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Saturday, February 20, 2010
Walker's weekend mailbag

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Let's see what's in our weekend mailbag.

Chad from Lewistown, Pa., writes: Do you think the Pittsburgh Steelers should take a defensive lineman in this year's draft that could replace Casey Hampton in a few years?

James Walker: At this point it's almost a must, Chad. It appears more likely that Hampton will get a one-year franchise tag. That would give Pittsburgh one more season to find and groom Hampton’s eventual replacement. This year’s draft has several possibilities. For instance, Dan Williams of Tennessee is a player that I like for Pittsburgh. He should be a good fit as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. Terrence "Mount" Cody from Alabama is another interior lineman with ability but is fighting weight issues, which could be a red flag. But if he falls to the second round or lower, Cody could be a risk worth taking for the Steelers.

Allen from York, Pa., writes: Do you think there is a possibility of the Steelers drafting Clemson RB C.J. Spiller?

Walker: Enlighten me, Steeler Nation, because every week I get questioned about the Steelers taking a running back with the No. 18 overall pick. Where is this coming from? Did Rashard Mendenhall not rush for 1,000 yards last year? The Steelers do not need to draft another tailback in the first round. They need someone who can contribute elsewhere and possibly start next season.

Mr. Jones from Ohio wants to know what's the deal with 2009 third-round pick Chase Coffman?

Walker: Coffman was bothered by a foot injury last year and never looked right. I think he's better than what he showed, but the Bengals aren't sure how high his ceiling is. That's why nearly all draft projections have the Bengals looking at a tight end high in the draft. It's unknown if Coffman is reliable. Even so, Cincinnati needs at least two solid tight ends and it's questionable right now if the team has one.

Josh from Charlottesville, Va. writes: Any chance of the Baltimore Ravens trading Willis McGahee for San Diego Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie?

Walker: Not straight up, Josh. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported this week that San Diego wants a running back, and McGahee is one of the best backup tailbacks in the NFL. But the trade market should be pretty hot for Cromartie, because there are not a lot good corners available in free agency. I think the Chargers would ask for more from the Ravens or any other team, possibly in the form of draft pick(s).

Kovacs from Santa Monica, Calif., writes: What do you think the chances are of one of the three Philadelphia Eagles QBs ending up with the Cleveland Browns? Give me a percentage.

Walker: Percentages are always tough, Kovacs. But in an effort to please a loyal reader, I would put Michael Vick at zero percent and both Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb at 15 percent. If the Browns are willing to part ways with their No. 7 overall pick, those percentages will go up.

Matt from El Paso, Texas, writes: Which running back do you think has the best chance of starting for the Cleveland Browns: Jerome Harrison, Chris Jennings or other?

Walker: Harrison or other, Matt. I can't choose until I know who the other tailback is.

Joseph from Columbus, Ohio, wonders if the Browns are hiring too many people in the front office.

Walker: I'm not concerned at all about the number of football people involved in Cleveland. It's better to have too many than too few, as long as everyone knows what they're doing. I actually think this is the strongest front-office Cleveland's had since returning to the NFL in 1999.