AFC West Pre-Draft Special
What’s up Scout Army?!?!
I know what you’re thinking, “What the hell is The Daily Armory doing up this early in the year?’ Well friends I will tell you. The Armory is expanding it’s reach into more of the seasonal game, which was tested out last summer with articles focusing on individual teams and where players line up for our fantasy football drafts. Since I get bored easily, I thought it might be worthwhile to get started even earlier and hit the ground running before the annual NFL draft. What this means is that I have started the process of building depth charts for each team with both offensive and defensive players which you will find included right here. All teams have been updated with free agent moves as of March 29th, 2018. These will be updated weekly through the season and will be posted at the end of every month (Early May for rookie insertion post draft). I will also be attending this year’s draft in Arlington, TX so I can be more immersed in the pageantry and frankly……I need what amounts to a vacation and there’s nothing I would like more than to work on The Daily Armory while enjoying the warmer temps. Each Sunday in April will find a new Armory article focusing on draft prospects that mean the most to us. Of course, I mean running backs, wide receivers, quarterbacks and tight ends. Well, I’ve rambled on enough. Let’s get started…….
What I’ve got for everyone is a quick overview of each team with a recap of 2017 and more importantly, where I’m seeing deficiencies on the offensive and defensive sides of the football. What I also have is some DVOA numbers (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) to share from footballoutsiders.com. It’s my favorite site for looking at strengths and weaknesses of an offense and defense and using the data to help make weekly decisions in dfs. DVOA is also used for offenses as well and helps determine its true authenticity. The site also uses a weighted DVOA which adjusts weekly so that earlier matchups become less important and helps to determine that offense or defense’s true rank. I will show these values as such……
Offensive Rank/Weighted O Rank/Rush O Rank/Pass O Rank
Defensive-Rank/Weighted D Rank/Rush D Rank/Pass D Rank
I will also include offensive and defensive line ranks which will look like this….
OL Rush Rank/OL Pass Rank
DL Rush Rank/DL Pass Rank
Confused? It should make sense in the end. Like I said earlier, check out the site. It’s very good at explaining the numbers in full. I’ve separated the offensive and defensive charts so the DVOA numbers will pertain to each individual offense and defense and hopefully cause less confusion.
HC: Vance Joseph (5-11)
Lawrence Taylor once famously said, “Kids, don’t smoke crack!” and unfortunately for the Broncos they didn’t listen. Instead they decided it was an okay decision to roll out Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler at quarterback. It wasn’t hard to figure out the offense was going to stink, but it was so bad that it dragged the defense along with it. The Broncos defense wasn’t terrible but had such a burden placed upon its shoulders that at times it buckled, and the floodgates opened for opposing offenses. The team got its head on straight and changed a couple pieces that should help for this season.
OC: Bill Musgrave
The Broncos made what amounts to a significant upgrade at quarterback with the signing of Case Keenum. He’s not elite by any means, but he’s very confident and solid option for a team that still employs two upper tier wide receivers. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are still in place and will welcome Keenum into town with open arms. CJ Anderson should return to man the backfield, but it is quite possible that Denver will select a running back with the #6 pick in this years draft. They do have needs along the offensive line on the right side at guard and tackle if they feel like upgrading which I feel they should. They could also use another wide receiver to compliment Thomas and Sanders. The Broncos could also look at a QB to groom while Keenum is in town.
NEEDS: OL, WR, RB, QB
DC: Joe Woods
The defense appears to still be solid but could use an upgrade at linebacker. At the very least they can use some better depth at cornerback and that same linebacker level. The draft focus should be primarily on offense with some defensive picks later in the draft unless a value opens earlier.
NEEDS: LB, CB
Kansas City Chiefs
HC: Andy Reid (10-6)
The Chiefs had a decent season considering their defense was a sieve and Andy Reid can’t call a game offensively to save his life. It cost them in the end as they lost a home Wild Card game to the Titans. The Chiefs have a ton of talent but could never seem to get out of its own way. Hopefully, they can put it together and make a more promising playoff run in 2018.
OC: Eric Bieniemy (NEW)
The Chiefs have handed the keys to the offense to young and unproven Patrick Mahomes. While normally I would be skeptical of such a change at quarterback, I didn’t hate that they traded Alex Smith away. Kareem Hunt returns for his sophomore campaign and Sammy Watkins comes in to take the pressure off Tyreek Hill. The only pressing need is along the offensive line, but it would be nice to see another quality wide receiver brought in.
NEEDS: OL, WR
DC: Bob Sutton
The defense is where they need to focus their attention. There are deficiencies at all positions. I’d like to see them obtain at least one defensive tackle, defensive end, linebacker, cornerback and safety. That’s a tall order for a team to try and fix. If they can at least take care of thee positions they should be in good shape. They need to at least narrow the weaknesses down and stop the bleeding which would make for shorter time on the field and give their offense more opportunities to score.
NEEDS: DT, DE, OLB, CB, S
Los Angeles Chargers
HC: Anthony Lynn (9-7)
I had a hard time watching the end of last regular season. I wanted both the Chargers and Bills to make the postseason but knew that only one of them would make it. Unfortunately for the Chargers it was not them, but at least it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Phillip Rivers showed he still had plenty left in the tank and the team should be able to build from last year’s momentum.
OC: Ken Whisenhunt
The offense was successful but needs work. The Chargers have the pieces in place at the skilled positions, but again need help along the offensive line. This should be the year they finally address that issue. That would allow Melvin Gordon to hit some better holes and maybe have a better YPC. They should address at least two of these positions either at guard or tackle. They should also look at a backup for the tight end spot or add another wide receiver late.
NEEDS: G, T, TE WR
DC: Gus Bradley
The defense is solid but has some needs. They need to plug the holes they have right smack dab up the middle of the unit. If they can fill a couple of the holes, then I would expect the run defense to at least become average which would only help the pass defense. It’s a good unit, but it could become elite. If they play their cards right this is the next Jaguars defense. Pair that with what we know the offense can accomplish and they have a legit shot at the Super Bowl.
NEEDS: DT, MLB, S, CB
HC: Jon Gruden (NEW) (6-10)
Talk about a 180-degree shift. For as great as the 2016 season was for Oakland the 2017 showed everyone what they really were……. mediocre. Amari Cooper looked lost and Derek Carr dealt with nagging injuries most of the year. The defense couldn’t get off the field to save their lives and with an offense that was doing them no favors as well. There are a lot of holes that need to be filled if the Raiders want to even sniff the playoffs.
OC: Greg Olsen (NEW)
The Raiders decided that Michael Crabtree was expendable and cut him despite him being the best wide receiver on the team. He was replaced by Jordy Nelson which didn’t make sense to me. He’s washed up and while he may perform early on it will only be a matter of time before he breaks down yet again. They also brought in Doug Martin which didn’t make any sense to me, but the offensive line is better than the one he had in Tampa. They won’t look at taking a running back in the draft although they should. They should try and grab another wide receiver while Jordy Nelson is still on his feet and Amari Cooper hasn’t disappointed anyone yet. It would be nice to see a tight end taken too, but if they could upgrade the right tackle position, I’d let it slide.
NEEDS: T, TE, WR, RB
DC: Paul Guenther (NEW)
I was going to take a shot at Paul Guenther, but even he can’t make this defense any worse. They absolutely fell off the face of the Earth last year and while I don’t 100% blame them it could use some tweaks. They did pick up some nice secondary pieces with Wright and Melvin coming in but need some help in the middle. This is primarily at the defensive tackle and middle linebacker positions. They don’t need a ton of more help, so if the offense can hold its own than the defense should see improvement. Fingers crossed!
NEEDS: DT, MLB
As always, any questions or comments leave them here or reach me on Twitter @roydawg_13