AFC West connection in Madden final

April, 18, 2011
4/18/11
1:50
PM ET
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles might have not made it past the quarterfinals of the chase to be the “Madden 12” cover man. However, there still is an AFC West connection.

In a stunning upset, Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis beat Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers in the semifinals in the SportsNation poll that will result in the winner being on the next Madden cover. Hillis will face Philadelphia’s Michael Vick in the final.

Hillis is a former Denver running back. The Broncos drafted him out of Arkansas in the seventh round in 2008, and he had success as a rookie. However, he was buried by first-year Denver coach Josh McDaniels in 2009 and then traded to the Browns last year in package that brought No. 3 quarterback Brady Quinn. Hillis had instant success in Cleveland, rushing for 1,177 yards.

Hillis was immensely popular in Denver and many fans were upset he was traded. His trade was considered one of McDaniels’ biggest mistakes in his 23-month stay in Denver.

Here are some other AFC West-relate nuggets Monday afternoon:

The Chiefs and Raiders are being connected to Eastern Washington running back Taiwan Jones. The speedster has become a hot draft name to watch since he ran a 4.3 40-yard dash last week.

It’s being reported that the Eagles could trade third-string quarterback Mike Kafka. The Raiders showed interest in him prior to last year’s draft when the Eagles took him in the fourth round.

The Kansas City Star reasons that the Chiefs might go for offense in the draft.

Abilene Christian receiver Edmond Gates is reportedly visiting the Broncos. The speedster will likely be a mid-round pick.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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