Chat with James Walker
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com AFC North blogger James Walker will stop by to chat about the NFL and what to expect from your team.
Walker joined ESPN.com in 2008 after three seasons covering the Cleveland Browns for the Columbus Dispatch.
Send your questions now and join James Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
James Walker (4:00 PM)
How is it going, everyone? I just came back from the combine, and I'm getting ready for free agency Friday. So I'm sure there are tons of questions about both this week.
James,What do you think of the Ravens picking Sean Witherspoon in the 1st round as the eventual replacement for Ray Lewis? They can get a WR and CB in rounds 2 & 3.
James Walker (4:02 PM)
I like the Missouri linebacker, but I think filling current needs is the best way to go. Lewis is playing at a Pro Bowl level. When will his replacement get to start? Three or four years from now? Get a WR or a CB that can help in 2010 first.
marty (Hoboken, nj )
James do you think the steelers will draft defense in the 1st round or a offensive lineman if a good one falls to them. I hope they draft either williams from Tenn or witherspoon in the 1st round .
James Walker (4:05 PM)
Well, the target positions are OL, NT and CB. The Steelers usually stay true to their draft board. So I think it's all going to come down to which top player falls to them at one of those positions. This is a very deep draft in a lot of spots, so I anticipate Pittsburgh getting a quality player.
Hey I am a huge Steelers fan, and I know that there is a chance that Willie Parker may leave. What are the chances of them picking up a Darren Sproles and would that even be a good idea? Also do you think the Steelers will trade a draft pick for a good CB?
James Walker (4:07 PM)
This goes back to the running back question in Pittsburgh that continues to baffle me. Why does Steeler Nation, or a portion of Steeler Nation, want a high-priced RB so badly? Rashard Mendenhall is a good, young player. The Steelers won't spend a high draft pick or a lot of money in free agency on that position.
Do you think the Browns are a good possibilty to sign peppers? Do you think they are thinkin QB or defensive back at No. 7? If QB, then who stays and who goes DA or BQ?
James Walker (4:11 PM)
Good possibility? That may be a little stretch, but I'd say there is a chance. The Browns are curious about Julius Peppers and have the money to spend. And when you have the money there is always a chance. The issue is teams like New England, for example, could bid against Cleveland and provide more of a winning program that could be the difference.
James Walker (4:12 PM)
I'm just about certain Derek Anderson will be released in the next week or two.
Do you think Mike Brown will give Marvin Lewis what he wants so they can get a deal done? Also do the Bengals take defense or offense in the draft? thanks have a good day
James Walker (4:15 PM)
Good question, Josh. I'm probably going to address this further in the blog this week. I just haven't gotten to it yet. But the Bengals are Mike Brown's show. That's clear. Lewis wants more control and probably won't get everything he wants. So it's too early to say how it will play out. I see the Bengals going offense, either tight end or receiver.
jmo (Bed-Stuy (in LA today))
What's your take on free agency this year? I see/hear lots of QB rumors, but what about other positions, such as CB (Dunta Robinson) or DL (Peppers)?
James Walker (4:17 PM)
J-Mo West Coasting it today. I like it. My overall thoughts on free agency is it won't be too exciting. Most of the top names are restricted because of the uncapped year. Most major improvements with teams will be done in the draft and potential trades, particularly in the AFC North.
I don't have a good question(so you probably won't pick) but here goes.....I've begun to give up on the Bengals, can you give me any good reasons to be excited about next year and know it's going to be different from all the others?
James Walker (4:20 PM)
Coming off a playoff berth. Undefeated in the division. Top five defense. Great running game. Should help team with added draft picks. Does that work?
Who do you think the best overall player was that you saw at the combine. Go Bengals!!!!
James Walker (4:21 PM)
I don't really think on those terms, Richard. The combine is just workouts and interviews. If they played actual football in Indianapolis, then I could answer your question better.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Which College Football Player do you think would be a perfect fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers?
James Walker (4:25 PM)
Florida CB Joe Haden. The Steelers just missed on Darrelle Revis recently. They probably can't get to Haden, either.
Orville Redenbacher (Popcorn)
Have you heard anything else on TO coming to Bmore or who else the Ravens may be targeting for WR in Free Agency?
James Walker (4:27 PM)
I have not heard anything on this behind the scenes. I wrote earlier this week that I would be surprised if this happens. But stranger things have occured.
i think the steelers should draft kyle wilson and let him compete with burnett and gay for the starting cb spot, what do you think?
James Walker (4:31 PM)
I've been impressed with Kyle Wilson this week in Indianapolis. He bench pressed 25 reps, which is tremendous for a CB. I think he's a target of a lot of teams in that late first round, Baltimore included.
Brian (College Park)
Do you think DE Carlos Dunlap out of Florida would be a good fit for the Ravens with their first round pick? He played in a 3-4 and the only pure DE on the Ravens roster right now is Trevor Pryce, who is near retirement. Ngata should not be playing DE.
James Walker (4:34 PM)
I'm not all that high on Dunlap. He has good tools with motivation questions. The Ravens usually like players who love football, love practice, watching film, etc. Dunlap could turn out to be fine, but Baltimore usually passes on the inconsistent/lack-of-motivation types.
Mike (FLORENCE KENTUCKY)
James, Do you see the Bengals taking a shot at V Jackson, Boldin, Austin or Marshall?
James Walker (4:37 PM)
All of those players will come with high contract demands if traded. I just don't see the Bengals paying for this caliber of receiver with a long-term deal.
Rocco (Pittsburgh PA)
Do you think the Steelers will put NT on the backburner, or at least hold off until the second or third round on drafting one since we have Casey Hampton for the forseeable future?
James Walker (4:40 PM)
Nope. I'm hearing DT is still fair game in Pittsburgh. This is a rare year stocked with great defensive linemen and I anticipate the Steelers finding one relatively high in the draft, maybe the first two or three rounds.
brandon marshall to the ravens?
James Walker (4:42 PM)
Possibly. Denver would need to lower its price tag, though. A first and third is too much for Baltimore's liking.
Rick (Charleston, WV)
Since Joe Haden will be likely gone long before the Steelers pick, are there any other CBs in the draft who would be worthy of a no. 18 pick in the first round?
James Walker (4:45 PM)
Kyle Wilson is a player from Boise State who is making an impression. But I'm not sure it's enough to warrent the No. 18 overall pick. The Steelers may be forced to look elsewhere, like DL or OT, which aren't bad options.
Darrell M. (Charlotte, NC)
If the Ravens get a Boldin or Marshall or Owens do you see Derrcik Mason returning?
James Walker (4:47 PM)
Yes. Mason is more concerned with the team making a two-year commitment. I think there is a good chance Mason is coming back, and he would prefer more help.
Any chance that Haden's slower than expected 40 will push him to the Steelers at 18?
James Walker (4:49 PM)
He won't drop that far. Game tape means the most to scouts. Joe Haden will probably run better at his Pro Day, also.
Zack (greenboro, nc)
I keep hearing things are moving forward with the Josh Cribbs contract situation... do you have any inside info on what is actually going on with this situation?
James Walker (4:55 PM)
Right now things are going fine. The Browns' initial offer was much lower than Cribbs expected and (I think) hurt his feelings to some degree. Now the sides are back on good terms. But the distance was so far to begin with that it's going to take time to reach a middle ground. In the end, I think a deal will get done.
Jeffrey Smith (Kent, OH)
James,With Joe Haden's poor 40 time, do you think teams such as the Browns may be weary to draft him in the top 10?Also, do you think Taylor Mays may jump up on some draft boards for his impressive 4.43 time?
James Walker (4:57 PM)
Man, you all put a lot on .2 seconds of 40 time. All of a sudden Mays is a top guy and Haden is in the back of the pack? I don't think that's very wise, Jeffrey.
do you think tebow will likely go to the second round
James Walker (5:00 PM)
I think the second round is a little high for Tim Tebow. But someone could take him for his character, intangibles and leadership. Unless he dramatically improves from what I saw in college, I don't think Tebow has what it takes to be a franchise NFL quarterback.
James Walker (5:01 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for your time. Remember to check out the AFC North blog on ESPN.com and our new and improved Twitter account. http://twitter.com/espnafc_north
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