Sunday, April 24, 2011
Where do they stand?
By Bill Williamson
Let’s take a look at one player from each team in the AFC West who should pay attention to the NFL draft, which runs Thursday-Saturday:
Denver, Tim Tebow, quarterback: It’s amazing that a first-round pick from a year ago is on this list. But the fact that Denver has looked at all of the top quarterback prospects warrants him being on this list. There is a school of thought that Denver could use one of its two second-round picks on a quarterback.
If that happens, it will be a clear signal that the team is not prepared to move forward with Tebow as the starter. I’d still be surprised if it happens, but this has to be nervous times for Tebow.
Kansas City, Branden Albert, left tackle: There has been talk that the Chiefs could grab a left tackle in the first round and move Albert to right tackle. In March, Kansas City coach Todd Haley said 2011 is a big year for the 2008 first-round pick.
I could see the inconsistent Albert getting another year to prove himself. If a left tackle available at No. 21 that is high on the Chiefs’ list, Albert could be on the move.
Oakland, Nnamdi Asomugha, cornerback: If Oakland takes a cornerback early, it could be another sign that it will not pursue Asomugha when free agency begins.
There have been hints of it all offseason, from the team using a significant amount of money to secure other pending free agents to Hue Jackson saying last week that young cornerbacks must step up if Asomugha leaves. The telltale sign would be Oakland using a premium pick on the position.
San Diego, Darren Sproles, running back/returner: Sproles is a free agent. San Diego likely won’t want to give him a big-dollar deal after paying him more than $13 million in the past two seasons combined. Plus, the team likes its running back tandem of Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert. The team has been looking at returners in the draft.
If another running back or a receiver/returner such as Troy’s Jerrel Jernigan is grabbed, Sproles will likely be on his way out.