Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench
Muench played four years of Division I-AA football before joining Scouts Inc. in 2002. He has evaluated both NFL and college football players but his current focus is on the NFL draft.
Send in your questions now and join Steve in The Show on Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Steve Muench (2:11 PM)
Sorry I'm late. Big weekend in Indy as you all know so let's get right to it.
Hello Steve. My schedule has interfered with your weekly chat lately. I'm sorry for my absence. Anyway, what do you think is the 49ers' greatest need in the draft? Is it QB, pass rushing LB or a NT? Thanks for your time.
Steve Muench (2:14 PM)
I'm glad you could make it today Otto. I think the 49ers most pressing need and as it stands now I take Sanchez at 10 if he's there. But I'm hearing they aren't going to draft a quarterback and if that's the case I think that Penn State DE/OLB Aaron Maybiin is an interesting possibility.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
SM: Are you in favor of a rookie salary cap being included in the next CBA? If so, down to what level (ie, first round, first 10 picks, first 20 picks, etc)? There really isnt a reason to have one after the end of the first round for sure, but I am wholly in favor of making the top picks less prohibitive for the teams that need the picks the most. Example: Maybe one day JaMarcus Russell will be a perennial Pro-Bowler, but he definitely is not worth the money the Raiders are paying him now.
Steve Muench (2:18 PM)
Yes I think we need a rookie salary cap because it has gotten out of control but I also don't think teams have a right to complain about the current salaries. They've let agents create the current environment.
Dennis (Riverside CA)
If Percy Harvin falls between the 15-17 area, do you think most teams will pull the trigger and take him?
Steve Muench (2:20 PM)
I think you have to consider it from a value standpoint but I can't give you a blanket yes. I need to know who else is on the board and what are my needs because as I have said before Harvin's injury history concerns me.
I think Crabtree is really good however he looks real slow and he'll have to play in a much different offense in the NFL than in Lubbock. Is it possible people are making him out to be better than he is because of what fitz did?
Steve Muench (2:24 PM)
You make sound points about Crabtree's speed and Texas Tech's scheme but I don't think people are making him out to be better than he is because he shares some similarities with Fitz. That said, there's a always a chance that a player fails to reach his potential but I just don't see it happening with Crabtree and here's why.
Steve Muench (2:25 PM)
I have seen Crabtree make corners' knees buckle getting into his routes. Though he doesn't have great speed he's quick for his size and he makes the most of that burst.
Zach (Burlington, IA)
Where do you see Mitch King fitting? Is he too undersized to make an impact in the NFL?
Steve Muench (2:26 PM)
I think he's going to be a valuable reserve in a 4-3 scheme. While he isn't a great fit at tackle or end, he can provide quality depth at both positions depending on the situation.
Burwell (Addison, PA)
Are there any pure 3-4 NTs in the draft? I'd feel a lot better if the Steelers could get a long-term replacement for Casey Hampton.
Steve Muench (2:30 PM)
Boston College's Ron Brace and Stilliman's Sammie Lee Hill are two names to remember but both project as middle-round picks and let's be honest players like Casey Hampton don't come around too often.
Is Rey Maualuga versitile enough to play all the LB positions in the NFL? Or is he strictly a MLB?
Steve Muench (2:31 PM)
I think he CAN play on the outside as long as you don't ask too much of him in man coverage but he's a far better fit on the inside.
Rob (Green Bay)
I think Raji could be a great NT. He reminds he alot of Wilfork.
Steve Muench (2:33 PM)
Me too actually. The reason I didn't include him when talking about Pittsburgh is he isn't a pure nose tackle (he can line up at DT in a 4-3 scheme) and he should be long gone by the time Pittsburgh picks.
Bobby Bacala (Jersey)
Is Josh Freeman really a first rounder? Like to the Lions or Jets? Thanks Steve, and remember, don't screw up or you'll be sleepin with the fishes!
Steve Muench (2:34 PM)
Wow a lot of pressure here Bobby. Freeman has the arm strength and size teams covet but he's a little too streaky for me so I don't think he's a first-round pick.
Do you think CB Alphonso Smith will be drafted in the 1st rd?
Steve Muench (2:35 PM)
I think concerns about his size will cause him to slip in to the second round but I think he's going to be a steal there.
Jacob (Austin, Tx)
Steve, how do rank the OT's and how much will the combine effect where they are selected?
Steve Muench (2:39 PM)
I think it's a big combine for the OT's because it's such a tight race. My top five are Baylor's Jason Smith, UVA's Eugene Monroe, Ole Miss' Michael Oher, Alabama's Andre Smith and Arizona's Eben Britton. The most pressure is on Andre Smith whose stock is free falling. I think it's imperative that he interview well.
Who are your top 3 TEs in this years draft? Pettigrew/Coffman/Beckum/Nelson/Cook/Ingram/ Other?
Steve Muench (2:40 PM)
Pettigrew, Nelson and James Casey out of Rice.
Walter (New York, NY)
Hey Steve, if you're hearing that the 49ers are not going to take Sanchez, then do you think he will be there when the Jets pick? Or at least within trading up range, like 13-17?
Steve Muench (2:41 PM)
It makes sense.
I've seen a couple of mock drafts with Mark Sanchez going to the Jets. Based on the fact that the Jets have 3 young qbs already on the roster, who arguably need playing time to show their stuff, doesn't it make more sense the team to go in a different direction?
Steve Muench (2:44 PM)
Good counterpoint Marc but I think they Clemens really struggled in 2007. While the jury is still out on Ainge, he's a fifth-round pick. As a result, Sanchez makes sense to me.
Steve in which defensive scheme will Tyson Jackson be more effective? Also do you think Ricky Jean Francis will be a DE & which round does he get drafted?
Steve Muench (2:46 PM)
Jackson is a 3-4 end. I see Jean Francois playing DT and going in the third or more likely the fourth round as it stands now.
Mike (Boca Raton)
why isn't anyone talking about LeSean McCoy as the best running back in the draft? He is no bigger/smaller than Moreno and he is not as soft as Wells?
Steve Muench (2:49 PM)
We think McCoy is the No. 3, which by the way is an excellent ranking, and we believe that there is a considerable drop in talent after him. That said, he isn't as big or strong as Well and Moreno is more of a north-south runner.
Cam (San Antonio)
Steve, how difficult is it to evaluate the tweener DE/OLB's? I'm just wondering how someone like Lamar Woodley, who was highly regarded in college, drops in to the second round.
Steve Muench (2:51 PM)
Just like there's nothing wrong with being the No. 3 RB prospect getting drafted in the second round of the draft. I mean it's not like the Patriots getting Brady in the sixth but I digress...
Steve Muench (2:53 PM)
It's definitely tougher to evaluate defensive ends that project as outside linebackers because they played a different position in college.
David Fairborn, OH
Kinda weak in the safety area I think this year. You think Patrick Chung is top of his respective position in this draft?
Steve Muench (2:55 PM)
Personally I think it's Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins. He can and may play corner but I think he's a better safety. After that I have Delmas ranked slightly higher than Chung who I also like in the second round.
Any chance that Tyson Jackson falls to the champs at 32?
Steve Muench (2:55 PM)
There is a chance yes.
Blaine (Tucson, AZ)
Alex Mack or Max Unger? And is that guy a 1st rounder? Thanks.
Steve Muench (2:56 PM)
I think Alex Mack is a late first-rounder and Unger is a good value in the second.
Randy Stroudsburg PA [via mobile]
should the phins trade up for michael crabtree i think they need a legitimate wr threat
Steve Muench (2:59 PM)
I think you need to move into the top five picks to get him and that will take far too much.
How does a "walk-on" or "invited" to training camp work? I would think the Steelers would have them lined up from Latrobe to New York.
Steve Muench (3:01 PM)
Those guys are paid while they are on the roster and remember there are restrictions as to how big your roster can be, which depend on the time of year.
Steve, I feel as though im forced to do this in every draft chat . While of course there is a chance that Tyson Jackson or Alex Mack will end up in black and gold, i wish people would look closer at the fact that Arizona is picking ahead of the steelers (really wish it was the other way around) and have many of the same needs in the draft. Both teams are looking to bolster their offensive line and with arizona continuing its transformation to a Pittsburgh esq. 3-4 defense they will be targeting similar players on that side of the ball. Again im not saying the cardinals wont pass on Jackson or Mack (or whoever) leaving them for the steelers but sometimes it just seems like fans and mock drafts give the steelers the better or more desired player simply because they like the steelers more than the cardinals.
Steve Muench (3:04 PM)
Wow. I'm a t a loss.
Steve Muench (3:08 PM)
Mike, I guess the only thing I can say is that talking about two possibilities for Pittsburgh really has nothing to do with Arizona. I just can't day that Mack is a possibility if Arizona doesn;t take him because I'd have to list three or four teams every time I talk about a "possibility."
steve, no need to post this follow up, just want to make clear, that was not a critique on you or even the person who posted the question about the steelers. Your one of my favorite reads on this website, just more a general thought that i have noticed through many chats and many different mock drafts. Again not a critique on your work.
Steve Muench (3:09 PM)
Thanks man and I'll pass it along.
Steve, DE Michael Johnson seems to be one of the biggest question marks in this year's draft. What round do you see him being picked in?
Steve Muench (3:12 PM)
Second and let me clear about something. I think he's going to have awesome workouts and still the earliest I take him is the second round. He just doesn't play up to his abilities on film much like a Vernon Gholston.
Steve, with the signings of Gross and Carey this week, the FA tackle crop looks pretty weak. Is there better value for my Eagles in trying to package their two #1s to try and get up to take one of the top 4 LT prospects, or should we hang on to the picks, hope Eben Britton falls to us late in the 1st, and hope we can use the other #1 to pry Anquan Boldin away from Arizona?
Steve Muench (3:15 PM)
This where the GMs make the big bucks. You wait to see if any of the offensive tackles may slip to you. If any do obviously stay put. If not you start to explore trades to see if it's worthwhile. So the bottom line is you wait until draft day.
Steve which player(s) are you keeping an eye on this weekend at the combine?
Steve Muench (3:18 PM)
All of the tweener defensive end/outside linebackers. I want to see their shuttle times and how fluid they look during coverage drills. Obviously we all want to see Sanchez throw and I want to see how fluid Utah CB Sean Smith is during cover drills.
Steve Muench (3:19 PM)
Alright that's it for this week. I had a great time and hope you did too. Let;s do it again same time next week, which means Otto needs to rework his schedule.