Out goes Alex Smith and now Patrick Mahomes II ascends to the throne in the “Kingdom.” While it may come out of left field for some, the dramatic shift of the quarterback hierarchy in Kansas City wasn’t unexpected. It was clear from the day Mahomes’ name was announced at the podium in last year’s draft he was the heir apparent.
Reid has a doctorate in fleecing other teams for his QB’s and this latest transaction is no different. The deal sends ripple effect within the AFC West that touches the other three teams.
- Oakland Raiders: Hooray! “Raider killer” Smith is now a Washington Redskin. Yet, Mahomes has the gun to really make Andy Reid’s offense really go. There will be growing pains, but fans who are laughing now just might be looking at another QB who’ll own the Raiders.
- Denver Broncos: Hell or high water, general manager John Elway is going to pool as many resources as he can to land Kirk Cousins. The Broncos’ personnel man has flopped comically in finding a replacement to Peyton Manning. Denver, without question, has the worst QB room in the division.
- Los Angeles Chargers: A perceived Raider renaissance under Jon Gruden, Mahomes ascension, and Cousins potentially landing in Denver makes the path toward division dominance a steep one for the Bolts. Still, elder statesman QB Philip Rivers hasn’t shown any drop-off.
It’s crystal clear for Gruden and the Raiders: Step your game up — post-haste. KC has a new young gun at QB and elevated their secondary with the addition of Kendall Fuller. Not to mention, Cousins would make the Broncos offense legit.
Oakland needs a more dynamic receiving unit and a stout and attacking defense to combat all that. Plain and simple, the offense and defense need more weapons. Reinforcements for Derek Carr and Khalil Mack must arrive for the Raiders to be successful in 2018.
Let’s hit the Quick Slants:
- You better believe Reid wants a secondary to quell a Gruden-led Raiders offense. Marcus Peters, Fuller, and a healthy Eric Berry make that group formidable.
- Gruden, Greg Olson and recently Brian Callahan. The Raiders are hell-bent on fixing their Carr. It’s high time the team gives the same love to Mack (will discuss this in-depth in a future piece).
- Bruce Irvin is the adequate opposite of Mack, but Oakland must invest in getting No. 52 a legit tag team partner on the defensive line.
- Super early in the draft process, but Raiders were given an audience with UTSA prospect Marcus Davenport at the Senior Bowl. The pass rusher is raw but has a high upside threshold. (Sounds like a Reggie McKenzie special, no?)
- Want a tell on McKenzie and the draft? The Raiders have a history of taking players in the first round they neither talked to or worked out individually. Gareon Conley, Karl Joseph, Amari Cooper, Khalil Mack all mentioned not even knowing the Raiders were interested. The outlier? D.J Hayden, due to health concerns.
- To Beast, or not to Beast? Marshawn Lynch showed this past season he still has plenty of giddy-up. Whether or not Gruden feels the same has yet to be seen, but one can’t ignore the Oakland connection.
- Giorgio Tavecchio is an inspiring feel-good story. But at the business level, 39-year-old Sebastian Janikowski easily replicates the 16 of 21 (76.2 percent) the 27-year-old Tavecchio put up this past season. Does that alone merit another look-see at the longtime kicker?