McDaniels lauds Rolando McClain

The Denver Broncos will get their first look at Oakland rookie middle linebacker Rolando McClain on the field.

However, the Broncos are very familiar with McClain. The star from Alabama was on Denver’s list of prospects before the draft. The team met with McClain at the NFL Combine and brought McClain in for a pre-draft visit. Oakland took McClain at No. 8. Denver then wheeled and dealed and ended up with reciver Demaryius Thomas and quarterback Tim Tebow in the first round.

Denver coach Josh McDaniels was very complimentary of his experience with McClain on Friday.

“I did (like him). He wouldn’t have played the same position as (LB) D.J. (Williams) plays,” McDaniels told reporters in Denver. “He would have been a middle linebacker for us. But, I don’t know if I have ever interviewed a more intelligent defensive player at the combine or in person here in our building than Rolando McClain. He was off the charts, and he’s a guy that plays physical, he is big and he is a good player in the run game. They have kept him on the field every snap — he’s not coming off on third down and he is in there in the dime. You can tell how much he is communicating and for a rookie to be able to do that his first year against all the different looks he is seeing and all the different packages, I think what he showed us has really transferred over and he’s using it now for them. We liked him a lot. It was definitely part of the consideration as a guy that you would have to look at to take that high, and he is definitely going to be an impact player for them for a long time. So, he was definitely part of our (draft) consideration.”

In other AFC West news and notes:

Kansas City coach Todd Haley told reporters in Kansas City that defensive end Tyson Jackson was healthy enough to play last week in Houston but he didn’t because of a coach’s decision. He injured his knee in Week 1 and hasn’t played since. Clearly, Jackson didn’t practice well enough for the team since regaining his health. It will be interesting to see if the No. 3 overall pick in 2009 plays Sunday against Jacksonville. Haley likes to push player's buttons and this seems like a prime example of that.

  • Kansas City rookie safety Kendrick Lewis is questionable to play Sunday against Jacksonville with a hamstring injury.

  • The depleted Chargers’ receiver crew may get some help for Sunday’s game against New England.