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Sunday, April 26, 2009
Raiders, Chargers get good value in fourth round

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

There are two draft picks by AFC West teams in the fourth round that I really like.

I believe the Raiders' choice of Florida wide receiver Louis Murphy and the Chargers' choice of running back Gartrell Johnson are going to be big for both teams.

The Raiders' selection of Murphy takes away some of the sting of Oakland's decision to draft Darrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree at No. 7. Murphy is a steady player who many scouts I've talked to believe can develop into a strong player. He has good size and speed and he a chance to have a long career.

I see him working his way into Oakland's receiver rotation quickly. He is a good insurance policy for the Raiders if Heyward-Bey takes a while to develop.

In San Diego, Johnson was an intriguing choice. Prior to the draft, there was talk San Diego would take Knowshon Moreno or Chris Wells in the first round.

I believe waiting until the fourth round, especially to get Johnson, was the right move. The Chargers have about $13 million tied up this year in running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles.

They didn't need to speed big money on a tailback in the draft. Johnson is great value. He is a powerful, down-hill runner. He will be a perfect change-of-pace back working with Tomlinson and Sproles.

With Tomlinson nearing the end of his career, Johnson will get a chance to be a feature back if he shows himself well as a rookie. For a fourth-round pick, this choice made a lot of sense.