2015 NFL Draft Review: AFC West

San Diego Chargers After St. Louis selected Todd Gurley with the 10th pick, the Charges moved up from 17 to 15 to make sure they were able to draft Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon. Gordon is similar to Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles in running style in that he is an outstanding open field runner. Where Gordon will need to improve is with his pass blocking. Gordon wasn’t used much as a receiver at Wisconsin, but he showed during the Combine and private workouts that he is a very reliable receiver. With their second round pick, the Chargers selected Miami inside linebacker Denzel Perryman. Perryman lacks ideal size but he has great instincts, can slip blocks, and makes plays. He should fit in well next to Manti Te’o. In the third round, San Diego selected Craig Mager, a big physical corner from Texas State. I thought that the third round may have been a bit high for Mager, but both the scouting staff and coaching staff were high on him. He has all the physical tools needed. He just needs to develop. Kyle Emanuel played as a defensive end at North Dakota State and will be converted to linebacker in San Diego. He dominated as a pass rusher at the FCS school totaling 35.5 career sacks. Some scouts felt Emanuel would be a better fit inside, but the Chargers are going to play him as an OLB. Darius Philon is a good fit as a defensive lineman. He is strong at the point, can shed and get to the ball. Kansas City Chiefs The Chiefs staff did an inordinate amount of research on Washington corner Marcus Peters and obviously felt comfortable with the pick. Take away the off-field issues and Peters just may have been the best cover guy in the draft. He has the size and length to match up versus the bigger receivers in the league. Peters had some problems with the new Washington coaching staff and that caused him to be dismissed from the team. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has always dealt well with this type of player, and I’m sure things will turn out well for Peters going forward. Mitch Morse played tackle at Missouri and played well. The Chiefs are most likely going to move him inside to center. He has the body type to play that position, and with his smarts and instincts, he will be able to step in as a leader in short order. Georgia receiver Chris Conley has physical traits on par with any receiver in this draft. He is fast with great leaping ability and change of direction. He lacked top production this past year, but that was due to Georgia not having a top QB. I really like the selection of Oregon State corner Steve Nelson. He plays the game at a high level of intensity and will be comfortable either inside or out. He has the talent to be a rookie starter. With their fourth round pick, the Chiefs selected Georgia inside linebacker Ramik Wilson. Wilson is excellent versus the run and can be very physical. He needs work in pass coverage, but chances are, he won’t be used in nickel situations. Outside linebacker D.J. Alexander is more of a developmental pick, but he has the traits to excel in the Kansas City scheme. With people like Tomba Hali and Justin Houston ahead of him, he will get plenty of time to learn his trade. Coming from an FCS school, tight end James O’Shaughnessy is raw and will need some development, but he is very athletic and can develop into a very good “move” tight end. He ran 4.68 with a 35.5” vertical jump and a 7.26 3-cone. All are impressive numbers for a man his size. Rakeem Nunez-Roches is a quick penetrator who will play in the defensive line rotation. Receiver Da’Ron Brown is a developmental type. Denver Broncos Until he got busted on a possession charge a couple days before the draft, outside linebacker Shane Ray looked like a sure top 10 selection. Denver was able to get him at the 23 slot, and with that, he becomes a bargain pick. Ray has all the tools to be a top edge rusher. He has a toe problem and that may slow him as a rookie, but his future is bright. I thought the second round was a little high for Colorado State tackle Ty Sambrailo. He has a bit of a narrow frame and needs to get stronger, but he is very tough and competitive. The selection of Ohio State tight end Jeff Heurerman looked like a great pick on draft weekend, but he tore his ACL during rookie camp and will be out for the season. When healthy, he showed that he has the versatility to play as a Y or flexed out. Florida’s Max Garcia has versatility in that he had play time at all the offensive line positions. He is best suited to play center where is has the strength and power to help the run game. When you watch tape of Tulane corner Lorenzo Doss, you get excited. He has very good cover skills and will support the run. He needs to get stronger so that he can be a more consistent tackler, but don’t be surprised when you see him get playing time as a rookie. Maryland nose tackle Darius Kilgo is a good run down player, but he will need work as a pass rusher. The rest of the Broncos draft picks were all guys I felt would compete for a spot on the practice squad. Oakland Raiders With USC defensive tackle Leonard Williams staring them in the face, the Raiders stuck to their plan and selected Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper. Cooper was easily the most NFL-ready receiver in the draft and will come in right away and start. He has size, speed, and great overall body control. He is also very smart and should be able to play any of the wide receiver positions. I thought the Mario Edwards Jr. selection was excellent. He can come in and play left end on base downs and be an inside pass rusher in passing situations. He has terrific positional versatility. Getting Miami tight end Clive Walford in the third round is a steal. He can play in tight or flexed out and give Derek Carr another playmaker to throw to. The Raiders took another Miami player in the fourth round when they selected Jon Feliciano the tough, physical guard. He may also get a shot at center giving him the versatility to back up at two positions as a rookie. Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney still needs some development, but he is an excellent overall competitor. I look for him to contribute on special teams as a rookie. With their second fifth round pick, the Raiders selected another linebacker in Florida edge man Neiron Ball. He has some pass rush skills but durability has been a question. He may need a year on the practice squad. Sixth round pick Max Valles from Virginia is a pick I like. He didn’t test out as well as he plays, and that’s why he slid. Still, he is tough, physical and instinctive. I’m betting he gets some early play time. The remainder of the Raiders draft class were developmental size/speed types with Kansas corner Dexter McDonald having the most upside. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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