View Full Version : Espn insider article about afc west

J Diddy
04-21-2005, 01:47 PM
Every NFL team goes into the draft with a to-do list based on its needs, draft position and willingness to trade up or down. Our scouts have been doing their homework and present an early look at the most likely scenarios each team will face on draft day. Below is a breakdown of the AFC West. Denver Broncos (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=den) | Top 5 needs (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2025829)

The Broncos have been active during the offseason, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Their only offensive addition was TE Stephen Alexander (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4307), who will serve as a backup to recently retained Jeb Putzier (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6126). Their six other significant moves, however, have been on defense, where they have signed or traded for the following: DTs Gerard Warren (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5450) and Michael Myers (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4330), DEs Ebenezer Ekuban (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4668) and Courtney Brown (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5030), WLB Ian Gold (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5069) and ILB Keith Burns (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=2797). With the Broncos looking to move to a 3-4 defense, a lot of the early-round attention will be on finding good fits to play nose tackle, defensive end, inside linebacker and rush linebacker. Even though Denver spent much of its free-agency money on the defensive front seven, Gold should be the only surefire starter. The other players brought in are underachievers and journeymen who will need to prove themselves before earning a starting job. In our opinion, general manager Ted Sundquist and head coach Mike Shanahan still need to focus a lot of their day-one attention on defense. The team has traded away its fourth- and fifth-round selections, but it does have an extra pick (101) in the third round. With four day-one picks to work with, the Broncos should be able to get potential future starters at defensive end, offensive guard, safety and wide receiver. The best value at pick No. 25 could very well be at defensive end with a prospect such as Iowa's Matt Roth (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8211). If that's the route Denver takes with its first selection, it could wind up with a wide receiver such as Miami's Roscoe Parrish (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=9090) in the second round and a safety such as Iowa's Sean Considine (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8276) and a guard such as Toledo's Nick Kaczur (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8526) with its two picks in the third round. The Broncos don't pick again until the sixth round and can use their last two selections (Nos. 200 and 239) to improve their depth at inside linebacker and cornerback. Grading the past
Three-year tallyYear '02 '03 '04 Total picks 8 10 10 Starters 2 1 1 Backups 4 3 9 Other team 1 1 0 Out of NFL 1 5 0 Grade: B- Clinton Portis (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5937) ('02) is no longer with the team, but Denver did well to add him in the second round, especially considering it later traded him for a second-round pick and shutdown DC Champ Bailey (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4655). In addition, TE Putzier ('02), a former sixth-round pick, is coming off a breakout season. However, the Broncos have yet to find Portis' replacement, as second-round pick Tatum Bell (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6800) ('04) and fourth-round pick Quentin Griffin (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6444) ('03) have both had problems staying healthy.
Kansas City Chiefs (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=kan) | Top 5 needs (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2025954)

The Chiefs haven't had much wiggle room under the salary cap, but they did make some much-needed improvements on defense with the additions of ILB Kendrell Bell (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5486) and SS Sammy Knight (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4106). Kansas City's only two significant free-agency losses have been DE Vonnie Holliday (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4282) and RB Derrick Blaylock (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5598), and neither player will be especially missed. The Chiefs will need to address the depth issue at running back, but not until the late rounds. The defensive end position, on the other hand, is one of the Chiefs' most pressing needs. With the No. 15 selection, president Carl Peterson and head coach Dick Vermeil should have their pick of the litter from what shapes up as a strong defensive end class. The top prospects are LSU's Marcus Spears (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8207), Georgia's David Pollack (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8205), Wisconsin's Erasmus James (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8206) and Oklahoma's Dan Cody (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8208). Cornerback is another option in the first round, but the top two prospects (Adam Jones (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=9049) and Antrel Rolle (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8129)) should be off the board when the Chiefs select, and there's a sizable drop-off in talent after those two. In terms of generating the best value, the Chiefs would do well to draft a defensive end in the first round, a cornerback such as LSU's Corey Webster (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8131) in the second round and an outside linebacker such as Southern Miss' Michael Boley (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8602) in the third round. The Chiefs also have eight picks on the second day of the draft one in the fourth, three in the fifth and two in each of the sixth and seventh rounds. They can use some of those extra picks as leverage to move up in the first few rounds or keep all eight of them to improve their depth at wide receiver, defensive tackle, safety and quarterback. Regardless of how they manage their day-two selections, it will be critical for the Chiefs to find a receiver with lots of developmental upside and the speed to contribute as a vertical presence in his rookie season. Some third- or fourth-round possibilities include Indiana's Courtney Roby (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8954), Oklahoma's Mark Bradley (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=9159) and FSU's Craphonso Thorpe (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8925). Grading the past
Three-year tallyYear '02 '03 '04 Total picks 5 8 7 Starters 2 2 1 Backups 1 6 6 Other team 1 0 0 Out of NFL 1 0 0 Grade: D+ RB Larry Johnson (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6363) ('03) is developing into an excellent backup behind Priest Holmes (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4047), but his production has yet to warrant using a first-round pick to acquire him. Kansas City used its only other first-round pick during the past three drafts to acquire DT Ryan Sims (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5892), who hasn't progressed as hoped. In addition, the Chiefs finished with the worst defense in the AFC last year despite using 12 of their 20 picks on defensive players.

Oakland Raiders (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=oak) | Top 5 needs (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2026098)

The Raiders' 2005 draft began a few weeks early when they sent their first-round pick (No. 7 overall) and ILB Napoleon Harris (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5909) to Minnesota in exchange for WR Randy Moss (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4262). The team also addressed major needs at running back, fullback and defensive end with the free-agent additions of LaMont Jordan (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5496), Rob Konrad (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4692) and Derrick Burgess (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5510), respectively. The challenge that now faces president Al Davis and senior personnel executive Michael Lombardi is to find help down the middle of their defense, which ranked 30th in the NFL in 2004. For starters, the Raiders need to find a replacement for Harris at inside linebacker, especially with the team playing the 3-4 alignment more than ever. After that, the Raiders must find an upgrade at strong safety and depth at nose tackle. Without a first-round selection, the Raiders won't be drafting until the 38th overall pick. At that point, they have a chance to draft a possible starter at inside linebacker in either Georgia's Odell Thurman (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=9066) (if he slips because of character issues) or Nebraska's Barrett Ruud (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8444). They also have one pick early in rounds three and four, where they could find quality prospects at strong safety, such as Michigan's Ernest Shazor (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=9056) or Oklahoma's Donte Nicholson (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8266), and at nose tackle, with Mississippi State's Ronald Fields (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8359) and Wisconsin's Jason Jefferson (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8363). The Raiders are without draft picks in the fifth and seventh rounds but have four picks in the sixth round (182, 185, 212 and 214). At that point, the team will be looking to improve depth at guard, defensive end, quarterback and cornerback while also looking for versatile players who can help improve its inconsistent cover teams in the kicking game. Grading the past
Three-year tallyYear '02 '03 '04 Total picks 8 10 9 Starters 3 2 1 Backups 3 4 5 Other team 2 2 1 Out of NFL 0 2 2 Grade: C+ Oakland has done an excellent job of adding quality depth at receiver on the second day of the draft, as Ronald Curry (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6092) ('02) is a former seventh-round pick and Doug Gabriel (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6503) ('03) is a former fifth-round pick. However, the Raiders had five first-day picks in 2003, and they haven't made enough of an impact. In addition, TEs Doug Jolley (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5941) ('02) and Teyo Johnson (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6399) ('03) are former second-round picks that have been inconsistent at best.

San Diego Chargers (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=sdg) | Top 5 needs (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2026701)

A.J. Smith and Marty Schottenheimer went from being one of the most maligned general manager-head coach tandems in the NFL just one year ago to being considered one of the best-positioned duos in the league. The Chargers are coming off a shocking 2004 turnaround season (12-4 and winners of the AFC West) in which QB Drew Brees (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5479), formerly considered a second-round bust, emerged as an upper-echelon starter. They also enter this year's draft with two first-round picks thanks to the Eli Manning (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6760)-for-Philip Rivers (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6763) trade. There were some earlier rumors of a trade to San Francisco that would involve Rivers and the 49ers' top overall selection, but salary-cap problems regarding the hit the Chargers would take (reportedly more than $8 million) after already paying Rivers his bonus money as a rookie are likely to nix any potential deal. Assuming the Chargers keep both their first-round selections (Nos. 12 and 28), they will have some definite needs to address after what has been a relatively quiet offseason. They let NT Jason Fisk (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=3402) and WR/RS Tim Dwight (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4343) go, and the only addition they made was FS Bhawoh Jue (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5518). In our opinion, the Chargers still have weaknesses that need to be addressed in the draft at outside linebacker and wide receiver. They also must find depth and eventual replacements at safety, offensive tackle and nose tackle. We think the Chargers will go for a pass rusher first, then a wide receiver with the 28th pick. Receivers such as Michigan's Braylon Edwards (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8923), USC's Mike Williams (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8922) and South Carolina's Troy Williamson (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=9088) will all be off the board by then, but either Mark Clayton (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8924) (Oklahoma) or Roddy White (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8951) (UAB) would be a great option late in the first round. The Chargers only have one more selection on day one (No. 61, second round). With that pick, the team could go after a free safety such as Nebraska's Josh Bullocks (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=9058), an offensive tackle such as Syracuse's Adam Terry (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8647) or a nose tackle such as USC's Mike Patterson (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8358). Whichever of those positions the Chargers don't address with their first three picks will have to wait until day two, where they'll be looking more at second-tier prospects such as Fresno State FS James Sanders (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=9104), Florida State OT Ray Willis (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8645) or Alabama NT Anthony Bryant (http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft05/tracker/player?id=8361). Other positions the Chargers will be looking to add depth to on the second day include defensive end, inside linebacker, offensive guard and fullback. Grading the past
Three-year tallyYear '02 '03 '04 Total picks 8 8 11 Starters 3 2 3 Backups 2 6 8 Other team 1 0 0 Out of NFL 2 0 0 Grade: B San Diego's decision to draft QB Manning with the first pick overall was excellent. The result was the 12th overall pick and a fifth-round pick in this year's draft plus Rivers, a quarterback who has the potential to develop into a quality starter. In addition, third-round pick Nick Hardwick (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6825) ('04) and seventh-round pick Shane Olivea (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6968) ('04) have exceeded expectations thus far. However, the Chargers' pass defense finished 31st in the league last year even though they used two of their past three first-round picks on cornerbacks. Scouts Inc. (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?page=ScoutsInc) watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN Insider.

04-21-2005, 01:50 PM
With the No. 15 selection, president Carl Peterson and head coach Dick Vermeil should have their pick of the litter from what shapes up as a strong defensive end class.

Why do all of these so-called experts think the Chiefs need another DE? :hmmm: CB or OLB are the Chiefs needs! :cuss:

J Diddy
04-21-2005, 01:52 PM
actually the strong points of this article is lost because I can't get the freaking graphs to show up. They show in the last 3 years the success rate of all the teams in the afcwest.

J Diddy
04-21-2005, 01:54 PM

Here is the link for those of you who subscribe to insider.

04-21-2005, 01:57 PM
Why do all of these so-called experts think the Chiefs need another DE?

Because with one more DE, we would then have two. :)

04-21-2005, 02:02 PM
Just what we need, a WR named CRAPhonso Thorpe.

Go crap go.

04-21-2005, 02:04 PM
Why do all of these so-called experts think the Chiefs need another DE? :hmmm: CB or OLB are the Chiefs needs! :cuss:

Because QBs can't throw from their backsides....

Bob Dole
04-21-2005, 02:06 PM
Why do all of these so-called experts think the Chiefs need another DE? :hmmm: CB or OLB are the Chiefs needs! :cuss:

Apparently for the same reason they think we need to draft 3rd string running back.

Big Chief Homer
04-21-2005, 02:07 PM
Just what we need, a WR named CRAPhonso Thorpe.

Go crap go.

when he drops the ball we can all call him CRAP HANDS O Thorpe

Mr. Laz
04-21-2005, 02:22 PM
Because QBs can't throw from their backsides....
Quarterbacks rarely end up on their backside when their receiver get open easily ... regardless of the pass rush.