AFC West Analysis

AFC West

This to me seems like a cut and dry division. The Broncos are head and shoulders above the competition. The other three teams in the division are very close to becoming competitive in their own rights, but are still far from the Broncos level.

Broncos– The Broncos finished 13-3 last year, and had the potential MVP in Peyton Manning. They also have Demaryius Thomas, who was outstanding while getting over 1,400 yards receiving. Then, in the off season they signed Wes Welker, another good receiver to compliment both Thomas and Decker. They also have a potential defensive player of the year in Von Miller who recorded 18.5 sacks last year.  Lastly, they had one of the biggest steals in the draft by snagging Sylvester Williams with the 28th overall pick in the draft. Overall, the Broncos were great last year, and they seem to only be getting better.

Raiders– The Raiders are a team in the rebuilding stages. They went 4-12 last season, and struggled with their lack of quarterback play. They had an above average draft class, grabbing a 2nd round pick and taking Menelik Watson who has a huge upside and absolutely stealing Sio Moore and Tyler Wilson in the 3rd and 4th rounds. But in the end, I think they have some fatal flaws. They didn’t draft a defensive tackle until the 6th round, and as of right now appear as though they will still have struggles stopping the run. Plus, we don’t know how effective Matt Flynn will be as a first-year starter with a weak supporting cast around him. In the end, I see them making an improvement, but not much of one as they need to compete. It all depends on their run defense and Matt Flynn, if they step their games up they can get 8-10 wins, but we haven’t seen any evidence to show that they would improve drastically at those positions.

Chiefs– The Chiefs were the worst team in all of football last year, yet still managed to have six pro bowlers in 2013. I believe they are a few defensive players and a quarterback away from being a contending team in the weak AFC. They made a plethora of moves during the off-season, trading the 34th pick for Alex Smith, signing Sean Smith, Donnie Avery, Chase Daniel, Anthony Fasano, Dunta Robinson, and Mike Devito. These acquisitions clearly show that they are committed to winning and adding talent to positions of need. Their season to me depends on their defense and how well Alex Smith plays. Will we see the rookie from the 49ers or the Alex Smith of late? These are questions that won’t be answered until the season starts. I think the Chiefs have the potential to win 10 games, but with a new coach and new system in place it would be incredibly difficult. When all is said and done I see them being around 6-8 win team, with the new system and coach being considered. But who knows, they could shock us and even be a playoff team, the AFC wildcard is wide open.

Chargers– The Chargers are a team that is also in rebuilding stages.  They need more players on defense, along with weapons to help out Philip Rivers. In my opinion that had the best first 3 rounds in the draft picking up: D.J Fluker, Manti Te’o, and stealing Keenan Allen in the 3rd. Unfortunately, they have both offensive and defensive struggles alike. They lacked a good offensive line to protect the shaky Philip Rivers, and they lacked viable weapons for Philip Rivers to throw to. Malcolm Floyd led their team in receptions with 56 and led in receiving yards with 814. And their leading rusher Ryan Mathews led the team with 707 rushing yards and only scoring one touchdown rushing. Their defense lacked in the play-making department as well. Shaun Philips led the team with 9.5 sacks, and Eric Weddle led their team in INT’s with only three. Fortunately, they made a change at coach from Norv Turner to Mike McCoy, but it’s hard for first year coaches to really make huge impacts. This team needs a lot of help, and although Philip Rivers has shown that he can be an elite quarterback, he hasn’t played like one for two years. Their defense has been lacking to say the least. Last year they went 7-9, so I don’t see them being a whole lot better the first year, but if they can fix their defense, and Philip Rivers can get out of his funk, they could easily be finish 2nd in the AFC West.


Overall, this is not a great division. The Broncos are very good and have only improved, but the other teams are in rebuilding stages. The Chargers, Chiefs or Raiders could surprise us, but I think they need more talent still. You can’t predict injuries, improvements, and a plethora of things until the season actually starts.


Will Seattle Overtake San Francisco in the NFC West?

The NFC West seems to be a pretty cut and dry division this year. The 49ers are at the top, Seahawks are right there, and the Rams and the Cardinals are on the wayside. But maybe it’s not as cut and dry as we see it to be, the 49ers have struggled quite a bit in division play, have not made the moves that the Seahawks did in the off-season, their secondary isn’t as good as it used to be, and lastly I see the 49ers descending, while I see the Seahawks ascending

We all know the favorite to win the NFC and go to the Super Bowl is the 49ers, but I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as they say it is. Last year the 49ers only went 3-2-1 in the division, and could have gone 3-3 if they didn’t call back a deep pass to Amendola which would have secured them the win with a chip shot field goal. The 49ers have a stifling front seven, but their secondary lacks some talent now. They recently lost Dashon Goldson, Carlos Rogers is getting up there in age, and we do not know how good Nnamdi Asmougha is going to be. They did make some off-season moves, to get: Anquan Boldin and Nnamdi Asmougha, but I don’t think that puts them over the edge. Manningham, was supposed to be a great addition, but he didn’t quite pan out either. A.J Jenkins was supposed to be a good pick and has actually proven to almost be a liability instead of an asset to the team based on reports of attitude and unwillingness to work out and stay in shape. I don’t see their receiving corps as being top end, or even middle of the pack to be honest. Also, Kaepernick had an outstanding season last year, but only threw for 10 touchdowns last year and rushed for five. Kaepernick actually fumbled the ball seven times, which may prove costly in the future. I’m not trying to bash the 49ers too hard here, but the fact is they aren’t as great as advertised, and when faced against a good defense, they struggle a bit. You can see this in the 2nd Seahawks game and the Ravens in the Super Bowl.

On the other hand, the Seahawks are moving nowhere but up. They traded for Percy Harvin, and signed Cliff Avril to go along with that already good defensive line. Wilson set a rookie record for touchdowns in a season with 26, and will only improve with the addition of Percy Harvin and an improved defense will help get the ball on offense more.  Wilson has proven he fits this offense perfectly, he can run the read-option, give it to Marshawn, or make timely passes when needed. And lastly their secondary doesn’t get enough credit. The “League of Boom” has been outstanding they had two pro-bowlers in 2013 one at corner and one at safety. Richard Sherman has been a huge surprise a fifth round pick out of Stanford has been the best cornerback in the NFC by far, alongside with Brandon Browner a tall cover corner who helps shut down the other side of the field. Then in the back they have Earl Thomas (another pro-bowler) who’s an absolute ball-hawk, and plays fast, physical, but most importantly smart. Kam Chancellor was a pro-bowler in 2012, who may be slow, but is great at covering the middle, and hitting them hard. This team is only getting better on both sides of the ball.

Unfortunately I left the Cardinals and the Rams out of this discussion for winning the West. I don’t view them as bad, I view the Cardinals as re-building and the Rams as a team who needs to find a way to put it all together. They are improving, but they simply aren’t quite at the Seahawks or 49ers level just yet. Overall, the NFC West is going to be a competitive division, but as of right now I see the Seahawks overtaking the 49ers in the west. I think they are better in division play, on the rise, and they’ve made some outstanding moves in free agency.

2013 NFL Draft 3rd Round Mock

3rd  Round Mock Draft

63. Kansas City Chiefs- Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State– The Chiefs could use another corner and this guy to me is a 2nd round prospect.

64. Jacksonville Jaguars- Jamie Collins, DE/OLB, Southern Miss– The Jaguars didn’t get a rusher in the draft yet, and they need one quite badly. They take the best available rusher, not best overall player available.

65. Detroit Lions- David Amerson, CB/S, NC State– The Lions need the best available corner, and it doesn’t hurt that he can also play safety.

66. Oakland Raiders- Dallas Thomas, OG/OT, Tennessee– They haven’t addressed their offensive line yet, and they need to take the best available lineman.

67. Philadelphia Eagles- Bennie Logan, DT, LSU– Best DT available, they need to add some depth to their line.

68. Cleveland Browns- Barrett Jones, OG/C/OT– The Browns have been looking for an interior lineman, and although Jones might not be electric, but he’s a solid player.

69. Arizona Cardinals- D.J Swearinger– The Cardinals are in need of a safety, and this guy can make plays. Swearinger can make plays both in the box and in coverage.

70. Tennessee Titans- Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State– The Titans need to address the cornerback position, and there are still some good ones out there. Banks is the best one available.

71. Buffalo Bills- Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State– The Bills need a tight-end, and although he may not be the greatest blocker, he’s an outstanding pass catcher which makes for a solid pick for the Bills in the 3rd round.

72. New York Jets- Keenan Allen, WR, Cal– He shouldn’t fall this far, but many teams aren’t huge fans of him because of his lack of speed and personality.

73. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Tharold Simon, CB, LSU– The Buccaneers could always use another corner just in case. Tharold Simon is a project guy but could pay off.

74. San Francisco 49ers- Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU– The 49ers need a corner, and Mathieu at one time was a Heisman finalist at LSU. I don’t see them passing on him even with his attitude and other problems that would come with drafting him.

Is Tyrann Mathieu a 3rd round possiblity? We think so.

Is Tyrann Mathieu a 3rd round possibility  We think so.

75. New Orleans Saints- Brandon Williams, NT, Missouri Southern– Short and simple: This would be a steal, has great potential in the NFL.

76. San Diego Chargers- Philip Thomas, S, Fresno State– The Chargers are in need of a safety, and Thomas picked off a lot of balls at Fresno State. He does need a quite a bit of work though.

77. Miami Dolphins- Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia– One of the most underrated receivers in the draft. I was watching Tavon Austin film but Stedman Bailey was the one out blocking down field and doing the dirty work. Possesses great hands and is a great weapon for any QB. He is underrated overall because of an average combine but he would be a steal at 77.

78. St. Louis Rams- Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia– The Rams are in dire need of a safety, and they can’t have Dahl back there again. Rambo can make plays, and sometimes he does gets burned, but is a good player.

79. Pittsburgh Steelers- Giovani Bernard, RB, UNC– Steelers could use a running back and Bernard was used to be the highest rated, he needs to bulk up, but could be a dynamic player in the back field.

80. Dallas Cowboys- T.J McDonald, S, USC– The Cowboys need a safety because Barry Church is not their long term answer. McDonald is a fast, physical player who has potential.

81. New York Giants- Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati– The Giants could use a solid tight end, is a decent blocker and pretty good pass catcher.

82. Miami Dolphins- Montori Hughes, DT/NT, Tennessee-Martin– Hughes is a good player, but unfortunately has character issues. Talent-wise he is good, but he has to keep his nose clean.

83. New England Patriots- Jelani Jenkins, OLB, Florida– They took a lot of players in 2012 along the front seven, but Jenkins shouldn’t be here, I think they take the best player available.

84. Cincinnati Bengals- Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor– Once touted as a first round prospect, falls down here. He does have some character issues and lacks aggressiveness on the field, but could get his head turned around.

85. Washington Redskins- Corey Lemonier, DE/OLB, Auburn– If Brian Orakpo goes down again they need someone to back him up as a rusher.

86. Indianapolis Colts- Khaseem Greene, ILB/OLB, Rutgers– The Colts need to go with solid players on defense, and that’s how I see Greene. He’s not amazing, but definitely a solid pick.

87. Seattle Seahawks- Kiko Alonso, ILB/OLB, Oregon– He’s originally an outside linebacker that I think could be moved to 4-3 outside. Would be a solid pick at this spot, needs to work on consistency.

88. Green Bay Packers- J.J Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern– The Packers like drafting small school players and they need a safety. Badly.

89. Houston Texans- Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse– The Texans are in need of a safety, and Thomas is the best available in this spot.

90. Denver Broncos- Vance McDonald, TE, Rice– This guy is a physical freak, but he needs a ton of work. He needs to improve his hands and his routes, but who better to help him get better than Peyton Manning.

91. New England Patriots- Hugh Thornton, OG, Illinois– Thornton isn’t ready to come into the NFL yet, but will have some time to learn. He could be a good guard in the future.

92. Atlanta Falcons- Sean Porter, OLB, Texas A&M– Porter is a good player. He needs to bulk up and polish his game, but could be a great outside linebacker in the future.

93. San Francisco 49er’s- Marquise Goodwin, WR, Texas– The 49er’s could use a receiver, and this guy is an explosive athlete. Has a lot of potential, with the 49er’s amount of picks I don’t see them passing him up just as a play-maker alone.

94. Baltimore Ravens- Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall– A project wide receiver, has great athleticism, but has some diva in him. He needs to mature, but could be a steal. Needs coaching.

95. Houston Texans- Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M– I can see them doubling down on receiver this year. I think it’s put up or shut up for Schaub, who was benched last year. They’re going to get him the weapons in the passing game.

96. Kansas City Chiefs- Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia Tech– They lost Eric Winston this year, and could use a right tackle. This guy has been falling, but is the best available at the position.

97. Tennessee Titans- Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU– The Titans need a lot of help on the defensive side of the ball, especially the line. Montgomery is a true 4-3 end, and he could possibly help them out there.

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