HomeFootball#256: 2021 NFL Draft Recap (AFC West with Lance Sanderson)

#256: 2021 NFL Draft Recap (AFC West with Lance Sanderson)

1. Broncos

-In a move that will be scrutinized indefinitely, the Broncos, like the Panthers and Lions before them, decided to pass on Justin Fields and instead used their first-round pick on Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II. Despite the metaphorical black eye that could result from this decision, Surtain is a high-floor/high-ceiling prospect. Based on the numbers he put up at his Pro Day, he profiles very similarly to Derwin James athletically. Just how high is Patrick Surtain’s ceiling? The Broncos have a pretty crowded corner room right now with Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller, and Ronald Darby. And yesterday, Vic Fangio said he plans to try Surtain out on the boundary and in the slot. Does he start Week 1, and if so, at which spot?

-Just like his former team did in 2017 with Dalvin Cook, George Paton traded up a few spots in the second round to take a RB in Javonte Williams from North Carolina. Williams was considered to be THE best RB in this draft by Doug Farrar and Mark Schofield. Many believe you shouldn’t draft a running back in the draft until day three unless that back is an extra special talent. What makes Javonte Williams such a talent and do you see him eventually surpassing Melvin Gordon as the guy in the Broncos backfield this season?

-In the third round, the Broncos traded back twice and got both of the Saints compensatory picks. They spent the second one of those picks on Ohio State LB Baron Browning. Browning was viewed MUCH highly on Draft Twitter than in the NFL, in large part due to the fact of the uncertainty of what position to play him at. While the Broncos intend to try him out at ILB first, some think he can be a very good pass rusher of the EDGE. At which spot do YOU believe is Baron Browning’s best possible bet for success in the NFL?

2. Chargers

-The Chargers began the draft with one of those potential steals as Rashawn Slater fell into their lap at 13 overall. I believe one of the reasons why he fell is that many, if not most in the NFL see him as a better fit at guard than at tackle. Daniel Jeremiah also said he would be a Zach Martin All Pro-level kind of player inside. That said, his responsibility from the start will be protecting Justin Herbert’s blindside at LT. How good (or great) can Rashawn Slater be at tackle for the Chargers?

-In the second round at 47 overall, the Chargers perhaps got an even bigger steal with Asante Samuel, Jr. He is arguably a spitting image of his All Pro father (Asante Sr.) with his impressive ball skills, physicality, and click-and-close ability. He’s arguably the most tailor-made cornerback for Brandon Staley’s defense. How special can he be in this system? Can he be as good as a boundary corner and a slot corner despite his height?

-With the first of their two third-round picks, the Chargers picked WR Josh Palmer of Tennessee. Eric Galko, the new director of the East/West Shrine Game, considered him a top-10 WR in the draft. Your colleague at MHH Erick Trickel was also a big fan of Palmer’s. Do you see Josh Palmer becoming the Chargers third WR in 11 personnel packages at some point this season?

3.  Raiders

-Several people, myself included, accused the Raiders of a massive reach with their selection of Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood with the 17th overall pick. However, most of us thought they reached on Kolton Miller in 2018, and now Miller is an above-average NFL left tackle who just got rewarded with a healthy extension. As flawed as Leatherwood is, he is far more polished coming into the NFL than Kolton Miller was. Do you think Alex Leatherwood proves those naysayers wrong as well?



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