Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 6, 6:17 AM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench

Steve Muench
  (2:13 PM)

Alright sorry I'm late but let's get things started with HotLocks cause I need to sound off on the Cassel deal.

HotLocks (N.Falmouth, MA

Please give me your assessment of the Cassel deal as well as what you forsee them doing with those 4 picks in the 1st 2 rounds.

Steve Muench
  (2:16 PM)

First things first. Here are the reasons the deal makes sense. It's early second round pick. Vrabel is on the decline and Cassell is a scheme quarterback. The Patriots didn't want to spend early first-round money. That said, I still don't get it because I think they could have gotten more and the money doesn't seem like a deal breaker for them. Now if the Pats come out and sign a big-name free agent (T.O.? or trade for Peppers?) it makes sense because they needed the cap room and had to make the trade.

Steve Muench
  (2:17 PM)

As far as the four picks. I think they pick up at least one defensive back and I see them taking two linebackers. They hit on Mayo last year and there is good value at linebacker in the second round.

Burwell (Addison, PA)

Several mock drafts have the Bears taking Tyson Jackson. Isn't he a 3-4 end with limited pass rush skills? Wouldn't they be better off grabbing a receiver or OL and waiting to grab an end?

Steve Muench
  (2:18 PM)

He is a a 3-4 end and I'm on board with you. Harvin or Heyward-Bey makes more sense to me there.

Mike (Toledo)

Steve, if your'e the Lion's isn't it smarter to take a safer player like J. Smith over Stafford? If they give Stafford all that money and he stinks this team will be even more screwed.

Steve Muench
  (2:23 PM)

Detroit can't afford another bust at quarterback or receiver but they can't afford to miss on one either and Stafford has the natural ability to be special. In the end, it's not about making the smarter or safer decision it's about making the right decision.

7th Grade Typing Teacher

Shouldn't a blogger be able to type more than 10 words a minute. This is painful.

Steve Muench
  (2:23 PM)

yes and I apologize.

JR (Chicago, IL)

Wouldn't the Lions be smart to pick Jason Smith or Curry, and then wait to see how the draft unfolds? Seattle, Jacksonville, and SF are teams that people think could take a QB, but I don't see it happening because all those teams really do have legitimate shots at the playoffs and would rather get immediate help. Couldn't the Lions wait to see if Sanchez or Stafford fall to the 15/16/17 range and then maybe make a move from there?

Steve Muench
  (2:24 PM)

In theory yes but that approach can crumble quickly and then you're looking for your franchise quarterback in the middle rounds.

Rob (NJ)

Where do you see Eric Wood going in the draft. I would love for the Steelers to grab the top rated offensive tackle or defensive linemen in the first round, then take Wood with their second pick?

Steve Muench
  (2:26 PM)

I think Wood will still be there in the third round but I think they are hoping one of the top four or five tackles slides to them in the first.

Jason (Bmore)

I have a feeling the quality O-lineman will not be around for the Steelers first pick. Using the sound draft strategy as they always do, they will take the best player available. For some reason, I feel like Percy Harvin would be a great fit; return kicks and work into the offense here and there. Any chance he slips?

Steve Muench
  (2:28 PM)

Yes because of the injury issues.

HotLocks (N.Falmouth, MA)

I would ask you to consider the following: The Pats had very little cap room with MC on the books. They would not have been able to resign Sanders and sign Taylor, Baker, Springs, etc without trading MC. From what I've read, the BB inquired with DET, TB, MIN, KC, etc and KC was the only team that showed any interest. Bottom line is that they needed the cap room ASAP and BB found a willing trade partner that made sense. Could he have received more if he held out? Sure, it's possible, but there are no guarantees that would happen, especially with team knowing that the Pats didn't want to carry 2 QBs counting 28mm against the cap. BB didn't have much leverage in negotiations. As for Peppers, I don't envision that materializing. I envision BB looking to work out extensions for Wilfork & Mankins first. What about the draft? Do you think they package picks and trade up? I believe BB will likely keep his 1st rounder, draft a player with KCs 2nd round pick and then probably look to move one of those next 2nd roudners for a future draft pick. Who do you envision BB targeting? Thanks for the thoughts.

Steve Muench
  (2:32 PM)

Wow a lot to digest. For starters, excellent point about the cap room. Secondly, the Patriots are one of the most active teams on draft day and they'll listen to anyone and everyone willing to move up. Thirdly, if you don't think the Peppers deal will happen they have to go after outside linebackers early. I know they need just as much help in the secondary but there isn't as much value at corner as there is at linebacker on the first day of the draft.

The Wolf (Cleveland)

Where do you think Brian Robiskie will end up? He looks like a solid slot receiver right now and maybe even a good #2 WR...

Steve Muench
  (2:33 PM)

I think he quickly develops into a No. 2 and he goes in the second round as a result.

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

Most Mock drafts show the niners going either QB, WR or OL, but for their biggest weakness over the past six years of losing has been a lack of pass rush, which they haven't had since they lost J Peterson. Shouldn't they be taking an impact DL at 10?

Steve Muench
  (2:36 PM)

I think that there is a real good chance they take Penn State's Aaron Maybin there. He's got the burst coming off the edge that they need and the work ethic to excel there but tackle also makes senses.

Ryan (Madison, WI)

The Lions should draft Curry - best player in the draft and the only can't-miss guy. Also, the most underrated player in the draft is Austin Collie. He's going to be drafted two rounds too low and be better than all of the guys drafted ahead of him except maybe one or two.

Steve Muench
  (2:37 PM)

No such thing as a can't-miss guy but I like Curry too and thanks for the Collie shout out.

Shane (Los Angeles, CA)

I agree Dallas getting rid of T.O. was probably a good move since his numbers have been steadily declining over the past 3 years, despite have all those balls thrown his way. That being said, the problem with Dallas is/was not T.O; it was the fundamental lack of leadership at the Head Coach position. I understand Jerry Jones is trying to keep some stability there, but Im pretty sure a stronger coach (Cowher) would be able to manage those personalities FAR better than Wade Phillips. Thoughts?

Steve Muench
  (2:39 PM)

It seems to me that it's the owner that needs managing. I mean he's had two of the best coaches in the league there in Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells. Problem is he couldn't keep either of them there.

Otto (CA)

I know he plays west of the Mississippi, but I was wondering if you had an opinion on Brian Cushing. Does he remind you any of Bill Romanowski?

Steve Muench
  (2:42 PM)

Otto he may have gone to school on the West Coast but he's a Jersey boy so of course I like him. He's tough, smart and consistent so I guess he does remind me of Romo,

Steve Muench
  (2:45 PM)

Cosmo just asked me if Otto is implying that Cushing takes steroids. I hope not and that's not how I read it but to be clear here I do not suspect or have any reason to suspect that's the case.

Cole (Kansas City)

What do you mean by Cassel is a "scheme" QB?

Steve Muench
  (2:48 PM)

A system quarterback is a quarterback that excels in only one scheme. For example, Spurrier's quarterbacks have really struggled at the NFL level after excelling in his scheme. People think that Cassell fits that mold because the Patriots spread the field. That said. I don't feel that way. I was listing the pros THAT I HAD HEARD for making the deal. I should have been clearer so sorry about that.

Jay Jay (Bay Area, Ca)

Isn't Romo's lack of consistency just as big a problem as T.O.'s lack of team chemistry. I'm not taking up for T.O. because I've seen what he's done but come on Steve-O he did not drop the snap on the fg kick, he did not throw that final pick to end their playoffs last year and he isn't having games where he's throwing 3+ INT's in almost half of his games. I'm a Steelers Fanatic but my bro is a Dallas Fanatic & we went to the game against the giants when Romo came in to replace bledsoe. He threw 3 Ints in that game if i recall. He's good no doubt about it better than half of the Qb's in the league but he's not on Ben, E Manning & P Rivers status if you really want to be honest. Take away the TD's he's thrown to T.O. and he's no better than say Kitna

Steve Muench
  (2:49 PM)

Romo= Bill Romanowski Sorry about that

Chris (Arlington, VA)

Steve, is Pat White off the board by the end of the second round? Any chance he actually sees the field as QB in the NFL?

Steve Muench
  (2:52 PM)

Chris the second or third round is what I am hearing from some people. If Pat White doesn't make it in the NFL, WVU needs to hire him as a recruiter because he's wowed a lot of teams with the way he's interviewed. That said. I don't think he plays QB and he's never line up at WR at WVU so I can't take him any earlier than the fifth if I'm a GM.

Jay Jay (Bay Area, Ca)

Romo = Bill Romanowski Sorry about that.... What does that mean? Romanowski was an excellent LB i know because I hated his guts but respected his game!

Steve Muench
  (2:55 PM)

My bad misread the post and though you were busting my chops for comparing Romanowski to Cushing. As far as Tony goes, I think the TO situation takes some heat off for now but it also mean he'd better start playing better now. He's a great talent but you are right to say he's inconsistent.

Cole (Kansas City)

Thanks. I don't think Cassel is a system QB, either. Cassel really improved throughout the season last year at a pretty amazing pace-- to where he was scanning the entire field, sideline to sideline, rapidly, then making a quick decision. As a Chiefs fan, I'm thrilled by the acquisition. Thanks.

Steve Muench
  (2:56 PM)

Yeah Cole I think it's a great pickup for the Chiefs as is Vrabel who is a great leader by all accounts.

Aaron Akron,Ohio

If Curry is Gone At 5 wouldnt it be wise for cleveland to trade down for more picks?Is there anyone who would want to move up to 5?

Steve Muench
  (2:58 PM)

Always entertain deals but the Browns are in a good spot if they can't move. They need to improve their pass rush and DE/OLB Everette Brown can do that for them in my opinion.

Marc (Malden, MA)

The Pats #1 priority is to sign Wilfork to an extension. That's why they needed Cassel off the books.

Steve Muench
  (2:59 PM)

Hotlocks made this point earlier but I'll post it again.

GshawnJohnson

Steve, I've been mulling over an answer you gave to me in here about a month ago for... about a month. You said Lebron James, without name recognition, would go 3rd round. To recap... 4.4 speed, we've seen the remarkable agility and jumping and body control, fierce competitor, productive in HS. The Greek god physique. We were all told several years back that Adrian Peterson could be a first round pick coming straight out of high school, so college experience can't be THAT big a deal. If Hayward-Bey is a mid first rounder after a good combine, I can't see how someone let's Lebron go outside the top ten, or heck top five. Who's going to cover a 6'9, 275 pounder with that kind of speed? It's Jonathan Ogden with the athleticism of Terrell Owens! If I'm a defensive coordinator just shoot me now! Tell me truly, if you're a GM, aren't you at least going to be tempted by that kind of unique human body? And if not you, surely some GM is not going to be able to resist.

Steve Muench
  (3:03 PM)

I love it! I'd be all sorts of tempted but you got to stick with the plan so I wouldn't take him on the first day. As far as the Adrian Peterson stuff, great sports writers spark debates and saying Peterson could make the jump from the NFL is an opinion that will get people talking. It doesn't make it true. Finally, Peterson wouldn't have missed any seasons had he come out after high school while James has been out of the game for how long?

Bubbles (The Fun Hut)

During his chat on wednesday Kiper said Cassell was a better QB then Cutler do you agree with this or is the old man getting looney in the head?

Steve Muench
  (3:07 PM)

Can I say too early to tell? No? Didn't think so. So I am going to agree with Mel and here's why. Casell played in a tougher division and played well despite his lack of experience and the enormous pressure of stepping in for Brady. In addition, Cutler seems to have too big an ego at times. His spats with Rivers are awkward to watch and he blows up after he finds out he might get traded.

Otto (CA)

Do you got Buehler getting drafted?

Steve Muench
  (3:09 PM)

Maybe in the seventh. If I take him he plays linebacker and some safety in addition to handling the place kicking duties.

Zeke (Richmond, VA)

Better steal on a "slider", Michael Johnson or Andre Smith?

Steve Muench
  (3:11 PM)

Andre Smith by far even though there are concerns about each's work ethic. Johnson can get to the passer and make plays in the backfield but he's going to get run over.

Bubbles (The Fun Hut)

Not that I'm not agreeing with you Steve, but can't the argument be made that Cassell played in a QB friendly system and had better targets to throw the ball to, and how can you overlook the fact that he's only been a starter for one year?

Steve Muench
  (3:14 PM)

The better targets argument is admittedly one worth making but Eddie Royal stepped up this year, Brandon Marshall is one of the best in the league when he's on the field and then there's Brandon Stokley so it's important to keep this argument in the right perspective. The starter for year is why I said it's too early to tell as this point but if I had to say than I say Cassell is the better of the two.

Aaron (K.C.MO.)

Did a person named "Bubbles", who resides in a "Fun Hut" really just question the sanity of Mel the Great?

Steve Muench
  (3:15 PM)

Thanks for the perfect ending for this week's chat Aaron. Let's all do it again next week and thanks for all the great posts.