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2015 NFL DRAFT

Assessing the needs of all 32 NFL teams by division

by | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
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NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

1. Cornerback: The Cowboys must address the secondary. It was the worst statistically in team history last year. The best player on the board when the Cowboys pick ninth could be cornerback Prince Amukamara and there's no such thing as too many corners -- especially with an aging Terence Newman seemingly at the end of his career. The Cowboys don't want to pay him $9 million next season and he could be cut if the Cowboys find a suitable replacement.

2. Offensive line: The Cowboys must get younger up front. Age and injuries decimated the line last season. The Cowboys need help at guard and tackle with the right side of tackle Marc Colombo and guard Leonard Davis on the possible chopping block.

The Cowboys must address the secondary, and the best player on the board when they pick ninth could be corner Prince Amukamara. (Getty Images)  
The Cowboys must address the secondary, and the best player on the board when they pick ninth could be corner Prince Amukamara. (Getty Images)  
3. Safety: The Cowboys are letting their best safety, Gerald Sensabaugh, test the free-agent market as they didn't even try to re-sign him. That's because calling him the best was like saying he was the tallest midget. The Cowboys could have two new starting safeties next season via the draft and free agency.

New York Giants

1. Center: With starter Shaun O'Hara (ankle and Achilles), and backups Rich Seubert (knee) and Adam Koets (knee) rehabbing from injuries, head coach Tom Coughlin confirmed this position as being on the radar. It just depends on what round they believe it is worth addressing.

2. Linebacker: Keith Bulluck is not expected to re-sign. Meanwhile Michael Boley and Jonathan Goff didn't make enough game-changing plays.

3. Cornerback: If general manager Jerry Reese wants to cut down on the number of big plays given up by the back end of the defense last year, another quality cover corner would seem to be a priority.

Philadelphia Eagles

1. Cornerback: The Eagles have Pro Bowler Asante Samuel on one side, but the other side is a major question mark. Ellis Hobbs suffered a neck injury and probably won't be back. Rookie Trevard Lindley saw only limited action. Dimitri Patterson ended up starting nine games, but he's better suited for a backup role.

2. Offensive line: The right side of the line, which in the case of lefthanded Michael Vick is his blind side, didn't play well last year. The Eagles need to upgrade both right guard and right tackle. The return of center Jamaal Jackson (torn triceps) may allow them to move Mike McGlynn over to guard, but they still need somebody better at right tackle than Winston Justice.

3. Defensive end: The Eagles had just 15 sacks in their last eight games last season. Trent Cole and Juqua Parker both wore down in the second half of the season. Rookie Brandon Graham tore his ACL late in the season and probably can't be counted on until at least mid-season.

Washington Redskins

1. Quarterback: Donovan McNabb had the worst season of his 11 as a starter during his Washington debut and won't be back. Journeyman Rex Grossman, who finished 2010 as the starter, would be a caretaker until a draft pick is ready to play, but he's unsigned. That leaves John Beck, who hasn't thrown a pass since 2007, as the likely No. 1 as of now.

2. Nose tackle: Coordinator Jim Haslett says the nose is the key to his 3-4 defense. Albert Haynesworth refused to play the position. Ma'ake Kemoeatu was a bust coming off an Achilles injury and, like Haynesworth, will almost certainly not be back. Late-season starter Anthony Bryant might get a shot, but Washington needs a force here.

3. Pass rusher: The now-departed Andre Carter's failed transition from defensive end to linebacker left Brian Orakpo constantly double-teamed last year. Orakpo was the only Redskin with more than 2.5 sacks. Washington needs someone else to generate pressure.

NFC North

Chicago Bears

1. Offensive line: Center Olin Kreutz will be 34 in June and right guard Roberto Garza will be 32 later this month. Left guard Chris Williams was supposed to be the left tackle of the future. J'Marcus Webb started 12 games as a rookie at right tackle. Left tackle Frank Omiyale showed improvement over the course of the season, but he may not be the long-term answer.

2. Defensive tackle: Nose tackle Anthony Adams is unrestricted, and 3-technique Tommie Harris was terminated after failing to live up to his $40 million extension in 2008. Marcus Harrison has been a career underachiever. Solid, blue-collar worker Matt Toeaina can play nose or 3-technique, where he started 10 games last season, but he might be just a placeholder.

3. Wide receiver: There is some big-play ability here, especially with Johnny Knox and Devin Hester, and Earl Bennett is a solid and reliable possession guy. But there is a need for a big, physical player who can win jump balls.

Detroit Lions

1. Outside linebacker: GM Martin Mayhew said he viewed both Bobby Carpenter and Ashlee Palmer as candidates to start at outside linebacker next season. But if camp opened today, they would be competing against themselves. The Lions need to restock the position. There is an outside chance that the Lions could seek a starting middle linebacker either in the draft or through free agency and move starting middle linebacker DeAndre Levy to the outside, which is his natural position.

2. Cornerback: The Lions tendered free-agent cornerback Chris Houston, but he still wants to pursue free agency. The Lions have several promising young cornerbacks on the roster -- Alphonso Smith, Aaron Berry, Brandon McDonald, Tye Hill and Prince Miller -- but as Mayhew said, "All those guys have talent, all have upside and potential, but not many have performed at a high level in games."

3. Wide receiver: The Lions will be looking to add depth in the fourth or fifth rounds at this spot. The third-receiver spot was a major disappointment last season.

Green Bay Packers

1. Defensive end: Versatile, productive, but injury-prone veteran Cullen Jenkins is on his way out as a free agent. Coupled with having aging Ryan Pickett at the other starting spot, the Packers will look to the draft for reinforcements as they hold out hope that talented Mike Neal, a second-round pick last year, and even Justin Harrell, their 2007 first-round bust, can return from season-ending injuries.

2. Offensive tackle: This could be the position general manager Ted Thompson targets in the first round for the second straight year. Iowa's Bryan Bulaga, who was pegged as the eventual successor to left tackle Chad Clifton, wound up replacing an injured Mark Tauscher at right tackle. Having two starting tackles of the future, if not the present, in hand is a must.

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3. Running back: Ryan Grant and James Starks give Green Bay potentially a dynamic 1-2 punch in the backfield. However, there's no telling what kind of player Grant will be after he missed all but one game last season because of an ankle injury and whether Starks is the real deal following his breakout performance in the playoffs as a rookie. Plus, Brandon Jackson could leave as a free agent.

Minnesota Vikings

1. Quarterback: Brett Favre and Tavares Jackson are expected to be gone and while Joe Webb showed flashes during his two starts at the end of the season, this is a position at which the Vikings need a long-term solution. There is a chance the Vikings could look to draft a quarterback and then sign a veteran free agent.

2. Defensive end: Starting left end Ray Edwards and his backup, Brian Robison, could hit free agency depending on what happens with the new CBA. That would leave the Vikings with second-year player Everson Griffen, who has had some off-the-field troubles this winter. A first-round pick could step in as a starter.

3. Safety: Madieu Williams hasn't lived up to expectations since signing a big free-agent contract in 2008. Husain Abdullah beat out 2008 second-round pick Tyrell Johnson and 2009 seventh-round pick Jamarca Sanford for the other starting job last season. There could be a move to upgrade here.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

1. Defensive end: The Falcons are not ready to give up on Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury, two young and developing players, but desperately want to improve their pass rush. They have not found someone to rush opposite of John Abraham, who is getting long in the tooth. This is considered a strong draft for the defensive end position.

2. Offensive tackle: Starting guards Justin Blalock and Harvey Dahl are free agents, but Joe Hawley and Mike Johnson were drafted last season. They appear ready to part with right tackle Tyson Clabo, who went to the Pro Bowl. They elected not to put a franchise or transition tag on him, which signals that they don't believe he was worth a $10 million-a-year deal. Garrett Reynolds was selected in the 2009 draft and may be ready for his shot to start.

3. Weak-side linebacker: Mike Peterson played on run downs last season and came out in the nickel package. The team wants to bring him back, but will need to select someone who could take over in the future. Peterson turns 35 in June.

Carolina Panthers

1. Quarterback: The Panthers had the worst passing game in the league last year and there are some in the organization who don't believe Jimmy Clausen is the answer. The Panthers could address this need with the first pick with Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert or look to trade for an existing quarterback. On the free-agent side, Chargers backup Billy Volek is an option given his familiarity with the new coaching staff and the offensive system.

2. Defensive tackle: The Panthers were forced to start two role players in Derek Landri and Nick Hayden last year and haven't had a star defensive tackle since they traded Kris Jenkins to the Jets. This is a pressing need, one that could be addressed if they take Nick Fairley.

3. Cornerback: The Panthers aren't likely to re-sign Richard Marshall, even though they did offer him a tender as a restricted free agent. This opens the door to the possibility the Panthers could take Louisiana State cornerback Patrick Peterson.

New Orleans Saints

1. Defensive end: Right end Will Smith remains their best pass rusher, but he had just 5.5 sacks in 2010. Left end Alex Brown, who is known more as a run stopper, had just two sacks. So beefing up this area could be a priority in the draft as well as free agency.

2. Linebacker: Veteran Scott Shanle is a versatile player who's been used at strong and weak, but he could be an unrestricted free agent. And after losing Scott Fujita a year ago, the Saints could look for a playmaker to go with Jonathan Vilma in the middle.

3. Running back: Even if the Saints bring Reggie Bush back, his health -- as well as the health of Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory -- will be a question. So a strong, fast youngster could be in the back of their minds for the second or third rounds, if not the first.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1. Defensive end: The Bucs invested heavily at defensive tackle a year ago, selecting Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy with the third overall pick and UCLA's Brian Price in the second round. But Tampa Bay tied for 30th with 26 sacks, led by Stylez G. White, who had 4.5. That's why the Bucs will target a deep draft for defensive ends, particularly in the first round where Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan could be in range at No. 20.

2. Linebacker: Barrett Ruud, the first player since Derrick Brooks to lead the Bucs in tackles for four straight seasons, is an unrestricted free agent. The Bucs have tendered starter Quincy Black and backup Adam Hayward as restricted free agents, but it's unknown if those designations will hold up. Finding at least two starters at linebacker will be a priority either through the draft or free agency. The Bucs will attempt to re-sign Ruud or turn the job over to Tyrone McKenzie. But the position is a priority.

The Cardinals need an impact pass rusher at outside linebacker, and Von Miller makes a lot of sense. (Getty Images)  
The Cardinals need an impact pass rusher at outside linebacker, and Von Miller makes a lot of sense. (Getty Images)  
3. Offensive line: Protecting quarterback Josh Freeman still is paramount to the Bucs' success. Pro-Bowl guard Davin Joseph and tackle Jeremy Trueblood are free agents and the draft is heavy in tackle help.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

1. Outside linebacker: Last year's starters, Joey Porter and Clark Haggans, will both be 34 when the season starts. The Cardinals have failed to replenish the position and need an impact pass rusher. Von Miller makes a lot of sense. If O'Brien Schofield, a fourth-round pick last season, comes through, the two could be a potent combination for years to come.

2. Guard: Left guard Alan Faneca is considering retirement, and right guard Deuce Lutui is not under contract for 2011. The Cardinals are hopeful both will return, but there are no guarantees. The backups, Jeremy Bridges and Rex Hadnot, are solid veterans, but the club has few young players at the position. It needs to start developing some.

3. Inside linebacker: The club needs a physical Mike linebacker in the 3-4. Gerald Hayes likely will be released, and Paris Lenon and Daryl Washington are on the small side. The Cardinals' run defense was suspect last season, partly because their linebackers could not hold up physically in taking on blocks and shedding them.

St. Louis Rams

1. Wide receiver: The arrival of Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator seemingly makes it likely that more playmakers would be added. Complicating the situation are injury issues facing Donnie Avery, who missed the entire 2010 season with a knee injury, and Danario Alexander, who has had five surgeries on his left knee. McDaniels has been successful in the past without what would be considered elite pass-catchers.

2. Strong safety: James Butler has been a disappointment in his two seasons with the team, and Craig Dahl is a solid backup, but shouldn't be a starter. What's needed at the position is an all-around player that can be a tough run-stopper and defends the pass.

3. Running back: The search continues for a viable and productive back behind Steven Jackson. The ideal would be a complement to Jackson, who could keep defenses honest with the ability to get to the edges consistently.

San Francisco 49ers

1. Quarterback: The 49ers only have one quarterback under contract, David Carr. Jim Harbaugh would have liked to have locked up Alex Smith for 2011, but Smith will wait until there is a free-agency period to decide whether to return. That puts more pressure on Harbaugh and Co. to find a future gem in the draft.

2. Outside linebacker: Only two outside linebackers who took meaningful snaps last season -- Ahmad Brooks and Parys Haralson -- are under contract for 2011. The 49ers have not had a player finish with double-digit sacks since Andre Carter did it in 2002, and they are likely to select a would-be sack master in a draft that's deep in pass rushers.

3. Cornerback: Neither Nate Clements or Shawntae Spencer is an elite cornerback, and both have struggled at times, especially when it comes to deep coverage. Furthermore, Clements' salary will skyrocket in 2011. He may not be back unless he reworks his deal.

Seattle Seahawks

1. Quarterback: For the first time in the decade the Seahawks are uncertain who the starting quarterback will be for the upcoming season. Matt Hasselbeck will be a free agent, and reserve quarterback Charlie Whitehurst did not have enough of an opportunity to show that he's the quarterback of the future.

2. Offensive line: Seattle had 10 different offensive line combinations last season, and the team's two most productive linemen -- center Chris Spencer and offensive tackle Sean Locklear -- are free agents. Left tackle Russell Okung gives the team someone to build around, and third-year player Max Unger could be the team's center of the future.

3. Defensive end: Red Bryant turned into an important player for Seattle at defensive end. When the Texas A&M product went down with a season-ending knee injury in the seventh game of the season against Oakland, the Seahawks' run defense suffered.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills

1. Defensive line: The Bills allowed almost 170 yards per game rushing and their pass rush was anemic, ushering in a need to get bigger, stronger and younger up front. Auburn's Nick Fairley, Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers and Alabama's Marcell Dareus would fill the bill with the third overall pick.

2. Linebacker: The Bills need inside players to stop the run and outside players to rush the passer. The team is hoping that former San Diego Pro Bowler Shawne Merriman can shake his injury label and be a presence off the edge. A safer move is landing Texas A&M's versatile Von Miller.

3. Quarterback: The Bills are content with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starter but need some longer range planning. Missouri's Blaine Gabbert or Auburn's Cam Newton are on their radar.

Miami Dolphins

1. Guard/Center: Only left tackle Jake Long seems assured of a starting spot after a disappointing 2010 for this unit. Dolphins coach Tony Sparano is known as an offensive line guru, but through three seasons he's still tweaking the formula. In particular, the Dolphins need help in the interior line, where left guard Richie Incognito is a free agent, and journeyman center Joe Berger and rookie right guard John Jerry were disappointments in their first year as starters.

2. Speed wide receiver: Brian Hartline is a former state champion hurdler in Ohio, but he doesn't stretch defenses the way Ted Ginn Jr. once did. Someone like Julio Jones or Torrey Smith would fit nicely opposite Brandon Marshall, allowing Davone Bess more room to roam the middle as well.

3. Tight end: After passing on all sorts of options a year ago, the Dolphins are still seeking a seam threat to pair with possession target Anthony Fasano. Kyle Rudolph, another ex-Golden Domer, is the top option in a thin draft class at the position.

New England Patriots

1. Outside linebacker: New England's rotation at outside linebacker last fall included Tully Banta-Cain, journeyman Rob Ninkovich and raw second-round pick Jermaine Cunningham. It wasn't a productive group. The depth chart needs an injection of top-end talent at a key spot on the edge of the 3-4.

2. Offensive line: With Logan Mankins (franchise player), Matt Light (free agent) and Nick Kaczur (back surgery that cost him all of 2010) having uncertain futures, and Stephen Neal having retired, the Patriots need to add young talent to the line.

3. Wide receiver: The Patriots' offense was very good during the regular season in the post-Randy Moss era last season. But as much as Tom Brady spread the ball around to his slot options and tight ends, he lacks a reliable force to stretch the field. Deion Branch and Wes Welker (on the last year of his contract) aren't getting any younger, bigger or faster. A developmental No. 1 receiver would be a nice addition.

New York Jets

1. Outside linebacker: The Jets must find a pure pass rusher who scares opposing offenses, or else they will have to continue blitzing to generate pressure. They need somebody opposing teams must specifically game plan for. Georgia's Justin Houston, who had 10 sacks in 2010 as a junior, could be a late first-round possibility.

2. Defensive end: On the day after the Jets' season ended, defensive end Shaun Ellis' locker had been cleaned out before reporters arrived. That may be quite telling, as the 11-year veteran wasn't offered a contract extension before or during the 2010 season.

3. Offensive tackle: Right tackle Damien Woody began to break down physically in 2010, which is one reason he was released. It's unclear if 2010 second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse is the answer. So the Jets may ask O-line guru Bill Callahan to work his magic with a tackle from the later rounds, such as Florida's Marcus Gilbert or Clemson's Chris Hairston.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

1. Outside linebacker: The Ravens need a pass rusher to line up on the opposite side of Terrell Suggs, who accounted for 44 percent of the Ravens' sacks last season (including postseason). Baltimore thought it upgraded its pass rush by drafting Sergio Kindle but he might never play in the NFL because of a head injury suffered in an offseason accident.

2. Wide receiver: The Ravens' top two wide receivers (Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason) are possession players. The Ravens' 40 passes of 20 yards or more was tied for 27th in the NFL. Their two touchdown passes over 40 yards also ranked near the bottom of the league, and neither came from Boldin or Mason.

3. Cornerback: Baltimore needs to add size to a secondary that is fast but small. Baltimore's top four cornerbacks are under 6 feet and none weigh more than 192 pounds. Adding some size would allow the Ravens to play more press coverage and match up better against physical receivers.

Cincinnati Bengals

1. Quarterback: Barring a major change of heart by Carson Palmer and Mike Brown, Palmer might not be playing football in 2011. Jordan Palmer is considered to be a marginal backup at best and Dan LeFevour is a project. That means new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden will be in the market for someone who is best suited to run a West Coast system.

2. Wide receiver: Since drafting Chad Ochocinco in 2001, the Bengals have failed to develop another game-breaking receiver. Ochocinco, Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell are in the last year of their deals and Simpson and Caldwell aren't considered to be the successor to Ochocinco if they are re-signed.

3. Safety: Roy Williams, Chinedum Ndukwe and Gibril Wilson will be free agents and Chris Crocker is entering the last year of his contract. While the safeties have done well against the run they have struggled in pass coverage. It is also a unit that has been wracked by injuries the past couple seasons.

Cleveland Browns

1. Defensive end: End and wide receiver are really 1 and 1A for the Browns, but if one position is a priority it has to be a pass rusher. For proof, look back no further than the way Clay Matthews helped the Packers get to and win the Super Bowl. In 12 years, the Browns have never had a defensive player opponents fretted about. Robert Quinn of North Carolina would be a perfect fit.

2. Wide receiver: The Browns' leading receiver in 2010 was tight end Benjamin Watson. Brian Robiskie, a good complementary player, tied for the team lead with three touchdown catches. A.J. Green could be the home-run hitter team president Mike Holmgren is seeking.

3. Cornerback: The Browns are satisfied with Sheldon Brown and Joe Haden as starters, but they need a third corner. Eric Wright had a miserable season in 2010. He is a free agent and probably won't be re-signed.

Pittsburgh Steelers

1. Cornerback: Ike Taylor's contract is up and while they want to re-sign him, they will be in more dire trouble if they do not. As it is now, the Steelers are just in trouble. They do not have another decent corner on the team and many defenses need three of them. They have swung and missed drafting them in rounds 3-5 so they must pay more attention to it this year.

2. Offensive tackle: The Steelers have not drafted an offensive tackle in the top two rounds in the past 10 years other than Marvel Smith, their only Pro-Bowl tackle in this century. Here are their top three tackles: Flozell Adams, who turns 36; Max Starks, coming off neck surgery; Willie Colon, a pending free agent who did not play in 2011 because of a June Achilles rupture.

3. Offensive guard: Three different players started at right guard last season and their starting left guard, Chris Kemoeatu, has frustrated them for a couple years now. They settled on undrafted free agent Ramon Foster at right guard after benching returning starter Trai Essex during the season. Right now, Doug Legursky might be the best answer there and he also went undrafted.

AFC South

Houston Texans

1. Outside linebacker: Rookie Darryl Sharpton and veteran Zac Diles started at outside linebacker last season. Diles won't be back. Sharpton isn't ideally suited for the team's biggest need, a pass rusher to play the weak side in the 3-4. The ideal prospect is Texas A&M's Von Miller, but the Texans will have to trade up to get him.

2. Cornerback: The Texans used their first-round pick last year on cornerback Kareem Jackson. They want a new starter opposite him so they can move Glover Quin to free safety. They want a corner that can run and cover, one with elite speed, one who's also physical against the run as Jackson is.

3. Safety: The two starters -- Eugene Wilson and Bernard Pollard -- won't return. They want a free safety who's physical, smart and has some range. If he's a ball hawk, he'll be even more suited for what they need.

Indianapolis Colts

1. Offensive tackle: The Colts need to find a left offensive tackle to replace Pro Bowler Tarik Glenn, who retired after the 2006 season. Tony Ugoh, a second-round pick in 2006, didn't pan out. Charlie Johnson has been a capable stop-gap. Indianapolis needs to find a right tackle as a potential replacement for veteran Ryan Diem.

2. Wide receiver: Injuries to Austin Collie and Anthony Gonzalez really put a dent in the Colts' wide receiver depth last season. Undrafted receiver Blair White did a nice job filling in. Looking ahead, a potential replacement for veteran Reggie Wayne might be found as well.

3. Secondary: Cornerbacks Jerraud Powers and Kelvin Hayden were both placed on injured reserve. Also, safeties Bob Sanders, Melvin Bullitt and Jamie Silva were lost for the season. Rookie cornerback Kevin Thomas never played in a game after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the May rookie camp.

Jacksonville Jaguars

1. Safety: The Jaguars are still paying the price for Reggie Nelson being a bust after being drafted in the first round in 2007. They traded him to Cincinnati last year, but didn't have an experienced replacement. They wound up with two young players, Courtney Greene and Don Carey, at the position. They need a serious upgrade but didn't get Bob Sanders, a free agent with a long history of injuries with the Colts.

2. Defensive end: Aaron Kampman, coming off a torn ACL for the second year in a row, is their only proven pass rusher. They need another big-time rusher to combine with Kampman. Kampman played only half a season and yet was tied for the team lead in sacks with four with Terrence Knighton.

3. Linebacker: Darryl Smith is their only proven linebacker. They want to upgrade the linebacker position by replacing Kirk Morrison and Justin Durant. They are both free agents and it remains to be seen if either will be re-signed.

Tennessee Titans

1. Quarterback: The Titans need not one but two quarterbacks -- one veteran and a rookie to groom for the future. Of the two, the rookie pick is obviously the most important. But the longer a lockout goes on, the better the odds that Kerry Collins would be back. But you get the feeling Mike Munchak would prefer a slightly younger quarterback.

2. Defensive end: The Titans have question marks at the end position, where they may be moving away from the slant-9 technique to rush the passer. They tendered Jacob Ford at the second-round level, but have made little efforts thus far to retain Dave Ball and/or Jason Babin, who expressed frustration over not getting an extension.

3. Linebacker: Titans linebackers were exposed last season, especially against the pass. Stephen Tulloch might not be back as a free agent. Despite needs at quarterback, a guy like Von Miller might be tough to pass up at No. 8.

AFC West

Denver Broncos

1. Defensive tackle: The Broncos are switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 front, so adding bodies is a necessity. The good news is that this year's draft is extremely deep on the defensive line. Dareus and Fairley will be dissected often in coming weeks.

2. Linebacker: D.J. Williams is the lone sure bet. Miller has shot up draft boards with his Senior Bowl and combine performances. His versatility in coverage and as a pass rusher, especially teamed with Elvis Dumervil should he land at weak-side linebacker, would be a nightmare for offensive coordinators on passing downs.

3. Free safety: Denver is seeking to improve the athleticism and speed overall on defense and those are traits that have been missing from the unit's deepest defender. The draft is thin up top at the position, but Peterson (6-1, 219) has the size, speed and ball-hawking ability to play the position effectively, should the Broncos choose.

Kansas City Chiefs

1. Nose tackle: The Chiefs have been able to scrape by for the last two seasons in the 3-4 with Ron Edwards and last year with Shaun Smith on the nose. An upgrade is badly needed, especially someone who is built for the position, not another defensive lineman playing out of position.

2. Wide receiver: If quarterback Matt Cassel is going to continue to progress, he needs some help in breaking open the passing game. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe made giant strides last year and rookie tight end Tony Moeaki showed progress. With running backs Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster catching out of the backfield, the only thing missing is a second deep threat.

3. Inside linebacker: With Derrick Johnson having the best season of his career, the Chiefs need help with a productive inside backer they can play next to him. Stopping the run is the No. 1 goal and help is needed in that area.

Oakland Raiders

1. Guard/center: With Robert Gallery and Cooper Carlisle out of the picture and Bruce Campbell a question mark, the middle of the Raiders' line needs some young blood. The Raiders added Jared Veldheer a year ago at left tackle, but could also look at a promising right tackle to challenge Langston Walker.

2. Cornerback: Al Davis loves to draft cornerbacks anyway, but now he has good reason to do so. With Asomugha probably moving on, and Stanford Routt getting a two-year extension, the depth consists of Chris Johnson and second-year men Walter McFadden and Jeremy Ware.

3. Tight end: Chances are good they'll keep four-year veteran, Pro Bowler and free agent Zach Miller around, being that he has led the team in receiving four straight years. But there were only two tight ends on the roster, and Miller has taken a lot of big hits. Depth is mandatory.

San Diego Chargers

1. Linebacker: With the inside core either unrestricted or restricted free agents, the Chargers could be looking to address this possible shortcoming. It's not expected the Chargers will bring both Stephen Cooper and Kevin Burnett back. Outside of Brandon Siler, there's not much depth here and it could get thinner depending on what happens with Cooper and Burnett.

2. Defensive end: Luis Castillo is probably safe, but the team has gone with Jacques Cesaire, as a starter, probably long enough. The Chargers are eager to upgrade here; they did sign Ogemdi Nwagbuo for another year but he is more of an inside guy although he has played end.

3. Strong safety: The Chargers have been looking for a thumper at strong safety since chasing Rodney Harrison out the door -- and that was some time ago. They hoped to fill this spot when drafting Darrell Stuckey in the fourth round but he was a disappointment. They signed former Colts standout Bob Sanders to a one-year deal, but he has had issues staying healthy.

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