The NFL season has come and gone and it is time to start focusing on the offseason, particularly on free agency and the draft. At Over The Grill, we are going to preview every team in the NFL’s positional needs by going through each division and compile them on our NFL Team Needs page that we can update as teams fill their needs. We have already done the AFC North, AFC East, and AFC South and we will finish the AFC today with the West, a division with three very good teams and one young and rapidly improving team. Before the jump we will look at the Oakland Raiders and then after, we will check out the Chargers, Chiefs, and defending AFC West Champion Denver Broncos. If you want to see how we think the teams can fill their needs, check out our Mock Draft Database and if you want to focus on particular prospects, check out our NFL Scouting Reports page.
Oakland Raiders: Outside Linebacker, Cornerback, Wide Receiver, Running Back, Offensive Guard, Middle Linebacker, Safety
The Raiders have a ton of needs but for the first time in a long time, quarterback is not one of them as rookie Derek Carr showed a ton of promise. However, the Raiders need to improve at a lot of positions. First and foremost, they need to add another linebacker to improve the pass rush from their 4-3 scheme. They also lack a corner who can start across from DJ Hayden. Additionally, they lack playmakers at both running back and receiver and could use a big mauling guard to improve their offense. And then finally, both middle linebacker and free safety could use upgrades as well. For a team on the upswing, this is a critical draft that the Raiders have to get right.
Follow us after the jump for the rest of the division
San Diego Chargers: Nose Tackle, Offensive Tackle, Running Back
The Chargers are not a team with a lot of needs, but the positions they need help at, they have dire needs for. First of all, for a team that plays a 3-4 front, nose tackle is the most important position and the Chargers are in desperate need of finding a quality nose tackle. Then on offense, both tackle positions could be upgraded which would allow right tackle DJ Fluker to shift inside to guard. And finally, they could use a more consistent running back that could stay healthy as Ryan Matthews just has never lived up to his potential.
Kansas City Chiefs: Wide Receiver, Right Tackle, Cornerback, Defensive End, Outside Linebacker
The Chiefs are a talented football team at every position but wide receiver. They managed to go the entire year without throwing a touchdown to a receiver and if they are going to get back to the playoffs, they must give their game manager quarterback some weapons at receiver. They could use upgrades at both starting receiver spots as Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery are just not getting it done. Also, they need a major upgrade at right tackle and left corner. Finally they could use additional depth at defensive end and depending on what happens with their free agent outside linebackers, they could be in the market for an outside linebacker as well.
Denver Broncos: Wide Receiver/Tight End, Defensive Tackle, Inside Linebacker
The WR and TE needs are dependent on how the Broncos handle Demariyus Thomas and Julius Thomas, who are both in option years along with free agent slot wide receiver Wes Welker. Their key needs are on the interior of their defense, where they need to get more physical and talented at both defensive tackle and inside linebacker.