AFC West pass-rusher checkpoint

April, 2, 2013
4/02/13
8:00
AM ET
The pass-rushing position has been in the spotlight in the AFC West this offseason. Let’s take a look where each team in the division stands.

Denver Broncos: The Broncos have a need here after the infamous Elvis Dumervil fax machine gaffe which concluded with him signing with Baltimore. The Broncos have star pass-rusher Von Miller, but they are looking for another option to replace Dumervil. They could still sign a veteran such as Dwight Freeney or John Abraham, if the price is right. They could also draft a pass-rusher in the early rounds. Second-year end Derek Wolfe also provides a solid pass rush and Robert Ayers may also play more.

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs now possess the best pass-rushing tandem in the division in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. Hali has 35.5 sacks in the past three seasons and Houston has 15.5 sacks in two NFL seasons. This duo is terrific. The Chiefs may need some more defensive line help, but they are set with their primary pass-rushers.

Oakland Raiders: The Raiders badly need some pass-rushers. It was poor in that area last year and it hasn’t addressed it this offseason. None of the front seven players Oakland has signed are known as great pass-rushers. Some will help, but there are no anchors. Oakland could address the area in the draft and it could re-sign veteran situational pass-rusher Andre Carter.

San Diego Chargers: The Chargers could use some help. Antwan Barnes left this offseason and while Shaun Phillips could return, he remains unsigned. The team is hopeful that 2012 first-round pick Melvin Ingram takes the next step and brings consistent pressure. He showed flashes last year. The front three is solid as Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes both have strong ability. The Chargers are young at this position and it could quickly be in good shape. But if the price is right, bringing back a veteran like Phillips may not be a terrible idea.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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