Analysis Around the League

AFC West re-draft

In a fantasy-style draft, four Arrowhead Live contributors got together, picked teams, and redrafted the entire AFC West from scratch.

The goal was simple; build a team of 22 starters that you feel is capable of winning as many Super Bowls as possible from AFC West rosters. For the draft, a snake order was implemented, which means the order is reversed every round.

For example, Trent had the first pick with the Chargers in the first round, but picked fourth in the second round. He then picked first again in the third round, and so on.

Patrick Mahomes was the clear cut number one overall pick, and would be if we redrafted the entire league, but what happened after that wasn’t all chalk.

Here’s how the rosters turned out. Let us know on Twitter which team you like the most, and which you think would win the West.

Justin Dueppengiesser- Las Vegas Raiders

QB – Justin Herbert

RB – Clyde Edwards Helaire

TE – Hunter Henry, Darren Waller

WR – Mike Williams, KJ Hamler

OT – Eric Fisher

OG – Gabe Jackson

C – Mike Pouncey

OG – Martinas Rankin

OT – Kolton Miller

DE – Maxx Crosby, Shelby Harris

DT – Jurell Casey, Maliek Collins

LB – Von Miller, Anthony Hitchens, Nick Vigil

CB – Chris Harris Jr., Casey Hayward Jr.

S – Tyrann Mathieu, Rayshawn Jenkins

With these re-draft of the AFC West I had a very simple thought process, if I don’t get lucky enough to get the first pick and draft Pat Mahomes then I need to build the best defense possible. Well, I was not lucky enough to get the first overall pick so I tried to build the best defense possible. 

If you listened to The Coach’s Corner where we ranked the most important positions in football you know that coverage is more important than pass rush. With this in mind I was able to draft two of the best cover guys in the AFC West in Casey Heyward and Chris Harris Jr. I was also able to snag the ultimate chess piece in the defensive secondary in Tyrann Mathieu. This secondary is also gonna get help from some great pass rushers though. The entire focus along the front was making sure they can get after the passer. Crosby, Casey and Collins can all do that. Those three also get help from Von Miller- one of the most productive pass rushers in the last decade.

While the defense is the strength of the team, the offense’s strength lies along the offensive line. Having a great defense and a solid offensive line gives you a chance to win in the NFL if you don’t have a top tier quarterback and this version of the Las Vegas Raiders has rookie Justin Herbert under center. I was hoping to snatch up Drew Lock, but waited one round too long and figured I would just wait until the last round to grab Herbert at that point. The wide receivers on this team are the weakest unit on the team, but are aided by two premium tight ends in Hunter Henry and Darren Waller. This team would be running a lot of 12 personnel. 

Overall, I think this team could compete, but with a rookie quarterback they would have to be elite on defense and give him a lot of help with the weapons around him. When doing this draft you can see why Kansas City is at such an advantage in the division. After Mahomes there is no real threat at quarterback. Drew Lock has potential and Derek Carr is what he is, which is average.

Trent Michael – Los Angeles Chargers

QB – Patrick Mahomes

HB – Melvin Gordon III

WR – Sammy Watkins, Tyrell Williams

Slot – Jerry Jeudy

TE – Noah Fant

LT – Trent Brown

LG – Dalton Risner

C – Lloyd Cushenberry

RG – Trai Turner

RT – Bryan Bulaga

DE – Alex Okafor, Maurice Hurst

DT – Chris Jones, Linval Joseph

Mike – Kenneth Murray

Will – Nick Kwiatkoski

Sam – Willie Gay Jr.

CB – Desmond King II, A.J. Bouye

S – Damarious Randall, Justin Simmons

The goal of this AFC West redraft is to win as many Super Bowls as possible moving forward. With that being said, I had three points of emphasis in making my selections: young, fast, and physical. I believe I was able to accomplish those three things. I was lucky to land the first pick and take the best player in the NFL, Patrick Mahomes. Following that pick my focus shifted to the defense. I had to wait seven selections before picking again. Fortunately, I was able to snag the one of the leagues best safeties in Justin Simmons and the best interior lineman in the NFL not named Aaron Donald in Chris Jones.

When looking at the AFC West I was able to identify where depth was strong and where it was thin. I waited until my last two picks to select Noah Fant and Melvin Gordon. With only four teams drafting I figured that there was enough talent at their respective positions to wait and I was right. I also found that the AFC West has a shortage of fast, physical linebackers. I made linebacker a point of priority and selected three of the first four linebackers taken.

However, while accomplishing these things I was left with a few holes, and I am hoping that the presence of Chris Jones will make up for the lack of an elite edge rusher and that Jerry Jeudy will develop into a true number one wideout. With a Super Bowl in mind I wanted to build a roster that would lengthen my window of opportunity. That is why out of the 22 players on my team, only Bryan Bulaga (31) and Linval Joseph (31) are over the age of 30. Overall, I believe I built a well-balanced roster built on a foundation of youth, speed, and physicality.

Dylan Wilhelm- Denver Broncos

QB – Drew Lock

HB – Josh Jacobs

WR – Keenan Allen, Henry Ruggs III, Hunter Renfrow

TE – Travis Kelce

LT – Sam Tevi

LG – Andrew Wylie

C – Rodney Hudson

RG – Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

RT – Ju’Wuan James

DT – Derrick Nnadi, Mike Pennel

DE – Frank Clark, Clelin Ferrel

LB – Bradley Chubb, Denzel Perryman, Jeremiah Attaochu

CB – Charvarius Ward, Bashaud Breeland

S – Derwin James, Daniel Sorenson

My goal was to get as much young talent in the division as possible. The average age of my team is just under 26, and contains some of the brightest futures in the AFC West.

Offensively, I was able to grab the second-best QB in Drew Lock, just 23, one round before Justin would’ve snagged him. For weapons, I paired him with 22 year-old Josh Jacobs, 21 year-old Henry Ruggs and 24 year-old Hunter Renfrow. I was also able to add veterans Travis Kelce and Keenan Allen, so Lock has plenty of weapons. The OL is a mix of youth on the left and veterans in Hudsonat center, along with LDT, and James on the right side.

Defensively, I grabbed Derwin James to start, and built off of that. Trying to add a mix of both coverage and pass rush, I was able to grab edge rushers in Frank Clark and Bradley Chubb, as well as youngster Clelin Ferrell, the number four overall pick in 2019. I paired Daniel Sorenson with James, and grabbed Chiefs duo Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland for corners.

If competing, I believe this group of youngsters would be able to develop together into a strong contender, built off a mix of scoring and defense, with a QB with the second-brightest future in the division (behind Mahomes).

Dakota Fearn – New look Chiefs

To preface this AFC West redraft breakdown while I sport the Chiefs name and likeness with honor, I would never take this roster over our current. Now, presenting your new look Chiefs. 

QB – Derek Carr

RB – Austin Ekeler

FB – Anthony Sherman

WR – Tyreek Hill, Cortland Sutton, Mecole Hardman Jr.

OT- Mitchell Schwartz

OG – Richie Incognito

C – Austin Reiter

OG – Graham Glasgow

OT – Lucas Niang

DE – Joey Bosa

DT – Mike Purcell, Melvin Ingram III

LB – Cory Littleton, Alexander Johnson, Todd Davis

CB – Prince Amukamara, Rashad Fenton

N – Kareem Jackson

S – Johnathan Abram, Juan Thornhill

My strategy was simple, take the best player at the most important position when each pick came around. Knowing that I was going to miss out on Mahomes and with the two best defensive backs in the division gone, I selected Tyreek Hill and Joey Bosa with my first two picks. Having a weapon like Hill on this team will allow the quarterback to elevate his game. Bosa brings a top 5 league pass rush, leadership, and experience to the defense. 

The strength of this team lies in the offensive weapons Hill, Sutton, Hardman Jr., and Ekeler allowing Carr to perform above his average play. Weak at the second and third level in the defense, the team would rely heavily on the front lines pass rush with Ingram and Bosa.

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