Onwards we go on this review of each team’s draft class. Next up, the AFC West
Round 1: (No. 5 overall) Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State.
Round 2: (40) Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU.
Round 3: (71) Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon; (99) Isaac Yiadom, CB, Boston College.
Round 4: (106) Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa; (113) DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State.
Round 5: (156) Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin.
Round 6: (183) Sam Jones, C, Arizona State; (217) Keishawn Bierria, LB, Washington.
Round 7: (226) David Williams, RB, Arkansas.
This was one of my favourite draft hauls. Elway probably had the opportunity to trade out of the fifth position with a QB needy team, but he stood firm and took a stud of a player. Coupling Chubb with Von Miller gets Denver back to what they do best in terms of continual pass rushing – their recipe for winning the Super Bowl a few years back. Sutton has been accused of not giving it his all on a consistent basis, but he has the size and athletic ability to be a star. Sutton and Hand are ready made replacements for the current WR duo of Sanders and Thomas, both of who are nearing old age (in NFL terms!). Royce Freeman is a solid pick in the third round and could be RB1 for Denver by the time the season starts. Yiadom has above average height for a CB and will fill that Talib role in the backfield.
Kansas City Chiefs
Round 2: (No. 46 overall) Breeland Speaks, DT, Mississippi.
Round 3: (75) Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State; (100) Dorian O’Daniel, LB, Clemson.
Round 4: (124) Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M
Round 6: (196) Tremon Smith, CB, Central Arkansas; (198) Kahlil McKenzie, DT, Tennessee.
Kansas didn’t have many picks in this year’s draft, mainly due to the investment they made in getting up to a position to take Patrick Mahomes last year. They moved up again in the third to take Breeland Speaks who many thought would have fallen to them anyway with a few off the field incidents knocking his draft stock. There’s a chance they could move Speaks to outside linebacker due to the need they have there. I hope the Chiefs offence is as good as it was last year as there’s no reinforcements coming for it this year. Tremon Smith doesn’t have the ideal size for a cornerback and his technique needs work but he has the speed and athleticism to make up for that.
Round 1: (No. 17 overall) Derwin James, S, Florida State.
Round 2: (48) Uchenna Nwosu, Edge, USC.
Round 3: (84) Justin Jones, DT, N.C. State.
Round 4: (119) Kyzir White, S, West Virginia.
Round 5: (155) Scott Quessenberry, C, UCLA.
Round 6: (191) Dylan Cantrell, WR, Texas Tech.
Round 7: (251) Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern.
The Chargers needed a new safety coming in to the draft and they must have sprinted with the card when their turn came around to nab Derwin James. James shouldn’t have dropped to the Chargers, he’s got the ability to be a star in the NFL and lead the Chargers backfield for the next decade. Nwosu in the second round was another steal, possibly the second best pass rusher after Chubb, he’ll be used in sub-packages to start off with but could soon become a permanent feature. The Chargers gave up a tonne of yards against the run just year and Justin Jones will likely step in straight away for an aging Brandon Mebane.
Round 1: (No. 15 overall) Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA.
Round 2: (57) P.J. Hall, DT, Sam Houston State.
Round 3: (65) Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T; (87) Arden Key, Edge, LSU.
Round 4: (110) Nick Nelson, CB, Wisconsin.
Round 5: (140) Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan; (173) Johnny Townsend, P, Florida.
Round 6: (216) Azeem Victor, LB, Washington.
Round 7: (228) Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State.
I did not like the Raiders draft at all and many seem to be singing the same song as I. Kolton Miller is a project of a tackle and has good ability but pick 15 was too rich for him, especially when you consider the talent that was still available to Oakland at that pick. Hall will step straight in at DT and take up blockers that will allow Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack to get to the passer more often. Parker’s selection looks better now that the suspension to Donald Penn has come to light. Key is a big risk though, he’s had mixed seasons at LSU and issues off the field. At his best, he could be one of the best pass rushers in the class, but his best hasn’t been seen enough. Maurice Hurst is a bigger risk for other reasons. Whilst doctors have given him the all clear following the discovery of a heart condition at the combine, some media outlets have reported that there are many teams who felt that he shouldn’t be playing football at all. Again, if it comes off, it’s good value for the Raiders, but it seems like an awful big risk. Azeem Victor is another with character issues having come out of high school with a lot of promise, an injury led him to putting on a lot of weight and generally out of shape. Two suspensions including a DUI charge meant he lost his starting job in 2017.