Mailbag: Why Berry over Weddle

Weekend mail call:

Joseph McGeady from Berkeley, Calif., wants to know why I had Kansas City safety Eric Berry at No. 2 and San Diego safety Eric Weddle at No. 3 in my recent AFC West secondary rankings.

Bill Williamson: Joseph, I know you asking because Berry missed just about all of the 2011 season, his second in the league, after suffering a knee injury in Week 1. It is a valid question, but I still feel good about the choice. I think Berry is a top-end player -- who will come back and make an immediate presence. Ranking Weddle the No. 3 defensive back in the division is no knock. It’s a compliment. He’s a very good player, but I think Berry has a chance to be one of the best defensive players in the NFL very soon.

Mikey from San Francisco wants to know if I think Oakland's Derek Carrier, an undrafted receiver from Beloit College, has a chance to make the 53-man roster this year.

BW: I think Carrier is probably headed to the practice squad. He is a tremendous physical presence -- 6-foot-3, 238 pounds -- and an interesting project. But he has to learn the pace of the NFL. The Raiders are loaded at receiver, so I believe Carrier needs to go through the practice-squad process. That has been the thinking all along.

Parker Keegan from Seattle wants to know if I think Khalif Barnes can be anything more than a stop-gap option at right tackle for the Raiders.

BW: Honestly, no, I think he is just a short-term solution. They will give Joe Barksdale a chance to beat him, but Barnes is in Oakland just for the short term. Yes, he has experience in the zone-blocking scheme, so he might have some value, but I don’t see him as a plus player.