Nolan Nawrocki (4:57 PM)
Let's get started.
Evan - St. Louis
Nolan, given the elite talent of the top 3 WR's, do you agree that Roy Williams will have the most immediate impact in 2004 due to having more experience? I played college football like you, and I wonder how well someone can adjust to the NFL with minimal experience. If I'm a GM, a 22-year old graduating senior has markedly better chances of immediate success than a wavering 20-year old.
Nolan Nawrocki (5:05 PM)
I guess it all depends on who you're top three receivers are. I know at least one team has Michael Clayton rated as one of the top three receivers in this draft, and I think he could potentially make the biggest impact of the group. He's tough, savvy and very polished and could contribute right away. But to answer your question, the fact that the two teams that went to the Super Bowl last season -- New England and Carolina -- have the most players with college degrees says a lot about how important it is to graduate. Williams' experience is definitely a plus, but don't expect many GMs to downgrade Larry Fitzgerald for his youth. Mike Williams is another story, if he is allowed into this draft.
Eric (Costa Rica)
Jerry Angelo and the Bears have been very vocal about their desire to draft Vince Wilfork with their #14 pick. Do you think that they have tipped their hand or could it be just a smokescreen?
Nolan Nawrocki (5:09 PM)
Jerry Angelo is one of the most savvy GMs in the league. In my dealings with general managers in the past, I have found that if they tell you they like a player, they usually don't. And if they praise a player, they usually don't care for him. While the Bears would to address the DT position, all indications are that they will take the best player available, whoever that may be. Last year, they surprised most teams by taking Michael Haynes as early as they did, and they never brought him into Halas Hall for a visit. My guess is that the player they really like has not and will not make a visit, which would eliminate Wilfork.
will (hollywood, ca)
What have you heard about the current state of the Chargers plans for #1 pick? Are they in discussions with Wash and NY as reported in rumors?
Nolan Nawrocki (5:16 PM)
The Chargers will open negotiations with one of two players tomorrow -- Eli Manning or Robert Gallery -- possibly both. Based on my discussion with GM A.J. Smith yesterday, I think it's going to take an awful lot for the Chargers to give up the top pick. But the Redskins definitely have enough ammunition with veterans Chris Samuels, Patrick Ramsey and Rod Gardner also possibly on the trading block. The big question is where Gallery will be drafted. Many talent evaluators believe the true object of the Giants' desire is Gallery, not Manning. The Raiders and Browns also have big holes at left tackle. Although team officials from both the Redskins and Raiders have denied talks have taken place, a team official told me otherwise late last week, and it would not be a surprise to me if Samuels is dealt on draft day.
Adam U. (Portland, OR)
If this truly is a weak RB class, and it figures that you can equal value at RB in the later rounds, who's gonna be the first team to take Steven Jackson and how far will he drop?
Nolan Nawrocki (5:21 PM)
Generally, in the first half of the draft, most teams seek the best available player, and Jackson is regarded as one of the top 15 players in this draft by most teams. So to answer your question, the absolute lowest I could see him falling is 15, but I think there's a great chance he doesn't get out of the top 10. Steve Mariucci could really use a running back for his West Coast offense, and the Lions will give Jackson a hard look at No. 6.
Do you think Keary Colbert will wind up better than Mike Williams like Laverneous Coles wound up better than Peter Warrick?
Nolan Nawrocki (5:25 PM)
Colbert had more big plays for the Trojans and could easily turn out to be the better pro. Williams may never be more than a No. 2 receiver in the NFL. He would be a great fit for a team like the Bucs who already have a vertical threat in Joey Galloway and need a big target to run crossing routes and create mismatches in the red zone, but as one assistant general manager told me, he's going to be awfully disappointed on draft day. I won't be shocked if he falls to the bottom half of the first round.
Mark (State College, PA)
Hey Nolan. What do you think Tom Donahoe and the Bills will do with their first and second picks? Do you think he might try moving up or down in the first round? Thanks!
Nolan Nawrocki (5:29 PM)
The Bills have quite a few needs. After the way the offense struggled a year ago, it's obvious they need to find a big-play receiver that could complement Eric Moulds the way Peerless Price did and spread out the offense. But they should be able to get a quality receiver in the second round. With Drew Bledsoe aging, they will take a hard look at the QB position in the first and could take Philip Rivers if he is available. And they will have their eyes open for a slash-type player on the second day.
JT San Diego
Chargers get Manning what happens to Bress? Also They say that Mike Williams will not be in this draft so Chargers get first pick in Supplamental Draft True or Not?
Nolan Nawrocki (5:32 PM)
Brees would likely go to the bench and be a solid No. 2. The Supplemental Draft order is not the same as the NFL draft order. Teams are divided into three groups, one for teams that have six or fewer wins, one for non-playoff teams that have more than six wins and one for playoff teams. Each team receives a token based on their draft position (i.e. San Diego woudl receive 32 chances, Oakland 31, Arizona 30, etc.). The NFL has a private drawing and determines the Supplemental draft order. With 13 teams having six or fewer wins, the Chargers potentially could wind up with the 13th pick in the Supplemental draft.
Would it be wise for the Seahawks to take the best available DT at 23 like a guy like Randy Starks, who may be a reach, or draft the player I think would look great in Seahawk blue Jonathon Vilma and take a Dt in the 2nd round
Nolan Nawrocki (5:40 PM)
Randy Starks is the best advertised player in this draft. He is not very sudden, does not make a lot of plays and gets washed too often. The Seahawks might still have a chance at him in the third round. The quality of defensive tackles in this draft is deeper than what it is at linebacker, so I would expect the Seahawks to seek a linebacker first. Some teams have Vilma rated as the best linebacker in the draft, but his lack of size and questions about his durability/injury history should bring D.J. Williams off first. If Vilma is available, he would be a great value. I expect his tremendous instincts, intelligence and huge heart to make him a Pro Bowl player.
What do you see happening in Cincinnati if they sign Gardener? Will they trade down or stay where they are and whom do you see them taking
Nolan Nawrocki (5:48 PM)
Corey Dillon still has two years on his contract, but with his hostility toward the franchise, I would be surprised if he's still on the roster come training camp. With that said, most teams need two solid running backs, and the Bengals have very little depth behind Rudi Johnson. If Kevin Jones is available at No. 24, I think it would be a great value. Defense could take a higher priority and even if they sign Gardener, I think they could use more youth upfront. Marcus Tubbs should be available and would be a good fit.
With the loss of TO, who do you see the Ravens getting in the draft?
Nolan Nawrocki (5:52 PM)
Receiver is definitely a huge need. Because their first pick is not until midway through the second round, the best receivers who could still be available are LSU's Devery Henderson and USC's Keary Colbert. I think both have a great chance of becoming Ravens.
If the Packers trade for Couch, who do you see the Packers drafting?
Nolan Nawrocki (5:56 PM)
Defense will likely take priority, with cornerback and defensive end being target areas. With decisions approaching on renewing the contracts of Bubba Franks, Mike Wahel and Marco Rivera, I wouldn't be surprised if they took a tight end or guard. I don't have Marquise Hill rated as a first-round talent, but because of his upside and the scarcity of defensive ends in this draft, there's a chance he could sneak into the first, and I've heard the Packers like him.
Chester (Juneau, AK)
Hey Nolan -- Is Shawn Andrews really going to slide to #20? And if so, will Miami pull the trigger or take someone else or trade down? Thank you, sir!
Nolan Nawrocki (6:04 PM)
Some teams downgraded Andrews for a back injury that showed up at his physical at the Combine. He was diagnosed with a herniated disk in high school, received and epidural and said he never felt pain again, but there could still be an issue there that could cause him to slip on Draft Day. He has impressed scouts by dropping weight since the end of the season, but one of the biggest fears of OL coaches is having to coach a player who is too undisciplined to control his weight. Based on his game tape, Andrews is a top 15 talent with Pro Bowl potential, but he may still be available at No. 20 because of the aforementioned other factors. As for the Dolphins, past injuries are a concern with USC OT Jacob Rogers too, but I've heard they have him rated very high on their draft board.
Kyle (Salt Lake City, UT)
What do you think are the chances that the Cowboys will end up with Kevin Jones at #22? rumor has it that Parcells likes him better than Jackson.
Nolan Nawrocki (6:10 PM)
I'd be surprised if the Cowboys rate Jones before Jackson, given Jones' propensity to fumble as a junior. Parcells does not tolerate those mistakes. Steven Jackson is the most complete back in the draft. Scouts say he runs too soft for his size and doesn't hit the hole like Ricky Williams, but Jackson has the best combination of size, speed, balance and hands in this draft. Jones could still be available at No. 22, but I think they might get a better value in the second or third rounds in Greg Jones, Chris Perry or Maurice Clarett. I think they stand a better chance of being Cowboys.
Joe (Seattle, WA)
Do you see the Patriots doing anything to trade up in the draft or will they sit on their multiple picks and fill need areas and create overall team depth?
Nolan Nawrocki (6:16 PM)
The one thing you can count on is that the Patriots will be active trading on Draft Day. Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli love to stockpile future draft picks. Expect them to deal at least one of their two first-rounders and keep a close tab on Steven Jackson. I've been asked about reports claiming Jackson was the object of the Broncos' affection in their recent move from No. 24 to 17. In the unlikely event that he falls to 16, I'd expect the Patriots to move up in a heartbeat.
Matt (New York,NY)
Nolan, if Mike Williams, Jonathan Vilma, and De'Angelo Hall are all still around by pick 12, who do you see the Jets taking?
Nolan Nawrocki (6:18 PM)
Hall would be the best player available, and cornerback is definitely a primary focus of the Jets in this drat.
Who do you think the Colts will pick up to complete a run to the Super Bowl?
Nolan Nawrocki (6:24 PM)
The Colts are always one of the most difficult teams to figure out. GM Bill Polian is one of the best in the business at concealing his draft intentions. But I'd expect upgrading their run defense to be a priority. After unexpectedly losing SLB Marcus Washington to the Redskins in free agency, I'd expect they'll look for a speedy, proven linebacker, especially given Rob Morris' struggles in Tony Dungy's scheme. A four-year starter like Georgia Tech's Daryl Smith could be a good possibility in the first. And Teddy Lehman played in very similar scheme at Oklahoma.
Nolan, Everyone has a different idea of who the browns will take at #7 (Taylor, Winslow, Gallery, D Hall, Andrews). I want them to trade up and get Gallery and improve their offensive line, what are the chances of this happening? If not, who do you think they will go with at #7 come draft day?
Nolan Nawrocki (6:27 PM)
They need Gallery desperately, but ownership has said they won't mortgage the future to move up, so I don't know if they have enough ammunition to attract the Chargers' interest. After Jamal Lewis ran for more than 500 yards against them last year, I think they'd like to find a big, physical safety on the first day, and there's a chance Taylor will still be available at No. 7. If he's there, I think it would be a no-brainer.
Nolan Nawrocki (6:32 PM)
Thanks for all of your questions. I'll be back next week to answer more. In the meantime, you can visit www.profootballweekly.com for all your draft needs.
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