Friday, September 6, 2013

IMPACT ROOKIES FOR 2013 NFL SEASON-AFC WEST

The AFC West has been in a considerable down swing the past few years.

Oakland has been miserable, KC wasn't much better.

Denver was bad enough to start Tebow and the Chargers, well they were doing ok till last year.

Now, we have a good Broncos team chased by a Chiefs team that's probably a year away at best, and well the other 2 who might not combine for 7 wins this year.

So, 3 out of 4 really needed to get better this off-season. 

Did they find the pieces they needed in last April's draft?


DENVER BRONCOS

Projected Starters: None

Likely Contributors:

Sylvester Williams DT: The Broncos made some nice moves to shore up their interior D-Line this off-season and drafting Sylvester Williams was part of it.  He is a talented tackle who should fill out a solid rotation on the inside along with Terrance Knighton and Kevin Vickerson.

Montee Ball RB: Ball injected himself directly into the conversation around the starting running back spot in Denver.  He needs to work on his pass blocking, but he has caught the ball well and was known to be a good runner. 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Projected Starters:

Eric Fisher OT: Fisher has been what the Chiefs expected, stepping in at Right Tackle and doing very well in the preseason.  He looks to be the last piece of a very good O-Line for KC. 

Likely Contributors:

Travis Kelce TE: If Kelce can contain his emotion, he might be the next star tight end in KC.  He is a physical specimen with ball skills and confidence, he just needs to keep it buttoned down a touch.

Knile Davis RB: Davis looks to have his form back from 2 years ago after recovering from his knee injury.  He locked up the backup spot to Jamaal Charles early on and didn't let go.  He will have limited touches behind the Pro-Bowler, but he will see the field and the Chiefs hope he will be a big part of their offense going forward.

Nico Johnson LB: Nico was in the battle to be the second starting middle linebacker for the Chiefs right up to the end of the pre-season.  Akeem Jordan beat him out, but expect to see Johnon on the field a lot this season.

Eric Kush OL: Kush wasn't a name that jumped off the page at most Chiefs fans when he was drafted, coming out of California College in Pennsylvania.  He has proven his talent in camp and is solidly set as the understudy to Rodney Hudson at Center.

OAKLAND RAIDERS

Projected Starters: None, which is sad for a ream in this dire need of talent.

Likely Contributors:

DJ Hayden CB: Hayden was their surprise first pick, but he is in the running to be their nickel back.  If he can get back 100% of what he was, the Raiders will look like they weren't morons, but there was no way this was 1st round grade kind of guy.

Menelik Waton OT: This was not the Tackle that Raiders fans wanted, but he is already pushing Khalif Barnes at Right Tackle and he can play the game.  They need linemen, and I would not be surprised to see him show up at other positions on the line.

Stacy McGee DT: McGee was just another stud who went to OU, and he has shown more of the 'stud' that the 'just another' since showing up in Oakland.  He is solidly in the 2-deep for the Raiders and seems to have a chip on his shoulder.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

Projected Starters:

DJ Fluker OT: Fluker was a dominant blocker in San Diego and he has shown flashes of that in camp.  He should be a road grader at right tackle for the Chargers.

Manti Te'o LB: The jokes have faded and now the joke is on the rest of the NFL who let him slide.  Te'o can play, and he jumped right to the top of the depth chart.

Likely Contributors:

Keenan Allen WR: Allen was in the conversation for the best receiver in the PAC-12 last year.  Now, read that sentence and think about who was in the PAC-12 at wide receiver last year.  Robert Woods?  Marquise Lee?  yup, and this kid was right there.  He will start this year if he can stay healthy.

Tourek Williams DE/OLB: Williams was an edge rusher for FIU who worked with his hand on the ground.  He has looked good so far in his transition to an OLB, and has settled in behind veteran Dwight Freeney.
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