AFC West: 2014 Mel Kiper Mock 1.0

Kiper mock 1.0 reaction: Raiders

January, 15, 2014
Jan 15
3:00
PM ET
ALAMEDA, Calif. -– The Oakland Raiders have myriad needs as they enter Year 3 of the Reggie McKenzie-Dennis Allen regime, Year 1 of the franchise’s “reconstruction,” per owner Mark Davis.

The Raiders also have the No. 5 overall pick in May’s draft and, the way ESPN’s Mel Kiper sees it in his NFL mock draft 1.0 Insider, Oakland will go with Clemson playmaking receiver Sammy Watkins.

Sure, the Raiders have a couple of emerging pass-catching talents in the undrafted duo of Rod Streater and Andre Holmes and a pseudo-playmaker in Denarius Moore (when he doesn’t disappear). But Watkins seemingly has immediate star written all over him.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior is coming off setting an Orange Bowl record with 16 catches for 227 yards with two touchdowns in the Tigers’ 40-35 victory over Ohio State.

On the season, he caught 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns, with two of more than 90 yards, and in three years at Death Valley he had a combined 240 receptions for 3,391 yards and 27 TDs.

Watkins is not the largest of targets and has a 40-yard dash time of 4.47 seconds. He also reminds some of Percy Harvin.

Should the Raiders go the Watkins route, the question then is this: Who’s going to throw him the ball? I told you the Raiders have a lot of needs.

But Watkins would definitely fill one.

Kiper mock 1.0 reaction: Broncos

January, 15, 2014
Jan 15
3:00
PM ET
Even as the Denver Broncos continue to live their double life of Super Bowl hopeful as well as a franchise already working toward the 2014 season with scouts dispersed into the all-star game circuit, ESPN’s Mel Kiper has the Broncos looking for defensive help in the first round of May's draft.

In Kiper’s first mock draft Insider, he has the Broncos selecting Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton with their opening-round pick. The Broncos will always lean toward best available player rather than need with John Elway calling the shots in the personnel department, and Crichton would certainly be a high-value pick.

The Broncos believe Derek Wolfe, who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday as a result of seizure-like symptoms he suffered in late November, will participate in their offseason programs as scheduled. Wolfe had practiced just twice since the incident and the Broncos still see him on schedule to be back to his usual workload by the time training camp starts.

But defensive end Robert Ayers is scheduled to head into free agency, Shaun Phillips’ one-year deal will have expired and linebacker Von Miller will be recovering from a torn ACL well into training camp and possibly early in the regular season. So defensive end will certainly be a position that will get a look, as will cornerback and wide receiver.

Crichton, who will come into the draft after his junior season, may not test as well in workouts as some others at the position in the weeks leading up to the draft, but he is a high-energy player who can fill multiple roles up front -- two things that will intrigue the Broncos. Despite a pile of double-teams and chips, Crichton still finished with 7.5 sacks this past season, battling through all of that attention.

He usually lined up at end, but a look at the video did show him at nose tackle against Oregon this past season. Malik Jackson had a similar profile before the Broncos selected him in the 2012 draft. He has found a home in the defensive line rotation, playing at both end and tackle in a variety of personnel groupings.

Kiper mock 1.0 reaction: Chiefs

January, 15, 2014
Jan 15
3:00
PM ET
In his first mock draft Insider, Mel Kiper has the Kansas City Chiefs selecting Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt with their first-round draft pick (23rd overall). With the draft being almost four months away, much can change between now and then.

But don't be surprised if this pick becomes a reality for the Chiefs. Tuitt makes a lot of sense.

The Chiefs could well be losing one of their starting defensive ends, Tyson Jackson, to free agency. The Chiefs, who collapsed defensively over the season's second half, could use help on that side of the ball. Their pass rush, which started the season at a record pace but became almost a nonfactor over the final few games, would benefit from the push the 6-foot-7, 322-pound Tuitt is capable of providing.

The Chiefs have Allen Bailey in reserve at defensive end, and he is capable of taking Jackson's place. The Chiefs have bigger positional needs, particularly at wide receiver. They survived this season with only running back Jamaal Charles as a viable threat, but have to supply quarterback Alex Smith with more help. They also need to be thinking about replacing Dwayne Bowe as their No. 1 wide receiver. Bowe will turn 30 in September.

But taking into consideration positional needs, value with the 23rd pick and overall fit, Tuitt could well be Kansas City's choice.

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