Believe it or not the NFL draft is a little less than a month away. With the draft rapidly approaching and the first wave of free agency winding down, there are still moves to be made. Here we will highlight one move that each of the AFC West teams should make before the draft.
Las Vegas Raiders
Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden have done a pretty good job building a complete roster thus far. There are still holes to be filled and the one thing they seem to not be satisfied with is Derek Carr at QB.
The one move the Raiders should make before the draft is signing free agent QB Cam Newton.
If Cam Newton is healthy this would certainly be an upgrade for the Raiders. However, it would leave a pretty crowded QB room with Newton, Carr, and recently added Marcus Mariota. They would have to either trade or release Carr during or after the draft.
Denver is a team that could surprise a lot of people next year. They need Drew Lock to perform, of course, but they have a solid defense and some nice pieces on offense including Philip Lindsey, Cortland Sutton, and Noah Fant. What they really could upgrade is speed at WR.
The one move the Denver Broncos should make before the draft is to trade for Los Angeles Rams WR Brandin Cooks.
There were rumors Cooks was on the market at the start of free agency but nothing has really come of it. This would give the Broncos a nice compliment to Sutton on the outside. It also would not prevent them from drafting another WR in the first round. Alabama standout Henry Ruggs III, at pick 15, would make a lot of sense.
Los Angeles Chargers
The biggest story line out of Chargers camp is the moving on from long time starter Philip Rivers. They have expressed confidence in Tyrod Taylor, but he does not appear to be a long term option.
The one move the Chargers should make before the draft is signing Jameis Winston.
Winston remains unsigned at this point in free agency and would be a great option for the Chargers, who have a roster that is ready to win now. He also may not be the long term option, but is far more talented than Taylor. The Chargers could sign him to a one year prove it type contract. This would also leave the option open for them drafting his replacement in the 2020 draft.
Kansas City Chiefs
Most of the headlines surrounding the Chiefs this off-season have been centered around what they are going to do with Chris Jones and Sammy Watkins. Patrick Mahomes’ pending contract is also a significant factor into how this offseason will be handled. These lingering issues have pushed the Chiefs up against the cap right now, but they have still done a nice job manipulating it to the point where they were able to bring back Mike Pennel and Demarcus Robinson.
I am going to cheat and say the two moves the Chiefs need to make before the draft are restructuring or releasing Sammy Watkins and trading or releasing Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
Watkins’ cap hit is $21 million this year according to spotrac. That is 9.5% of this years’ cap. Watkins is a good player, but that is way too big of a contract for what he has produced with his time in Kansas City thus far. His contract also seems to be one that would be hard to move in a trade. Additionally, the Chiefs bringing back Demarcus Robinson makes releasing Watkins a little easier.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif hasn’t been the same player since his leg injury. He also has a very large cap number this year. The Chiefs could look to trade him to an offensive line needy team like the New York Jets, but if they can’t trade him, they should release him.
These moves for the Chiefs would allow them some flexibility to extend Chris Jones and possibly bring back CB Bashaud Breeland, who remains unsigned to this point.
The offseason is a long way from over. The rosters will change several times between now and August. Look for more moves, possibly like these, to take place before the draft.