With the previous 7 divisions, all done, it’s time to finish off our NFL Team Needs. Today we look at the AFC West. For the last time, this is only about needs for starting type players, not upgrades or backup depth. So, without further ado, let’s get to the AFC West Team Needs.
Denver Broncos (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 20th, 51st, 82nd, 101st.
- Left Tackle – The biggest reason that the Broncos slumped on offense was because of their line play. Keep in mind that Brock Osweiler looked semi-good the year before. They must get back to that type of line so the running game can supplement their young quarterbacks.
- Tight End – The Broncos have mostly ignored this position for a while. Currently, on offense, they are a 2 man team. The need to get more weapons on this side of the ball. A young quarterback needs a good TE as a safety blanket.
- Wide Receiver – Do you get the theme of this yet? The Broncos need more talent on the offensive side of the ball. They have Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but after that, there isn’t much to talk about.
20th – David Njoku, TE, Miami
51st – Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma
82nd – Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy
101st – Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, UCLA
Kansas City Chiefs (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 27th, 59th, 91st, 104th.
- Inside Linebacker – Derrick Johnson got hurt last year and the defense had a gap in the middle. Even if he comes back good, they still need someone to be beside him. Johnson is also getting up there in age, so someone will be needed to replace him soon anyway.
- Cornerback – The Chiefs have 1 of the best CBs in the league in Marcus Peters, but they need another legitimate starter with him. Steven Nelson is young and might step up to start, but then they would need a nickel/slot corner.
- Quarterback – Alex Smith has been questioned his entire career. He’s a solid QB, but he’s not a stud player. He’s also going to be 33 years old in a month. Andy Reid knows better than anyone about grabbing a QB in round 2 or 3 to take the torch.
- Running Back – At the start of the year, Spencer Ware blasted out the box like gangbusters. He wore down at the end of the year. He may not be the type of guy to have 320 touches and be effective all year.
- Linebacker – Justin Houston is injury prone and Tamba Hali will be 34 this year. They still have Dee Ford who is a big time pass rusher, but adding another one isn’t the worst idea. You can never have enough pass rushers.
- Wide Receiver – Last year Tyreek Hill took over the slot and trick play guy role for the Chiefs. Jeremy Maclin was in and out of the lineup. Chris Conley has disappointed and another weapon is needed to start on the outside.
27th – Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
59th – Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
91st – Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami
104th – Kendall Beckwith, ILB, LSU
Los Angeles Chargers (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 7th, 38th, 71st.
- Guard – This may not be their biggest need, but it is a need. Melvin Gordon has a lot of 1 yard and 2 yard carries and it’s because the middle of their line didn’t have enough push up the middle. They need a road grinding type of guard.
- Safety – The Chargers never replaced Eric Weddle’s huge role in the defense. I have a feeling this will be their number 1 priority and if either of the top 2 Safeties fall, Malik Hooker or Jamal Adams, that will be their pick.
- Linebacker – Pass rush is something that the Chargers want to add. Joey Bosa was a beast and Melvin Gordon can get to the QB, but 1 more guy is probably needed. This is something I expect them to address on day 2.
7th – Jamal Adams, S, LSU
38th – Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
71st – Tyus Bowser, LB, Houston
Oakland Raiders (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 24th, 56th, 88th.
- Inside Linebacker – This is the biggest need on this team. All the other needs below are holes, but not huge ones. They need a “captain” to be in the middle of the field, call the plays, and keep the players on defense accountable.
- Right Tackle – When they signed Austin Howard 3 years ago, he was 1 of the best RTs in the league. Last year he was oft-injured and was ineffective when he played. They likely give him another shot, but if the right player falls, they could pull the trigger on an OT.
- Wide Receiver – Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are obviously very good WRs. What they need is a shift slot guy. It’s the last missing piece to an offense that is ready to explode next year. They make the right picks and this team could be in the AFC championship game.
- Running Back – I’m writing this as a need, for now. There are obvious rumors as I write this that they will be obtaining Marshawn Lynch, which would check this off the needs list. Until that is made official, it’s a position they need, and will, address.
24th – Zack Cunningham, ILB, Vanderbilt
56th – Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State
88th – Tanoh Kpassagnon, DL, Villanova
There you have it. Over the past 2 weeks, I have given you every team need by every team in the league. I’ve given you who I think they should take in the 1st 3 rounds of the draft. The NFL draft is officially next week and we can start checking off some of the needs I have stated for you. The only thing left to do now is, enjoy the draft.