Chat with James Walker
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com AFC East 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 Walker Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
James Walker (4:00 PM)
Good afternoon, everyone. Let's talk NFL and the AFC East.
Rich (New Jersey)
Bills, Dolphins, Jets or Patriots how do you think they did in the draft?
James Walker (4:01 PM)
I typically don't grade drafts immediately afterwards. I think it's kind of a futile thing to do, because so many factors can play in over the next 2-3 years. But I think all four teams did a solid job plugging holes, which is the main thing.
Can Vince Young become a starter again in this league and how does he fit with Buffalo?
James Walker (4:03 PM)
No. I think Young's days as a starting franchise quarterback are over. What he can do is develop into a solid backup, which is what Buffalo wants to check into. Young has some tools. He's just never put it all together. He's still good enough to come in for a few games and do a decent job if there's an injury. But he's not a guy you want to name your starter for 16 games.
Everyone is knocking Quinton Coples as Gholston 2.0 am I wrong to thing that they are completely wrong since he will not be learning a new position and already had a Monster year as a junior and waws mature enoguh to realize he wasnt ready?
James Walker (4:05 PM)
The Gholston comparisons are due to motor concerns. Both came into the draft with a rep that they don't play every down. But I think Coples is actually more polished than Gholston, who was very raw. Coples just has to work hard all the time. If he does that, his ability should show.
If Miami decides to run plays at a "Oregon Duck-like pace", do you think that it could be successful? (Keep base D on field, tire out the opponent, etc?)
James Walker (4:07 PM)
This is going to happen over time. I don't think you're going to see David Garrard or Matt Moore chucking it up the field with a fast-break offense all the time and right away. Ryan Tannehill is more suited for a wide-open offense, but he's not ready. In the meantime, there will be elements of a faster offense, such as a slimmed down offensive line and more rhythm passing.
True Jets Fan (USA)
Hey James, how can you call the Jet's selections of Coples and Hill boom or bust picks? Aren't all players with high round grades boom or bust? Aaron Curry was supposed to be the safest player in the draft a few years ago. How'd that one work out.
James Walker (4:10 PM)
There is potential for every high pick to be a bust, True Jets Fan. The reason Coples and Hill are boom-or-bust picks is because there are a lot of assumptions they will be good pros. It's not based on proven production. Coples basically took the year off as a senior. But the guy is an unique talent, and the Jets "assume" he won't take a year off in the pros. That's boom or bust. Hill has all the physical tools to be a good receiver, but little production in GT's triple-option offense. The Jets "assume" Hill can put up numbers in the pros because of his ability. That's boom or bust, when you haven't seen it.
do you think the tannehill pick is a bust
James Walker (4:12 PM)
I think Ryan Tannehill has a lot of what you look for in a quarterback. However, he may look like Blaine Gabbert if he plays this year. The Dolphins would be smart to sit him for a year and see how much progress he can make in 2013. We will have a lot more on Tannehill on Wednesday in the AFC East blog.
Larry (Visalia Ca)
Why are ESPN experts refering to BJ Cunningham as a slow WR? I'm watching his highlight reel and he seems very quick. However I am no scout.
James Walker (4:14 PM)
His timed speed at the combine was below average, Larry. But the book on him is he plays faster than his slow times. I'm interested to see what he looks like this weekend at Dolphins minicamp. I will be there. He was the all-time leading WR at Michigan State. So Cunningham has some ability.
Were you surprised with the Stephon Gilmore pick as I was? It seemed like the last thing the Bills needed was another cornerback.
James Walker (4:16 PM)
No, I wasn't surprised. Gilmore is a very safe pick, probably one of the safest in this draft. Buffalo was in a tough spot at No. 10. The Bills could either reach for some guys like Michael Floyd or Riley Reiff, or do something safe. Gilmore should be a solid starter for a while.
Should the Bills really resign Fred Jackson? Spiller seems ready to replace him and backs don't seem to last after 30
James Walker (4:17 PM)
The Bills said they would so that's already been decided. I think the bigger question is how much do you give an aging but good tailback like Jackson?
I know that you don't want to grade any drafts, but were there any picks that through you for a loop, made you saw "wow".
James Walker (4:20 PM)
Tavon Wilson in the second round was really surprising. The Patriots better be right about that one.
Eugene (West Palm Beach, FL)
Over or under 500 rushing yards for Lamar Miller in his rookie year?
James Walker (4:20 PM)
Under. Over if you include kickoff and punt returns.
Do you see any AFC East teams making a play for any veteran free agent receivers (Braylon Edwards, Plaxico, Dallas Clark)?
James Walker (4:21 PM)
The Jets were in play for Edwards, but I think that's out for now. They want to see if Stephen Hill is ready, because they want him to start.
Al (Wausau, WI)
James, what did you think the Patriots had in mind when they drafted Tavon Wilson when they did? Role player for the team? I was really surprised they drafted him so early. Your thoughts?
James Walker (4:24 PM)
As a second-round pick, the Patriots expect him to make an impact. Particularly at safety, Wilson may start if he can play. I criticized the pick but maybe Bill Belichick knows what everyone else don't. At the very least, the Patriots could have waited a round or two and got Wilson in the fourth round.
Toledo GA Joe (Toledo)
Are the Dolphins set at the WR position post draft or do you look for them to add additional wideouts? Plaxico Burress perhaps??
James Walker (4:25 PM)
I think the Dolphins are set at WR, but they're not very good. Brian Hartline is your main threat, then you've got problems. I don't see them adding much unless Donald Driver in Green Bay becomes available. The Dolphins could have some interest in him as a one-year mentor if the Packers cut him.
Will (Somerset, NJ)
I feel really disappointed that the Jets didn't draft Melvin Ingram. Was his physical stature really all that kept the Jets from taking him?
James Walker (4:27 PM)
The Jets just liked Coples' natural ability more. Ingram has limitations but plays hard all the time and was productive all the time. Coples is a physical freak but takes plays and games off. That's the risk the Jets had to weigh.
How do you see the Jake Long thing playing out. Do you think he gets resigned to a long term deal before this season starts or at the end of next season. There is no way they can let him test the Market, right?
James Walker (4:29 PM)
Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland said over the weekend that he plays to have Jake Long in Miami for a long time. I don't see them working out a huge contract this season. Miami's cap is too tight. But the Dolphins will try before he becomes a free agent.
Larry (Visalia Ca)
The dolphins need help at SS. Are there any good SS that will become available in free agency?
James Walker (4:31 PM)
Yeremiah Bell. Just kidding. I think the Dolphins are going to stick with what they have. There's not much cap space to sign anyone significant.
Ryan Tannehill (Miami Fl)
How many games into the season do you think I'll get the nod to start?
James Walker (4:32 PM)
Get ready to hold a clipboard, Ryan. It's going to be a long ride on the sidelines this year. But stay ready just in case.
Doesn't Deion Branch seem like an odd man out in New England? I can't imagine the Patriots are going to keep him when they already have Welker, Brandon Lloyd, and Ochocinco.
James Walker (4:35 PM)
I wouldn't count out Branch. He's solid and knows the system well. But it's going to be stiff competition all the way around.
Do you think if Young signs with Buffalo that it will create a quarterback controversy if Fitzpatrick struggles? Or do you think its a necessary signing considering that the Bills don't have much confidence in Thigpen and would rather have Fitzpatrick play hurt?
James Walker (4:36 PM)
I don't see a QB controversy. Vince Young has a big name but he's not starting material anymore. Just insurance.
the Cleveland Brown they looking to improve on the WR.
James Walker (4:37 PM)
The Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins are both in the same boat at WR. Not looking good for those passing games.
jerry (Florida )
how long till dolphins get back to the super bowl 7 years or more?
James Walker (4:38 PM)
I can only go year-to-year, Jerry. The Dolphins won't win the Super Bowl this year.
Could the Pats D make a major leap this year. I am not saying they will pull a Houston and go worst for first, however, their picks seem to fill the exact holes that plauged them all year. I bought more into the notion of front 7 help to assist the back end rather than drafting more and more corners as had been the previous mentality. Thanks for your time and thoughts..
James Walker (4:40 PM)
I'm still worried about the CBs and S, but the defense should be better. It can't get much worse. I think NE is taking the approach of getting to the QB. That is what's reflecting in the draft. But those CBs and S have to cover WRs better for it all the work.
Jon K (WA)
How do you draft a player in the top 10 and not expect them to start?
James Walker (4:42 PM)
Sometimes it happens that way, Jon. Especially for a quarterback. If Miami took a player in the top 10 at any other position, I would expect them to make an immediate impact.
Matt Moore (Miami )
should i be worried about my job
James Walker (4:44 PM)
For this year just worry about competing and winning the starting job. But you're in the final year of your contract. So you will probably play elsewhere in 2013, while Ryan Tannehill takes over.
Squall (Balamb Garden)
I disagree with people who think Vince Young is washed out. He had a respectable run in Tennessee, and I feel like he hasn't really been given a chance since then. I'd still take him over a handful of low-caliber current starters.
James Walker (4:45 PM)
Did you see him play last year? He's not a franchise QB, Squall. That ship sailed.
Which Bills defensive lineman will have the most sacks?
James Walker (4:45 PM)
The one that makes $100 million.
Jack (New Brunswick)
Over or under 50 receptions for Stephen Hill?
James Walker (4:47 PM)
In a ground-and-pound offense? Under.
Is Nate Solder ready to take over guarding Tom Brady's blindside from Matt Light?
James Walker (4:48 PM)
Yes, Solder will be fine. I got to know him a bit last year and he has a good makeup. He's also built like a LT when a lean frame and good feet.
Quinton Coples the next Juluis Peppers or the next Vernon Gholston?
James Walker (4:49 PM)
Julius Gholston. Just kidding. It's up to Coples, really.
who is the most fun to listen to... rex ryan or buddy nix?
James Walker (4:52 PM)
I like listening to both. Honesty is the big thing for me. Just keep it real. Both do a good job of not sugarcoating things.
In the next 5 years who will be the premiere qb in the division?
James Walker (4:53 PM)
Tom Brady. He says he's playing until he's 40.
Mike (Bettendorf, IA)
So, I'm feeling pretty good about the Bills getting a wild card this year. Am I crazy, or just plain stupid?
James Walker (4:54 PM)
One game at a time, Mike. Can the Bills beat the Jets in Week 1? Jets beat them up in the two games I saw last year.
matt (miami, fl)
any chance Wake get a long term deal before the season starts?
James Walker (4:56 PM)
This is a tough one. Miami doesn't have cap room this year. So how much can the Dolphins really pay? At the same time, Wake deserves a raise. He's proven himself. This won't be a quick fix.
Any word on Jets and Hard Knocks this year yet?
James Walker (4:57 PM)
Rex Ryan isn't too fond of it. He just wants to coach and fix the team's issues this summer. I wouldn't completely rule it out. But it's only if ownership overrules the coaching staff, and I'm not sure why they would do that.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Everyone thanks again for your time. Remember to check out the AFC East blog for all the latest updates.