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February 20, 6:55 AM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (4:00 PM)

Hey everyone. Matt Williamson here filling in for JG.

Mad Mike (Houston)

Yo Matt: Kind of odd that the Jags would not work a discounted one year deal with Fred. In my mind that just leaves one more hole to plug and he is supposed to be a great locker room guy. So, it really does not make a bunch of sense, if they had fewer holes I would buy it more. Is there more to this than we actually see? Thanks......MM

Matt Williamson
  (4:02 PM)

Not sure what happened behind the scenes, but I do know that Fred has declined and RBs are not a tough position to find. Also, Greg Jones is a factor here and could be a very able complement to MJD as a runner. Your scenerio does make some sense however, but who is to say if Taylor had interest in doing that.

Pat (NY)

are the vikings going to sign Jeff Garcia? Does he make them better at 39 and injury prone?

Matt Williamson
  (4:02 PM)

He makes them better, but I don't see that as their best overall option. Better than what they have however.

Will van wyk Hartford, Ct

if you were the pats would you trade Cassel or keep him as insurance and do you open up the competition to see who your qb is or do you name Brady the starter

Matt Williamson
  (4:03 PM)

Trade him. Obviously Brady is the starter. No question about that as long as he can even limp onto the field come opening day. Highest bidder for Cassel. There will be suitors.

kyle mesa az

What should the lions do with the 20th pick.

Matt Williamson
  (4:05 PM)

Assuming they go with Stafford first overall?-which does seem likely. Here's the thing with Detroit. They stink. They need help everywhere. I honestly believe that they can pretty much take the best player on the board without a lot of worry about what position he plays with just about every selection they make. Never reach for positional need. Just keep drafting good football players. Over and over. That has to be the year one theory of this rediculously large rebuilding project.

Andy Oak Hill WV

What CB best fits the Steelers?

Matt Williamson
  (4:06 PM)

Not sure who that guy is for sure. I like DJ Moore, but worry about his ability to tackle-which the Steelers wouldn't tolerate. I like A Smith an awful lot as well. Would be ideal if they do use a high pick on a CB that the player can also be an immediate return man.

Scott (AZ)

Gross' and Carey's contracts made me think of the financial prudence of resigning players before the FA deadline. TN and Houston resigned Roos, Stewart, and Winston -- comparable players-- to much better deals.

Matt Williamson
  (4:07 PM)

Exceptional point

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

OK Matt, so Garcia isn't the best option for the Vikings. In your opinion, who gets that honor?

Matt Williamson
  (4:09 PM)

This is the team that I would be very aggressive with to trade for Cassel. Minny is very close and their division isn't very good. Add that QB. Also, not sure if I would rather have Garcia or Leftwich. Not a DA fan here though. Not a lot of options-no question about that and going with a rookie is too risky for a team that is built to win now. When it is all said and done, it could be Garcia. The nice thing about Garcia is that he doesn't turn the ball over. Run like crazy. Play great D. Garcia wouldn't cost you draft picks either. But still-just not a huge fan of his.

Mike (NV)

"Franchised" Julius Peppers: Worth 2 #1s by some other team?

Matt Williamson
  (4:10 PM)

That is too steep. Consider that J Allen was traded for a #1 and #3 (I think). I would rather have Allen than Peppers.

Josh (Philly)

Matt, any gut feeling about what happens with Boldin in AZ? I think he'd be the perfect complement to D. Jackson and K. Curtis here in Philly...

Matt Williamson
  (4:11 PM)

Couldn't agree more and Philly very much should be in win-now mode. Plus they have two first rounders as bargaining chips. Underneath run-after-the-catch WR to complement those speedsters. McNabb would love him. I do think Boldin is a smidge overrated because he simply misses too many games, but he makes the Eagles a much better team.

Markos

Matt, What direcion do you see the Bills going in the first two rounds?

Matt Williamson
  (4:13 PM)

Moreso than most teams, I think Buff's needs are very defined. They REALLY need a TE, DE and OC. Don't overlook OC in this list, as they play against three 3-4 teams with huge NTs in their division. OC would be a great 2nd rounder for Buff in a deep center draft. OLB and WR are other considerations, but a TE like Pettigrew would help Edwards as a safety value, create points near the goal line and seal the edge as a top notch blocker. Maybe you trade down a few picks to take him though. Still, a pass rushing DE is huge in my opinion. That D could be quite good with a difference maker at DE.

Mad Mike (Houston)

Matt: Agree or Disagree, signing Albert to 4yrs at 12+ mil per year and 25mil guaranteed could really get a GM and HC fired!!! Not sure I would roll those dice, never have been a big fan of signing that "Big Name" FA as a model for any NFL team, see Redskins as a good example. Thanks........MM

Matt Williamson
  (4:15 PM)

Agree 100%. Many teams will not even consider Haynesworth and generally speaking, I bet they are some of the smarter teams in the league. I have an assignment to come up with five Buyer Beware free agents. Haynesworth is #1 on my list.

Elliot (Lexington, KY)

Matt - Why would the Bengals franchise Graham? I understand he's a great kicker, but it seems kickers are more or less a dime a dozen anymore. Besides, he lost my favor when he missed the kick against Pittsburgh in '06 season finale. Anyway, to the point: why not franchise Housh, let him sign an offer sheet, and at least get some sort of compensation for him?

Matt Williamson
  (4:17 PM)

Once again, I am with you. JG has a pretty intelligent fan base I am finding out! That is Cincy being Cincy. Housh is going to attract SO much attention in a WR-starved market. Is this the result of not having much of a scouting staff or true GM and not knowing the pulse of the league? Sure seems that way to me and is probably why the Bengals are who they are. Bad business as Housh walks away from the team with no compensation. Think NEng would allow that to happen?

Michael (Dallas)

Will the Packers spend at least two of their first three picks drafting personel for their 3-4 switch? If so who?

Matt Williamson
  (4:18 PM)

Should spend their entire draft and all their free agency money on that project. I think the scheme change is a horrible idea for GBay.

Mad Mike (Houston)

Matt: Guessing that Housh is on the top 5 buyer beware list as well as Albert.....MM

Matt Williamson
  (4:19 PM)

No-he isn't. Solid football player. I don't see a lot of bust potential with him. I also don't love him or believe that he is the total package WR and will make more money than he is worth. But, WRs are in need and many top teams could use him.

Jeff (Tampa)

Antonio Bryant scares me even more than Haynesworth. The has the EQ of a 5 year old sociopath.

Matt Williamson
  (4:20 PM)

No question. He was out of football just one year ago! Be happy and sign your huge offer sheet! Plus, he is a strike away from being suspended again, etc. Geez.

Brian (Sanibel Island)

What position on the O-line should the Steelers replace first?

Matt Williamson
  (4:22 PM)

That is the beauty of franchising Starks. They now have options. Starks can play either OT spot and Colon is still in the mix, so they could take either a RT or LT in the draft. I don't like Colon however, but adding a top OT will be tough considering where they select. Would expect them to be in the Alex Mack/Eric Wood market though. Both play OC and OG and would immediatly challenge for a starting spot somewhere. Hartwig did get increasinly better as the season went along though. OG worries me.

Ryan (Madison, WI)

You made a harsh indictment of a guy that came back early from a brutal injury. Boldin was the best WR in the league before his injury and no one goes over the middle better. There isn't a tougher WR in the NFL right now.

Matt Williamson
  (4:23 PM)

There is not a tougher WR in the league right now and he is quite good...but he misses a LOT of games. Even after that injury, he got hurt yet again this season. Also, there is no question in my mind that he benefited from the WR on the other side of the field more than Fitz benefited from him. Not saying the guy is bad by any stretch and he probably still is a Top 12 guy (or so) at his position, but I think the general public likes him more than I do.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Do you think Housh could fit in with the Giants? If Plaxico Burress is done there, who do you see as Eli's main target?

Matt Williamson
  (4:24 PM)

It is a Giant problem. Pun intended. NYG has two big holes to me. WR and OLB, with WR as just a massive need. Even if they keep Burress and he doesn't miss any time, adding another is needed.

Ed( San Diego,CA)

Where do you see the Chargers going in round 1? I dont see a RB. I'd love to see Mauluga or Michael Oher fall to them. What do you think?

Matt Williamson
  (4:27 PM)

They have to get better on the right side of the OL-no doubt. An impact ILB surely would help, but is Mauluga going to be there? Doubtful. Oher could be gone as well. SS is a huge need to me, but one is not worth that first rounder. Could certainly go with one of the RBs if LT leaves town. Without a 2nd round pick and with a few extra later picks, it could really lend itself to a trade-probably down to fill two or three of these needs instead of grabbing a higher end player.

Paulie (Slippery Rock, PA)

Does Hines Ward retire as a Steeler eventually?

Matt Williamson
  (4:27 PM)

Bet on it

RJ (Pittsburgh)

Sweet! Just stopped by and I learn that Matty Ice is here today. Does that make everyday this week?

Matt Williamson
  (4:27 PM)

Four out of five. Took yesterday off.

Steve (Rochester, NY)

Asomugha and Lechler are clearly elite players at their respective positions but it seems that the Raiders overpaid to keep them. Good move or not?

Matt Williamson
  (4:29 PM)

I can't blame them on either. Not sure if this is entirely true, but I have a hard time believing it is not. Here is the analogy. I live in Pittsburgh. The Pirates stink. Stink. Worst organization on the planet. So, what do they have to do to get any sort of free agent to play here? Overspend. Are the Raiders in a similiar boat? Look at their signings during last free agency period. Not a good situation. However, like you said, they did keep two elite players.

Scott (AZ)

I couldn't agree more about Boldin. He is very good at what he does -- screens, drag routes, and YAC -- but isn't nearly the complete receiver that Fitz is.

Matt Williamson
  (4:29 PM)

No question-but few in recent memory are.

Majeed

$4MM for a punter. Only the Raiduhs would do something like that! Gotta love Al!

Matt Williamson
  (4:30 PM)

Pretty steep indeed...

Dale- Detroit

Alright Matt!!! Ya... I agree about the Packers switch to the 3-4. Stupid Move. Now we might not have the worst defense in the NFC North.

Matt Williamson
  (4:30 PM)

I tend to agree-which is really saying something, because your Lions should be awful once again. Coaching may help though.

Sloan (Bellwood, PA)

We all know the Steelers need to improve their offensive line, but what is their next biggest need this offseason?

Matt Williamson
  (4:31 PM)

Getting younger on the DL is huge. Finding and developing those DEs takes time. Need to do it now. Also should lose N Washington and McFadden. Both need replaced.

Broad Street Brian (philly)

IS Eben Britton worth the Number 28 pick or will that be a slight reach for the Eagles.

Matt Williamson
  (4:32 PM)

Want to see a little more of him, but that sounds about right. OTs will go fast (like last year) and Britton could be this year's D Brown. That doesn't make it a good move, but getting those guys isn't easy to do.

Mark- WI

What exactly do you have against the Packers switch to the 3-4? You've said you dont like it but havn't explained it yet. Why?

Matt Williamson
  (4:36 PM)

Honestly, I don't think any prominant member of that D is equipped to be a better player in the 3-4 over the 4-3. None. Plus, this D was quite good just two years ago and if it wasn't for all the DL issues this past year, probably would have been fine going forward with a first round DLineman and Jenkins returning. Pickett might be okay at NT, but great 3-4 Ds are not just okay at NT. Need a beast there. Who are the DEs? Tough position to play and Jenkins excellent skills are neutralized in this scheme. Kampman was an upper tier DE, now he will be asked to drop into coverage and do things that he isn't accustomed. I don't see that going real well. Hawk and Barnett are not physical enough for this new scheme either. Hate the move. At least in Denver, the Broncos have been terrible and don't have good football players for any scheme. Not a big fan of the switch in KC either, but the GBay move to me bothers me most.

Broad Street Brian (philly)

Thanks for bring the serious info three times this week. Thanks Dubster

Matt Williamson
  (4:36 PM)

Four

Steiny (NYC)

Do you see Terrel Owens playing for the Raiders this year?

Matt Williamson
  (4:37 PM)

If Dallas does let him go, which I tend to doubt, I would bet that Oak is the first team to line up for his services.

Sean (Philly)

'Wasn't it four times? And...Win Now, so why not get Housh, and not give up the picks. Take Pettigrew, the best OT, and grab Shonn Greene in the 2nd or 3rd. Housh is older than Boldin, but as you said, win now...

Matt Williamson
  (4:39 PM)

That works too, but the comp for Housh (& Boldin) should be fierce. Not as easy as it sounds. NYG might outbid you! Or TBay. Or Chi. Etc. I like Boldin better than Housh, but both would be tremendous safety valves for McNabb and good fits. Obviously it would be better to get the guy who doesn't cost heavy draft picks though.

Matt Williamson
  (4:39 PM)

BTW, Philly is my VERY early favorite in the NFC. Obviously very subject to change.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Doesn't Freeman to Nicks at the Metrodome in 2010 have a nice ring to it?

Matt Williamson
  (4:40 PM)

Yeah, but Freeman is not a win now guy. If they do sign a Leftwich/Garcia, I wouldn't have a problem with drafting Freeman in round one. But Nicks is going in round one as well. Not getting both JB!

Champ Bailey

Denver doesn't have ANY good players for any scheme?

Matt Williamson
  (4:41 PM)

Are those my exact works? Maybe they were, but obviously I respect Champ. Still a stud. DJ Williams could be a very good WLB in a 4-3 as well. Other than that...I just don't see much. Need to put 11 out there.

Josh,(Tucson, AZ)

What do you think of Perria Jerry? Could he be a good value at the back of round 1 for those who miss out on Raji?

Matt Williamson
  (4:42 PM)

Fucilli Jerry. I bet he goes higher than that as the #2 DT. DTs go high-for good reason. He is light in the pants and might end up being a terrific strongside DE in the 4-3 someday-just a thought.

Steiny (NYC)

Where are the Jaguars going to go in free agency? I think they should upgrade the WR position.

Matt Williamson
  (4:44 PM)

Like Buff in an earlier question, I see this team with several GLARING needs. WR is amongst them-no question. OT for sure, esp on the left side. OC if Meester isn't brought back. CB is a monster need and Mathis might be their only CB that I trust. A DT to replace Stroud was neglected last year.

Joey Santa Ana California

who would the 49ers get at #10 ??? rey mauluga would be great next 2 p willis dont u think

Matt Williamson
  (4:45 PM)

Can't argue much with that. Would prefer E Brown or Orakpo off the edge-but I also bet both will be gone. Sanchez would be real hard to pass on and RT is a huge need, as is WR. They also need one more star in the secondary, so V Davis could be an option. Lots of directions they could go.

Ryan (Madison, WI)

I keep hammering this Boldin thing like he's my best friend, but I think he's being evaluated wrongly. There are six WR in the league who are freaks - Fitz, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Moss, and TO. Those guys don't need another WR on the other side to draw attention away, because they will get theirs as long as the QB can put the ball near them. Boldin isn't in their class, but he has what it takes to be a go-to guy without someone like Fitz on the other side of the field. He's tough, usually sure-handed, and finds seams in the D for catches and YAC. People want to knock him for playing opposite Fitz, but Fitz didn't make him a great player. The routes he runs don't depend on the other WR's getting attention.

Matt Williamson
  (4:49 PM)

Not sure I said anything contrary to that. Put him in the Top 12 and I would put him behind all those WRs that you just mentioned-except TO who might now be too far past his prime. I can't get over the durability issues though. Huge sticking point with me. Don't have time now, but how many games has he played in each of his seasons? That is a problem. Who else would I take over Boldin? Hmm-maybe G Jennings, Welker (sort of a specialty guy though), R White. Sure I am missing a few, but yeah, I hear ya. He is a very good player. Not elite. Agreed.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Seems like there are several teams with glaring needs at WR. Good thing that it looks like there are plenty of them to go around come draft weekend.

Matt Williamson
  (4:50 PM)

I like the WRs in this draft and I expect Maclin and Heyward Bey to really shoot up boards in the next week. Really like Nicks too. The WR shortage in the NFL doesn't seem to get enough pub, but just think of every team that could use one-long list.

Steiny (NYC)

Do you see Brian Robiskie being an elite receiver in the NFL?

Matt Williamson
  (4:50 PM)

Not elite-but a starter. Looks like the ideal #2 on the other side of a star. Reliable. Little bust potential as rooks go.

Chris (McDonough, GA)

What do you see the Falcons doing in the draft and free agency?

Matt Williamson
  (4:51 PM)

I see a step back for ATL this year and I also see plenty of needs. Would like to see them add one more OLinemen, probably at OT, a TE for sure, a NT type, maybe another pass rusher, at least one OLB, a starting S and one more CB. LONG list.

Steiny (NYC)

Do you think Florida OT Jason Watkins has a chance to succeed at the next level?

Matt Williamson
  (4:53 PM)

Inconsistent, but athletic. I would bet that this week will increase his stock. Is he powerful/tough enough to play RT if he doesn't work on the left side? I have my doubts. Not a OG either. Doesn't leave a lot of room for error, but potential LTs are valuable and often worth the risk. Interesting prospect.

Joey Santa Ana California

how about Malcom jenkins opposite of nate clements?

Matt Williamson
  (4:53 PM)

Not a terrible idea and Jenkins could also be a FS, which I see as another need. Will he still be available though?

Mike (Cal)

Have you seen enough of Ramses Barden to project his talents to the NFL? Is he a starting possession WR or too slow to be anything more than a goaline receiver?

Matt Williamson
  (4:55 PM)

Saw him at the Senior Bowl live and was less than impressed. Looks the part. No question. Has a lot of goal line potential like you said. But such a HUGE jump in competition and although he is strong, I bet that NFL CBs beat him up at the LOS and press coverage will give him fits. Big target for them to hit and he lacks great quicks/agility to avoid. Also doesn't bend or sink his hips real well.

Mike (Boca Raton)

do you get paid by the chat?

Matt Williamson
  (4:56 PM)

I do not...but might have to bring that up. Chatting machine of late. This is my fav time of year for chatting though. So many team building angles/options.

Mad Mike (Houston)

Matt: Bust ptential on Percy Harvin? High or Low? Thanks........MM

Matt Williamson
  (4:57 PM)

Huge bust potential. Well, check that. He will contribute-no doubt. Big time return ability. Specialty player. Durability with his real thin lower body really worries me. Also isn't known as a leader/team guy. Not a well refined route runner and the pure physicality of the next level could be a problem. I would worry. Capable of big things though-no doubt.

Jared (Denver CO)

Matt thanks for always being here for us! I see your point on Denver going to a 3-4 with little talent for it but I have a hunch that Marcus Thomas will be an animal as a DE in the 3-4. He is big, fast and very athletic, like an Aaron Smith type, just a little bigger. Am I wrong on this?

Matt Williamson
  (4:59 PM)

He is worth mentioning. Height is an aspect of that position that people must realize is incredibly important and he isn't as tall as someone like Smith or Seymour. Still, he is loaded with talent. BUT, he has never played the technique and it isn't something that you retrain yourself to do overnight. Much different way of engaging the blocker and holding the POA. Just don't expect immediate results. LOTS of shootout for Denver next year!

Steiny (NYC)

Will Lawrence Sidbury be drafted on the first day?

Matt Williamson
  (5:00 PM)

The Senior Bowl helped his stock and the Combine should as well. Athletic. Upside. Potential as either a 3-4 OLB or 4-3 DE, so he should be on just about every team's board. So, to answer your question, I would say very close. Top 75 overall when it is all said and done.

Matt Williamson
  (5:01 PM)

Okay everyone. I need to hang it up. Great stuff today-and all week. I think we are doing another block of chats on Tues and I will be doing my noon Wed chat as always. Tune in. Have a great weekend. Enjoy the Combine.