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Who's filling in for the top departing free agents

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Broncos', Bengals' free agency needs (1:16)

ESPN NFL senior writer John Clayton breaks down teams with significant free agent questions as the NFL Draft approaches. (1:16)

Less than a week into NFL free agency, more than one-third of unrestricted free agents are off the market.

The pace of signings allowed a few teams to fill their voids quickly. Replacing the top free agents, however, won't be easy. Some teams will have to wait until the draft. Others might have to make trades or hope the price of lower-tier free agents drop.

Here's a look at who's in line to replace some of the the biggest free agents who departed for new teams:

Denver Broncos

Who's leaving: QB Brock Osweiler, DE Malik Jackson and LB Danny Trevathan

General manager John Elway elected not to pay Osweiler $18 million a year to keep the quarterback, but Elway isn't going to rush into a solution. His first move was to trade a conditional seventh-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Mark Sanchez. That trade buys Elway time to make the next move.

The Broncos think San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is worth a fourth-round choice. The 49ers want a second-rounder. Unless the 49ers trade Kaepernick to Cleveland for a third-round pick, Elway can wait until April 1 to see if the 49ers lower the price or decide to keep him and guarantee his $11.9 million salary. In the meantime, he can talk to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers about trading for Mike Glennon or the Cincinnati Bengals for AJ McCarron, but both teams will be reluctant to trade either backup signal-caller without getting a decent draft choice.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is an option, but he could command more than the Broncos are willing to pay. If necessary, Denver could pick up Brian Hoyer for a low draft choice. Another growing option is looking at the draft and seeing if the right quarterback, possibly Paxton Lynch, could fall to them at the bottom of the first round.

There was no way to plan for Jackson's departure. Elway could have gone to $11 million a year, but Jacksonville grabbed him for $15 million, and the ballgame was over. The draft is the best option to replace Jackson. This is the deepest defensive line draft in years. They could find a 3-4 defensive end in the first three rounds. They also have the option of moving Sylvester Williams from nose tackle to defensive end and drafting a nose tackle. Good teams with good players can't keep everyone.

The Broncos are four deep for outside linebackers after restructuring the contract of DeMarcus Ware. They placed the second-round restricted tender on Brandon Marshall with the intent of signing him to a long-term deal. Elway knew Trevathan was good enough to get more than $6 million a year in free agency. They kept Marshall and can use Todd Davis as Trevathan's replacement.

Buffalo Bills

Who's leaving: DE Mario Williams

The Bills knew it was going to be hard to keep Williams, Jerry Hughes, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams on their roster with their salaries. Knowing Williams was more a 4-3 defensive end than a 3-4 linebacker, they let him go. There isn't enough salary cap room to find a replacement, but there are plenty of options in the draft. They could take a chance on Noah Spence of Eastern Kentucky. They could look at Leonard Floyd of Georgia or Shaq Lawson of Clemson, among others. Rex Ryan has a great eye for identifying front-seven defensive players. He will just have to wait until April to find the right solution.

Los Angeles Rams

Who's leaving: CB Janoris Jenkins

Jenkins might have been considered the team's best cornerback, but the Rams elected to put the franchise tag on Trumaine Johnson. The Rams added former Titans starter Coty Sensabaugh on Monday, and he's likely to get the first crack at replacing Jenkins. But two 2014 draft choices also move up the depth chart -- E.J. Gaines, a sixth-rounder who started 15 games in 2014 but missed the 2015 season due to a foot injury, and Lamarcus Joyner, a second-rounder.

Cleveland Browns

Who's leaving: C Alex Mack

The Browns used a first-round pick on Cameron Erving in 2015 as insurance for Mack, who signed a deal with the Falcons. Erving has to take a step forward. Already down five of their six unrestricted free agents, the Browns have several positions to fill. At least they have a replacement for Mack on their roster.

San Diego Chargers

Who's leaving: S Eric Weddle

The signing of veteran Dwight Lowery from the Colts fills the void for Weddle, whom the Chargers knew was going to leave in free agency. Lowery will work with Jahleel Addae as the safeties in the secondary. Addae did a nice job filling in for Weddle when he was injured. The Chargers wanted to add a veteran safety for leadership purposes. They don't really split up the safety position between free and strong safety so Addae and Lowery can work together in variable alignments. Adrian Phillips could also see an increased role.

Cincinnati Bengals

Who's leaving: WRs Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu

The Bengals' situation may turn out OK if the right scenarios happen in the first round of the draft. Receivers aren't expected to in the top 20. It is possible the Bengals could have the option to pick among a receiving group that includes Laquon Treadwell of Ole Miss, Josh Doctson of TCU, Corey Coleman of Baylor and Will Fuller of Notre Dame. They could go for Jeremy Kerley or others in free agency to fill Sanu's spot in the slot.

Kansas City Chiefs

Who's leaving: CB Sean Smith

A free-agent signing three years ago, Smith was the perfect bridge until the Chiefs drafted a No. 1 corner. Last year's first-round selection of Marcus Peters, the defensive rookie of the year, set up the option of letting Smith go in free agency. Phillip Gaines, a third-round pick in 2014 who suffered a torn ACL last season, and Steven Nelson, a third-rounder from 2015, could have the first crack at replacing Smith. Over the past couple of years, the Chiefs went from small cornerbacks to bigger cornerbacks. They have other options on the roster and can also find another corner in the draft.

Chicago Bears

Who's leaving: RB Matt Forte

Jeremy Langford, who rushed for 537 yards in his rookie season, is the starter with Forte leaving for the Jets. Once the season was over, the Bears knew that Forte wasn't going to be re-signed and Langford would be the main replacement. All they have to do now is find another back to share the position with Langford.

Seattle Seahawks

Who's leaving: LB Bruce Irvin

The Seahawks didn't put the fifth-year option on Irvin because they drafted Kevin Pierre-Louis with the idea of using him at strong-side linebacker. Pierre-Louis hasn't stepped up yet to be the main option, so the Seahawks might need at least one more signing to replace Irvin. They need a pass-rusher, and they've looked at bringing back Chris Clemons or O'Brien Schofield. Because Pete Carroll runs a defense that produces a lot of sacks, other veterans will want to come to Seattle. They could also try to find an option in the draft.