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February 17, 1:05 PM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Buzzmaster
  (12:14 PM)

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson will be by at 12:30 p.m. ET to chat!

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Hey everyone-MW subbing for Tag today. I will still be on my usual noon slot on Wed as well. Let's get this rolling.

Cosmo (NYC)

Matt Is Yeremiah Bell a elite saftey? What area should be a priority for the Fins to improve? I say DT.

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

No, I don't think that he is, but he is solid and still one of the better guys on that Phins' D. I think he will be Franchised and I can't really argue with that-esp because the rest of the defensive backfield could use some work. I see them needing a CB and/or FS on the backend. Crowder probably will walk and they could use a replacement/upgrade there. A stud WR would be huge and RT is going to be a huge need if Carey leaves. As with every team, free agency will dictate their needs, but it is especially true with the Phins.

Steiny (NYC)

The Jets cut David Barrett last week. Do you think he is going to retire?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Seems about right to me. Really isn't getting it done any more.

Majeed

Wow 3 staright days of the Dubster. That's awesome!

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Glad to do it Brother!

Rich (Miami, FL)

What do you see Pat White Value is...he is someone that i think can devlop into an NFL QB and in the mean time can help out in specialized formations (wildcat)?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Personally, I don't think he will be an NFL QB-but I would like to have him on my team. Tough guy with obvious ability. Just doesn't throw the ball well enough or have the height you look for in your signal caller though. One thing we really don't know about White-and I find it suspicisious-is how good are his hands? Everyone assumes that he could be a great WR, but can he catch the ball? That is rather important ya know. I do like him as a returner and maybe as a coverage player on teams. If he goes to the Combine or his private workout and runs routes and shows us how he catches the football-and passes that test-I would consider a late 3rd rounder to a team that is already strong. If not, I would struggle to pull the trigger.

Nate P (san diego, ca)

Do you see the chargers picking up a IMLB or a running back in the draft? USC has a few good ones, will they drop?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

USC has three great LBs, but I don't see Cushing or Mathews as ILBs in SD's 3-4. Rey will be gone. With the Chargers' needs (SS, RB maybe, and OL help along with ILB), I think ILB is the one I would address last. They have some guys on that roster like Siler who might surprise next year. I also know that they have several picks to move up, but they also do not have a 2nd rounder, which is a problem and could be a prime spot to grab a RB.

patrick (STL)

Matt- who would you select at #2 for the Rams? Lot of chatter here in st. louis that they are targeting either smith or crabtree...

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Smith from Bama I assume? If so, I would lean towards Crabtree over Smith. Don't trust Smith's weight once he signs a huge deal. Very good player, but Crabtree is better.

Tobi (NH)

Matt what is the latest on the Patriots plans with Matt Cassell? what do you think they will do?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

I think he will get Franchised and then dealt to the highest bidder. Wise. He will yield picks that will help NE rebuild their ailing D. Nice work. If, by chance, Brady isn't ready-which we don't know, then they hold on to Cassell.

carson (cleveland)

who do you think hte browns should take in the first round this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

It pretty much has to be D, although a stud RT like Smith would be very hard to pass on. I would not address RB though in round one. They really need to find a pass rush and that has to come from OLB in that D. Is #5 too early to take Brown or Orakpo? We will see a week from now after the Combine. They could also trade down to get one. CB might be tempting, but I would not go that direction that high.

John Boy (Cincinnati)

Bengals hoping for Smith/Brown or Crabtree, right?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Bama's Smith really looks like a Bengal to me. They tend to overlook character issues-understatement of the century-and he would instantly improve a running game that needs a lot of work. They also need a center in a big way by the way. This is another team that really needs to find a pass rush though and Brown and Orakpo will be attractive. Hard to believe that Crabtree is still sitting there, but Maclin should also draw consideration, as his stock is about to soar.

Rob (Denver, CO)

Is there any way that B.J. Raji falls to the Broncos at #12? If he doesn't then do they take a LB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

I don't think he will be there and I also don't like where Denver sits to fill their needs. I bet Orakpo and Brown are both gone as well. They MUST build their front seven first and foremost. Not sure who is worth it at their spot. Trading up/down could be their best move come DDay.

Nathan, MN

What are the Vikings going to do at QB? Go with Gus Bus, t-jack combo? free agent- Garcia? Will Childress waste another draft pick because he sees one with talent?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

They MUST make changes and I wouldn't wait until DDay. Must sign Garcia/Leftwich. Still, if Sanchez or Freeman is sittling there in round one, it might still be the right move. I would offer that #1 for Cassel right now though.

Xander (Philly)

Any info (or guesses) to where the Bills look in free agency and the draft?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

I see a few glaring needs: DE, OC, TE and then WR and maybe yet another OLineman with some versatility. Pettigrew is the only TE to consider in round one and his blocking would be huge for Buff, but there are some interesting pass catchers to snag in the 2nd. DE is a huge need to me and one more pass rusher could really take that unit up a few notches. Not sold on Hardy, so WR could be another way to get another weapon in the passing game instead of TE. OC in round 2 makes a lot of sense too.

Nate P (san diego, ca)

Would the chargers make an offer to fred taylor as a backup to LT?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Old and Older? Perhaps, but that isn't an old man's position.

Edo (Seattle)

Why is Maclin's stock about to soar? Do you expect him to run a crazy 40 time at the combine? What are people expecting Crabtree to run and is it a good move for him to wait for his pro-day or private workout to run his 40?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

That is really the only knock on Crabtree-his true speed. Not sure what his plans are however. Still, unless he runs a 4.6 I wouldn't worry about that guy. I just think Maclin will shine in these workouts and will force evaluators to reevaluate where he belongs on their boards. Big WR shortage in the NFL right now and this guy can also immediatly improve your coverage units. I really like what I see from him and wouldn't hesitate to use a Top 5 pick on Maclin.

Jake (Chicago)

How about Taylor in Chicago to take some of the heat off Forte?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

That makes more sense to me. Actually, I like it.

Rich (Miami, FL)

Do you see Cedric Benson staying in Cincy? and not to say Benson is going to be a pro bowler but it seems like he can get his career back on track? who is the best player in your opinion after having orginallly busted as a draft pick?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Benson and Cincy seem perfect for one another. Peas and carrots. They need a pounder and once again, tend to overlook character concerns. Cincy gave Benson a chance and he should be very grateful. Did a very nice job at the end of the season. Still, if I were Cincy, I would like to add a RB with more juice to mix in with Benson. As for your 2nd question-I am drawing a blank. Plunkett?

Tom

So now Andre Smith has character issues? One time deal constitutes the label "character issues"?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Character concerns that must be looked into. He was suspended for Bama's BCS game. If you are going to invest Top 5 $$$ in someone, you had better be sure of what you are getting off the field. He might be Mother Teresa-I don't know. But I do know that his interviews will be scrutinized more than most. Plus, he has shown that he can get too heavy, which implies that maybe football isn't his top priority and/or he can be lazy with his training habits. That is how this biz works this time of year.

Steve (Moscow, ID)

What about Fred Taylor to Philly? Takes pressure off of Westbrook and offers a great change of pace.

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Once again-Old and Older. Getting back to Taylor, I am not sold that he really has a ton left in the tank to begin with. Add him to a team like Chi? Sure. Can always cut him before the season if he doesn't deserve a roster spot. As for the Eagles, I would bet that they use a first day pick on a bigger RB and I like that approach for them better in this case.

matt columbuse [via mobile]

what teams are looking at terrell suggs? any chance my brownies pick him up?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Would be a perfect Brownie...but I gotta think that he gets Franchised once again. Zona would sure love to have him. So would many teams. Can fit a 3-4 or 4-3. Heck of a guy to have.

chauncey (teaneck)

where do you see Deuce ending up?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

At home watching on TV.

Luke (Ohio)

How about a guy like Darren Sproles giving Cincy the juice with Benson?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Perfect. That O desperatly needs to add a big play flair and Sproles could be similiar to Tenn's C Johnson in this approach. Obviously having Palmer behind center will also open up the field.

jason (nebraska)

should my chiefs get rid of johnson and gonzalez and for who if so

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

LJ? Yes. Malcontent. Me guy. Declining. Huge cap hit. BUT...for those reasons, he is close to untradable. Won't get much. As for Gonzo, I really thought they should have dealt him at the trade deadline, but it is obvious that he has a lot left in the tank and they are going to have a young QB, so keeping Gonzo surely would make that transition easier. Would listen, but would be hesitant to deal Gonzo now.

Nate P (san diego, ca)

sproles is staying in SD buddy

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Wouldn't doubt that either. Potential franchise guy. Very good player, but still a complementary/specialty player buddy.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Early reports on California Center Alex Mack seems like he would be a great pick up for Pittsburgh at the end of round 1 in the upcoming draft. Do you think he is a good fit? will he be available?

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

Yes and yes. He is my early guess for the #32 selection. Their type of guy. A OT would be a bigger need player, but chances are that one won't be worth that pick at the time-and we all know PGH won't reach. A WR or CB is also a possibility with Washington and/or McFadden potentially moving on.

Jeff (Newark, DE)

Any chance that the Giants will pick up a "skill position" player in the first round?

Matt Williamson
  (1:02 PM)

I see two directions for NYG in free agency and the draft: WR and LB. Could use a clear cut starter (or maybe two) at both spots. Hakeem Nicks is one name to keep in mind for the G-Men.

Randy (St. Paul)

Smith sounds like another Bryant McKinnie, who has been average at best his entire career.

Matt Williamson
  (1:02 PM)

Not a McKinnie fan here myself, but Smith is a dominating run blocker. Built more like a OG than OT, while McKinnie obviously has that very tall OT build.

Luke (Ohio)

How do you see the Bengal's younger wide receivers performing with the likes of Housh and Chad gone?

Matt Williamson
  (1:04 PM)

First off, having Palmer being the guy tossing them the ball will immediatly help-as will a 2nd year in the league. Neither has shown me anything to think they can be a #1 though. Simpson should be the one who takes the bigger jump, as he obviously came from a much weaker level of competition out of college. Also, if this O can't run the ball-as was the case for much of the past two years-then this passing game is doomed-esp against D's like Balt and PGH.

Junior (NH)

where do you see maualuga going in the draft?

Matt Williamson
  (1:07 PM)

Not sure where he best fits in this draft. I suppose Denver is an option for sure. Can't get past SD. Maybe SF. Seems like a prospect without a real home at this point, but free agency will help clear things up.

Meraj (Wasington, DC)

What do you see skins doing with their pick? The biggest need is tackle but a lot of pundits have them getting a DE. I doubt that because even w/o a pass rush, their D was in the top 10 and they have invested many 1st rounders on defense. Oher anyone?

Matt Williamson
  (1:08 PM)

Well, J Taylor is out and they do need to get younger at DE. Can't have too many good pass rushers-just ask the Giants. Still, I hear ya. To me, almost all of the Skins work has to come on both lines.

Brandon (Chicago)

Who should the Bears take? Would Michael Oher make sense with news John Tait might retire?

Matt Williamson
  (1:09 PM)

Maybe, but DE is the bigger need. That D needs to get pressure from their front four and simply put, the DEs are not holding up their end of the deal. Killing the secondary. Of course a WR wouldn't be a terrible idea either.

Ed (Michigan)

What are the chances Detroit would take Raji at #1 if he has a good combine?

Matt Williamson
  (1:09 PM)

I like the guy and DTs are extremely important to me, but that one seems far fetched.

Mike (Boca Raton)

(regardless of the team) if you were a g.m., what kind of deal would you offer ravens lb ray lewis?

Matt Williamson
  (1:11 PM)

Well, of course it matters on the team. He has more value to a team that really needs a big time leader-so those type of teams would pay more. Also, he needs decent to excellent DT play in front of him, or you are wasting what he still does so well, which is diagnose, run and attack. That being said, ideally, you would like to have him for the next two years and make him easy to cut after that if he quickly declines. Lewis can still play, but all that being said, he could be worth more to Baltimore than any other team.

Chad (DC)

What role does Jamal Lewis have next year? Starter? cut? RBBC? Thanks

Matt Williamson
  (1:13 PM)

He fought a lot of injuries last year and still runs hard. Not real explosive any more and obviously he is declining. Still has a role though. I would cut back on his carries though and increase Harrison's role. Harrison very well could be a Leon Washington type for Mangini. Every time Harrison gets the chance, he has done well. However, I would worry about him picking up Balt and PGH's blitzers.

CJ (Cedar Park)

What is the Dallas Cowboys MAIN concern?

Matt Williamson
  (1:14 PM)

The locker room. They have the talent to be one of the elite teams. I don't see a massive need on the field, although a vet back up QB and maybe another DLineman would go a long way. Still, they must bring in strong character players with leadership skills.

Preston (Baltimore)

If by chance the Cowboys cut T.O. then who do you think would take him? I seriously don't believe anyone would be so stupid.

Matt Williamson
  (1:14 PM)

Oh, he would get picked up and picked up pretty quick. SO many teams need a WR. Under the old regime, I would have said TBay for sure. Oak for sure! Several teams would take the chance even though I think TO is declining.

dave (nj)

hey matt,where do you see housh play next season?

Matt Williamson
  (1:16 PM)

Seattle, TBay and Philly all make a lot of sense. The Giants as well. Chicago could get involved. Like I said, a LOT of teams could use a WR they can trust week after week. Housh is that guy. I worry that someone will pay him like he is an elite WR, which I do not think he is, but he is steady for sure.

Julius Peppers (Carolina)

Where will I get traded? Green Bay? New York? Denver?

Matt Williamson
  (1:18 PM)

I suppose that you could transition to a 3-4 as an OLB, so Denver makes some sense, as does GBay. Still, don't love those fits since it would be asking you to learn a new position. Is is good biz to invest that type of $$$ and draft picks on someone and then ask him to change positions?

nate p (san diego ca)

will someone pay 2 first rounders for cassel?

Matt Williamson
  (1:19 PM)

Seems too steep. I would bet that Minny's pick at #22 is pretty close to what NE will end up with.

nate p (san diego ca)

will tom brady ever be tom brady agian

Matt Williamson
  (1:19 PM)

None of us know that, but I wouldn't bet against him.

CJ

Do you think Brett Favre is done?

Matt Williamson
  (1:19 PM)

Very much so

Craig (Norwich, CT)

What non-Patriot free agents do you see New England going after?

Matt Williamson
  (1:20 PM)

Hmm, a CB like Dunta Robinson could be right up their alley. I would expect one splash player on D. OLB would be a great place to start, but not sure who really fits that bill. CB is probably the best bet.

Brett (Houston, TX)

Hey Matt! Minnesota Vikings - Free Agent money for Garcia or first round picks for Cassel? Or what if the Eagles offered McNabb for the Vikings first round pick - would you take that one?

Matt Williamson
  (1:21 PM)

McNabb isn't going anywhere. Would chose Cassel (even in giving up the #1) instead of Garcia. Minny is very close. Garcia might be done. On the fence about that. Is he really a team guy either? Been with a lot of teams of late.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Mr. Williamson: Do you think it would be better for the Vikings to draft Hakeem Nicks or try signing one of the FA WRs out there?

Matt Williamson
  (1:22 PM)

Nicks is a personal fav and would be a great fit for the Vikes. This team though really needs one thing: QB. First and foremost. If that means using some picks to get your man, do it. I know adding a WR would be welcome-no question-but after QB, I see RT as the next overall need.

Keith (IOWA)

Julius Peppers for Matt Cassell, who says no?

Matt Williamson
  (1:24 PM)

Wow. I bet NE says Yes. Versatile peice for BB to play around with. However, I also don't know if he is BB's kind of player-inconsistent and how tough is he? As for Car, not sure what I would say if presented that. You know you are going to lose Peppers either way, but you were also very close to winning it last year. Delhomme isn't going to throw a bazillion INTs in every playoff game he appears, but still, I no longer have any faith in him either. So...yeah, pull the trigger!

Animal (Road Warriors, WWF)

Do you think my son James Laurenitus has a chance to fall to the Giants at 29?

Matt Williamson
  (1:26 PM)

Would be a great Giant. ILB or OLB though? Probably would be fine at either spot with that DL in front of him. True or False: I had a Road Warriors T Shirt when I was 12ish? Oh yeah, that one is true. Hawk and Animal.

nate p (san diego ca)

will the majority of FA signings happen before or after the draft

Matt Williamson
  (1:26 PM)

Before. When free agency opens at midnight, you will be shocked how many reasonably big names get locked up in that next 24 hours.

Mike (Boca Raton)

does the decision to cut cb mcalister suggest that baltimore goes DB in round 1? where do they get their wr help?

Matt Williamson
  (1:28 PM)

They have needs all over the place now with free agency looming. Will lose someone out of Lewis, Suggs, Scott and Brown. Also, Heap and McGahee could be next to go. I wouldn't replace McGahee, but a TE would be nice if Heap leaves. LB probably will be a need. An interior OLinemen wouldn't hurt if Brown departs. Even with a full squad from last year, I felt that CB was a big need. Now, moreso. Rolle could still get cut. WR might have to wait, but it can't be ignored. It is a real tough situation for sure. Something will have to give.

Jeff (Minn)

Do you think the Vikings will trade Adrian Peterson for a first round pick? They already have some decent RB's and could use that to improve their team

Matt Williamson
  (1:29 PM)

Huh? No Soup For You.

John (Boston, MA)

Do you see the Patriots bringing in a tight end, they get nothing from Watson. Also, could Chros McCalister be a fit in NE? Thanks

Matt Williamson
  (1:29 PM)

McAlister wouldn't be a terrible Pat-makes some sense. Yeah, could see a 2nd round pick on one of these athletic pass catching TEs for the Pats. Sure.

Ben (Portland, OR)

Would you pick up TO if you were Pitt and he was released? Do you think they could handle him?

Matt Williamson
  (1:30 PM)

The Steelers? TO in Pittsburgh. No Soup For You either.

Matt Williamson
  (1:31 PM)

Okay everyone. I am out. Combine coming this week. Much news in store. Find me tomorrow at noon. Adios.