Normally, NFL divisions are balanced, with some teams going for it while others are rebuilding. That is absolutely not the case in the AFC West, where all four teams made big moves to position themselves for a postseason run. The Raiders traded for Davante Adams and signed him to a record deal, and the Broncos finally found their franchise quarterback in Russell Wilson. Meanwhile, the Chargers bolstered their defense Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson. The Chiefs, who have won six straight division titles, traded Tyreek Hill in an effort to extend their window, but they also made a few go-for-it moves.
In order to get an accurate assessment of the AFC West heading into 2022, Athlon asked NFL scouts to talk anonymously about the Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, and Chargers.
Note: These scouting reports come directly from NFL scouts and do not necessarily reflect the views of Athlon's editorial staff.
"Finally, after years of struggles, they've got a franchise quarterback. Russell Wilson changes the game for them dramatically. I can see them being a real playoff contender now. They made their run at Aaron Rodgers, but this worked out just fine."
"Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick — that's a really solid receiving group. Sutton is big and can catch. Jeudy is fast and can run after the catch. Patrick is very good."
"Dalton Risner is their best offensive lineman by far. Garett Bolles has cut down on the penalties. He's not a bust."
"Greg Dulcich was a really good pick."
"Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon III at running back form a nice 1-2 punch."
Related: Denver Broncos Depth Chart
"Having Randy Gregory as a pass rusher finally gives the Broncos a replacement for Von Miller and another pass rusher to complement Bradley Chubb."
"Josey Jewell isn't a great athlete at inside linebacker, but he's got a lot of pop."
"Justin Simmons is the total package at free safety."
"Strong safety Kareem Jackson hits like a truck."
"General manager George Paton nailed that first-round draft pick last year with Pat Surtain II."
"I like the depth they're building in the secondary."
"Patrick Mahomes is on top of his game, always. There's no letting up with him. He's a generational talent. No one can make the throws he makes, whether it's on the move or inside the pocket."
"I don't think trading Tyreek Hill stops this train. There were some things with this guy that makes it understandable why they traded him."
"Marquez Valdes-Scantling should give them a legit deep threat. He was really good for the Packers, showed a lot of flashes."
"They've got to figure things out with Orlando Brown Jr.'s contract."
"Creed Humphrey is already one of the top centers in the league."
"Their guards, Joe Thuney and Trey Smith, get a lot of push."
"Travis Kelce isn't getting older; he's getting better."
"Clyde Edwards-Helaire needs to be more consistent."
Related: Kansas City Chiefs Depth Chart
"Ronald Jones II was a nice add."
"Frank Clark is declining."
"George Karlaftis adds a lot of power to their defensive line."
"They're waiting on Chris Jones to answer the bell every week."
"Nick Bolton is mature beyond his years."
"Willie Gay Jr. still has some growing to do on and off the field."
"Justin Reid has range, and he can hit."
"Juan Thornhill's presence makes up for them losing Honey Badger [Tyrann Mathieu]."
"L'Jarius Sneed is really, really good."
"It's a new day in Las Vegas. The trade for Davante Adams could put them over the top in the division. Derek Carr and him are going to have great chemistry. Carr gets a bad rap, in my opinion. He throws the football really well and has leadership qualities."
"Kolton Miller is an excellent left tackle."
"Hunter Renfrow has gotten past the underrated category. He's proven."
"Darren Waller is stellar, a matchup nightmare."
"Josh Jacobs is a solid back, but I get why they didn't pick up the fifth-year option. Kenyan Drake and him should be good enough."
"No one has a motor and moves like Maxx Crosby. That guy is a warrior."
"The draft mistakes with Clelin Ferrell by Mike Mayock are still hurting this defense."
Related: Las Vegas Raiders Depth Chart
"Not committing yet to Johnathan Abram, that was another move that made sense."
"Denzel Perryman is a hitter."
"Nate Hobbs was their best draft pick last year. I don't see how he lasted that long in the draft."
"Trevon Moehrig is a good center-fielder type."
"Trayvon Mullen and Rock Ya-Sin gives them a competitive cornerback starting duo."
"I question whether there's enough depth in this secondary."
"Their special teams group is OK."
"Justin Herbert's arm and awareness are out of this world. He's so calm and composed and accurate. His throwing delivery is classic."
"As much as everyone talks about the receivers in this league, they aren't talking enough about Keenan Allen. His body control, routes and hands are a cut above. Allen makes the tough catch look routine."
"Mike Williams' big contract was well-deserved. He's big, strong and fast."
"Tom Telesco nailed the pick when he drafted Rashawn Slater."
"They drafted another good offensive lineman this year in Zion Johnson."
"Austin Ekeler makes this offense click. He's one of the most versatile and best small-school guys to play in the NFL in the past decade. When he's not in the lineup, it's not a very complete offense."
Related: Los Angeles Chargers Depth Chart
"Joey Bosa is, hands down, the toughest blocking assignment in the league. He's got it all: power, speed and moves."
"I thought signing Sebastian Joseph-Day was a nice, under-the-radar move."
"Trading for Khalil Mack really makes up for losing Uchenna Nwosu."
"I'm starting to really question Kenneth Murray Jr.'s durability."
"J.C. Jackson is an elite shutdown corner."
"Derwin James Jr., when he's healthy, is that dude."
"They've got a good nickel with Asante Samuel Jr."
"I feel good about their depth in the secondary."