NFL Draft: Los Angeles Chargers’ divisional rivals

The battle for the AFC West will be as intense in 2019 as it was in 2018. The Los Angeles Chargers won all but two of their divisional encounters en route to the playoffs.

Topping the division will be a priority for the Bolts, but it won’t be easy.

Chargers fans have good reason to look forward to the prospect of another winning season in 2019. Anthony Lynn has raised the bar for the Chargers, but he is not the only head coach to have done so in the AFC West.

The Kansas City Chiefs had an impressive season with Patrick Mahomes under center. The Chiefs, like the Chargers, may feel that their season ended prematurely.

The AFC West picture is taking shape ahead of the 2019 Draft. The Chargers’ rivals are busy plotting their pathway for a successful season. Here is a look at the Chargers’ divisional rivals and how their respective drafts shape up.

Denver Broncos

There is plenty to do for the Denver front office as they figure a way to improve on a disappointing 6-10 record.

John Elway’s interest in Joe Flacco caught many by surprise. Case Keenum may feel aggrieved by Elway‘s decision to search for another option at quarterback. The Broncos offensive line gave up 35 sacks in 2018. Denver will need to improve that area of their game ahead of the new season.

Draft needs. QB/CB/OT/DT – With the 10th overall pick, Denver has plenty of top-draft prospects to choose from. Flacco‘s trade to the Mile High could focus Elway’s attention to the offensive tackle/interior defensive lineman position.

Potential first-round pick. Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders had a season to forget. A 4-12 record was on the cards after trading Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper to the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys, respectively.

Question marks hang over Derek Carr‘s ability to operate as a long-term franchise quarterback. The Raiders, under Jon Gruden should make significant improvements. Three 2019 first-round picks won‘t do the Raiders chances any harm.

Draft needs. EDGE/CB/WR/S/LB – The Raiders posted 13 sacks in 2018, a league low. General Manager, Mike Mayock is likely to make an edge rusher is a primary pick. Tahir Whitehead was the only player to register over 70 total tackles for the black and silver. Linebacker prospects can expect a call from the Raiders’s front office.

Potential first-round pick. Devin White, linebacker LSU (via Just Blog Baby).

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs pose the biggest divisional threat to the Chargers in 2019.

Expectations are high at the Arrowhead. Andy Reid will expect Mahomes to perform to a high level once more.

Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce had phenomenal seasons on offense while Chris Jones, Justin Houston and Dee Ford were immense on defense. Ford is a free agent. Will he play for the Chiefs in 2019?

General Manager Brett Veach has to recruit the pieces needed to take the Chiefs beyond the AFC Championship, which easier said than done.

Draft needs. CB/S/LBArrowhead Addict suggests that Veach will draft a safety. Eric Berry is established at that position, an injury forced him to sit out most of last season.

Potential first-round pick – Deionte Thompson, DB, Alabama.

The Chargers divisional rivals will contribute to a fierce contest and the Chargers will be up against it next season. Fans eagerly awaiting the draft will hope Telesco can work his magic as he did with Derwin James in the last draft. Free agency will also play its part, and the Bolts will have both Forrest Lamp and Hunter Henry at their disposal. September can‘t arrive too soon.