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Wednesday, April 29, 2009
AFC West mailbag

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Brad from SD: bill, love the blog read it everyday...was wondering had a question on the sd pick with english...u think the chargers could put him opposite merriman then move pihillips to ilb and have cooper/burnett at the other ilb spot....that could be a nasty linbacking corp

BW: I think the Chargers will work that out in this weekend's minicamp and in training camp. I do think it will give San Diego plenty of options. I think, ultimately, what you will see is Philips become free to move around more than in the past with Merriman and English on the field.


Reggie from Seattle: Bill, Do you think its fair for all the analysts to critisize the Raiders for drafting Mike Mitchell when the chicago bears called him and told him he would be selected by them with the 39th pick? The guy can play football, just because he's not well known doesn't mean he cant get it done on Sundays.

BW: Fair? Probably not, but that's the way the draft is: it's all about instant analysis. I talked to many scouts in the past few days who said they knew very little about Mitchell. It doesn't mean Mitchell won't become a big-time player. It just means he wasn't scouted much. The Raiders definitely reached on him, but he could turn out to be a fine player. The bottom line is if he becomes a player, not when he was drafted. What if Denver took Terrell Davis in the second round instead of the sixth round in 1995? The Broncos would have been fried by the draft experts. In the end, Davis became a league MVP and it didn't matter what round he was taken in. The Raiders clearly love Mitchell. Now, it's up to him to prove them right.


Aaron from St. Augustine, FL: First, Bill you are the Man, great job. My question is with the acquisition of Moreno and with the slew of so-so running backs that McDaniels has signed, what is going to happen to Torain and Hillis? I'm more worried about Hillis because if McDaniels puts him back to fullback, Hillis won't play that much with McDaniels not so fullback friendly system.

BW: You're very kind, Aaron. I think Torain is history in Denver. I bet Hillis sticks around and carves out a decent niche for himself in McDaniels' system. He's the type of player coaches fall in love with once they are around for a while.


Ryan from NJ: Hey BW, great blog. I was wondering maybe McD purposefully didn't draft an NT. Maybe Ronnie Fields his actually a viable starting NT, who knows. Your thoughts?

BW: The Broncos didn't think there were any nose tackles worth taking on the second day. Expect Fields and Marcus Thomas to get a lot of playing time.


Steve from Atlanta: So, now that the Eagles and Giants both addressed their needs at WR through the draft, is there any chance the Chiefs make a play for Boldin? Pioli focused on the D-line, as he should, but we need to give Cassel a little more help after giving Gonzo to Atlanta and we have the cap space to give Boldin the kind of money he wants. Thanks to the Chiefs passing on Curry (mistake? it seems like a guy as talented as him could play in a 3-4 just as easily as a 4-3, and the analysts say Jackson will never be an elite pass rusher), how about new UFA Leroy Hill? Owen Daniels? What do you think?

BW: The Chiefs have an extra second-round pick next year. They have a ton of cap room and they could use another offensive weapon. Plus, there's the Todd Haley connection and the fact that there is less competition now. There are a lot of connections here that could make sense.