It looks like the Broncos will get to see what 2019 second-rounder Drew Lock can do at quarterback next year. Fortunately, he has a pretty good supporting cast, with Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay at running back and a solid receiver to throw to in Courtland Sutton. Beyond that, bringing in a recever to compete with Tim Patrick and DaeSean Hamilton may be nice, and while they used a first-round pick on Noah Fant last year, he wasn’t impressive as a rookie. The line might be mostly set: they have invested heavily at tackle with Garrett Bolles and Ja’Wuan James, although the latter missed almost all of last season, and they spent a 2019 second-round pick on Dalton Risner. Graham Glasgow is a solid enough center, and Ronald Leary isn’t a great run blocker but did a good job of protecting the quarterback last year.
The Broncos have a lot of big bodies on their defensive line, although they may stand to lose Shelby Harris, Derek Wolfe, and Adam Gotsis, who are all free agents. Even if those players leave, they’ll have two very good run-stuffers in Mike Purcell and Jurrell Casey, although another five-technique may be needed. Bradley Chubb was limited by injury in 2019 but he returns opposite Von Miller at outside linebacker, and Alexander Johnson played well on the inside, too. They may or may not want to look for another inside linebacker; both Todd Davis and Josey Jewell were at least adequate last year. Denver acquired A.J. Bouye via trade, but after losing Chris Harris and Bradley Roby it’s still a major position of need, especially because Bouye struggled in 2019. Fortunately, they’re set at safety with Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson forming one of the best duos in the league.
Top Needs: WR, DL, CB
Expiring Contracts: RB Phillip Lindsay (RFA), OT Garrett Bolles, OG Ronald Leary, LB Alexander Johnson, LB Todd Davis
Kansas City Chiefs:
Assuming the Chiefs are able to sign an extension with Pat Mahomes, they’ll have one of the best quarterbacks in the league under long-term control. The team’s running backs are just adequate, with Damien Williams being the best of the bunch. Tyreek Hill is dangerous both on and off the field, and Mecole Hardman is a pretty good slot receiver, too. It’s unclear whether Sammy Watkins will be back though, as the Chiefs want him to reduce his contract. Travis Kelce is one of the top tight ends in the league. Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz form a good tackle duo, although the inside of the line is pretty weak, at least in the run game, with Andrew Wylie and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif at guard and Austin Reiter at center.
Frank Clark wasn’t quite what they were hoping for last year, but Kansas City does have one true stud on the line in Chris Jones. Alongside those pieces, they’re hoping Terrell Suggs still has something left in the tank, or that either Breeland Speaks or Khalen Saunders breaks out; Speaks missed the whole season after landing on injured reserve. The team’s linebackers – Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson – are very weak, and run-stuffer Reggie Ragland is still a free agent, so that’s a position of major need. Bashaud Breeland struggled last year and is a free agent at cornerback, while the starter opposite him, Charvarius Ward, also left something to be desired. However, they do have two solid safeties on roster in Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill.
Top Needs: WR, OG/C, NT, LB, CB
Expiring Contracts: QB Patrick Mahomes, RB Damien Williams, WR Sammy Watkins, OC Austin Reiter, DE Terrell Suggs, LB Damien Wilson, CB Charvarius Ward
Las Vegas Raiders:
Having brought in Marcus Mariota to push Derek Carr, it seems like those will be the Raiders’ two quarterbacks in 2020. Josh Jacobs was fantastic as a rookie running back, although the team has a somewhat risky depth chart at wide receiver. Hunter Renfrow looked good in the slot, but Tyrell Williams may not be a true #1 receiver and the competitors for the other starting job, Nelson Agholor and Zay Jones, both struggled last year. They have quite a few tight ends on roster, including Darren Waller, so that position looks settled. The team built a good offensive line around Carr. Kolton Miller and Trent Brown is capable tackle combination, and Rodney Hudson is a high-end center. They also have a solid guard in Richie Incognito, although Gabe Jackson is closer to serviceable on the right side.
The interior of the Raiders’ defensive line is okay; Johnathan Hankins can stuff the run, Maurice Hurst can rush the passer, and P.J. Hal is adequate at both. They also signed Maliek Collins away from Dallas. None of the team’s young defensive ends have really broken out, but they’re banking on Clelin Ferrell on one side of the line, and it’s possible they’d be satisfied with letting Max Crosby and Arden Key battle it out opposite him; in any event, adding more youth may not be the way to go. The Raiders have Cory Littleton at middle linebacker, but are weak at the linebacker spot beyond him, with guys like Nick Kwiatkowski and Nicholas Morrow in the starting mix. The starting cornerbacks, Eli Apple and Trayvon Mullen, both played poorly last year, although Apple is a recent signing and Mullen was a 2019 second-round pick. Jeff Heath is a decent safety, and despite the fact that Johnathan Abram missed almost the entire season last year, he’ll be given every opportunity to start at one safety spot.
Top Needs: WR, DL, OLB, CB
Expiring Contracts: WR Zay Jones, DT Johnathan Hankins
Los Angeles Chargers:
After losing Philip Rivers, the Chargers are a favorite to draft one of the top three quarterbacks in the class, although it’s possible Tyrod Taylor begins the year as the starter or they sign someone like Cam Newton. Austin Ekeler turned out to be a solid running back, and starting receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are good when healthy. The same goes for tight end Hunter Henry, who was franchise tagged. Bryan Bulaga was signed and Trai Turner was acquired via trade to bolster the offensive line, although both moves are risky, Bulaga for health reasons and Turner because of his struggles last year. Center Mike Pouncey is also coming off of a poor (and injury-limited) year, while Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp are starting to look like busts at guard. Right tackle Sam Tevi would ideally be replaced as well.
The Chargers did well to land nose tackle Linval Joseph, who should fit in well next to Joey Bosa and/or Melvin Ingram, two dangerous edge rushers. Unfortunately, both 2019 first-rounder Jerry Tillery and 2018 third-rounder Justin Jones played poorly at the defensive tackle spot. Linebacker is something of a question mark – Denzel Perryman struggled through an injury-plagued season in 2019, Nick Vigil was a disappointment as a full time starter, and while Kyzir White and Drue Tranquill looked pretty good, neither reached 400 snaps overall. The team should be pretty confident in its starting cornerback trio of Casey Hayward, Chris Harris, and Desmond King, and getting Derwin James back at safety will help a lot, although they lack a desirable starting option next to him, Rayshawn Jenkins probably being the best bet to start at safety so far.
Top Needs: QB, OL, LB, DB
Expiring Contracts: QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Keenan Allen, WR Mike Williams, OT Sam Tevi, OG Dan Feeney, OG Forrest Lamp, OC Mike Pouncey, DE Joey Bosa, DE Melvin Ingram, LB Denzel Perryman, CB Desmond King, DB Rayshawn Jenkins