NFC West: Erik Lorig

Andrew from Menlo Park, Calif., thinks trading Arizona Cardinals first-round pick Patrick Peterson to Philadelphia for quarterback Kevin Kolb would make "perfect sense" given each team's needs and recent drafting.

Mike Sando: There's no way I would trade a top-five pick in the draft -- and arguably the best player in the draft, regardless of position -- for a quarterback with question marks.

How well would Kolb fit in the Cardinals' system? Is he good enough to lead a team to a championship? What other options might there be in the market when the signing period eventually does open? If Kolb were the right fit, why not trade a 2012 draft choice, possibly even a conditional one, instead of a player projected to start in 2011?

Peterson offers so much at cornerback and in the return game. I'd be more inclined to part with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Cardinals' other high-profile corner, given that he did not play to expectations last season. Rodgers-Cromartie has also had a couple injuries, and he isn't as aggressive a tackler as the prototypical Ray Horton corner.

Even then, I would have some reservations if I were Arizona. The Eagles would be giving up a backup in exchange for a starter. Arizona would have to feel very good about Kolb.


Mitch from Australia wonders who will start in the Seahawks' secondary and which players the team could pursue in free agency.

Mike Sando: The trading period could again affect which cornerbacks are on the roster. The team wants to get bigger at cornerback and younger in general. Trading Josh Wilson to Baltimore helped in the size department. Next, we need to see how the push toward youth affects veterans on the roster, including cornerback Marcus Trufant.

Free safety Earl Thomas is the only sure starter, in my view. Trufant will start if he remains on the roster. Walter Thurmond has a good shot at starting at the other cornerback spot now that he's had more time to fully recover from the knee injury that affected his draft stock in 2010. Kam Chancellor will be in the mix to start at strong safety.

It's tough to make projections regarding the defensive backs Seattle selected in the 2011 draft. There's a chance any one of them could secure a spot in the rotation, but we haven't seen any of them on the field yet.

On the free agency front, we need to know how many years players will need to reach free agency, and whether rules governing playoff teams will restrict Seattle's options.


Doug from Newbury Park, Calif., asks about the San Francisco 49ers' decision to convert Bruce Miller to fullback given how impressive Miller was on defense in college. He wants to know how often teams make these sorts of conversions and whether Trent Baalke, the 49ers' general manager, made the decision in this case.

Mike Sando: These sorts of conversions are fairly uncommon in general, but they are sometimes a necessity when trying to find fullbacks. Few college offenses feature traditional fullbacks, making it tougher for NFL teams to find them. The 49ers admitted they wanted to draft Stanford fullback Owen Marecic, but it didn't happen.

While Baalke is ultimately responsible for the 49ers' personnel decisions, coach Jim Harbaugh knows what he wants at the fullback position. He also has first-hand experiences to draw from in projecting which types of defensive players might convert well to fullback. One of the defensive linemen he coached at Stanford, Erik Lorig, has made the conversion to fullback with Tampa Bay. He played in nine games, starting one, as a rookie last season.


James from San Diego thinks the St. Louis Rams gave new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels considerable power in determining offensive draft choices. He questions whether this is a good thing given all the personnel mistakes that doomed McDaniels' tenure as head coach in Denver.

Mike Sando: Second-round choice Lance Kendricks should answer this question for us. General manager Billy Devaney said McDaniels was particularly instrumental in that selection, given how Kendricks would fit as a receiving threat in the Rams' offense. The receivers St. Louis drafted also fit the McDaniels mold, at least in terms of height and weight. But Devaney indicated those selections were driven more by how the organization rated them than by what McDaniels specifically thought of them.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

NFC WEST SCOREBOARD