As we close in on the 2013 NFL Draft (April 25-27 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City), our analysts examine each team's biggest needs. Marc Sessler previews the AFC West below, but click here for other divisions.
2013 draft picks: 28 (1st round), 58 (2nd), 90 (3rd), 125 (4th), 161 (5th), 234 (7th).
Biggest area of need: Defensive line.
Other spots to address: Running back, middle linebacker, defensive back.
Prospects who fit: Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, DE, Florida State; Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina; John Jenkins, NT, Georgia; Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama; Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri; Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington; Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State.
The Broncos aren't hurting on paper, but defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio's 4-3 scheme could use a little help up front. Don't let the Terrance Knighton signing fool you; "Pot Roast" is uneven at best, and Denver is still in need of big-bodied tackles. Missouri's Sheldon Richardson is bound to be long gone by the time the Broncos pick at No. 28, but North Carolina's Sylvester Williams is a fit. Florida State's Bjoern Werner would be intriguing at end.
Using a high pick on a running back would be an unpopular choice, but the Broncos have a genuine need. Only Willis McGahee and Ronnie Hillman are under contract after next season, and McGahee is a candidate for release. How about lining up Alabama's Eddie Lacy behind Peyton Manning? John Elway -- more than anyone -- knows what a game-changing runner can do for one's late-career Super Bowl aspirations.
Kansas City Chiefs
2013 draft picks: 1 (1st), 63 (3rd), 96 (3rd), 99 (4th), 134 (5th), 170 (6th), 204 (6th), 207 (7th).
Biggest area of need: Left tackle.
Other spots to address: Defensive tackle, free safety, inside linebacker, defensive end.
Prospects who fit: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M; Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan; Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah; Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida; John Cyprien, FS, Florida International; Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU.
Chiefs fans have a right to whine about the franchise's star-crossed timing.
One year ago, Kansas City at No. 1 would have had its pick of Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. Instead, the Chiefs appear destined for Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel or Central Michigan bookend Eric Fisher.
Not as sexy a destiny, but we know what Alex Smith is capable of when he's well-protected. The Chiefs might also be in the market for another tackle post-draft if the disgruntled Branden Albert is shopped.
On defense, coach Andy Reid shored up his paper-thin cornerback group by adding free agents Sean Smith and Dunta Robinson. The team still needs a more reliable free safety than Kendrick Lewis across from Eric Berry. At linebacker, the death of Jovan Belcher leaves this group with a need on the inside.
Back to quarterback for a minute: Despite the presence of Smith and Chase Daniel, Reid is going to draft a passer. Bank on it. Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Tennessee's Tyler Bray and Arizona's Matt Scott make up a trio of targets who might be available in the later rounds.
2013 draft picks: 3 (1st), 66 (3rd), 100 (4th), 172 (6th), 176 (6th), 205 (6th), 209 (7th).
Biggest area of need: Defensive tackle.
Other spots to address: Linebacker, cornerback, right tackle, safety, tight end, quarterback.
Prospects who fit: Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah; Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida; Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia; Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State; Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU; Jordan Reed, TE, Florida; Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington; Eric Reid, S, LSU; Kiko Alonso, ILB, Oregon.
If general manager Reggie McKenzie had his way, the Raiders would trade out of No. 3 in a hurry. That won't be easy.
If they keep the pick, addressing departures on the defensive line is a must. Richard Seymour, Desmond Bryant and Tommy Kelly have been replaced by Vance Walker, Jason Hunter and Pat Sims. That's uninspiring business. Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd makes plenty of sense at the third overall spot.
The addition of Matt Flynn tempers the need at quarterback; still, look for the Raiders to grab a signal-caller sooner rather than later. With Geno Smith projected by some to go to the Jaguars at No. 2, Oakland might seek out a passer in the third round.
The Raiders are a train wreck on paper. Critics are descending on McKenzie, but we shouldn't forget that he inherited a steaming mess. It's going to take time to dig Oakland out from under.
San Diego Chargers
2013 draft picks: 11 (1st), 45 (2nd), 76 (3rd), 110 (4th), 145 (5th), 179 (6th), 221 (7th).
Biggest area of need: Left tackle.
Other spots to address: Interior offensive line, nose tackle, defensive back, receiver.
Prospects who fit: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma; Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama; David Amerson, CB, N.C. State; Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah; Kenny Vaccaro, SS, Texas.
It's a new day in San Diego, with coach Mike McCoy inheriting the mess left behind by Norv Turner and A.J. Smith. McCoy made a playoff quarterback out of Tim Tebow in Denver before overseeing Peyton Manning's comeback campaign of 2012. For his next trick, McCoy will attempt to resurrect the career of Philip Rivers. That won't be easy.
Not, that is, until the Chargers form a shield of protection around Rivers, whose 47 turnovers and 79 sacks over the past two seasons can be linked directly to a wasteland of under-performing behemoths up front. General manager Tom Telesco's first draft will be judged by his ability to solve that problem.
If the Chargers are in the mood to surprise us, they could bypass a lineman for a nose tackle, perhaps Utah's Star Lotulelei. With only Cam Thomas on the roster at nose, taking a big man in the middle would fill an obvious need. The team also could use help at safety and cornerback after struggling in pass coverage a year ago. Free-agent addition Derek Cox and youngster Marcus Gilchrist aren't enough at corner; beyond the hyper-talented Eric Weddle, this secondary has issues. Kenny Vaccaro out of Texas is a possibility at No. 11, but not if one of the three best tackles is still hanging around.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.