Christmas Wish Lists: AFC West

The NFL’s AFC West is a division containing a Super Bowl contender, a perennial underachiever and two teams undergoing somewhat of a rebuild.

What can will first year head coach Vic Fangio be asking for in his first Christmas at Denver? Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders added a lot of pieces in the off-season but what will they be asking for this Christmas? The LA Chargers have been disappointing this year, is there a Christmas gift out there that can lift the mood in LA? And the Kansas City Chiefs, it feels like they’re on the brink of doing something great, but is there something they can receive this Christmas that will be able to push them over the edge?

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs 

Before the season, anyone you would’ve asked would’ve told you that the Chiefs’ defense is their biggest area of weakness. Whilst that may still hold true, the defence has been markedly better over recent weeks.

They did however, receive a scare when QB Patrick Mahomes looked as though he had injured his throwing hand. Thankfully subsequent scans have shown it’s nothing to worry about. However, this comes after Mahomes had been injured earlier in the season and the Chiefs were forced to use backup QB Matt Moore, who…let’s just say…isn’t Patrick Mahomes.

With the defense seemingly coming together nicely, top of the Chiefs Christmas list is a healthy Pat Mahomes through their potential playoff run, second on that list is a new backup QB.

Oakland Raiders

It’s been an up and down season for the Raiders in the AFC West. Some good moments and plenty of things to be happy about. Their 2019 draft class is looking pretty good, with Josh Jacobs playing like a top tier RB, Maxx Crosby looking like one of the steals of the draft and Foster Moreau and Hunter Renfrow developing into key contributors in the passing game.

The downs though, the secondary and the play of quarterback Derek Carr. The secondary is young and will have time and opportunity to develop, but they’ve given up way too many big plays this season. Will they be in a position to draft Derek Carr’s successor?

They’ve got to picks in the first round so potentially. But let’s focus on fixing the secondary for now. Top of their Christmas wish list is a pair of LSU secondary players in Grant Delpit and Kristian Fulton. Would they use both picks on secondary players? Who knows, but they definitely need to use at least one. Either of the talented LSU players would be a great fit for the soon to be Las Vegas Raiders.

LA Chargers

The Chargers have and have had a talented roster for some time now, but whether it’s injuries or getting in their own way, they always seem to fall short of expectation. QB Philip Rivers has been the face of the franchise for what feels like forever, but this season his play has taken a massive drop off.

The Chargers need to start looking for his successor soon, they can probably afford to sit a young QB for a year, and given they most likely won’t be picking in the top 10, a developmental prospect is probably the most likely option. There’s two QBs out there on the West Coast that fit the bill, so at the top of their Christmas list are two young QBs by the names of Justin Herbert and Jordan Love.

Now…if it were me, I know which name I’d be putting at the top of my list, Jordan Love no questions asked. The Utah State quarterback has shown that he has possibly the best arm in the class. He’s a good athlete at the position and has flashed touch on his passes, despite being best known for having an absolute hose of an arm. While, statistically 2019 hasn’t been his best year, he’s shown enough to make me a believer.

Herbert on the other hand…I’m out on. He plays in a simple offense and while being accurate on screen passes has lacked accuracy downfield, he’s shown a lack of in-game intelligence at times which worries me. But he’s 6’7” and has a huge arm so he’s going to go early.

Denver Broncos

Is Drew Lock good? Drew Lock might be good, very good. Last year’s second round pick tore up the Texans in his first NFL road start. The Broncos need to build around him to regain position in the AFC West. Dalton Risner, another 2019 draft pick, is a solid young player on the O-Line and Courtland Sutton, a 2018 draft pick, looks like he could be a legit WR1.

There’s some good young pieces on this Broncos offense…but one pick that hasn’t worked out is 2016 first rounder Garrett Bolles at left tackle. Luckily for the Broncos, this draft is pretty deep at Tackle.

As it stands the Broncos would be picking at number 11 in the draft. That’s probably too late to land one of the consensus top two tackles in Andrew Thomas or Thomas Wirfs. The Broncos will be asking Santa to make one of the two fall to them at 11, but if not Alabama right tackle Jedrick Wills is a pretty good consolation prize…if it’s even a consolation at all. He’s a super smooth, super strong option at Tackle and despite playing exclusively on the right side of the line. He has the athletic traits to be able to switch to the left side.

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