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Top post-draft needs: AFC West

Pressing remaining needs for the Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers

Originally Published: May 8, 2012
By Tom Gower | Football Outsiders

This is the second part of an eight-part series in which Football Outsiders looks at the biggest post-draft needs for every NFL team. This week will consist of the AFC teams, by division, while next week will focus on the NFC.

Today, Outsiders looks at the AFC West.


Denver Broncos: Linebacker

Since the pre-free-agency installment of this series, the Broncos signed Peyton Manning, drastically resetting their short-term expectations. In that installment, we highlighted the need for youth and quality at cornerback and safety. Since then, they've added Tracy Porter to play cornerback opposite Champ Bailey, as well as Mike Adams, a competent starting safety. Porter and Adams should be upgrades on the unsigned Andre' Goodman and the now-retired Brian Dawkins, respectively.

The Broncos' 24th-ranked pass defense's biggest problem, though, was against running backs: They allowed a 26.4 percent DVOA on passes to running backs, which placed them 30th in the NFL. (DVOA is Football Outsiders' defense-adjusted value over average metric, explained here.) It wasn't just against the pass where the linebackers seemed to struggle, though, as the Broncos were 25th in the league in our second level yards statistic, which measures how many opponent runs gain 5-10 yards.

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