2010 NFL Mock Draft: AFC West Edition

Chris YoungCorrespondent IApril 15, 2010

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 21: Jimmy Clausen #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks for a receiver in the first overtime period against the Univeristy of Connecticut Huskies at Notre Dame Stadium on November 21, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. Connecticut defeated Notre Dame 33-30 in double overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In 2010, the San Diego Chargers could very well fall down the charts in the AFC West.

To avoid this, they cannot continue to be a one dimensional passing team. They also have to fix the non-existing running game, and shore up that defense with a nose tackle.

Denver is close to the team you saw last year. In 2009 they had it, but lost their swagger. Do they draft wide receiver Dez Bryant now that Brandon Marshall is now gone or bring in a player who could be the future of their defense?

Oakland is a lost soul with Al Davis at the helm of the franchise. JaMarcus Russell doesn't even know where he is when he is on the field, so why not get a football player who is will to earn the money you pay him and actually be worth the pay check?

The Kansas City Chiefs can make some good moves this year and sneak up on opposing teams. The offseason moves that will mainly help will be with the personnel additions.


No 5. Kansas City Chiefs: OT Bryan Bulaga, Iowa 

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2009 Record: 4-12

The Kansas City Chiefs still lack the correct presence at left tackle and I don’t think they can afford to pass on this rookie who can start from day one.

The Chiefs need to keep Matt Cassel upright. Bryan Bulaga should be able to keep him off his back and has the chance to be a good pass-protector at this level.

Bulaga communicates well with the guard, while staying poised in pass protection, and does a sufficient job of picking up the blitz.

He gets down and sets up quickly, locks out his arms, and can drive explosive pass rushers past the pocket. He also shows excellent body control and footwork when forced to redirect.

The Chiefs could also snatch safety Eric Berry up with the No. Five pick, but spending that amount of money on a top five pick at the safety position just doesn’t make sense.

The Chiefs have the potential to field a good offense, they have some weapons now. It will be the defensive whoas that drag them down this year.

Other possibilities: OT Anthony Davis, S Eric Berry, OT Trent Williams.

No 8. Oakland Raiders: QB Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame 

Season Record: 5-11

JaMarcus Russell was a flop before he even stepped foot on the field for the Raiders.

The Raiders obviously need a quarterback that wants to work for his money and can actually earn it in true fashion.

Jimmy Clausen has the tools to be the best quarterback in the draft and showed an almost perfect outing during his Pro Day.

Some people are giving him some grief about his height, well, what about Tony Romo and Drew Brees?

His accuracy is near elite status and his overall mechanics are very good. He usually throws with good balance and does a nice job of stepping toward his targets.

Clausen is a fierce competitor who is at his best with the game on the line.

The Raiders could also go after an offensive tackle here, but there will still be quality picks (Roger Saffold or Charles Brown) available in the second round.

I would like to see the Raiders draft a defensive end at some point in this draft, but it looks like the Raiders will be most likely bringing all offensive players this year.

The Raiders are in a rebuilding mode, which kind of seems never ending.

Detroit looks like they are starting to get some sunshine…maybe the Raiders will too.

Other Possibilities: OT Bruce Campbell, DE Jason Pierre Paul, OT Anthony Davis.

No 11. Denver Broncos: ILB Rolando McClain, Alabama

Season Record: 8-8

The Denver Broncos have a good chance of being a division contender, but they will have to play like the 2000 Baltimore Ravens in order to do so.

They have the talent on defense and it got bigger during the offseason when they picked up a nose tackle, Jamal Williams.

D.J. Williams will benefit from having a big body in front of him and the one, true, 3-4 inside linebacker in this year’s draft would be a major compliment to that defense as well.

Rolando McClain has prototypical middle linebacker size and can light up running backs, with the best of them.

The only knock on McClain is his speed; but football speed is a bit different than track speed.

He is a fierce competitor and he's an instinctive player with great skills that make up for his “track speed”.

He could very well be the future quarterback of the Broncos defense because of his leadership and pure knowledge of the game.

The recent trade of Brandon Marshall does make Denver the favorites to select wide receiver Dez Bryant, but why would you draft a player that could be of the same make-up of the one you didn’t want in your locker room?

The other issue they have, is the never ending age of their defensive backfield. I don’t think you can pass up on guy like McClain, who can be a centerfold for years to come.

Other Possibilities: WR Dez Bryant, S Earl Thomas

No 28. San Diego Chargers: NT Cam Thomas, North Carolina 

Season Record: 13-3

San Diego Chargers have made some big moves this year, letting LaDainian Tomlinson, Jamal Williams, and Antonio Cromartie go.

I though Shawne Marriman would be the next to go.

They have a stellar offense but are pretty obsolete when it comes to running the ball.

Darren Sproles will need some extra help this year, but to me the biggest concern starts with running the 3-4 defense without your Pro Bowl nose tackle, Jamal Williams.

I have had Nose Tackle Cam Thomas at the top of my board for some time now, mainly because he fits the 3-4 schemes very well, although I’m sure most will say he is a reach in the first round.

He would be able to fill the hole that will only keep getting bigger if they don’t do something about it.

Thomas is a guy who can work along the interior in the 3-4, which is why he is a good pick here and the standard defensive tackle will continue to get second and third round grades.

Terrence Cody would be another idea here, but he is only reliable for 20 plays in a game, which is a major stamina issue for such a big athlete.

Thomas comes out of his stance with great leverage, keeps pads level, and rarely gives up ground. At the same time he is one of the best at directing and driving the opposing lineman in the backfield.

The Broncos will enjoy another "air happy" season that will be unsuccessful if they can’t find a nose tackle in the draft.

The 3-4 defense doesn't work if there isn't a two-gap space-eater inside, if the Chargers can fix this problem and grab some more talent in the draft, start the talk up again about a Super Bowl contender.

Other Possibilities: RB Ryan Mathews, NT Terrence Cody

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