Who is the best newcomer to this division?
Jeff Legwold, Denver Broncos reporter: The best newcomers who arrived in this division in both free agency and the draft will not score all that highly on the glamour meter. That’s because in both cases the players are likely offensive linemen.
While tight end Jared Cook is a quality addition for the Raiders -- six 30-catch seasons in his career with six seasons in which he averaged at least 12 yards per reception -- Broncos guard Ronald Leary could well be the best addition in free agency. Leary is a power player in his prime, and many personnel executives think he would have been a far better option for the Cowboys than the player whom they will line up to replace him.
The Broncos' Garett Bolles and Chargers’ Forrest Lamp -- also offensive linemen -- are among the division’s best new arrivals through the draft. But, if it’s too much trouble to sift through the line of scrimmage to watch those guys work, Chargers rookie receiver Mike Williams has one of the most accurate passers in the league in Philip Rivers to feed him the ball. His numbers should reflect it.
Adam Teicher, Kansas City Chiefs reporter: This was not a great year for the arrival of immediate impact players in the AFC West, either through the draft or free agency. Kansas City’s first-round draft pick, Patrick Mahomes II, is a developmental player. The Chiefs’ main free-agent addition, Bennie Logan, is a nose tackle. The Chargers’ top pick, wide receiver Williams, didn’t practice in the offseason because of an injury, raising questions about his ability to contribute when the season begins. Los Angeles concentrated on fixing the offensive line, a priority in Denver as well. Look to Oakland for the new player who can have the biggest immediate impact. One candidate from the Raiders is tight end Cook, a free-agent addition. Cook provides another receiving threat for quarterback Derek Carr. Another possibility is cornerback Gareon Conley, Oakland’s first-round draft pick. Conley has the ability to help the Raiders improve their suspect pass defense. If they do, they’ll win their first AFC West title since 2002.
Eric D. Williams, Los Angeles Chargers reporter: In his prime, Marshawn Lynch was one of the most powerful and productive runners in the NFL. Lynch rushed for over 1,000 yards in four straight seasons starting in 2011 while with the Seattle Seahawks, helping them win a Super Bowl. He totaled 5,357 yards and 48 rushing touchdowns during that time, tops in the NFL. However, Lynch finished an injury-plagued year with just 411 rushing yards his final season in Seattle in 2015. After taking a year off last season, I believe Lynch will shake the rust off and return to his days as Beast Mode, giving Oakland's offense another dangerous weapon out of the backfield.
Paul Gutierrez, Oakland Raiders reporter: As long as he is more Beast Mode than Bust Mode, and he is more rested than rusted, the easy answer is Raiders running back Lynch -- by a long shot. Yes, Lynch, who is coming off a one-year retirement, was far from the dominant force his last season in Seattle, averaging just 3.8 yards per carry while missing nine games with injury. But you might say he was still bitter over not being used from a yard out the previous Super Bowl. His head is definitely in a different place now in coming home to Oakland, where he grew up. He said the reason he decided to come out of retirement was to play for the youth in the East Bay so they could watch him before the team moves to Las Vegas. He is rested and ready to prove doubters wrong, and his quirky personality has not only been accepted by the Raiders, it has been celebrated. AFC West rivals, beware.