AFC West mailbag

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
Weekend mail call:

Joey from Richmond, ca: Hey bill you are doing a great job covering the AFC west. I am just woundering if the Raiders go out and release Javon Walker and release Michael Huff. They just completley sratr over like the chiefs this year and the falcons were going to do but they ended up wining. Their is only seven draft picks and their is only so much money we can spend this off season.How do you see this team doing next year. Oh yea and next year we have to play the NFC east next year.
BW: Thanks, Joey. I could potentially see both players cut. It would cost some money but the Raiders may be fed up enough to let both Walker and Huff go. Neither player has done much to merit staying another year in Oakland.

Serr Her: Hey Bill, The broncos have I think 10 draft picks, don't you see them trading up and getting one of USC's MAGNFICENT defensive players like MLB Rey Maualuga or Safety Taylor Mays? Also what are the chances Shanahan goes to a 3-4 defense and have woodyard and Dj Williams play at the same time? you can make Woodyard the future Merriman and have Williams lead you in tackles like he does every year, and this way you just need to find a defensive line, by the way is there anyone notable in the defensive line that is coming up in the draft? sorry bout all the questions, just kinda curious!
BW: As far the 3-4 defense goes, the Broncos were not very good at it this season. Perhaps with an entire offseason to plan, it would be better. I think the more likely scenario is that Woodyard is moved to the strongside for 2009. As far as the USC kids, Denver could move up. It has before. So anything is possible.

Brad from Suffolk, VA: First off I just want to say good job on the AFC West. Wish I could say the same about the teams. My question is about McFaddens role in the Oakland offense next year. He has shown in a few games this year that he can break away for a long gain running the ball. Also that he has the hands of a Tight End, when the ball is catchable. Do you think they will put him in as the primary back over Fargas or use him in more of a screen situation and put him out in the flats against LB's to use his speed and hands?
BW: Thanks, Brad. The Oakland coaching staff needs to spend a fair amount of the offseason trying to figure a way to use McFadden. He is a terrific weapon potentially. But he hasn't made an impact. The coaching staff has to get him more involved. In Oakland's last game, at San Diego, McFadden had just three touches. That is ridiculous.

Jeff from Lafayette, LA: What ever happened to Niko Koutouvides? I thought the Broncos brought him in to be their next middle linebacker. I don't even see him on special teams. With all the injuries the Broncos have at lineback, it seems like Koutouvides would at least be in their rotation.
BW: Koutouvides is now a third string outside linebacker. He was moved from the middle. He was signed as a free agent from Seattle to be the middle linebacker but he could not win the job. He is doing a good job on special teams but he was paid to be a starter.

Mike from Iowa: Who will be the Chiefs first draft pick in 09, passer or pass rusher?
BW: It has to be a pass rusher. This team is on pace to break the record for the fewest sacks in a season. Tyler Thigpen is serviceable. But the Chiefs need a pass rusher.