Solving problems through the draft

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

ESPN's Stats & Information has provided some numbers that help break down some issues for each AFC West team. The shortcomings could hint at the direction the teams will go at some point in the draft.


Kansas City set an NFL record for fewest sacks in a season last year with 10. The Chiefs also allowed more than eight yards per carry on rushes around the left end in 2008. That was the most yards per rush allowed by any team on rushes behind any offensive lineman last season.

Williamson's draft solution: Draft a defensive end that can both rush the passer and stop the run, perhaps as early as the second round, if the team recoups its pick sent to New England for Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel. Cincinnati's Connor Barwin is a possibility.


The Raiders were the only team in the league to reach the end zone in fewer than half of their goal-to-go situations last year. Here are the five teams with the worst touchdown percentage in goal-to-go situations in 2008.

  1. Raiders, 47.6%

  2. Bengals, 50.0%

  3. Rams, 53.3%

  4. Steelers, 58.6%

  5. Bills, 60.0%

Williamson's draft solution: The Raiders' two biggest needs are to blame for the drought. They need a receiver who can haul in the jump ball and they need a powerful tackle. Expect the Raiders to address these needs with their first few picks.


The Broncos average starting field position when receiving kickoffs has not ranked better than 28th in the league over the last five years.

Williamson's draft solution: The Broncos have a lot of needs and may not be able to address this area early. Maybe in the later rounds someone will catch Denver's eye.


Over the past five seasons, the Chargers are the only team in the league that has not blocked a punt, field goal, or PAT. Here are the seven teams with the fewest blocked kicks in the past five years.

Chargers: 0
Jets: 3
Dolphins: 3
Steelers: 4
Colts: 4
Bengals: 4
Bills: 4

Williamson's draft solution: This is not an area teams spend an early pick on. However, a player like Barwin could help San Diego on defense and on special teams. He was a master kick-blocker in college.