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)
Let's talk some football.
Nicole Lawrence (Los Angelas California)
How realistic would it be for the Steelers to trade up for Pouncey? Is this a miracle thing or an actual possibility?
James Walker (4:02 PM)
Definitely not a miracle, Nicole. It's just a matter of what teams are willing to give up. I think Pouncey will fall to the late-teens to mid-20s. So the Steelers have to weigh what they can get at No. 31 vs. the chance to select Pouncey. I don't think Pittsburgh would move any higher than 8-10 spots to get him, because then it gets costly.
Jason Singler (Erie,PA)
Will we ever see an NFL Franchise in another city even if the NFL decides to bring back a team to Los Angeles in the near future?
James Walker (4:05 PM)
I think they will Jason. I go on the radio in LA here and there, and that's been a big topic in SoCal. There are some teams not doing so well right now, starting with Jacksonville. I wouldn't rule out Los Angeles getting a relocated team once they finish building a new stadium.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the Best & the Worst NFL Stadium in the AFC North that you have been to?
James Walker (4:08 PM)
In terms of just stadiums (the actual building), I would rank M&T Bank No. 1, Heinz Field No. 2, Browns and Paul Brown Stadium are a toss up. Both are pretty cookie cutter.
DOOIE HAMMOND (COATESVILLE,PA)
Which way do you think the Steelers will go OL or CB in the 1st round?
James Walker (4:09 PM)
It depends on what prospects are there at No. 31. There is a better chance a good guard or OT will be there over a good CB, in my opinion.
Kovacs (Santa Monica)
I'm really happy the Browns resigned D'Qwell. It's a need and I still think the guy has some game left.
James Walker (4:10 PM)
D'Qwell when healthy, has been very productive. He led the Browns in tackles in 2008. I think a 4-3 will help him also. Because of his size, he was never a great fit in a 3-4.
Also Im calling this right now. The Steelers will not make the playoffs next season and instead the Ravens will win the division, the Browns will get a wild card, Pitt will go 8-8 or 9-7 and Cincy will just be there. That means the Browns have a 10-6 record or better.
James Walker (4:12 PM)
Remember the offseason, Devan?
James Walker (4:12 PM)
Sounds like an early candidate.
Dennis (Pgh, Pa)
How do you think Carnell Lake & the Steelers secondary will do in 2011-2012?
James Walker (4:13 PM)
I don't have a feel yet for Carnell Lake the coach. I know that he was a smart, physical player and he will try to instill the same thing into the secondary. It will be interesting to see what Pittsburgh does at cornerback. Will Ike Taylor return? Will the Steelers add depth?
Hey James, are you feeling optimist about the labor talks due to the extension?
James Walker (4:15 PM)
Last week, I felt we were definitely headed towards a lockout. After the extension, I think it's closer to 50-50. Now, I wouldn't be surprised with either result.
How long do you think Tiki Barber will last in nfl again?
James Walker (4:16 PM)
I think it's probably a good idea for him to stay away from the AFC North.
James Walker (4:16 PM)
That will help.
lamy (steubenville, ohio)
do u think after all these years the browns r headed in the right direction
James Walker (4:17 PM)
It's too early to say, Lamy. I try to take things year-to-year. I am more optimistic about the people in charge than I have been in the past.
Scott (Columbus, OH)
So what are the chances Ocho, Benson, and Joesph being back in stripes next year?
James Walker (4:20 PM)
Ochocinco is under contract but I think there is a good chance he gets traded. Cedric Benson wants to return, so that always helps. I don't think Joseph is coming back unless he takes below market value. The Bengals aren't going to pay him what the current going rate is for cornerbacks.
Nate (Warren, OH)
How will switching defenses effect younger players such as Joe Haden and T.J. Ward?
James Walker (4:21 PM)
I don't think it impacts the secondary much going to a 4-3 defense. Many of the same principles apply. But pass rush will be key to helping both players.
Ryan (Columbus, OH)
Which team in the AFC North needs the best draft day?
James Walker (4:22 PM)
The Bengals had the worst record last year. So it's easy to say them. I think Cleveland and Cincinnati need to hit on its draft picks.
Steve J (Hebron, KY)
Bengals draft- They should take V.Miller, N.Fairly, or P.Patterson at 4. Trade Carson for a late round 1st and take Pouncy and get C.Ponder in second round.
James Walker (4:24 PM)
Two things, first the Bengals won't get a first-rounder for Carson Palmer. Second, I don't like the idea of Christian Ponder as Cincinnati's starting quarterback next season. The Bengals won't win many games.
Who do you think would win in the fight (boxing) that should be set up between Zibby and Ocho Cinco?
James Walker (4:26 PM)
I will take the professionally trained boxer (Zbikowski) over the untrained (Ochocinco).
Jonathan Baldwin is an interesting prospect, is he a day 2 and do you think he is talented enough for the Ravens to make a deal to move up and get him? Or reach and take him at 26?
James Walker (4:28 PM)
I think he's a Day 2 player (only first round on Day 1 now). He's still pretty raw, and I'm hot and cold on Baldwin as a player. I like some other WRs more.
Am I crazy to think the Steelers made a mistake to franchise Woodley and thus likely let Ike Taylor walk? The Steelers churn out outside linebackers like McDonalds does burgers but they can't seem to develop a good corner. Isn't Ike more important?
James Walker (4:32 PM)
LaMarr Woodley is the better player and younger player. The Steelers made the right choice. Ike Taylor is not a franchise CB.
James Walker (4:32 PM)
Plus the price tag for franchise CBs are through the roof right now thanks to Revis and Asomugha.
arendjd (Enid, OK)
If there is a lockout, does the inability to trade players change the dynamics very much? Will teams be more or less likely to trade their picks?
James Walker (4:35 PM)
The biggest hinderence is teams won't be able to trade draft picks, and that is a big form of currency in the NFL. If the lockout goes beyond the NFL draft, I don't think you're going to see many trades around the league. Player-for-player trades are few.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is your Actuall Favorite NFL Team?
James Walker (4:36 PM)
Temple Owls and High Point High School, my alma maters. Other than that, I don't root for any teams. Not good for business.
Since you just had a list of the best drafts in the last decade for the Bengals, I would like to know where you would ranktheir 2005 draft. I know you dont like to play the what if game, but that was one talented draft that just hit so much bad luck.
James Walker (4:38 PM)
The 2005 draft was talented but underachieved for various reasons.
Steve J (Hebron, KY)
What do you think Carson Palmer's trade value is, and is there anyone willing to make a deal?
James Walker (4:39 PM)
If the Bengals decide to trade Palmer, which is a big if, I think they can get a second-rounder and a mid-round pick for him. Maybe another fourth- or fifth-round pick.
Jeremy (Cedar Falls, IA)
Do you think Joe Webb could be a starter in the NFL given the chance to play and mature?
James Walker (4:42 PM)
I cover the AFC North, Jeremy. But I'm not a big Joe Webb guy. The Vikings are a veteran team and I think they need to go out and get a quality starting quarterback. The Bears and Packers are in their division.
Non football question for you James. How do you feel about your Temple Owls heading into the A-10 and NCAA tourneys? Think they can make a run?
James Walker (4:43 PM)
I love Temple's defense this year, tough and gritty -- kind of like the AFC North. I don't know if they have enough firepower to make a deep run. Temple needs a good draw and a good seed.
James Walker (4:44 PM)
The A-10 tourney will come down to Xavier and Temple.
How's this for a prediction? Ravens over Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
James Walker (4:45 PM)
What's up with everyone feeling the need to make predictions today? How about letting teams draft and sign free agents first.
Al (Wausau, WI)
James, do you feel Carson Palmer still has enough "fuel in the tank" to help out an NFL team at quarterback? My Vikings are quarterback-needy now...
James Walker (4:46 PM)
Yes, I do. Carson is not what he once was, but he's still better than a lot of starting QBs I've seen. I can think of several teams he would fit in well with right now. Minnesota is one of them. San Francisco, Arizona, Miami and Oakland are others.
How would this be for a postseason game next year? Ravens and Steelers play AGAIN and this time the game is in Baltimore with their fans sick of seeing their team lose to the Steelers in the playoffs but the Steelers plans still haven't changed however.
James Walker (4:48 PM)
Let's chill with the playoff predictions. The AFC North blog will explode if we get three more Ravens-Steelers games next season. We can only handle so much of this brutal rivalry.
Mark (Cincinnati, OH)
Are there any QBs worth it for the Bengals to take in the 2nd round?
James Walker (4:50 PM)
Ryan Mallett is a possibility. Christian Ponder is another.
Rob (Regina, Canada)
Do you think that Carlos Dunlap will pick up where he left off after his slow start?
James Walker (4:54 PM)
Dunlap peformed well in the second half of the season. He seemed to figure things out so I have high expectations for him.
Matt Sporcic (clovis CA)
Will the steelers move out of the first round and gain a couple picks? It makes more sense to me.
James Walker (4:56 PM)
The Steelers have a track record of doing both. But being so close to winning a Super Bowl, I think they want an immediate impact this year. So they're more likely to move up than move down, in my opinion.
Do you think the steelers have the right personel to make it back to the superbowl if there is fottball next season?
James Walker (4:59 PM)
It's basically the same group (Ike Taylor?) that made it last season. So the players are there. I think health is the key and the ability to patch up a few weaknesses on the O-line and secondary. Also, a few breaks are always needed.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Everyone, thanks for the great questions. Remember to check out the AFC North blog and AFC North Twitter for constant updates.
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