AFC West: Colt McCoy

How would Michael Vick look as Colin Kaepernick’s backup?

Peter King of Sports Illustrated thinks he would fit quite nicely. King pegs the 49ers as a “dark horse” candidate to land Vick, who will not be returning to Philadelphia. King writes that if Vick doesn’t get any firm starting job bites, he could be interested in playing for a contender like the 49ers as a backup.

It’s a pretty interesting connection. Vick is a mobile quarterback, like Kaepernick. It is ideal when the backup quarterback has a similar style to the starter. That helps the entire offense transition if the backup has to play. Vick would be a better scheme fit than 2013 backup Colt McCoy, who is also a free agent.

Having a reliable player like Vick backing up Kaepernick could ease the team’s concerns about Kaepernick running in the regular season. It was clear in the playoffs that the 49ers are much more comfortable with Kaepernick running when all the chips are on the table. Knowing there is a quality backup may open up the playbook a bit throughout the season.

I’m sure the 49ers will consider taking a backup quarterback in the May draft, but if the price and timing is right, Vick could be a short-term answer.

Raiders' QB wait marches on

March, 31, 2013
As the Raiders wait for the Matt Flynn-Carson Palmer saga to unfold, a backup plan is now off the table.

Former Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb agreed to terms with Buffalo. He was reportedly being considered by Oakland if the Flynn trade doesn’t go through and Palmer doesn’t take a pay cut. The options are very few now if that scenario doesn't unfold.

Likely options would be bypassing massive defensive needs and taking West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith with the No. 3 pick. The Raiders could perhaps pursue Cleveland’s Colt McCoy, although he's not considered a starter. Oakland could also commit to third-year player Terrelle Pryor as the starter, but it doesn’t seem like the team is quite ready to go that route.

Right now, the main possibilities are Flynn and Palmer. The Flynn trade could go through in the next couple of days if he and the Raiders come to a contractual accord.

The Arizona Republic is reporting the Cardinals are not willing to give up much in a trade for Palmer. He is expected to be cut if he doesn’t take a pay cut.

Meanwhile, Cleveland reportedly has small interest in Giants receiver/returner Domenik Hixon. The former Denver draft choice visited the Raiders a few days ago.
Alex Smith AP Photo/Tony AvelarAlex Smith may be Kansas City's best option if they are looking to add a veteran quarterback.
The biggest story in the AFC West heading into the new league year will be to see where the Kansas City Chiefs find their new starting quarterback.

We may have an answer soon. Quarterbacks have worked out at the NFL combine and the NFL league season starts March 12. The Chiefs can either then trade for a veteran or sign one. Let’s look at the options as the Andy Reid era in Kansas City begins with a big decision:


I am listing these players first because even though the Chiefs have the No. 1 pick, I think they are leaning toward pursuing a veteran.

Most Likely

Alex Smith, San Francisco:

Why he fits: Several recent reports have identified the Chiefs as Smith’s greatest pursuer. Getting the former 49ers’ starter will probably require a trade instead of waiting for him to be cut. I think it may be worth it since he may be the best fit of all of the available quarterbacks this year. He is not perfect, but he could be a good bridge quarterback for a year or two while the Chiefs wait for a better option. Smith has shown he can be a part of a quality team. He is smart and he has played winning football. With good coaching and a solid unit around him, I think Smith can help the Chiefs win games.

Why he doesn’t fit: He is not going to wow anyone and is probably not a long-term answer. He also probably reminds too many people of outgoing Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel. Smith also can’t win games alone on a regular basis.

Nick Foles, Philadelphia:

Why he fits: Reid drafted him in the third round last year and made him his starter. There has been a report that stated the Chiefs have asked about Foles. I think it is worth Reid’s time to pursue him. They made good headway together last year and it could be interesting to see the relationship continue. If Foles can develop, he can be a long-term answer. How many other veterans on this list can that be said about?

Why he doesn’t fit: As of now, the Eagles are maintaining he is not available. But that could change since he doesn’t seem like a perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s offense. If the Chiefs’ compensation package is tempting, I can see the Eagles letting go of Foles. It wouldn't be smart to keep a quarterback who doesn’t fit a system instead of getting an additional draft pick to go after a player who does.

Matt Flynn, Seattle

Why he fits: Flynn is a West Coast offense quarterback who came from Green Bay. He was there with new Kansas City general manager John Dorsey. Flynn doesn’t fit anymore in Seattle, but he can develop into a decent player. If the price tag and Flynn’s salary are right (both should be), it could be worth giving Flynn a flier as a backup option to Smith and Foles. It’s not a great year for quarterbacks. Sometimes, teams have to take chances. This would be a low-risk chance and he fits the team's needs.

Why he doesn’t fit: There is a chance the Chiefs may have to go find another quarterback next year if Flynn is acquired.

Other possibilities:

Jason Campbell (Chicago), Ryan Mallett (New England), Colt McCoy (Cleveland) Kyle Orton (Dallas), Carson Palmer (Oakland), Braden Weeden (Cleveland),

Summary: This isn’t a great list and there are no guarantees everyone on this list will be available. Palmer’s availability will be a longshot. Guys like Mallett and Weeden could be intriguing because they both have a chance to develop even though Weeden is already 29.


First round

Geno Smith, West Virginia:

Why he fits: I put Smith on the favorite list along with Alex Smith, Foles and Flynn. I’m not sure Smith will be worthy of the No. 1 pick, but there are some things to like about his game. Many scouts think he’d be a nice fit for Reid’s offense. He has all the tools and he is a good pocket passer who can get out and run. Of this entire rookie class, he looks like the best quarterback.

Why he doesn’t fit: He’s no sure thing and nothing sets a franchise back like blowing the No.1 pick. Geno Smith comes with risks.

Second-tier options

Matt Barkley (USC), Tyler Bray (Tennessee), Mike Glennon (North Carolina (Syracuse), E.J. Manuel (Florida State), Ryan Nassib (Syracuse) Tyler Wilson (Arkansas)

Summary: I could see the Chiefs getting a veteran, adding a top player elsewhere in the draft and then taking a quarterback at No. 34 or No. 65 to develop. I think Barkley, Wilson, Bray and Manuel could all particularly interest the Chiefs. None of them may be the answer, but it could be worth getting them in the system and to try to develop them in a year where there is no such thing as a guarantee.
In an Insider piece, Matt Williamson projects the top 15 offensive linemen for the 2015 season. None of them play in the AFC West. Williamson does give Denver left tackle Ryan Clady and Oakland center Stefen Wisniewski honorable mentions. I think Oakland left tackle Jared Veldheer also deserves consideration.

In other AFC West notes:

I don’t make a whole lot about practice squad player Adam Weber running as the No. 2 quarterback in Denver’s minicamp. It’s early and the Broncos are just checking things out. If Weber is the No. 2 in the regular season, that means Caleb Hanie (who is expected to be the backup) won’t make the team. There is no way second-round pick Brock Osweiler is not making the team, and there is little chance four quarterbacks will be carried on the 53-man roster.

So should the Broncos be considered a potential destination for Colt McCoy?

The Kansas City Star has a stellar read on Dontari Poe’s personal struggles.
There are reports that the Cleveland Browns would like to trade Colt McCoy.

Of course, that means I have received a lot of questions about if he would interest any of the teams in the AFC West. I don't think the AFC West is a great place for backup quarterbacks, and I don’t see any teams that would make a big run at McCoy.

I guess the most logical would be Kansas City because new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was McCoy’s offensive coordinator in 2010 with the Browns. McCoy started eight games that season.

However, a Yahoo report from last November makes it difficult to think Daboll and McCoy would work together again. Apparently, Daboll was very hard on McCoy during his rookie season. So, I’d say it is highly doubtful Daboll would endorse the pursuit of McCoy to the Chiefs’ brass.

I don’t see a natural fit for McCoy in any other city. He’d probably be an upgrade over Charlie Whitehurst as Philip Rivers’ backup in San Diego. Yet, I really don’t see the Chargers being interested in him.

Colt McCoy to the AFC West?

April, 27, 2012

With word that the Cleveland Browns will try to trade quarterback Colt McCoy, I’ve been asked often if he will fit in the AFC West. Oakland is the only team in the division without a true backup at that position. If the Oakland Raiders want to bring in McCoy, fine, built I don’t think it is pressing and I’m not a big McCoy fan, so I don’t think it should be a priority. There is a report that says McCoy could be sent to Green Bay.

In other AFC West news:

ESPN’s Ed Werder reported the Cowboys could listen to offers for cornerback Mike Jenkins. I think he could be a good fit for Oakland and he is fairly inexpensive. It may be worth a call for the Raiders.

Please check out our draft tracker. It has analysis and video of each pick and offers nice insight into new Chief Dontari Poe and new Charger Melvin Ingram.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ long journey for a new offensive coordinator took them back to one of the first names that popped up for the job.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the Chiefs will hire Brian Daboll as coordinator of the potentially dangerous offense. Daboll, 36, was a finalist along with Kansas City quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn and Al Saunders, a former Kansas City offensive coordinator who was just replaced in Oakland.

Daboll emerged as an early candidate. He continues the New England Way in Kansas City. He was in New England with Kansas City general manger Scott Pioli and Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel during the last decade.

There were reports last month that the Chiefs were looking for a dynamic offensive coordinator and Schefter reported that former Green Bay head coach Mike Sherman, who ended up as the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator, was on the Chiefs' radar. While Daboll is considered a promising young coach, it would be inaccurate to describe his previous experience as an NFL offensive coordinator as dynamic.

He was the Browns’ offensive coordinator from 2009-2010 and he was Miami’s offensive coordinator in 2011. Those offenses struggled. However, Miami’s offense made strides in the second half of last season and running back Reggie Bush had his best NFL season under Daboll’s guidance.

Daboll has a reputation for being a hard-edged coach. He was particularly hard on Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy when he was a rookie in 2010.

Daboll’s hiring may be a good sign for Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel. They worked together for two years in New England. Both Pioli and Crennel said this week that Cassel will face competition. It is not known yet if the team will bring in someone to legitimately push Cassel or not.

Daboll is inheriting a potentially strong offense. The team will get star running back Jamaal Charles back after he blew out his knee in Week 2. Promising tight end Tony Moeaki will be back after missing the entire season with a knee injury. The passing game has a chance to be very good, particularly if free agent Dwayne Bowe returns. So, there are plenty of pieces for Daboll to work with.

It will be interesting to see if Zorn stays or if the Chiefs bring in a new quarterbacks coach. The Kansas City Star reported that Zorn may quit if he didn’t get the promotion.

UPDATE: reported Saturday that Zorn will stay in Kansas City unless the Steelers approach him for their offensive coordinator job. This decision should serve the Chiefs well. Zorn had a good relationship with the quarterbacks last year and keeping him will ensure continuity.
Cam Newton, Tim Tebow & Blaine GabbertGetty ImagesMany scouts are saying they'd take Cam Newton, left, or Blaine Gabbert, right, over Tim Tebow.
The Tim Tebow debate rages on one year after he was the most dissected prospect in the 2010 NFL draft.

Last year, the Denver Broncos shocked the NFL by taking Tebow with the No. 25 overall pick. Now, it is the Broncos who are considering Tebow’s future.

The Broncos are working out or visiting with several of the top quarterback prospects in the draft. Legendary Denver quarterback and new Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway has said Denver’s interest in quarterbacks is not a smokescreen to confuse other teams. Yet Elway also said the team’s interest in quarterbacks doesn’t mean the team is not sold on Tebow. Elway insists the Broncos simply don’t want to bypass a franchise quarterback if he’s available.

Earlier this week, ESPN’s John Clayton said he thinks Elway might take a quarterback in the second round and admit that the Tebow pick -- which was made by former Denver coach Josh McDaniels -- was a mistake. With Tebow’s future perhaps unclear again, we polled several draft experts and experienced NFL scouts about what they think Denver should do and how Tebow stacks up against the better quarterback prospects of 2011.

[+] EnlargeJohn Elway
AP Photo/Barry GutierrezJohn Elway and the Broncos may be looking for Tim Tebow's replacement already.
Tebow remains a polarizing figure. The experts are divided. Some think Tebow is a born leader. Others wouldn’t touch him because of an unrefined throwing motion.

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper still has a difficult time grading Tebow because he doesn’t think he can be a pro-style quarterback. Kiper thinks Tebow would likely be a fourth-round pick in 2011. Former NFL scout Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. thinks Tebow is the answer in Denver because he projects better to the NFL than Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, who could be the No. 1 overall pick by Carolina. Horton said it would be “ridiculous” and Denver would be “absolutely crazy” to draft Newton or Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert at No. 2 and ignore its massive defensive needs after drafting a quarterback in the first round last year.

The other quarterbacks who could be taken in the first three rounds are Washington’s Jake Locker, Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett, TCU’s Andy Dalton, Florida State’s Christian Ponder, Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick and Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi. Kiper and Scouts Inc.’s Matt Williamson and Steve Muench think most of them are better NFL quarterback prospects than Tebow.

“Tim Tebow is interesting because so many people have different opinions about him,” Muench said. “That’s what Denver is probably trying to figure out right now. In a lot of ways, I’d say there are a lot better options than Tebow, but then, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tim Tebow succeeds because of what kind of person and leader he is. … It’s not easy.”

Muench said Scouts Inc. had Tebow rated as a late second-round or an early third-round prospect last year. He was the fourth-rated quarterback on Scouts Inc.’s list behind Sam Bradford (who went to St. Louis at No. 1), Jimmy Clausen (No. 47, Carolina) and Colt McCoy (No. 85, Cleveland). Muench said this year’s quarterback class is much better than the 2010 class. Thus, he thinks Tebow would be a fourth-round prospect, and a similar prospect to Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor. Some teams think Taylor is best-suited for another position. Last year, Kiper looked at Tebow as an H-back prospect (and perhaps some teams did, as well). Kiper’s thoughts haven’t changed.

“I don’t think many teams would look at him in the second or third rounds,” Kiper said. “He’s not up there with Newton and Gabbert, then he’d be behind second-level guys like Andy Dalton. Ponder is moving like crazy. … I think Tebow would certainly be the fourth or fifth, sixth or seventh quarterback on teams' boards.”

[+] EnlargeTim Tebow
Justin Edmonds/Getty ImagesSome scouts thought Tim Tebow would be better served as an H-back in the NFL.
Still, Horton would rather have Tebow than Newton, who’ll certainly be a top-12 pick.

“There are football questions about Tebow, but there’s also football questions about Newton,” Horton said. “There are no intangible questions about Tebow. But there are intangibles questions about Newton."

Horton thinks Denver should either let veteran quarterback Kyle Orton start the season and replace him with Tebow when the season goes south or go with Tebow to start the season. Horton reasons that quarterbacks emerge as top draft prospects every year and there will be plenty of options next year if Tebow fails, perhaps even Stanford gem Andrew Luck.

“If it doesn’t work with Tebow, well, then you move on, but you have to see what he can do,” Horton said. “Tebow was drafted as a developmental guy. Don’t run out of patience with him before he gets a chance to develop.”

Williamson said he never thought it was a good idea for Denver to draft Tebow and he would support Elway’s decision to pull the plug now. He thinks there are several second-round type prospects who would be better options than Tebow in Denver.

“I would certainly rather have Gabbert, Newton and Ponder over Tebow, in that order. And there could be an argument made for the others,” Williamson said. “I would take Mallett for sure over [Tebow]. Tebow and Locker are similar -- big, strong guys with suspect accuracy/passing skills, but Locker is further along coming out of school than Tebow.”

However, former Carolina and St. Louis draft executive Tony Softli said he had Tebow ranked as a low second-round pick last year when Softli was with the Rams. He said he wouldn’t draft a quarterback this year. He believes in Tebow. Softli raved about Tebow’s leadership ability, his history as a winner and his intelligence. Softli said Tebow, Matt Ryan, Bradford and Josh Freeman were the brightest quarterback prospects he’s seen in the past 10 years when it came to working on the grease board and breaking down the game.

“I understand why Denver is looking at quarterbacks -- they’re doing their homework and that’s smart -- but I think Tebow is going to be the guy,” Softli said. “I think the Broncos should forget about his throwing motion and just let him be who he is. His intangibles are off the charts. When it’s Tebow time, he’ll show he’s the answer.”

It’s clear. The Tebow debate is not over.
With Denver starting quarterback Kyle Orton listed as questionable to play Sunday at Oakland, rookie Tim Tebow has a chance to start against the Raiders. It will likely be a game-time decision.

If Tebow starts he will be the seventh rookie quarterback to start a game this season. Minnesota sixth-round pick Joe Webb may be in line to start Monday night.

Tebow was the No. 25 overall pick in the draft. He has only played in special package. Here is a look at the other rookie quarterbacks who have started this season:

Raiders now have legitimate QB

April, 24, 2010
OK, it’s official: The Oakland Raiders found the quarterback they were looking for this offseason.

[+] EnlargeJason Campbell
Icon SMIJason Campbell passed for 3,618 yards and 20 touchdowns last season.
In their latest attempt to upgrade a large but unimpressive quarterback group, the Raiders are trying to salvage the starting career of disposed Washington starter Jason Campbell. Oakland gave up a fourth-round pick in 2012. That’s a bargain price for a starting quarterback. Ironically, Oakland owner Al Davis finally got his new quarterback by dealing with former charges Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen.

Campbell was given a contract extension through the 2011 season. It is clear Oakland is putting its offense in the hands of Campbell.

This is a good move for the short term. Campbell, a former first-round pick, is average. That means he’s much better than JaMarcus Russell, Bruce Gradkowski, Kyle Boller and Charlie Frye.

Campbell won’t lose games for Oakland. He will keep the Raiders competitive. He should account for two or three more wins. So, Oakland should be out of that 11-loss danger zone. The Raiders have lost 11 or more games for the past seven years, which is an NFL record.

Campbell is the big move Oakland has been toying with all offseason. They were linked to Donovan McNabb (who was traded to Washington and who replaced Campbell), Ben Roethlisberger and Sage Rosenfels.

Campbell, 28, is not necessarily a long-term answer. But he has started 45 games in the past three seasons and he is steady. He has improved each season. He threw for 3,618 yards and 20 touchdowns last season. Compare those with Russell’s numbers and Campbell looks like a Pro Bowl player.

Campbell has the big arm Oakland covets and he is a smart player. He should help Oakland’s young receiving corps of Chaz Schilens, Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Provided the receivers hold onto the ball better, Oakland’s passing game should be improved.

The Raiders also have running backs Michael Bush and Darren McFadden. If these two runners can become more consistent, Oakland’s offense should be much improved. Or at least, it should be competitive, which wasn’t the case much of last year. Oakland upgraded its defense with Rolando McClain and Lamarr Houston in the first and second round.

Saturday, Oakland addressed another big need. I was critical of the Raiders on Friday night for bypassing falling quarterbacks Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy. The Raiders needed to address the future at the position. Saturday, in the form of Campbell, the team addressed the immediate future and that’s good enough.

I applaud Oakland for realizing it needed to do something at quarterback. Even if Campbell just helps for the next two years, it can get Oakland out of the abyss. The quarterback position was holding Oakland back.

It’s time for Russell to be cut. Gradkowski is a nice backup option, but he has limitations. Oakland broadened its quarterback horizons with the Campbell deal. Now, it can finally become a legitimate NFL franchise.


Eric Decker falls to Denver

April, 23, 2010
Englewood, Colo. -- Eric Decker considers Brandon Stokley a mentor.

Now, they are teammates.

In one of the more intriguing picks of the latter part of the third round, Denver took Decker, a standout receiver from Minnesota with the No. 87 pick. Decker, a prolific receiver from Minnesota, was expected to be a high pick.

A prolific receiver, Decker was expected to be a high draft pick until he suffered a Lisfranc sprain -- a tear of the ligament that holds the first two toes in place.

Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said Friday night that Decker should be ready to by June.

The pick helps Denver solidify a shaky receiver group after the Broncos traded Brandon Marshall. Both Decker and No. 22 pick Demaryius Thomas, who is coming off a broken foot, should be given a chance to make an immediate impact at the position.

Thomas is a big speedster, while Decker is more of a possession player. He had just three drops in 354 targets.

The Broncos also solidified their offensive line with Zane Beadles at No. 45 and Center J.D. Walton at No. 80. Because Denver has an opening at center, Walton has a chance to start right away. Beadles, who played tackle the past three seasons at Utah, will likely play guard.

McDaniels reiterated Friday night that Kyle Orton will be the starter going into the 2010 season despite having selected Tim Tebow with the 25th pick. Interestingly, McDaniels said the Broncos had visited with Colt McCoy on Sunday before visiting with Tebow on Monday.

The Broncos have taken five offensive players with their first five picks. McDaniels said that was not by design and the team will look at some defensive players Saturday with one of their two remaining picks.

Getty ImagesThe Oakland Raiders had the opportunity to draft quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Jimmy Clausen, but passed on both.

Keep getting in shape, JaMarcus Russell. It appears you will be getting another chance.

Unless Jason Campbell ends up in Oakland -- and is he really a long-term answer? -- it appears the Raiders are comfortable moving ahead with their current group of quarterbacks for the time being.

To me, the lack of attention the Raiders gave two big-time quarterback prospects Friday night is the story of the second and third rounds in the AFC West.

The Raiders saw both Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy fall into their laps. And they swatted the two youngsters away, ignoring a huge issue. The Raiders have other needs and it wouldn’t have bothered me if they entered the draft with the idea of not taking a quarterback early.

But when two potential starters like Clausen and McCoy fall, you have to adjust. Oakland didn’t.

The Raiders did a terrific job of landing star-in-waiting middle linebacker Rolando McClain at No. 8 on Thursday night. They then traded down from No. 39 to No. 42 to No. 44 in the second round to compile a couple of late-round choices. The Raiders took Texas defensive tackle Lamarr Houston at No. 44. No complaints. He is a run-stuffer and he fills a need. He’ll team nicely with McClain as Oakland tries to stop being a sieve against the run.

But Clausen was sitting there at No. 44. It could have been a nice gift for Oakland to take the Notre Dame product, who appears to be pro-ready. He went later in the second round to Carolina.

In the third round, Oakland addressed its biggest need with tackle Jared Veldheer from tiny Hillsdale College. He is an interesting prospect. He could be good, but he is not going to help right away.

A play for McCoy at No. 69 could have been worth the risk.

Yes, I get that McCoy is small and he doesn’t have a cannon arm. But guess what? That’s exactly the book on Bruce Gradkowski, who is currently Oakland’s most exciting option.

I know Al Davis loves rocket-armed quarterbacks, but that's what got him this mess with Russell. Winning quarterbacks don’t have to have big arms.

The Raiders need to do something. Why didn’t they take a shot at Clausen or McCoy? Both players would have been freebies because they weren’t expected to be on the board.

Oakland looked into quarterbacks this offseason. They have been linked to Donovan McNabb, Ben Roethlisberger, Campbell and even Sage Rosenfels. Perhaps Oakland will make a play for Campbell, whether he is traded for a late draft pick or if he is released by Washington. But he doesn’t create excitement for the future.

You can’t blame Oakland for looking. Russell has been a disaster. Gradkowski is a short-term answer at best. Charlie Frye and Kyle Boller don’t exactly stir confidence either.

As of now, it looks like Oakland will actually go to camp with Russell and Gradkowski fighting for the starting job. The Raiders are ready to give Russell one more chance. We all know what is going to happen. Gradkowski will outplay Russell in the preseason and the offense will perform better with Gradkowski than Russell, as was the case last year. Russell will prove he is a failure and the Raiders will have to look for a franchise quarterback in next year’s draft. By the way, the Raiders don’t have a first-round pick in next year’s draft.

They could have given themselves a crack at one this year for a cheap price in the form of Clausen or McCoy, who went late in the third round to Cleveland.

Oakland could very well take a quarterback with one of its six picks in the final four rounds. The team likes players such as Mike Kafka of Northwestern and Jonathan Crompton of Tennessee. Both are long-term projects.

There are no easy answers. That’s why Clausen and McCoy should have been looked at.

Second-round possibilities

April, 23, 2010
Because this is such a deep class, there are several terrific players available in the second round.

The following are some of the players I think could be interesting to each AFC West team.

Denver, No. 45

Donald Butler, LB, Washington

Eric Decker, WR, Minnesota

Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona

Linval Joseph, DL, East Carolina

Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas

Brian Price, DT, UCLA

Kansas City, No. 36, No. 50

Jon Asamoah, G, Illinois

Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois

Charles Brown, OT, USC

Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame

Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama

Brian Price, DT, UCLA

Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana

Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame

Oakland, No. 39

Charles Brown, OT, USC

Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame

Vladimir Ducasse, OL, Massachusetts

Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida

Colt McCoy, QB, Texas

Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana

Cam Thomas, DT, North Carolina

San Diego does not have a have a second-round pick. It does have three third-round picks next year, so it could move up to make a run at a player such as Cody or Price.
Adam Schefter is reporting Kansas City offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is trying to talk the team’s brass into taking Jimmy Clausen at No. 36.

He better be.

If the Chiefs can finagle Clausen at No. 36, it could a great steal and a no-brainer. There was speculation the Chiefs would take Clausen at No. 5 because he was coached at Notre Dame by Weis. That would have been silly considering how much money the Chiefs have invested in Matt Cassel.

However, in the second round, it would be a great value pick. Clausen could be groomed behind Cassel and if he failed in a couple of years, Clausen would be a get a backup plan.

The problem is, the Chiefs will have wait three long picks to get a chance to grab Clausen. Expect the Rams, who have the No. 33 pick, to get several great offers from teams looking to steal Clausen.

Perhaps Oakland will be one of them? Mel Kiper had the Raiders taking Clausen at No. 8 on his mock draft. The Raiders have the No. 39 pick. Friday, perhaps the Raiders will move up to take him.

Then there’s Texas’ Colt McCoy. He could be there at No. 39 if the Raiders are interested.

AFC West mailbag

April, 3, 2010
Weekend mail call:

Tony from San Jose wants to know if Alabama nose tackle Terrence Cody could end up in the AFC West:

Bill Williamson: There is a good chance. Cody is a classic 3-4 nose tackle and Denver, Kansas City and San Diego use the 3-4 defense. So, there will be interest. I know all three teams are looking at Cody. I’d say San Diego had the best chance to land Cody, then Kansas City and then Denver. San Diego has the No.28 pick and Cody could be the target. The Chargers badly need a nose tackle. If he gets to the second round, Kansas City could jump on him. He’d help immediately. He may not last until Denver picks in the second round and the Broncos have the least immediate need for Cody of the three teams because they upgraded during free agency and signed former Charger Jamal Williams.

David from Dallas wants to know if the Chiefs will add at the receiver position.

BW: I wouldn’t be surprised if Kansas City added a receiver with one of their two second-round picks. A real possibly has to be Notre Dame’s Golden Tate. He played for new Kansas City offensive coordinator Charlie Weis in college. Tate would fit in with the Chiefs immediately as a reserve as in the future. If it is not Tate, expect the Chiefs to take a receive early. It needs to upgrade at the position.

Jason McConnell from Omaha wants to know if there are any quarterbacks other than Donovan McNabb that would end up in Oakland.

BW: There aren’t many quality veteran quarterbacks available at this time. If Oakland doesn’t acquire McNabb, it may be difficult for it to find a sure upgrade over its current crew of quarterbacks. There was a report that Oakland had preliminary talks with Minnesota about No. 3 quarterback Sage Rosenfels. But isn’t much to get excited about. If McNabb isn’t brought to Oakland, the Raiders will likely look at quarterbacks in the rounds 2-4 of the draft. Players such as Colt McCoy and Dan LeFevour are possibilities. Neither of these players (who both lack the strong arm Oakland looks for in a quarterback) would be able to help right away.