The AFC West

In going through the mock drafts you can't help but notice that Kansas City and Oakland are going to be picking up some pretty tasty talent again this draft.  With Oakland you have to wonder how many top ten picks they can get without actually, you know, getting better.  The Chargers went 5-1 against AFC West opponents last year, obviously that means 3-7 against the rest of the league.  To be fair five of those seven losses made the playoffs; the Chargers played some good teams this year. 

Even with that record, those games never look like sure bets to me.  We were 2-0 against Kansas City, but won those games by the barest of margins.  A deflected pass in the home game or missing the recovered onside kick in the away game and we would have been watching the Denver Broncos taking on the Colts.  The games against the Raiders were by bigger margins, but the Bolts trailed the Raiders for much of the game in Oakland.  Denver handed the Chargers their only AFC West loss, but went on to get thumped in the final game of the season.  Still as we look at next year the Chargers have a very tough divisional winners schedule coupled with improving foes in the AFC West.  The question becomes, is there a team on the cusp that this draft will dramatically improve?  Denver has already let go their Super Bowl winning coach and KC and Oakland might bring on new head coaches and management that will make more of what they already have.

Kansas City gets the third overall pick in the draft and the Raiders get the seventh.  Kansas City has taken on some of the talent scouting of the Patriots by hiring Pioli while the Broncos have taken the Pats Offensive Coordinator as their Head Coach.    The Broncos go with the 12th pick while the Chargers will get the 16th, but will be sorely missing their second rounder.  Both KC and the Raiders might hit a big impact player, the top of this draft looks talented.  Oakland's main problem is their offensive line, and they could easily pick up a great tackle.  Kansas City really needs a pass rush, Orakpo looks like the best player to help there.  Last years story was the turn around of the Dolphins who came off a 1-15 campaign to win their division.  The question of the day is which team do you think will be the biggest threat to the Chargers next season?

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