Chat with Matt Williamson
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson will stop by to chat some NFL.
Williamson has been scouting football players at different levels for six years. Before joining ESPN and Scouts Inc. in 2005, he was both an NFL and college scout for the Cleveland Browns. Before that, he spent three seasons as assistant recruiting coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh and followed J.D. Brookhart from Pitt to the University of Akron, where Williamson was the director of football operations.
Send your questions now and join Williamson Wednesday at noon ET!
As always, thanks for the chats. From a fans perspective, a nightmare draft for Cleveland would include Berry, Haden and both QBs in the first 6 picks (though I'm not high on either QB at #7). Some of my friends say then take Dez Bryant, but I'm not sold on him either. The guys I like best after Berry and Haden are Brandon Graham, Mike Iupati, and Earl Thomas - any worth the reach, assuming a trade down won't happen?
Matt Williamson (12:03 PM)
Hey everyone. Let's get this rolling. Bill, I hear what you are saying and yes, I do agree that there isn't that one guy who the Browns fit with real well. But in reality, when looking at the roster, I see their biggest need as impact players-almost regardless of position. Since Mangini arrived, the Browns have VERY much valued quantity over quality. In fact, he shipped out two potential impact guys in K2 and Braylon. He has built the roster from the bottom up. So, to me, you almost take the best guy and don't worry so much about position. WR sure would be nice, but considering the age of the current stable, a free agent would be the best route. Putting Haden next to Wright as a potential pair of shut down CBs-like Cincy-is probably the way I would go considering how it should play out. Can't see Berry being available, but I would jump all over him. Would also consider McClain as a leader/building block of the defense. Maybe an edge pass rusher like the DE at South Florida.
Jeff Fisher (Nashville)
How would Carlos Dunlap look with a flambing thumbtack on his helmet?
Matt Williamson (12:04 PM)
I like it a lot. My thoughts on Dunlap is that his stock is as low as it will ever be right now. Once we all see him workout, it will rise. See him more of a Top 10 guy than mid first rounder-but would be ideal for the Titans.
What do you make of the rumors that Shanahan is targeting a QB with the 4th pick? How much would it take to get Campbell's rights in a trade?
Matt Williamson (12:06 PM)
I am assuming that Washington will put the 1st/3rd round tender on Campbell. Then you shop him-probably at a slightly lesser rate. Maybe Buff or STL's 2nd round pick would yield Campbell in return? To me though, if I am Wash, I would stick with the guy unless a great deal comes along. Not that enamored here with Clausen or Bradford and let Shanny mold Campbell in his system. This team isn't young and the D is very steady-but switching to a 3-4 worries me. Wouldn't want to completely rebuild.
brett (Ocean Springs)
If Brandon marshall or McNabb is traded where do they go?
Matt Williamson (12:08 PM)
Both should have MANY suitors. Minny, of course, is the first thought with McNabb. Others who should be interested are Clev, SF, Zona, STL, Buff. Probably others. I actually think the list is longer for Marshall (& Boldin) and I could name 12-15 teams who could use a WR of their caliber. The obvious names are Balt and Miami though. Don't discount NEng considering all the draft picks they have.
can the chiefs do enough this off season to go 8-8 next season
Matt Williamson (12:09 PM)
I really don't think so. They just need so much and I contend that their roster is even worse off now than it was when Pioli took over. What do you trust that is currently on the roster other than Charles, Bowe (sorta), Albert (at another position), Hali and Flowers? Even that DL-it is very talented, but has not shown me enough.
Will Gary Brackett draw much FA interest? He is very good fit for the Colts but will he fit in on many other teams?
Matt Williamson (12:11 PM)
Good point. Sure, he will draw attention, but I thin he might be disappointed and fans might be shocked as to how little he receives. MLBs are not hard to find. He doesn't fit well in the 3-4, and a ton of teams are now running that scheme. He isn't physically impressive. Not selling the guy short, but he isn't going to have to beat teams away with a stick.
Alex (Evansville, IN)
Matt, what do you think are the colts big priorities heading into the off-season, and will they finally try to bring someone in with free-agency for once?
Matt Williamson (12:13 PM)
With the rules this year, free agency will be very tough for those final 8 teams. I do think they try to keep Brackett. But, like always, they will build through the draft...which has worked I might add. In terms of needs, I think an OT upgrade would be great. Another beefy guy at DT is important. DE depth is lacking. Maybe use a 3rd rounder on a QB. But all in all, this roster is quite strong. Would you consider trading a WR like Gonzo? Remember, you get B Sanders back on D and M Jackson.
Greg Olson to the Ravens for a third rounder? your thoughts
Matt Williamson (12:15 PM)
I assume you bring this up because of Martz's pension for ignoring TEs...logical I suppose. But, Olsen was really the only guy Cutler trusted in Chicago. They got along off the field and he stared him down in the red zone. On an O that is lacking weapons, can Chi afford to move him? But yeah, I hear you and would do it for sure if I was Balt. But, I must say, Olsen is a bit disappointing in terms of his blocking and overall physicality. Maybe those other big time Ravens from The U could light a fire under him.
If NcMabb stays with the Eagles if their any chance they could be a Super Bowl contender next season?
Matt Williamson (12:16 PM)
Yes. They wouldn't be at the top of my NFC list entering the season as they stand right now and clearly would be behind Dallas in that division though.
The 49ers will probably use one of their two 1st round picks on an OT. In your opinion, do the 49ers use their other 1st round pick on OLB or a DB?
Matt Williamson (12:17 PM)
OT for sure. Maybe even Iupati at OG with the other pick. But, to me, SF is in nice shape here in that they can pretty much take the best value guy with that extra pick. A DB or OLB would be great-maybe even one of the top 2 QBs-but don't reach.
Matt Williamson (12:17 PM)
How about another weapon like Spiller to SF?
Aaron (Hawkeye Country)
Does Jay Cutler have a break out year like 2008 under martz
Matt Williamson (12:18 PM)
I am still high on Cutler. Part of me loves the Martz hire because he will whip Cutler into shape and will not lay down to him. But, part of me hates the hire because Martz's offense is predicated on throwing to spots. Timing. I hope that doesn't make Cutler too robotic. He needs to keep his aggressiveness. Also, does Martz's O-and lack of running game-work in the Chicago weather?
Matt - most mock drafts I have seen have the Jets taking a WR in round 1. Shouldnt the Jets focus on DE/DT or CB in rd 1? With Keller and Leon Washington coming back, I dont think a slot WR is a high priority. Braylon and Cotch are fine on the edges.
Matt Williamson (12:20 PM)
I see CB as the top need as well and where they sit, they might get the 2nd best CB on their board. Another pass rusher wouldn't hurt, as Ryan would surely use him well. DE (Odrick?) also makes plenty of sense to me. But one more WR isn't a terrible idea either. Maybe a dangerous slot type guy. You really need three and what if Cotch goes down by chance?
Jimmy (Conway, AR)
Matt I was wondering if you've got any idea where Alex Carrington from Arkansas St might be a good fit and what round value he is?
Matt Williamson (12:21 PM)
His stock is soaring. Great Senior Bowl. Great body for either a base 4-3 end or more likely, as a 3-4 DE. With all the teams going to an odd front, I tend to think that he won't get out of the 2nd round.
If Taylor Mays falls to Ravens do the take him as heir to Ed Reed?
Matt Williamson (12:22 PM)
Doubtful. Their needs are just so glaring at CB and esp WR. Can't continue to play with the pass catchers they have. Need to help Flacco more in that regard.
Mel Kiper listed his top five GM/Personnel teams. Somehow Jerry Angelo was on this list, WHY??????????????????????????????????
Matt Williamson (12:22 PM)
I hadn't seen that list, but let's just say that shocks me.
MATT TELL THE WORLD THAT THE PICK 6 WAS NOT MANNING'S FAULT
Matt Williamson (12:24 PM)
I didn't think so either. First off, it was a tremendous play by Porter and he deserves a TON of credit for doing his homework and having the stones to attack the ball in the air. But Wayne wasn't Wayne either. As great of a route runner as he is, that knee must have been bothering him more than any of us knew going into the game. He usually comes out of his breaks much sharper than that and gets the the DB shielded. Think about it from Manning's perspective. He and Reggie have run that 4 million times. His back foot hits. The ball comes out to a spot that he trusts Wayne to be-which he almost always comes through. Not that time. So let's all crush 18.
Will Carolina be home for J.Peppers and if not how much does where he ends up effect the draft?
Matt Williamson (12:25 PM)
I would guess that they franchise him yet again this year, but this time, get a deal done and trade him. Another guy who could have plenty of suitors.
Matt...I don't know about you, but I would love to see Patrick Willis and Rolando McCalin playing togther. Your thoughts?
Matt Williamson (12:26 PM)
Who wouldn't! Not sure if he falls that far though.
chris smith (tennessee)
What do tou think the TITANS biggest need is in the 2010 draft?
Matt Williamson (12:27 PM)
I like where they sit in that their needs are not massive. I would really focus on D and ideally get a prospect at each level. Don't reach for any though. Take the best D guy who falls to them in each of the top rounds. Steady.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
MW: With the Warner retirement, I think the 49ers have at least a head start on the 2010 NFC West title. What is your assessment of Leinart? Can he take the Cards back to the playoffs?
Matt Williamson (12:28 PM)
I tend to agree and haven't seen much from Leinhart to get excited about. Everything about him is slow...which is the opposite of Warner. Can he improve? Sure and the Cards surely will quickly transition into a ball control/running team with Wells' role really growing. But I see the arrow going down in Zona (unless you grab a McNabb) and the arrow going up in SF. But I also don't love A Smith either.
How many potential all pro's will the Pats miss while trading down spots this year? or is there a chance we actually start to see an attempt to reload?
Matt Williamson (12:30 PM)
I expect a very aggressive off season from NEng and wouldn't be shocked if they landed a Boldin, Marshall or Peppers. They just have so many high draft picks over these next two years and need to find a few big time players. I can live with-but don't love-the OL and RB positions, but I do think those spots would look much better with two more fearsome pass catchers for Brady to play with. A pass rusher is a must as well.
Would you trade Sean Rogers to the Eagles for Kolb? Who says no? But in regards to Shane's question, and just from an NFL standpoint, I would love to see kolb play with the Cards.
Matt Williamson (12:32 PM)
I would if I were Cleveland. Actually, I would do it for both teams. Rogers is great. Dominant. Plus, he is much different than the DTs that Philly current have. Would really compete with the beef of Dallas and NYG-and you could keep the big guy fresh by rotating him. Well, I would offer McNabb for Rogers first. Maybe even Donovan and a pick. I am believer in Kolb and I think Philly very much is as well. But, when it came down to it, I think I do pull the trigger. Let's win now. Go with McNabb. Go all in.
Robert H. (Champaign, Ill.)
If the Panthers let go of Peppers, Do the Texans have money to afford him with williams? That takes them to the superbowl right!
Matt Williamson (12:34 PM)
Of course he would be very welcome there, but that isn't a move I would pursue. I can live with A Smith opposite Williams and Barwin showed promise as well. Would like to see Hous add a massive NT type to that line to eat blocks and control the middle of the field. Another DB wouldn't hurt either. Heavier RB and one more WR on O.
Peyton Hillis was totally forgatten in Denver this year.I think he is the versatile kind of player that would fit great on the Colts.Would say 6th rd pick be enough to get him?
Matt Williamson (12:34 PM)
Could be-or maybe you can even wait until final cuts to get him for nothing. But, I don't see him with the Colts. Would be forgotten there too. They don't have a FB on the roster and he isn't their type of TE or RB. Shanny should grab him.
I don't even think Peppers gets franchised, the owner is so sick of him and Fox in his last year has no power?. I think he just walks in FA as unbelievable as that sounds
Matt Williamson (12:35 PM)
I am not doubting you, but that just seems like such a terrible business move.
Do the Packers make sense for Peppers if they are willing to part with a 1st and a 3rd in the draft?
Matt Williamson (12:35 PM)
How about Kampman and a 3rd for Peppers?
Would McClain and Willis be able to stay on the field together all 3 downs?
Matt Williamson (12:36 PM)
Thought about that too afterward and that is a terrific point by you. As fun as it sounds, it prob isn't the best move.
Any chance KC looks closely at Stallworth to help fill the WR void?
Matt Williamson (12:37 PM)
They might, but what makes you think that Stallworth can fill any void? He has already been with like five teams over his very short career and didn't play last year. Maybe you take a flier on him like they did with Chambers, but I wouldn't consider him the answer at all.
Matt Williamson (12:37 PM)
Pioli did sign him to the Pats...then didn't bring him back.
How much trouble are the Vikings in with regards to the CB position? I'm not a Patrick Robinson fan, but Kyle Wilson looks like he'd be a great value pick for the Vikings in the late 1st round
Matt Williamson (12:38 PM)
Very true and I think the underclassmen CBs will rise up boards here soon as well. Maybe a guy like Warren from Michigan.
Any chance KC tries to trade down to collect even more draft picks?(3 already in the first 50)
Matt Williamson (12:39 PM)
I wouldn't fault them for that strategy-esp considering the LT crop. Move down, draft a guy like Bulaga and then add more young bodies with the picks. Obviously Pioli has been involved in manipulating the draft board plenty while in NEng.
Who will start at QB for the Panthers next season?
Matt Williamson (12:41 PM)
I would sink or swim with Moore considering the lack of strong other options available. But there is a cavet with that. Get him someone to throw to! Be aggressive in looking for a WR to play opposite Smith. Then, I will take my chances with that O-esp considering how well they run and that both OTs are coming back. Would also listen to offers for DeAngelo...who I do like a lot.
Which is the bigger problem for Chicago? Is it the OT's or the interior players?
Matt Williamson (12:42 PM)
O Pace had no biz being on the field last year, but I think I can live with Williams as the LT. That makes it easier, in that you can often find a power RT type easier than a LT. But remember, the Bears really don't have draft picks to do these things!
Chad (Las Vegas)
Brees, Manning, Favre, or Warner? They all have 1 SB victory each.
Matt Williamson (12:43 PM)
If I were to rank these guys in terms of their entire career to this point, I would go: 1. Manning 2. Favre 3. Warner 4. Brees. But Favre and Warner's story is already written. Would you be shocked if Manning and/or Brees played another half dozen years and put up crazy numbers-including in the post season? That isn't a ranking of how good they are in my eyes right now, but for their career as a whole.
It's obvious that the Rams take Suh with the first pick, who do you see them taking in the second round?
Matt Williamson (12:45 PM)
Maybe you trade up and get aggressive if either Bradford or Clausen begin to fall-it is possible. Otherwise, I would be cool with the Rams going ANY direction other than DT or MLB in round 2. King, they need it all Bro. The OL is prob one area that I wouldn't attack either, but overall, just take the best guy there regardless of position round after round after round.
Could the Raiders surprise and take Clausen or Bradford if they're still on the board? If not, what about MCoy in round #2?
Matt Williamson (12:46 PM)
Of course they could. They are the Raiders! If Clausen runs a good 40 yard dash...Oakland, here he comes! Kidding of course (sorta), but predicting what they will do is awfully tough. Personally, I would go LT with all things being equal.
Chad (Las Vegas)
Thanks Matt, I should have clarified. I was talking right now which you would take. Not career.
Matt Williamson (12:47 PM)
Then my list is different. 1. Peyton-and I still think he is the best football player on the planet. 2. Brees. 3. Pretty much a tie, but I guess I would lean towards Favre after this past season. Very close between to two geezers though.
Why is everyone judging manning before his career is even over? even favre on that matter.
Matt Williamson (12:48 PM)
Just something to talk about I guess. Makes no sense really. He could win two more Super Bowls before he is done and simply shatter every passing record of all time. That isn't far fetched at all.
where do the Giants go at #15? Brandon Spikes? Taylor Mays?
Matt Williamson (12:49 PM)
Neither. To me, neither of those guys is the huge athletic upgrade they need. I like the positions. McClain would be a home run. Spikes is a two down stiffer run stopper type. That isn't what they should covet there. Mays is a straight line banger. Might rather have E Thomas. I saw range as a big problem for the Giants back seven last year.
Isn't football over with?
Matt Williamson (12:50 PM)
Never dude. Get out.
Do u think darren sproles is the legit rb now that lt is going away? if not who do u see the chargers replacing lt?
Matt Williamson (12:51 PM)
No. I see Sproles as a nice guy to have, but a complementary piece. They need a heavier guy to carry the load and establish a physicality on that O. Make play action work. I am not positive who that guy is though right now. I don't like Dwyer that high. Maybe trade down a smidge and take that monster from Stanford? Not sure of the fit just yet. He doesn't fit my description to a T, but I like Chester Taylor a lot.
Chad (Las Vegas)
71 days until the draft. Can you wait?
Matt Williamson (12:53 PM)
It might be the best day(s) of the year-no question about it. When I was very young, I didn't sleep the night before. Christmas morning-but better. But my friend, PLENTY of work/action to deal with between now and DDay. Free agency. Cuts. So much more draft prep. It is all so great.
Giants havent drafted a traditional 4-3 linebacker in like 20 something years?. they wont change that this year?. every year the experts always have the giants taking an LB... it will never happen...
Matt Williamson (12:54 PM)
I can't argue with that. That doesn't mean it won't happen or it isn't what I would look to do. But I hear ya bro. As for the Giants in general. With where they pick, I don't see the perfect fit as it stands right now. Think about dealing Osi?
Do you think Brian Urlacher will drastically improve the Bears D next year or will it be the same old same old? They did rate higher this years sans Urlacher than the previous two with him.....
Matt Williamson (12:55 PM)
Well, he certainly can't hurt. Maybe as much from a mental/leadership standpoint as his play on the field. He isn't what he used to be, but is still a fine player. I think a running game and fewer turnovers would help the Bears D ton.
What do teh Hawks do in draft: Haden maybe Okung if he falls. Dont see Rb as a pressing need
Matt Williamson (12:56 PM)
I like Forsett as well, but I would use a 3rdish rounder on a heavier RB. But yeah, I have zero problems with Haden, Okung or a QB for Seattle. Might get a pretty solid LT with that 2nd first rounder.
RON (Salisbury, md.)
Wouldn't Marshall for Peppers make good sense? Would give both teams what they really need.
Matt Williamson (12:57 PM)
It sure would. As would Peppers for Boldin.
I ment in the first round for the Giants comment?. sorry bout that
Matt Williamson (12:57 PM)
I got that. Maybe the other readers didn't.
why don't you like Dwyer? I'll admit Paul Johnson has done just about the nothing in terms of preparing his players for the NFL but Dwyer's acceleration and top end speed at his weight is really really rare.
Matt Williamson (12:59 PM)
I want to see more-and will. But I don't see great wiggle or make you miss ability. Is he laterally explosive? Not sure on that. I don't think his scheme does him any favors either. Will have to relearn a lot of things-and the time line for RBs in the NFL is so short to begin with. Just don't see using a first rounder on him.
Jared (Phoenix, AZ)
Matt: Do you thin SD looks at Terrance Cody at 28? Or is that too high?
Matt Williamson (12:59 PM)
Would rather have D Williams from Tenn, but I bet Cody goes in the Top 50. NTs for the 3-4 are tough to find. It is surely a need for SD and you can't assume he will be there in round 2. But yes, that is early.
Matt Williamson (1:00 PM)
Everyone. Great chat as always. You guys are tremendous. Let's do it again next week. Take care.
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