AFC West: Todd McShay

Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Broncos 

April, 10, 2014
Apr 10
Over the course of his work on this year’s draft, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has kept the Denver Broncos focused on defense, including last month’s mock draft when McShay had the Broncos selecting Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy with the 31st pick.

And in his latest effort -- a two-round mock -- McShay again has the Broncos opening their draft with a defensive player

The Denver Broncos received a boost this week when rookie pass-rusher Quanterus Smith returned to the practice field for the first since tearing the ACL in his left knee less than seven months ago.

Smith was a fifth-round pick and has tremendous pass-rush ability. He was leading the NCAA with 12.5 sacks at the time of his injury.

Many scouts thought Smith would be taken much earlier had he not been injured.

“He was the most interesting player left on the board today,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said at the time of his selection. “If he continues to develop, you may have a big-time steal.”

Barring a setback, Smith should be a full a participant in training camp and has a chance to be a contributor as a rookie.

In other AFC West notes:

The Broncos are helping the family of running back Eric Studesville deal with a tragedy. His parents were killed in a motorcycle accident this week.

The Chiefs signed third-round pick, tight end Travis Kelce and fourth-round pick, linebacker Nico Johnson. Both players are expected to play a lot as rookies. The lone remaining unsigned Kansas City rookie is tackle Eric Fisher, the No. 1 overall pick of the draft.

The Chiefs also signed cornerback Vince Agnew. He spent some time with the Cowboys last year.

Update: The Oakland Raiders joined the rookie signing party. They signed six of their 10 picks. They signed four sixth rounders, (tight end) Nick Kasa, (running back) Lataivius Murray, (tight end) Mychal Rivera, (defensive linemen, and their two seventh rounders, (receiver) Brice Butler and (pass-rusher) David Bass.

The NFL Network reports left tackle Bryant McKinnie is weighing offers from the Dolphins and the Chargers. He visited San Diego on Wednesday. The Cowboys are also reportedly interested as well.

McKinnie visited the Chargers on Wednesday. The team badly needs a left tackle and if they don’t sign McKinnie, they could pursue former Steelers' tackle Max Starks or give the job to recently-acquired free agent King Dunlap. McKinnie may be the best option. But in this seller's market, McKinnie appears to have options.

In other AFC West notes:

It’s never too early to start thinking about next year's draft. Insider In this Insider piece, Todd McShay offers his preliminary list of top 32 players for the 2014 draft.

U-T San Diego reports former San Diego Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding has retired. He was cut by the team last year.
Tom Telesco is known for his eye for talent.

The new San Diego Chargers’ general manager did not showcase that ability much during free agency as the Chargers added several low-profile players because of salary-cap concerns. The Chargers got some nice pieces, but there were not any big splashes.

San Diego splashed like the Pacific Ocean on Friday night. After the Chargers traded up to take Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o in the second round, they then drafted dynamic Cal receiver Keenan Allen in the third.

Allen was considered a major steal. He had an injury last year and a slow performance at the combine. But he was productive and most teams rated him highly.

The Chargers took Alabama right tackle D.J. Fluker in the first round. After the Allen choice, ESPN analyst Todd McShay said Telesco scored three first-round talents with his first three choices.

Fellow ESPN analyst Bill Polian was Telesco’s boss in Indianapolis. He said they studied Allen closely and Polian said he and Telesco thought Allen can be a Reggie Wayne-type receiver.

Allen is a major gift to San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers. The Chargers badly need skill-position weapons. The receiving crew was lacking since the 2012 departure Vincent Jackson in free agency.

Now with Allen, Vincent Brown and Danario Alexander, the Chargers have three potential standouts along with the solid Malcom Floyd.

I truly expect Allen to make an impact as a rookie. I think this pick will be remembered as the start of something nice for Telesco's tenure.
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay offers his final first-round mock draft . Here are his AFC West thoughts:

1. Kansas City: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

My take: Fisher has gained steam for this pick and McShay is giving the Chiefs Fisher over Luke Joeckel because of scheme fit. I can see it. This type of draft-day drama involving the top pick is rare.

3. Oakland: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

My take: The Raiders want to deal this pick and they could get some takers. If they stay in the top 10, they might be able to get Floyd and some badly needed picks.

11. San Diego: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

My take: McShay says he doesn’t think Joeckel will get past the top three picks, but he thinks San Diego will come up and make a trade for Joeckel. This would be one of the stories of the draft if it happens.

28. Denver: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

My take: Jones is a player who scouts really like. He would be another strong front-seven player on Denver’s defense.
Mel Kiper is all in on the Kansas City Chiefs.

In this Hot Button topic, Kiper and Todd McShay debated which teams that pick in the top five in this week’s draft -- Kansas City, Jacksonville, Oakland, Philadelphia and Detroit --- are ready to make a quick turnaround in 2013.

Kiper picked the Chiefs. McShay went with the Eagles.

The Chiefs, who have the No. 1 pick in the draft, went 2-14 last year. However they have upgraded at several areas and are poised to get better in the draft. I can see why Kiper went with Kansas City.

Please take the SportsNation poll that is part of the above link to express your thoughts on the topic.

In other AFC West notes:

Denver running back Willis McGahee said in a radio interview he is healthy and ready for the 2013 season.

John Elway a Raider? Yep, it almost happened.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay conducted a conference call with several members of our blog network last week while I was on vacation. Even though I was not on the call, NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert was gracious enough to ask a question for me.

I had Seifert ask McShay if he thought Florida defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd or Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei would be a better fit for the Raiders. Both players are considered potential choices of Oakland with the No. 3 pick. Floyd has been most connected to Oakland, but Lotulelei could be a nice fit as well.

When McShay began to answer the question, he said Floyd probably would be a better fit for Oakland than Lotulelei, but McShay said he thinks Lotulelei is a better overall player and could fit the Raiders as well.

Floyd is considered a more natural 4-3 defensive tackle. However, McShay said he thinks Lotulelei can play the spot as well.

“Floyd probably makes more sense for Oakland, but not necessarily,” McShay said. “I think Floyd has a chance to be highly disruptive. But the lack of sack production is concerning considering how quick he is. Lotulelei is a much more dominant run-defender and he might, when it is all said and done, have greater sack production [than Floyd] although he does it in a different way.”

If Oakland agrees with McShay, Lotulelei may get a long look. Oakland has to score with this pick. And because the defense is being totally reconstructed, I think Oakland can be flexible and not worry as much about specific fit, but focus on overall impact.

Guides for your draft needs

April, 15, 2013
The NFL draft is 10 days away.

We have you covered as we hit the stretch run of the draft speculation period. In an Insider piece, we are presenting a Mel Kiper draft tool . You can maneuver his latest mock draft and see how a change could affect the draft. Give it a whirl.

Also, in a must-read Insider project, Todd McShay, Kiper, Chris Sprow and Gary Horton created a draft page for each team. It has everything you need to know going into the draft.
Please check all of this information out and enjoy the journey to the draft.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has offered another mock draft Insider in an Insider piece. Let’s take a look at his choices for the AFC West teams:

1. Kansas City: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M.

My take: At this point, it would be a surprise if this pick is not Joeckel.

3. Oakland: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

My take: I still think Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd may be the leading candidate, but an argument over Milliner could easily be made.

11. San Diego: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

My take: With all the top left tackles taken, I’d have no problem seeing the Chargers add Warmack. He’d fill a hole for 12 years.

28. Denver: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

My take: He can play and he will help long-term, but I think a pass-rusher could add more of an immediate impact.
Geno Smith may dictate whether or not the San Diego Chargers select a left tackle – it is their biggest need position – in the first round.

Geno Smith?

Take a look at Todd McShay’s latest mock draft Insider, and you can see how the future of the West Virginia quarterback could affect the Chargers’ draft board.

To make it simple, the Chargers may need to hope Smith gets past the Kansas City Chiefs (No. 1) and Oakland Raiders (No. 3). Both teams have been connected to Smith, although it is far from a sure thing Smith will end up in the AFC West.

However, in McShay’s latest mock, he has the Raiders taking Smith. Then, he has Oklahoma left tackle Lane Johnson going to Arizona at No. 7. If Smith is available, the Cardinals very well could take him. If not, perhaps Johnson will be in play.

That would sting San Diego. There is little chance left tackles Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher will be available when the Chargers pick. Johnson is considered the third-best left tackle prospect. But he is moving up boards because of his athleticism and because of his performances this draft season.

If he is available when San Diego picks, he very likely may be the selection. If not, the Chargers will be forced in Plan B mode. Taking another left tackle at No. 11 would be a stretch. Thus if Johnson is off the board, the Chargers may have to take the best available player or trade down. But left tackle would still be a glaring hole.

It could all hinge on if Smith goes to an AFC West team.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has offered another mock draft Insider in an Insider piece. Let’s take a look at his choices for the AFC West teams:

1. Kansas City: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

My take: It’s starting to look like Joeckel may be the pick. He’d move to right tackle for this season and be insurance if Branden Albert leaves in free agency next year.

3. Oakland: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

My take: This is starting to look like a strong possibility. Todd McShay had him tabbed here last week and I have him here in my latest mock. He would help Oakland’s defense immensely.

11. San Diego: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

My take: This is also starting to look like a real possibility. Along with McShay, I also selected Johnson at this pick. But the Chargers could sign a left tackle in free agency.

28. Denver: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

My take: This isn’t a bad idea. Trufant is rising and the Broncos are looking for a cornerback. But they could add one in free agency.
It’s a big draft day at Along with Todd McShay’s latest mock draft , Mel Kiper offers his newest big board .

There is a new name atop the board. Kiper has Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd at No. 1. Floyd is a great athlete who has been rising up the board.

He is considered a perfect fit for a 4-3 defense and a bit of a forced fit for a 3-4 at defensive end. So, I’m not sure if he will be in play for the Chiefs with the No. 1 pick. But he’d be a great fit for Oakland at No. 3 and a great value. McShay has him tabbed for the Raiders.

Kiper’s second player on the board, Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, may be a better fit for the Chiefs. He’d fill a need (if, of course, the Chiefs don’t address it in free agency).

Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei is McShay’s choice for the Chiefs at No. 1. Kiper, though, has him at No. 12 on his big board.

In other AFC West news:

Football Outsiders believe the Chiefs’ decision to give left tackle Branden Albert the franchise tag was right on the money.
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has offered another mock draftInsider in an Insider piece. Let’s take a look at his choices for the AFC West teams:

1. Kansas City: Star Lotulelei, DE, Utah

My take: If Lotulelei’s heart issues are cleared, I love this pick. I’ve long had Lotulelei tabbed here before his medical issue at the combine. I love the fit and I think he’s the best prospect for the Chiefs if he is healthy.

3. Oakland: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

My take: He was the choice for me in my latest mock draft. He’d fill a need and he is a fast riser. I think it makes perfect sense.

11. San Diego: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

My take: Johnson was my choice here in my last two mock drafts. He has been a draft-season star and he’d fill the Chargers’ greatest need. It fits.

28. Denver: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

My take: I still think Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te’o could be in play, but I have no problem with the Rhodes choice. He is a value player at a position Denver can use help. In fact, I had Rhodes at this spot before the Te’o hunch.
Thursday, in Insider pieces, Todd McShay Insider and Mel Kiper Jr. Insider offered updated mock drafts. Friday, the two discussed some of the reasons for their picks Insider.

It was interesting to read Kiper Jr.’s thoughts on the Chiefs avoiding a quarterback with the No.1 pick. It is the same tack I have taken: I don’t think the Chiefs should take a quarterback at No. 1 if no player is worthy of the pick.

Here is what Kiper Jr. had to say on the subject: “I disagree that the No. 1 pick could be a QB. At this point, it's just hard for me to see Geno Smith, Matt Barkley or a guy like Mike Glennon being considered enough of a guarantee at that spot. I think where you see Kansas City think about QB is either at No. (34) overall, or if they trade up into the 20's and get a better value. And you're right, Todd, free agency or a trade could still solve that problem.”

If one of these quarterbacks somehow shows he is worthy of being the No. 1 pick in the next couple of months, then that’s a different story. If not, the Chiefs should find their next starting quarterback on the veteran market and address another need with the top pick. That is maximizing the overall talent of the roster.

In other AFC West news:

In an Insider piece, thinks Insider Oakland defensive tackle Desmond Bryant could be a steal in free agency. I agree. Bryant is a fine player who some teams might throw some money at. As far as AFC West fits for Bryant, I can potentially see Denver showing some interest.

Breaking down McShay's mock

December, 12, 2012
The draft is going to be a big deal in the AFC West with three teams on pace to pick in the top 10.

Yes, it is very early, but I do think Todd McShay’s mock first-round draft is definitely worth looking at. Yes, the drafting order is very far from being determined and the players are far from being solidified as first-round prospects, but this is a good taste of how things may look as the draft talk develops:

1. Kansas City: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

My take: We all know the Chiefs need a quarterback badly and we all know there are no great quarterback choices available at the top of the draft. So, this pick works. He would be another fine player on a potentially good defense. Perhaps the Chiefs could find a bridge veteran quarterback and take someone like North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon in the second round.

3. Oakland: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

My take: The Raiders can’t go wrong here. They need defensive help badly. It will come down to who the Raiders think is the best defensive player available. There are a lot of fine choices and Werner is one of them.

9. San Diego: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

My take: The offensive line is the Chargers’ greatest need area, so it could come down to the best tackle available. But if the board falls as McShay has it, San Diego could look for value and take Alabama guard Chance Warmack or Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o here.

28. Denver: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

My take: This is a good starting point. But the Broncos believe in taking the best player available, so I could see them taking a receiver, tight end or even an offensive lineman if they think they are getting a bargain.