Draft 2019: AFC West Review
Next up on the Divisional Draft Review, it’s the AFC West. Did the Raiders nail it? Did the Broncos get a bargain with Drew Lock in round 2? Lets find out.
Round 1-Pick 20 (20): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Round 2-Pick 9 (41): Dalton Risner, T, Kansas State
Round 2-Pick 10 (42): Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Round 3-Pick 8 (71): Dre’mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
Round-5-Pick 18 (156): Justin Hollins, Edge, Oregon
Round 6-Pick 15 (187): Juwann Winfree, WR, Colorado
What to Like: I think there’s a lot to like. The Broncos nailed the 1st 2 rounds, moving down to pick up a big body pass catcher in Noah Fant, then adding to the offensive line with Dalton Risner and then managing to get the QB they wanted all along with the 42nd pick in the draft. The additions of Fant and Risner, help add to a supporting cast for whoever lines up under centre. On defence I like the additions of Dre’mont Jones and Justin Hollins. Both should provide a little flexibility for Fangio’s 3-4 hybrid defence, especially with Hollins thought to be making the move to ILB.
What not to Like: There’s a danger sometimes with the draft to get too “hyped” by draft classes. Well maybe that’s the reason why I can’t find a whole lot wrong with what the Broncos did this year, given their needs. QBs are hard to find, so for the Broncos to get the guy they liked in the 2nd round, well that’s just about as good as it gets, even if Drew Lock isn’t going to set the world on fire. Being hyper-critical, I’m a little concerned about their depth on defence. It would be nice to see a few more pass rushers to rotate in and if they suffer a couple of injuries at inside linebacker then they’ll probably struggle.
Final Thought: Yes depth is an issue, but considering the list of needs they had going into the draft, they did a great job filling them.
Kansas City Chiefs
Round 2-Pick 24 (56): Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia
Round 2-Pick 31 (63): Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia,
Round 3-Pick 21 (84): Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois
Round 6-Pick 29 (201): Rashad Fenton, CB, South Carolina
Round 6-Pick 42 (214): Darwin Thompson, RB, Utah State
Round 7-Pick 2 (216): Nick Allegretti, G, Illinois
What to Like: Mecole Hardman fills a need that we’ll cover in the next section. Not a like for like change and pretty raw, Hardman is work in progress that will be a game changer in special teams, which the Chiefs tend to prioritise more than other teams. Juan Thornhill gives them a versatile DB that could be used in a number of different ways. Finally Khalen Saunders gives them some extra help in the middle next to Chris Jones. What I like about the Chiefs draft is that they picked up players who require some attention from coaches, which historically the Chiefs have excelled at. They picked players that other teams might shy away from and for once it’s not because of off the field issues. Which has become a problem for Kansas City.
What not to Like: From what I understand, the Chiefs had known that there could be a need to replace Tyreek Hill weeks before the draft, despite him being cleared of the charges. So the belief that they wouldn’t have to change their draft strategy is a concern. The Chiefs did draft a potential Hill replacement, but was it planned? Or was it because the Tyreek Hill audio tapes released? Regardless, it leaves them short in a draft where they need defensive talent. I don’t believe you can let the Chiefs off the hook for this. They’ve taken the risk to draft a player with character issues and it’s eventually blown up in their faces. So from this I question them picking up Frank Clark and giving up a 1st round pick in the process. With the needs they had, surely keeping hold of Dee Ford on Frank Clark money and keeping a 1st round pick would have been better.
Final Thoughts: I liked the Chiefs picks for fit. I think Mecole Hardman was a great pick, but my concern is that they didn’t do enough to fill a laundry list of needs. Patrick Mahomes is great, but he can’t do it on his own.
Round 1-Pick 28 (28): Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
Round 2-Pick 28 (60): Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
Round 3-Pick 28 (91): Trey Pipkins, T, Sioux Falls
Round 4-Pick 28 (130): Drue Tranquill, LB, Notre Dame
Round 5-Pick 28 (166): Easton Stick, QB, North Dakota State
Round 6-Pick 28 (200): Emeke Eqbule, LB, Houston
Round 7-Pick 28 (242): Cortez Broughton, DT, Cincinnati
What to Like: The Chargers first 2 picks were about as good as it gets. Jerry Tillery comes in with terrifying physical traits, that with the right coach, could cause some serious problems giving the Chargers an interior presence in the pass rush, which is honestly terrifying. Adding Nasir Adderley to the secondary, creates a pairing with legion of boom potential. All being well Adderley and James could become one of the better safety tandems in the league. Finally I like the drafting of Easton Stick as ‘lets see what he can do’ pick. With Tyrod Taylor on the roster, I’d imagine he’s a no.3 QB, but I think Easton could be a project QB.
What not to Like: Linebacker is still a position of need for the Chargers, even with the addition of Thomas Davis in free agency, as well as Drue Tranquill and Emeke Eqbule, in the later rounds. If I was being overly critical, I’d say that maybe they should have had a look at a QB a little earlier as future Rivers replacement, but honestly I don’t think the right player was there.
Final Thought: I think this is fewest needs the Chargers have had coming in to a draft in years. As a result I think they did a good job filling needs and adding depth. Solid draft for a team that could be a potential Super bowl challenger.
Round 1-Pick 4 (4): Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson
Round 1-Pick 24 (24): Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Round 1-Pick 27 (27): Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
Round 2-Pick 8 (40): Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
Round 4-Pick 4 (106): Maxx Crosby, Edge, Eastern Michigan
Round 4-Pick 27 (129): Isaiah Johnson, CB, Houston
Round 4-Pick 35 (137): Foster Moreau, TE, LSU
Round 5-Pick 11 (149): Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson
Round 7-Pick 16 (230): Quinton Bell, Edge, Prairie View
What to Like: Let’s start with the controversial opinion that the Clelin Ferrell was a solid pickup. Was it a little high at 4 Absolutely. Could they have traded down from 4? Probably not. Would he have been there at 24? Quite probably not. The Raiders went out and got their guy. Then at 24, they picked up the best running back in the draft, Josh Jacobs, who immediately improves the offence. With their final pick of the 1st round, the Raiders picked up Johnathan Abram, who adds some toughness to a secondary that has needed a little more spirit for a while. These picks alone make the Raiders draft a successful one in my opinion. Like every draft pick the jury will be out till we’ve actually seen them on the field, but I like what these 3 players bring to the team. Then add in solid picks like Trayvon Mullen and Isaiah Johnson at corner, who add some much needed help in the secondary. Finally Hunter Renfrow gives the Raiders a solid chain-mover. 3rd down at Clemson was known as “3rd and Renfrow” and for a very good reason, Renfrow caught 54 passes on 3rd down of which 43 of them went for a 1st down. With Tyrell Williams and Antonio Brown, the Raiders receiver corps looks massively improved on last year.
What not to Like: From an objective standpoint, maybe the Raiders would have been better off with an out and out edge rusher, especially with the talent that was still on the board at 4 (I personally really like the Ferrell pick though). If I was to be ultra petulant about it, I’d bring up that the potential talent they’ve picked up, probably doesn’t add up to what they had in Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack. My one big concern is that they didn’t add any depth to the offensive line. That’s a lot riding on an unproven Kolten Miller and a Trent Brown thats come from a Patriots team that may have got the most out of him.
Final Thoughts: I, like most people really like the Raiders draft this year. They had to make a splash in round 1 and they did just that.