AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders

     

Broncos

  • Per KUSA’s Mike Klis, Broncos DT Shelby Harris says he anticipates playing a similar role in 2020 to the one he played last year after re-signing with Denver on a one-year deal: “For me it’s always try to play with a chip on my shoulder and go out there and try and prove everybody wrong. And I’m ready to go do that again.”

Chargers

If the season started today, Tyrod Taylor would be the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers. According to the team, that would be just fine, as HC Anthony Lynn, among others, has expressed full confidence in Taylor’s abilities as a starter. But the season doesn’t start today, and with months to go there’s still time for the Chargers to find someone else, either one of the notable free-agent quarterbacks still available or a first-round rookie, to supplant Taylor — a fact he’s well aware of. 

“I think it’s too early to start talking about it,” Taylor said via Gilbert Manzano of the Orange County Register. “I’ve never been one to focus on things that I can’t control. … It starts with guys who they may sign whether it would be a veteran or whether it would be a rookie. I can’t focus on that because I can’t control it. So I feel like if I’m putting too much time into that then I’m not putting enough time into myself to be the best player … I think I kind of done a good job of separating myself from the emotional side of things and just putting it aside and just strictly focusing on me being better, and going out and attacking each job with a starting mindset.”

Taylor’s been in a similar situation before. After entering the league as a sixth-round pick and backing up Joe Flacco with the Ravens for four years, Taylor turned his limited chances into a starting job for three years with the Bills. Despite throwing 51 touchdowns to 16 interceptions, plus more than 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground, Buffalo elected to draft a quarterback in the first round. Taylor went to Cleveland, where he was hurt and replaced after four games by another first-round quarterback. History could repeat itself if the Chargers take a passer in the first round, but Taylor’s not letting it affect him. 

“I’ve done that since I stepped into this league as a sixth-round draft pick going to a team with an established quarterback,” Taylor said. “For myself … mentally, I knew I had to walk into the building with a starting mindset, so I can be able to grow into the way I needed to grow, and I’m just trying to keep that mindset throughout the years. It has allowed me to be able to focus on what needs to be focused on for me to be able to go out and play ball at a high level.”

And if Taylor does end up running out onto the field Week 1 as the Chargers’ starting quarterback, he’s confident in his ability to be much more than a placeholder. 

“We have a lot of talent on our team,” Taylor said. “If I am the guy that would be calling the shots, I know for sure that we’ll go out and turn a lot of heads.”

  • According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, Utah State QB Jordan Love has connected with a number of teams, including the Chargers, ahead of the draft. 

Raiders

  • The Athletic’s Vic Tafur mentions the Raiders don’t seem to be high on South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw, meaning he won’t be in consideration in the first round.
  • Tafur says the Raiders like Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts but he isn’t sure if the team would trade up into the second round for him. 
  • Tafur notes the Raiders like Clemson players and aren’t upset about Clemson WR Tee Higgins‘ apparent stock drop. 
  • He also adds he wouldn’t rule out Las Vegas trading back at either one of their first-round picks at No. 12 and No. 19. 
  • According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, Utah State QB Jordan Love has connected with a number of teams, including the Raiders, ahead of the draft. 
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