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AFC team needs

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Posted March 21, 2011 @ 1:32 p.m. ET
By PFW staff

PFW identifies the top three needs of each AFC team more than a month prior to the 2011 NFL draft.

Baltimore Ravens

Top three draft needs: #1 WR   #2 OT   #3 OLB

Skinny: The WR corps could use a little more speed. Offensive tackle also is a position that could be addressed with OLT Michael Oher taking a step back last season. On defense, bolstering the pass rush is a must.

 

Buffalo Bills

Top three draft needs: #1 OT   #2 OLB   #3 QB

Skinny: The offensive line needs repairs, but with a draft class lacking top tackle prospects, the Bills might focus on other areas of need. Playmakers in the defensive front seven would be helpful, as would a dynamic quarterback and pass-catching tight end.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

Top three draft needs: #1 WR   #2 DL   #3 QB

Skinny: The Bengals' QB quandary is no secret. Do they hope Carson Palmer will change his mind about returning to Cincinnati or do they move on? That said, quarterback is hardly their only need, and top WR and DL prospects could be available at No. 4.

 

Cleveland Browns

Top three draft needs: #1 DE   #2 WR   #3 DT

Skinny: The Browns are changing to a 4-3 scheme and need defensive linemen. This is a very deep draft for defensive ends. With the team employing the West Coast offense, the wide receivers will be targeted more in the passing game. Cleveland lacks a No. 1. target at wideout.

 

Denver Broncos

Top three draft needs: #1 DT   #2 LB   #3 TE

Skinny: The Broncos will switch to a 4-3 defensive scheme in 2011 and have a lack of depth in the middle of the line. OLBs Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers will shift to defensive end, leaving a need for linebackers. Veteran TE Daniel Graham needs to be replaced.

 

Houston Texans

Top three draft needs: #1 CB   #2 OLB   #3 FS

Skinny: The pass defense is the Texans' biggest concern. Like last year, when they selected Kareem Jackson, they could take a cornerback in Round One with designs on starting him right away. They also could consider adding an edge-rushing OLB early.

 

Indianapolis Colts

Top three draft needs: #1 OT   #2 WR   #3 DT

Skinny: The Colts have not found Peyton Manning a natural blind-side protector since Tarik Glenn retired. Reggie Wayne could be in his final season in Indy, and his successor is not on the roster. Another nose tackle could strengthen a vulnerable run defense.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Top three draft needs: #1 S   #2 DE   #3 QB

Skinny: Don Carey and Courtney Greene were liabilities in the back end of the secondary last season. The team made strides pressuring the quarterback, but more help is needed. GM Gene Smith is looking for a developmental QB to eventually supplant David Garrard.

 

Kansas City Chiefs

Top three draft needs: #1 WR   #2 OT   #3 ILB

Skinny: Matt Cassel has a great receiver in Dwayne Bowe, but to continue his ascension, he needs another wideout who'll attract attention from the defense. Cassel also could get better protection from the right side. The Chiefs need a run-stuffing inside 'backer.

 

Miami Dolphins

Top three draft needs: #1 OG   #2 RB   #3 QB

Skinny: The Dolphins need help on the interior O-line, between OTs Jake Long and Vernon Carey. There are just two RBs (Lex Hilliard and Kory Sheets) under contract for 2011. Competition will come for QB Chad Henne, from the draft and/or free agency.

 

New England Patriots

Top three draft needs: #1 DE   #2 OLB   #3 OL

Skinny: The young defense, especially the vulnerable secondary, could benefit from some young edge rushers. The offensive line is aging — Stephen Neal retired and Dan Koppen and Matt Light only have a couple of years left — so a versatile O-lineman would help.

 

New York Jets

Top three draft needs: #1 OLB   #2 NT   #3 WR

Skinny: If the Jets think free-agent WRs Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards are going to sign elsewhere, receiver might be a top priority. However, if they're planning on bringing both players back, fresh legs for the defensive front seven will be added early and often.

 

Oakland Raiders

Top three draft needs: #1 CB   #2 OL   #3 QB

Skinny: Their top corner, Nnamdi Asomugha, had his contract voided and he's going to explore his options in the open market. Oakland's top O-lineman, OG Robert Gallery, will depart in free agency, and it's not clear if QB Jason Campbell is the long-term answer.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Top three draft needs: #1 CB   #2 OT   #3 OG

Skinny: The Steelers have had their problems against potent passing games, and CB Ike Taylor is slated to be a free agent. The Steelers got a major lift from rookie C Maurkice Pouncey in 2010 and again could address the O-line in Round One.

 

San Diego Chargers

Top three draft needs: #1 OLB   #2 DE   #3 WR

Skinny: New defensive coordinator Greg Manusky will want to add quick pass rushers off the edge for the league's top defense. With wide receivers likely to depart via free agency, Philip Rivers could use some help from a young, talented wideout. 

 

Tennessee Titans

Top three draft needs: #1 QB   #2 DT   #3 LB

Skinny: The Titans have a glaring need at quarterback, having committed to trade or release Vince Young. They also need to add playmakers in the front seven. The defense has fallen off since Albert Haynesworth departed for Washington in 2009.

 

NFC team needs

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