ESPN’s AFC West reporters weigh in on which team in the division helped itself the most in the draft. Each team’s draft class is below its reporter’s analysis.
Jeff Legwold, Denver Broncos reporter: The Broncos found significant potential impact in Day 2 of the draft. DeMarcus Walker will start working in their defense and Carlos Henderson is likely the team’s No. 3 receiver. The Chiefs got one of the draft’s most intriguing developmental prospects in Tanoh Kpassagnon to go with running back Kareem Hunt, but the Los Angeles Chargers likely got the most immediate help. Forrest Lamp was the best lineman on the board -- a top 10 player based solely on talent and not position -- and the Chargers got him in the second round. Dan Feeney is also a future starter up front and Desmond King could be one at safety while Mike Williams should be a walk-in contributor at wide receiver.
Adam Teicher, Kansas City Chiefs reporter: No AFC West team helped itself immediately like the Chargers, who picked Clemson wide receiver Williams in the first round. The Chargers, with Williams, a healthy Keenan Allen and an improved Melvin Gordon, have surrounded quarterback Philip Rivers with legitimate threats. The Chargers also addressed offensive-line needs in the second and third rounds.
Eric D. Williams, Los Angeles Chargers reporter: In need of an upgrade at offensive line, the Broncos got a left tackle potentially for the next decade in Garett Bolles. Second-round defensive end Walker should be a disruptive force as an interior pass rusher. I like the play-making ability mid-round selections Henderson and Isaiah McKenzie bring to an offense that finished with just 40 passing plays of 20-plus yards in 2016 (tied for No. 26 in the NFL). Fifth-round selection tight end Jake Butt could be a great pickup near the end of the draft if he fully recovers from ACL knee surgery. Overall, the Broncos got better up front on both sides of the football and added some much-needed speed offensively on the perimeter.
Paul Gutierrez, Oakland Raiders reporter: The Raiders were on their way to a 13-3 record and winning the division before Derek Carr broke his leg in Game 15. He is healed now and Oakland improved itself by addressing its biggest needs in the draft, six of their nine picks coming on defense. Cornerback Gareon Conley has the skill set to start on the outside and then slide into the slot in nickel, while safety Obi Melifonwu is the genetic freak of the draft and provides play-making ability, as does a slimmed-down Eddie Vanderdoes at defensive tackle. And while Marquel Lee may not be the immediate answer at middle linebacker, he provides a physical presence and heady depth. A good team in Oakland got better, and that’s how the Raiders won the draft in the AFC West.