Chat with Ashley Fox
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com NFL columnist Ashley Fox stops by to chat.
Fox joined ESPN.com in 2011 after 11 years as a writer and columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she covered the National Football League, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia 76ers. She also has worked at the Louisville Courier-Journal and Sports Illustrated. A North Carolina native, Fox lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband, daughter and son.
Send your questions now and join Fox on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Ashley Fox (3:03 PM)
Hello everybody. Thanks for joining me. Before we start I want to offer my thoughts to everybody in Boston. It's been an excruciating 24 hours. Great town. Great people. Great marathon. Horrible attack. It's very sad.
Do you think the panthers will use one of there overpaid rbs as a way to get some more picks in the draft at least then we can say we got something good for them
Ashley Fox (3:05 PM)
Hi Jack, yes, the Panthers have made a habit of stockpiling overpaid running backs. And they could use some help on defense, at tackle specifically. They need a safety, another corner and maybe even another linebacker as injury insurance. Of the three, I would think DeAngelo Williams will be the most likely to get moved.
Hi Ashley, what do you think the Dolphins should try to do about their LT situation?
Ashley Fox (3:08 PM)
Draft a good one. Losing Jake Long hurts, but the Dolphins have been effective in free agency, particularly at the wide receiver position. They don't have to take a wide receiver high in the draft now that they added Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson. They're in a position, too, where they have the flexibility to trade up and maybe get a guy like Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher. They have some other needs but I would think none is more important than getting a quality tackle (left, preferably).
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What NFL Team do you think will select Notre Dame LB Mante T'eo?
Ashley Fox (3:11 PM)
Te'o is definitely a player of interest in the draft, given everything that happened. If he's still on the board when Baltimore picks at the end of the first round, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Ravens take him. Despite signing McClain, they still have a need at the linebacker position. That's a stable organization, too, and a good locker room. I think it'd be a good fit for Te'o and fill a need for the Ravens at the same time.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
What do you think of the cornerback acquisitions the Raiders have made in the offseason? Will either of them pay dividends for Oakland this season?
Ashley Fox (3:14 PM)
I think both Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter are underwhelming. The Raiders have so many spots to upgrade, but they wouldn't be wrong to pick another corner with their first pick. I saw that Todd McShay, who's opinion on these matters I value greatly, has Alabama corner Dee Milliner as an option for the Raiders. In that division, with Manning and Rivers, you've got to be able to cover. Even Alex Smith could do some damage against that secondary as presently constituted.
Alex (Bronx ny )
where do you see the 49ers next year ?
Ashley Fox (3:17 PM)
In San Francisco/Santa Clara? Just teasing. I think they'll be right there as the team to beat in the NFC. They don't have a lot of needs right now, which will give them enormous flexibility in the draft. They could use another defensive lineman and another tight end. But from an overall standpoint, they're in good shape. It's going to be interesting to see -- and this doesn't only apply to San Francisco -- how defensive coaches adjust to the pistol. Also I'm curious to see how Kaepernick follows up in Year 2 as a starter.
George (San Diego)
Which NFC division is the best?
Ashley Fox (3:19 PM)
Wow, that's a tough one. The popular pick here is the West, given how strong it is at the top with San Francisco and Seattle. St. Louis I think will be better in Fisher's second year and with the quarterback actually getting to have the same offensive coordinator for a second year in a row. That hasn't happened before. The North is always tough. And I think the East is simply too unpredictable right now. It's probably more wide open than it has been in a while. Lots of variables there with RG III's knee and Chip Kelly. So that's a long way of saying the West.
where do you see the green bay packers in the draft?
Ashley Fox (3:22 PM)
Upgrading the offensive line should be a priority. Aaron Rodgers was under enormous pressure last season because the line couldn't protect him, and I think it really effected him. The beauty of Rodgers is he's athletic enough to be able to make something happen when the protection breaks down, but keeping him upright and not so frequently under duress should be a priority. They could use some safety help, too.
Derrick (Garden City)
Hi Ashley, do you still believe that Mike Wallace will be a bust for the Dolphins and that they will end up in a similar situation to the Eagles?
Ashley Fox (3:24 PM)
I don't remember saying he was going to be a bust. I said buyer beware. The big ticket free agents don't always pan out. They certainly didn't for the Eagles, but the situation was different. The Eagles made that push for Asomugha, Jenkins, et al in an attempt to get over the final hump and get to the Super Bowl. They weren't building. They were going for it. The Dolphins are still climbing up. And I think they're getting in position to really be able to push the Patriots. Wouldn't that be something?
What do think of the Winfield aquisition for the Seahawks? Who do you see them drafting in the second round?
Ashley Fox (3:28 PM)
I like it, but he better be prepared for some "old man" jokes. He'll be the oldest player on the Seahawks roster by something like four years, which is significant. But Seattle's secondary is arguably the best in the league and Winfield makes them better. As for a second-round pick, maybe they'll look to add depth to either the offensive or defensive line.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Wow, Alex Smith, that's low Ashley.
Ashley Fox (3:28 PM)
I'm sorry, Tony. That probably hurt a little.
Chayim Tauber (Monsey, NY)
What do you see the Giants doing with the #19? I know it's tough as Reese and the Giants have a "best available policy". Wondering your thoughts
Ashley Fox (3:32 PM)
Don't look down on "best available policy." In most cases, it is the best policy. The Giants have several needs, so it's going to depend on who is available, assuming they don't move up. The offensive line has gotten awfully old, so I wouldn't be surprised if they take a lineman first. They also could use a linebacker and a corner. Whoever the "best available" player is on the board, the Giants probably could use.
Ben (ok )
do you think the dolphins are a playoff team? who do they take in the first round?
Ashley Fox (3:33 PM)
I'd like to see what they do in the draft, but I definitely think they are headed in the right direction.
Hans (Minneapolis, MN)
Who do you think the Vikings will select with the 23rd & 25th overall pick??
Ashley Fox (3:36 PM)
They need another receiver, even with the addition of Greg Jennings. They also need a linebacker. McShay has three "great fits" for the Vikings at 23: Cal wide receiver Keenan Allen, Washington corner Desmond Trufant and North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams. Any should work. And presumable one of those guys could be available two picks later.
Do you see Mark Sanchez being traded? If so, what team would best fit for him?
Ashley Fox (3:40 PM)
I really don't. He's due too much money. The Jets are really stuck with him for this season, by their own making. Sure, they've created a little quarterback competition, something Sanchez has never had in New York. He said all the right things yesterday about being motivated and embracing the competition, but we'll see. Now Revis, on the other hand, I would expect to be gone. More a matter of when, not if.
So how ya got for the Jags at 2, Jordan, Ziggy, Joekel, or Fisher?
Ashley Fox (3:42 PM)
I'll go Dion Jordan from Oregon. A defensive difference maker for the first-year defensive head coach. Great fit. It will be interesting to see if Jordan is still on the board at 4, and whether the Eagles would take him. No one knows more about the kid than Chip Kelly.
rah-steam (hackensack, n.j.)
Hello Ash! Who are you hearing might have the inkling to trade up in this draft? I'm sure my G-men won't be doing so!
Ashley Fox (3:44 PM)
Rah-steam in the house. Nice. No, I don't see your G-men trading up. I'd keep an eye on Atlanta. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has traded up in the past. He's not afraid to do it, for the right player. (Julio Jones, by the way, was the right player). Atlanta is so close that if they thought one player could ultimately help them get over the hump, I bet they'd make a move. They certainly could use an impact pass rusher to pressure the quarterback and help the defensive get off the field. If they'd had that last season, they very well would've beat the Niners.
Pete Reggio (Virginia )
I know it's only going to be Russell Wilson's 2nd year, but is he already the best QB in the NFC?
Ashley Fox (3:48 PM)
The best in the NFC? Easy, Pete. Wilson is a playmaker and had a terrific season, but it was his rookie year. Remember Aaron Rodgers? Drew Brees? Matt Ryan? Just to name three. The Seahawks are excited about Wilson's development, but it was one season running an offense that I guarantee you defensive coordinators will figure out.
Leroy (New Jersey)
Please tell me who should my eagles draft at 4th overall? I like Dion Jordan or Millner but something tells me they won't get either.
Ashley Fox (3:51 PM)
Who should they draft? That's probably easier to say than who will they draft. For the first time in so long, it is very difficult to predict what the Eagles will do on the field and in the draft. They've completely revamped their secondary, with new starters at all four positions. But I think you can make a case for taking Milliner, particularly given the quarterbacks they have to face in the division.
Keenan (Atlanta, GA)
How likely is it that the Falcons draft a TE to succeed Tony Gonzalez?
Ashley Fox (3:53 PM)
That would be wise to do in a later round. I'd go pass rusher in the first, if possible. But Gonzalez's decision to come back is another indication of how close the Falcons think they are. He is very important to Matt Ryan. He knows they're close. If they weren't, he wouldn't have come back.
Bunny (Colorado Springs)
I'm hearing Peyton doesn't have the arm strength like Brady to connect with Welker as often. Is this true? I thought that would make us best offense in NFL.
Ashley Fox (3:53 PM)
Not true. At all.
Do you think the Ravens did an adequate job replacing all the players they lost Also, what's the word on Webb returning from the injury from a year ago?
Ashley Fox (3:54 PM)
They're not done yet. The draft will be very important to them. They feel confident in their ability to build through the draft and do it better than the other teams in their division.
Pete Reggio (Virginia )
With the additions Seattle has made, is it safe to say they should be the NFC favorites?
Ashley Fox (3:55 PM)
We'll see what happens in the draft, but my preseason favorites for the NFC will be Seattle, San Francisco and Atlanta.
rah-steam (hackensack, n.j.)
With all the picks they have, are the 49ers not considered the clear cut favorite for the NFC next season? They're already stacked, and they draft well, so combine the 2 with the fact that they have a cheap quarterback in CK.......
Ashley Fox (3:56 PM)
I'm reluctant to pick "clear cut" in April. One of the early favorites. Shoot, they're coming off back-to-back championship game appearances. So yes, they're up there.
Will Adrian Peterson repeat? I feel like that was a once in a lifetime season.
Ashley Fox (3:58 PM)
With Peterson, never say never. But of the handful of backs who rushed for 2,000 yards in a season, none of them ever did it again. It's a rare bird the 2,000-yard season. That's why they're so special.
Ashley Fox (3:58 PM)
Alright folks. Thanks for checking in. We'll do it again next Tuesday. Have a great week.
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