AFC West: Demetrius Byrd

You pick it responses

March, 26, 2010
3/26/10
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We had a runaway winner in this week’s “you pick it” feature.

Readers believe San Diego’s trade of No. 3 quarterback Charlie Whitehurst to Seattle for a switch of second-round picks next month (San Diego now picks at No. 40 and Seattle picks at No. 60) and a third-round pick next year. Whitehurst has never thrown an NFL pass.

The other candidates were Oakland and San Diego each getting a compensatory draft pick and San Diego cutting former draft pick Demetrius Byrd after he couldn’t recover from an auto accident.

I agree with the readers. The Whitehurst trade was, by far, the biggest news of the week in the AFC West. San Diego changed its draft status with the deal. Below are some of your responses. Thanks to everyone who participated:

Daylon from Wyoming: Has to be the Whitehurst trade. A Chargers fan said it best, that's the most he has done for the team. If he pans out as a franchise QB they really didn't give up alot for him but if he doesn't... Seattle fans will be constantly remind management about the players they could have had with those two picks.

Dan Moore from Midlothian, Va.: Definitely the Whitehurst trade. I knew he wouldn't be playing for the Chargers anytime soon, so I didn't mind getting rid of him. I was shocked, however, that he was able to get so much trade value. I'm hoping that this gets the Chargers Mt. Cody and maybe Dwyer or Matthews, now that we have both the 28th and I believe the 40th pick.

Justin Holmerud from Seattle: Hey Bill, it's gotta be the Chargers trade. I'm a Bolts fan living up here in Seattle, and while there isn't any snow on the ground here, the Seahawks got snowed. AJ Smith once again worked the system and proved why he's one of the best. The guy knows how to build a team and this is it. A guy who basically has the value of a clipboard holder gets us virtually a 1st and a 3rd next year when he was a 3rd to begin with?? Wow. Hats off to AJ...now break up the rest of the party boys.

Alex Feliciano from San Diego: The absolute fleecing of Seattle for "Sideline Jesus" is the story of the week. A.J. came through for us huge. Now, in a draft with numerous huge needs for the Chargers, we move up a jaw dropping 20 spots in the second round. I can see us walking away with a top 3 NT and a top 5 RB with positions 28 and 40 in the draft, as opposed to deciding between the two positions from a far smaller pool of quality picks. Add to that the abundance of third-round picks we will have for 2011and the ammunition that gives us for the future, I see the Chargers staying strong for much of the forseeable future. We really took the milk money on this one.
The candidates are:

San Diego gets two picks from Seattle: San Diego traded No. 3 quarterback Charlie Whitehurst to the Seahawks. As compensation, the two teams switched second-round picks next month. The Chargers will have the No. 40 overall pick and Seattle will have the No. 60 pick. Also, Seattle will send San Diego a third-round pick next year.

Compensatory picks given: San Diego received a fifth-round pick and Oakland received a seventh-round pick as compensatory picks next month.

San Diego releases Byrd: The Chargers cut receiver Demetrius Byrd on Monday. He was a seventh-round pick last year. Byrd was considered a third-round prospect, but suffered serious injuries in an auto accident a week before the draft. He never fully regained his health.

Pick your choice for the story of the week and hit my mailbag with your thoughts. I will post some of your responses later in the week.

Chargers release WR Byrd

March, 22, 2010
3/22/10
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Last year, in the seventh round, the Chargers made news by taking LSU receiver Demetrius Byrd.

The before he was drafted Byrd suffered major injuries in an auto accident. Prior to his accident, Byrd was considered a third-round prospect. However, Byrd has been unable to regain his full health and playing abilities. Monday, the Chargers released Byrd.

This was a low-risk, high-reward gamble for San Diego. Hopefully for Byrd, he can eventually regain his full health and attempt to resurrect his career.

Chargers trim roster

September, 1, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson


The Chargers got down to the NFL-mandated 75-player limit Tuesday by making three moves.

Rookie cornerback Brandon Hughes was put on the injured reserve. He suffered a major knee injury in practice Monday. Hughes was a fifth-round pick. The Chargers hoped he would play in their cornerback rotation.

Rookie receiver Demetrius Byrd was put on the reserve-non football injury list. Byrd was taken in the seventh round this season out of LSU. He was injured in an auto accident a week before the draft. Byrd was considered a mid-round pick before the accident.

The team also cut linebacker Anthony Felder.

Chargers announce several moves

August, 31, 2009
8/31/09
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Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson


The Chargers announced their trade for Houston defensive lineman Travis Johnson and four other moves.

The team signed seventh-round draft choice Demetrius Byrd. He is still recovering from injuries from an auto accident a week before the draft. Byrd was considered a mid-round pick before the accident. He is not expected to be able to play this season.

San Diego also cut three players: receivers Greg Carr and Rodgeriqus Smith and tackle Dan Gay. All three players were signed as unexpected free agents this year.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The AFC West draft pick watch is over.

Denver has agreed to terms with running back Knowshon Moreno. He agreed to a five-year, $23 million deal with more than $13 million in guaranteed money. Moreno was the No. 12 overall pick of the draft.

Denver's full squad began training camp last Friday. If Moreno catches up, he is expected to be a major part of Denver's offense. The Broncos, who will be a run-first offense, expect Moreno to be a three-down back. That's why Denver bypassed greater needs on defense to take the tailback with its first pick.

Moreno's agreement came hours after Kansas City signed top pick Tyson Jackson. This basically closes out the rookie signings in the division. San Diego's seventh-round pick, receiver Demetrius Byrd, is unsigned.

Byrd was in an auto accident a week before the draft and he is not expected to be able to play in 2009.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

I was traveling from Oakland's training camp (it was a solid visit as I conducted plenty of interviews) and I heard news of the second first-rounder in the AFC West to agree to terms.

San Diego and linebacker Larry English, the No. 16 overall pick, have struck a deal.

This is a good move for both the Chargers and English, a high-motor pass rusher from Northern Illinois. The Chargers' rookies practiced for three days this week before the full squad began camp Friday morning. Thus, English didn't miss much time.

This is important because the Chargers are expecting a lot from English this season. He should be fine since he missed minimal practice time.

The Chargers plan to use English as a pass rusher in situations with fellow pass-rushing linebacker Shawne Merriman. The Chargers plan to use fellow outside linebacker Shaun Phillips in a roving-type role with Merriman and English on the field.

The Chargers were thrilled with English's play and effort during the offseason.

Oakland signed receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey on Thursday. There are three remaining unsigned draft picks in the AFC West. Denver needs to sign Knowshon Moreno and Robert Ayers. Kansas City needs to sign Tyson Jackson.

The Chargers still have seventh-round pick Demetrius Byrd unsigned. However, he is recovering from injuries suffered in an auto accident suffered a week before the draft. He is not expected to be able to play this season.

AFC West draft pick update

July, 30, 2009
7/30/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

There has been progress in the AFC West in the past couple of days concerning rookie signings.

The Raiders have reportedly agreed to terms with receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey to a contract that will pay more than $23 million in guaranteed money. He is expected to be on the practice field Friday. He is the first first-round pick in the division to agree to terms and was the last Oakland draft pick to agree.

There are five other unsigned draft picks in the division:

Denver

Running back Knowshon Moreno (Rd. 1)

Defensive end/linebacker Robert Ayers (Rd. 1)

Kansas City

Defensive end Tyson Jackson (Rd. 1)

San Diego

Linebacker Larry English (Rd. 1)

Wide receiver Demetrius Byrd (Rd. 7)

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

San Diego rookie safety Kevin Ellison has ended an unusual holdout and agreed to a four-year deal. He will be on the field when the Chargers start their full-blown training camp Friday. A fourth day of rookie camp set or Thursday was canceled.

Ellison, a USC product, missed three days of rookie camp and San Diego coach Norv Turner said he was "disappointed" in Ellison's missing camp. It is highly unusual for late-round picks to hold out.

Ellison has a chance to start if he performs well in camp and in the preseason. The Chargers have two unsigned rookies remaining --- fist-round pick Larry English and seventh-round pick Demetrius Byrd. He was injured in auto accident a week before the draft and he likely won't play in 2009.

AFC West news and notes

July, 26, 2009
7/26/09
1:00
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The San Diego Chargers have signed two more draft picks. They inked running back Gartrell Johnson and offensive lineman Tyronne Green. The team has signed four rookies in the past two days. Their big fish, top pick Larry English, remains unsigned. The Chargers rookies begin training camp Monday.

The San Diego Union Tribune has an update on seventh-round pick Demetrius Byrd. He was injured in an auto accident shortly before the draft. The talented Byrd is still rehabilitating and likely will have to make his NFL debut in 2010.

The Oakland Tribune reports that Raiders guard Robert Gallery will miss the first two weeks of camp, which starts Thursday, because he recently had an emergency appendectomy. Barring a setback, though, Gallery should be fine in time for the season.

The Denver Post takes a look at the rough childhood of first-round pick Robert Ayers.

AFC West mailbag

July, 5, 2009
7/05/09
12:00
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Weekend mail call:

J-Ben from Wichita, KS wants to know if the Raiders could be in play for free agent wide receiver Marvin Harrison.

Bill Williamson: Harrison's foray into free agency has been interesting. You hear his name connected to teams once in a while, but he certainly hasn't been a hot name since. The latest team to surface is Minnesota. That makes sense, especially if Brett Favre signs with the Vikings. Harrison would be a perfect complementary receiver in Minnesota. Still, I maintain he'd be a nice fit in Oakland as well. The Raiders have young receivers who are fast but who are unproven. Harrison would be a nice No. 3 receiver and he'd be a great outlet for young Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Still, Harrison is used to being on a winning team and he likely wouldn't want to be part of a rebuilding project. So, if Minnesota really is an option, he might be more inclined to go there than Oakland if the Raiders came calling.


Zac Lopez from Pasadena, CA wants to know if there is an update on San Diego seventh-round pick Demetrius Byrd. The receiver was in an auto accident shortly before the draft.

BW: Byrd is being vey protected in his rehabilitation from injuries sustained in an April car accident. Many people around him are being quiet and they want him to get better outside of the spotlight of the media. That is understandable. I do know that Byrd is up and walking and working hard to get better. But there is no timeline. A full recovery expected. If I had to make a guess, I think Byrd will start training camp and the regular season on the physically unable to perform list. He could end up being out all year. Still, the Chargers are excited about Byrd's potential. Before his accident, which was six days before the draft, he was expected to be a third-round pick. The Chargers took him in the seventh round. Byrd wasn't taken as a novelty or as a favor. The Chargers like him and think he will be able to help down the road.


Taylor from Fort Myers, Florida wants to if Elvis Dumervil has a chance to shine in the Broncos' new defense.

BW: The Broncos have been working Dumervil as a linebacker in their new 3-4 scheme, headed by former San Francisco head coach Mike Nolan. Dumervil has been a small defensive end for Denver. He has 26 career sacks despite being brought along slowly as a rookie and despite having injuries last season. I think he can be effective in the 3-4 defense as a pass rusher. I'm not so sure Dumervil will be able to cover as a linebacker or play the run, but I'm sure the defense will be aligned will Dumervil will just have to pass rush. So, he'll likely still be a situational player, just from the linebacker position.

AFC West news and notes

May, 4, 2009
5/04/09
9:09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

San Diego Chargers seventh-round pick Demetrius Byrd has spoken publicly for the first time since an April 19 auto accident that hospitalized him and caused him to drop in the draft.

Byrd was expected to be a third-round pick prior to the accident. Yet, the deep-threat receiver fell all the way to the final round.

Byrd expressed gratitude to the Chargers and he vowed he will be ready soon to help contribute. This is going to be a very nice story to follow as Byrd makes his way back to the field.

Linebacker Larry Foote, cut by Pittsburgh on Monday, would fit in the 3-4 defenses used in Kansas City, Denver and San Diego.

The Chargers have no major need at linebacker. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Chiefs and Broncos showed interest. The Chiefs have about $30 million in salary-cap room. Foote has expressed an interest in playing for Detroit.

The Oakland Tribune looks at five players who need to step up beginning at this weekend's mandatory minicamp. The first name on the list is quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who is entering a critical season in his development.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

SAN DIEGO -- Jacob Hester reached out to former college teammate Demetrius Byrd after he suffered injuries in an auto accident a week prior to the draft. Hester didn't expect he'd be reaching out to Byrd again during the draft.

But Hester felt the urge to give Byrd his best wishes again when the San Diego Chargers, who drafted Hester out of LSU last year, shook up the seventh round by taking Byrd. The field-stretching Byrd was considered a third-round talent prior to the accident.

"Drafting him was great for us," Hester said during the Chargers' minicamp this weekend. "He is a great talent. He helped us win our national championship."

San Diego star tight end Antonio Gates wasn't practicing as a precaution due to a high ankle sprain he suffered late last season. Gates played, and played well, in the postseason despite the injury.

Gates said he expects to be fine by training camp. He said his big toe that bothered him for nearly a year is "structurally" fine. Gates is looking forward to better health in 2009.

"I don't know how I got through last season," Gates said. "The toe bothered me for months and then I hurt the ankle. But, somehow, I made it through."

The Chargers were pleased with the play of first-round pick Larry English during the minicamp. English, a pass-rushing linebacker from Northern Illinois who was the No. 16 pick, should make an immediate impact if he continues to progress.

The team was also pleased with the ability of fourth-round pick Vaughn Martin. The defensive end Western Ontario product will be brought along slowly, but the Chargers weren't disappointed in their first impression of him.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The San Diego Chargers made news in the seventh round by taking LSU wide receiver Demetrius Byrd.

Byrd is currently in a Florida hospital after suffering injuries in an auto accident last weekend. Byrd was expected to be a mid-round pick before his accident.

Byrd is expected to make a full recovery. He has solid skills so the Chargers, who are not in great need of receivers, got good value.

The Chargers can afford to allow Byrd time to recover. This was a low-risk move that could pay off big for San Diego.

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