AFC West: How did the division do in the 2017 NFL Draft?

Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General overall view of the stage as the Oakland Raiders prepare to select Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Gareon Conley (not pictured) as the No. 24 pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General overall view of the stage as the Oakland Raiders prepare to select Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Gareon Conley (not pictured) as the No. 24 pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

With the 2017 NFL Draft in the rear view, let’s look back at how the AFC West fared in the draft.

With the NFL Draft officially over, teams have already started to get their offseason activities underway. We all know about the Oakland Raiders draft haul, so instead, let’s take a look at the rest of the AFC West to see how the other teams in the division fared.

Kansas City Chiefs

Round 1, No. 10 (Trade with the Buffalo Bills): Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

Round 2, No. 59: Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova

Round 3, No. 86: Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo

Round 4, No. 139: Jehu Chesson, WR, Michigan

Round 5, No. 183: Ukeme Eligwe, LB, Georgia Southern

Round 6, No. 218:  Leon McQuay III, S, USC

It was unusual for General Manager John Dorsey to trade up in the draft, but that is what they did in the first round to select their guy, Patrick Mahomes. In the trade with Buffalo, the Chiefs gave up their first round pick (No. 27) in 2017 and their third round pick (No. 91) in 2017. They then also gave up their first round pick in 2018.

Mahomes and second round pick Kpassagnon were both touted as “projects” by multiple scouts throughout the draft process. Andy Reid has shown that he can get the most out of his players, but if in fact these guys are raw talents, then it could be a wait to see them pay off.

Derrick Johnson is 34 years old and coming off an achilles injury, so that is an obvious area of concern for a team like the Chiefs. Although he projects to be ready by training camp, they opted to select linebacker Ukeme Eligwe as depth.

Overall, I see the Chiefs draft as being pretty decent with a chance to pay off some nice dividends in the future. They went out and got some guys that could fill holes in their roster.

Grade: B-

Denver Broncos

Round 1, No. 20: Garret Bolles, T, Utah

Round 2, No. 51: Demarcus Walker, DE, Florida St.

Round 3, No. 82: Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech.

Round 3, No. 101: Brendan Langley, CB, Lamar

Round 5, No. 145: Jake Butt, TE, Michigan

Round 6, No. 172: Isiah McKenzie, WR, Georgia

Round 6, No. 203: De’Angelo Henderson, RB, Coastal Carolina

Round 7, No. 253: Chad Kelly, QB, Mississippi

The Broncos selected an offensive player with six out of eight of their draft picks, which makes sense. Here are Denver’s defensive ranks last season, via

  • Points allowed per game: 18.6 (4th in the league)
  • Yards allowed per game: 316.1 (4th in the league)
  • Pass yards allowed per game: 185.8 (1st in the league)
  • Rush yards allowed per game: 130.3 (28th in the league)

The offense needed help and this draft seemed to fit that philosophy. The Broncos have constantly shown that they want to revamp this offensive line — I call this the “Khalil Mack Effect. Denver signed former Raiders right tackle Menelik Watson as well as former Cowboys guard Ronald Leary in free agency, and then topped that off by selecting Garret Bolles in the first round.

Bolles only played one year of football for Utah, but he performed well enough to be considered the top tackle in the draft by most media outlets. However, he will be 25 years old come Week 1. He is 6’5″, weighs 300 pounds and brings an athletic presence to the offensive line. Who knows if he will have the ability to block against some of the league’s top tier EDGE rushers, but we won’t have to wait long to find out, as he’ll have to face Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa and Justin Houston twice per year.

Second round pick Demarcus Walker played at Florida State University and stands at 6’4” and weighs 280 pounds. compared him as a Mario Edwards Jr. type of prospect. With Demarcus Ware retiring, Walker may be able to contribute early and often for the Broncos defensive line.

Overall, the Broncos decided to go heavy on the offensive side of the ball. Tight end Jake Butt was regarded as one of the better tight end prospects heading into the draft and fell all the way to the fifth round. As the Broncos are continuously showing that they want to improve their offensive production, we will see if there defense can hold up.

Mr. Irrelevant: Chad Kelly, quarterback out of Mississippi is regarded as a developmental project for the Broncos and does not figure to contribute immediately. This gives them three very young and inexperienced quarterbacks on the roster.

Grade: B-

Los Angeles Chargers

Round 1, No. 7: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Round 2, No. 38: Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky

Round 3, No. 71: Dan Feeney, G, Indiana

Round 4, No. 113: Rayshawn Jenkins, S, Miami

Round 5, No. 151: Desmond King, S, Idaho

Round 6, No. 190: Sam Tevi, OT, Utah

Round 7, No. 225: Issac Rochell, DT, Notre Dame

Last year, the Chargers were the worst team in the AFC West. They finished 5-11 and even lost to the Browns. But, when looking at how they drafted, they actually did quite well.

The Chargers drafted the earliest of the AFC West teams at pick no. 7, and went with Mike Williams, who many analysts had as the top wide receiver in the draft. Williams stands 6’4″ and weighs 218 pounds, adding a big bodied receiver to the division. To go with his size, Williams is known to have strong hands and the ability to make contested catches. The Chargers would love for him to turn into another version of Vincent Jackson.

In the second and third rounds, the Chargers selected two of the top interior guards in the draft in Lamp and Feeney. So like the Broncos, the Khalil Mack effect was evident in their draft. The Charers signed Russell Oking and Kenny Wiggins in free agency, and also drafted tackle Sam Tevi later in the draft, so they did quite a bit of work to solidify their offensive line. Look for the first two to make an immediate impact on the offensive line.

Desmond King is another intriguing prospect who many analysts predicted him to be selected in rounds three or four, but the Chargers were able to grab him in round five. King has the ability to play both cornerback and safety, according to ESPN. With the Chargers re-signing safety Jahleel Addae and bringing in Tre Boston from the Carolina Panthers, it is a tremendous asset to have an athlete like King who can play both positions.

The Chargers were both able to satisfy several needs and while also adhering to a best player available strategy in most of the rounds. All in all, they did quite well.

Grade: A-

Must Read: Grading the Raiders draft class

The AFC West is one of the best divisions in the entire league, and it looks like each team was able to get better following the draft.