AFC West Notes: Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders

     

Chargers

Daniel Popper of The Athletic had several takeaways from Telesco’s comments on Friday, including that the left tackle spot is in question following the trade of Russell Okung to Carolina.

“It would probably trend towards Bryan staying on the right side,” Telesco said. “And then left side you got Sam Tevi, who’s got very good left tackle feet, you’ve got Trey Pipkins obviously, who got some good time for us last year, some good play time, and honestly you even have Forrest Lamp, who was a four-year starter at left tackle in college. So we have some options in house there, and we’ll go from there.”

Popper notes that the Chargers may expect to get a first-round talent at tackle at some point in the second round such as Boise State T Ezra Cleveland or Houston T Josh Jones.

As for Telesco’s comments that the team is deep at linebacker, Popper says he doesn’t buy it and that he expects the team to draft a linebacker at some point in the first three rounds. Popper adds that Jefferson has already been cut twice by the Browns and Bengals and that Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons could be a unique option at pick No. 6.

Drue Tranquill is an excellent football player,” Telesco replied when Popper asked about the group. “He can play MIKE or play WILL. We signed Nick Vigil from the Bengals, he can play MIKE and play WILL. He played WILL with the Bengals, a two-year starter there, and we like him a lot. The scouts are very excited about signing him. He’s tough, he’s smart, he’s very athletic, he’s long, and he’s played a good amount of football. So we got those guys, and then Malik Jefferson is a player that when he came out in the draft…we had very, very high grades on. We thought he fit our defense very well. So we were able to acquire him on the practice squad this past year, and he’ll have a really good opportunity this year to probably work more at MIKE than WILL. And then we like our SAM linebackers as well. So I think we’re actually OK there depth-wise. Always looking for more and more competition, but overall, I like the group.”

After the re-signing of RB Austin Ekeler, Popper doesn’t expect the team to draft a running back until the third day of the draft and notes that Telesco is optimistic that C Mike Pouncey will be ready for the start of the 2020 season.

  • Ian Rapaport reports that Lions GM Bob Quinn is fielding calls for the No. 3 pick in the draft and two possible trade partners could be the Chargers or the Dolphins. The Lions would still be able to select a player such as DT Derrick Brown, CB Jeff Okudah, or LB Isaiah Simmons.
  • Omar Ruiz notes that Chargers GM Tom Telesco spoke about C Mike Pouncey, saying that he is excited to play and that his health is trending in the right direction. Pouncey has been unable to receive medical clearance from his season-ending neck injury due to restrictions.

Chiefs

Kansas City GM Brett Veach spoke about the possibility of having 20 out of 22 starters return for next season, something the team wasn’t sure was possible.

“Continuity is good in any year, especially this year with having limited or no [offseason practice] and additional practice time,” Veach said via ESPN’s Adam Teicher. “The more guys you have around that are familiar with how we do things, the playbook, what’s expected of them, certainly that’s beneficial.”

The Chiefs were able to retain WR Sammy Watkins after he agreed to a restructured contract that cut his salary cap number by $5 million. They also later re-signed CB Bashaud Breeland, WR DeMarcus Robinson, and DT Mike Pennel after they were unable to attract the kind of attention they wanted to in free agency.

“Our intention before this terrible epidemic unfolded was that we’re going to really focus on the draft,” Veach said. “We have five picks, and we’re really going to make the most of them. In free agency, we’re going to look to maintain the players we have on our team and it worked out. Being able to redo Sammy’s deal and bring Demarcus back and [fullback Anthony Sherman] back and Mike Pennel back, we were certainly hopeful that would be an outcome. I’m not going to sit here and lie and say all these guys, we were certain they would come back, but that was our goal before this [virus] broke out.”

Raiders

Josh Schrock of NBC Sports takes a look at six Day 2 prospects in this year’s draft class who he views as ideal fits for the Raiders including:

  1. Minnesota S Antoine Winfield
  2. Notre Dame WR Chase Claypool
  3. Utah CB Jaylon Johnson
  4. Clemson DB K’Von Wallace
  5. Alabama DT Raekwon Davis
  6. South Carolina WR Bryan Edwards
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