AFC West mailbag

April, 10, 2011
4/10/11
9:00
AM ET
Weekend mail call:

Humble Gorilla from Antioch, Calif., wants to know if I think Oakland needs to trade into the first round and grab an offensive lineman to counter all of the top defensive players that the other three teams in the AFC West are expected to take early.

Bill Williamson: It’s a heck of a point, Humble. Offensive line is Oakland’s biggest area of need. The fact that Denver, San Diego and Kansas City could all take front-seven defensive players makes it even more important for Oakland to get help on the line. There are some strong offensive linemen available in the first round, but I think the Raiders could wait to No. 48 and pick up a guard or a center.

Steve from Woodside, N.Y., wants me to list the following players in order of how I think they’d fit with the Chiefs : J.J. Watt, Cameron Jordan, Aldon Smith, Muhammad Wilkerson, Akeem Ayers, Ryan Kerrigan, Justin Houston, Phil Taylor and Stephen Paea.

BW: Steve, I think pass-rusher and then offensive tackle are the Chiefs’ biggest areas of need. But as far as your list goes, here is how I think these players will go off the board: Watt, Jordan, Smith, Wilkerson, Ayers, Kerrigan, Houston, Taylor and Paea. I expect these players all to go in the 12-35 range. I think Wilkerson, Ayers, Kerrigan, Houston, Taylor and Paea may all be available when the Chiefs pick at No. 21.

Reg from Portland, Maine, thinks the Raiders should look for a quarterback in the draft. He wants to know if I agree.

BW: I’ve said all offseason that Oakland should, at least, consider taking a quarterback. If the Raiders fall in love with a quarterback at No. 48 and it’s a good value, they should think about it. Oakland could need a starter as soon as 2012, so a good developmental quarterback may be needed. Yes, Oakland needs offensive line help, but good quarterbacks are hard to pass up. The Raiders are clearly considering it. They are among the teams working out Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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