Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson
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Matt Williamson (11:57 AM)
Hey everyone. MW here. Lets get started.
Hey Matt. The Raiders have 3 legit starting RBs on their roster. McFadden's not going anywhere, but do you think the Raiders will trade either Fargas (my choice) or Bush? If so, what could they get in return for either one of them?
Matt Williamson (11:59 AM)
Yeah, I do think they should explore that option. However, RBs are very easy to find right now and there looks to be five (or so) RBs in this upcoming draft with strong starting potential. How many teams REALLY need another RB? Not that many. However, this move might make sense once camp opens and a few RBs around the league go down. Then the supply pool will be quite dry.
Siwajek Sheerard IL
James Jackson from MI committed to OSU is 6 ft tall , soft hands and 4.3 speed. Why isn't he in the top 2, 5, 10 or 20 WR's? He commited early. Are rankings based on how many colleges recruited him instead of actual talent?
Matt Williamson (12:02 PM)
Bro-I have a heavy recruiting background and watched high school tape for three years, but I am out that loop. Have no idea who James Jackson is. Ask me about him in four or five years. However, along those lines-Happy Signing Day to everyone involved. Very good stuff in general-just not my bag anymore. NFL.
With Shanahan gone do the Broncos go away from the pure zone blocking scheme?
Matt Williamson (12:03 PM)
Not sure, but it would be a tremendous mistake. That OL was far and away the most underrated in the NFL last year, both in run blocking and pass pro. Don't mess with it.
Aaron (Brandon, SD)
Matt, Where is the biggest concern for the Packers? And do you see them going after some players like Peppers?
Matt Williamson (12:05 PM)
If it is true that they are switching to a 3-4, then they really have their hands full in terms of needs. Much like Denver, I don't see why they would make that change considering who they presently have on the roster. Would need 2+ 3-4 OLBs, probably a thumper ILB, a true NT type and at least one bigger 3-4 DE. Meanwhile, Kampman doesn't fit that sceme one bit. Another CB to groom makes sense either way and maybe a SS. Taucher could leave, so RT might be a need as well. Yikes.
Going back to the Raiders RBs, how true is the rumor that the Eagles are going after Bush for a draft pick?
Matt Williamson (12:08 PM)
That is one move that makes a lot of sense. I wouldn't give up a ton if I were in Philly's shoes, but they do have extra picks at the top of the draft and need a big RB to relieve some of Westbrook's stress and help in short yardage situations, where they still struggle. However, I wouldn't give up anything better than a third rounder though for sure.
Where do you see the vikings going with their quarterback situation, and is Favre a realistic possibility to join his former rival team?
Matt Williamson (12:10 PM)
I actually think that is a realistic possibility, but it could very much be a nightmare as well. I understand that Favre played through some unreported injuries with the Jets, but he really wasn't very good at all. Can't throw the ball any more. Should just retire, but I doubt he will. Loves the spot light too much. Anyways, I would rather have a Garcia or maybe even give up the first rounder for Cassel. Minny must find a QB and are one of the teams who I wouldn't ridicule for overspending.
How many terrible WRs do you think Vinny Cerrato will draft this year?
Matt Williamson (12:10 PM)
I would sure hope that he doesn't draft any WRs high-but hard to say and yes, I get your point. That team needs linemen on both sides of the ball in a big way.
A third rounder makes sense, especially seeing that every mock draft has the Eagles taking an RB in the first round. That's just good value at that point.
Matt Williamson (12:12 PM)
Yeah, they could give up a 3rd and use their other top three choices for a WR, OT and something else. Remember, T Thomas AND Runyan are both up for free agency. Might need to draft two OTs high, although Andrews or Herremans could play RT. Obviously Andrews would be the better candidate. Philly should be a serious contender next year.
Show some love for the Lions OTHER than Calvin Johnson. I'd be surprised if anybody knows that the Lions have a few other solid players.
Matt Williamson (12:13 PM)
Funny you bring that up. Do me a favor and search for my name at the top of one of the ESPN pages. If you go back through all the stuff I have done about a month or so, you will find an article I wrote about "The 10 Lions to build around for the future"-or something along those lines. The cupboard isn't completely bare...but the new group of decision makers do have a huge task on their hands.
Matt, where do you see Buffalo going this offseason? They have a few glaring needs (TE, DE,), but do you see them addressing them through free agency or the draft? Julius Peppers would be great...
Matt Williamson (12:15 PM)
I see a few glaring needs in Buff as well. You touched on two and honestly, one stud pass rushing DE could make Buff one of the better D's in this league. Then, keep games close, play great D and special teams-never know what can happen. So yes, grabbing an elite pass rusher like Peppers would be terrific, but probably not their style either. I also think they need a TE in a big way like you mentioned, but also one more WR and a center.
I think if I were Philly I would want to wait until day 2 to trade that pick to the Raiders, though. Maybe a RB they have ranked more highly than Bush falls to them in the third
Matt Williamson (12:16 PM)
For certain. They hold all the cards in that deal. Maybe their top rated RB falls to them in one of their first round picks. Don't want to hand cuff yourself.
The lions are a team that need a lot more help than one number 1 pick. Do you think that they might trade it away to a team like the rams, chiefs, or raiders for a variety of early selections?
Matt Williamson (12:18 PM)
I bet they would love to, but that is easier said than done. Is there a true stud #1 overall prospect in this draft? Not sure. Maybe Crabtree ends up being that player and then Det would have some cards in their hand. Otherwise, like usual, having the first overall pick isn't really such a good thing. Such a huge financial investment. Det does have Dallas' first rounder and plenty of early picks-so obviously that is encouraging....unless they draft Mike Williams.
The Steelers top four tackles (Starks, Colon, Smith and Essex) are all free agents. Typically, a team would be freaking out over this, but do the Steelers want any of these guys back?
Matt Williamson (12:20 PM)
Doubt they can let all leave. Colon is a RFA, so he probably will not go anywhere. I think he would be better off at OG, but they don't seem to agree. Starks is the one I would want. He isn't great, but he is a starting caliber OT in this league and can play on either side. That is valuable. Essex isn't special and wouldn't be a major loss, but his versatility and intelligence makes him a nice 6th OLineman on game day.
Where do you see Matt Cassel landing, and what do the Pats get for him?
Matt Williamson (12:21 PM)
Going to get a lot of action for Cassell. Could come up with five to eight teams that could use him for sure. KC certainly comes to mind immediately with Pioli now in charge. Minny makes the most sense to me. I bet they get the equivilent of a mid first rounder for him. Not bad. The Pats will be very dangerous next year.
If the Pack take Raji in the 1st, do you see the Broncos going after Brace in the 2nd?
Matt Williamson (12:22 PM)
Could happen. Having a true space eating powerful NT is going to have to be a high priority for both teams if they are making that switch to the 3-4. Still, I don't agree with that decision one bit for either team. Also-not sold that Raji will be there at #9 overall for GBay.
Chad (Las Vegas)
Who has the best chance at being next years Arizona? I say New Orleans but they haven't lived up to too many expectations lately.
Matt Williamson (12:24 PM)
I was VERY high on NO before last year and do think they can contend. While their D is far from great, many seem to think that is their biggest problem area, but I contend that if they had/stuck with a running game, that their D would be much more effective and play less minutes. Must get a running game going with consistency. Playing in that dome for 8 games is a huge advantage for what they do. Still will like NO this upcoming year.
Are the Cardinals pretty much done with Matt Leinart?
Matt Williamson (12:25 PM)
Doubtful. Remember, Warner is up for free agency. And while I doubt he has much interest in leaving Zona, imagine what Minny should offer him. Not ready to forget about Leinhart. I don't think there was any shame in losing the starting QB spot to Warner.
Any news out of Cincinnati? They've been strangely quiet considering the season they had.
Matt Williamson (12:26 PM)
No news that I am aware of-but you have to think something is coming concerning 85, Housh and Benson. Need to make some decisions on them very soon. I bet Housh gets the franchise tag, Benson gets locked up before free agency hits and 85 is traded for draft picks.
Hey Matt, how do you see the Jets faring next year? What should they address in the offseason?
Matt Williamson (12:28 PM)
Can't say that I love them. Now, their QB situation is even more of a mess than ever. They really need to find a CB they can trust opposite Revis, who is a stud. A true 3-4 DE wouldn't hurt and I am not sold one bit on Woody as a RT. WRs are pretty average. Keller might turn into a stud and Washington needs to be further incorporated into the O package-but who is behind center?
I think New Orleans is a good choice. They kind of remind me of the 2001-3 Rams. One really good year, have their defense cost them the next year (or two in this case), shore up the defense enough to make a serious run at a championship. The biggest obstacle for them could be the schedule. NFC South is solid, plus they play the NFC and AFC East.
Matt Williamson (12:30 PM)
Yeah, that schedule is daunting for sure. Plus, they are not built to thrive in poor weather. Can they get home field advantage all the way through the playoffs? Traveling to New York or Philly sounds like big trouble to me. Obviously this is way too far in advance, but the D must get better. I know I didn't go into it heavy, but it can't be ignored either.
Falcons...over or under, last year's record?
Matt Williamson (12:32 PM)
Like all of this 2009 talk, it is WAY to early, but today, I would say under. I thought they exceeded their talent level last year and I can't see them making huge leaps and bounds with their roster two years in a row. And they now play a much tougher schedule. I am a big believer in White, Turner and especially Ryan though-great trio to build around.
Who gets the starting job come training Camp at QB in Minnesota? Jackson, Ferrotee, Booty, or someone else?
Matt Williamson (12:33 PM)
Damien Woody is eating himself out of the league.
Matt Williamson (12:34 PM)
Not surprising. I bashed the signing big time when they made it. The guy entered the league as a center and was also a very good guard. He plays two or three games (out of necessity) at RT for Detroit and NYJ goes and signs him to secure the edges. Meanwhile, they face two 3-4 teams twice a year in that division and he simply can't keep up in pass pro with true 3-4 OLBs. He is a run blocker/mauler.
How about QB in TB? FA, McCown, Griese (please God, no), Josh Johnson, or does Garcia come back?
Matt Williamson (12:35 PM)
Another mess of a situation. Josh Johnson is someone to know. I really likes this kid a year ago coming out of college. Is he ready after coming from such a small school? Would have to say that is doubtful. Can live with Griese for a one year fix if they truly trust Johnson as the heir apparent, but overall, this is messy.
Do you agree with the Broncos hiring of McDaniels or are you surprised they didnt go with someone more experienced?
Matt Williamson (12:37 PM)
I have no problem at all with the hire. When it happened, I was shocked because I assumed they would hire a D guy. But McDaniels wisely got an established D Coordinator right away in Nolan. However, I still just don't understand the move to the 3-4 one bit. Could be another very rough year on D.
Over/Under 15000 yards rushing this season for Cincinnati's Cedric Benson?
Matt Williamson (12:39 PM)
Seriously? Way under. First off, they need to resign him. Secondly, that OL isn't very good. Third, I am not so sure that Benson is very good. Not dynamic. He did save/resurrect his career at the end of the season, but how does he perform with expectations? Not the toughest or most competitive guy around. It will surely help that Palmer will be back-no question-but I don't see Benson as a true workhorse. I would bring him back and then find a dynamic guy (like Sproles) to change it up with.
Could the steelers go after someone like jordan gross?
Matt Williamson (12:41 PM)
Not their style. Who is the last huge free agent they signed? Aint gonna happen and their philosophy certainly is not about to change after yet another very succesful season. Plus, Gross probably gets Franchises. Ah! Leah! Keep it up.
I think I know your answer, but any chance the steelers could land nnamdi?
Matt Williamson (12:41 PM)
Come on 99...you know better than that
Maybe Josh Johnson can adapt as quickly as Flacco, though it'll be tough switching to a new offensive coordinator already
Matt Williamson (12:42 PM)
Chris (K-Vegas, NC)
How do you see the Trifecta in Miami addressing this offseason? Adding more bulk is expected. Any big name free agents targets?
Matt Williamson (12:43 PM)
One of their own needs to be addressed in RT Vernon Carey. If he leaves, that right side of the OL needs serious attention. Doubtful, but if a true #1 type WR is available, he could make a big difference in that O. On D, I don't like or trust their secondary one bit. Maybe a OLB opposite Porter and a ILB to replace Crowder if he leaves.
Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)
I think DA makes the Vikings an instant contender. What do you think the Vikings would give to get a stud QB like DA in camp?
Matt Williamson (12:44 PM)
Here is where we differ. I don't see DA as a stud whatsoever. Still better than what they have-but not a fan here. DA should be on the move though.
If the Bears do not draft a WR (hopefully Maclin) in the first round this year, I am done. In the past 20 years, our best receiver was Curtis Conway. Yeah it has been that bad.
Matt Williamson (12:46 PM)
True-and this is a good WR class in the first round. Don't hold your breath on Maclin still being there. Love that guy and expect his stock to soar pre-draft. Don't know that your Bears can't be succesful with their present crop to some degree. Olson may end up being very good. A true number one would be outstanding-don't get me wrong-but I wouldn't make that the only postiiton that needs addressed. Not a WR or bust situation.
Who's the better receiver coming out of college: Calvin Johnson or Michael Crabtree?
Matt Williamson (12:47 PM)
Calvin. Best I have ever seen coming out of college. Superman.
Hey Jason from Chicago! Take Chad Johnson; he certaintly isn't going to help us anytime soon, he's all yours.
Matt Williamson (12:47 PM)
Is that all that far fetched?
Ben (Baton Rouge, LA)
Where could you see Rex Grossman landing? And as a number 2 guy? What about the Northwestern QB the Bears signed? Do the Bears need more competition at QB still?
Matt Williamson (12:48 PM)
Yes, for sure. Grossman will leave-no question. As he should. Yeah, he will end up as #2 somewhere. No idea where, but I bet teams are not breaking the bank for him. I would consider using the first rounder on Freeman from K St.
M-Dub how surprise were you that not once did Polumalu pay Warner a visit? LeBeau has to be Hall of Famer as a Def. Coordinator, right?
Matt Williamson (12:49 PM)
43 had a very slow game by his standards, but that did not surprise me. Played a lot of Cover 2, which wasn't unexpected. He did do a great job when PGH used their inverted Cover 2 of jamming Fitz with a CB over the top. Yeah, LeBeau needs a spot in the HOF-was also an exceptional player, as many didn't know.
Isn't Mike Shanahan contractually obligated to seek work? I'd love to sit on my doof all day and earn $7M.
Matt Williamson (12:50 PM)
That is exactly what he is doing. Not such a terrible situation. Happens to head guys all the time.
James: (Roanoke, VA)
Miami payed good money to a CFL star to play opposite to Porter. What available WR is out there that Parcells would break his mold and go after? I don't see one?
Matt Williamson (12:51 PM)
I know they did and I very much trust Parcells and company, but if a great pass rusher is sitting there-it is hard to ignore considering the uncertainty of Wake. Plex? 85? Boldin? More likely a rookie I would think. Gotta think they go D though in round one.
I could see Chad taking on a city like Chicago. He'd certainly get more attention, but i think he'll be dissapointed once he realizes he doesn't have an all-pro quarterback to dish him the ball.
Matt Williamson (12:52 PM)
Very much so. A LOT of room for error there.
What position do you think the 49ers need to improve to get in the playoffs?
Matt Williamson (12:53 PM)
RT is probably their top need. The secondary needs one more big time playmaker. Can live with Hill, but don't love him for sure. A true #1 WR would go a long way.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Given Belichick's disdain for paying high 1st round picks, isn't it more likely for them to get 2 2s for Cassell? Or a 2 this year and a 2 next year?
Matt Williamson (12:54 PM)
That very well could play out. But, NE should be in win-now mode this offseason. Obviously they are not far removed from being dominant. Two high picks to add to that D might be enough.
If the Lions take Stafford, should I just bury my head in sand for the next 5 years?
Matt Williamson (12:54 PM)
What have you been doing for that last five?
Matt, will a healthy mendenhall help out the steelers rushing game next year?
Matt Williamson (12:56 PM)
Certainly cannot hurt. Obviously a big RB is needed for short yardage. They left a lot of points on the field near the goal line. I don't trust Parker one bit to carry the load. Remember, PGH got nothing from their past draft class. Some of those youngsters could make an impact along with next year's group in 2009.
who do you think is the better quarterback this class, Stafford or Sanchez?
Matt Williamson (12:57 PM)
Sanchez. I must admit, that I am not all the way through my draft prep yet, but he comes from a great system and is more consistent and more importantly, accurate.
Cliff (Blacksburg, VA)
How can a team with the 4th best defense in the league, Washington Redskins, not get one defensive player in the Pro Bowl?
Matt Williamson (12:58 PM)
Who would you have put in? Amazingly, I think L Landry gets overlooked for some reason. That guy is awfully good. Fletcher made some sense as well, but the MLBs who went were deserving. Springs is still very good, but how many games did he play? Give me the guy you would have put in.
Chris (Atlanta, GA)
We all know those top tier guys that will likely go in the first few slots of the draft... who are some players that we could be talking about 5 years from now that may be there at the end of round 1?
Matt Williamson (1:01 PM)
Big on QB Freeman from K St and expect his stock to really climb. That area of the draft is an exceptional spot to get future Pro Bowl OCs and OGs-Alex Mack really jumps out at me and being from Pittsburgh, is my early favorite to go #32. Who else? Could be one of those junior RBs that falls because the need just isn't that great for that postion. Once again, ask me in a few weeks from now. Alphonso Smith is a kid that I love from Wake. SO short, but if he were 5' 11", I bet he would go in the top 6 or so overall.
Ryan (Madison, WI)
A lot of talk about Andre Smith and weight issues. What's your take? The guy is a mauler.
Matt Williamson (1:02 PM)
Really looks like S Andrews to me with the Eagles. Would be a killer OG and better at RT than LT. Weight/character issues need to be checked out for sure. Cincinnati???
Matt Williamson (1:02 PM)
Okay, I am out. This was a grin. Catch me a noon every Wednesday going forward. Adios.
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