ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. is offering his first mock draft of the first round of the April 25-27 draft. Let’s take a look at his choices for the AFC West teams:
1. Kansas City: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
My take: There is no wrong answer for this pick right now. It is wide open, especially since there are no perfect position fits for the Chiefs. However, the only way this pick will happen is if the Chiefs let Branden Albert walk in free agency. I’m not sure that is the best approach. If that happens, the Chiefs better use the money meant for Albert and improve another area. A simple Albert-Joeckel trade out would not be the best use of this pick.
3. Oakland: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
My take: Lotulelei was my choice for the Chiefs in my first mock draft that ran Monday. Oakland can’t go wrong with this pick. It needs a lot of defensive help and there is plenty available. If he’s on the board, this would be a great choice for the Raiders.
11. San Diego: Eric Fisher, LT, Central Michigan
My take: I don’t have a problem with this choice. The position is San Diego’s greatest need. The way Kiper’s board falls, this is the logical choice.
28. Denver: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
My take: Champ Bailey struggled in the loss to Baltimore. This might be the perfect time to grab a good, young corner. Bailey can still play, but taking a good cornerback at the end of the first round wouldn’t be Denver’s worst idea.