2011 NFL Draft: AFC Team-by-Team Draft Needs

A couple of months ago I did division-by-division draft needs for every team. But now that we’re less than a week away from Roger Goodell taking the stage at Radio City Music Hall, I’ve decided to put together an updated post together on all 32 teams. So below you’ll find team-by-team needs for the AFC, as well as a quick summary for each division. (NFC team needs are coming soon.)

AFC East

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick directs his team against the New York Jets during the third quarter of their AFC Divisional NFL playoff football game in Foxborough, January 16, 2011. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Bills: QB, CB, OT, DE, OLB, TE, S
Dolphins: RB, C, OG, QB
Patriots: OT, OG, OLB, RB, DE
Jets: WR, DE, OLB, OG

Quick & Dirty Summary: While quarterback is definitely a need for the Bills, they’re more likely to go with the best defensive player on the board at No. 3, which could mean LSU’s Patrick Peterson is headed for upstate New York…There’s a good chance that both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams have played their final downs in Miami, so landing a running back in one of the first three rounds almost seems imperative for the Dolphins…With two first round picks, the Patriots could address their lines on both sides of the ball, but knowing Bill Belichick he won’t stand pat and will look to acquire more picks by trading one of those two selections…The Jets have huge decisions to make at receiver, where Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards are both free agents. It’s doubtful that Rex Ryan will address the receiver position in Round 1, but you can never tell what’s up his sleeve.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco (L) greets Cincinnati Bengals Carson Palmer after the Ravens defeated the Bengals 13-7 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on January 2, 2011. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Ravens: OT, C, S, CB
Bengals: QB, OL, DE, ILB, S
Browns: WR, OT, OG, DE, LB, S
Steelers: OT, OG, CB

Quick & Dirty Summary: The Ravens don’t have many glaring needs, which is why GM Ozzie Newsome can go with the best player available at No. 26 overall. But there’s a good chance Newsome will select an OT to complement Michael Oher…The Bengals have a ton of issues, none bigger than at quarterback where Carson Palmer is threatening to retire if the team doesn’t abide by his trade demands. With the statues of Palmer, T.O., Chad Ochocinco and Cedric Benson up in the air, it’s hard to assume anything when it comes to Cincinnati’s draft plans…Chances are Browns’ team president Mike Holmgren will look for a homerun threat in the first round, possibly a receiver to help aid the development of QB Colt McCoy. But the right side of the offensive line is also in flux and Holmgren needs to add some defensive pieces as well…As usual, the Steelers are in good shape entering the draft, although the offensive line has been a concern for the past three years and adding another cornerback to complement Ike Taylor (a free agent expected to be brought back) would be beneficial as well.

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell, center, watches the video board along with Reggie Wayne (87) and Curtis Painter (7) for a replay challenge by the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis on October 10, 2010. The Colts defeated the Chiefs 19-9. UPI /Mark Cowan

Texans: S, CB, DT
Colts: OT, DT, OG, S
Jaguars: QB, DE, ILB, S
Titans: QB, OG, ILB, CB

Quick & Dirty Summary: With the switch to a 3-4 front under new DC Wade Phillips, the Texans will likely address the defensive side of the ball in the first round. Safety is the team’s biggest need, but there aren’t any prospects from that position that are worthy of the No. 11 pick. Thus, look for Houston to go with either a defensive lineman or cornerback in Round 1…The Colts are long overdue to address the offensive tackle position, but defensive tackle has been a need for several years as well. Indy is always unpredictable in Round 1…There seems to be only a slight chance that the Jaguars will bring back free agent Kirk Morrison, making inside linebacker a huge need. Jacksonville could surprise and take a quarterback in the first round, although it’s more likely that they’ll wait to nab a developmental signal caller in the middle rounds…Vince Young has taken his final snap in Tennessee and while the Titans could choose to bring back Kerry Collins, it’ll likely be on a one-year contract. Many mocks have the Titans taking DT Nick Fairley in round one, but if Blaine Gabbert falls to them at No. 8 it might be hard for Tennessee to pass on a potential franchise signal caller.

AFC West

Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox watches as his team loses to the New Orleans Saints 34-3 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 7, 2010. UPI/Nell Redmond .

Broncos: DE, TE, RB, OG, ILB, S
Chiefs: OT, C, DT, LB, S, WR
Raiders: CB, OT, OG, QB, DT, OLB
Chargers: DE, WR, ILB, OT, S

Quick & Dirty Summary: The Broncos have plenty of holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball, perhaps none bigger than the need for a pass-rusher. Now that John Fox has taken over in Denver, many draft observers believe the Broncos will select a defensive player at No. 2…The interior of the Chiefs’ offensive line is aging and the team may choose to draft their center of the future in the first round. Of course, they could also decide to go with a homerun threat at receiver to complement Dwayne Bowe, or add more depth (or possibly even a starter) at linebacker…Assuming they lose Nnamdi Asomugha to free agency, the Raiders must add another cornerback to play opposite Stanford Routt. There’s a good chance that Robert Gallery won’t return and Langston Walker is a free agent as well, so Al Davis could stand to add more depth along the O-line. This would be a long-shot but if someone like Ryan Mallett fell to them in the second round, don’t rule out the possibility of the Raiders taking a quarterback with their first pick…Even though Vincent Jackson is expected to play in San Diego next season, Chargers’ GM A.J. Smith has to address the receiver position at some point. Philip Rivers needs more weapons around him and after Smith tabbed RB Ryan Mathews in the first round last year, he may want to add a wideout this April.

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