It’s been a tough time in America. Coronavirus is still widespread and systemic racism has come to light after the murder of George Floyd. Yesterday, I declined to post in honor of Blackout Tuesday, and I feel that the Black Lives Matter movement should continue to get attention. But in a time like this, sports can provide an escape and bring people together. Even though sports aren’t back, I’ll be making the most of the sports subjects I can discuss. Today, I’ll be continuing my NFL draft report card series with the AFC West. Also coming soon, I’ll have another entry in my Return to Sports column.
NFL Draft Report Cards 2020
Los Angeles Chargers: B+
I thought the Chargers brought in a pretty good draft class, filling their major positional needs over anything else. The Chargers started off by drafting Justin Herbert, who many people thought they reached for, but I think Herbert is good value at that spot, and it fills LA’s biggest need by far. They would’ve been fine without trading up for Kenneth Murray, but the rest of their picks made sense, as they drafted a new goal line RB, a couple WRs, and a safety to add secondary depth. They could’ve used some o-line and d-line help, but they did address those positions in the 2019 draft, and hopefully their draft picks from last year up their game for 2020.
Kansas City Chiefs: B
The Chiefs started off their draft very strongly, filling many top positional needs by drafting RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, OLB Willie Gay Jr., OL Lucas Niang, and DB L’Jarius Sneed (who did fill a need despite the fact that Kansas City reached for him). But once their needs were filled, they reached on multiple occasions. I can understand using late round picks on a team’s personal favorite players, especially for a team like the Chiefs who didn’t have many needs and filled the ones they did have early. So I don’t mind this draft class.
Denver Broncos: B-
The Broncos addressed their depth problem at WR quickly, drafting Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler in early rounds and adding in Tyrie Cleveland in Round 7. They did fill most of their other needs as well. But they reached on McTelvin Agim and could have used more help for the d-line and secondary. They did what they needed to do (at least for the most part), but very few of their picks stood out and very few of the players Denver picked were the best possible option at that spot.
Las Vegas Raiders: B-
The Raiders filled their need at WR early as expected, and also addressed their need for DBs. But they reached on several occasions and in focusing too much on WR and DB, failed to address their biggest needs at linebacker. S Tanner Muse can play LB, but I don’t see him starting next to incoming free agents Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatowski. I expect a lot of 2 LB nickel formations this year, as the Raiders are seriously lacking in LB depth. In addition, there were better options on the board in Round 1 than Henry Ruggs III and Damon Arnette. The Raiders could’ve had a CeeDee Lamb-Kristian Fulton duo instead. The Raiders do leave this draft as a better, more well-rounded team, but this was not their best work.
That’s all for my AFC West draft grades, and it also concludes the AFC portion of this series. Next time, I’ll be looking at the NFC East.