AFC West: Dee Milliner

NFC Eight in the Box: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

What’s the ideal first-round scenario for each team?

Denver

The Broncos are in a decent position sitting at No. 28. Yes, all of the elite players will be long gone. But the Broncos can get better at this spot. Denver doesn’t have many pressing needs, but it can surely upgrade at a few positions. Among the spots Denver could use some help at are on the defensive line, running back, cornerback and middle linebacker. This is a deep class on the defensive line and at cornerback, and the better running backs and inside linebackers may be available late in the first round. Denver would love to see these players available at No. 28: Alabama running back Eddie Lacy, Florida State pass-rushers Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant and Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden. I think, at least, one of these players will be available. Thus, Denver should get a player it covets.

Kansas City

Since the Chiefs will start the draft with the No. 1 pick, they dictate the show. But we’ve long talked about this being a bad year for the Chiefs to have the top pick. After a tremendous quarterback class last year, this year’s crop is devoid of top talent. The Chiefs could still find talent at the top of the draft, but they would prefer to trade out of the top spot to collect more picks and get out of paying the highest rookie contract. For that to happen, some team will have to come out of the woodwork. Thus far, there aren’t many indications there will be a market for the top pick. But if some team falls in love with a specific player, the Chiefs would accommodate them.

Oakland

The Raiders are in a similar spot as the Chiefs -- they want to trade down. In fact, Oakland likely wants to deal the No. 3 pick more than the Chiefs want to get rid of the No. 1 pick. Oakland badly needs to stock its roster. Trading the No. 3 pick may be easier than dealing the No. 1 pick. The price will be less and teams may be intrigued by the way the first two picks fall. So, I could see Oakland getting a suitable trade offer while on the clock. Oakland would love to still get a top-15 pick to get a top defensive talent and recoup its second-round pick lost in the Carson Palmer debacle. Now, if the Raiders don’t make a trade, they will be in good shape at No. 3. The Raiders badly need defensive talent. Among the top defensive prospects are Oregon pass-rusher Dion Jordan, Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner. At least two of those players will be available at No. 3, so Oakland will be sitting pretty.

San Diego

This is pretty simple: The Chargers want to see Oklahoma left tackle Lane Johnson still on the board at No. 11. But it may be iffy. The Chargers have a lot of needs, but no need is greater than at left tackle. The Chargers do not have a blindside protector for quarterback Philip Rivers. That’s scary. But there is no sure thing San Diego will find its left tackle in the draft. Top prospects Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher will both be gone by the time the Chargers pick. Johnson has been a fast riser and there is a good chance he will be gone. Arizona at No. 7 is considered a strong landing spot for the super-athletic Johnson. The Chargers need quarterback Geno Smith to go in the top seven picks. If the Eagles take him at No. 4, it could push Fisher to No. 7 and Johnson to No. 11. If the Cardinals take Smith, Johnson could fall to the Chargers.
Sports Illustrated is reporting that the Atlanta Falcons would like to trade up from the No. 30 overall pick in next week’s draft. The Falcons need a cornerback. The top cornerback is Alabama’s Dee Milliner.

Could the Falcons be so interested in Milliner that they would move all the way up to the Kansas City Chiefs’ spot (No. 1) or the Oakland Raiders’ spot (No. 3)? It’s possible. Atlanta made a huge leap two years ago to get Julio Jones.

But the Falcons may not feel the need to get into the top three picks to get Milliner. The cornerback class is strong so the Falcons may not have to go up too far to find a corner.

Also, there is no guarantee the Chiefs or Raiders would feel comfortable with what the Falcons were offering. While both teams are willing to move down, taking just any offer could be counterproductive.

In other AFC West notes:
Will there be another college hoopster turned tight end in the AFC West?

The Oakland Raiders are now reportedly working out Wisconsin-Milwaukee basketball player Demetrius Harris. He is 6-foot-5, 237 pounds and he is trying to be the next college basketball player to become an NFL tight end. San Diego and Kansas City also reportedly are among the several teams that has shown interest in Harris.

He was a college football recruit out of high school. He could be a late-round pick or be an undrafted free agent. San Diego star tight end Antonio Gates played college basketball. Denver backup Julius Thomas also played college basketball.

In other AFC West notes:

ESPN analyst Jon Gruden has some ideas about who the Chargers should consider drafting to groom behind Philip Rivers.

As expected, Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner is visiting the Chiefs, who have the No. 1 pick. It would be a surprise if Milliner is the choice.
The Oakland Raiders made most of the headlines in the division last week while I was on vacation. The Raiders made several signings, and like earlier moves, these moves are inexpensive additions in an attempt to fill the roster.

Let’s review some of the moves.

One of the moves, of course, that stood out was the signing of former Dallas cornerback Mike Jenkins. Like former Denver cornerback Tracy Porter, who was previously signed, Jenkins is projected to start this season after signing a one-year deal.

Both players have had NFL success but both fell into backup roles. Still, I like the two signings for Oakland on a short-term basis. They have experience and they will compete. It’s a better pairing than the Ron Bartell-Shawntae Spencer pairing to start last year.

I do not think the Jenkins signing means Oakland will definitely bypass Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner at No. 3. These signing are show-me deals for the team. Oakland still has big long-term needs at cornerback.

The signing of former Cleveland safety Usama Young should help as well in the short term. In the grand scheme, Young is an average player, but he played for Oakland head coach Dennis Allen in New Orleans, and he has experience. It’s all about filling the roster with as many capable players as possible and Young is capable.

The re-signing of pass-rusher Andre Carter also makes sense. He gave the team some burst after signing during last season and he is a leader. He will have a limited role, but Oakland needs all the pass-rush help it can get.

I wasn’t overly impressed by the signing of backup running back Rashad Jennings. He is simply a backup. We all know Darren McFadden’s injury history. I doubt Jennings can be an effective starter.

Also, it was interesting that Oakland worked out former NFL starting quarterback Vince Young. Oakland is looking for a veteran backup quarterback, so perhaps Young could end up getting another chance there. I’m not one to think Young can be an effective player, but if Oakland is intrigued, perhaps it will give him a chance at some point.
Let’s take a look at some possible targets of the San Diego Chargers, who have the No. 11 pick in the April 25-27 draft:

Austin
TAVON AUSTIN, RECEIVER, WEST VIRGINIA

Why is he a top prospect? He is ultra-fast and a big-time playmaker. Great film and great workouts.

How would he help? He could give some much-needed life to San Diego's offense -- a nice fit for a group that needs a smallish-type receiver.

What are the risks? He is tiny at 5-foot-8, 173 pounds. Teams always worry whether little guys can make the transition to the rigorous NFL.

How he could be the choice: I think he’d be a backup plan. But Austin would fill a need, and San Diego could be tempted to add an explosive piece.

Cooper
JONATHAN COOPER, GUARD, NORTH CAROLINA

Why is he a top prospect? A player with few holes. Alabama guard Chance Warmack is one of the highest-rated guards to come into the NFL in years. Some scouts think Cooper is just as good.

How would he help? The Chargers have big needs on the offensive line. Cooper would be an instant starter.

What are the risks? Do you want to take a guard that high? Top guards are typically available later in the draft.

How he could be the choice: If the Chargers think he is better than Warmack or if Warmack is taken in the top 10, Cooper could be the pick if the left-tackle options are gone.

Edelman
TYLER EIFERT, TIGHT END, NOTRE DAME

Why is he a top prospect? Huge target who has everything you look for in a tight end -- speed, hands and the ability to block.

How would he help? Antonio Gates is getting older and has long dealt with health issues. Eifert could help as an immediate weapon and as a long-term answer.

What are the risks? Taking a tight end at No. 11 might be a bit high.

How he could be the choice: Another backup option. Could be a target if the Chargers trade down.

Fluker
D.J. FLUKER, TACKLE, ALABAMA

Why is he a top prospect? He is a massive man at 6-4, 335 pounds. You need to buy a passport to complete the trip around him.

How would he help? He projects as a right tackle in the NFL. He’d start right away.

What are the risks? The Chargers need a left tackle and a guard more than a right tackle. Fluker might be too clunky for a unit that wants to get sleeker.

How he could be the choice: If the Chargers love him more than some other linemen, he could be the selection.

Johnson
LANE JOHNSON, LEFT TACKLE, OKLAHOMA

Why is he a top prospect? The former quarterback is super athletic, strong and fast. A sky-is-the-limit type.

How would he help? He would step in and be the Chargers’ left tackle.

What are the risks? There is real concern the Cardinals could take him at No. 7. Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are expected to be taken among the top five picks.

How he could be the choice: If Johnson is there, he very likely will be the choice.

Lotulelei
STAR LOTULELEI, DEFENSIVE TACKLE, UTAH

Why is he a top prospect? Stellar anchor to a defensive line. He is versatile and productive.

How would he help? He would be a great nose tackle on what would be a great, young front three with ends Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes. A potentially awesome trio.

What are the risks? There were major health concerns when tests at the NFL combine in February showed Lotulelei had heart issues. He has been cleared; still, there would be worries in the back of some teams’ minds.

How he could be the choice: If Johnson is gone, I think the Chargers would have a hard time passing on this Star if he is on the board at No. 11.

Milliner
DEE MILLINER, CORNERBACK, ALABAMA

Why is he a top prospect? Fast, polished, NFL-ready cover cornerback who has succeeded at the highest level.

How would he help? Milliner could step in and start along free-agent pickup Derek Cox, giving the Chargers a nice cornerback tandem.

What are the risks? He very well could be taken in the first six picks -- perhaps as high as No. 3 to Oakland.

How he could be the choice: If he is available, I think the Chargers will think long and hard about Milliner.

Ogletree
ALEC OGLETREE, LINEBACKER, GEORGIA

Why is he a top prospect? He is a freakish athlete who makes big plays. Top middle linebacker in the draft.

How would he help? He would be an inside linebacker in the 3-4 and be yet another excellent young front-seven player in San Diego.

What are the risks? He has a recent drunken driving arrest and other off-field concerns.

How he could be the choice: A backup plan. He could be intriguing if the Chargers drop back a few spots.

Vaccaro
KENNY VACCARO, SAFETY, TEXAS

Why is he a top prospect? He can hit, run and cover.

How would he help? An Eric Weddle-Vaccaro safety tandem would be strong. It would give a nice identity to San Diego’s defense.

What are the risks? The 11th pick might be too high for a safety this year, considering it is a deep class.

How he could be the choice: Again, he might be an option if the Chargers slide back a few picks.

Warmack
CHANCE WARMACK, GUARD, ALABAMA

Why is he a top prospect? A classic guard who has a chance to be dominant.

How would he help? He’d be the Chargers' best offensive lineman.

What are the risks? He might be off the board.

How he could be the choice: I think the Chargers will go into draft day envisioning Warmack as a real possibility to wear a lightning bolt on his helmet.
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has offered another mock draft Insider in an Insider piece. Let’s take a look at his choices for the AFC West teams:

1. Kansas City: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M.

My take: At this point, it would be a surprise if this pick is not Joeckel.

3. Oakland: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

My take: I still think Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd may be the leading candidate, but an argument over Milliner could easily be made.

11. San Diego: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

My take: With all the top left tackles taken, I’d have no problem seeing the Chargers add Warmack. He’d fill a hole for 12 years.

28. Denver: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

My take: He can play and he will help long-term, but I think a pass-rusher could add more of an immediate impact.
Tracy Porter will get a chance to re-energize his NFL career under the guidance of a familiar face on a team that badly needs him to produce.

In a move that has long made sense, the Oakland Raiders have signed the cornerback to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.

Porter reunites with Oakland head coach Dennis Allen, who was Porter’s position coach in New Orleans where the two won a Super Bowl together. That Super Bowl win was sealed by Porter with an interception return of a Peyton Manning pass.

Porter signed with Oakland because it gave him the best chance to start. As it currently stands, Porter is Oakland’s best cornerback. Before the singing, Oakland did not have a proven starter on its roster. Oakland had pursued Terence Newman before he re-signed with Cincinnati. Oakland also reportedly is interested in Dallas cornerback Mike Jenkins. It would still make sense for Oakland to pusue Jenkins, who is getting other interest. Oakland could also consider Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner with the No. 3 overall pick.

In Porter, Oakland hopes he can bounce back from a rough season in Denver. The Broncos gave him $4 million on a one-year deal to start last season. He did, and he had some early success. Porter then dealt with the affects of a summer seizure and missed an extended period of time. Once healthy, Porter couldn’t beat out young cornerbacks Chris Harris and Tony Carter, and he had no role with the Broncos as the season progressed.

Porter is known as a hit-or-miss cornerback, and many around the league think he is best suited as a No. 2 or No. 3 cornerback depending on the team’s roster. He makes his share of plays, but he also has been known to gamble and lose.

But because of his history with Allen and Allen’s big need at this position, this is a worthwhile paring. Porter, who will turn 27 in August, continues a trend for Oakland this offseason. He is the seventh young player Oakland has signed this offseason.

Oakland Raiders draft options

March, 30, 2013
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We have discussed extensively what the Kansas City Chiefs might do with the No. 1 pick. Now, leading up to the NFL draft (April 25-27), we will take deeper looks at possibilities for the three other teams in the AFC West. We start with the Oakland Raiders, who have the No. 3 overall selection:

Ansah
EZEKIEL ANSAH, DEFENSIVE END, BYU

Why is he a top prospect? He has a great combination of size, speed and athleticism and is a hard worker.

How would he help? The Raiders have a need at defensive end and he could be an immediate contributor.

What are the risks? Ansah will turn 24 in May and is still pretty raw. There are worries that the NFL game would be too big for him.

How he could be the choice: He’d probably be considered a surprise. He is looked at more as a top-10 selection, not a top-three choice. But if the Raiders think he is the best defensive end, he could be the pick.

Fisher
ERIC FISHER, LEFT TACKLE, CENTRAL MICHIGAN

Why is he a top prospect? He is a huge, athletic tackle who appears to be NFL-ready.

How would he help? He could be moved to right tackle and, along with left tackle Jared Veldheer, give Oakland a monstrous pair of bookend tackles.

What are the risks? Fisher comes from a small school and there is concern that NFL defensive ends could be too strong for him.

How he could be the choice: If the Raiders are bent on working on the offensive line, he could be the pick.

Floyd
SHARRIF FLOYD, DEFENSIVE TACKLE, FLORIDA

Why is he a top prospect? Great athlete. He has all the tools. Scouts think he can be a dominant player.

How would he help? He would slide right into the middle of Oakland’s defensive line and become an anchor on a unit that is being rebuilt.

What are the risks? His game film didn’t always live up to the billing. He might look better than he plays.

How he could be the choice: If the Raiders believe his ability is too much to pass up, and if he gets past the first two picks, I think Floyd can easily be the choice.

Joeckel
LUKE JOECKEL, LEFT TACKLE, TEXAS A&M

Why is he a top prospect? Ideal NFL left tackle. Hard worker, wants to be great.

How would he help? See Fisher.

What are the risks? Some worry that he might not be stout or mean enough to be a great NFL player.

How he could be the choice: Many think Joeckel is the best player available. If the Raiders agree and think he is too good to pass up at No. 3, he could be the choice.

Jones
JARVIS JONES, OUTSIDE LINEBACKER, GEORGIA

Why is he a top prospect? Many people think he is the most productive and dynamic pass-rusher available.

How would he help? The Raiders are begging for a pass-rusher. They badly need one.

What are the risks? There are medical concerns (Jones has suffered from a narrowing of the spine), and he doesn’t have ideal speed.

How he could be the choice: He will probably drop, so he could be an ideal choice if Oakland trades down.

Jordan
DION JORDAN, OUTSIDE LINEBACKER, OREGON

Why is he a top prospect? Great size and work ethic. Teams think he has a huge ceiling.

How would he help? Oakland needs great defensive players. Jordan could be one of the best players on this defense when he steps onto the field.

What are the risks? He might never reach his ceiling.

How he could be the choice: He is like Ansah -- a draft riser. But will he go as high as the third pick?

Lotulelei
STAR LOTULELEI, DEFENSIVE TACKLE, UTAH

Why is he a top prospect? Great numbers across the board and he produces on the field. Very disruptive.

How would he help? Like Floyd, he’d fill a huge void on a rebuilding defense.

What are the risks? Medical evaluations at the combine discovered a heart issue, but Lotulelei has since been cleared. Still, teams will worry about his long-term health.

How he could be the choice: If Oakland feels good about his health and thinks Lotulelei is a better fit than Floyd, he could be the pick.

Milliner
DEE MILLINER, CORNERBACK, ALABAMA

Why is he a top prospect? Many scouts think he is the best cornerback available. He has great speed.

How would he help? The Raiders are desperate for help at cornerback and Milliner could be a long-term solution.

What are the risks? Some scouts think that Milliner is not worth the No. 3 pick and that he might never become a great player.

How he could be the choice: If the Raiders believe they must get a young player at this pivotal spot, they could look to Milliner.

Mingo
BARKEVIOUS MINGO, DEFENSIVE END, LSU

Why is he a top prospect? Classic pass-rusher. Long body, great athlete.

How would he help? Again, this team needs an impact pass-rusher.

What are the risks? He is raw and there is concern his great ability won’t translate to the NFL game.

How he could be the choice: If the Raiders believe Mingo has greater upside than most of the players on this board, I can see the fit. But right now, taking him with the No. 3 pick might be high.

Smith
GENO SMITH, QUARTERBACK, WEST VIRGINIA

Why is he a top prospect? He is the best quarterback available in a weak class. He has a good skill set.

How would he help? If Carson Palmer is cut and if the Raiders don’t trade for Matt Flynn and if they don't believe Terrelle Pryor is a long-term answer.

What are the risks? Scouts worry he will never be exceptional. There are a lot of question marks.

How he could be the choice: If the Raiders fall in love, Smith will be a Raider. There is no more important position on the field -- even if it means Oakland takes Smith instead of filling other needs.
Andy Reid said he will do his due diligence before deciding on the No. 1 pick in the draft and he is doing it.

NFL Network reports the team will bring West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith and Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner in for visits. They went to the campuses of several other top prospects. None of this is a surprise. Reid said he would look at right to 10 prospects and Smith would be one of them.

The Smith visit will spark speculation that he is a favorite to be the No. 1 pick. The NFL Network report states Kansas City scouts are fascinated by him and think he can be a bigger Donovan McNabb. He, of course, was the No. 2 overall draft choice in Philadelphia in 1999. It was Reid’s first season there.

I don’t think the Chiefs are close to figuring out what they want to do. If Smith blows them away, he could be the pick. But right now I wouldn’t say he is the favorite. I still think it is Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel.

If Geno Smith was the choice, I wouldn’t have a big problem with it because the Chiefs don’t have huge pressing needs. So if they think they can get a great player, they should take it. Alex Smith was traded for to be the immediate starter and I think he will still be even if Geno Smith is taken. But Geno Smith could be stashed away. Remember, Kansas City general manager John Dorsey comes from Green Bay where that approach worked with Aaron Rodgers behind Brett Favre.

Still, I think Geno Smith would have to completely blow away the Chiefs for him to be the choice. Also, the team is interested in trading the pick. Talking up Geno Smith could be a way of drumming up interest.

In other AFC West news:

Former Oakland defensive back Michael Huff has agreed to a deal with the Baltimore Ravens. He replaces star safety Ed Reed. Huff is the second AFC West player the Ravens signed to rebuild their defense. Elvis Dumervil was signed earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, the Denver Post explains that Dumervil took less guaranteed money from the Ravens than what the Broncos were offering.
Mike Jenkins is a player in need of a fresh start and perhaps he will be provided one in Oakland.

ESPN Dallas reports that the Oakland Raiders have interest in the cornerback from Dallas. Jenkins, a first-round draft pick in 2008, fell out of favor in Dallas and he played little last season. Still, Jenkins, 28, may benefit from a change of scenery.

There’s little doubt he’d be Oakland’s best cornerback if signed. The cornerback market has dried up and Jenkins has garnered little interest. Perhaps teams are scared off by his lost playing time in Dallas.

The Raiders have two openings at the position, but they have not addressed the position since free agency began. Oakland has signed six players from other teams -- three linebackers and three defensive linemen. The Raiders have hosted Cincinnati’s Terence Newman. He is reportedly deciding between the Bengals and the Raiders. Oakland also could draft Alabama’s Dee Milliner with the No. 3 overall pick.

In other AFC West news:

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Ropati Pitoitua has reportedly visited the Jets and the Titans.

AFC West mock draft: Take IV

March, 21, 2013
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With the first phase of free agency over, here is my fourth mock draft for AFC West teams' first-round picks. We will periodically update as we move closer to the April draft.

1. Kansas City Chiefs: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M. It still looks like Joeckel is going to be the pick, even if he has to play right tackle for the time being. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Chiefs seriously consider Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei now that he is healthy. But for now, we’re sticking with Joeckel.

Previous pick: Joeckel

3. Oakland Raiders: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida. Yes, Oakland has signed two defensive tackles in Pat Sims and Vance Walker. But they combined for 10 starts last season. There is room for Floyd. I am tempted to go with Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner because of the lack of cornerbacks in Oakland, but we’re sticking with Floyd for the moment. He is a more highly rated player.

Previous pick: Floyd

11. San Diego Chargers: OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma. At this point, the Chargers better hope Johnson is still on the board. He should be, but there aren’t many other great left tackle options for this team and for Philip Rivers’ blind side.

Previous pick: Johnson.

28. Denver Broncos: RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama. The Broncos don’t have many holes and they were productive in free agency. Adding a player like Lacy would add another dimension to a strong offense.

Previous pick: LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame.
The once-stout cornerback market is beginning to dry up.

The Oakland Raiders have two openings at the position, but they have not addressed the position since free agency began. Oakland has signed six players from other teams -- three linebackers and three defensive linemen.

The Raiders have hosted Cincinnati’s Terence Newman. He is reportedly deciding between the Bengals and the Raiders.

There are some good players still on the market, but things are slowing down. Among the best cornerbacks available are Brent Grimes, Mike Jenkins, former Raiders Nnamdi Asomugha and DeAngelo Hall, Antoine Winfield, and San Diego’s Quentin Jammer. At this point, all of those players will likely be fairly affordable.

Oakland also could draft Alabama’s Dee Milliner with the No. 3 overall pick.

But I’m sure the Raiders will want to grab at least one cornerback in this year’s solid free-agent class. The three other AFC West teams have each added a highly regarded corner -- Denver signed Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Kansas City signed Sean Smith and San Diego inked Derek Cox.

Chargers spend to answer CB need

March, 14, 2013
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The San Diego Chargers have made their biggest splash in free agency thus far.

Cox
Late Wednesday night, San Diego agreed on a deal with former Jacksonville cornerback Derek Cox. Cox is considered a solid corner, although he has had some injury issues.

Cox will likely be the Chargers’ No. 1 cornerback -- unless they make another signing or draft someone such as Alabama’s Dee Milliner with the No. 11 overall pick in April. Milliner, though, is expected to be gone by then.

The Chargers’ two starting cornerbacks, Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer, are free agents and not expected back. The team still could be in the market for another cornerback in free agency, but it probably won’t be one as pricey as Cox.

Cox, 26, signed a four-year, $20 million deal -- which qualifies as a pretty big payday thus far from the Chargers, who have been riding under the radar, getting solid but cheaper players. I expect that to continue as San Diego adds to the offensive line and secondary.

But the Cox signing shows how much the team wanted him.

In other AFC West notes:

The word is the Kansas City Chiefs are still considering adding a cornerback in some form.

The New York Jets are reportedly meeting with San Diego pass-rusher Antwan Barnes on Thursday.
A look at some of the storylines that stood out most in the first day of free agency Tuesday:

Where’s the defense in Oakland? As of now, the Oakland Raiders have just three set starters on defense -- lineman Lamarr Houston, linebacker Miles Burris and safety Tyvon Branch. That’s scary. Yes, Oakland will add players and will field a defense, but that fact shows you how much work needs to be done.

Where’s the offensive line in San Diego? The San Diego Chargers’ offensive line is in just as bad a shape as Oakland’s defense. The team’s best offensive lineman, guard Louis Vasquez, defected to the Denver Broncos on Tuesday. The Chargers might need to find starters everywhere on the line but center. They have to get to work, although new signee King Dunlap could be in the mix somewhere.

Another "dream team" for Reid? The Chiefs have been wildly busy all offseason. Some detractors are saying new Kansas City coach Andy Reid is taking the same “dream team” approach his Eagles took two years ago when they stockpiled many big-name free agents. It didn’t work. This is a much different approach. The Chiefs had to keep their top free agents, had to get a quarterback in Alex Smith and have added some key rotational players in free agency. There isn’t a ton of flash here. A solid roster is being built.

Vasquez's signing is big for Denver: Thus far, the Vasquez signing in Denver was the best work we've seen in the AFC West since the opening of free agency. He toughens the offensive line in Denver and makes it better. Vasquez and tackle Orlando Franklin on the right side are going to be a load in the running game. Plus, the signing hurt a division rival. Very solid move.

Lack of first-round impact hurts Oakland: The Raiders cut a pair of former first-round picks, safety Michael Huff (2006) and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (2009), on Tuesday; linebacker Rolando McClain (2010) is expected to be cut soon. That would leave just running back Darren McFadden (2008) and kicker Sebastian Janikowski (2000) as the only Raiders first-round picks on the roster. That is not the way to build a team. The Raiders have the No. 3 pick in April's draft. They must get this one correct. Right now, I’d say the top options there are either Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd or Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner.

Busy Chiefs add Dunta Robinson

March, 9, 2013
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Leave it to the Kansas City Chiefs to shake it up once again.

Robinson
On a night the NFL sent a memo to teams saying that premature agreements with pending free agents will be frowned upon until Tuesday, the busy Chiefs kept things interesting by making some news.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Chiefs have come to terms with Dunta Robinson on a three-year deal. Robinson, recently cut by the Falcons, was once considered a top cornerback. He never lived up to the huge contract the Falcons gave him, but he wasn’t terrible, either. He could thrive being the No. 2 cornerback in Kansas City. Robinson was free to agree to a deal because he was released and was not technically an unrestricted free agent.

There has been some early thought that Robinson, who turns 31 next month, can play nickel or even help at safety for the Chiefs. If that is the case, the Chiefs could still look at Alabama corner Dee Milliner with the No. 1 pick. A trio of Brandon Flowers, Robinson and Milliner would be stellar. Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. likes the signing.

“He is pretty aggressive in all facets of playing the position -- which can be good and bad,” Williamson said of Robinson. “It can get him into trouble and he, in turn, can have some coverage lapses. Even though he never lived up to the contract he signed in Atlanta, I would still say he is a starting-caliber cornerback as a No. 2.”

Even as a starter, Robinson often plays the nickel spot in those situations.

And the Chiefs might not be out of the cornerback market. The NFL Network reports that the team has made contact with representatives of Miami’s Sean Smith. That move had been expected. Smith would start in Kansas City if signed, and the signing would give the Chiefs a powerhouse cornerback group.

The agreement with Robinson continues a busy stretch for the Chiefs, who have been by far the most active team in the NFL in the past 10 days. Along with Robinson, the Chiefs have agreed to trade for quarterback Alex Smith, signed standouts Dwayne Bowe and Dustin Colquitt to extensions, put the franchise tag on Branden Albert, reworked the contract of Tyson Jackson and cut tackle Eric Winston.

The Chiefs also have the top pick in April's draft. While Milliner could remain on the table depending on Robinson’s duties, the team might be leaning toward taking Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel, with a plan for him to play right tackle for now, depending on Albert’s future.

Still, as the Robinson signing shows, the Chiefs can’t be expected to quiet down as they begin the Andy Reid era. Everything seems to be possible.

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