Chat with KC Joyner
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN Insider KC Joyner, will be here to answer your NFL questions.
Joyner, aka The Football Scientist, uses game film to track, tabulate and analyze nearly every measurable statistic in an NFL game. He is a regular Insider contributor and has his own website at thefootballscientist.com.
Send your questions now and join KC Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
KC Joyner (4:00 PM)
Good afternoon! Let's talk some football!
Megatron is best.
KC Joyner (4:00 PM)
Might as well start with the usual Megatron talk. Good to see some consistency in the world.
Will Steven Jackson prove to be a major upgrade in Atlanta?
KC Joyner (4:01 PM)
Jackson stayed in the 7-8 mark in the GBYPA metric for most of 2012, so he's still got some tread on his tire. He won't prove to be a major upgrade but he will be a good one-year addition.
Bryce (Las Vegas)
What do you think the Jags are going to do with their 2nd pick? Geno Smith, DE or trade it away
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
The Jags would be kidding themselves if they think they don't need a QB. Smith or Barkley might not end up being dominant NFL QBs but they are upgrades over what Jacksonville currently has, so they should make the change and use that pick for a QB.
Do you consider the Skins new CB Biggers to be a upgrade over DHall?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
Not really. He's not any better in coverage and Hall could at least pick off passes (as long as Cutler was throwing his way, that is).
How much can a healthy Brian Orakpo help the Redskins defense? Better pass rush should help our weak secondary, but we've also replaced Hall with Biggers.
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
That D is pretty much predicated on getting a great pass rush, so Orakpo's return will be a huge help. Good news for Washington is the Draft has a lot of CB/S depth, so upgrades should be arriving via that route as well.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What did you think of the New Rule Change in the NFL?
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
The helmet rule is hard to agree with. Same with the tuck rule. Do like the peel back block rule.
Rankings show Biggers tied for 27th in coverage with Josh Wilson out of 71 CBs who played 50% of snaps, with DHall ranking 49th..
KC Joyner (4:06 PM)
That's one ranking. The rankings I've done on Biggers over the years have graded him out as being horrible in coverage.
Derrick (Garden City)
What do you think of the Dolphins switching out their linebackers?
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
Their new LBs are more athletic and should impact the pass rush more. Miami may have done that as much for the potential upgrade in defensive playcall variety as anything, as they already ranked high in sacks last year.
What do you think about the Bills signing of Manny Lawson? Is it anything to be excited over?
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
At first glance it looks to be a solid upgrade but there is the question of how much of Lawson's success came from working in the SF system. That D tends to make players look better than they might be in other systems.
Chris do you think the Buc's will have a strong D if they land Revis and Grimes? If so do they have a shot at a post season?
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
If they landed Revis and Grimes they might be considered a wild card favorite. CB is the prime weakness on that club and landing those two (assuming they are both healthy) would be gargantuan upgrades.
1st and goal at the 1, what should the running back do?
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
Unique question. Depends on the RB. Guy like Payton or Herschel - dive over the pile. Guy like Brown or Campbell, barrel through the line. Key for the latter will still be if he gets solid blocking.
which was the better signing for detroit reggie bush or glover quinn
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
Quin, at least as long as he can eliminate the coverage gaffes that occurred far too often last year. Detroit needs to be able to keep teams from going toe to toe with them in shootouts and on a good day Quin can be a big help in that area.
Russel Wilson 2nd year, thoughts?
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
Teams are going to make him have to win with his arm. He didn't have to do that the past two years but when he had to do that at NC State, he was a good/very good but certainly not a great player.
What do you think of Kirk Cousins? Seems like Shanny has found a starting caliber QB in the 4th round.
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
He could be the Don Strock of the 2010s.
Frank (Minneapolis) [via mobile]
Did the Vikings really need to release Antoine Winfield to pay Matt Cassel and Greg Jennings and do you think Winfield will come back?
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
I'm still not sure why they signed Cassel, as his weakness (lack of vertical passing) is exactly the weakness this pass offense had last year. I think the Vikes want Winfield back, just at the price they have in mind. Would think he will be back.
In terms of metrics, who were the best CBs in the NFC East and how did the Claiborne/Carr duo rank?
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
Still working up some of the metrics from last year (taking a bit longer this year due to some metric changes and having to bounce back and forth between college and the NFL).
KC-Why do talented restricted free agents like Victor Cruz (or Mike Wallace last year) seemingly get no interest? Especially considering what Seattle gave up to trade for Harvin.
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
NFL front offices think that the percentages of giving up draft pick (who is someone a team can pay a relatively low contract to for four years) to get a one-year player just isn't worth it.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Rank the Broncos options at DE - Elvis, Freeney and Abraham..Elvis would command the most, but I think even if the money was equal the other 2 are better options...what say you?
KC Joyner (4:16 PM)
Elvis is the youngest of the three if memory serves correct. All of them are situational pass rushers at this point (or at least would be best suited for that role), so in this case youth would win out and Elvis would be the winner.
Bert (St. Paul, MN)
Do you get a sense that Jon Baldwin still might come around?
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
He finally has a QB who can throw vertically (Smith has always posted solid/good numbers there) and he has a coach who knows how to playcall the pass game quite effectively. If Baldwin can't turn around now, it's over for him.
But isn't giving up a draft pick + big money exactly what Seattle did with Harvin?
KC Joyner (4:18 PM)
Yeah, but they got a longer-term deal out of him. RFAs would really be only one-year players.
KC, Tavon Auston or Cordarrelle Patterson! Which would you prefer if you needed to draft a WR?
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
Hands down Patterson. Austin is a dink/dunk slot WR and Patterson could develop into one of the better vertical WRs in the NFL.
ESPN Power Rankings came out a couple days back, whats your personal top 5?
KC Joyner (4:20 PM)
Would probably be SF, Denver, NE, Atlanta and a toss up between Baltimore and Houston.
David Wilson and Andre Brown enough punch for the GMEN at RB?
KC Joyner (4:20 PM)
Yep. They've shown enough in the GBYPA metric to make a convincing case.
well our dream of Welker/Megatron didn't come to fruition, are there any other slot WRs available that can help Detroit in the short/med passing game?
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
The aforementioned Austin is one. If Broyles can stay healthy, he can serve in that role. Bush could also add some short pass elements.
My 1st and goal question was in regards to the new running back rule lowering the helmet.
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
Ah. My understanding of the rule is that it would not apply in that situation.
What wide receiver do you believe the colts is going after?
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
There really isn't anyone out there who is worth sending Twitter notes out about. Could venture a guess and say David Nelson.
Adrian Peterson (Minneapolis)
Do your metrics indicate I am the best RB?
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
Look for that to be a subject of a TFS ESPN Insider article in the near future. Got some interesting material on Peterson along this mindset.
JR (Tampa Bay)
Considering what he has to work with, do you see Rex Ryan being able to do anything to save his job?
KC Joyner (4:25 PM)
Ryan could end up like Shanahan. Shanahan actually did his best Denver coaching job in his last season with the Broncos but when they collapsed down the stretch and didn't make the playoffs, he was gone. Ryan may get as much out of this team as he can but there isn't enough talent and even an 8-8 finish would probably see him hit the road.
Is Geno Smith you top rated QB in this years draft? Or is it Matt Barkley? Or_______?
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
Personally, my pick would be Barkley but it really is a toss up since the difference between the two talent-wise is so slight.
How much will Welker add to Denver's O
KC Joyner (4:28 PM)
Huge add. Peyton's production over the years can in some ways be directly related to the caliber of slot WR he has at his disposal. Welker gives him one of the best slot WRs in the NFL, so look for Manning to once again be a top 5 QB.
KC Joyner (4:28 PM)
And, yes, that makes his fantasy draft stock a lot higher.
The word is Lacy is the top RB in the draft. Would you take him in round 1 or go with someone in rounds 2-4?
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
The issue with Lacy is that his high GBYPA (9.3 if memory serves) was matched by the rest of the Alabama running backs. He's good but if wasn't able to distance himself from that group, it does make one wonder how much of his success was due to having gaping holes to run through.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Seattle wouldn't be in your way-to-early top 5 power rankings? They addressed their 2 biggest needs - adynamic WR and pass rushers...
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
On the borderline with them because I don't fully buy into Russell Wilson yet. Teams are going to make him stay in the pocket and have to pass his way to victory and that may not be his strong suit.
Monte Kiffin recently told Cowboys defensive players to study the Seahawks defense. Wouldn't that type of defense be a perfect match for their personnel as long as they add a Safety?
KC Joyner (4:31 PM)
Good eye, Aggie - that would be a good match for Dallas, at least as long as they can get one of those killer free safeties.
John (Centreville VA)
What do you mean when say teams are going to make Russell Wilson beat them with his arm. Based on his stats and his play he could hardly be described as a run first QB.
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
It's not volume but rather the type of passes they ask him to throw. Once teams start taking away some of those playcalls, Wilson will have to try to beat teams via pure pass playcalls. I'm just not sold he will be as good at that as he is in the pass play as a counterpunch mode he's using now.
I agree with your assessment on Lacy. I am skeptical of his ability to produce at a high level at the next level. I'm not saying he won't, i'm just skeptical.
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
Skeptical is a good word to use with him. It's part of why his draft stock still isn't that high (at least relative to where it could be given the dearth of quality RBs in the league).
JR (Tampa Bay)
KC, on the other side of things, does losing welker hurt Brady's production or fantasy value?
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
Not really in that Edelman and the tight ends will fill that gap. What Brady needs is a vertical WR and unless/until he gets one of those, there will be a cap on just how impactful the NE passing game can be.
spike dudley (littlest guy in the ring)
bengals have all this $$ and have only used it to retain. what position should they go out and get??
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
Spike getting thrown over the top rope and into the crowd has to be one of the best high spots in wrestling history. Bengals need to upgrade at WR and there are still some solid players there (although they would have been best served by going all out for one of the impact vertical threats).
How do you rank RG3's pure passing skills?
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
His accuracy last year could use a bit of work, but that wasn't much of an issue at Baylor. He's one player who could use to stay in the pocket more, as he proved in college he could dominate from that area and it won't be long before he's doing the same at the NFL level.
Michael (Cincinnati) [via mobile]
Couldn't agree more on Russell Wilson. Hold him in the pocket, make him beat you. Having ends contain is key
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
That seems to be the offseason mantra for every DC in the league. Contain on the edges and keep these read-option QBs in the pocket.
Russell Wilson is going to become your anti-Mike Wallace. He can clearly beat people with his arm and the brain is elite already.
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
Hey, I'm not saying Wilson cannot do this. It's just that at Wisconsin and Seattle, he's been asked to be a passing counterpuncher. At NC State, he had less talent around him and was asked to run more of a pass-first offense and he wasn't anywhere near as good. I just think he needs to prove he can do that before it is just assumed that he can.
Bad News Brown (harlem)
Can Aaron Hernandez be that vertical WR? Belicheck woould seem like the type of coach to not be a slave to the his stated position of TE...
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
Yes, but he doesn't have quite the speed needed to line him up on the outside of the formation and run him deep. That's the way to get a vertical WR away from safety help and is something Hernandez just won't be able to do.
Oscar (Orlando Florida)
Have the 49ers done enough to make another playoff run or have they lost too much. Delanie Walker and Dashon Goldston have big shoes to fill.
KC Joyner (4:40 PM)
Got a lot of faith in the Niners that they can fill Walker's shoes. Goldson is a bit tougher but there are a lot of quality safeties in the draft.
If all these QBs were coming out in the same draft? How would you rate them? Matt Ryan/Sam Bradford/Matthew Stafford/Cam Newton and RG3
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
Ryan, RG3, Stafford, Newton and Bradford. Ryan ahead of RG3 because of durability.
I don't think anyone is assuming anything...opposing teams watched him do it more and more as last year went on. Not sure you can say he's a read-option guy in the same sense that CK and RG are. More like a Brees type (stronger arm though) with Rodgers' running philosophy; move when needed and get what you can without taking hits.
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
Very true on his not being a pure read-option QB. It may be why they added Harvin, as his presence will still threaten a defense in many ways near the line of scrimmage and may preclude having to use the read-option threat as much.
what to your metrics say about Louis Delmas when he's healthy?
KC Joyner (4:44 PM)
Safeties are always the hardest players to grade because when they do their jobs in coverage they are avoided to an extent that makes them not see many targets (John Lynch would have less than 20 targets a year in his prime). Based on what I've seen, Delmas still needs to get more consistent, as his deep assist YPA levels have been too high.
Is Revis worth the draft pick compensation being discussed, 1st & 2nd next year?
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
That level of payment is only worth it if the player is going to get a team to the Super Bowl. Tampa is on the precipice of playoff contention but not Super Bowl contention, so that price is too high.
Saw Gary Horton call Harvin a "field stretcher" the other day. He did very little of that at Minnesota but was that a product of Ponder or really who Harvin is- a great open field weapon but best beating people with the ball rather than without? And do you see Seattle sending him further downfield this year or using him similarly?
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
He's a field stretcher more in the horizontal sense than the vertical sense, but that can have as much value as the vertical field stretcher in the right offense. Seattle will likely use him mostly as a fast running back in the slot (which is really what he is) and use his downfield skills as a change of pace.
Chris (New Orleans)
Would appreciate your insight on the saints new CB - Keenan Lewis.
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
He's been a 5-6 YPA guy for a while now. Not sure he'll stay at that level in NO but even if he's a 6-7 YPA CB in that defense, it would just as impactful as his 5-6 YPA in Pittsburgh's defense.
Can you break down James Casey for me? He is a complicated player to figure out from stats.
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
Typical H-back - plays FB, wingback, in-line tight end and can occasionally move to slot TE. A solid blocker but nothing great. The type of player who adds a lot of value to an offense if the offensive coordinator will take advantage of all of his skills.
KC Joyner (4:49 PM)
Put it this way - he's something like Clint Didier for the Redskins back in the day (hope that doesn't date me too much).
Do you really think drew stanton can be a starting quarterback in the NFL??
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
Not really, but he can be a quality backup and Arizona could use all of the QB help it can get.
Josh (Waterford Wi)
What is it like being a professional athlete. Does it ever wear on you.
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
Can speak to being a professional writer, can't speak to being a professional athlete.
In the late 80's-early 90's I have seen only one WR in the NFL with better YAC then Andre Reed! And that player was Jerry Rice. Why is Reed having such a hard time making it in the HOF? He was a do it all WR! Stats were not so inflated back than.
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
Back in the mid-90s, I wrote an article for the Coffin Corner periodical stating Reed's HOF case. At the time he looked to be 2-3 quality seasons away from a slam-dunk stat case and he posted those seasons before he retired. He's having trouble getting into Canton because of the logjam at WR but with Carter's induction and Brown's comments about Callahan, the door could be open for Reed the next time around.
Do you think the Bears have fixed their OL enough? Should they draft OL, LB or WR in the first round?
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
WR as long as one of the top prospects is on the board. Chicago's O line has had issues the past couple of years but those issues are not entirely talent-based.
A lot of mention of the other young QBs, where do you put Luck in that discussion?
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
At/near the top. Want to see how he adjusts to a new OC before placing him any higher.
Based on your grading, if you were the Packers would you keep Newhouse on the left with Bulaga on the right, move Bulaga left and play Barclay on the right, or suck it up and draft a pure left?
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
Don't move Bulaga to the left. He's like Oher - it sounds good to make him a left tackle but he's truly better suited to play RT.
Will the Packers ever get Clay Matthews some help?
KC Joyner (4:56 PM)
If you mean pass rushing help, this would be a draft they can do so, as the DE/rush LB depth in this draft is quite high.
Ryan (Germantown, MD)
Do think the Giants believe Dan Connor's the answer at MLB?
KC Joyner (4:58 PM)
I've got a lot of faith in Jerry Reece. He's got a history of developing quality LBs out of players who might not have been considered high percentage options. Connor might not be the long-term answer but he'll help in the short-term.
Where does Elvis Dumervil rank amongst current NFL Pass rushers? And what scheme do you think he fits best in? a 3-4 OLB or a 4-3 DE?
KC Joyner (4:59 PM)
His size makes him a better fit as a rush LB in a 3-4 or a situational rusher in a 4-3. He may have the best bull rush in the NFL.
KC Joyner (5:00 PM)
Want to say thanks to everyone for taking time away from the college basketball tournament to offer up some really good questions. Quick note before hitting the road - the TFS material is always posted on Twitter @KCJoynerTFS. Thanks again for the questions and I hope to see you all here next week!