AFC West Draft Focus

Teams must concern themselves with their competition's offseason transactions in addition to their own. has spent the previous few weeks sizing up the 2003 NFL Draft, held April 26-27, as it pertains to the Oakland Raiders' needs. The Raiders have won the last three AFC West titles and here's a look at their competition:



            Players signed: Kicker Jason Elam (re-signed), cornerback Jimmy Spencer (re-signed), quarterback Jake Plummer (Arizona), defensive tackle Daryl Gardener (Washington), offensive guard Heath Irwin (St. Louis).

            Players lost: Defensive tackle Chester McGlockton (released), cornerback Denard Walker (released), defensive end Keith Washington (NY Giants), offensive tackle Blake Brockermeyer (released), linebacker Kavika Pittman (released), offensive guard Lennie Friedman (Washington), linebacker Keith Burns (released), tight end Matt Dominguez (released), defensive tackle Montae Reagor, wide receiver Phil McGeoghan (NY Jets), cornerback Tyrone Poole (New England), defensive back Jeff Brunson (released) and offensive guard Wayne Smith (released).

            Draft outlook: The Broncos, who own the 20th overall pick, have gone through a massive salary cap purge during the offseason. Denver has been historically effective on draft and will need that same success this year. The Broncos are likely to draft a defensive end or a cornerback with their first pick before looking at linebacker defensive tackle and offensive tackle in the second day.



            Players signed: Linebacker Mike Maslowski (re-signed), defensive end Gary Stills (re-signed), linebacker Shawn Barber (Philadelphia), cornerback Dexter McCleon (St. Louis), kicker Morten Anderson (re-signed), quarterback Todd Collins (re-signed), defensive end Vonnie Holliday (Green Bay).

            Players lost: Punter Dan Stryzinski (NY Jets) and defensive end Duane Clemons.

            Draft outlook: The Chiefs, who pick 16th overall, are likely to address defense since they were hugely deficient in that area last season. Kansas City can use help at virtually every defensive position but especially defensive end, linebacker and cornerback. The Chiefs will not have a Day Two pick until the fifth round, when they may shift their attention toward offense.



            Players signed: Fullback Lorenzo Neal (Cincinnati), long-snapper David Binn (re-signed), wide receiver David Boston (Arizona), defensive end Adrian Dingle (re-signed), cornerback Jerry Wilson (re-signed), cornerback Kevin House (re-signed) and kicker Steve Christie (re-signed).

            Players lost: Offensive tackle Ed Ellis (released), wide receiver Curtis Conway (NY Jets), running back Terrell Fletcher (released), safety Rodney Harrison (New England), fullback Fred McCrary (New England), cornerback Alex Molden (released), running back Ronney Jenkins (Oakland), cornerback David Sanchez (released), linebacker Orlando Ruff (New Orleans) and center Zack Quaccia (released).

            Draft outlook: The signing of David Boston from Arizona lessens the need to draft a receiver with the 15th pick. San Diego, however, needs help at defensive tackle and offensive guard. The Chargers also need help at linebacker with future Hall-of-Famer Junior Seau likely to leave.


Vince D'Adamo can be reached via e-mail at

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