Stats & Info: Cordy Glenn

Defense is key on AFC West draft boards

April, 20, 2012
4/20/12
11:27
AM ET
Stats & Information gets you ready for the NFL Draft at the end of the month with a look at the biggest need for each team. Today, we finish up with the AFC West.

Denver Broncos
Need: Defensive line

Last season, the Broncos switched from a 3-4 defense to 4-3. Denver got just 2.0 sacks from players lining up as an interior defensive lineman, tied for the fewest among teams playing a 4-3.

Making matters worse, Brodrick Bunkley has departed and Ryan McBean is suspended for the first six games of the season.

Kiper’s 1st-Round Prediction: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
McShay’s 1st-Round Prediction: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

Kansas City Chiefs
Need: Interior defense

Chiefs’ nose tackles made little impact last season, registering one sack and three tackles for loss, all by unconditional free agent Kelly Gregg.

The Chiefs allowed seven rushing touchdowns up the middle last season, tied for third-most in the NFL.

ILB Derrick Johnson had 2.0 sacks, five passes defended, two interceptions and nine tackles for loss; ILB partner Jovan Belcher had no sacks, no passes defended, no interceptions and three tackles for loss.

Kiper’s 1st-Round Prediction: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
McShay’s 1st-Round Prediction: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

Oakland Raiders
Need: Defensive back

Raiders’ cornerbacks had 27 pass disruptions or interceptions last season, tied for 21st in the NFL. However, 15 of those plays came from Stanford Routt, who was cut in the offseason.

The Raiders allowed nine more touchdowns than interceptions with five-or-more defensive backs on the field last season, tied for the fifth-worst differential in the league.

Oakland has drafted the fastest 40 time from the combine in each of the last three drafts. In 2008, it drafted the second and fifth fastest. The fastest player at this year’s combine was Josh Robinson, a defensive back from Central Florida.

Kiper’s 1st-Round Prediction: No picks in first two rounds
McShay’s 1st-Round Prediction: No picks in first two rounds

San Diego Chargers
Need: Offensive line

The Chargers used 19 different offensive line combinations last season, tied for fourth-most in the NFL. Their most used line combo played only 353 of 1,047 snaps together.

San Diego averaged 3.9 yards per rush to the right side last season, tied for fifth-worst in the league.

Kiper’s 1st-Round Prediction: Chandler Jones, OLB, Syracuse
McShay’s 1st-Round Prediction: Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia

Digging in to the AFC North draft strategy

April, 12, 2012
4/12/12
11:47
AM ET
Stats & Information gets you ready for the NFL Draft at the end of the month with a look at the biggest need for each team. Today, we switch conferences to the AFC North.

Baltimore Ravens
Need: Secondary

The departure of Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura in the offseason makes finding an heir-apparent to aging safety Ed Reed a priority.

From 2008-2010, the Ravens ranked third among NFL defenses in lowest Total QBR allowed on passes that traveled at least 10 yards downfield. In 2011, the Ravens finished 23rd in the league.

While the Ravens finished second in the NFL with 72 passes defended last season, only 31 percent of those were on attempts thrown at least 10 yards downfield, 27th among NFL defenses.

Baltimore needs a safety to match up in coverage against the evolving NFL tight end. The Ravens allowed 2.4 yards after contact on passes to a tight end last season, ranking 30th in the NFL.

Kiper’s 1st-Round Prediction: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
McShay’s 1st-Round Prediction: Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame

Cincinnati Bengals
Needs: Offensive line, secondary

Drafting a solid guard will complement young quarterback Andy Dalton and new running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The Bengals lost starting guards Mike McGlynn and Nate Livings to free agency in the offseason. Livings was one of two players on offense to play every snap last year.

The Bengals struggled to get any push from interior linemen in the run game last year, averaging only 2.0 yards before initial contact on runs inside the tackles, second-worst in the NFL.

Kiper’s 1st-Round Prediction: David DeCastro, G, Stanford and Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
McShay’s 1st-Round Prediction: David DeCastro, G, Stanford and Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Cleveland Browns
Needs: Wide receiver, running back, offensive line

With Robert Griffin III likely off the board already, the Browns can still bolster their quarterback position by drafting a playmaker at wideout.

Colt McCoy finished right at the NFL average with 5.0 attempts per off-target throw last year -- better than Cam Newton, Matt Schaub and Tom Brady -- but got very little help from receivers on catchable passes.

The Browns were largely ineffective on the ground last year, finishing 31st in the NFL with 3.7 yards per rush. A replacement for Peyton Hillis would help, as would better run blocking up the middle and to the right. The Browns averaged just 3.4 yards when running to the right, worst in the NFL.

Kiper’s 1st-Round Prediction: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama and Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia
McShay’s 1st-Round Prediction: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State and Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

Pittsburgh Steelers
Needs: Linebacker, Defensive Line

With the departure of key defensive players including Chris Hoke, William Gay, Aaron Smith and James Farrior, it’s time for the Steelers to replenish what has been a top defensive unit in football since 2008.

Pittsburgh linebackers tallied 15 tackles for loss in 2011, less than one per game, second-worst among NFL defenses at the linebacker position.

Defensive starters Casey Hampton, Brett Keisel and James Harrison will all be age 34 or older by mid-September.

Kiper’s 1st-Round Prediction: Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama
McShay’s 1st-Round Prediction: Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama

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