AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders

     

Broncos

  • According to NFL Media’s James Palmer, the Broncos have done a good amount of work on LSU WR Justin Jefferson. Denver picks No. 15 in the first round. 

Chiefs

New Chiefs RB DeAndre Washington had a few offers on the table from teams besides Kansas City, including the Cardinals and Jets. But what sold him was his former teammate at Texas Tech, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, who shifted into recruiting mode to help Kansas City land Washington. 

“When I was getting down to the nitty-gritty, I called him and just kind of got some insight, a perspective on what he enjoyed the most from some things outside of football that we talked about,” Washington said via Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star. “Once I told him I was interested, he was definitely on board and trying to get me in. . . . We had a few conversations prior to it getting made. And that probably made me feel a lot more comfortable about making that decision.”

  • Chiefs GM Brett Veach says the team is still working on a long-term deal for franchise-tagged DT Chris Jones — pointing out they have until the deadline on July 15: “We’ve had a lot of discussions with Chris & we have a lot of time. We’re going to work through the draft. We know how talented Chris is. We’re certainly going to work to maintain him, not just for next year but for the future.” (Nate Taylor)
  • Veach didn’t rule out trading up in the draft but called it unlikely. He added Kansas City would explore moving down as well. (Teope)
  • Veach praised Kansas City’s depth at cornerback after adding Antonio Hamilton and Alex Brown this offseason to go with Bashaud Breeland, Rashad Fenton and Charvarius Ward. (Teope)

Raiders

On the surface, the Raiders’ acquisition of TE Jason Witten made little sense given the veteran’s advanced age and the fact tight end was far from a weak spot for the newly-christened Las Vegas team. The Raiders got a breakout season from converted WR Darren Waller and rookie Foster Moreau caught five touchdowns before tearing his ACL. However, Raiders GM Mike Mayock said Witten embodies the culture he and HC Jon Gruden want to instill. 

“If there’s a Mount Rushmore of NFL tight ends, he’s on it,” Mayock said via NFL Media’s Nick Shook. “I know he’s 37 years old and I know we have a pretty good tight end room, but when you talk about bringing in a guy like him, not only can he still play, he had over 60 catches, can block the backside C-gap, still a competitive football player, but on top of that, he brings this wealth of knowledge about how to be a professional. You guys got tired of hearing me talk about foundational players last year and the locker room and culture, that’s who this guy is. He’s the quintessential culture guy.

“We plug him in our locker room and we have one more veteran that can look around the room and tell people what to do and what not to do. And even more importantly in the tight end room, you have a guy like Foster coming off an ACL, hopefully he’s going to be 100 percent day one, but if he’s not, we have a conventional Y that can play, plus we have a guy in that tight end room that I think is going to help the young guys, and I’m talking about all of them, Darren [Waller], Foster, Derek [Carrier]. Jon [Gruden] and I looked at this, we were jointed at the hip on this decision.”

  • Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline says there’s a consensus starting to build that Baylor WR Denzel Mims could be drafted much earlier than people think, with the Raiders among the teams high on Mims. 
  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport expects the receivers to start coming off the board around the Jets’ pick at No. 11 or the Raiders at No. 12. 
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