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NFL Draft 2011 First Round Results: AFC West Grows Stronger Around Oakland Raiders

Without a first round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders had to watch on Thursday as their AFC West rivals all made picks to strengthen themselves in preparation of the 2011 season. There was talk of the Raiders moving up, but that didn't happen so they were either unfounded, or their guy they really want is still on the board and available in round two. There was a questionable pick for the AFC West, so let's just get to what happened and how it's looking.

Denver Broncos draft Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M with second overall pick

This is a puzzling pick, because Miller doesn't fit anywhere in Denver's 4-3 alignment. He's too small to be playing defensive end, and his talent is rushing the passer, which isn't a job of a 4-3 outside linebacker. Miller is considered as the best pass rusher in the draft, and a surefire starter on any 3-4 team in the league at this point, and that's why it's puzzling that they went in this direction, especially with someone like Marcell Dareus still available on the board. Still ... Miller is one of the top three players in the draft, and any team in the league could eventually find a place for Miller to play on their defense. They'll figure something out for him, and you can't argue with his talent, but the pick just doesn't make sense on many levels. The pick gets a 'C+', but he'll still be a force to be reckoned with for all teams the Broncos play.

San Diego Chargers draft Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois with the eighteenth overall pick

A perfect pick for A.J. Smith and the Chargers, Liuget will come in and start right away on the interior of San Diego's line, though he doesn't need to. They went with the best player available on their board, and he fits right in line with the value. Liuget is fast and strong, he's very physical and he does everything well. They'll find a place for him anywhere on their defensive line and he'll play from day one. The pick gets an 'A.'

Kansas City Chiefs draft Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh with the twenty-sixth overall pick

There isn't much to say about this pick ... Baldwin is a very talented receiver, and gives Matt Cassel a much needed weapon alongside Dwayne Bowe. The Chiefs go from a young threat offensively to an extremely dangerous threat in the passing game against any secondary. The fact that they were able to trade back a little bit adds to the value, and this pick is an 'A'.