2020 Offseason Team Needs: AFC West

     

Broncos

Projected Cap Space: $62,040,714

Draft Picks: 12, including three compensatory picks per Over The Cap’s projections.

  • 1st (No. 15)
  • 2nd (No. 46)
  • 3rd (No. 77)
  • 3rd (No. 83, from PIT)
  • 3rd (No. 95, from SF)
  • 4th (No. 108)
  • 4th (No. 127, from SF)
  • 5th (Comp)
  • 6th (No. 162, from WAS)
  • 7th (No. 215, from NE)
  • 7th (Comp)
  • 7th (Comp)

Notable Free Agents:

Team Needs:

  1. Wide Receiver

The Broncos saw enough from 2019 second-round QB Drew Lock in his handful of starts to close the year to be optimistic about building around him in 2020. To that end, Denver swapped out offensive coaches and will likely look to add more weapons for Lock besides breakout WR Courtland Sutton and first-round TE Noah Fant. Right now, Tim Patrick is slated to be Denver’s No. 2 wide receiver, which isn’t conducive to producing the big plays Broncos HC Vic Fangio is hungry for on offense. 

  1. Cornerback

This becomes an even bigger need if the Broncos don’t re-sign CB Chris Harris. Denver dipped into the free-agent pool last offseason for CB Bryce Callahan, but has yet to see that investment on the field as the former Bear battled a foot injury. The Broncos’ young corners struggled in 2019 and a reliable starting option, such as Lions CB Darius Slay, could go a long way in fortifying the secondary. 

  1. Offensive Tackle

Despite making another major free-agent investment in OT Ja’Wuan James, the Broncos haven’t seen the rewards of that due to injuries, again. Restricted free agent OT Elijah Wilkinson was solid, but Denver is still waiting for former first-round LT Garett Bolles to live up to his draft status. The Broncos need to make some kind of addition to the position in case Bolles and/or James falter again. 

Chargers

Projected Cap Space: $48,707,802

Draft Picks: 7

  • 1st (No. 6)
  • 2nd (No. 37)
  • 3rd (No. 71)
  • 4th (No. 102)
  • 5th (No. 133)
  • 6th (No. 167)
  • 7th (No. 198)

Notable Free Agents:

Team Needs:

  1. Quarterback

With the announcement that the team would be moving on from QB Philip Rivers after 16 seasons, the Chargers put themselves firmly in the middle of the game of quarterback musical chairs set to commence this offseason. Los Angeles could bring in a veteran quarterback like Tom Brady, draft one of the top prospects in the first round or roll with Tyrod Taylor in 2020, or some combination of the above. No matter what, how the Chargers answer their quarterback question will be one of the top storylines of the offseason. 

  1. Offensive Line

There were a multitude of reasons the Chargers languished to a 5-11 record in 2019. One of the big ones was the performance of the offensive line, which lost stalwarts like LT Russell Okung and C Mike Pouncey to injuries. With those two’s status still in question and starting right guard Michael Schofield also a free agent, the Chargers need to make multiple moves to address depth and potentially starting spots in 2020. 

  1. Running Back

Melvin Gordon eventually ended his holdout and returned to the Chargers without a new contract. But there’s a good chance Gordon leaves for another team this offseason as he seeks his big payday. The Chargers can retain Austin Ekeler pretty easily as a restricted free agent but adding another back to help share the load with Justin Jackson is a need, particularly with no guarantee of having a quarterback like Rivers capable of carrying the offense. 

Chiefs

Projected Cap Space: $13,674,494

Draft Picks: 5

  • 1st (No. 32)
  • 2nd (No. 63, from SF)
  • 3rd (No. 96)
  • 4th (No. 128)
  • 5th (No. 160)

Notable Free Agents:

Team Needs:

  1. Defensive Line

The biggest question the Chiefs will have to answer this offseason is what to do with DT Chris Jones. Jones has established himself as one of the best interior defenders in the NFL and seems like a sure bet to get the franchise tag. Beyond that, it gets fuzzy. Kansas City would like to keep Jones long-term obviously, but balancing the cap situation could get tricky with a record-breaking deal for QB Patrick Mahomes on the horizon. Jones is also contemplating a holdout, and there’s a non-zero chance he’s traded to another team similar to how the Chiefs traded for DE Frank Clark after Seattle tagged him. Though not as impactful as Jones, Chiefs DTs Mike Pennel and Xavier Williams also have expiring contracts this offseason. 

  1. Cornerback

The other position set to be hit hard by pending free agents in Kansas City is cornerback. Kendall Fuller, Bashaud Breeland and Morris Claiborne are all scheduled to hit the open market right now, leaving Charvarius Ward and Rashad Fenton as the Chiefs’ two starting corners. Fuller would be high on the list of players the Chiefs would like to bring back, but help is needed even if they’re able to make that contract fit. 

  1. Interior Offensive Line

The Chiefs offense is as good as any in the NFL right now. But if there is an area the team has expressed interest in improving, it would be on the interior of the offensive line. Starting left guard Stefen Wisniewski is a free agent and both Andrew Wylie and doctor/starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif missed time due to injuries. Austin Reiter was graded 22nd out of 38 centers by Pro Football Focus and Kansas City could save $3.4 million by moving on. 

Raiders

Projected Cap Space: $51,803,096

Draft Picks: 7

  • 1st (No. 12)
  • 1st (No. 19, from CHI)
  • 3rd (No. 80)
  • 3rd (No. 81, from CHI)
  • 3rd (No. 91, from SEA)
  • 4th (No. 111)
  • 7th (No. 204)

Notable Free Agents:

Team Needs:

  1. Linebacker

The Raiders played a host of different players at linebacker in 2019, particularly after losing Vontaze Burfict to a suspension for the rest of 2019 after Week 4. As the franchise moves to a new city in Las Vegas in 2020, it will be looking for help at linebacker to help remake the Raiders’ identity on defense. 

  1. Wide Receiver

While in hindsight the Raiders got out of the Antonio Brown fiasco early with only the loss of a 3rd-round pick and a little bit of cash, they desperately missed his playmaking ability during their final season in Oakland. Free-agent signing Tyrell Williams had some flashes despite battling through an injury and the Raiders hit on slot WR Hunter Renfrow in the fifth round. However, Las Vegas needs more sizzle, speed and a true No. 1 playmaker to help take the offense over the top, regardless of if Derek Carr or some other major QB acquisition is throwing passes. 

  1. Pass Rusher

Raiders GM Mike Mayock‘s first draft was a smashing success, with perhaps his best selection nabbing DE Maxx Crosby in the fourth round and watching him rack up 10 sacks. It helped offset the disappointment of No. 4 overall pick DE Clelin Ferrell only notching 4.5 sacks as a rookie, though Ferrell profiles as more of a well-rounded defensive end. To continue to improve, Mayock also needs to find another pass rusher, whether it’s an edge rusher to play across from Crosby or someone who can wreak games from the interior. 

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of