AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs



The Denver Broncos clearly went all-in on giving QB Drew Lock the weapons he’ll need to be successful moving forward after drafting WR Jerry Jeudy, WR K.J. Hamler and TE Albert Okwuegbunam in the first four rounds.

Every skill player they added can make an immediate impact,” an NFL evaluator tells Mike Sando of The Athletic. “Even the tight end they took in the fourth (Albert Okwuegbunam) can be a starting tight end in the NFL from Day 1, and he was a former teammate of Drew Lock. The medical must have been pretty significant for him to have fallen that far.”

Although, an NFL executive posed the question of whether it’s better to load up on offense or try to find defenders capable of stopping the Chiefs’ passing attack. 

“Does it make sense loading up on offense if the best way to beat Mahomes is to make sure there isn’t time for his receivers to get open?” the executive said. “That is the question.”

A separate executive agreed with the Broncos’ strategy. 

“The focus on offensive speed in the AFC West makes sense to me,” the exec tells Sando. “No one is taking the Tennessee approach of, ‘We are going to keep the ball away from you.’ You saw the explosion by Kansas City against Tennessee and the explosion against Houston, so you say, ‘OK, we do have to score and then we need speed defensively to get people down in space.’ ”


Though his reign wasn’t quite as long as Tom Brady‘s in New England, Philip Rivers was still one of the most defining parts of the last two decades of Chargers football. Now the team turns its attention to a future that includes No. 6 overall QB Justin Herbert and potentially some appearances from Tyrod Taylor as well. While Rivers was a lot of things, he was never mobile, and that’s a trait both of the players looking to replace him are well-known for. 

“I’m not going to downplay Philip at all,” Chargers TE Hunter Henry said via the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Jeff Miller. “He was unreal and a Hall of Fame quarterback. But, obviously, it opens our offense up a little bit more. You see all these quarterbacks, their escapability in the pocket. So many different things that you can do with a mobile quarterback that can open your offense. Looking forward to seeing that aspect of our offense grow.”


Chiefs GM Brett Veach tells Pro Football Talk that RB Damien Williams will remain the team’s starting running back, despite the decision to use a first-round pick on Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

“I got a chance to speak with [Williams’] agent and him via text, and I know Coach Reid reached out to him via text right before the pick, and then I think he followed up with him recently in the last few days,” Veach said. “But I mean, look, these guys are all supercompetitive, and I think like any player in this league, when a team drafts a player at your position, I don’t think they’re doing backflips and high fives, and I think the competitiveness comes out. But I think once these guys come in the building and once you get this thing rolling, I think everyone kind of gels as a cohesive unit, but our situation is certainly good for Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Damien Williams because these guys will be really good complementary players to one another.”

Veach said he expects to split the workload between their running backs. 

“I certainly think it’s going to be a shared load,” Veach said. “Damien has been in this offense for a long time and certainly has shown what he can do on that playoff run. The guy’s a really good pass protector [and] can catch the football. I mean, both these guys can run and catch and certainly Damien will come in as the starting running back and Clyde will have to come in here and compete for playing time, which we think he’ll do. But I think it will be a one-two punch.”

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