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)
What is shakin'? Let's get this party started
Matt (New Jersey)
Hey MDub, is Ramses Barden a red zone threat by the end of the year?
Matt Williamson (11:57 AM)
Maybe, but that is going to be a very tough depth chart to shoot up and it isn't like Nicks and Smith are poor red zone options. Could happen. In a way, I feel like NYG will prob incorporate Barden or Beckum in one way or another as WR/TE tweener types.
Darrell Revis is no doubt a talent, but do you think defensive backs get too much credit when the front seven are wreaking havoc and creating opportunities? Conversely they get overly criticized when there's no pressure on the QB, leaving them out to dry.
Matt Williamson (12:00 PM)
For sure. Team game. No question. And that reflects at CB as much as any position-more than most positions. Scheme has a lot to do with it too. Is he a Cover 2 CB? Is he always against the #1 WR or is it more of a Left/Right situation? That is what really impresses me about Revis-always on
K2 (Big D)
Who will be more impactful for the Cowboys this year, Dez or Roy?
Matt Williamson (12:01 PM)
Dez. From start to finish-Dez. Mad skills. How can you trust Roy right now? I assume he will rededicate himself to his craft and might even start the season strong, but eventually that cream just rises to the top!
call me crazy Matt,but i think Favre(if he comes back,wink,wink)will have just as good of season as last years. he came in last year late and didn't know the players,but when he comes in late this year,that will not be the case. your thoughts please.
Matt Williamson (12:03 PM)
I think he will too for the most part. GREAT weapons around him. I would say that his INT numbers surely will rise a little, but overall, I agree. It is very worrisome though how he fades as the season goes along-and if anything, wouldn't you think that trend will only get worse with age?
phil (san deigo)
So I here some teams are interested in Vincent Jackson, what can or should the Chargers get in return for a Pro Bowl receiver?
Matt Williamson (12:05 PM)
Not enough. He is a stud in his prime. Like all vet deals this year, SD won't get fair market value. It is a shame, but this off season really become a heavy buyers market for veteran players. Washington is who you keep hearing-maybe a 2nd rounder? My guess.
K2 (Big D)
Does T.O. play this season, and if so for who?
Matt Williamson (12:06 PM)
Not sure for who-but yes. WR injuries will occur. He can still help a team for sure. Isn't what he once was, but can help.
Matt, who will lead the Bears in receptions, receiving yards and TDs?
Matt Williamson (12:07 PM)
I like Hester to end up with the most catches and rec yards. TDs is tougher. Will go with Aromashodu for that one because of his size.
Do the Packers have a top-5 offense? I think O-line is better, all WRs and RBs are back, top 5 QB in ARod, Finley turning into a force at TE. What say you?
Matt Williamson (12:08 PM)
I say Yes, they do. Rodgers is a top 10 QB for sure. The OL will be VASTLY improved in my eyes. Love the weapons-even if Driver drops off a bit. Grant is good enough-chain mover.
Chris (Ann Arbor, MI)
Steelers lose Willie Colon. One more major setback for 2010. What kind of contingency do you expect to see, and how big of a problem does Colon's absence really create?
Matt Williamson (12:10 PM)
He is their best OLineman. Up and comer. But it isn't the end of the world. PGH had Flozell Adams in for a visit yesterday. I like that signing a lot-as a RT-if it happens.
Craig Giovannetti (Fairfield, CA)
Hey Matt, I enjoy the podcast. What coaches will be under the most scrutiny to start the season?
Matt Williamson (12:11 PM)
Thanks-J Fox comes to mind. Del Rio. Cable. McDaniels for sure! Who am I missing guys?
I need to find a favorite NFL team...any ideas?
Matt Williamson (12:11 PM)
Well there is this team in my home town that has won 6 Lombardi Trophies. Good place to start.
Chad (Las Vegas)
It's hard for GB's line not to improve. How many times was Rodgers on his back.
Matt Williamson (12:12 PM)
Exactly. More talent and depth there now. Plus Rodgers is maturing-will get it out quicker. OL could go from a liability to a strength-and it is well equipped for the long term
Alex Mack makes the pro bowl this next season
Matt Williamson (12:14 PM)
I can buy that. Not an easy position to get in and Nick Mangold has one AFC OC spot locked up. But yes, Mack is excellent already and only will get better.
Ryan (Germantown, MD)
Coughlin might be one.
Matt Williamson (12:15 PM)
Agreed. If that D doesn't get fixed (which I think it will), he should worry
Call me crazy, but I like the Bills WR depth. But then again, i am an eternal optimist and actually do some HW on the Bills.
Matt Williamson (12:15 PM)
I do HW on the Bills, but I don't concur. Well, I guess there are depth WRs there, but they really lack a starter other than Evans. Please explain yourself...as I am calling you crazy.
If Vincent Jackson were to be traded, though I do not see that myself, how would this ultimately effect Rivers? He will have Gates, and Floyd has shown some potential, but who else is there? Legadu?
Matt Williamson (12:17 PM)
They would immediately become short at the WR position for sure. But I have faith in Rivers. Might lean more on Mathews and the running game going forward, but Rivers is great. Consistently great. I think he can elevate average receiving talent. Still-no way around it-massive loss. Big fan of Jackson's game here.
Pinky (Seattle, WA)
Have you heard anything about how TE Greg Olsen is fitting in with Mike Martz's offense? Surely they cant let a talent like that go to waste can they?
Matt Williamson (12:19 PM)
Martz ignored V Davis in SF quite well. I expect Olsen to fade away. I do agree on his talent though, but Martz seems very stubborn with his play calling beliefs-and there just isn't a place for a TE there. Could see Olsen detached more and asked to play the role of a big WR-particularly near the goal line. And Cutler really looked Olsen's way last year, but in the end, I like Chi's WRs and expect Olsen to become an afterthought.
Are you worried about the Cardinal's offense, specifically getting the ball to Fitz? Is it possible DA wins that job?
Matt Williamson (12:20 PM)
I am not big on Leinart, but really don't like DA. They will get it to Fitz-that doesn't worry me. In fact, can see Leinart force feeding and staring Larry down. My worry is consistency. Sustaining offense. Moving the chains. Getting the ball out on time and to the proper receiver. Warner was exceptional at that.
David (NY NY)
Let's play a game. What one thing is Matt wrong about? I think Mark Sanchez. He has great timing and the makings of a very accurate quarterback.
Matt Williamson (12:21 PM)
Fun game. Woo-Hoo. No, actually, I readily admit that I am wrong about many things...some of them actually have to do with football too. I don't hate Sanchez, but I think a QB with an average arm is going to cost that franchise wins when the weather gets bad...and the playoff occur that time of year.
Hardy is a second round pick and a big red zone threat. Steve Johnson has the tools to be a stud but needs time on the field. And Roscoe Parrish was literally born to be a slot receiver. Add that to the fact that they have a coach who has made the likes of Kordell Stewart and Tyler Thigpen look like decent QBs and its a formula for success...besides that pesky fact that the QBs stink and the O line has about 4 career starts between them.
Matt Williamson (12:23 PM)
Hardy is actually an early 2nd round pick. He ran his 40 faster than he plays. Kinda lumbers. And if he loses any more because of this injury, I really worry about how he can separate. I am cool with Johnson...but "stud"?
Matt, Some reports say the Bears are in the running for Vincent Jackson. I would love to see that happen, but I don't see how? I think Jackson going to the redskins for a draft pick and possibly haynesworth seems likey to me. What do you think?
Matt Williamson (12:24 PM)
Doesn't really fit Martz's system that well. Great WR, but not an I Bruce, T Holt type. In fact, I think they have those types in Hester and Knox. Seems like such a typical Redskins type of move to me. Huge wild card: Pittsburgh. I know, I know-won't happen, but wow...would be an ideal pickup. Actually, can prob say that about a dozen teams-Buff/Oak/etc
True or False: Watch out for Pierre Garcon?
Matt Williamson (12:25 PM)
True. Breakout season coming in 2010. By 2011, he will be Indy's #1. Yup, I said it.
Scott (Hanover, PA)
Will the Eagles get to 10 wins this season?
Matt Williamson (12:27 PM)
Seems high in that division, but it could happen. For a "Rebuilding Year", Philly is in awfully good shape. I expect their D to be improved for sure and I really like Kolb. But I would take the UNDER.
How can the Jets possibly recreate the run game of last year with unproven players? Dismantling the inner OL and going full time with Shonn Greene (who may or may not be able to handle a full season) seems risky to me.
Matt Williamson (12:28 PM)
Very. Faneca struggled in protection, but he could still pave the way in the run game. Can a rookie from UMass who played OT in college? Plus, OL depth here is a big problem. Still, if healthy, this line is quite good. I worry about Greene too-I thought I was the only one. And LT is done.
What do you expect out of RB Donald Brown this season? He showed some flashes, but had blocking issues. Are those easy to fix? With this being Addai's final contract year you'd think Indy would want to get Brown fully up to speed right?
Matt Williamson (12:30 PM)
I give him a pass for last season. Adapting to that O must be very difficult for a RB in terms of protection. Like Moreno, Brown seemed tentative too as a runner...and Indy's zone blocking scheme can take a little time to learn. He is tough and smart though. I expect a strong year in a time share with Addai. Then, maybe let Addai walk and use a 2nd or 3rd round pick on another RB in the 2011 draft.
Ben (Baton Rouge, LA)
I see no reason why the Bears should keep Lovie Smith if they don't make the playoffs this year. Your take?
Matt Williamson (12:31 PM)
He is on the hot seat-should have said him before. Prob the front office too. And-desperate times call for desperate measures...huge free agency spending/hiring of Martz/etc.
David (NY NY)
Matt Mosley rated Terrell Thomas ahead of Corey Webster as the Giants' top cornerback. Do you agree?
Matt Williamson (12:32 PM)
Probably not, but it isn't clear cut. NYG is quite strong at CB-and that seems to go overlooked too often. Both are good young players, but I still think I prefer Webster slightly.
Better Fantasy Stats in 2010: Kevin Kolb or Matt Stafford?
Matt Williamson (12:33 PM)
Kolb. Sheer volume. They are going to throw a ton. Det will too-if they are coming from behind. Both have good weapons, but I guess I still give that edge to Kolb too.
josh (clearwater fl) [via mobile]
hey matty ice! seems like I am the last standing fan of the Bucs. granted, we are not a playoff team, but can't uou see us winning 7 or so of our gamed. much easier schedule, added talent, actual coordinators that won't get fired in the first week, and a year's worth of experience for morris and freeman, seems like the arrow is starting to point up!
Matt Williamson (12:34 PM)
It is pointing up. I think you have found a QB, which is obviously instrumental. Again, I will take the UNDER on 7 wins though. Need more star power/difference makers. But, when I did TBay's biggest weakness piece, it wasn't nearly as easy to come up with as you might expect! That is progress.
M Forte is closer to the player from 2008 or 2009? Thanks Matt.
Matt Williamson (12:36 PM)
Not a fan. Just have never seen special qualities. Big play ability? Explosion? When healthy, good all around chain mover who can do a little of everything well, but nothing great. Plus, I doubt he gets featured in this O. C Taylor is pretty good and will cut into his volume and Forte is a volume runner.
If V-Jack is traded, do you still see the Chargers taking that division?
Matt Williamson (12:36 PM)
Yes, but by default.
I read that the Browns are tinkering with a 3-5 defense. How does that work?
Matt Williamson (12:37 PM)
First I heard that. Not sure how they would structure it. So, the Ravens and Bengals add all sorts of receiver fire power and the Browns draft DBs like crazy and decide to only play with three DBs? Hmmm...sounds like a Browns type of decision!
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
MW: Recent review of the Cards stated Tim Hightower was one of the best in the league at picking up the blitz. What's your read on him?
Matt Williamson (12:39 PM)
I don't disagree with that. Better pass catcher/route runner than many realize too. Solid runner who gets the job done, but doesn't have high end ability. In all reality, this is what you want out of your #2 RB-esp with Wells as the
K2 (Big D)
How good will Crabtree be this year?
Matt Williamson (12:40 PM)
Very good and in 2011, he will be exceptional. Total package. Physical. Aggressive.
Thoughts on Beanie Wells this season (both in "reality" and "fantasy")?
Matt Williamson (12:40 PM)
Quite high on him in both regards. It helps that Zona has a very favorable schedule for the run this season. Undervalued in FF.
Can Randy Starks play the nose for Miami or will they move to a hybrid DL where the pressure isn't all on one player?
Matt Williamson (12:41 PM)
It is only for 8 games and Solari can factor in. I love Starks at DE and he won't embarrass himself on the nose. But I think that 3-4 D is moving to more of a penetrating style, which should help Starks quite a bit. Also, like you alluded to, I could see more 4-3/hybrid looks for sure.
I know we can play the "what if" game all day, but wouldn't Vincent Jackson look good in a Rams uniform? It would give Bradford a young, proven target to grow with during his NFL transition.
Matt Williamson (12:42 PM)
No question! Perfect. STL gives up their 2nd rounder in 2011 (surely an early pick) and maybe one of their present WRs for V-Jax. Now you are talking! As happy as Bradford would be, S-Jax would be even happier.
When you were involved in college recruiting, what were some key things you looked for in a player on film or in person? What were some attributes that turned you off from offering a player?
Matt Williamson (12:45 PM)
You have to remember that the kids we are looking at are like 16 years old. Their growth potential has a ton to do with it. Really have to look at the total package-on and off the field-and how could he possibly help the team now and down the road? Love "Body Type" kids who are athletes (maybe play hoops)and are in that 6' 4"+ range, but can move and get bigger. They get to a college weight program and become TEs, DEs, DTs, and OTs...and are athletes.
how many rookies starting for the Seahawks this upcoming year?
Matt Williamson (12:46 PM)
Geez-hmmm, the two first rounders for sure. Maybe Tate.
MVP type season on the way for the finally healthy Mr. Brady, agree?
Matt Williamson (12:47 PM)
Yes, Agree. Doesn't seem to be getting the pub, but Brady and Moss (contract year) could have a HUGE season.
What do you think of the Cards D this year? Is Kerry Rhodes a good replacement for Rolle?
Matt Williamson (12:48 PM)
Adequate replacement. A downgrade, but that is to be expected. And not a massive downgrade. I don't love Zona's LBs, but am really high on the DL. Going to call Zona's D middle of the road right now. CB depth is a problem too.
Being a cards fan I would Hate to see V-Jax in STL
Matt Williamson (12:49 PM)
Would be one more huge building block. Then, next off season...just attack the D in free agency and the draft. Get a McCoy/Suh type prospect in round one.
With Lienart at QB for the cards,can the hawks take the divison?
Matt Williamson (12:49 PM)
I really see SF winning the West-with little resistance. I like the Niners quite a bit now.
David (NY NY)
Has a woman ever written into this chat? Where are your groupies? Why do you have to settle for people like me?
Matt Williamson (12:50 PM)
Women write in for sure. We are a little light today on the groupies. Not sure what is up with that. Slow time of year for sure, but I feel ya. Calling all groupies. Calling all groupies.
I am still upset the Bills drafted Maybin instead of Orakpo last year. Do you think it had anything to do with Mike Williams being from Texas? I bet they regret their oversight now.
Matt Williamson (12:51 PM)
Surely they regret it now. But there is a stigma with Texas prospects as being coddled too much and semi-soft. USC gets some of that as well-esp on O. Still, it is crime to not judge each individual on his own merits. I was critical of the Maybin pick as soon as it was made...esp since they weren't even playing a 3-4!
Chad (Las Vegas)
M-Dub, watch what you ask for. This is the internet. You don't know if that really is a woman posting you.
Matt Williamson (12:52 PM)
Good point. But, what is the difference? Post the good stuff. Ignore the trash.
AD, Sydney Rice, Percey Harvin, Visanthe Schianco and a healthy Bernard Berrian with a healthy O Line.....does Favre have more to work with than any other QB?
Matt Williamson (12:53 PM)
I am not as high on the OL as you are apparently, but yeah, he is right there with Indy, GBay, Dallas in terms of fire power. Serious fire power.
Todd(PA) [via mobile]
Over/Under on Romo's TDs is 30 I got the over.You?
Matt Williamson (12:54 PM)
Real good line you set there, but I would go UNDER just because he could easily miss time-just like any player. But with the stipulation that he starts all 16, I will go OVER. Serious fire power there too!
Josh (Mission Viejo, CA)
Are Cason, Strickland, and Vasher going to be able to secure the Chargers' secondary now that Cromartie is gone? Who will start opposite Eric Weddle, Gregory or Stuckey?
Matt Williamson (12:55 PM)
Just look at those names. Blah. I like Weddle and Jammer. In fact, I think they are better than many realize. But the rest of that crew? Extremely unproven. I do not like SD's D much at all this year on any level, but this crew is a mess. Maybe Stuckey surprises, but wow, not much here to get excited about.
In your vast scouting experience, who is one player that you thought would succeed but ended up being a bust? Vice versa, one you thought would struggle in the league but ended up being a starter/star?
Matt Williamson (12:57 PM)
I didn't think AJ Hawk was good enough to play at Pitt-Sean Lee too. I loved Matt Jones coming out of Arkansas. There are countless other mis-evaluations...not an easy biz! I do pride myself in more or less finding Joe Flacco out of HS in Jersey. Wasn't a big name on the recruiting lists, but just watched his tape and thought he was a stud QB prospect for Pitt...in fact, there are plenty of those hits too!
Mark O (Parts Unknown)
If Shawn Crable can stay healthy does he project to be a starter for NE this year, and if so what kind of impact can he really have? We've seen flashes of his freak athletic ability but doe she fit the cheme well. Oh by the way Matt your the man!
Matt Williamson (12:58 PM)
Thanks Mark O, I actually watched Shawn in HS and of course all through college and the NFL. Tons of ability. He could surprise. Of all those OLBs, he has the upside. But hasn't developed. Flashes like you said. Must stay healthy. He is built like a big tall long sprinter though. Not sure he can handle taking on OTs and TEs play after play-and that is such a physical running division.
i think the vikings off line will be much improved from last year,they had some injuries and two first time starters and they still did ok,your thoughts
Matt Williamson (1:00 PM)
Hutch wasn't himself. He could be declining or he could have just been hurt-or both. But still, I don't love the group. McK is way overrated and they are below average at OC and RG. Loadhoalt should improve in year 2, but still, don't love it. Favre made their protection look better than it really was.
Matt Williamson (1:00 PM)
Okay everyone-good chat. Let's get those groupies back. Take care. I am out.
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