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-   -   AFC West Updates (https://forums.chargers.com/showthread.php?t=105022)

Kemp17 05-12-2016 01:09 PM

AFC West Updates
 
So Kiper thinks we improved the most this offseason, at least via the draft. That prompts me to start thinking about how our division has changed since the end of the 2015 season. Let's take stock, one team at a time.

Kemp17 05-12-2016 01:09 PM

Denver Broncos

Departures-
  • Brock Osweiler, QB
  • Malik Jackson, DL
  • Danny Trevathan, LB
  • Evan Mathis, LG
  • Ryan Clady, OT
  • Louis Vasquez, RG
  • Ryan Harris, OT
  • Owen Daniels, TE
  • Vernon Davis, TE
  • David Bruton, S
  • Omar Bolden, S

What's most notable here is obviously Osweiler. He was far from proven, but Denver had invested years into his development and now he's gone. This situation, incidentally, is exactly why I thought 2016 was a year too soon to look for Rivers' heir apparent. Jackson and Trevathan are significant losses for a defense that should still be good. The OL of 2015 was quietly dismantled. Four starters moved on or were released. It will be a new look up front in 2016.

Arrivals-
  • Russell Okung, OT
  • Donald Stephenson, OT
  • Mark Sanchez, QB
  • Jared Crick, DL

Denver at least gave themselves options at OT. Okung isn't a particularly good or durable player, but he's not a liability. Sanchez adds to options at QB, but if he's your guy you are in trouble. Crick is depth.

Draft-
1. Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
2. Adam Gotsis, DL, Georgia Tech
3. Justin Simmons, S, Boston College
4. Devontae Booker, RB, Utah
5. Connor McGovern, OL, Missouri
6. Andy Janovich, FB, Nebraska
6. Will Parks, S, Arizona
7. Riley Dixon, P, Syracuse
This draft will be all about delayed gratification. The Broncos are starting over with another developmental QB. Gotsis is a talented prospect who should replace Jackson, but he's coming off injury. Simmons is an eventual Darian Stewart heir apparent. Booker has the best chance to help right away as a compliment to C.J. Anderson. McGovern should be nice depth.

Bottom Line- The Most Regression

The Broncos should still be considered the top team in the division coming off a championship, but they're also clearly the team that has taken the biggest step backwards. At QB, they're starting over. They're starting to see some losses off of that elite defense that they can't afford to replace immediately. The offensive line is being rebuilt, again-- though it won't surprise me if that aspect is successful given Kubiak's track record. Kudos to Elway for building a winner through FA. That's a rare feat and I didn't think he'd be able to pull it off. Most attempts to buy a ring fail. Now the long term success of his regime will rest on his ability to draft well.

Kemp17 05-12-2016 01:10 PM

Kansas City Chiefs

Departures-
  • Sean Smith, CB
  • Donald Stephenson, OT
  • Chase Daniel, QB
  • Jeff Allen, G
  • Tyvon Branch, S

Smith is easily the biggest loss here. The Chiefs don't really have an obvious replacement for him on hand. When your CB2 position is a competition, that doesn't bode particularly well, given that you really need three. Stephenson is solid, and more importantly was their best OT in recent seasons. Allen was passable and Daniel was a great backup.

Arrivals-
  • Mitchell Schwartz, OT

Really only one acquisition worth mentioning, but it's a good one. Schwartz is one of the best RT's in the game and probably the Chiefs' best OL from day one.

Draft-
2. Chris Jones, DL, Mississippi State
3. Keivarae Russell, CB, Notre Dame
4. Parker Ehinger, OL, Cincinnati
4. Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota
4. Demarcus Robinson, WR, Florida
5. Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford
5. Tyreek Hill, WR, Oklahoma State
6. D.J. White, CB, Georgia Tech
6. Dadi Nicolas, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech
Jones is really the only important guy to talk about for the sake of 2016, as everyone else is probably depth. He has first round talent, but apparently a questionable work ethic. If Reid & Co can get through to him, he can make a big impact on that already loaded defensive line. The Chiefs will need to hope that the rest of this class develops into contributors. If Jones busts, there's a real chance that this entire class is a wash.

Bottom Line- Holding the Line

In my estimation, the Chiefs didn't really get better or worse this offseason when you balance their arrivals and departures. They maybe lost a couple more recognizable names than they gained, but the main guys they brought in (Schwartz and Jones) carry the potential of being high quality contributors. The biggest concern, as in recent years, is the offensive line. That still goes largely unaddressed. Morse and Schwartz are quality, but the rest are brutal.

Kemp17 05-12-2016 01:10 PM

Oakland Raiders


Departures-
  • Charles Woodson, S
  • J'Marcus Webb, OT
  • Tony Bergstrom, OL
  • Benson Mayowa, DE
  • Lorenzo Alexander, LB

All of the top talent on the Raiders' roster is young. As a result, they didn't lose anyone of consequence other than Woodson, who retired.

Arrivals-
  • Kelechi Osemele, G
  • Sean Smith, CB
  • Bruce Irvin, LB
  • Reggie Nelson, S

Oakland made a number of splashy FA moves. Osemele, Smith, and Irvin are all top players at their positions. These are big steps for them, especially considering that they really didn't lose anyone of any quality to compare with these players.

Draft-
1. Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
2. Jihad Ward, DL, Illinois
3. Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
4. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
5. DeAndre Washington, RB, Texas Tech
6. Cory James, LB, Colorado State
7. Vadal Alexander, OL, LSU
The first four rounds of this haul are quality. If you consider Ramsey a corner, Joseph was the best safety in the class by a wide margin. He offers potential to help right away in a lot of areas. Ward and Calhoun are both talents who I can see the Raiders' coaching staff getting the most out of early on. Cook is a great #2 who could be spun off for picks in the future. Still unproven, but this looks like a great draft on paper.

Bottom Line- Most Improved

I hate to say it, but it looks like Oakland will continue to ascend within the division. Their recent drafts are really paying off, they brought in the best haul of FA's in the division, and their draft looks like it offers immediate impact. Barring a regression from Carr, it's hard to see this team going backwards in the near future. Cornerback, Running Back, and Tight End remain as the positions where they look the most vulnerable on paper.

Kemp17 05-12-2016 01:10 PM

San Diego Chargers


Departures-
  • Eric Weddle, S
  • Ladarius Green, TE
  • Patrick Robinson, CB
  • Mike Scifres, P
  • Kendall Reyes, DE
  • Ricardo Mathews, DE
  • Donald Brown, RB
  • Donald Butler, ILB
  • John Phillips, TE
  • David Johnson, TE

The injured, 2015 version of Weddle won't be hard to replace but in the long view, coming up with someone on the back end who can match the quality he offered won't be easy. And it won't happen in 2016 either. Green couldn't block and was a poor fit in the offensive approach as a pass catcher. His departure should be good for him and the Chargers. Robinson had a good year in 2015, but so far that level of play is the outlier in his career. The rest of this list aren't really important considerations.

Arrivals-
  • Travis Benjamin, WR
  • Casey Hayward, CB
  • Matt Slauson, G
  • Brandon Mebane, NT
  • Dwight Lowery, S
  • Jeff Cumberland, TE

Less splashy than what Oakland managed, but still a solid haul of veterans. Benjamin adds a much needed speed component to the offense, while Hayward is an upgrade on Robinson. Slauson was a gift this late in the offseason and should offer very solid play at multiple positions for at least a couple of seasons. I'm not optimistic that Mebane will do much, but Lowery is at least a viable NFL player who can help bridge the gap until we find new safeties for the future.

Draft-
1. Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
2. Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
3. Max Tuerk, C, USC
4. Joshua Perry, ILB, Ohio State
5. Jatavis Brown, LB/S, Toledo
6. Drew Kaser, P, Texas AM
6. Derek Watt, FB, Wisconsin
7. Donovan Clark, G, Michigan State
Easily the best draft class in the division, as it should be given where they were picking. Bosa is the top prospect garnered by anyone in the division by a huge margin. It wouldn't surprise if several other prospects become starters in due time, while offering help in 2015.

Bottom Line- Significant Improvement

With the exception of the safety position, the Chargers ably relaced all losses while making strides by adding talent on top of that. They're counting on all the investments on the OL finally taking off, which will probably be the difference in whether or not this season is successful. On paper, you have to give the nod to Oakland due to the quality of the FA's they signed, but the Chargers have a chance to show the most improvement on the field depending on how quickly their talented rookie class comes on and makes an impact.

Boltup90 05-12-2016 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kemp17 (Post 4644458)
Denver Broncos

Departures-
  • Brock Osweiler, QB
  • Malik Jackson, DL
  • Danny Trevathan, LB
  • Evan Mathis, LG
  • Ryan Clady, OT
  • Louis Vasquez, RG
  • Ryan Harris, OT
  • Owen Daniels, TE
  • Vernon Davis, TE
  • David Bruton, S
  • Omar Bolden, S

What's most notable here is obviously Osweiler. He was far from proven, but Denver had invested years into his development and now he's gone. This situation, incidentally, is exactly why I thought 2016 was a year too soon to look for Rivers' heir apparent. Jackson and Trevathan are significant losses for a defense that should still be good. The OL of 2015 was quietly dismantled. Four starters moved on or were released. It will be a new look up front in 2016.

I certainly like the irony with the OL situation. These guys completely overhauled and lost 4 of their starting Linemen and signed only one legitimate starter in both FA and the draft, but people on here were freaking out over our OL situation post draft...

Not to mention the QB scenario there.

Imagine if we lost Phil, and 80% of our OL starters and signed only one injury prone OT. The CMB would have lost their minds.

baphamet 05-12-2016 01:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boltup90 (Post 4644467)
I certainly like the irony with the OL situation. These guys completely overhauled and lost 4 of their starting Linemen and signed only one legitimate starter in both FA and the draft, but people on here were freaking out over our OL situation post draft...

Not to mention the QB scenario there.

Imagine if we lost Phil, and 80% of our OL starters and signed only one injury prone OT. The CMB would have lost their minds.

yeah the broncos are a mess on offense but the funny thing is, as bad as it looks for them they could still be better offense than they were last year.

the broncos also drafted a FB and just signed another bigger one. it seems the chargers are not the only team in the division looking to improve the running game and using FB sets to do it.

it will be especially interesting if our teams go head to head and just play smash mouth football back and forth. :D

Boltup90 05-12-2016 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by baphamet (Post 4644469)
yeah the broncos are a mess on offense but the funny thing is, as bad as it looks for them they could still be better offense than they were last year.

the broncos also drafted a FB and just signed another bigger one. it seems the chargers are not the only team in the division looking to improve the running game and using FB sets to do it.

it will be especially interesting if our teams go head to head and just play smash mouth football back and forth. :D

The bolded is pure speculation, it can be said for any unit on any team in the NFL. Until they play together in the regular season, no one knows. But I'd say the odds of a brand new OL having never worked together with a brand new, possibly rookie, QB and brand new FBs I cant see how anyone would assume the unit will be better than it was with Peyton Manning running the Offense, as bad as his physical play was he still dominated the mental game and play calling.

frozendisc 05-12-2016 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boltup90 (Post 4644470)
The bolded is pure speculation, it can be said for any unit on any team in the NFL. Until they play together in the regular season, no one knows. But I'd say the odds of a brand new OL having never worked together with a brand new, possibly rookie, QB and brand new FBs I cant see how anyone would assume the unit will be better than it was with Peyton Manning running the Offense, as bad as his physical play was he still dominated the mental game and play calling.

The irony is fantastic......

baphamet 05-12-2016 01:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boltup90 (Post 4644470)
The bolded is pure speculation, it can be said for any unit on any team in the NFL. Until they play together in the regular season, no one knows. But I'd say the odds of a brand new OL having never worked together with a brand new, possibly rookie, QB and brand new FBs I cant see how anyone would assume the unit will be better than it was with Peyton Manning running the Offense, as bad as his physical play was he still dominated the mental game and play calling.

of course it is speculation but you do realize how bad their offense was last year, right? i think if they can simply get their running game going it will be better than last year even with buttfumble.

by the way, me saying it "could" be better this year does not necessarily mean it "will" be better.


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