AFC West quarterback audibles

March, 17, 2011
3/17/11
1:25
PM ET
There’s plenty of quarterback nuggets that involve then AFC West on Thursday. Let’s take a look:

The San Jose Mercury News wonders if the Raiders may try to move into the first round to take Washington quarterback Jake Locker. The paper reasons it will likely take Oakland, which doesn’t have a first-round pick this year, to trade its first-round pick in 2012 to get in the range to take Locker, who Denver has a workout set up with.

I don’t know if I’m on board with that idea. Oakland’s roster is close to being a playoff contender. I’d rather Oakland go get a player at a position who can help right now if it moves into the first round. I have no problem with the Raiders taking a quarterback at No. 48 if someone like Locker, Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett or Florida State’s Christian Ponder is available. But there’s no rush to go get one in the first round.

Jason Campbell is the unquestioned starter in 2011. Let’s see what he can do and let’s see if he can earn another contract beyond 2011. If not, Oakland can then look to use a first-round pick on a quarterback.

This year’s group of quarterback prospects isn’t a dull lot. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen has reported the Wonderlic (a pre-draft intelligence test every prospect takes) scores of some of the top quarterback prospects. Ponder scored a 35, Mallett scored a 26 and Locker scored a 20. Anything over 20 is considered solid for a quarterback. TCU’s Andy Dalton, who Kansas City is going to work out, scored a 29.

Here is a report that suggests Seattle or Tennessee could be interested in trading for Denver quarterback Kyle Orton. It suggests a possible third-round pick this year and a fifth-round pick next year will do the trick. I think Denver would rather get a second-round pick this year, but I’m sure it will be willing to haggle over Orton’s price. However, if the lockout doesn’t end before the draft, Orton won’t be able to be dealt.

Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert has his pro day Thursday. If he impresses, Carolina could consider both Gabbert and Auburn quarterback Cam Newton for the No. 1 pick. Denver is keeping a watchful eye. If the Panthers take a quarterback, that would open the entire defensive draft board for the Broncos. Denver is expected to take a defensive player.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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