2012 NFL Draft: AFC West Team Needs
John Tuvey
April 19, 2012

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KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11th overall pick)

Eight picks: 1.11; 2.12; 3.11; 4.12; 5.11; 6.12; 7.11; 7.31 (from NEP)

The Chiefs quietly filled several holes via free agency with the signings of Eric Winston and Stanford Routt, providing more flexibility with their first pick. There are still needs along both lines, specifically at defensive tackle and offensive guard, but Kansas City could go the proverbial “best player available” route and address those positions in later rounds. Lower-profile free agent signings like Peyton Hillis and Kevin Boss aren’t enough to prevent the Chiefs from adding playmakers to their offense.

Possible options: LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College; OG David DeCastro, Stanford; DT Dontari Poe, Memphis; OT Riley Reiff, Iowa; OG Kevin Zietler, Wisconsin; DT Josh Chapman, Alabama; CB Trumaine Johnson, Montana

OAKLAND RADIERS (17th overall pick, traded to Bengals)

Two picks and three compensatory picks: 3.32 (compensatory pick); 4.34 (compensatory pick); 5.13; 5.33 (compensatory pick); 6.19

As per usual, the Raiders can sleep in on draft day. In fact, they don’t even need to show up on Day One and can show up fashionably late on Friday since 94 picks will go off the board before Oakland makes its first selection. The Raiders addressed one of their two major needs, cornerback, via free agency with the signings of Ronald Bartell and Shawntae Spencer; that leaves tight end and pass rusher as the team’s two primary targets on draft day. With only five total picks, just one in the first half of the draft, the Raiders won’t have much of a chance to add help.

Possible options: TE Michael Egnew, Missouri; CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama; CB Josh Norman, Coastal Carolina; OT/OG Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State; TE Ladarius Green, Louisana-Lafayette; OLB Kyle Wilber, Wake Forest

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (18th overall pick)

Seven picks plus one compensatory pick: 1.18; 2.17; 3.15; 4.15; 5.14; 6.13; 7.19; 7.43 (compensatory pick)

The Chargers replaced Vincent Jackson with Robert Meachem, Eddie Royal, and Roscoe Parrish and Mike Tolbert with LeRon McClain; they also added Jarret Johnson, DeMorrio Williams, and Atari Bigby via free agency to address their defense. That leaves the offensive line, which had provided years of stability before taking multiple injury hits last year, as the position most in need of draft-day assistance. The Bolts are always looking for pass rushers, as former first-rounder Larry English failed to fill Shawne Merriman’s shoes.

Possible options: OG David DeCastro, Stanford; OT Riley Reiff, Iowa; WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame; DE/OLB Andre Branch, Clemson; OG Amini Silatolu, Midwestern State; DT Alameda Ta’amu, Washington; DE Chandler Jones, Syracuse

DENVER BRONCOS (25th overall pick)

Seven picks: 1.25; 2.25; 3.24; 4.13 (from NYJ); 4.25; 5.2 (from STL); 6.18 (from NYJ)

The Broncos bailed on Tebow Time, landing Peyton Manning as their quarterback of the here and now. They could still be in the market for a developmental quarterback, but there are more pressing needs to take advantage of Manning’s window of opportunity. Denver may be ready to write off Knowshon Moreno, and Willis McGahee isn’t getting any younger, so a pass-catching back who can also pick up the blitz should be a priority. The Broncos used free agency to address needs in the secondary, but that’s a position that could always be addressed. And after opting for Von Miller over Marcel Darius in last year’s first round, the need for interior defensive line help remains.

Possible options: DT Michael Brockers, LSU; DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State; DT Dontari Poe, Memphis; RB Doug Wilson, Boise State; RB Lamar Miller, Miami; CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia; DT Billy Winn, Boise State

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