AFC West: Alameda Ta'amu

Mel Kiper Jr. takes a difficult tact on his latest mock draft Insider. He assigns players for each round based on the fits he thinks best works and not his usual formula of assigning picks.

Let’s take a look at his choices for the AFC West:

Denver

Rd 1 (25) DT Derek Wolfe

Rd 2 (57) RB LaMichael James

Rd 3 (87) WR T.Y. Hilton

My take: The Wolfe choice is interesting. The Cincinnati product is one of Kiper’s favorite sleepers. He is a productive player. Still, I think Denver could trade down some slots and get him. The James and Hilton choices would add explosion to Peyton Manning’s offense.

Kansas City

Rd 1 (11) DT Dontari Poe

Rd 2 (44) G Amini Silatolu

Rd 3 (74) NT Alameda Ta'amu

My take: Kiper has some beef going to Kansas City. Poe and Ta'amu would be great pieces for Romeo Crennel to play with and Silatolu would bring more youth to the offensive line. It’s an interesting group.

Oakland

Rd 3 (95) OLB Bruce Irvin

My take: The Raiders are in a tough spot. They are challenged to find a player who can make an early impact from the No. 95 spot. The pass-rushing Irvin is probably as safe as any pick this deep in the draft.

San Diego

Rd 1 (18) OLB Chandler Jones

Rd 2 (49) S Brandon Taylor

Rd 3 (78) RB Isaiah Pead

My take: This is probably my favorite grouping of this exercise. I think all three players would address needs and help immediately. This trio would offer big value.
Weekend mail call:

Evan from San Diego wants to know if I think the Chargers could move down from the No. 18 pick in the first round of the draft.

Bill Williamson: Yes, I can see it. I think the Chargers might be able to get a pass-rusher like Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus or Syracuse’s Chandler Jones in the 23-to-28 range and maybe grab another quality pick by trading down, which could help them move up on the second round or even late in the first round to address another need area and take a player like Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith. The Chargers are pretty creative and aggressive on draft day. I could see a move being made.

Dakota from Philadelphia wants to know if I think the Raiders could move up to draft Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick in the first round.

BW: I don’t think the Raiders need to or should move up. They would likely have to give up a future first-round pick to get in the 17-to-20 range to take Kirkpatrick. Oakland must start keeping its picks. I think that will be the plan of the new regime. Yes, Kirkpatrick would help Oakland, but I just don’t think it is feasible.

Nick from Bella Vista, Ark., wants to know if I think the Chiefs could take Washington nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu with the No. 44 pick in the draft.

BW: If the Chiefs don’t take someone such as Dontari Poe or don’t trade down in the first round to take another defensive tackle, I could see it. Boston College inside linebacker Luke Kuechly at No. 11 and Ta'amu in the second round would be terrific additions to an already-strong defense.
Let take a look at some players who could be available in the second round and beyond and might interest teams in the AFC West:

QUARTERBACKS

Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State

Round range: 2

Possible interested teams: Kansas City

Kirk Cousins, Michigan State

Round range: 2

Possible interested teams: Kansas City

Brock Osweiler, Arizona State

Round range: 2-3

Possible interested teams: Kansas City, Denver

Nick Foles, Arizona

Round range: 3-4

Possible interested teams: Denver

RUNNING BACK

Lamar Miller, Miami

Round range: 2

Possible interested teams: Denver

Doug Martin, Boise State

Round range: 2-3

Possible interested teams: Denver

David Wilson, Virginia Tech

Round range: 2

Possible interested teams: Denver

LaMichael James, Oregon

Round range: 3

Possible interested teams: San Diego

Chris Polk, Washington

Round range: 3-4

Possible interested teams: Denver

Robert Turbin, Utah State

Round range: 4-6

Possible interested teams: Oakland

Dan Herron, Ohio State

Round range: 5-6

Possible interested teams: Oakland

WIDE RECEIVER

A.J. Jenkins, Illinois

Round range: 3-5

Possible interested teams: Kansas City

Juron Criner, Arizona

Round range: 3-4

Possible interested teams: Kansas City

Danny Coale, Virginia Tech

Round range: 4-5

Possible interested teams: Denver, Kansas City

Devin Goda, Slippery Rock

Round range: 6-7

Possible interested teams: Oakland

TIGHT ENDS

Michael Egnew, Missouri

Round range: 4-5

Possible interested teams: Oakland, San Diego

Deangelo Peterson, LSU

Round range : 4-5

Possible interested teams: Oakland, San Diego

OFFENSIVE LINE

Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin

Round range: 2

Possible interested teams: Kansas City

Mitchell Schwartz, California

Round range: 3-4

Possible interested teams: Kansas City

Senio Kelemete, Washington

Round range: 3-4

Possible interested teams: San Diego

Steven Baker, East Carolina

Round range: 4-6

Possible interested teams: Oakland

DEFENSIVE LINE

Alameda Ta'amu, Washington

Round range: 2

Possible interested teams: Kansas City, San Diego

Brandon Thompson, Clemson

Round range: 2

Possible interested teams : Denver

Josh Chapman, Alabama

Round range: 3

Possible interested teams: Kansas City, Oakland

Billy Winn, Boise State

Round range: 3-4

Possible interested teams: Oakland, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego

Mike Martin, Michigan

Round range: 3-4

Possible interested teams: Kansas City, San Diego

Drew Nowak, Western Michigan

Round range: 5-7

Possible interested teams: Kansas City

Ronnie Cameron, Old Dominion

Round range: 5-7

Possible interested teams: San Diego

Donavan Robinson, Jackson State

Round range: 5-7

Possible interested teams: San Diego

LINEBACKER

Chandler Jones, Syracuse

Round range: 2-3

Possible interested teams: San Diego

Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma

Round range: 2-3

Possible interested teams: San Diego

Bruce Irvin, West Virginia

Round range: 3-5

Possible interested teams: Kansas City

Nigel Bradham, Florida State

Round range: 3-4

Possible interested teams: Oakland

Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State

Round range: 3-5

Possible interested teams: Denver, Kansas City, Oakland

Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy

Round range: 3-4

Possible interested teams: Oakland, San Diego

Sean Spence, Miami

Round range: 3-4

Possible interested teams: Oakland, San Diego

Sammy Brown, Houston

Round range: 5-7

Possible interested teams: Oakland

Alex Hoffman-Ellis, Washington State

Round range: 5-7

Possible interested teams: Oakland

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Harrison Smith, Notre Dame

Round range: 2

Possible interested teams: San Diego, Kansas City

Trumaine Johnson, Montana

Round range: 2-3

Possible interested teams: Kansas City

Josh Norman, Coastal Carolina

Round range: 3-4

Possible interested teams: Denver, Oakland

George Iloka, Boise State

Round range: 4-5

Possible interested teams: Denver, Kansas City

Asa Jackson, Cal Poly-SLO

Round range: 4-5

Possible interested teams: Oakland

Brandon Taylor, LSU

Round range: 4-5

Possible interested teams: Kansas City

D.J. Campbell, California

Round range: 5-7

Possible interested teams: San Diego

Tavon Wilson, Illinois

Round range: 5-7

Possible interested teams: San Diego
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has offered another mock draft . This time, McShay is going two rounds deep. Let’s take a look at his choices for the AFC West teams:

First round

11. Kansas City: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

My take: I don’t mind this pick at all. He would help this defense and he would shine under Romeo Crennel. Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe is off the board, so this pick makes sense.

18. San Diego: Cordy Glenn, OT/G, Georgia

My take: Illinois pass-rusher Whitney Mercilus needs to be off the board for this to happen. The Chargers badly need a pass-rusher. If David DeCastro is available, I could see the argument to take a guard, but in this instance, Mercilus needs to be the choice.

25. Denver: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

My take: This is a good fit the way this board falls. Brockers has potential. The Broncos, though, would need him to perform right away.

Second round

44. Kansas City: Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin

My take: I don’t mind this pick. The Chiefs could use another youngster along the offensive line.

47. San Diego: Alameda Ta'amu, NT, Washington

My take: Ta’amu has a chance to be a good player, and the Chargers need more help on defense, so I can’t argue with the choice.

55. Denver: David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech

My take: Wilson would be a great value pick at No. 55 and I expect Denver to target a running back with the pick.

Note: Oakland traded its pick in both the first and second rounds.

AFC West team needs

March, 9, 2012
3/09/12
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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.

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