Category Archives: AFC West

2018 NFL Draft Recap, pick-by-pick: AFC West

AFC WEST

Denver

Broncos

Freeman went over the 100-yard mark 31 times during his four-year run in Eugene.

Notable pick: Chubb will get a lot of one-on-one matchups working opposite Von Miller. It won’t be good for AFC West opponents. Freeman may be the grinder the Broncos need to control the clock and set up the play action pass game for Case Keenum. This could take pressure off of the team’s offensive tackles.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (5) Bradley

Chubb

DE-6’4 269

NC State 1 (1st Round) Chubb took his game to the next level in 2017 by adding a deft swipe move to complement his ability to post tackles. He will get even more tutelage from the NFL’s best in Von Miller.
2 (40) Courtland

Sutton

WR-6’3 218

SMU 28 (2nd Round) Sutton has all of the skills to develop into a No. 1 WR in the NFL. It won’t happen if he doesn’t eliminate the drops that show up once per game.
3 (71) Royce

Freeman

RB-5’11 229

Oregon 27 (2nd Round) He ran for over 5,600 yards and scored 60 TDs in school. At nearly 230 pounds, he runs with a light-footed nature.
3 (99) Isaac

Yiadom

CB-6’1 190

Boston College 166 (4th Round) Yiadom is one of the better cornerbacks in the draft playing with his back to the ball. Despite just adequate recovery speed, his length (32 ¼” arms) increases his recovery ability.
4 (106) Josey

Jewell

LB-6’1 234

Iowa 104 (3rd Round) Jewell’s instincts are top-notch and he is adept at making in-game adjustments to combat offensive personnel.
4 (113) DaeSean

Hamilton

WR-6’1 202

Penn State 63 (2nd Round) Hamilton brings slot quickness and outside wide receiver size to a unit that will move him around to create mismatches.
5 (156) Troy

Fumagalli

TE-6’5 247

Wisconsin 337 (5th Round Fumagalli is yet another pass receiving option for the Broncos in the middle of the field for Case Keenum. He’s not a burner, but he catches everything in his area code.
6 (217) Keishawn Bierria

LB-6’0 230

Washington 342 (5th Round) Back-to-back second-team All-Pac-12 selection was a factor on the kickoff team in school…too.
7 (226) David Williams

RB-5’11 229

Arkansas, South Carolina 301 (4th Round) The Broncos have struck gold in the past with late round running backs. The former Gamecock averaged 5.6 yards per carry for the Razorbacks in a pro-style scheme in 2017.

 

Kansas

City

Chiefs

Nnadi may not look the part, but he produced 9.5 QB sacks and 20.5 tackles for losses for the Seminoles over the last two seasons (2016-17).

Notable pick: Watts was dinged for average workouts prior to the draft. When teams look back at this draft, he could become one of the value picks in this class.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (46) Breeland

Speaks

DL-6’3 283

Ole Miss 77 (3rd Round) Speaks has the look of current Jacksonville Jaguars DL Malik Jackson. Like Jackson, he may be underrated coming out of school. Speaks is athletic enough to play either the end or OLB spots.
3 (75) Derrick

Nnadi

DT-6’1 317

FSU 109 (3rd Round) For a 6-foot-1 defensive tackle, he established lockout on a consistent basis. Very good instincts.
3 (100) Dorian

O’Daniel

LB-6’0 5/8 223

Clemson 162 (3rd  Round) O’Daniel covers the slot, RBs and is an outstanding special teams prospect.
4 (124) Armani

Watts

S-5’10 202

Texas A&M 64 (3rd Round) Watts may have been the most active run-defending safety in the SEC. He contributed 4 INTs in 2017.
6 (196) Tremon

Smith

CB-5’11 186

Central Arkansas 248 (4th Round) Smith was a terror in 2017 once he got his hands on the ball. He drops his weight to sink vs. intermediate routes and plays through the hands of bigger WRs in the Red Zone.
6 (198) Kahlil

McKenzie

DT-6’4 314

Tennessee 338 (5th Round) Despite being a DT in school, the Chiefs plan on moving him to the guard position. He looked good at this spot in pre-draft workouts.

 

Oakland

Raiders

Townsend will be counted on to replace former Oakland punter Marquette King. He produces hang times that average in the 4.6 range and placed 27 punts inside the 20-yard line for the Gators in 2017.

Notable pick: Hall could end up becoming the team’s best find. His collegiate productivity was unmatched and his versatility will open up the team’s defensive fronts. Despite average length for a DT, he produced 29 pass break-ups in school.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (15) Kolton

Miller

OT-6’9 309

UCLA 65 (3rd Round) Miller has rare athleticism for a man of his size. His 23 career starts were a result of missing most of 2016 due to injury. Developing an anchor will be a key for Miller.
2 (57) P.J.

Hall

DL-6’0 308

Sam Houston St. 23 (2nd Round) Hall posted 86.5 tackles for losses in school and blocked 14 kicks. In addition, he found time to post four interceptions.
3 (65) Brandon

Parker

OT-6’7 305

NC A&T 126 (3rd Round) Parker –much like Miller- needs improvement in terms of core strength. Also –like Miller- he has positive finishing instincts as a blocker.
3 (87) Trade from Los Angeles Rams Arden Key

DE-6’5 238

LSU 84 (3rd Round) If he can return to his 2016-form, the Raiders may have gotten another sub-package pass rush threat.
4 (110) Nick Nelson

CB-5’10 200

Wisconsin, Hawaii 60 (2nd Round) Nelson’s meniscus injury prior to the draft caused a slight slide. He may have gone a round higher. Dating back to his days at Hawaii, his footwork has always been his best friend.
5 (140) Maurice

Hurst

DL-6’1 291

Michigan 76 (3rd Round) Medical concerns made Hurst a Day 3 pick.   The Raiders got a player who is instant off the ball and wins with a slippery nature. He will push Eddie Vanderdoes.
5 (173) Johnny

Townsend

P-6’1 211

Florida 437 (5th Round) This may have been the team’s most important pick for its defense. The release of Marquette King necessitated it earlier than expected.   Townsend struggled out-kicking his coverage units in school.
6 (216) Azeem

Victor

LB-6’2 240

Washington 365 (5th Round) It seems like ages since Victor produced 95 tackles and 9.5 tackles for losses (2015). His final season was filled with suspension and off the field issues.
7 (228) Marcell

Ateman

WR-6’4 216

Oklahoma State 213 (4th Round) While not sudden, Ateman is athletic enough use his 78-inch wingspan to dwarf CBs in the Red Zone. Averaged nearly 20 yards per catch in 2017.

 

Los

Angeles

Chargers

Nwosu (No. 42 pictured) not only posted 9.5 QB sacks for the Trojans in 2017, he also broke up 13 passes.

Notable picks: James should be a Day 1 starter. Nwosu could very well do the same. Either way, the selection of Jones may be the most important pick of the first three selections. The Chargers ranked 31st versus the run in 2017.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (17) Derwin

James

S-6’2 215

FSU 46 (2nd Round) The Chargers are going to look for James to be an intimidating eighth man in the box as well as the team’s enforcer in the middle of the field.
2 (48) Uchenna

Nwosu

OLB-6’3 251

USC 61 (2nd Round) Nwosu will challenge Kyle Emanuel for playing time immediately at an outside linebacker spot. His ability to affect the three-step passing game was rare in school (20 PBUs).
3 (84) Justin

Jones

DT-6’2 311

NC State 144 (3rd Round) Jones posted 8.5 tackles for loss in 2017. While not a pass rusher, he can hold the point of attack and will be a good rotational player in the Chargers defensive front.
4 (119) Kyzir

White

S-6’2 216

West Virginia 197 (4th Round) White is a good blitz threat with plus upper body strength. His ability to control stalk blockers could land him a spot in sub-packages.
5 (155) Scott

Quessenberry

OC-6’4 310

UCLA 110 (3rd Round) Quessenberry can hopefully improve the Chargers ability to move bodies in the run game.
7 (251) Justin Jackson

RB-5’11 199

Northwestern 265 (4th Round) Jackson’s vision is apparent. Despite a WR-like build, he was tough enough to withstand over 1,100 carries in his career.

Bryant’s Beehive: 3-for-3 into NFL Week 17

Is Dez Bryant worthy of carry the title of X-Factor? Is Drew Brees still the best QB in the NFC South? What challenges does Kansas City Chiefs rookie QB Patrick Mahomes face in his first career start? Read more to find out these answers and more in Bryant’s 3-for-3.

Dez Bryant: X-Factor or Not

There’s no question from a physical standpoint Dez Bryant is one of those Terrell Owens specimen-type athletes. However, Bryant’s mediocre productivity this season has only been a reflection of his previous two seasons in Dallas. The Cowboys need more from their big money receiver. Before the double coverage murmurs begin, teams have had to respect the veteran presence of Jason Witten, the consistency of Cole Beasley, and the speed of Terrance Williams. Even when comparing him with Hall of Fame WR Michael Irvin in his eighth-year in the NFL, Irvin had 111 catches for over 1,600 yards (1995). Despite a decline in his numbers and less games played the following season, Irvin went on to have back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons (1997-98). At this point, the projection of Bryant reaching his 2012-14 status is not looking so bright. In 2017, Bryant failed to have a 100-yard receiving game and according to Pro Football Focus, he ranks second in the NFL with nine drops. The bottom line is Bryant is underperforming his contract, as well as his lead position for the Cowboys organization. With the future at quarterback and running back, is it time for the Cowboys to seek a No. 1 WR in the 2018 NFL Draft?

‘Brees’-ing Through

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees continues to find the Fountain of Youth. Over the last few seasons, the NFC South has been graced with the athleticism of Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton, Atlanta Falcons 2016 MVP QB Matt Ryan, and the emerging Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Jameis Winston. However, the 38-year old veteran has led his team to its first winning record and playoff berth in four seasons. Perhaps these accomplishments are more fulfilling at this stage in his career than passing for 5,000 yards in a season (something he has accomplished four times). With one more game remaining on schedule, Brees has completed a career-high 71.9% of his passes and has managed to stay in the single digit column in interceptions (8). It has been eight years since Drew Brees has hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.  Does the ageless wonder have what it takes to bring another championship back to New Orleans?

Mahomes Debut

After locking up the AFC West for the second season in a row and clinching a spot in the playoffs, head coach Andy Reid is turning the keys over to rookie QB Patrick Mahomes for Sunday’s contest against the Denver Broncos. While this game may serve as a meaningless game for some, Mahomes will still be tested by a Broncos defense that ranks second in the league in total defense and fourth in the league against the pass.  Mahomes, the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft, displayed great arm strength, strong hips through his release, and mobility coming out of Texas Tech. With a notable seasoned veteran and the potential contract discussions of Alex Smith at the end of the season, could we be getting a glimpse of the Chiefs new QB next season?