Gregg Rosenthal will project post-draft starting lineups for all 32 teams, because there's no better way to celebrate the arrival of spring.
» John Elway did a lot of good work on the offense this offseason, but this group will take more than one offseason to overhaul.
» Part of Denver's issue is simply bad luck. Emmanuel Sanders (torn Achilles tendon) and Phillip Lindsay (fractured wrist), the team's two best skill-position players last season, are both recovering from season-ending injuries. The next-most important weapon for Joe Flacco is rookie tight end Noah Fant.
» The Broncos need Fant to step into a significant role immediately, in part because the wideout group is rather thin. Sanders is a 32-year-old rehabbing from a major surgery. Elway has expressed a lot of faith in his second-year receivers Sutton, Hamilton and Tim Patrick. They all flashed at various points late last season, but this is a different offense with a new coordinator (Rich Scangarello) and a new quarterback.
» Rookie quarterback Drew Lock doesn't figure to challenge Flacco for the starting job in camp. Lock will be doing his best to impress in August, however, to show he's an option later in the season, should Denver fall out of playoff contention.
Biggest change from a year ago: Another year, another play-caller, another quarterback, another attempt at a new offensive line. Elway has to keep trying, because the previous approaches haven't worked.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
» After a disturbing audio clip surfaced, the Chiefs announced Tyreek Hill would not take part in any team activities for the foreseeable future. The following day, Andy Reid confirmed prosecutors had reopened a child abuse investigation involving the All-Pro receiver. In his absence, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman all move up a spot on the wideout pecking order.
» NFL Network's James Palmer reported the plan is to have a significant role for Hardman come Week 1. Reid talked up Hardman after rookie minicamp, and no coach is better at manufacturing space for playmakers. That will be more challenging with a diminished overall offense, but the Chiefs still have the MVP and a first-team All-Pro tight end.
» It's often said that the NFL is about players, not plays. In Patrick Mahomes and Reid, however, Kansas City might have the league's most inventive play caller and the best player.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
» Projecting a third-round rookie tackle from Sioux Falls as a starter is a show of faith and hope, but that's how desperately the team needed an upgrade at the position late last season. As the Chargers learned with Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp, drafting linemen early doesn't guarantee success. Overall, the offensive line has the potential to short-circuit this team, as it did down the stretch last season.
Biggest change from a year ago: On a roster that remains loaded overall, the defense now looks like the better side.
» This is undeniably one of the most improved offensive rosters in football. Derek Carr's wideouts are brand new and vastly better. Josh Jacobs gives the team a "foundation back," to use a Mayock-ism. Trent Brown might get paid like a superstar for mid-level play, but he's a huge upgrade on last year's right tackle, Brandon Parker.
» Gruden's first pick since returning to the Raiders faces even bigger questions. Oakland will keep Kolton Miller as the starting left tackle after a baptism by fire last year. Miller ranked 76th (out of 80) among tackle qualifiers by Pro Football Focus in 2018. The player the 49ers stole one pick before the Raiders were set to draft, Mike McGlinchey, finished 25th.
» There is an expectation that fifth-round pick Hunter Renfrow will step in immediately and catch a ton of passes out of the slot. Perhaps that will happen, but I'm not a smart enough evaluator of college players to expect someone taken that deep in the draft to beat out veterans like Ryan Grant and J.J. Nelson for a Week 1 job.
Biggest change from a year ago: The offense should be dramatically more watchable.
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