2011 NFL Draft Preview – AFC West Team Needs
The 2011 NFL Draft is right around the corner, and here at Bang the Book, we’ve got all of the team needs for the AFC West squads drawn up in preparation for the draft.
Draft Choices: 2, 36, 46, 67, 186, 189, 247
Team Needs: DL, DB, OL, TE
2011 NFL Draft Analysis: Although John Elway aren’t sold on Tim Tebow or Kyle Orton, with all their other needs it is highly doubtful that the Broncos will take Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert with the second overall pick. Last season, Denver’s defense was the worst in the league, giving up 390 yards per game and couldn’t stop a runny nose. Their improvement will need to start up front after giving up 4.7 yards per carry in 2010. DT Marcell Dareus is the logical pick here as he provides immediate help up front and was a great run stuffer in the middle of the line for the Crimson Tide in College. If the Panthers take Dareus, look for the Broncos to take LB Von Miller.
Kansas City Chiefs
Draft Choices: 21, 55, 86, 118, 135, 140, 199, 223
Team Needs: LB, OL, DL, WR
2011 NFL Draft Analysis: Kansas City was one of the most surprising teams of the 2010 NFL season and if full of young talent that is starting to come of age. The Chiefs are pretty set at their skill position, but need help along both their lines. They would love if tackle Anthony Castonzo fell to them, but Castonzo will probably be off the board by then. If the Chiefs are still looking to go offensive tackle, Nate Solder and Derek Sherrod are definite possibilities. An outside rusher opposite of Tamba Hali could also be selected with this pick, someone like LB Akeem Ayers or Cameron Heyward.
Draft Choices: 48, 81, 113, 148, 181, 219, 241
Team Needs: QB, OL, DB, WR
2011 NFL Draft Analysis: The Richard Seymour trade left the Raiders as the only team in the 2011 NFL Draft without a first round pick. After toiling in obscurity for close to a decade, the Raiders went a respectable 8-8 in 2010 behind a defense that was surprisingly solid. However, the offense still needs improvement at every position save running back. Jason Campbell hasn’t worked out like Al Davis thought he would and the Raiders could look quarterback with their second round pick. It is no secret that Davis loves quarterbacks with big arms and questionable character, so Ryan Mallett could be the pick here. An offensive lineman like Ben Ijalana also makes sense in this position.
San Diego Chargers
Draft Choices: 18, 50, 61, 82, 89, 183, 201, 234
Team Needs: DL, LB, OL, WR
2011 NFL Draft Analysis: Prior to the 2010 NFL season, the Chargers had won the AFC West four years straight. However, San Diego’s traditional early season stumbling came back to bite them last year and led to the Chargers missing the playoffs. GM AJ Smith has come under fire for how he has run the team, but San Diego’s on-field success speaks to his ability as a talent evaluator. The continuing drama surrounding WR Vincent Jackson means that wide receiver is a priority in this draft, but they are in no-man’s land at 18. Assuming the Chargers don’t trade down, look for them to instead try to improve the front seven. DE Muhammad Wilkerson from Temple is a favorite of mock draft analysts to go in this spot, as are Aldon Smith, Ryan Kerrigan, and JJ Watt. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Akeem Ayers fall here either, though it would be a bit of a reach.
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