The AFC West gets high marks for their draft picks

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

For most teams, a lot rides on the draft each year. This year for the AFC West, a great draft was desperately needed to bring back some balance to the division.

The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl Champions and are bringing back most of that winning team. The other three teams needed a lot of help.

The 2020 NFL Draft brought that help and now the division is looking to be very competitive. Let’s take a look at who the teams selected, and the grades the “experts” gave them.

Let’s start with the champs. The Kansas City Chiefs are bringing back the majority of their Super Bowl winning team but needed to add depth. While there has been some criticism about taking a running back in the first round, it was actually a need the team had. They have to add more of the running game if they want to keep Super Bowl MVP, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, healthy long term.

After this tweet was sent, the Chiefs traded back into the draft to add CB Thakarius “BoPete” Keyes from Tulane, adding more depth to the defense. The draft heads gave the team grades between B+ to a C, but most realized the Chiefs weren’t in need of more superstars.

The Denver Broncos, on the other hand, needed to add game-changers to their roster, and that they did. They are building their team around QB Drew Lock, who showed a lot of promise toward the end of last season. This list proves where their focus was at and they gave Lock some good weapons to beef up that offense.

WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
WR KJ Hamler, Penn St
CB Michael Ojemudia, Iowa
C Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU
DL McTelvin Agim, Arkansas
TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
LB Justin Strnad, Wake Forest
G Netane Muti, Fresno St
WR Tyrie Cleveland, Florida
EDGE Derrek Tuszka, N. Dakota St

There was a theme in the draft grades given to the Broncos… A’s across the board. The experts LOVED this draft class and are excited to see what John Elway and gang can do with them.

We all knew the Las Vegas Raiders had one glaring need to fill in this draft. Wide receiver. With their first pick, and with two more picks after, they filled that need. While some experts didn’t agree with which WR, it seems head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock got exactly who they were after.

Opinions were divided on how to grade the Raiders draft. They got a mix of B and C grades, mostly because of some question marks surrounding their mid-round picks. Mayock is quoted as saying the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into their draft plans, but that is true for all teams.

While some weren’t overwhelmed with the Los Angeles Chargers first pick, QB Justin Herbert, saying it was “boring”, however, the rest of the Chargers draft impressed most. Grades ranged from A- to C, but most hung in the B range.

QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
RB Joshua Kelley, UCLA
WR Joe Reed, Virginia
S Alohi Gilman, Notre Dame
WR K.J. Hill, Ohio State

I’ve been reading that most believe LB Kenneth Murray will be a day one starter, but the other draft picks may need some work. However as training camp starts, if and when it starts, all eyes will be on the QB position. Will it be Tyrod Taylor to start, letting Herbert learn for a year, or will they team throw all their eggs in the rookies’ basket?

Overall, it is agreed upon that the AFC West got better with the 2020 Draft. Will it be enough to make the Chiefs uncomfortable within their division? There is no way to know just yet.

Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG

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