The absolute torrent of signings that unfolded during the NFL free agency period for the last few weeks has placed a shadow of forgetfulness over the NFL Draft and the acquisitions that each team made back in April. Mel Kiper realizes just how easy it is to forget that those guys will make impacts as well.
In his most recent column, he analyzes each NFL franchise with a brief look at whether or not their top rookies will get on the field considering the team's respective action in free agency. The good news for the top picks in the AFC West is that each should expect to garner significant time on the field despite their teams' respective moves. That's good news for names like Von Miller, Jonathan Baldwin, Corey Liuget and Stefen Wisniewski.
Specifically for the Chiefs, Kiper writes, "Even with the addition of Steve Breaston, expect Jonathan Baldwin -- who was drafted with the deep ball in mind -- to be on the field as a regular target for Matt Cassel. Breaston could land back in the slot, which may weaken the impact of last year's rookie, Dexter McCluster."
As for the Raiders, they still need considerable offensive line help, so Wisniewski should have no problem making an impact from day one. In fact, the Raiders have done little for a line that was already an issue before free agency.
As for the Broncos, both Rahim Moore, safety, and Von Miller, linebacker, should hit the field from day one if they earn it in camp and not look back. The Broncos have brought in a lot of defensive talent via trade and free agency, but John Fox has left the door open for both players.
As for the Chargers, they definitely drafted Liuget to start from the beginning of the season, at least as a rotational guy, and see how he develops and performs. He's a nice compliment to Antonio Garay and Cam Thomas, last year's draft choice, and the Chargers should be strong along the defensive interior with their draft additions, including Jonas Mouton.