AFC West attempts to catch up with the Kansas City Chiefs through the draft

It's no secret everyone in the AFC West is trying to catch the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. With the draft over, how did the other teams in the division do?
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It appears the AFC West has taken on one common strategy: stop Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs by outscoring them.

In the 2020 NFL Draft, 14 of the 23 draft picks between the Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers were spent on offensive players. The group includes seven wide receivers, three offensive linemen, two running backs, one tight end and one quarterback, No. 6 overall pick Justin Herbert.

The picks appear to be a shot at catching up with the Chiefs, who are 27-3 against the AFC West since 2015.

“It’s what we’ve worked for, for really five decades to do, get back to the top and be the best team in the National Football League, the team that other teams and their fans aspire to be,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said.

The Chiefs have outscored the rest of the AFC West 401-229 with quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the huddle. The Raiders and Broncos struggled the most against the Chiefs last season, falling by a combined score of 121-28 in four meetings.

The Chiefs have won four consecutive division titles and are set to return all of their offensive starters from the playoff run with the exception of guard Stefen Wisniewski, who signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier in the offseason.

For the Chiefs' offense, first-round pick running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and third-round choice offensive tackle Lucas Niang will be rookie newcomers that could become starters for the Chiefs.

“I think teams certainly, they have to score some points against us,” Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach said. “I think even if you have a really good defense, it’s hard to stop our offense. So, I think teams are certainly ready for a track meet when they play the Chiefs.”

Kansas City’s AFC West foes directed their focus to adding skill players as the Chargers drafted Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert at No. 6, the Raiders selected Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III at No. 12 and the Broncos chose Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy at No. 15.

Following their third picks, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Denver had each added one additional receiver or running back.

“It’s going to be an exciting time for our division, certainly some great players were drafted by the Chargers, the Raiders and the Broncos,” Veach said. “Our division is always tough and competitive, and I think talent added to those teams will make this even more exciting for our fans.”