As he was making preparations for the No. 12 pick in this weekend's draft, Ted Sundquist knew the dynamics of the AFC West, a former power division, were changing. Oakland has the No. 4 pick and Kansas City has the No. 5 pick.
"Two teams in the same division with top-5 picks is fairly unusual, especially in the AFC West," Sundquist said. "These are two teams with maximum leverage and they are two teams that will be able to draft impact players."
With his unique perspective, Sundquist sizes up the first-round priorities for
every AFC West team.
Oakland, No. 4 pick: "Oakland took care of a lot of its needs in free agency. The Raiders have needs on both lines, but you got to remember in Oakland, Al Davis is making the call and taking account of that, you know he may be leaning toward [Arkansas running back] Darren McFadden. Al loves that speed. The running back may be difficult for the Raiders to pass up."
Kansas City, No. 5 pick: "This is an interesting pick. What the Chiefs have had to do is to make a long-term evaluation of whether Brodie Croyle is their answer at quarterback. If not, they will have to hope [Boston College's] Matt Ryan is available and take a long, hard look at him. If Ryan is gone and so is [Michiga] left tackle] Jake Long, which he should be, the Chiefs may have to look at the defensive line and hope a Glenn Dorsey, Chris Long or Sedrick Ellis is available. One of those five players will be there and that's where the Chiefs may have to go."
Denver, No. 12 pick: "The Broncos aren't used to picking so high, so it will be interesting to see where they go. There is need at defensive tackle there, but Dorsey and Ellis should be gone and there is a need at safety. But do you take a Kenny Phillips at No. 12? I'm not sure. They could go to the running back where a guy like Jonathan Stewart could be intriguing."
San Diego, No. 27 pick: "You look at this roster and it is a pretty good football team. They are a little thin at safety and they could probably use another offensive tackle and maybe a young running back. But there are no great needs. With no picks in the second, third and fourth rounds, the priority there could be to trade out of the first round and try to get a couple of picks in the second round."
-- Bill Williamson