NFL DRAFT PREVIEW: AFC WEST

April 23, 2016

 

OAKLAND RAIDERS

TEAM NEEDS:

ILB, WLB, SS, WR, RDT, RB, NICKEL CB, OT

 

PROSPECT TRACKER

Kevin Hogan, Daniel Lasco, Demarcus Robinson, Chris Moore, Jordan Payton, Daniel Braverman, Cody Core, Robby Anderson, Josh Garnett, Alex Cooper, Jihad Ward, Ryan Brown, Robert Nkemdiche, Roy Robertson-Harris, Vernon Butler, Austin Johnson, Reggie Ragland, Antonio Morrison, Jordan Jenkins, Perez Ford, Stephen Weatherly, Aaron Wallace, Mackensie Alexander, William Jackson III, Maurice Canady, James Bradberry, Ryan Smith, Anthony Brown, Darian Thompson, Justin Simmons, Su'a Cravens

 

VISIT

PRIVATE WORKOUT

 

PROJECTED DRAFT:

(14)   ILB REGGIE RAGLAND

(44)   SS SU'A CRAVENS

(75)   DT AUSTIN JOHNSON

(114) DE JIHAD WARD

(143) WR DEMARCUS ROBINSON

(154) CB JONATHAN JONES

(194) RB/KR DANIEL LASCO

(234) WR JORDAN PAYTON

 


The Raiders are in desperate need of an inside linebacker after releasing Curtis Lofton, and ILB Reggie Ragland seems like a prototypical Jack Del Rio linebacker in the mold of Daryl Smith. SS Su'a Cravens would be an outstanding value in the second round, providing an excellent compliment newly-acquired FS Reggie Nelson while also giving them the flexibility to start at WLB if Nate Allen steps up in camp. DT Austin Johnson would give the Raiders a strong rotation with Justin Ellis on the interior and is athletic and versatile enough to earn meaningful playing time early in their hybrid front. DE Jihad Ward would be an outstanding replacement for the recently-retired Justin Tuck as a "big" defensive end with some twitch who can set the edge. WR Demarcus Robinson spent time with the Raiders pre-draft and could be a tremendous compliment as a 3rd wide receiver behind Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. CB Jonathan Jones will be an outstanding nickel corner at the next level, which is a position of need in Oakland. Local product RB Daniel Lasco would provide speed and explosiveness to the position behind Latavius Murray and would also be an instant contender for earning returner duties on special teams. WR Jordan Payton is one of the most consistent WRs in this draft and would provide a hard-nosed WR who could fill into the slot.

 

DENVER BRONCOS

TEAM NEEDS:

LG, C, LILB, QB, RG, RDE, RB, WR

 

PROSPECT TRACKER:

Paxton Lynch, Connor Cook, Dak Prescott, Devontae Booker, Daniel Lasco, Sterling Shepard, Malcolm Mitchell, Devon Cajuste, Nelson Spruce, Max McCaffrey, Tyler Higbee, George Fant, Darion Griswold, Jason Spriggs, Lene Maiava, Christian Westerman, Joe Thuney, Javon Hargrave, DJ Reader, Robert Nkemdiche, Bronson Kaufusi, Stephen Weatherly, Dadi Nicolas, Deon King, BJ Goodson, Rashard Robinson, Maurice Canady, Karl Joseph, TJ Green, Jayron Kearse, Elijah Shumate

 

VISIT

PRIVATE WORKOUT

 

PROJECTED DRAFT:

(31)   LG CODY WHITEHAIR

(63)   RDE JAVON HARGRAVE

(94)   C MAX TUERK

(98)   LILB BENIQUEZ BROWN

(136) NT DJ READER

(144) QB DAK PRESCOTT

(219) RG JOE THUNEY

(228) RB AARON GREEN

(235) RB KEITH MARSHALL

(253) WR NELSON SPRUCE

 

LG Cody Whitehair is the perfect interior lineman for the Broncos who has the versatility to start at either guard spot or center from day one. The departure of Malik Jackson leaves a big hole in at defensive end, but luckily for them the defensive line depth in this draft is strong and they've shown some interest in DL Javon Hargrave in the pre-draft process. C Max Tuerk would lock down the center spot for the next decade and they can start Whitehair at C until they feel Tuerk is completely healthy and ready to compete. LB Beniquez Brown can play inside linebacker in a 3-4 and has a skill set similar to the recently-departed Danny Trevathan. NT DJ Reader could provide some solid depth at nose tackle and compete with Sylvester Williams. Of course Broncos fans can't feel good about Mark Sanchez at QB, but reading the tea leaves suggests that the Broncos may favor Dak Prescott, whom they can snag in the mid-rounds. OG Joe Thuney is a guy the Broncos are monitoring who tested as perhaps the most athletic offensive lineman at the NFL Combine. RB depth is addressed with back-to-back selections of Aaron Green and Keith Marshall, who both have elite juice and acceleration and can provide options if/when CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman walk after 2016. WR Nelson Spruce, a local product, could end up as Mr. Irrelevant in this class.

 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

TEAM NEEDS:

LG, CB, WR, RG, DE, ILB, EDGE, QB

 

PROSPECT TRACKER:

Paxton Lynch, Will RatelleMoritz Boehringer, Robby Anderson, Mitch Matthews, Caleb Benenoch, Blake Muir, Evan Boehm, Austin Johnson, Vernon Butler, Roy Robertson-Harris, Brian Price, Reggie Ragland, Blake Martinez, Josh Forrest, Jatavis Brown, Brett McMakin, Perez Ford, Noah Spence, Stephen Weatherly, Dadi Nicolas, De'Vondre Campbell, Mackensie Alexander, Xavien Howard, Arjen Colquhoun, Vonn Bell, Kevin Byard, Derrick Kindred

 

VISIT

PRIVATE WORKOUT

 

PROJECTED DRAFT:

(28)   CB MACKENSIE ALEXANDER

(59)   WR STERLING SHEPARD

(126) LOLB STEPHEN WEATHERLY

(162) QB JACOBY BRISSETT

(165) LG REES ODHIAMBO

(203) WR ROBBY ANDERSON

(249) DE LUTHER MADDY

 

The Chiefs took a CB with character and attitude concerns last season, and Marcus Peters ended up winning Defensive Rookie of the Year. Pairing him up with Mackensie Alexander could give the Chiefs a pair of CBs with a whole lot of swagger, especially in a division with strong WR pairings. Speaking of WR, the Chiefs would be elated if Sterling Shepard is still available to them in the second round whose smooth route-running and football intelligence would be an outstanding compliment to Jeremy Maclin. Edge rusher Stephen Weatherly is a player who is flying under-the-radar right now who would provide some stellar depth and give them options while Justin Houston rehabs from his knee injury. Although QB is not a pressing need, Jacoby Brissett is too good of a value at 162 and could be groomed into being an eventual NFL starter. OG Rees Odhiambo could start from day one at LG and also has the versatility to play tackle in a pinch. WR Robby Anderson could give them extra depth at WR while Luther Maddy can be a rotational defensive end in the Chiefs' 3-4 system. 

 

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

TEAM NEEDS:

C, LDE, SS, FS, OLB, ILB, TE, OT

 

PROSPECT TRACKER:

Paxton Lynch Jake Rudock, Laquon Treadwell, Tyler Boyd, Devin Fuller, Matt WeiserGeorge FantHakeem Valles, Darrion HutchersonLaremy Tunsil, Alex Lewis, Darrell Greene, Lene Maiava, Vi Teofilo, John KlingDeForest Buckner, Robert Nkemdiche, Shawn Oakman, David Onyemata, James Cowser, Ian Seau, Jatavis Brown, Mackensie Alexander, Cre'von LeBlanc, Jalen Ramsey, Darian Thompson, Tyvis Powell, Su'a Cravens, Miles Killebrew

 

VISIT

PRIVATE WORKOUT

 

PROJECTED DRAFT:

(3)     LT LAREMY TUNSIL

(35)   LDE CHRIS JONES

(66)   LOLB KAMALEI CORREA

(102) FS TYVIS POWELL

(175) ROLB JAMES COWSER

(179) CB CRE'VON LEBLANC

(198) NT NILE LAWRENCE-STAMPLE

(224) TE TEMARRICK HEMINGWAY

 

With so many needs, it is difficult to predict what the Chargers will do at #3, and depending on what they do with that pick will totally influence the rest of their draft blueprint and who they target. With Phillip Rivers' window closing, protecting him must be a priority and Laremy Tunsil would be a huge upgrade over King Dunlap. DT Chris Jones has the athleticism to collapse the pocket from either the LDE or NT position depending on the down and distance. OLB Kamalei Correa could be a force off the edge and provide insurance if/when Melvin Ingram picks up an injury and even push Jeremiah Attaochu to start on the other side. FS Tyvis Powell is a guy the Chargers have been monitoring and could help mitigate the departure of Eric Weddle in the secondary. The Chargers spent a ton of time with James Cowser in the pre-draft process and provides further depth on the edge, making the likes of Tourek Williams expendable. CB Cre'von LeBlanc could challenge for a role as a dime cornerback and chisel a role on special teams. NT Nile Lawrence-Stample adds another body to the nose tackle rotation and TE Temarrick Hemingway can be an ideal replacement for Ladarius Green whom Antonio Gates could mentor for the next year or two. The biggest concern with this draft is not addressing their dire need at the center position, but they could bring a player like Duke's Matt Skura as an undrafted free agent to compete.

 

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