Chiefs lag behind other AFC West teams in draft
Connor Rogers offers his thoughts on the AFC West teams' NFL draft, where every squad got good value except the Super Bowl champions.
CONNOR ROGERS: It is well known the AFC West is going to be one of the most competitive divisions in football, especially with the star quarterbacking talent that they have in place. And of course, the reigning Super Bowl champions. But let's start with the Las Vegas Raiders, who I thought did a good job in this NFL draft. They gave them a B-plus. And that might not even be enough when you look at the considerations that they got Michael Mayer in the second round.
He was a top-10 player for me. I think he's going to be a top-10 tight end in the NFL within two years. That was phenomenal, but wasn't even their best value pick. How about Christopher Smith, the safety from Georgia? Shocking the Eagles didn't also swipe this guy. The Raiders did a good job trading in to pick 170 and getting him, because I had him valued at 108. And we'll see if Tyree Wilson is healthy and ready to go because his power and length profile is insane.
Him across from Maxx Crosby will be exciting to watch. So B-plus draft for the Raiders. Ironically, cannot say the same about the Chiefs who have drafted really, really well over the years. They have a Super Bowl roster. They have the best quarterback in the NFL. So for the Chiefs, this isn't much of a panic alarm. But just looking at the picks in a vacuum, I got to give it a C-plus here. I think Felix Anudike-Uzomah is a solid player. There's going to be a lot on his shoulders assuming they don't bring back Frank Clark.
But the rest of the draft, I thought there was a lot of better receivers on the board where they took Rasheed Rice. And then BJ Thompson is a fun project edge pass rusher who I like the value on. But overall for the Chiefs, it's a C-plus because I don't think they got much impact here. Keondre Coburn would be the one rotational defensive lineman that I think they did strike value. They got him at 194. I had him at 153. I'm a hard grader, Chiefs fans. I still think you're going to be a Super Bowl contender. But I didn't love this NFL draft from Brett Veach, which is pretty rare throughout his tenure.
Moving over to the Los Angeles Chargers, who got a rock solid B-minus, they got a build up speed target with length in Quentin Johnston. But the value pick for me here was Tuli Tuipulotu. I had him at 45th overall. They got him at 54. He's a versatile edge rusher, a bigger edge rusher that plays with power, and will help their defense.
And then Daiyan Henley went right around where I expected him to. But that run-and-chase speed will fit really nicely in the middle of the Chargers defense.
How about the Denver Broncos? Same grade as the Chargers. They get a B-minus here. I thought the value pick was JL Skinner. I had him at 113. They got him at 183. I like the addition of Marvin Mims. He's somebody that can stretch the field. For a smaller wide receiver, he did really, really well in contested catch situations. So Sean Payton starting to get his fingerprints on what that Broncos offense is going to look like, and see if they can revitalize Russell Wilson throughout the 2023 season.