This division this year is set to be an absolute bloodbath. So why would the 2022 NFL Draft be any different? Khalil Mack joined the Los Angeles Chargers, Davante Adams and Chandler Jones joined the Las Vegas Raiders, and the Denver Broncos landed their quarterback in Russell Wilson so Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs must feel a little uneasy sitting atop their throne. With how close it seems, the picks in this draft could swing this division in any direction.

In this article, we are going to look at each team and lay out what they have for draft picks. Then we’ll look at where they are set (unlikely to use high draft capital), where they have immediate draft needs (likely to use a pick in the first 2-3 rounds), or where they might need depth (mid-to-late round picks). So let’s get to it. 




Denver Broncos - Eight Picks

  • Second Round: 64
  • Third Round: 75, 96
  • Fourth Round: 115, 116
  • Fifth Round: 145
  • Sixth Round: 206
  • Seventh Round: 232

Set: Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Guard, Inside Linebacker

Quarterback - They made their move and got their guy in Russell Wilson. The odds of them drafting a QB are about ero.

Wide Receiver - Wide receiver in reality can be about four or five different roles. And the Broncos have them all. Both Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick can line up out wide at split end or flanker. Jerry Jeudy is primarily slot but also plays flanker. KJ Hamler is your field stretcher. And they have enough depth behind most of these spots. Plus, almost all of these guys are locked up for multiple years. If they do take a WR, it likely won’t be with one of their early picks.

Guard - Not only are they set at guard for now with Graham Glasgow and Dalton Risner but Billy Turner actually has a history of playing guard, as some of you may already know. More on that below in the Offensive Tackle section.

Inside Linebacker - On a team with more high-end draft picks, this position might be in another section. But the reality of the modern 3-4 defense is that teams run so much nickel that it ends up being more of a five-man rush with one linebacker and five defensive backs at times. So, they have what they need to get by assuming Josey Jewell can stay healthy.

Immediate: Defensive Line, Offensive Tackle, Cornerback

Defensive Line - The departure of Shelby Harris leaves them thin, but the Broncos could find a solid contributor despite not having a first round pick as 3-4 defensive linemen are not typically at a premium in the draft. Guys like Logan Hall out of Houston or DeMarvin Leal out of Texas A&M could be there at pick 64.

Offensive Tackle - Garrett Bolles is locked up through 2025 on the left but the right side could use some improvement. As alluded to above, Billy Turner is set to play right tackle but, the last time he was with Denver, he actually played guard. If the right player is there, they could potentially take a right tackle and slide Turner over or they could take a right tackle for the future as Turner is only on a one-year deal.

Cornerback - Patrick Surtain II is a nice hit in the draft last year and K’Waun Williams from San Francisco can play slot but Ronald Darby might be tough as the full-time starter opposite of Surtain. Plus, they only have five guys signed at corner so, even if the guy they draft doesn’t start right away, they need depth for nickel and dime situations.

Potential early round picks: DE Logan Hall (Houston), DE DeMarvin Leal (Texas A&M), DE Cameron Thomas (San Diego State), T Zach Tom (Wake Forest), T Kellen Diesch (Arizona State), T Max Mitchell (Louisiana), CB Roger McCreary (Auburn), CB Cam Taylor-Britt (Nebraska), CB Martin Emerson (Mississippi State)

Depth: Running Back, Safety, Tight End

Running Back - If they do find a way to bring Melvin Gordon back then they obviously won’t need a running back. But as of now they are a bit thin. They have Javonte Williams for early downs and Mike Boone, who came over with GM George Paton from Minnesota, is reliable on passing downs. But the only other guy on the roster is Damarea Crockett. So we would not be surprised to see an RB pick.

Safety - Justin Simmons is a star and Kareem Jackson is a solid starter opposite him but the Jackson deal is only one year. And he’s 34 years old. So they might want to take a stab on plans for the future.

Tight End - They moved Noah Fant which means they trust Albert Okwuegbunam but he’s had his own injury issues. They have Eric Tomlinson and Shaun Beyer as blocking tight ends but that is a pretty thin room. The offense Nathaniel Hackett runs would see Albert O in the Robert Tonyan role and Tomlinson in the Marcedes Lewis role so they just need depth behind that.



Kansas City Chiefs - 12 picks

  • First Round: 29, 30
  • Second Round: 50, 62
  • Third Round: 94, 103
  • Fourth Round: 121, 135
  • Seventh Round: 233, 243, 251, 259


Set: Quarterback, Center, Tight End, Linebacker

Quarterback - Patrick Mahomes is the franchise. In fact, outside of maybe a late backup, you aren’t like to see any team in this division draft a quarterback. The Chiefs have Chad Henne so they don’t even need the backup part.

Center - What an amazing draft pick Creed Humphrey turned out to be. One of the best centers in the league, if not the very best, as a rookie. Jackpot.

Tight End - Travis Kelce is still playing at a “best in the league” level and they actually have nine tight ends under contract right now so they need to cut some, not add them. Both Jody Fortson and Noah Gray looked serviceable as pass catchers and Blake Bell is back to block. Let’s just hope Joe Fortson recovers well from a tough injury.

Linebacker - They used back-to-back second round picks on Willie Gay Jr. and Nick Bolton while also picking up Jermaine Carter. They use enough nickel and dime coverage that having a ton of high-end inside linebackers is not a priority.

Immediate: Defensive End, Wide Receiver, Cornerback, Safety

Defensive End - They have Frank Clark on one side but could certainly use some help opposite him unless Melvin Ingram comes back on a team-friendly deal. This draft not only has high end guys at the very top like Aidan Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and Travon Walker but it’s deep with guys like George Karlaftis, Jermaine Johnson, Arnold Abiketie, Nik Bonitto etc. all poised to go in the first round as well. The Chiefs could package up the two picks they have and go BIG or just take the best available guy that falls to them.

Wide Receiver - They actually have a LOT of guys signed currently but what they lack is high end talent on the outside. JuJu Smith-Schuster is a young stud who can play in the slot. But Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Mecole Hardman are not Tyreek Hill. They don’t necessarily HAVE to take a wide receiver as they have plenty of other needs but if a stud is there at 29 or 30 it’s hard not to give Mahomes a shiny new weapon. At 50 or 62, they could also go after a bigger split end which they haven’t really had since Sammy Watkins. Christian Watson or Alec Pierce could be interesting. Unfortunately, Sammy Watkins signing with the Packers doesn’t prevent them from taking a WR and they pick ahead of KC.

Cornerback - The Chiefs have a lot of quality picks so they can be flexible in what they do. L’Jarius Sneed can handle the slot but, after losing Charvarius Ward, they could use some help on the outside. There are a lot of teams that need corners however, so a true stud might not be there at 29 or 30 unless they trade up.

Safety - The other route they can go is to move L’Jarius Sneed to the outside. He has played out there before for full games and he’s done fine. In doing that they can then take “best player available” in the secondary which may be a slot corner or could be a safety capable of playing in the slot. Daxton Hill is the kind of pick that would be perfect for that as he develops into the safety of the future.

Potential early round picks: DE George Karlaftis (Purdue), DE Jermaine Johnson (Florida State), DE Arnold Ebikite (Penn State), DE Nik Bonitto Oklahoma), WR Treylon Burks (Arkansas), WR George Pickens (Georgia), WR Christian Watson (North Dakota State), WR Alex Pierce (Cincinnati), CB Andrew Booth Jr. (Clemson), CB Kaiir Elam (Florida), CB Jalen Pitre (Baylor), S Daxton Hill (Michigan), S Nick Cross (Maryland)

Depth: Running Back, Tackle/Guard

Running Back - Between Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Ronald Jones, they have what they need at the top of the depth chart. But they only have four running backs signed currently and three are free agents next year. So maybe use a later pick on a guy who can contribute on special teams and serve as depth next year so that you don’t have to pay all three guys to return.

Tackle/Guard - I list these two together here as often college tackle prospects not drafted in the first couple of rounds end up playing guard anyway. The Chiefs have what they need to start for this year but they don’t have much depth, especially at guard where they only have four guys under contract. Maybe they go with a high-end option if they aren’t confident Orlando Brown will sign a long-term deal, but for now, they just need depth.




Las Vegas Raiders - Five Picks

  • Third Round: 86
  • Fourth Round: 126
  • Fifth Round: 164, 165
  • Seventh Round: 227

Set: Quarterback, Running Back, Defensive End

Quarterback - It’s always a question when a new regime takes over, but Josh McDaniels and the gang like Derek Carr as they locked him up for three years.

Running Back - Whether McDaniels brings over the Patriots split backfield system or not, you have the pieces for it. Josh Jacobs is ready to go on early downs while Kenyan Drake and Ameer Abdullah can handle pass work. Brandon Bolden comes over from NE as a guy who plays special teams and also knows both roles in the system so he can fill in for either role if someone goes down.

Defensive End - The combo of Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby is the best defensive end tandem in the entire league. Enough said.

Immediate: Offensive Line, Secondary, Linebacker

Offensive Line - I say “offensive line” here and not a more specific position because there is a question about where Alex Leatherwood ends up playing. But in reality, these types of situations are a great thing when it comes to drafts because it gives you the flexibility to take “best player available”. Kolton Miller is signed through 2026, as is Alex Leatherwood. So, if you go lineman, you basically just take the best tackle available and move Leatherwood to right guard or you take the best guard and leave Leatherwood where he is. Easy. At pick 86, a guy like Darian Kinnard could play tackle or guard so you just have that competition in camp. Or a guy like Cole Strange is a guard they should be able to plug in day one.

Secondary - Again, the Raiders don’t pick early enough for us to get really specific with predictions and they have a roster with some flexibility. At safety, Trevon Moehrig is a stud, but Johnathan Abram hasn’t been much more than a bruiser. He’s in the last year of his deal and, if they don’t pick up the fifth-year option, they’ll have a hole there in the future. Duron Harmon is familiar with McDaniels from his time in New England but that’s not a long-term solution. On the outside, they lost Casey Heyward at corner and, though they have what they need to get by, corner is always on the table. They could take best player available here whether that is a safety that could help out in the slot or a corner that can contribute right away. They only have two impactful picks so flexible guys are key.

Linebacker - I know a lot of 4-3’s in the modern era are more like 4-2-5’s since teams use so much nickel. But you still need to have playmakers plus you need more than five linebackers on the depth chart. They could go for a true inside linebacker or they could draft a hybrid linebacker to help with their safety/slot situation mentioned above. Christian Harris from Bama is a big physical guy whereas someone like JoJo Domann could help cover in the slot.

Potential early round picks: T Kellen Diesch (Arizona State), T/G Darian Kinnard (Kentucky), G Cole Strange (Chattanooga), S Nick Cross (Maryland), S Kerby Joseph (Illinois), CB Jalyn Armour-Davis (Alabama), LB Christian Harris (Alabama), LB JoJo Domann (Nebraska)

Depth: Wide Receiver, Defensive Tackle

Wide Receiver - With more high-end picks this one might be in the section above. But the vast majority of wide receivers that amount to anything come from the first three rounds and the Raiders literally have one pick there. So it will likely be Edwards at split end, Adams at flanker, and Renfrow at slot which is solid. They could look for some depth or special teams guys with the later pick but expecting someone from the fourth round to come in and contribute right away is not likely.

Defensive Tackle - Bringing back Johnathan Hankins and bringing in Bilal Nichols moved this one from “need” to depth. But they have four defensive tackle contracts expiring next year including Hankins so they likely should use a later pick in this region.



Los Angeles Chargers – Ten Picks

  • First Round: 17
  • Third Round: 79
  • Fourth Round: 123
  • Fifth Round: 160
  • Sixth Round: 195, 214
  • Seventh Round: 236, 254, 255, 260

Set: Quarterback, Edge, Wide Receiver, Cornerback

Quarterback - Justin Herbert is the franchise and they have Chase Daniel and Easton Stick on the roster as of now vying for backup. All set.

Edge - If the Raiders have the best “defensive ends” in the league, the Chargers have the best “outside linebackers” with Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack.

Wide Receiver - As we’ve mentioned throughout this series, it’s simply rare that you find impact wide receivers outside the top three rounds. Many that do succeed from there are guys that slid due to character issues like Tyreek Hill or Antonio Brown. The Chargers only have two picks in the first three rounds so probably not the year for it. They extended Mike Williams and just took Josh Palmer in the third last year so they should ride with what they have.

Cornerback - You can never have too many corners in the modern era of nickel and dime but they hit on Asante Samuel Jr. last year, they paid good money for J.C. Jackson, and Michael Davis is solid.

Immediate: Offensive Line, Linebacker

Offensive Line - In general, they have a lack of depth. Between the five O-line positions, they only have eight guys under contract. That’s not nearly enough. Rashawn Slater at left tackle, Matt Feiler at left guard, and Corey Linsley at center are all locked in, but they could go after either a tackle or guard in this draft. Or both. At the 17th pick there should be a solid tackle there that could start right away like Bernhard Raimann, Tyler Smith, or Trevor Penning. Or they could go guard with someone like Zion Johnson.

Linebacker - If the Chargers don’t go dual offensive linemen with the two premium picks they have, I could see them going after a true run-stopper up the middle. Devin Lloyd or Nakobe Dean might require their first round pick and I’d like to see that used on the offensive line but at 79 they might have some decent options. If Chad Muma out of Wyoming is there, he’d be hard to pass up and Christian Harris from Alabama is a menace in the run game. He struggles in coverage, but you can play to his strengths with the depth you have.

Potential early round picks: T Bernhard Raimann (Central Michigan), T Tyler Smith (Tulsa), or T Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa), G Zion Johnson (Boston College), LB Devin Lloyd (Utah), LB Nakobe Dean (Georgia), LB Chad Muma (Wyoming), LB Christian Harris (Alabama)

Depth: Running Back, Tight End, Safety

Running Back - For this season, Austin Ekeler, Joshua Kelley, and Larry Rountree are enough at the top end of the depth chart. But you can’t just roll into the season with three running backs. Plenty of serviceable running backs have been found later in the draft though - the Packers hit on both Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones in the fourth and fifth. But the Chargers have missed enough that they might want to just play it safe and take someone early. As much as it would dismay the fantasy football community, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for them to use pick 79 on an RB either.

Tight End - They drafted Tre McKitty in the third last year, they have Donald Parham, and they also signed Gerald Everett. If anything, they might take a blocking tight end later to potentially replace Stephen Anderson but no need to spend up on this position.

Safety - Derwin James is in the conversation for best safety in the league. If not for injuries, the rest of the league would recognize that by now. Nasir Adderley is solid across from him, but it wouldn’t hurt to put some depth behind him as none of the other three safeties on the roster were drafted higher than the sixth round.

Looking to see how other NFL teams should be handling their offseason heading into free agency? Check out our NFL Team Hub for a complete team-by-team breakdown!



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