With an eye toward the future, the Oakland Raiders are expected to visit with quarterbacks Vince Young and Matt Leinart within the next few days.

With an eye toward the present, they'll bring in defensive back Michael Huff.

Young, who led Texas to an NCAA championship, is scheduled to visit with the Raiders today, agent Major Adams told the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press. Leinart, in an on-line diary on ESPN.com, wrote that he will arrive in Oakland on Thursday night.

Huff, a likely top 10 selection from Texas who can play cornerback or safety, told reporters during a visit with Dallas he would be in Oakland today.

The Raiders, as a matter of policy, do not confirm visits of potential draftees in advance. A team official said, however, it was fair to assume all three men would be in Alameda before the draft on April 28-29.

Having signed Aaron Brooks and drafted Andrew Walter in the third round last season to go along with the presence of erstwhile backup Marques Tuiasosopo, the Raiders wouldfrom Sports 1

seem to have more immediate needs than adding another quarterback.

Only Raiders owner Al Davis knows whether Young's stunning physical gifts or Leinart's reputation as a winner with USC would be worth using the No.7 pick in the first round should either man be available.

At the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, coach Art Shell said his philosophy was to keep a young quarterback on the bench when there is a capable veteran on the roster.


Advertisement

"I think what Cincinnati did with Carson Palmer was excellent. I think what Tennessee did with Steve McNair, when they sat him down, was excellent," Shell said. "It gives those guys a chance to see what is going on, and to learn. If you bring in a young guy and throw him to the wolves, that's hard. Some guys can be broken that way."

Huff, at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, said in interviews with NFL Network and USA Today he modeled his game after Charles Woodson. Huff is excellent in run support and is considered one of the top three defensive players in the draft along with North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams and Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk.

At the NFL scouting combine, Huff ran 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash. While opinion is split on whether Huff will be a cornerback or safety, the Raiders — with Fabian Washington and Nnamdi Asomugha as returning starters — would seem to be looking for a safety to play alongside Stuart Schweigert.

EXTRA POINTS: Huff is scheduled to visit the San Francisco 49ers in the next few days, as are N.C. State's Williams, Maryland TE Vernon Davis, Virginia LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Clemson CB Tye Hill, Virginia Tech CB Jimmy Williams, Oregon DT Haloti Ngata and Florida State LB Ernie Sims. ... Ohio State's Hawk already has visited with the 49ers, who draft ahead of Oakland at No.6. ... The Raiders signed veteran G Cameron Spikes and FB Joe Hall. Spikes (6-2, 323) has 32 starts in 63 games over the past seven seasons with St. Louis, Houston, Arizona and Denver. Hall (6-1, 285-300), last played with Kansas City.

49ers pick stadium design firm

The San Francisco 49ers announced they have selected an architecture firm and two construction companies to generate a preliminary design for a possible new stadium at Candlestick Point.

HNTB Architecture will provide planning and design services, and Turner Construction and Devcon will provide pre-construction management of the project.

Niners vice president of communications Lisa Lang said HNTB's work on the Denver Broncos' Invesco Field was a key factor in its selection.

The 49ers also confirmed they are seeking new means to fund a new stadium in lieu of the $100million bond that was narrowly approved by San Francisco voters in 1997.

Staff writer Roger Phillips

contributed to this report.