The 2023 NFL Draft is behind us and now we head into the review process. Over the next two weeks, the Draft Countdown staff will break down each team’s draft hauls, division-by-division. If any of these teams improved, check out the NFL odds. Today, I look at the four teams in the AFC West!
How did the Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, and Chargers make out? Let’s take a look.
AFC West 2023 NFL Draft Recap
|6||183||S||JL Skinner||Boise State|
The Broncos were without their own first or second-round pick due to trades for head coach Sean Payton and Russell Wilson. They still did a good job of maneuvering around the board to fill needs. Denver traded up in the second to select WR Marvin Mims. They have been actively shopping Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and KJ Hamler. If they get any takers Mims should step right in.
Drew Sanders was a great value pick in the third at a pick of need. Sanders offers pass-rushing ability from the LB position. Similar to Micah Parson for the Cowboys. Riley Moss can back up both corner spots and free safety initially until he works his way into a starter role. I expect JL Skinner to be a tremendous special teams player. He could eventually push for a starting role.
I love the selection of Alex Forsyth late. He can back up all three interior positions on the offensive line. Look out for Thomas Incoom and PJ Mustipher as priority free agents on the defensive front.
Best Pick: Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas
Biggest Reach: Riley Moss, CB, Iowa
Day 3 Pick to Watch: Alex Forsyth, IOL, Oregon
PFA Name to Know: Thomas Incoom, EDGE, Central Michigan
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
|1||31||EDGE||Felix Anudike-Uzomah||Kansas State|
|4||119||S||Chamarri Conner||Virginia Tech|
|5||166||EDGE||BJ Thompson||Stephen F. Austin|
|7||250||CB||Nic Jones||Ball State|
There isn’t a whole lot of room for rookie impacts for the defending champs. Their first selection, Felix Anudike-Uzomah is the likely exception. After releasing Frank Clark, KC needs that pass rush juice opposite last year’s top pick, George Karlaftis.
Rashee Rice gives them another credible receiving target. KC signed Donovan Smith to play left tackle in 2023 with the hope that third-round selection Wanya Morris can take over in 2024.
Chammari Connor can back up at both free safety and nickel corner. SFA ER BJ Thompson can give them some sub-package juice getting after the QB.
Best Pick: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State
Biggest Reach: None
Day 3 Pick to Watch: BJ Thompson, EDGE, Stephen F Austin
PFA Name to Know: Deneric Prince, RB, Tulsa
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
|1||7||EDGE||Tyree Wilson||Texas Tech|
|2||35||TE||Michael Mayer||Notre Dame|
|5||170||S||Chris Smith II||Georgia|
|7||231||DL||Nesta Jade Silvera||Arizona State|
Tyree Wilson is built like the prototypical NFL pass rusher. He was highly productive for the Red Raiders and now gives the LV Raiders a future at the position opposite of Maxx Crosby. They traded up in the 2nd to take Michael Mayer. Was the tight end spot a glaring need? No…but they couldn’t pass up on the value of getting a potential TE1 to replace Darren Waller.
Defensive tackle was a need but it felt like a reach to take Alabama’s Byron Young. Not as big of a reach as taking WR Tre Tucker and QB Aidan O’Connell. I love the day two picks of CB Jakorian Bennett and S Chris Smith II. Both should impact all four special team units as rookies while eventually working their way into significant defensive snaps.
Best Pick: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Biggest Reach: Tre Tucker, WR, Cincinnati
Day 3 Pick to Watch: Jakorian Bennett, CB, Maryland
PFA Name to Know: Dalton Wagner, OT, Arkansas
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
|2||54||DL||Tuli Tuipulotu||Southern Cal|
|3||85||LB||Daiyan Henley||Washington State|
|6||200||DL||Scott Matlock||Boise State|
I love the selection of Quentin Johnston in round one. He was my WR1 in this class. With the inability of Mike Williams and Keenan Allen to stay healthy, adding Johnston will be paramount to keeping Justin Herbert on an upward trajectory.
Adding Tuli Tuipulotu and Daiyan Henley to the defense were good additions. Tuipulotu adds pass rush from multiple spots. Henley may have been the best coverage linebacker in this class. In a division with Travis Kelce, that will be valuable.
As a return man, the pick of Derius Davis is great…not so much as a WR. I think the Chargers improved the depth of their defensive line with 6th-round pick Scott Matlock and PFA Jerrod Clark.
Best Pick: Quentin Johnson, WR, TCU
Biggest Reach: Derius Davis, WR, TCU
Day 3 Pick to Watch: Scott Matlock, DL, Boise State
PFA Name to Know: Jerrod Clark, DL, Coastal Carolina
2023 NFL DRAFT REVIEWS