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!
Matt Williamson (11:52 AM)
What's up everyone. It isn't quite noon yet, but let's start this chat early again today. An awful lot to discuss.
Matt what are the Panthers doing? They are cutting players left and right but doing nothing to improve their team.
Matt Williamson (11:54 AM)
Playing and preparing for tomorrow-not today. They certainly look like a worse football team right now than they did when the season ended...which just about every team in the league looks improved. I am all for going with Matt Moore and I see getting out from some bad contracts, but I am with you, this isn't doing great service to their team. Maybe they are doing everything possible to get Bill Cowher there as head coach next season and remember, they still don't have a first rounder this year to aid the youth movement. Would you consider trading DeAngelo? I would listen to offers.
Sal Paolantonio has reported that the Seahawks have been calling the Eagles "Non-stop" about Kevin Kolb and McNabb. My guess is they want Kolb a lot more, but I am wondering whether you think this is a legit rumor that could trigger a trade between the two clubs, or if it is just another rumor that got more attention than it warranted.
Matt Williamson (11:57 AM)
Hard to speculate on the level of hype of a rumor, but it certainly makes sense. That is the crux though-everyone values Kolb much more...including the Eagles. Seattle isn't a contender. They need to get young at the position. Check out yesterday's Football Today podcast. John Clayton said this very well, but we were talking more about Eagles' QBs to either Clev or STL. In the end, who really wants McNabb?
I don't know how much time you've had so far to break down draft prospects, but do you have any favorite players so far?
Matt Williamson (11:59 AM)
A boy named Suh. Clearly I am not alone in that assessment, but this dude is really something. I think he can be dominant in any scheme. I could see him as a power DE, but of course, he belongs at DT. Back to the last question in some regard, it seems more and more apparent that Bradford is going to STL first overall-and I can live with that for them-but Lions fans should be doing cartwheels to get this stud DT to build the D around like they are building the O around Stafford. Don't sleep on Detroit.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
What team other than Chicago has impressed you the most so far with their moves?
Matt Williamson (12:01 PM)
The Pats deserve credit-not be going out and getting other guys, but they have been fantastic at keeping their own. There is certainly something to be said for that. I mentioned Det and believe that they have had a very good offseason and progress is being made there. Getting Boldin is a huge pickup for Balt, although I would still like to see them add a real field stretcher and I also think Boldin is a somewhat overrated commodity. I must be missing teams, but that is right off the top of my head.
Matt, any idea if the Bills are interested in meeting with Jamal Williams and/or Kevin Mawae?
Matt Williamson (12:02 PM)
Williams is now a Bronco...so Denver's front office might have a problem with that! As for Mawae, I don't see it. I like Buff's interior OL. Tackle is their massive need. Plus, if I were Mawae, I would have zero interest in that situation. Would rather return to Tenn as a backup.
Frank (Coram, NY)
Do you think the Giants make anymore moves in Free Agency? Who do you think they draft?
Matt Williamson (12:04 PM)
Their draft needs are pretty obvious to me. MLB has to be on top of the list now. What we don't know about is Philips' health. If that is still a big worry, another safety with range is needed. Would like to see them add a big two down run stuffing DT if possible too. Maybe an OLB who can really run as well. Need to add more team speed on D to fit Fewell's new scheme and this is most obvious at LB. Would really help on throwing downs too. Another developmental OLineman wouldn't be a bad idea, but they need to draft for D.
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
Two years in a row Denver has signed a lot of older players on D. Last year they signed old secondary players and drafted a bunch of young ones. This year they are signing old D linemen. Should we expect a flurry of mid and late round picks on the D line as well?
Matt Williamson (12:06 PM)
I don't think so. If you run a 3-4, you really only want to keep 6 or 7 guys on the roster, so you really can't throw a ton of picks at the position, as there just isn't enough room to keep that many bodies. You are right though, brought in aging defenders again. This team seems to have an odd situation in that most of their guys are either too old or too young. But overall, I like the DL additions and felt that was their biggest off season need. Bannan is a real good addition. The draft could be more dedicated to WR and OG/OC.
Tim (Saginaw, MI)
Honestly, Is Peppers worth what he got?
Matt Williamson (12:08 PM)
To Chicago he is, as everyone on that organization is more or less on a one year leash. Plus, they don't have draft picks in the first two rounds. They have a great DL coach in Marinelli who might just get the very best out of Peppers. I see it. That D is based very much on DL pressure. But overall, his inconsistency does worry me.
What do you think of LT and Peterson in the same backfield? Can LT put aside his ego and be a factor as a 3rd down back?
Matt Williamson (12:10 PM)
I have said over and over that I think that LT is done. Clearly he would have to take a back seat to Peterson. They are not even close any more. But, if they could become close, Peterson could learn a ton (ball security for one) from Tomlinson. Would think that LT would be the goal line guy right off the bat, which is one thing he still does very well. As for a 3rd down back, his production in the passing game (in a heavy pass O) really fell off last season. Can he still separate in his routes like he once did? I have my doubts.
Are you suprised NE Pats haven't been in the Brandon Marshall talks? Welkers injury and Mose being in the last year of his contract plus they have the extra draft picks to work a trade.
Matt Williamson (12:11 PM)
It aint over yet and yes, I could really see NEng becoming a player for Marshall. Just makes too much sense.
Hey Matt, what do you think of the jets offseason? Will they really miss Thomas Jones?
Matt Williamson (12:13 PM)
They might lead the league in rushes again in 2010 and I think Jones will be missed. I love the Cromartie pickup, but letting Jones walk could bite them. Greene looked great late in the season, but he only carried the load one year in college and did little heavy lifting early in the 2009 season. He was fresher than everyone else. Just would have liked to see more work horse ability from him before letting Jones leave...esp with Leon coming off a major injury. Still, they prob draft a guy in say Round 3 or 4 to help. The Jets are strong.
Brad (San Mateo)
I know that the Chargers dumped players who they thought were at the end of the line, but I am concerned that there aren't many players to replace them. Last year's draft hasn't proven they are good at drafting, either.
Matt Williamson (12:14 PM)
I see what you are saying. This team does not have a shortage of holes to me. RB. RT. NT. CB now. I see them declining a bit next year...but in that division, it prob will not matter in terms of winning the West.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
As of right now, who do you like in what appears to be a wide open NFC West?
Matt Williamson (12:16 PM)
Obviously so much more will happen between now and opening day, but right now, give me SF. I don't think we need to discuss STL and SEA in this conversation, although I could see SEA improving. Both could improve I guess. But Zona has just been hit so hard. Warner is irreplaceable of course, but you lose Boldin, Dansby, Rolle, etc. Just too many knockout blows to their roster for my liking.
chris (greensboro, nc )
is there any chance of the panthers drafting both colt mccoy and jordan shipley?
Matt Williamson (12:17 PM)
I suppose it could happen. Obviously seems quite unlikely. I am not doing jumping jacks about either prospect and would prefer Moore to McCoy.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
MW: What is important for any fan is that their team is at least relevant. What do you think about the Cards franchise and the direction they have been heading? While I dont think the Dansby/Rolle/Boldin signings were bad for the Dolphins/Giants/Ravens, I do think they were good moves for the Cards (not overpaying, getting something for Boldin). Over the last 5 years, the Cards have been one of the best teams in the draft, having more draft picks start games over that same period. Thoughts?
Matt Williamson (12:18 PM)
I hear ya and don't have a lot of problem with any of those moves for Zona on an individual basis. But still, that is a brutal off season. My biggest question-of course-with this team is at QB. You go from Warner to Leinhart, it is going to be felt hard.
Matt, I have this sneaking suspicion that Dan LeFevour from CMU is going to get drafted by Seattle and hold the clip board for a year under Hass. I think Seattle would be a very dangerous team is they draft him and build around him. Thoughts?
Matt Williamson (12:20 PM)
That is a pretty decent fit. I like it. Could also see Clausen with one of their first rounders. Does any team have as many needs as the Seahawks though? They really need everything on O except a TE and everything on D except LBs.
How concerned should the Steelers be about yet another off the field incident with Roethlisberger?
Matt Williamson (12:21 PM)
Who knows what happened with this or what will come of it, but knowing this franchise, I can assure you that it doesn't sit well. Not their style at all-and that isn't to imply guilt in any way.
If the "rumors" are somewhat accurate that Marshawn Lynch could be had for a 4th round pick, why wouldn't teams like Washington, San Diego, Seattle, and NE among others look into it?
Matt Williamson (12:23 PM)
He isn't what he was a few years ago and his stock has really dropped, but I am with you. Getting out of Buff has to be good for anyone. Get on a contender and maybe he starts running harder again. all those spots makes sense, but I also would not count on him to be my #1 guy. But paired with someone like Forsett? Sure. Allows Sea to draft other positions early too.
what do you think of cals freshman safety keenan allen?
Matt Williamson (12:23 PM)
I don't know one thing about him. Are you his uncle? Neighbor?
Bill (City by the bay, CA)
Should the Raiders take a look at Jimmy Clausen if he's still on the board at 8? I know they have J. Russell for one more year, but they don't even have a 1st rounder in 2011.
Matt Williamson (12:25 PM)
Here is some late breaking news. There are problems in Oakland and they are not going away anytime soon! I wouldn't be critical if they selected Clausen, but once again, such little progress would be made during the upcoming season if they took that approach. But in hiring a new OC, I think they go with this stable (& maybe add a guy like Smith from Balt) and see where they are a year from now.
My bad Matt..didn't hear about the Williams signing. Why would Buffalo need or want to get rid of Lynch? Especially if all they could get is a 4th rounder?
Matt Williamson (12:26 PM)
Jackson is the better player. I think he wants out. Has been troubled off the field. But yeah, for that price, why not just keep him?
Ramiro Balladares (Nicaragua)
Whats your take on Dez Bryant??? Do you believe he can produce immediately at the next level???
Matt Williamson (12:27 PM)
I think he will be great. Big time playmaker. Big. Aggressive. Fluid. Strong. Plays big. Excellent after the catch. Go up and get that thing. He doesn't run a real exotic route tree, so that could take time, but I see him immediately causing mismatches on the outside. Sea at 6 and Clev at 7 should really consider him.
Do you think that the Panthers would try to make a move to sign Anderson? At least to bring to compete with Moore for the starting job?
Matt Williamson (12:28 PM)
Derek Anderson? I would frown upon that. I don't think DA can play dead in a cowboy movie.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Why weren't more teams in on the Boldin trade? A 3rd and a 5th seems really cheap for a guy who is a legit #1 WR.
Matt Williamson (12:28 PM)
He is not a legit #1 WR, but that does seem pretty cheap to me as well. Excellent get by Ozzie Newsome.
M-Dub by paying Micheal Vick the bonus are the Eagles trying to send out a message to other teams that Kolb is available for the right draft pick or do the intend to keep all QBs this season?
Matt Williamson (12:30 PM)
I think they really want to deal Vick. Spend that bonus money for a mid round pick. But, that also signifies that Vick can be their #2 if they can swing a deal for one of the top two guys, preferably McNabb. I can name a lot of suitors for Kolb, but how many can you come up with for McNabb? Zona? Who else?
what do you think of kenan allen?
Matt Williamson (12:31 PM)
Seriously Dude. More with the Kenan Allen talk? If you are going to pump your nephew's tires in my chat, at least capitalize the young man's name....whoever he is.
Dale Doback (DC)
tell me about this Kemoeatu guy the skins signed.
Matt Williamson (12:33 PM)
Not sure what happened there, but someone asked me about Kemoeatu in Wash. That was the first I heard they signed him, but it makes sense. Will be a NT in their scheme and I prefer Haynesworth at DE in their 3-4. Kemo is a massive run stuffer who is coming off a major knee injury. Has proven that he can be a force on early downs though when right.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
where are the eagles going to trade vick to? niners? why not?
Hot Ham N Cheeeese (ATL)
Better hard rock album: Appetite for Destruction or Master of Puppets?
Matt Williamson (12:35 PM)
Not sure what is happening, but when I hit the Post button for questions, I can't see if they are posted or not. Hot Ham N Cheeeese asked Appetite for Destruction or Master of Puppets! Appetite by far. Flawless. Okay, hopefully that issue gets corrected, but I will wing it otherwise.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
niners for mcnab
Matt Williamson (12:36 PM)
Getting questions about Philly QBs to SF. They just signed Carr and I think that takes them out of any QB derby. Can live with Smith and Carr there for now...esp if they enforce the other position with those two first rounders. Vick might be real tough for the Eagles to move. He has done nothing since leaving for prison to show me that he is a starting NFL QB.
Would Denver not want Donovan McNabb, over Kyle Orton?
Matt Williamson (12:37 PM)
RJ asked about McNabb over Orton in Den. I can buy that. They are very aggressive and have taken a heavy win now approach. Sure. I am on board with that. Good call.
Larry (Pasco, WA)
What's a bigger need for the Chargers? A run stuffing NT or a big RB to go along with Sproles? Do the Chargers take T Cody in the 1st round and wait on the RB till later in the draft?
Matt Williamson (12:39 PM)
Larry, I think it is much tougher to find true NTs than RBs for SD. So yes, going with a guy like D Williams in round one would be great. Can they pull the trigger on Cody that early? Maybe, but that is a big time gamble. Pretty legit reach. But he does do the job on early downs. I like round 2 for RBs.
Matt Williamson (12:40 PM)
Hey-can you guys see the questions I post? I can't. Would be much easier on me knowing if you can see them of late or not. Thanks!
Who are the Raiders gonna reach for this year in the draft?
Matt Williamson (12:42 PM)
Jay, the Raiders almost HAVE to reach for B Campbell now, right? Combine warrior. Average on film. Just seems too easy to predict that one. Overall though and hopefully for their sake, they go LT with that first pick. Davis from Rutgers could be that guy for them too. Heavy bust potential and big upside...their kind of gamble.
Tom (Halifax, VA)
Assuming Denver gets a 1st rounder for Marshall, were do you think they spend it? Strong OG if the time is right, DT run stuffer, DE?
Matt Williamson (12:44 PM)
They will obviously get something of value for Marshall, but I think that leaves them VERY light at WR. Could certainly see them go after a guy like Iupati or Pouncey too to really fortify the interior of their OL and help the transformation from Shanny's zone system to a bigger more power system. They are now very old on the DL and if a real promising prospect was there, that would be a good move, but like I said earlier, you can only have so many guys on the roster. Playmaking ILB wouldn't kill them either. QB like Clausen?
Ray (New Orleans)
Is there an OLB sitting there at #32 for the Saints? Do you think the Saints have enough in house to replace Fujita, as certainly they were looking to do even before he left for Cleveland?
Matt Williamson (12:46 PM)
Losing Fujita isn't much of a loss. They needed to upgrade there. I can live with either Fujita or Shanle at OLB in that D, but not both. Need one of those spots to be a more talented playmaker with versatility that G Williams covets. Weatherspoon looks like a great fit to me. I still see DT as their #1 need though.
matty Nice (Enola)
M Dub, do you like the Steelers moves so far, pretty busy for them for the free agent period?
Matt Williamson (12:48 PM)
I do like the Steelers moves. Clark is a solid player. Smart. Hitter. Makes up for 43's roaming. The other moves should add solid depth and provide much better special teams players. Coverage teams were a problem once again. As usual, they do a good job of cutting down on their DDay needs, which allows them not to have to be forced into taking one specific position. Still, they need more help on the back end on D and a difference maker at RG or OC would be great. Iupati.
I can see the questions, hopefully I'll see mine to! If Seattle can get B.Marshall for the #40 pick, then go best LT at 6 and get Spiller at 14 would they then have the best Offense in the NFC West?
Matt Williamson (12:50 PM)
Wow, that is a pretty serious O makeover. I love Spiller-don't get me wrong-and would not be critical of them adding him. But I would rather see them use a 3rd rounder on a pounder like Gerhart and use that early pick to help another need. But your point is valid in that the O would be incredibly improved. But can Hass play 16 games? Can he still play at a high level even when healthy? Legit questions that cannot be ignored.
Al Davis (Old Folks Home)
Are you crazy? I'm going for Taylor Mays. Did you see his 40 time?
Matt Williamson (12:50 PM)
Al, somehow I overlooked that obvious one. Didn't you just overspend on a safety in the last draft who was more based on Combine numbers than production? Not that it matters.
How about Bryan Bulaga to the Raiders at #8 enabling Mario Henderson to move to right tackle? I believe it would strengthen two line positions.
Matt Williamson (12:51 PM)
I do too. That is the right move. So, it seems unlikely to me.
With the Falcons likely adding to the front 7 in the draft (DE Graham or LB Witherspoon), thoughts on them for 2010?
Matt Williamson (12:52 PM)
I was extremely high on ATL last year. Picked them to go to the Super Bowl actually in our preseason predictions. Gotta think that a DE is going to be their first rounder. I see the need for OLB too, but not nearly as pressing as DE. Still like this team. More reserved about them now, but still see them as a contender.
Adam (San Diego, CA)
Does the economic reality of the NFL Draft push Bradford and Okung up into the top 2? How can the Rams and Lions invest than much guaranteed money in a DT?
Matt Williamson (12:53 PM)
I am now convinced that STL will take Bradford. But I am also convinced that Det will do cartwheels when they hand the commish the card for Suh. Stealing.
What about the Panthers trading stewar or williams for pics? Any thoughts on that:)
Matt Williamson (12:55 PM)
It would have to be DeAngelo who is dealt. More sense with his contract which is up after this season. I like both RBs a lot though and I do think Car very much needs to accumulate draft picks. Not sure how else they can do it. Certainly would not give Williams away though. Heck of a player. But they do have a surplus there for sure.
Any thoughts on Greg Olsen being moved out of Chicago,or will Martz try and use him as a slot reciever?
Matt Williamson (12:56 PM)
I would strongly look to deal Olsen, esp after adding Brandon M, which will be an extra OT to help those poor OTs. Until I see it, I can't trust Martz to use his TEs. IF you could land an early 3rd rounder for Olsen and draft a guard with that pick, I say do it. I do understand that Olsen and Cutler are supposedly tight...which may or may not be even more reason to deal him.
Matt Williamson (12:57 PM)
Folks, I have to run. Hopefully you were all able to follow the 2nd half of the chat well. It was tough on this end. Sorry about that if it was a problem. But get back here next Wed at noon and we will tear it up again.