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2011 NFL Draft - AFC West Team Needs
John Tuvey
April 21, 2011
 

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DENVER BRONCOS (2nd PICK)

Seven picks plus one compensatory pick: 1.2; 2.4, 2.14 (f/MIA); 3.3; 6.4, 6.21 (f/PHI via DET), 6.24 (f/NOS via NEP); 7.46 (comp)

The Broncos may be kicking the tires on some quarterbacks, but with several other needs to address all they’re really doing is trying to stir the trade waters. Their biggest need comes along the defensive line, where after barely fielding enough warm bodies for a 3-4 last year they’re transitioning to a 4-3 under new coach John Fox. Both the interior and edge positions will be addressed, likely early and perhaps often. The secondary also requires attention, where Brian Dawkins is graying and Champ Bailey can’t cover everybody. Finally, if Fox wants an offense similar to the one he had in Carolina he’ll need to add another more reliable running back to the stable.

Possible options: DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama; CB Patrick Peterson, LSU; LB Von Miller, Texas A&M; S Rahim Moore, UCLA; CB Aaron Williams, Texas; LB Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina

OAKLAND RAIDERS (NO FIRST ROUND PICK)

Six picks plus one compensatory pick: 2.16; 3.17; 4.16; 5.17; 6.16; 7.17, 7.40 (comp)

Oakland’s first-round pick resides with the Patriots, so they’ll need to wait until Day Two before they begin addressing their many needs. Forty-eight picks into the draft likely rules them out of the quarterback sweepstakes, but it should still allow them to upgrade an offensive line that will likely lose Robert Gallery to free agency. The Raiders also need defensive help, both at linebacker and in the secondary--where safety Michael Huff and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha could both depart via free agency.

Possible options: OC Stefen Wisniewski, Penn State; CB Aaron Williams, Texas; OT Marcus Cannon, TCU; LB Dontay Moch, Nevada; CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, Miami       

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (18th PICK)

Six picks plus two compensatory picks: 1.18; 2.18, 2.29 (f/NYJ); 3.18, 3.25 (f/SEA); 6.18, 6.36 (comp); 7.33 (comp)

San Diego had the top-ranked offense and defense last season, so their roster is hardly devoid of talent; maybe they should draft entirely special teams coverage guys? The Chargers will likely look to address their edges of their defense, either a pass rusher to replace what Shawne Merriman used to bring to the table or a five-technique end to stabilize their front line. San Diego could also look to add a wide receiver, with Vincent Jackson still threatening to depart via free agency and the remaining receiving corps underwhelming at best.

Possible options: DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin; DE Cameron Jordan, California; DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State; LB Aldon Smith, Missouri; WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh; WR Jerrel Jernigan, Troy; LB Brooks Reed, Arizona

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (21st PICK)

Seven picks plus one compensatory pick: 1.21; 2.23; 3.22; 4.21; 5.4 (f/DEN via TBB), 5.9 (f/DET), 6.34 (comp); 7.21

The Chiefs may be the reigning AFC West kingpins, but they have as many key holes to fill as the other teams in their division. Kansas City continues to look for a running mate for Dwayne Bowe and will likely address that need in this draft. They also need to get younger along the interior of the offensive line and add a bookend tackle to pair with Branden Albert. There are also needs on the other side of the ball, specifically at nose tackle and linebacker—both inside and to give Romeo Crennel another edge rusher.

Possible options: LB Justin Houston, Georgia; WR Torrey Smith, Maryland; OC/OG Stefen Wisniewski, Penn State; OC/OG Rodney Hudson, Florida State; WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh; WR Leonard Hankerson, Miami

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