2017 NFL Team Needs: AFC West

The AFC West is the most talented division in the NFL and they aren’t going anywhere — except to Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  The Raiders and Chiefs each finished the 2016 season with 12 wins. The Broncos won the 2015 Super Bowl and the Chargers have an elite quarterback at the helm of their offense.

Below are the expected positional needs the Chargers, Broncos, Raiders, and Chiefs will target in the first round of the draft.

Los Angeles Chargers

2016 season: 5-11 record

Draft order:  6th overall

Glaring need: Wide receiver, Edge rusher

Los Angeles has three options here: reach to fulfill a need, take the best player available, or trade down. I believe their best option is to trade down because their need for a pass catcher or an edge rusher can be achieved later in the first round. By utilizing this strategy, the Chargers can acquire more draft picks to add young and promising talent to their roster.

Denver Broncos

2016 season: 9-7 record

Draft order: 20th overall

Glaring need: Offensive tackle

Denver allowed the ninth-most sacks in the league last season with 40. Whether it’s Paxton Lynch or Trevor Simien that assumes the starting role at quarterback, Elway’s number one priority is to bolster the offensive line to protect the Broncos QB1. Devontae Booker and C.J. Anderson will greatly benefit with the addition of extra manpower on the line as well.

Oakland Raiders

2016 season: 12-4 record

Draft order: 24th overall

Glaring need: Middle linebacker

A downhill linebacker who can flow from sideline-to-sideline and rush the passer will be ideal for Oakland. A leader in the middle of the defense will do wonders for the team’s pass rush, which produced the least amount of sacks in 2016 and their mediocre run defense which also ranked in the bottom half.

Kansas City Chiefs

2016 season: 12-4 record

Draft order: 27th overall

Glaring need: Best player available

Kansas City is not in dire need of targeting a certain position in the first round. Their best bet here is to draft the best player available who can be a catalyst instantly to help their playoff push. They have a talented roster on both sides of the ball, but a small window to chase after that Lombardi trophy.

Author Profile

Hillary Gilbert
Hillary Gilbert
Lead Draft Analyst
Bowling Green State University '18
Aspiring to work in an NFL Front Office (Player Personnel)
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