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AFC West mailbag

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Jared L. from Portland, Ore., wants to know why Oakland signed Greg Ellis.
Bill Williamson: Ellis may be 3 years older than Derrick Burgess, but the Raiders seem set to make Ellis the starter at defensive end. He was working at Burgess' spot on his second day at an Oakland OTA last week. Burgess has been hurt often and he wants a pay raise. I just think the Raiders feel the Burgess days are behind them. Expect Ellis to start but for him to be spelled by some youngsters, starting with Trevor Scott. The Raiders have some interesting pass-rushers and I think Ellis could be part of a decent crew.


Troy from Alturas, Calif., wants to know why former Oakland quarterback Ken Stabler isn't in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

BW: I grew up in the Bay Area watching Stabler and I too think he probably belongs in the Hall of Fame. But his detractors say he only won one Super Bowl and he wasn't a dominant quarterback. But he was a winner and he was the face of the great Oakland teams of the 1970s. Stabler belongs in the Hall of Fame. But I don't really like his chances. There is such a back log of great players waiting to get in, I'm not sure Stabler is a priority. It would be a shame if he never got in.


Chris from Bangor, Maine, wants to know why Denver didn't draft a nose tackle this year.

BW: A lot of people wondered that at the conclusion of the draft. The team indicated it didn't think there were any defensive tackles available on the second day that could help the team. Perhaps Denver will wait to find a younger option in next year's draft, but that won't help this year's defensive line. Denver's front three is unsettled and unimpressive. Defensive tackle has been a problem in Denver for years and it will likely continue this season.