Fantasy Football

2019 NFL Draft Perfect Fits: AFC West


All the world’s a stage. And all the GMs and coaches in the AFC West swear they are merely players.

Adding NFL Network’s Mike Mayock to play office with Chucky was a bold move leading into the final season of Raider football in Oakland. But bringing in multiple veteran stars has our curiosity peaked for the team with a treasure chest of 2019 draft capital.

Not to be upstaged by their soon to be ex-Californian rivals, the LA Chargers felt real and struck fear into their adversaries until Brady and the Pats did what they do. With the Philip Rivers window closing and multiple young players heading towards their next contracts, will the Chargers go all-in or think long term in Nashville next week?

Denver went from Case Keenum to Joe Flacco, so…okay! Sometimes things don’t make sense until they make sense. All eyes on John Elway next Thursday after openly admitting he had to be better after the 2018 season.

And finally, fresh off that stinging defeat in the AFC championship, the Kansas City Chiefs had a busy offseason themselves. Some of it was busy for not so good reasons. Will the Chiefs do enough this April to offset their losses on the defensive side of the ball?

It’s a wild, wild AFC West once again in 2019 and it begins to get very real this Thursday. Here’s our take on the AFC West’s perfect fits in next week’s draft.

2019 NFL Draft Perfect Fits: AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs

What They Are Thinking: DEFENSE. A lot of DEFENSE. CB>S>DT>LB. Offensive Line Depth. Oh damn, this is still Andy Reid’s team? Probably some skill players too!

Arrowhead Stadium has always had this classic football look and feel, even watching from a far. Anytime Arrowhead was in primetime, you knew that old school football feel was about to take place. You knew a true battlefield amongst modern day gladiators (featuring the forward pass) was imminent.

Laser pointers be damned, Arrowhead evolved into its own dimension in 2018. The offensive future behind an Andy Reid led coaching staff and Patrick Mahomes will bring much joy to us all for the foreseeable future. But at what cost to the Chiefs defensive talent?

This past offseason once again featured the departures of multiple integral defensive stalwarts:

  • EDGE Dee Ford (Niners)
  • OLB Justin Houston (Colts)
  • DE Allen Bailey (Free Agent)
  • LB Frank Zombo (Free Agent)
  • CB Stephen Nelson (Steelers)
  • CB Orlando Scandrick (Free Agent)
  • SS Eric Berry (Free Agent)
  • S Eric Murray (Browns)
  • S Ron Parker (Free Agent)

Despite losing so many snaps on one side of the ball, GM Brett Veach doesn’t seem to feel triggered into action. He has gone as far as saying he is satisfied with both sides of the lines. This is either classic GM pre-draft gamesmanship or a real commitment to two recent second round selections at DE: Breeland Speaks (2018, 46th Overall) and Tanoh Kpassagnon (2017, 59th Overall).

Veach did mention that despite not having “a top-10” talent, this cornerback class has good depth into Day 2 of the draft. With the 29th overall pick, adding to a cornerback room that is led by Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland would be downright perfect. If Veach is correct in his assessment, the Chiefs would most likely stay put and hope that one of the top three corners fall to them. If Byron Murphy, Greedy Williams, or Deandre Baker fall pass the Colts and Eagles and into their laps, Kansas City will be living that be goldilocks-before-the-bears-came-home perfect fit lifestyle(NOTE: RIP 4ever Goldilocks).

Life isn’t a fairy tale though and neither is the NFL Draft. The Chiefs may need to use some additional draft capital to snag the top corners on this draft. That would mean a group led by MSU converted-WR-turned-CB Justin Layne and Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen as prime targets if the Chiefs deem the worthy of a first round selection. Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin and Kentucky’s Lonnie Johnson would round out the group into day 2.

Which brings us back to the pursuit of perfection: Chiefs fans should be screaming from the top of the horizon level at Arrowhead: “Please don’t reach, Veach.” The perfect secondary companions with no reach: the safety department. The Chiefs were in hot pursuit of Earl Thomas this offseason and the cupboard is bare after dealing Eric Murray to the Browns. Keith and Seylan’s most recent mock has the Chiefs taking Delaware safety Nasir Adderley. And I couldn’t agree with the perfection of this fit more. No one can be Earl Thomas, but Adderley played center field in a similar fashion to Thomas, and his closing speed back there is second to none in this draft (apologies to Taylor Rapp). And it remains a point of intrigue that Veach has not signed a starting caliber safety this deep into April.

Another interesting offseason departure? Chiefs 2015 second round pick and key starter C Mitch Morse headed to Buffalo who made him the highest paid center in football. C Austin Reiter is more than capable entering his age 27 season but the man who delivers “the duke” to Pat Mahomes every snap is extremely important to this franchise. So is having depth at the position. Especially if they trade down, look for KC to consider grabbing the best remaining center from the Garrett Bradbury, Erik McCoy, Elgton Jekins, and Connor McGovern quartet.

Or maybe they say fuck it and they win our hearts once again by drafting a wide receiver like JJ,  Andy Isabella or Deebo Samuel. Never count out a new offensive toy for Andy Reid, not matter how imperfect the fit is.

Los Angeles Chargers

What They Are Thinking: Defensive Tackle, Wide Receiver, Offensive Tackle.

What I am thinking: God bless whomever decided the Chargers would make their powder blues their primary jerseys. But I digress. The SuperChargers were on one hell of a roll in 2018, with a defense that struck fear into opposing QBs and a balanced veteran offense that lit up fantasy players stat trackers.

The Chargers receiving core was strong, led by Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams. Keenan Allen is Keenan Allen. Great wideout, always an injury risk. Tyrell had a great 2018 but left via free agency and will be rocking the silver and black for the foreseeable future. Former top ten pick Mike Williams emerged in 2018, finally healthy, and showed very real signs of an elite skill set, emphasis in the red zone.

But what do all three have in common? Fragility, thy name is the LA Chargers pass catchers. And we do not have to limit ourselves to the wide receiver room. Though we are excited for Hunter Henry’s return, he is coming off his own ACL tear. With Phillip Rivers turning 37 last December, the Chargers need healthy, impact players today, not developmental potential.

A perfect scenario for the Chargers at 28th overall? The Charger faithful may like Travis Benjamin but Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown would be one hell of a deep threat to pair with the possession types like Allen, Williams, and Henry. If the Chargers believe Hollywood can be plugged in from day one, he could be the piece de resistance of their offensive weaponry.

But giving Rivers a shiny new speedster could be more bark than bite. The Chargers do have aspirations of their current roster taking the next step, and ASAP. Rivers’ legs are looking more and more like they are trapped in quicksand with each passing year. Offensive line help for a true super bowl run would be welcomed. Additionally, there is depth beyond Jawaan Taylor and Jonah Williams that could fall as far as day 2. This group includes great players that have the experience and the size to start on day one of camp: WSU’s Andre Dillard, Washington’s Kaleb  McGary, Ole Miss’ Greg Little, and KSU’s Dalton Risner. Beyond this group is even more acceptable depth at tackle, but not necessarily guaranteed starter potential in 2019.

Finally, the most perfect plug and play options the Chargers could draft on day one or day two are at the defensive tackle position. A position with unbelievable depth this year, the Chargers should have multiple talented DTs to choose from. If he falls past Indy, Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery has the athleticism and arm length to cause fits from the interior when paired with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Clemson’s Dexter Lawerence could also be on the board, but is looking like more of a two-down run stuffer. This would help address the potential weakness at linebacker. Denzel Perryman and free agent veteran Thomas Davis can’t be counted on to stay healthy in 2019.

Oakland Raiders

What They Are Thinking: Pass Rush, Pass Rush, Offensive Skill Players, Pass Rush Again!, Cornerback.

How can Mike Mayock get it perfectly right in his debut draft? Follow his own advice. Mayock should dial in on taking the best player available without any off the field or attitude concerns. That’s the perfect fit for these Raiders…

…Just kidding. How does that song go again?

“The Autumn Wind is a Raider,

Pillaging just for fun.

He’ll knock you ’round and upside down,

And laugh when he’s conquered and won.”

The Raiders are the Raiders. The faces may change, but they all wield machetes and rock eye patches for no reason. If ever there was truth in the moniker “War Room,” the Raiders draft facilities should fit that description starting next Thursday. And for them to get this draft perfect, the conversation begins with using the fourth overall pick on a pass rusher. Finding elite talent to pair with off-season acquisition Jonathan Hankins and last year’s draft picks Maurice Hurst, P.J. Hall, and Arden Key, would be… key.

Keith and Seylan have Bama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams falling to the Raiders at fourth overall, and I couldn’t see a more perfect pick. An absolute disruption artist against any offense, Williams. Last year’s defensive lineman draft picks are no joke. Key, Hall, and Hurst were all value picks and should take a step forward in 2019. If Bosa or Josh Allen fall to fourth overall, consider them perfection too.

As for the rest of their Day 1 and Day 2 selections, the same set of priorities apply. Take the best player available, at the highest position of need. If possible, pass rush. Got to improve on the league low 13 sacks they put up last season.

With their latter picks, Alabama RB Josh Jacobs screams future three down back in silver and black. He would supplant Isaiah Crowell by week 4. Paired with Jalen Richard, Jacobs could have a monster start to his career if he lands in The Town. If any of the top three tight ends are on the board late on day one or early into day two, they’d fit a glaring perfectly.

A cornerback to pair with Gareon Conley would also be perfect. Deandre Baker reminds me of an old Gruden first round selection in Fabian Washington. Byron Murphy has the experience to line up as a starter from day one. Amani Oruwariye, Joejuan Williams, and Julian Love will be available on day two of the draft as well.

Denver Broncos

What They Are Thinking: Win Now!

If you frequent this site, thanks. Also, you’ve definitely come across us sharing Nicki Jhabvala’s Denver Post article from last March. The article is an impressive review of all draft picks in the John Elway era. Suffice to say the recent returns have not been good. I’ll give you one player that best represents it all: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis. Or maybe Trevor Semen.

The quarterback decision making pre and post the Manning Era has been sad. As the Joe Flacco era begins in Denver…never thought I’d be typing that…Elway’s seat continues to get hotter. Bringing in Flacco whilst sitting on a seat that hot was an announcement to the league that Denver is [still] not ready to enter rebuild mode. Thus the perfect fits for John Elway under his new coaching staff are players who can contribute now.

It is our sincere hope that the new coaching staff has more input than those in previous years. Vic Fangio is a football savant. When it comes to calling defense his talent ranks near the top. Fangio brings nothing but holy good to any player with talent needing to be unlocked. A year after leading Roquan Smith, Leonard Floyd, Akiem Hicks, and Khalil Mack, the perfect for the Broncos is to for Fangio to construct the steroided version of the aforementioned pass rush unit.

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Add Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver to Derrick Wolfe, Von Miller, and last year’s first rounder Bradley Chubb? That would be terrifying for quarterbacks. Oliver has the special ability to continuously be the first to reach the offensive line off the snap. His ability to hit first means he takes on single and double teams with force that takes up interior line space and attention. The time created by Oliver’s quickness and strength could allow Miller, Chubb, and Wolfe to run free against turnstiles plenty and often.

But Elway is most likely gonna call his shots. And so we must address the perfect “win now” pick for the Broncos. For Elway, Iowa tight end Noah Fant may be too much of an athlete to pass up at a position with no true starter (apologies to the Heuerman truthers).At 6-4 with a 4.5 40 yard dash, Fant’s blocking could limit him initially, but he’s has the potential to become a weapon in the pass game. Paired with Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton, Fant could grow into a favorite of tight end aficionado Flacco.

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Looking for more NFL Draft content as we edge closer to the big day? Make sure to check out our 2019 NFL Mock Draft!

2019 NFL Draft Perfect Fits       
AFC EastAFC NorthAFC SouthAFC WestNFC EastNFC NorthNFC SouthNFC West

About Samir Qurashi

Samir Qurashi is from the Bay. He thinks football is a good time. You can get at him with any fantasy football questions on the tweeter: @FSPsamir and by electronica: He remains unspooked.

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