Offensive Line: Kansas City got a steal with Branden Albert in the middle of the first in last year’s draft, but the Chiefs really lack talent when it comes to their interior line. Brian Waters has asked to be cut and that leaves a gaping hole at left guard, while Adrian Jones is slated as the starting right guard with no depth behind him. An interesting move to help the line would be for Kansas City to take a tackle on the first day of the draft and then move Branden Albert back to his natural position of guard. I know Albert can play left tackle effectively, but I think he can be an elite player as a guard in the NFL.
AFC West Team Needs In The 2009 NFL Draft
Continuing the look ahead at the draft, here is a break down of the AFC West. Stay tuned for the NFC breakdowns which will start sometime next week with the NFC North.
The Broncos had a disappointing end to last season and are having a disappointing start to this year. New coach Josh McDaniels started drama when he wanted to bring in “his guy,” Matt Cassell. Unfortunately for Denver, the trade didn’t happen and now Jay Cutler continues to cry and bring attention to him. If Cutler would just shut up and accept that it is a business, then there would be no story. It should be interesting to see how things play out. Cutler demanded a trade and you know many teams will be interested. Now back to the football. Denver has had an interesting approach to the free agency period; they sign everyone possible. The Broncos signed three different running backs and made a big splash with Brian Dawkins, but I think their best move may have been adding Chris Simms, now that I see how Cutler is a child. Another solid addition was middle linebacker Andra Smith. He brings experience in a 3-4 system and should help in the Broncos transition.
Defensive Tackle: With the release of Dewayne Robertson, Denver could severely upgrade their defensive tackle position. Denver did acquire Darrell Reid from Indianapolis, but Reid, Nic Clemons, Marcus Thomas, Carlton Powell, and Kenny Peterson aren’t really the best group of interior lineman.If the Boston College star B.J. Raji would happen to fall to Denver, there is no doubt they would pull the trigger and draft him. Don’t rule out the Broncos adding a second first rounder if something happens with Cutler, in which case Peria Jerry could be an option later in round one.
Linebacker: There can never be enough linebackers for a 3-4 team. With Denver making the transition I expect them to make a few moves to bring in linebackers.It is very possible that the Broncos may add Rey Maualuga from USC if BJ Raji is gone, but if Raji is the pick, someone like Jasper Brinkley or Clint Sintim could be an option in round two.Denver has some good young talent in DJ Williams and Wesley Woodyard. Boss Bailey also looked good prior to his injury last season, but Denver would be wise to add more depth to their roster.
Cornerback: Continuing the trend, Denver needs to keep adding defense and go corner sometime in the first three rounds. Champ Bailey is still a top ten corner in the league, but he is alone on the roster. Denver cut Dre’ Bly and lost Karl Paymah to Minnesota in free agency, and that leaves them with a bunch of guys named Joe. Actually the guys are Josh Bell and Jack Williams. This is a deep corner class so the Broncos can add a young corner or two that would benefit from a mentor like Champ Bailey.
Kansas City Chiefs:
The Chiefs made the biggest splash so far in free agency with the trade for New England quarterback Matt Cassell and linebacker Mike Vrabel. Outside of the big trade, Kansas City was pretty quite. There is no question that they are going young, and that was proven with the roster cuts of Patrick Surtain and Donnie Edwards. It is possible that running back Larry Johnson and/or tight end Tony Gonzalez may not be on the roster at the start of the season, but it could be a wise move to keep a few veterans.
Defensive End: A lot of people seem to have the inaccurate view that Glenn Dorsey failed as a rookie. That is simply wrong. Early in the year Dorsey was playing at nose tackle, which is not his natural position, and once he made the move to UT he started producing and impacting the game more. If the Chiefs can add a respectable pass rusher to their defensive line it would help Dorsey even more. Between their two starting defensive ends last season, Tamba Hali and Alfonso Boone, the Chiefs had a measly four sacks. Kansas City needs to draft a pass rushing end and move Alfonso Boone in to defensive tackle; that would immediately upgrade their line.
Linebacker: This could be the direction the Chiefs head with their first pick simply by default. If Aaron Curry is available, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him be the pick.The problem with that selection would be that Curry, Vrabel, or Derrick Johnson would have to be bumped to middle linebacker. My guess is Johnson would be the guy to move inside. Kansas City will still likely draft a few more linebackers later in the draft to add depth, but a player of Aaron Curry’s caliber is too much to pass on and it is very possible he ends up as a Chief.