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AFC West 2023 NFL Draft Recap

AFC West

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

DENVER BRONCOS

2 63 WR Marvin Mims Oklahoma
3 67 LB Drew Sanders Arkansas
3 83 CB Riley Moss Iowa
6 183 S JL Skinner Boise State
7 257 IOL Alex Forsyth Oregon

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
2 55 WR Rashee Rice SMU
3 92 OT Wanya Morris Oklahoma
4 119 S Chamarri Conner Virginia Tech
5 166 EDGE BJ Thompson Stephen F. Austin
6 194 DL Keondre Coburn Texas
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
3 70 DL Byron Young Alabama
3 100 WR Tre Tucker Cincinnati
4 104 CB Jakorian Bennett Maryland
4 135 QB Aidan O’Connell Purdue
5 170 S Chris Smith II Georgia
6 203 LB Amari Burney Florida
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

1 21 WR Quentin Johnston TCU
2 54 DL Tuli Tuipulotu Southern Cal
3 85 LB Daiyan Henley Washington State
4 125 WR Derius Davis TCU
5 156 OT Jordan McFadden Clemson
6 200 DL Scott Matlock Boise State
7 239 QB Max Duggan TCU

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

NFC EAST

AFC EAST

AFC SOUTH

NFC SOUTH

AFC WEST

NFC WEST

AFC NORTH

NFC NORTH

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