2011 NFL Draft Needs: AFC West

No. 2 Denver Broncos
Team Needs: DT, LB, RB, DE, G, S
The Broncos have a ton of needs to fill, most notably on defense where they’re switching to a 4-3 front. Jamal Williams isn’t a great fit in a 4-3 alignment, which leaves Denver with Marcus Thomas and Justin Bannan (who’s good in a rotation but might be exposed as a full-time starter) at defensive tackle. At defensive end, Elvis Dumervil is set to return after missing the entire 2010 season with an injury, but Jason Hunter is the only potential 4-3 DE on the roster. Linebacker is a major need as well, especially if the trade talk about D.J. Williams is true. Running back, guard and safety are also positions of need, although with the No. 2 overall pick, the Broncos are most likely to select DT Nick Fairley or DE Da’Quan Bowers. I can’t see them taking Patrick Peterson after they re-signed Champ Bailey, but you never know.
First Round Possibilities: Da’Quan Bowers (Clemson), Nick Fairley (Auburn), Patrick Peterson (LSU).

(No first round Pick) Oakland Raiders
Team Needs: CB, OL
Nnamdi Asomugha is a free agent and the Raiders can’t tag him, so assuming he heads to greener pastures, corner will become a huge need. The team re-signed Stanford Routt but Chris Johnson isn’t a full-time starter so look for Oakland to snag one of the available corners in the second round. Center and tackle are needs as well.
First Round Possibilities: Brandon Harris (Miami), Jimmy Smith (Colorado), Prince Amukamara (Nebraska), Aaron Williams (Texas), Stefen Wisniewski (Penn State), Mike Pouncey (Florida), Tyron Smith (USC), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Derek Sherrod (Mississippi State), Anthony Castonzo (Boston College), Nate Solder (Colorado).

No. 18 San Diego Chargers
Team Needs: DE, WR, OT
The Chargers have to be concerned about the production drop off of Luis Castillo and seeing as how Jacques Cesaire is a free agent, they’ll have to address the defensive end position at some point in the draft. Larry English hasn’t developed into the player they were expecting at linebacker, so don’t rule out the possibility of the Bolts drafting a pass-rushing OLB like Akeem Ayers with their first pick. Receiver is also a need, as Malcolm Floyd is a free agent this year and Vincent Jackson will likely be gone after the 2011 season. GM A.J. Smith might choose to wait on drafting a receiver until next year, but at some point he’s going to have to give Philip Rivers a long-term No. 1 option. Providing depth at offensive tackle will also be a focus for Smith, although he may choose to address that position later in the draft.
First Round Possibilities: Tyron Smith (USC), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Derek Sherrod (Mississippi State), Anthony Castonzo (Boston College), Nate Solder (Colorado), Cam Jordan (Cal), Cam Heyward (Ohio State), Aldon Smith (Missouri), Von Miller (Texas A&M), Jon Baldwin (Pittsburgh), Torrey Smith (Maryland), Akeem Ayers (ULCA).

No. 21 Kansas City Chiefs
Team Needs: WR, DT, LB, OL
They might not choose to address this position in the first round but at some point the Chiefs need to secure a better complement to Dwayne Bowe than Chris Chambers (who is a serviceable No. 3 or No. 4, but not a starter at this point in his career). The tackle and center positions need to be address well, especially considering that both Rudy Niswanger and Casey Wiegmann (who is 38) are free agents and the team might eventually need to move Branden Albert to right tackle. Defensively, Edwards is a serviceable starter but Scott Pioli needs to find his Vince Wilfork to really bring the Chiefs’ 3-4 front together. Linebacker isn’t a huge need, but acquiring another playmaker at outside linebacker (maybe in the later rounds) would be beneficial.
First Round Possibilities: Derrick Sherrod (Mississippi State), Stephen Paea (Oregon State), Mike Pouncey (Florida), Justin Houston (Georgia), Anthony Castonzo (Boston College), Titus Young (Boise State), Jon Baldwin (Pitt).

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