AFC West: Riley Reiff

On the eve of the NFL draft, Mel Kiper Insider and Todd McShay Insider (his is a complete seven-round mock) have offered mock drafts in Insider pieces. Let’s check out their AFC West choices:

No. 11, Kansas City

Kiper pick: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

McShay pick: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

My take: In our bloggers live mock draft Monday, I went with DeCastro. I think the Chiefs will believe he is a safer pick than Poe. He has scared some teams off because of a lack of college production.

No. 18, San Diego

Kiper pick: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

McShay pick: DeCastro

My take: These are two interesting picks. I think, in Kiper’s scenario, Poe may be a more needed pick team Reiff, although Reiff would be a good value pick. I love DeCastro as a choice, but in McShay’s scenario, I might take North Carolina pass-rusher Quinton Coples because of need. Either way, these drafts fall pretty well for San Diego.

No. 25, Denver

Kiper pick: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

McShay pick: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

My take: I think both of these mocks are on par. If Brockers is available, he will likely be the choice. If not, Worthy is a smart pick. Denver would be happy either way.

Oakland traded the No. 17 pick to Cincinnati in a package for quarterback Carson Palmer.

AFC West team needs

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Michael BushKelley L Cox/US PresswireRaiders running back Michael Bush could be a good fit for the rival Broncos.
Offseason movement starts Tuesday, when the free-agent signing period begins. Let’s take a look at the top needs of each team in the AFC West in free agency and in the draft:

Denver Broncos

1. Defensive line: The Broncos could use a stout defensive tackle even if Brodrick Bunkley returns. They need a tone setter. Denver hasn’t taken a defensive tackle in the first round since 1997 when it selected Trevor Pryce. Perhaps this is the time that streak ends.

Possible fits: The Dolphins' Paul Soliai, Memphis’ Dontari Poe, Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox, Michigan State's Jerel Worthy.

2. Secondary: Denver is too old at cornerback and too young at safety, especially with Brian Dawkins likely not returning. I think the Broncos will look to add to their secondary.

Possible fits: The Redskins' LaRon Landry, Boise State’s George Iloka, Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick.

3. Running back: The Broncos want to add a running back to pair with Willis McGahee and will address this need either in free agency or early in the draft.

Possible fits: The Raiders' Michael Bush, the Chargers' Mike Tolbert, University of Miami's Lamar Miller, Virginia Tech's David Wilson, Boise State's Doug Martin.

Scouts Inc. take: "I also think that they need a lot of secondary help overall. I also think they really need a QB, but that is probably a discussion for a different day."
-- Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc.

Kansas City Chiefs

1. Offensive line: The Chiefs need a tackle. If they go for a left tackle, they can move Branden Albert to right tackle or they can get one. They might also be interested in a guard.

Possible fits: The Saints’ Carl Nicks, the Dolphins' Vernon Carey, the Eagles' King Dunlap, Stanford's Jonathan Martin, Iowa's Riley Reiff.

2. Nose tackle: The Chiefs have the makings of a strong defense, but they are missing a nasty nose tackle. They need to find one this offseason.

Possible fits: The Dolphins' Kendall Langford, the Ravens' Cory Redding, Soliai, Cox or Poe

3. Inside linebacker: The Chiefs could use one more standout linebacker to flourish in Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 defense.

Possible fits: Boston College's Luke Kuechly, Alabama's Dont'a Hightower

Scouts Inc. take: "Right tackle is far and away their biggest need. I would say nose tackle is second."
-- Matt Williamson

Oakland Raiders

1. Cornerback: The Raiders currently don’t have any starting-quality cornerbacks on the roster.

Possible fits: The Saints' Tracy Porter, the 49ers' Carlos Rogers, the Cardinals' Richard Marshall, the Jaguars' William Middleton, Vanderbilt's Casey Hayward.

2. Linebacker: I get the sense that the new Oakland regime would like to find at least one new starter. I think they can get a cornerstone linebacker who can set the tone for the defense.

Possible fits: The Vikings' Erin Henderson, the Seahawks' Leroy Hill, the Bengals' Manny Lawson, West Virginia's Bruce Irvin.

3. Offensive line: The Raiders' offensive line is a work in progress and they may be looking for at least one new
starter.

Possible fits: Texans' center Chris Myers, Texans' guard Mike Brisiel, Miami of Ohio's Brandon Brooks.

Scouts Inc. take: "Cornerback is far and away their biggest need. I would put right tackle and interior offensive line second."
-- Matt Williamson.

San Diego Chargers

1. Linebacker: The Chargers desperately need a game-changing linebacker. It will be a top priority in the first round of the draft and in free agency.

Possible fits: The Texans' Mario Williams, Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw, USC's Nick Perry, Illinois' Whitney Mercilus.

2. Defensive line: The Chargers like youngsters Corey Liuget, Vaughn Martin and Cam Thomas, but could use a stud veteran in the middle.

Possible fits: The Seahawks' Red Bryant, Redding, Soliai, Washington’s Alameda Ta'amu.

3. Offensive line: The Chargers may have to make wholesale changes on the line because of Kris Dielman's retirement, and because center Nick Hardwick and left tackle Jared Gaither will be free agents.

Possible fits: Nicks, Carey, Stanford’s Martin, Stanford's David DeCastro, Wisconsin's Peter Konz.

Scouts Inc. take: "To me, the Chargers need a lot. Offensive line is a massive need. Some receivers would be nice if Vincent Jackson leaves. On defense, I think they could use a little something at every level, but their biggest two spots would be at outside linebacker and strong safety."
-- Matt Williamson.

Early draft look: Chiefs

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Now that the Kansas City Chiefs have been eliminated from playoff contention, it’s time to look ahead. Let’s take an early look at the Chiefs’ draft needs:

Likely drafting range: 10-15

Top draft needs: Offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, safety.

Possible first-round picks: Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin, Iowa tackle Riley Reiff, Boston college linebacker Luke Kuechly, Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

Intangibles: Standout receiver Dwayne Bowe and cornerback Brandon Carr are free agents. The Chiefs have been aggressive in re-signing players under general manager Scott Pioli. The fact that these players aren’t signed may be a signal there will be issues. If they do leave, draft needs could change. Still, I doubt either player’s departure would change the Chiefs’ first-round needs. Kansas City drafted Jonathan Baldwin in the first round this year and Carr is the second cornerback. But their departures would add to the Chiefs’ need list.

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