ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay is talking an early stab, in an Insider piece, at projecting the first round of the April draft. McShay will update several mock drafts between now and the draft based on movement of teams and performances of prospects in bowl games and in the offseason process. The current draft order is based on projections. The exact order will be determined after the season.
Let’s take a look at McShay’s thoughts on where the AFC West teams may be headed:
12. Kansas City: Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin
My take: I like this pick a lot. I think Martin may end up being a top-eight pick. The Chiefs will likely look at improving the offensive and defensive lines. Taking Martin would be a smart move. He has a chance to be a longtime anchor.
15. San Diego: Alabama safety Mark Barron
My take: The Chargers will likely look at the offensive line and for pass-rushers, but if Barron makes the most sense, it would be a good pick. He is a top prospect and we’ve seen what the addition of top-flight safeties can do for a defense.
23. Denver: Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still
My take: The Broncos would probably like to add a running back, but getting a top-level defensive tackle would not be a bad move at all. The Broncos have been looking for a difference-maker at this spot for years.
Oakland does not have a first-round pick as part of the Carson Palmer trade with Cincinnati. McShay projects the Bengals will pick No. 19.