2023 NFL Draft Steals: AFC West

Via bvmsports.com

2023 NFL Draft Steals: AFC West

2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Steals: AFC West


Via bvmsports.com

The 2023 NFL Draft has been completed, and each team made plenty of picks over the course of the three days. Some of those picks, the players they drafted, were steals where they got them and are going to be major impact players for the team. This series will go over each team’s steal of the draft, with today being the AFC West!


Kansas City Chiefs: Nic Jones, Cornerback, Ball State

In a cornerback room with L’Jarius Sneed, Trent McDuffie, Jaylen Watson and Joshua Williams, at first glance it may look as if it will be an uphill battle for Jones to see playing time. That is not the case, and is why he could end up being the steal of the draft for Kansas City. The starting three of Sneed, McDuffie, and Watson played only 188 snaps all together due to injuries, and when they weren’t on the field together the secondary ranked 22nd in EPA per dropback. Jones can provide that stability if needed, and on a rotational basis when he sees time on the field, will make a name by showcasing his skills. He allowed only 67 receptions on 130 targets for 930 yards and nine touchdowns over four seasons, while also creating 13 pass breakups. With his length to impact passing lanes, and good instincts to read plays and get to where he needs to be to make a stop, Jones has the potential to develop into a long-term starter down the line. 

Los Angeles Chargers: Daiyan Henley, Linebacker, Washington State

Kenneth Murray’s fifth-year option was not picked up, and in a linebacker room that still needed more playmakers for the future, the pick of Henley in the third could prove to be essential. One of the most athletic linebackers in the class, Henley has the capability of being a three-down linebacker. In coverage, he has a nose for finding the football with how he breaks plays down pre-snap and gets to the spot to make a play post-snap. Henley plays with great ball skills as he has prior experience as a defensive back, as showcased by his five interceptions. With the presence Henley has as well with his aggressive mindset to trigger downhill, he matches up well against the run and can be used as a pass rusher. The ability to be used in multiple ways will prove to be a value pick for Los Angeles. 


Las Vegas Raiders: Michael Mayer, Tight End, Notre Dame

Was Mayer selected in the second round? Yes. But considering Mayer was the best, well-rounded tight end in this class and ended up not being selected as the first tight end while falling to the second, makes him a steal for Las Vegas. After trading Darren Waller, and Foster Moreau no longer on the team, there was a major need at tight end. With Mayer, the Raiders have a tight end that can open up plenty on offense as with his blocking abilities, defenses won’t know if he is on the field as a blocker or receiver. When it comes to pass catching, Mayer may not have lightning speed, but he is a smooth route runner which allows for him to gain separation still, and once downfield displays great tracking ability. Essentially, Mayer was the Notre Dame offense in 2022, and defenses knew it, and yet they could not slow him down as he finished with 809 yards and nine touchdowns while also creating 325 yards after the catch. Now paired on an offense with Davante Adams, look for Mayer to make an impact early. 


Denver Broncos: JL Skinner, Safety, Boise State

While Kareem Jackson is ok, the Broncos could’ve used more competition for the starting job alongside Justin Simmons. Well, they did just that by drafting Skinner. In a pass heavy league, having secondary players who can diagnose plays at a quick rate and make an impact on every down is crucial; Skinner is that, and he fell to the sixth round. He fell not because he lacks skill, but because he suffered a torn pectoral during the pre-draft process, prior to the injury, he was projected to go in the third round. Skinner is a physical player that uses his 6’4, 209 pound frame to match running backs and make a stop. He is also extremely fluid in coverage and, with his quick burst, is an absolute enforcer in the middle of the field, as showcased by him allowing only 54 receptions on 95 targets for 743 yards while creating 10 pass breakups in college. 


For more NFL content, check out the links below!

2023 NFL Draft Steals: AFC North

2023 NFL Draft Steals: AFC East Division

2023 NFL Draft Steals: NFC North Division

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