1st half not allowing the Patriots to run a single play inside of the 20 yard line. They surrendered 14 points in the second half to make the game close but a safety sealed the game for them. Mad Maxx Crosby is on a mission. All in all, this game should not have been close but bad play calling, quarterback injuries (Jimmy G is hurt again) and crappy redzone play kept the Patriots in the game. Something has to be done and NOW!
Grade: B-

Chargers
This is another game of BAD coaching decisions that cost the Chargers the game. The team was down 3 in the second half and instead of taking the easy fieldgoal and tying the game, Staley went for it on 4th and 1 and didn’t get it. In a close game, you have to take the points. Well…..guess what happened, the Chargers lost by 3 at home. This has to stop. This team is too good to lose game like this. The question is when will they realize this.
Grade: C+

 

PREDICTIONS

Las Vegas Raiders at Chicago Bears
This could be the battle of the back-up quarterbacks.
Raiders 20 Bear 17
Spread: -3 Raiders
Over/Under: 37.5

Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos
If there was ever a pickem game this is it.
Packers 23 Broncos 20
Spread: +1 Broncos
Over/Under: 45

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
Which teams will show up for this game.
Chiefs 28 Chargers 20
Spread: -5.5 Chiefs
Over/Under: 48
Season: 12-8

Football use to be basis addition and subtraction. This season, the AFC West is Advanced Calculus and getting more and more difficult. Whatever is happening, it has become a pain in the ass.