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NFL Draft Review: AFC West

Gabe Salgado

 

We hit the home stretch with part seven of our NFL Draft review. Now we head to the NFL’s left coast, starting with the AFC West. The Broncos are looking win yet another division title, while the Chiefs and Chargers are looking to overthrow them. The Raiders on the other hand are just looking to be competitive again.

The draft always gives teams hope for the future, or in this case the immediate future. Here are the top 2015 draft picks for the AFC’s western division…..

 

Denver Broncos:

Best Draft Pick: I’m going three times on this one with Missouri defensive end Shane Ray (1st round), Colorado State offensive tackle Ty Sambrallo (2nd round), and Ohio State tight end Jeff Heuerman (3rd round).

Why: Now that it seems that Ray has moved past his pre-draft transgressions, the Broncos can now move forward with him as a major player on their defense. He could still be moved to linebacker because of his size, but he’s one of the top speed rushers coming out of college this year.

Sambrailo now comes into the picture because veteran offensive tackle Ryan Clady tore the ACL in his left knee during Organized Team Activities recently. Sambrallo will be put to the test in trying to protect Peyton Manning’s blind side for the foreseeable future.

Heuerman will be expected to fill the void left by Julius Thomas who chose to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason.

Outlook: These rookies will have quite the load to shoulder but they have the talent to do it.

 

 

Kansas City Chiefs:

Best Draft Pick: Washington cornerback Marcus Peters (1st round).

Why: Considering the type of receivers that the Chiefs play against six times a year, they needed some new blood at the cornerback position. With Peters they’re getting a solid cover corner who can keep up with these receivers and has the potential to limit big plays.

Outlook: After playing in a 4-3 defense in college, Peters will need to adjust to a 3-4 at the pro level. But his talent should help him make that adjustment.

 

San Diego Chargers:

Best Draft Pick: Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon (1st round).

Why: The 2014 Heisman Trophy finalist gives the Chargers the feature back that they have lacked since losing LaDainian Tomlinson after the 2009 season.

Outlook: If Gordon can stay healthy expect him to be a candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

 

Oakland Raiders:

Best Draft Pick:  Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper (1st round).

Why: Cooper was the most NFL-ready receiver in this year’s draft. Having played in a pro style offense in college, Cooper knows all of the routes, he can read defenses, and he can run block.

Outlook: Just like Gordon, Cooper will also be in the discussion for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

 

Next up, we conclude our draft review.

 

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