AFC West: Chiefs eyeing a set of hands

Cris Carter
Yahoo! Sports

Cris Carter's draft analysis:
Overview | AFC: East - North - South - West | NFC: East - North - South - West

Craig James' draft analysis:
Overview - QBs - WRs - More offense - Defense

Editor's note: As part of Yahoo! Sports' coverage of the NFL draft, Cris Carter will break down the needs of each NFL team leading up to draft day.

Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City and its high-powered offense finished 13-3 last season but fell short in the playoffs. The Chiefs need defense, but I think they will wait to address that until after the first round.

When you look at the collection of receivers in this draft, Kansas City knows that this is the year to pick a wideout. This year's group is a lot better than the class coming out next year.

There is a slight possibility that Michael Clayton from LSU will be available when the Chiefs draft at No. 30 in the first round. Clayton is gifted athletically and has good size and decent speed.

Also, the Chiefs may look at Michael Jenkins from Ohio State. He could turn out to be a good pro like some other wideouts from Ohio State in the past.

On defense, teams always can use help rushing the passer and covering guys. Kansas City is no different. After the Chiefs address the wide receiver position, they will look at players that can put pressure on the quarterback and at good cover guys.

Dick Vermeil went after a couple of cornerbacks during the free agency period including Troy Vincent, but the Chiefs didn't land one. Vermeil will try to address this need in the second or third round.

Denver Broncos
The Broncos finished last season 10-6, but they have the No. 17 pick in the first round after trading Deltha O'Neal to Cincinnati. Earlier, Denver dealt Clinton Portis for Champ Bailey.

After adding Bailey to its defensive backfield, I think Denver is going to surprise a lot of people and think offense first. The Broncos have two strong needs on that side of the ball.

For one, after losing Portis, the Broncos need a marquee running back. To get a young running back in this position might be difficult. This is not a great draft for running backs and for Denver to get an impact ball carrier, they again may have to trade up. This wouldn't surprise me at all.

Also, the Broncos are looking for a replacement for Shannon Sharpe at tight end. There should be a couple of good prospects available, and if not, Denver may trade up to fill that void.

After taking care of offense, Denver will try to boost its defense with another cornerback and linebacker. Last year injuries left the Broncos thin at linebacker. They have a great group now, but they need one more guy.

Oakland Raiders
After a 4-12 season and a busy offseason, the Raiders sit at No. 2 in this year's draft.

Al Davis and Oakland addressed some key needs through free agency. With the additions of Ted Washington and Warren Sapp, Oakland now is very strong up the middle on defense. Also, the Raiders made a good signing with cornerback Ray Buchanan. He also can play safety.

But after a down year, Oakland has a number of needs. The Raiders failed to address linebacker. They lack speed and depth in that position.

But the Raiders should look toward getting younger on offense in the draft with a tackle and wide receiver. On top of that, Oakland also could use another running back.

I expect the Raiders to address wide receiver immediately in this draft. But I wouldn't be surprised if they traded down because the receiver class is so good.

If they stay in the No. 2 spot, I look for them to surprise other teams and go with Roy Williams instead of Larry Fitzgerald. Al Davis loves speed and Williams provides a little more speed than Fitzgerald.

San Diego Chargers
The good news is that the Chargers are sitting on the No. 1 pick in the draft. The bad news is that they need more than one player to fill multiple holes on their roster.

San Diego doesn't see Drew Brees as its quarterback of the future. If I were coach Marty Schottenheimer, I would try to trade the top pick to the New York Giants. There are three quarterbacks in this draft that I think will become quality pros and start in this league for the next 10 years.

Also, drafting a quarterback at the top spot is not going to take San Diego over the hump. The Chargers should shoot for additional picks and use those to improve on defense.

San Diego has a young group of good receivers and a great running back and now needs a lineman to open up some holes offensively. The Chargers should go for a quarterback and an offensive lineman.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Chargers always have been hurting in the secondary. Outside of Quentin Jammer, San Diego doesn't have anyone else able to cover a top receiver. The Chargers must get him some help.

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