Chiefs’ ‘Nightmare’ Draft Scenario Revolves Around Broncos & Raiders

Chiefs' nightmare NFL draft scenario involves Broncos and Raiders.

Getty Which division rival is the greatest threat to the Kansas City Chiefs heading into the 2024 NFL Draft?

The Kansas City Chiefs have dominated the AFC West over the past decade, winning the division eight straight times going back to the 2016 campaign. And with each of their division rivals changing coaching staffs in recent years, the AFC West appears to be the Chiefs to lose until proven otherwise.

That brings us to KC’s greatest draft “nightmare” in 2024, according to the opinion of Bleacher Report analyst Brad Gagnon on April 19.

“[Kansas City’s worst draft scenario is that] the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos both land high-potential quarterbacks in Round 1, immediately making life a lot more difficult in this division,” Gagnon voiced.

For most teams, this draft nightmare involved potential targets being gone or bust prospects that might be selected. But with the Chiefs, there are very few scenarios that prevent them from being a Super Bowl contender, so Gagnon’s choice actually makes a lot of sense.

The biggest threat to Patrick Mahomes and KC is the next elite quarterback joining the division — whoever that may be. Remember, Mahomes was only selected 10th overall in the draft. In 2024, the Broncos and Raiders hold pick Nos. 12 and 13.

Raiders Appear to Be Top Immediate Threat to Chiefs in AFC West

When you look at this division heading into the NFL draft, the Raiders are the team that looks to be the closest to playoff contention.

The Los Angeles Chargers are in the midst of a roster overhaul with Jim Harbaugh taking over the organization. Granted, they have their franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert, but it might take a season or two for Harbaugh to build a team around him.

Then there’s the Broncos, who just pulled the plug on the Russell Wilson experiment earlier this offseason. Head coach Sean Payton has a history of developing quarterbacks — and he’s expected to draft one in 2024 — but the Denver cap situation is in dire straits until the Broncos front office rids themselves of Wilson’s contract long-term.

Finally, you have the Raiders. Under new head coach Antonio Pierce in 2023, Las Vegas took down the Chiefs on Christmas Day, holding them to just 14 points.

Since then, the Raiders added star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins alongside star pass rusher Maxx Crosby. And with a decent amount of talent already on the roster — namely wide receivers Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers, left tackle Kolton Miller and 2023 first-round edge rusher Tyree Wilson — Pierce’s squad might not be far away.

No one’s calling Las Vegas a Super Bowl contender at this time, but they could be a star quarterback away from turning into a serious challenger. The rival signed journeyman signal-caller Gardner Minshew to presumably start in 2024, but they’re also another candidate to draft a rookie QB next weekend.

J.J. McCarthy, Michael Penix & Bo Nix Profile as Top QB Options for Broncos & Raiders in NFL Draft

So, who are the quarterback names that represent these “nightmare” scenarios for the Chiefs? Most expect USC’s Caleb Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels and North Carolina’s Drake Maye to come off the board well before the Broncos or Raiders are on the clock.

Barring a blockbuster trade up into the top three or four picks, that means the top draft options for the AFC West rivals would be Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, Washington’s Michael Penix and Oregon’s Bo Nix.

McCarthy is another potential top 10 selection in 2024 — although his eventual draft position is up for debate.

The most likely two QB prospects that could join the division are probably Penix and Nix. The former has been one of the more accurate college passers in the country over the past couple of seasons, but injury history and less mobility has lowered his draft stock.

Nix on the other hand is a legitimate dual threat at the quarterback position, but he’s a bit older and there are questions of whether or not his game will translate at the professional level.

A dark horse would be South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler. Known for his elite arm, Rattler was once touted as a top-tier college recruit.

Despite going through major ups and downs during his time at Oklahoma and South Carolina, Rattler might be one of the most talented passers in this year’s draft class.