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 (11:56 AM)
Hey everyone. Let's kick this thing off a little bit early today.
Matty!!!! Let's get the official Chat King take on McNabb to Shanny and Washington.
Matt Williamson (11:58 AM)
Guess we should get right into this. Thoughts from Washington's perspective: Clearly it is an upgrade. They have gotten rather old over the offseason and are taking a win now approach. I very much like that they were able to keep that #4 pick-which I fully expect to be Okung. Plus, I think Campbell will bring value in draft picks when he is traded. Like I said, McNabb is an upgrade and Shanny is excellent with QBs-like Reid, he should exploit McNabb's strengths, which is his downfield passing, deep arm, the valuing of the ball and ability to improvise with his legs. But, Shanny also really stresses timing and accuracy from his QB and I don't see those as McNabb's strong suits.
Matt Williamson (12:00 PM)
From Philly's perspective: I agree that the time has to be now for Kolb-and I have liked what I have seen. Of course from where I sit, it is very hard to really judge the guy. Plus, he has to go around the league once or so before we really know his true strengths and weaknesses. But make no mistake, the Eagles are rebuilding. They all of a sudden got very young and should continue to build upon a strong young nucleus with all their draft picks in this upcoming deep draft. Actually like it for both teams. But-sending McNabb within the division is a bit of a slap in the face to me and screams "We would rather play against him than with him."
Robert (Latrobe, PA)
Where do you see Marc Bulger being a good fit?
Matt Williamson (12:02 PM)
If I were him, I would love to go to a team like NOrls. Be the clear #2. Let your battered body heal up a bit. If thrown into action, you are leading a high powered contender. Dome team helps as well. Having a hard time coming up with a lot of great fits for him though. Carolina wouldn't be terrible. Jax?
Robert (Latrobe, PA)
What do you think of the Lions offseason so far? They managed to get Burleson, Sims, Houston, Hill, Williams, and Vanden Bosch, and will likely add a dominant DT and more help in the draft. I'm impressed with Mayhew; this team is already dramatically better than the one that went 0-16.
Matt Williamson (12:04 PM)
First off, love the Sims trade for them. Instant starter and upgrade at a big need position. Surely Suh will be their first rounder-who can argue with that? Would guess that CB or RB would be that early #2. J Best would be terrific. But overall, I am impressed. Not sold that Vanden Bosch has a ton left (esp for the $$$), but I see him being Suh's mentor. Williams could revitalize his career in a scheme that much better fits his skills.
Hey Matt, I'm wondering what you think about the UFL becoming a minor league system to the NFL. Do you think this will ever happen? If so, do you think it will help?
Matt Williamson (12:05 PM)
I am certainly in favor of a minor league system. Would be great for QBs in particular. Too many somewhat promising QBs come out of college in a spread or unorthodox O system and are never developed. In turn, we would have a few more quality QBs and certainly better play from backup QBs. In fact, depth would be better across the board. Not sure if the UFL is the answer, but I am in favor of a developmental league of some sort.
Would you be fine if the Steelers got Iupati, Pouncey, Kyle Wilson or Dan Williams in the first round?
Matt Williamson (12:08 PM)
I would rank them 1. Pouncey 2. Iupati 3. Wilson 4. Williams on my personal list for the Steelers. I just see OC as being such a massive need. OG is as well, but Pouncey is more ready, headier and would help now-with the ability to play OC. I like Dan Williams, but prob would not go that direction after signing Hampton.
Matt what do you think about the possibility of Tebow going to Philly...i realize he wouldnt start right away but do you think that could be somewhat of a negative for Kolb?
Matt Williamson (12:09 PM)
I wouldn't see it that way. I do think it would be great for Tebow though. I am rooting for Tebow and hope he goes to an team with a clear cut #1 QB, so he doesn't have to play for a while and can work on his skills...which we all know he will. Vick is a free agent after this year, so Tebow could play that role after this season and contribute with some Wild Cat as he learns. Remember, the Eagles now have a ton of picks, so a QB does make sense.
Who will finanlly emerge as the Redskins starting RB? Is there anyway Shanny keeps all 3?
Matt Williamson (12:11 PM)
I don't like any of them. None are much of a help on throwing downs and none help at all on special teams. If all three are on the roster, there will be one every week who doesn't get his jersey dirty. Signing Parker did sorta indicate to me that Portis could be the one on the outs-esp if they draft a guy. But I think all three are done and don't condone this approach to the RB position at all to be honest.
Brian (Rochester Hills)
Can you justify the Lions paying Suh number 2 overall money? That's a lot to give a player who plays at a high "bust" rate position. Wouldn't they be better off drafting Okung?
Matt Williamson (12:13 PM)
Jeff Backus is a much better LT than many tend to give him credit for. Yes, there is a lot more bust potential at DT traditionally, but Schwartz obviously sees what a stud DT (Haynesworth) can do for a D and honestly, if I could have one stud on my D, I would pick DT. Warren Sapp/Joe Greene/Bob Lilly. Guess I went back a ways there, but you get my drift. To me, Suh is clearly the best player in this draft and if you can get him at #2, you just take him. He will be the stud D player to build around as Stafford is to the O. I would be extremely critical if they passed on Suh. And while I like Okung, he isn't O Pace or T Boselli.
questions for the Redskins - will Haynesworth play NT? Can London play in a 3-4 and be effective? Can anyone in their secondary cover?
Matt Williamson (12:16 PM)
I really disapprove of Washington going to a 3-4. Just don't see the logic in it and thought their D was quite good last year. Plus, ALL THE $$$ they just spent on Haynesworth!!!! Anyways, I think Kemoeatu (if healthy) will play the nose and Big Al will play DE. I also think that Big Al could play ANY DL technique in ANY scheme and be a stud. Still, this isn't what you paid him for though! I also don't like Fletcher in a 3-4. Hopefully they still use a lot of their old scheme. Honestly, only Orakpo benefits in my mind.
Tim (Saginaw, MI)
Does the McNabb trade hurt Campbell or Clausen more?
Matt Williamson (12:17 PM)
Clausen. Would say that the earliest he could go is now to the Browns, then maybe Buff. Campbell should get a chance to start wherever he lands. If I were Buff or Oak I would be all over Campbell right now.
Jake (VA Beach mobile) [via mobile]
Do you think Weatherspoon would be a better fit for the Giants over McClain? Rolando seems to struggle in coverage and tackling, two weaknesses of NY already
Matt Williamson (12:18 PM)
I have said that in each of my last few chats. Fewell's D is going to really stress speed and his MLB will need to cover that deep pipe. I don't think McClain can do that as well and I expect 'Spoon to be their pick.
Any update on Dallas' LT spot? Is Free the future at that spot or will they use their 1st rounder on that spot and move Free to RT?
Matt Williamson (12:19 PM)
That one of the nice things about Free. I think he can do either. But in a way, he isn't ideal for either. Not a masher for RT or a super nimble guy for LT. Still, should be solid at either spot. I don't like Colombo though much at all and now depth is a big problem. Surely they will draft a guy high, but I don't think they have to be pigeon holed into a RT or LT specifically.
With so few teams needing QBs, will Colt McCoy fall out of the 2nd round now?
Matt Williamson (12:20 PM)
I think he is a 2nd rounder. Could still prob come up with 10 teams that would like to add a QB with upside.
If N. Suh or G. McCoy would fall to #5. What are the chances the NYG would trade with the Chiefs?
Matt Williamson (12:21 PM)
Never going to happen. I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that those two go #2 and
Carlos (Panama City, Panama)
What positions would you like to see the Bucs address in the draft? Obviously DT is a no brainer.
Matt Williamson (12:22 PM)
It should be noted that TBay might just have the worst WRs in the league...that doesn't do a 2nd year franchise QB any favors. Just my opinion. But their D needs are many and they are great.
Hey Matty-Ice, what did you think about the Brown/eagles trade? Unless the Brown's plan B is to trade down, they are going all in assuming Berry will be there at 7. Agree? Thanks Matt!!
Matt Williamson (12:24 PM)
Great deal for Cleveland. Wrote something about it very recently-check it out. Brown is the key and should pair very well with Wright. I think that takes them out of the Haden sweepstakes. Berry is the home run-no doubt. But to land Berry, I think they have to trade up two spots with KC, which could happen. While I like the deal a lot for Clev, they added two solid players...but they really must find now is difference makers. Berry would be ideal like I said. Ever since Mangini has arrived they have valued quantity over high quality. That is fine, but now is the time to get difference makers...at just about any position. Clev's WRs stink too btw.
Matt saw you mention this why wouldnt the Bills have dealt for Campbell right now or do you think its in the works?
Matt Williamson (12:26 PM)
Could be. Doubt Wash is going to take the first offer on the table...but I do think he leaves DC. Supposedly Car and maybe Jax are both quite interested. I know I am in the minority, but I would actually give Buff's 2nd rounder for Campbell. Everyone else seems to think that is too rich.
hey matt remember last year when u didnt like the packers move to an 3/4 dee....how did that work huh....and what do u think we can use to make it better....ur thoughts
Matt Williamson (12:27 PM)
I knew that would come up. Fair point. Must say that I was extremely shocked that GBay could land two great fits on DDay in Raji and Mathews Jr. and I also will say, that I bet that D would have been quite good if they had stuck with the 4-3. I also was very critical of KC making the switch if you remember.
Did Okung just benefit the most of anyone when McNabb went to Washington? You've got to think it's a lock now that he doesn't last past pick 4. Chiefs have no hopes of him being on the board at 5.
Matt Williamson (12:28 PM)
Agreed. I really think those top 4 picks are set: Bradford, Suh, McCoy then Okung. All makes perfect sense.
Can you suggest a few things you think the Patriots can do this offseason and the draft to improve their team for the upcoming season?
Matt Williamson (12:29 PM)
Well, they are loaded with 2nd picks and those spots are gold. I really see WR as a big need, but other than that, I can live with the O. If a real interesting RB fell, I would pounce though. Still, a young DE would be nice, but a really talented edge rusher is the biggest D need-and I wouldn't hesitate to package picks for the right guy.
If Im Buff I offer a 4th that could turn into a 3rd for Campbell and draft best LT available and then we could start the climb out of the basement
Matt Williamson (12:32 PM)
I hear ya, but I would assume that Wash wants picks in this draft...which would eliminate conditional picks. Offer that early 3rd? You know I would. But just adding a LT and QB isn't enough in Buff. Let's just say they hit on those two, you still need a NT and WR in a BIG way. I would like to upgrade at OC and RT is still a bit of a need. Once again, if switching schemes, a true 3-4 OLB would be nice to have. Do you trust Maybin?
Killing me Matt, what about the browns grabing Dez Bryant they need a #1 WR, james Walker shot me down big time on that pick.
Matt Williamson (12:33 PM)
Everyone seems to be bashing Dez Bryant right now. Deep down, I think it is the typical pre-draft smoke screen. This guy can really play. I am in the minority, but would have zero problems with Clev taking him at #7. But, then you are extremely young at WR with him, Robiskie and Massaquoi. Not the end of the world, but not an ideal situation either.
I agreed with you that the Packers switch to the 3-4 was a terrible idea. It was suited to their 2nd best player, pro-bowler Kampman. They just got lucky that Matthews and Raji were available. And, for every successful switch there are four teams stuck in limbo. KC has drafted two top five DEs the last two years and are getting zero impact for nearly $60 million guaranteed money.
Matt Williamson (12:34 PM)
That is pretty much the way I see it too. It screwed Kampman bad. But-give the Pack credit. Capers did a heck of a job with it.
Hey Matt! With the Packers re-signing both tackles, do you think they look at CB or OLB for help in round 1 and wait to take a guy like Velheer later, or trade up to get someone?
Matt Williamson (12:35 PM)
I sorta like TJ Lang, so I see their needs in this order: CB, OLB then OT to groom. It wouldn't break my heart if they pounced on an electric RB either at some point in the top few rounds.
What's your take on Bryan Bulaga? I know its not fair to compare him to Gallery but both seem to have short arms for left tackle and played at Iowa. Do you think he's worth a top 10 pick?
Matt Williamson (12:38 PM)
I do think so. But, somewhat like Gallery, you can't kill the guy if he isn't an elite LT. I think you start him there-or start him inside with the intention of playing LT eventually-and if he isn't a great LT, you will still have an exceptional RT or OG. I like him at four positions, which really adds to his value. I do see a guy though who has really been coached up and while that is great, he might have somewhat reached his peak. Still, might not have the highest ceiling, but also has a very high floor. Can win a lot of games with OLinemen like that. Side note: you watch two guys who are built the same run the 40. They both run a 4.5 flat. Guy #1 is so smooth. Great technique. Steps are perfect. Guy
Matty from PA- you want to take Dez with the 7th pick?? yes you have no WRs, but that's almost as big a mistake as taking Heyward-Bey with the 7th pick. Dez is probably better, but if the Browns are targeting Dez, they could trade down a few spots and still get him....By the way, the Browns have no secondary...
Matt Williamson (12:40 PM)
Maybe Dez is a bad person. Maybe he is a locker room cancer. Maybe he is just immature. I don't know those things and have never met him. But, the guy is 10x the football player in college than DHB. They are not even close on tape. Trading down surely would work. The Browns have two solid CBs and I can live with their nickel CBs for now. Safety is a giant need.
If Oakland was truly interested in Donovan McNabb doesn't it make sense that they would consider an early pick on a QB? Is Clausen a possibility at #8?
Matt Williamson (12:41 PM)
I doubt it. They can't swing and miss again. McNabb was a known commodity. FAR less risk than with a first round pick.
Matt (St. Louis)
With Bulger gone now and with the Rams almost certainly taking a QB in this draft(wheter or not it's Bradford at #1) do you expect to them to give the rookie the shot right away or should A.J. Feeley be considered the starter?
Matt Williamson (12:42 PM)
Bradford is very smart and should adapt quickly. Tough call. Could be a situation like Stafford and Sanchez last year. They started right off the bat. Really a hard question to answer for me. Who knows what he looks like in camp? Still, they have Feely to be that guy to help the youngster along, teach him the system and start some games in the meantime.
I know bad comparison with D. H-B and Dez, i meant from a personel standpoint...different players, DHB is raw speed and Dez is a playmaking WR with 4.5 speed....But I meant Dez would be too high at 7...Browns could trade down and still get him.
Matt Williamson (12:43 PM)
That might be true and I hear ya. But I see Dez as clearly the #1 WR and I bet I am not alone. Wouldn't trade down REAL far.
You answer to Shawn was cut off. What did you say about guy #2?
Matt Williamson (12:44 PM)
Thanks. Guy #2 is all over the place. Little technique. Poor start. Give me guy
Jamarcus Rusell (Oakland)
What seperates me from VY? Last year even you said he was done finished as a QB now they are calling me a bust.... Why cant I get a good coach and a few years to develop I Missed my whole rookie season due to holdout/contract issues
Matt Williamson (12:46 PM)
I was very down on VY and he has come back to really blow me away. He is competitive. Wants to be great. I have seen nothing from you to think the same thing. But...QBs often revitalize their careers a few year in the league and it is possible that you do the same. Still, you can't tell me that QB is not a need in Oak!
I'm a Bulaga fan, but think his teammates represent far more value relative to their projected draft positions. Edds, in particular, will be a steal anywhere after the 3rd. Few 245 pound SLBs excel in coverage. He will be able to matchup very well with the league's pass-catching TEs. I also think Calloway, Spivey, and Moiaki, and Angerer have a chance to be starters in a couple years.
Matt Williamson (12:47 PM)
I don't disagree with you. All are promising. Strong Iowa contingency this year.
Andy Reid (Philadelphia)
Should I have just traded McNabb to Oakland, not caring about his thoughts and gotten NA 21, especially since I traded Sheldon Brown for almost nothing? This would have also kept me from seeing him and being beat by him.
Matt Williamson (12:47 PM)
Yeah, but if McNabb won't sign a long term deal there or would just retire if that trade went down, Oak isn't going to do it!
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
Matty Ice: Washington taking on a 33yr old QB (albeit still in his prime) says they are looking to contend sooner than later. How much sense does it make for them to not only draft Okung, but also make a hard push to acquire Marshall? Shanahan drafted him so there is a connection there and it gives McNabb something he has never had outside of maybe T.O.: a big physical receiver.
Matt Williamson (12:48 PM)
Sure seems like a Washington/Shanny type of thing to do! How about this? #4 Okung. Trade next year's
Are the Chargers better or worse heading into next season?
Matt Williamson (12:49 PM)
I would say worse, but not by a ton. LT isn't a loss, but where did they get better?
What separated Jemarcus Russell from vince young is about 80lbs
Matt Williamson (12:49 PM)
Ryan (San Diego)
Okay, let me throw this at you. If Spiller falls down towards 15, would you like the move of the Chargers dealing Sproles and pick to move up and get him? Or just stand pat and hope Mathews is there at 28?
Matt Williamson (12:50 PM)
I see SD needing their picks. Want to see them add DL help and CB help. Maybe even another OT. I like Spiller for sure, but I prob wouldn't pay the price to move up that far. Would just as soon stay put and take Best.
wiill taylor mays be there at 23 for my packers or what.........
Matt Williamson (12:51 PM)
Could see that and could see them pulling the trigger. Like I said, I would address another area.
How do you see this Osi vs Giants management playing out if they draft a guy like Derrick Morgan?
Matt Williamson (12:52 PM)
If D Morgan is there, I wouldn't argue one bit with that pick!
Just as the Steelers did when the traded up for Polamalu, and traded down for Hampton, doesn't the #18 pick and the players available indicate a similar scenario?
Matt Williamson (12:53 PM)
I think so. Could see a trade down in round one, then a trade up in round two with the intentions of adding both a starting interior OLineman and CB. They do have a lot of picks-more picks than they have roster spots up for grabs.
Dubbster, with Kuharsky disappearing for a week and you being gracious enough to do some AFC South writing, what are the Colts biggest needs heading into the draft? Keeping in mind that Polian sees needs differently (i.e. looks one or two years down the road) than most.
Matt Williamson (12:54 PM)
Very true and with that in mind, DE wouldn't shock me, as he obviously knows just how valuable it is to have two stud pass rushers with the make up of that team. But overall, I would expect them to really address the OL. They need to generate more on the ground and I blame the OL for that.
Ed HULKali (Protein Shake Heaven)
Personal foul, bob (jersee). The lack of punctuation and capitalization, plus spelling errors are atrocious. 15 yard penalty, repeat third down.
Matt Williamson (12:55 PM)
Good flag. Good flag. Glad you have my back.
MLB is clearly the position of need for the Giants. Is there any reason why they haven't used their 3rd rounder to try to sign Morrison away from the Raiders? They could still draft a LB at 15, but it would at least protect them in the case that McClain and Wetherspoon get drafted before thier pick. Then a position of weakness becomes one of their biggest strenghts.
Matt Williamson (12:56 PM)
I hear ya, but I also think Morrison's production indicates that he is a better player than he really is. Makes a lot of plays downfield. Not a great take on guy. He's okay, but I think NYG wants more from the position and honestly, they don't have huge needs, so they should get that big time MLB.
Ryan (San Diego)
I agree the Chargers are worse now because of the loss of Osgood, but they have the potential to be more balanced and better after the draft and after guys get healthy
Matt Williamson (12:57 PM)
Perhaps. Not sure what J Williams has left, but it would hurt if he plays real well in Denver. I also think Cromartie would be a real asset for the Jets. That doesn't mean that he would have been in SD though. Still expect them to steamroll the AFC West.
is eric wright a top ten corner? If not, what is he?
Matt Williamson (12:58 PM)
Outside of that, but not far outside. An up and comer though.
Massaquoi had 624 yards and 4 TD's in his rookie season with crappy QB's.
Matt Williamson (12:59 PM)
I do like him, but they still need big time WR help. You do know that teams like to go with 3 WR on the field at times in this league?
Matt Williamson (12:59 PM)
Folks, I am out. It was a blast as always. Check back next week.