Broncos Country Proposal to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: Going forward, players like the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, and Las Vegas Raiders should be forced to give up their first-round picks to from 2023 and all future drafts.
Why? It hurts the Denver Broncos’ chances of winning the AFC West when their division rivals have the opportunity to select good players.
Until Goodell meets that demand, the Broncos will have to sit on the sidelines on the first day of next year’s draft, just like they did in the first round of the 2022 event. divisional rival Raiders sat on the sidelines Thursday night with Denver, the Chargers and AFC West Chiefs made several moves to improve their squad and change the dynamics of their rosters next season.
How did the two teams seen as the Broncos’ biggest obstacles to winning the AFC West stack up in the first round? With the Chargers holding the 17th overall pick and the Chiefs sitting with picks 29 (from the Miami Dolphins through the San Francisco 49ers) and 30, the dynamics of the division have changed after a wild and unpredictable start to the 2022 draft.
Loaders: Zion Johnson | IOL | Boston College
With the 17th overall selection, the Chargers selected Boston College offensive linemen. Standing 6-foot-2.5 and 312 pounds with an arm length of 34 inches, Johnson was considered by most in the draft community to be the best interior offensive lineman in the entire draft class.
After starting 2020 at left tackle, Johnson moved to left guard, earning first-team All-ACC honors. With the type of body that many would consider an attacking tackle, he looked better inside last season than he had in previous seasons at tackle. Before transferring to Boston College, Johnson played the first two years of his college career at Davidson.
Johnson is a technician with his hands and has a well-defined frame for an offensive lineman. Tested as a very good athlete at all levels at the NFL Combine, earning a relative athletic score of 9.74, he marked the elite in his jumps, runs and agility drills – only to be struck by his size overall.
During and after the Senior Bowl, coaches raved about Johnson’s intelligence and work ethic, as he was noted as one of the first and last players on the court in most practices, staying late after practice to work on breaking the ball to practice at the central position. to become more versatile and valuable to NFL teams. The Chargers have a very good player, no doubt.
The biggest criticism for the Chargers taking Johnson at pick 17 is not his fault other than the position he plays. While fielding bad inside offensive linemen has the possible impact of sinking an entire OL unit, the impact of a singular inside player can only be so great.
Also, while Johnson can be a pretty good guard, interior offensive linemen, in general, aren’t hard to come by later in the draft historically. Using a pick in the middle of the first round on a position that isn’t hard to find capable, quality starters later in the draft should raise questions about the overall pick process.
It’s hard to blame the Chargers too much for picking a player this high to invest more in protecting ahead of emerging superstar quarterback Justin Herbert, but this inside pick doesn’t have a very high ceiling. Will Johnson play right guard or switch to left guard, kicking Matt Feiler to tackle him right?
This will probably be settled at camp. Either way, Johnson will be a very good player for the Chargers and probably a good player there for the next decade, but the opportunity cost in other harder-to-find positions is worth pondering.
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Chefs: Trent McDuffie | BC | Washington
After trading with the New England Patriots at 21 overall, returning picks 29, 94 and 121, the Chiefs selected Washington’s small but smart defensive back. After failing to hold the likes of Chardavious Ward in free agency and Tyrann Mathieu still on the market with the bridge seemingly burned between the two sides, the Chiefs decided they couldn’t wait to select the fourth defensive back in the roster. at McDuffie.
Considered by many to be a bit of a defensive back tweener given his lack of length possessing an arm length of 29 ¾ inches and a small overall height at 5-foot-10.75 and 193 pounds, McDuffie’s role for Kansas City in defense by Steve Spagnolo will be worth following. Although McDuffie has a compact frame, that doesn’t stop him from packing a punch as he shows great ability to drive over pass catchers and close in space.
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McDuffie’s tape shows an aggressive, instinctive player who was rarely out of position, great zone awareness and good technique in out-of-coverage situations on the edge of the Huskies defense. His best position is in question, thanks to his quality in the running game at beating blockers at their keys on the field and turning into a solid form tackle.
McDuffie’s lack of length, however, may be a problem for Kansas City, as the Chiefs have been continually abused by big, long X receivers in 2021 as Mike Williams and Ja’Marr Chase specifically beat their small corners. McDuffie is not helping Kansas City in any way in this regard. His lack of length and height is also probably a big reason why, despite being a very smart and instinctive player, he didn’t create many plays on the ball during his time in college.
McDuffie is a great fit for a team looking to play a lot out of cover and could just as easily transition into an NFL-level slot/safety role, similar to Budda Baker. If Kansas City were able to get McDuffie at pick 29, it would be a solid B+ to A- pick, but after giving up picks 95 and 121 to go for McDuffie, the rating slips a bit.
Chefs: George Karlaftis | Edge | Purdue
The Chiefs did not complete the first round with McDuffie’s selection as the team still had their own selection at pick 29 overall. With needs at right tackle, in the secondary (still) and in the trenches, the Chiefs found themselves with one of the youngest players in class at Karlaftis.
Standing 6-foot-3.75 and 266 pounds, with a shorter arm length of 32 ⅝ inches, many predicted before the first round that despite the great hype Karlaftis received early in the draft process, the Boilermaker had a chance to slip. of the first round. Instead, Kansas City took the former four-star rookie.
A member of the Greece Under-16 water polo team, Karlaftis has spent the past few seasons terrorizing quarterbacks and tackles in the Big Ten West. He is an explosive player on the snap on tap and confirmed by his combine jumps at 38 inches vertical and 10 feet 1 inch wide.
With his speed in power given his brilliance and mass, Karlaftis could rush many tackles and create consistent havoc in the backfield. His power moves as a passing thrower are his bread and butter and edge blockers who can’t anchor to the point of attack will struggle as he fires into their chest.
Despite Karlaftis’ power as a rusher, his strength has yet to show as a run defender. These running defense issues are also likely increased due to his lack of length and lateral agility. Karlaftis jumped well at the Combine, but since he is a powerful player as a rusher, his general lack of size/length/and frame are the main reasons he fell to pick 29 overall.
Still, Karlaftis was a very productive advantage for Purdue with power and explosiveness to rush the passer and harass quarterbacks. Considered an extremely hard worker and a very bright young man, he just turned 21, making him one of the youngest players in an older draft class.
Considering the Chiefs need a pass rush to help Chris Jones on the inside and play against Frank Clark and the value of the advantage in today’s league, it’s hard not to give solid marks in Kansas City for this selection at 29 overall.
The Broncos didn’t pick in the first round, but Denver was able to use their first-round pick to land a franchise quarterback in Russell Wilson. The Chargers and Chiefs made good choices on three top players in the first round who deserve some credit, but did Paton and the Broncos’ rating finally solve their post-Peyton quarterback issues Manning?
Always a solid, fat and emphatic A.
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