- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
Periodically in the next three months, we will take a stab at projecting the AFC West team's first-round picks. Obviously, there will be developments leading up to the April 25-26 draft that will change draft boards.
The Senior Bowl was the first major development with next month's NFL combine being the next.
Here is a look at each AFC West team and who I believe they may select at this point. Again, we'll check in more as the draft approaches:
3. Kansas City, Andre Smith, OT, Alabama: With questions at quarterback and at defensive end, the Chiefs may be best suited to take the opportunity and draft a star left tackle. They can move Branden Albert, last year's No. 15 overall pick, to right tackle and give themselves bookend star tackles for the next decade.
7. Oakland, Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia: The Raiders may be tempted to take a wide receiver, especially if Michael Crabtree is still on the board. But Oakland needs to build in the trenches and it is another good year to find a left tackle.
12. Denver, Rey Maualuga, LB, USC: The Broncos need major help on defense. Maualuga would fit in with the team and give Denver a pretty strong linebacking crew. The team also likes Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji but he is moving up the draft board fast. Maualuga wouldn't be a bad consolation prize.
16. San Diego, Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia: Whether LaDainian Tomlinson returns or not, the Chargers might be too tempted to pass up a talent like Moreno if he is available. The two running backs could work tighter. Even if he comes back, Tomlinson, who'll be 30 in June, won't play forever and this could be an excellent value pick.
Again, we'll update our picks as we move closer to the draft.
23hEric D. Williams
7dEric D. Williams