The KC Chiefs didn’t have a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft but the other three AFC West teams did. Two teams made smart picks and another one made a head-scratching selection.
When the Kansas City Chiefs don’t have a first-round pick, fans still enjoy watching the first round unfold. The quarterback drama is always something that drums up excitement but fans also like to see how the other three teams in the division do with their first-round selections.
This year, every team in the division had a first-round pick except for the Chiefs. They traded theirs to land Orlando Brown from the Ravens, which, as of now, looks like a good move for both sides. We’ll see what happens down the road and if this ended up being a good trade or not for the Chiefs.
The Broncos were the first team from the division on the clock. Hours before the draft began, Adam Schefter reported that Aaron Rodgers was unhappy in Green Bay and wanted out. Mark Schlereth then made a comment on the radio that Rodgers to Denver was nearly a done deal.
For Broncos fans, this was great news and while Mike Klis of 9News debunked the rumor, the Broncos made still believe the move can happen, as they passed on taking either Justin Fields or Mac Jones with the No. 9 pick, instead drafting cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
Surtain gives Denver a lockdown cornerback and considering they play Patrick Mahomes twice a year, that’s something they need. This was a good pick for the Broncos and if they do end up acquiring Aaron Rodgers, they’ll be the new team to beat in not just the AFC West, but the entire AFC.
The Chargers were the next AFC West team to be on the clock and their dream scenario played out, as Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater fell to them at No. 13. Many analysts had Slater as a top 10 pick so him falling to the Bolts at No. 13 was a huge victory for them. Los Angeles now has a starting left tackle for Justin Herbert.
The final AFC West team to draft in round one was the Raiders, who owned the No. 17 pick and went in a puzzling direction, drafting offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood out of Alabama. Leatherwood is a nice player and the criticism the Raiders are getting isn’t based on him but rather when they decided to take him, as he’d have been available in the second round.
Throw in that the Raiders need help desperately on defense and that makes this selection even more of a head-scratcher. Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock made one of the worst first-round selections and Raiders fans have every right to be annoyed with this pick.
KC Chiefs fans watched the other three AFC West teams closely in the first round.
I was impressed with the Broncos and Chargers in round one. Denver picked up a terrific young cornerback who is going to do his best to pick off Mahomes when the Broncos and Chiefs square off. Meanwhile, the Chargers got themselves a steal at No. 13 and their offensive line won’t be a pushover with Slater anchoring it.
What are your thoughts on how the AFC West did in the first round?