Mock draft is kind to AFC West

April, 6, 2011
4/06/11
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I tinkered with a complete first-round mock draft to see if the teams in the AFC West will be in line to take the players they want.

My mock draft breaks down favorably for the three teams in the division that have a first-round pick. Oakland doesn’t have a first-round pick.

I have Carolina taking Auburn quarterback Cam Newton at No. 1. That leaves the entire defensive draft board to Denver at No. 2. I have Denver taking Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.

San Diego (picking No. 18) and Kansas City (No. 21) are both looking for pass-rushers. There should be a glut of pass-rushers available in the No. 16-21 range and I have five pass-rushers going in that span. Because of the lack of need for pass rushers in the No. 8-15 range, players like North Carolina’s Robert Quinn and Clemson’s Da'Quan Bowers could tumble out of the top 10 and perhaps a little further. I have Quinn going to Houston at No. 11 and Bowers, who has dealt with health issues, dropping down to Jacksonville at No. 16. That may be a bit low, but it’s possible.

San Diego and Kansas City should both get fine players. I still have San Diego going with Cal’s Cameron Jordan and Kansas City taking Temple’s Muhammad Wilkerson. Because there may be so many good pass-rushers available in the middle of the first round, I could see San Diego and Kansas City staying pat and waiting to see who falls to them.

A lot can change and my mock draft will likely have the same fate as my NCAA hoops bracket (no Final Fours, folks), but this exercise has shown me each team in the AFC West should have plenty of attractive options.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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