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AFC West mailbag

Weekend mail call:

Michael from Council Bluffs, Iowa wants to know what to expect from Denver top pick Demaryius Thomas.

Bill Williamson: The Denver Broncos believe Thomas -- the Georgia Tech wide receiver drafted with the 22nd pick -- has the ability to be the No. 1 receiver right away. After trading Brandon Marshall to Miami, Denver has a glaring need for a top receiver. Thomas will not be brought along slowly and the Broncos want him to shine right away. It’s a lot to ask for from a rookie, but Thomas is a skilled, hard worker. Despite the organization's expectations, I think it will be a few seasons before Thomas fully develops.

Darryl from Oakland, Calif., wants to know if Raiders’ third-round pick Jared Veldheer could be an opening-day starter.

BW: I think he could be in the mix at right tackle if he performs well. The Oakland Raiders like this 6-foot-8, 312-pound prospect very much. Veldheer is athletic and very strong. The key to his success will be if he can transition from Division II Hillsdale College to the NFL. It may be hard for Veldheer to compete against NFL defensive ends in just four months, but he'll start if he can handle the task.

Jason from Fresno, Calif., wants to know if there is any chance the San Diego Chargers could play without restricted free agents Vincent Jackson or Marcus McNeill this year.

BW: Jackson and McNeill, along with receiver Malcom Floyd have not signed their restricted free agents tenders. I knows that makes some fans nervous, but you don’t need to worry about it. These players aren’t going anywhere. Sure, the Chargers could trade these guys, but I expect them to all be in San Diego in 2010. There is just no rush. But if the players don’t sign their tenders, they don’t get paid. That's not going to happen.