NFL Draft 2011: The 10 Best Fits for the Chiefs First-Round Pick (With Video)
The first pick in each team's draft can set the tone for how the rest of their draft will look like.
For the Kansas City Chiefs, they will just be trying to upgrade their current roster with whoever the can scoop up with their first-round selection.
With the 21st overall pick, they are unlikely to get a player as talented as they did in last year's draft, but they still have plenty of good options to go with.
In this piece, I have examined the 10 players that would fit the current Chiefs' needs the best in the first round.
LB Akeem Ayers, UCLA
The former UCLA star had 11 sacks over his four-year career with the Bruins.
He's a very versatile linebacker, racking up stats in almost every defensive category while in college.
Right now, Ayers projects as a mid to late first-round selection and he could easily be plucked off the board with the Chiefs' 21st overall pick.
OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
The former Wisconsin badger Thursday's draft as one of the best tackle prospects of this year's class.
He is been labeled as an "athletic freak" at his offensive tackle position and would likely be an upgrade over either current LT Branden Albert or current RT Barry Richardson.
Some say he could be gone by the Chiefs' pick, but I project him to still be available when Kansas City's turn comes late in the first round.
DE Aldon Smith, Missouri
Smith practically lived in the backfield during his two-year career at Missouri and he is one of the most explosive linebackers in this year's class.
Although his skills are somewhat raw right now, he should turn into a productive NFL player down the line.
Many draft experts have the Raytown, MO native going within the first 15 picks, and if so, KC could lose out on a homegrown talent.
OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
Castonzo is anther great left tackle prospect in the 2011 NFL Draft class.
Although he might be a little light for an NFL offensive tackle at around 300 lbs, he makes up for this with effort and physicality.
He is projected to be a late first-round/early second-round pick, which fits right in the Chiefs plans.
OT Nate Solder, Colorado
Solder is easily one of the biggest offensive lineman in this year's draft, as he stands at 6'8" and weighs in at 319 lbs.
He was named the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year for the 2010 season, and like Costanzo and Carimi on this list, he could step in and start at LT for the Chiefs next season, likely moving Branden Albert to the right tackle spot.
Most mock drafts have him going late in the first round, but he could also fall back into the second with the plethora of solid left tackles in this draft.
G/C Mike Pouncey, Florida
Mike Pouncey has become a hot prospect ever since his brother had a very solid rookie season for the Steelers in '10.
Many say that he is not as talented as his older sibling, but he still provides the versatility that Chiefs GM Scott Pioli looks for in an offensive lineman.
He projects to be a very late first-round pick, so the Chiefs could likely nab him if they wanted to with their 21st pick.
OLB Martez Wilson, Illinois
Another guy that is known is very athletic, and is one of the most physical linebacker that could be had by the Chiefs in this draft.
Wilson could provide a solid replacement for aging veteran Mike Vrabel in KC's linebacker corps.
Some consider him a reach with this pick, but he has all the intangibles to to become a good player at the next level.
DT Phil Taylor, Baylor
The Chiefs are in a desperate need of a run-stuffing DT, and Taylor could easily fill this role.
Although he only had one very productive season in college, he appears to be a late bloomer for his position.
KC could pass on Taylor, considering this draft class is deep at his position, but if they don't get him in the first round, he is likely to not be available when the team's next selection comes up with the 55th overall pick.
DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
This big, defensive end prospect has a motor that never stops and is a Jared Allen-type player.
KC already has a lot of talent at DE, as they already have Glenn Dorsey and Wallace Gilberry on their defensive front.
Kerrigan will probably be gone by the Chiefs' selection, but if he is there, don't be surprised to see Pioli and Co. jump all over them with their first-round pick.
OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State
If Carimi and Solder are already off the board, former Mississippi tackle Derek Sherrod could be a solid first-round pickup for the Chiefs.
He is not as tall, at 6'5", than some of the other good OT prospects in this year's class, but has the quickness and football IQ to make up for this.
He likely isn't one of the Chiefs' first targets, but if others are drafted earlier than expected, you could see KC land Sherrod on Thursday night.