Team needs: AFC West

[Editor’s note: The following is our eighth in a series of NFL
Draft team needs by division  We’ve looked at the AFC
, NFC East, NFC
, and NFC


WR: This was a need even before the Broncos dumped Brandon Marshall.  Josh McDaniels can live without a true top dog, but he needs more role players with different skill sets.  Eddie Royal can help and Jabar Gaffney is a short-term solution.  The group needs more size.  Perhaps a guy like Marshall.  Or Dez Bryant.

LB: We were really impressed how the Broncos coached up Mario Haggan and Wesley Woodward to be useful.  We just don’t know if you can build a 3-4 defense around them.  The entire group wore down by the end of 2009.

OL: The Broncos are set at the tackle positions, but need help on the inside as they transition away from the team’s old zone blocking scheme.

DB: This group is a strength of the team, but they risk getting old all at once.  

QB: The Broncos should continue to draft a quarterback every year until they know they have a keeper.  The team likes Tom Brandstater, but that shouldn’t prevent them from taking another project.  The team is mostly building for future depth on the defensive line and secondary as well.

Kansas City

LB: Re-signing Mike Vrabel doesn’t mean you have to start him again.  Derrick Johnson isn’t a long-term fit on the inside of a 3-4 defense.

OL: It’s not a good sign when a player picked up off waivers (Ryan O’Callaghan) starts 12 games.  The team also needs to start planning for life without Brian Waters.  They will have their choice of potential right tackles at No. 5, but right tackles usually don’t get taken that high.  Branden Albert still looks like a keeper left tackle.

NT: Every 3-4 defense wants a true nose tackle to call their own.  The Chiefs can get by with Ron Edwards and Shaun Smith, but they’d love to upgrade their front.  Defensive end also makes sense.

WR: Todd Haley can coach up wideouts.  (As head coach skill sets go, that’s not too exciting.)  Even with the help of Haley, we’re not sure Dwayne Bowe is long for Kansas City.  Jerheme Urban is a stretch as a third receiver.   It’s not a great unit when Chris Chambers is the most reliable guy.

S: Is there a keeper in this group?  Jarrad Page looked good in Kansas City’s old scheme, but less so last year.  DaJuan Morgan might be cut if the team had options.  Jon McGraw is better on special teams.  The team needs a safety that can cover or a nickel cornerback, whichever comes first.


QB: Three years after passing on Brady Quinn, the Raiders may go with Jimmy Clausen.  It’s not so far far-fetched.   Oakland was ready to give up on JaMarcus Russell when they aggressively went after Donovan McNabb.  The head coach wants another option, and Bruce Gradkowski’s ceiling is limited no matter how quickly he recovers from his recent injury.

T:  This is the time.  Forget about the Robert Gallery pick.  Forget that even the fastest tackles can’t run a 4.4 forty.  The Raiders need a true left tackle, just in case they ever find a quarterback.  Mario Henderson on the left side with Khalif Barnes on the right isn’t going to work.   

DT: Tommy Kelly was better in 2009, but he’s not worth the money.  William Joseph and Desmond Bryant are imminently replaceable.  This team needs more beef up front to shield their light linebackers.

DE:  The Raiders need to groom a pass-rusher.  Richard Seymour’s effort is highly inconsistent, and he’s mostly good for stopping the run.   Matt Shaughnessy looks like a solid pick from last year.  The Raiders would love to find another player like him.

San Diego

RB: It’s rare A.J. Smith puts himself in a position he has to draft for need.  Luckily, this is a great draft to find a starter at running back, especially a big one.  It would be stunning if the Chargers didn’t take a back in their first two picks.

DL: Jacque Cesaire is passable at end, and Luis Castillo hasn’t lived up to his big contract extension.  The team also needs a Jamaal Williams replacement.  The Chargers have drafted fine the last 2-3 years, but haven’t hit home runs.  They could use one here.

CB: Antoine Cason hasn’t shown a lot in two years in the league.  Nathan Vasher lost his confidence in Chicago and Donald Strickland is just a guy.  The only thing left for the Chargers to do is make the Super Bowl and they will probably have to beat the Colts or Patriots to get there.

T: After the positions above, the Chargers don’t have pressing needs.  There’s a sense the team could upgrade from Jeromey Clary at right tackle.  Both he and Marcus McNeil were restricted free agents.

15 responses to “Team needs: AFC West

  1. “they will probably have to beat the Colts or Patriots to get there”
    what about the offseason Super Bowl champs the J-E-T-S ?

  2. Oakland will trade their 8th overall pick and their 4th round (106 overall) to the New York Giants for their 1st rd. (15 overall) their 2nd rd. pick (46 overall).
    Oakland in turn will select a Defensive Lineman at 15, trade pick #39 overall to Baltimore for OT Jared Gaither. And pick #46 to Washington for QB Jason Campbell and DT Albert Haynesworth and a 7th rd. pick (211 overall).
    This would answer all of Oakland’s problems (at least for now) by bringing in a semi-proven QB, adding a Youthful body to a quietly good defense, a proven DT in Haynesworth, and a proven LT in Gaither.
    The trade between Oakland & New York is within 4 points on the NFL Value Chart.
    In all probability this won’t happen, but don’t put anything past Mr. Davis!

  3. Gotta love a raider fans optimism, even though the last part of that deal is REDICULOUS. A 2nd rounder for Campbell and Haynesworth and a 7th? Maybe the bolts can trade their 2nd rounder this year for the raiders 1st straight up also….

  4. @jpg252,
    Agree all would be great pickups except Haynesworth…Just don’t think the Raiders are going to take someone with that much baggage especially with Richard Seymour already on the team.
    If they go DT at #15 or select ILB McClain (if he is still available) then I am all for your concept.
    THAT BEING SAID…The only problem is Al Davis NEVER trades down…I think he stays at #8 when it is all said and done, taking OT and run stuffing LB/DT in the first two rounds.
    Davis is OLD and won’t last much longer…My thoughts he give Russell ONE LAST CHANCE this year and focus draft wise on improving OL and run defense and MAYBE take a QB in 4-5 round area if he can find value (i.e. big, strong, and can thown a mile).
    Bad thing is if Russell finally flames out for good the Raiders don’t have a 2011 first round pick to go after Jake Locker or Ryan Mallett…That’s why you should never trade draft picks for players.

  5. the Denver Post is talking about the Broncos rebuilding….
    its a pretty new experience as ever since the drafts between 1972-75 theybuilt the core of a pretty solid team…5 losing seasons in that time
    since the 80’s with Reeves & Shanahan its been a matter of reloading every year
    has any coach in the history of the NFL ..a first year coach no less…ever blown up a succesful team the way McDaniels has? despite the disappointments recently this was not a 4-12 type of team & in fact they had a young offense which could have turned out to have been as good as the ones from 96-98…for about 10 years

  6. jpg252 says:
    why would you draft a d-lineman, and still trade a pick for Haynesworth. I have know problem getting haynesworth if possible.
    What I see is more likely is the raiders trading their 2nd and 3rd pick for New england’s first round. We would draft either Buluga or Williams at #8, and get iupati or pouncey with NE pick.

  7. Florio,
    Stop witht the Raiders went after McNab aggressively BS…
    We all know that if Al wanted McNab, he’d be a Raider…
    Weather a good idea or not, If Al wants someone, He gets them…
    Conclusion: The Raiders were neve interested in McNab…
    Can’t you see that Raiders are going a different direction? No TO, No Marshall, no Holmes, No McNab – Had Al wanted any of these guys, they’d be Raiders and you know they would be!
    Like I said if a good idea or not…Al gets who he wants!!
    Of course, If I told you the Raiders colors were indeed Silver and Black, you’d contest that statement too…

  8. McNabb would have retired rather than play for the Raiders. We all know that. He would rather give up $11 million than play in the wasteland of the NFL – Oakland.
    The Raiders need a true left tackle, just in case they ever find a quarterback.
    LMAO. The Raiders don’t have a single QB on their roster that would be more than 3rd string on any other team.

  9. florio hates the raiders just like all the media, and its only becuse raiders are a family not a business and they can never guess “our” family out, so they spread their little rumors thats always turn out to be NOT TRUE.
    So they act like the raiders could not get mcnab if the raiders wanted mcnab they would of got him. Raiders are gearing up for a superbowl run with the most exciting QB in History THE BRUCE!

  10. My guess why the Broncos are “rebuilding” is the collapses of the last couple of years. But that’s my perspective as a Charger fan.
    CB is the position where I’m the most concerned about the Chargers. I think they’ve got a pretty good rotation on the DLine and they really like Garay. If you can get a stud NT, then get him, but look to the CB’s please.
    The draft is deep in RB’s and that’s one position where you really don’t need an all pro. An above average guy will do and there’s always a few of those that are in the later rounds.
    My preference – we draft defense first then worry about an RB. We’ve got to stop people, and get me a secondary guy that won’t matador a RB coming through the line . . .

  11. jpg252 says:
    April 20, 2010 12:36 PM
    Oakland in turn will select a Defensive Lineman at 15, trade pick #39 overall to Baltimore for OT Jared Gaither. And pick #46 to Washington for QB Jason Campbell and DT Albert Haynesworth and a 7th rd. pick (211 overall).
    Wow … 3 cancers for the Raiders … Al isn’t that stupid.
    You could never win with those players even if you got them for nothing and paid them min salary.

  12. This is my favorite time of the football year… when every team is just a draft pick or two from being amazing. And every trade is a possibility (and seems fair to both sides!), and soon every hole in your team is sealed. Shoot, they’re superbowl bound!
    Then the season starts.
    I personally would be thrilled if McDaniels at least drafts for need. ILB and center, please…

  13. If there’s any one person on Earth whose name you really, really want to spell right, it’s Jamal Williams.

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