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Friday, March 27, 2009
Raji and Maclin to the AFC West?

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

If Todd McShay's latest mock draft, which is based on the idea of the Lions passing on quarterback Matthew Stafford at No. 1, is on the money, there will be some very interesting players headed to the AFC West. Here's a look:

3. Kansas City: Aaron Curry, linebacker, Wake Forest: This is the player most often connected to Kansas City. The Chiefs have serious defensive needs and Curry is considered the best defensive player available. If Stafford isn't the top pick to the Lions, though, Curry could be, so the Chiefs would have to reconsider their options, possibly starting with trading out of the No. 3 pick.

7. Oakland: B.J. Raji, defensive tackle, Boston College: This is fascinating. The Raiders most need tackles and receivers. In this scenario, tackles Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe and receiver Michael Crabtree would be off the board. Oakland could take Missouri receiver Jeremy Maclin, but McShay has the team taking Raji. This wouldn't be a bad pick. Raji is very talented and the Raiders could use the help in the middle of their defensive line. Still, it would be somewhat surprising to see Oakland bypass Maclin.

12. Denver: Tyson Jackson, defensive end, LSU: Many mock drafts have Jackson being Denver's pick, so the Stafford scenario doesn't change much. Jackson is being linked to Denver because he is a 3-4 player. The Broncos are adopting the defensive scheme and could use a defensive end.

16. San Diego: Jeremy Maclin, wide receiver, Missouri: This is the most eye-popping pick of McShay's AFC West selections. The Chargers really don't need a receiver. But Maclin would be an incredible value at No. 16. Again, he could easily go to Oakland at No. 7. Maclin is a sure top-10 talent. The Chargers have bigger needs on defense. Southern California linebackers Brian Cushing and Rey Maualuga (who are both available on McShay's board) could make impacts as rookies. But Maclin could make San Diego's offense one of the most multidimensional and dangerous in the league. It would be difficult to argue against this pick.