AFC West Draft Winds: Rumors connecting players, NFL teams

College Football 24/7 takes a look at the buzz surrounding the AFC West teams leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft.

Denver Broncos

First-round spot: 31
» Broncos' 2014 draft picks | Draft history

The AFC champion Broncos were clobbered by the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, and as a result finding additional protection along the offensive line for Peyton Manning will likely be a priority. As will adding depth to the cornerback position and along the defensive line.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
May 2: 'Dual-threat' TE met with Broncos
Fiedorowicz might be at the top of the group of the second-tier tight ends, after the top four of Eric Ebron, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jace Amaro and Troy Niklas. He was underutilized at Iowa -- part of that was on him -- but he has excellent size, good hands, has shown an ability to get deep and can be a physical blocker. Denver would seem set at tight end; the Broncos have starter Julius Thomas as one of five tight ends currently on the roster. But Fiedorowicz's dual-threat nature (blocker and receiver) could be appealing to the Broncos. He seems likely to go in the third or fourth round. Denver has the 31st pick in both the third (95th overall) and fourth (131st overall) rounds. He also has met with, among others, Atlanta, New England, the New York Jets and Tampa Bay -- teams that would seem to have more a need at the position.

Telvin Smith, LB, Florida State
April 24: Speedy LB met with Broncos
Smith (6-foot-3, 218 pounds) was the leading tackler for the national-champion Seminoles, and while he lacks bulk, he has excellent speed (4.52 in the 40 at the combine) and make a lot of big plays (30 career tackles for loss) for FSU. Smith was a full-time starter for the first time in 2013 and has played both inside and outside linebacker. While some analysts think he would be a good safety, there are others who think he has the potential to be a three-down outside linebacker in the NFL, though his lack of bulk could be troublesome against power-running teams and almost certainly will preclude him from playing inside in the NFL. Denver certainly could use depth at linebacker, but it seems unlikely the Broncos would be willing to spend a second-round pick to get that depth. Denver picks 31st (95th overall) in the third round, but would Smith be there?

C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
April 22: Broncos bring in Mosley for visit
Add Mosley to the list of top NFL draft prospects visiting teams that seemingly wouldn't have a chance to draft them. Denver drafts No. 31 overall, and as one of the draft's elite linebackers, Mosley would figure to be gone by then. That naturally leads to speculation about whether the club would be willing to trade up for Mosley, as suggested by The Denver Post.

Stephen Morris, QB, Miami
April 17: Big-armed QB to meet with Broncos
Morris (6-foot-2, 213 pounds) had a disappointing senior season and might not even be drafted. Still, he played in a pro-style attack at UM, has one of the strongest arms in the draft and is an interesting developmental prospect. Denver's backups are Brock Osweiler and Zac Dysert, and Denver could figure that one more young arm would be worth a sixth- or seventh-round pick.

Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi
April 17: Athletic WR will work out for Broncos
Moncrief (6-foot-2, 221 pounds) is a big receiver with speed (4.40 in the 40 at the combine, with an unofficial 10-yard split of an impressive 1.47 seconds) and looks to be a second-day pick. Moncrief is an excellent athlete, though he remains a bit raw as a receiver and needs to become more physical. He was the Rebels' main deep threat for two seasons and would add young depth to a strong Broncos receiving corps. Denver signed free-agent WR Emmanuel Sanders to go with Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas, but Moncrief's athleticism gives him an intriguing upside, and if he develops, he can be a legit No. 2 receiver in the NFL.

Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
April 16: High-motor DE visiting Broncos
Crichton (6-foot-3, 273 pounds) is a well-regarded prospect because of his production and his always-revving motor. He generally is considered a second-round pick, but using a late first-rounder on him likely makes sense to some teams -- and Denver, which picks 31st, could be one. Crichton holds up quite well against the run and also possesses solid pass-rush skills. Crichton had 22.5 sacks and 51 tackles for loss in three seasons with the Beavers. Crichton visited Dallas on Tuesday and is set to visit San Diego on Thursday. Dallas picks 16th, which is too early for Crichton. San Diego picks 25th and has a need for a pass-rusher.

Xavier Su'a-Filo, OL, UCLA
March 14: Casserly: Su'a-Filo could be targeted by Broncos
NFL Media analyst Charlie Casserly says the Broncos' priority in the first round will be to add a "big, strong guy inside," and he believes Su'a-Filo could be the answer with the 31st pick. Casserly said he thinks Su'a-Filo has Pro Bowl potential, pointing to his combination of strength and athleticism. Some scouts think Su'a-Filo is the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson, a five-time All-Pro, in 2001.

Lamarcus Joyner, CB, Florida State
Feb. 20: Mayock: Joyner a good fit
On a conference call with reporters, NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock broke down the Broncos' options at pick No. 31 in the first round of the draft, saying, "I think if you're talking at the back end (of the first round) at safety, a guy like Lamarcus Joyner from Florida State could be there. He's an explosive, quick-switch athlete that can play safety or nickel. He played mostly corner at Florida State and he's got some special-teams ability, also."


Kansas City Chiefs

First-round spot: 23
» Chiefs' 2014 draft picks | Draft history

Andy Reid already possesses a solid defense in Kansas City, but there can always be help added to make it nastier. A defensive lineman or inside linebacker to play next to Pro Bowler Derrick Johnson might be in the offing. Finding a receiver to stretch the field vertically could also be on the draft wish list for the Chiefs.

May 5: Chiefs consider drafting QB in first round
Add the Chiefs to the list of teams who could be in the market for a quarterback Thursday at the NFL draft. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that contract negotiations with Alex Smith aren't progressing well, leading the team to consider selecting a quarterback in the first round, according to sources familiar with Smith's situation.

Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
April 18: Hageman a fit for Chiefs
In a teleconference Thursday, NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said that if Kansas City doesn't go with a wide receiver with its first pick (No. 23 overall), going for help on the defensive line is a possibility. Hageman (6-foot-6, 310 pounds) is as athletic as any defensive lineman in this draft and a guy Jeremiah said would fit with the Chiefs; he also mentioned Notre Dame DE Stephon Tuitt (6-foot-6, 304 pounds) as a potential fit. He said both can rush the passer "but also can be a 5-technique and hold the point of attack." A 5-technique player lines up directly over the offensive tackle and is responsible for the gaps on either side of the tackle. Hageman played tackle in a 4-3 for Minnesota and is seen as a guy who also could be a 3-4 end; Tuitt was a 3-4 end at Notre Dame and is seen as a guy who also could be a tackle in a 4-3.

Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
April 16: QB coaches from four NFL teams check out pro day
Representatives from 20 NFL teams -- including the quarterback coaches from the Jaguars, Chiefs, Saints and Rams, the head coach (Gus Bradley) and general manager (David Caldwell) of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and St. Louis Rams director of player personnel Taylor Morton -- were present for Georgia's pro day. NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt says that Murray could go as high as the second round if there's a run on quarterbacks.

Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
Feb. 23: Nix talks with Chiefs at combine
Nix -- the top-rated defensive tackle in NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock's rankings -- met with the Chiefs at the NFL Scouting Combine, the Kansas City Star reported.

Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
Feb. 23: Tuitt met with Chiefs
Tuitt met with the Chiefs at the NFL Scouting Combine, the Kansas City Star reported. After registering 12 sacks in 2012, Tuitt had 7.5 sacks during the 2013 season. Both totals were good for the team lead.

Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Feb. 23: Verrett meets with Chiefs
Verrett -- the No. 4-rated cornerback in NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock's rankings -- had an informal interview with the Chiefs at the NFL Scouting Combine, the Kansas City Star reported.


Oakland Raiders

First-round spot: 5
» Raiders' 2014 draft picks | Draft history

The Oakland Raiders acquired a veteran quarterback in Matt Schaub, but could still be on the lookout for an heir apparent at the position. A number of other positions need addressing, including offensive line and wide receiver.

Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh
May 7: Clinton-Dix to Eagles: 'Come get me, please'
Savage could be a second-day target for the Raiders as they look to draft a signal-caller of the future. "The Raiders have been in on Savage since the beginning of the scouting process, before the recent hype, which has the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder going even as high as the second round," Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote.

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
May 5: Report: Raiders not considering Manziel or Bortles
The Raiders are not really considering drafting Manziel or UCF's Blake Bortles with the fifth overall pick, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Who's still in play for the Raiders? They appear pretty enamored with the top receivers in this draft, so Clemson's Sammy Watkins (if he falls that far) or even Texas A&M's Mike Evans (who should be available) could be targeted.

Quincy Enunwa, WR, Nebraska
May 5: Physical WR visited with Raiders
Enunwa (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) is a big, physical receiver who has good speed for his size (4.45 in the 40 at the combine); he also had 12 TD receptions in 2013. He isn't the most fluid guy and has inconsistent hands. But he does a good job of using his big body to make catches. He never will be a No. 2 receiver, but his size gives him a chance to be a potential No. 3 guy. He should go on the third day; this draft is exceptionally deep in receivers, and Enunwa falls some because of that. Oakland doesn't have any picks in the fifth or sixth round, and it's doubtful Enunwa falls to the seventh.

Ben Gardner, DE/OLB, Stanford
April 28: Ex-Stanford standout visits Raiders
Gardner (6-foot-4, 262 pounds) suffered a pectoral injury and missed four games in 2013, then was not invited to February's NFL Scouting Combine. But he showed well at Stanford's pro day, including an eye-popping vertical jump of 39 1/2 inches, and looks to be a third-day selection. Gardner played end in Stanford's 3-4 defense but could be an outside linebacker in the NFL in a 3-4. It's hard to see him as anything but an end in a 4-3, and that's what Oakland plays.

Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
April 23: Report: Raiders prefer Lewan over Matthews, Robinson
Most analysts have Lewan as the No. 3 offensive tackle in this draft, but the Raiders being the Raiders, they reportedly have him No. 1. Is this public announcement a smokescreen by the Raiders, or a signal of the team's draft intentions?

Keon Lyn, CB, Syracuse
April 23: Under-the-radar prospect visiting with three teams
Lyn's draft grade is a long way from being complete, given that he wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, and that a fractured knee cap would have prevented him from doing much there, anyway. He may not be drafted at all. But Lyn isn't totally off the NFL radar as he has visited the Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions, according to Syracuse.com. He'll hold a personal pro day Monday. And you have to like the photo he tweeted from Raiders headquarters.

Ken Bishop, DT, Northern Illinois
April 23: Productive run-stuffer visited with Raiders
Bishop (6-foot-0, 306 pounds) was a productive player at NIU -- 125 tackles, including 16.5 for loss -- in his two seasons after transferring in from junior college. He was not invited to February's NFL Scouting Combine but still is expected to be a late-round pick. He also can play nose tackle and holds up well vs. the run. Bishop, who originally is from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., likely would appeal to a Raiders team that needs tackle depth.

Dexter McDougle, CB, Maryland
April 16: McDougle meets with Raiders
McDougle is among the prospects who has visited with the Raiders. McDougle could be selected around the third round, according to NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt. The Raiders used a first-round pick on a cornerback (D.J. Hayeden) in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
April 7: Latimer has busy month with team meetings
There is a deep pool of wide receivers in this year's draft, and Latimer appears to be one of the fastest-rising prospects at the position. NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt said Latimer already has met with Buffalo, is visited with Philadelphia and has meetings set up with Carolina, Detroit, Oakland, Seattle and San Diego.

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern
March 31: Raiders assistant takes look at McKinnon
A running backs coach from the Raiders was among those representing 16 NFL teams at Georgia Southern's pro day, when McKinnon worked out. McKinnon got a lot of attention for a spectacular performance at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
March 26: Carr lines up workouts with QB-needy teams
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah revealed on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft" some teams expected to workout Carr, "Derek Carr, I'm told, has individual workouts setup with the Titans, the Cleveland Browns, the Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and St. Louis Rams." The Raiders are said to have "a massive crush" on Carr.

David Fales, QB, San Jose State
March 20: Raiders GM discusses possibility of drafting Fales
John DeFilippo is the former San Jose State offensive coordinator and current quarterbacks coach of the Raiders, and could be attempting to sway McKenzie's decision. "He definitely knows the guy very well. We spent time with him at the Senior Bowl and we know him pretty well," Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie said. "But we've got good handle on the kid and I just wanted to make sure I got a chance to see him in front of his own, and in his own setting."

Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
March 18: Report: Bortles meets with Raiders coaches
Bortles met with Raiders personnel a day before his pro day in Orlando. Oakland is one of the numerous teams that pick in the top 10 that needs a quarterback, and Raiders coach Dennis Allen attended Bridgewater's pro day.

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
March 17: Raiders coach on hand for Louisville's pro day
Raiders coach Dennis Allen was among the five NFL head coaches in attendance at Louisville's pro day, where Bridgewater's workout was the main attraction for NFL teams. According to NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah, the Raiders' top draft need is at quarterback.

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
March 5: Brooks: Manziel, Raiders not an ideal fit
Brooks echoed former Raiders QB Rich Gannon on the CFB 24/7 podcast, saying he does not think Manziel would be a great match for the Raiders' offense. Brooks said the Raiders do not have enough pieces to allow Manziel to succeed, and that Manziel would probably fit better on a team where he would play a supporting role.

Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin
March 5: Raiders scout throws passes at UW pro day
A scout from the Raiders played designated quarterback at Wisconsin's pro day, throwing passes to the two-time first-team All-Big Ten receiver, who put forth a workout that was described as "great." The Raiders are in dire need of offensive playmakers and Abbrederis certainly fit that bill in his time with the Badgers.

Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
March 4: Raiders GM attends Mack's pro day
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was among the notable attendees at Mack's pro day in Buffalo. McKenzie figures to be in greater need of an immediate turnaround in Oakland, something a quarterback would figure to deliver more readily than a linebacker.


San Diego Chargers

First-round spot: 25
» Chargers' 2014 draft picks | Draft history

The Chargers were a surprise playoff entrant in 2013, but that success won't mask some deficiencies on the roster. The Chargers defense ranked 29th in the NFL against the pass, so shoring up the secondary is an option. Despite selecting pass rushers in recent drafts -- Melvin Ingram in 2012, Corey Liuget in 2011 and Larry English in 2009 were all first-rounders -- the team might opt to go get another difference-maker on the edge.

Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
May 1: Mayock says Bryant would be good fit for Chargers
Bryant left Clemson after his junior season; he has excellent size and ran a 4.42 40 at the combine -- faster than more celebrated teammate Sammy Watkins' 4.43. But unlike Watkins, Bryant is far from a finished product; you're drafting him far more on potential than production. He has the ability to be a deep threat, and NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock said the Chargers definitely could be interested in the second round, when they pick 25th (57th overall). Mayock said Bryant had "an awe-inspiring skill set" but also called him a "one-year wonder." The Chargers struck gold in the second round last year with WR Keenan Allen, and they need to add some young receivers as depth. Mayock also said Seattle would be a good fit for Bryant in the second round.

Zach Moore, DE, Concordia (Minn.)
April 29: Moore generating interest
There is late interest in Moore, who had nine team visits and 14 workouts. He recently spent time with the Cardinals and Chargers. Moore would be school's first draft pick. He had 33 sacks and 45 tackles for loss in his career, and was timed in an impressive 4.84 seconds in the 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine. He is athletic but raw, and seems likely to be a third-day selection. When on the third day is the question.

Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU
April 28: Van Noy works out for Chargers
Van Noy (6-foot-3, 243 pounds) is seen as a likely second-round pick; he also could fit late in the first round, which makes his workout with the Chargers all the more interesting. San Diego picks 25th. Van Noy had 23 sacks and 54 tackles for loss in his final three seasons at BYU. Van Noy played in a 3-4 defense with the Cougars and would seem to be a fit in the Chargers' 3-4. It would make sense for the Chargers to target a young outside linebacker, but 25 might be a tad too early for Van Noy.

Kenneth Acker, CB, SMU
April 24: Chargers meet with big CB
Acker (6-foot, 190 pounds) was a somewhat-hot commodity entering the season, but he had an inconsistent senior year. He was not invited to the combine but ran the 40 in 4.50 seconds and had a 36-inch vertical jump at his pro day. He is athletic, has good size and had 29 pass breakups and seven picks with the Mustangs, for whom he started for three seasons. He could slide into the sixth or seventh round or be a priority free agent.

Garrett Scott, OT, Marshall
April 23: Versatile lineman worked out for Chargers
Scott (6-foot-5, 310 pounds), who was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, started at three line spots for the Herd -- left guard, right tackle and left tackle -- and his versatility adds to his appeal. Scott, who played in a pass-happy Herd offense, is considered a third-day prospect who likely would appeal to the Chargers, who need line depth.

Ben Gardner, DE/OLB, Stanford
April 21: Ex-Stanford standout visiting with Chargers
Gardner (6-foot-4, 262 pounds) suffered a pectoral injury and missed four games in 2013, then was not invited to February's NFL Scouting Combine. But he showed well at Stanford's pro day, including an eye-popping vertical jump of 39.5 inches, and looks to be a third-day selection. Gardner was a three-year starter at end in a 3-4 set for the Cardinal, but it's possible he moves to outside linebacker in the NFL. Gardner is physical against the run and has some pass-rush ability; he played at more than 275 pounds for Stanford. San Diego probably will be looking for depth at outside linebacker.

Brian Wozniak, TE, Wisconsin
April 7: Blocking tight end met with Chargers
Wozniak (6-foot-4, 257 pounds) caught just 15 passes in his four-year career at Wisconsin, but he played extensively -- including two seasons as a starter in a two-tight end attack -- because of his blocking ability. He did have four TD receptions as a senior in 2013, when he had just six catches overall. While he seems to be a long shot to get drafted, Wozniak is going to receive a camp invitation from somebody because of his blocking ability.

Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
April 7: Latimer has busy month with team meetings
There is a deep pool of wide receivers in this year's draft, and Latimer appears to be one of the fastest-rising prospects at the position. NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt said Latimer already has met with Buffalo, is visited with Philadelphia and has meetings set up with Carolina, Detroit, Oakland, Seattle and San Diego.

Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
April 5: Roby to Chargers: 'I would love to play for you guys'
Roby told utsandiego.com he will visit the Chargers on April 23 or 24 and said he "would love to play" for them. In addition to the Chargers Roby has visits scheduled with the Bills, Jets, Titans and Steelers, NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt reported on Twitter. Roby is the fourth-rated cornerback on NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock's rankings, and a projected first-round selection based on mock drafts posted on NFL.com.

Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State
March 17: Chargers assistant attends Boise State's pro day
Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano was among the notable attendees at Boise State's pro day, where Lawrence was the big draw among the prospects working out. Lawrence is a pass-rush specialist and could boost a Bolts defense that ranked 23rd in the NFL in sacks in 2013.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
March 12: Chargers coach puts Clinton-Dix through workout
Chargers secondary coach Ron Milus kept Clinton-Dix (along with late-round cornerback prospect Deion Belue) busy during position drills for defensive backs at Alabama's pro day. The Chargers have a need in the secondary, and could use draft picks to fill it.

Jeremiah Attaochu, LB, Georgia Tech
Feb. 24: Attaochu meets with Chargers at combine
Attaochu met with the Chargers at the NFL Scouting Combine, U-T San Diego reported. Attaochu was a third-team All-American and second-team All-ACC pick in 2013.

Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
Feb. 24: Nix talks to Chargers at combine
Nix -- the top-rated defensive tackle in NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock's rankings -- met with the Chargers at the NFL Scouting Combine, U-T San Diego reported.

Michael Sam, DE, Missouri
Feb. 10: Smith: Chargers a good fit for Sam
NFL Media analyst Matt "Money" Smith says, "it's a scheme fit, and because they're a bit under the radar, his sexuality might not be as much of a story on a team that plays in the AFC West. Plus, San Diego is a laid-back city where even Manti Te'o managed to avoid being a national story that distracted his team in his rookie season."


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